I want to move here:
and start up a ukulele group specializing in swing music. I’ll call it Uke Ellington.
Or something. I’ve actually got a list of 1920s–1940s songs, some I know, some I’m working on, some I’d like to learn sometime. At the moment it’s:
  • Ain’t Misbehaving
  • All of Me
  • Anything Goes
  • As Time Goes By
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo
  • Don’t Get Around Much Any More
  • Dream a Little Dream of Me
  • Goody Goody
  • I Got Rhythm
  • I’m Beginning to See the Light
  • In the Mood
  • Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby
  • It Had To Be You
  • It’s Only a Paper Moon
  • Makin’ Whoopee
  • My Walking Stick
  • A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
  • On the Sunny Side of the Street
  • Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone
  • Puttin’ On the Ritz
  • Sentimental Journey
  • Straighten Up and Fly Right
  • Swinging On a Star
  • Take the “A” Train
  • Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye

Airport welcome

Airport welcome

Syracuse Hancock International Airport: There are flights to and from Toronto, not sure what other international destinations. I do know it’s possible to fly from Cyprus to Syracuse via Toronto. Not a big point of entry, but it is one.

Tonight a little after 6:30 there was a traffic jam on the way in.2017-01-29-18-37-19That was about a kilometer from the parking lot entrance, a distance that took me about 40 minutes to cover.

The reason for all the traffic, of course, and for my being there, was that something was going on.2017-01-29-19-15-23The resistance, over a thousand strong. Not that as far as I know anyone’s been detained at Hancock but, well, airports seem to be the place this weekend.

I got there about five minutes before the end of the invited speakers, although a few other people went up to the mic to talk between chants. Didn’t see any morris dancers this time but did see the person who sat next to me yesterday at SyraUke.2017-01-29-19-23-17Syracuse is a sanctuary city, at least as long as the current mayor is in office, and has a substantial refugee population. Near me in the crowd was a cluster of girls who I suspect were refugees or daughters of refugees themselves. They were loud, they were energized, they were happy. They were seeing America at its best.screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-10-16-41-pm

Then it was time to go home. Took me another 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot. Syracuse, you make me proud.


#MarsWalk Day 386, 2291.0 km

I’m three fourths of the way there as of today!

And there’s still not a lot to say about my surroundings. But about 108 km to my west is an unnamed fresh crater imaged as a stereo pair by HiRISE, so get out your 3-d glasses:screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-9-59-28-pm

Probably a couple more months of I Got Nothin’ coming up, and then toward the end of the walk things get interesting again.

MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)

An open letter to my 17 year old son

An open letter to my 17 year old son

Dear son,

So what did you think of news of the Women’s March on Washington and the sister events worldwide? I was inspired by them.

Let me tell you some of my political history. I remember back in 9th grade I was a Nixon supporter, maybe for no better reason than that he was the first Richard elected President, but during high school I started becoming better aware of what was going on and by 1973 I was wearing an “Impeach Nixon” button. I was delighted when first Agnew and then Nixon resigned, and while I liked and respected Ford a lot more than them, I was euphoric when Carter, with the help of my first ever Presidential vote, won the 1976 election.

By 1980 I’d become disenchanted with Carter’s performance as President and infuriated with his reinstatement of draft registration so I voted for an independent, John Anderson. Of course Reagan won. During those years, especially while I was living in Maryland near DC, I took part in a number of demonstrations for causes I believed in. But after the disastrous 1984 election in which Mondale won only one state (plus DC) my political activity waned. I voted but that was about it. I alternated between discouragement and complacency as we went from Reagan and Bush to Carter to Bush to Obama, and as the Congress went back and forth between Democratic and Republican control.

I never greatly altered my political beliefs: Equal rights, opportunities, and justice for all, regardless of sex, race, gender identity, or beliefs; support and respect for the underprivileged and working class; justice and kindness ahead of profits; military force only to defend our values in the most dire of emergencies; environmental responsibility; science based approach to policy; health care for all.

In the past couple decades I watched as the Republican party went from a fairly principled, right-leaning party to unprincipled, right-wing extremists, to a party willing to do anything, say anything, and accept anything if it withholds power from the Democrats, willing to hand a blank check to the most lying, corrupt, ignorant, narcissistic, racist, power hungry Presidental nominee of all time and a supporting cast of billionaires, Nazis, and white supremacists. On November 8 my discouragement and complacency were replaced by disgust, anger, and fear. I felt physically sick the next day. The danger to America has never been worse.

Then this past Saturday I was one of 2000 people who turned out in Syracuse. My sister was at the protest in Portsmouth, NH; one of her daughters was at the Women’s March in DC; her other daughter was out in Amsterdam; and 3 or 4 million people around the world were standing up for progressive values and against Trumpism. Meanwhile Trump and his spokespeople were accompanying calls to invade Iraq to take its oil with easily refuted lies about the attendance and weather at the inauguration, and then relabeling their lies as “alternative facts”.

I was inspired by the size and power of the demonstrations on Saturday. I’m convinced we need to sustain this kind of activity in the face of the Trump threat, and I intend to act.

You’ll be turning 18 this year. You can vote. This year it’ll only be local elections but local politics is important too. In 2018 there will be Congressional elections and we’ll have an opportunity to change the trajectory of national politics then. Whether your political views are the same as mine or not, it’s important you make them known, by voting at the very least, and even better by communicating with your Congressional representatives, by working for better candidates, and by speaking out in your community. Take a stand for what you believe in. I am.

Bite the hand

So Trump is where he is today in part due to the failures and misdeeds of the mainstream media… and now he’s declared war on the media.

Poor MSM. Hammered by the left, who want them to change and expose Trump for the treasonous fraud he is, and on the other hand getting no incentive from Trump not to.

Let’s see what happens.



One of the organizers of Syracuse in Solidarity, a sister event to the Women’s March on Washington, said there were about 2000 of us there. If anything I think that’s perhaps an underestimate. But I’ll let you count ’em. (Add one, I was up on the parking garage roof at the time.)solidarity

I hadn’t even gotten to the federal building plaza before running into enough morris dancers for a side + music.

The event was pretty peaceful and civil, except for one person who had a sign that said “Donald Trump likes Nickelback”, which I thought was unnecessarily mean. To Nickelback.

My sister meanwhile was out in Portsmouth, NH; one of her daughters was in DC; the other was in Amsterdam. Together separately!

I’ve seen a lot of great pictures from events around the world, including this one from Melissa Benoist:screen-shot-2017-01-21-at-2-53-14-pm

As one of the speakers today said, we in Syracuse know the power of snowflakes when they act together.snowflakes

I liked today a lot better than yesterday.

And if you’re considering replacing the Hillary bumper sticker on your car, let me suggest this:hashtag_impeach_decal


I was on LiveJournal from 2004 to 2007, at which point I moved here to WordPress. At some point I exported the last month of LJ posts and imported them here.

Recently I got a notification that someone had liked one of my 9+-year-old LJ posts (spammer, probably) and that set in motion a train of thought that arrived at the idea-station of migrating all my LJ posts to here. For no good reason. But I felt like it.

Unfortunately the official WordPress LJ importer didn’t work for me; WP support blamed LJ, but pointed me to another solution which I used. I think everything came through, though not necessarily unscathed — looks like comments are anonymized, for instance — but it’s good enough considering there’s no demand for this anyway.

So now there’s 3+ more years of archive here. In case you were planning on binge reading. Maybe reconsider.


Antique (ca 2013) musical instruments

Antique (ca 2013) musical instruments

I went to look for the blog posts where I showed off the instruments I built back in summer 2013 and discovered there were no such posts. Some pictures in progress but none of the completed objects. Bad blogger! Bad!

So, okay, here they are: One diddley bow, and one fretless 3-string cigar box guitar. Nothing objectively notable about either, but I enjoyed making them. And no, I still haven’t gotten around to learning to play them, so they hang on the wall. Someday maybe.

Also someday maybe I’ll get back to the fretted cigar box guitar I started building not long thereafter, and never got very far with.

img_1931 img_1925