25 Nov 2009

'Tis the season to be thankful... and I am indeed thankful for the supportive and gratifying comments sent to me and posted here after yesterday's blog. Thank you! When I first began putting together web sites starting in 1995 I was a bit surprised that anyone would want to read the bosh and nonsense I write, but I find that this is so. It has always been my delight to entertain you... I hope to continue.

In the early days of television it was common for personalities to express their thanks for "...being allowed in your home for the past half hour," etc. When I was young I thought this a curious sentiment; now I understand it perfectly. It is a great honor.

A fun little seasonal game, Thanksgiving Hangman. The skeleton taunts you. I like the background drumming.

That Civil War reenacting brass band I enjoyed on Saturday, the Federal City Brass Band, is featured in this youtube footage playing "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean." They start at about the 3:30 mark. Very impressive.

Last night I scanned some old Instamatic prints for some friends (in which they appear). This is always fun because all sorts of details pop out of the print with level adjustment. It's also a bit startling seeing the colors adjust with the "auto color" feature of Photoshop. What appeared to be a faded and indistinct old snapshot now looks like life!

I scanned this one: me at the piano, 1966. That's a great old player piano my parents bought circa 1963; the rolls are on the top. My favorite number was a Latin piece called "Cumbaya" that was mean to be played at a rapid clip, which necessitated my pumping the pedals quickly - just the thing to satisfy my hyperactive nature.

I took lessons for a short time in 1963, and again for a short time in about 1965. And again in 1973 with a different piano. After only two months as an adult I am much farther along now and playing more difficult pieces than I ever got with months of lessons then. The difference is motivation and, I think, the greater ease with which a adult can learn.

My performance style back then included wearing a U.S. Army cartridge belt. Notice also the Batman plastic statue and Batman bubble gum cards in the background. A canteen hangs on the wall just past my back in case I got thirsty.

Oh, what the heck? As long as I'm on a roll: Me at the keyboard, 1979. The "keyboard" in question is a cheap little toy Emenee Chord Organ owned by my friend Mike. I used to amuse myself with it while waiting for him to come in from work. I worked out a really bad arrangement of ABBA's "Eagle" on it.

And setting the controls on the Wayback Machine back by a decade, here's Christmas, 1969. I am thirteen. No, that doll ("Swingy" - she danced) isn't mine. My Mom's friend bought it for her.

I am presently reading - or more accurately, scanning - a thick work entitled "The Origins of the British - A genetic detective story: The surprising roots of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh" by Stephen Oppenheimer. Sounds interesting, huh? Well, it is in the macroscopic view. But it is difficult to read word for word. Discussions about Neolithic migrations of the various haplogroups is always a bit cumbersome.

I haven't gotten to the "surprising" part yet - he's leading up to that.

Well. Like every other federal employee in the greater Washington D.C. region I'm off tomorrow for Thanksgiving and the day after, "Black Friday." There may be blog updates, maybe not.

We're staying put. Dinner tomorrow is with the LDS missionaries at home and then we do a Five Families thing for dessert.

I sincerely hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and weekend!


  1. Another thing that's great about scanning old photos is the minutia in the background, that meant nothing when the photo was taken, that evoke a memory when viewed many years on. The cars out the window behind the Christmas tree perhaps, or small items on the shelves in the background. Cheers,


  2. I like that picture of you with the keyboard,do you remember the group album cover you we poking fun at there? I can only remember the song was "Star palace of the somber warior" but it had the keyboard guy on the cover in a similar pose! Have a great thanksgiving!




Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Go to wesclark.com and follow the links. That'll tell you more than you probably want to know.