Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arthur Alexander and his lost legacy, the forgotten Anders J. Smedsvik

A musician i knew nothing of until I watched the documentary about Muscle Shoals, is Arthur Alexander. He had a small discography but loomed large in the music industry in the middle of the last century. Wikipedia says,
Arthur Alexander (May 10, 1940 – June 9, 1993) was an American country songwriter and soul singer. Jason Ankeny, music critic for Allmusic, said Alexander was a "country-soul pioneer" and that, though largely unknown, "his music is the stuff of genius, a poignant and deeply intimate body of work on par with the best of his contemporaries." Alexander wrote songs publicized by such stars as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Tina Turner and Jerry Lee Lewis. Alexander is the only songwriter whose songs have been covered on studio albums by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (who recorded "Sally Sue Brown" on his 1988 LP Down in the Groove). "Go Home Girl" was also recorded by Ry Cooder on his 1979 album Bop Till You Drop.
Here is his most famous song, You Better Move On, and its cover by Knopfler and Jackson. He is a man who made a huge impact but his legacy has been lost.

Mark Knopfler and Chuck Jackson, tribute to Arthur Alexander

Dagbladet, a Norwegian journal, wrote a long biography of a man named Anders J. Smedsvik, a sailor and eccentric. I found his story extremely interesting. It's written in English.

The Final Journey of Anders J. Smedsvik
For three weeks in 1972 and then again in 1974, the sea captain, communist, farmer, prisoner of war, adventurer, local politician and peace activist Anders Jenius Smedsvik was a household name in south-west Norway. Then he disappeared and has been forgotten ever since. This is the first time his story has been told in full.

Excursion to the sunflower patch soon

It's been a warm week. You would never know that the season of autumn had passed its looming threshold into hard reality, not with the exceedingly warm temperatures still holding on. It's been over 90 degrees almost every day for the last 100+ days. My gas company wanted to turn on the gas October 4 but I pushed that back to October 11. I might regret that. We'll see.

A friend and I are heading to the pumpkin/sunflower/corn maze patch on October 8th. We are going to walk the sunflower and pumpkin side. It's free to enter and you can pick the sunflowers and pay for only what you pick. Same with the pumpkins. I want tot take lots of photos on a sunny refreshing day, sip cider and a munch on a muffin.

A number of years ago I'd helped a friend in her garden, which had a row of sunflowers. I love sunflowers. I love all flowers actually, I mean, really love, love, love them. I took a few photos of the sunflower row and I've been working with those few pics ever since. I'm ready to take new photos of sunflowers.

Today has been slow because I'm tired and took an early nap after sleeping in late. I haven't gotten much done in the way of scripture pictures, which I do five per weekend to post for each weekday. Same with blog entries at The End Time. I write 5 or 6 essays on a theological topic and post them in the morning before heading to work. I only have 5 rough drafts and none are complete. Oh well, I can only do what I can do!

Instead I got entranced with Mandelbrot's interview in 2010 on TED, and followed up with studying fractals for a while on my own, including an interesting interview on big think. I love fractals even if I do not understand them. I remember the Smithsonian Magazine reporting on them in the early 1980s when they were first 'discovered' and expressed to the laymen. I have loved them ever since but can't really explain them. The TED talk by Mandelbrot himself helped enormously. Here is a photo of a nautilus fractal:

It's quiet here, I have not listened to music or even any sermons. I need a break from the noise of the week, which accumulates in my brain and reverberates long after the last school bell has rung and the last child has left the building. I'm glad my cats are quiet. I like cats for that.

My new John Grisham awaits. I'd found it at the second hand store I love for $1. "The Appeal." It began with a fabulous description of the last moments before the jury returns with a verdict and the few moments after the announcement they've reached one. He is such a good writer. I'll make some hot tea and open to chapter two and dwell in litigious Mississippi for a few hours. Have a good weekend everyone.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week's worth of lunches

The woman blogger at Good, Cheap Eats is a homeschooling mom who loves Jesus and writes cookbooks. She had a recent blog post which caught my attention, titled

How to Make a Week of Lunches & Save Money

Well, I'm all for that. Aren't you? Her week of lunches is actually 4 work days, because extending prepared lunches to a fifth day violates her 4-day leftover rule. Her husband eats lunch with his son on that day anyway. As for me, I also do not stress about Friday By then I'm so tired of thinking about what to make or pack or tore or prepare...that I just toss in whatever I can grab first. I'm just grateful I've made it to Friday, to be hones. Sometimes, lol, I wind up with lunches on Friday like raw zucchini (I forgot the knife) a handful of homemade granola, and a brown banana.

Today I made granola, a broccoli and cheese quiche, roasted broccoli (the remainder that didn't fit in the quiche, baked teriyaki tofu, and baked potato. I wash the potatoes, and then rub a teaspoon of olive oil on the damp skin, then wrap in tin foil. They come out pillow soft. As for the tofu, it's half a brick that I haven't used from the recipe from last weekend, pad thai. I simply cut them into one inch thin slabs, spread teriyaki sauce on the bottom of a baking pan, laid the slabs on top and poured more sauce over them. Then bake.

I will make humus tomorrow and also a fruit salad. Here are the photos of the goodies from today.

You want the veggie to get that golden crust. This is accomplished by thoroughly dredging in oil. I toss mine around in a ziploc. Then dump into the baking dish.

I add a slight amount of bread crumbs on top of the quiche to make a crunchy crust. Parmesan also works.

Tofu. What can you do with tofu. Not much except cover it in something that tastes better.

It's still hot here, in the 90s. I couldn't wait for fall so I jump started the season by making chamomile tea with honey to sip this afternoon. I can pretend it's leaves and pumpkin season, can't I?

Do check out Jessica's tips. Have a good Sunday everyone.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Sunflowers are enchanting

A few years ago, a friend invited me to her garden. I was to help her pick and she would share whatever I desired to take away from our joint labor. I'm from the north, ME and RI originally, and I was at that time recently relocated here. I was unfamiliar with the long growing season and the variety of goods one can coax from the Georgia ground. Even though sunflowers can be grown in ME, I had never seen them.

The surprise of her garden, to me, were the sunflowers. I loved seeing the tall giants and bright petals. I took some photos, but later regretted I had not taken enough. I wanted to bask among them while I was there but also wanted to view photos of them from every angle later.

Sunflowers entranced Van Gogh too. Wikipedia records this,
Van Gogh began painting in late summer 1888 and continued into the following year. One went to decorate his friend Paul Gauguin's bedroom. The paintings show sunflowers in all stages of life, from full bloom to withering. The paintings were considered innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum, partly because newly invented pigments made new colours possible.
Van Gogh wanted to paint "big flowers" He said,
The peony is Jeannin's, the hollyhock belongs to Quost, but the sunflower is somewhat my own.

van gogh

I understand the attraction. They are majestic flowers, and the yellow is bright and happy. Here are a few photos of that day in the garden.

sunflower 1sunflower3


I'm excited to have planned a trip with a friend to a sunflower farm in early October! I plan to take LOTS of photos! From the Farm's website photos of the sunflower garden, it seem they have a species that's a bit shorter than these 16 foot mountainous blooms I'd visited some years ago, so it will be a fun day exploring a new type of sunflower.

Fall is a great time of year in Georgia. :)