At the neighborhood coffee shop, there is a Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.
At the neighborhood coffee shop, there is a Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.
A friend and former employee of mine bought one of the early Segway Personal Transporters back in 2002. Remember those? I got to ride it one time and thought it was fun. He used it to commute several miles daily, at least in the summer. The inventor, Dean Kamen, said they were going to change the world, and he started to do some urban design prototyping of the wider sidewalks that he thought all major cities would need to support the massive amount of Segway traffic, once they replace cars.
But they didn’t. The product was expensive. People laughed at the idea of riding around in the city standing upright on an electric wheeled contraption. Sales were nowhere near what Segway hoped, and they eventually sold the company to the Chinese. People kept driving.
Fast forward almost 20 years. Now, there’s someone on an electric scooter on every block in Denver, usually several of them. What one generation thought was stupid the next generation thinks is a great way to get around. Of course, the price has come down by a factor of 20, and you can now rent one with your smartphone for a dollar rather than plunking down several grand to buy your own. Maybe that’s the differentiator.
When I have time, some weekends I make muffin tin omelets, also sometimes called no-crust quiche. It makes it easy for me to have a high protein, low carb breakfast throughout the week. In the past, I’ve used a fairly shallow muffin tin. But that makes muffin tin omelets that aren’t quite enough to satisfy me, while eating two of them is too much food for breakfast. So I decided I needed a larger size muffin tin. Last time I visited my parents, I learned Mom had a spare! So I took it home with me.
Like my old one, the new tin holds 6 muffins, but each one is much deeper. Today, I finally had time to make some muffin tin omelets again. If you’ve never made these, you should try it sometime. You can find a ton of recipes online, so I’m not going to give you all the details, but here is the general idea.
Today, the things I put in were:
What, you don’t know about umami pepper? I found this thing on a “if we can’t sell it, we’re just going to throw it out” rack at Safeway a couple years ago and it was the most wonderful discovery.
Then I baked it until it looked good to me. That turned out to be 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And here is the result:
They sure look good, but I already ate lunch, so I’ll save these for later.
I had a bit of trouble getting them out of the muffin tin, maybe I need to coat the pan with something greasier next time. Or cook them inside of muffin cups.
From 1988 to 1992, nearing the end of his life, Frank Zappa released a series of CDs made from live recordings of his bands from the 70s and 80s. He had compiled a huge library of recordings, and scoured them for the best, most significant performances of much of his catalog of rock and jazz music.
One of these recordings was an instrumental track called “Big Swifty”. The studio version of this took up the entire front side of the “Waka/Jawaka” album from 1972, and featured Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Aynsley Dunbar on drums and Soul Music Hall of Fame member George Duke on keyboards. But I was drawn to the live recording of the piece that was released on “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 1“.
Sometime in the late 1990s, I was obsessed with that recording of that piece of music, in particular the middle improv section. You see, every time they played this track, the band improvised for several minutes in the middle. So no two recordings of it sound the same. The music in that section sounded unlike anything I was familiar with at the time, so I took the CD to work and played that track for a coworker of mine who was a bass guitarist and teacher with a serious background in jazz. “Where can I find other music that sounds like this?” I asked him. He listened to the recording once, maybe twice, and gave his answer, which was something like this:
“Yeah, that’s early- to mid-1970s fusion. Go listen to Weather Report and Herbie Hancock from that period.” So I did. At the time, I had never heard either except for Hancock’s weird track from the 80s called “Rockit” that they played on MTV. I started buying up Weather Report and Herbie Hancock albums, and grew a library of and appreciation for a whole new genre of music I’d never heard.
A few years later, I sold my turntable and gave away all my records, as part of what I call “the great downsizing of 2011”. But then I bought another better turntable (American made) in 2016, and rebuilt a small record collection. One of the first vinyl albums I bought? Herbie Hancock!
You still with me? Here’s where the story gets even better.
Now it turns out that in addition to making audio recordings of a ton of his live shows throughout the 70s and 80s, Zappa also filmed some of them. One film project was a set of shows his band did at the Roxy Theatre in 1973. The Roxy had just opened in the fall of 1973 and was the hot thing in West Hollywood. Tons of cool bands were playing there, and Zappa was booked to play on December 8, 9, and 10. The film crew filmed all of them on 16mm color film and made audio recordings (of course).
Unfortunately, there were some technical problems with the film reels they shot, preventing them from being synchronized to the audio correctly. And so the video was written off as a loss.
The audio recordings slowly made their way public over the course of the next 41 years. In 1974, Zappa released some of the recordings from the Roxy shows on the album “Roxy & Elsewhere“. But these recordings had overdubs of some parts. In 1988, some more recordings of those shows were released on “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 1” as I mentioned before. Those probably also had some edits and overdubs. In 2014, the album “Roxy by Proxy” was released that had original recordings of some of the other tracks from those performances, without any overdubs.
And then, in 2015, something wonderful happened. The technology of audio and video editing had advanced enough that they were able to go back to those 1973 film reels and repair them so they could be synchronized correctly with the audio recordings, which led to “Roxy – The Movie” being released. It’s a Blu-ray video from those shows, accompanied by a CD of the audio of those same recordings (without overdubs).
As of yesterday, I knew almost none of this. But then I found the video on Amazon Prime Video. So I decided to spend my Saturday night watching this 46 year old live performance, which I was pleased to discover included “Big Swifty”.
Can you guess what else I learned? The performance that’s in “Roxy – The Movie” is the exact same one that I heard 20 years ago on the live compilation CD from 1988. Now I can see all these amazing things I’ve only been able to hear for the past 20 years…
Thanks for bearing with my long gushing blog article.
If you want to hear the recording of this specific performance I’ve been talking about, it’s here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAe3_O3vZzQ
And if you have Amazon Prime, you can watch the movie right here: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Zappa-Live-at-Roxy/dp/B07JMX2Q7Q
The local art cinema is playing “Alien” as the midnight movie this Friday and Saturday night. That gave me the idea of how to spend my Independence Day evening. I’m now watching a double header – “Alien” (Ridley Scott) and “Aliens” (James Cameron).
I’d forgotten how many big name actors there were in the first one – Sir Ian Holm, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Yaphet Kotto, and Harry Dean Stanton – along with Sigourney Weaver.
Well, it looks like I chose well since I think the Denver fireworks display is likely to be canceled. We are under a severe thunderstorm warning with lots of wind and rain, and had a tornado watch a little bit ago. It’s a good night to stay inside and watch movies.
I just finished upgrading all my websites so they use HTTPS, and automatically redirect people to the https:// URL. So now when you come visit Todd Bradley’s Galaxy, your browsing experience will be more secure. Here are my sites that have been securified:
Speaking of security, are you using Firefox (or Tor) yet? You should. Here’s why:
Earlier this week I learned about a recall of MacBook Pro computers from 2015. So I went here to read more:
And I learned that my personal laptop is part of the recall! I wonder if they were going to proactively contact me, since Apple know that computer belongs to me and where to find me. Regardless, I contacted them and am now taking it in to the Apple Store next Tuesday for warranty service to have the battery replaced.
It is supposed to take 1 to 2 weeks, but I guess that’s better than having the battery explode while I’m using it.
I just finished listening to the audiobook version of “The Odyssey” and there are so many cool names in it. Some of them, I’ve heard before and some I haven’t. And I thought it would be fun to use some of these names in role playing games. But how can I get a list of them?
I did some googling a while back for things like “list of names from the odyssey” but all it turned up were pages that listed some of the main characters. I wanted all the names. So, I wrote a script. Or rather, I chained several Unix commands together on my Mac to print out what I wanted.
Here is the command:
http -p b GET http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/odyssey.mb.txt | grep -o -E '\w+' | grep -w '[^ ]*[A-Z][a-z]\+' | sort | uniq | aspell list
If you’re not familiar with Unix/Linux/MacOS command line, this:
And here is the resulting list of 379 proper nouns from “The Odyssey”, alphabetized for your enjoyment.
Acastus Achaeans Acheron Acroneos Adraste Aeacus Aeaean Aeetes Aegae Aegisthus Aegyptius Aegyptus Aeisthus Aeoli Aeolian Aeson Aetes Aethon Aetolian Agelaus Alcandra Alcinous Alcippe Alcmaeon Alector Aloeus Alpheus Alybas Amnisus Amphialus Amphiaraus Amphilochus Amphimedon Amphinomus Amphion Amphithea Amphitrite Amphitryon Amythaon Anabesineus Anchialus Andraemon Anticlea Anticlus Antilochus Antinous Antiope Antiphates Antiphus Apeira Apheidas Arceisius Arete Arethusa Aretias Aretus Argive Argives Arnaeus Artacia Arybas Asopus Asphalion Asteris Atomics Autolycus Autonoe Blest Boethous Cadmus Cauconians Cechalian Cephallenians Ceteians Chalcis Chios Chloris Chromius Cicons Cimmerians Cleitus Clymene Clymenus Clytius Clytoneus Cnossus Cocytus Crataiis Cretheus Crouni Ctesippus Ctesius Ctimene Cydonians Cyllene Cythera Damastor Danaans Deiphobus Delos Demodocus Demoptolemus Deucalion Dia Diocles Diomed Dmetor Dodona Dolius Dorians Dulichium Dymas Echeneus Echephron Echetus Elatreus Elatus Elis Elpenor Enipeus Epeans Eperitus Epeus Ephialtes Ephyra Epicaste Erechtheus Erembians Eretmeus Erinyes Eriphyle Erymanthus Eteocretans Eteoneus Euanthes Euboea Eumaeus Eumelus Eupeithes Euryades Euryalus Eurybates Euryclea Eurydamas Eurylochus Eurymachus Eurymedon Eurymedusa Eurymus Eurynome Eurynomus Eurypylus Eurytion Eurytus Evenor Geraestus Gerene Gortyn Gyrae Halios Halitherses Halius Halosydne Hellas Hermione Hippodamia Hippotas Hylax Hypereia Hyperesia Iardanus Iasian Iasion Iasus Icarius Icmalius Idomeneus Idothea Ilithuia Ilius Ilus Ino Iolcus Iphicles Iphimedeia Iphitus Iphthime Irus Ismarus Ithacus Itylus Lacedaemon Laerceus Laertes Laestrygonian Laestrygonians Lampetie Lampus Lamus Laodamas Lapithae Leiocritus Leiodes Lemnos Leocritus Lesbos Leto Leucas Leucothea Maera Maia Malea Malean Mantius Maron Mastor Medon Megapenthes Megara Melampus Melaneus Melanthius Melantho Memnon Mentes Mermerus Mesaulius Messene Messenians Mimas Minyan Moly Mulius Mycene Naubolus Nausicaa Nausithous Nauteus Neaera Neleus Neoptolemus Nericum Neritum Neritus Nisus Noemon Noman OEdipodes OEnops Ocyalus Ogygian Oicleus Orchomenus Ormenus Orsilochus Ortilochus Ortygia Ossa Otus Paeeon Pandareus Panopeus Paphos Patroclus Peirithous Pelasgi Peleus Pelias Pelion Periboea Periclymenus Perimedes Pero Perse Phaeacian Phaeacians Phaecian Phaecians Phaedimus Phaestus Phaethusa Pharos Pheae Pheidon Phemius Pherae Pheres Philoctetes Philoetius Philomeleides Phorcys Phronius Phrontis Phthia Phylace Phylacus Phylo Pieria Pirithous Pisander Pisenor Pleiads Poias Polites Polybus Polycaste Polyctor Polydamna Polyneus Polypemon Polypheides Polytherses Ponteus Pontonous Pramnian Procris Proreus Prymneus Psyra Pylian Pylians Pylos Pyriphlegethon Pytho Rhadamanthus Rheithron Rhexenor Rumour Salmoneus Samos Sardinian Scheria Scyros Sicania Sicel Sicels Sidon Sidonia Sidonians Sintians Solymi Stockman Stratius Sunium Syra Taphian Taphians Taygetus Tecton Teiresias Telamon Telemus Telephus Telepylos Telepylus Temesa Tenedos Terpes Theban Themis Theoclymenus Thesprotian Thesprotians Thetis Thoas Thon Thoon Thoosa Thrasymedes Thrinacian Thyestes Tithonus Tityus Trito Tydeus Tyndareus Tyndarus Zacynthus Zethus
In Denver, this was pride weekend. I was invited to walk in today’s parade as part of the Employees of the State of Colorado group, which I did. It was good fun. I got to meet the governor, wave a sign, and get in a nice walk on a nice day.
Here is a photo of Brooke and me, in front of some others in our group. We met up at Cheesman Park before walking out behind a state trooper patrol car that was decorated with rainbow stripes.
After we started moving, we then had to pause just outside the park for about 20 minutes until the parade actually began. Here is the group behind us, Rainbow Alley. The Celebrate Pride sign in the middle of the photo shows the State of Colorado’s new logo, modified for the rainbow theme.
The parade ended at Lincoln and Colfax, and we then went to the festival going on in Civic Center Park. Brooke spotted a tent of people from CSU so had to stop for a photo op, as a proud alum. I kept my mouth shut, being a wise CU alum.
Also, I didn’t take a photo but we were surprised to see my cousin Nashira, who just returned from college two days ago, and is working at NARAL for the summer. She and one other young woman were running the NARAL booth at the festival. I told her how proud I am of her.
Another tent we found was for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It’s my favorite museum and I’ve been a member for decades. So we had to get this photo.
According to my iPhone, we walked 4.3 miles. That includes walking to the start of the parade, walking in the parade, wandering around the festival, and walking home from the end of the parade.
After they cancelled my flight, they automatically booked me on one leaving Tuesday morning. Tuesday? There’s no way American can get me to Denver any sooner? Well, a couple phone calls later, I’m going to get back to Colorado today after all! Barely. Hopefully.