Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poetry from All Over(Madison)

Folks young and old seemed to enjoy some of my poems, especially when I was talking trash.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Inside and Outside

The wife found her first tulip volunteering that spring had finally arrived in South Dakota yesterday. And the lovely day continued, as I was able to fire up the wood splitter in 40 degrees and split the wood that had piled up after cutting down some trees last fall.  I rolled some of the logs from back in the trees out into a clearing so they can be split.  Then we took a good walk/jog in the park, where people were walking their dogs and enjoying the warm day.  Then back to more outside work for a while, and lunch and the last "free" episode of "Mad Men" on Netflix.  Then some school work and a trip back up to DSU where we saw Expatriate and Burlap Wolf King play some awesome song.  A good, long spring day, full of good times.
The First Tulip Arrives in Madison

Monday, March 31, 2014

The End of March

Yesterday was a spring day--sunny, warm, slightly breezy, and beautiful.  It's funny how the weather makes a person feel different, feel like doing other things, changing.  Just like the lilacs bursting their buds, or the rhubarb pushing its way up through the thawing soil, so do we change and begin to grow different ideas and moves.  "Something there is that doesn't love a wall," Frost says.  "Spring is the mischief in me," he says, and likewise in me.  It's time to clean the porch, clear away the leaves, prepare the soil, plan the garden.

Yesterday we took a drive out to the park, ran and walked a few miles, and enjoyed the sunlight.  I think I sunburned my poor unprotected scalp!  We cleared the porch out, getting it ready for company, thinking what a great day it would have been to have people there.  Instead, we fired up the grill and enjoyed some good burgers.

Then we watched over some friends' baby, just a month old, and, with a little schoolwork in preparation for the week, we called it a good day.

The only thing is, now we're looking at a few more inches of snow tonight.  Blah.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Goodbye to All That (Loud Noise--AKA--Kick Ass Rock and Roll)

After 38 years, I'm letting go of my big-ass stereo equipment, the stuff I bought when I was a teenage soldier in Friedberg, West Germany.  These served me well over the many years, rattling the windows of many homes I had hither and yon.  After I let these go, only my Marantz turntable will be left of the powerhouse stereo I carefully assembled over the course of a couple years, doing my research and saving my money.

What you see here are, first, my big and heavy (50 pounds!) Teac SX4300 auto-reverse reel to reel.  This baby would play music for seven hours uninterrupted.  It had a clean and clear delivery, especially at 7 inches per second (it's a two-speed).  I've still got many reels of music, some (like Larry Hosford) that I have not been able to find since 1978.  So it goes.

Then there is the matching set of Kenwood amp and tuner, a KA-8300 amp and a KT-8300 tuner.  They were excellent components, especially that kick-ass amplifier.  What a beast.  I matched these up in 1976 with a pair of Pioneer HPM-100 speakers, and they would rock the house.  The sound they made was a beautiful thing, and I loved to hear The Edgar Winter Group rocking "Frankenstein" turned way up loud.  Sometimes too loud.  I had to have both the speakers and the amp repaired after too vigorous play.

These components were a signature in my barracks room, my bachelor pads, my dorm room, and my several homes.  Now they're heading to new homes via eBay.  

Check them out if you're interested.  It would be good to see them go to new homes (at high prices!).  

Go ahead.  Bid.  Then you too can be rocking to this:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blue Jeans 'n Classics, the South Dakota Symphony, and Fleetwood Mac

The wife, the mom, and I enjoyed our Sunday afternoon with the Canadian group, Blue Jeans 'n Classics, who played with the South Dakota Symphony to offer up many hit songs of the group Fleetwood Mac, songs that I remember so well, especially from my two years in Germany.  My big expensive stereo at that time could crank out the tunes on the albums Fleetwood Mac that appeared in 1975, then Rumours, appearing in 1977, both while I was doing my soldier duty in Friedberg.  They were awesome records for me at the time, great lyrics, beautiful signing, and some hard-driving rocking.

The group of musicians that put on their show were welcomed by the crowd, and they were well worth it.  I hope the many sponsors from Madison that supported bringing them here were pleased with their efforts.  Thank you, sponsors!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sirje Kiin and Marie Under, Poets, Writers, and Estonians

After a day at home it was nice to get out and have a meal with my mom and the wife and go see our Madisonian Sirje Kiin tell about the subject of her book:  Marie Under, an Estonian poet whose work hasn't had the attention it deserves.  Her poetry is almost all written in Estonian, a language that only about 1.5 million people speak in the world.  Sirje has written (in Estonian) a critical biography of the poet.  
The biography is now being translated into English, along with some new translations of the poetry.  It's a remarkable thing to hear about a person who lives just up the street who is working on such good, important things.  Marie Under's Wikipedia page needs editing!
Our speaker pointed out that one of the problems with getting Under the attention she deserves is that good translations of the poetry can be difficult, since the language they're written in is so unlike English or many other major languages.  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The World is a Little Colder Today

Each of us works on our own schedule, but we hope to create something that remains when we're gone.  On this cold January day, we note the loss of Pete Seeger, the great folk singer and author of great songs including "We Shall Overcome," "Turn! Turn! Turn!," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," songs that we think of as America's songs, our songs. It's good to stop and note with gratitude the gift that artists like this give to us.  Thank you, Pete Seeger, and rest in peace.