Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wheels == Good; Feet == Bad

So took a half-hour walk with Dexter yesterday morning. Knee started hurting almost immediately, fought off limping the whole way.

This morning, biked 39.25 miles, 3h6m, Waizenberger Mill Rd to Midway, then Hedden to Big Sink and back through Versailles. 5 or so degrees cooler than last week, very pleasant, but tired at the end. But, no knee pain at all for the entire ride. So I think in retirement I'll start every day with a 2 hr bike ride.

That Arthotec seems to have quit helping with the knee pain. I'll check with the doctor, see what he says. If it isn't helping, might as well quit taking it.

So I'm sitting at the bar at Azur and someone asks me if I golf. "No???" I reply. They point out that I have tan forearms, a tan line at the wrist and hands much less tan. They had assumed golfing gloves. "No, biking gloves". I hadn't noticed at all. Great, a biking tan. Another couple of years and it will probably be like my soccer tan, where my shins and ankles tan pretty much not at all.

We've had a single hummingbird using our feeders for a while. Nice to see them again.

OK, on to music. Stuff added in June and July:

  • Lykke Li, "Youth Novels" (2008). Classified this as Euro Pop rather than Chick Pop, despite the female lead singer. Has that Euro Pop peppiness about it. Nice tunes. 3 stars.
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "East-West" (1966). I have heard this album mentioned as being seminal so many times, and had meant to get it for quite a while, finally remembered to pull the trigger. This does have some seminal 60's blues tunes. Patty Butcher does a bunch of these: "Walkin Blues", "All These Blues". Ends with a 13 minute "jam" -- very early for a jam to be recorded -- that is really, really not very good. 3 stars, 2 for the jam.
  • Liam Finn, "Fomo". Very listenable alternative foo. More New Zealand alternative. 2nd generation rocker. 3 stars.
  • Fitz & The Tantrums, "Pickin' Up The Pieces". Yet another retro R&B artist trying to recapture the glory years of Motown. Works really well. 4 stars.
  • St. Vincent, "Marry Me" (2007), and "Actor" (2009). OK, I have to admit, I did a little bit of obsessing on Ms. Annie Clark, who is St. Vincent. Her orchestrations are compared to Kate Bush, very complex and odd. And seems really weird when she comes in playing very aggressive electric guitar. 4 stars for both albums, 5 stars for the track "Marry Me". I am such a romantic sap.
  • The Civil Wars, "Barton Hollow". A little close to modern country at times, we'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it's Folk. Some nice tunes, 3 stars.
  • Bon Iver, "For Emma, Forever Ago". You think that the lead singer's mostly falsetto singing is going to get annoying, but it doesn't. Nice tunes, 3 stars.
  • "Johnny Cash's America". $5.00 special at Amazon. A couple of old favorites I hadn't remembered: "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" in particular. Some of the overly patriotic songs got an honorary 2 star religous rating.
    One song was crazy tho (too bad it's religious). "Children, Go Where I Send Thee", from his 1977 christmas special. Kind of does a "12 days of christmas" thing. So for the special, there's Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash kicking it off; Carl Perkins, who was the band leader, dressed and with hair like an early 60's hoodlum 20 years later, sharing a microphone with Roy Orbison; Jerry Lee Lewis sharing a microphone with Roy Clark; the Carter Sisters; the Statler Brothers; and 5 other guys -- I have no idea who they are, although one might be Ronnie Milsap. Here's the video on YouTube, bizarre.
  • Joss Stone, "LP1". A very workmanlike offering from Ms. Stone, who can at this point be relied upon to produce solid albums. 3 stars.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Stadium Arcadium" (2006). Recommended by Grant at Azur. A double album, 29 tracks total, and I think, not a single bad track. But, 29 tracks is a lot to digest, and after 5 or 6 listens, still only recognizing 1 or 2 songs. 3 stars.
That brings us up to the Unrated folder, currently at 87 tracks. My iTunes has passed 15,000 tracks. A few of times in the last few weeks, I felt like listening to classical while I worked. So just did search, for Mahler, or Tchaikovsky, or Borodin, or Beethoven, and then just listened to it all. Symphonies weren't in chronological order, the way I used to listen to them, but still, pretty easy and convenient.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Nice that being down to one job, I'm getting to read again. I need to remember that this blog is my exocortex and keep track of it here. I still follow my algorithm: no starting a book until the magazine stack is clear. The magazine stack is deemed clear when the most recent issue of "Wired" has been read.

So anyway, read on the iPad in Kindle format, "The Clockwork Rocket", by Greg Egan. Egan's physics, math, and computer science chops are scary good. Here I think maybe a little too much so. The exercise of setting a novel in an alternate universe in which the laws of physics are different -- the speed of light is a function of its frequency -- seems to be perhaps a bit too conceptual of an exercise. Like conceptual music winds up being not quite music, this winds up maybe not quite a story. But, actually, you do get involved in the plot and care about the characters. 3 stars.

Then read, based on a recommendation from Charlie Stross's blog, a $0.99 kindle special, "Child of Fire: A Twenty Palaces Novel", by Harry Connolly. Very noir, the central character is a thug who works for a secret society of stone-cold killers who take out magic users -- they are of course magic users themselves. Reminded me of the one Jim Butcher novel I read. Good comic book level material, lots of action and gore, worth the $0.99.

So I then bought the 2nd book in the series for $3.99, "Game of Cages: A Twenty Palaces Novel". About the same level of quality. The 3rd one is out in a couple of weeks, I'll be there. 3 stars for both.

One thing I like about the kindle book format is that these have under "Book Extras" a numbered list of the books in the series. How convenient! Several times I have had a problem, particularly with mystery/detective series, keeping track of what I have and haven't read. This should definitely help.

Next read in hardcover Charlie Stross's latest "Rule 34". I have a lot of his stuff in hardcover, so I will stick with that for a while longer. (Dan Simmons is another one I will do that way). I had thought that maybe Charlie was losing his edge, but this novel is right up there. The central characters are members of basically the Meme Police. The overall concepts of the novel are bizarre but scarily credible. 4 stars. BTW, Rule 34 of the Internet states that "If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions".

Finally, finished "Moxyland", by Lauren Beukes a couple of days ago. Near future South African cyperpunk. Somewhat existential (i.e., not a real strong narrative story arc), but great concepts. Yet another dystopia which stands out for the many different and new ways The Man has figured out how to stick it to us. 4 stars.

Maybe music tomorrow. Easier to catch up with that since it all comes through my iTunes client. Of course, most of my books, kindle or not, come through amazon, so my purchase history was used as source for this post. So even if I forget to enter in my exocortex, my friendly vendor remembers for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Only Have Eyes For You

So, a great 50's song, recorded by the Flamingos in 1959, right?

Wrong, written for the 1934 (horribly sexist) musical "Dames". Initially performed by a very young Dick Powell (in an excellent tenor), sung to Ruby Keeler (who looks like my cousin Peg). Here's one Youtube link. Here's another, with a little bit of the incredibly psychedelic Busby Berkely choreography.

After you know, you can clearly hear the 30's origin. The 1st one of these I had was "Let's Fall In Love", which I would have put at 50's until I got a 1934 recording of Annette Hanshaw doing it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Biking (yawn)

Took the Heritage Trail to the Horse Park today. 15.8 miles. Came back Yarnallton, Elkchester and Van Meter. 35.8 miles, 2h44m. 7-8 degrees hotter than last week, I was dying when I got home. Breezy today too. Funny how quickly a breeze can go from "so nice and cooling" to "f#cking headwind".

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Thursday evening, I was on my lower patio cleaning up after grilling out, and our Cooper's Hawk came swooping down maybe 8 ft in front of my nose. She was 3 ft behind a dove. Crazy.

Went for a short walk with Dexter yesterday morning. Malone to Beaumont Pkwy, then the path to the park and home. 2.3 miles, maybe 45 minutes. Bursitic knee hurting after 10 minutes. After coming through the park, 3 very sharp pains -- ouch! So I think I'm going to try to take very short walks -- just around the block or so -- every day.

Biking this morning was great. The heat has finally broken -- actually cool at 11:30, current temparature at 1:45 is 74. Took Parker's Mill to Military Pike to Dry Ridge (which has signs "Hills -- danger, 35 MPH"). I was going to take 33 back through Versailles, but I was feeling pretty good, so I continued west on Scott's Ferry to McCowan's Ferry, then into Versailles and back by Huntertown Rd and Military Pike. 34.8 miles, 2h39m, 1 stop.

Blog posts seem pretty boring lately. From December to late June, I was working two jobs, a day job and my own startup, which didn't leave much time for any interesting thoughts. Mercifully just working on the startup since late June. So maybe some spare time soon, more than just biking and birds, I swear!

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Last week just did 16.4 miles, out Parkers Mill through Little Texas, back in McGee, James and Military pike.

This morning did 26.3, Van Meter to Redd to Psynes Mill, back in US 60 to Shannawood to McGee, James, and Military pike. Still hot and humid but a little better than the last couple of weeks.