I am a jazz dabbler. Every once in a while I hear a tune that I really like, and in those ancient days when one bought records and stored them, I actually owned a few jazz albums. Classic stuff like Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Johnny Smith, Cannonball Adderley, etc. I’ll sprinkle a little bit of coolness throughout today’s posting.

In 1958 a young pianist name Ahmad Jamal recorded a live album entitled But Not For Me, and one of the cuts on that album caught my everlasting attention. Enough so that I (the perennially penniless college student) coughed up the price of the record and subsequently wore it out. The song was Poinciana. I can still play that tune every single day and not tire of it.

Jamal passed away this week at the age of 94, having recorded more than 70 albums. The musical file I’ve loaded up here is the original song that hooked me back in 1958, and played by a young man who is not yet one of the jazz elders of his tribe. Enjoy.



Poinciana, by Ahmad Jamal


From The New Yorker


You can always count on Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota for words of imperishable wisdom. Here she is bragging at a recent NRA convention that we are not to worry and all is well, because her two year-old granddaughter already has her own rifle and shotgun. You and I couldn’t make this level of weirdness up, folks, and yet Kristi manages to do it over and over all on her own.

This is definitely a case of the inmates being in charge of the asylum.


Mercy, Mercy, Mercy by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet


Yesterday at the gym. There I was smokin’ along the walking track when I came up to a gaggle of humans – about ten of them – who were completely blocking the path … all three lanes. They weren’t all in one group but several smaller ones. It was a case of their personal journeys bringing them all together at this one slowly moving spot to create this epic blockade.

I tried to pass by dodging left and right but they were oblivious to what was going on and left me no space to make my way past them. Many of these folks were seniors chatting with one another, and there is no more impossibly impassable object than an old dude who has found a listener. At long last I was able to get by the annoying assemblage by flattening myself sideways against the center rail and slipping through.

It all caused me to come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t allow senior citizens to use the track, or any of the other equipment for that matter, unless they sign a pledge not to jabber while occupying a space or machine which is better being used by somebody that is actually there to exercise. There should also be a set of CCTV cameras all over the building which are constantly monitored and if a pair of geezers are seen to be sitting on an apparatus with only their jaws moving they are hailed over the PA system.

PA System Announcer: Bill Schmertz and Bob Dangler, this is the third time we’ve had to warn you today. Please report to the front desk immediately. Bring your lanyards and ID tags with you because you are so out of here. You can talk all you want in the parking lot.


Sweet Memory, by Melody Gardot


Fox News agreed to pay Dominion 787.5 million dollars. I think that they got off cheaply. Now I would like the U.S. attorney general to sue them on behalf of the American public for the same amount. For the same reason.

It’s still a sweet deal for Fox because it comes down to only 25 cents per major lie, and after they have done immeasurable harm to all of us. As an addendum, part of the statement Fox released after the settlement was announced deserves to be chiseled on Sean Hannity’s tombstone. Are you ready? Here it is:

“This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”


Moonlight in Vermont, by the Johnny Smith Trio


From The New Yorker


Wednesday afternoon we had a snowfall. A big, beautiful one. Huge flakes falling on bright green grass, moderate winds. But it only lasted ten minutes. Ten minutes later all traces had melted away. Like a happening from back in the Sixties.

A piece of live meteorologic theater from the people who bring you the weather each moment of every day. Blink and you would have missed it.

Here’s another piece. Snowmelt has turned our Uncompahgre River from one with clear water and relatively quiet demeanor into the cloudy torrent you see here. For those of you who have visited us here in Paradise, I am standing on the footbridge in Riverbottom Park. Montrose is protected against flooding for the most part by a dam about 25 miles upstream, but some communities around us are definitely getting their feet and a few basements dampened.

There is an interesting feature involved in snowmelt and its effect on streams and rivers. In the morning river flows are reduced and may be quite civilized. But up at higher altitudes the sun is even then doing its work and hours later what was a manageable stream crossing may now be impossible because that bolus of meltwater has moved down to where you are. During the night, the river slows down once again. Each day the process repeats itself.


Milagro, by Dave Grusin


We are traveling for a week, and started the journey on Saturday morning. Driving is my preferred mode of getting anywhere because I stay on the ground, connected to the earth, and the distances have meaning. Climbing into an aircraft may be necessary at times, but it is the opposite sort of travel. You are transported, like the lump of freight you are, from one spot to another. Close your eyes in Colorado, open them in Buenos Aires or Katmandu. How much of the world did you skip over to do this?

The economics of travel are also against flying, especially when you must do it on short notice. Want to fly somewhere and must schedule the trip this week? Be prepared to be assaulted by the airlines who come out unashamedly in pirate costume and cry Stand And Deliver at you over brandished cutlasses. It’s their game every time, and they are quite good at it. (Except for poor Southwest Airlines, who can’t seem to get a customer on the plane and off no matter how hard they try.)

So we are moving down the road. There are people we need to catch up on, and it is one of those times that Zoom doesn’t quite cut it. All those gas stations, all those c-store snacks, all those orange construction cones … so little time. Hah!


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