Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yesterday was one of the few recent that was warm enough for Grace and I to take an extended walk in the woods. It's good that she had a chance to run. She's 11 now and she needs her exercise.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Hey, long time! I don't have time to catch up now, but I wanted to post a video of Grace I made on the Sunday of the Super Bowl, which you can hear in the background. (And it is pass interference.) Although I don't think I can beat the profile photo on the left, it was taken in 2009, and the dog has aged some. She's doing good, though. I mean, well. I don't always know about good. Actually she's an out-and-out sweetheart. In fact there's something kinda perverse about watching and posting videos of a dog when the actual dog is laying down in the next room. We should be petting our companion animules, not digitizing them...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A great lesser-known Dylan tune.

Woody on guitar learning and playing

This appeared in the edition of ``The Folksinger's Guitar Guide'' that I bought in 1974. About 20 years later I was looking at a newer edition and I noticed the essay was missing. But a few months ago, ``Folksinger's'' author Jerry Silverman was kind enough to scan the essay in his copy and send it along.
I don't know where my copy went to.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A rarity: I found this in Tim's Books on Main Street

in Hyannis, Massachusetts last weekend. It was published in 1963 by Ludlow Music, Inc. Perhaps a few hundred songs, many that I've never heard of (I suspect that not all of them were recorded). There are a lot of illustrations by Woody. Woody is never listed as the author. Apparently it wasn't his project. Of course by 1963 he was pretty well incapacitated by Huntington's.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

great journalism, VII

This is the earliest thing of mine that I recall being published, except a letter to the editor of the now-defunct Amherst Times, which I'm pretty sure I've lost. The Phoenix Press had published a short piece in which one Robert Croke defended nuclear power. Well, that didn't exactly hit my sweet spot, so I penned this treatise -- it was much longer than what Croke wrote -- to put him in his place and, by golly, set the record straight once and for all. I don't remember anyone from the Holyoke (Massachusetts) Community College student newspaper contacting me before publishing this. There were a good number of conservative students at the school back then, and I assume that the political demographic of the student body must have been reflected in the Phoenix Press's editorial board. At least one of the editors must have been less-than-utterly welcoming of the trashing of nuclear power and the nuclear-power industry; one of them would therefore call me on my facts with the goal of quashing the article. That radical can't get his facts straight, so there's no use running this. But nope, without even consulting me, they published the whole dang thing. Where did I get my facts? I don't remember, which is understandable, seeing as how it was 32 years go. However, back then I knew many members of the Clamshell Alliance, and I had read Barry Commoner's ``The Poverty of Power,'' so I can say that I have a vague memory of being well-versed in this stuff. Still I do question some of my assertions. I mean, is the area ``immediately surrounding'' the ``temporary waste storage facility'' in Hanford, Washington really uninhabitable for 250,000 years? How come I haven't heard anything about it since? Must be the liberal media.

Monday, January 23, 2012

If you want the republicans to lose and you aren't already a registered republican, change your party affiliation so that you can vote in the republican primary and then vote for Romney. The idea is to get Romney nominated and enrage the right wing enough to have them wage a spoiler third-party candidacy led by one of their ``true conservatives.'' Then the conservative vote would be split. Become a short-term repub, like me. It doesn't hurt.
Chances are you've seen this already, but in case you have not, it's a freakin' keeper... I would have posted it earlier but I've been away from the computer the last two or three days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Juvenilia, part three, in which Mark Twains' publisher and I are of the same mind

When I spoke the argument presented in this paper during a meeting of poet Donald Junkins' American Realism course, in the fall of 1983 at UMass, he said he respected my opinion, and that he didn't agree with it. I could not have cared less if he only respected my opinion. The only thing that mattered was that I was right and he was wrong to disagree with me. The ``Raftsmen Passage'' was so delightful that it should have been included in ``The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,'' Junkins said. Or words to that effect. Of course now, having matured, I respect his disagreement, but I still think my 22-year-old self was right.
That was a great class. We read Henry James, ``The Ambassadors;'' Sarah Orne Jewett, ``The Country Of The Pointed Furs;'' stories by Ambrose Bierce; William Dean Howells, ``The Rise Of Silas Lapham;'' Theodore Dreiser, ``An American Tragedy;'' and Stephen Crane, ``The Red Badge Of Courage.'' There might have been other works on the syllabus, but I don't remember.
As of today, Junkins, who lives in Deerfield, is still listed in Superpages.