While working on the house the last few days I’ve been listening to some old music. My CD player, which I bought in 1985 seems to be starting to flake out, so I was listening to records on my turn-table. That’s right. . . vinal. Anyway, I listened to some music I haven’t heard in a while, like Maynard Ferguson’s, MF Horn 2 from 1972, one of my favorite MF records. I also played a couple of Jean-Luc Ponty albums, Cosmic Messenger (1977) and Enigmatic Ocean (1977). And finally, the Yes 90125 album (1983). I enjoy the combination of musicianship and vocals in Yes’ albums and the full big-band sound of Maynard’s crew. Jean-Luc Ponty’s electric violin was really interesting at the time which, combined with excellent guitarists and bassists, really drew me in. I listen to it now and even though these albums are 20 to 30 years old I really love listening to them. The excellent musicianship makes me realize (again) why so many complain about the lack of it in music these days. Not that the new stuff is something to be disregarded, because there is creativity there and a lot of people love it, but for me, some of these other less well known styles really satisfy.
Well, I finished An Army of Davids on Saturday night. The author has a section on nanotechnology (molecular manufacturing and computing) which was interesting. Using it to produce objects which go into your bloodstream to repair clogged arteries, kill cancer cells, fix cellular damage seems a little scary, and they think that they could use little objects like these to produce other objects called “assemblers”. Pretty sci-fi. It seems though, that the people are less afraid that it won’t work and are now more afraid that it will work. What happens if the little buggers get out of control? I hear Creighton wrote a book about this topic, too.
Even wilder is that there are those in the genetics fields (biogerentologists) seem to think that in 20 to 30 years we will have the technology to significantly reduce aging or perhaps eliminate it! They are seroiously talking about people living to 200 years and beyond. Who knows maybe it’s just they’re way to generate research money.
A final topic in the book (there are others) is the drive to inhabit another planet. Scientists believe that they have the technology or could have the technology to modify the atmosphere on Mars, making it suitable for a human colony.
There is much more in the book, but again it’s more of a daydream book to me. A sort of, “hey that would be cool” . . . and then I stare off into space for a few minutes thinking about how it would all work.
I framed the new living room closet yesterday and today and started getting the drywall on it. Never made one of them before . . . I think it looks pretty good . . . so far. Gettin’ antsy to get this project done.
I started reading a book the other day, titled: An Army of Davids; How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government and Other Goliaths. It is an easy read and I am roughly half-way through it. The author is Glenn Reynolds who is the blogger at Instapundit.com and a law professor at the University of Tennessee. He is definitely a big proponent of the easy access and and use of the internet. It is pretty light and somewhat interesting. I like the information he presesnts on ways the internet is used for business these days, and I’ve raised my eyebrow more than once at some of his social conclusions (e.g. violent video games). Some video games can teach while entertain, like the Roller Coaster Tycoon games which the kids love, and teaches them about basically running a business (as near as I can tell). He starts with brewing your own beer and the effects that that movement had on the beer industry . . . from micro-brews popping up all over, to the big guys coming out with born-on dating, etc. He moves on to the music recording industry and how technology has changed things there, from people like me with home recording equipment to the distribution of music, via MP3, etc. Anyway, if you’ve got a bit of time for some light reading (lighter than some of the web pages I’ve promoted in the past) it could get you thinking about things. I checked it out of the library.
Well, I’ve been playing mandolin for about six or maybe it’s seven weeks now. It’s been great. I’ve got close to nine tunes memorized . . . all of the Irish, Old Time, Celtic variety (jigs and reels, etc.). They’ve got some pretty interesting names, too. These are the ones I’ve learned: Billy in the Lowground, Carolyn’s Draught, Sally Gardens, Liberty, Over the Waterfall, Soldier’s Joy, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Red Haired Boy, The Cup of Tea, Kesh Jig. I borrowed a recording of Cup of Tea and it is ridiculously fast, and I’ve just started on Drowsy Maggie, which is very difficult (or challenging, depending on my mood). It is also very, very fast. So, it’ll be some time before I can play those at speed, but it is enjoyable none the less. I like to end the evening with about 30 to 60 minutes of playing as it is very relaxing. It’s like Nike and McDonalds together . . . . Just Do It, and I’m Lovin’ it.
Also, I started mudding and taping the new wall last Saturday and did the ceiling tonight. Things are starting to take shape. I’ve got some pictures I’ve yet to scan on the progress being made. Once I get that done I’ll post them in the photo album area.