more than a hearing
Wednesday, April 26 2006
Typical, yet again, of April, this morning I observed conflicting signs of the season. A light frost last night (the first in weeks) had killed the leaves of some of the freshly-potted basil plants (so lovingly described in their dogshit paradise in yesterday's account). I don't know what makes some leaves survive while others die in such a situation; evidently the frost had just barely been bad enough to be lethal to basil.
After registering that little horticultural mistake, I happened to see a sparkling male Ruby Throated Hummingbird attempting to feed at the hummingbird feeder, which was hanging in its usual spot, its plastic red flower spigots beckoning. Unfortunately for its first customer, it wasn't yet open for the season. I immediately cleaned it up and refilled it for the next hummingbird.
In the springtime the hummingbirds must follow a wave of blooming flowers northward from wherever they've been for the winter. I don't know anything about that land except that flowers are always in bloom there, since without them the hummingbirds would go somewhere else.
I just watched a video of Sheryl Crow covering Johnny Cash's cover of Trent Reznor's song "Hurt." I've never been a big fan of Ms. Crow, and seeing this performance I can better put my finger on why. Whatever gravitas JC brought to the song (improving it enormously over the original) is swept away by Crow. It was apparent she had no understanding of the material. It was a little like hearing Britney Spears covering the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," but it was more like what I imagine Spears might do to (shudder to think) "Eleanor Rigby." As Crow added useless Nu Country affectations and smirked between lyrics I found myself wondering, "Has she ever suffered from even just a simple broken heart?"
Videos don't always give me a bad impresion of a musician. Sometimes they give me an appreciation for music I might not otherwise notice. Examples of musicians whose standings with me have been helped by videos include Alien Ant Farm, Bloc Party, the Bloodhound Gang, U2, and Michæl Jackson. Furthermore, I'd been weary of P.J. Harvey for years but I just saw her video for "50 Foot Queenie" where she exudes so much charisma (and she's so hot) that I've decided I like her again.
Yesterday I attached a 1280 by 1024 flat screen monitor to the sloped ceiling above the two 1600 by 1200 CRTs of my main computer. Attached as a third monitor, it's sort of a backwater of screen real estate, with the mouse becoming trapped in a cul-de-sac should it venture up there. So I immediately took to positioning WinAmp there so any video it generates won't be too distracting but can be clearly viewed if I am so inclined.
Three monitors in the laboratory.
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