Splendid

Today the sun was out and the sky was clear blue. The temperature was warm enough that we could open some windows. Ah! springtime in Chicagoland.

As honor of today’s weather, the album of the day is Splendid – one of the two guitar duo albums from Philip Catherine & Larry Coryell (the other being Twin House).

Listening to this album again after many years of not, I felt a remembrance of the 1970s. There’s a lot of really great acoustic guitar work on the album but what drew me to it initially was the songs with fretless guitar, Father Christmas and, especially, Snowshadows. Just Great…

I don’t know why those two never recorded together after these two albums. They really fit together well. It would be great to hear something new from them.

King Crimson Live In Toronto

The only King Crimson album with music created after I saw them in 2014 showed up a few days ago. This was recorded Live in Toronto in November of last year on the second of two nights in that city. Apparently the first show wasn’t that great – degraded by the amount of photography and other counterproductive intentions. So much so that the writer of the CD notes was worried that it might portend the breakup of the group. Apparently this second show allayed those fears.

It is a really great show. Instantly one of my favorite King Crimson albums.

One negative, though, and this is common to almost every CD that I’ve ordered from DGM that is packaged in a jewel case – the jewel case arrived broken. The second disk doesn’t stay in place it is designed to say in (so beware of gravity) and the bottom of the hinges that allow access to the second CD is cracked and broken. I really wish DGM would figure out how to package and/or ship their CDs so the cases don’t arrive broken.

In other news, I sent an e-mail to Curt Golden yesterday inquiring about remote music instruction.

LDL

I recently had my first physical examination in about 2 years. I know, I know, I should get one more often, especially at “my age.”

Anyway  the blood work came back looking really good except for a couple of items. My LDL is pretty high and something called alkaline phosphatase is low.

Based on the former, someone from my doctor’s office called and wanted me to start taking Lipitor. I said no.

First off, I had been reading Mark Hyman’s new book (Eat Fat, Get Thin) where he says you need to know more about LDL than just the raw number – you need to know particle size, which my bloodwork didn’t include. So I asked if they could prescribe a test that would measure that, which I think they are going to do.

But after I got those results I started doing web searches on statins and, from what I can tell, they aren’t something anyone except younger men (under age 65) with previous heart attacks should be taking. So now I’m doing research on how to improve my LDL without drugs. Probably more on this in the future.

But it occurred to me that many people would just do what the doctor told them to do without doing any research. Not the way to live life, in my opinion, especially the more I read about business, healthcare, governmental nutritional recommendations, etc.

Still not sure what the low alkaline phosphatase number means other than if it were high instead of low it would likely indicate liver problems.

Backing down

I love the Derek Sivers Tim Ferris podcast but slightly disappointed in his answer to Tim’s standard billboard question. He had me with his initial answer: “Well, my real answer, if I was taking that literally, is that I would remove all the billboards in the world and ensure they were never replaced.”

When I was in my formative years (the 60’s & 70’s of the previous millennium), advertising was looked on as a negative thing. This is a far cry from now where advertising is everywhere and an accepted part of life (I’m guilty too – in order to have this blog without having to pay money there will sometimes be ads on it). But back in those more idealistic days, many cities even enacted laws prohibiting billboards. I resonated with those laws back then. Thinking about it, I still do. And maybe my problem now is that I don’t do as much “thinking about it” as I did back then.

Anyway, after a bit of discussion about billboard blight in India and expressing his admiration for localities that ban billboards, he continues with: “…so my better answer is: I think that I would make a billboard that would say ‘It won’t make you happy’ and I would place it outside any big shopping mall or car dealer.”

In my (perhaps not so) humble opinion, the better answer is his first one. And if he stopped at that point I would have liked the interview even more. I mean, I guess he turned around the answer a bit by putting an anti-consumerism message on his billboard but for me the more memorable answer would have been to reject the idea of billboards altogether and leave it at that. In my mind it softened a message that would have been stronger had it not been softened.

Creative Ideas

This morning I woke up at 3-something and couldn’t get to sleep. The reason seemed to be an idea that was in my head that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I’m going to call this type of idea a “creative idea” for lack of a better term.

This happens to me every once in a while. It’s not a worry or a problem but rather an idea of something I should do or explore. The interesting thing about these ideas is that they don’t seem to come from me.  They seem to come to me, like someone or something tapping me on the shoulder.

Sometimes these ideas lead to action. When they do, sometimes it’s something that really changes my life, frequently in ways that I don’t expect. Often they come to nothing. I wonder why.

Maybe it’s lack of receptivity on my part? My own impotence to take action? Fear? I think it might make sense to experiment with being more receptive to these ideas, even when my natural tendency is to discard them, and see what happens.

CGT @ Evanston Space, 2016.03.17

Thursday night we went to see some live music. It featured music from The Beatles, Johann Sebastian Bach, Queen, some surf music and more, including some composed by the musicians of the night, The California Guitar Trio.

This was my second time to see these guys (the first being as the opening act for King Crimson). It was most enjoyable. They mentioned that they had been playing together for 25 years now and it showed. They do some things that I don’t think could be accomplished by a less-together group of musicians, including the Bach piece that was implemented by passing single notes, one at a time, between each other. If you get a chance to see these guys, go. I will again.

The Space is a great place to see live music. Not a bad seat in the house.