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small white square More hail today, during a brief, violent afternoon thunderstorm <1>. The pellets were ¼ inch at least, and the sun sometimes shone brightly through gaps in the clouds - I looked out at enormous raindrops, brightly illuminated by a California sunbeam, falling at an angle past my window. Maybe a half-hour after the storm there was a bright and strangely low rainbow - less than half of the arc was visible, and its angle with the horizon was only like 30°. I took a picture. The aftermath was lots of blown-down tree stuff in the streets, and a power outage.

small red square I'm listening to a tape I made of my parents' folk music. All these earnest young voices singing about locomotives, sailing ships and coal miners, with strumming accompaniment. Here's a sample lyric from the Brothers Four, "The Gallant Argosy":

"I will give you diamonds, and pockets full of gold,
 And my own fair daughter, your bonnie bride to hold
 If you swim up to the side of the Spanish enemy,
 And sink her in the lowlands, lowlands, low land
 And sink her in the Lowland Sea."
Don't laugh, this was one of my first favorite songs.
Given the modern mode of "cool", where all enthusiasm is shunned, it's a jarring contrast to hear a recording of "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore" made in 1961. They sing with such sincerity! Modern culture has become cynical since that time. I remember an interview I heard with Henry Mancini where his song "Moon River" was the catalyst for the comment that "we've lost so much" since Audrey Hepburn sang it on the fire escape, with her guitar. The emotional experience of this listening is amplified all the more for me since these are from the very same records I heard in the background during my earliest ages of memory. Another lyric:
"All day all night, Marianne
 Down by the sea-side, sifting sand."

small yellow square If you come to these pages for enlightenment or entertainment, and instead just received this, well... I bet you haven't heard that little rhyme in a quite a while!

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<1>Later I heard Sunnyvale actually received a tornado! Damage
but no death. Last time a tornado touched down here was 1951 (also in Sunnyvale). Back