Kudzu poetry

Thursday, 17 March 2005, 8:52 | Category : Poetry
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At You Live Your Life As If It’s Real.

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The Irresponsibility Of Partisanship

Saturday, 12 March 2005, 15:37 | Category : Politics
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Here’s the deal – whether it’s local government, county, state, or national, we elect the various officials to represent us in the decisions of government. Because we long ago, except in small towns and for very local issues, outgrew the town-meeting style of government, we have to send people off to deliberate, legislate, and administrate our wants, needs, and tolerances of the body politic. We vote for conservatives, liberals, Republicans, Democrats, even on rare occasions an Independent, Libertarian, or in the case of certain ultra-liberal communities, a Socialist. But the common thread is that we’re sending these people off to do something. And mostly, historically, this has worked well enough to create a pretty remarkable society.

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Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Thursday, 10 March 2005, 19:22 | Category : Music
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BS&T was a band either ahead of, or behind, their time. They hit the scene in as 1967 was turning into 1968, with the release of “Child Is Father To The Man“. Al Kooper was the lead singer, and the group and sound was born out of his experimentation with early jazz-rock fusion. Many rock historians consider this to be one of the great albums of the ’60s. I’m not so sure – it’s good, but there’s only a couple of memorable songs – “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”, and “I Can’t Quit Her”. The album seems to consist of a bunch of lab experiments by Kooper, and if he and the band had hung together, the result might have been very, very interesting. But Kooper split, and was replaced by David Clayton-Thomas (they also gave Stephen Stills and Laura Nyro a shot). DCT’s voice is probably what 95% of the general public who even remembers BS&T thinks of. The second album, “Blood Sweat and Tears“, was a monster hit, with Top 40 material all over it. But BS&T was now sounding more like a lounge group (although a very polished one) than a jazz-rock fusion band. They followed this album, and it’s success, with a wierd State Department-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe in 1970, which, given the mood among the rock public at the time, was apostasy. And the tour was followed by the release of “Blood Sweat and Tears 3“, which started hot but then saw falling sales as music fans just didn’t find much to hang on to. The album had little original material – they covered “Fire And Rain”, “Symphony For The Devil”, and “40,000 Headmen” – and only “Lucretia MacEvil” and “Hi-De-Ho” got any notice. “BS&T 4” was better, actually pretty listenable, but few people were paying attention, and David Clayton-Thomas left soon after it was released.

So, where is all this going? To the album that was released by the next rendition of BS&T. Jerry Fisher was the new lead singer, there were some new horn players and more guitar presence. And the album that they released, “New Blood”, was very different from the earlier albums. It was jazzier, funkier, and not nearly so smooth and commercial-sounding. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a big seller. It’s apparently no longer in print, and was never released on CD as far as I can tell. And that’s a shame, because in some ways it’s my favorite BS&T album. People who hated the post-Kooper BS&T would have liked this album, I think, if they’d listened to it. And one song, “Alone” was covered by Stan Kenton on “Stan Kenton Plays Chicago”, a version that is simply amazing. I dug my recorded cassette of “New Blood” out yesterday, and realized I had forgotten just how good it was. If you like jazz-rock horn groups, and haven’t heard this one, it’s worth checking the used record stores.

Oracle un-tarred

Wednesday, 9 March 2005, 20:24 | Category : Geek Stuff, Unix
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In my early days of Unix, 1985 or thereabouts, when I needed to create an archive I used cpio. I don’t really remember why I used cpio instead of tar. Tar seemed to be the ubiquitous Unix archiving command. I ran across few fellow cpio-ers. So at some point, I gave in and started using tar. I rarely use cpio now, and almost never run across a reference to it. So I find it curious that Oracle, in the midst of distributing their patchsets for Oracle 9i (9.2), suddenly switched from distributing as tarballs, to distributing as cpio archives. It’s like a flashback to the Reagan Administration.

Archive by category

Wednesday, 9 March 2005, 20:07 | Category : BlogStuff
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I’ve added archiving by category, which mainly reveals how lopsided my posting has been towards Politics. I guess coming out of an election year, that isn’t too surprising. I suspect it will begin to even out a bit. Meanwhile, if you use Moveable Type, and want to learn how to do it, there’s a nice, simple tutorial here.

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