Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Birth of Tex Mex: A Cautionary Tale

I'm pretty sure when God created the heavens and the Earth, Doug Sahm was already there, eating the apple and busking. It's not often that you see creators just hanging around together like that. Doug Sahm invented Tex-Mex music. God invented everything else except school committees, which were that other fellow's bailiwick.

Little Dougie was the center of a galaxie of 500 planets over there in a bargain bin universe. It had comets like Roy Head and Freddy Fender and Bob Dylan whizzing through it, and Doug gave birth to Tex-Mex via the AM radio canal. He was a kid country star until Hank Williams died without finishing the song they were playing. The powers that be wanted him to be on the Grand Ole Opry, but his mother who loved him wanted him to finish junior high school first so forget it. Moms are wise in this regard.

Then he became a British Invasion band called the Sir Douglas Quintet, performing a flanking maneuver outa Houston that took America by fog, if not storm, exactly. Errybody was messcan except him, and the record label wanted them to dress like the Dave Clark Five and pretend to be from Sheffield, but Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck had rented all the frilly tuxes and he had to look for work again.

Some other stuff happened so he moved to Sweden, which could happen to anyone that's not paying attention, really. He became the biggest-selling record star there, but he couldn't tell anyone because who could he tell in Sweden that he was big in Sweden? Then he had an accident and moved to Canada, which is about the same thing according to my grandfather. Then he moved back to Texas, went to New Mexico, and fell asleep and never woke up. New Mexico has that effect on people. It's right on the license plate and everything.

Friday, February 27, 2015


There's a little glacier next to my house. The exhaust from the pellet stove is just enough to melt the icicles above it, and they drip and freeze immediately. It's about two feet thick, and I know I'll be looking at it at Easter.

Big things have small beginnings. Drip.

My Interfriend Glynn says he's going to retire: On Being a Writer: Downsizing the Workload
I'd be willing to retire, but I think you have to have a job first.

My Interfriend Casey Klahn is out of control: The Whole Picture
A person I like and respect asked me how I approach writing. I said I simply worked myself into whatever mood I wanted and wrote it down. Casey seems to be in a bold mood. 

Look what the winter was like for John of the River: Snow and Rain Tomorrow, Clear the Roof 
I live near Mount Washington, and I'm impressed.

My Interfriend Gagdad Bob understands the mystical nature of Kipling Ronald Dynamite: I Dream of Gagdad, Gagdad Dreams of Madonna
I like Madonna. She's managed to stay completely out of my line of sight and hearing for her entire career, which I can only ascribe to good manners on her part.

Leonard Nimoy appears to have died. Mr. Spock never will, I imagine.
Star Trek, like Star Wars, was cheesy. People get very angry if you tell them that. Few people will admit that a thing they like a lot is trivial. Mr. Spock is one of their gods.

Things are getting a little weird with ski lift tickets: Ski Resorts Experiment With Dynamic Pricing
The only economist worth knowing about is Cournot, and you don't.

Time for some holy cow: The Rockies

Holy cow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Man Who Was Thursday

Or, in my case, The Man Who Was Thirsty. I'm busy doing stuff and junk. Hmm. I never realized I had a GoodReads page. I don't get out enough, I guess.

I'm tired of writing achingly brilliant things that nobody reads, so I decided to post mildly interesting things, because reasons. Intertunnel reasons. The Intertunnel is like the telephone game except everyone's hard of hearing and has Tourette's Syndrome. Me, I try to stay around the edges and laugh, like a food fight in the cafeteria. Here's a list of (not entirely unwonderful) wonderful things for you to peruse. You can like any one you like, but please: No wagering.

S.Weasel has discovered the greatest website in the world if you get tired of Lingscars is magnifique. 
If the Internet was a rodeo clown with delirium tremens, it would be Lings Cars

I've been listening to a ten-hour version of The Girl From Ipanema
Finally some funny YouTube comments: "I liked the part about the girl from Ipanema."

Gerard's list of journalistic cliches
It insists upon itself.

Here's a series of maps of crime by state from Business Insider
Please note Maine. No one tries pulling any shite while I'm in the state.

Here's a list of all the Alt codes for pretty much every symbol you want to type.
Note: Alt codes have nothing to do with Gender Studies.

Students at McGill University can't compute the average of a few even numbers.
They're not just in college. They're in college to become teachers.

Car surrounded by deer in Eastport, Maine.
People think this is lovely, but unless I'm very wrong, the deer are hanging around people because they're starving.That's the only reason I hang around people.

This is the greatest board game ever devised. That's why you can't buy one.

Well, sorta can't. You could if you had money, but it's solitaire for us. One of the Best Jobs in the World
My Interfriend the Execupundit has a sunny outlook on life. It's almost depressing for an Irishman to read it.

My Interfriend Thud in Liverpool builds wondrous stuff. Going Green.
I thought everything beautiful and useful was banished from the world forevermore. Thud proves me wrong by building things and having children.

Harriett reads and comments here, and I think of her as something akin to my target audience. This is the most moving tribute to an ordinary person I've ever read.
I'd rather someone asked why they didn't put up a statue to me, than why they did. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ode to a Drywalled Hellhole

Ode to a Drywalled Hellhole

by: Wes Montgomery Burns

Though you should build a breakfast bar in divorced men's homes,
Install a concrete counter made precast,
Stitch estimates together for the sale, with loans
To fill it out, inkstained and aghast;
Although your profit be a bill of sale,
Long overdue, yet still hard with agony,
Your mortgage large uprootings from the skull
Of bald Bernanke; certes she would fail
To find her checkbook, unless she
Dreameth in aisles of DSW in the mall.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hip Hip

I used to play this song for money. It was popular just then, or maybe it was a year or so after it was popular. We were like musical vampires, always playing somebody else's favorite song. I got my amusements where I could find them. Some of the songs were more fun to play than others. This was one of those pleasant accidents where people liked something you didn't dread on the setlist. It was certain death to play a song simply because you liked playing it. You are not the audience, and the audience can't be expected to amuse you.

It's an example of if you don't get what you like, you better like what you get. I used to sing the little tag line at the end of this song, way up high, and it was fun for me. I was always the worst singer in the band, no matter how many people shuffled through it, but for one little minute I sang a happy little phrase that stood out that made people happy to hear it.

We'll never feel bad anymore is not a happy thing to sing. It sounds happy but it isn't. It made me happy to sing it because I wasn't. Is there more than a wistful litote to sing in this life? I don't know. Hip Hip.

[Update: Thud from Over the Water in Liverpool put the boys on his blog. Next stop, the Cavern Club!]

Friday, February 20, 2015

Will Play Guitar For Food

Of course, ultimately we all hold up our own personal signs that read: WILL _______FOR FOOD. We stand at the end of the ramp on the highway overpass of life with our bags of oranges or our Bachelor of Arts and peddle, peddle, peddle.

The way the world lets you peddle is way, way different now. Some people embrace the new way wisely, and they're well-suited to it. Tim Pierce, the pleasant fellow in the video, seems to have rolled out his video instructional channel as a vision of the whole thing right away. He's gotten tens of thousands of subscribers to his channel right quick, and for good reason. He has the only two things that matter on the Intertunnel. He can demonstrate (understatement warning) some form of  ability, and he also has evidence of what I call the magic beans: he made money at it already.

People will listen to you if you can convince them you have the magic beans, even if you're useless. People will pay attention to you in a more desultory fashion if you have a demonstrated ability. If you have both, they're an unbeatable combination.

Tim Pierce was kind to my Heir once. I'm not sure he'll ever need to move a body, but I'll take the feet if it ever comes up.