December 31st, 2005


Yet Undissolved

I checked the weather map for the Sacramento area about an hour ago, and the radar showed the heaviest rainfall right over Paradise. I didn't need the radar to tell me that. Being here, I could hear it trying to wash the whole town into the Feather River. But the storm is slowly moving south and east, and the radar shows a clear patch coming. It looks as though the west side of the valley is already clear, and it should be clear here within a couple of hours. I do like the rain, but I'm certainly getting enough of it this month.

A song popped into my head a few hours ago. It was a record my dad had when I was a kid, called "Wilberforce, Get Off That Horse" and I can only recall two lines of it:
"Oh, I've had beans and beans and beans, enough to run the Navy,
Wilberforce, get off that horse, and bring him in for lunch."

So I Googled to see if anybody had posted the lyric on the Interwebs yet. They hadn't, but I found out the name of the artist; Freddie Fisher and His Schnickelfritz Orchestra. Most of the references to the song were from a site dedicated to the Dr. Demento Show, called The Mad Music Archive. It appears to have been around for about a year now, and is in the process of archiving a complete list of every Dr. Demento Show ever broadcast, listing every song on each show. It's a project worthy of Napoleon XIV. There are forums, podcasts, and pages for individual artists and for songs that have been played on the show, and members of the site can add various bits of information to them. It's all quite elaborate (and surprisingly well-organized-- I wish that the various library and university web sites I use were as coherent.)

Anyway, my sudden outburst of nostalgia for the peculiar novelty song about a hungry guy who wants to eat his friend's horse ultimately led to my discovery of an actual Freddie Fisher web site. Turns out he died in 1967, but he still has a following. In fact, his few dozen recordings from the late 1930's-early 1940's are available on CD, along with some later recordings he did when he was living in Aspen Colorado in the 1950's, before the place became trendy. In fact, I think that was before such a thing as trendiness even existed. It also turns out that he appeared in five movies, which has earned him his own IMDB page.

Poking around on the Freddie Fisher web site, I also found a page for a group called The Snap On Voles. I have no idea if they're any good or not. I just like their name.

Must go to sleep. I've been awake too late too many days in a row. Also, I'm pretty sure that a mule has been sneaking into my room while I'm sleeping and kicking me in the back. I hope it stays away today.

Happy New Year's Eve Day.

Tak a Right Gude-Willie Waught

By the time the arbitrary New Year reaches California, it's already soiled. That's the price of living so close to the backside of the International Arbitrary Date Line. The sky was quite nice today, though. The storm had moved south, on its way to drench Pasadena and its parade, I suppose, leaving behind for my contemplation a remnant of puffy, turreted clouds which, toward evening, took on an icy, blue-gray color. They looked like immense, sagging stalagmites floating in air, with no stalactites above them to explain their existence. I got the feeling that the sky was one big metaphor that I didn't quite get. Reality has a way of often making me feel obtuse.

As far as my personal experiences went, I'm a bit better disposed toward 2005 than I was toward 2004. Despite a hellish summer, the winter was mild, the autumn was fairly decent, and spring was quite splendid. My schedule has further deteriorated, but not to the point that I can't deal with the inconvenience. And whatever negative events the year brought me, they were offset by the fact that this was the year that Sluggo was replaced! Anyone who has been around long enough to remember when every third post in this journal was a rant about the chaos which that malevolent machine brought into my life will realize how important an improvement that was.

The world in general didn't fare so well, I know, though it didn't fare so well the year before, either. In fact, not faring well is an old habit the world has, and I don't expect to see that change anytime soon. Eventually, that habit is bound to engulf me personally, but it didn't happen in 2005, so I'm around to see it off. I guess that means it was a good year for me. It didn't kill me.

I see by my clock that it is already January 1st in the eastern time zone. Happy Most Recent Day to Arrive, easterners!