This category contains 12 posts

♫ Istanbul, Not Constantinople ♫

Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, ΚωνσταντινούποληKonstantinoúpolis, Konstantinoúpoli; Latin: Constantinopolis; Armenian: Կոստանդնուպոլիս, Kostandnupolis; Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطینیه, Kostantiniyye; and modern Turkish: İstanbul) was the capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire. It was founded in AD 330, at ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great, after whom it was named. In the 12th century,[1]the city was the largest and wealthiest European city.[2]

Eventually the empire of Christian Eastern Orthodoxy in the east was reduced to just the capital and its environs, falling to the Ottomans in the historic battle of 1453. (The Free Dictionary)

This showed up the other day in my daily read of Ref Desk.

Constantinople Becomes Istanbul (1930)

The city now known as Istanbul was founded as the Greek colony of Byzantium in the 8th century BCE. Eventually passing to Alexander the Great, it became a free city under the Romans in the 1st century CE. Emperor Constantine I made the city the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire in 330, later naming it Constantinople. It remained the capital of the subsequent Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome in the late 5th century and then changed hands several times. Why was it renamed Istanbul in 1830? More…

Of course, my mind, working as it does, went to this…

Because I’m in need of a guffaw!

Simple Dreams

As with art (and so many other things) I may not know it, but I know what I like.

And I like love Linda Ronstadt!

In the early 1970’s, Dave (the genius mechanic) introduced me to Linda Ronstadt’s music.  Being a lonely guy in my 20’s, her torchy rock (a term coined by Time magazine) was just the ticket!  I bought and listened to many of her albums, and even was lucky enough to take a fine blond lady named Ali to her concert here, at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, in 1979.

In the late 70’s Playboy magazine called her “the best White pipes in the business.”  I agree.

Like so many other entertainment types, unfortunately, she chose the platform built by her music to expound on things political.  She even dated Jerry Brown for a while.

But, her music continued to soar, and she kept experimenting.  From popular standards (with Nelson Riddle arranging!) to Gilbert and Sullivan and even La Boheme!

I don’t get the opportunity to acquire CDs as I used to, and have never gotten used to digital music.  So it saddened me to learn that she is suffering from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and now Parkinson’s disease.

She retired from singing and can no longer perform, in 2009.

She has written a musical autobiography, entitled Simple Dreams, which good friend Biff just gifted me.  It details her musical education, growth and evolution, from her Mexican-emigre’ family in Tucson, to her Malibu beach house and beyond.  And encounters with musical partners from the guys who later formed The Eagles, to Dolly Parton and even Frank Sinatra!

If she interests you, I highly recommend the book.  It would be considered name-dropping, if she weren’t so talented.

(FTC – I get nothing except musical entertainment from Ms. Ronstadt!)

Glenn Frey, RIP

The passing recently of David Bowie definitely got my attention, even though I wasn’t a big fan – in any of his incarnations.  (Sorry)

But yesterday, finding out that a founder of The Eagles had passed.  Well, Universe, this is  over-the-top!

As we age, we seem to see more of this – people who are part of our youth, our lives, passing into eternity.

Personal family and friends aside, these bookmarks in the story of our lives remind of us specifics in our past, and of the eventual future for all of us.

R.I.P. Good Sir!



I’m NRA You Hate I Am

(Full Disclosure:  I am an NRA Life Member, and have been for many years, paid for in installments.  I don’t always agree with the organization or her choices, but she is one of the best means available to monitor and respond to statist governmental abuses. With the latest in fascist salvos across our bows, including many political cartoons painting the NRA and gunnies as violent, criminal, knuckle-draggers, I thought it appropriate to respond with humor! – Guffaw)

(As posted by Proud Hillbilly)

With thanks to buzzamonkey for permission to use:

I’m NRA You Hate, I Am
—apologies to Herman’s Hermits, and “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am”
I’m NRA you hate, I am
NRA you hate, I am, I am
I own guns and I want to buy more
You keep asking what I need ‘em for
But thanks to the Second Amendment (Amendment!)
It’s none of your business what I need (Indeed!)
Whether for sport or personal defendment
NRA you hate I a-a-a-a-am
NRA you hate I am
Second verse, same as the first!
A little bit louder, and a little bit worse!

I’m NRA you hate, I am
NRA you hate, I am, I am
I own guns and I want to buy more
You keep asking what I need ‘em for
But thanks to the Second Amendment (Amendment!)
It’s none of your business what I need (Indeed!)
Whether for sport or personal defendment
NRA you hate I a-a-a-a-am
NRA you hate I am

For the younger folks, here’s the tune itself:

Different Drummer – A Musical Lifetime

I’ve always been a little different musically…

My real mother (who passed when I was in the second grade) had lots of 78 RPM records of classical music – including The Nutcracker Suite done straight by Spike Jones!  I still have some of them.

My dad was a big band kinda guy.  And 50’s crooners.  Perry Como, etc.

And my exposure to music didn’t include most rock-and-roll or folk.  (My sister worshipped Elvis, though.)

In grade school, a friend asked me if I liked ‘popular music’.  I said no.  He replied, “not even Mister Tambourine Man?”

I had never heard it.

I was too busy listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.

I loved – and love – this piece:

My leg disability developed between Eighth Grade and High School.  No P.E. for Guffaw.  The high school principal ask me if I could play an instrument.  I could not.  He said, “Well it’s Choir for you!”, as if it were some kind of punishment.

I loved choir.  They taught me how to sing (in the baroque manner), and  how to read music.  And how to appreciate Jazz! (Stan Getz, anyone?)

We even made All-State when I was a Senior, and we got to sing on the stage at the university’s Grady Gammage Auditorium (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!)

It was after I graduated and went on to college that I developed a liking for popular music.  The Beatles, The Eagles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others.  Jethro Tull.  I even taught myself a bit of flute to play along!

But Bach will always be my first musical love.

We Are Told, Part Deux

From Joel, in part:

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Terrorist Group May Be Growing in U.S.
American law enforcement officials view sovereign citizens as the No. 1 potential terrorist threat in the United States, according to a 2014 study.

For those who ask, “Uncle Joel, in your deep wisdom and experience, could you please explain the ‘Sovereign Citizen’ movement for your audience?” I must reply…

No. I really can’t. I’ve hung with these guys and I can’t tell you what it’s about. It’s sort of a cargo cult law-as-ritual thing where if you add this particular incantation to a legal document any judge in the land is forced to throw up his hands, exclaim “Curses, foiled again” and let you off to do as you will, and everybody knows about this one guy who did that and it worked. Somewhere. Fringes on flags in courtrooms have something to do with it. People have sat me down and tried very earnestly to explain it, but I’m hopeless as a lawyer. Or a whacko.

So Sovereign types as the #1 terrorist threat in the land? Having a hard time buying it. And the article’s narrative isn’t helping…

Certainly there are enemies of the Constitutional Republic.  Both foreign AND domestic.

Remember the Sons of the Gestapo, who pulled off the train derailment of The Sunset Limited in Arizona a few years back?  More like the Sons of the Pioneers!

Or perhaps the result of an agent provocateur in place, stirring up the faux-militia crowd.  You know, a community-organizer sent by government to enrage the weak-minded of the patriot crowd.

Remember your Criminal Law – When the idea of the criminal act originates with law enforcement, it becomes entrapment!

We DO have enemies – both foreign and domestic, including those who would foment crimes to solve them to make their stats look good!

These government agents, too, are enemies of the Republic.


More Than Just Creepy…

c leeI always thought Christopher Lee the actor to be good at his craft, because he creeped me out!  But blogger friend Borepatch linked the esteemable Mr. Lee to some amazing facts:

Christopher Lee: Metal Rocker and total bad ass (in part)

But his life is nothing short of astonishing.  He witnessed the last execution via guillotine in France.  He fought in the Winter War in Finland in 1939.  He was in the SAS in North Africa during the War.  He was cousin to Ian Fleming, who tried (and failed) to get him cast as Dr. No (he had to wait until Man With The Golden Gun to play a Bond villain).

And, at AGE 90, he’s doing symphotic metal!

You really should visit the link and see what he did and does!

More than just creepy – who knew?

The Beatles

The Silicon Graybeard (and many others on the ‘Net) reminded me tonight is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles performing on Ed Sullivan.  Their big American break.

A real snooze for me.

1)  I was into classical music – popular music (like Rock and Roll) just didn’t do it for me.  And, I had memories of my Dad ranting about Elvis (and my Sister, the Bobby Soxer, fawning over him) years earlier.

2)  My Dad’s rant continued regarding The Beatles long hair.  “Unkempt, unclean, like a beatnik”, etc.

AND 3)  (most important) being a 6th Grader, I was extremely jealous of the 6th Grade girls fawning all over these British invaders!  What was so special about them, anyway?

Of course, regardless of my and other Dad’s rants, they went on to super stardom and changing the face of music forever.

Used to be there was a derisive term for classical music – longhair music.  Obviously that went out of favor!

Childhood Music

(caution – earworms ahead)

The other day, I placed a YouTube video of Dave Brubeck’s music to connect with the jazz master’s passing.  Then, I put The Addams Family TV show theme song on my blog’s You Tube link.

Music from my youth.  And it got me thinking.  Where did most of the tunes with which I identified when I was a kid come from?  Why, television, and movies, of course!

I always read TV credits as a kid.  Hell, I still read them (and movie credits) now.  Helps me to identify actors, directors, technical folks and music I like from the show.  Or perhaps dislike.

I remember Frank DeVol.  He did music for TV and the movies from the 40s into the 80s.  Richard Diamond, My Three Sons, The Brady Bunch, even taking time out to conduct the orchestra for The Dirty Dozen!  And many other works.

Then, there was Vic Mizzy.  The poor man’s Frank DeVol.  From the 60s to the 80s.  Highlights include The Addams Family, Green Acres, The Munster’s Revenge, and even Quincy, M.E.

And Henry Mancini.  Where do I start?  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky.  Hatari!

John Barry.  James Bond movies.

Bernard Hermann.  Hitchcock.  Psycho.  Vertigo.

I just can’t get into the truncated theme songs of today, with their rap/hip-hop motifs.  If there even IS a theme song?  Guess they’re just too expensive to produce.

Guess I’m old…

The Mostly German Philosophers Love Song

(For all you linguists, geeks, philosophers and music nerds out there – The mostly German philosopher’s Love Song!  Seriously, play the free link at the bottom!  This IS GUFFAW in AZ, after all!)

germanHegel, I Goethe Goethe have ya,
‘Cause I Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nietzsche
So bad.

I’d like to Leibniz the stars with you.
But I know you’d Schopenhauer late, like you always do.

So I say, Hegel …

Heidegger lovely ways, she’s got all I want.
And I’d like to Hess some of her goodness, but I Kant.

So I say, Hegel …

Spinoza long since I have seen your face.
And so be-Feuerbach I shall not leave this place.

But I say, Hegel …

I Gadamer-ciful reply from her.
But as to Husserl-ove, I cannot say for sure.

So, I say, Hegel …

Well I don’t Kierkegaard my heart with all my strength.
But now I’ve been in such a Ficht(e) for such a length.
And I don’t know if my Wittgenstein to sing this lonely song.
That’s why Einstein away from you from now on.

But I say, Hegel …

Play it here!
(c)all rights reserved J. Boor
(FTC – Guffaw is just providing this for humor and entertainment; received nothing for it – now GO AWAY!)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…