remembering what life was like B.I. (before the internet)…

Although it may seem like ancient history now since it happened last month and we’re into the third week of 2018 (and Happy New Year, all!), but last month the FCC voted to roll back net neutrality protections despite very vocal public outcry. The fight is far from over though, so if you have been calling your representatives in Congress to voice your opposition to the FCC’s action, continue doing so; they are definitely feeling the heat. Just. Keep. Calling at 202-224-3121. #SaveNetNeutrality

Below are three articles that will provide some background about this issue and what to expect in the near future:

From the L.A. Times: http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-rosenworcel-fcc-net-neutrality-repeal-20171122-story.html

From Digital Music News: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/12/19/comcast-cox-frontier-net-neutrality/

And the ACLU website: https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/internet-speech/trumps-fcc-nukes-network-neutrality-what-happens-now

My basic stance on this, on the price increases that are sure to follow in the months ahead is, “not one penny more to the ISPs”. We’ll get rid of cable first. But in the midst of all this, it got me thinking about a mythical time that once existed not too long ago… before there was an Internet. For you kiddos out there who’ve known the Internet for your entire lives, this may seem hard or even impossible to imagine, but really, it was only a short 25-26 years ago, the early 1990s… and yes, believe it or not, there really was life before the Internet.

So I wondered: what exactly did we do before we all connected to this web thing every day?

Specifically, what did I do on a typical morning before the Internet (B.I.)?

Well… that would have been coffee, breakfast at the house or out somewhere, on the way to work, and then go to work. There was no firing up the laptop first thing, no going out to Facebook, Twitter, no social media ’cause social media didn’t exist yet; no checking weather.com to see what the weather was going to be like that day. For that, you had to turn on the TV, if only briefly, and watch your local news for the weather. I know a lot of people would watch the mornings shows – The Today Show, et al. – but I never did, except for the local feed to check the weather or for snow closings. There was no checking of the e-mails.

If I went to a coffee shop back then, which I frequently did, I didn’t bring in a laptop to work on or surf the web. If I was writing there, it was either song lyrics, poetry, or a journal entry (I’ve been keeping a journal since 1986) and it was in a notebook, handwritten, not typed (thank you, Natalie Goldberg), and I wasn’t checking my cell phone for texts or later, looking at my smartphone every few minutes. There was this one place I used to go in Evergreen, CO – the River Sage restaurant on Bear Creek, and I’d get breakfast and after I had finished eating I’d sit over by the Franklin stove on cold mornings drinking a ton of coffee, writing away. Actually I miss those days.

Weekends were for getting out and about during the days, getting up to the high country and going hiking or skiing once I had moved to Colorado and I still do that now, so nothing much has changed there except now I have my wife Erin with me on those adventures which is a helluva lot better. A few other things…

Erin & me, first time out skiing in 2018 at A-Basin last week… We’re both wearing our Turtle Fur “brain shrouds” ’cause they’re the best inside the helmet…

When I was still back in Texas (and L.A. and Santa Fe) in the 1980s, usually I was working retail or bartending or some other service job on weekend days, sometimes nights; weekend nights, if I was in a band I was playing in a club somewhere and when we weren’t booked, I was going out to clubs listening to live music, checking out other bands, and certainly no one was recording a band’s performance with a smartphone to put a video with inferior sound quality up on YouTube – cell phones, smartphones, YouTube didn’t exist. I do not blame Chrissie Hynde and others one bit for not wanting concert-goers to record their live performances on video, in part because of the poor quality (usually) of these recordings… so respect the artist’s wishes! Always!

As an aside… Contrary to what you might think, you, as a ticket-holder, are not “entitled” to do that (e.g., think of those secret live “bootleg” recordings of concerts from the 1970s – essentially the same thing). Take pictures, sure, forego the video, but mostly just enjoy the show… like we did. Paradoxically, it will be more memorable and you’ll have a  much better time. Actually, everyone will.

In general, I know I went out a lot more back then and engaged with the actual, visceral (i.e. real, non-cyberspace) world a lot more than I do now, because… well, that’s all there was.

A lot of not going out as much now has to do in part with being older and remembering that “former” world (still real btw), but it also has to do with the way a lot of people are these days and just not wanting to be out in the “mass mind” (unconsciousness) very much.

For example… If my girlfriend and I went to a restaurant B.I., we just ate, we didn’t take pictures of our food when it arrived with a smartphone to put it online. I had a pretty decent Canon SLR camera in the late 80s/early 90s, during my grad school days; it was a film camera, it wasn’t digital. Could you imagine sitting in a restaurant and your meal arrives… and you whip out a camera like this and take a picture of… your food. People, rightfully, would’ve looked at you like you were nuts. Insane even. (Along those lines, Erin and I have a strict no food pic posts online – unless we happen to have our food stylist over for dinner that night).

Seriously, think about this. Why would anyone do this? Simply because it’s become popular nowadays?

And since I brought up dating… Well first of all, there was no online dating back then, obviously. There was no match-dot-com or craigslist, plentyoffish.com or other dating sites. If you were single and went that route, what you did have was a little thing called the personal ads, in newspapers or in a weekly paper like Denver Westword or the Dallas Observer and in other cities across the country. And if you did decide to meet – sight unseen with no profile pictures – it was pretty much a crap shoot. You never knew, exactly, what you were gonna get (but by the same token, you didn’t have people showing up, looking way different from the photo they posted that was taken 10-20 years ago). From my own experience, sometimes that worked out, most of the time it didn’t, but eventually the meetings made from both the personal ads and later online became mostly awkward job interviews for a position I could never possibly fill (too restrictive).

Call me old-fashioned, sentimental, an old fart or whatever, but the best hookups in an online world are still with those you meet offline, in real reality, in person, when least expected, and where you can see (almost immediately) if there’s any of that elusive chemistry people always talk about or not, or at the very least determine whether the other person is a psycho (always look at/in the eyes) and act accordingly (run!). Hey, sometimes you get lucky (cue Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers from 1986)…

As far as crap shoots go, unfamiliar restaurants were definitely one of those. You took your chances B.I. Now at least, we have Yelp and Google reviews…

And remember a time before there was Amazon… Amazon-dot-com. I’m surprised they don’t have as their slogan, that old slogan, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” (For those wondering why I’m putting in the “dot-com”, apparently WordPress adds the link automatically to popular websites. I don’t like that. Stop that, WordPress.)

Because Amazon has everything under the proverbial sun. When they first came online, it was cool because you could find anything on there, it was convenient, and it was kind of a novelty. So they got big. And eventually, i.e., now, they got too big. But before then, I used to go into bookstores and record stores all the time wherever I was, B.I…. used to spend hours in those places. On those days when I had hours to spend, there was nothing better than being in these stores, just looking through the bins of used vinyl (you did keep your turntable, right?) and all the shelves of books, both new and used. Which is why I’m sure I eventually incorporated both a record store and a bookstore in my art gallery in Empire, Colorado. How many bookstores and record stores did Amazon put out of business in the meantime? Like the local stores Wal-Mart put out of business?

I can hear the business people and entrepreneurs screaming that the stores that went out of business (I’m thinking of Blockbuster Videos here) didn’t evolve their business and change quickly enough, and yes, that is certainly true. They did not adapt to rapidly changing conditions and paid the price. But… the very fact that there are still small record stores and bookstores out there, locally, attests to the resiliency of the experience of going to those places because it is an experience you can’t get online. It also attests to the ubiquity of the all-pervasive Internet.

I remember I got online toward the end of 1996 and used a 56k external modem to connect to the Internet. I – like pretty much everybody else and their dog – used AOL initially. Back then there were the free ISPs – I remember Netzero and Juno. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator were the de facto browsers. At first it was pretty cool to connect to all these different websites and connect with people, and it was something of a novelty as well, but it didn’t take long to figure out that although you could connect with this whole new online world and people you didn’t know, being connected to this new world also isolated you at the same time. Because you’re sitting in front of a computer monitor, not a real person or a real-world environment. One of the paradoxes of evolving technology.

I started out on a 286 computer, DOS, Microsoft OS that I bought from a used equipment sale at the company I worked for during the early 90s, then quickly moved up to a 486 and I could connect to the Internet. The company was very tech savvy at the time so even when I didn’t have the Internet at home, I had it at work. And then I started learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript markup languages and soon became a web designer/developer and worked in that position as an I.T. contractor for various companies and the government up until 2011. Further back, B.I., I got into computers through music – through MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) keyboards and sequencers in the early 1980s, so this is also some of my background, when I wasn’t bartending and all those other odd jobs I mentioned earlier.

If you’ve read this far (thank you), where I’m going with all of this is that I am and have been seriously curtailing, cutting back on my Internet usage over the last 1-2 years and I urge everyone to do the same for the following reasons. First, because like anything else in real life, the Internet is subject to the fulfillment curve and the law of diminishing returns (see E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful… this book should be taught in all schools in the U.S., btw). The last couple of years I’ve noticed that with hackers, fake news and its sensationalistic headlines, all the freakin’ ads, and the general contentiousness of social media, the Internet is delivering less “satisfaction” and a lot more hassle. Certainly more hassle than it’s worth, i.e., diminishing returns.

Secondly, when you get right down to it, the Internet is just TV, the tele, a big all-pervasive TV (think Orwell) with innumerable channels on it, and I always tell people to “turn off the tele!

Erin would tell you that I watch the least amount of TV of almost anyone, 1 hour at the most on any given day, and that’s not even TV – we watch DVDs at dinnertime, maybe a movie so that might be 2-2 1/2 hours tops. That’s not even network programming so it’s not TV. That’s it. So why do I have the Internet, this big all-pervasive TV on all day at work and at home in the morning, and then later even at night? Would I leave the TV on all day? No. (Although we did have 24 hours of ‘Ralphie’ on in the background recently on Christmas Day.)

And speaking of ads, this is what the Internet of today has become:

Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ… from the late 1960s, early 70s

This picture is from the late 1960s I believe, Speedway Blvd. in Tucson, Arizona. Does this look even remotely appealing to you? It’s ugly, right? All the signage and billboarding is nothing but visual clutter. It’s an eyesore. Tucson eventually did the right thing and enacted a sign ordinance to rid themselves of this kind of just plain awful visual clutter. The Internet should do the same.

One of the best reasons to curtail your Internet usage is the proliferation and constant bombardment of all the advertisements we are all subjected to, particularly on Facebook, YouTube, and most news sites. Hey, your ad blocker might not be that effective after all – it can’t screen out everything. There was a time in web development when real estate, the visual canvas of the web page, had something more of an overall aesthetic as kind of an ideal, something to strive for to make pages actually look their best and be functional at the same time and that involved the use of negative space on the web page. Or, put another way, the judicious use of space for content. A lot of the development books back in the 1990s talked about not inundating visitors to your website with too many visuals, in most cases meaning advertisements. Most people don’t know about that, a lot of long-time I.T. project managers have forgotten that, and most of the current crop of developers don’t even care about that.

The big change in web development occurred back in 2010 with the implementation of the Web 2.0, so subsequently after that you’ve seen a lot more ads in your Facebook newsfeeds and elsewhere. I was there. After 2010, it has been all about ads, nothing else mattered; any kind of aesthetic sense or even how web pages worked – think of those long-running scripts that hang up your browser – has been tossed out the window. Seriously, the last couple of jobs I had as a GUI designer (Graphic User Interface… hey, new position title for me – feather in my cap), I worked with a few developers who couldn’t even relative path their way out of a paper bag so I would fix their code – basic stuff – but boy, they made sure those ads worked.

Another good reason to cut back on Internet usage is just simply the time factor involved. It’s for the same reason that I limit my time in front of the tube: it’s just another way to be distracted and waste time. We tend to act like we have all the time in the world and of course, we really don’t. If we all knew and realized this, would we spend so much time in front of the TV? Or the Internet? Would you spend that much time in a casino? There’s a reason they don’t have clocks in there.

Am I saying don’t get on or avoid the Internet? Of course not. That would be impossible at this point and not even desirable. It is an integral part of our lives, for better or worse, and besides, those Yelp and Google reviews can really come in handy sometimes. The same can be said for a lot of websites and much of my work takes place on the web anyway. It’s somewhat ironic that I’m currently in a re-design of the Nights on Venus website as I write this post.

But I would definitely cut back on spending too much time on the Internet, particularly on social media which is what I have been doing – regulating how much time, how many hours I spend on the platform each day, just as I do with TV. The point is to resist the ads. Resist the programming. Human beings exist for far greater purposes than just being told and/or programmed to buy all this stuff or just to be entertained/distracted. The order of the day on the web would seem to be mostly greed and narcissism. Steer clear of the narcissism, but shut down the greed. Please join me in this endeavor.

Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, released on July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
The cover artwork for the new 3-song EP “Snow Day”, set to release on December 23rd

The most recent releases from NoV are the 3-song single/EP “Snow Day” and the full-length album, “We Are All Haunted by Something“, both from 2017. “We Are All Haunted…” includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. All are available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

“Everything popular is wrong.” – Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

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the annual christmas post: merry christmas and happy holidays from craig & erin from la casa NoV in golden, CO…

‘Tis the day before Christmas and all through the house
All the shoppin’s been done so we don’t have to go out…

It’s a balmy 19° F (-7.2° C) here in Golden today with the sun shining brightly and snow on the ground. It feels like Christmas.

Golden, Christmas Eve
The King Soopers parking lot in Golden before the Broncos’ game, Christmas Eve, 2017… all Bronco apparel 50% off.

The 3-song EP, Snow Day, was released yesterday on a day when it was snowing – yes, completely planned of course – and is now available as a free download on Bandcamp. You can listen to it here… just click on the ‘Download’ link in the player below and you’re there. In the ‘Name Your Price’ field, enter ‘0’, and add to Cart, and it’s yours free, through 12/30. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for listening.

Snow Day will be released on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3 and the streaming services this next week, by New Year’s 2018.

The release of this EP finishes up the release of songs – at least for the time being – recorded during the “We Are All Haunted…” sessions from April, 2016 through early 2017. It was actually one of the most prolific creative periods of my life. 32 songs were recorded during that time for the album; at least 10 more of those songs will be released at a later date, probably in a boxed CD set (yes, really… there will be one) when the budget allows.

For now, it’s Christmas, it’s the holidays and we celebrate and enjoy chilling out for a few days. Ski season is upon us now in Colorado and Erin and I will be going up to A-Basin in a couple of weeks. It will be a very busy ski season for us the next 3 months and I’m looking forward to it. For the first time in my long skiing life I will be wearing a helmet.

Today/tomorrow, I’ll be listening to Marshall Crenshaw’s first album from 1982 (which I’m doing right now because it is a classic and this album means a great deal to me, for 35 years now… see my post from Dec. 16, 2011), and drinking some Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry, this peculiar tradition courtesy of dad from Christmases past all those years at the house on Northwood Rd. back in Dallas. He’d break it out in the morning and we’d partake into the afternoon until he and mom drifted off into sleep. I raise a glass and toast to you…

And then there’s 24 hours of Ralphie coming up… A Christmas Story. I didn’t even know about this movie, which was originally released in 1984, and had never seen it until my girlfriend/fiancé at the time introduced me to it in 2001. Now it’s a yearly thing. Funny how that works. Nostalgia can be a dangerous drug (or a random wave)…

…Much later in the day now. WordPress will show this as posted on December 25th but it’s still Christmas Eve here. We’ve watched the Cowboy game – a very lackluster effort in which they lost 21-12 to Seattle and was a complete waste of about 3 hours – and then It’s a Wonderful Life interspersed with the first installment of A Christmas Story on TBS which was considerably more satisfying. The latter will be on tomorrow most of the day, in the background, in an ambient sort of way. And there will be the traditional grilling of the ribeye steaks – no turkey or Chinese for us. It’s supposed to warm up into the 30s tomorrow.

Cosmo, alert as ever, guarding the tree…

And Santa is on his way in, now that I-70 is open again in the high country after last night’s storm…

Santa on a snowboard, courtesy of Copper Mountain via Instagram…

So from Erin and I, we wish you a Merry Christmas and the very best during this holiday season wherever you are and whatever you may celebrate.

“Be sure to drink your Ovaltine…
and Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men…”

Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The most recent full-length album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” was released in July, 2017. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

And remember:
“Everything popular is wrong.”
– Oscar Wilde

 

 

 

Highland Park High School: Ads from the 1966 Yearbook

Reblogged from Paula Bosse’s Flashback: Dallas this week… I happened to run across this yesterday and it brought on “A Random Wave of Unrelieved Nostalgia” as I was working on the final mixdown of the song for the upcoming EP next month. Always enjoy reading Paula’s blog and seeing these historic/vintage photos of where I grew up in the 1960s. I remember most of these businesses from that era, particularly Goff’s on Lovers Lane in University Park because I too got thrown out of there (by owner Harvey, as was his custom) when I had longer hair in the mid-70s. Sometime later, he inexplicably added a statue of V.I. Lenin in front of the location on Lovers…

And I see Dick Chaplain’s School of Social Dancing in Preston Center is listed here. This is where we were supposed to learn the acceptable “social graces” as nerdy and more or less unruly 7th graders. Now, if someone out there has a few pics of the old Deuback’s Skating Rink on Greenville Ave. they’d like to share, that’d be great…

You can always find Paula’s blog here: https://flashbackdallas.com/

Flashback : Dallas

ad_HPHS_1966_goffs“Senior Cools” at Goff’s… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Yesterday I posted photos from the 1966 Highland Park High School Highlander yearbook — today I’m posting a lot of ads from the same yearbook, many of which include students posing at the businesses. Most of the ads are larger if you click them.

Above, Goff’s. My mother refused to patronize this establishment as the owner once said something disparaging about my shaggy-haired 10-year-old brother (Mr. Goff really didn’t like long hair on boys and men), so I’m one of the few native-born Dallasites who never had a Goff’s hamburger.

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On the other hand, I enjoyed a lot of Ashburn’s Ice Cream as a kid — the locations on Knox and on Skillman. I can’t remember ever getting anything other than Butter Pecan.

ad_HPHS_1966_ashburns-ice-cream

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Whittle Music Company. (I wrote about Whittle’s previously, here.)

ad_HPHS_1966_whittle-music-co

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Hillcrest State…

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of birthdays & milestones & unrelieved nostalgia…

October, my favorite month… always. Also Erin’s (Shmoopy).
Nights on Venus celebrated its 7th year in existence on October 8th.
This past week, I celebrated my 61st birthday on the 16th.
This week, we celebrate Erin’s birthday tomorrow, the 25th. Happy Birthday, Shmoopy!

Sunday afternoon in the The ‘Cave Studio, Golden,CO… one corner of it anyway. Fender Strat “Buddy”, red Reverend Charger 290LE “Prince”…Reverend Rocco “Goldenboy” in the background…
Cosmo, hangin’ out at the other end of the studio, being good for the time being… not biting any guitar/MIDI cables or AC adapter cords.

…And congratulations to the Houston Astros on making the World Series for the first time since 2005 and congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for making it to the WS for the first time in 29 years. We look forward to watching this series and it should be a good one. As my wife is a lifelong Dodgers’ fan – and rooted for my Texas Rangers in their two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 – that pretty much makes me a Dodgers’ fan. So… Go Dodgers! That all gets started tonight and did I read it right that the temperature is 101 °F. in LA today? Holy cow.

The current break in the action has given me some time to finally unroll the Persian rug that came from the old house back in Dallas in the studio. Shmoopy says it has lent a more “grown-up” feel to the room…

Coming up in another couple of weeks, on November 5th, Erin and I will celebrate our 1-year anniversary as a married couple. As I always tell her, “Hey, this is the longest I’ve ever been married,” which always elicits a sarcastic chuckle of the “hardy-har-har” variety ’cause this is my first time on the whole marriage thing (first and will be my only time I might add).

After that, the holidays will be upon us…
As mentioned earlier, Nights on Venus will be releasing a 3-song single just before Christmas, now entitled “Snow Day”.

The three songs on it are:
“(You Deserve A) Snow Day”
“Algorithm 12” and
“A Random Wave of Unrelieved Nostalgia”…
because during the sessions I was overwhelmed by… a random wave of unrelieved nostalgia, several of them in fact this year since we went to Dallas and as we prepare to go down there again. I’ll talk about that more next time…

Sky reflection on a Teisco Del Rey…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

“Everything popular is wrong.” – Oscar Wilde

 

out of the summer, sliding into fall…

Since the total eclipse on 8/21 this much and more has happened… wildfires in the west (pretty much unreported by mainstream media), catastrophic floods in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal (same there as well), hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and the continuing nightmare of Maria… in Texas, the South, East, Cuba and the Caribbean; the earthquakes in Mexico.

Though the mainstream media has moved on (shamelessly) and continues to cover Trump 24/7 (again, shamelessly), people are struggling and just trying to survive. Here are some ways to help:

For those affected by Hurricane Harvey – Houston, Rockport, Beaumont and the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana… https://www.texasmonthly.com/the-daily-post/ways-can-help-people-hurricane-harvey/  Ongoing…

Hurricane Irma relief – Florida, the Caribbean, Cuba… https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/hurricane-irma-response/
and: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-irma-relief-fund/?rf=ggad_17&gclid=Cj0KCQjwr53OBRCDARIsAL0vKrOK70PdGk8NK2pgOb8KNNsj6mMuLM5Odtumx5SAEYHH7UMUOn9bZOUaAjgtEALw_wcB Ongoing…

Hurricane Maria – the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and possibly (probably) on the East Coast… https://doublethedonation.com/blog/2017/09/donate-support-hurricane-maria-victims/
and: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/ Ongoing…
In Puerto Rico in particular, the situation is dire: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/if-anyone-can-hear-us–help-puerto-ricos-mayors-describe-widespread-devastation-from-hurricane-maria/2017/09/23/7ef5f6c4-a069-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html?utm_term=.e41c7e3277f6

Victims of the earthquake in Mexico City… again through Global Giving: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/mexico-earthquake-relief-fund/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwr53OBRCDARIsAL0vKrPa6uUubFh8Dia8GPbuy0Kr_fKF66cHtyoFoY49tJ_H2pAHy-YYPC4aAj8UEALw_wcB
and Direct Relief: https://www.directrelief.org/2017/09/mexico-city-rocked-by-7-1-magnitude-earthquake-weeks-after-devastating-temblor/ Ongoing…

And for the relief efforts in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal: https://www.globalgiving.org/nepal-india-bangladesh-flood-relief/ Ongoing…

And lest we forget the Pacific Northwest where they’ve had record heat and wildfires this summer, an essay from Naomi Klein: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/09/in-a-summer-of-wildfires-and-hurricanes-my-son-asks-why-is-everything-going-wrong/

In all instances, please help where you can. In a few years we will look back on 2017 as the last “normal” year climate-wise, and this year, this last month has been anything but normal. Climate change, and specifically, abrupt climate change is real – all too real. It is happening, happening now, and it is accelerating. I have added a couple more websites on climate change in the blogroll and suggest you check them out. The Robert Scribbler website in particular was extremely accurate in predicting that both hurricanes Harvey and Irma would intensify (dramatically) before making landfall. Hurricane Maria has been off the charts. Climate-deniers are just simply wrong – dead wrong. And they have been all along. Don’t listen to them. If you still have financial interests in fossil fuels at this late date, it is time to divest from those now. If anything is to be done or can be done at this point, carbon emissions must be cut drastically each year moving forward and that is only a beginning.

At Upper Blue Lake just below Quandary Peak, near Breckenridge, CO… 9/02/2017

The second part of today’s blog: a look back at this summer, now that it’s officially gone, and some of the hikes we’ve taken recently, Erin and me. After June it has been mostly a dry, hot summer but not as bad as summers where there have been major wildfires here, like the summers of 2002 and 2012. There have been a couple of wildfires recently (one near Steamboat Springs), but for the most part we’ve been fortunate this year. If you live here in the West, you know that can change quickly – wildfires one year, followed by flash floods the next.

Cosmo in front of the fireplace at la Casa NoV…

Right now in Golden, we’ve been in a foggy raincloud all day and we’re getting some much-needed light rain, thankfully, and it’s about 48 degrees F. (9 degrees C.). Actually it’s wonderful, and this morning we fired up the fireplace for the first time in the fall/winter season. It’s snowing up at A-Basin Ski Area this morning. Here are some pics from our late summer’s hiking and though the snow is falling now in the high country and more of it soon, hiking isn’t over yet, at least until the end of October… And then there will be skiing/snowshoeing.

The Annual Running of the Mountain Goats at Upper Blue Lake, 2017… Photo by Erin Foley.
The goats running down the trail, seemingly, to meet us. Which makes me wonder if people have been feeding them. If you do visit the Blue Lakes, however much you may want to, please DO NOT feed the wildlife. And not just here but anywhere. Thank you… Photo by Erin Foley.

In early September the skies were smoky here, so we didn’t hike for a couple of weekends. Here are a few shots up at Blue Lakes near Breckenridge and the previous week up on the West Ridge Trail from Loveland Pass.

I will mention – if you’re heading up that way – that the Monte Cristo Gulch trail is actually closed. We got about a half-mile in and there’s a rockslide which has completely covered the trail. Yes, it can be navigated but we chose not to that morning. It should be noted that while you can traverse to the trail on the other side, you could also trigger another rockslide so it’s not recommended. The Monte Cristo trail is probably closed for good. I can’t imagine that any agency is going to clear that rockslide. Just sayin’…

Communing/hangin’ out with the mountain goats, Blue Lakes…
From the West Ridge of the Loveland Pass Trail… Looking toward the Keystone Ski Area…
The West Ridge Trail from Loveland Pass… Looking back toward Mt. Sniktau, just to the right of center. You can see the ridge, leading up to the summit at 13,234 Ft.
The West Ridge Trail from Loveland Pass…
On the Stanley Mountain Trail, west from Berthoud Pass, looking south to Engelmann Peak (just right of center)…

From yesterday’s hike up the 730 Mine Trail/Griffin Memorial trail:

The annual fall aspen leaf tour, this time from above Silver Plume…
All sorts of weather on the trail yesterday… Sun, rain, fog. Looking down the avalanche chute toward I-70 below… This is a trail I’ve hiked many times. The dead wood in the avalanche chute appears to still be from a major avalanche that happened here in 2004.
Mountains and fog… via Instagram.
Golden aspens, mine ruins, fog, sun… what more could you want?
Shmoopy (Erin) on the trail in the fog…
Colorado fall color on the 730 Mine Trail, Silver Plume…
Mine ruins and fall color…

Luminous, on the trail…

Aspen leaf on the trail in the rain…

Nights on Venus News:
I had mentioned in an earlier post that there would be a 4-song EP by the end of this year to complete the material from the “We Are All Haunted by Something” sessions (of which there is quite a bit)… which then soon expanded into a 6-song EP… but now those plans have been scrapped. In favor of…

The infamous switchbacks on the Stanley Mountain Trail, west of Berthoud Pass, 8/05/2017…

Releasing the remaining songs as singles and B-sides over a period of months beginning this coming December with a 2-song single… until the next full-length Nights on Venus album which is slated for December, 2018. I am planning for and anticipate a few surprises, so stay tuned. And I thank you for your continuing support…

Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, which was released on July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. He is available for personal astrological consultations. Contact via e-mail at carrington.ct@gmail.com

 

eclipse-mania!…

is in full swing. Right now we are just a couple of days away from what is probably the most anticipated event in at least a few years, possibly decades (think 2000, the Millennium?) – the total solar eclipse in America. As people will be traveling to points along the path of totality, getting to the event – wherever you are – is shaping up to be the “Mother of All Clusters” on the highways and byways. A few days ago Channel 7 here in Denver posted this graphic…

Courtesy of Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) and Channel 7, the Denver Channel.

600,000 freakin’ people… Hey, I told you Wyoming was booked up! And they will be on the road that day just here in this part of the country. In fact, that’s more than the number of people who actually live in Wyoming and call it home. Wyoming will double in population on August 21st. And I sure wouldn’t want to be heading up to Casper that day on I-25, usually a parking lot from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins on good days… or Ogallala, Nebraska on I-76 and I-80, or on the road anywhere else. So we’re not.

Motel rooms have been booked up for months, the prices steadily going up into the stratosphere of motel room pricedom. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event – that’s true (although I do seem to recall we had a partial solar eclipse in the early 1960s when I was at elementary school in Dallas that day and we made pinhole cameras out of cardboard boxes to look at it safely). Services and restaurants in all the small towns along the path of totality will most certainly be overwhelmed for that one day. Business will be good, pumping some much-needed money into the local economy… and chaotic.

Path of the Total Solar Eclipse across America on August 21, 2017… Images courtesy of NASA.
The eclipse, brought to you by… Grease Monkey? No… don’t think so, and now apparently, they’ve run out of the free glasses.

It’s… ECLIPSE-MANIA!

A couple of links (please feel free to share):
From Space.com
And check this out…
Simulation of the eclipse in your area 

Here’s the deal: whether you’re in Caribou, Maine or Yuma, Arizona (or even in Nome, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii), you’re going to see something of the eclipse. In parts of Canada and Mexico as well. It may be partial, but it’s going to get dark. How dark depends on where you are. Here in the Denver Metro/Front Range area, we will have 93% totality… so it’ll be plenty dark. How dark? Well, after the Moon, the planet Venus is the brightest object in the night sky and currently it’s moving through the sign of Cancer; above 97% totality you should be able to see it. It’ll also get anywhere from 2-8 degrees (F.) cooler, depending on the totality of where you are.

Of course, when viewing the eclipse, wear the appropriate safety glasses/eyewear. Do NOT look at the eclipse directly or stare at it even with the glasses on. And it’s not a “Triple Dog Dare” moment.
Here’s an excellent post on this
.

Some new music from Nights on Venus from the new album…

So yes, the eclipse is a very big deal. This is perhaps one time where the hype surrounding an event is actually justified. Hopefully if you have paid a fortune for a motel room wherever you go, it will not be cloudy that day.

Astrologically, what could be the possible significance of the new Moon/total solar eclipse be in Leo? It depends mainly on the house placement and any aspects to other planets in the natal chart and also the progressed and solar arc charts. Since this is being billed as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse what possible significance would be suggested for the U.S. during this time? Let’s take a look at the chart of the U.S. for Monday…

Natal chart of the U.S.A., July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m…. Snapshot of August 21, 2017 at 1:31 PM, EDT. The total solar eclipse… note the Sun-Moon conjunction (new Moon) in the 9th house (Click to enlarge).

It is interesting to note that this is only the 3rd coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in this country’s existence. The first two: 1776, when we declared our independence and became the United States of America, and in 1918, which marked the end of the first World War and when the short-lived League of Nations was formed.

In the Transit to Natal chart above, the Sun-Moon – new Moon – conjunction occurs in the 9th house at 28 degrees, 53 minutes Leo. Aspects to: natal Pluto in the 2nd house (inconjunct), natal Moon in the 3rd house, opposition (wide orb, but significant I think, so allowed), transiting Uranus, 4th house (trine).

Emphasis here is on the 9th house, which in the broadest sense represents learning on the level of identity – learning, or in this case, re-learning who we are. Applied to an entire country: learning/re-learning who we are as a nation. We literally have to decide who we are now at a time when we, as a nation, are at our most politically divided and polarized since 1860.

In an individual’s chart, 9th house integration would usually occur through philosophy, religion, higher education, travels and long journeys – anything that would expand (Jupiter as the natural ruling planet of the 9th and Sagittarius) a person’s horizons intellectually and their own self-awareness and of the world they live in. The 9th house also symbolizes the principles (or lack thereof) that a person was instilled with – i.e., the law or social/moral code. Again, Jupiter. In the chart of a nation, this would symbolize the law, the code of ethics that guides a country, and would play out in the sociopolitical arena and also represent, along with the sign on the cusp of the Ascendant, the “face” that nation presents to the world at large. So some of what I’m going to talk about here has to do with law and those principles as they have come to the forefront at this particular time of the total solar eclipse on 8/21 in the U.S.

Eclipses themselves symbolize or signify an ending and/or a beginning. Where a solar eclipse occurs in a chart generally sets the tone for the next 4-6 months depending on when the next lunar-solar eclipse pair happens. Eclipses are also harbingers of change, sometimes profound change, and I would expect that is what we’re going to see over the next 6 months through the lunar-solar eclipse pair in February, 2018. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the most important 6-month periods ahead in the life of this country – especially in light of the events of the last few days – as we have now arrived at a crossroads. There also seems to be widespread awareness in this country that we have reached a crossroads now.

This eclipse comes right as we have an existential crisis in government.

The first thing I’ll say about this is that if you think these last 7 months have been chaotic, and they have been, the next month has the potential to be even more so. And then things should gradually stabilize more by February, 2018. Given the events now that have happened since last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, the ending indicated here by this eclipse, is that this current “presidency” will come to an end. Trump will leave, or be removed from office within the next 6 months. It also would not surprise me if he resigned as early as Monday, August 21st, the day of the total solar eclipse. Being the total narcissist he has shown himself to be, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would try to upstage this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event just to draw attention to himself. This is one possibility signified by the eclipse. That he would resign would be the “easy” way.

The hard way? That’s where the aspect of the law comes into play. The Constitution provides remedies in times of crisis. Impeachment of course, is the one most people are familiar with, but that will take many months and does not guarantee removal from office. The most expedient way involves removal via Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. Trump has shown no interest in actual governing, only ruling, and he has nothing but contempt for the laws of the land. He thinks and acts as if he is above the law and also now faces several legal battles (e.g., the emoluments hearing on October 18th), in addition to the grand jury hearing on his alleged collusion with Russia to secure the election. In other words, the law is currently operating as it should, acting as a check and balance to someone who would run roughshod over it, but the laws of the land could be severely tested during this time and if Trump will not abide by them, then that becomes a constitutional crisis and a long drawn-out battle that this country, as we’ve known it, may not survive.  This is not hyperbole.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848): “The Course of Empire – Destruction”, oil on canvas, 1836.

I hope he will take the easy way. That would be best for everyone, including him. In a very real sense, Trump’s “presidency” ended the day he did not denounce and disavow white supremacists, the KKK, and the neo-Nazis.

What happens next is up to all of us. It revolves around some central questions: who are we as a country now? What kind of nation do we need to be and become? Certainly not the nation we’ve seen these last 7 months.

Also from the new Nights on Venus album…

Enjoy the show Monday. Be safe. ‘Til next time…

Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, which was released on July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. He is available for personal astrological consultations. Contact via e-mail at carrington.ct@gmail.com

 

album released…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something“, has now been released officially as of 7/23/2017, on the night of the New Moon in Leo. In a few weeks, the next New Moon… is also in Leo, which is something of a rarity, astrologically speaking, though it does happen every few years, and this is also the Total Solar Eclipse which will be occurring across the U.S. on August 21st.

Path of the Total Solar Eclipse across America on August 21, 2017… In typically American (exceptionalist) fashion, it is being called the Great American Eclipse. Image courtesy of NASA. Click on the image to enlarge.

I’ll be talking about that – what it might possibly signify for the next six months, astrologically – in the next blog post here in a couple of weeks, and yes, it IS a big deal. View responsibly, wherever you are. [Solar eclipses typically suggest the tone of events – in whatever house they occur on a chart for individuals or countries – for the next 6 months or until the next solar eclipse, which in this case, will be February 15, 2018.]

Erin and I will be here in the Denver metro area viewing the partial eclipse which will be fine. We’ll both be at work that day and it will get all dark and eerie for about half-an-hour. I had made reservations in Ogallala, Nebraska a while back (only because Wyoming was already booked up), then watched as the hotel jacked up the prices every few weeks, saw what we would be paying, until I finally cancelled, and now I see that Nebraska is sold out as well. I have no idea what the going rate is now other than exorbitant (also in typically American fashion, i.e., greed).

So for now here’s the album… available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp; you can listen to the full album here…

Or SoundCloud, full album here as well…

It is a Sunday afternoon right now and we are having a thunderstorm here in Golden – a good soaking rain which is always welcome in what is usually a dry summer, now as we head into August. Everything still looks green. Almost done with summer… thankfully.

The last couple of weekends we’ve gone up to Central City in the mountains… to see the opera. The Central City Opera is now in its 85th season at the opera house, a national historic landmark that was built in 1878. We saw “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, then Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” yesterday… both excellent productions. If you’re here in the Denver area during July and August, I highly recommend going up there to take in a performance. Year in, year out, they are at the very top of summer opera companies in the U.S. so go see them.

The Opera House in Central City, CO…

I am taking something of a break for the time being, but usually that never lasts long. Originally, “We Are All Haunted by Something” was to be a double album and there are 9 songs in various stages of completion that didn’t make it onto the album as released. I will be working on those, finishing them up over the next couple of months and hope to have 4-5 completed by mid-November to release as a follow-up EP sometime in December, possibly also as a 2-disc CD offering.

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_prince

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

 

 

 

 

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