December 29, 2009



December 25, 2009

Brighter discontent

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads, and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holiday. ~ W.C. Jones
Merry Christmas

December 22, 2009


snowball fight in times square
Big snow on the East Coast. Check out this fantastic photo set from Times Square.

December 20, 2009

Brasato alla Culinaria

Culinaria, North Wilmington's finest restaurant, offered up a delicious meal last Friday. I'd call the flavors Continental/Asian (emphasis on Italian/Indian), the food is creative and simple.
  • Braised Calamari : Crostini : tender and flavorful
  • Cilantro-Curried Chicken : Cucumber Salad : Broccoli Rabe
  • Sweet-Curried Salmon : Jasmine Rice : staple entrée
  • Braised Oxtail : Fresh Trofie Pasta : a bit salty, but very good
  • Côtes du Rhône : tasty-nothing great, went well with the food
We all agreed, top meal yet from Culinaria (sans camera, sorry no photos).

December 16, 2009


Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in Charlie Wilson's War, a 2007 film based on the non-fiction book of same title. Charlie Wilson was a U.S. Congressman at the time of the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan. He played a pivitol role in securing funding for the CIA's covert backing of the mujahideen in their struggle against invading Russians.

Charlie Wilson's War

The following review, found on the New York Times website, encapsulates some relevant thoughts (albeit, dated by its critique of the Bush administration and mention of 2008 presidential candidates):

Charlie Wilson's Zen Lesson
JANUARY 21, 2008

Two messages are appended to the end of "Charlie Wilson's War," the artful Hollywood film about a hedonistic Texas congressman who in the 1980s raised covert funding for the Afghan mujahideen from $5 million to $1 billion, thereby helping to drive the Red Army out of Afghanistan and precipitate the implosion of the Soviet Union. An explicit moral of the movie comes from the real-life Wilson, who lamented that America did the right thing in Afghanistan but messed up "the endgame." Today there can be little doubt that Washington's brusque loss of interest in the fate of Afghanistan after the Soviets' withdrawal was a calamitous error.

But it is the second, more philosophical message that ought to be at the center of current debate about America's role in the world. This lesson, which the Bush administration has learned all too slowly, teaches the need for humility in those who make America's moves on a global chessboard - a virtue that seems almost totally absent from the patriotic posturing of the presidential candidates.

Toward the end of "Charlie Wilson's War," a CIA officer played by the pitch-perfect Philip Seymour Hoffman cautions the Wilson character (played by Tom Hanks) not to be too sure they have done something glorious. To make the point, he tells the story of a Zen master who observes the people of his village celebrating a young boy's new horse as a wonderful gift. "We'll see," the Zen master says. When the boy falls off the horse and breaks a leg, everyone says the horse is a curse. "We'll see," says the master. Then war breaks out, the boy cannot be conscripted because of his injury, and everyone now says the horse was a fortunate gift. "We'll see," the master says again.

This is screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's way of warning against triumphalism. Yes, Afghan suffering at the hands of the Soviet invaders was atrocious, and the Soviets' defeat by Afghan mujahideen armed with U.S. Stinger missiles ought to have been a humanitarian liberation. But the fighting among Afghan warlords that ensued opened the way for the fanatical Taliban to take power, for Al Qaeda to set up terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, for the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, and then for to the Bush administration's global war on terror, whose destabilizing effects are likely to extend far into the future.

In a similar vein, Bush should have foreseen that the invasion and occupation of Iraq could become a strategic gift to Iran; that his pledge to foster democracy in the Muslim world while backing Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan would make America look hypocritical; or that his reluctance to seek a UN Security Council resolution to halt Israel's bombing of Lebanon in the summer of 2006 would inflame anti-American feelings in the Arab world. These are the sorts of unintended consequences a Zen master would expect - and a president must try to anticipate.

The theme of cautioning humility when tampering with global affairs was a bit lost amongst Hollywood gloss intended to appeal to broad market. Another fascinating aspect of the story that was similarly underdeveloped, in my opinion, was the uncomfortable correlation between anti-communist fervor and other forms of fundamentalist zealotry. Julia Roberts' character is a Texas socialite who's whose ultra-right-wing motivations are "phrased religiously." American intelligence agents rejoice at the opportunity to kill communist Russians, echoing the murderous mandate of "death to infidels."

And speaking of marketability, I wonder if the producers of the movie would have considered keeping it on the shelf for an extra year if they knew President Obama would deliver his +30,000 troops speech on December 1st, strategic holiday timing for piggy-back promotion of a film about American involvement in Afghanistan. Anyway, Charlie Wilson's War stands up on a number of levels, and is a good juxtaposition to Osama.

For more on Afghanistan, please visit The author's comments there much more gravitas than my feeble cut-and-paste efforts at synthesis.

December 15, 2009

Bathtub blues

Billy got so sad, dejected
Put on his hat and started to run
Running down the streets
Yelling at the top of his lungs
All I want in this life of mine
Is some good clean fun
All I want in this life and time
Is some hit and run

December 14, 2009


The new mission:
  • clean air
  • safe and sufficient water
  • safe and adequate food
  • safe and peaceful settlements
  • stable global environment

From Basic Environmental Health (via Wrapped in Royal Blue).

December 12, 2009



Screenshot from the 2003 Afghan film Osama. The pictured character is a girl who lives with her war-widowed mother and grandmother in a remote village. Their town is controlled by the Taliban, who, in all their spiritual and material wisdom, have forbidden women to work or even be outdoors without male accompaniment. In order to avoid starving to death, the female family opts for androgyny. The young daughter dresses as a boy to go out and work for food, where she is conscripted into military training. Her new name: Osama, naturally.

It's not the tale of a plucky, resilient heroine who daringly flaunts repressive norms. Rather, this compact movie is a raw, bitter glimpse into the terror and desperation of living under crushing tyranny with no hope of improvement.

If you want the feeling of a punch to the gut, or seek additional fodder for detesting the Taliban, put this stunning film at the top of the queue.

December 11, 2009

By design

Revolution by design and invention is the only revolution tolerable to all men, all societies, and all political systems anywhere.

~ R. Buckminster Fuller, 1965

December 10, 2009

Baize & Bullets

Trip Kings Card Room

This game is super soft. And totally unbeatable.

A new cardroom opened in the area this week. No dark alleys or remote door locks, it's somehow legal, with a large portion of the night's take (from blackjack and the poker rake) going to local charities. They've got an impressive setup - four blackjack tables and four poker tables in the front room, and a tournament area in the back with an additional half-dozen tables. The manager is a slightly spastic former poker boss of Detroit's Greektown casino. The dealers have been professionalish, and the play has been light and easy.

However, the rake is menacingly steep for the $1/$2 No-Limit stakes (10% of each pot up to $6, plus another dollar for a progressive high-hand shenanigan). I'll keep careful tabs on my action there, but I'm pretty sure the hefty rake will eat up most/all of the profitability. Still, it's fun and engaging to be making live poker decisions, and with profits going to charity I can rationalize some investigation.

14 DECEMBER 2009
Four sessions in, the poker report is good, but the atmosphere is disconcerting. There is a woeful lack of security, especially given the club's location and the history of negativity at [granted, underground] cardrooms in the vicinity. The cage has been unattended most of the time, and they have no semblance of procedure when it comes to cashing in and out. Nobody watches the blackjack players or dealers; there's no "greeter" at the door. The place is wide-open, and the clientele got rougher-looking by the night. My stats at $1/$2 NL (including blackjack losses and many tips to the dealers):

1.5hr/+15, 2.5hr/+130, 3.5hr/-60, 3.5hr/+30

By my estimation the club has made about a dollar from me for each dollar I've netted. Essentially, I'm laying 2:1 that I can beat the poker game while tipping generously and simultaneously trying not to get shot.

December 8, 2009

Black and white

abstract expression
Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) Jackson Pollock 1950

December 4, 2009

Blue york five

blue york five

December 3, 2009

Black like me

black like me
P.T. Roll

December 2, 2009



November 26, 2009

Squash soup

6 bacon slices
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
½ pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
½ pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
3 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Cook bacon in a 4 to 6 quart heavy pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add garlic, jalapeño and caraway seeds to fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Broil squash pieces for 5 minutes or until brown. Add squash, carrots, apple, thyme, bay leaves, chicken broth, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and boil, uncovered, until vegetables are tender (15 to 20 minutes). Discard thyme and bay leaves. Sauté mushrooms in butter and oil over medium-high heat, season.

Purée soup until smooth; add vinegar, season. Serve topped with mushrooms, crumbled bacon and sour cream (cranberries and goat cheese, pictured).

Happy Thanksgiving

squash soupVegetarian alternative: Use olive oil and veggie broth in lieu of bacon and chicken stock, maybe throw in some smoked paprika.

November 25, 2009

Humans from Earth

We come from a blue planet light-years away
Where everything multiplies at an amazing rate
We're out here in the universe buying real estate
Hope we haven't gotten here too late

We're humans from Earth
You have nothing at all to fear
I think we're gonna like it here

We're looking for a planet with atmosphere
Where the air is fresh and the water clear
With lots of sun like you have here
Three or four hundred days a year

Bought Manhattan for a string of beads
Brought along some gadgets for you to see
Here's a crazy little thing we call TV
Do you have electricity?

I know we may seem pretty strange to you
But we got know-how and a golden rule
We're here to see manifest destiny through
Ain't nothing we can't get used to

We're humans from Earth

~ T-Bone Burnett

November 24, 2009

Eat less meat

eat less meat

Factory-farmed meat is cheap and readily available, that don't make it right. Think about where your food comes from. Question the logic and ethics of production and distribution. Learn. Discern. And maybe try to eat less meat.

November 23, 2009

Gran Torino

Gran Torino

This is a great film. I finally watched it tonight, been almost a year since Gran Torino first hit theaters. I fail to recall seeing any movies that were actually released this year, so I'm going to stretch the rules and call Gran Torino the best of 2009 (especially since it was completely overlooked by the 2008 Academy Awards).

The movie is not about racism, or prejudice, or gangs. I don't think it was about redemption, or breaking old habits. It wasn't about the car. Ultimately, the story is about letting go.

Clint Eastwood plays an embattled, aging, widower veteran - still at war with the world and himself. He's crotchety and bitter, even as he protectively lashes out against injustice in a Detroit neighborhood burdened by crime and intimidation.

Resentment, guilt, pain, fear, desperation, helplessness, vengeful rage, and finally sacrifice. Eastwood's acting carries the film, the pace was a little slow, intentionally, I believe. The direction, cinematography, and editing were top quality - executed with craft and care.


November 19, 2009

Wind power

wind power
Southern England, a man is lifted off his feet by a strong gust. The Guardian UK

Delaware's offshore wind harvesting may yet become reality. NRG Energy has purchased BluewaterWind, breathing new life into the project that seemed to go belly up in last year's financial crash.

November 18, 2009

New York's #2 Station

Sixty-two episodes of News Radio now available on Hulu.

Live audience and Joey Buttafuoco jokes - ah, the 90's.

November 12, 2009

Best of 2009

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

November 5, 2009

Solace, Luxury & Despair

Believe me,
there is no solace
in their luxury,
only deep despair.

~ Jack Donaghy

November 4, 2009

Keep hope alive, and hope will keep you alive.

pedro zin

In it to win it. Let's go Fightin's.

P.S. - Baseball in November. Great season for the Phillies that could have been that much better. ABTY

October 31, 2009

I recall

The band setting up at Rocky's
Free drinks, working the door
Jameson and Camel Filters
Collecting $3.00 covers
Costume contest winner: Magnum P.I.
German techno dance party upstairs
Paris porch, this memory's getting hazy

Go Phillies
Happy Halloween

October 29, 2009

Game one

The Fightin's handled New York brilliantly in Game One, delivering a 6-1 win with aplomb. Starting pitchter Cliff Lee meticulously disarmed the Bronx Bombers' offense with 10 strikeouts; A-Rod sat down shaking his head three times. Phillies batters put in six runs, including two solo-shots by Chase Utley off Yankee ace CC Sabathia.

Cliff Lee hurls a spike curveball
Cliff Lee hurls a spike curveball. He pitched all nine innings, zero earned runs.

Ruiz waits, umps deliberate
Carlos Ruiz waits while the umps deliberate over a potential double play.

Chase Utley watches his second homerun fly
Chase Utley watches his second homer fly. All Photos: Chang Lee/New York Times

October 23, 2009


floating skull
Floating Skull, Damien Hirst (2006)

October 21, 2009

Urban agriculture

October 20, 2009

October thrill

Down by a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jimmy Rollins (not pictured) hit a walk-off double to the right-center gap. Phillies lead 3-1 in the 2009 NLCS.

Bottom of the ninth, Phillies trail the Dodgers by one run.
Ibañez grounds to the secondbaseman.
One out.
Matt Stairs pinch-hits for Feliz, drawing a walk.
Carlos Ruiz is hit by the first pitch he faces.
Bruntlett (running for Stairs) is on second, Chooch at first.
Dobbs stubs one into the glove of Dodger thirdbaseman.
Two outs.
Runners still at first and second.
Jimmy Rollins to the plate.

October 16, 2009

Harvest haze

Haystacks, from a series by Claude Monet

October 14, 2009


Photo: Mitchell Feinberg for The New York Times
From article linked above:
According to reports by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. and others, factory farming has made animal agriculture the No. 1 contributor to global warming (it is significantly more destructive than transportation alone), and one of the Top 2 or 3 causes of all of the most serious environmental problems, both global and local: air and water pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity...Eating factory-farmed animals — which is to say virtually every piece of meat sold in supermarkets and prepared in restaurants — is almost certainly the single worst thing that humans do to the environment.

Every factory-farmed animal is, as a practice, treated in ways that would be illegal if it were a dog or a cat. Turkeys have been so genetically modified they are incapable of natural reproduction. To acknowledge that these things matter is not sentimental. It is a confrontation with the facts about animals and ourselves. We know these things matter.

October 10, 2009

The wall, continued

Here's the front corner retaining wall, a bit behind schedule but finally finished.

Planting: Azaleas, Euonymus fortunei, Nandina domestica
When the world wearies
and society ceases to satisfy
there is always the garden.

October 7, 2009


I ordered a custom baseball jersey today, Phillies home uniform.
Number: 51 Name: C H O O C H

Playoffs start today in Philadelphia, 2:37PM.
Bam! Big win sets tone for 2009.
Phils 5, Rockies 1

game one
Crump and me holding it down in section 143. Thanks, buddy - what a game.

October 2, 2009


drum boy
MuteMath drummer Darren King, photo: DVD
Rocking show last week, as usual. Setlist:
The Nerve
Stare at the Sun/Obsolete
Plan B
- - - - -
Pins and Needles
Break the Same

September 30, 2009


Everything is everything. Smile.

September 25, 2009

Tonight: MuteMath @ TLA

MuteMath Armistice Tour

Sailing to Philadelphia for MuteMath at the Theater of the Living Arts, third time. I wonder what the stage setup will be, no trademark flourescent-tube-light-display behind the band on their latest Letterman appearance:

September 24, 2009

Balance restored

Beautiful rocks, beautiful grass
Beautiful soil where they both combine
Beautiful river, covered in sky
Never thought of possession
That all this was mine...

When you know, even for a moment
That it's your time —
Then you can walk with the power
of a thousand generations

~ Bruce Cockburn "Dream Like Mine"

Sometimes this song pops into my head when I'm looking out over a sun-streaked field. Screams, "It's ours! It's now! It's been here all along!"
The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.

September 23, 2009

The fall

Autumn Leaves Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
Robert Frost, 1923

September 22, 2009


I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of the universe.

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

September 14, 2009

Blind leading blind

There are none so blind as they that will not see.

Golf is a constant, shifting battle. Imagination versus ability. Ability versus execution. Execution versus repetition. Essentially, the conflict is within oneself.

I recently played with a friend, attempting to give some instruction along the way. Understand and simplify. A smooth swing plane that finds the ball at the bottom will produce consistency, if not power. The least productive technique is to hope and thrash. Even when a miracle occurs and whitie sails away perfectly, you've learned nothing. Ignorance breeds frustration, especially when it's all going wrong.

Of course, there's a multitude of variables in every shot, and no way of synthesizing good theory and technique without lots of practice. And golf is trying enough without the added irritation of unsolicited amateur advice. But a little conceptual coaxing can help break the chains of vexation when getting into the swing of things.

Skip ahead a week. Here I am, complacently hoping and thrashing. Left to my own devices, I will ignore all my own advice. Buried somewhere in my psyche is a nonplussed swing-coach-me, arms crossed, saying,

"You're making this a lot tougher than it has to be, bro."

September 11, 2009


And when I awoke
Everything remained
Everything crushed down
...continued crashing down
You were nowhere to be found

September 9, 2009


mission statement:

free your heart from hatred
free your mind from worry
live diligently
expect less
give more

September 2, 2009

On top

Eighth-annual Goya Latino Family Celebration tonight at Citizen's Bank Park. Looks to be a lot of dancing involved. Arrrriba!

Thought we might see Tim Lincecum pitted against Phillies' J.A. Happ...alas, the Giants will start their latest pitching acquisition instead. I was eager to watch Lincecum's freakish work first-hand, but seeing the Phillies score some runs will be fine. The Fightin's currently reside atop the National League East, leading by 7.5 games as the Playoffs approach.

The Phillies didn't show up last night. At least the weather was pleasant. And we were able to upgrade from section 417 to 117 for the last inning. Meh.

September 1, 2009


Deutsche Bank Championship. Sunday. Mark it, dude.

August 31, 2009

Rookie mistake

I was very happy that Heath Slocum sank his twenty-five foot putt yesterday to win the Barclays Championship. He and co-leader Steve Stricker had hacked their way to the eighteenth green, each with a par-putt to shut out the group of players trailing by one stroke. Namely: Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington.

Why would an avid televised-golf enthusiast rejoice at the abortion of an epic playoff-to-be? Well, I neglected to record the program that followed the alloted PGA coverage time. Rookie mistake. So there I was, watching at around 11:00 last night, praying that one of these guys would make par so I could live with myself, not having missed a legendary sudden-death melee. The recording cut off a few seconds after Slocum's ball went in the cup. Whew.

August 26, 2009


Ahh, shuffle on the old iPod. Caught this one en route to work this morning. That mountain-grown aroma, always coming through.....

August 25, 2009



Evidently I'm not the only one who cringes at superfluous quotation marks. This site is purportedly by a Calvin graduate, click above to view. The "money" sign is comical, but a bit unsettling in the context of Federal Reserve shennanigans.

Bruntlett 4UTPSunday, utility player Eric Bruntlett adds the final touch to a game-ending unassisted triple-play (the second in MLB history).

August 21, 2009

Grass roots

Discontent is the engine of progress.

I'm not happy with lawns. Mandatory high-maintenance monoculture zones. From Public Garden, Vol. 24, No 2:
Lawn is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in most gardens due to the amount of energy involved in using mowers and other power tools, pumping water for irrigation, and manufacturing the fertilizers and pesticides commonly applied to turf.
Speaking of engines, gas-powered lawnmowers are particularly nasty polluters. A 2001 study by Roger Westerholm, Stockholm University, stated,
Air pollution from cutting grass for an hour with a gasoline powered lawn mower is about the same as that from a 100-mile automobile ride.
The EPA estimates 17 million gallons of oil and gasoline are spilled each year in the process of fueling mowers.

Yes, green lawns are inextricably bound to suburban culture. Yes, there's a ton of industry developed around lawn maintenance. Yes, your riding lawnmower is bigger and better than your neighbor's. No, these are not good reasons for idle contentment with the grassy status quo.

Pull up your lawn and plant a garden, for victory over stagnant, deleterious institutions.

August 18, 2009


August 14, 2009

Feats don't fail me now

george washington bridge

Don't the sunrise look so pretty?
Never such a sight,
Like rolling into New York City
with the skyline in the morning light.

August 13, 2009

Fire fire fire

Still discovering gems on my iPod from sister's music collection. The latest:

yell fire!

Pedro Martinez pitched a pretty good game last night, his first for the Phillies. And the offense was in top form against the Cubs starter, scoring 12 ERA-bruising runs in the first four innings. Pleasant aroma of postseason brewing.

August 12, 2009

Sincerity & Sarcasm

One day I will have two labradors, black and yellow.

Their names will be Sincerity and Sarcasm.

Sarcasm (Sarc for short), despite being more visible, will be killed by a car at dusk. Sincerity will be lonely, at first.

Sincerity & Sarcasm
appropriation apologies to coco and cookie

August 11, 2009


I'm no longer getting great value from my Netflix subscription. After initially burning through about fifty films, the DVD train has lost some steam. I have, however, been utilizing the streaming content they offer on the web. I'm currently in the third season of The Office (golden days for the now-hackneyed American series).

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of watching Helvetica, a film about the font.


Ostensibly a collection of interviews regarding this prevalent typeface, Helvetica contains keen allegorical insight to the aspirations and failures of modernism. This documentary is well conceived and executed, and the broader subtext will appeal to folks outside the realm of graphic design. Highly recommended, especially for Netflix users - watch it on your computer!

August 10, 2009


transportent storm
vapor veiled in light
whispers and wrath

August 8, 2009

Wrapped up

peaks pics...enough said.

August 7, 2009

Recession proof

Delaware will soon offer exception from criminal prosecution for therapeutic use of cannabis (still xenophobically referred to as marijuana in U.S. legislation) by seriously-ill patients. Initiatives to allow medical use of cannabis serve to broaden public dialogue and awareness about draconian drug policies, but pose little immediate threat to the institutional beneficiaries of these policies, including the prison-for-profit industry.
  • Since mandatory minimum sentencing first began for drug offenders, the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ budget has increased by more than 2,100%, from $220 million in 1986 to about $4.4 billion in 2004.

  • Incarcerating a drug offender costs $22,000 annually. Because of mandatory minimum sentences, the number of drug offenders in federal prison grew from 25% of the total inmate population in 1981 to 60% in 2001.

  • The United States currently incarcerates more than 2.2 million inmates, at a rate of one in every 143 people (contrasted with approximately one in 1000 in England, Italy, France, and Germany).

The scale of prohibition's economy inhibits forthright recession of costly governing drug doctrine. Bullet points from

August 6, 2009

Standing room only

J.A. Happ pitched a full-game shutout last night, enjoyed all the more from the rail at the back of section 108. The standing-room-only ticket highlighted what a great ball park Philadelphia has. It's easy to keep an eye on the action while wandering around, and there's plenty of space to hang out at the counters behind the first level of seats.

italian sausage from ashburn alley
Italian sausage fresh from the Johnsonville stand in Ashburn Alley.

The 45,000+ crowd was energized by plenty of Philly runs and Happ's excellent performance on the mound. A roar went up when he came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning, followed by another roar when he sent a shot to the warning track for his first major league double. Happ wrapped up the Rockies in the top of the ninth to polish off a sweet win.

August 5, 2009

The wall, part three

the wall 3

The first installment of dry-stacked retaining wall is nearing completion. Gaps between the stones will host small plants, a row of scrubby herbs will cap the top edge. The garden bed will be populated with vegetables in the summer, surrounded by perennials and shrubs. I am very satisfied with the results, like a big staple stitching the front and back yards together.

laurel hill stone

August 4, 2009

Smashed a camera

Dat kamera broke, it's not ok. Tomorrow ((maeby)) The wall, part three.

September 29 - The camera was fixed by repair service obtained via eBay: $39.

August 3, 2009

Conceptual continuity

The following are lyrics from the conclusion of a Frank Zappa song about the medical condition bromidrosis (Stink-Foot) involving Fido the talking dog:

...And you know what he said?

"Once upon a time, somebody say to me..."
[This is the dog talkin' now]
"...'What is your conceptual continuity?'
Well I told 'em right then," Fido said,
"It should be easy to see,
The crux of the biscuit
is the apostrophe."

Well you know, the man that was talking to the dog
looked at the dog, and he said,
sort of staring in disbelief,

"You can't say that!"

First, the narratorial insertion reminding the listener who is speaking: hilarious. Second, the man's reaction seems to be more averse to what the dog says than to the fact it speaks at all. They proceed to argue; No-No-No, Yes-Yes-Yes. Ain't this boogie a mess?

July 30, 2009

Apprehension [armistice]

Ok, I had concerns. Like Arrested Development: The Movie, I was beginning to wonder if this album was ever going to happen. The initial release date came and went, months passed, reports had MuteMath in discord - scrapping all progress, at the brink of collapse. They eked out a brief EP that didn't reveal much. Also, there's this personal psychological factor, apprehension about a mediocre second effort undermining or deflating my appreciation for the first album and the band's outlook (see: Sam's Town).

mute math mobile

Fears allayed. Armistice packs a progressive punch - all that could be hoped for in the next MuteMath album. Well worth the worry and the wait; everything grows, contributes, high-engergy, full sound. Live should be awesome.

July 29, 2009

Crunchy cold

It's like the Amazon out there. 87º in Wilmington, sticky humidity feels like 97º. Time for a five-second break, off to the frosty mountains of northern Italy.

video by dvd

July 28, 2009


The MuteMath mobile-listening bus will be parked near Philadelphia tomorrow. I'll be aboard partying, hearing the new album, and collecting the merch.

July 27, 2009

Building blocks

I covered my mother's shift in the church nursery yesterday. There were no kids to look after, which was nice, as it allowed me to construct building-block follies unhindered by the little pests. For most children, it seems, the primary joy to be derived from wooden block structures is in their destruction rather than assembly. It's a persistent appetite to which I'm empathetic.

I love the feeling when it falls apart. See also: The Destructors.

July 24, 2009

Lunch time

Fresh Thymes Cafe
Lincoln & Lovering
Fresh, local, organic ingredients. Sandwich & soup.

Trolley Square (back)
Sliced-to-order hoagie sandwiches and cheesesteaks.

Angelo's Luncheonette
North Scott & Gilpin
Egg & scrapple sandwich, Italian sausage sandwich.

Jeenwong's Thai Cuisine
Riverfront Market
Red & green curry specials, best eggrolls in town.

25 JULY 2009

My folks stopped by the Fresh Thymes Cafe for lunch, I requested a take-away bowl of the elusive cold gazpacho, if available. They scored big time, a "sunshine" variety with chunks of local peaches offset by cilantro and other herbs. It was even wrapped in a personalized bag (Hi Pete!). Delicious.

Rock 'sters

rock lobster

July 23, 2009

Concept sketch

driveway planting

Improvement concept for driveway/front yard. To be built & planted by the time MuteMath plays Philadelphia. Note the use of Google Street view.

driveway planting 2

July 21, 2009

Pier review

Click the imgage below to view a photo set from the Maine State Pier concert, courtesy of Flickr user Jon Donnell. The shot of the little kid holding a sign reading "I WANNA HEAR THE WALKEN ONE!" is classic.

Wilco @ the Maine State Pier, 7/17/09FIGHTIN'S
Thanks to Jeff R. for claiming his company's seats to the game last night. He, myself, and superfan Davy C. rolled up to Citizens Park to see the Phillies beat the Cubs (10-1) for their ninth consecutive win. Section 125, a few rows behind.....Jack Nicholson? I was getting a beer when this happened. Phils lead their closest division opponent by 6.5 games.

July 20, 2009

Peaks is.

Sunspot Baby

I neglected to bring the camera along for the trip to Peaks Island.....this is the only photo, taken with my phone crossing the bridge on the way out of Maine.

In less than a thousand words, picture: patches of sun through rolling fog, lobsters on the rocks, abundant food and wine, beach bonfire blazing at sunset, Spar Cove basking, portable iPod speakers blasting, sushi for seven at Benkay, Wilco exploding the Maine State Pier - "The Late Greats" encore - dancing on the top deck as the ferry pulls away from the crowd, catching lunch(ish), cocktails and hors d'œuvres with neighbors, quick swim before departure. Four-day weekend.

July 13, 2009

Summer time

Summer begins with the first dip in Spar Cove.....rocking outdoor concert at local ballpark backs it up, late night rally seals deal; it's a summertime thing.

...Wilco Wilmington 2009...WILCO SETLIST:
Wilco (The Song)
Muzzle Of Bees
A Shot In The Arm
Bull Black Nova
You Are My Face
One Wing
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Handshake Drugs
Impossible Germany
Jesus, Etc.
Sonny Feeling
Can't Stand It
Hate It Here
You Never Know
I'm The Man Who Loves You

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Box Full Of Letters
Heavy Metal Drummer
I'm Always In Love
Hoodoo Voodoo

Mmm, mmm, mmmmm that's good Friday Night. Cheers to Davy, Erin and Joe for battling up I-95 from D.C. for the show, and to Chris and Pete for being there undoubtedly. To the weather for being perfect. To the band for putting Wilmington on the schedule and playing a great set. Double upcoming cheers for Wilco being in Portland July 17th, jamming on the Maine State Pier.

On Saturday the Phillies found themselves four runs behind the Pirates going to the bottom of the ninth. With the added impetus of Joe Biden's glib presence behind homeplate, the club assembled a huge offensive push. Matt Stairs led off with a solo shot, narrowing the defecit to three runs. Rollins walked, Victorino sent a long fly to the track for the first out, then Utley singled bringing the tying run to the plate.....Ryan Howard, who cleared the bases with a 420-foot blast. Raul Ibanez, back from a month on the disabled list, smacked a double on the next pitch and backup catcher Paul Bako knocked in the walk-off run to complete the legendary comeback. The World Champs lead their division by four games at the All-Star break.