Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Second Spots - Dinkelspiel

This piece was inspired by the name of Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford University. I guess it means "Play a Dinkel" or maybe "Dinkel Play". But what's a dinkel? Click here for an answer.

With a name like Dinkelspiel it just has to be music. Listen for the three-chord "Dinkelspiel Theme".

Click on either picture to listen to Dinkelspiel by David Ocker  © 2007 - 39 Seconds

Dinkelspiel Auditorium - Stanford University (c) David Ocker

Thanks to one of these people for finding out the meaning of dinkel by using the Internet.

Dinkelspiel Auditorium - Stanford University (c) David Ocker
Dinkelspiel is (c) November 29, 2007 David Ocker 39 Seconds

Addendum 2011: So, the link to the meaning of Dinkel doesn't work anymore. I remember that in German Dinkel means "spelt" - a kind of grain. Apparently it also means "penis" to some people. I bet that makes for some good jokes.

Dinkel Tags: . . . . . .

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Walls of Palo Alto

A Wall in Palo Alto California (c) David Ocker
A Wall in Palo Alto California (c) David Ocker
A Wall in Palo Alto California (c) David Ocker

Click to enlarge. All taken within 15 minutes of my arrival. I'm here for this.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Birds Who Don't Know the Words

The addition of a hummingbird feeder in our backyard plus my new pocket point 'n shoot with video capabilities has now produced its inevitable first result: a Mixed Meters Movie Moment - one minute of hummingbirds feeding to the accompaniment of my own music.

This is the first time I've ever tried to compose music to a moving image - hard to believe for someone who has lived in Los Angeles for almost 35 years. I probably broke every rule in the book. (Actually, I hope I broke every rule in the book.)

Both video and music are (c) 2007 by David Ocker.

Here's my best Hummingbird Still Shot. Click to enlarge.

Hummingbird at our backyard feeder (c) David Ocker
Here's another MM post with a lucky picture of a hummingbird at rest.

Our cat Spackle showed an intense interest in the hummingbird movie. So I shot this video of her trying to catch the moving image of the hummingbird.

And she seemed just as interested in the video of her watching the video of the hummingbird.

Spackle Watches Spackle Hunting Video Hummingbird (c) David Ocker
Where will it all end?

The video of Spackle is dark and hard to watch when I play it from this page. Apparently if you watch it at YouTube it'll look better. Click here.

Recursion Tags: . . . . . . . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

Half Grassed

If you find a good pun you should use it a lot, I always say.
If you find a good pun someone else probably thought of it first, I always say. Click here.

Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker

Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Half-Grassed (c) David Ocker
Click on a picture and it'll embiggen. None of these shots were posed. The last one is graffiti on a corner of a wall; I enhanced the right side to make it greener.

Half-Assed Tag: ...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Official, Christmas Season is Open

By my own definition the Christmas season begins on the first day I notice Christmas music being played at Starbucks. So today, Thursday November 15, 2007, is the first day of the Christmas Season. Merry Christmas everyone.

Only forty days (and nights) until I can start feeling completely comfortable in Starbucks again. (If Starbucks plays just one Hannukah tune during that time all will be forgiven.)

Christmas Penguins on Sale at Starbucks
Of course, Christmas at Starbucks also means they will probably deign to play a few tiny bits of classical music - something which the Seattle Suit who "hand picks" their tracks obstinately refuses to do during the other 46 weeks of the year.

Come on guys - I'm not expecting Cage or Mahler or Gesualdo. But how can a movement of Vivaldi or Mozart hurt us during April or July if it's okay during December? Heck, it might even make us smarter?

(Of course, I haven't actually heard any real classical music at Starbucks yet this year - although I did hear Angelique Kidjo singing Ravel's Bolero last week. That's a classic, right?)

(And they're selling little knitted Christmas Penguins at S'bucks this year too. Click here or here for that rant.)

Classic at Christmas Tags: . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

30 Second Spots - OK

It's not great. It's OK.

It's not my shortest 30 second spot, but it is my shortest title, okay?

Click here to hear OK

Copyright (c) November 11, 2007 - 36 seconds

OK is a 30 Second Spot, a piece of music by David Ocker who also took this picture,okay?

According to an unsupported assertion in this Wikipedia article, OK is the most widely recognized word in the world, okay?

OK Tags: . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tower Records Aftermath

About a year ago the music world was abuzz with bloggers bragging of the bargains they had brought home from Tower Records. The chain was closing down forever, an early victim of the continuing collapse of the record industry. I don't miss Tower Records in the slightest.

June 2006 Tower Records Pasadena still in business but Good Guys out of business
But I did enjoy picking through the remains at the various levels of discount, a kind of musical near necropsy. Apparently I needed more clutter.
I still have albums from the final 90% off frenzy which I haven't opened yet.

Today we visited the site of Tower Records Pasadena which is now the home of a mattress superstore: Sit 'n Sleep. Here's a panormaic view of what that space looks like now:

Sit 'n Sleep Mattress Superstore where Tower Records Pasadena used to be
Click for an enlargement. If anyone wants to submit a picture showing what socially useful purpose has been found for their local Tower location I'll be happy to add it to this post.

Sit and Sleep is advertised on television almost continually by Larry Miller, its owner and pitchman, announcing in an annoying sprechstimme that "We'll beat any advertised price or your mattress is free." thus proving that we Americans are, as a group,
not very good at logic.

I asked the saleswoman if they'd ever given a mattress away for free, knowing full well that they hadn't. She had her response down pat segueing easily into stories of what a great boss Larry is and how the illogical catchphrase had made the company into a huge success. They probably teach all that on the first day at Sit 'n Sleep University.

She also said lots of really disappointed people have been showing up at the store looking for Tower Records. Those must be the customers who only bought albums once every few years. There's still a large yellow and red Tower sign visible from the parking lot.

Here's a picture of Larry and his accountant Irwin as bobbleheads. Why would I expect logic from a bobblehead. The saleswoman wondered what the Chinese factory workers who make these things think of them. They cost $16 each, about the same as a compact disc. I didn't buy one, but I thought about it. Even a lousy compact disc that I only listen to just once would be better value for my entertainment dollars.

Larry and Irwin bobbleheads advertise Sit 'n Sleep

Read about Tower Records here.

Tower 'n Sleep Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Found Cartoon - It Looks At The Atom

A paper, probably dropped by a student from the nearby high school, turned out to be this hand-drawn cartoon.

In the upper right corner a masked figure says "Give me ur money" while pointing a gun at the back of a spikey haired scientist looking through a huge microscope towards a small dot on a pedestal in the lower left. In the lower right is the caption - "It looks at the atom".

Found cartoon - It Looks At The Atom

I'm sorry to discover that Pasadena scientists are afraid of being robbed while using an SEM. Click the picture to get more details.

Media: Ink on Paper 8.5 x 11", detail

Mugged Scientist Tags: . . . . . .

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Creatures of La Jolla

Chameleon Birch Aquarium La Jolla California (c)David Ocker
In celebration of our fifteenth anniversary, Leslie and I drove to La Jolla for lunch at The Crab Catcher, a walk around La Jolla Cove and a quick tour of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, among other things. And we wondered why Jahja Ling appears to be wearing a black glove while conducting.

Fish Birch Aquarium La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

Submarine Birch Aquarium La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

Sea Dragon Birch Aquarium La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

The Crab Catcher La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

The Three Claws La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

Claw and Coffee La Jolla California (c)David Ocker

La Jolla Cove Seals (c)David Ocker

La Jolla Cove erosion (c)David Ocker

La Jolla Cove Cliff Cormorants and a Seagull (c)David Ocker

Does Jahja Ling wear the glove - La Jolla California (c)David OckerClick on any picture for a closer view.

Crystal Anniversary Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . .