February 26, 2010

"100,000 People"

I just Netflixed the 2003 documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara. It is an excellent film, which deals with a very heavy topic with grace and style, never once getting overly grim. But the revelation for me was the soundtrack (which does the job of being grim), composed by Philip Glass. Dude! I love the brief, little melodies which pop up. My favorites at this point are:

and "IBM Punch Cards":

February 25, 2010

February 22, 2010

The Rolling Stones "Make-Up Clip"

"Jumping Jack Flash" may be my all time favorite Rolling Stones tune, other than "Monkey Man" or "Brown Sugar." 1968 was the year the Stones really came into their own as a rock and roll entity to match, and even surpass, The Beatles. Here they are seen pretty much abandoning the group's trend-following foray into psychedelia of the previous year, getting back to a more basic rock and roll sound. I've always wondered if it wasn't stuff like this from the Stones that inspired Paul McCartney to think of "Get Back" as an album concept for the splintered and splintering Beatles at the beginning of 1969. This is a version of "Jumping Jack Flash" I've not heard. The new vocal background parts are really cool. This is called "Jumping Jack Flash (Make-Up Clip)" for a reason:

Bill Wyman

Charlie Watts looks simply lovely, obviously inspired by Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra:

Brian Jones was phoning it in from outer space by this point and did in fact appear to be a space alien.


And of course Mick, ready to go to war:

Ladies and gentlemen, the Rolling Stones:

February 20, 2010

ghost sign

ghost sign — a faded, painted sign, at least 50 years old, on an exterior building wall heralding an obsolete product, an outdated trademark or a clue to the history of the building's occupancy.

wrigley's ghost in bartlett
Bartlett, Texas

firestone ghost sign in lyons, texas
Lyons, Texas

dave lebowitz dry goods ghost in waco
Waco, Texas

capadura ghost
Houston, Texas

morley bros. ghost
Austin, Texas, building was built in 1871

coca-cola ghost in yoakum
Yoakum, Texas

smith's bile beans ghost sign
Corsicana, Texas...bile beans??

One of my favorites:
battle ax plug tobacco ghost
Luling, Texas

marlin ghost sign
Marlin, Texas

angled look at red river candy co. ghost
Alexandria, Louisiana

grand saline "bull" durham ghost
Grand Saline, Texas

This is one in my hometown of Galveston that "appeared" suddenly after a car wash was torn down. Another favorite:
triple x ginger ale ghost

star tobacco ghost in elgin
Elgin, Texas

flatonia coca-cola ghost sign
Flatonia, Texas

February 15, 2010

"'S Wonderful"

I had no idea Elvis' wife had done something with Claus Ogerman. But of course I don't know much about her. I've heard the groovy version of "'S Wonderful" off of The Look of Love (2001) a few times,
but I hadn't known Ogerman did the arrangment. And I'd be a lot more interested in the latest album, if I hadn't heard every single song on it done (more than once in some cases with Sinatra) by the likes of Sinatra and/or Ella Fitzgerald! Also, it would seem as if people find it difficult to spell out "'S Wonderful." See, anytime one drops a letter from a word, the missing letter(s) is represented with an apostrophe. Hence, It's becomes simply 'S. See? 'S easy!

February 10, 2010

Son of Salinger

Wow! Mind exploding here. I'm currently reading (for the very first time) Franny and Zooey (1961), J.D. Salinger's third book, in which he combined two short stories ("Franny" from 1955 and "Zooey," 1957). It is somewhat dedicated to Salinger's son, Matthew, who was a one-year-old at the time of its publication. Despite assuming the son of perhaps the most elusive and hermit-like "celebrity" of our time would possibly be more private, anonymous even, I did an image search for him out of curiosity. But not only is he not camera shy, he is of all things an actor. His first role was as one of the Alpha Betas in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). He is #84 in this scene:

Salinger must have been so proud...

The son of the author of The Catcher in the Rye

Oh, the irony! What a trip, huh? Matthew Salinger was also Captain America in an internationally released film (from 1990):

Maybe this was a well known fact and common knowledge, but it's news to me! It's almost as bizarre a case of worlds colliding as Geraldo Rivera having been married to the daughter of Kurt Vonnegut...

February 7, 2010

The demolition of Garner

garner the morning of demolition
Well, the day I'd been sort of dreading arrived. Above is Garner Apartments, on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. The picture was taken around 7 am, on the morning of February 6, the date its demolition was set to begin.

garner the morning of demolition
Built in 1969, Garner was, at the time, the tallest building between the northern state line and the city of Houston. More than simply a dormitory, it will be remembered as the building that would light up SFA purple after a victorious sporting event. After the demolition is complete, construction will begin on the two buildings that will take its place. More information from the The Daily Sentinel (I didn't link to the actual article, as they don't archive their articles):

Looming in the skyline next to the Garner Apartments stood its fate - the wrecking ball.

Garner's date with the ball of destruction was slated for 10 a.m., and the excitement of watching Nacogdoches' tallest building become Nacogdoches' tallest pile of bricks began to attract people from around the area to the nearby parking lots on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

A small crowd had begun to gather a little before 10, all hoping to find a good, safe seat to watch the highly anticipated show.

As the time grew closer, people began to line Wilson Drive, and the surrounding lots filled with even more people ready for the action.

Excitement and anticipation grew as 10 a.m. grew closer, and then passed. Then 10:30 a.m. came and went.

Minutes before 11 a.m., the wrecking ball rose into the air. The crowd sprang to its feet, holding kids, cameras and collective breaths.

The ball slowly swung back, then swung forward - and then lightly tapped the roof. A groan of disappointment could be heard echoing through the crowd.

The crane swung out again and brought the wrecking ball against the side again, this time a little harder.

Again and again the ball smashed against the roof, when large chunks of debris finally began to fall, the crowd yelled and cheered with excitement.

As the minutes passed, rubble slowly poured from Garner as the ball continued to rock against the side. But the show was not a spectacular as many had envisioned.

"I came out here and really wanted to see the building just collapse," said Vincent Davis, an SFA student. "But it has been slow and steady. No real 'wow' factor."

The crowd began to dwindle, settling with the thought that at least they could say they were there when it happened.

"I thought it was going to come down pretty quickly, but it's going to take all day," said Taylor Hawkings, another SFA student. "I recorded the beginning, and if I didn't have stuff to do, I'd probably stay."

Demolition is expected to last over the next three weeks, certainly longer than anyone had planned to watch.

garner from pecan park
A commenter (and former Garner resident) at a previous post about Garner was nice enough to alert me as to the time the demolition was set to begin. So I headed over to the campus, and drove past the fairly large crowd of spectators who had gathered right across the street. I noticed a woman crying, and this was before anything had even started. I headed over to a park across the street from campus, parked, and waited for it all to begin.

The picture above was my view. It seemed like the sun shone on the obsolete structure like a spotlight. Sitting there, I felt as if I was holding its hand (paw), comforting it, much like one might with an elderly pet as it was about to be put down at the end of a long life. Nearly an hour after it was set to begin, the wrecking ball began to swing. I could only bear to watch the first four or five swings, and saw enough rubble and dust fall to the ground, then headed home, sure the building would be gone next time I drove by the campus.

garner at the end
But it seems that the old girl will not go down as easily as at least I expected. The next morning (Sunday), it looked as it does in the picture above. This was the extent of the demolition. I've taken some comfort in the idea that Garner will not give up easily. I suppose I'd imagined something as dramatic as the demolition of the Sands. But unlike that structure (of which Garner has always reminded me), Garner's demise will be slow and ugly.

demolition of garner begins
Morning of Sunday, February 7th, 2010