Saturday, November 26, 2005


Here we are two days on, and I am disposed to write again. It’s been a while since the mood struck me.

What’s been going on since I last posted is a myriad of “shiny things” has caught my attention. Some brought scorn, some sadness, some joy.

Let’s eat the dessert first. Things have been a little slack at work, so I stream jazz and make notes of the music I would like to buy. Wednesday I was fortunate enough to score Kyle Eastwood’s Paris Blue and Ellington’s Jazz Violin Session. I uploaded both and set them to play in two different programs.

The very excellent Ellington was mixed with Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section, The MJQ’s Blues On Bach, Charlie Haden’s Land Of The Sun, and Houston Person/Ron Carter’s Now’s The Time. If you want mellow jazz, you can’t beat it.

Eastwood’s Paris Blue is mostly up tempo. Mixed with the first Frank & Joe Show, 33⅓, The Crusader’s Urban Renewal, and Chick Corea’s Friends, it goes well with the second cup of coffee.

There was a big T’giving potluck for us orphans. This is the umpteenth year in a row that I made a Waldorf Salad and carved the turkey. We ate by John and Vicky’s back yard swimming pool. Did I ever tell you that the California climate is absolutely fantastic?

While we were having our meal with twenty or thirty of our closest friends, Americans were dying in an idiotic, purposeless war. Lots of sad there.

Enlistment in the Armed Forces is down. It might have something to do with the growing dissatisfaction with the handling of the war. What got to me was Dubya’s proposal of using to troops to enforce quarantine in the event we are struck with pandemic killer flu. If someone was thinking about signing on before that announcement, my guess is the rethinking brought about the realization that flipping burgers for another year or two wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The big news noise among the kneejerks in the main stream media is bird flu. Wild birds migrate intercontinentally each year and are a virtually uncontrollable vector. Domestic flocks that are maintained outdoors as they are in most of Asia are at high risk of becoming infected when their wild cousins stop by for a meal and a schmooz.

In a few documented cases the disease has made an interspecies jump, infecting scores of Asians. It is thought to have a mortality rate as high as 50%, but that number can be highly inflated, because not all cases, particularly mild ones, would be reported, or if reported, properly diagnosed.

As yet, it is thought that humans infected by diseased birds have not infected other humans. The big fear is that it may mutate into virulent strains which would be readily transferable both interspecies and intraspecies. But again, that is conjecture on the part of the doomsayers.

So far it is a problem affecting the bird populations of Asia and Europe. Africa should not be far behind, and it is only a matter of time until it makes its appearance in the New World.

Wait until it gets to Africa and infects people who are already HIV positive. That would get all the Chicken Littles scurrying around telling us to get out hard hats on.

Now here’s the poser: If the government can’t stop illegals from coming here, how do they expect teenagers armed with assault rifles to stop migratory birds? I mean, the swallows are coming back to Capistrano whether or not they are carrying H5N1.

The administration’s scare tactics on the possibility of an outbreak of killer flu is total hooey. I can’t recall a year that there has not been a strain of influenza pop up for which there was no immunization. No matter how much money is spent on development of new vaccines, they will more than likely be passé by deployment time.

The Sydney flu was particularly bad. I came down with it big time, even though I had had a flu shot in the fall of ’99. The National Guard didn’t get involved then and the wheels of world commerce continued to turn. I guess that was Democratic tax-the-rich flu, so several billion dollars doled out on no-bid contracts were not needed.

Well that’s all the peeve I have, at the moment. How about some more dessert?

I attended a classical guitar open mic at the Espresso Café a week or so back and heard the most incredible playing from a 16 year old girl, who off stage was a gawky teenager and a virtuoso on stage. The venue is always fun. If you have an extra minute go to www.espresso-garden.com/
. The artwork is fabulous.

Y’all get out there and spend some more money; you’ve only got 29 days to buy all that stuff that’s going to make him/her/them or it happy.

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