Saturday, August 04, 2007

Down, Down, Down

I drove up to Fort Desoto tonight before sunset. It was pretty clear all day, so I hoped I might be able to get some great pictures of the sun sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. Turned out it was too cloudy out towards the horizon to get that, but I still got some nice shots. The picture above is the silhouette of the flower spike on a Century plant. As it reaches the end of it's life, these spiny plants put up a large stalk that sprouts hundreds of little plantlets, which propagate the parent. It actually takes far less than a century, but the parent plant does die afterwards. The shots below show how the sun sunk into the clouds before it reached the horizon. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Another Launch

I walked out of the condo this morning at 6:30 to the site of some odd clouds in the sky to the northeast. Turns out that an Atlas rocket had been launched on a mission to Mars about an hour earlier, and this was what was left of the exhaust trail. Weird... Just for the record, I'm on the opposite side of the state from the launchsite, so what you're looking at is about 140 miles away!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August-Part Two

Last and not least, here are the big calendar pages for the month. These guys hang on the walls of the shops I work at, one set in each of four shops. Actually, the shop I spend most of my time at has a set of each hung up, just so I can look at them whenever I want. The photo above is a spectacular Florida sunset over the lake behind work. I spotted this sunset coming hours away, and just bided my time, hoping the clouds would stay where they were. And sure enough, I got a great one. The flying anhinga was just a little bonus. The shot below is from one of my trips to Cleveland, Ohio, last year. That's the Cuyahoga River, just a few twists and turns from where it spills out into Lake Erie. Beautiful day, beautiful shot. Half of my photography is about luck, believe it or not.

August-Part One

Time for some more calendar pictures, this time from the CD-sized calendar I produced for one of the companies I work for. These are older pictures, the one above dating back two years, the one below is over five years old! But a good shot is a good shot. The green guy above is a statue in downtown Cleveland, OH. Somewhere here on the blog, I've talked about him before, and I think even identified the artwork. The shot below is from my hometown, Lakeland, Florida. You're looking at the Lake Mirror Promenade, in the heart of downtown.

The Beginning Of August

First day of the month, so you guys get to look at some great calendar shots. Here's the first one from the weekly calendar. Ooh, and it's a good one. This is a night shot of the Sarasota, Florida, skyline. I shot this from the causeway between Lido Key and City Island. I enjoy night photography, but it's hard to find subjects that lend themselves to such shots. It's hard to find things that are properly lit to make a nice photograph, but cityscapes are always a treat if you can find the right vantage point.

Christmas In July 2007-Day 32

Ha! You thought it was over, didn't you? Well, it turns out that a single month with only 31 days can't hold all of the holiday music I've got for you. I had originally planned to give you three tracks today that I had shared out already last year, only now I have them in stereo. But I found a track that I forgot to share out, so you get one brand new recording! What is it, you ask? How about a lush version of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Frank DeVol And His Orchestra? This comes from his LP The Columbia Album Of Irving Berlin-Vol. II (Columbia CL 1261, 1958). It's a medley that includes Top Hat, White Tie & Tails, by the way. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. And what are the tracks I'm rereleasing in stereo? Well, first there's another version of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, perhaps my favorite version of that title, by Dinah Washington from the album September In The Rain (Mercury SR 60638, 1961). The original share last year is here. Next up is Sleigh Ride by The Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra, Frederick Fennel Conducting. I found the stereo version of this on a sampler from Mercury called Stereo Sampler-Vol. 1 (Mercury SRD-1). I shared this out last year here. I later found a stereo version of the original album, but I didn't record that copy. Lastly, and maybe mostly, I finally have a stereo version of Sleigh Ride by Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra from the album Wish You Were Here (RCA Victor LSP-1904, 1959), originally shared out here. Took me a while to track this record down but it was worth it. (If you want to hear the whole album, I think it's been shared out in it's entirety over at Bongolong Land.) Here's the link to these four bonus tracks, I think they'll make a fine addition to the others you've hopefully downloaded in the past month.

What did I share out this day last year? Well, it was the beginning of my Chanukah In August celebration, short-lived though it was.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Oodles Of Doodles CCLXVIII-Christmas In July 2007

This will be the last Christmas doodle for a while, and I tried to save a good one for last. This classic scene of a family around the Christmas tree comes from the flipside of Tennessee Ernie Ford-The Star Carol (Capitol T1071, 1958). You can't go wrong with someone named Ernie. :) Enough said.

Christmas In July 2007-Day 31

Here we are. Day 31. If this were December, it would be New Year's Eve. So keep that in mind as you read through the selections today. I'm starting you off with four different version of Auld Lang Syne. They are by Victor Silvester, Stanley Alpine And The Tennessee Bluegrass All-Stars, The Norman Luboff Choir and The Children Of Edinburgh. The albums are, respectively, Victor Silvester Plays For Your Party (EMI/Columbia 33SX 1126 (UK), 1958), Pickin' And Pluckin'-Bluegrass 5-String Banjo (Palace 746), Just A Song... (Columbia CL 890) and The Story Of Greyfriar's Bobby (Disneyland ST-1914, 1961). My favorite is the bluegrass one. But wait! That's not all you get! How about What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? by The Four Lads With Ray Ellis And His Orchestra from The Four Lads Sing Frank Loesser (Columbia CL 1045)? What? That's not enough for you? OK, here's my favorite of the lot. It's called simply Happy New Year, and it's by Gordon Jenkins And His Orchestra With The Ralph Brewster Singers from the album The Magic World Of Gordon Jenkins (Columbia CS 8682). It's a great track, I'm sure it will quickly become your favorite. Don't delay, go get it today!

How did I wrap up the faux Yuletide season last year? A mere two versions of Auld Lang Syne, and a little comedy bit from Charlie Weaver.

Stay tuned for a "Best-Of" collection to come out sometime soon. (You can still get the best tracks from last year here.) I've got to sit down and listen to all the tracks I've shared out to try and pick 30 or so of my favorites. Let me know which ones you think should be included. Thanks to all of you who've downloaded my shares this month. I hope you found something you like. If you include a track on your own compilation, please let me know, or, better yet, send me a copy. I love to see and hear how stuff I've dug up gets shared with the world. Thanks again!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Oodles Of Doodles CCLXVII-Christmas In July 2007

Here's another in a long line (1, 2 , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc) of Christmas ornament doodles that I've brought you around here. I actually scanned two different ornament doodles for you this evening, but it turned out I'd already shared the other one. This ornament comes from the back side of The Mills Brothers-Merry Christmas (Dot DLP 3232, 1959). I think I should do a collage of all the ornament doodles I've shared out sometime. Maybe I could use that as the cover for a Christmas CD or something.
Don't forget I shared out a Mills Brothers track this month, with Count Basie, and a track last year with the brothers by themselves.


Hooray! I got my 300,000th hit today. Not too shabby for two and a half years of half-hearted blogging. Big thanks to those of you that stop by my little corner of the web.

Christmas In July 2007-Day 30

Day 30! Almost at the end of the journey. I was starting to think I might not make it. I hope you're enjoying all these tracks as much as I am. There's been some real good stuff this year. One of my favorite finds of the year is the first track I'm sharing with you today. The song is Joy To The World as performed by the IBM 7090 Computer And Digital To Sound Transducer from the album Music From Mathematics (Decca DL 79103, 1962). I had downloaded this LP from Basic Hip a few years ago, and thought it was sort of interesting. It's a very early attempt to create music using a computer, and it has lots of interesting experiments on it. I didn't notice until much more recently that there was a Christmas song on here, and when I did, I set out in earnest to find a copy. Then one day I was flipping through a thick stack of records at the Goodwill store near Nokomis, and there it was. Not only a copy, but a stereo copy! And not only a stereo copy, but a sealed stereo copy! I couldn't believe it. Even the great Basic Hip had only shared a mono copy. I happily paid my buck and brought it home. I didn't open it until last Saturday, when I pulled it out and copied the track I'm sharing with you today. I'm sure you'll love it.

Oh, wait, I have some other tracks for you today. That's not the only one. I just got carried away for a bit. What else do I have here? Let's see... How about a track called Holiday from Lawrence Welk And His Champagne Music from the LP Nimble Fingers (Coral CRL 57178, 1957)? That's a good one. Then there's Let There Be Peace On Earth (And Let It Begin With Me) by John Gary from the album John Gary Sings Especially For You (RCA Victor LSP-3695, 1967). That's another good one. From there I've got one version each of some of the stalwart songs around here. There's a version of Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers by the Waldorf "Punch & Judy" Orchestra from Pops From Toyland (Waldorf Music Hall MHK 33-1208). And here's another stab at I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Al Goodman And His Orchestra from Dance To The Best Of Irving Berlin! (Diplomat DS 2255). Perhaps you'll be more excited by another version of Greensleeves, this time by old favorite Skitch Henderson And His Orchestra from the album Music From Around The World (Decca DL 38076, Especially prepared for Colonial Stores). Not enough yet? How about one more version of Snowfall by Dick Hyman, a different version than the one I shared here, from his solo piano LP called, surprisingly enough, Piano Solo (Project 3 PR 5070SD, 1972). What is that, seven tracks? You can't complain about that! Here's the link, go help yourself.

What did the next-to-last day in July bring you last year? Six tracks, five of which are funny little comedy bits and songs, and one great lost holiday tune from Eydie Gorme. Go get 'em!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Many Moons Ago

I was at my parents house today when I noticed this old parking sticker inside my fathers tool box. I shot a quick picture of it, and now you have to look at the picture and sit through the story of how it came to be. This sticker was in the back window of my 1957 Pontiac Chieftain, which I showed you here, during my junior year of high school. At the end of that year, I got a job working at Tomorrowland Terrace in Magic Kingdom at Disney World. It was a 45 minute commute each way, and even though I was making the princely sum of $6.50 an hour, I couldn't afford to drive the big Pontiac back and forth. So I got an early '70s bright yellow Mercury Comet with a little six cylinder engine in it that I could afford to put gas in. I had to sell the big Pontiac. I never met the guy who bought it, since he picked it up while I was at work. But before the guy drove it off, my dad peeled the parking decal out of the back window and stuck it in the top of his toolbox. That was 20 years ago, and it's still there. How time flies...

The Last Bit Of July

Here's the calendar page for the last few days in July. This was taken at the Venice Rookery, a small island in the middle of what I suspect is basically a drainage pond. But this small island attracts dozens of large birds as a perfect nesting site. They build nests of sticks and twigs, hauled one piece at a time from the shoreline, lay a few eggs, then sit for a few weeks. Eventually, you get baby birds, and then the noise starts. All those babies want to be fed, and the only way they know to make that happen is to make noise. The parents make constant trips in search of food, back and forth, back and forth, each time bringing a little bit of food just so their chick will be quiet for a few minutes. In the picture, that's a pair of great blue herons. I can't hazard a guess as to how old the baby is, but he's probably not too far from fledging and leaving the nest.

Oodles Of Doodles CCLXVI-Christmas In July 2007

I've got this huge, full-page doodle for your enjoyment tonight. This comes from the back of The Many Moods Of Christmas by Robert Shaw Chorale, RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra And Organ (RCA Victor LM-2684, 1963). I love these intricate doodles that wind around and encircle everything else on the page, asserting their dominance over any other design on the page. Look closely at the detail on this one, the woman reading 'Twas The Night Before Christmas to a little girl, the father and son skating home with packages and a Christmas wreath, children waiting up for Santa, the big Christmas dinner, and angels watching over everything playing Heavenly music. Ah, it's like a little piece of Christmas, right here in July.

Christmas In July 2007-Day 29

Not too many more days left, are there? A few days from now, I'll be going into withdrawal, not knowing what to listen to or post. I'm sure I'll manage somehow. Anyway, most of your shares today come from a single odd record I found last year. It's called The Music Box And The Nickelodeon With Richard Burton (Canyon Custom Recording For Children's Mercy Hospital USR 7418). Most of the record is recordings of various music boxes and old-time coin-operated nickelodeons, but the last track is a reading by Richard Burton of excerpts from John Milton's "On The Morning Of Christ's Nativity". This appears to have been a find-raising item for Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Besides the Richard Burton monologue, the included Christmas tracks are Winter Wonderland, I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, The Jolly Coppersmith and Christmas Medley. To round things out, I've got a recording of Dylan Thomas reading his poem A Child's Christmas in Wales from the aptly titled LP Dylan Thomas Reading A Child's Christmas in Wales And Five Poems (Caedmon TC 1002, 1952). It s about 20 minutes long, but well worth the listen. Here's the link to download all the tracks. Hope you enjoy 'em.

If you're curious about the share on this date last year, it was another version of Snowfall, and three comedy tracks that involve Christmas. Dig it!