Monday, October 6, 2008

Haramfests and Ren Faires

A nice way to say farewell to summertime, courtesy of Jackie Ryan. This is one of the best versions of this song I have heard. Toots Thielemans and the Brazilian Azerbaijani pianist Amina Figarova are working some lush improv and chord changes. Molto Delizioso!
It has been a very busy two weeks for the hubster. Apparently, he is the only house painter some people want to hire, and they're willing to go to ridiculous lengths to get them to come to their house to paint it....even if it means flying the man out from Baltimore to Kansas City. THAT'S how good he is. Plus, it's just generous of my sister to hire him and fly him out and pay him well. Thank yous all around.

When he wasn't painting, he was going to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, where in my Number Two Daughter is playing "The Hag", which I described in this post here. Her dad had a good time watching her at work, and really, the actors work quite hard for more than ten hours a day, and they earned their pittance. In this particular RenFaire, there are two hags. You already met one of them. Here's the other:

The indignities he must suffer! Well, the poor lad didn't have a single home cooked meal the whole time he was in KC, and I have had to make it up to him by providing extra delicious home cooked obligations for him as a result. Not that I mind, heh. The youngest, Rachel, not having seen her dad in TWO WHOLE WEEKS took advantage of the rare fine weather and guess where they went? Yep. The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in Mount Hope PA. Strangely, there were no hags at this particular faire, but there was a hypmotiss there, and as we were eating our wine braised shortribs, in between the oohing and aaaahing, he managed to talk about their very entertaining day.

UPDATE: Additional picture from the KC Renaissance Festival from Julia....NOT PICTURED! So don't ask!

Please don't toss your them. They look like they've had enough cookies, already!

Rachel with a nice face tattoo.

And her new gussied up friend.

So last night, it was Pesto 4 cheese ravioli and Eggplant Parmigiana, and tonight it is Braised Short Ribs on Jasmine rice.

I like slow cooked meals. They are the easiest to make. The ribs were lightly floured, seared in oil, and placed in a large roasting pan with a tight fitting lid. Over the ribs I poured a can of beef stock, and a bottle of Burgundy, some of which I left in the bottle and had with dinner. Mmmmmm. Likker. After they are done cooking in a 350 oven, for three hours, just add a flour slurry to the drippings to make gravy. Simple.

While the husband was telling me about the hypnotist and the fun that was had by all, he kept pausing, looking up at me with a startled look every so often, and would say, "Wow." That's all he could say about the food. Any other cook would demand a fully detailed definition of wow, but the fact that he could barely say it without either laughing or crying was good enough for me! All I can remember about the hypnotist is that he managed to get half of the hypnotees to forget the number six and the other half to forget their names. Dear Gaia, what if your name happened to be SIX?


  1. Nice.

    I'm not sure whom you're alluding to, however, Scherzo. There's no Brazilian pianist on that album. If you're thinking of Amina Figarova, who IS on the album, she's from somewhere in Europe, obviously. Jon Mayer and Leonard Thompson are also featured on piano, but neither of them is from Brazil, either.

    My gig buddy Ernie Watts is also on the album, but not on that cut, as you can readily hear. I told you he's on every album ever recorded.

    Short ribs--mmmmm.

  2. I see you got your header clickable. I knew you could do it.

  3. I always thought it was clickable, Haid. And damn, I might have been referring to Karrin Allyson CD. Sorry for the cross-reference.

  4. Glad to know that you know people on this album. They were playing from it all the time at WRTI in Philly (Temple U) and I really liked this version. I am also partial to the Shirley Horn version too.

  5. Amina Figarova is from Baku, Azerbaijan. Another pianist, Russian, Eldar Djangirov immigrated to the US and grew up in my brother-in-law's neighborhood of Prairie Village was a child prodigy, and my brother in law's student for a number of years before making it big. He is only in his early 20s and creating quite a storm. But I have to tell you, I don't really like his playing style. I find it noisy, without feeling or depth and endlessly technical and high speed. There is almost no lyricism. I like Figarova's playing. Her use of 10ths in the deep base are very much how my father plays.

  6. Hey Haid, how do you create a jump page? I would like to write longer essays, sometimes, but I don't want to crowd out the five posts that appear at a time, so I would like to know how to create a jump page. Maybe I can find out in blogger how to do that.

  7. That's what I said--Europe LOL.

    I know what you mean about the busy, pyrotechnic style. I don't like it much either. It's how I played back when I couldn't play all that well but did have some chops to show. Some guys never give it up. They just have to show their chops at all times. It gets really annoying.

    I like Amina Figarova, too--at least what I've heard, which isn't a whole lot.

    That may be she on the "Estate" cut.

  8. BTW, the girl on the far right in the cookie-tossing photo is really svelte. She should never get her picture taken with anyone else.

  9. Sorry. I missed the thing about the "jump" page, as you call it.

    I've never seen anyone do it on Blogger, Scherzo. It's built into most WordPress and TypePad themes--called the "more" or "split page" function.

    You're right: it's a handy function, and it's one of the many reasons I switched to WP. With it, right now I run four posts a page. A longer essay like "What's religion got to do with it?" (OH, I just remembered I removed the KELOland video, so it's not quite so long, now) takes up more real estate than all four posts currently on my homepage.

    The function is also great for SEO, because most visitors who end up at our pages because of a Google search or link they followed from somewhere, as you know, generally do not venture into internal content. But following the "more" link, which they almost always do, leads them to an internal page. Two clicks count as two hits, even though it's one post. More hits, better ranking.

    Incidentally, I have now the same benefits, but I use javascript code to open the rest of the post right on the current page. It can be then collapsed, and all of the clicks count. It's totally awesome.

    You'd think Blogger would have copped that functionality by now. Everyone on WP and TP uses it, and it's almost an essential function. Look at Jim Simpson's blog ( He has several short posts at the top of his page, then a long-ass essay. It just doesn't work, plus it makes it really difficult to arrange your sidebar(s) sensibly.

    Another cool thing is that you can hide an Adsense ad under "the fold." Google only allows so many per page, depending on type, and an ad in every post would violate the rules if they were all on one page, such as the homepage. Nevertheless, you want ads that match the content, which Google is surprisingly good at arranging if you have well-coded meta data. With the "more" function, you can have an ad in every post without violating the rules.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

    This concludes our lesson. I should be working on my own largely neglected blog, after all.

  10. I just re-read that drivel. I'm sure you understand, but just in case: I didn't mean the javascript thing is an essential function that everyone on WP and TP employs.

    I meant the "more" function.

  11. Oy. It just occurred to me that if you go to my place to check out the more function you'll find it doesn't work as I said concerning the ads. It used to, before I went with the javascript thing. Now you will only see the ads if you open the permalink by clicking the post title (or going through the comments, which is yet another permalink). The problem is, I could have four posts all split with the "more" funtion on one page, and if a person opened them all up I'd be out of compliance. Understand?

    The javascript thing eliminates one permalink, too, which without the javascript would be one like: haiddasalami dot org/halfwits/#more. Which sucks. Now if you click the "more" link in "Halfwits" you're still on haiddasalami dot org. The "comments" link is also another permalink, like halfits/#comments.

    The poor permalinking structure of Blogger may account for the lack of a "more" function.

    Boy, do you owe me some serious commenting over at my place.

    If I ever write anything.

  12. As I was saying over at my place, your discovery is just the permalink notation for the split post, as I described above. Their "read further" is my "more." GOV, now that you pointed it out, is the only Blogger blog I've seen with the split post function. JW/DW is TypePad, and the "more" function is coded in the core. They click it "on" in their editing dashboard. There's nothing like that in Blogger--at least there wasn't a year ago at this time when I was on Blogger.

    Baron will be glad to fill you in. He probably just adds some HTML in every post exactly where he wants it.

    But of course the function needs to be defined somewhere in you template file. Can't help you there.


  13. Thanks, gov, I mean, Haid! I will go and ask the Baron what he does. I know he embeds photos differently than most of us blogtards, too...meaning me, not thee.


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