Saturday, December 13, 2014

Great musical news from my  friends Don and Deb of D-Squared! Here's their announcement of their beautiful new CD, "The Garden Wall."

We are excited to announce the release of our first recording in over eight years, a brand new all-instrumental CD entitled, "The Garden Wall”. Featuring folk harp, guitar, mandola, tenor banjo, percussion, and a saucy array of free reeds (accordion, bass harmonica, concertina and ... wait for it ... the bass accordion!), the tunes are a wordless journey through D-Squared's personal sound garden. It explores inner and outer landscapes, soars in flocks of birds, dances with lumbering bears, and celebrates birth, death and awakening in the natural world.

"The Garden Wall" was recorded and produced by friend and long-time collaborator, Kyle Harris. His imaginative production values sculpt D-Squared's sound as surely as any of the players. Gleaned from the archives of PlayR Recording in Phoenix, the 13 original works reflect D-Squared's distinctive musical palette and some adventurous tunesmithing. The lone traditional piece, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, defines the very depth of night.

Another friend and collaborator, William Meldrum, lends his deft percussive touch to many of the tracks. An integral part of D-Squared for years, Bill's sophisticated musical imagination never fails to delight. His dumbek emanates from a harem tent on Mongolian Horseman and his tambourine roll on Lightning Bug Waltz is the very embodiment of a crazed June bug.

"The Garden Wall" will be available from CD Baby, a great source of indie music, at and can be downloaded on a variety of download sites: iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon mp3, Xbox Music, etc. 
Don on guitar, Deb on harp, and looks like Tony Norris on banjo, at HIGH COUNTRY COWBOY CHRISTMAS A Winter’s Night of Songs, Stories, Poems and Western; this year's event coming on December 20 at The Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff, Arizona

Monday, November 03, 2014




noun: An interpreter or guide.

From French dragoman, from Italian dragomanno, from Latin/Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic tarjuman, and Aramaic, from Akkadian targumanu (interpreter). Earliest documented use: 1300s. Akkadian is a now-extinct Semitic language once spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and written in cuneiform. Earliest documented use: 14th century.

"The pig doesn't express himself in some exotic swine-dialect, the farmer has no need to summon a dragoman fluent in grunts, each understands the other perfectly."
Eric Ormsby; Ambitious Diminutives; Parnassus: Poetry in Review; 2008.

See more usage examples of dragoman in's dictionary.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book suggestions from Dave Monroe

The Haunted Screen - Lotte H. Eisner - Paperback - University of California Press

The golden age of German cinema began at the end of the First World War and ended shortly after the coming of sound. From The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari onwards the principal films of this period were characterized by two influences: literary Expressionism and the innovations of the theater directors of this period, in particular Max Reinhardt. This book demonstrates the connection between German Romanticism and the cinema through Expressionist writings.


Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler

By the 1920s in Central Europe, it had become a truism among intellectuals that natural science had "disenchanted" the world, and in particular had reduced humans to mere mechanisms, devoid of higher purpose. But could a new science of "wholeness" heal what the old science of the "machine" had wrought? Some contemporary scientists thought it could. These years saw the spread of a new, "holistic" science designed to nourish the heart as well as the head, to "reenchant" even as it explained. Critics since have linked this holism to a German irrationalism that is supposed to have paved the way to Nazism. In a penetrating analysis of this science, Anne Harrington shows that in fact the story of holism in Germany is a politically heterogeneous story with multiple endings. Its alliances with Nazism were not inevitable, but resulted from reorganizational processes that ultimately brought commitments to wholeness and race, healing and death into a common framework.Before 1933, holistic science was a uniquely authoritative voice in cultural debates on the costs of modernization. It attracted not only scientists with Nazi sympathies but also moderates and leftists, some of whom left enduring humanistic legacies. Neither a "reduction" of science to its politics, nor a vision in which the sociocultural environment is a backdrop to the "internal" work of science, this story instead emphasizes how metaphor and imagery allow science to engage "real" phenomena of the laboratory in ways that are richly generative of human meanings and porous to the social and political imperatives of the hour.(less)

Paperback336 pages
Published January 31st 1999 by Princeton University Press (first published July 22nd 1996)
original title
Reenchanted Science

0691050503 (ISBN13: 9780691050508)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My New Olive-drab Corduroy Jeans

Alice bought me a new pair of corduroy jeans. I like everything about them - the fit, the feel, the details. The olive drab color complements some other recent wardrobe additions and gives me a nice self-esteem boost, reminding me how far I have come since the bitter day when I vowed I’d never again let that Army color touch my skin.

Yes, I am letting that color touch my skin. We finished our business four decades ago, the Army and me; I made it free without shooting anybody, thank goodness. Militaristic taint or no, I am enjoying these sharp new corduroys.

Corduroy. Beautiful word. Strange amalgam of consonants C, D, and R. Those Os. That ambiguous Y. So what if “heart of a king” - coeur du roy - turns out to be just my garbled version of the folk etymology; it tells a truth.

I will always remember the corduroy roads of my youth, me along for the ride on holiday from school as salesman Dad drove us bumping over the logs deep into the swamps of south Louisiana, on a mission to change the way they drill oil wells with new tools based on revolutionary technology, one rig, one skeptical drilling engineer at a time.

Our family had been in oil-- the greasy, blue-collar bottom, not the big-money top, not even Dad’s sales success could lift us that high -- since my paternal grandfather and his brothers had worked together as a drilling crew in the oil fields of Pennsylvania early in the 20th century. When black gold gushed in Kansas the band of brothers followed the work west. On the other side of the family my maternal grandfather - I carry his name - helped drill the first successful oil well in Western Colorado. I represented my generation in the “oil patch.”  On my first paid job at age twelve, I scrubbed and painted drill-collar thread protectors in the Lafayette, Louisiana tool yard of the company that employed my father. Seven years later I was cooking breakfast and cleaning up after forty roughnecks and roustabouts, as Galley Hand on Chevron Mobile Rig No. 9, a drilling platform one hundred twenty miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, a two-hour flight from Houma on the Louisiana coast.

I might as well have oil instead of blood pulsing through my body. That’s why, when the 2010 British-Petroleum oil spill poisoned the Gulf of Mexico, I felt personally responsible. But, I managed to get over that; everybody’s trashing Mother Earth.

I like the feel of these cords under my fingers, rough like those corduroy roads. And I like the way these hiphuggers snuggle my butt, how they tuck up around the adult diaper and hold it firmly in place. Whether I like it or not, the diaper helps me remember that my desire won't stop the mess out there any more than it will in here, up close and personal.  But,  I can still dress it up sharp and do it in style, in my new olive-drab corduroy jeans.

--Doug Millison, 22 January 2014