shock music for hi-fi


I don’t know why this old vinyl album came to mind today. Looks like it was released in 1958 -1959. My parents had it in the Hi-Fi console (this is before Wi-Fi, kids) along with their Tijuana Brass albums and the soundtrack to Camelot. There was also my sister’s Beach Party album by Annette Funicello, but I’m getting off track.

Each track on “Shock” was a little horror vignette with occasional voices. I remember in one of them, the music reached fever pitch and then a man’s voice screamed in horror. Everything went quiet except for some whistling at the very end.

I was scared of this record, especially the wait for the scream. Why was it on my parent’s shelf? Don’t know. Maybe they got it because it was made for Hi-Fi and they wanted to hear the full Hi-Fi effect. Just like a later generation would get “made in stereo” records, and an even later generation would get the short-lived quadraphonic systems.

I paid no attention to the Creed Taylor Orchestra aspect of this album. Now I know – he was a Grammy Award winning producer who worked with Stan Getz, Bill Evans, and Joao Gilberto.

Check out one of the Shock tracks on YouTube!


act and book it


Thanks to my Chinook coupon “book” (it’s actually on my phone), I saw two plays for cheap this weekend. Here are mini-mini write-ups.

I saw “Threesome” at ACT. Wanted to see it because of the reviews and because the author used to attend a playwright’s group I belonged to. Glad to see Yussef El Guindi succeeding.

Among other things, the play makes a hard-hitting statement about female subjugation. Particularly cutting is the isolation experienced by the this play’s Egyptian-American protagonist. The first act is light and funny, while the second strips all the niceties away.

I also saw Book It Repertory’s production of “Slaughterhouse-5.” What a tremendous job they did with this. Because it’s Book It, every word spoken is straight from book, and it pays off beautifully. Wonderfully staged and creatively imagined, it clearly delivered all the themes from the book with Vonnegut’s humor and poignancy.

It’s a little miracle of a show. Reminds me of the time years ago when the former Theater Babylon suddenly pulled out a brilliant production of “Streetcar Named Desire.”

All hail local theater.sh_5

scalia and other absurdities


In his dissent in the same-sex marriage case, Supreme Court Justice Scalia says that marriage being between one man and one woman was: “… until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies  …”

What? All generations and societies? Did he really miss all the polygamy recorded in the Bible? And historically in Europe, Africa, among Native Americans, and among Mormons and Muslims? It’s still going on today in some quarters. There are also examples of societally-accepted group marriages and, unfortunately, child marriages.

One man and woman: not unanimous, not all societies, not for all time.

Meanwhile, there are people trying to say that their religious freedom is being squelched because they can’t legally discriminate against people due to sexual orientation. Their religious freedom actually would be in danger if they were forced to ordain gay pastors, forced to marry gay people, forced to worship a gay god, or forced to interpret their holy books as endorsing gay marriage, but no one is even suggesting that.

I like to say, “Love the bigot, hate the bigotry,” and that’s why I want to give a big kiss to all remaining homophobes, male or female (insert smiley here).

Now we can just say “marriage” and not “same-sex marriage” or “gay marriage” and the whole issue will slide into the proverbial dust bin of history.

On the social front, we have other fish to fry, such as the murder and blind hatred of trans people, murder and blind hatred of black people, ongoing sexism, etc. Only 47,000 social justice milestones to go.


fremont solstice weekend


Many backs were scratched, but many others remained unfulfilled and itchy. Scratching parade onlookers is a double-edged sword.

scratchers2  scratcher_fromweb

A teacher at the end of her rope harangued the crowds. A pit bull offered kissing services.

end_of_rope2  bull2

the parade artist


In preparation for my backscratching duties at the Solstice Parade tomorrow, I not only have to get the proper gear (such as my long pole with golden hand in the second photo below) but have to have the right look for clothes and skin.

I need blue lips to match my backscratcher’s robe. Tonight I’m experimenting with making blue lip color with a melted crayon and olive oil.

We’ll see how this all turns out tomorrow.



big vistas – granite mountain


Would you walk several miles and 3,800 feet up Granite Mountain to get these views? I did. Result: foot pain and happiness. Mt. Rainier is featured in the first two pictures. Why didn’t they keep its Indian name – Tahoma?











Mt. Rainier is currently named for this guy, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier of the British Navy. He fought against the U.S. in the Revolutionary War and later captured territories for England in the West Indies, sinking and capturing many ships in the process. Think of Pete when you see the mountain.