The Bluesman\’s Killing Floor

December 30, 2005

…and so it goes.

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 5:09 pm

Photo by litmuse

Only 36 hours remain in 2005 at the time of this posting. What kinds of things happened this year? In April I found out from a Phoenix New Times article that there was something called a “vlog” and a “podcast” a form of audioblog. The article also indicated Adam Curry formerly of MTV was the alleged “podfather” and had almost single-handedly created “podcasting.” Initially I listened to Adam’s DSC on a regular basis.

Well, here it is at year end and I don’t listen to DSC, nor have I in months. I’m pretty selective over who I listen to, keeping busy doing 3 podcasts a week myself. I tend to embrace more “core” podcasters, that have a sense of community and citizen-media esprit de corps. Have made a number of web/podcast/blogging virtual friends, gotten well reacquainted with my mother tongue and had some fun and personal satisfaction as well.

All in all, this has been a good year for me, from both a cultural and self-actualization standpoint. I believe it’ll be even beter in 2006.

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December 28, 2005

Got a bit rusty…

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 11:43 am

Due to the recent cold snap and resulting sleep-friendly conditions I postponed my morning walk for about a week or better. Was a little rusty out there today in the dark right before sunrise-but it felt good to be out there again. Love that feeling you have in your body when you’ve gotten some exercise. Nice feeling, nothing like it.

Still firming up details on upcoming US trip. Business to be done, family and friends to be seen, words to be blogged, sounds and words to be podcast…

December 23, 2005

The Year-end Approaches

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 2:41 pm

I know I don’t do this nearly enough. Perhaps, with just a few days before Christmas, I’m feeling reflective? Certainly, in a wind-down mode with not much work to do, or mood to do it. Here is a beautiful image from a famous port town in northern Taiwan-Danshui(literal meaning: fresh water). Very nicely photographed by Allen Hsu, who is quite obviously in love with his country. Danshui is well know for its sunsets and is a big tourist attraction with all kinds of local delicassies for all tastes and budgets.

Danshui is also well known for the “Red-haired fort” a settlement made by a Dutch(the Dutch supplied the ‘red hair” of the name) garrison back in the 17th Century. Danshui is suburb of taipei-the capital city of taiwan, and has some very nice beaches nearby.

December 22, 2005

You never know sometimes…

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 1:13 pm

Sometimes things said in innocence in the attempt to create more interesting fiction end up biting you. Oh well, not the first time and I’m sure not the last but hopefully at a lower frequency. While probably no white Christmas in sight here in the straits of Formosa-definitely a chilly one.

Looks like my mom will snag some Phoenix Suns tickets for my visit-wow. Haven’t been to an NBA game in several dogs ages. Cool. That’s also what my son Kevin told her when she was on the phone with him.

Done with Christmas shows-now I can get back to other fun stuff. Looks like we’ll have a coffee show brewin up here soon.

Fun commercial XMas item-bought a large Peanut M&M’s with a pack of bite-size Snickers for an M&M badged aluminum water botle-nice!

NYC subways strike just an interesting news item for me. Forget to mention it with my mom today. Her life used to be 10 rides a week. Subterranean motor-bondage. Brrr-a lot of New Yorkers toughing it out walking in the cold.

December 20, 2005

Thinking of Muhal

Filed under: Music — bbluesman @ 9:32 am

Way back when I was an adolescent in young adult’s clothing… I had an after-school volunteer job at a place called Environ. Environ was a loft-space in an old factory building. John Fischer had the front space-Environ and Chris & Danny(Brubeck) sons of jazz musician and composer Dave Brubeck had the back. Pretty heady times for 16 year old me.

I arranged bookings for Environ which was a performance space. John had a piano there and let Muhal Richard Abrams, co-founder of AAMC of Chicago practice there. Muhal had a great bouncy bebop style of playing which I dug big time. I was listening to a lot of Monk, Sonny Clark, and Bud Powell around that time. I had a few Muhal records as well. Ah, records-remember those things? Anyway-it was such a kick when I went in early a few times to organize my concession  stand there. I didn’t get paid for the booking work(naturally since it was volunteer) so I worked out a deal with John where I ran concession selling refreshments and indie-jazz records popular in our “loft jazz” scene,and split profits with him. I was a fairly entrepreneurial teenager.

I would hear Muhal playing and mention to him how I liked a certain tune off of one of his records and he’d start playing something that sounded great(inevitably the wrong piece) and I’d say “No, not that one .” This would go on until he got to the one I had in mind. Musical heaven for me-because even the “wrong” tunes were great and this was a master musician I admired and respected playing directly for me.

December 14, 2005

Unsurpassed Joy!

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 3:56 pm

Originally I couldn’t get my darn computer to load up my external firewire drives where a lot of my programs and most of my files are. Needless to say, I was getting manic. Even asked a couple of Mac guru friends back in the States if they had any words of wisdom. Finally, I got the briliant idea to shake the connector cables a little after having shut down and rebooted dozens of times. “Lo and behold”, it worked. Yeah. I hate computer problems even more than I used to hate car problems. when the car is broken, you can still walk, ride a bicycle, motorcycle, bum a ride, take alternate transportation. But when the computer is on the “fritz”, what are you going to do? Use someone elses? I don’t think so.

December 7, 2005

Rides rules!

Filed under: My Word... — bbluesman @ 5:18 pm

You’ve got to be into this program? Rides on TLC? I recently watched an episode here where Chip Foose and his team built the car of their dreams for a customer to show at the big custom show in Detroit. Talk about “Uplifting.? The love and positive words from Chip’s mouth flowed continually about his crew, who he emphasized were his true friends, for and by his dad for each other, and later for Chip’s son about his dad, etc. The customer was also very vocal about his love and respect for Chip and the crew. Chip reached out to a young girl designer by patiently discussing and showing her product details and explaining design decisions about the dream car, and by letting her sit on a dream bike they were also “showing? there.

The best moment was when Chip and his team received the award from a final field of 8 awesome car designs. The young girl won in her class as well, and Chip gave her big props. I was “positively? overwhelmed by the love and warmth radiating from this show and these people. My God do we need more programming like this and people like this on this planet.

December 5, 2005

And the winner is…

Filed under: News — bbluesman @ 3:38 pm

Recently there were local (city and county level) elections here in Taiwan. Finally, some relief from the sound trucks and even sound motorcycles, yes sound motorcycles. The Taiwanese are the living embodiment of,”if there’s a will there’s a way” kind of thinking. There’s somethiing to be said for that. I’m happy to say there were some big changes on local political map. Northern 2/3 of the island voted overwhelmingly for the original ruling party(KMT-same party started by Sun Yat-sen father of Republic of China) and the southern 1/3 stubbornly re-elected the curent ruling(DPP) party of lame-duck President Chen Shui-bian. This indicates to me that voters are able to overcome strong ethnic pride and vote according to performance.

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