Bathtub reading for a broiling July

July 18, 2011

Make that a cold bath.  It hit 107° F here Friday.  15th consecutive 100°-plus day?  17th?  200th?

Birds refuse to bathe in the bird bath — they’re saving it to drink.  The sprinkler system misfired yesterday — had to kill the power to fix a kitchen light and the clock on the sprinkler got a few hours off — and we were alerted by dozens of bluejays broadcasting the news.  “Water!” they screamed.  Dallas isn’t supposed to be home to robins, but there were three of them dancing on the wet sidewalk with the jays, plus assorted other birds — house finches, mourning doves, white-winged doves, cardinals, and that little scamp, the Bewick’s wren.  The woodpeckers declined to land on the ground.  No room for grackles.

While soaking, and cooling, what do we read?  In total chaos, or at least, in no particular order:

New Year's 1909, cartoon by John T. McCutcheon of Chicago

Cartoon by Chicago cartoonist John T. McCutcheon, 1909

You can only read until your fingers get all wrinkly.  There’s still stuff on the reading stack!

Another soak, for another time.

Astounding lightning strike photo — Chicago Tribune readers show proper skepticism

June 27, 2010

Amazing photo of two Chicago buildings struck by lightning simultaneously, by Chicago Tribune photog  Chris Sweda:

Dual lightning strike in Chicago, June 2010 - photo by Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

Dual lightning strike in Chicago, June 2010 - photo by Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

Among other things, the photo isn’t perfect enough to suggest post-shutter-snap manipulation — you can see from other photos that the rain drops on the window disappear with a focus farther away.

Blair Kamin writing at Cityscapes discussed skepticism from readers of the Chicago Tribune about whether the strikes were really simultaneous, or instead the result of a very long exposure.

Exactly the sort of skepticism anti-warmists should have exhibited when confronted with the story of a fourth-grade student in Beeville, Texas, disproving global warming, or the story of a Spanish solar energy company sending a bomb by courier to an anti-warmist, and then bragging about it.

Kamin offers a couple of paths by which a reasonable person can determine it was a chance photo, the photographer pushing the shutter release coincidentally with a double lightning strike (see the “postscripts” section of Kamin’s post).

Were they true to their warming science, in the anti-warmist world two camps would be forming.  One camp would argue the photograph was manipulated, a clever collage of two different photos, or maybe a clever use of miniatures; the other camp would argue that lightning doesn’t strike man-made objects.

Buddy Guy’s Legends will move: Will Mount Bluesmore move, too?

February 11, 2010

Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy is moving his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends.  Guy’s club announced the move last September.

Buddy Guy's Legends, Today's Chicago Blues image

Buddy Guy's Legends, image from Today's Chicago Blues

We visited the club four years ago during the giant Midwest Clinic, where Duncanville’s Wind Ensemble debuted a tribute to Rosa Parks just a few days after her death (Samuel R. Hazo’s “Today Is the Gift”) and *spent a memorable evening going slightly deaf to the Kinsey Report.

Following federal law on how blues club should be, the walls tell stories of blues past, blues well-remembered, good blues players who visited, and stories of blues in general.  A neophyte can get a good education just looking at the walls in a good club.  One wall wore a painting of what could have been Mount Rushmore, which piqued my history radar — but in place of Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, it had Chicago blues legends:  Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Howlin’ Wolf.

Who knows the history of the image?  Did Buddy Guy hire it done?  Did someone do it as a serious tribute?  Was it an image done for a show in the distant past, just pasted onto the wall?

When I heard the club was moving, I feared for the thing, especially since I was not digital at the time and didn’t get a photo of it.  To my shock, I couldn’t find any images on the internet.

Then a couple of days ago I ran across a version of the the image, at Today’s Chicago Blues.  It’s appropriately called “Mount Bluesmore.”

But the same question remains:  Will it be saved with the new venue?

Mount Bluesmore, at Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago - image from Today's Chicago Blues

Mount Bluesmore, at Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago - image from Today's Chicago Blues

Tip of the old scrub brush to Today’s Chicago Blues — go buy the book.

The Kinsey Report:

*  This isn’t blues, below, but it’s worth a listen; I believe it may even be Duncanville’s premiere of Hazo’s tribute to Rosa Parks — alas, without video of the band, and lacking a little on the bass end but otherwise showing off the Wind Ensemble’s performance flair:

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