Oscar Deuce: Just Call Me Rosie

Written by Burl on March 28th, 2011

Along with a bevy of Brownies and a gaggle of Girl Scouts — I’m not making this up! — PJ and I learned the basics of riveting and spent a couple of hours and about a hundred rivets putting the drilled-out areas of the O-2 back together. Compare the photo above with the earlier edition.


Shabbat Matinee: Josh Nelson’s Kosher Gospel

Written by Burl on March 26th, 2011


Messenger Around Mercury

Written by Burl on March 25th, 2011

The Messenger orbiter went into position around Mercury this week, but you’d never know it from news coverage. Things been happening, I guess. Everything went flawlessly, and Messenger will soon start uploading images.


Midweek Matinee: Sticky Subject

Written by Burl on March 23rd, 2011


Separated at Birth?

Written by Burl on March 21st, 2011


Sunday Matinee: Honey Badger Blues

Written by Burl on March 20th, 2011


Catching up with Toni Childs

Written by Burl on March 19th, 2011

I’ve always been a big Toni Childs fan, particularly of her awesome songwriting ability — her music is a powerful mix of Detroit soul, rock sensibility and Third-World influence — but she pretty much flies under the radar. She had some decent hits in the late ’80s, notably “Don’t Walk Away,” but then she got the double whammy of contracting Graves’ Disease and bouncing record labels. It was a period when panicked record companies were ditching artists. Childs moved to Hawaii — I think Kauai — emerging once in a while to write award-winning songs.
She’s always been more popular in New Zealand and Australia than in the U.S., which is our loss. Anyway, I ran across the above video, filmed just a few months ago at a gig in New Zealand, showing that Childs is just as cool as ever. Which makes me happy.
OK, here’s another one, an all-star jam:

And here’s an absolute pirate version of “Zimbabwae” also recorded recently in a small club.


Friday Funnies: Caption Contest

Written by Burl on March 18th, 2011

Preparing for their first visit to Gay Paree … the boys practiced tirelessly.

Thanks to Rachel Chesser, once again!


Rad Grads Redux

Written by Burl on March 16th, 2011

My high-school senior yearbook, Radford High School 1971, is stashed somewhere in the house and I haven’t been able to find it for years. I know it’s there somewhere, I just can’t put my finger on it. Astonishingly, I graduated from high school 40 years ago this spring. (And a hearty WTF?!?! to you too.) It seems like just yesterday that I borrowed my pal Kathy’s yearbook and used it to create a “virtual” yearbook, putting my entire senior class and other information online. But no, that was back in the deep, dark ’90s, when I created Web sites by writing HTML in Simpletext and uploaded them via a dial-up connection. It was fun and consuming, like solving a puzzle, although to do it that way today would be simply crazy.
The “yearbook” bounced around various hosts and subhosts, most recently residing on my catch-all pacifichistory.net site. That is, until a few days ago, when I registered radford1971.com and ported the Yearbook over there. Now it has its own dedicated site; http://www.radford1971.com, and the idea is to update and modernize the coding and contents.
Why bother?
The deal is that Radford High School’s student population was, and remains, largely military dependents. Where other kids tend to keep in contact after school, because they grew up in the same community, military kids scatter to the winds and contact is lost. Conversely, as Mary Wertsch pointed out in her seminal sociological study “Military Brats,” military kids tend to look back on their high-school days with the same fond gauziness that most Americans view their home town. High school was the closest most of us came to sense of belonging to a civilian community, outside of the martial legacies of the various military services.
Yes, I’m in the photo above, sitting next to the beauteous and brilliant Mary Cole. Like most of us, she turned out A-OK.


Sunday Matinee: X-Wing Lift-Off

Written by Burl on March 13th, 2011