Sunday, August 27, 2006

R.I.P. Brother Maynard

No, not the character from that Monty Python movie. I mean Maynard Ferguson. Legendary Jazz Trumpeter.

Now I am not going to embark on some explanation for those of you who do not know big-band style jazz. However, if you are a real jazz fan, you know Maynard's FREAKING HUGE sound.

I swear, sometimes when he'd blow his horn loud and true, with the over and undertones he would produce, he resembled a one man trumpet section.

And don't get me started on his range with the high notes. double high C. Even, triple high C?

I did see the man live several times back in the day. I never saw him shatter glass, but he did make the filling in my teeth jingle.

Ok Maynard. RIP might not be the best way to say it.

Instead I will say that either Angel Gabriel now has some competition, or said otherwise, Gabriel can go on hiatus; a mighty horn blower has now joined the ranks, and man o man can this cat blow a horn!

Hmmm, looks like I am not the only one making Gabriel references:

Ferguson's four daughters, Kim, Lisa, Corby and Wilder, and other family members were at his side when he died, he said."Someone just said, `Gabriel, move over to second trumpet,'" Schankman said from his St. Louis office. "He was the last of the greats. That era is closed. There is no Kenton, no Basie, no Ellington, and now, no Ferguson."


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Return Engagement -- Smart Things From People WAY Smarter Than Me.

Otherwise known as quotes. Today, it will be just one and this one is so meaningful it deserves to stand alone.

"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal."

Albert Pine

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who knows what SHIT will be pedaled for TRUTH on this network?

It just seems the time is particularly right for a little bit of Howard Beale (or his creator, Paddy Chayefsky). Yes Howard was the (fictional) mad prophet about how the Tube is lying to us.

And no I can't even say this Beale Moment came to my mind out of my own mind, but I stumbled on a link. Ya'll know how that works (and that most people don't admit that that is where lots if not most of their ideas come from, but that my friends is another matter.)

Anyway here is Mad Prophet Howard at his best.

(I hope I get the imbed correct)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Well if they were not RARE we would not call them Genius.

I have been watching something on PBS about that genuises' genius -- Albert Einstein, and this truly brilliant quote was used:

"I believe that the horrifying deterioration in the ethical conduct of people today stems from the mechanization and dehumanization of our lives - the disastrous by-product of the scientific and technical mentality. Nostra culpa. Man grows cold faster than the planet he inhabits."

The rare title genius was NEVER wasted on him, I say!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Much Better Looking than the Princeton Professor . . .

But more importantly, as much on target on the most important issue of the day . . . .

yes, that is right we are giddy with delight over finding more scholarship on the matter of BULLSHIT.

This time a Canadian, Laura Penny, adds her take on the pervasiveness of the (my words) toxic and alarming amount of bullshit we are drowning in these days.

"Life in North America is at the intersection of too much information and too little information. For instance, there is far too much information about trivial things - the dominant news item about Africa recently has been Angelina Jolie's visit. We are inundated with news of dubious value."

And even if I have not had the pleasure of reading the book yet, that quote tells me she is definitely on the right track.

Dubious Value, indeed!

I'd say it a little more pointedly -- too much bullshit about nothing but bullshit!

I repeat my often repeated desparing (and not original, I am certain) belief:

There has to be more intelligent life than Hu-mans in the universe. Afterall, despite the brilliant (and woefully rare) exceptions, collectively, Hu-mans are no smarter than a bucket of hair!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

On Hiatus . . .

from the ugly, nasty, soul destroying depressing, anti-human, anti-wholesome forces in the world.

YES, well I am, am mostly.

That means I have beein cutting back on my news consumption. Ever since the newest war across the Israel/Lebanon border erupted, I have been cutting back on news consumption. No, I have not totally given up, but I am spending less time watching TV news, and I do not even have cable (Merciful God, we thank Thee for planting the thought in our head that we do not need the SATANINC INFLUENCE of 24 hour cable news in our life, Praise You and Your Grace!) So my consumption was not at the critically insidious level to start (Amen!) Still, I am burnt out on the ugliness of the world and the ugly people in it. I prefer to read a tabloid paper, or look at a news org website, where it is easier to fine tune the dose of horror and evil I am exposed to, daily.

I don't know how I would be if I were overdosing on that shit, these days. Simply out of my mind, I suppose.

I am instead looking for things that at least keep me calm (assuming actually being happy is not attainable.)

Anyway, that is my statement of the week.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Don't Get HOOKED!

Well that is what the very well grounded and inspiring (American) Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, said on the latest episode of Bill Moyers' Faith and Reason program.

Here is a chunk of the interview:


One of the things that this eighth century Indian Buddhist master, Shantideva, one of the things he says about this whole thing is . . . work with little grievances, such as the middle seat instead of the aisle seat, or your favorite restaurant being closed, or not being able to get into the movie. Or whatever it is, you know?

He says "There's nothing that does not grow easier through familiarity." Putting up with little cares, I'll train myself to work with great adversity.

So in other words, the premise there is that if you work with . . . feeling hot and feeling cold . . . you work with mosquito bites and aisle and middle seats. And at that level, notice that you're hooked and work with not escalating it--

BILL MOYERS: You're hooked?

PEMA CHÖDRÖN: Yeah. That I'm hooked. Hooked is an interesting quality to me.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean by it?

PEMA CHÖDRÖN: I mean, not only has something, evoked a response in me but it's going to be difficult for me to let go. Anger is like that for sure. Prejudice is like that. Critical mindedness is like that. You don't want to let go. There's something delicious about finding fault with something. And that can be including finding fault with one's self, you know? So that's what I mean by hooked. You're sort of it because of the image of a fish and the hook and it has this juicy worm on it and you know the consequences aren't going to be good. But you cannot resist. And one of the main things we're addicted to is escalating aggression.

BILL MOYERS: So you escalate the anger.

(full interview here)

Yes so not getting hooked is good, and getting hooked is BAD!

I know that, as I have been known to get hooked, go down the wrong road, sink my teeth in and not wanna let go, and for the last cliche, go off!

I try to get better about it. I hope I can and will.
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