Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

jalapeno blackberry and mockingbirds

northern mockingbird april 14 2013

I woke up early and listened to the garden show on the radio. A man called the show to ask how to grow a fig. Neil Sperry explained, as he does so often, how in north Texas our weather is too cold for most figs, but a precious few will grow. Other times he has to explain how our Summer is too hot and dry for most cherry trees. Gardening here offers one the choice of thousands upon thousands of flowers, but trees and shrubs present a limited set of options. I like hearing the garden show host Mr.Sperry explain this each week.

I went to to search out some new netlabel music. I downloaded an album by Soft Note which I like so far--Tangerine-Dream-inflected electronica with a cinematic feel.
I also downloaded a Candlegravity album that I have not heard yet.

I also read an interesting column summarizing the latest meeting of the Fedora folks.The summary of notes were an interesting look into what it must take to run a huge Linux distro.

Today I rested most of the day. I had intended to get out in the near-perfect weather and
walk among flowers and birds. I found myself instead taking it easy. I did take Beatrice for a walk in the park,and later went to the park on my own to watch birds. I like that little Glendover Park is a very short walk. I can walk around its small pond and get back to my house in half an hour.

I stopped for a late lunch at Which Which, where the line was surprisingly long. Apparently, warm weather brings out the sandwich diner in everyone. I wish I had gone to Subway instead, where the sandwich would have taken milliseconds to create.

I watched an interesting "book TV" talk by Douglas Rushkoff, with Rachel Rosenfelt of the on-line magazine "The New Inquiry". I had had some interest in Mr. Rushkoff, who offers opinions on the intersection between technology and culture. I've in the past found his
warnings about the internet and digital culture to miss the mark. His talk on the social media "present" was interesting (and Ms. Rosenfelt moderated well). I like that he understands that
we lose something as a culture when we are all merely consumers and not creators; in computer terms, when we lose the ability to write our own programs.

I am not sold, however, that digital culture is at all a bad thing, or that consumer culture poses all the evils he posits.I found telling a moment when a questioner asked whether the digital era would affect unemployment, a timely question in hard-hit New York state. Mr. Rushkoff launched into a bit of whimsy about how we do not need employment but we need a society in which the machines do all our work for us so that we can enjoy leisure. Though a point could be made about how a restructure of society could result in less struggle for resources and less pre-occupation with work, the answer rang hollow, and the thud as its impracticality hit home with the audience was palpable even on the small screen. I left glad to have heard his talk, but convinced that the digital era has given him a new career path but not a way forward to share with the rest of us. I liked him nonetheless, though the questions that puzzle him are to me last year's issues. I also liked Ms. Rosenfelt, and was pleased to read a bit in "The New Inquiry".

I fell asleep in the afternoon and had a good nap. I think all the driving yesterday wore me out. During my late afternoon walk, I saw a cottontail rabbit, lots of grackles chasing one another with a competitive, Spring courtship edge, lots of mockingbirds singing and holding territory, mallard ducks, park geese, mourning doves, killdeer, a barn swallow, squirrels, starlings,and people fishing. I tried to take videos with my least little camera, but the
lens apparently was dusty, as I found when I returned home to view the videos.

We watched an episode of "60 Minutes" that featured the only current Major League knuckleball pitcher. The knuckleball has fascinated me for years, with its erratic and fascinating motion.
I only pitched one Little League game, and did a poor job. I was much better in right field.
But I always wished I were a knuckleball pitcher.

We watched an episode of the PBS series about Harry Selfridge and ate peanut butter sandwiches with jalapeno blackberry jelly.

I noticed tonight that the late experimental musician nofi was one of my flickr contacts.
We did not interact much, though we were aware of each other a bit. His sudden passing reminds me, though I am so far removed, of the transitory nature of life.

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