Tuesday, March 12, 2019
The utter wonder of stepping out of my apartment building and onto the street to find the temperature above freezing, the wind absent, and the March-angled sun pouring down its warmth, and the entire world draped in white.
It’s 8.30 on my birthday and I am heading for my ninety-minute walk plus stops.
Starting through a freshly snow-blanketed Greenway, through downtown to Winter Street and an hour spent on weightlifting.
Continuing then through the lovely Boston Common, through the even more lovely Boston Public Garden, to Newbury Street for an hour spent in my café working on the blog, more uncomfortable inside with the door opening and closing than it was outside.
And then continuing my walk through Boston-as-winter-wonderland to Whole Foods for a twenty minute break to do food shopping.
And continuing the final leg of the walk, sucking down the outdoors in big draughts before I arrive home.
Where that utterly wonderful walk ends.
On earth paradise is timed.
And the timer just went off.
Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
My 334th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
Time is 12.01am.
On Tuesday Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 39* with a feels-like temperature of 32* under sunny skies.
Dinner with Kat’s friends, a sixteen-pound roast turkey.
Tick Tock : Marking Calendars and Deep Weather
After 334 posts we’re at the 6.68% mark of my commitment,
the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.
Question of the Day
Who is Joe Bonamassa?
Love your notes.
Contact me at email@example.com
This from Sally C on the blog’s involvement in Manhattan Clam Chowder.
Well, Dom, have your Manhattan clam chowder if you like, but I’m a self-defined die-hard seafood purist of sorts. Adulterating the delicate flavors of clams, shrimp, lobster, crab, etc. with the overpowering flavor of tomatoes is verboten in my book. I’ve spent too many hours digging too many clams (to say nothing of shucking pounds of Maine shrimp) to be tempted in the least to smother that marvelous flavor (that only cold-water shellfish carry – seafood from tropical waters tends to have no depth) with anything other than pure butter.
Many years ago, Schooner Fare, a trio of Maine men who sang seafaring songs and shanties, opened one of their songs with a story about a gig they did in New York City. After the show, they sought a place to get a bite to eat. On inspecting the menu, they found nothing that they recognized from home, until one of them spotted “Manhattan Clam Chowder” down in the corner. “Clam chowder” sounded like just the ticket, so the fellow ordered it. The waiter set a pink concoction before him. “What’s this?” he asked the waiter. “Manhattan clam chowder,” was the answer. When the fellow considered where the clams may have come from – the East River a few blocks away – he conceded that perhaps tomatoes were necessary in such a dish.
Web Meister Responds: Admire your loyalty, Sally.
Elephant jokes to tell at a bar
Why are elephants grey?
by Howard Dinin
Loathe as I would have been to admit it back then, in my adolescence, which dates to the last days of the 1950s, it was my father who handed me what has turned into part of his most valuable legacy. Because of him, I entered Coffee Connection for the first time in 1975 already as something of a coffee sophisticate. The Harvard Square store, his first, was George Howell’s revolutionary conception of a place to retail and brew (for consumption on the premises) the single-origin coffee beans he offered for sale.
A pharmacist by training, by temperament my father was the embodiment of an Enlightenment scientist. Raised as a devout Jew in a shtetl in eastern Russia, by the time my father arrived in the United States, he was a devotee of the scientific method. A frustrated doctor – he never finished his training – he remained someone who embraced the ethos. That lifestyle included many high-end products suitable for doctors, who had plenty of discretionary personal funds to spend.
And thereby, it included my father, who did business with and continually rubbed shoulders with medicos. He attended conventions. He had access to the products aimed at them. Not just the exotica meant to facilitate medical practice, but the devices meant to give physicians a sense even at home of their privileges.
As for how this affected me, it did in the most mundane ways. Homely ways. It wasn’t my dad’s intention to do anything but deploy the purest – and as it happens happily the simplest – method of brewing a great cup of coffee; an ideal kind of product to drum at conventions. It was coincidence that he bought his first Chemex coffee maker at the time I was at the peak of my teen-age interest in exotic gadgetry.
The original “pour-over” technology, utilizing a uniquely designed piece of tempered glassware (and an offspring of the ubiquitous Erlenmeyer flask design used universally in labs), with proprietary paper filters made thicker and more absorbent than commercial coffee makers used, to absorb more volatile oils and other things that masked the unadulterated flavor of the pure ambrosia.
Chemex was invented in 1941, and has been used by those in the know ever since. It was added to the permanent design collection of the NY Museum of Modern Art in 1943. Not even a world war prevented aficionados from recognizing a landmark in domestic science and art.
Answer to the Question of the Day:
Who is Joe Bonamassa?
Joe Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.
When he was 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King.
In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.
Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, Solomon Hicks,and Derek Trucks among others.
His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013.
In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.
He is also known for his enormous collection of guitars and related gear.
Unlike many blues rock guitarists that came before him, Bonamassa's influences are British and Irish blues acts rather than American artists.
In an interview in Guitarist magazine he cited three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher's Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream.
He also noted that Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas Flood had a big influence when Bonamassa was young. Among other bands, he listed the early blues playing of Jethro Tull as an influence, and named both Martin Barre and Mick Abrahams as important musicians to him.
He elaborated on his influences in a 2007 interview:
"You know, my heroes were the Columbia guys – Paul Kossoff, Peter Green, Eric Clapton. There’s so many – there’s Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher – another Irish musician who played the same things, but don't tell him that.
But those guys were my guys – Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page.
There's a certain sophistication to their approach to the blues that I really like, more so than the American blues that I was listening to. B.B. King's a big influence – he's probably my biggest traditional influence.
I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn't sit down.
I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I'd rather listen to Humble Pie do "I'm Ready" than Muddy Waters, you know?
I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?"
In an October 2008 interview with Express & Star he said:
"When I heard Kossoff playing "Mr. Big" and when I heard Clapton playing "Crossroads" and when I heard Rory Gallagher playing "Cradle Rock", I was like, 'This is way cooler'.... "British blues are my thing.
When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing "Let Me Love You", it changed my life.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Those are my influences".
And in a December 2012 interview with MusicRadar:
"My friends would ask me, 'Have you heard the new Van Halen record?'
And I'd be like, 'Nope.'
I was listening to Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush".
Good Morning on this Tuesday, the Twelfth of March.
Today we talked about walking through an urban paradise.
And a sixteen-pound turkey.
We took a measure of the calendar by way of a five-day spate of nice weather.
Sally C sent in comments, she not a fan of Manhattan Clam.
And don’t forget that elephant joke.
Today we posted a Howard Dinin entry, a combination of his memories, thoughts, and photographic art.
And we ended with an entry highlighting Joe Bonamassa, considered by many the world’s greatest blues rock guitarist.
And now? Gotta go.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.