All tagged May 2018

You Betcha. Notes from the Midwest: Are You Still Hip, Part II

     I moved in September 1980, and brought along a friend who was a carpenter – good idea! We got busy building counters and cabinets in the kitchen, making the upstairs into a studio space, and doing some painting before the first blast of winter hit us. I had never before experienced winter that was this intense. The township I lived in was in line with the arctic winds coming straight out of Minnesota and we were on top of a hill. The worst part of this was that there were no storm windows to buffer the wind.  We had two LP space heaters, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, that struggled to keep some warmth in the house. I got used to wearing thermal underwear all the time, did a lot of cooking and baking to keep my energy up; and spent the winter reading Carla Emery’s book, while the wind howled outside and the snow piled up to the window sills. 

Adrenaline And Then Some

   There’s something to be said for adrenaline. With good reason, it absolutely gets our attention although I can’t honestly say I remember the first time I felt that rush. It might have been when I was two years old, being wheeled into surgery to have my tonsils removed; I can still smell the ether but I have no memory of an adrenaline rush. Our “adrenaline memory” is very often associated with “the first time” of any number of things. Falling out of a tree. Riding a roller coaster, or water skiing, or a first commercial airline flight. The second, or third time you’ve been on Space Mountain, a thrill may still exist but it’s unlikely adrenaline will be coursing through your system. Whatever your first, latest, or worst memory of the trigger that sent adrenaline charging through your body, we can all relate.

     As numerous others have mentioned, Trump's personal behavior has obscured some of the more important developments taking place in the real political world. Hard news has a difficult time competing with sexy women and pee tapes.  We call it “hard news” because sometimes it may be hard to absorb the complexity of a particular political development.  There are nuanced arguments that must be considered.  This is an anathema to today's instant I-don't-have-time-for-this world.  The Statistic Brain Research Institute tells us that the average attention span for Americans is 8 seconds, 33% less than in 2000.  The attention span of a goldfish, we are told, is 9 seconds.  That makes serious policy discussion virtually impossible among a populace that is far more interested in Beyonce and Jay-Z than they are, for example, in energy policy.

     Which brings me around to the subject of energy policy.


Hearts Beat Loud: A Mendocino Film Festival Film

  With my long history in the music industry certain themes, ideas and, of course, songs jump out at me with some regularity. Perhaps it’s fair to borrow a phrase from a 1970s hit: “I’ve Got The Music In me”. In fact, we all do, we all have music in us, only to lesser or greater degrees. So when I have a chance to hear something or see something with strong musical character I can’t simply ignore it. And that “something” struck again this week as I connected with a film titled Hearts Beat Loud, one of the offerings at the 2018 Mendocino Film Festival.

A Springtime Story: Love Among Leviathans

Ankle-deep in a sea of blue-eyed grass and poppies, from atop the promontory the watchers peered through binoculars downward, at the dark blue Pacific. Below, just beyond the breakers, a group of gray whales churned up a boil as they milled and rolled, splashing and lurching in a confused tangle, sinking, surfacing and regrouping. Migrating, or mating? But, this isn’t Baja – right?

Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York, a book by Roz Chast (review)

You don’t need to read the New Yorker to instantly recognize a Roz Chast cartoon: Her lumpy, myopic Everymen and Women with perpetually bad hair always look as though they are vibrating into dust from the general angst of daily life. Her humor isn’t terribly edgy, but rather sharply observant of the quotidian, perfectly capturing the idiocy and indignities we all suffer.

Animal Health And Welfare: Laminitis

What do some of us think of when Spring rains bring lush green grass? Laminitis! During the Spring (and Fall), sunny days and cool nights create a surge of sugar in the grass. For horses, ponies, donkeys and even zebras, a fast intake of soluble carbohydrates (sugars and starch) can cause laminitis. So what is laminitis?

Words on Wellness: Lilac

The beauty of a jewel-toned sea and clear spring skies is accentuated by the purple-blue blossoms of California lilac.  Not a true lilac, Ceanothus goes by other common names like Tick bush, Deerbrush, Red root and Blue blossom, yet its small dark-green leathery leaves and clumps of tiny aromatic flowers are hallmark of this California native.