For one year - I pledge to blog as much as I can - sharing thoughts, links, music, photos, and videos. Enjoy...
Conservative, noun: A statesman who is enamored with existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal who wishes to replace them with others. — Ambrose Bierce (via early-onset-of-night)
Sussex Still Life, 241113.1
The Pond has frozen over.  
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Sussex Still Life, 241113.1

The Pond has frozen over.  

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Trader Tunes For Tuesday #0x11

Do wake up with a song in your head?  I almost always do.  Usually a song off of whatever new album I’ve been listening to - or some song from radio - or possibly something that just ‘randomly’ jumps into my head.  But almost always a personalized morning soundtrack.

Lately - every since buying the new Alt-J album “An Awesome Wave" - it has been the same two songs over and over.  Perhaps it’s the sleep deprivation from being a new father that is keeping my brain from searching for more variety - or, more likely, it is the lyrical attractiveness of this bands songs.

One song that I loved since the first time I heard it and one that is a constant earworm for me now is Taro.

Alt-J has a sound quality that I haven’t heard in a while.  And I know the singer’s voice isn’t for everyone - but his wordplay is fascinating.  I’ve always contested that you could listen to music in a foreign language and get caught up in the words without even knowing the meaning.  That is true with Alt-J - and it is in English.

Just so you don’t get confused, I don’t think the video has much to do with the original figures in the song - it’s not an official band video

Taro appears to be an homage to a couple of fascinating historical figures.  I don’t intent to go into it here cause frankly - I have to get off to work.  Anyway, suffice to say, this band ain’t Nickleback - their lyrics have some gravitas and I suspect that the band members are ‘readers’.

There are a number of good songs off of this album - give it a listen.


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George Nakashima

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Moon Hooch made it to the Huffington Post thanks to this video.

Saw them at Turner Hall when John and I saw TMBG

When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.

Lin Yutang, writer and translator (1895-1976)

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Trader Tunes For Tuesday #0x10

"Love Is The Drug" - Bryan Ferry Orchestra

In the last month I’ve bought 3 new albums.  All of them are good in their own way and each will likely get a nod on this blog.  First, lets talk about Bryan Ferry’s latest project.  He took a selection of Roxy Music’s hits and turned them into 20’s style orchestra pieces - in mono.


I first heard about this project on a number of NPR programs - Fresh Aire, then All Songs Considered.  I was hooked.  This album is fantastic - and anyone who listened to the original will get a kick out of these new interpretations.

Here is the original for the above piece.

"Love Is The Drug", Roxy Music

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Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.

David Lloyd George, British prime minister (1863-1945)

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Trader Tunes For Tuesday #0x0f

"Dobro" - David Sylvian

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Trader Tunes For Tuesday #0x0e

I don’t know what took me so long to share this one.  A real gem.  I think I could sing this one at karaoke…. yeah - right - as if this one would ever be available.

"is it wrong to understand - the fear that dwells inside a man?"


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My friend David Rewalt recently posted a picture on Facebook which illustrated his view of the perfect way to fry bacon for the perfect BLT.  I took your idea David (as well as some hints from here and here) and I stepped it up by two notches.

Notch #1 - add avocado (a no-brainer in my book)

Notch #2 - Bake the bacon - less mess, easy-peasy…

Here are the steps


Step #1 - cut the pack of bacon in half (sorry Patrick)

Step #2 (not shown) - line baking pan with foil.  Ensure to choose a pan with a lip to catch the fat.


Step #3 - weave the bacon.  Shouldn’t be too hard - but if you need more detail, Google ‘Weave bacon’ and check out some of the tutorials


Step #4 - put pan in oven (do NOT pre-heat).

Set temp to 400.  This may be a bit controversial, but several bacon baking sites insisted that the process should be started from room-temperature instead of pre-heating.  You can try either way.  I turned the pan 180 degrees after about 16 minutes.

Our oven takes about 15 minutes to get to 400 - the total bake time was about 27 minutes.  We like it crispy.  Watch it closely after 20 minutes.   Our final product looked like this.


Put the bacon weaves onto paper toweling and then head to the table…


Which leads us to our final step - building the BLTA (order not important). If you need more specific instructions for this step, I’m afraid I may not be equipped to help you.

Oh yeah - don’t forget the mayo!

bon appétit

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The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked

Napoleon Hill, author (1883-1970) 

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TT4T - Best of 2012

In the past [ here, here, and here] I’ve shared some top 10 selections from my iTunes library. Every year I do a “Best of” based on play count, rating, and date added to my library.

So my best of 2012, for instance, is a list of music I listened to a bunch, liked, and added to my iTunes in 2012 (actually Oct 1, 2011) - NOT that the specific pieces were ‘published’in 2012.

So that’s the nuance of MY playlist.

Here is a screen dump of those songs for 2012.


For the 2012 list, I am going to go through the above and tell you what my top 5 are for all of 2012 - based on my own, non-scientific, assessment of the songs and how they moved me emotionally or in some way.

So - starting with number 5 and moving towards number 1

#5: State of the Art - Gotye

I like the song that made him famous - and it’s actually higher in my list based on play-count.  But this song is better. 

#4: I Fink U Freeky - Die Antword (NSFW)

Yep - it’s rough and raw - they use bad words and are crass.  It’s also very artistic and the beat is awesome - the way it builds and builds.  This video really took me by surprise.  Not for the faint of heart

#3: Open - Regina Spektor

Regina’s album, “What we Saw from the Cheap Seats” is another awesome addition to my collection.  I featured this song back in October.  I nearly included her song “Old Jacket” in my top five instead - but I just couldn’t do it.  This song is too good.  See “Jacket” in the list below.

#2: Sun & Moon - Above and Beyond

This is another song that I’ve featured on my blog.  It made it to number two on the play count list this year and for good reason.  I usually play this song at 11.


#1: Same Love - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Just listen - please - I’m begging you.  It’s an anthem, a sermon, a plea, and an appeal.  Beautiful lyrical rhetoric!  This song can bring you to tears… I promise.

Now for the full list - from most played (29 times) to the least (11).  But note, the song that only was played 29 times in 2012 - it was only added to my library on October 5th.  Just hit the links below to give a listen.

Alchemy - Above and Beyond

Sun & Moon - Above and Beyond

Giving it Out - Above and Beyond

Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye

Sweetest Heart - Above and Beyond

Thing Called Love - Above and Beyond

Eyes Wide Open - Gotye

Love is Not Enough - Above and Beyond

Sun In Your Eyes - Above and Beyond

State of the Art - Gotye

I Fink U Freeky - Die Antwoord

Breakin’ the Doors (mashup) - Kap Slap

Bridges and Balloons - The Decemberists

Hello Without You (mashup) - Markito

Old Jacket - Regina Spektor

Bad Things Will Roll With The Devil (mashup) - Titus Jones

Still California (mashup) - Wick-it the Instigator

Ohio - CocoRosie

Uprising Bodies (mashup) - Dan Mei

Smooth Gasolina (mashup) - Elocnep

Nighttime, Anytime (It’s Alright) - Jim Guthrie

Same Love - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Who Knew Someone Like You… (mashup) - Mashup-Germany

All the Rowboats - Regina Spektor

Open - Regina Spektor


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Solstice Siren

I didn’t post a TT4T this week because I was busy with Christmas preparations and I simply forgot. However,  I’ve been planing on sharing a song on the Solstice (assuming the Mayan’s were wrong - of course).

I have a lot of holiday music, some of which is Celtic compilations and the Windham Hill New Age samplers.  I like them very much and they put a different twist on the typical mall-fare music we get over-exposed to during this time of year.


Loreena McKennitt

This is one of my favorites - an particularly appropriate after the snow storm we received yesterday.

Stay Warm!

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Resource Rightsizing

"Redundancies", "Restructuring", "Reduction in Force (RIF)"

Why do all the euphemisms for being “laid off” begin with “R”?  I really hadn’t considered that question until just now.  Truth be told, I am sure that there are many others that don’t start with “R” - but they escape me right now.

Why am I writing about this?  Well - because I’m the target of a RIF and I wanted to share that with friends that may not know.  I’ve told a few friends and some family - but I’ve kept the news pretty tight to the chest otherwise - call it pride, embarrassment, or simply being private.  I’ve never lost a job before.  I’ve actually only changed jobs a few times in my career - and always on my terms.  So this is a new experience for me.

I’ve been around reductions before - I’ve never had to execute one myself - thankfully.  I believe my manager when she tells me she was having trouble sleeping for the days leading up to the event (November 14th BTW).  If I had to deliver this news I know have trouble sleeping too - probably with some vomiting as well.

The job market is looking up - I’m cautiously optimistic.  I’ve updated my LinkedIn page, my resume (though it needs another go round), as well as my cover letter template.  I’ve had a couple introductory phone calls and actually had a formal interview today.  It went pretty well and I know there will be more.  

I’m confident in knowing that my skills are relevant and my qualifications are sound.  But it still feels like a kick in the stomach.  I don’t allow myself a pity party as others have gone through this (and much worse).  I truly liked working for GE Healthcare.  I was, and still am, a huge fan of the technology.  It is the most complicated system I have worked on in my career (and may remain so).  MRIs are the closest thing to magic I’ve every been around - and I was just beginning to understand them.

So there’s this sense of loss.  I’m not a fatalist - I don’t believe that this was “meant to happen” - but it did.  It is what it is.  I was literally in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I apologize to friends and family who find out this way - it just wasn’t possible to have this conversation with everybody before saying something about it publicly.  

The irony is that this experience is something that I share now with my mother.  See, she worked for GE in Morrison Illinois - as a factory worker building appliances.  She was laid off in the mid 70’s.  A single mom with 3 children.  You see why I’m reticent to belly ache about my situation.  She turned that experience into a life changing action.  So, again, I’m optimistic.

One final point - it was a risk for me to switch industries and move to medical devices.  I’m not sorry I took this risk.  The word risk implies a potential downside, and this was one of them.  But taking calculated risks has also served me very well in my personal and professional life, so I expect that to continue going forward.

Stay tuned - the next chapter is yet to come. 

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