Tuesday, January 2, 2007


[written January 2, 2007]

Happy new year, 2007 should be a good one!

The other day I approached my teenage son with an excellent idea: "I will first put the chainsaw in my old backpack; next, I'll put that old backpack on your broad shoulders; then, away we will go, down and down and down, into the depths of Green Valley, there to clear brush from the High Ditch."

To which he replied in a series of rather emphatic and mostly monosyllabic negatives, scarcely comprehensible, exclaimed in his curious teenage slang.

I decided not to press the issue, just then. Perhaps a negative would ripen into a maybe. A day later I recalled that the Green Valley Trail itself is getting so badly overhung by manzanita, that this business of carrying chainsaws in backpacks is maybe not an idea worthy of the brightest star in the heavens. So I rephrased my Plan: now he would carry the chainsaw a short distance, very short, really, and I would cut the gnarled deep red branches, and he would toss them off the trail.

Another series of foreign-sounding exclamations, all negative. Sigh.

So this morning I put the damn saw in the damn pack, and carried it down to the uppermost bad section all by myself. I worked over a reach of about two hundred yards and achieved something, less than I had imagined, better than nothing. The day was grey and cool and good for trail work.

Ron Gould suggests that we should round up a real work party and hit the whole trail. A good idea. The manzanita is getting worse and worse in a number of different trail reaches. Supposing we were to carry some of the dratted garbage up and out, from the end of the West Trail, down by the river, well, a frame backpack is the best tool for garbage, and the manzanita would drag and catch and claw at our packs and turn an already tiresome task into a bitter fight. So a bit of manzanita trimming is definitely in order. There are, also, one or two new trees down on the trail, which need cutting into pieces before they can be moved.

Life is more than trails and saws.

Music, music, music. Antonio Carlos Jobim! I rec'd a CD for Christmas, titled "Elis & Tom," the amazing Elis Regina singing the songs of the amazing Tom Jobim. One song especially excited my interest, Águas de Março, or Waters of March; here Jobim joins Elis in a duet. I Googled around in search of more information, for it seemed such an exceptional performance, and found a video of the actual recording session, in Los Angeles, in 1974!

What? How could that be?

It was on YouTube, of which I had heard but not seen. I naturally avoid such sites because I have such a poor internet connection, it takes forever to download content. For the Waters of March, however, forever was fine. I waited, I waited, I waited, and at last I watched.

Really really great!

So. I saw that anyone in the world can upload videos to YouTube. I quickly assembled a few short pieces of geometrical animations I had made years ago. See


The above page also contains a link to the Águas de Março video, which I highly recommend, especially if you like Brazilian music.

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