Tuesday, June 30, 2009


by Joseph

They were the first ones
Who knew you, who loved
Who misunderstood you,
Who caused you pain

They wanted something
of you that you could
never be
To be what they wanted
Would mean you would
Never be free

It no longer matters
Who was wrong, who
was right
They will hold their
As you hold yours
Such a silly fight

But when the bird
leaves the nest
She never returns home
She builds a new life

A bright family she
will create
A sparkling set of dreams
For once free, she never
looks back
Which is why - oh, so
clearly -
She was given wings!

Photo: flickr (SuziJane)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The great coffee wars continue...

Click on the orange link below to read this great article from Michael Bauer's "Between Meals" column in the San Francisco Chronicle. McCafe, anyone?


This Poem

This Poem
by Joseph

This poem is about
your life, not mine,
or hers or his...

In which you
discover what you
need to do
which is not about
me or him or her...

It goes back to you,
returns to you
Because life is about risk
Without risk, you're already...


Find out what you want,
Find what you need,
Start living now, today,
Make this poem a success.

Photo of Jenny Dalton: flickr (Clark Patrick), used with the permission of Jenny Dalton.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flash! News: BET Honors Michael Jackson This Evening...

The Black Entertainment Television (BET) Network is tonight tranforming its annual BET Awards Show to a Tribute to Michael Jackson. This three-hour show honoring the late King of Pop will be broadcast from The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, beginning at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. Central). Usher and Justin Timberlake are among the many stars scheduled to appear and perform.

For those in the greater Sacramento area, BET can be viewed on Comcast cable channel 73.

A Review of The Loveliest Woman in America

Every now and then a book review stands out in that it makes me want to read the book in question. This is very true of the following review by Jeff Baker (click on the orange link below to read it) from the Portland Oregonian. The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Grand-daughter's Search for Home, written by Bibi Gaston, was just released in paperback on June 16, 2009.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Secret Guide to Rock and Roll...

OK, so maybe it won't be quite as much of a secret after people discover The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom. This is a book targeted towards girls as young as 10 years old and as "old" as 16. Well, if you haven't started your rock life by the time you're 16, then maybe it's never going to happen, right?

Just kidding, and here's a review of Jessica Hopper's book, written by Miles Ramer, as found in Chicago Reader. Enjoy.


Images: Library Thing, Powell's Books

Friday, June 26, 2009

Do the Beach Boys Shine on Summer Love Songs?

Here's a preliminary review of the new collection of summer season songs from The Beach Boys; click on the orange link below to read the review.


Image: Amazon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Going Home (birds)

Going Home (birds)
by Joseph

We're headed home
following the leader of the flock
The air is cool, offering resistance
providing lift
Then the squall suddenly hits
Crisis, heat, rain
We drop before recovering,
Experience fear, vulnerability
and despair
Then the storm is gone
We're free, we're strong
We fly as free as the
I break away
This is my own flight

I'm going home
The wind envies me
I'm headed home
The leader follows me

Photo: flickr (ayes)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wine, patio dining and music in downtown Sacramento...

Click on the orange link below to read the Sacramento Examiner's
review of the fine experience at the L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen in mid-town Sacramento.

Pure magic happens on the patio at L Wine Lounge & Urban Kitchen

Posted using ShareThis

Photo: flickr (quasarsglow)

Finally, a convincing case is made for a new web browser!

I'm usually not too impressed or swayed by the many articles that attempt to convince us to trade-in our current web browser for a new one. But this article, Safari 4: One Web Browser to Replace Them All, seems to make an awfully convincing argument. Read this article from The Epoch Times yourself by clicking on the orange link below.


Photo: flickr (programwitch)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tails of Lexi and Stella...

Here we see Lexi the Maine Coon cat performing her quality control inspection of a pet carrier purchased for Stella the Havanese puppy. We also see Stella deciding that, no, she does not wish to go for a walk!

Photos: Pook's Archives

A Tribute to George...

EMI has very recently released a new 19-track best of George Harrison collection, Let It Roll, re-mastered by George Martin's son Giles at Abbey Road studios. Unfortunately, this new collection does not contain the fun song "Crackerbox Palace" from Thirty-Three and One-Third (pictured), nor does it contain "You Know What To Do" a favorite of mine from the Beatles Anthology 6-CD set. That being said, here's a review of Let It Roll from one newspaper's blog:


Image: Amazon

Monday, June 22, 2009

Patio Dining on the River at Scott's Seafood - It's Calling!

Now might be the perfect time for a great meal on the Sacramento River. Click on the orange link below to read the Sacramento Examiner's review of the dining experience at Scott's Seafood in the Pocket area of Sacramento.

Perfect Riverfront Patio Dining at Scott's Seafood

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Photo: Scott's Seafood

I'm getting to understand

I'm getting to understand
by Joseph

I'm getting to understand
Why people die
Because the bones hurt
the back hurts
The cat is in pain
And there's no longer
anyone you wish to meet

They say hope springs
But what's the point
when you're no longer

The past is done
The future can't be
Time moves without mercy
Tomorrow looms mean

Photo: flickr (slack12)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My mother's chance

My mother's chance
by Joseph

My mother was always waiting
for her chance to take
the stage
But she played the role
of an understudy
in her life...

Back-up to her husband
her child, her career
Always in the background
her time was never

Until she died and all eyes
were upon her
The speakers, the music,
the family...

It was a glorious production
All flowers to the leading
Never to re-appear.

Another way of looking at Sgt. Pepper's...

Here's Teo Brito's view of an alternate cover version of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Neat and clean. I like it!

Image: flickr (Teo Brito)

P.S.: Don't forget to visit our Twitter site at http://twitter.com/troybear07

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Even on the East Coast you can sample a fine cup of Peet's coffee!

Just click on the orange link below to see how you can sample what is arguably the West Coast's finest coffee in the New York City area.

Craving Peet's Coffee in New York? Then Book a Flight Out of JFK || Jaunted

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Photo: flickr

Journalism students in action cover the greater Sacramento community...

The following proves the truth of the axiom that "action gets it going." Story by Sacramento State's Public Affairs Office, June 19, 2009.

Journalism students cover the community

A handful of Sacramento State journalism students are gaining valuable real-world reporting experience by covering the capital area for the Community News Service (CNS), a website created by Communication Studies Professor Molly Dugan. She launched CNS last spring and persuaded The Sacramento Bee to link the site to its "Our Towns" page in sacbee.com. The service lets students - there were five last semester - earn three units toward their journalism major.

Dugan, who operates CNS on her own time, assigns the beats, edits the stories, writes the headlines and mentors the students. Beats include, but are not limited to: Citrus Heights/Roseville, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and Woodland/Yolo County. "The beats all have local governmental bodies," Dugan says. "My hope was that students could start by covering local government and expand their stories from there."

The students come up with their own story ideas, but each must be approved by Dugan. Coverage has included Yolo county budget cuts and layoffs, pets being abandoned in foreclosed homes, and Folsom police targeting drunk drivers. "There is a big difference between classes that tell you how to find and write stories, how to conduct interviews and what questions to ask, and a class like this, where you actually do all those things," says student writer Steffi Broski. "This one puts incomparable emphasis on learning by doing."

Dugan calls CNS a "fantastic opportunity for students to cover off-campus issues and have their stories linked to the website of a major newspaper." "The communities benefit form more news coverage," she says. "The CNS journalists are one more way we are linking the work being done at Sacramento State to the greater region."


Photo: flickr (fortun8)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Review of Methland...

The following is a review, written by David Liss, of the book Methland by Nick Reding from The Washington Post, June 14, 2009.


Image: Amazon

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home-cooked Korean BBQ Short Ribs!

Click on the link below to read about a great recipe for home-cooked Korean ribs.

Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi's Korean Ribs: A home cook's take on one of Oprah's favorite recipes

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Photo: flickr (avlxyz)

Discover the Columbia City Bakery of Seattle!

Click on the orange link below to read all about this must-visit gem in the fine city of Seattle.

Columbia City Bakery

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Photo: flickr (Peacock Modern)

Great Korean BBQ in San Bruno!

Yes, you can find great Korean food south of San Francisco, as the following review points out. Abridged from a review written by Jack Phillips for The Epoch Times, June 11-17, 2009.

SAN BRUNO - Located on El Camino Real, Seoul Kal-Bi, offers some of the best Korean barbeque on the Peninsula. The aroma of cooked marinated meat is the first thing you notice as you walk into the restaurant, which is welcoming. If you are looking for a very formal atmosphere or one with lots of Korean decor or paintings, this is not the restaurant for you. Seoul Kalbi Barbeque is more akin to a Western-style buffet.

This is a self-serve restaurant, if one chooses the buffet option, which is all-you-can-eat and costs slightly more than a normal meal at any other Korean restaurant. The staff is friendly, although the first language they speak is Korean (which) can make it somewhat difficult to communicate with them. I saw them helping out American customers in their attempts at barbecuing the meat, which itself isn't too complicated a process.

If you have a large group of people, the all-you-can-eat barbeque is the way to go. Choosing and cooking your own meat can be fun. If you choose the buffet option, you basically go and pick your meat at the buffet, take it back to the table, cook and eat as much as you can. If you want more, then go and repeat the process. For real barbecued meat, the effort is totally worth it.

One factor that makes this Korean barbeque place stand out is its use of real charcoal briquettes at each table. There are no gas grills. This makes for a delicious, smoked flavor. Food gets on your plate quickly, however. After the fire starts going, the meat cooks quickly since it is cut into thin strips.

The meat itself was overall (quite) good. Compared with Chinese food, Korean food proves to be light on the grease and the calories. Having grown up with barbecue, I think that this style of cooking can be enjoyed by anyone who eats meat.

I had the pork, short ribs and chicken, as well as the beef. The marinades on the meat were very good and surpassed what I was used to. I didn't try the squid or the shrimp... One thing that Korean people like to do is to get a large lettuce leaf, which is offered at the buffet, and after grilling (the) meats, place the meat inside the lettuce leaf and eat it like a wrap.

Normal meals are reasonably priced starting at around $9 to $10. I would recommend this place, especially to families and group outings. The buffet offers fresh meats such as kabi (Korean short ribs), squid, shrimp, chicken, grilled pork, various fruits and various vegetables, all at $21.99 for an adult, or $14.99 for kids. This would be the perfect place to take your entire family.

In my view, the thing that makes this place stand out is the actual real charcoal and fire at each table. This restaurant gets pretty smoky so its best to refrain from wearing your finest clothes.

Seoul Kal-Bi BBQ, 1610 El Camino Real (on the east side), San Bruno CA 94066. Telephone: (650) 583-0702

Photo: flickr (Pengrin)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bold coffee as a digestive health issue...

Some of us have expressed our online frustrations over Starbucks' failure to have a bold coffee option available after the noon hour. It might seem like we're being picky, but the truth is we are far from alone in our complaints - see the chart above (click on the chart to see a larger version) - and for some coffee drinkers, the blend served is important to digestive health. Yesterday I was in Java City, a Starbucks competitor with shops all over the U.S. and in Asia, and one of their baristas explained to me that bold coffee has not only less acid but much less caffeine than the lighter brews. Most people will assume that just the opposite is true, that dark or bold equals heavy and strong...

You can do some quick research of your own. Using a search engine like Google, enter terms like Crohn's disease coffee caffeine; or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) coffee caffeine; or Colitis caffeine coffee. You'll find that for persons with these digestive conditions, minimizing their caffeine intake is important. Bold brewed coffee helps in this respect, and every little bit helps.

So, here's a kudos to Java City and Peet's, two of the coffee companies that make a point of offering at least one bold coffee blend choice whenever their shops' doors are open! As for Starbucks, we're still waiting - and waiting and waiting and waiting - for them to get with the program.

Note: The chart above represents issues raised at My Starbucks Idea. As of early November 2008, over 17,000 respondents had expressed their desire - their idea in action, if you will - to have "Bold Coffee (Served) All Day."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Catch a rising jazz star in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 17th!

Ava Lemert is a jazz star on her way up and you'll have a chance to catch her headlining a show at Harlow's nightclub in downtown Sacramento on the evening of Wednesday, June 17th. This show begins at 8:00 p.m.

Ava is a singer, saxophonist - both tenor and alto - and song writer who offers the listener a lot of variety in her work. You might find her covering Alicia Keyes' "If I Ain't Got You," or singing classics like "Summertime" or "Over the Rainbow," or her jazz-rock-soul renditions of "Just One Look" and "More Today Than Yesterday."

It looks like a fun time will be had by all, and I'm hoping that Ava will find it in her Beatles-loving heart to throw in a jazzed up cover of a tune by Those Guys. "All My Loving" anyone?

For more information, go to the website listed below or contact Ava by e-mail at: ava@avalemert.com .


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Who Destroyed Rock Music?

There's a new book out with a rather silly title, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n Roll. Uh, huh... It sounds rather farfetched and I very much doubt that I'll be reading it, but in the interest of being "fair and balanced," here's a review of How... from Chicago Reader. Click on the orange link below to read this review.

Roll out for the mystery tour..


Come See About the Supremes...

So let's say you've just discovered the mega-group from Motown, the Supremes (1964-1970). But you're on a limited budget. You wonder if it's better to buy the single-CD Number Ones collection; or wait for the forthcoming book - to be released on June 29, 2009 - The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal by Mark Ribowsky?

Ribowsky's 408 pages seems a bit too long in both title and content. It is certainly not bad and Ribowsky earlier wrote He's a Rebel, a biography of Phil Spector. The problem is that this book could have been subtitled: The Social (or Sex) Lives of the Supremes.

The Supremes has details a'plenty if your priority is to find out who slept with who... yawn. When it comes to music, not so much. In fact, you won't find much about recording dates and details until you're near page 200. This reader felt that Ribowsky's read entailed too much work to find the information I was seeking.

To the contrary, delightfully, is the Number Ones CD on UM (Universal Music). This popular collection is now in its third release (earlier released in 2004 and 2007) and makes it easy as can be for the listener. Like The Essential Four Tops, the sound is mid-range and crystal clear. Special attention has been paid to bringing forth the vocals of Diana, Flo and Mary - and it shows.

The CD also offers a few treats, such as giving us longer versions of the singles in which the girls sing past the music's end; the single "Stoned Love" from the Diana-less second generation Supremes; and a dance re-mix version of "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

Ones contains all of 24 tracks in chronological order from "Where Did Our Love Go" - the one track without the best sound - to Diana's "Endless Love" 1981 duet with Lionel Richie. The Supremes' best song - an opinion shared by Holland, Dozier, Holland - "Come See About Me" has never sounded better!

Only one arguable essential track has been left off of Ones, the pre-"Where Did..."/"Baby Love" single "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes." (But then their second album is still available as a separate CD.) "Lovelight..." was the song that first exposed most disc jockeys to the genius of the Supremes, and it was to be perfectly covered as an album track by the late, great, Dusty Springfield.

Our recommendation: Choose the Number 1's CD ($13.98) and hold off on Ribowsky's book ($26.00) until you can borrow it from a friend or purchase it in paperback.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eight Days A Week (a great artistic concept)...

There's a talented graphic design artist/photographer named Teo Brito who has redesigned Beatles album covers just for fun... He portrays them as if they had been released under the tight restrictive controls once famous in the former Soviet Union ("You don't know how lucky you are, boy/ Back in the U.S.S.R.!").

Here are just a couple of examples and we may well post more of Brito's alternate covers in the near future.

Images: flickr (Teo Brito)

Next: Come see about the Supremes.

Good beers - 23 of 'em! - and food on tap in Oakland...

In this part of California, people often focus on the dining choices in San Francisco, unfortunately overlooking Oakland. But there are some great restaurants and ale houses in what is affectionately known as Oaktown. One of my favorite restaurants, for example, is the Z Bar and Cafe near Lake Marriott and automobile row.

Linden Street Brewing is one great place for brews... And then there's Cato's Ale House in north Oakland, reviewed below (click on the orange link), home of 23 beers on tap and fine food at a discount.


Photos: flickr (top photo by fotogail, bottom photo by peterme)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Visiting High Point Coffee in downtown L.A.

We've mentioned before that blogdowntown is one of our favorite southern California websites, and we especially love the Touring Downtown WiFi feature. Here's one of the Touring posts, which makes me feel like I've already visited High Point Coffee in the downtown portion of the City of the Angels:


Photo: flickr (Ballistik Coffee Boy)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Van Morrison: the reluctant astral light...

This is an article, abridged, originally published by Reuter's UK on June 10, 2009.

LOS ANGELES - Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," which failed to crack the U.S. or British pop charts when it came out in 1968 is now regarded as one of the greatest musical works of the rock era and is generating new interest more than 40 years (after) its release. Undaunted by the initial commercial setback, the Irish soul singer says he "just moved on" to his next project: The 1970 album "Moondance" whose title track is one of his best-known songs.

If "Astral Weeks" had generated the sales commensurate with its eventual stellar status and transformed him into a huge pop star, Morrison (has) no doubt(s) about his reaction. "I would have quit the business had that happened," he said in an e-mail interview. "I am not one who has ever taken well to fame and what that attracts. It's a drag. I just wanted to be a songwriter and a singer. I did not bargain for all the rest..."

Morrison, now 63, has spent his entire career trying to dodge "all the rest..." in the process becoming one of rock's most unknowable figures. Morrison has earned a reputation as a grumpy old man and has zero tolerance for showbiz frivolity. He even failed to turn up (for) his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993.

But Morrison remains proud of "Astral Weeks," which ranks at No. 19 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the greatest albums of all time and is now a steady seller. The (original album), recorded in less than two days in New York City with a jazz quartet was a marked departure for the singer of "Gloria" (with Them) and "Brown Eyed Girl."

Morrison had spent years crafting the songs, setting mysterious lyrics referencing his Belfast childhood to multilayered arrangements. The centerpiece was "Madame George," a 10-minute piece whose meaning confounds the writer and his fans to this day.

"I was practicing songwriting... Each composition is a fictional story I made up to work on my craft... The rest of the stories people (create) about my music is fiction(al) as well. I do not... write about me. I write about the collective, the collective unconscious."

While many artists of a certain vintage avoid dwelling on their past glories, Morrison is simply revelling in "Astral Weeks." To mark its 40th anniversary, he performed the album in its entirety at two shows in Los Angeles last November, and released the DVD "Astral Weeks: Live at the Hollywood Bowl." A CD was also released. He has also revived "Astral Weeks" at sold-out shows in London and New York City.

Morrison has been accompanied on stage by an orchestral string section (and) a band comprising two of the veterans from the original "Astral Weeks." Morrison said movie studios have expressed a lot of interest in licensing the live recordings. It helps that the vague lyrics can be applied to virtually any situation. "Any film would be done right by the live versions of these compositions," he said. "Each can tell a story - whatever story one wants to make of it. That is their stuff - not mine."

The Publishing Business...

Click on the comic to see a larger version.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Seven Pleasures...

I'm currently reading the book Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by Willard Spiegelman, which was released on May 6, 2009 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Here is a review of Seven Pleasures by June Sawyers that appeared in the April 15, 2009 issue of Booklist.

In this luminous, compelling book, Spiegelman comments on seven activities that can bring us ordinary happiness - reading, walking, looking, dancing, listening, swimming, and writing - injecting biographical elements into the universal messages he imparts. First, though, he tries to define, or at least capture the essence of, happiness.

"Happiness," he observes, "has received less respect and less serious attention than melancholy." He notes the American propensity to see happiness as a right and contrasts it with the gloominess of the European mindset.

With the exception of dancing, every activity he writes about involves solitude. In the reading chapter, he refers to his generation as "the last children born before the ubiquity of television"; if watching TV's early, fuzzy images was unpleasant, reading was fun. In the walking chapter, he flees Dallas, his hometown, for London, a city in which walking is normal, not a chore or something to be avoided (Dallas and much of modern America, apart from the older cities of the East and Midwest, are simply too big and, in the case of Dallas, too hot to walk in comfortably).

Writing in a leisurely manner, Spiegelman takes time to make his points and, whatever activity he's engaged in at the moment, to be a thoughtful, genial companion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Strange Little Girl Plays Oakland on July 13, 2009...

The talented Tori Amos plays the beautiful Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California on the evening of Monday, July 13, 2009. Time...

The Question of Favorite Music, Part IV (in a series)...

Order. The matter of song order on an album is critically important. One of my rules, that I've applied on this site, is that an album can receive a score of 90 points out of 100 only if the songs on it are in perfect order - Which is one of the reasons that Joni Mitchell's For the Roses falls just short of ninety points.

Roses starts with Banquet, probably her least accessible song with its jazz rhythms and odd structure. Roses should have started with the welcoming and friendly See You Sometime ("Pack your suspenders, I'll come meet your plane... I just want to see you again..."), which requires no deep analysis.

But then stop and try to think of the albums you know in which the songs were arranged perfectly. Probably not more than a handful will come to mind... My mind answers with Domino by Van Morrison, The Rising by Bruce Springsteen, Straight Up by Badfinger, Abbey Road by the Beatles, and Medusa by Annie Lennox.

Medusa shows that the artist is sometimes in charge... Lennox took just a few minutes to write down a list of favorite songs she wanted to cover; she then insisted that the songs be recorded in this order... and placed on the resulting album in this order. Good for her.

But sometimes the artist is not in charge. Back in 1986, Peter Gabriel recorded the album So, which he intended to start with the reflective song Red Rain before transitioning into his great single Sledgehammer. The album was to end with the beautiful and even more reflective In Your Eyes.

When So was released, Sledgehammer - as the single - was the first track and In Your Eyes was lost in the middle of the collection... It was to be 14 long years before this placement error was corrected. Today you can buy So and hear it the way Gabriel, as the creating artist, intended you to hear it.

Then there's the matter of, as Bob Seger phrased it, "what to leave in and what to leave out." The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's album arrived in good order, but to this day seems overly short at 43 minutes long. Two songs were recorded during the time of the Pepper sessions that might have fit perfectly on the album... Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever.

Think about these two songs for a second... They both have the feel and sound, the "voice" of Pepper if you will. Adding them would not have - in my view - taken anything away from the psychedelic theme of Pepper, it would only have made the album stronger. And today's Pepper would be a respectable 51-minute or so road trip CD that would be quite fine to listen to in the car.

I know, some people see Pepper (or, to be more exact, hear it) as a 90-plus point album. To me, because of this missed opportunity, it remains an album to be scored in the realm of 80-or-so points.

Order and inclusion/exclusion. Two small issues of great import in music.

Notes: The book Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles by Geoff Emerick, recording engineer, is the source for the fact that Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane were recorded during the Sgt. Pepper's sessions. In fact, the first two Pepper songs took three weeks to record, and Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields also took three weeks to record. According to Emerick, "three full weeks (was) a huge amount of studio time in those days."

Also, Emerick alternately refers to the album in question as either Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pepper's or Pepper, as these different versions of the title now seem to be accepted as common usage.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Coming up in the near future...

Suppose you've become interested in the Motown mega-group The Supremes, but you're on a limited budget and need to choose between a new book on the band or a greatest hits CD... Which should you choose and why?

We'll take a look soon and offer some advice. Stay tuned.

Next: The Question of Favorite Music, part IV in a series.

What if you want to withdraw from Facebook, Twitter or...?

Here's a question... What if you want to withdraw from a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter or Blogger... Nah, you wouldn't want to leave Twitter or Blogger, so let's make believe we're talking about Facebook or LinkedIn. Suppose you not only want to remove yourself from the site but also "want to make sure your information doesn't last forever in cyberspace."

Fortunately, Shivani Vora of USA Today answered the question for us as follows in an article entitled Quick Fix: A Way to Be Less Social; the article is abridged here.

Solution: Signing up for a social-networking site is straightforward, but removing yourself from one can be less obvious. Each site has its own procedure for eliminating a profile, but you can generally find your way out by looking under the "Settings" tab on the home page and choosing the option to delete your account, or going to the "Help" tab and searching for "delete account." Some networks give you the choice to suspend your account, which means your content remains on the site.

Facebook gives members an option to de-activate accounts, which means your profile information is saved and still on the Web. To remove it for good, you need to submit a request by going into the Help section at the bottom of the page. Search for "delete account" and follow the instructions. Other sites are more direct when it comes to deleting profiles. LinkedIn gives users an option to immediately close their accounts by going into the "Accounts and Settings" tab.

Caveat: It can take up to a few weeks for your profile to be removed from search engines such as Google so don't expect your information to be wiped out right away from the Web.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

South Coast Plaza is One of the Best of the Best...

Click on the orange link below to read this San Diego Examiner profile of the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa, California. Not only do they have a number of major stores, but they also have USC Collections, a special gift and fan store for Trojan alums and honorary Trojans!

San Diego Fashion Examiner: South Coast Plaza: the best of the best

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Photos: South Coast Plaza circa 1980, photo courtesy of Orange County Archives; middle photo from flickr (machbel); bottom photo from Orange County Chamber of Commerce/South Coast Plaza.

Note: South Coast Plaza 1980? Wow, I think I see my Pontiac Firebird in the parking lot!

Of Joni (Mitchell) and Jenny (Dalton)...

Just last week, we took a look back at Joni Mitchell's classic bridging album For the Roses... Shortly afterward I spent some time listening to For the Roses during my daily commute. The next day, in went Jenny Dalton's Rusalka's Umbrella into the mp3 player in our New Beetle. Mrs. Bear, who'd never heard this album before, said after hearing the first few songs, "She's listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell, hasn't she?" Well, maybe, maybe not... I'd say that if Jenny has not studied Joni she has at least learned to channel Joni's heart, her spirit and her soul.

Here's an experiment for you. Take your copy of Rusalka's Umbrella and proceed to track number 12, Snow Mazes of Norway. Then, beg, borrow or steal a friend's copy of Joni's Roses and play track 7, See You Sometime. [Or listen to both at You Tube.] You'll notice the similarities... Each is almost a mirror-image of the other, not quite the same, but far more the same than different.

This is not meant in anyway to be negative, not at all. I have been a huge fan of Jenny's and remain so, so understand the point I'm trying to make here...

Being a musician who just happens to be talented enough to produce music that reminds some people of a genius, Joni Mitchell, is a tremendous gift. For me, saying that a musician is in Joni Mitchell's league is the very highest compliment that I know how to pay. This is the compliment I mean to pass on here to Jenny Dalton.