Sunday, November 23, 2014

From the Vaults - Greengrass, Harvard Stadium (Oct 2012)

Harvard beat Yale yesterday to obtain sole possession of Ivy League crown...Thought I would go back to the Vaults and run my writeup of my trip to see Harvard play football. Twas a Tweetfest. Thisll suffice the site I suppose until end of year music awards maybe. In case anyone out there was saying Get a life!

In October, thinking I have never been to Harvard Stadium, an old concrete bowl by the Charles that Van Morrison made immortal in Brown Eyed Girl making love in the green grass behind the stadium...I head out via subway. 

Old Harvard Square to go. The essential American Fall Saturday event to encounter. Once there I tweet.  I sat next to Cornell band, and that sort of set the tone.

#hahvad This day is my homage to damon runyon author of hold them yale

#hahvad stadium watching football literally. See it arc in the air.

#Hahvad stadium; twenty 11 yearolds ready to receive field goal kick in stands. Scurry. Scatter.Pounce on the ball.

#Hahvad stadium; listen, yo, the glockenspiel

#hahvad stadium: these teams have good sense not to use heads when tackling. Priceless the education.

#hahvad stadium: i think harvard band is playing dreaming is free. That's good thing, right?

#hahvad stadium; cornell band has some moves like old jackson state. High turkey strut kicks as they leave the field.

#hahvad stadium cornell band great on give my regards to broadway

#hahvad stadium Dylan's seen this scene. Wrote about it in Highlands: "All the young men with their/ young women looking so good/Well, I’d trade places with any of them/In a minute, if I could." This is how things look to these old eyes these days.

#hahvad At center of Runyon's tale is a Little Doll without the duckets to see Harvard-Yale. That and the view of someone who has never been to a football game. I sat next to a guy splaining the scoring to a kid from China.

#hahvad Gust of wind at football game. Pass gets away. The Cornell cheerleader pylon sits and waits.

#hahvad Wm Tell Overture. Hi ho Silver! Lawrence of Arabia! The Tijiauna Taxi!Josha fithjdabattle o Jerricho, Cant turn you loose!. Oh, Otis!

#hahvadstadium Harvard beats Cornell 45-13. As game ends Sun is still high. Staving off cold. Its 2012. I love that dirty water.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Jeff DeMark, Jack Vaughan, Jim Mazik,
August 1974, Boston.
Remember that hot August Sunday?
When we dragged you through the cemeteries in Lowell?

We were looking for Jack Kerouac's grave.
We almost gave up

But then the dove arose
And there you pointed
And there we found Jack.

Fly, spirit! Rise Again!
My restless homeboy!
Playin' the organ for my
96 Tears.
                           -Jack Vaughan, Nov 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weak in review - November 11, 2014

Science: Learning How Little We Know About the Brain -“The brain has to compute what’s self-generated versus what’s external,” said Dr. Sawtell, who studies weakly electric fish. This may not sound like a grand advance, but, Dr. Abbott said, “I think it’s pretty deep,” adding that it helps illuminate how a creature begins to draw a distinction between itself and the world. It is the very beginning of how a brain sorts a flood of data coming in from the outside world, and gives it meaning.Hats off to pseudo-color.
Click to read.

Space:Look out baby there's a planet coming - The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P has sent another stream of data back to Earth before losing power. The little probe delivered everything expected from it, just as its failing battery dropped it into standby mode. Click here to read.

Jim Masik 1951-2014 - I remember Intellectual jam sessions in the Midnight kitchen (Heglling over Marx). Finding Kerouac's grave in the bright afternoon.  On the roof at my place in Boston (at left with Jeff DeMark) the night Nixon resigned.

But so remember playing music with him at Bowen Ct. He'd finish his studies. Late in evening.

Come into the attic and sit down and plunk out chords, a signature song, one he had down, and I'd sing: was the Kink's: Set me Free.

Technology  - It takes two to Tango - Bleeding-edge users have been working with open-source Hadoop and MapReduce for a few years. Now a Hadoop-compatible MapReduce alternative known as Spark is coming online to provide a timely streaming type of analytics. Hadoop and Spark have much in common. Click to hear Talking Data podcast.

Sports:Reporter Smiling Jack reports: Melvin Gordon sets FBS rushing record with 408 yards vs. Huskers Pretty incredible. Go Badgers in the sleet and snow. At old Camp Randal where I saw the Grateful Dead-o.

The Body Politic - Charles Blow has it: Why opposition so specifically focused on denigrating a sitting president. Skin anyone? Click here to read.

GIFarama - Finally below is a gif I made through the wondrous Sterogranimator widget of the NYPL Labs

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Strap down, babe, we're goin in

The Philae lander on the distant comet 67P has sent another stream of data back to Earth before losing power. The little probe delivered everything expected from it, just as its failing battery dropped it intostandby mode.

Friday, November 14, 2014

From the vault: Letting it all hang out

With the Basement Tapes Epic just released... Let's visit the vault. creaky creak creak.The Hombres' Let it All Hang out was a cross pollination from Dylan. Its authors admitted in a Goldmine interview that their original inspiration for the song had been Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," which they regarded as a goof masquerading as something profound. I always thought Subterranean Homesick Blues was a nod to Chuck Berry. Anyway, it was 1967...and Dylan was in the Basement making the Basement Tapes. Some of the numbers have a talk song riff about them, as if Dylan was listening to the Hombres. Cross-Cross Pollinate-Pollinate. Read 2007 post.

No parkin' by the sewer sign
Hot dog, my razor's broke
Water drippin' up the spout
But I don't care, let it all hang out.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

From the vaults Let us Live in Joy (originally rerun in Nov 2013)

I did this before, but the widget .. once again...

Oh Let us live in Joy. When I first got to Las Vegas I wondered from casino to casino until there was no alarm. Now years later I could be anywhere. No matter where, ever pulling levers, Augustine come to heaven and hell. It was easy enough to keep drinking there, where tremendous illusion was rapping. We shared a table with L.A. grandma and her granddaughter to see the Tropicana floor show. Granma remembers the big lobster, the coldest coke, the dancing girls with the most perfect bodies. And we went from show to show and store to store until there was no alarm. Just thunderbird trinkets and cold chandeliers making the noise of coins in the fountain. Oh Let us live in Joy.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Mike Bucken 1952-2014

Want to pay some tribute to Mike Bucken, ComputerWorld News Editor and my long-time editor, who died last Saturday. We worked very closely together in various stops over ten years (Mike hired me three times! A forgiving soul!) and become very good friends. Mike Bucken was as real as it gets, with no frills. 
We had great days together on Software Magazine and Application Development Trends. We both went together when the ADT gig was ended. Work on time, then lunch. Work away. At end of day, bluegrasss music to sign that it was 5pm. He used to always bring a lunch in cloth lunch bag, and open up the Wall Street Journal, a whitebread sandwich and a Tab, but that lunch bag could have been a lunch bucket, because there was something about him to me that was "Working Man." And proud of it. That he was a great family man was for certain, but, you know, he took our workplace - we put out some very good magazines - he took our workplace and made a family of us. That’s a feeling we've carried with us and will continue to. Much of that old crowd is still connected.
As editor he called for integrity, accuracy and to be on-time; almost always without drama, and never with ego. He gave lots of us chances we never otherwise would have had to explore and to be creative. For me that meant I could build a web site, I could do a column in iambic pentameter; I could include my trip to the Grand Old Opry museum when I wrote a column about an IBM event in Nashville. I'd show it to him, thinking he'd say, no, or change it. He'd say "I like it." I like to imagine outloud – which puts people of, trust me. Not Mike. He embraced it.
He was not perfect. He would lose patience with long conversation. You knew because he plucked at his ear with his forefingers. He'd even get mad. You knew because he would start pinching the bridge of his nose. If you get what I am saying: He'd change the course of discussions almost transparently.
The feel for Country music, something we shared, was part of the no frills down to earth person that he was. He liked the full spectrum of country including outliers. Something you may not know is that his favorite band was "Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen."
I have been thinking about a song he might have known and liked. "Nine Pound Hammer". It's about working. Chipping away the stone. He was an athlete. I can see him wield a nine pound hammer. The song says "This nine-pound hammer is getting kind of heavy for my size." It ends with the phrase I'll end with here. "Roll on buddy, don’t you roll too slow. How can I move if the wheel wont roll?"

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