Friday, November 27, 2020

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Hal Ketchum died this week from complications of dementia. A couple years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which was particularly sad as he'd recently started performing and writing music again after a long fallow period. I can't claim to have known the man, but I've spent time around him as his daughter was my son's kindergarten teacher and we grew to be friends with the family. They even invited Lisa to photograph several of his shows once he returned to preforming. Those were good times. I know his family loved him very much, and his fans were passionate and devoted. I wasn't listening to much country when his career was at its peak, but I've since gone back and listened to a lot of his work. "I Miss My Mary" is one of my favorite songs of his, a masterful exercise in musical storytelling equal to the best of Jerry Jeff Walker or Jimmy Buffet when they're in that mode. These songs say so much with few words, but say even more without words. His is just one more great talent 2020 has taken from us too soon.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... 'Til Tuesday.

Now Playing: Pink Floyd Pulse
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Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

In the mid-80s 'Til Tuesday was inescapable on the radio or televised video shows (I didn't get MTV in tiny Columbus, Texas, so I was left with Friday Night Videos and Night Tracks). Specifically, it was 'Til Tuesday's monster hit, "Voices Carry," that was ubiquitous. Because of that over-saturation I soured on them, but in the years since I've come to appreciate this song and the talent of Aimee Mann. It got to the point where I'd change the radio or TV station if this one came on, but now I just bask in the nostalgia. Go figure.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Pink Floyd.

Now Playing: Les Baxter Ports of Pleasure
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Monday, November 16, 2020

A Moment of Tiki: Tiki tables and clear ice

"A Moment of Tiki" returns for your viewing pleasure with two new episodes!

There's not a whole heck of a lot of tiki furniture being manufactured these days. So what's one to do when a small, tiki-styled accent table is needed? Why, build it yourself! In this episode of "A Moment of Tiki," I design and construct a small accent table to go in the guest bathroom adjacent to the Lagoon of Mystery. Using inexpensive wood, a pencil and Dremel along with a dowel jig, I put together a piece of furniture that doubles as tiki decor. Witco, it's not, but the techniques I demonstrate here can be applied to a wide array of other projects for those occasions where the perfect piece of tiki furniture simply doesn't exist. In those cases, do it yourself!

In episode 19, I discuss how the secret to making crystal-clear ice cubes (or blocks, or chunks) has become something of modern cocktail culture's holy grail for the home bartender. Anyone serving the high-alcohol stirred classics such as the Old Fashioned or the Negroni wouldn't want the presentation of these cocktails to their guests marred by gasp cloudy ice! Never fear, clear ice is exceptionally simple to make at home, and can even be used in such tiki-adjacent cocktails as the delicious Kingston Negroni! All is revealed on this episode of "A Moment of Tiki1"

Remember, you can view all of my videos online at YouTube. If you enjoy, don't forget to subscribe and leave a comment! I'll be mighty grateful!

Episode 18: Accent Table

Episode 19: Clear Ice

Now Playing: Esquivel The Space Age Sound of Esquivel
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Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Any time I've ever watched Pink Floyd's The Wall, at some point somebody will walk in, notice what's playing, and ask, "Has Bob Geldof shaved his eyebrows yet?" Such a strange, strange film. Here's "Another Brick in the Wall, part 2."

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Gordon Lightfoot.

Now Playing: Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Greatest Hits vol. 2
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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Return of the atypical buck

Five years ago to the week, I posted photos of an atypical whitetail buck that looked like it had grown a set of antlers better suited to an axis deer. You can check out the photos here. Go ahead, I'll wait. At the time, I wondered if the buck were perhaps a hybrid offspring of a whitetail/axis mating, as there are many feral axis roaming Central Texas. Axis bucks have been observed chasing whitetail does on occasion, but it was thought the species were genetically incompatible for breeding. After posting those photos in 2015, I shared them with deer experts at Texas A&M and received this nifty response:

The antlers are certainly unusual and rather axis-like but not out of the range of variability shown by white-tails, second long tines from the base do occur on white-tails if there is damage to the pedicel and some populations have dark antlers. Dr Mungall was doubtful that the buck was an axis hybrid, she has seen pictures of 2 from captive deer and says the hybrids should show more axis characteristics in their body such as the big while throat patch of an axis. But we have only seen a small picture, you saw the entire animal so it is a possibility, they can interbreed in captivity ... Since the more common and closer related white-tail - mule deer hybrids are infertile I doubt an axis hybrid would be fertile. But if he is just an unusual white-tail he should have a few interesting sons in the future.
So, firstly: Wow! Whitetail/axis hybrids are indeed possible, albeit highly unlikely. Secondly, the buck from 2015 probably wasn't a hybrid, because apart from the antlers, he didn't show much in the way of axis traits, most obvously markings. And since the winter of 2015, I have not seen any whitetail bucks with atypical antlers--and we've got more whitetail than you can shake a stick at! That is, until the past few days when this fellow below showed up with striking, atypical antlers that bear a passing resemblance to those of an axis:

Now, let me be clear that this most certainly isn't that buck from 2015. Whitetail buck have a life expectancy of about 6 years in the wild, so the one from 2015 would be six, at the youngest, and this one isn't six years old and in decline. I'm not an expert, but I'd guess it's maybe 4 years old at most. Now, axis bucks have a lifespan of 9 years or more, but again, the original probably isn't a hybrid. This guy, in all liklihood, is the offspring of that atypical buck from 2015. He certainly has a spectacular pair of antlers, showing some, but not all, of those traits that so captured my attention several years ago. He's a gorgeous boy!

Now Playing: Paul Page Pacific Paradise
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Friday, November 06, 2020

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Tuesday, Nov. 10 marks the 45th anniversary of the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It's hard to believe so much time has passed. It's also hard to believe such a disaster happened so recently.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Jerry Jeff Walker.

Now Playing: Jerry Sun The Exotic Sounds of Jerry Sun
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Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

In the past week, country music lost both Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff Walker. Both were figures in the Outlaw Country movement, and I have deep admiration for both of their talents. Of the two, Walker was the one who always left me awestruck. Everyone's referencing his first big song, "Mr. Bojangles," which ironically was a bigger hit for other artists than it ever was for him. But it's Walker's 1973 album Viva Terlingua! recorded live in Luckenbach, Texas, that really cemented his place as a performer unmatched. Backed by the Lost Gonzo Band, I argue that if someone has only one country album in their music collection, it should be Jerry Jeff's Viva Terlingua!. It's a stretch to say Jerry Jeff single-handedly saved country music from the "Nashville Sound" with it, but when folks like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings heard it and realized what artists could accomplish on their own without studio interference, well, things were never the same after that. Not quite two decades later, Jerry Jeff recorded another excellent live album, this one in Gruene Hall, not five miles where I live now. He played there regularly for years, and I always said, "Next time he has a show, I'm going to go." There was always a conflict, though, and I never did. Now I never will. Here's "Pickup Truck Song" performed in Gruene Hall, showcasing his mastery as a storyteller and an unmatched ability to make even the most mundane of subjects fascinating and entertaining.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Hula Girls.

Now Playing: Axel Stordahl Jasmine and Jade
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