Sunday, June 23, 2024

Happy Valley bike ride / Freeya

Free plug for the app Freeya, a pretty good solution to the problem "how do I get rid of this free item without driving to a thrift store, leaving it at the curb, or dealing with a dozen BuyNothing/Craigslist flakes?" Everything is automated, and if someone flakes out on you (as they always do - I don't understand it) it's no big deal. Their window to pick things up just ends and someone else gets a chance. Anyway, if you're in Portland, Seattle, or Atlanta, recommended.

I posted some tape decks today and decided to look to see what's around. Someone up in Happy Valley was giving away some earbuds that would be an upgrade to what I have, and I was looking for a bike ride, so why not? I hopped on the non-electric bike because I was feeling crazy and headed up the daunting slopes of Mt. Scott.

The motor in my core and legs took me up past the mall, past the fire station, past the inevitable golf course. The motor in my core and legs was regretting my choice at the top of the hill. I rode down past dozens of McMansions, rode through the park, walked my bike on the gravel trail, then went up the hill, past the barrier, and emerged on 122nd. Taking the secret path made me feel like a genius and a super-dork all at once.

Here's where I ended up - the house was at the bottom of this serious hill:

I picked up the earbuds, emerged from a secret pedestrian exit next to the inevitable Jamba Juice (there is an outlet!) and rode home next to all sorts of fancy Happy Valley vehicles in all sorts of anonymous shades of white, gray, and black, then took the bike path home to the sanity of the flatlands.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sonora Casino "Astronautas a Mercurio"


This Peruvian oddity goes everywhere all at once, and just when you think it can't find another gear, there it is, another gear. Total strutter.

I love they hand lettering and color scheme on the cover. My wife had the cover model saying "make sure they get my good side."

This is one of multiple tempting 10-euro LPs on Vampisoul's bandqlamp at the moment, but one of the many stupid things about vinyl is that even a good deal like this one is negated by the fact that it takes so much petroleum to haul big chunks of petroleum like this one across the globe.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Cabalgata rabbit hole

I was working on a document from Mexico for work and wanted to get an idea of the geography for a small town in Jalisco. The town was too small to be on Street View, so I did what one does, typed the name of the town into YouChoob.

The first hit was for a cabalgata, a horse-centric town-wide party/parade (English equivalent "cavalcade" is less relevant in non-horsey urban USA in 2024). I was not aware but it is awesome. I won't link to the video in question for privacy reasons, so search for cabalgata jalisco in YouChoob. There are a lot. Watch the horses dancing, hear the tubas echoing in the horse paddock.

Ads on the walls for businesses in the US. BIENVENIDOS HIJOS AUSENTES. Día de los Migrantes. A two-sided flag with the Great Seal of the State of Oregon on one side, but instead of a beaver on the other, the Mexican flag. 

Mules. Ponies. Men drinking Modelo on horses. Pretty ladies in fancy dresses sitting on the hood of lifted trucks. Dancing in the horse paddock, lifting up their fancy dresses. Crazy trumpet sounds. Stick with that video for some hoof-based ASMR at 03:15. Looks like a good time.

Apparently these horse-based festival parties are a thing in Colombia as well. Probably other places where people have horses and like to party. This rabbit hole is deep and I will get there eventually.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Things to love June '24

  •  Helen DeWitt The English Understand Wool
    • Reading The English Understand Wool in the hammock under the apple tree in a single sitting
    • Discussing The English Understand Wool with one's sweetheart after she also read the book in the hammock under the apple tree in a single sitting
  • Playing Donut County and the Frog Detective series on the Steem Dekk with the boy in the hammock
  • The hammock
  • The apple tree
  • The typography in the inner sleeve of Born Against's Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children

  • Thinking about sending cash in the mail in the 90s to order Born Against records
  • Wanting to send cash in the mail to order records in 2024
  • The new bike paths next to Linwood Avenue in unincorporated Clackamas County
  • Riding my big blue unelectrified puffy-tires cargo bike on said paths and feeling like I'm sailing a yacht
  • Getting to ride those paths every day this summer to take the boy to summer care and back
  • Thinking about doing the library's summer reading bingo game for adults
  • Thinking about doing the reading in the hammock under the apple tree

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Bobby Hebb "Sunny '76"

Who doesn't love Bobby Hebb's song "Sunny?" Like the best uplifting moments, it comes out of a dark place (in this case his brother's murder a day after JFK's murder), and in this case it includes multiple key changes and a delightful flubbed bass note that I cherish. Turns out the studio musicians were working overtime, so I guess it makes sense, but it's the beauty mark on the face of the song that makes it even greater, the one people don't notice.

I did not know that there was a disco remake, "Sunny '76". Wikkypeeeedia describes it as "reharmonized," which is putting things mildly:

As the millions of readers of this blog know, I love disco revamps, but when I first heard this, I thought the big boogie major chords and swirling disco strings were a step too far for this song's minor-key heart. I felt a visceral distaste for it. But now that I've listened to it a few times, I appreciate how outlandish the changes are. It is gaslighting the listener. Oh, those feelings you had when you heard this? Let me reharmonize them. Quit moping and dance. Totally ridiculous. I kind of love it.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Steem Dekk / Pikuniku / Super Mega

I finally gave in and bought a refurbished Steem Dekk. I had a lot of various bundle Steem games sitting around and wanted something that would travel well from the couch to the TV (for the exercise bike). Turns out it is totally great. I should have jumped earlier. Who knew.

The boy was totally delighted watching me play Pikuniku (I was also delighted to play it) and so now we are hanging out in the hammock playing it again, this time in Spanish. Good translation, if a little Iberian-heavy? Fun to see him reading the Spanish and doing a good job translating it into English. Just amazing. Hooray for the DLI program at his elementary school.

Another game I had kicking around in my account was Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings. While I have only a scintilla of interest in our national pastime, I have to admit that this scratches a lot of the same itches that Hardball! did back in my Apple //c youth. I play on easy mode (or low "ego" as they put it) and it is chill and silly.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Mdou Moctar / the Resonars / consistency

Everyone is talking about the new Mdou Moctar album, as well they should. I like how they balance their trademark spine-tingling excursions with more intimate moments, and I love that he/they is/are advocating for use of the Tamasheq language instead of the colonial French. (side note: Tifinagh 💕) Sad that their 2024 tour will be skipping our lightly populated quarter of the country.

The new Resonars album sounds like pretty much every other Resonars album, as it should, with the addition of a couple extra-psychedelic synthesizer interludes. As always, instant good times. A bird singing the song it was meant to sing since birth.

I'm a little jealous of people who can consistently make excellent music in a consistent style. I'm like a hummingbird flitting from style to style to sound to sound, always jittery.