Friday, January 30, 2015


Dear Students,

There is surely a lot to learn in this old world- take the skills of the opossum, for example.  The lesson to learn from this video is less about natural history and more about what nice things you can make to give to the world.

Here's another thing you could learn, tomorrow, from Ruth of the Honeysuckle Possums:  Flat footing.  Listen to this. 

Hear that slappy rhythm   That is flat-footing.  Watch these folks give you a little taste of it:

Until we meet again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

sing this now

Dear Midnight Riders,

This is getting to be a regular feature:  A Song to Sing Right Now.  We can call it the SSRN for short, and to be more hip.  Today's song is good for lots of days, but use it today.  Outside, maybe, or while you do the dishes.

A song to sing for today:  Midnight Rider.

Here are lyrics- copy them onto a piece of scrap paper, turn this silly computer off, and sing on.

Midnight Rider
Song by Gregg Allman
  • Well, I've got to run to keep from hiding,
    And I'm bound to keep on riding.
    And I've got one more silver dollar,
    But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no,
    Not gonna let 'em catch the Midnight Rider.
    And I don't own the clothes I'm wearing,
    And the road goes on forever,
    And I've got one more silver dollar,
    But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
    Not gonna let 'em catch the Midnight Rider.
    And I've gone by the point of caring,
    Some old bed I'll soon be sharing,
    And I've got one more silver dollar,
    But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no
    Not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider.
    But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no
    Not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider.
    But I'm not gonna let 'em catch me, no
    Not gonna let them catch the Midnight Rider.

    Friday, January 23, 2015

    En Plein Air.

    Dear Dodos,

    My brother sent me this charming short film, which  describes the world of the Disney animator of yore, and then films a quartet of these artists out-of-doors, painting a tree.  They are just exactly right these four painters.

    It's going to be a nice warm weekend, find a few of your compatriots, and a little paint box and head for the hills. 

    Oh, and remember, "don't go in for too much ornamentation."

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Shaker Lemon Pie.

    Dear Lemon Heads,

    Do not make this pie. 

    I am trying a little reverse psychology (is this working?). You don’t want to take the time to make a pie, I know. You don’t want to have it around, because you will eat it; I know. You cannot believe how much sugar is in it, and you don’t have two lemons in the first place. Okie-dokie. Following today’s suggestion should be a breeze.

    Since you aren't making this pie, you won't need the recipe, here.  You won't want to sing lemon Tree, as you slice, either. 

    I sprinkled extra sugar on top of mine, and then scorched it properly under the broiler- because, I had heard author Jennifer McLagan talking about her fascinating book Bitter.  You can hear it too, right here.

    Another?  And another? 

    Wait, you don't know who Princess Unikitty is??!!  She is a heroine for our age, and an absolute favorite of mine.  Better watch the whole Lego Movie- you won't regret it.


    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Grab it by the Tail.

    Dear Comet-Chasers,

    Many of you will already know about comet Lovejoy, and you will have already stepped out into the winter's night with your binoculars and wandered around searching the vast firmament.  I heard about it from my DJ, a few nights ago.  It's a nice, respectable sized comet- you'll want to see it.

    This is a nice place to begin to look, from your warm sofa:

    When you come back in, and you are thinking "Wow!  So much going on out there!  What else can I look for?"  Check this site, for spotting the lost and lonely astronauts sitting in their tin can.  I know it will ease their isolation to know we are watching for them.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015


    Dear Girls,

    Do you long to shred?  Alas, I am too chicken to be a Chick in Bowls, but you are not, and you should shred.  Here is some instruction:

    Chicks in Bowls Ep 1 Transition Skating from Chicks in Bowls on Vimeo.

    No doubt you'd like to hear the whole song again.

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    Even in the Everglades

    I am thinking of you.




    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    I am the DJ

    Dear Believers,

    Get this record, Guitar in the Space Age, at your earliest convenience-  I would send it to you, but I know you got rid of your phonograph and your cd player, so get it the on that thing you like to use- get it here.  Bill Frisell doesn't just cover these terrific songs, he plays them like you wish you could, with a ton of love and affection.  You can get to know him better at his website.  Since you are there, you might as well buy a few more of his great albums.

    PS  Another pop song reference?  Yes.  More on Guitar in the Space Age, below.