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Kung Fu Panda

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Lois and I had a slightly unusual, but completely lovely weekend.

On Friday, our goddaughter and fiance drove a Budget rental truck up from Richmond, VA with a bunch of their stuff. They are moving to NYC after their honeymoon (putting them in NYC in three weeks!). We helped them move their stuff in and then had dinner with them on Friday night.

On Saturday, they worked (like crazy people) for roughly 13 hours in their new apartment. We had a very late lunch, or very early dinner (you pick) when they were ready for a break.

On Sunday morning, we all left for VA very early. For us, it was part of our normal trip down to Zope (except that this trip will end with their wedding, hardly normal). For them, they rented the Budget truck one-way only, so we were giving them a lift back to VA.

All well and good, except that we had previously arranged to visit our friends in Leesburg, VA on the way down (I’ve written about them a number of times), including taking a bunch of boys to see Kung Fu Panda. Our NYC guests agreed to join us for the festivities.

We got to Leesburg right on time (in fact, we beat our friends to the restaurant). We had our typically great Chinese Buffet (11 of us). Then we gave the parents a break and took five boys (ages 7-10) to see the movie.

For a movie that’s been in theaters for two weeks, I was quite surprised that it was as crowded as it was. The seven of us (Lois, me and the boys) sat in the third row (usually, that’s too close up for Lois, but it wasn’t all that bad this time around, perhaps because it’s an animated movie). I don’t know where our goddaughter and fiance sat.

OK, since the title of this post is the name of the movie, I may as well say something about it. I really liked it, thoroughly, start to finish! It’s a cute story, with hearty laughs throughout, reasonably cool martial arts stuff, and lovable characters. Even the silly stuff (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon type stuff) is easier to swallow in an animated version, no? Yes. 🙂

Mixed in with all of the action and laughs are a bunch of proverbs and general Zen-like philosophy. I don’t know if it appeals to the kids, or if they even realize that wisdom is being imparted, but both Lois and I liked it. Here’s one particular one that we have both repeated a number of times since yesterday. Additionally, we both feel we’ve heard it before, but clearly, didn’t keep it top of mind so were glad to hear it again:

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow’s a mystery.

Today is a gift.

That’s why they call it The Present!

Lovely!

Anyway, if you have kids, take them to see the movie, you will enjoy it as well. If you don’t have kids, sit near a group of them, so that you don’t look like you just like cartoons. 😉

After the movie we drove to Fredericksburg and met out friends (our goddaughter’s parents) at our hotel. We all had a lovely dinner together, and they took posession of the soon-to-be newlyweds and drove them back to Richmond.

We did our usual Walmart run to stock up for our trip. When we returned to the room, Lois did an incredible job of unpacking and organizing while I relaxed and watched some TV. That lasted an hour, and then a wild storm in Fredericksburg knocked out all of the electricity to the hotel (at roughly 8:43pm). The generator got the lights back on for about 30 seconds before it failed completely.

There we were, in the dark, watching a cool lightning storm outside the window. After about 25 minutes, with nothing else to do, we went to bed (we were wildly exhausted anyway), at 9:06pm. We have no idea when the electricity came on, but we were both awake (briefly) at 1:30am, when it was indeed back on. Thankfully, Lois ran around and turned off all of the lightswitches before we went to bed, so that we weren’t woken up.

A number of things made the weekend unusual. One of the more unusual things was for me not to turn my laptop on at all yesterday. Amazingly, my hands didn’t twitch even once (at least not that I noticed). 😉

MoveOn.org Ads

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I haven’t written about politics in quite a while, and I should probably keep it that way, but I can’t, so here goes…

By now, if you haven’t seen the new ads being put out by MoveOn.org, or seen previews of them on a cable news channel, you’re either very lucky, or blissfully disconnected from the political season.

Rather than describe the ad, I’ll point you instead to an Op-Ed in The New York Times, written by one of their two token conservatives, William Kristol. I can’t do any better than Kristol in analysing the content/message of the ad, so I won’t try. Here are a few additional thoughts though.

Who are these ads targeted at? To me, there are three gigantic buckets that you can (extremely crudely) classify people in (with regard to Iraq):

  1. Believe it’s criminal that we’re there and we should get out instantly
  2. Believe it’s necessary, no matter the cost, and therefore we should stay until the job is done
  3. Believe it’s wildly complicated, with no easy answer, and (unfortunately) often shift their viewpoint (even if only slightly) based on how it’s actually going on the ground over there, regardless of ideological views

It would seem that the ads must be targeting group #3, as there is no way that #2 can be swayed by them (in fact, this kind of ad would mobilize group #2), and group #1 already believes in the cause as strongly as they can, so it’s a waste of money and a lost opportunity to show these ads to them.

So, in a group that thinks the answer isn’t simple, can this ad be effective? I find it extremely hard to believe. It literally requires the viewer to suspend all logic, and react purely to the emotional message only. If you disagree, meaning that you think that the message delivered has even a single basis in fact, then you didn’t read the linked Op-Ed piece very carefully.

I also see this type of ad as working against Obama, who is the person they most want to see benefit from it. It is highly doubtful that he will denounce it. After all, he’s one of the few prominent democratic senators who didn’t vote to denounce the General Petraeus ad. It would seem that annoying MoveOn.org is not high on Obama’s agenda. However, by not denouncing it, he risks seeing moderate people who are offended by the ad as seeing him as pandering to MoveOn.org (or worse, actually agreeing with the ads).

In fact, it completely amuses me that Obama’s stated reason for changing his widely disseminated stance on Public/Private money is the 527 money on the Right side (a.k.a. the Swiftboating money). Not once does he mention the vasts sums of money that are meant to benefit him from the likes of MoveOn.org.

For me, I have no problem with either side throwing their money away on these types of ads. They are truly stupid (the ads), and hope and assume that the viewers are stupid as well. Anyone who requires that their audience is stupid in order to be successful will (thankfully!) be negatively surprised more often than they would imagine. That makes them the stupid ones in the equation.

For me, the ads bring comic relief. Since I love to laugh, I welcome the MoveOn.org ads by the bushel. 🙂

Great Ideas for Next Gen Kindle

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I rarely write a post simply to point to someone else’s post, brilliant or otherwise.

I used to be a voracious reader. That was so long ago, I’m embarrassed to even make that claim. There are many reasons why I don’t read as much (not the least of which is that I’m the world’s slowest reader). Mostly, it’s because I spend so (too?) much time on the Internet, that I don’t just disconnect and read.

Anyway, I admit that the concept of the Kindle intrigued me to the point of considering one. If I got one, I was hoping that a side-effect would be to read more, just because I couldn’t buy one and not use it, right? Well, I still haven’t bought one, and I’m not that close to doing it, but I still read everything I can about the Kindle, to be ready when the tipping point comes my way.

So, today I finally read a post about the Kindle that is inspirational (IMHO).

It’s written by a guy, Seth Godin, who often writes intelligent, thought provoking pieces. Here it is, enjoy!

NginX Upgraded In Place

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NginX 0.7.2 is now available. I was running an ancient version, 0.7.1 (just kidding). 😉

So, I downloaded and built 0.7.2. Then I followed the instructions at the bottom of this page, which explain how to upgrade on the fly. It’s even cooler than just not losing any ongoing connections (which would be cool enough!). It also can be rolled back just as easily, if the new server proves to be faulty.

This is just too cool! Anyway, welcome NginX 0.7.2, RIP NginX 0.7.1.

WordPress Ate My Posting Date

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This post is really a test, but I’ll share the full problem and solution (assuming the test works), so it might help someone else out there as well. 🙂

The other day, for the first time ever, I noticed that a post of mine hit my RSS reader (Thunderbird) with a date of 11/29/1999.  I was busy with other things and decided to come back to it. Of course, I didn’t…

The next time I posted, the date was correct again. I (foolishly) assumed that the problem was transient (and possibly corrected). A few more good posts, then yesterday, back-to-back bad posts. I realized exactly what was different between the good posts and the bad ones. At least procrastinating paid off this time. 🙂

All of my good posts were made with Windows Live Writer locally on my laptop and then saved to the server as a draft for continued editing. All of my bad posts were started and finished directly in the web interface of WordPress 2.5.1.

This certainly wasn’t a native 2.5.1 problem, because I’ve been running 2.5.1 a lot longer than my first bad RSS pull and until reasonably recently, I posted 100% of the time through the web interface. I selected the last few rows from the wp_posts table and spotted the problem instantly.

The post_date_gmt had the following value in my three bad posts: 0000-00-00. A Google search revealed this forum thread discussing the problem. Some people seemed to think it was related to the installation of XCache (others thought that you also needed a separate plugin installed to provoke the problem). Since I recently installed XCache (as reported in my NginX post), I was more than willing to believe that this was my problem. Of course, I didn’t see how it worked when Windows Live Writer was posting, but it was certainly possible that it took a different code path…

There was a pointer to a patch in that thread. The person who posted the link also commented that he thought this was not the “right” fix, though he said it worked. I’m not sure why he felt that way. Aside from being innocuous (meaning, there was no way that this could hurt anything), it seemed like a reasonable fix and was already in the trunk for WordPress 2.5.2, so it also seemed safe to apply, given that it would soon be production WordPress anyway.

So, I downloaded and applied the patch. I won’t know until I click on Publish whether it will work, as the post_date_gmt column correctly remains at 0000-00-00 while I’m in Draft mode. If it works, I won’t update this post. If it fails, I’ll come back and add another paragraph to let you know it didn’t work…

Update: I decided to add this bit quickly. It worked (so that’s not why I’m back here). I thought of one more possibility for the cause, which has nothing to do with XCache. Recently, I noticed that my posting times were in EST, not EDT (meaning, the one hour time-zone change didn’t happen automatically). I went into the WP Admin interface and adjusted the setting to be GMT-4 instead of GMT-5. It’s possible that this change caused the problem as well, but I really have no idea…

Firefox 3.0 is Awesome

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Yesterday, I took a (cheap) shot at the Firefox launch fiasco. I didn’t need to do it, but I don’t really regret it either. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t want to hype the hell out of the launch, and then be unprepared for it.

Anyway, even though the official launch was delayed by 76 minutes, the US suffered an outage that lasted at least 30 minutes longer.

It doesn’t matter. They are blowing the numbers off the screen and there are still more than four hours left to download Firefox.

As I predicted yesterday, I accounted for four legitimate downloads, two yesterday (for Lois and me) and two today for the ancient guest machines.

It took me a while to be sure that Firefox 3 was faster than Firefox 2, but I’m convinced it is now. There is one site that I visit typically once a day, that takes a very long time to paint/load. It loads substantially faster in Firefox 3.

That’s not why I titled this Firefox 3.0 is Awesome. If you know Lois, then you know that she’s effectively legally blind. We run her laptop at a bizarre resolution, and then still have to pump the DPI (dots per inch) up, so that everything is hideously large on her screen. I can’t even begin to tell you what that does to any reasonably complex web page.

Aside from the fact that very little of the page typically fits on Lois’ 17″ monitor, most complex web layouts overlap the text, including hyperlinks (for her), making it near impossible to click on some links (you simply can’t get the mouse over the link!), and many of the pages are nearly unreadable as well. This has been true (for years!) on both Firefox (all versions) and IE (all versions).

Enter Firefox 3.0! Lois’ default home page is Google News. The minute we launched Firefox 3.0, we saw the page laid out perfectly. Unfortunately, it was gigantic, so the scroll bars were there for horizontal and vertical scrolling. It was too large, so we went in to the preferences, and saw that her Font was set to 28! (I told you, we have had to tinker lots just to make her be able to see!)

We dropped the Font size to 18 and reloaded. It got a drop better, but not much. Another look at the preference panel and we realized that we needed to go into the Advanced settings. In there, we saw that Lois had a minimum set of 24. We changed that down to 18 as well, and the page now showed off perfectly for her.

Then we went to our bank site, where Lois always has trouble hitting certain links. It painted perfectly (albeit with scroll bars). We played with Ctrl-Minus (Ctrl -) and the page shrunk perfectly. Previously, that key combination might have shrunk the text, but the rest of the layout often got worse. Now, Ctrl-Minus and Ctrl-Plus (Ctrl +) work flawlessly. Yippee!

Finally, I didn’t care about most of the addons that weren’t Firefox 3.0 ready. One I really cared about, TinyURL Creator and one I like (but could live without) Linkification. Rather than disabling version checking (dangerous at best), I decided to hand-tweak these two since neither is sophisticated, and therefore unlikely to fail or cause harm.

In both cases, I found which directory they were installed in under the extensions directory in my Firefox Profile (this is on Windows). I then edited the install.rdf file, and found the max version number that they would run in, changing it from 2 to 3, and voila (after restarting Firefox), both work beautifully again.

Welcome Firefox 3.0, we’re both very glad to have you on board! 🙂

Firefox 3.0 Download Day

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Well, it’s finally here. I was all set to do my part with helping them attain the nonsensical world record download numbers.

Both Lois and I use Firefox as our primary browsers, and I have an ancient laptop that I occasionally use in a hotel room that I was going to upgrade, and one other one that I sometimes use as a guest machine. So, I was about to legitimately download it four times (I hate all manners of ballot stuffing, so I wouldn’t download multiple times just to up the count!).

Lo and behold, 10am PDT came, and the Mozilla site is 100% unresponsive. Way to plan for a world record!

Fully 15 minutes later, when you would think they would have been aware of the problem and would have switched to Plan B (they did have a Plan B, no?!?), the site is still pathetically slow (at least it finally loads!), but amazingly, it still only offers the link to Firefox 2.0.0.14!

How embarrassing…

I’ll still download it when I can, because I love the product, and everything I’ve read about version 3.0 makes me want it, so I have no desire to punish them, or cut my nose off to spite my face, but this one definitely goes in the pile of monumental screw-ups…

Lost Season 4 on TV/DVR

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Lois and I watched the first three seasons on DVD over a relatively short period of time. On balance, we both really like the show a lot (me more than she, I believe). There were frustrations at times, but it’s a very creative story, with lots of twists and turns to hold your interest.

One of the things that is great about watching it on DVD in concentrated doses is that you can keep the very complex plot twists in the front of your mind pretty easily. In addition, even when they take a wrong (sour) turn, you can wash away that feeling quickly, by powering through and getting hooked again in the next episode (or two).

With that in mind, both of us were a little nervous about watching Lost on TV (actually, DVR) this season. The entire rhythm of the experience had to be different, not necessarily worse, but likely so. That’s exactly how it turned out (worse).

The DVR helped a drop, as we typically got to watch at least two episodes in a row (sometimes three). But, there were very long stretches in between, both because of our travel schedule and because of the writers strike, which caused a long delay between new episodes.

At best, this meant losing threads and missing some nuance.

As far as the show is concerned, they are still extremely clever, and can still regularly give me a jolt (in the good sense) of blowing my mind with their creativity. That’s great!

On the not-so-great side, they switched gears from a technique that worked wonderfully the first three seasons. In those, they used flashbacks to give great depth to each character’s development, especially in explaining why/how they might react in certain ways to different situations. It was one of the more interesting parts of the show.

In the third season cliffhanger, they introduced the concept of flash forwards. Unfortunately, they overused the technique (IMHO) in Season 4. I believe that they think it builds a sense of excitement when you know what’s going to happen, but you can’t conceive of how it can possibly come to be. For a very few story lines, that’s true, and indeed, they did achieve that effect relatively cleverly and seamlessly a few times.

Still, it’s a trick, whereas the flashbacks (to me) weren’t, as they were explanatory. This is meant to tease you as to what might be possible. To repeat, it’s not unclever, but it’s overused and generally unnecessary.

On to the story itself (don’t worry, I have no intention of giving away anything). This season was touted as being more self-contained, meaning that more stories would be wrapped up within each episode, and more would be revealed in general throughout this shorter season (by design, not just because of the writers strike). To that I say: hogwash.

Very few episodes were self-contained. Very few story lines were wrapped up even within a two episode stretch. The big reveals (as they say on HGTV) came mostly in the season cliffhanger. No doubt that there were some brilliant moments during the season. I am definitely still hooked by the general story line and characters, so I’ll definitely be watching next season. But, this season was extremely choppy, made worse for us by the long stretches between episodes.

Why did we watch it on TV/DVR then and not just wait for the DVDs? Mostly, because (unlike Lois) I really don’t want to know anything about the show before I see it. I don’t read fan sites, don’t want to hear what happened in an episode I haven’t seen yet, and I’m not interested in the speculation of what might be going on in the story line. I like to allow the actual creators/writers of the show to unveil the story to me the way they meant it.

So, I was nervous that even commercials (particularly deep into the season) would annoy me. Of course, now that I’ve written about Lost a few times, I was also worried that friends might say something, assuming that I was relatively up to date in my watching. I decided that I would rather watch it semi-regularly, than risk having some of the surprises ruined.

I’m not sorry I did that but it may very well have contributed to the feeling that this season wasn’t as well done as the previous three. Lois certainly was not enamored with this season and probably could have given up watching if I wasn’t still a big fan. In the end, this season’s cliffhanger is also a mind-blower, but it too suffers from the futuritis syndrome (which is all I’ll say about that!).

Acoustic Alchemy at Towne Crier Cafe

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Last night we saw Acoustic Alchemy at Towne Crier Cafe, the same place that we saw Cherish The Ladies at back in April.

I’ve only seen Acoustic Alchemy live once before, in 2006 at the Blue Note in NYC, but they’ve been my favorite Jazz group for a very long time. I owned 14 of their CDs (none of them being a Greatest Hits variety), until I bought last year’s CD This Way last night (signed, of course). 🙂

Aside from being an all-around music lover, I’m a guitar nut and I’ve written about many awesome guitar players. One of of the things that makes Acoustic Alchemy special is that they have two awesome guitar players, who complement each other and blend their sounds deliciously well together. They also produce (consistently, for 21 years!) very melodic music, putting them at the forefront of the Smooth Jazz style.

They were at the very top of their game last night. Aside from their obvious, extraordinary talent (that is always there), Towne Crier is a special place (in general), and special to them (in particular). They have played there a number of times, and in fact are returning there for another show this coming Sunday, June 22nd. Don’t miss it if you’re anywhere in the NY area.

Tonight (probably too late if you didn’t know already) they are playing at BB King in NYC. The show tonight benefits Pancreatic Cancer Research, so if you can make it, in addition to hearing a fabulous show, you will be doing your part for a very worthy cause!

Here’s a shot of them all on stage together. Unfortunately, Greg Grainger was tucked in behind his drum set, way in the back, under the Towne Crier Cafe sign, and was invisible from Lois’ angle:

Acoustic Alchemy

Greg Carmichael is one of the two original founders of the group. 21 years later, his fingers still fly up and down a Nylon string acoustic guitar. He produces such a clean gorgeous sound, and has a generally wonderful (and generous) spirit on stage. He’s a joy to watch and listen to. The other co-founder, Nick Webb, sadly passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in 1998. He too was an extraordinary musician. You can read a moving tribute to Nick and their last collaboration together.

Greg Carmichael

Miles Gilderdale replaced Nick Webb as Greg’s partner. He had played with the band previous to being elevated to the co-lead position. He plays both Steel string acoustic and electric guitars. In addition to his amazing guitar playing, he has a fantastic stage presence, and had the crowd in stitches (and at the edge of their seats) when he introduced the amazing band one-by-one during the second set.

Here are two shots of Miles, one on acoustic guitar and the other with him holding his electric guitar and speaking to the audience:

Miles Gilderdale AcousticMiles Gilderdale Electric

Fred White played keyboards. I can’t say enough about this guy. His fingers fly on the keyboard, producing both pure piano sounds as well as funky electronic organ ones. He took a number of exceptional leads, but he’s also incredible when he plays background to the guitars. The reason I put background in italics is that he often shadows their phenomenal guitar leads on the organ, so that even his background playing is stunning.

Fred White

Greg Grainger played the drums. He’s a great Jazz drummer, who has been playing with Acoustic Alchemy (and others) for a very long time. Back in the 80’s, he also played drums for Whitney Houston (in her prime), so he’s been at the top of his game forever, and continued that tradition last night.

Greg introduced his older brother, Gary Grainger to the group a while back. As mentioned above, Lois had no view of Greg. She passed the camera to me for one shot, and I snapped one of Greg, but he’s partially obscured by his own cymbal. In the second shot, Lois snapped him while he was getting up to join the others in a bow, so it too isn’t a great shot. Sorry Greg!

Greg Grainger ObscuredGreg Grainger

Gary Grainger played the electric bass (five string, named after him!). I don’t know where to begin. He’s mesmerizing. Basically, while most bass players (even great ones) lay down solid but straight-forward bottoms to anchor the sound, they reserve any flying fingers for the rare solo that they are accorded. Not so with Gary. He’s essentially playing a beautiful melody all night long, complementing the lead (whether it’s guitars of keyboards) in more of a harmony than just support.

His fingers are in constant motion (both hands) and he is playing a song within a song. Simply gorgeous. His smile also lights up the room (as you can see on any number of YouTube videos of him). He’s played with many greats (you can read a partial bio in the link above about the Bass named after him).

Here are two shots of Gary. One playing the bass and the other with Gary both playing the bass and scatting at the same time:

Gary GraingerGary Grainger Scatting

Anyway, to round it out, all of them are extraordinary musicians, who play together tightly and generously, covering a selection of music that is simply beautiful on so many levels.

They played roughly half of the songs on the current CD (This Way, released in 2007). They also played some of the great oldies (including the title cut from their first CD: Red Dust and Spanish Lace).

The crowd was comprised of Acoustic Alchemy lovers. They couldn’t have been more appreciative of the performance, and gave long and vigorous ovations after each and every song. No wonder Acoustic Alchemy likes coming to Towne Crier!

They came out at 8:06pm (for an 8pm announced show). They played 54 minutes in the first set and left the stage at 9pm. They returned at 9:17 and played until slightly past 10pm. After leaving the stage for two minutes, they returned for a thrilling one-song encore. Total time on stage, including the encore, just under two hours. Absolutely fantastic!

We had a 6:30 dinner reservation for the 8pm show. We arrived at 6:20 and were seated at a very nice table for two. Folks, I mentioned it before when I wrote about Cherish The Ladies, this restaurant is really terrific. Before we even sat down, my mouth was watering for the little jalapeno pepper corn bread that comes with the chips in the basket. It didn’t disappoint! The chips are served with a fantastic chicken salsa.

Last time, we each had soup (I had carrot ginger and Lois had black bean). This time I went for a Caesar Salad as an appetizer. Lois tasted it (more than once) 😉 and declared it to be the best Caesar Salad she’s ever had. I loved it, but nothing is ever likely to top my regular Caesar Salads at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, clearly produced by the staff selling their souls in return for making perfect Caesar Salads! 🙂

Lois had a salad as her main dish (and loved it) and I had one of the many specials of the day, Chicken and Shrimp Jumbalaya. Wow, it was mouth watering, with just the right amount of spice for flavor and heat. Towne Crier is famous for their desserts, but we couldn’t have stuffed it down our throats even if we wanted to, so discovering whether they taste as good as they look will have to wait for another day.

The drive there was about 44 minutes, and about 40 minutes back, so not too bad all around. We did wait around for a bit after the show, to get the CD that we purchased there signed by both Greg Carmichael and Gary Grainger (the others hadn’t come out yet, and we were too tired to hang around much longer).

We had a fantastic night, and can’t wait to see Acoustic Alchemy again, or see anyone else that we we like at Towne Crier. Unfortunately, we will not be around next Sunday, or we could accomplish both tasks simultaneously! 🙂

Girlyman Discovery

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OK, so it’s been way too long since I’ve even mentioned Girlyman in this space, let alone actually written something specific about them. 🙂

I was intending to walk (my long exercise walk) on Wednesday, in NYC. Instead, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, I had lunch with an old friend. That made me itch to exercise (though it was a very good trade!).

Today, I scratched that itch by walking in the woods near our house. I reported on this new (to me) path from our house to Rockwood Park and back in this post. That’s the exact route I took again today. One hour of very vigorous walking, with tons of uphill climbing.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening exclusively to podcasts of The Business from KCRW. I’ve written about them before, but I’ve let them just build up, knowing that I would enjoy them if I just listened. So, I’ve eschewed the music, and started whittling down the number of unlistened to episodes, and I’ve enjoyed every second. Each episode is 29 minutes, so I listen to four on my NYC walks and two on these new walks at the house.

So, I planned to listen to two more today. Each episode generally has two separate topics. During the first episode the second topic ended up being a repeat. So, I started the next episode. Again, the second topic was a repeat. So, instead of starting a third episode, I decided to go back to my roots, Girlyman.

I started playing the Live album, Somewhere Different Now. I’ve listened to it many times, and the songs that are on their studio CDs have been listened to more times than I can count. So, I know them well (or so I thought), and I sing along to almost every one out loud, if I’m alone, or if I don’t mind bugging Lois. 😉

Perhaps, because I was walking alone, in the bliss of nature, I had an epiphany during one verse of This Is Me, that I’ve sung along with out loud many times (so I knew the words cold), but never thought about them before. The second verse (not including the chorus) is:

The noble mind, it traps four pieces of the heart inside
We came in twos, and two by twos it seemed of little use
We felt the rain, our faces cold and pale, the colors drained
The oceans grew until we floated on a deeper hue

I had the most vivid vision of Noah’s Ark when I heard this verse. I realize that’s not a stretch when you read “We came in twos…” and “The oceans grew…”. But, when you read the rest of the lyrics, it doesn’t (necessarily) tie in to that theme, so when these words come in the middle, they don’t necessarily evoke that image.

Of course, Girlyman (Nate and Doris specifically) may not have meant that at all. I don’t care, which is one of the great things about great music/lyrics, you (the listener) get to bring your perception to the experience! 😉

Anyway, it was a wonderful moment for me, which feels a little trivial now, reporting it here in the cold light of the laptop, but I’m sharing it more for the renewal of spirit that comes from a great walk in nature, than for any insight about this particular song.

So, go, enjoy nature, listen to Girlyman, renew your spirit, then continue to do whatever it is you do, a little better for it! 🙂