Friday, July 25, 2008

Sonny Sharrock

Sonny Sharrock came to mind yesterday while discussing Ben Monder. I first saw Sharrock at Ravinia Park north of Chicago in the late 60's, early 70's. He was playing with Herbie Mann, and adding a chaotic, thunderous dimension to Mann's flute. I remember several things distinctly -- I have never seen a guitar appear so dwarfed in anyone's hands (later in life when I saw Izzy Kamakawiwo'ole play ukulele this feat was topped), and it was the first time I'd heard anyone produce pure noise on an instrument. Looking around youtube, I found a couple of clips that characterize a couple of this fabulous guitarist's moods. Enjoy.

Thanks to Pedro Mendes for collecting and sharing these.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Walk Score

A new Web tool called Walk Score will tell you how "walkable" your home location is. Walk Score does this by "calculating the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking."

Your Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100. Here are general guidelines for interpreting your score:

  • 90 - 100 = Walkers' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
  • 70 - 90 = Very Walkable: It's possible to get by without owning a car.
  • 50 - 70 = Some Walkable Locations: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require a bike, public transportation, or car.
  • 25 - 50 = Not Walkable: Only a few destinations are within easy walking range. For most errands, driving or public transportation is a must.
  • 0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!
My walk score, out in the county, was 15, which essentially means I have to drive just about anywhere. Which is correct, unless I want to walk 1 1/2 miles to the store, or bike steep hills.

The Best Things in Life Are Free

I used to think of this in more idealistic terms, now I just think the best things in life are stolen, however as a librarian, I usually give credit. This language interpreting device is stolen from Rob Lopresti ( who failed to notice it under my green loden overcoat. It is called Wordle, and to show what it can do, I'm volunteering the very words of this bitty blog post as sacrificial lambs. If I were a real artist I could undoubtedly sell this for enough to retire, and if I were a real writer, I'd obviously be writing something more profound. This work is entitled "Rob Lopresti's Cat."