Sunday, January 31, 2016

Easy Listening for a Sunday Afternoon

Hiroshi Sato

Hiroshi Sato is not a famous Japanese musician. He does not appear in HMV’s list of the Top 100 Japanese Pop Artists, and you can count the number of images of him on your fingers.  He ran his own web site and Facebook page, and his place on Wikipedia is taken by a Japanese football player.  Hiroshi Sato is not a famous musician, but he has been one of the most influential and indispensable musicians of the Japanese music scene in the last 40 years.
imageSato grew up the eldest son at a temple near the southernmost tip of Japan’s southernmost island, Kyushu. As a teenager, he sang Elvis Presley songs in the temple and spent his days recording music on an early multi-track recorder in the temple’s storeroom.  A few years later, he moved to Kyoto, where he took up the bass guitar. At 20, he began teaching himself the piano, and shortly thereafter began playing with Masaki Ueda and other artists in the Kyoto area.  Some of his earliest professional experience included working with Haruomi Hosono in Tin Pan Alley following Hosono’s departure from Happy End in 1974. In 1979, Sato released the album Orient, featuring Ueda, Hosono and other frequent collaborators. Hosono’s bassline can be heard on some of Orient’s strongest tracks. While Picnic is an iconic J-Funk track, it isn’t entirely representative of the album as a whole.  On much of the album, the exotica influences from his work with Tin Pan Alley are evident.  Flying Carpet, another track featuring Hosono, mixes the two styles well. imageThough Sato has a large catalog of solo work, he is probably best known in Japan for his contributions to the work of others as a keyboard player, composer, arranger, producer, and sound engineer. Tatsuro Yamashita considered him Japan’s best pianist, and Sato played keyboards on almost all of Yamashita’s work in the 70s and 80s, including seminal albums Spacy and For You.  Sato contributed to much of Haruomi Hosono’s pre-YMO work during this period as well, including solo album Cochin Moon.  In the 1980s, Sato continued to contribute to the work of artists such as Masaki Ueda, Cindy, Anri, and Toshiki Kadomatsu.  For this reason, he may be the most featured artist in this series.   In 1980, Sato moved to LA and signed with Alpha Records.  During this time he met Wendy Matthews and the two collaborated on Sato’s most iconic album, Awakening.  Though Tatsuro Yamashita plays a Telecaster on several tracks – For You was recorded in the U.S. during this same period – very few individuals were involved in the record’s creation outside of Sato and Matthews.  Alpha was able to provide Sato with access to a LINN LM-1 drum machine, and this entirely replaced the rythym section on Awakening.  One of the album’s biggest strengths is its variance in tempo, typified by the two versions of Blue and Moody Music that bookend a majority of the album.
image  On 1984’s Sailing Blaster, Sato collaborated with Cindy on a more traditional record featuring live drums and more guitar. Standout track Always showed that the style perfected on Awakening remained one of Sato’s strengths.
Back in Japan and a well-established musician, Sato built his own studio in order to have more control over the engineering process.  With this in place, his collaborative work on the production side increased greatly, and solo albums became less frequent.  Sato continued to produce, mix, and engineer for the next generation of musicians through the millennium, producing a Gold single for Thelma Aoyama as recently as 2008.  image “His life’s work was pouring his everything enthusiastically into music. He also loved his studio in Yokohama, putting in speakers and installing the equipment and synthesizers one by one. He fell down and breathed his last breath in that studio while he was making music. He was sixty-five years old, and an Acute Dissecting Aneurysm of the aorta was the cause of his death. However, this is the least important aspect of his passing. Despite an instant death, I believe he knew the time had come, because he was sitting cross-legged with his hands joined together, as if practicing Zen meditation.
He was alone, but not lonely, because whenever he was surrounded by music he was happy, as if he were an innocent child. He lived life as a musician and lived as a musician with his whole life.”*                                                                                                                                                          
On Sailing Blaster, Sato sings,“I’m gonna shine forever, I’m gonna find a way to win over time”. Time has finally come for Sato and for his studio, built in his rented house. Yet the sun rises and sets on Yokohama, just as it always has. And the music plays.
image Hiroshi Sato 1947-2012

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Night Steam

Need more snow?????


On 23.02.2012 was the steam snow plow Xrot d 9213 pushed to show ride on the Bernina Pass, she was the Bernina Crocodile Ge 4/4 182nd One of the first Bernina Railway locomotive which is 100 years old in 2028. Normally Dampfschneescheuder twice fueled in for specials. In normal snow unexploded device, the machine is no longer in operation, not after delivery of the new diesel snow blowers even in the worst and most snow on the track more. But they should be preserved as long as possible white only operational Damofschneeschleuder.

The machine:

The steam snow plow Xrot d 9213 was purchased in 1910 by the Bernina Railway. The first sections of track itself have already been opened in 1908. The decision was yet to make a year-round operation. Therefore, two steam-powered snow blowers were under patent by Lesli (USA) procured by the SLM (Swiss Locomotive Works Winterthur). The R 1051 (current name: Xrot d 9213) is the older and is still in use. Although usually only for photo trips. Sometimes it is, but still used for serious applications. A special feature of this snow blower is self-propelled. It was felt with the tight curves it was not possible to push strongly enough. The second reason was the Bernina Railway was still possessed no catenary independent vehicle.
The two bogies 3achsigen lead to wheel arrangement C'C. Each bogie is driven with two cylinders which are arranged to the vehicle center. Added to this, the two cylinders come for the spinner.
The sister except the engine has a higher boiler pressure of 14 bar on any changes. It was delivered in 1912.

Today's funny :o)

Let's go for a ride!

Hubby and I were bored silly, so we took the Jeepster for a ride into town.

Horses enjoying the snow:

 We didn't get too much from the storm so all the road were clear:

 Would love to have this barn!

 Wouldn't mind owning these either!

An old silo:

 This  bridge isn't used anymore:

 A plane taking off from our small airport:

 This is how our local farmer's veggie stand looks in the winter - he sells wood:

 Honey buckets for cows:

 Back home! - 'Hope you enjoyed the ride!


Thursday, January 28, 2016

A cool Rolls

H/T to Joni :o)

 100 Year Old Rolls Royce
It was originally bought for $1,000 in 1912 (almost 93,000 in today's money) but has now gone under the hammer for $4,705,500, making it the most expensive Rolls- Royce ever sold at auction.
The Rolls Royce                                                          Silver
Unique: This 100-year-old
Unique: This 100-year-old Silver Ghost Rolls Royce has sold for a world-record price of 5 million after a furious bidding war at Bonhams.
Through the roof: The
Through the roof: The lengthy auction saw two enthusiasts dueling for the pristine car as the bidding went up in increments of 100,000, smashing past the
2 million estimate.

In great
In great nick: The six-cylinder, 7.3-litre car comes with perfect provenance and is still purring smoothly, doing about 15 miles to the gallon.
What it lacks in gadgetry, the British-made classic more than compensates for with an extraordinary level of luxury that leaves its modern-day counterparts
looking a little unsophisticated.
Its gleaming interior fittings are made of silver and ivory, while the door panels are embroidered silk, with brocade tassels attached to silk window shades
for privacy.
The sale took place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex on Friday. Auctioneers had expected it to sell for around 2million and were astonished
when the bidding between two rival collectors topped 4million. James Knight, from Bonhams auctioneers, said: ˜There were three bidders, then one of them
dropped out at 2.3million and we thought it would end there.
Traveling in style: The
Traveling in style: The design chosen by its original owner echoed the luxurious ' Pullman ' Railway carriages pioneered by American George Pullman.

The lu
The front seat and steering

Luxurious: The elegant passenger compartment (left) complete with 29 beveled glass windows and (right) the stylish steering wheel.
˜But then another bidder entered and the bidders were dueling. It went up in increments of 50,000, and then 100,000, and then back
down to 50,000.
˜It went on and on and on and was the longest car sale I have ever witnessed. It was pure theatre. Everyone was very respectful but
when the price reached a milestone, like 3 million, there was an intake of breath.
˜The bidders were dueling and when the hammer came down there was spontaneous applause. ˜It was fitting because the car is
celebrating her centenary.
The car was commissioned by Rolls Royce connoisseur John M. Stephens, who also bought the first Silver Ghost the luxury car-maker
produced in 1906. The body was built by former royal carriage-maker Barker's of Mayfair , which had previously built coaches for
King George III and Queen Victoria.
Standing the test of time:
Standing the test of time: The 7.3-litre, six-cylinder engine is still purring smoothly and is capable of doing around 15 miles to the gallon.

Mark of history: A plaque
Mark of history: A plaque bearing the vehicle's chassis number of 1907.     

Touch of class: The
Touch of class: The original owner employed the services of the best coach-making company, Barker and Co. Ltd, to do the bodywork.

Classic designs: One of the car's brake lights. The Rolls- Royce still had its headlights, carriage lights, rear lights and inflatable tires when it went up for sale.
The car even had an early speedometer – an important addition given that a 20 mph speed limit was introduced in 1912.Unlike most car enthusiasts of his time, Mr. Stephens, from Croydon, South London, asked the makers not to include a glass division window between the driver and the passengers as he wanted to drive it himself rather than rely on a chauffeur.
The car's distinctive cream and green design echoed the luxury ˜Pullman Railway carriages of the time, and it was known as a Double Pullman Limousine. But it was nicknamed ˜the Corgi Silver Ghost in the 1960’s after the toy-maker based its Silver Ghost toy car on this model.
Mr. Stephens's car is believed to be the only one of its kind to survive with its full interior and bodywork, as many Rolls Royce’s from the era were converted into ambulances during the First World War.

Today's funny :o)

With melting snow....

.... comes mud:

The gang taking a stroll:

 Charlie thinks he's an airplane - look at that wingspan!

Sophia and Maude pecking at something:

 Sophia trying to decide if she should jump in the poopie bin or not. She didn't.

 Charlie's feet are getting cold:

 Ever since I was a little girl I've made a heart in fresh snow for my Mom and Dad.
They have been gone for almost 20 years now.

Some habits you just can't break.....


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Want to see a REAL log home?

Found this wandering around the webz:

Or if you want to take a trip and don't want to leave your house behind:


Today's funny :o)

Mmmmmmm - Bacon!!

Just another day

The gang out of the pen. The coyotes have been around, so I have to stay outside with them. I've turned into a real "Chicken sitter"!

 They are trying to find some green grass to munch on:

 Watch them run as I shake the jar of rice! I put it on the cement so they can peck at it. It's good for their beaks - works just like a nail file! I have never had to file down any of the beaks on my chickens. If they get too long they would have trouble eating. (Horrors!)

 When they realized they were not getting anymore, Charlie led them back to the dry pen!

 Hubby was busy. He removed a lot of the snow off the roof.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Alice Huyler Ramsey

A remarkable story of a remarkable woman:

Alice Huyler Ramsey, First Woman to Drive Across U.S.

In 1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey (1886-1983) became the first woman ever to drive from coast-to-coast.  Horatio Nelson Jackson (and his dog, Bud), who had made a San Francisco-to-New York drive in 1903, inspired interest in the challenge; Ramsey was the first woman who opted to take it on.

Alice Huyler Ramsey: Early Years

Alice Huyler was born in Hackensack, New Jersey and educated at Vassar. By 1909 when she made the cross-country trip, she was married and had a two-year-old son.
Alice Huyler RamseyRamsey loved being out on the road on horseback, but as the number of cars in her town began to increase, her husband, John, began to think she would be safer in her own automobile. At that time, very few women drove, but in 1908, Alice’s husband John presented her with a new Maxwell as a gift. (Ironically, John Ramsey never learned to drive.)
That first summer she had her car, Alice drove all over New Jersey. She loved exploring, and when the men at the dealership heard about Alice’s love of the road and how far she had driven in just a few months, they suggested she enter an automotive endurance test they planned.  The test involved a 200-mile course on unpaved roads.
Alice Ramsey handled her vehicle well and came back in record time.

The Ideal Maxwell Promotion

This gave the sales manager an idea for what might be a huge coup for Maxwell… to show that their car was so well-built that even a lady could take it across the country.
The Ramseys were approached with the idea.  The Maxwell Company offered to provide a new 30-horsepower four-cylinder touring car and would cover all expenses.  They would also alert Maxwell dealers across the country to make themselves available to help with repairs and provide navigation. (Most of the country was unmapped at the time; there were also very few paved roads.)
Alice and her husband struck a deal with Maxwell. Alice was able toAlice Huyler Ramsey and Friends bring along three other women –two sisters-in-law and a young friend.
Maxwell  sent along  another car carrying a press person who arranged stops for Alice to meet and chat with local townspeople. Of course, Alice also was made available for local press interviews.
The women departed from New York City on June 9, 1909 amidst a heavy downpour. The women were dressed in rain slickers, and Alice wore a rubber helmet and visor—the only protection she would have against mud that easily few above the inadequate windshield.

Alice Huyler Ramsey: On the Road

None of the other women knew how to drive but they were as helpful as they could be with navigation and some efforts at car repair.  For directions, the Maxwell Company had provided Ramsey with what was known as the Automobile Blue Book, a Guide for Bikers and Road Travelers.  These guides were long on advertising, and maps were printed on an “as available” basis. Many of the directions concerned which way to go at certain landmarks, because most roads weren’t named and didn’t have numbers.
Once Ramsey and her passengers crossed the Mississippi, the maps were even more primitive.  They had general directions to Maxwell dealers along the way, but it was a long distance from town to town (or dealership to dealership).  In her book, Veil, Duster and Tire Iron (1961), Ramsey wrote that in the West they primarily followed the telegraph poles. At a crossroads, they would follow the poles carrying more wires, assuming that would take them to the larger population center.

 Challenges of the Road

Along the way, the Maxwell Company would take out newspaper
Changing a tire
Changing a tire
ads in advance of the women’s arrival. The ads stressed the durability of the Maxwell.  The reality for the women was that there were plenty of crises along the way. The car had to be cranked to start—already a physical challenge, and any number of things went wrong, often when they were far from any Maxwell dealership.  Alice cleaned spark plugs and changed a dozen flat tires, and all the women took turns filling up whatever receptacles they had in order to add more water to the radiator when the engine overheated.
At one point they found themselves surrounded by Indians and were quite worried, but it turned out the Native Americans were out hunting jack rabbits and the women and the car were mere curiosities to them.
Another time they came upon a sheriff’s posse out hunting a killer. These men, too, were simply interested in the oddity of finding women in a car along the road.
In Iowa and Nebraska they hit particularly rainy weather, making the un-graveled and unpaved roads particularly difficult to navigate. When the water in rivers rose too high to cross, they camped nearby and waited for the water to recede somewhat before driving across.
If the automobile was hung up in a gully, or the tires were stuck in a particularly rutted area, they had to find a way to get going again. Sometimes they could maneuver by getting a board under the tire; other times they relied on a friendly fellow traveler with a horse and wagon to pull them out. Very occasionally there would be another car and driver that would help them.
Ultimately the trip took 59 days. They had covered 3800 miles, andAlice Huyler Ramsey on the go only an estimated 152 of those roads were paved.  When they arrived in San Francisco on August 7, 1909, big crowds awaited them.  The Maxwell Company couldn’t have been happier; sales that year more than doubled.

Going Home

Alice Ramsey and her friends returned home by train. The following year Alice gave birth to a daughter . A few years after that, John Ramsey became a Congressman and represented the people of Hackensack, New Jersey for two terms (1917-1921).
Alice Ramsey’s life became much less publicized but that didn’t mean she was at home. She went on to repeat the cross-country drive at least thirty more times.
In 1960 she was named “First Lady of Automotive Travel” for her trek across a “trackless land” as the Automotive Manufacturers Association put it. On October 17, 2000 Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.