Monday, October 25, 2010

The Lobby

In the day when websites tried to imitate the real world you might see a home page labeled The Lobby. From there you could link to the Barbershop and get a trim or shoot the breeze. Suddenly an avatar from the Andy Griffith Show would pop in with a problem - a billygoat was chewing the hoses people used to water their lawns. Users of the website pick their own avatar from the Griffith show, or Coronet Blue and try to solve the problem.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In this competitive environment, we need to maintain productivity at it’s highest level and to

This is Charlie Anders one of the great science fiction humor writers of our time and host of Writers with Drinks at the Makeout Room in San Francisco (across from the Deer Creeke Inn).
BTW, I found this sentence in a technical writing white paper:
"In this competitive environment, we need to maintain productivity at it’s highest level and to minimize any activities that squanders our precious workday." I guess we also need to work on our noun / verb agreement.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shakespeare Infant

Victor Hugo is said to have remarked about Arthur Rimbaud, "Shakespeare Infant!" The French Twin Cities , birth place of Rimbaud, celebrate him every year in September.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The first song on the first side

In high school many of us made music mixes on cassettes. Now people use CDs. Junk Thief and moi went to Mixed-Up Disc Society CD swap at Francisco's Duck Creeke Tavern. I created my own LP record mix by using a butter knife to cut rings from fave 33 1/3 RPMs. Par example, from I cut the cut of Patti Page singing "Mockingbird Hill" then the Hi Lo's performing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (fast scat version). Since this was the first song on the first side of Suddenly It's the Hi-Lo's - Columbia CL-952 (LP), I simply trimmed around the edge of the record like I was whittlin scrimshaw. Then I assembled all the rings (sort of like ring-toss) with rubber cement.

Landron (Junk Thief) won best album design for his boxed 2-CD set and walked away with swag. The event was attended by a cool, small, but friendly group of cats. There is actually no Duck Creeke or Duck Creek in the city. There are several underground creeks that the city is exploring "daylighting." Is that like outing a creek?

Next time the Mixed-Up Disc Society meets, I suggest that everyone be required to have liner notes. Speaking of which, here, verbatim, are the liner notes to the aforesaid Hi Lo's album:

By Jose Ferrer
This is the Hi-Lo's first album for Columbia Records and as a former recording artist the brevity of whose career is unparalleled in platter history I have been asked to sort of welcome the boys into their new home by writing the notes for this album.

Being green at this sort of thing, I recently wandered into a music store and read a vast number of notes on other record albums. I discovered that for the most part, these notes seem to fall into a few very well-defined categories.
We have, for instance, the historical approach: "On September 23, 1951, Dwight D. Eisenhower, soon to become but not yet the thirty-fourth President of the United States, shot a birdie three on the seventeenth hole on the historical old golf course at St. Swithin's. It was not until two years, seven months and sixteen days later a new group called the Hi-Lo's etc . . ."

Then there is the sort of essay that tries to establish an aesthetic evaluation of the artist in philosophical terms: "Jubilant and serene in the soaring fervency of their affirmation, their voices proclaim man's essential faith in the universe and in his own destiny."
Still another method relies on a detailed analysis of the musical selections contained on the record: "The opening theme is stated briskly but without condescension. A petulant motif provides a mettlesome reply and briefly we are embroiled in the querulous Va-et-vien so wittily developed. Presently, however, wiser heads prevail and soon a quasi-elegiac aura bathes the erstwhile adversaries in a mood of contemplation bordering on the complacent."
I myself lean towards that aspect of the "story behind the story" school which stresses the human side, featuring the "They're just like people" theory. This method has many features to recommend it: for one thing the notes can be written without ever having to listen to the record.
Let me describe the Hi-Lo's to you. In appearance they are boyish, eager and sunny and might as well have called themselves "The Four Hair Cuts," "The Four Sophomores," "The Four Pigskins," or even "The Four Zippers." They affect the Brooks Brothers Ivy League type of dress without really understanding it...

We poke fun a the Hi Lo's, but they do, as Jose says, have perfect pitch. I think they are the best of the crew-cut quirky quartets to come out of the era.