Saturday, April 05, 2008

A FIT OF NOSTALGIA

Back in the early 60s of the last century, I was a fan of a musical group called The Kingston Trio.
In them days, a “new” style of music became very popular.
It was called “folk” music.
There still is a category of music now called “folk”.
It is a mixture of country and bluegrass.
Another category has cropped up lately called “Americana”.
It is hard to describe because there are variations of the elements that one would include (or exclude) in identifying the genre. (I hate that word)

Generally, “folk” music is characterized by acoustic instruments, unprocessed singing styles, and songs about historic events or past times, as well as relationships (love found, love lost, etc.).

Anyway, when I went into the army in 1966, I had a collection of nearly all the albums recorded by the Kingston Trio. When I was reassigned to Ft. Bliss, Texas in late 1967, I gathered all my albums from home and took them to my room on the base.
Bad idea.
There was a guy in our barracks – on our floor (I was on the second) who had a pass key and was breaking into rooms and stealing stuff.
He stole almost all of my records.
I knew who he was, but could never produce enough evidence to get him arrested.

For years since then, I tried to find replacements for the albums that I lost but never could find them.
I came across “greatest hits” compilations but they always left out many of their good songs that I liked.
So I gave up on the task.

In the last year, I found a Kingston Trio website that sells ALL of the recordings that I lost, plus some that I was not aware of.
I was very pleased.

So last week, I my effort to spur the economy, I purchased 16 CDs of the Kingston Trio – the equivalent of 31 record albums.
It cost almost $300.
But now I am caught up on my old music.
It has been a trip of nostalgia.

See, I went to see the K3 at the Hollywood Bowl with some friends in 1963.
The program included the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
It was a killer show, one that I will never forget (at least until my Alzheimers advances).
I was so impressed/revved/stoked by the performance that the next day I bought a guitar so I could learn to play and sing the songs that I had heard.

I eventually did learn to play the guitar.
And me and a couple of friends formed a singing group of our own and played and sang many of the K3's songs.
(full details in my upcoming autobiography - really.)
We did this until I went into the army.

The box of CDs arrived the day before my birthday – yesterday.
So it was kind of a birthday present for me.
Today I am 63.
Woo hoo.

Shortly after I returned from my usual Saturday morning shopping trip, Joshua called.
At first, I thought something dire was afoot.
Not to worry.
It was just an early birthday greeting and an offer to visit to celebrate the occasion.
Then Jef called for the same purpose and shortly I was in the company of my bookend sons.
While we were visiting, son number three – Tim – called to express his congratulations and to indicate that he would be unable to attend the planned birthday lunch.
We soon repaired to Appleby's for a nice lunch (with dessert!).
Then it was back to the house for more conversation.
All in all, I had a nice visit with my boys.

THE RUN

My birthday started off with a nice run.
The temperature was, again, exactly 50 degrees so I had to wear a modified cold-weather outfit.
Just to make things more challenging, there was a dandy 10-15 MPH wind coming out of the north this morning at 6:07.
It made going up Hill Two a real job.
So much so, that I kicked into accelerated breathing halfway up the incline.
It was in my face for the half mile after that also.

Fortunately, I had picked the right level of coverage and never got too cold or hot.
The wind was enough to keep me from taking my knit gloves off until the beginning of mile three.

I even had enough Wheaties to do a modified sprint at the end.
Elapsed time = 41 minutes.
Not bad.
I am still thinking of running up Bankhead Parkway when the weather warms a bit.
Maybe next week.....

WEEKLY COMMENT

Some committee in Congress called all the CEOs of the major oil companies to a meeting this past week.
It was one of the most stupid spectacles I have seen in a while, but completely consistent with the nonsense this Congress has performed in the past.
I was impressed with the presentations of the businessmen as they endured the oral farts of the politicians.

It was obvious that the entire purpose of the event was to allow the politicians to spout off about the high price of gasoline/oil (sorry about the pun – well, actually, no I'm not.).
The executives patiently explained to the elected airbags the the price of oil – and thus, of gasoline – is controlled by supply and demand on the world scale, not just demand in the United States.
Therefore, even if demand for petroleum products diminishes in the United States, if demand remains high in other parts of the world, the price of oil will remain high.
They also pointed out that congress has restricted the areas where oil may be extracted in the United States, thus further limiting the supply of oil for this country.
Of course, all of this fell on deaf ears of the politicians.

General Rule – Government has NEVER been able to undo the laws of supply and demand.

When they limit supply – like they are doing with ANWR and off-shore drilling, demand will force higher prices (prices ALWAYS follow demand).
If they limit demand with increased taxes, the market will seek alternatives, sometimes in the form of a “black market”, which is just illegal additional supply.

1 comment:

J. No said...

I was supposed to tell you (but I forgot) when I was at your house that Tesia said Happy Birthday!