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Bury Our Friends

Categories: Not So Local Music
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Published on: October 22, 2014

Yep…Sleater-Kinney has a new song out. I get a little giddy.

The album, No Cities to Love, comes out in January, but one song is available for download.

(By the way, that’s Miranda July)

It sounds like they are keeping on the direction of their last album, The Woods (released nine years ago!). I thought a couple songs ventured into Prog rock territory (particularly “Call it Love”), a comparison that would irritate their fans but I mean no insult by it. I like that they weren’t writing the typical verse-chorus-verse-bridge thing.

I’ll be waiting.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Sola Scriptura

Categories: Random Miscelany
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Published on: October 21, 2014

I am not an Evangelical or a fundamentalist, but I’d think to be one one qualification would be fairly intimate knowledge of the Bible. It would be, after all, the chief source book to how I’d think my life should be run.

I bring this up because I read this on the Twitstream today:

I replied to the guy, but I didn’t want to be to much of a jackass. I can’t imagine the guy was familiar with the part of the Bible in question if he made a mistake like that. If you want to make your arguments based on the Bible, you should be able to get the big stuff right. Otherwise, smart asses like me will wonder if you ever really read it.

Do zobaczenia. Hasta la proxima.

Two Astronomy Sites

Categories: Astronomy
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Published on: October 14, 2014

I changed my homepage to StumbleUpon, so now I’m finding all sorts of fun on the web.

I ran across a site called Chromoscope. The site was put together by two English Astronomers and compiles several “all-sky” projects that you can easily search through. It’s set up so that you can maneuver your view around and zoom in and out. You can also search for specific objects or constellations. A slider lets you view things in different wavelengths.

chromoscope

Although you can zoom in and out, these are from all-sky surveys so don’t expect a lot of detail. I managed to get this interesting view of the Crab Nebula in microwaves, but an attempt to spot Jocelyn Bell’s pulsar in Velpecula was met with failure.

Artist Josh Worth has put together a little demonstration called If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel. He subtitled it “A Tediously Accurate Model of the Solar System.” Be ready for a lot of scrolling through empty space because, well, it’s accurate. As one of his inter-planetary messages says “Most of space is just space.”

There are some oddball little features, such as those messages located between planets. There is also an icon in the lower right hand corner (you’ll see it once you scroll past the opening messages) that allows you to move as fast as light, in this scale anyway. It takes you a bit more than three minutes to get to Mercury. I wouldn’t recommend hanging out long enough to get to Neptune. For a faster trip, you can click the planetary icons at the top of the screen.

I’ll leave it to you to discover the rest of the features, such as changing the scale from light minutes to blue whales. An FAQ page gives you tidbits like the odd reason why he didn’t include Titan at first.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Ello There

Categories: Random Miscelany
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Published on: September 30, 2014

ElloOkay, people, I’ve joined Ello. My name on there is @tedski.

It’s a bit lonely over there. The only friend I have is the woman that invited me. I am not altogether sure how to hunt around for others. There is a search function, of course, but I wanted to see who else was in Tucson. It seems to be the best way to start. I didn’t have too much luck with that.

I’m on Google+ too, but it doesn’t seem to be used that often. I like that you can target your posts to specific groups of people. Facebook has adopted that now.

I’m hearing that there will be some sort of great migration to Ello from dissatisfied Facebook users. I heard that when Google+ started too.

Years ago, I joined a network called Tribe. I liked the way it was set up, and it seemed to be the favorite of the Burning Man crowd before they abandoned the place. A while back, they started cracking down on nudity and adult content, but all it did was accelerate the exodous of regular people with off kilter tastes rather than the bozos. Case in point: I recently visited my page and decided to do a search to see who was around. What came up but a fellow named “Faggot Dogslave” with exactly the profile picture you’d expect for a person with a name like that. No thanks, Mr. Dogslave.

Do zobaczenia. Hasta la proxima.

A Different Take on the Marine Hymn

Categories: Local Music, Old Pueblo
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Published on: September 29, 2014

One of the perks of my job is that I get invited to community events that I would have otherwise not even known about. This weekend, a group staged a Gathering of Native American Veterans. Entertainment was provided by the Tohono O’Odham Veterans band, a waila group led for years by Carl Cocido. I first saw them at Waila Festival twenty years ago, when they performed in fatigues.

They opened a lunchtime set with the Marine Corps Hymn. I wasn’t ready for them, but I managed to record a big chunk of it:

The room was more full than this would tell you. I was in a strange spot, so it looks like the bass player (not sure who, but in the past Carl’s band has featured Chuy Salcedo on bass) is hiding behind the stack. The smattering of marines in the audience stood at attention throughout, and you can hear them letting out a “Hoo-Ah!” at the end.

A man named Doug Juan gave a long talk about the work that needs to be done with Native American veterans. He grew up on the Gila River reservation, so Ira Hayes casts a big shadow for him. One of his stories was about the day the family down the road learned that their son Ira had died.

Juan hadn’t served in combat (he joined the Army in 1974), but has been very active with his fellow Native American veterans. He talked about meeting a man who served at Iwo Jima. The man’s unit also went up Mount Suribachi, but their job was to lay down wire. He had seen Hayes go up the hill. Juan said that the man regretted not being one of the marines that raised the flag. Juan told him: “You were there. That is something. You came home. That is something.”

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Viral Marketing

Categories: Random Miscelany
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Published on: September 24, 2014

I’m working on a new invention: increase the functionality of southwestern neck wear by adding connections for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I may add e-mail access and a camera later.

I’m calling it the e-Bola.

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For Jim

Categories: Local Music
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Published on: September 17, 2014

Jim Parks posted the lyrics to “Flashflood” on his Facebook page (before Odile fizzled) and said that he’d post an MP3 of the song when he got a chance. Well, I’m saving him the trouble:

You can thank me later, James.

It’s cool that I do this because Jim played bass on the song, right?

The lyrics:

FLASHFLOOD (Jeff Keenan)

Let’s go for a ride, shoot holes in the road signs
Get stuck in the sand beneath the darkening sky
We’ll gather some friends, pile into the car and then
a little trip somewhere with nothing to declare

The radio said there’s a storm watch out, a storm watch out, it said
Waiting for the flash flood out in this river bed

We think in cliches and pile up all these empty days
Already regret what hasn’t happened yet
We like to complain out here in the flood plain
And think maybe this is as good as it’s gonna get

Sealing off like poisoned wells the parts where the true feeling dwells
There behind the barricades, shots ran out and bottles fell

Caught like this in a flash flood
Swept away, these roots aren’t strong enough

The clouds loom large on the horizon, each new bottle that he cries in
Emptied, tossed into the river bed, busted up with these hunks of lead
You listen to the shots and the bottles shatter, you listen for months for something that matters
All this wasted ammunition, who’ll get the next round?

The radio said there’s a storm watch out, a storm watch out, it said
I wonder how they’ll find us out in this river bed

Caught like this in a flash flood
Swept away, these roots aren’t strong enough

Pimalteño Gathering

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Published on: September 2, 2014

Saturday was Big Jim Griffith’s annual party, dubbed the Pimalteño gathering. The food included some impressively sized prickly pear fruit. These things were the size of oranges. Good sized oranges.

Of course, the big reason why people go is music. There were three gatherings of musicians on various parts of the property, plus Tom Walbank by himself with his harmonica. I managed to get some video from two of the gatherings.

Outside, there was a cluster of folks playing a mix of cowboy flavored fiddle music and rancheras. I made the mistake of sitting near the grills. They had been cooking food on them all afternoon, but they were done by the time evening came around and I was there. Still, people thought I was some sort of grill attendant and wanted to know when they would be cooking again, or if I had any extra carne asada.

I don’t know the name of this song. The young fiddle player is the daughter of the older one.

Long time local character Bobby Benton with a take on the children’s song “Yo Tenia 10 Perritos” that he claims was “The way the sang it in Barrio Anita.” Note the final verse.

Other musicians in that circle include John Jensen and John Ronstadt.

John Ronstadt and Bobby Benton cooperated on “Cancíon Mixteca.”

I don’t know the name of this song.

Tom Walbank entertained the kids on Big Jim’s back porch.

Inside, Big Jim played banjo with several musicians. I didn’t stay long in there. Even with his sizable living room, the place was crowded.

Back to School

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Published on: August 27, 2014

I registered at Pima College to finally finish up a couple of credits I’m missing. Yesterday was the first day of a class on the history of Mexican-Americans. It’s the instructor’s first time teaching, so we’ll see how creaky things are.

Given my involvement with the community, I’m already familiar with the topics. Yes, the class won’t be “easy,” but if I don’t get an A, it will be a personal failure of epic proportions.

When I got back to work, Mary wanted to check out the text book, Mexicanos by a fellow named Manuel G. Gonzales. She looked through the photos and checked the index for names she’s met through LULAC. A quick perusal of the index and I found that the author seems to know that the chicano movement happened in places other than Southern California and Texas.

One class session will be a viewing of the movie Selena. What, no Zoot Suit?

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

Will Seberger

Categories: Old Pueblo
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Published on: August 18, 2014

will_sebergerI just heard the news that Will Seberger passed away last night. I hadn’t heard of any health problems.

Dylan Smith, his long time friend, wrote a short piece on him in the Tucson Sentinel. I spoke to Dylan and he was pretty shaken up. Dylan can be a bit cynical and jaded, so it was a bit of a shock to see him this way.

Like I said, I hadn’t heard about health problems. Last news I got from him, he was talking about going black and white.

Will was only 33. That sucks.

Dylan emphasized in his piece that Will wasn’t a photographer, he was a photo-journalist. According to Dylan, he was a heck of an interviewer.

Never interviewed by him, of course, but being in conversation with him I could see it. I’ll miss those talks.

Some of his work could be found at his website. It’s worth checking out.

Hasta la proxima. Do zobaczenia.

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