"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

29 June 2023


Shishkin, Forest, 1888

And closely akin to the visions of the hairy man was the call still sounding in the depths of the forest. It filled him with a great unrest and strange desires. It caused him to feel a vague, sweet gladness, and he was aware of wild yearnings and stirrings for he knew not what. Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest, looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly, as the mood might dictate. He would thrust his nose into the cool wood moss, or into the black soil where long grasses grew, and snort with joy at the fat earth smells; or he would crouch for hours, as if in concealment, behind fungus-covered trunks of fallen trees, wide-eyed and wide-eared to all that moved and sounded about him. It might be, lying thus, that he hoped to surprise this call he could not understand. But he did not know why he did these various things. He was impelled to do them, and did not reason about them at all.

Irresistible impulses seized him. He would be lying in camp, dozing lazily in the heat of the day, when suddenly his head would lift and his ears cock up, intent and listening, and he would spring to his feet and dash away, and on and on, for hours, through the forest aisles and across the open spaces where the niggerheads bunched. He loved to run down dry watercourses, and to creep and spy upon the bird life in the woods. For a day at a time he would lie in the underbrush where he could watch the partridges drumming and strutting up and down. But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called--called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.

Jack London, from Chapter Seven of The Call of the Wild



This is it.  Say hello to a whole new way of listening.  Listen to what you've been waiting for.  You asked for something new and we heard you loud and clear.  Because when you talk, Tubes listen.

This is who we are and what we do in the Tubes Group.  We're music people.  People like you.  Seven individuals.  One purpose.  Diverse talents carefully blended.  What do we do?  We do it all.  From the raw materials to the finished product.  In millions of homes like yours -- twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, we'll be here doing it for you.  It's not easy, but with your help, America, we're getting the job done.  

This is your day, America.  Now it's your turn to enjoy everything we have to offer.  America, you're number one -- we're number one.  You work hard and you play hard.  You like the feeling of being all you can be.  You deserve the best there is and we give it to you.  So why not reach out and grab all you can get.  America, you've earned it.

This is how we feel, America.  If you have a need, we'll fill it.  Give us a problem, we'll solve it.  If there's a question, we'll find the answer.  It's that simple.  America, you're changing and we're changing with you.  It's time to say hello to us, The Tubes Group.  We're here because you're there.

Bill Spooner - Analysis, Guitar, Vocals
Michael Cotten - Trend, Synthesizers
Fee Waybill - Motivation, Frontman
Roger Steen - Development, Guitar, Vocals
Prairie Prince - Systems, Drums
Vince Welnick - Accounts, Keyboards, Vocals
Rick Anderson - Policy, Bass

Ric Ocasek, "Something to Grab For"


The butler is serving tea
Wearing a shirt without any sleeves ...


Badass is a juvenile aspiration.

Gabrielle Hamilton


CHOMSKY: What seems to me a very, in a sense, terrifying aspect of our society and other societies is the equanimity and the detachment with which sane, reasonable, sensible people can observe such events. I think that’s more terrifying than the occasional Hitler or LeMay or other that crops up. These people would not be able to operate were it not for this apathy and equanimity, and therefore I think that it’s in some sense the sane and reasonable and tolerant people who share a very serious burden of guilt that they very easily throw on the shoulders of others who seem more extreme and more violent.

An example of the respectful clash of two very different ideas.


I'm hearing more frequently that I sound ancient, old-fashioned, curmudgeonly.



Filleul, Portrait of Benjamin Franklin, 1779

They bark, "It's a free country!"

In preparation for The Independence Days, Kurt points to Franklin's reminder ...
[T]he people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.

Happy Birthday, Hay

Colin Hay was born on this day in 1953.

"Catch a Star" ...

28 June 2023

Bellini, La Sonnambula

Maria Callas performs the aria, "Ah non credea mirarti" ...

Echo & The Bunnymen (sorta), "The Somnambulist"

The dreams are chair wheels in his oceans
Walks in his sleep, the somnambulist
Beneath the seabed, magic potions
Waters deep for the somnambulist ...

William Alfred Sergeant.

Men at Work, "Blue for You"

Furs, "Dumb Waiters"


Men at Work released Cargo in 1983.

"No Sign of Yesterday" ...

Higgins Lake.
Salami on rye.
A not-quite sunburn.
Fresh water.

The Ocean Blue, "Between Something and Nothing"

Words that form a sentence
Words that form a phrase
In a poem or a letter
Could not convey the meaning
Of what this man has done
In a painting
On canvas ...

Happy Birthday, Rousseau

Nochez after Ramsay, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1769

Teach your scholar to observe the phenomena of nature; you will soon rouse his curiosity, but if you would have it grow, do not be in too great a hurry to satisfy this curiosity. Put the problems before him and let him solve them himself. Let him know nothing because you have told him, but because he has learnt it for himself. Let him not be taught science, let him discover it. If ever you substitute authority for reason he will cease to reason; he will be a mere plaything of other people's thoughts.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, born on this day in 1712, from Emile


Two "invisible workers" remember being in the presence of Bloom ...
As teachers who take pride in lesson planning and deliberate pedagogy, observing those seminar sessions could be frustrating. He tired easily and often had trouble with the Ozzian telecommunication medium. The intelligent and engaged students sometimes struggled to respond to the prompts he posed but did not have the energy to fully elucidate. He recapitulated material from his books or spent much of class asking students to read the plays aloud at length. Perhaps because he notoriously treated characters as if they were real people, he posed questions that seemed puzzling or downright unanswerable.
Be gone, boys.  Remain invisible.


The imagination imitates. It is the critical spirit that creates.

Oscar Wilde

Happy Birthday, Rubens

Rubens, Study of Two Heads, 1609

My talent is such that no undertaking, however vast in size, has ever surpassed my courage.

Peter Paul Rubens, born on this day in 1577

Don't miss Waldemar Januszczak's Rubens: An Extra Large Story ...


Writers are, in the first place, readers. I tell every writer I’ve ever known, either they are deep readers or they cannot become real writers. Read only the best and most challenging and traditional. And reread it.

Harold Bloom

27 June 2023

Joy Division, "Atmosphere"

New Order interpreting ...


The bell has rung, and I've called time
The chair is on the table, out the door, baby ...


The B-52's released Cosmic Thing on this day in 1989.

"Deadbeat Club" ...


Wilse, Fram under Sail, 1910

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music. 

Denis Diderot


Chandor had embarked on his greatest masterpiece with 3.5 acres of barren land as his canvas.  With the aid of picks, shovels, and dynamite the hillside evolved into a series of “garden rooms” featuring English and Chinese motifs.  He planted over 150 trees along with hundreds of flowers and masses of wisteria and peppered the Gardens with water features, intricate stonework, timeless sculptures and delightful surprises around every corner.

While working on the gardens the Chandors began meeting with architect Joseph Pelich to design what would be the artist’s studio and the couple’s home.  Built in 1936, the home was originally constructed primarily as a studio with a bedroom, kitchen, and bath to be lived in for six months out of each year.  Half of each year was spent in New York City where Douglas also kept a studio.  Additions to the home were built in the 1940’s and once again in the 1960’s.  From the soaring 27 foot tall ceiling of the artist’s studio with its 17 foot tall window at the north end, to the lovely antique French chandelier that graced the domed ceiling of the couple’s bedroom, the home was imbued with a vibrant atmosphere of cultural richness. 


I am your true Marxist critic, following Groucho rather than Karl, and take as my motto Groucho's grand admonition: "Whatever it is, I'm against it!”

Harold Bloom


Don't miss Living the Classical Life.


Any new poem is rather like a little child who has been stationed with a large group of other small children in a playroom, where there are a limited number of toys and no adult supervision whatsoever. Those toys are the tricks, turns, and tropes of poetic language, Oscar Wilde’s “beautiful untrue things” that save the imagination from falling into “careless habits of accuracy.”

Harold Bloom

Beethoven, Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat major, Op. 16

The Azahar Ensemble ...


Go by yourself, whether in your own room or outdoors somewhere in good weather and start by reading aloud, and listen carefully to what you are overhearing, and read it again and again ... the aesthetic is an individual and not a social concern.

Harold Bloom

26 June 2023

ELO, "Poker"

The Breeders, "Divine Hammer"

Thanks, Jess.


On this day in 1974, the world was introduced to Bad Company.

Sibe One, Track One ...





Sander, Gamekeeper, 1914


George Hainsworth, the first NHL goaltender to record 22 shutouts in one season, was born on this day in 1895.

Hainsworth accomplished the feat in the 1928-1929 season, playing in 44 games.

Hats matter.

Thanks, Dave.

Mozart, Piano Concerto No.1 in F major, K.37

Heidrun Holtmann is the soloist, accompanied by Orchestra della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana, under the baton of Marc Andreae ...


25 June 2023


(Searching for Dark Matter)

For this we go out dark nights, searching
For the dimmest stars,
For signs of unseen things:

To weigh us down
To stop the universe
From rushing on and on
Into its own beyond
Till it exhausts itself and lies down cold,
Its last star going out. 

Whatever they turn out to be,
Let there be swarms of them,
Enough for immortality,
Always a star where we can warm ourselves.

Let there be enough to bring back
From its own edges,
To bring us all so close that we ignite
The bright spark of resurrection.

Rebecca Elson


Löwenbräu pitchers are half-priced, try the Angels-on-Horseback, and don't forget ... it's always five plays for a dollar.

Pete Townshend, "Face Dances, Part II"

David Gilmour, "All Lovers are Deranged"

Alan Parsons Project, "Prime Time"

Robert Plant, "Ship of Fools"

Yes, "Lift Me Up"


Hank Jones, "On Green Dolphin Street"



He is a hard one to write a poem about. Like Napolean.
Hannibal. Genghis Khan. Already so large in history. To do it
right, I have to sit down with him. At a place of his own
choosing. Probably a steakhouse. We take a table in a corner.
But people still recognize him, come up and slap him on the
back, say how much they enjoyed studying about him in school
and ask for his autograph. After he eats, he leans back and
lights up a cigar and asks me what I want to know. Notebook in
hand, I suggest that we start with the Little Big Horn and work
our way back. But I realize I have offended him. That he
would rather take it the other way around. So he rants on
about the Civil War, the way west, the loyalty of good soldiers
and now and then twists his long yellow hair with his fingers.
But when he gets to the part about Sitting Bull, about Crazy
Horse, he develops a twitch above his right eye, raises his
finger for the waiter, excuses himself and goes to the restroom
while I sit there along the bluffs with the entire Sioux nation,
awaiting his return.

David Shumate

He who is unaware of his ignorance will only be misled by his knowledge.

Richard Whately


The Battle of Little Bighorn began on this date, at this hour, in 1876.

Nathaniel Philbrick, from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
Custer did not drink; he didn’t have to. His emotional effusions unhinged his judgment in ways that went far beyond alcohol’s ability to interfere with clear thinking.
C-SPAN presents National Park Service interpreter Steve Adelson's stories of Custer and his Seventh Cavalry fight against the Sioux and Cheyenne ...

Excellent Books ...


Churchill, Self-Portrait, 1920

If ... you are inclined - late in life though it be - to reconnoitre a foreign sphere of limitless extent, be persuaded that the first quality that is needed is Audacity. There really is no time for the deliberate approach. Two years of drawing-lessons, three years of copying woodcuts, five years of plaster casts - these are for the young. They have enough to bear. And this thorough grounding is for those who, hearing the call in the morning of their days, are able to make painting their paramount lifelong vocation. The truth and beauty of line and form which by the slightest touch or twist of the brush a real artist imparts to every feature of his design must be founded on long, hard, persevering apprenticeship and a practice so habitual that it has become instinctive. We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paint-box. And for this Audacity is the only ticket.

Sir Winston Churchill, from Painting as a Pastime


And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding; who yearn not for goods, nor for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battlefield to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose haven is not power but truth: these are the men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world. 

Furs, "Run and Run"


Here's the deal with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: The band expertly weaponizes niche — again — on 'PetroDragonic Apocalypse'

King Gizzard's instinct to burn through ideas as quickly as possible has its own odd but undeniable benefit: permission, rare among superfandoms, to care only about the creative excursions that suit their own tastes. When new material is in constant and diverse supply, the stakes get a little lower, and a drastic change in direction feels like less of a betrayal.

"Rattlesnake" ...

Weaponizes niche?  What does that mean? 


Stebbins, Friend, 1888


That flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

But if with bended head I grope
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it,

Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse forever wear,
Time cannot bend a line which God hath writ.

Henry David Thoreau


For British writer T.H. White, as I read while out watching bighorns, a mind activated by beasts was a rescued mind. White averted mental disasters by keeping a proximity to animals and sustaining a voracious appetite for knowledge.

Described by biographer Sylvia Townsend Warner as "chased by a mad black wind," this "hermetic and sometimes cranky man" wrote more than twenty-five books. He was an illustrator and calligrapher. He translated medieval bestiaries. He painted, fished, raced airplanes, built furniture, sailed boats, plowed fields, and flew hawks at prey. Late in life, he made deep-sea dives in a heavy old suit with a bulbous helmet, which made him look like a Zuni mudhead.

New skills "aerated his intelligence," Warner tells us. For his 1955 translation of a 12th-century bestiary, he taught himself Latin. Through a character in one of his novels he hinted at himself. "The best thing for being sad," the character says, "is to learn something."

Much of White's knowledge of the natural world resurfaced in his teaching -- he was for many years a schoolmaster -- although greater experts in his subjects accused him of smattering. "But smatterer or no," writes Warner, White "held his pupils' attention; their imagination, too, calling out an unusual degree of solicitude -- as though in the tall, gowned figure these adolescents recognized a hidden adolescent, someone unhappy, fitful, self-dramatizing, and not knowing much about finches."

He wore scarlet. He was "nobly shabby."  He drank, he said, "in order not to be sober." He kept owls and paid his students to trap mice to feed them. Fed, the owls perched on his shoulder as he sat under an apple tree, speaking to him in little squeals.


Thank You, Jess.

Mozart, Piano Trio in G Major, K. 496

Clara Trio performs ...


The delicate muses lose their head if their attention is once diverted. Perhaps if you were successful abroad in talking and dealing with men, you would not come back to your bookshelf and your task. When the spirit chooses you for its scribe to publish some commandment, it makes you odious to men and men odious to you, and you shall accept that loathsomeness with joy. The moth must fly to the lamp, and you must solve those questions though you die. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Letters and Social Aims

24 June 2023

A Flock of Seagulls, "Space Age Love Song"

With the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra ...


Earlier this week on the Maumee River, near Toledo ...


The working guest list for my dream cook-out ...
  1. Jim Harrison: It's a cookout. Food and drink must be prepared, consumed ... and the whole process repeated as needed.
  2. Thomas Jefferson: Architect, musician, designer, gourmand ... we'll learn along the way.
  3. William Wordsworth: Poetics, awareness, and exuberance (He's the Hold-My-Beer, "Surprised by Joy—Impatient as the Wind" Guy) ... plus he's had plenty of experience sleeping under the stars.
  4. Franklin Furman: My all-time favorite customer, a daily source of peace, quiet, and simple contentment; "Enjoy the day."
  5. Leonardo: It's a cookout. Something will need to be fixed, rigged, modified, figured out.
  6. Georgia O'Keeffe: A great cook, exuding beauty within and without.
  7. Jerry Jeff Walker: Cookouts require great music ... and childish humor.
  8. Mozart: Cookouts require great music ... and childish humor.
  9. John Colter: A master at field-dressing, plus a campfire will follow and stories will be told.
  10. Great-Grandpa Firchau: Someone to teach us all something and I have more questions for him.
  11. A stump left for a walk-in.
I please my imagination more with a circle of godlike men and women variously related to each other, and between whom subsists a lofty intelligence. But I find this law of one to one peremptory for conversation, which is the practice and consummation of friendship. Do not mix waters too much. The best mix as ill as good and bad. You shall have very useful and cheering discourse at several times with two several men, but let all three of you come together, and you shall not have one new and hearty word. Two may talk and one may hear, but three cannot take part in a conversation of the most sincere and searching sort. In good company there is never such discourse between two, across the table, as takes place when you leave them alone. In good company, the individuals merge their egotism into a social soul exactly co-extensive with the several consciousnesses there present. No partialities of friend to friend, no fondnesses of brother to sister, of wife to husband, are there pertinent, but quite otherwise. Only he may then speak who can sail on the common thought of the party, and not poorly limited to his own. Now this convention, which good sense demands, destroys the high freedom of great conversation, which requires an absolute running of two souls into one.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "Friendship"


Chach gets his comeuppance ...
Not bad for a troll.



Here's to good friends
Tonight is kind of special ...

So show Dick some respect!


  • Goat's mix, pasteurized; Catalonia, Spain
  • Cave-aged with a bloomy rind; flaky, rustic, herbaceous
  • Nearly extinct by the 1980s, Garrotxa is one of the positive byproducts of worship
  • Repeat as needed


Toledo was just another good stop
Along the good king's highway
My fortification took me by surprise
And hit me sending me sideways ...

Happy Birthday, Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood was born on this day in 1947.

Mick and some friends fire up "Oh Well, Pt. 1" ...

Erroll Garner, "On Green Dolphin Street"


It was just supposed to be a quick trip to the IGA ...

The Go-Gos, "This Town"

The Jesus and Mary Chain, "You Trip Me Up"

Sonic Youth, "Schizophrenia"

I like your nurse's uniform, guy ...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Weller

Peter Weller, born on this day in 1947, has turned his life around ...
Peter Weller, an actor best known for playing the title character in the 1987 film "RoboCop," is also a scholar and Renaissance art historian. He enrolled in Syracuse University's summer Italian art program with Professor Gary Radke when he was 51. Three years later, he entered the Syracuse Florence Italy graduate program, earning a master's degree in Italian Renaissance art history. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Italian Renaissance art history at UCLA in 2014.

The series he did for History, Engineering an Empire, is outstanding.


To complaints of a job poorly done, one often hears the excuse, "I am not responsible." I believe that is literally correct. The man who takes such a stand in fact is not responsible; he is irresponsible. 

Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

Happy Birthday, Marcello

Zuliani, Marcello Benedetto, 1803

Benedetto Marcello was born on this day in 1686.

Capella Concertata, conducted by Yves Coboz, performs Marcella's Requiem ...


A bad artist almost always tries to conceal his incompetence by whooping up a new formula.

H. L. Mencken

I love it when a new formula is better than the original.


Ari Weizweig contemplates the lessons that a life in food has bestowed on him ...
Working with artisan food is, as it ought to be, incredibly humbling. No matter what we do, problems will happen, flavors will change, imperfections will abound, seasons will still shift. I learned a long time ago that to get dinner for six out to a table successfully requires an amazing amount of things to go as they should, and dozens of people (including me) to do our jobs well. To have the salt right on every dish when it’s cooked to order, to time all six main courses, appetizers, drinks, and desserts—all of which are coming from different stations; for the host to greet with the right energy, the bartender to get the garnish just right in every cocktail, and the food runner to carry the plates. That doesn’t even count the work of the baker, the brewer, the farmer, and the fisherperson. The food world taught me how small a presence each of us are in the world, how the world revolves—but never around us. As Michael Gelb writes, "True humility emerges from a sense of wonder and awe. It’s an appreciation that our time on earth is limited but that there’s something timeless at the core of every being. Embracing humility liberates us from the egotism that drives both perfectionism and self-sabotage, opening us to a deeper experience of self-worth."

... and the transformation he continues to realize ...

It really was just luck that I came into cooking for a living, but I know enough to know that there’s more to the story than just good fortune. Doors open, but more often than not, most of us—me included—find a wealth of good reasons not to walk through them. I could easily have fallen into the unhealthy version of the food business that’s getting so much bad press of late. Or I could have just quietly kept my head down and “done my job,” stayed for a year or so, and then gone back to Grad School like my mom wanted me to. I had any number of advantages that my middle-class, Jewish, learning-focused family afforded me. But still, as Dr. Angela Duckworth writes, “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”

You will all pretty surely have heard the Zen saying, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

23 June 2023

Leonard Cohen, "Closing Time"

And the moon is swimming naked
And the summer night is fragrant
With a mighty expectation of relief
So we struggle and we stagger
Down the snakes and up the ladder
To the tower where the blessed hours chime ...


The 1968 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream ...

Mendelssohn, A Midsummer Night's Dream, incidental music, Op.61

Paavo Järvi conducts the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Estnischer Philharmonischer Kammerchor, featuring sopranos Miah Persson and Golda Schultz ...

Greta Van Fleet, "Farewell for Now"



And what about your mind?
Your insipid record collection ...



Gives me a day
too beautiful
I had thought
to stay indoors
& yet
washing my dishes
my shelves
throwing out
the wilted
shrunken garlic
I discover
I am happy
to be inside
looking out.
This, I think,
is wealth.
Just this choosing
of how
a beautiful day
is spent.

Alice Walker