Hey, Good Sulking

I have not written anything in my blog for a long time. I am just going to write whatev, to make sure I remember how to do it, or can figure out how if they changed it around. Missed the Santa Clarita WordPress Camp. Whatev. Now that I am motivated once again, it shall be once again on my top priority. Maybe some of the more enlightening seminars will be available on YouTube.

I am at Dagny’s for the Open Mic Thursday 6 to 9. My friend Crash will be performing there next week. He was not aware of the bus schedule extension, and didn’t want to have to walk home, where ever that is these days, lugging his guitar. Pablo was in the same boat, but he might be playing his saxophone at the Jazz Workshop on Tuesdays, if I can locate him and start spreading the news. The buses that are going to be running later are the 21, 22, 44, and 61.

Testing, testing. Taps mic. Is this thing on?


robertjohnson02_200Robert Johnson was born probably on May 8th, 1911, to Julia Major Dodds. He was her 11th child, but was illegitimate, as Julia’s husband had been forced to leave town, and she had taken up with a man named Noah Johnson. John Lennon’s mother was also named Julia, and I have always loved the song he wrote for her, “Julia.” I just noticed that I had a little book called Searching for Robert Johnson by Peter Guralnick, and I was browsing through it. It just caught my eye. A while back I was going to make a project of learning some Robert Johnson songs, and I learned some, but then I got off track. Maybe I need to get back to it.

At the moment I am listening to Brad Mehldau. I love his piano playing. I have some favorites on a playlist, and he plays a lot of my favorite Jazz standards, like “I Concentrate on You,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “It’s All Right With Me,” and “Countdown,” which is by John Coltrane. Brad also likes to play Beatles songs, and makes them into new Jazz standards. “Blackbird,” “Dear Prudence,” and “Junk,” by Paul McCartney are a few of these that I like. Well, “Blackbird” is also by Paul, but he wrote it when he was still a Beatle. You know what I would like to hear? Mehldau doing “Julia.”

There are just certain chords that these songs use that I really like. “I Didn’t Know What Time it Was” is by Richard Rodgers, and I at one time analyzed the tune and chords and there was some kind of really modern thing about it, like I think it might have been a minor 11th chord, but it sounds really nice. You know, Lester Young recorded it, and that was a long time ago, but I think that he was moved by the really pretty chords as I was.

Now, a friend of mine was showing me how she could almost play “Blackbird” but maybe would need to go over it a bit, as she hadn’t quite remembered how it went, exactly. I got the tablature for it and watched a YouTube video, and there were some interesting things about it that I noticed. First, the G string is played open on the offbeats throughout. Also, the meter changes constantly, and by that I mean that there is a steady beat but there might be a bar of 4 beats followed by a bar of 3 beats. A lot of time the D string is muted, and then you just pluck two notes but then your index finger flicks down and plays the open G and other non muted strings on the off beat. OK. I was really going to woodshed this song but the woman in question has departed from my concerns and my heart, never to return. So, I will learn “Blackbird” but it is on the back burner for now, since it only reminds me of her, and I am doing so well at forgetting her. No, really I am. Who? Can’t even remember her name.

I am working on a guitar project and today I advanced and made some new connections. I really can’t explain it to you, but it is just a way of seeing how certain chords are connected, and how many different ways you can play certain chord progressions in different inversions up and down the neck. There is a grid of diminished chords and if you just raise or lower a note of two, it transforms from one chord to another. Oh, well.

Had to take my saxophone back to Nick Rail Music because it had a little problem. The drag is they quarantine the instruments and then there is another week or so waiting. Well, it should give me time to finish my guitar quest. Searching for the patterns that unlock the mystery of harmony. The good news is that they will probably fix it at no additional charge because they just finished working on it, so it was supposed to be all good to go.

Well, it is time for me to take a walk and see how much the moon has waned. Ta ta.

Searching for Robert Johnson

C Note

ghostridergoodbyeLast night was the Harvest Moon, usually it comes in September, but this year it was on October 1st, so, there will be a 2nd moon in October, which will be on Halloween. I guess they are saying that it will look full for 3 days in a row, so not sure if that means that it falls directly on Halloween, or close enough in horseshoes and hand grenades. But it will be a Blue Moon. Really crazy signs, and then in a few days, the election. Just to stay on the moon, for a bit now, I really like the Neil Young song, “Harvest Moon,” and I was thinking of doing a video of it with my friend Jerubbaal. He was singing like Jim Morrison, a baritone, and he could probably sing high notes as well. Especially if it was Neil Young Falsetto. I think he is like a diamond in the raw, but he still needs to practice. He claims that he is just connecting with the source and it is coming out of his mouth. But hey, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” I asked the cab driver.

“Practice,” he replied.

Come a little bit closer
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin’
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
We could dream this night away

Yeah, I was going to do this song. I had someone in mind that I wanted to sing it to. I had found on the Internet Tabs and Chords and YouTubes that showed how to do it. The main thing was you drop your low E string down to a D. Neil does that a lot. Sometimes the high and low E string is dropped. Sometimes all the strings are dropped a whole step, so it is like if you play in E then it is really sounding like D. “Sugar Mountain” and “Cinnamon Girl” are two songs that do this.

Well, last night I went for a walk so I could see the Harvest Moon. It came up around 7 or so but you couldn’t see it until about 7:30. There is a lot of smoke in the air, from all the fires we have been having. You couldn’t see the moon until it cleared the smoke. And then, it was orange, like the Great Pumpkin. As I walked to the park, I passed by a vacant lot, and this particular lot always makes me think of The Great Pumpkin. Like, Linus would be there waiting for him to appear, clutching his security blanket. I passed by the lot and then went to Beale Park. There was a shooting there recently and there are a bunch of candles there on the curb. I kept going and then I went up to a house on Dracena and Holtby. It is a big mansion, and there are all of these really tall trees in their yard. About a week ago I saw a wake of turkey vultures there. They look like ravens, really big black ravens, but if you look closely, you see they have no feathers on their heads. They haven’t been seen since, and I read that it is because they are migrating south for the winter, and they just stopped there as a waystation on their journey.

But there’s a full moon risin’
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
Let’s go dancin’ in the light
We know where the music’s playin’
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
Let’s go out and feel the night

The moon was a little less full than the night before, and it came up about 8. It seems like it comes up about a half hour later every night. Any lunatics, moon watchers, who can verify this? The smoke made it hard to see at first, but then, there it was. Like a semi deflated orange balloon. Well, I stopped by the Laundry. They were closing but there were still a few people. I sat outside and checked Twitter on my phone, using the WiFi. Twitter is abuzz with news of the “President” having contracted Covid-19. Last night I posted some lyrics and pictures from John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” and also “My Sharona,” from The Knack. Then I had to post pictures of Winona Ryder and Janene Garaffolo dancing in the mini mart to the song in Reality Bites, from 1995. Not really wishing harm on anyone, but I had to mention Karma, because, well, after trying to ignore it and being responsible for 207,000 deaths so far, it could be like, you know — Karma. While sitting by the laundry, I thought I heard 3 shots. Also there was a domestic dispute across the street, and someone was getting kicked to the curb. Not from a car, from a house. Anyway, my phone rang and it was an unknown number, so I didn’t answer it, but then they left a message and it sounded like my drunk ex wanting to know if we were rehearsing tonight. Wow. I had said something about doing the song, but I never expected that she would think I was inviting her to the rehearsal.

A7sus4 A7
Because I’m still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I’m still in love with you
[ D ]
On this harvest moon.

Yeah. This song made me think of her, and I think I mentioned it because I wanted her to see the video, like we were singing it to her. But I no longer feel like that. I am not still in love with her. I have given up on her completely. We used to do a song called “If the World Was Ending, You’d Come Over, Right?” In this song two people lament that they are not ready for a forever commitment, but if the world was ending, then they would hook up. I used to think that we had this kind of deal, but now I realize that I am the last person she would want to spend her final days with. Neil Young sang about a relationship that was over. OK. He was still in love with her, and he wanted to see her dance again. But it is my understanding that their deal was over. If you play this song, you can do a little lick using harmonics. That is where you just barely touch the string and you get these high crystalline sounds.

When we were strangers
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
I loved you with all my heart.
But now it’s gettin’ late
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
And the moon is climbin’ high
I want to celebrate
| D D6 | Dmaj7 | D D6 | Dmaj7 |
See it shinin’ in your eye.

All right, but you know, while I was there sitting outside the laundry, using their WiFi, I saw that Halsey had a new song called “I’m Not Mad.” I wanted to hear that song, so I listened to it, and there was an animation of the lyrics. I was under the impression that the video was basically Halsey writing the words and illustrating it with little sketches. This song was more like how I felt than either “If the World Was Ending” or “Harvest Moon.” Like I am not mad, but I am not wanting to get back together, ever. And I mean it this time. Not like all the other times where she could just waltz right in and I welcomed her with open arms.

I’m not even mad anymore
No, really, I ain’t even mad anymore
Yeah, I don’t even want you back anymore
I don’t remember what we had anymore, yeah
I hope your back aches and your knees hurt
I hope you think about me sleepin’ in your T-shirt
I hope your little brother turns out to be nothing like you
I hope that you hurt more than I do

And honestly, I still wish you nothing but the best
I know that you’re still self-obsessed
I hear the wicked get no rest
But when you do, I hope you dream of me

All right. But I continue working on my guitar ideas, and today was Friday, so I practiced playing E half diminished to A7 flat 9 to D minor, and Bb half diminished to Eb7 flat 9 to Ab minor. I found some really cool voicings, and one way is using minor triads and the other is using the chord voicings that I named after my siblings. They are really useful. I wish I could explain to my actual siblings all the ways that these voicings can be used.

Finally, I was playing my soprano sax, that I just got back from getting repairs at Nick Rail Music, and was somewhat dismayed to find that the key you lift up to play the C had a spring missing or something, as it would just lethargically raise but not enough to get the note to sound in tune. Darn it. I thought they had done a great job but they missed this important element. Guess it’s going back to the shop. I would try to work around it, but too many songs use that note. I just paid a C note to get my horn fixed. Ironic that the C note isn’t working now.

Vehement Flame

solomon02_200Fisher Tucker Thompson was a Black man who came by Dagny’s when I was there this morning with Eric Warnock, the 99 Cent Comedian. Eric was just there, I didn’t come there with him. Not that there’s anything wrong with him. Or Fisher Tucker Thompson. He is all right as well.

Fisher offered a bible quote, as he was speaking to Eric, so I took the liberty of finding it. He said, “jealousy is cruel as the grave,” so I found that it came from The Song of Solomon, Chapter 8, Verse 6:

6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Here is some more from Chapter 8, to give the quote a little context:

2 I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

3 His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

4 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Well, Fisher proceeded to give a homeless man some money, but he told him to spend it on food, water, or shelter, not on drugs, alcohol, or harlots. Certainly not on a drink of spiced wine of the juice of a harlot’s pomegranate.

I spoke with Eric afterwards, and he told me that Artie at Front Porch Music was back, and the store was open. Artie is there, but in a wheelchair. Ginger, Artie’s dog, is there also, though he is 15 years old, and getting on in dog years. Ginger may be female, but for some reason I thought that he was male, in spite of the name. But it could be a male name as well, like Ginger Baker the drummer who played with Eric Clapton in Cream. Artie is a drummer, so that might have been why he named his dog Ginger, not after the movie star character on Gilligan’s Island. Ginger Grant was played by Tina Louise. The show is called Gilligan’s Island, but the theme song is The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle.

Eric thought of a joke that he shared with me, and it was about Joel, an Artist who hung out at Dagny’s:

Does an Artist Articulate?


September Surprises


It is almost October, but already there have been several surprises. I guess you could say they are premature October Surprises. That is when they drop the political bombshells that affect the elections. This post is not about politics, though. It is just that a lot of surprises happened to me in the last few days, and they seem at first to be negative, but I think the outcome will ultimately be positive.

My friend Jerub got arrested at the BLM demonstration, but maybe that will cause people to rally behind his cause? Like he will start a GofundMe. You know the drill. He was also trying to launch his brand on IG. Don’t know how he intends to monetize that, but he seems to think he has it under control. He showed me his statistics, and he was getting a huge increase in viewers. Like 500 — 800% increase. So what, like 5 viewers, and now it is 8? He posted a video of him working out at the gym. There are some people who are into that. Who watch it. Probably homosexuals — not that there’s anything wrong with that! Anyway, he is posting videos of himself dancing and working out, and he is handsome and attractive. He has youth going for him, as he is in his dirty thirties, but due to his healthy lifestyle and diet, he looks better than most 20 year-olds. I would post a link, but I am jealous. So, he will probably do all right without me, but don’t want to give him a boost. 

Well, besides getting arrested, he cut his hand. Wrapped it with duct tape and he was good to go. Or was he? He has these really sharp knives that he uses for his mangos. His diet, from what I gather, consists almost entirely of mangos. I wish he would have done a proper wound bandage, but what do I, a Late Boomer, know? He was excited about the Black Lives Matter demo, and he hastily cut his hand on his sharp and steely knife. Another interesting thing he told me was that there is a demon associated with Jezebel, and his mother, or so he says, was blessed or cursed with that spirit. Also my recently Xed GF. 

My cat Samantha, should have been my cat, Jezebel. And definitely my dog, Delilah. She was a Jezebel from hell, that is for certain. 

“Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown” is a line from “Southern Man” by Neil Young. I was thinking it said Jezebel, but it was Lily Belle. But there is this from the Bible:

1 Kings 21:5-16 King James Version (KJV)

5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.

7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.

12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.

14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

Well, there is more to the story, but it is late, so I will continue next time. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.

Cyrus Papyrus


Isaiah 45:2     I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

Of all the lame excuses for supporting Trump, the lamest by far is that he is annoited by God, and should therefore be supported by Evangelicals, in spite of the fact that he is morally corrupt and a malignant narcissist; a sadistic sociopath; a traitor to his country; a rapist with multiple accusations of sexual assault — which he has either admitted on tape, or denied, but refused to provide his DNA sample, that would clear him of the charges if he was in fact innocent — which he clearly is NOT! I don’t have the time or the bandwidth to go into the myriad crimes he is guilty of, or the ways in which he is ignorant, incompetent, or unqualified for the job he now holds, but let’s just take a look at comparisons Evangelicals have been made between him and Cyrus, the King of Persia, who is credited with ending the Babylonian captivity and freeing the Israelites to go home and build the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.

I am studying the whole subject, both Trump and Cyrus the King of Persia. Expect my article to be both well researched and scathing, with regards to Trump. Other related topics of interest are the controversy surrounding the Prophet (Or Prophets) named Isaiah. Most scholars agree that there were likely as many as three Prophets named Isaiah, and the Book of Isaiah should therefore be split into 3 parts. Historical events are mentioned as either, past or passing, or to come. I will look into the many mentions of Cyrus, focusing primarily on the Book of Isaiah, and these verses from the book of Ezra:

Ezra 4:1-6 King James Version (KJV)

4 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel;

2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

3 But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Ezra 1:1-8 King James Version (KJV)

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

7 Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;

8 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

One of the main passages in Isaiah is chapter 45. This is seen as “proof” somehow that the comparison to Trump, who is the 45th President, pertains. This is ludicrous on the face of it. The chapters are numbered consecutively. Does that mean that every 44th Chapter is about Obama, and the first chapter is always about George frickin’ Washington? If you want a comparison to Cyrus, how about Cyrus Vance? He is going to throw the book at Trump for various crimes against the state of New York. Other charges will follow, as soon as the fool is voted out of office. Pence will no doubt try to pardon him, if Trump resigns in time. But the fool appears to have already made the assessment that he will lose, and he is going to refuse to relinquish power. So, the resign-in-time for a Pence pardon looks like a no go. But the starting of a civil war looks more and more likely. Did anybody listen to the paranoid ravings of Michael Caputo, before he went kaput? He only stepped down for 60 days (for mental health reasons) but the election will be over before then, so if Trump wins (unlikely) or refuses to concede and calls for a civil war (looking more and more likely with each passing day) he can step back in and reclaim his tin foil crown.

Isaiah 45 King James Version (KJV)

45 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

17 But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.

19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

24 Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

25 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Live Long and Prosper!

Spock, out.

Horns of Moses

mosesI was reading about Moses and there is a statue of him by Michelangelo and he is depicted as having horns.

As I delved deeper into the reasons for this, I found a really good article by Jonathan Lipnick, Link below:

Did the face of Moses have horns?

So I wrote this in the comments, but it has yet to be verified:

Was investigating this horny thorny issue and came across your article, Jonathan. I would like to blog about it but don’t want to just replicate what you have done in paraphrase, but rather use it as a launching pad for a much less scholarly blog post — it might be irreverent, but it will not be a sacrilege. Here’s a brief quote from Lipnick:

Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Moses – exhibited in the Church of St Peter in Chains in Rome – is one of the most celebrated pieces of High Renaissance art. It depicts a seated Moses nobly holding the tablets of the Law after having descended from Mount Sinai for the second time (Exodus chapter 34). The statue, which was completed in 1515 to adorn the tomb of Pope Julius II, is beloved for many reasons: the sense of impending movement that it captures; the amazingly lifelike appearance of the musculature, beard and hair; and the knowing expression of wisdom on the face of Moses. But above all, what makes this statue famous is the rather odd fact that Moses has two horns on the top of his head. Why is this?

Why, indeed, Lipnick. I was wondering the same thing myself. For some reason, this song kept repeating in my head, a persistent ohrwurm, as the Germans are wont to say. Oh nein, ich bekomme den Ohrwurm. Perhaps persistent is redundant, because persistence is the very nature of the ohrwurm. Nevertheless, this song blasted relentlessly:

Moses supposes his toeses are roses
But Moses supposes erroneously
And Moses, he knowses his toeses aren’t roses
As Moses supposes his toeses to be

Moses supposes his toeses are roses
But Moses supposes erroneously
A Rose is a rose
A Nose is a nose
A Toese is a toese

Hupidubidu! (ehehehehe)
Moses supposes his toeses are roses
But Moses supposes erroneously
And Moses, he knowses his toeses aren’t roses
As Moses supposes his toeses to be

Moses! (Moses supposes his toeses are roses)
Moses! (But Moses supposes erroneously)
Moses! (And Moses, he knowses his toeses aren’t roses)
As Moses supposes his toeses to be

Mose is a mose is a mose is a moses
A rose is a rose is a rose is a roses
Couldn’t be a lily or a daffy, daffy dilly
It’s gotta be a rose ’cause it rhymes with Mose


(dance break)


Where have I heard that before? Of course, it was Gene Kelly & Donald O’Connor in Singin’ In The Rain. The part where they are practicing their elocution but it is so boring, so they make it into a silly song and dance. Then Debbie Reynolds comes over, and they get even sillier. But I digress. Speaking of digressions, practically every episode of The Twilight Zone was a classic, but the only good Night Gallery was the one where they put the earwig in the man’s ear. It was called The Caterpillar, season 2, episode 22:

Night Gallery – The Caterpillar (S2E22)

All right. Enough diversion. Let’s get back to the issue at hand. Moses. Why did Michelangelo carve him in marble with horns? This is from Exodus 34, where he comes down from Mount Sinai for the second time, with the stone tablets, the ten commandments. The first time he found them worshipping the golden calf. So he broke that tablet. If you recall Chrarleton Heston portrayed Moses, and Edward G. Robinson, who mostly played gangsters, was the leader of the golden calf cult. I totally buy Heston as Moses, but Edward G. is kind of incongruous, if not an out-and-out anachronism. Don’t you think? Keep expecting him to call Heston a dirty rat.

So, Lipnick explains all about the translation, which revolves on the Hebrew word karan or keren. Of perhaps Karen? Like Moses came down from Mount Sinai and demanded to speak to the manager about the appalling golden calf worshipping taking place? I could be wrong, but I heard that Hebrew, in days of yore, omitted vowels, so perhaps it could be read as Karen? Probably not, though. Anyway, Lipnick says it was keren or karan. This means horns, but it could also mean rays of light. Lipnick’s article delves deeply into this word, and he cites other occurrences of it. Like, the Prayer of Habakkuk: “His splendor was like the sunrise, rays (קַרְנַיִם) flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden” (Hab. 3:4). Another citation is from the writing of Paul: …the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory (δόξαν), transitory though it was…” (2 Corinthians 3:7).

Is this the one about the 2 Corinthians who walk into a bar? Who do they see, but Jerry Falwell Jr., his wife, Becki, and the pool boy.

Getting back to the horns of Moses, Lipnick goes on to explain that the culprit at the root of this thorny problem of false translation was the famous 4th/5th century Church Father Jerome. Born in Dalmatia, educated in Rome, settled in Bethlehem, Jerome devoted many years of his life to producing an improved Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate.

Jerome (345-420) spent the second half of his life writing in monastic seclusion in a cell in Bethlehem. He was a learned and experienced translator, deeply familiar with the Greek translation of the Bible (Septuagint). He employed several Jewish teachers in Palestine to teach him Biblical Hebrew. It is therefore particularly odd that Jerome should have chosen this irresponsibly literal translation of the verb karan. Why did he not follow the figurative direction taken several centuries earlier by the Greek translators in the Septuagint?

The Septuagint, or LXX, was a Greek translation that was done in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, and there were 70 translators working on it, which is why it is called Septuagint, or LXX. The Hebrew Torah (The first five books of the Old Testament, or the Pentateuch) was translated into Greek at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–247 BCE).

Fast forward to Rome. 1515, and Michelangelo is told to carve up a slab of marble for a statue of Moses to adorn the tomb of Pope Julius II. Not having the iconic image of Charleston Heston at hand, he takes out his dog-eared and well worn copy of the Vulgate. You know the rest.


solfeggio-benefitsI finished Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami a year ago but just now have gotten around to writing a review. It was the weakest Murakami book I have read, and that explains why it has taken me so long to get around to this. I feel like the protagonist who finally gets around to finding out why all his friends from high school suddenly started ghosting him. It has a lot of intriguing ideas but it goes nowhere. This is Murakami’s formula, but elsewhere it generates a lot of thoughts trying to answer the unanswered questions. Enigmas wrapped in riddles made of Zen koans. Here it just seemed like laziness and he was following his formula like a hack writer cranking it out and phoning it in.

There are a lot of paranormal happenings, as per usual in Haruki’s world. The gist is that the protagonist had 4 friends in High School that were really tight. They all had a color in their name, but he didn’t. Hence he is colorless. But then, after he goes away to Tokyo for college they never want to see him again and won’t say why. He goes on about his life but can’t shake off the feeling, wondering what happened to cause his banishment.

He meets a younger man named Haida while swimming who likes classical music, coffee, & cooking. They hang out & he enjoys Haida’s company, but after he finishes college he goes home to the north & never returns. Tsukuru misses him, plus Haida told him a strange story about a jazz musician who encountered Haida’s father & told him a strange tale. The jazz musician called himself Midorikawa, or Green River. Midorikawa, a jazz pianist, will probably have 6 fingers, but the sixth finger he wears in a bag that is tied around his neck. All right, tell me more. But he tells you less, after hinting that there is some revelation at hand, some point or purpose to the sixth finger.

One of the things I like about Haruki Murakami is he always has musical elements in his story. The friend who likes classical music likes a piece by Liszt, part of a suite on his years of pilgrimage. One of his high school friends also played the piece. This implies that the colorless one is not just drifting, wondering where his friends went, but that he is on some kind of pilgrimage. Or perhaps, he has put off his pilgrimage, and when he meets a woman he likes, she senses that this unfinished business is keeping him from moving forward, taking their relationship to the next level. So, she pushes him to find out.

But he never really finds anything out and it just meanders and peters out. Not with a bang, but a whimper.

Zoom Toast

coltrane200Since we can’t meet in person, my family has been getting together on Zoom once a week. Don talked about his cat Ziggy. He bought numerous cans of tuna intended for his own use, but somehow, the cats know he has it and they keep nagging him, so he gives in. Is it the sound of the cabinet and can opener or a specific time? It’s uncanny how Ziggy can always sense when there is tuna to be had. Can he smell it through the can? He did open a can and tried to be extra quiet. No Ziggy. Then, he went out on the front porch and there was a whole gang of cats, all demanding tuna. Finally Ziggy shows up, but there is just a half a can of tuna to be shared among upwards of seven cats. Good luck, Ziggy. Maybe if you weren’t so vocal, the neighborhood cats wouldn’t all come a‘ crashing your tuna party. Was Ziggy’s can half empty or half full?

Nancy spoke about how her tortoises like to eat flowers, and if she puts on nail polish, they will try to bite her toes. Is it the aroma, or is it the colors? Anyway, did you know there’s a place on Maui where the minnows will nibble your toes? Doesn’t hurt. In fact, it feels really good. Like somewhere between a massage, a tickle, and a shrimp job. What’s a shrimp job? Something to do on a three hour tour. A three hour tour? If not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost. The Minnow would be lost. Help! Can’t get that song out of my head.

When I talked to mom on Wednesday I thought that Joanie was having a party at Lisa’s, and not going to Mom’s Thursday Night Girl’s Night, but then Daniel and Stacey, the Soonlyweds, dropped out, and everyone seemed to be going to Joanie’s (50th Birthday) party. Mom was cooking away, though. The show must go on. But wait! Now I hear that they all went to the beach and made sand castles. Someone was telling a story about mom giving a stranger directions but I missed the punchline. Oh, well. It was great that they got to go to the beach. Sand Castles. Audrey and London may have been there, and Audrey is really smart for her age, she already fully understands what old people are saying.

Tim has been working and actually had two full days of production! Prior to that he was catching up on deferred maintenance. It was really good to catch up. The rollers on the press have never been cleaner. But it is better to have actual work. Gotta stretch it out though — make it last. He is also fixing his motorcycle. He is trying to learn signing and Eliza got him to take a class, but he has a hard time remembering the signs. Someone said we should all learn at least one sign per week, but I couldn’t see what it was, since I am on audio only. I think I know the alphabet, or I used to.

The wedding is a hot topic. It is coming soon, August 1st — but there is this virus that’s been going around. So, it’s going to be on Zoom. 350 people. Cocktail attire. Wilson has a bowtie, and I think that Dexter should get a derby, like Cousin It. Yeah, and there has gotta be a way that we can all get champagne, so we can Zoom toast.

They might reopen the hotels in Maui in September, so Kevin might go back to work. Meanwhile, he had a job installing a window. Not Windows, the Bill Gates operating system. An actual window. A carpentry job. He had to rush though to get it completed in time for the Zoom meeting. A few minutes late, but he got the job done, and that is what matters.

We have moved the time of the Zoom meeting to 5 on Sunday. Maryland is in a later time zone and it is hard for Tim and Eliza to stay up that late.

Well, as for me, I was working on a guitar thing and it is really bearing fruit. As you know, I named chord voicings after Don, Lisa, Tim, Nancy, Kevin, and Joanie. There were two additional chords that were kind of awkward and didn’t always fit in, so I named them Troye and Ellen. Then there were pentatonic scales that these chord voicings inhabited, and they were shaped like C A G E and D chords, but could be moved around to form all the chords. So, I named them the C scape by the Sea Shore, take the A Train to the A Frame, the Jeep for the G Units, the E scape, for people who just want to get away, and then there is finally the D Formed Forest. Don and Nancy live in the C scape by the Seashore. Don is right on the coast but Nancy is kind of landlocked. Kevin took the A Train to the A Frame. He built it himself in Bend, Oregon. Then there is the Jeep for the G Units. This is a thing on 50 Cent songs. G stands for Gangster, as in OG — Original Gangster. What is a G Unit? I guess that is what 50 Cent designates his fans and supporters. Lisa and Troye are on the Jeep. Finally, Ellen inhabits the D Formed Forest. She is kind of alone there, except for Portia who lives with her, but hasn’t gotten a chord voicing named after her. There are some other chord voicings, theoretically, but they just aren’t practical, so what’s the use? I do have names for them, but why load you down with a lot of trivia?

Well, the next thing is that there is a lot of connection between a pentatonic scale and the one a minor third above. Like, in the Blues when you play Blues in A, you start on an A7 chord usually, but then the Blues scale is like a C Pentatonic scale. A to C is a minor third. But then when you play a half diminished two chord to an altered dominant seventh five chord, as you are wont to do constantly in Jazz, you also use scales that have a minor third connection. So, I made up a different way to remember CAGED, Caged, the order of the scales going up the neck, with the sequence backwards, where you use it for making the minor third connection. So the way it goes is you think of this sentence: e.g. a CD. Like, what is an example of an almost obsolete audio format? The initials e.g., mean for example. Let’s look it up and see if it refers to some Latin words or whatnot. I am curious. e.g. is the abbreviation for the Latin phrase exempli gratia, meaning “for example.” This abbreviation is typically used to introduce one or more examples of something mentioned previously in the sentence and can be used interchangeably with “for example” or “such as.” The use of e.g. implies that there are other potential examples that are not mentioned, so don’t also include a redundant etc. Also, if you use i.e., that is for one specific example. The Latin phrase this abbreviates to is “id est.” “Such as,” is basically the gist.

To get back to my pontifications on music, not grammar or Latin phrases abbreviated in scholarly works, I have one other point to make. I have these things called Zones, and there are 3 Zones, and they are 0, 3, 6, etc., multiples of 3 down the neck, i.e., Zone 3, then if it is a multiple of 3 minus or plus 1, then that would be Zone 2 and Zone 1 respectively. These Zones come into play when you are using the diminished scale or the Half Step Whole Step scale, used over dominant 7 flat 9 chords.

This is just to remind myself what I was thinking. I don’t expect others to understand what I am getting at. But I see that if you follow this order: E G A C D, it is like the same sequence of letters as C A G E D but backwards. Also, it starts on E, but that makes more sense and I have this little mnemonic device to help me remember it.

Here is how I remember the diminished chords:

G# B D F
C# E G Bb
F# A C Eb

Well, I am working on this idea but it is starting to wear me out writing all this technical jargon and mambo jumbo. And it is Sunday, which is the Sabbath Day, and I don’t like to do any actual work on this day.

So I won’t. I am listening to London Calling by The Clash and an Allman Brothers Band greatest hits package for 1969 to 1979. The Allman Brothers stands the test of time better, although at the time these were new, I couldn’t tolerate Allman Brothers as it was the preferred anthem of jocks and was just basically overplayed until I was sick of it. I really like some of The Clash songs but the enthusiasm needed to listen to so many repeats of the chorus and hook. Like, maybe Rudie CAN fail, and it makes me think of the former mayor of New York. On the other hand London Calling, Guns of Brixton, The Clampdown, Brand New Cadillac and Train in Vain could be kind of talking about our current situation. But I found myself skipping ahead a lot, while the guitar of Duane Allman and the others is just perfect, wonderful, I just love every note. It is Blues based, and kind of defines the Southern Rock genre as well, but despite the current split being pushed between Rebel Flags and statues of Confederate Generals, it is just so much based on The Blues, a music whose source is definitely African Americans. So, I guess by playing The Blues, they are saying that BLM. So, thanks. Black Lives do Matter, and they gave us The Blues. And what do we give them in return?

You know, I never saw The Allman Brothers Band, but I did see The Clash three times. Two of the best concerts I ever saw, and the worst. When they were at their peak, The Clash were the Greatest Rock and Roll Band of All Time, but then The Rolling Stones just hung in there, and regained their crown. The Clash petered out and The Rolling Stones are still around, and who can touch them? Joe Strummer is dead, so maybe it’s an unfair comparison, but The Clash had already fallen apart long before that. Yeah, he fired Mick Jones and then just hired some garage band hacks. Well, that was pretty arrogant of you, Joe. But The Stones. OK. All right. They are old. Keith Richards is like on permanent death watch, but appears to be indestructible. After the Apocalypse then it will be just Keith asking the cockroaches for a light.

Hell in a Hand Bucket


Who has been on this little ride?

All right, so I didn’t write 2,020 words today. Guess I’m just a poser. Not a real writer. Well, I did practice stuff in D & Ab. Let’s see. Last night I posted a long blog post about music. I am thinking of this kind of writing, how it is not really meant for anyone because it is full of jargon and also my own private lingo about how I remember chords and scales. Like, sometimes I look at my old notebooks, and even I don’t understand what I was saying. But this stuff is understandable to me, but maybe not to other people. I was thinking about writing a music book about some of my concepts but instead I am writing these posts. I kind of need to get it off my plate so I can move on to other things. I also want to document the ideas because they are good ideas even if no one else understands them. If I wrote the ideas down in a really good music manual that distills everything down and makes it understandable, then you could just read the book and know everything I learned only after years of study. I don’t think you can just download all the information. If you follow on your own path of discovery, then you will really know the material. Well, yeah. I read books and get a lot of information out of books, but then I try to understand it for myself, and look for other ideas that maybe aren’t in books. So, it seems kind of futile to write a book about the guitar, as if I could market it and it would be a shortcut to learning an instrument and also having your own ideas. This is not making much sense, if you think my music posts are gibberish. Well, what I mean to say is that I don’t know if other people will be able to get anything out of my writing about music and music theory but I am nevertheless compelled to write it anyway. I want to document my own ideas so that I will be able to remember them. All that thinking thinking thinking I have done, how could I remember any of it if I don’t write it down. The other thing is that I had a lot of trouble posting last night, the one called The Yinyang. I think that I was having a problem getting the picture of Spock to upload and I aborted in the middle. This caused my whole blog to get severely messed up and I couldn’t see if any of my previous posts were even there. I was in the bardo state. Limbo, and I don’t mean the dance where you have to go under a pole. I think the issue has resolved, but I wanted to post something just to see if it was back to normal and working again.