Thursday, August 17, 2017

is this the holy grail of tv theme lyrics?

For a long time I was under the impression that the closing theme from WKRP in Cincinnati was a bunch of gibberish. For reference:

Now there was a time that I just assumed there were reasonable lyrics that made sense, but I had no idea what they were. Then, at some point, I read on the intertubes (and you know you can trust anything you read there) that, in fact, there are no real lyrics. It was all gibberish that was made as part of, I guess, some kind of concept demo. Believing that, a lot of people have made unserious lyric videos with words that clearly aren't the words, but sound close. For example:

The lyrics, according to the blog (OK, I made a few changes) are:

Said to the bartender
"Best night I ever had"
Singin' to the bar
Had a microphone in her heart
I said "Goodbye madam"
I had a bird in hand
I said I'm doing good
And put love in her heart

Listen to the theme while reading the lyrics. It sounds like these lyrics, and these lyrics make sense. Could they be the real thing?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

learning to hybridize

Early this year, for the first time, I decided to label my daylilies in the yard. When I made that decision, I was insisting -- I believed -- that it was strictly to know what I had. It wasn't a prelude to hybridizing. I should have known better.
Little Grapette -- notice the tags where I've tried to pollenate
I think it was on the garden tours last month that I decided to try my hand at hybridizing. I'm still not entirely sure why I want to do it. But I do. So for a stretch this summer, I was going out every day and crossing what I could. Two tets in bloom? Try crossing them. Two dips in bloom? Try crossing them. I'm also noticed good seed pods that I had no hand in pollenating. I'm not above trying to get them to grow and seeing what happens. Maybe a "Little Grapette" × unknown will come out beautiful. I'm torn where it comes to good looking seed pods where I don't know what cultivar the mother is. In those cases I don't even know if I have a tet or a dip. Do I have it in me to start using a microscope to figure that out? I can't see registering a plant if I don't know is ploidity.

What seeds I'll work with is a question I'll have to face soon, since summer is winding down. I've been watching a bunch of Youtube videos on how to hybridize, including what to do once I have (hopefully) viable seeds. Of course, some of them contradict each other about the best way to encourage germination. I take that as a good sign. If there are different approaches, then maybe they're strong enough to survive even if I don't do everything perfectly.

Of course, being a novice and all, I realize that I'm prbably making a ton of mistakes, and I can only figure that, with experience, I'll do things better. There are already a few things that I know I can do better:
  • There's really been no rhyme or reason to what plants I've crossed with each other (except for making sure to pair tets with tets and dips with dips. Oh, and I wanted to make sure that I crossed "My Little Fool" as much as possible, in the hope of being able to register one of its children under the name "Sewer Service." Presumably I'll get to the point of identifying characteristics that I want and breeding to try to achieve them. That will be easier to achieve once I have more labelled cultivars blooming in my yard.
  • Related to the above, I have to learn how to save pollen for breeding in the future. That way I'm not limited to pairings that both bloom at the same time of the season.
  • I paid no attention to time of day. That was naive. I should have reasoned that plants are more receptive at some times of day than others. Relatedly, it will help me to learn how to recognize when pistils are most receptive, and how to judge healthy-looking pollen.
At any rate, I figure I won't have anything to register until 2021 at the earliest. And hoping for 2021 is probably over-optimistic. Even if I get good looking seedlings, I'll have to see if they can survive a winter outside, and come back full. After that I'll want to take a couple of years to have a big clump so I can some away without depleting my own supply. I wonder how commercial growers, who introduce new cultivars with the goal of selling them do it. I'm not hoping to make money off these, so I don't need a whole lot. I'll be happy if I can bring a few fans to LIDS meetings for them to give as door prizes. Commercial growers need more of their introductions than I'll need. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

questions from tv themes

I was trying to think of TV shows that had questions in their theme songs. These are the questions I came up with:

  1. Who says you have to call just one place home?
  2. Who charms the crabs at Fisherman's Wharf right out of their shells?
  3. Wouldn't you like to get away?
  4. Ain't ya glad she showed up?
  5. Would you be mine?
  6. What would we do, baby, without us?
  7. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
  8. Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
  9. Car 54, where are you?
  10. How much is that gorilla in the window?
No doubt there are others...

Saturday, August 12, 2017

a gardening club forms

In the last couple of years, as Blair and I have done more and more gardening. There hasn't been a master plan, and we keep going back and revisiting what we're doing. Grass here. No, that should be flowers. No, let's move those and add flagstones as a walkway. Let's move the flagstones. Put buggleweed there. No buggleweed...put in astilbe. No astilbe...put in hostas.

We've thought that it would be good if there were neighborhood gardening club, but didn't really expect it to happen. As far as we can tell, we're kind of oddballs for doing so much of our own yardwork. Most people seem to have all or most of their gardening done by professionals. But apparently we're not the only ones, because there is now a Jamaica Estates Association (JEA) Gardening Club. It's still embryonic -- there has only been one meeting thus far, and only seven people (including Blair and me) were there. But it's a start.

As I understand, one of the local residents -- a biology professor at Medgar Evers College -- has a keen interest in gardening, and had contacted one of the members of the JEA board. Some group emails resulted in the meeting. In the yard of the professor.

I'm not sure exactly what I had hoped for going in. Maybe to hear suggestions and tips about gardening. Actually, one positive thing that came out of the first meeting involves tomatoes. Blair and I have been trying to figure out the best way to grow tomatoes, but each year we run into logistical issues. We get a usable crop, but we always feel that we can do year. Well, the guy who started the ball rolling is growing his tomatoes in those big (five gallon?) Home Depot buckets. That's what we're going to try next year. Each bucket with one plant and one cage.

Anyway, the meeting was mostly polite conversation about what we envision for the club, and the next step. Somehow I am now the keeper of the email list, and I'll be setting up the next meeting. A notice in the JEA Bulletin may also draw some more interest. Maybe we'll be able to get speakers. It was suggested that maybe some of the local nurseries would send speakers. Maybe members (assuming we grow to a larger size) will talk about their plans for their yards or their experiences. I'm always up for useful suggestions. Heck, maybe I'll be able to get someone from LIDS to talk about hybridizing daylilies.

For now, the gardening club is limited to JEA members -- which makes sense, since the club is being formed within the JEA. I also don't think that will cost us potential members, since people who don't want to join the JEA would be unlikely to want to join a JEA Gardening Club.

Friday, August 11, 2017

cannibal holocaust (cinema history class)

Session: Bring Your Own Movie Month (Part 2), week 1 -- Scott's pick
Movie: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Directed by Ruggero Deodato
As always, there may be spoilers here. And the trailer may be NSFW and/or NSFL


A team of filmmakers travel to the Amazon rainforest to shoot a documentary about the preliterate tribes that live there. Things don't go well. Hilarity ensues.

Background and Reaction:
I have no idea why Scott chose Cannibal Holocaust, but I will forever hate him for it. OK, Just kidding... but CH is possibly the most disturbing movie I've ever seen. It's ugly. Unrelentingly so. Keith said it's a "beautiful ugly film," and I kind of know what he means, but the fact is this was ugly.

That said, it's an important film in that it pioneered the "found footage" genre. It also appeared so realistic that the director, Ruggerio Deodato, ended up in court over the deaths of the stars. It didn't help him that he had contracted the stars to stay out of the public eye for a year in order to encourage the idea that the footage was real. In the end, he was cleared of the charges of making a snuff film when he was able to get the stars to appear -- live -- in court. Apparently, though Deodato still got in trouble over the numerous graphic killings of animals. 

Another thing that makes this film worthwhile is that there is actually a serious message about modern society and the question of who are the real savages. Now, I'm not into romanticizing preliterate cultures and denigrating modernity, but its still interesting to see the point made -- and made well -- in a film. The fact is that the modern documentarians who appear in the movie are devoid of scruples, and simply do need to be killed.

As one would hope for from a found footage type of film, everything is graphic -- the murders, the rapes, the burning of villages. It simply seemed real -- more so than any big budget Hollywood production. And that's what made it such a well-done movie,a dn so disturbing as well.

After Scott told us what he would be showing I did some research, so I kind of had an inkling of what was to come. I knew that this would be disturbing. I also got the distinct impression that the story behind the movie is more interesting than the movie itself. I was kind of right and wrong about that. The story behind the film is fascinating, but the movie itself, though not entertaining in the conventional sense, was much more interesting to watch than I had expected. I'm actually really glad I saw this, though I hope never to see it again.

I was initially torn about how to rate this. In some ways, I felt it deserved a 10, because it succeeded brilliantly in what it set out to do. But it is so far outside the normal movie experience, and so deeply troubling that I really didn't want to give it that kind of accolade. I think it was Keith who talked me into giving it the 10. It did what it tried to do. And if Keith, having seen it several times, and having seen many many horror films, still has to look away during some sequences, then it deserves its 10.

Ethan: 8
Me: 10
Fausto: 7
Sean: Can't put a number on it, but it was better than expected
Dave: 9.8 to 9.9
Joe: 9.3
Keith: 10

Cannibal Holocaust fails the Bechdel test.