Day 366

Contented
Contented

Such a peaceful scene. You can tell that it isn’t a bright day here, but it is warm, in the 50’s, and the cattle seem at ease.

***

I started this blog, Classical Gasbag, a year ago. While I wasn’t able to post words and a picture every day as I planned (thank a trip to the hospital, another to Minnesota, and computer problems) I did backfill the days that I originally missed. Those are the posts that are titled Day ___ – updated. If you missed any of those days, and really care, you can go back and find them. I noticed yesterday, however, that some days seem to be missing photos, and I’m not sure why. Over the next few days I plan to go through everything and try to add the appropriate photos that have disappeared. Wish me luck.

With the end of the first year, I plan to take a few days off from posting. I need a break. The past month or two I’ve had a more difficult time coming up with words for each post, so I’m hoping that a few days away will help get me back on track.

There are two changes that I will be making to the blog when I return. 1) I’m not committing to post something every day; and 2) some of the photos I use will be ones that I’ve taken over the years. I won’t use other people’s photos, but I may use Paint Shop Pro or other software to play around with my own.

***

One thing I plan on doing over the next few days is to do more reading. I have one bookcase filled with books that I have either not started, or started and put down. Among the biography/autobiographies on one shelf are Timebends: A Life by Arthur Miller, Thelonius Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin D.G. Kelley, Conspirator: Lenin in Exile by Helen Rappaport, Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman, Society’s Child: My Autobiography by Janis Ian, Galileo by J.L. Heilbron, and On A Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life and Tumultuous Times of Sir Christopher Wren by Lisa Jardine. The title of that last book deserves a shelf of its own. I’m sure I also have volume 1 of Mark Twain’s autobiography to finish, as well as shorter biographies of Elizabeth the first, James Madison, and Winston Churchill. I also have a number of mystery, thriller, history, and fantasy books to read. Plus I have about a dozen unread books on my Kindle.

Despite all of the reading, I plan on being back at my keyboard in a few days. Thanks for reading my words so far, I hope you’ll pick up again when I return.

Day 365

How many barns are there?
How many barns are there?

I took pictures of four different barns when I went out this afternoon. This was the most interesting of the lot. I hope I haven’t used a picture of it before; I’m not in the mood to go through the library of photos I’ve used.

***

Yesterday I went on a bit about the chemistry between Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn on the screen. Another screen couple that was just right together was Myrna Loy and William Powell in the Thin Man movies. That on-screen partnership/marriage seemed very natural to me. I read somewhere that Johnny Depp wants to remake the original Thin Man and play Nick Charles. I just can’t see it. And I probably wouldn’t see it.

Mentioning the Thin Man movies made me think of The Thin Man television series with Peter Lawford and Phyliss Kirk as Nick and Nora Charles. I can’t say I remember much about the series that was on in the late 50’s, but I must have liked it because I remember that I watched it. I do remember that in at least one episode Nick drove a convertible sports car, and I think they were in New England…but maybe that’s a false memory.

Another movie couple that I liked watching when I was a kid was Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan movies. For me, Weismuller will always be the best Tarzan, and O’Sullivan will be the best Jane.

There are probably other actors who seem right together, but none are coming to mind right now. Do you have any favorites? 

***

One last thing. Does it seem to you that early morning basic cable television is filled with ads for computer dating services? Don’t lonely singles watch prime time television, or is it that the companies that are advertising can’t afford to buy time in the evening? I’m just wondering.

Day 364

The highlight of my day
The highlight of my day

The game between IU and Michigan State today was an exciting one. While I enjoy watching exciting games, I’m ready for IU to run away from a team and to keep the lead. Though at the rate they are going in the Big Ten, I will age five years before the end of the season.

***

I ended yesterday’s post early so that I could watch a couple of movies, and I’m glad that I did. First I watched Captain Blood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. It is one of my favorite movies and I watch it about once every year. There is something about the black and white movies from the thirties and early forties that I find wonderful. Maybe it is because I saw so many of them on television when I was growing up, maybe it is because so many of them are wonderful. Directors could get away with things in black and white that wouldn’t go over as well in color. For instance, some of the stylized sets that are in Captain Blood, wouldn’t look as good in color. The lighting of the sets was also extraordinary.

Before I leave Captain Blood I have to say how much I love the interaction of Flynn and de Havilland. They seem like the perfect match, not only in this film, but also The Adventures of Robin Hood and Dodge City. Those aren’t the only films they were in together, but they are the ones I remember best.

After watching Captain Blood I watch The Cincinnati Kid starring Steve McQueen. That movie was released the year I graduated from high school and started college. I know that I saw it in the theater, but I don’t remember which theater or who I went with. I probably only had eyes for Tuesday Weld and Ann Margaret that first time. I’ve seen the movie a couple of times since then, but it has obviously been a long time since my last viewing because I surprised last night at some of the things that I had forgotten. One thing that I had forgotten was that Ray Charles sang the title song. I had also forgotten that Lalo Schifrin had written the music. Slade, played by Rip Torn, was a cast member who I had forgotten (he looks so young!). One thing I did remember, and I watched for it, was when McQueen’s character throws Karl Malden’s character back against a door and the whole prop wall shook like it was about to collapse. It’s strange, the things you remember.

Day 363

Peace and quiet
Peace and quiet

I had taken a picture of yet another barn, and planned on using it in today’s post, but then I came across this grave yard out in the country. I like this better.

***

I watched The Golden Child this afternoon for the first time in a few years. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the movie. It isn’t as good as Beverly Hills Cop or 48 Hours, but it has a lot of good laugh lines, and they aren’t all Eddie Murphy’s.

I haven’t decided what I’m watching next, while Cindy plays poker. I’m thinking that Captain Blood might be a good choice, or perhaps a Steve McQueen movie. If I start now, I may have time for both. Yep, I’m cutting today’s post short so that I settle back and take in some good flicks.

Day 362

We got a little snow today
We got a little snow today

I had three versions of this picture to choose from. This one is at full zoom on my electronic camera. I have another at about half zoom, and the third is with no zoom. I like all three of them; each for a different reason. I chose this one, however, because of the keyhole entry to the porch area. It wasn’t easy to see that detail in the other two shots.

***

There were a few interesting items in the headlines that crawl across the bottom of the television screen (I call them scrawls) this morning on MSNBC. I know that most of my friends don’t watch that network; they are more Fox & Friends fans, so I decided to do some quick and dirty research into the items.

1) Fat-shaming may curb obesity, bioethicist says – In other words, make people feel bad about their weight. The bioethicist who made the suggestion says that he quit smoking because people shamed him into it. I’m not sure how self-aware he is, and other professionals seem to agree with my outlook. Deb Burgard, a psychologist who works with people who have eating disorders said, “He must not have any contact with actual free-range fat people.” Those people must be the ones you find at fat farms.

2) National Chicken Council says there is no chicken wing shortage Boy, that’s a relief. Evidently The New York Post and ABC News had stories about fewer wings being available this year due to the drought. Be of good cheer, each chicken has two wings, and there will be enough available for the Super Bowl. Foghorn Leghorn may not rest as easy as you can.

3) Lying becomes automatic with practice There was a study done in China where they taught students to lie, and found that it was easy to do. I am not surprised by these findings. Of course I’m assuming that the students all want to immigrate to the US and go into politics. They would fit right in.

There it is, all of the news that is important enough to crawl along the bottom of your TV screen.

Day 361

Another great farm house
Another great farm house

It has been in the low 20’s most of the daylight hours. But that’s OK because it has been clear, not gloomy. I would like snow, but I can wait. I’m sure we’ll get more before the winter is over.

***

I almost put Cindy into a cleaning frenzy last night. Trust me, that is not a pretty sight. She asked me if I smelled a strong odor. I told her that earlier I had burned a cone of incense, and that was the only thing that I could smell at that time. She said, “No,” what she was smelling was more like urine. I showed her some of the unburned cones, she sniffed them and announced that maybe that was what was offending her olfactory sense. I like the aroma, I think it’s called Wildberry, and I’ve burned it before, but now I guess I’ll only use it when she is out of town for training, or similar situations.

***

I saw a news story today that is confusing to me. Scientists have found a way to encode MP3 files, .pdf files, and .txt files onto DNA. At first I thought, “Great. So what?” And then I read further and saw that a great deal of information can be stored on a small amount of DNA, and that the storage would last longer, by centuries, than anything we are using now. Still, I wonder about the practicality of using DNA. I guess it would depend on what you were storing, and why. Maybe a science fiction author can give us more insight into the uses of this process.

***

For what it’s worth, and it isn’t worth much, I noticed this morning that when I pour a cup of coffee, I tilt my head towards my left shoulder. I wonder how long I’ve been doing that? My best guess is that I’ve gradually developed the habit in order to better judge when I’m approaching a full cup. Since I lost some of the sight in the middle of my left eye, I probably tilt my head so that I can better use the peripheral vision. That’s my insight for today.

Day 360

Waiting for snow
Waiting for snow

It has been a hard year for white paint on buildings, and it seems to be getting worse every day. This barn looked fine at the beginning of spring, but look at it now. Most of the white outbuildings in the area look like this.

***

You’re probably getting tired of my posts about the music I’m listening to, but to me, it’s about the most interesting thing going on. Today’s strange combination is Johnny Cash, followed by Duke Pearson, followed by Iron Butterfly, and then Captain Beyond. I was in the mood for At Folsom Prison this morning, so that’s what I listened to while looking for today’s photo. I don’t listen to the album too often because it isn’t one of my favorites, but it does have some good songs that I crave hearing once in a while.

When I got home I turned on the stereo in the living room. Duke Pearson’s Bag’s Groove was queued up, and it was a nice change of pace from Johnny, Say You’re Mine is on that album, and it is one of my favorite ballads. I’m surprised I haven’t heard it covered by anyone other than Donald Byrd. At least I can’t remember it being covered by anyone else.

The next cd (the player holds five) was Metamorphosis by Iron Butterfly. I like this album a lot, though I guess I’m in a minority. I bought it on vinyl when I was in the army in Germany, and then found a cd version three or four years ago. I like the direction Doug Ingle tried to take the group. I particularly was drawn to Slower Than Guns, and Butterfly Bleu. I remember seeing them perform Butterfly Bleu on television, but I couldn’t tell you the name of the show. Mike Pinera and Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt became part of the band for this album. Mike Pinera had been a member of Blues Image, who recorded Ride Captain Ride, which was later covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears (a version that I really like). Larry Reinhardt and Lee Dorman, Iron Butterfly’s bass player formed Captain Beyond. Thinking about that, I decided to put on a Captain Beyond cd.

It has been a good day musically. I’ll try to get out of the house more tomorrow and find something more interesting to go on about.