"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

31 August 2012


Music suited me, because, I think, that in order to be a musician, one has to be compulsive. There is an innate compulsion, as in every other activity that requires a search for perfection. I think that all children who play an instrument or practice a sport have this in them. From the outset, one needs to have a certain way of thinking that is practically pathological, and at the same time a certain exuberance, an expressive strength of communication.

- Hélène Grimaud

Happy Birthday, Morrison.

Poet Van Morrison was born on this date in 1945.

Illusions and pipe dreams on the one hand
And straight reality is always cold
Saying something hard-edged is off the wall
And it just might be too bold

Well I'm down here on the running board
Where I've been many times before
But we got to keep it simple to save ourselves


All those one-run wins during the home stand were because "good teams win those games." Sometimes, good teams lose games, too.

Maybe, you know, this is just baseball, where even your stars go up to the plate in big moments and come away defeated. Maybe, you know, this is baseball, where speaking in absolutes is an invitation to be humbled.

The series stunk. The Tigers stunk. Only days earlier they were heroes.

If you want to concentrate on the negative, maybe baseball isn't your game. It's a game of failure -- good players do it a majority of the team, good teams do it 40 percent of the time. It's how you react to that failure that defines you.

The Tigers -- from scrubs to starts -- failed you.

But let's see how this team chooses to define itself this weekend.

Read the rest at Bless You Boys.

The Good Guys come home to face division-leading Chicago, this weekend.


Sai, Woods Under the Moonlight, 2001

Columnar pines soar
Two-track glowing, blue-moon light
Our season begins

29 August 2012

Happy birthday, Ingres.

Ingres, Grand Odalisque, 1814

Jean-August Dominique Ingres was born on this date in 1780.

21 years ago, in the spring of 1992, my European Art professor, Dr. Matthew Herban, captured my imagination by giving one of the best lectures I've ever heard on the importance of detail, technique, and passion in one's life. I used to sit in that giant, darkened auditorium of The Wexner Center with my Walkman playing Mozart at a barely-audible level and be transformed by beauty and wisdom. I had many goose bump moments in his classes.

One day he told us of a small cafe in Paris which was a hangout of a local prostitute who knew how to jimmy the lock on a courtyard gate behind the Saint-Chapelle. This was important, he said, not only because the statuary in the courtyard was inaccessible to the general public, but also because this breath-taking woman was fond of plying of her trade in the courtyard and you never knew the surprises that would await you there. "Many art forms are visible in the courtyard of the Saint-Chapelle," he would giggle.

Thank you, Ingres. Thank you, Dr. Herban. Thank you, Le Grand Odalisque.

28 August 2012

27 August 2012


The U.S. Open begins today.

This time of year always makes me nostalgic for John McEnroe, a conductor who orchestrated his genius with a Dunlop Max 200G.

Play on, Mr. McEnroe.


Environmental Working Group’s “Good Food on a Tight Budget” project aims to help people with modest food budgets find the healthiest foods.

This analysis is the first comprehensive food-ranking system that considers nutrition, affordability and common contaminants that arise from environmental pollution, processing and packaging.

We have systematically reviewed thousands of foods using a wide range of information compiled from the peer-reviewed literature and from food testing and price surveys conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture. We rate foods based on a balance of five factors:

1. Beneficial nutrients
2. Nutrients to minimize (e.g., sodium)
3. Price
4. Extent of processing
5. Harmful contaminants from environmental pollution and food packaging

It's all here and here.

26 August 2012

Chef Louis, "Les Poissons"

Hee-hee-hee, haw-haw-haw ...


Pepé Le Pew interviews Harrison.

The tour of his "resting place" (beginning at :54) is priceless.


This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of R.E.M.'s first album, Chronic Town.

Commemorating the event, Slicing Up Eyeballs has a concert from 1982.

Listen here.


Business books and management gurus have long sung the praises of giving employees free time to tinker on projects they initiate. The idea seems to have begun with 3M, who allowed employees to spend 15 percent for their workweek focused on projects that were unrelated to their normal work. More recently, Google upped the percentage to 20 percent of the workweek. Many other tech companies seem to have followed suit, some changing the formula a bit to establish dedicated “hack weeks” or “FedEx days” where all employees shed their normal projects and tinker with ideas that are inherently interesting to them. For companies that use such programs, innovation seems to increase. 3M points to legendary products such as the Post-It note as proof of its effectiveness. Google can hold up Gmail, Google News and AdSense as vital products birthed in 20 percent time.

The programs work. But why?

Despite their public successes, few efforts have been made to study these programs and uncover the reasoning behind why they work. To that end, my friend and co-author Gary Oster and I have recently published a paper exploring just that. Our paper explores what we call “Noncommissioned Work” (a term borrowed from Daniel Pink) and attempts to offer an explanation for why such programs yield innovative ideas. We offer a few definitions to distinguish types of noncommissioned work. “Transient Noncommissioned Work” describes programs where organizations declare set times for the entire team to engage in autonomous work, such as a “hack week” where all employees engage in self-initiated projects for an entire week. “Persistent Noncommissioned Work” refers to the more traditional 15 percent or 20 percent time, where employees are allowed to allocate a certain portion of their schedule for self-initiated work.

Read on at The Creativity Post.


Resist much, obey less.
Secretly liberate any being you see in a cage.

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti


As of 5 AM EDT (8/26/2012), Isaac has sustained maximum winds of 65 mph with a pressure of 995 mb. In other words, Isaac is slightly stronger as winds have increased by 5 mph and the pressure is dropping. Satellite appearance still shows a disorganized storm, although you can clearly see the spin and center of the circulation. Forecast for the next 24 hours is fairly clear: Isaac will continue to push to the northwest. However, the future track after Monday night becomes questionable.

Read the rest at EarthSky.

25 August 2012


Flammarion's Firmament, 1888

To One Who Has Been Long In City Pent

To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel,—an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear ether silently.

- John Keats


Fergus Henderson is happy.

I believe that dining at St. John may be at the top of my life's bucket list ... I'd even settle for just a whiff from the doorway.

More and more happiness.


True poetic practice implies a mind so miraculously attuned and illuminated that it can form words, by a chain of more-than coincidences, into a living entity — a poem that goes about on its own (for centuries after the author’s death, perhaps) affecting readers with its stored magic.

I believe such stored magic can author in the reader an equivalent capacity for creative wonder, creative response to a living entity. The reader completes the poem, in the process bringing to it his or her own past experiences. You are reading poetry — I mean really reading it—when you feel encountered and changed by a poem, when you feel its seismic vibrations, the sounding of your depths.

Brain Pickings has more on Edward Hirsch’s How to Read a Poem.


Attention burger lovers: you heard it here first. Remember that one-night-only burger pop-up that 30 Under 30 chef Chris Kronner put on last week at his former stomping ground Bar Tartine? Well it looks like the chef-at-large has smiled upon us and will be bringing back his infamous bone marrow burgers and chicken wings pop-up back to Bar Tartine and several other locations in the future. If you recall, the pièce de resistance of this burger offering is the optional side of roasted bone marrow for slathering on your patty for extra fatty-meaty goodness.

Read the rest at Zagat.


Some folks in education, the “hipsters” of theory are constantly looking for new buzzwords, or deriding the ones already in place as cliche. There have been many attempts to try to solidify the new educational model: 21st century education, millennial education, unlearning, education reform, disruptive education, and so many more. I think the one that sticks the most it 21st century education. The critics and snarcatics out there will be quick to quip that it’s an outdated term, since we are well over a decade into this century, and dismiss it, looking for a better, flashier word. Whatever the term, there is a movement in education, based in positive research and philosophical thinking, that criticizes the educational system and suggests obvious changes.

Read the rest at Clouducation.


O'Keeffe, Morning Star II (detail), 1917

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

- Norton Juster

24 August 2012

McCoy Tyner, "Giant Steps"


Berglund, Eastside Rocks, 2012

Get real at The Fresh Aspect.


Charlie Trotter is calling it quits. The celebrated Chicago chef told the Sun-Times in an exclusive interview that he will close his eponymous restaurant on Armitage in August, after 25 years in business.

Read the rest at Chicago Sun-Times.

Toqueland has an interview with Trotter, here.

Charlie Trotter's.



Thanks, Jess.


Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

- William Blake

Talking Heads.


The quest to find near-perfection and the beauty of imperfection ...

Gull Lake Boat Works is here.

23 August 2012


Music is a Place to take Refuge.
It's a Sanctuary from Mediocrity and Boredom.
It's Innocent and it's a Place you can loose yourself in Thoughts, Memories and Intricacies...

- Lisa Gerrard

From the Lisa Gerrard documentary, Sanctuary ...

22 August 2012


Smith, As Seen Through A Telescope, 1900

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.

- John Keats

The first day of school.

Good luck, Drew and Zoë ... I love you!

21 August 2012


The Authors Road had the good fortune to spend time with legendary writer Jim Harrison, at his winter retreat in southern Arizona along the border with Mexico. In this interview in the backyard of his casita, Jim talks about his growing up in rural Michigan, love of language, and his writing regimen.

18 August 2012

Frank Sinatra, "Summer Wind"

One of my sister's favorites.

This is for her on the day of her wedding ...

Congratulations, Buff and Chuck!

Debussy, La Mer

Claudio Abbado conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra ...


This morning's breakfast ... shrimp and grits from Big Sam's.

There were four slices of bacon in those grits and the shrimp were chunkers.

Oh, yeah, ... that's a 14-inch bowl.

17 August 2012

Jackson Browne, "Rock Me On The Water"

David Lindley goin' big fly on the lap steel ...


Chatham, Late Afternoon in Summer, 1999

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

- Jane Kenyon


Wyeth, Baleen, 1982

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. I have heard them all, and of the three elemental voices, that of ocean is the most awesome, beautiful and varied.

- Henry Beston

15 August 2012


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been around baseball for a while.

So for him to say Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter in the league ... that might be saying something.

Gardenhire had high praise for Cabrera after the slugger took the first pitch he saw from Cole DeVries opposite-field for a solo home run in the first inning Wednesday. Cabrera also had an RBI single later in the Tigers' 5-1 win.

“He’s just an animal," Gardenhire said. "I think he’s the best hitter in our league, as far as power the whole package, driving in runs, producer. I’ve said that for a few years, though.

"He’s so dangerous. Just to watch him. He hit that ball (on the home run) like a lefthander hits it. The wind was blowing in from there, and he’s just so strong. He seemed like he flicked it, but he’s a really good baseball player.”

With today's home run, Cabrera became the first Tigers hitter in history to hit at least 30 home runs in five consecutive seasons. On Tuesday, he reached 100 RBIs in a season for the fifth consecutive time in a Tigers uniform.

Read the rest at The Freep.


During a winter flyfishing trip to Canada, two old friends, J.T. Van Zandt and Alex "Xenie" Hall, learn they've have grown apart in more ways than one. J.T., the thoughtful even-keeled son of a songwriting legend believes there's more to fishing than catching fish. Short-tempered Xenie, a "firewood salesman," sees it differently and fishes like it's a race against the clock. Their different approaches to fishing and life emerge and clash on the snowy river banks and damp hotel rooms of British Columbia in this true story of a friendship stretched to the breaking point. An exploration of life in the disappearing wilderness of the West, Low & Clear unfolds with moments of humor and pathos, success and failure, as J.T. and Xenie find themselves on a fishing trip that could be their last.


With a single in the seventh that scored Omar Infante, Tiger Miguel Cabrera recorded his 100th RBI of the season. As a Tiger that's the fifth straight season he has accomplished the feat and the ninth straight season in his career.

The Detroit News has the facts, Jack.

Montalban Quintet, "Abajo del Mar"

Based on Men at Work's "Down By The Sea" ...

14 August 2012

Happy Birthday, Bird.

Mark Fidrych was born on this date in 1954.

On July 25, 1976 "The Bird" threw the first baseball game I ever saw. Thanks, Dad.

13 August 2012


2nd of 13 images taken in a period of 73 minutes. Every blink of an eye a totally different light. That’s why im so sucked into the horizon when being at the sea.

Thanks, Stompin'.


All you'll ever need to know about cheese can be learned from its highest-ranking priest, Steve Jenkins ...

There is “no replacement for giving yourself up to something and getting humble. I was so stoned, I felt such joy, I didn’t even think about money or success. I just wanted to learn everything.”

Read the rest here.

The hymnal is here.


As part of their Mexico issue Saveur's "Daily Fare" has "Six Essential Mexican Cookbooks".


Jess has A Beginner's Manifesto and, finally, pictures from her trek!

All this and more at wanderations.


Based on a dozen years teaching courses on creativity and entrepreneurship in the Stanford School of Engineering, Dr. Seelig unveils a six-part “Innovation Engine” that illustrates specific tools and conditions needed to enhance creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations.

She shows that just as the scientific method demystifies the process of discovery, there is a formal process for unlocking the pathway to invention.


Adams, Thunderstorm, Espanola Valley, NM, 1961

We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through fabric of illusion. Many refuse to admit it: I feel a mystery exists. There are certain times, when, as on the whisper of the wind, there comes a clear and quiet realization that there is indeed a presence in the world, a nonhuman entity that is not necessarily inhuman.

- Ansel Adams



ParkeHarrison, The Passage, 2001

I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.

- Hermann Hesse

12 August 2012


An old wooden church at Kärsämäki dating from 1765 was demolished and replaced by another in a new location in 1841, Not long ago the idea of rebuilding the original wooden church arose in the North Ostrobothnian parish, but as there was not enough documentation to work with, a decision was made to build a new, modern church on the site using 18th century methods.

Its architectural objectives included a simple, archaic atmosphere and good weather resistance. The building comprises a log-built "core" and a black, tarred shingle clad "cloak", between which are the vestibules, vestry and storeroom. A person entering the church is guided through a dimly lit space towards the lighter coloured hall lit with a roof lantern. When it is dark the church is lit with glass lanterns, with candles inside, and tinplate lanterns carried by churchgoers.

Read the rest at The Museum of Architecture.

Tex Beneke Orchestra, "Serenade In Blue"

... with The Crew Chiefs.


On Monday, a group of four friends went on a fishing trip in the Pacific Ocean. Taking their boat “A Salt Weapon” 20 miles west of Santa Cruz, Mark Peters, Jeremy, Dave, and William were expecting a fun-filled day of albacore tuna hunting. What they ended up capturing was so much more ...

Thanks, Moldy Chum.


Wyeth, Sunflowers, 1982

While Beams of Orient Light Shoot Wide and High

While beams of orient light shoot wide and high,
Deep in the vale a little rural Town
Breathes forth a cloud-like creature of its own,
That mounts not toward the radiant morning sky,
But, with a less ambitious sympathy,
Hangs o'er its Parent waking to the cares
Troubles and toils that every day prepares.
So Fancy, to the musing Poet's eye,
Endears that Lingerer. And how blest her sway
(Like influence never may my soul reject)
If the calm Heaven, now to its zenith decked
With glorious forms in numberless array,
To the lone shepherd on the hills disclose
Gleams from a world in which the saints repose.

- William Wordsworth


There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.

- Rainer Maria Rilke


Much has been said about the secrets of creativity and where good ideas come from, but most of that wisdom can be lost on young minds just dipping their toes in the vast and tumultuous ocean of self-initiated creation. Some time ago, artist and writer Austin Kleon was invited to give a talk to students, the backbone for which was a list of 10 things ...

Read the rest at Brain Pickings.

Sara Watkins, "Take Up Your Spade"

Sun is up, a new day is before you
Sun is up, wake your sleepy soul
Sun is up, hold on to what is on
Take up your spade and break ground

Shake off your shoes,
Leave yesterday behind you
Shake off your shoes,
But forget now where you're been
Shake off your shoes
Forgive and be forgiven
Take up your spade and break ground

Give thanks, for all that you've been given
Give thanks, for who you can become
Give thanks, for each moment and every
Take up your spade and break ground


Paygnard, The Sweeper, 1976

Use the occasion, for it passes swiftly.

- Ovid

Thank you, Mme. Scherzo.


Chritchley, Thendara, Cote d'Azur, 2009

Allow your judgments a silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

11 August 2012


On this date in 1979, Led Zeppelin played their last ever UK show when they appeared at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, England.

From that performance, here's "Kashmir" ...

10 August 2012


When You See Water

When you see water in a stream
you say: oh, this is stream
When you see water in the river
you say: oh, this is water
of the river;
When you see ocean
you say: This is the ocean's
But actually water is always
only itself
and does not belong
to any of these containers
though it creates them.
And so it is with you.

- Alice Walker


Earth, Jupiter and Venus from the skyline of Mars!

Thank you, Mme. Scherzo.

Happy Birthday, Anderson.

Poet, philosopher, musician, and salmon-smoker, Ian Anderson was born on this date in 1947.

Here's "Songs from the Wood" from 1977, but have a drink first ...


Don’t miss out on the peak night of the Perseid meteor shower on August 11/12. These swift-moving meteors start to streak across the nighttime sky by mid to late evening. As evening deepens into late night, the number of meteors starts to increase. The intensity picks up all the more after midnight, and the greatest numbers of meteors typically bombard the sky in the dark hours just before dawn. At mid-northern latitudes, you may see as many as 50 Perseid meteors per hour.

Read the rest at EarthSky.


English, Marlene Dietrich, 1932

The New Yorker has published a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald that was originally rejected in 1936.

Vaguely she regarded it. Then she got up from her knees and sank back wearily in the corner of the pew. In her imagination, the Virgin came down, like in the play “The Miracle,” and took her place and sold corsets and girdles for her and was tired, just as she was. Then for a few minutes Mrs. Hanson must have slept.

She awoke at the realization that something had changed, and gradually she perceived that there was a familiar scent that was not incense in the air and that her fingers smarted.

Read the entirety of the piece here.

Thank for the light, Rogues & Gentlemen.

09 August 2012


I believe that appreciation is a holy thing--that when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we're participating in something sacred.

- Fred Rogers

ed·i·fy /ˈedəˌfī/ v. to instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually.

This evening I watched a nine-part interview with Fred Rogers conducted in 1999 by Karen Herman of the Archive of American Television. It was outstanding. This man's reverence, gentleness, awareness, and care are still unmatched.

The archive of the interview is here.



- Drew Firchau

08 August 2012

Roger Glover, "The Mask"



Young, Gathering at the Barn, 2012

Upon my approach one recent evening, I wonder ...

Do yourself a favor, look here.

Thank you for your art, Jay.


Mortane, Charles Godefroy flies through Arc de Triomphe, 1919

On 7 August 1919, three weeks after the victory parade, under cover of secrecy and dressed in his warrant officer uniform, Charles Godefroy took off at 7.20 a.m. from the airfield of Villacoublay in a biplane “Nieuport 11 Bébé” (Bébé = baby - because of its low wing span of 24.67 ft / 24’8’’ or 7.52 m). He reached the Porte Maillot shortly thereafter. Coming from the west, he circled the Arc de Triomphe twice and began the approach along the Avenue de la Grande-Armée. He gathered speed and forced the plane down and through the Arc. He did not have much clearance – the width of the Arc is 47.57 ft / 47’6’’ (14.50 m). He passed at a low level over a tram in which passengers threw themselves to the ground, and many passers-by ran away frightened. Godefroy flew over the Place de la Concorde before returning to the airfield, where his mechanic checked over the engine. No one at the airfield had taken any notice of the flight, which had lasted half an hour.

Thank you, Mme. Scherzo.


06 August 2012


The intention with work like this is that I really don't know what I'm going to do. It's about looking and learning and seeing and responding to the day, the materials and trying to understand a little bit of that day, that material, that place, that moment.

- Andy Goldsworthy


The Hundred Languages of Childhood

The child
is made of one hundred.
The child has
A hundred languages
A hundred hands
A hundred thoughts
A hundred ways of thinking
Of playing, of speaking.
A hundred always a hundred
Ways of listening of marveling of loving
A hundred joys
For singing and understanding
A hundred worlds
To discover
A hundred worlds
To invent
A hundred worlds
To dream
The child has
A hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
But they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
Separate the head from the body.
They tell the child;
To think without hands
To do without head
To listen and not to speak
To understand without joy
To love and to marvel
Only at Easter and Christmas
They tell the child:
To discover the world already there
And of the hundred
They steal ninety-nine.
They tell the child:
That work and play
Reality and fantasy
Science and imagination
Sky and earth
Reason and dream
Are things
That do not belong together
And thus they tell the child
That the hundred is not there
The child says: NO WAY the hundred is there--

- Loris Malaguzzi


Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers -- and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

Think Jar Collective has three tips on how to get more out of your rejection.

Sam Bush, "Bringing In The Georgia Mail"


Kent, In The Cockpit, 1930

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

- Wendell Berry