Fly me to the blue moon of Kentucky

Piano Sonata No. 14

christmas 2015 full moonIn honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, some songs about earth’s natural satellite. There are a LOT of songs about the moon. Here’s a list from Ranker.

I decided to just pick the songs I knew and which came to mind, by the artists I most associate with performing them. Many folks covered Moon River and Blue Moon, e.g.

Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest, #13 in 1973; couldn’t remember the group’s name
Moondance – Van Morrison, #92 in 1977; this was overplayed in my listening circle, to Stairway to Heaven proportions, but it’s a great song
Moonshadow – Cat Stevens, #30 in 1971. Now going by Yusuf/Cat Stevens
Walking on the Moon – Police
Moon River – Andy Williams. I used to watch his variety show in the 1960s. This track from Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer was his signature song

Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra; he also recorded Full Moon and Empty Arms (1946); and The Moon Was Yellow (1962)
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater revival, #2 in 1969. CCR also had #2 hits with Proud Mary, Green River, Travelin’ Band, and Lookin’ Out My Back Door. But the band never had a Billboard #1 hit single.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Judy Collins
Blue Moon of Kentucky – Bill Monroe
C Moon – Paul McCartney and Wings

Old Devil Moon – Frank Sinatra; he also did songs featuring the sun and the stars; what celestial guy
Moonlight in Vermont – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Man on the Moon – REM, #30 in 1993 from the movie about the late comedian Andy Kaufman
Blue Moon – the Marcels, #1 for three weeks pop, and #1 for two weeks soul in 1961
It’s Only a Paper Moon – Nat King Cole

Moonlight Sonata – Piano Sonata No. 14 -Beethoven
Moonlight Mile – Rolling Stones, from Sticky Fingers, my RS album of my college years
Moonlight Seranade – Glenn Miller. I can hear the announcer’s voice, even now.
Moonlight Bay – Doris Day
Kiko And The Lavender Moon – Los Lobos. I had this on a future Saturday list, but opted for it here.

Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Apollo 1 in 1967 was devastating

moon landing.apollo 50I was eight on May 25, 1961, which must have been just the right age. When I heard the news that President Kennedy had proposed that the US “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” I was ecstatic.

Yet I was mystified too. How does one DO that? A moon landing felt like science fiction.

I followed the Mercury flights starting with Alan Shepherd’s trip, albeit a few weeks after the Soviet’s Yuri Gagarin. John Glenn went to orbit! Missions grew longer by both countries.

Sidebar: I loved the revelation of the movie Hidden Figures (2016), “the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.”

I thought the naming of the Gemini program, with two astronauts, was mighty clever. Edward White did a space walk in June 1965, albeit nearly three months after the USSR’s guy. The rendezvous of Gemini 6 and 7 in December 1965 I found to be particularly cool.

I was devastated when I learned that White, Gus Grissom, and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire aboard the Apollo 1 on January 27, 1967. Not only was the human toll tragic, I thought that this was the end of making JFK’s deadline. Little did I know…

Apollo 8 famously brought us pictures of earth at Christmastime 1968, which helped propel the environmental movement. Apollo 9 and 10 were dress rehearsals for the Apollo 11 moon landing by Armstrong and Aldrin, as Collins remained in the Command Module.

This year, I’ve watched/read virtually every story about that era. Most especially, I’ve appreciated the rebuilding of the Apollo Mission Control Center in Houston.

Sidebar: I realized that Apollo 13 (1995) was a great movie when I sat on the edge of my seat wondering if the astronauts would get back, even though I KNEW how it turned out.

Here’s some moonfoolery from Apollo 16. But after Apollo 17 in December 1972, with a total of 12 men walking on the surface of the moon, that was it?

There would be other manned flights, starting with Skylab and the space shuttles. But I started seeing them as routine fare until the Challenger disaster in January 1986.

Now there’s a plan for the United States to finally go back to moon, with the ultimate goal of reaching Mars. This is interesting idea.

I watched Jordan Klepper interview Scott Kelly. The astronaut said that he has no problem with Bezos or Musk or some other billionaire helping fund the trip and bypassing some NASA bureaucracy.

I guess I’m “on board” with this new mission, though I’ve lost some of that youthful enthusiasm.

America v. 1.0 versus America v. 2.1

the ‘not too distant future’?

America 2.1The Democratic debates, a provocative new play, and a frustrating high school graduation speech all took place within three days in June. Oh, and I was in the midst of retiring.

Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA has two different theaters, fairly close together. One tends to present cutting edge material. America v. 2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of The American Negro had its world premiere June 14-30 on the St. Germain Stage. It was written by Stacey Rose, and directed by Logan Vaughn

America v. 2.1 “is a day in the life of a troupe of Black actors who are charged with re-enacting the revised history of the once-thriving American Negro. It quickly becomes a day of reckoning. A provocative, funny and dark look at Black Americans in post-apocalyptic America.” Well, “funny” is of course quite subjective.

From a local review: The play within a play shows the “‘demise of the American Negro was brought about by his own hand’ and ‘by his own actions,’ despite the loving care and ‘noble efforts of the American government and American culture.

“Resurrecting the minstrel show style of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the playwright deploys outrageous caricatures ostensibly to demonstrate, using song and dance, how the Founding Fathers saved the African savages…

“The play takes place in the ‘not too distant future,’ in which the actors, who are clearly aware of the untruthfulness of the history they present, are forced by an authoritarian regime to perform this script ten times in twelve hours, six days a week, or suffer unspecified consequences. In chilling voiceover announcements the presumably white audience is warned against documenting what is seen onstage, and, what is worse, advised when to disengage the safety locks on their firearms.”

The review points out the fine actors: Peterson Townsend as Jeffery, Jordan Barrow as Grant, Kalyne Coleman as Leigh, Ansa Akyea as troupe leader Donavan, and Peggy Pharr Wilson as the “officious and frightening Voice.”

The New Play Exchange notes “The troupe finds themselves at odds with the state of their own existences while being painfully oblivious to the parallels and intersections their lives draw to that of the very Negroes whose story they are bound to tell.”

Intentionally, there was no chance to applaud the performance. The talk back session afterwards allowed the primarily white audience to express how the play made them feel angry, outraged, sad, et al. Some considered it a call to work for change.

The next day, we went to a high school graduation about an hour away. It was VERY HOT outdoors at 6 pm. The speaker was a graduate from three decades ago, and has been working in the military industrial complex for a number of years. Along with the usual bromides, such as having a purpose and work hard, was a message that was about 180 degrees from what I saw the day before.

Race, gender, sexual orientation don’t matter. Work hard and you’ll succeed. And don’t let certain forces take away what you’ve worked hard for, as he conflated democratic socialism with the fight against communism during the Cold War.

The talk generated some to give a standing ovation – n.b., not from us – but it was a fascinating bit of propaganda. Most of my family was not impressed, though one noted that he was “a product of his times.”

July rambling: Yecch, indeed

stale gum

cliff hang
Courtesy Patty Huang, Angry Art Director

The Boomers Ruined Everything.

Chief Justice Roberts OKs Minority Rule.

Complaints about Government Imposter Scams Reach Record High.

How To Game Google To Make Negative Results Disappear.

The Meritocracy Myth: Why “Success” is More Complicated Than You Think.

Burned out? You’re not alone. And the world is finally paying attention.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Warehouses, such as Amazon’s.

When PEPSI had a navy.

6 tips you need to know to help you spot fake news. All pretty obvious yet often ignored.

Hear, hear, Becca.

The musical Something Rotten national tour, Rob McClure’s town-by-town video diary.

Eugene Schieffelin and the European Starlings.

Necessity’s Child.

Now I Know: How Four Dollars Can Unlock American History and When Yellow Cars Became Protest Vehicles and Why It May Make Sense to Draw Eyes on Cows’ Butts and Badge Boys, Badge Boys, Whatchu Gonna Do?


Twitter helps reveal deadly toll ocean plastic takes on sharks and rays.

They welcomed a robot into their family; now they’re mourning its death.

The New York Times cuts all political cartoons, and cartoonists are not happy. Nor am I.

MAD magazine: meanderings and Yecch, indeed and Maybe Alfred should finally worry.

Dustbury is winding down at work.

Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think.

It was a really bad month for the Internet.


His nationalism has nothing to do with patriotism.

The military parade only furthers his vision of a dumbed-down America that may no longer be up to the task of global leadership.

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with djt and wjc, explained.


Go to Catskill, NY’s adventurous Bridge Street Theatre and see Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit musical “The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World”. Based on the true story of three sisters from rural New Hampshire whose father forced them to form a rock band, and who recorded an album back in 1969 which has since become a cult classic. I saw it last Thursday and it is a revelatory experience. Yes, it features one of my nieces as one of the sisters.

“The Shaggs” will play for four more performances, Thursday through Saturday, July 18-20 ant 7:30 p,m. and Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m. in BST’s intimate 84-seat Mainstage.

If you’re going to the New York State Fair August 21 – September 2, 2019 in Syracuse, NY, check out Sheila E. on Sunday, September 1 at 2 p.m. Backing vocals by Rebecca Jade, my first niece.

I’ve known Larry Shell since at least since 1981 when he put together the Alien Encounters package for FantaCo. He’s doing a GoFundMe campaign to get work on his house repaired before July 20. “Failure to comply could lead to heavy fines or even the condemnation of the home I’ve lived in for 44 years. The house is livable, it just needs a lot of fixing up,” which he can’t do himself because of health issues.


Manic Monday – Prince.

L.A. – Aubrey Logan (Live Studio Version with niece Rebecca Jade on backing vocals)

The theme from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon show – vocal quartet called Midtown.

Ur So Beautiful – Grace VanderWaal.
Vox Maris by George Enescu.

Underground – Lindsey Stirling.

Sensemaya by Silvestre Revueltas.

Coverville 1268: The Jackie Wilson Cover Story.

The national anthem – Device Orchestra, played on seven credit card machines.

K-Chuck Radio: a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack.

You Don’t Own Me, A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy.

Hello Out There, Hello! – Johnny Mercer w/ Billy May (1952) / Looney Tunes Cartoon 2019 A.D.

BC: British Columbia; Before Christ

the use of BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications

British ColumbiaWhat possessed me going through the two-letter postal codes for United States states, Canadian provinces and territories of both? It started with a game I used to play with my daughter, usually in the car.

I’d say there were four states beginning with A and she’d name them. None with B, but three with C, one with D, etc.

Re: British Columbia, I started wondering about something. How does the province in Canada furthest from the country and explorer for which it’s named become so dubbed?

Here’s an explanation: “The Colony… was founded by Richard Clement Moody [et al.]… in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush… He was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire’s ‘bulwark in the farthest west,’ and ‘to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific…’

“Today… the question of Aboriginal Title, long ignored, has become a legal and political question of frequent debate as a result of recent court actions. Notably, the Tsilhqot’in Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of a 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision.”

The traditional English abbreviation was B.C., the traditional French C.-B. for Colombie-Britannique. Capital: Victoria; largest city: Vancouver.

Dionysius invented the Anno Domini system in the sixth century, “which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.

“Common Era or Current Era (CE) and BCE (Before the Common Era or Before the Current Era)… are alternatives to the Dionysian AD and BC system respectively… Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, “2019 CE” corresponds to “AD 2019” and “400 BCE” corresponds to “400 BC”.

The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler… The term “Common Era” can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish religious scholars.

“In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications as a culturally neutral term. It is also used by some authors and publishers who wish to emphasize sensitivity to non-Christians, by not explicitly referencing Jesus as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”) through use of the abbreviation “AD”.

There’s a daughter story here, too. Someone in her class a few years back suggested that AD meant After Death, presumably of Jesus, but someone (OK, I) had told her some time earlier that it meant “in the year of our Lord”, or Anni Domini. However, the teacher agreed with the other student until he subsequently checked.

For ABC Wednesday