Month: June 2014

Getting lost in her loving is your first mistake

Rock the Day Deep Pain / Beautiful Song

June 29, 1974: Canadian folk artist Gordon Lightfoot hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with Sundown. Some say it has something to do with his then-girlfriend Cathy Smith, linked to John Belushi’s 1982 drug death. Lightfoot will say that Smith is “the one woman in my life who most hurt me.” You either transform or transmit hurt. Seems to me singing is transforming, so good on you, Gordon:

Mowing and the Kobayashi Maru Scenario

MowTrek

 

Certain constants apply

no matter the alternate Star Trek reality. Kirk,

for instance, telegraphs his punches.

 

Have you noticed?

 

My mind will not be still when I mow the lawn.

Typically I run though the list of people in my life

Who deserve to have awful things happen to them.

 

Otherwise, I concoct alternate-reality Star Trek plotlines.

 

For instance: Spock, the cool calculator,

Not Kirk, the fiery hot reactor,

Cheats on the Kobayashi Maru Scenario at Starfleet Academy.

 

When Kirk confronts Spock, he makes to give the Vulcan

a good one across the lips. Unflinching, Spock

reaches out and pinches Kirk’s shoulder.

 

Kirk collapses to the deck. Closeup on Spock’s face and then the thing

With the eyebrow.

 

— Copyright © 2014 Steve Kline

A Day With the Corps of Discovery

In the summer of  1804, the Corps of Discovery — the Lewis and Clark Expedition — passed the region now occupied by Omaha and Council Bluffs. The name of the latter city, of course, derives from the fact that it was upon the bluffs depicted here that the expedition “held parley with the Otoe and Missouri.” I do not know Richard & Dolores Boorman, but I want to thank them for the gift they made to improve the Lewis & Clark Monument high above the two cities. I took an opportunity to visit the monument today, and here are a few of the photos that resulted. From top to bottom: The plaque honoring the Boormans with the rain-soaked Missouri River flood plain in the background. Three views of the original art deco concrete monument. Finally, a panoramic view of Interstate 29 with floodwater on both sides, the flood-swollen bend of the Missouri and, way off in the distance, the tiny Omaha skyline.

This text greets visitors as they walk around the right-hand side of the monument upon approach.

This text greets visitors as they walk around the right-hand side of the monument upon approach.

With back to the precipitous Missouri River overlook, a shot of the "inside" of the original monument.

With back to the precipitous Missouri River overlook, a shot of the “inside” of the original monument.

Detail from one of the panels on the monument depicting Lewis & Clark's meeting with the residents of the neighborhood during te summer of 1804.

Detail from one of the panels on the monument depicting Lewis & Clark’s meeting with the residents of the neighborhood during the summer of 1804.

Looking out across the flood-swollen Missouri River.

Looking out across the flood-swollen Missouri River.

We were pulled apart because her mom did not agree

Rock the Day About a Dad and His Daughter

June 22, 1959: Memphis, Tennessee, is released. It is Chuck Berry’s poignant song about a divorced father trying to contact his 6-year-old daughter Marie by phone. The title is sometimes shortened to Memphis in the U.K. Berry’s original charts at #6 in the U.S. in  1963. Johnny Rivers’ cover hits #2 in 1964. Here’s Berry’s original, the Rivers cover, and Berry’s sequel, Little Marie:

For Shame

Agree completely. It is good to see the streams and canals full and water in the fields after recent rain. But it breaks my heart to go down to the beautiful Enders Reservoir and see it in its current shrunken condition.

Nebraska Grown

Irrigation equipment sits in standing water two miles north of Wallace, Nebraska on June 20. Irrigation equipment sits in standing water two miles north of Wallace, Nebraska on June 20, 2014.

S1000138 The dramatically reduced pool of water in Enders Reservoir on June 19, 2014.

Something is not right with this picture. Or, more accurately, these two pictures. At the top  is something seldom seen in southwest Nebraska: Irrigation equipment sitting in standing water in a corn field. In the contemporaneous photo below, you see the achingly sad condition of Enders Reservoir, down six feet due to resources district actions. This is an utterly shameful circumstance.

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He’s a well respected man about town

Rock the Day Happy Birthday Ray Davies

June 21, 1944: Ray Davies is born at 6 Denmark Terrace, Fortis Green in Muswell Hill, North London, England. He is the seventh of eight children born to Fred and Annie Davies, including six older sisters and younger brother Dave Davies. For his 13th birthday, Ray gets a guitar. In 1963, Ray and Dave form The Kinks, destined to become one of the most influential groups of the British Invasion. The gritty guitar riffs and the Davies brothers’ vocal stylings create a template for early punk rockers. Their first single is a cover of Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally. Virtually no one notices. You Really Got Me, written by Ray, is their breakthrough single. The Kinks’ foray into psychedelia, the haunting See My Friends, predates The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) by six months. See My Friends is inspired by the untimely death in 1957 of the Davies’ older sister Rene. By the late ’60s, The Kinks are doing introspective social commentary, witness A Well Respected Man. The Kinks perform to this day. Cool.