Saturday, January 15, 2022

Tree In Sign

Don't know if you can tell from this picture but there's a tree growing inside this sign.  I have other pictures of this sign - it was on Clayton Road in Fort Worth, Texas, just around the corner from where we lived - it's a pedestrian crossing sign, & as of two years ago - as reported by Gogleg Maps - the tree was still thriving inside the sign:

The first picture was taken by me three years ago today, in what would be (I didn't know it at the time) my penultimate year in Texas.  We walked by that sign most every day, & the fact that a tree was so happily growing within was a comfort for me.  I hope it's still there.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Two Things That Have Recently Made Me Happy

(Image from here.)

One of them, you might have guessed, is the show Ted Lasso.  I appreciate the title character & his attitude, & wish I could be as accepting, as kind, as generous, as forgiving.  My wife said that the show is like "if Mr. Rogers were a cool coach," & that's pretty close.  It doesn't hurt that I am enjoying the stories & find the cast very funny.

The other is a smaller thing, but I confess I am utterly mesmerized by the opening of the jokey comic book television show Peacemaker.  Perhaps I can embed it below.

Welp I couldn't embed it.  But you can find it at this link if you're interested.

Anyway, I marvel (no pun intended) at how utterly ridiculous it is, how completely committed the actors are, & how much I completely despise the song they're dancing to.

My wife, watching it, was completely unimpressed.  "It's just Jazzercise," she sniffed.

But for some reason it makes me very, very happy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Self Help Radio 011122: Logs

Hooray! An entire show about logs! Everyone said it couldn't be done! That's not true! No one really cares! But my brain told me I couldn't do it! Suck it, brain! Stop telling me what I can't do & get started on ruining the end of my life with dementia!

There's still a part of me that a bit stunned I found enough songs to do a three-hour show about logs.  I was at the outset & remain a bit trepidatious about programming a three-hour show, & I also kinda wanted to fail.  But nope! I underestimated the log.  I will not do that again.

You can listen now & anytime to the show at the KBOO website & at the Self Help Radio website.  If you choose the latter, please pay attention to password information (hint: username SHR password selfhelp).  All the stuff that happens on the show is below.

This one is for Catherine E. Coulson, whose voice you hear throughout the show.

Self Help Radio 220111: Logs

"Log Jam" The Galaxy Trio _Saucers Over Vegas_
"Hollowed Out Logs" Burl _Throw: The Yoyo Studio Compilation_
"Log Cabin Fever" Split Enz _Time & Tide_

introduction & definitions

"The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane" Fiddlin' John Carson _Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order: Volume 1 (1923-1924)_
"The Little Log Hut In The Lane" The Carter Family _In The Shadow Of Clinch Mountain_
"A Little Log Shack I Can Always Call My Home" Wilf Carter _Cowboy Songs_
"An Old Log Cabin For Sale" Porter Wagoner _The First Ten Years 1952-1962_
"Log Cabin Home In The Sky" The Incredible String Band _Wee Tam_

interview with logger Jack Hurt

"Come On Baby (Shift That Log)" Cat Stevens _New Masters_
"Log In Fire" The Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus _Quick Joey Small - I'm In Love With You_
"The Log & The Pin" Lemon Kittens _The Big Dentist_
"Lincoln Logs" Great Plains _Length Of Growth 1981-1989_
"Lincoln Logs" Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper _Bo-Day-Shus!!!_

interview with log driver Dick Schmidt

"The Log Driver's Waltz" Kate & Anna McGarrigle _Odditties_
"The Frozen Logger" Odetta & Larry _The Tin Angel_
"Loggin' Man" Del McCoury _Del McCoury_
"Log Trucks" Brian Regan _Live_
"Lannen Lokari (The Western Logger)" Hiski Salomaa _Stranded In The USA: Early Songs Of Emigration_
"The Log Train (Demo)" Hank Williams _The Complete Hank Williams_

interview with log artisan Brett Shiloh

"Rolling Log Blues" Lottie Kimbrough _The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume 2 (1928-1932)_
"Rolling Log Blues" Buffy Saint-Marie _The Best Of Buffy Sainte-Marie_
"Rabbit On The Log" John Lee Hooker _Jack O' Diamond: 1949 Recordings_
"Bump On A Log" Lula Reed _After Hours: The King Records Story 1956-1959_
"Irik Chuduk (The Rotting Log)" Huun-Huur-Tu _The Orphan's Lament_

interview with log-collecting neighbor Lance

"Throw Another Log On The Fire" Jim Reeves _Gentleman Jim 1955-1959_
"Put Another Log On The Fire" Tompall Glaser _Tompall_
"Lay Another Log On The Fire" B B King _King Of The Blues 1989_
"Put Another Log On The Fire" Glen Washington _Brother To Brother_
"Down In The Valley Of Hollow Logs" The Handsome Family _Through The Trees_
"Three Men Sitting On A Hollow Log" Cass McCombs _A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides, & Space Junk, Etc._

idioms with log

"Ants On A Log" Randy Travis _Full Circle_
"She's Got Me Straddle A Log" Roosevelt Sykes _Hard Drivin' Blues_
"Sittin' On A Log" Texas Alexander _Texas Alexander Vol. 2 (1928-29)_
"Hollow Log Blues" Robert Petway _Mississippi Blues (1935-1951)_
"Hollow Log" Jimmy C. Newman _Alligator Man_
"Rolling Off A Log" World Party _Egyptology_

conclusion & goodbye

"I'm Gonna Walk Your Log" Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston _Chicago Blues Volume 2 (1939-1944)_
"I've Been Drinking Water Out Of Hollow Log" Mississippi Fred McDowell _Mississippi Fred McDowell_
"Rafting Logs Down Neuse River" H.H. Oliver _Hollerin'_
"Loggerheads" The Servants _Reserved_

Monday, January 10, 2022

Whither Logs?

(Oh, the Log Lady will be there.  Image from here.)

It is a fair question to ask, why a radio show about logs?  Well, I'll tell you.

First off, it's not about living in the Pacific Northwest where there's a thriving logging industry.  No much call for loggers on the desertifying plains of Fort Worth or in the bluegrass region of central Kentucky.  But here, yeah, you see the logging trucks & you have a sense, with all the forests around, there are people making a living cutting down & processing trees.

& that may have been in the back of my mind, but it's not the reason for the show.

Sometime before Christmas, I decided to challenge myself.  I thought, let me pick a theme that's not overly specific that I don't believe I can find three hours' worth of songs for.  & at some point my brain said, "logs."  Surely there aren't that many songs about logs.  I scheduled the show & then I set about looking.

Turns out there are plenty of songs about logs.  Color me surprised!  Perhaps it will surprise you too.

Listen tonight from midnight to 3am on 90.7 fm KBOO Portland & online everywhere at kboo dot fm to be surprised.  Unless you're a smarty-pants who knew all along there were plenty of songs about logs.  & if so, challenge me with some other theme!

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Preface To Logs: It Wasn't All A Dream

It's true, the show this week is about logs, & I'll talk about that tomorrow, instead I want to report that I had my doubts about something which, over twenty-five years later, I have discovered that my memory wasn't in fact faulty.  & yes, it's about that picture above.

In 1995 I visited a friend in San Francisco.  I drove, & dropped off in Utah my friend Lauren, who had been my girlfriend, although I'm not sure if we were dating at the time.  Another friend of mine, Abbie, worked as a park ranger at Arches National Park, & Lauren was going to stay there with her & camp & do her own thing.  I drove the (let me check) nearly 1000 miles in a single day.  Well, sort of.  I got tired & slept at a rest stop in Reno.  That's a mere 700 miles.

The route I took was through the middle of Nevada, & I decided the night before the trip that course by looking at maps.  These were the days before GPS.  I didn't want to have to go up to a major highway (which would be I-80), & anyway it seemed a more direct route.  I could gas up in Ely, & then refill the tank again in Reno, & not be gouged by inflated prices in tiny towns along the way (one of which was amusingly called Austin).

When I got to Ely, I had been on the road already quite a while, & was a bit loopy.  400 miles, traversing the entire state of Utah.  The beauty was sometimes overwhelming.  & after I got gas in Ely, & headed for Reno, I saw this sign.  The sign in the picture.  It says:

Nevada Hwy 50 The Loneliest Road In America

& you know what?  I actually stopped the car to take a picture.  & I was right next to a state trooper, who got out & told me to get back in the car.  He asked me what I was doing.  I said I was taking a picture of the sign.  He asked me why.  I said because I was charmed by it.  He repeated you are charmed by it.  He asked me if I might be drunk or high.  I said no sir.  He said where are you heading.  I said Reno sir.  He said best be on your way then.

There is, I believe, a half-assed picture of the sign somewhere, taken by a cheap camera from too far away, badly backlit because it was nearing sundown.  I had gotten out to get a better picture.  But the state trooper freaked me out.  I just got in the car & went.

Today I was talking to someone & we were talking about traveling across the country & he mentioned driving from Oregon to Nevada & I thought about that road & I wondered if I could find the sign on Googli Maps.  & I did!  & I saved the picture.

For a long time I wondered if I had dreamed that sign.  It did not repeat as you drove along.  & the road was lonely.  For miles I felt I was the only human alive in all the world.  But I did misremember the sign, almost immediately - I told people it said "The Loneliest Highway In America."

But I'm glad to report it was much more ambitious.  & I think it still might be a contender for the title, if in fact it hasn't already won it.