Friday, March 31, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Get a guitar into your parlor today!

Dear Little Darlings,

Today on Radio Dodo we have a song that my DJ played yesterday while I drove through the glorious Spring from the east to the west.  I remember first hearing another version of this song, many moons ago, and I loved it from the start.  A less extravagantly virtuosic version is easily played on guitar, here are some chords.  Perhaps your hesitation is a lack of a good guitar?  Try here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Theme Song

Dear Listeners,

The song for today was chosen from a whole slew of really fine Chuck Berry tunes:  Memphis Tennessee, You Never Can Tell, Havana Moon, Maybellene, Johnny B Goode, Nadine:  But this particular song could be the Way of the Dodo's theme song.  Yes, you guessed it, because the both of us, happily, have No Particular Place to Go.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lichen it or not....

Dear Naturalists,

I've been meaning to talk you about Ramalina menziesii.  It's the California State Lichen now, and it's known more commonly as Spanish Moss or Lace Lichen.  It's a lovely gray green one that drapes from tree branches, looking like tattered curtains. 

Lichen is not a plant, but a peculiar and charming combination of algae and fungi; not exactly just two things living symbiotically together, but two organisms that have become one.  R. menziesii is sensitive to atmospheric pollution, and it can reproduce by spores (sexually) and asexually, when broken fragments become a new organism.  Birds use a lot of it in their nests, I wonder if those pieces become a new lichen, too?

If you are keen to know more about Spanish Moss, look here, and if you hanker to join the fans of California lichens, join the Society.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Big Bright.

Dear Unhampered,

Matisse, I'd always been told, worked on these cut-paper pieces because he had diminishing eyesight, and it was easier for him to see these bold, high contrast forms.  I love this story very much, and I hope that no two-bit biographer ever comes along to tell me that he really made them because he suffered from schizophrenia.  Which isn't to say that I'd mind him having schizophrenia, but it is to say that the story of an artist continuing their work, no matter what was lost or diminished is a good story, a story that makes a person feel good about their paltry doodling efforts.  However, a story of making things because some kind of illness or hardship compels a person to, or worse, that the illness or physical reality is the actual 'creative' part of a person's output, leaving the artist/author as some kind of puppet dancing from a string of madness or disease, is just another one of those cliché tales of people who win things in spite of the odds.  I don't care much for those kind of stories, because it forces the listener into a distant corner of pity.

Enjoy this short film of Matisse wielding his scissors and may you stay unhampered by stories that explain and muffle, prove and trample, explicate and narrow.

Henri Matisse: Paper Cut Outs from DERTV on Vimeo.


Here's another little something: The Big Bright.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017



Dear Party-Going,

I knew you were coming, so I baked a cake.  Shall we dance for it?  Like they did in the days of yore....

Friday, March 3, 2017

The hands that forge.

Dear What's Cookin',

I know it's long past December and January, and now February has faded, too, but I've been dying to tell you what I got for Christmas:  A hand-forged kitchen knife!  Wait until you see it!  If you come over, I will let you try it, but if you can't drop by, let me tell you that using it to slice is a delight!  It isn't just another blade, it's a whole new experience.  I am wishing for you to get one under your tree next year. 

Take a gander at the whole beautiful process, from segment of rail car spring to finished tool, it's a long and lovely journey!













 All photos by Dennis Kehoe.

Isn't it marvelous what a skilled craftsperson can get from fire & steel?  I wonder if you should wait as long as December... and anyway, you'll want to get your order in early!  Here's where to begin.