zephyr illusions photo by donna October 1992. The view atop Chasseral, Jura Mountains looking across Switzerland to The Alps on the horizon. Fog, intensely thick, rising from Lac Bienne and stretching its fingers high onto the Lignières-Plateau de Diesse after wholly filling the valley below the plateau.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Radar Love...

...the classic rock song by Golden Earring was recently voted Best Travelling Song in a poll by USA newspaper. i think it's pretty cool that 'Radar Love' is still considered by many to be the best driving song... just what Barry Hay was aiming for when he wrote the lyrics.
from the Golden Earring website.....
"Barry tells us the following about how the lyrics of ‘Radar Love’ were written: “One evening I had a few friends over, one of whom was American, and I was brainstorming with them about the form and contents of the story. It had to be something very simple, to which every average person could relate, such as someone in the bathtub and ….. Everyone started to put in ideas and it when it got too chaotic I kicked them out of the house and sent them to some nightclub so that I could work in peace. The idea of an ordinary guy in his car became to take shape and when my American house guest got home in the early hours and read the lyrics, he went wild: “This is it, brilliant! The ultimate American car song!!!”

Monday, August 29, 2005

Airline Safety Standards

Banned Airlines Lists Published

this idea should reach beyond the EU. i think it a good thing that there be internationally approved safety standards for airlines. i also think the standards, the list of approved airlines and list of any banned airlines should be made public.
but, although it should be fairly obvious as to what is an acceptable and reasonable level of safety, i wonder if it could be politically possible to have agreed upon international standards? wouldn't commericalism/capitalism rear its ugly head and lobby its own agenda?

btw, so glad to see that the airline i'm flying across the big pond to Europe on is not on these lists!



Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wooden Shoes

i began wearing clogs in the '70's as a teenager. i have always found clogs to be comfortable, attractive and convenient footwear.
while wooden shoes have been wore by many cultures, they are probably most commonly associated with Holland. i have wanted a "real" pair of wooden clogs for decades, but when i tell my Dutch friends i want to buy klompen they chuckle, call me a tourist and tell me how much they disdain the stereotype.
yes, i know most Dutch don't regularly wear klompen, anymore.... i think it's only common for the more traditional farmers these days..... but, i think i can still find a pair of geniune klompen to bring home with me.
i only need to find a real Dutch klompen maker.
wish me luck :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Moog

"Before long many musicians and groups, including the Doors, the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, were using Moog synthesisers."

"In recent years many musicians, including Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, The Cure, Fatboy Slim and Stereolab have kept the Moog sound alive, even as analogue synthesisers were superseded by digital instruments."

Rest in Peace, Dr. Moog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Band Called 'Racoon'

a friend very knowledgeable of good music recently turned me on to another great European indie band.... a Dutch band called Racoon. their songs have a strong melodic acoustic sound with meaningful lyrics, the musicianship is quite alright and the lead vocalist has a smooth voice. from the several Racoon songs i have heard i can say that i like their sound alot and would like to hear more. so, i checked their tour schedule and i got lucky. they are playing gigs in Holland during September so i will be able to see/hear them perform live. cool....
so besides Golden Earring (who i will get to meet!!) in Zevenbergen and Wilco at the Paradiso, i'll also be going to the Racoon gig in Oss.

i was hoping to see Kane (who i've been a fan of for 3 or 4 years) and Intwine, too, but i don't find any gig dates these two awesome bands for September.

anyway, i was really hoping to see some good bands play while i'm in The Netherlands even though their famous festival season is pretty much over by September... so, with Golden Earring, Wilco and Racoon seems that my holiday is shaping up nicely, thus far :)

Dreams.....

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
Christopher Reeve

"A man's dreams are an index to his greatness."
Zadok Rabinwitz

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Eleanor Roosevelt

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."
Dale Turner

"Dreams are the touchstones of our character."

Henry David Thoreau

"Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them."

John Updike

"The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."
Oprah Winfrey

"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."

Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth."

Friedrich von Schiller (1759 - 1805)

"In dreams begins responsibility."

William Butler Yeats

"There is a fine line between dreams and reality, it's up to you to draw it."
B. Quilliam


"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night."
Bill Watterson

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Life's Opportunities

Life gives us the opportunity to revel in simply loving to be in this magical world;
To enjoy sharing happiness and simple pleasures with our friends and family;
To experience the beauty of nature's never ending show of enchantment;
To look at the sunrise and sunset, the growing and waning of the moon;
To hear the rivers and oceans; to smell the flowers and fragrant perfumes of life;
To fly in the sky with the clouds and the birds;
To see with clarity the beauty which is so quietly pervasive around us;
To tell each other compliments rather than insults;
Life gives us the magic to reveal what it is to love in this world

Thanks For the Memories

"Many researchers suspect, however, that people may benefit most from engaging in a rich diversity of stimulating activities. New experiences may be far more important than repeating the same task over and over. Moreover, it may be key to combine mental stimulation with social interaction, which studies have found also appears highly beneficial. Experts say the task should be enjoyable, because stress and other negative emotions appear harmful."

ok! time to stop depending upon all these little stickie notes i've got stuck to my computer screen as reminders. i'm going to begin a mental exercise regime designed to build up and strengthen my "cognitive reserve".

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bad Taste, Insensitivity and Censorship Laws

"There is no doubt that in the Netherlands and Poland alike such publication is violating the law."

I think it can safely be said that most people would find a promotional video spoofing the Auschwitz death camp as a rave party to be in extremely poor taste, but are there really laws in Poland and The Netherlands outlawing the publication of such?
Given the fact that The Netherlands and her citizens suffered greatly during World War II, it surprises me that a Dutch organization would even consider to produce and distribute a video of this theme, especially as an advertisement for a festival to be held on Liberation Day. but, what Dutch law deems such profound public insensitivity to be illegal? i'll be very surprised to find out that such a law really exists in Dutch society.

European Summers Hotter

Greenhouse Effect affecting Europe

"Most scientists now agree the root cause of the rising temperatures is carbon dioxide."

i'm not so sure that environmental scientists have been disagreeing on this issue... there has been discussions and advisory warnings from the international scientific community about CO2 emissions, global warming and greenhouse effect for decades. the problem lies in the fact that somehow someway misdirected political economics and/or apathy very often seems to get in the way of environmental preservation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

anybody got any ideas for a fundraising event?

Space Adventures

i've got the time available, but i'm just a little short on cash.... i'd like to do the itinerary that includes the International Space Station :)

Blogger Help : What is "BlogThis!" ?

Blogger Help : What is BlogThis! ?

just trying this posting tool as suggested by the Prof..
hmmm, it works.
cool :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Lightning Bugs

there are many small things i really appreciate about being 'back home' after 15 years away. one of these small things is the lightening bug. some people know the lightning bug as the firefly, but everyone i know calls them lightning bugs.
lightning bugs are tiny harmless insects whose seemingly only meaning in life is to fly aimlessly wandering no more than a couple of feet, maybe a meter at most, above the grasses, blinking and glowing and twinkling and sending visual SOS-type messages into the summer night to anyone who will watch and be fascinated.
one more tidbit of info about the Lightning Bug...... it is the official State Insect of Pennsylvania, USA.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Have a good flight and soft landing."

i, too, wish Discovery and her crew a good flight and soft landing. wish i could be in Florida to watch Discovery glide through the sky on it's approach to the shuttle landing strip.

"Discovery inched back 400 feet from its docking point, but before leaving for good, flew a farewell loop around the station. Pilot Jim Kelly then fired the spacecraft's jets and repositioned the ship for its voyage home."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Neon Lights

listening to Simple Mind's 2001 album "Neon Lights".
there was a time when i thought of coversongs as the fodder of under-confident young bands, but i've since come to change my mind. i now enjoy hearing good new covers of great songs.
"Neon Lights" is a whole album of cover songs rearranged and re-interpreted by two excellent songwriters, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill.
Simple Minds are near genius in giving a lively different, refreshing, rhythmic and melodic sound to each song on this great playlist, while not losing the basic integrity of the original song.
in short, imo, "Neon Lights" is a good listen :)

note: sorry about the marketing on a couple of the links, but you can hear free samples of the songs with a media player.
B-)

What would Johnny Appleseed think?

"Consider the fate of America's favorite apple. It emerged from an Iowa orchard in 1880 as a round, blushed yellow fruit of surpassing sweetness.
But like a figure in a TV makeover show, it was an apple that its handlers could not leave alone. They altered its shape. They made it firmer and more juicy. They made it so it could be stored in hermetically sealed warehouses for 12 months. Along the way, they changed its color and hence its name -- to Red Delicious."

i cannot remember the last time i ate a Red Delicious apple. i started buying Granny Smiths, Fujis and Galas a long time ago because they still have good flavor and texture. it's my opinion that Red Delicious apples became very boring and bland in taste.

now, i'm hoping to find fresh tomatoes that actually taste like a tomato and not like cardboard as do the tomatoes of today which are bred for trans-global shipping.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cause and Effect

it's all a delicate balance or Earth may end up like her sister planet Venus, a runaway greenhouse planet.

Stars aren't the only things to twinkle at night...

... so does Earth.

The Logical Song

just listened to 'The Logical Song' by Supertramp from their 1979 album 'Breakfast In America' and was reminded how thoughtful and powerful can be lyrics

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so
happily, joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
clinical, intellectual, cynical.
There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.
Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won't you sign up your name, we'd like to feel you're
acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!
At night, when all the world's asleep,
the questions run so deep
for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what we've learned
I know it sounds absurd
but please tell me who I am.


by Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

i've got a new toy

my most recent gadget purchase is the iRiver iFP-799 MP3 player/recorder/FM tuner. it's sooooo small and lightweight, but such a powerful portable device. i think back to my first transistor radio 40 years ago and am really delight in today's media technology.
hmmmm, wonder if Golden Earring will allow me to put my iRiver to good use when i see them play live in September? ... sure hope so :)

Monday, August 01, 2005