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small orange square This morning at the gym I finished working out, and was looking forward to my usual roasting in the sauna - tragically its door was blocked open and there was no heat or light within. Nothing to do but proceed directly to the shower, and show up at work a little early (as if anyone would notice - I'm a member of the Dawn Patrol). Once positioned before my computers, and lacking any specific assignment, I settled in to a day of web-surfing. I read everything Jay makes available currently at his mu Journal; apparently he's been at this for years but it seems he keeps only about his latest nine months on-line. Still, I hadn't given the guy much attention until now; he's an amusing ethnic Japanese from Hawaii who just moved to the Bay Area (Berkeley), and his priorities are sex and sushi - can't argue with that! His journal enlightened me to the existence of this page, an interesting snapshot of this moment's www-groupthink - it shows which WebCrawler searches are currently under way.

small yellow square At lunch I ventured back to Big Al's Record Barn, for a Hank Snow record and anything else that looked appealing (turned out nothing else was). This is what's been great about vinyl - if you're curious about someone's sound, but aren't ready for the $15+ CD fee, older stuff can usually be located in used vinyl, for just a few dollars, and with sometimes far superior packaging. (Even less than that for a scratchy copy from the thrift store.) And stores like Al's, if it's just one song you need, it was probably somewhere in his extensive selection of 45s. One could also root around for taping-loaners at the library, but not much can compare with the pleasure of bringing home a new (to you) LP and dropping it onto the turntable. In my case I know nothing of Hank Snow except I once heard his version of "I'm Movin' On" <1> on the radio (and it's his song) - at Al's I selected what seemed to be the optimum 'greatest hits'. The Record Barn's getting frantic - in addition to the usual, silent record-flippers there were a few French-speaking people in there today, with these dinky portable 45 players checking out their sounds pre-buy and loading up with great stacks of vinyl. Some shelves are empty, yet others still remain unexplored; this place is so big. I'm glad I live nearby for the demise of Al's shop (this is his last month in business), but it sure is sad watching this great resource fade away, closing up like various other vinyl shops I've known.

small green square Gave up on reading Salisbury's The 900 Days yesterday, turning it into the library on its due date. Interesting, but I'm too slow a reader for these dense historical books. Instead, I'm re-reading Jerzy Kosinski's Blind Date for maybe the third time, but I haven't read him at all in fifteen years. This and Cockpit are I think his greatest books, although we must give credit to his first, The Painted Bird (and Being There, his most accessible). The mention of The Painted Bird provokes me to complete something that's been revolving through my brain for a while:

The Books That Changed My Life

(and the years when I read them)
The Lord Of The Flies by William Golding (1968), and
The Painted Bird (1970)
Where I learned how incredibly brutal Man (and boys) can be
The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger (1969)
Where I learned that it wasn't just me
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1970)
Where I learned that all authority is corrupt
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1974)
...and I learned how things are going to turn out, because of that - but you may as well do a good job anyway
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe and
On The Road <2> by Jack Kerouac (1973),
Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe (1976) and even
Vagabonding by Ed Buryn (1977)
Candy by Terry Southern (1968)
A Walk On The Wild Side <3> by Nelson Algren (1976)
The Story Of O by Pauline Reage (1983)
Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr. (1989)
The Reality of Sex: Heaven or Hell?

small blue square Jeez, July 9. This is the day I started work, full-time after eventually finishing college, and I've been with the same company ever since (but at many different locations and positions). That's nineteen years! Where does the time go? This is where I must insert L's poem from our college days:

Time goes you say, but no, Alas!
Time stays, we go.

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small cyan square Hank Snow's 'traveling sound' is great! (and did you know he's Canadian?) Other good tunes: "I've Been Everywhere", "The Golden Rocket" and "Ninety Miles An Hour (Down a Dead-End Street)".

That big eight-wheeler, rollin' down the track
Means your true-lovin' daddy ain't comin' back
'Cause I'm movin' on, I'll soon be gone
You were flyin' too high, for my little old sky
So I'm movin' on.

CD - Compact Disk
LP - Long Play - 12-inch vinyl
mu - nothingness
45 - "single" - 7-inch vinyl
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<1>This song I know very well from the live Stones version on their "December's Children", which is actually one of those songs I run to, since it's my exact rhythm. (It was playing on my portable stereo as I finished up my two treadmill miles this morning - hence the curiosity).

<2> ...and the first ½ of The Dharma Bums Back

<3> ...which must be read within the context of its inspired song. No, not the Lou Reed number, but "Pimp" by the Tubes.

"Can't you control your bitches?
Ain't you got no vision?"