Saturday, February 23, 2008

Riverwalk Radio

Cathy was on Smart City this morning, a nationally syndicated public radio program exploring various aspects of urban life. You can hear her talking about the very exciting Chicago Riverwalk project she's been helping to coordinate here. (If you want to get right to it, her segment begins a little past the halfway mark.)

Damn, my girl has got it going on!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Warm, Scary Air

Recently Abby has recently been affected with a deep and abiding fear of our air vents. There's one in our upstairs hallway, on the far right, and Abby will hug the left wall as she walks by it. Another air vent is suspiciously close to her bookshelf. She no longer feels safe venturing over to browse. I've taken to sitting on the vent and assuring her that the area in front of her books has now been secured. "See," I tell her, "Daddy's sitting on the air vent and it's not hurting him."

"The air vent is our friend," Abby will say, beating me to the punch.

"That's right, the air vent is our friend! It's giving us some warm, cozy air on this very cold day!"

She nods appreciatively and drags a few books over to the middle of the floor.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Feel Free To Delete These

My Mom seemed newly determined to make some room for the Web when Cathy, Abby and I visited her and my Dad a couple weeks ago at their winter getaway in Tarpon Springs. That old clamshell iBook is most definitely ailing, so Cathy and I encouraged her to look into buying a new computer. But first we took her through some Web basics and Cathy ditched Safari and replaced it with Firefox. We did some searches, pausing briefly on Joe's blog, Through The Wire. My Mom's known Joe since high school, so I thought showing his blog to her was a nice way to demonstrate some of the intimacy the Web allows.

Later, after we returned, my Mom forwarded along an email, itself forwarded along to her by one of her friends. It contained a poem "written by a terminally ill young girl
in a New York Hospital," with the plea that all receivers "pass this mail on to everyone you know - even to those you don't know!" so as to generate small donations to the American Cancer Society's efforts to assist in "her treatment and recovery plan."

And, of course it's a hoax, circulating saccharinely since 1997. The American Cancer Society has a press release disavowing any involvement in this terminal whimsy.

Suddenly I imagined my Mom fretting as she read another email informing her of suspicious activity on a credit card. I wrote her back with dutiful warnings of the Web's many identity thieving cretins prowling about. I reminded her that any email telling her to forward it along "to as many people you know (one gentlemen was so inspired, he even forwarded to over 500 of his friends and business associates!)" is almost always a hoax. "Feel free to delete these," I told her.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Repeat the Sounding Joy: Chris's Best Songs of 2007

With any luck, copies of this years mix will eventually make it into the hands and ears of the usual suspects. If you're reading this and would like a copy, feel free to let me know and I'll get you one.

The bulk of it is made up of songs released in 2007, though a healthy number draw from the last 50 years or so. I wasn't able to include everything I would have liked, but at over 9 hours long it's a pretty good representation of what my ears perked up to.

I've tried, too, for those who might want to listen linearly, to create an interesting mix. I kept away, as much as possible, from balkanizing genres in hopes of allowing for surprising merges and occasional collisions.

Here's what made the cut:

A Paw In My Face: The Field
Paris, Tokyo: Lupe Fiasco
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Cannonball Adderley Quintet
Orange Skies: Love
Just As You Are: Robert Wyatt
Da Aurora Até O Luar: Dadi
Dive For Your Memory: The Go-Betweens
Rainy Night In Georgia: David Ruffin
Flashing Lights (Ft. Dwele): Kanye West
My Favourite Book: Stars
Comodn Johnson: Los Amigos Invisibles
Doca: Trio Mocotó
Levante A Cabeça: Som Nosso
Ai E Que Ta: Burnier & Cartier
Read My Mind (Instrumental): Metro Area
Do It All Night: Prince
Chromophobia: Gui Boratto
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi: Radiohead
Is There a Ghost: Band Of Horses
Sleeping Lessons: The Shins
Looks Like Rain: The Postmarks
Bach (JS): Piano Concerto #4 In A, BMV 1055 - 1. Allegro: Glenn Gould
Winter: The Rolling Stones
Do I Have To Come Right Out And Say It: Buffalo Springfield
Through My Sails: Neil Young
Running to the Ghost: James Blackshaw
Too Much Between Us: Procol Harum
Scythian Empires: Andrew Bird
Indoor Fireworks: Elvis Costello
To Build A Home: The Cinematic Orchestra
Blues Run The Game: Jackson C. Frank
I Must Have Been Blind: Tim Buckley
...3: John Barry
Can I Say: The Rice Twins
Lohn & Brot: Efdemin
Before: Contriva
Af607105: Charlotte Gainsbourg
Mima: Eddie Harris
Elsa: Cannonball Adderley With Bill Evans
Some People Are Crazy: John Martyn
All I Ever Wanted: Meg Baird
A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise: Phosphorescent
Innocent Bones: Iron & Wine
Johnny's Garden: Stephen Stills
Kalumba: Gambuzinos
Gente: Caetano Velosa
Don't Touch That Thing: Sylvia Hall
I Used To Be A King: Graham Nash
Middlenight: The Sea And Cake
(Ain't That) Good News: Sam Cooke
Feel Pm: Lindstrom And Prins Thomas
Über Wiesen: Thomas/Mayer
Steal Away (Version 2): Johnnie Taylor
MRA: Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath
You Can Have Her: Waylon Jennings
Sweet Wanomi: Bill Withers
Elementary Lover (DJ Koze Remix): Matthew Dear
N.I.T.A.: Young Marble Giants
Myriad Harbour: The New Pornographers
4,738 Regrets: Trans Am
Someone Great: LCD Soundsystem
New Jack: Justice
Hussel (feat. Afrikan Boy): M.I.A.
Kingston: Rod Modell
Night to Remember: Cassy
Lay Your Head Down: Keren Ann
So Sorry: Feist
Warm Canto: Mal Waldron
Title Music: Satyajit Ray
Masculino, Feminino: Erasmo Carlos
Goin' Away Party: Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
O Caroline: Matching Mole
Port Authority: Opsvik & Jennings
What Me Worry?: St. Vincent
The Queen Of Seville: The Clientele
Think She Knows Me Now: Mike Cooper
Into Eternity: Jens Lekman
Slap The Back: Cobblestone Jazz
Main Squeeze: Nate Evans
Oh Christine: The Cave Singers
Fake Empire: The National
LDN: Lily Allen
Scenic World: Beirut
Sheria Yatukataza: Maulidi Juma
Silently: Blonde Redhead
Parallel Life: Baby Ford
Water Soul: Melchior Productions Ltd.
Archangel: Burial
Cicely: DJ Koze
Synthacon 9: The Tuss
Garden Parade (Dandy Jacks Senti-Metal Mix): Copacabannark
Walden 2: Pantha Du Prince
Rabbit Tube: Lawrence
Soziale Wärme: Thomas Fehlmann
Intruder: Susanna
Keeping You in Mind: Mary Margaret O'Hara
The Wheel: Jerry Garcia
Hazel St.: Deerhunter
Impossible Germany: Wilco
All La Glory: The Band
Little Girl: Billy Preston
(This Is For The) Better Days: The Bees
Guitar Blues: Chester Atkins
Lovesick Blues Boy: Paul Burch
Breezin': Cornelius
Terremoto: João Donato
Persian Love: Holger Czukay
Wennder Sudwind Weht: Roedelius
Samba pa Negra: Jay Hoggard
Diamond Heart: Marissa Nadler
Dinoa & Hora: Jacob Hoffman and Kendal's Orchestra
All Cats Are Grey: The Cure
Gogol: Gonzales
Waltz for Debby (Take 2): Bill Evans
Reflections: Thelonious Monk
Caught In The Middle: Lusine ICL
The Shade: Eno Moebius Roedelius
Tippy's Demise: Stars of the Lid
Evening Star: Fripp/Eno
for Jim Hall & Kurt Kirkwood: Klimek
Ascent: Arve Henriksen
oto: fennesz + sakamoto
Sun Against My Eyes: Colleen

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Help, I'm Obsolete!

My formally trustworthy PowerBook, just a little over 2 years old, seems to have crashed on the shores of Little People. A well-loved Little People DVD we attempted to play at 30,000 feet en route to Tampa Bay International Airport seems to be the culprit. Struggling to read it (it was, to be blunt, scratched to hell), the PowerBook seems to have given up all together. When we turn it on now it gives us that ominous blinking folder with a question mark. It whispers, "you're screwed." We're hoping the original startup disk will revive it.

So we've had to revert to using my parents weathered clamshell iBook (see accompanying picture), which was once our own. It was new in 2000. It was blueberry shiny and awesome. Cathy wrote her thesis on it in Berkeley looking out at rose bushes and rosemary. We gave it to my parents a couple years ago so they could have a computer in Florida.

And I gotta tell you, it really sucks. It's like using an old elevator--it shudders under the weight, lurches, pauses awkwardly between floors before shuddering and slowly moving on. It's a telling example of how quickly technology becomes antiquidated.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Cool In The Pool

It's currently 75 and sunny in Tarpon Springs, Florida. We're heading out for a picnic lunch in a few minutes. My apologies to any friends and family being bruised and battered by winter.
We'll be rejoining you, the cold and the slush, with some regrets, Tuesday morning.