May 11th, 2008

bazille_summer scene


So it's May and Summerfest has hit the shelves. Today I had the first bottle of the year, though yesterday might have been a more appropriate time for a beer called Summerfest, as today there was reversion to cooler, more springlike weather. Afternoon, though not too warm, was bright and sunny, and a soft breeze was stirring the golden poppies (upward of a hundred are now blooming in the back yard— probably the peak of the crop.) But the eastern horizon held clumps of cloud which later expanded while the rest of the sky sky grew hazy. Now, though the sun is still visible, shadows are a bit vague, and the quickened air feels as though there might be a bit of rain on the way. I've switched from beer to coffee.

All afternoon the crows and acorn woodpeckers have been active, caws and chuckles resounding, as though they'd decided to stage an avian American Idol competition. Between the two, the woodpeckers win, as far as I'm concerned. I'd be pleased if both groups would shut up and give the more melodious species a chance to perform, though. But then it wouldn't be so much like American Idol, I guess.

While the poppies are now blooming abundantly, and the rose bushes are producing their first big crop of the season, the last of the azaleas have withered and dropped to the ground. But I see lots of tiny buds on the jasmine hedge which will soon open to perfume the nights. Spring is not being too odd this year. There've been odder springs, at least. Now, if only we could have another nice thunderstorm.

Entertainment! At Booze Movies, garv reviews one of my favorite W.C. Fields shorts, The Fatal Glass of Beer. He recommends (wisely) that, if you have not seen the movie, you should watch it before reading his piece. But where, you may wonder, might a person who is not familiar with this classic find a copy of it on short notice? Easy, thanks to the Internet Archive. They have free streaming and downloadable versions of it from tiny 64kbs versions to massive 594 MB MPEG2 versions, all available at this Intartube page conveniently located near you!

Further entertainment! Today's YouTube "Happy Feets" discovery is a 1929 recording by Teddy Kline's Orchestra, a Berlin dance band led by an expat American clarinetist. The song I'm Doing what I'm Doing for Love features vocals by a male duo called "Two Jazzers" who sing the song in English, with Hungarian accents. Truly priceless! And, as a bonus, the accompanying video (not entirely safe for work due to bare breasts, by the way, but they're tiny and might be missed by the non-eagle-eyed) features, beginning at about 1:50 in, a period ad for... well, go see for yourself!

Without further ado, Collapse )