Walkman Crawls Off To Die

The end of a home electronic era that deeply saddens me.  My vintage Sony Walkman D-EJ958 — metal case, beyond durable construction, never skipped and, coupled with an Airhead amplifier, produced the richest portable sound I’ve ever heard — had a terrible flaw: it was powered by rechargeable batteries that, after years, stopped recharging. And Sony didn’t make them any more. By a miracle, I tracked down a set of rechargeables that precisely matched the originals. After years, same problems.

The glorious hope is that the player could use an external power adapter that used regular AA batteries. Little more cumbersome, sure, but it worked many years longer than both the rechargeables combined. Then last week, it went haywire and began to get hot as hell with the batteries in it. Not. Good. And the final terrible development is that Sony has discontinued the external power adapter.

This was my favorite portable source since CDs were the raging rulers of music. Sure, I already have a second Walkman set with an Airhead, but it is decidedly the acceptable-plus backup player.

(Sob.)

 

The Mystery of Alan Wilson

Canned Heat was the first rock band I saw —  an MSU concert that was as uptight as you might imagine. But already the prime songwriter and lead singer was gone. He wrote strange turns of phrase and intuition that suggested the English and even Roots America investigation into the blues was stubby. Never will know what he might have gone on to discover. I see his beach death scene in dreams.

I’m So Stuck in the (Old) Mud

Was at an event with media-design crazies who work all day online, who were explaining their methods and motions to a crowd of about 40 UX fascinateds. The panelists mentioned Medium a number of times (with notes about its shortcomings as a source of information). So I told my whole story about Medium and my “How I Capture Rapture” piece and how they stopped paying people.

Did I say who I was? No.

Did I name this blog? No.

Sure hope this is (Old) Beauty Mud.

Oh, Swell —

Now I have to put the lovely artwork of this CD in the Never-Play Shitpile with the Nuge.

Hey, the rain today wasn’t a ferocious as predicted …. got to see modern dance presentation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner and get one of my good ganders at a painting of a demon by someone who believed they were real.

(It’s “Saint Michael, Archangel.” The demon does not look like any clever monster-mashups from scary creatures. Really suggests something not from this universe.)

St. Michael.jpg

Homage To Nature

Sometimes the ocean in which we are the merest of ripples can deliver tiny joys. Today on our walk through the park, after seeing the rather yucky slug on the walkway, I mentioned that it seemed like years and years since we had seen any Woolly Bear caterpillars and how I remained fascinated (in fun) with their ability to predict the upcoming winter.

We then proceeded to see six of them, all very small, four edging along and two squished. Still have a little tingle from my words made fuzzy flesh.

Fred W. McDarrah: “New York Scenes”

A superb hardcover presentation I am proud to own.

In sunny moments, I remember how seeing many of these for the first time on microfilm at Montana State University Library thrilled and excited me — this was how this world hidden by my isolated Montana culture looked!

In dreary afternoons like today’s, it can suggest not only a vanished world but a broken, or at least unfulfilled, promise: American bohemia would last forever; there was always going to be places, more and more maybe, where you could run wild and break the rules if you did it with grace and style. But true mass bohemia ruins the phenomenon. And the decline and fall of the Establishment made the rebellions empty.

In calm evenings like this, I can settle on being grateful that I met Beat writer stars Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsburg and found the latter to be especially funny, entertaining, wonderful in a rowdy Montana bar and even a wise, guru-type person. He conveyed a lasting impression of the freedom Beat and Hippie granted youth.

Oh, and the book includes a marvelous photo I had not seen of Leonard Cohen right before his first NY performance.

A Sauce Condiment I Won’t Buy Again, But Really Glad I Bought Once

Because it taught me a general lesson about condiment sauces.

The scoop: This is part of a new line of sauces that Whole Foods is introducing. the others did nothing for me, but this sounded intriguing — “White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba.”

Now the last is a name I’ve never heard of. And the description (and rather low calorie count of a Tbsp: 20) sold me on it:

“This preserve is used for celebrations in Central Asia and Middle East. Versatile enough to be used as a treat at any time — pair it with buttery toast, crepes, game or pork. On puff pastry with feta for an exotic twist to palmiers. Drizzle over vanilla ice cream with wine-poached pears or roasted figs.”

(D had a telling response when she saw the jar at home: “Wine-poached pears? WTF??”)

But of course I stupidly missed the most important part of the label: the second listed ingredient is sugar, so although we got this cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, mace … it’s essentially a kind of savory jam or jelly. Quite too sweet for me.

The lesson is that if a condiment/preserve goes well with just about anything, it’s some sort of jam or jelly thing. Which I don’t like.

Indeed, “murabba” is translated as “jam.”