Sunday, November 10, 2019

In typical precise order.

Dear Streets,

Your song for today has been heard on the Dodo before, but it must be played again, and I recommend, just for this song, a whiskey and soda with a little lemon twist.  It's a darn fine combination.

I think I have told you about seeing the incomparable Jonathan Richman in 1989 or 1990?  He played a place we used to go to for interesting music called The Barn.  When I try to determine where it was now, it's all a low fog of causeway and Delta flatness.  Suffice it to say it was there, it was small, it was real, and I fell for Jonathan Richman like a ton of bricks; you would have too, he is solid charisma.

This song's trudging passages, alternating with frenzied staccato still send me.  Here are some chords if you want to try it for yourself.

I'll never see you anymore.

Dear Listeners,

Oh man!  Check this out!  I hate to send you there, because, you will never come by here anymore.  Still, I can't just keep you in the dark and save you for only me, so this could be goodbye....

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Bake Along.

Dear Bakers and Cooks,

Hey!  I have an idea!  Let's have a bake along!  The neighbors tree is loaded with apples, and I found this interesting dessert at Atlas Obscura's food subdivision: Gastro Obscura (yes, you should check it out). 

The whole recipe is on this short film*- I am going to bake the Marlborough Pudding in Old Bess, our trusty oven even.  I hope someone out there will use a hearth and a cast iron dutch oven. 

Let's meet again soon to discuss results!  Oh, and, I think that just isn't enough butter in that pastry, but maybe I will try it that way....

*  Say, did the sharp viewers notice that something extra is poured into the pudding?!?  It was melted butter!  Here is a written recipe

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Birds.

Dear Looking Out the Window,

Oh my!  They are everywhere right now- the Raven is talking to himself in the window of the barn to the North, the finches are moving in a tight flock of chirping, the shrubs send up cyclones of sparrows when I walk out the door.  There are bluebirds in the bath, and towhees, flickers, doves, thrashers, and wrens scuffling on the ground. 

When you begin to watch birds, as a verb, a hobby, to birdwatch; at first it is all leaves and splitseconds.  The feathers are indistinguishable from the foliage, and if you are lucky enough to spot something moving, it’s like a flashbulb and there isn’t time to recognize anything more than that it might have been a bird?  As you put in your hours, though, forms begin to emerge from the leaves- after awhile, you have a sense of bird and non-bird, and gradually, there is enough time to see some things that approach details: brownish, a forked tail, a roundness, a long pointed beak.  Eventually, you can glimpse but a shadow and know that it was an oak titmouse.  You also become attuned to the sounds of the different birds; even the sounds of the wingbeats.  In fact, after a long while at it, you can become quite amazed at the variety of details that you are able to identify.  Things that in the early days you never dreamed you could notice- things like the rising and falling arc that certain birds make in flight.  Or, the sound of some birds’ feet, as they scuffle around in the leaf litter.  It’s all very distinctive, it turns out.

The time of counting for Project Feederwatch is very soon, and I hope this year you will sign on and make a regular appointment with your backyard birds.  The practice of looking is very rewarding.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


Dear Days,

To celebrate this 500th day of roller skating, let's have a few notable 500s:  A band, a song, and a sweet, sweet ride.  Or, maybe order one of these 500s.  You will want these chords, too, so you can play along on the guitar.

Another 500, and another.  Let's see, that makes 3000, I think.  That will be December 24, 2027. See you then!