A friend and I had a conversation about the most influential person over the last two decades not too long ago. The conversation was lead off with some comment shortly after Steve Jobs passing (guess that dates the conversation a bit more than I care to recall) that he was probably the most influential person in the last twenty years to twenty-five years or so. I took objection to that, and suggested that maybe it could be argued to be the case for the last decade or so (going back really to the iPod, including both the iPhone and iPad), but that really there are a LOT of other players to be considered for most influence even there, and especially if you look back as far as quarter century from 2012. What do you all think?
Wow, how time flies sometimes. I had been putting off writing this blog entry for a bit because I was not really sure I wanted to write it. Fundamentally, I suppose, by it to words it confirms what I likely already know in my head, if that makes sense to anyone. To explain, I guess I have to back up a little bit for those folks that do not already know me. One of my big hobbies over the last ten or more years has been doing things with horses. That includes anything from light trail riding, breeding some when I had the full farm, lots of training (both them and myself), and of course doing medieval things for show and pleasure. By medieval things I mean anything from a light demo in costume of what squires did to train up to full tilt jousting. The question I have now is can I still do any of this and if so, what parts? Continue reading
Has anyone else noticed the continued demise of language? This is especially true with the written word, I suppose largely because no one is writing by and large these days outside of a few eccentrics who do still put pen to paper. It is getting worse though with each passing day and especially those days that bring with it new technologies. I have noted as much in the past myself when debating the nature of keeping a journal online or in written form and I am seeing it first hand even starting to occur with myself. Ã‚Â Just what am I talking about anyway?
Everyone knows that the religious group known as the Pilgrims that settled the area known as Plymouth were the first permanent settlement right? We all know that such puritans would not ever dream of starting a fight with Native Americans right? And just what was that motivated so many English and other European Nationals to take the risky two month sea voyage to the colonies? Especially considering that early colonists had an average survival rate well below twenty-five percent. Tobacco was something that the Native Americans taught the settlers how to raise, correct? Here are a few facts of the matter that are often confused, some of it through what we are taught in grade school and other of it just perpetual mis-information that is handed down over and over, despite being largely in correct.
Two things have been in my proverbial crawl this week regarding the use the editorial pen to seemingly not acknowledge our own history. In fact, the two matters I am thinking of not only do not seem to acknowledge the history, but in fact seem bent on the rewrite of our history, in which the ugly parts of it are white-washed under the rug so to speak. The two issues, briefly are the newest version of Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which the n-word has been replaced or eliminated. And of course, the reading of our most revered constitution on the house floor, but with things that reference the 3/5 counting of slaves and even the repelled prohibition of liquor were left out.
In regards to Mark Twain’s epic and classic work, I fail to see how changing the word makes the situation presented in the book any more palatable to anyone that would be reading it. In fact, one can argue that in his own way and as near as would have been appropriate for a man from the mid-south at the time, Twain was questioning the institution of slavery itself. I think, in my own mind Twain clearly was doing just that. I think also, just as Huck as the thought at some point that in reality, according to the letter of the law, Jim is just property, so to did Twain himself think at times.
A few weeks back I was in a couple of my favorite bookstores doing a little bit of browsing and not much buying. While I was walking through the two stores I could not help but be drawn into a couple of the sections and reminded of somethings from the past that I have kind of left behind. A couple of those things that I came across, I have to admit, definitely label me as the geek type way back when, though I admit I have no problem with that aspect of things. Just a bit of warning for you though, I am probably going to sound really geeky in talking about the various subjects, which range from gaming, miniatures, reading fantasy, and just sitting in a bookstore browsing a possible purchase over a cup of coffee.
“There is a valley in New York. And a river runs through it. And Henry Hudson first discovered it.” So starts a show, recorded a show from PBS that broadcast on KET over the weekend called New York Wine & Table. I admit to recording the oddest thing that catches my interest on occasion, but the description of “specialty growers revitalize farming and wine making in the Hudson River Valley, with blackcurrant wine, apple vodka, and apple cider” appealed to me on some level. I suppose the combination of farming and wine making were the two things that really caught my attention, as I am passionate about both of those. Of course I also thought my trip to upstate New York several years ago was beautiful and I was a little curious about apple vodka as well. I find myself fairly awake this evening and after watching a documentary of Chris McCandless I was feeling more alive then usual and thought I would watch that video while I wrote a blog about something else.
Picking up with my observations, which I have not been completely Johnny on the spot with of late, here are a few interesting ones from the first few days of June. They include some notes about Willie Nelson, baroque music ensembles in Lexington (of twenty years ago), the summer bring on the music and arts festivals that can be so much fun, and lastly my own personal battles with GRUB 2 of late.
I am about to get married really soon… less than two weeks as a matter of fact. I am not concerned about the marriage. Actually looking forward to that. However, I am taking the time to assess a few things in my life and feel like in some ways I am at a major crossroads. Maybe the marriage has little to do with the assessment, maybe it is in truth much more with having turned forty just under two months ago. Anyway, I have had these kind of major refocusing times in my life a couple of times before and good things have generally come of them. Last major time I got rid of motorcycles and all the rebuilding equipment and eventually got into the dream of horses instead.