Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Night Tunes

Here are some musical links posted by Aridog. They were in the comments section so may not have been seen by all.

Sharon Isbin ~

Chet Atkins ~

Carlos Montoya ~

Last but not least, for our dear lady red, is "Wild Horses" sung by Susan Boyle, which lewy recently mentioned.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Jorma Kaukonen "Genesis" (1974)

This song was featured in the movie Transcendence.

It sounded familiar and with a little digging I found, yup, it was Jorma - I think I might have heard him play this at Cornell in '81.

It's very peaceful and I think you folks will dig it. (And I'm old enough to use that phrase without irony).

Lyrics below...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lord Stanley's Hour

It's that time of year again, as 16 hopeful teams get ready to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs this Wednesday, April 15.  As I survey the frozen surface, here are some quick thoughts on the Canucks and where the hockey world finds itself as its players ready for the toughest and most challenging playoffs in sports:

-- Often times the wisdom of trades are difficult to judge as there are so many variables at play in producing a top-notch NHL player, up to and including incredibly hard-to-quantify matters like team spirit, management culture and even the quality of the local food.  Two years ago, however, we came as close as possible to an NHL controlled experiment when the New York Rangers and the Vancouver Canucks traded, not players, but head coaches.  Coming off of a disappointing year, the Canucks fired head coach Alain Vignault and hired the recently-dismissed NY Rangers head coach John Tortorella, while both teams made only minor changes to their play.

Those of us who knew that lousy GM Mike Gillis, long since fired, had thrown a great coach under the bus to explain his own obvious failures knew how this experiment would turn out, but it's instructive to recall the strength of the numbers in making that point.

Vigneault -  NYR  2013-14     45-31-6      96 points   Finish: Lost in Stanley Cup Finals (LA)

Tortorella -  VAN  2013-14     36-35-11     83 points     Finish: Did Not Qualify (Fired)

-- How good a coach is Vigneault?  His teams have won three of the last five President's Trophies, awarded to the team that finishes the regular season ranked first in the NHL.

VAN2006–0782492671051st in NorthwestLost in second round (ANA)
VAN2007–0882393310885th in NorthwestMissed playoffs
VAN2008–09824527101001st in NorthwestLost in second round (CHI)
VAN2009–1082492851031st in NorthwestLost in second round (CHI)
VAN2010–1182541991171st in NHLLost in Stanley Cup Final (BOS)
VAN2011–1282512291111st in NHLLost in first round (LA)
VAN2012–13482615-7591st in NorthwestLost in first round (SJ) (Fired)
NYR2013–14824531-6962nd in MetropolitanLost in Stanley Cup Final (LA)
NYR2014–15825322-71131st in NHL

Good thing we showed him the door!

--  Speaking of which, I'm sure former Canucks goalie Luongo, and more importantly Mrs. Luongo, are very happy that no silly playoffs are going to spoil the start of golf season down in sunny Florida for the happy couple.  Here's to them finishing their career in that sublime state!

-- Canucks-Flames in the first round is a real toss-up.  I'm going to say Canuckleheads in seven, with two multiple period OT period games.

-- Maple Leafs.  Oh my God, how can Toronto's team be this bad?  What? Dave Nonis?  Oh.

-- The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik on hockey:

It seems to me there are two things that make hockey the greatest of all games. One is rooted in what it gives to the players and the other in what it gives to its fans. For the player—and for us as vicarious players—it offers the finest theatre in the world to display the power of spatial intelligence and situational awareness. “Spatial intelligence” is a term that the Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner was the first to popularize. His point was that body is inseparable from mind, attitude from analysis, and that there are many kinds of smartness. There is the familiar IQ-test analytic intelligence, but there are also emotional intelligence, social intelligence and spatial intelligence: the ability to grasp a changing whole and anticipate its next stage. It’s the ability to make quick decisions, to size up all the relationships in a fast-changing array and understand them. A related notion is that of situational awareness: a heightened consciousness of your surroundings and both the intentions of the people around you and their anticipated actions.
Well, hockey, obviously, which is played at incredibly high speed, reveals and rewards situational and spatial intelligence at a degree of difficulty that no other sport possesses. So much so that the greatest of all hockey players, Wayne Gretzky, had, besides his other significant skill as a fine-edge skater, almost nothing else that he was specifically good at. That’s his gift—the gift of spatial and situational intelligence: knowing what’s going to happen in three seconds, anticipating the pattern approaching by seeing the pattern now, sussing out the goalie’s next decision and Jari Kurri’s or Luc Robitaille’s eventual trajectory in what would be a single glance if a glance were even taken. Gretzky is the extreme expression of the common skill the game demands.

Here we go, rev em up, lace em up and get ready: it's warrior time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lady Red nailed it...great music..Friday Night


Jimmy Hughes, Steal Away

Stones...Wild Horses...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Muscle Shoals and THE Sound

This documentary is now on Netflix. I watched it last night and was BLOWN AWAY. Five stars! Six, even! In the immortal words of Ronnie Van Zant:
Now, Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers 
And they've been known to pick a song or two 
Lord, they get me off so much 
They pick me up when I'm feeling blue 
Now, how about you?
Here's a trailer...the tiniest taste of the magic. Get Netflix! Get it now!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It's Not About The Nail

I'm just going to post this and slink off... ;)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Under the Mid-Nineteenth Century Sun, Nothing New

Excerpt, "Congressional Government" by T. Woodrow Wilson, 1885:

The leading inquiry in the examination of any system of government must, of course, concern primarily the real depositaries and the essential machinery of power. There is always a centre of power: where in this system is that centre? in whose hands is self-sufficient authority lodged, and through what agencies does that authority speak and act? The answers one gets to these and kindred questions from authoritative manuals of constitutional exposition are not satisfactory, chiefly because they are contradicted by self-evident facts. It is said that there is no single or central force in our federal scheme; and so there is not in the federal scheme, but only a balance of powers and a nice adjustment of interactive checks, as all the books say. How is it, however, in the practical conduct of the federal government? In that, unquestionably, the predominant and controlling force, the centre and source of all motive and of all regulative power, is Congress. All niceties of constitutional restriction and even many broad principles of constitutional limitation have been overridden, and a thoroughly organized system of congressional control set up which gives a very rude negative to some theories of balance and some schemes for distributed powers, but which suits well with convenience, and does violence to none of the principles of self-government contained in the Constitution.

* * *

Nor were these open assumptions of questionable prerogatives on the part of the national government the most significant or unequivocal indications of an assured increase of federal power. Hamilton, as Secretary of the Treasury, had taken care at the very beginning to set the national policy in ways which would unavoidably lead to an almost indefinite expansion of the sphere of federal legislation. Sensible of its need of guidance in those matters of financial administration which evidently demanded its immediate attention, the first Congress of the Union promptly put itself under the direction of Hamilton. "It is not a little amusing," says Mr. Lodge, "to note how eagerly Congress, which had been ably and honestly struggling with the revenue, with commerce, and with a thousand details, fettered in all things by the awkwardness inherent in a legislative body, turned for relief to the new secretary." His advice was asked and taken in almost everything, and his skill as a party leader made easy many of the more difficult paths of the new government. But no sooner had the powers of that government begun to be exercised under his guidance than they began to grow. In his famous Report on Manufactures were laid the foundations of that system of protective duties which was destined to hang all the industries of the country upon the skirts of the federal power, and to make every trade and craft in the land sensitive to every wind of party that might blow at Washington; and in his equally celebrated Report in favor of the establishment of a National Bank, there was called into requisition, for the first time, that puissant doctrine of the "implied powers" of the Constitution which has ever since been the chief dynamic principle in our constitutional history. "This great doctrine, embodying the principle of liberal construction, was," in the language of Mr. Lodge, "the most formidable weapon in the armory of the Constitution; and when Hamilton grasped it he knew, and his opponents felt, that here was something capable of conferring on the federal government powers of almost any extent." It served first as a sanction for the charter of the United States Bank,—an institution which was the central pillar of Hamilton's wonderful financial administration, and around which afterwards, as then, played so many of the lightnings of party strife. But the Bank of the United States, though great, was not the greatest of the creations of that lusty and seductive doctrine. Given out, at length, with the sanction of the federal Supreme Court, and containing, as it did, in its manifest character as a doctrine of legislative prerogative, a very vigorous principle of constitutional growth, it quickly constituted Congress the dominant, nay, the irresistible, power of the federal system, relegating some of the chief balances of the Constitution to an insignificant rĂ´le in the "literary theory" of our institutions.
Its effect upon the status of the States in the federal system was several-fold. In the first place, it clearly put the constitutions of the States at a great disadvantage, inasmuch as there was in them no like principle of growth. Their stationary sovereignty could by no means keep pace with the nimble progress of federal influence in the new spheres thus opened up to it. The doctrine of implied powers was evidently both facile and irresistible. It concerned the political discretion of the national legislative power, and could, therefore, elude all obstacles of judicial interference; for the Supreme Court very early declared itself without authority to question the legislature's privilege of determining the nature and extent of its own powers in the choice of means for giving effect to its constitutional prerogatives, and it has long stood as an accepted canon of judicial action, that judges should be very slow to oppose their opinions to the legislative will in cases in which it is not made demonstrably clear that there has been a plain violation of some unquestionable constitutional principle, or some explicit constitutional provision. Of encroachments upon state as well as of encroachments upon federal powers, the federal authorities are, however, in most cases the only, and in all cases the final, judges. The States are absolutely debarred even from any effective defense of their plain prerogatives, because not they, but the national authorities, are commissioned to determine with decisive and unchallenged authoritativeness what state powers shall be recognized in each case of contest or of conflict. In short, one of the privileges which the States have resigned into the hands of the federal government is the all-inclusive privilege of determining what they themselves can do. Federal courts can annul state action, but state courts cannot arrest the growth of congressional power.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday Night Music - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

I'm not sure where I have been all my life that I never heard this version before last week.

On the soundtrack of the movie Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig.  The role that apparently bought him to the attention of Barbara Broccoli and the coveted role of Bond.  James Bond.

If this doesn't rock your socks, nothing will.

Joe Cocker's version of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.  Incomparable.