Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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   Badge by Cream
Thursday, September 30 2021
Little I'd seen of the music of Fanny in the documentary I'd last night had hooked me, but today at the office I saw a YouTube video recommended by a Facebook friend, and that led to others, and there was definitely a strain of Fanny that was working with me. Then I saw their cover of "Badge," a song by the supergroup Cream. It was so great it brought tears to my eyes. But it also sent me in search of a version by Cream. I've always respected Cream, and consider "White Room" a chillingly-perfect quasi-pschedelic rock song. There is much to be said about Eric Clapton, of course. He's apparently a casual white supremacist (he really like his rooms white apparently), and the last 30 years of his guitarmanship has headed in a sad direction. But Cream was great, and Clapton can, when he needs to, muster whatever it was that he contributed to his old band. It seems reality is more complicated than the comic-book segregation of heroes from villains. I watched several versions of "Badge" by Cream, Clapton on his own, and a reunited Cream. My favorite version thus far is from 2005, decades after Clapton's worst on-stage racist outburst. The thing that makes "Badge" so great is how it toys with our past experience of the song. We know that after a prolonged weirdo-chord there's a beautiful arpeggiated thing that sounds like a perfect pull of George Harrison. But when you hear the song, the first time you expect it, there's nothing, and the song continues as it has. But the second time you're rewarded, and for a moment there it sounds like one of the most beautiful passages of Boston's most beautiful song, "More Than a Feeling." Of course, Cream did it first, but since I came to rock and roll after Boston, perhaps it was Boston that led me back to Cream. In any case, "Badge" is an unusual and amazing song. Its name, by the way, refers to a misreading by Clapton of the word "bridge" written by George Harrison (one of the song's authors), though there's no obvious bridge in the song (or any of the other normal pop song structures; its structure is entirely unique).

The only other person in the office today was Jason, and he kept asking me about hiking opportunities in the woods around our house (which I'd mentioned in the past). I don't really consider Hurley much of a destination hiking venue, but Jason says that he and his mother often drive from their house in Rhinebeck to Hurley just to hike on the rail trail. Jason asked a lot of questions about the bus turnaround, after I mentioned perhaps parking there (if there aren't idiots shooting there). Talking to Gretchen on the phone later, though, she said I should recommend hikinng at Onteora Lake. There's a good place to park, nobody is going to be shooting, there is a good well-marked trail system, and there's even a lake.
After work, I stopped at the Home Depot for yet more supplies, including grout, more tile underlayment, 3/8 inch lag bolts, and those three sixteen foot two by eights I mentioned yesterday. They went directly onto the roof of the Subaru, where they will need to survive a 100 mile roadtrip. I lashed down both their ends so they wouldn't bounce around too much and wrench the rack right off the roof. In addition to those, I got what I thought was 12 foot two by eight for making cross-members. But that ended up being a two by ten, and I didn't notice until I'd gotten home.
This evening was a typical unsupervised Thursday involving lots of booze, some beer, and a little ingested four-year-old cannabis. I spent a fair amount of time watching and re-watching various versions of Cream's "Badge" as performed by Eric Clapton, Cream, and Fanny. Music pairs nicely with drinking alone.

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