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.

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