Monday, December 26, 2011

How To Be A Republican Man

It's not so important that you believe in smaller government while desiring to grow the government to regulate morality. It isn't so important that you believe in someone that was born of a virgin, turned water into wine, walked on water and came back to life after being dead for three days, yet be totally unable to take the leap of faith in believing in a theory, such as evolution...gravity is a theory as well.

What is important is that you have a blond wife. See examples below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My New Favorite Song

Normally when I listen to a song I rarely care about the words; it's more of a thing about texture and mood for me, but every once in a while the words break through. Just like the words of the Farmers Hotel by the Silver Jews got me; I've now been gotten to by the Drive-By Truckers song, "The Wig He Made Her Wear." I love this tune. The Wig He Made Her Wear Video

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Musical Machine Video

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the niversity of Iowa . Amazingly, 97% of the machine's components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft , Iowa .. Yes, farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours (6.26 years) of set-up, alignment, calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see, it was WELL worth the effort.

It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University
and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian. Musical Machine Video

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Worst Of the Best Of

No, this isn't going to be an annual review of the things I did and didn't like in the past year. It is more of a comment on just how bad the music was that we used to listen to and now accept it as classic gold.

OK, so I hear this commercial for the Fender sound system in the new VWs and they are playing Elton John's Rocket Man. I haven't heard the song for years and the commercial sound pretty cool. Next I track down a Best of Elton John and give it a good listen and find most songs some what clever, but over produced with sounds that are incongruous to the song and the feeling that is explored within. Here was the soundtrack or if you prefer, background noise of my generation in the 70's and 80's and most of it was really bad.

A few months ago the same thing happened with me and the Monkees. There were some interesting musical concepts and and the occasional interesting sound, but adding 45 years of perspective in the mix it was down-right awful.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson, but no, I had to go back and listen to Bruce Springsteen. There was very little in his collection that will stand up to time. He comes off as another grunting guy form Asbury Park, the Jersey Shore never changes. Maybe things would have been different had he been from Manasquan.

I could go on about the disappointments I've suffered whilst reacquainting myself with the music of my youth, but I will spare you. However dear reader, I do advise you not to revisit the music that you hold sacred. Let it play in your mind and dance with your youthful memories. If you try to pour that stuff through your older ears you will just ruin your memories and you will wonder if you lived in a fantasy world back then or lived a giant lie perpetuated by the radio stations we grew up with. Damn you Dan Ingrham and Cousin Brucie!!! Damn you to Hell!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Red Horses

I know I haven't written since Duke's passing and that isn't because I was too busy mourning. It's sad, but I've moved on. It's time for a new horse.

I've written at length over the years about getting new horses, or as I call it kissing frogs. I'm pretty easy to please and fortunately I get good enough horses that I'm able to work with their faults and they are able to work with mine as a rider.

She just got hers about two months ago and it's the best one she's had in years. And a couple days after Duke was gone an opportunity came my way. Now we both have even tempered red quarter horse geldings. Sure I miss the quirkiness of the last two thoroughbreds (actually appendix quarter horses.) But I really enjoy mellow these days.

OK, here's the funny part. My new horse is named Beaver. There is a better chance that an Oregon horse will be named Beaver because this is the beaver state, and there is some sort of sports team out there that are known as the Beavers...and so on. Regardless, that is his name and that is what he's been called since he was a colt. My wife thought that was a horrible name for a horse because of it being slang for women's genitalia and she insisted that I change it. I said, "OK, how about Snatch?" That didn't go over very well, so I said "What about Puss or Dick?" I came up with name after name related to the female and male anatomy and each sounded worse than Beaver. She suggested Copper, since his coat shines like a new penny, and she suggested other names, but I held fast. His name is Beaver. He has always been Beaver and he knows his name.

Finally after two weeks she seems to accept it. It is no longer a vulgar name, but rather the name of a horse with a good nature and a wonderful addition to our family.

Both of our horses are sorrel, a copper-ish red color. A friend described them as book ends. They get along great together. They both load in the trailer without hesitation. They both side pass, do haunch turns, forehand turns and best of all they have good smooth trots and canters. Best of all they can both walk out. Finally we have a well matched pair. Ride on!