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small orange square The skies were mostly cloudy-gray today, but the air was pleasantly autumnal. I misspoke previously, please forgive my hasty pontification - I must've been on an East Coast schedule. Fall foliage can be quite glorious up here in Northern California - today I saw much yellow-golden, orange-brown, and crimson colors in the leaves, a great many of which are now crunchy underfoot.

small gray square The soundtrack for this entry should be from "Fall", side 3 of "Sonic Seasonings", that pre-ambient double LP album Wendy Carlos produced back when she was Walter. It's a twenty-minute sound collage of surf, rain, wind blowing, fires crackling, cows mooing, seagulls and some simple tones, repeated. This record is finally available on CD (with bonus tracks - an alternate "Winter"). I swung through Tower today, but just to check out this tasty new "Nuggets" boxed set from Rhino. $60 marked down to $52 - ouch! Just can't see it, and I don't like the format, either - just give me jewel cases - with CDs in these book-like packages I have to store them apart from other CDs and I dislike that, so I have none.

small red square Bleak news from Russia, with the name of the day: Galina Starovoitova. Her shooting occurred in a building on St. Petersburg's Gribödova Canal, site of another notorious Russian murder - the crime in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. "It is one of the black pages in our modern history," Vladimir Putin, director of the Federal Security Service told the Interfax news agency. She was a probable candidate to be Russian President, succeeding Boris - if he lasts until their 2000 election.

small violet square I had a Travel Flashback while walking between the columns of the outside passage at the Mountain View library: I thought of the torii-tunnels of the Fushimi-Inari Shrine in Kyoto. We've all seen pictures of the huge torii standing out in a bay near Hiroshima (the Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima). Those at this shrine are smaller, just big enough for a couple people to walk through. Most were brand new but some were very old, and the usual space between them was about a foot. You could buy little ones there, scaled roughly to the Stonehenge model Spinal Tap had to use. There are said to be 10,000 of the vermilion gates along the Fushimi, packed so closely along the windy trails that they're like corridors. It was a sunny, balmy day in Spring when I was there, and it's not just a single path up to the shrine but a whole web of paths up and around this big foresty hill. At certain places you'd find stacks of the torii, sized both large and small, available for the fox worship. <1>

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small cyan square On another email account I received the following query recently - it's followed by my response. This isn't the first time I've gotten this kind of message - I think it's because there is or was a "top twenty" list of my running songs on an Idaho guy's web-page.

i am doing a project
i need to find a song about a person who 
loses their love i know one about a person 
who dies in a car wreck i think its called 
Dead Man's Curve
i just dunno who its by  
can u help me
any ideas??
please help as soon as possible
write back

"Dead Man's Curve" is a song by Jan & Dean. From the words, the singer probably dies in the car wreck, but there's nothing in the lyrics about losing a love - it's just two guys drag racing. The milder Beach Boys song "Don't Worry Baby" is sung by a racing guy to his girl, but it's before the race, so we don't know what happens.

The two big 'lost love in a car crash' songs I know are "The Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las (which, like "Dead Mans Curve", has crash sound effects - but the Pack Leader rides a motorcycle) and "Tell Laura I Love Her" by Ray Peterson, which is the most obvious 50's oldie "song about a person who loses their love... who dies in a car wreck."
But there's others less well known.

Hope this helps,


CD - Compact Disc
LP - Long-Playing (a 33 1/3 phono record)
torii - gate
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<1>Some Japanese might appear to worship the fox - this is their central Inari shrine, but those red-orange torii gates are what you see, not foxes. The belief in Inari, the fox deity, is a form of animism in which the fox is considered to be a spirit which mediates between the human and spirit world.