Sunday, April 29, 2012

Night colors

These are called Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis Jalapa), a pic from the backyard.

They are appropriately named because they bloom from late afternoon through the night. A night-blooming flower, what a wonderful thing! So much intense color that is mostly not for the benefit of humans. They are supposed to be fragrant, but I have not experienced that. I tend to not sniff a lot of flowers because of wanting to avoid inhaling pollen and/or bugs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Old Timers

I've been caught up in the work busies, spending a lot of hours at work and still trying to keep up with the day-to-days, including getting some rest.

We lost Levon Helm, so sad... loved his music (and a fine actor too), he was in his 70s and I used think that was pretty old - now that I've gotten my first Senior Discount it seems to young to go. Dick Clark also just died - a personality that we boomers grew up with. If these things come in threes (and that's all individual perception, of course), then my third one was Jonathan Frid, TV's Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows, a show my mother and I watched every day. So wonderfully cheesy and addictive. I got to see him reciting some essays in a tiny, old theater, and got to meet him and get his autograph at a reception following that. It was pretty special.

Because of having to be at work, I didn't get to attend the unveiling of Willie Nelson's statue downtown. I love the fact that this beloved entertainer has gotten to unveil his own statue.

Here is a short spectator video of Willie performing a song that is rather on-topic when it comes to the passing of old favorites and celebrating their memory.

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A good excuse for a parade!

Running a little behind here (and the same might be said for the topics of this post) but wanted to share some pics of the recent Pets in Drag (Easter) Parade. This event was dedicated to Leslie (Cochran), who died on March 8 [more here], and who was for many years considered to be Austin's mascot, an icon, almost the spirit of the town. A sighting, or encounter with Leslie represented the cherry on the top of a day spent in Austin. In fact, I would say a visit here could not be considered complete without a sighting, because you were obviously not in the right places.

The short description of Leslie is "cross-dressing, street person who ran for Mayor a few times and got thousands of votes." He was not even the only person who fit that description (!) but Leslie had a great measure of charm, was an activist and advocate for the rights and issues of the homeless, and was known for wearing thongs. Leslie was everywhere, at most all local culture events or just jazzing up the constant people parades that are 6th Street or South Congress. See more photos from the newspaper's Leslie gallery, reader-submitted photos, and the memorial service (we attended) held in the park.

To get back to the spirit of parading around in a thong, here are some more pics of animal cuteness and hopefully not too much distress over hair coloring or the wearing of wigs.

It's worth wondering why, if a person (or extend that to include animals and everything on the planet for that matter) was so beloved, then why were they not better sheltered and cared-for? That is always a mighty big topic that is worthy of discussion. Leslie was homeless, yet had family and friends. Sometimes habitation situations simply do not work out for the involved parties. It could be the very short version of a very long and complicated story.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Museums for staycationers

Well, this is fabulous.

No really. It is. On the Google home page today, I see a link for the Google Art Project. They have been creating browsing version of major art galleries in the world, and not only can you view the artwork by museum, you can view by artist, by works, or put together your own collection.

My favorite part is the "street view" option that lets you click through the halls of places like the Acropolis Museum or the White House.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rock Me, Baby

My favorite version of this song played by my favorite guitar player, Eric Johnson. This is from an old, old episode of Austin City Limits.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


Like most people, we watch quite a few movies. Most are okay to pretty good, or at least worth watching even if I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend them. Occasionally one comes along that inspires a lot of thought, inspiration, and conversations afterward. They leave a mark, and this movie was one of those. It's easy to tell that this is a movie that will usually not leave people in a neutral state, you will love it or hate it. I loved it. If you felt differently, let's try not to hold that against each other.

It's a film in two parts, very separate but joined. Many other elements are presented in pairs for contrast.
It's very surrealistic, and heavy with symbolism. I would say that the movie is about depression, futility, meaningfulness of life, and, oh yes, a planetary flyby. A lot of movies deal with the topic of possible cataclysm, but most of them are formulaic action pictures.

These flybys (close calls when an asteroid's orbit brings it near earth) seem to happen all the time... and, in fact, on the very night we watched this movie on DVD there was a flyby called 2012 FA57. More on some of these events on and NASA's JPL (where you will find a bit more solid science). Along with those current events, add April's spectacular full moon to the dark visual beauty in the movie and it made for a haunting experience for us.

I don't think I could put a label on this one.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Rolling Stones, Rice Krispies, and Turnip Greens

The topic of getting the Rolling Stones signed up to do a jingle for Heinz beans in 1966 came up in a TV episode last night. The idea sounds preposterous, but they actually did a jingle for Rice Krispies cereal in 1963, watch it above. A pretty bizarre concept if you think about it now, because if there were a list of things that would be associated with getting up in the morning, this band would not appear on it. However, this episode (of Mad Men) deals with the NYC Stones show of July 1966 when they were touring for an album that DID have a song that included perfume, turnip greens, pork and beans and citified high heels, all in the first verse. "Down Home Girl," have a listen. Oh man, do I love the early Stones? Yes, I do.