Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Saturday, June 30, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Summer in the city

Hot town, summer in the city . . .

Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be alright

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city . . .
In the summer, in the city . . . .

The Lovin' Spoonful

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Politics in the age of short-fingered vulgarians

My wife thought I was having a stroke.

There I stood in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair, mouth agape, jaw slacked. My eyes must have been a little glazed over. I stared at the Republican Party of Iowa booth.

Actually, I stared at the Crooked Hillary photo booth. That stood in front of and perpendicular to the life-sized Donald Trump cutout, where bunches of good Iowa people were lining up to take a picture with the cardboard candidate.

I found myself compelled to take pictures of the people taking pictures, if for no other reason but to reality-check myself that this campaign -- this insane presidential contender -- was really happening, and that a formerly mainstream political party had entered the terminal stage of a decades-long descent into bat-shit madness.

THIS COARSE display . . . this supreme unseriousness and spleen venting . . . this is how the the government becomes delegitimized (see Obama Derangement Syndrome) and the country becomes ungovernable. This is how we lose faith in democracy, and how we cast off all our hopes for the future.

This is so beneath us as Americans. We are so beneath us, at least beneath our better selves, as Americans.

This is how everybody becomes The Other, and this is how opposing political parties become Lebensunwertes Leben

How damned sad that what's left of Republicanism sounds so much more serious in the original German.

The Real Donald J. Trump -- star of stage, screen, divorce court and bankruptcy -- would sound just as nuts in Classical Latin, alas.

As we were leaving the fair Sunday, I asked my wife whether this would be the last Iowa State Fair we'd go to without having to get a passport or obtain a visa. Would Iowa end up in the Republic of Heartland, while Nebraska joined with the Dakotas in the new Canadian province of South Manitoba? Would the United States still be united in 2017, somehow, despite Trump ginning up panic and rage among the booboisie about the "rigged election"?

Could be a hell of a "reality show."

Call it The End of the World as We Know It.

And we feel . . . pissed.

Mind the sign

Just a random thing on the American scene. Though I do have to wonder whether this is a thing in the great state of Iowa, at least such that signs must warn against the practice.

I will have no further comment. Iowa Hawkeye fans may say what they like.

On a fair summer evening

You can't escape the screen, ever.

And at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, the screen gets supersized. Now if they could just put it on a stick and wrap it in bacon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Monday night at the CWS

Nothing to say here, move along . . . to the photos, which happen to be some random slices of life Monday evening at the College World Series here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Getting the picture in the Age of Terror

It's summer in Omaha. And with the beginning of summer comes the College World Series, a fine way to spend a sultry evening in late June.

Added to the mix, starting next week, will be the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, just across the street from TD Ameritrade Park downtown.

The CWS is Omaha's signature event, one that has become part of this Midwestern city's very being. It has come to symbolize what we all love most about amateur sports and about America's national pastime.

IT'S THE PICTURE Omaha wants to present to the country, and the one America wants to present to the world. Here, three of these pictures belong together.

Three of these pictures are kind of the same. Can you guess which one of these doesn't belong here?

Now, with apologies to Sesame Street, it's time to play our game.


SORRY for the blurriness of the picture that's not the same, the one immediately above. The sports Nazis of the NCAA won't let me bring my digital SLR with the long lenses into the stadium, and when you zoom in with an iPhone camera, you get what you get.

So let me tell you what you're seeing here. The Omaha policeman on the right is carrying what appears to be some permutation of an AR-15 -- an assault rifle. These officers are stationed right before you get to the ticket-takers, and you don't get more in plain sight than that.

It took me aback -- not that CWS security hasn't always been this heavy in our post-9/11 world, but that this year, in the era of ISIS and a week past Orlando, it seems to be more conspicuous  than ever. In your face, even.

I'm not faulting the local cops. I'm not questioning the security strategy. And I'm certainly not getting in the face of the cop with the military-grade firearm to get a better picture of his assault rifle. Besides, I look rather Mediterranean in this Age of Trump.

What I am saying is this is sad. Damned sad. It might be the right thing, but it is so, so wrong.

America's right-wing, gun-nut wingnuts don't want us to become just like those socialist "Euroweenies." Seen the security at the Euro soccer championships in France?

Looks to me like we just have.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cool jazz on a hot summer's night

Was anybody better than Billy Eckstine?

Several were as good but none better, I don't think. And this 1959 stereo version of Eckstine's 1958 Billy's Best album makes for fine listening on a hot, steamy Midwestern eve.
Hell, it would be just as wonderful on a frigid winter's night on the Plains, too. 

So this was tonight's musical selection here in the Revolution 21 studio here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska, deep into the dog days of summer, with state-fair season still a month away and college football a little further out than that.

UNLIKE many vinyl aficionados, I have nothing in particular against compact discs or good-quality digital audio files. But, damn, there's really nothing like putting an old LP on the turntable, basking in that particular smell of aged cardboard and paper. Nothing like holding the record sleeve in your hands and dreaming of your lost youth . . . or the days when jazz ruled the western world and you were yet a glimmer in your mama and daddy's eyes.

Maybe you can't hold this '50s classic of American popular music in your own two hands, but you can always listen to 3 Chords & the Truth and dream sweet dreams about a culture at its zenith that's just showing off.

Because it could.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Summer's last gasp

 Iowa State Fair, August 2014

The state fair season is winding down and football has returned to the prairies, fields and Norman Rockwell towns of the Midwest. The rituals of its people point to the changing of its seasons, and we know the trees and shrubbery will, soon enough, will break out into a riotous festival of color, as if the Almighty were looking down upon his Technicolor palette and saying to LeRoy Neiman "You never could top me, could you?"

Then the leaves will exhaust the last of their color and blanket the earth for nature's long winter slumber. And we will settle in, bundle up and dream dreams of springtime.

Thus is the circle game of life.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Saturday in the Old Market, Omaha

Give me a camera and Omaha's Old Market downtown . . . and I'll go shutterbug nuts.

Which I did Saturday evening.

You see, the Old Market is photogenic. This scene is
just east of the Jackson Street Tavern, where
we had a tasty supper and drinks.

In this instance, the Market also is quite blue.
I guess you could call this scene outside
J's on Jackson something of a Blue Light Special.

This photo is best enjoyed with a cold cerveza.

And we leave you with some of the Omaha skyline

Friday, June 13, 2014

Honk if you love the water

If it's June in Omaha, you'll find Canada geese nearly anyplace it's wet.

In this case, that would be the Little Papillion Creek along the Keystone Trail, where this caught my eye on my daily walk. It looks like the waterfowl are having themselves a little community swim.

I'll honk to that. Or they will. Somebody.

Friday, May 25, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Sum-sum-summertime!

It's summer! Summertime is here.

And that's the overriding theme for this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth -- summer and the songs we sing about it.

This Memorial Day weekend being the unofficial start of the season is reason enough to celebrate those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, and that's exactly what we do on the Big Show this week.

Ah, those days of soda and pretzels and beer.

OF COURSE, "lazy" is the operative word here. Three paragraphs into this post, I start to rip off Nat King Cole.

OK. That's it.

You have an idea about this summery edition of the Big Show. It's summer. I'm lazy . . . and I'm going to go have a beer.

Call it good.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ode to a heat index

Glibby gloop gloopy Nibby Nabby Noopy
La La La Lo Lo
Sabba Sibby Sabba Nooby abba Nabba
Le Le Lo Lo
Tooby ooby walla nooby abba nabba
Just another heat-stroke song

-- Apologies to 'Hair'
. . . and Oliver, too

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 Chords & the Truth: Kicking back

It's too dang hot.

It's too dang steamy.

I think on 3 Chords & the Truth this week, we'll take it too dang easy. Well, not too dang easy. I mean . . . you know.

It's just that it's summer, and that means it's time to kick back some. Enjoy life. Take things at a more leisurely pace.

Avoid heatstroke.

I MEAN . . . you know what I mean.


Anyway, taking it just easy enough to avoid hospitalization in this wicked July weather while being just industrious enough not to suck is the rather reasonable goal of this week's edition of the Big Show. I hope this is a goal with which you can get fully on board.

The music's still good even when you're kicking back. Better, actually. Because you're kicking back.

Circular reasoning 'R' us. Because it's summer, and it's hot -- no reason to bust a gut. Or fry your brain.

YOU KNOW what I mean.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

. . . then the rains came

It's not this way in Louisiana come summertime.

There, I never had to study the radar, then go over the forecast again, then look at the sky, then just end up doing what my gut said and not watering the garden today because I figured it'd probably rain. No, I just had to look at the clock, and figure there would be a thundershower about the time the big hand was on the 12 and the little hand was on the 3.

TURNS OUT that today -- at least -- I guessed right. The vegetable garden and the wheelbarrow full of greens are happy now.

THAT'S Nebraska for you. That's the Great Plains for you -- the most aggravating place in America for figuring out just what the weather is gonna do.

AND THAT'S IT for the pictures. I was starting to get wet out there.

Just hangin' out

I'm just hanging out right now, having some coffee while I wait.

I'm waiting to see whether these clouds below will turn into the thunderstorms forecasters were worried enough about to issue a tornado watch.

It certainly feels like storm-producing weather out -- windy, 94 and muggy, one of the few mid-summery days we've had so far this year. Right now, the storm prospects for Omaha are kind of iffy, but the weatherman says if these clouds are going to turn into some storms, it won't be too long.

If they do, I won't have to worry about watering this.

Or this.

Look how fast the mustard greens are growing. I can almost taste 'em now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

No nothing on the sidewalk

Dude! If you can't skateboard or roller-skate on the sidewalk in the Old Market, it's not like you can do it on the century-old brick streets!

That would be, like, fatal!




Sunday, May 24, 2009

Find your summer place

Percy Faith and the orchestra can help you get into that sweet summer spot.

Here, they do just that in a 1960 television appearance with the smash hit,
"Theme From a Summer Place." It's kind of difficult to listen to this and not smile, innit?