"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 January 2022

Cheap Trick, "Baby Loves to Rock"

New Order, "Age of Consent"

Hooky and The Light ...


"On Writing: An Abecedarian" ...
Spaces. Literature creates spaces—rooms, towns, landscapes, worlds. There are literary spaces a reader can enter and get lost in. A book holds a world, and it is also a means of transportation to past worlds, to places far away. Sven Birkerts, in The Gutenberg Elegies, imagines a painting in which a woman sits on a garden bench with a book in her lap, gazing into the distance. She is “planted in one reality, the garden setting, while adrift in the spell of another.” Books allow us to drift in the space of a reality different from the one we are reading in.


30 January 2022

Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492

Anna Netrebko performs "Deh vieni non tardar" from Act Four ...

Billy Joe Shaver, "Get Thee Behind Me Satan"

With yer boy, John Anderson ...

The Oyster Months Notebook (rev. January 2022)

REVISED January 2022 ...

Scheidt: Ludi Musici
L'Acheron, Francois Joubert-Caillet

Handel: The Complete Sonatas for Recorder
Marion Verbruggen, Ton Koopman and Jaap ter Linden

Buxtehude: Complete Chamber Music
Ton Koopman

Songs of Olden Times: Estonian Folk Hymns and Runic Songs

Ockeghem: Requiem; Missa Mi-Mi; Missa Prolationum
Hilliard Ensemble


Holborne: Pavans and Galliards, 1599
The Consort of Musicke & The Guildhall Waits, Anthony Rooley & Trevor Jones

Purcell: Sonatas Of 3 Parts, 1683
Pavlo Beznosiuk, Rachel Podger, Christophe Coin, Christopher Hogwood

Telemann: Trio Sonatas
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder), Dmitry Sinkovksy (violin)

German Lute Music of the 18th Century
Alberto Crugnola 

REVISED November 2021 ...

Masters of the Baroque Hurdy-Gurdy
Matthias Loibner

Weiss: Sonatas for Transverse Flute and Lute
Duo Inventio

Holborne: Pieces for Lute
Federico Marincola


Wake up with the morning breeze 
and ask for a change.
Open and fill yourself with the wine that is your life.
Pass it around
Pass it to me first.



All humans are essentially wild creatures and hate confinement. We need what is wild, and we thrill to it, our wildness bubbling over with an anarchic joie de vivre. We glint when the wild light shines. The more suffocatingly enclosed we are - tamed by television, controlled by mortgages and bureaucracy - the louder our wild genes scream in aggression, anger and depression.

Jay Griffiths


Seaby, Nightingale, 1927

Anything worth thinking about is worth singing about.
Which is why we have songs of praise, songs of love, songs of sorrow.
Songs to the gods, who have so many names.
Songs of the shepherds sing, on the lonely mountains, while the sheep are honoring the grass, by eating it.
The dance-songs of the bees, to tell where the flowers, suddenly, in the morning light, have opened.
A chorus of many, shouting to heaven, or at it, or pleading
Or that greatest of love affairs, a violin and a human body.
And a composer, maybe hundreds of years dead.
I think of Schubert, scribbling on a cafe napkin.
Thank you, thank you.

Mary Oliver

Wagner, Siegfried, WWV 86C

Annamia Eriksson plays the horn call from Act Two ...


From the depths of his corner, the dreamer remembers all the objects identified with solitude, objects that 
are memories of solitude and which are betrayed by the mere fact of having been forgotten, abandoned in a corner. "Remember the old, old lamp that greeted you from far away, through the window of your thoughts, its panes burned by suns of other years."  From the depths of his corner, the dreamer sees an older house, a house in another land, thus making a synthesis of the childhood home and the dream home. The old objects question him: "What will the friendly old lamp think of you, during the lonely winter nights? What will the other objects think of you, the ones that were so kind, so fraternally kind to you? Was not their obscure fate closely united with your own? Motionless, mute things never forget: melancholy and despised as they are, we confide in them that which is humblest and least suspected in the depths of ourselves." What a call to humility this dreamer heard in his corner.  For the corner denies the palace, dust denies marble, and worn objects deny splendor and luxury. The dreamer in his corner wrote off the world in a detailed daydream that destroyed, one by one, all the objects in the world. Having crossed the countless little thresholds of the disorder of things that are reduced to dust, these souvenir-objects set the past in order, associating condensed motionlessness with far distant voyages into a world that is no more.

Gaston Bachelard, from The Poetics of Space


Dr. West on integrity ...
What is the quality of your courage and your willingness to bear witness radically against the grain, even if you have to sacrifice something precious, including your popularity, in the name of integrity?

29 January 2022


The steak & ale special features our prime rib and a pitcher of Wiedemann for $15.99.

As always, it's five plays for a dollar.

Steven Bishop, "Save It for a Rainy Day" ...

Burton Cummings, "Stand Tall" ...

Thelma Houston, "Don't Leave Me This Way" ...

KISS, "Hard Luck Woman" ...

Heart, "Dreamboat Annie" ...


Timely thoughts from Dr. Robert George ...
  • Some advice for my students, myself, and everyone …When you feel the temptation to “go along to get along,” resist it. (You may find the words “get thee behind me, Satan” helpful.)
  • So they’re trying to shut you up: How to defend yourself in a free-speech crisis, whatever your politicsRemember that in standing up for your own rights to think and speak freely, and to seek the truth and speak the truth as best as you understand it, you are not only protecting yourself; you are also defending the rights of other scholars (and students) and the integrity of the academic vocation. When you prevail in upholding academic freedom for yourself, as you will do when you stand fast and get good advice, your victory redounds to the benefit of the entire academic community — a community in which the freedoms that are the oxygen on which it thrives are very much in jeopardy today.
  • A moral voice: We have, to one degree or another, embraced the ideology of individualism. As a result, we have lost our sense of the importance of the common good—of we, ourselves, and us—and the value (and values) of the communities to which we belong and in which alone we can find our true fulfillment. We must move from what Sacks calls our “I society” back to a “We society.”

Mike Scott, "Fisherman's Blues"

Steve Wickham, fiddle ...

Jerry Douglas, "King Silkie"

Gordon Lightfoot, "Fading Away"

Happy Birthday, Chekhov

Anton Chekhov was born on this date in 1860.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov


There is nothing else than now.  There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow.  How old must you be before you know that?  There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion.  This is how you live a life in two days.  And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life.
Ernest Hemingway 


I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestler’s sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
Rainer Maria Rilke 

Luka Bloom, "Raglan Road"


Pratt, Thomas Paine, 1795

Thomas Paine was born on this date in 1737.

The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all parts of a civilized community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their laws; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence then the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost every thing which is ascribed to government.

Thoms Paine, from Common Sense

Happy Birthday, Fields

William Claude Dukenfield, W.C. Fields, was born on this date in 1880.


"Honest John" ...

He's okay, once you get to know him ...

28 January 2022

27 January 2022


"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington" 

For best results, listen to this ... Thin Lizzy, "Renegade" ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day.

Umberto Limongiello



I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint. 

Georgia O'Keeffe


Dr. West warns us of "spiritual blackout" ...
Probably the most morally sublime feature of the species is that no matter how pervasive the domination is, it tends not to completely suffocate love, tenderness, struggles for justice, fighting for the poor, fighting for the vulnerable.  The sparks of love of truth, the sparks of the love of justice, the sparks of the love of beauty, the sparks of the love of something bigger than oneself ...


Eighty years since the Holocaust began, violent antisemitism remains a threat. The lessons of this history have never been more relevant and are the focus of this solemn event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day—designated by the United Nations to be January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Survivors reflect on and honor the lives of Europe’s Jews—who were targeted for annihilation—other victims of Nazi persecution, and individuals who chose to help.


An argument can be made that the world began to go to hell on this date in 1880 when Thomas Edison received a patent for the first incandescent light bulb.


Dr. Robert George discusses the goal of debate ...

Happy Birthday, Mozart

Lange, Mozart am Klavier, 1789

The greatest composer of all time, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was born on this date in 1756.

From his Great Mass in C minor, K. 427, here's the "Domine Deus" and "Cum Sancto Spiritu" sung by Julia Lezhneva and Joyce DiDonato with the Dresden State Orchestra of Saxony State Opera Choir of Saxony, directed by Markus Poschner ...

26 January 2022

Happy Birthday, Michigan

The Great North, God's Country, Misshikama, The Great Lake State was founded on this date in 1837. 

Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice

25 January 2022

Happy Birthday, Cotton

Michael Cotton was born on this date in 1950.

"Out of the Business" ...


Crespi, Niccolò Machiavelli, 1623

All courses of action are risky, so the right thing is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.

Niccolò Machiavelli

Holborne, "Honie-Suckle"

Performed by United States Marine Band members Gunnery Sergeants Brad Weil and Amy McCabe, trumpet, Staff Sergeant Cecilia Buettgen, horn, Gunnery Sergeant Preston Hardage, trombone, and Master Sergeant Mark Thiele, tuba ...


People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply ... by the lives they lead.

James Baldwin


From the Louisiana Channel's series, How I became a Writer, featuring Paul Auster ...
The essence of being an artist is to confront the things you are trying to do, to tackle it head on, and if it is good, it will have its own beauty - an unpredictable beauty.

Happy Birthday, Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham was born on this date in 1874.

It is one of the defects of my character that I cannot altogether dislike anyone who makes me laugh.

W. Somerset Maugham


Curtis, The Pool - Apache, 1906

The passing of every old man or woman means the passing of some tradition, some knowledge of sacred rites possessed by no other.  Consequently the information that is to be gathered, for the benefit of future generations, respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost for all time.

Edward Sheriff Curtis

Happy Birthday, Burns

Nasmyth, Robert Burns, 1787

Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759.


O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Robert Burns

24 January 2022


I think the only crime here is naming your son, "Hunter."  It should be "Pylon" or "Sitting "Duck."

23 January 2022


Happy Birthday, Zander

Robin Zander was born on this date in 1953.

"California Man" ...


Let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do, everyone, our share to redeem the world, in spite of all absurdities, and all the frustrations, and all the disappointment. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live life as if it were a work of art.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

Haydn, Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob. VIIb/1

Nicolas Altstaedt with Arcangelo ...


Boccherini, Cello Sonata in A major, G.4

Janos Starker performs ...


Captain Irving Johnson describes his experience on a four-masted barque rounding Cape Horn in 1928, when he was but a swabby before the mast ...


"It is one of the greatest Curses visited upon Mankind," he told me, "that they shall fear where no Fear is: this astrological and superstitious Humour disarms men's Hearts, it breaks their Courage, it makes them help to bring such Calamities on themselves." Then he stopped short and looked at me, but my Measure was not yet fill'd up so I begg' d him to go on, go on. And he continued: "First, they fancy that such ill Accidents must come to pass, and so they render themselves fit Subjects to be wrought upon; it is a Disgrace to the Reason and Honour of Mankind that every fantasticall Humourist can presume to interpret the Skies (here he grew Hot and put down his Dish) and to expound the Time and Seasons and Fates of Empires, assigning the Causes of Plagues and Fires to the Sins of Men or the Judgements of God. This weakens the Constancy of Humane Actions, and affects Men with Fears, Doubts, Irresolutions and Terrours."

    "I was afraid of your Moving Picture," I said without thought, and that was why I left.

    "It was only Clock-work, Nick."

    "But what of the vast Machine of the World, in which Men move by Rote but in which nothing is free from Danger?"

    "Nature yields to the Forward and the Bold."

    "It does not yield, it devours: You cannot master or manage Nature."

    "But, Nick, our Age can at least take up the Rubbidge and lay the Foundacions: that is why we must study the principles of Nature, for they are our best Draught."

    "No, sir, you must study the Humours and Natures of Men: they are corrupt, and therefore your best Guides to understand Corrupcion."

    "The things of the Earth must be understood by the sentient Faculties, not by the Understanding."

    There was a Silence between us now until Sir Chris. says, "Is your Boy in the Kitchin? I am mighty Hungry.”

Peter Ackroyd, from Hawksmoor


Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement.  Get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.  Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

22 January 2022


Like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused -- hence all the old tales of elfin kingdoms moving further and further away from our world, or that magical beings require our faith, our belief in their existence, to survive. That is a lie. All they require is our recognition.

Charles de Lint


Dip Cup's done with Wayne County's cancel culture ...

David Bowie, "The Pretty Things are Going to Hell"

Coleman Hawkins, "Lover Man"

For Lord Byron.

This is where and how they get their kicks ...

Manassas, "Hide It So Deep"

Al Perkins, steel ...


Prior, St. James Square, 1773

Let Stone be your God and you will find God in the Stone.

Peter Ackroyd, from Hawksmoor

Elton John, "Come Down in Time"

With a worthy stand-in ...


People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels—people you don’t want to resemble when you grow up.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

This week one of my sixth-grade students told me that heroes don't exist anymore.


I may not be Mr. Charisma
I know I squint when I read
I cleared my throat and muddied my thoughts
Somehow I was born to lead

I don't mean to bring all this up again
I know a thing or two about loss
I'm ready to turn this thing around
With a help of my own special sauce

But now, some of the party heavyweights are 
Whispering about '24
Who're certain Mrs. Clinton
Will be the candidate once more

It's not exactly a morale boost when
They think she could fill my shoes
I just need a couple day to get over
These Regular-Guy Scranton Joe Blues

These regular-guy-
Regular-Guy Scranton Joe Blues

Check out the rest at 42:14, HERE.


Sting released his best solo album, The Soul Cages, on this date in 1991.
I saw it again this evening
Black sail in a pale yellow sky
And just as before in a moment
It was gone where the grey gulls fly

If it happens again I shall worry
That only a strange ship could fly
And my sanity scans the horizon
In the light of the darkening sky

That night as I walked in my slumber
I waded into the sea strand
And I swam with the moon and her lover
Until I lost sight of the land

I swam till the night became morning
Black sail in a reddening sky
Found myself on the deck of a rolling ship
So far where no grey gulls fly

All around me was silence
As if mocking my frail human hopes
And a question mark hung in the canvas
For the wind that had died in the ropes

I may have slept for an hour
I may have slept for a day
For I woke in a bed of white linen
And the sky was the colour of clay

At first just a rustle of canvas
And the gentlest breath on my face
But a galloping line of white horses
Said that soon we were in for a race

The gentle sigh turned to a howling
And the grey sky she angered to black
And my anxious eyes searched the horizon
With the gathering sea at my back

Did I see the shade of a sailor
On the bridge through the wheelhouse pane
Held fast to the wheel of the rocking ship
As I squinted my eyes in the rain

For the ship had turned into the wind
Against the storm to brace
And underneath the sailor's hat
I saw my father's face

If a prayer today is spoken
Please offer it for me
When the bridge to heaven is broken
And you're lost on the wild wild sea
Lost on the wild wild sea...

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner


The Reverend Dr. Cornel West on education and the cultivation of self ...
Education is about the formation of attention so you attend to the things that matter.  It's about about the cultivation of a self that you're able to have a sense of who you are, based on integrity, honesty, and decency.  It's about the maturation of a soul that you learn how the muster the courage to think critically, the courage to love, to stay in contact with the humanity of others.

David Bowie, "Oh, You Pretty Things"

Good morning! 


Priest and poet Robert Stephen Hawker's poetry-writing den (above), built into a Cornwall hillside overlooking the Atlantic.  


We see them not--we cannot hear
   The music of their wing--
Yet know we that they sojourn near,
   The Angels of the spring!

They glide along this lovely ground
   When the first violet grows;
Their graceful hands have just unbound
   The zone of yonder rose.

I gather it for thy dear breast,
   From stain and shadow free:
That which an Angel's touch hath blest
   Is meet, my love, for thee!

Robert Stephen Hawker

Hawker excommunicated his cat from the hideaway for Sunday-mousing.  Well-done.