July 5, 2008

“Hey kid, sorry about taking your popcorn,” I offered to the wide eyed little old man still looking at the trading cards.

“Awwh, that’s OK mister. She sure is a pistol,” he surprised me and then upped the anti by continuing on with, “Hey, how about you repay me by buyin’ me one of these cards?” He looking up at me like a droopy hound dog who has been around this place longer than dirt.

“What?” I exclaimed in surprise.

“Yah. Yah. He burst. Look, see, I’ve been payin’ down on this Ted Williams card for a couple years now. All I need is another twenty-two bucks and it mine. Sweet Ted. Mister did you know he is last guy to hit over .400 ?”

“We’ll yah, of course I do. Everyone knows that, ya little squirt. Is that why you want the card,” I asked both of us now eating the popcorn like we were at the movies watching a Godzilla double feature.

“No, I want the card cuz he is coming back and I want to get him to autograph it for me. Wouldn’t that be something! I’d be rich if I could get his autograph on his card,” he said, clearly having worked his investment out; calculated the appreciation.

“You mean, you think Ted is coming back?” I asked getting real thirsty and starting to wonder how close we were to the cry of “Play Ball” .

“Well yah, of course. He’s all frozen proper like out there in the desert or dessert, Alcor is the place; it’s only a few miles from my grandparents place. Googled it. Anyway, Ted and his head are just waiting and when he is ready, he is coming back and I’ll be right there when he walks out of the facility, flashes blazing like the fourth of July, me calm like. I will I’ll be there. And I’ll get him to sign the card. So mister, can you help me get the card? Step up man, I won’t tell your wife about this Vi dame,” he added, as if he was plopping down a weird bruised cherry atop a sundae just served up.

“Kid….why I….well, you are impressive. I’d be delighted to help you get this card,” I decided. “Hey Vi,” I yelled across the store, “can you give us a hand and get this kid his card. I somehow think you know him. Put the balance on my tab, I gotta run. I can hear the crowd.”


Radiohead’s Nude: The Let’s Get Physical Mashup by J. Houston

June 17, 2008

Very interesting project related to the Radiohead Nude remix thing that I partook in a while back. James Houston missed the deadlines for said “contest” but decided to though some stuff together….Very nice. Like he says:

“Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there. It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.”

I actually built one of the Sinclair computers that he uses in this project back in the summer of ’81,a trip to see it used here. He certainly made better use of it than me. Check it and give it some time, it really does not kick in until about :45 sec, it is worth the wait:

Big Ideas (don’t get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.


June 6, 2008

As I reached the top of the red pine tree I had enough sap and needles stuck to my forearms to make me wonder if this ninety foot climb was worth it. Gum Armed Detective Arborist…. The parachute was just about in reach and the strange design on it was starting to come into focus; red and black, the design could almost look like a flag but it was still hard to figure with the pine cones, jays, titmouse and chickadees flouncing about the branches as I made my way up the hundred-plus year old sage. It smells better than Hai Karate up here, though….

“Hey, you doin’ OK up there?” Cocoa yelled up at me.

“Well, ya. I think I am just about there.” Finishing this sentence was of course the cue for the branch I was stepping on to brake. I just managed to grab the cord of the parachute when I fell: Snap, crackle and pop. It sure seemed like the parachute was helping me fall a little faster despite bouncing off a few surprisingly soft limbs.

Fortunately the bed of pine needles and the chicken compost broke my landing, as I managed to land mostly on my good ankle.

“Wow, now that is what I call a landing.” said Cocoa.

“Ooow. And Uggg.” I replied.

It was clear that the parachute design was not anything real special. It seemed like it had once been the advertisement of some radio station. A “W” and an “X” was all that was included in the recycling effort to glue the chute together.

We walked back to the package, Godzilla sniffin’ and pulling on the chute, which was only about twelve feet in diameter.

“So, Coop, which associate of yours would parachute a package to you on a Sunday?” asked Cocoa.

“Well, I know of a lot of people who would fancy the idea but those folks would be more interested in dropping bombs or incendiary devices. Which I guess, could still be inside the package, but there is only one person who would fashion a parachute from old radio station banners and drop it. A total radio-monkey…. but that person is dead. Or so I thought.”

Heading back to the deck, we stopped by the asparagus patch and picked up some fresh stalks for breakfast. I picked the purple ones, Cocoa the Green Giants. Godzilla snorted up some deer droppings for an appetizer; She was one little foraging beast of disgustment.

“Ok. So can we open the package now?!” Demanded Cocoa in a mock whine of apathy. I don’t know how she emoted that particular combination but she did. It must be the way she wiggled her hips, like a gogo dancer in a petticoat. Umm, or something unnatural like that. Then again it’s probably down to the lack of a second cup of Joe that was mashing up my perceptions. Oh yah, that ninety foot fall through the pine limbs.

“Yah, lets open that after we get the food on the table. I could kill for a plate of our eggs, bacon and the asparagus. What, we have been waiting for, for over….what has it been, two years, three, to eat from our own patch. The package can wait a bit can’t it?”

“Oh, sure Coop. I’m not hungry anyway. But, you do look a bit pale. You sure you OK, that was quite a fall. How is the new leg and ankle holding up?”

“The osseointegration is still dead on but ah, its ok, a bit phantom itchy though.” I said, as I flexed the ankle and made the servos hum assuringly, noticing that there was still some pine tar on my good leg, my prostetic leg. Hey it kinda looks like Manny Rameriz’ infamous helmet, circa 2007, I thought as I picked pine cone fragments, chicken turds, pine needles and tar from my bluish limb. I’ll have to check with the company about gettin’ some spare parts.

Organ is a Building

May 31, 2008

Hey, now this is what I am talking about. Nice idea and execution, or so it seems. Check the NYTimes article about David Byrne’s installation involving an organ retrofitted to a large old Gotham building.