Labor of love

Kevin
Kevin

This is another of the art pieces in the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette’s Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! exhibit. Kevin is a piece by Lorie Amick and LaDonna Vovar. He is dressed correctly for our current weather.

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I have been in a verbal slump for the past few months. You can tell by the paucity of posts recently. I’m still in that slump. I can’t even come up with a line or two for ideas to write about of things about which to write. Though it seems that I can still occasionally worry about ending a sentence with a preposition. Do the grammar police still worry about such things? Should they?

In order to keep somewhat occupied while I’m not writing, I have picked up on a task that I work on every now and then. For the past few weeks I have been ripping my CDs to MP3 files and transferring them to flash drives. I started on my jazz albums last week. For the past two days I have been working on my Dave Brubeck albums. I probably own thirty or more albums by Brubeck. I started listening to him the summer before I went away to college, and have listened ever since then. Some of the CDs that I’m ripping were made from vinyl albums that I converted to MP3 and burned to discs. Technologies change.

Working on the Brubeck albums is a labor of love for me. I have inserted links to Brubeck music five or six times in the past, but there is so much good music of his available, I’ve decided to add three links in this post. The first is Give A Little Whistle from the album “Dave Digs Disney.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6FIVBzY5S4 It was recorded in 1957 and features Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Joe Morello on drums, and Norman Bates (not from the Bates motel) on bass.

The next song is Time In from the album with the same name.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bbCbBZVzjU It was recorded in 1965 and released the following year. The personnel on the album was the quartet that most people think of when they hear Dave Brubeck. Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Joe Morello on drums, and Eugene Wright on bass. I saw the Quartet in concert between the time of the recording and the release of the album. They played many of the songs from tha album, and it is one of my favorites.

The third song is Georgia On My Mind from his “Indian Summer” album. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMKPCuPd0g0 The album is from 2007. It was recorded when Brubeck was 86, and is a solo album. This song, like the rest of the album, finds him in a reflective mood. It is among my favorite non-quartet albums.

I hope you enjoy the music.

Likes and dislikes

DSCN0543
Maely & Emma

Here is a picture of Maely and Emma enjoying the pool in JR and Trina’s backyard. I took this a number of weeks ago, but am just now getting around to adding it to a post.

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So what have I been up to lately? Not much. Hence the lack of posts. Cindy and I went to Lake Monroe over the July 4th weekend. Lake Monroe is just south of Bloomington, Indiana. God’s country, as Cindy often calls it. Of course Bloomington is the home of my alma mater, Indiana University. I love it down there. We spent time in our room at the resort, and out on the lake, and we drove around downtown Bloomington. So much has changed since I was a student there. I guess I mentioned this trip in my last post, so I’ll move on.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about politics and politicians lately. If you’ve read Classical Gasbag on a regular basis you should be aware of my feelings about politicians. If you haven’t been reading, I can sum up my feelings in a few words. They are egoists with no productive outlets in their quest for power and influence.

Cindy, unfortunately, has been working for the county government for the past fifteen years. She had the ill fortune of being a strong, competent woman who did not mind letting people know how she felt about issues and some of the local politicians; sometimes too loudly. As a result, the County Commissioners slashed her budget by 65% and forced the layoff of four people, including her. It was because the County has to tighten its collective belt. But to show that there were no hard feelings, she was sent an invitation to a golf outing sponsored by three of the commissioners. Why do I feel that the whole outing, including the printing and mailing of the invitations was paid for with taxpayer dollars?

But enough about that. I have been intrigued by the races for the U.S. Presidential nominations. The fifteen or more people who are running on the Republican side of things cover a broad spectrum of political thought I think. It is hard to tell because they all claim to be conservatives, and they probably are, but they seldom state any real ideas other than everything President Obama does or thinks is wrong. That’s helpful for decision making by the voters. For instance, they all say they would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something better. Unfortunately none of them seems able to state what they would replace it with. It reminds me of Richard Nixon’s secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. It was so secret that it never happened while he was President.

On the Democrats side there are at least four people running for the nominations. There is the wife of  a former President running, and a Democratic Socialist, and a farrier, and a former Senator who espouses some liberal philosophy and some conservative philosophy. At least you can draw distinctions among those running. Oh, and the present Vice President may decide to run.

It is going to be fun watching it all unfold, when I’m not screaming in anger at the TV screen.

Backs of envelopes

Morning from the balcony
Morning from the balcony

Cindy and I spent last weekend, Independence Day celebration, at Lake Monroe. This is a cropped picture that I took from the balcony of our room at sunrise on July 4th. It was a beautiful day. Heck, it was a beautiful weekend. I hope that you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did.

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I have at least half a dozen notepads scattered around our office. But there never seems to be one in sight when I want to write a note. So I use the backs of envelopes that contain the bills that we’re sent. Or sometimes the envelopes hold information about hearing aids or assisted living communities. I’ll take one of those envelopes and write notes to myself and then set them aside. Weeks or months later I’ll come across the envelope, look at the note, and wonder what in the world I was trying to tell myself.

Yesterday I was doing some straightening and came across some of these envelopes. Here are a few examples.

I have Pin: 10122871  There is nothing else. I haven’t a clue to what this is a PIN. I can only guess that it isn’t important…Yet.

I have this note Govern. by crisis?  That is probably a note for a blog post topic that I never got around to writing. The chances are that I’ll never write it because I don’t remember what spurred the note.

There is the very cryptic Putative father registry What? Why would I be interested in such a registry? If the note weren’t in my handwriting I would swear that someone else wrote it.

Finally there is this mysterious list  Nepal 1983, Chile 1984, Oman 1985, Romania 1986, Comoros 1987, Samoa 1988, Algeria 1989  It’s like something you would find in a mystery or a spy novel. I’m going to keep that list. Maybe it will come in handy if I participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

If you’re wondering, none of those envelopes contained bills, so I didn’t miss paying anything while the envelopes were shuffled to the bottom of stacks of paper. Our credit rating hasn’t suffered from my haphazard note writing.