Who are we? We are our stories.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Heimdall the Watcher

INorse mythology Heimdall, watchman of the gods, dwelt at the entry to Asgard. He required less sleep than a bird, could see 100 leagues and hear grass growing in the meadows. Heimdall kept the ringing horn Gjallarhorn which could be heard throughout heaven, earth, and the lower world to summon the gods when their enemies approached. 

Over the ages, one by one, the old gods eventually retired to the south of France. Heimdall fell on hard times, eventually retiring beside the spring which is the source of the mighty Oakwood Rivulet, where he landed a job as a watchman protecting 1410 from all evil. 

(Heimdall's face is a bit distorted. His boulder had a natural "face" which only I seemed to see, so I just liberated him a little. In most sunlight he is not visible.)
- Gunnar

Monday, July 4, 2022

Dust in a Baggie - Billy Strings

I am really not a huge fan of Bluegrass music, but even I can recognize genius level talent. We will see where the young man goes with it. Bluegrass music used to be about moonshine and corn liquor. He took that tradition to the world he grew up in.

Cellphone concert at a party before anyone other than friends had heard of him:


I ain't slept in seven days, haven't ate in three
Methamphetamine has got a damn good hold of me
My tweaker friends have got me to the point of no return
I just took the lighter to the bulb and watched it burn

This life of sin has got me in
Well, it's got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got 20 long years for some dust in a baggie

Well, if I would have listened to what mom and papa said
I wouldn't be locked up in prison, troubled in the head
I took that little pop and suck until my mind was spun
I got 20 years to sit and think of what I've done
This life of sin has got me in
Well, it's got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got 20 long years for some dust in a baggie
Sometimes, I sit and wonder where my little life went wrong
These old jailhouse blues have got me singing this old song
My life is a disaster, Lord and I feel so ashamed
In here where they call me by a number, not a name
This life of sin has got me in
Well, it's got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got 20 long years for some dust in a baggie
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got 20 long years for some dust in a baggie

A few years later, Billy Strings and Marcus King. Strings with a '1936 000-28 and Marcus a '1954 Telecaster. Over time, guitars simply haven't gotten any better.


Still not 30 years old, selling out 10,000 ticket venues with a Grammy, nominated for two more, and older musicians - county, blues, jazz want to play with the kid. It will be interesting to see if he can stand the heat.

We'll see, 
- Gunnar

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

And on the third day God created...

I do not necessarily believe in a God Creator, but if I did I would imagine he is mucking around tweaking and changing things (evolution?) ... like moving Victoria Falls 102 feet to the left so it looked right to him .... or her (heaven only knows). 

I have an arriving order of sheet moss in transit. Once I lay that natural carpet the rocks become mountains and except for erosion and continental drift, the mountains, rivers and streams, are pretty much fixed in place.

So today I shifted the upper waterfall 5" to the right. Seems easy and straightforward, but everything is connected so I had to move a cliff of rock and dirt. 

And on the morrow I shall move mountains.

(The mountain range and gulch on the horizon should shift a corresponding amount.)

- Gunnar
P.S. I Googled to see what day God created the earth.

"On the first day - light was created. the second day - the sky was created. the third day - dry land, seas, plants and trees were created. the fourth day - the Sun, Moon and stars were created". 

Monday, May 30, 2022

WAY pedals for a 1950 M.Bonvicini

I have a vintage bicycle that has become difficult to ride. First, I can no longer shift it while mounted. This is not a major deal, people ride single-speed bicycles every day. Dismount, select gear, shift, remount. But I am 78 with an inoperable broken scapula and riding drop bars for any distance is "uncomfortable". But damn, I love this bicycle.

So I bought a set of vintage "condorino" style Italian upright bars. I did not want to totally bastardize the bike for the next owner, so I have two sets of cables and housings attached to the bars. I cut three 3/4" long pieces of thin aluminum tubing and rewrapped them under the top tube tape. If I want to switch, I can just remove the cables at the brakes and pull them through, and switch out the stem, bar, brake lever assemblies.

Then I was left with road peddles on a bike that would likely be ridden with street shoes. (The fenders are contemporary, but the frame has wear marks and threaded fittings so it may have been a street bike anyway.

Johnny Pergolizzi showed up with set of really clean Way-Assauto pedals. The original pedals (and stem) are the only original things that a little rough on the bike, so I bit.

While I was Googling Way-Assauto history, another set of vintage WAY pedals showed up on eBay, which are basic platform pedals. Man, I had no idea the animal even existed! They are currently on the Bonnie.

So I have two iterations of a 1950 Italian daily rider.

- Gunnar 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

1410 Migrating Warblers: 05-10-2022 & 05-11-2022

All taken from the same location on our garden bench with "The Beast", my heavy, obsolete old camera.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The White Rose Bouquet

I love song lyrics that tell stories and blur the line between lyrics and poetry. Initially I fell for this short phrase  "... Irish poets, raconteurs and libertines". I found the writing style interesting, capturing a vague feeling of a past time.  

I then went to Google to learn about "card squeezers" and "blistering the Bees". It seems before cards had number/suit designation in the upper left-hand corner, players had to spread their hand to see the pips or faces and an opponent could somewhat judge the strength of the hand by how wide is was spread. A squeezer would never spread his hand, merely remember the card on top then shift it to the bottom. "Bee" was the primary brand of fine playing cards and of course "blistering" was card marking. I knew "the gambler's fallacy" from flipping quarters. The probability of an event happening does not depend on what has happened in the past - each flip is still 50-50%. 

I also checked out the .32-20, which was a Colt .312 diameter round with 20 grains of powder. It was a heavy, slow velocity bullet; poor distance kill, but deadly at close ​range. 

The New Amsterdam Theatre was built in 1903 and is the oldest theatre still on Broadway.

There was a time I was wild, young, and handsome
I was smokin' cigarettes at age thirteen
At seventeen I was drinking in the taverns
With Irish poets, raconteurs and libertines
At twenty-one I was a full-time gambler
A card squeezer who blistered the Bees
I carried a .32-20 in my pocket
And I heeded not The Gambler's Fallacy

Thereupon I was asked to be a procurer
By a young woman of desire named Olivia Mae
So for mutual financial benefits
We opened the House of the White Rose Bouquet
Olivia was a beauty and quite flirtatious
She enjoyed the company of rakish men
And we fell deeply in love with each other
And prospered in our house of ill-repute and sin

And even though I was in love with Olivia
There were other girls and indiscretion
A patron of the house was a physician
And he gave me a cure for my transgression
One night Olivia found my hidden blue bottle
With tablets shaped like coffins inside
She mistook them for opiate narcotics
And swallowed the mercury chloride

How my heart died when I found her
In her green beaded dress, dead on the floor
At her service, I cocked my .32-20
For I could not stand the sorrow anymore

The House of the White Rose Bouquet
Fell into disarray and was torn down
The place is now a beacon of decency
For it's a theatre known as The New Amsterdam

At night after the audience has departed
Never knowing where they were was once a brothel
A figure walks across the darkened stage
In a green beaded dress, carryin' a blue bottle