Friday, October 31, 2008

Mystery Chord Revealed??

According to this article a mathematician uncovered the secret to the opening chord on Hard Day’s Night.

Dr. Brown deduces that another George—George Martin, the Beatles producer—also played on the chord, adding a piano chord that included an F note impossible to play with the other notes on the guitar. The resulting chord was completely different than anything found in the literature about the song to date, which is one reason why Dr. Brown’s findings garnered international attention. He laughs that he may be the only mathematician ever to be published in Guitar Player magazine.

Apparently the Science Daily editors did not check out the Wikipedia entry for Hard Day's Night, because - WAIT – someone else had pointed to George Martin (everyone’s favorite 5th Beatle) before the Mathematician in the Science Daily article. Hmmm:

Dominic Pedler has also provided an interpretation of the famous chord, with the Beatles and George Martin playing the following:
• George Harrison: Fadd9 in 1st position on Rickenbacker 360/12 12-string electric guitar
• John Lennon: Fadd9 in 1st position on a Gibson J-160E 6-string acoustic guitar
• Paul McCartney: high D played on the D-string, 12th fret on Hofner 500/1 electric bass
• George Martin: D2-G2-D3 played on a Steinway Grand Piano
• Ringo Starr: Subtle snare drum and ride cymbal
This gives the notes: G-B-D-F-A-C (the B is a harmonic). One of the interesting things about this chord (as described by Pedler) is how McCartney's high bass note reverberates inside the soundbox of Lennon's acoustic guitar and begins to be picked up on Lennon's microphone or pick-up during the sounding of the chord. This gives the chord its special "wavy" and unstable quality. Pedler describes the effect as a "virtual pull-off".[22]

Yikes – at least you can’t accuse the Beatles of being one of those rock-bands that only knows three chords.

Hat-tip: Althouse

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In addition to snapping pictures of Duke, I grabbed this shot of one of the three Milkweed plants we have in the backyard.

Duke - Again

Here's a shot of Duke after a little game of fetch this AM. Like most big, hairy dogs, Duke really likes these chilly mornings (28F today).

Duke had another seizure Monday - totally messing up the one seizure every two weeks rule. Since he's scheduled for another Vet check-up on Friday, we didn't call. Hate to put him on the meds as I hear the side effect is lethargy - but seizures on a regular basis aren't good for the old guy either.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Home Alone

A quiet end (at least for me) to a busy day. The Hobbled Wife was off all day at a conference, so the kids and I kept ourselves busy doing laundry, trying to tidy the house, raking, mowing the yard -actually only I kept myself busy with those tasks. The kids assisted on the various errands, like the trip to Party City to buy the Dude a halloween costume, the library, and Snuffy's Malt Shop for lunch.

[M as some sort of cat-woman.]

Now all is quiet at the Hobbled House. The Hobbled Wife and the Dude are a Halloween party given by a friend of the Dude's. M is off with the neighbors at the Zoo Boo - hence the cat costume.

It was just Duke and I for dinner. Here he is keeping an eye on me while I grill a steak. I've never dropped one yet - but you never know. A good dog is always an optimist.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not So Hobbled Runner

Here's a nice shot of the Dude (looking very stained) as he approached the finish of the Diana Pierce Family Mile event on October 4. (see earlier post)

Had to fork over $35 for the digital image from one those outfits that takes race photos and then matches bib number to participants. Well worth if for the Dude - though I didn't buy my picture - handsome as it was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Seize the Day

[Re-posting to add this first paragraph which was left off earlier.]

Duke had another seizure last night. That is his third seizure since arriving in the Hobbled Household. They have come – like clockwork – every two weeks. With that in mind, we can expect the next seizure on November 2 – voting day!

I feel bad about Duke’s latest seizure – as I should have been more proactive and prevented a nasty head banging that he suffered. I had just come up from the basement and found him frothing at the mouth in the kitchen. I knew exactly what was happening. After he froths for about 20 seconds, he loses control of his leg muscles and slowly drops to the floor. I helped him lie down – expecting the big seizure part to start any moment. What I did not expect was that his head would snap back violently and hit the kitchen cabinet. I should have been holding his head, but I wasn’t so he hit his head on the cabinet and drew blood at the corner of his eye. He probably has a “black eye” today – but you can’t see it under all the fur. Being a veteran of two dog seizures I knew he would also lose control of his bladder, so this time I laid some dish towels on him to reduce the mess.

The entire episode lasted about 50 – 60 seconds maybe. Then he just laid there staring at us, too tired to get up, but not falling asleep. Within about 10 minutes he was up and outside and almost back to normal.

Time to call the vet – again.

Brokers with Hands on Faces

I’ve always wondered where they got these pictures. Nice to know someone is collecting them.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution

Monday, October 20, 2008

Catching Up

I enjoyed a few days off (of both work and blogging) at the end of last week. At several points during the weekend, I snapped a picture and said, “I’ve got to blog about this.” But it was not to be. When I’m at home, I don’t usually have my laptop on, and this weekend was so lovely, that I spent a great deal of time outside. While my wireless modem works out on the deck – it never entered my mind.

Here’s what I found when I removed the last of the tile and the baseboard from the small bathroom off the kitchen. That’s a big hole (to me at least). Not sure how I will cover that up – maybe use a larger baseboard, and cut out a section for the water intake?

Duke and the Dude on a trip to Petco. Time to stock up on pressed rawhides.

It was “hot” this weekend – but only if you are an older, overweight, hairy dog. Here is Duke on Sunday after a walk to the dog park.

In the background, we find M showing off on the “swing set”. (It’s not really a swing-set in the old metal 1960s version of the word – but it doesn’t to call it a Rainbow Play System either.

Lots more happened over the weekend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Over

[Fully charged Caribou Coffee card.]

That didn’t last long. It was only a week. This morning, I broke down and loaded up the Caribou card again.

Why? A number of reasons come to mind, but first and foremost is that fact that I have so few indulgences in my life that a minor coffee habit seems perfectly acceptable. In a busy work-a-day world, it’s nice to have something to look forward to – like good coffee.

Besides, the free stuff was starting to give me some stomach troubles. As for coffee intake, you drink more when you limit yourself to the free stuff. Imagine that. I actually drink less when I limit myself to the paid variety.

For whatever reason last week it felt right to do without, but now that that Dow is rebounding, I feel “in the money” – Time to celebrate with good coffee – HAH!

Note the cool picture of S and I – circa summer of 1992.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday at the Dog Park

[Fall colors on the U of MN Golf Course.]

You'll have to take my word for it that we visited the Lauderdale dog park on Saturday. The message on the city web site calls it a DPA - doggie play area. Real cute. I only snapped pictures on the way there (tree) and just before we reached home (boy, dog, political lawn sign).

We were out for 1 1/2 hours, including walk to and from park. Dog was very tired.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Beatles Birthday Post

It's been a while since I posted on The Beatles. In honor of the 69th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, here's John (and the boys) live in Melbourne 1964 singing You Can't Do That. A great song - not one of the 6 songs they play to death on the oldies stations.

Simple Tools - Cool Photos

Using my simple BlackBerry camera, and Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I captured this fall scene yesterday on the walking path at work.

The picture didn't look so hot at first, so I chose Edit Pictures, then I clicked Auto Correct - which claims, "To automatically correct color and brightness for the selected pictures. . . " It also appears to add rays from the heavens. The sun seems to be turning this tree from green to yellow with some sort of Super Flash power.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Lutefisk Alert

Had to steal this post - it's a classic photo.

Here’s my young cousin (actually my cousin’s grandson), being offered lutefisk for the first time. Notice the “natural” anti-lutefisk reflex. It’s innate!

Read the whole thing - he actually consumed the fisk.

Cold Turkey – But Not Cold Coffee

We have an in-house Caribou Coffee store where I work. It’s one of the few such stores run by Caribou. I understand it’s often their most successful location, and it’s only open 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. I hope my decision, set out below, will not cause them to drop in the store rankings.

Yesterday, my Caribou Coffee “card” zeroed out– unexpectedly. No, it wasn’t an error, though I could have sworn I had a few more bucks on it. Turns out I just use it – a lot! Oh well, now’s my chance for the big experiment.

For weeks (nay months) I’ve promised myself that this would be my last time re-charging the coffee card. But now that time has truly arrived. From now, I’ll drink free coffee or pay as you go for the fancy stuff.

Why the change you ask. It’s economics, pure and simple. I reviewed my records and discovered that year-to-date I’ve spent $655 at Caribou – and that’s just for cheap “regular” coffee, and maybe a monthly cappuccino. True – sometimes I’m asked to purchase holiday or end-of-year gift cards for teachers, but I’m embarrassed to admit that most of that is for my personal consumption.

From now on, I’m drinking the free stuff. Yes, my company offers free coffee in the cafeteria. (We also offer free milk, ice tea, and free fruit on Tuesdays and Thursdays – but that’s the subject of another post).

Wish me luck – or better yet, offer to buy me a coffee. Just kidding – I think.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Path to Nowhere

I've been enjoying the walking path at work for several years now, so it was a bit of a surprise that I just recently noticed this. Last week this "path" caught my eye. As you walk the asphalt path, it appears just off the north of the path, heading off to an area that officially is a bit of a wetland, but is dry just now. Funny I never noticed it before. Perhaps it was the lighting or color of the changing leaves and grasses, but it just "jumped out" at me. I imagine it's an old path or lane from the days - not so long ago - that the site was a farm.

Then a few feet further along the path, I noticed barbed wire stuck in a big old tree - another remnant from the farm days. The picture might not do it justice, but it is embedded near the bottom.

For Every Uphill, There is a Downhill

The Dude and I "competed" in our second road race together, the Diana Pierce Family Mile - part of the TC Marathan weekend extravaganza. It was very crowded, not like our last race. I estimate we didn't cross the starting line for about 30 seconds.

For some reason I didn't wear a watch - what was I thinking?! I estimate our time at just under 8 minutes. Not bad for a such a crowded field. The course was out and back, the first mile uphill from the Minnesota Department of Transportation building to the St. Paul Cathedral, then turn around and run like the wind downhill. Very fun.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Who You Callin' Fat?

The Hobbled Wife had her hands full this morning taking both Duke and Roscoe to the vet. Dr. Stefan is an old friend of the family and used to care for Favorite, our old dog. This was Duke's first visit since joining the Hobbled Family.

The vet was able to confirm that yes, Duke could stand to lose some weight - about 30 pounds! Duke weighed in at 113 pounds, and should be about 80 to 85. I assumed Duke's problems with climbing steps and the struggle to scratch behind his ear like a normal dog was due to hip dysplaysia, but it's probably just because he's so large.

We've been limiting his food - still giving him about 2 cups per feeding, once in morning, and then again in the evening. Already we are noticing some improvement. He seems a bit more spry. But this "restricted" diet has him HUNGRY! The foster parent told us he had about 2 or 2 1/2 cups per feeding, but we now figure he was mooching off her other dogs, and cats - and probably her teenage kids as well. Oh well, time for doggy boot camp.

This photo would lend itself to one of those “guess what” mystery photo contests. If you were to guess that this is a picture of the shower room wall at your old junior high you wouldn’t be far off the mark. It’s actually an exterior wall near the side door at the Fairview Community Center, fka Fairview Junior High School. Snapped it yesterday after retrieving M from dance class. The building was constructed in 1956.

[Here's a shot of why appears to be the gymnasium at Fairview during construction in 1956. Source: MNHS - of course!]

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I’ve been walking around all day singing Misty to myself. Misty is one of those songs that when I hear it – it takes several days to shake it out of my head. It’s an earworm.

Last night while driving home I was listening to Pete Lee’s Bop Street on KFAI – a Monday regular for me. As he often does, Pete was celebrating the birth of a famous pop icon. This time it was Johnny Burke who wrote the lyrics to Misty, along with a number of other classics in the American Songbook.

Lee often approaches his subject and their music from several angles, like celebrating Bobby Troup’s birthday by spending an hour or more playing every version of Route 66 he can get his hands on.

Yesterday was the day to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Johnny Burke. Lee played several versions of Misty, including ones by Frank Sinatra, and another by Sarah Vaughn. Last night I was messing around on YouTube and came across this 1969 performance of Misty by Vaughn. It’s very good – and for those who enjoy the retro-style, I think that microphone just screams, “1969”.

1000 Words (as in a Picture is Worth . . . )

Can't think of what to say, so I'll post recent pictures taken by Hobbled Wife.

M did not have school Monday - teacher workshop. Yes, school had been in session 19 days, it was about time for a day off. To celebrate a day without school, M had 5 (yes 5!) teeth removed. It's all part of the orthodontic big picture. She spent most of the day curled up on the coach with the cat, bleeding into gauze and sucking popsicles while recovering from anesthesia.

Here's a few shots of the Dude in Yosemite. You may recall, he and the Hobbled Wife went to a family wedding, leaving M and I to acquire a dog. The large body of water is the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

[The perfect chair? for a tired hiker.]