Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Here's a little piece from a 1910 book called Heroes of California, complete with a photograph of the man, and one of the terrain he crossed.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
If you go over to her MySpace page, the first three songs there are from the new album. And for those of us who don't speak Gaelic, there is the luxury of lyrics and translations here.
P.S. "Lon Dubh," also on the MySpace page (I think it was released as a single) might be familiar to those of you who are better at your pop culture than am I. Embarassingly, the title is one of the few Gaelic words I actually know, and yet for the longest time I couldn't figure out why the tune was so familiar!
Monday, September 28, 2009
And a very uncomfortable shot, looking down from the third floor. That checkered bit to the left of the centre is the ground floor. It isn't all that far, as heights go, but it is the one thing about the capitol which has impressed me from an early age. Artistically, I have always loved the view. Altitude-wise. . .let's all move along now, eh?
The motor and prop of a biplane, from the Capitol City Airshow.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
(The website above is nicely set up and very extensive and, yes, it includes pictures--oh! such pictures!)
EDIT: Yes, I do have other things to do, why do you ask?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
There were plenty of photo opportunities, but the best of them required a fast-draw style that I have not yet acquired with the camera. I managed to catch some airborne acrobatics faintly here, above the tail of the plane on the ground.
There were a few old warbirds there, including a P-38, which was very exciting to see, however the pictures I got of that in flight might as well have been the Loch Ness Monster for all you could tell what they were ("It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a. . .spot on the lense!")
When we first arrived, there was an F-22 Raptor running through some of its tricks. I don't know that I've ever seen anything that was both so graceful, and so powerful. It commanded your attention, and drew you right along with it, so you were, at the same time, more conscious than usual of your feet, planted firmly on the ground, while it seemed your heart and soul were spiraling off into the sun. Again, no good pictures on my part, but I found something better on YouTube--here's a short video clip of an F-22 in action at Nellis AFB.
Of course, the top billing of the day was the Air Force's Thunderbirds in their F-16's. Precision flying is pretty neat to begin with; when you see it done in graceful little crafts that are going upwards of 400 miles an hour, it leaves you quite bereft of any words to describe it. I hadn't been to an airshow in at least ten years, and in that time my mind had acquired a new simile for that kind of perfect flying. I was a little unnerved when the thought crept in, "They're like SFU!" Which is like comparing apples and oranges (or worse, comparing Naills and F-22's) but there is a certain something that sort of precision has in common, a single-minded pursuit of excellence that leaves one much the better for having seen it.Then add to such excellence, the breathtaking (an overused word, but honest, I don't think I was doing much breathing at the time) sight of a trim aircraft carrying the impossible cargo of a single human soul straight up for miles, dwindling until, at last it is swallowed by the huge, silent grey desert of sky. An astronomer might tell you that the pilot has not even scratched the surface of the universe, but a fact like that does nothing to banish the phrase that is running through your mind, and probably many of the minds around you: "I have. . .put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
And here is a video that has been knocking about in my computer for a month or so, something I found on Comhaltas' YouTube channel. It is the reel "Farewell to Ireland," played by Aidan O'Neill. I stand (or sit, rather) in much awe of the fluidity of Irish bowing. Here is a lot of it:
And, speaking of fluid bowing, Jamie McClennan just came out with a solo album. I saw this video some time ago and had a little trouble trying to figure out exactly where he hails from. He plays with Emily Smith (Scots singer), very smooth, Irishy bowing, or is that smooth, bluegrassy bowing?
Anyway, come to find out, he's from New Zealand!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Here the mantis does "The Mantis."
When I left, the original mantis was a little higher up the wall, and the porch light had drawn another.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009