Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hiatus, writ with water & still loving you

If you are tired of hearing me rave about the love of my life, Frances Anne Hopkins, then stay cool, calm and collected. This is the last time you will see her on my page -- at least, for now. I am sort of (as I sort of just about everything) going to go absent without leave for a while. First, Frances: This painting is entitled "At Marquette, Michigan 1864." Marquette is on Lake Superior, the south shore, and writing as someone who has canoed past it a few times, I will guarantee you that Marquette has changed just a little bit since Frances made her visit. Seriously, I actually do recognize the point of rocks. Frances does have a way with colors and details, does she not? In case you think the "spots" in the sky are photographic problems with the painting, I will say this: It is the first time I have seen photographic problems, e.g., spots, fly in a "V" formation. Finally, I am winding down (or, maybe, winding up) for a time, beginning with this post. This post itself will be unusual for me in the sense that it is going to appear in two or three segments; not separate entries, but pieces added on, maybe all them today, maybe some after today. (So, I am busy for a change, and need some sleep, do not give me any grief.) Please, reserve your comment for after June ends or, if the mood strikes you, come back and check upon me again during the next day or two and leave a second comment. When the entry closes with music, you will know it is complete.

Hiatus is an idiotic word

As the length of daylight hours in the northlands begin to shorten (yeh, really), so does my time writing here. My thought is to leave "Sort of San Fran" alone for the most part for -- a sort of a hiatus. When the opportunity or a reason arises, I might not be able to resist temptation and produce a post. But, I am not going to worry about it or to think about it for the most part. I hope I will continue to make comments on the pages of others, but no promises to do it with every post you write.

This might be a stranger phenomenon for me than for most bloggers in that I have utilized writing in many of my work experiences. Other than letters or emails, this is one of the few times I recall not being paid to write. So much for newspapers and paid subscribers. Any and all of us can produce a "news screen" of our own and do everything from preach, to lie (possibly I repeat myself), to beg, to promote, to sell, to report, to editorialize, to show photos or to offer videos, to .... to .... to .... endless possibilities.

One last time before I retreat: My beliefs are that the world is becoming more dangerous, not less so; that while people in some nations, such as Iran, are demonstrating for freedom, people in other nations, such as America, are allowing their freedoms to slip away by blindly accepting promises from false prophets and power mongers; that music is deteriorating (just had to toss that one in); that population control is a significant problem which is being ignored while get-rich-schemers are selling the concept of man-made global warming to wannabe do-gooders; that there probably will be violence in the streets of the U.S. if maleficent government officials and corporate bandits are not all brought before the criminal justice system and .... and .... and .... that is enough.

Just remember, I do love you even if you are a liberal .... in some ways, I am, too, but that might only be a conceptual distinction, and you might actually be a conservative ....

A name writ with water ....

Katy Jackson, who calls her page "Moving Back, Moving On," once wrote a post about her final day in the office at a former job. More specifically, she and a colleague were collecting their own items, boxing up materials to be sent elsewhere, designating redundant paperwork for recycling and performing a general clean up / clear out operation. The last lines of her post were these:

We took one last look around the room and departed from 'our office' for the very last time. You'd never know by looking that we'd ever been there.

And, here is the comment I left for that post:

It is interesting, isn't it, how the history of so many people is written in the absolute trash they leave behind at a work place?

When I leave a job, I have been known to shred 99 percent of the material and take the remaining one percent with me. Then I replace my material with the material that had been left behind by my predecessor and which I had stored away in boxes for just this moment. Within a matter of a few years, no one would ever know I had been there. Similar to you, I guess.

And, this was Katy's remark to my comment:

Maybe it's a desire for workplace invisibility. Not necessarily during the actual occupation of the job, but afterwards - the desire to leave no trace behind like a particularly neat burglar perhaps?

Here worked one whose name was writ with water...

I loved that line, as well as the concept it vividly and brilliantly explained. That had been my intent when I departed this place. Some of you have heard before, perhaps too many times, that I am very guarded about my privacy. Before this page, no photograph of me ever had entered cyberspace, although I have been transmitting via personal computer since 1985. There were many ways and reasons to do it even before the Internet or Windows or browsers came into existence, some of you might be surprised to know. Similar to photographs, my name, rank and serial number were kept under lock and key.

Returning to the point at hand, I had thought to vanish when I decided the "Sort of San Francisco Fan Club" had run its course. Maybe that still will happen a bit further down the road, but not yet, and when it finally does happen, it will fade away with a notice of intent, rather than simply disappear.

There are too many nice people who stop by here on occasion, that the last thing I want do is to be rude and inconsiderate of them on my last day in this office.

Achtung! Achtung! Still missing you, baby!

One more band is being featured right now because I consider the singer, Klaus Meine, to be No. 3 on my list of the absolute best male singers in the era of rock music. While the German band, Scorpions, is among the most significant in heavy rock, as a unit it does not approach the talent level of either Boston or Dokken. Song writing ability, much of it by the band's founder, Rudolf Schenker, and Meine's voice, are the strengths in this outfit.

Included here are two renditions of the same song, my personal favorite by the Scorpions, "Still Loving You." This song generally is considered the Scorpions' trademark piece, and was written by Schenker and Meine.

The first video shows the band performing with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 2000. The audio is sort of out of control, but what a fantastic performance it would have been to attend. I would have stood in line to be present at this one. Meine's pronunciation of Americanized English is near perfect, but that his native language is German is impossible to miss. The tone, the mere natural guttural sound of his voice, is Germanic. A performance is more enjoyable to watch, I think, when it is obvious the singer is loving the moment. Meine clearly is happy with where he is and with what he is doing during these moments.

The second piece, once again, is present to be able to hear the strength and range of Meine's voice without concert hall racket. It is a studio recording, with more-or-less "romantic" slides replacing a video of the band actually performing.

The song is powerful, and I do not think I could understand how anyone would not like it, both for the impact of the message and the strength of the sound. Maybe the fact that in ancestral mathematics I am about 18 percent German shades my view a bit. But, maybe not.


Magdalena said...

No, no, no. I do not agree. It would not be the same blogging without you, handsome Fram the Marine. Your permeability and warmth make this world better to all of us. I will wait for your new posts as usual, and so. The painting is perfect, the closeness of the tile lake is divine, and more than that, I can see even path for biking and rollerblading people!!! Yeah!!! Thank you :-) Have a good day. Bye, bye :-)

TheChicGeek said...

Fram, I love this painting too :) Frances certainly had a way with colors. Can you imagine what Marquette must have been like when she was there? It must have been so pristine and beautiful...absolutely perfect :D

She was lucky to live in such a time.

Okay. Now I will read some more and do Part II of my comment...LOL

TheChicGeek said...

The videos are both so nice in different ways. Great song too :D

Now I have a song for you....LOL
"Oh won’t you stay just a little bit longer
Please, please, please say you will
Say you will
Oh won’t you stay just a little bit longer
Oh please, please stay just a little bit more."

Pleeeeeeeeease say you will! LOL

Now, if you really must go I wish you the best vacation ever!!!! Tons of fun and then come back to your Blogger friends and tell us of your adventures :D

I will miss you here, Fram. Come back soon!

Fram Actual said...

You know I would not run too far away from you, Magdalena Dominique. It was nice to hear your sentiments. Thank you.

Now then, you yourself have taken leave from blogging for a while, so you must allow me to do the same.

The lake is always beautiful there, and so is the land. Remember the photograph I ran a few days ago of the woodlands, with the lake in the distance? That is very near to Marquette, only a few miles.

Yes, those early settlers were very quick to set up boardwalks for their biking and rollerblading. I can almost visualize them doing it.

Fram Actual said...

There had been a village of Marquette about a dozen years or so when Frances came through, Kelly, but the waters had to have been absolutely pristine and the woodlands completely untouched at that time.

I think Frances was a very lucky girl to have lived when she did, and to have married a husband whose work required wilderness travel and who wanted his wife to travel with him. She passed along her good luck to posterity through her paintings.

On to Part II:

Hey, that is one of my favorite songs, and I did not know you were such a terrific singer. Are you actually one of the Wilson sisters?

It is like I said, I am certain I will be in and out of here a few times, and I am not going to neglect those who post regularly. I need some time for plotting, planning, scheming and actually doing a few things. You know I appreciate your sentiment very much, too.

Magdalena said...

Ok. So I can agree now. But only because you say so, and because you gave us this song :-) I wish you all, all the best Fram the Wolf and will look forward to see you again :-)*

A Cuban In London said...

A lot to chomp through, ex-Marine man :-).

OK, the world is becoming more dangerous, the world is becoming safer. Climate change is a lie, climate change is a reality. There are maleficent bankers, not all bankers are evil.

No, I wasn't re-reading your post, I was readingt he first page of 'Tale of Two Cities'.

On a serious note now, as a liberal/progressive/leftie/delete as appropriate, I believe in the power of the individual to make a positive change to society. I have seen what happens in a totalitarian state and no, it's not pretty. It's funny that the UK wants to go the same way with ID cards, 24-hour surveillance and draconian anti-terrorist laws. But I get your point, and anyway, as long as you keep posting about FFrances Anne Hopkins, I will definitely be one of the first ones to comment.

Now, Scorpions, do yo know that you're one of the few people I've come across in my life who actually like this German rock monster? Yup, all my mates back in school loved them, but that's because we were Cuban and given the scarcity of contemporary we would lay our hands on anything. But Scorpions rocks, man, and that's one of my top favourite ballads ever, even with the mispronunciation, I can't remember which word, but if you listen to the studio album you will hear Klaus mispronounce a couple of words. Never mind, bring it on.

Many thanks for your beautiful and thought-provoking post. I will also be winding down during summer so I will catch up with your blog whenever, it's on my links, so I will be popping by every now and then.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

I knew you would agree with my thoughts on this, Magda, and would appreciate the thoughts expressed in this ballad.

A wolf has great range, and while my howl might not rise from this page for a while as often as it has, it will echo on the pages of others in the form of comments. As a poet once wrote, look to the clouds and listen to the wind, and there you shall find me.

Fram Actual said...

"A Tale of Two Cities." I should have thought of that, CiL. Yes, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," and I believe you added weight to my points and to the credibility of George Santayana's oft-quote words:

".... and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience."

Extremists at either end of the political spectrum are the ones who are poison, and my contention is that those as far to the left as Cuba's Castro brothers now hold political power in the U.S. Those people are the ones who have failed to study, or apparently even to read, history, and the common folk will pay the price for it.

You know, I anticipated getting called out when I wrote about Herr Meine's pronunciation, and I should have guessed it would be you, CiL, linguist that you are. I allow a rock singer a certain amount of leeway in his or her pronunciation as they interpret the sound of certain words in relation to the harmony of the music. How is that for rationalization?

Thank you, for your well-considered comments, and know that I always am eager to see what thoughts you have posted on your page. Semper Fi, mate.

Peggy said...

Fram, your blogs are always such full meal deals!

Firstly, art to delight the eyes - and schooling us all in the delightful Frances Ann Hopkins. I particularly liked today's piece. I have for some reason always been drawn into works which feature a winding road which always pulls me into the piece as I imagine what it might be like to walk that road. How wonderful it must have been like to be be able to tag along to a new and interesting world for over a decade. Also, that it is set on the shores of one of our Great Lakes also adds something for me. I have a place on Georgian Bay which I don't get to nearly enough - but it is so wonderful to have a view of nature along with natural shoreline on a large body of water. Of course my place in Toronto is the opposite - concrete jungle and man made attractions on a large body of water.

Next you give us,your thoughts, providing an appetizer and main course consisting of statements of opinion and wonderings and of course the question of leaving a trace behind (or not) when one leaves for new horizons. I will let alone for the moment your several thought appetizers regarding journalists writing without being paid (I have a blog in mind regarding News in a Web 2.0 world), the question of a dangerous world and your conservatism (I smile as I think about how I would debate this with you ...)

So, as to leaving traces behind... No matter how much one tidies up if one is interacting and socializing, befriending, being nurtured and being a nurturing friend, whether it be at work or in our blogsphere - one is leaving behind an indelible mark. And so you have left yours - as I hope you will continue to do over the next while as you fit in a blog or comment here and there as go on your next quest.

Actually, if you are in fact doing more than taking summer vacation and going fishing (I spent some time looking through your past blogs), I am very envious of your venture (I plan mine in the next few years).

Lastly, the dessert - something to listen to and become enraptured with. Your choice of both song and artist is as usual, very suited to the theme. I agree with your statements regarding the artist and thank you for the introduction to him and his band. The song captured my heart and most particularly in the first version, I agree to see the rapt expression of Meine as he sings this tremendous rock ballad. A very haunting song.

Fram, I will miss you, but look forward to your thought provoking posts once again when you come back to us. I bet you will have some great stories to tell. I wish you fair wind and following seas.

Magdalena said...

Or as another Poet once said, cleave a piece of wood and I am there.

Fram Actual said...

"So away he (Etienne Brule) went -- up the Ottawa River, over Lake Nipissing, down the French River to Georgian Bay, along the coast to the pocket where the land runs north-northwest again to Lake Huron, which is deep and wide and blue and cold and deadly ...."

That quote is about a man I would have loved to have been. He was the first European to see any of those places, including your Georgian Bay, Peggy, and the first to dip a paddle in Lake Superior. Frances was painting a heritage as well as a place.

Please, though, Peggy. I can discuss religion or just about anything without getting excited, but the state of U.S. government policies right now makes me near-rabid. Best avoid me on that topic.

I guess I could have made myself more clear about my blog. When I began, I did 70 straight days. Then, I dropped down to three or four posts a week. The past month or so, I have been doing two or three a week. I am thinking three or four a month for a while before I make a final decision whether or not to keep my blog.

I plan little if any immediate traveling. I just want to concentrate on other things. My blog began as a simple diversion from the monotony of boring work and a restless spirit. I want to relocate out of the Twin Cities and, hopefully, out of Minnesota. If all goes well, that will be accomplished between August and September, with a significant trip in October.

Yes, on the Scorpions. I am surprised you had not heard of them. Both Klaus Meine and Rudy Schenker are about 61 years old now, and were about 52 when the recording with the Berlin Philharmonic was made. They are of your generation, Peggy.

Fram Actual said...

It is interesting you should select that poem, Magda. Not because of the thought it conveys, but the substance, or the origin of the thought, maybe.

Anyway, sometimes you surprise me.

Magdalena said...

Sometimes you do surprise me too. This is very unusual and my favorite thought of Christ.

Fram Actual said...

I suppose that is to be expected, Magda. Scito te ipsum.

Peggy said...

Fram, I don't know which I like better the stream of comments following your blog or the blog itself.

Ah yes, to be an explorer at that time. I hear you and would have liked to have gone on that journey also!

So we shall not debate US Government policies. Actually, I get enough of that discussing US politics with my parents who spend half the year in Florida and spend the other half watching Fox News and Glenn Beck from their easy chairs up here in Canada. I suspect we would have enough interesting topics for exchanges that we could leave politics aside.

Interesting you might think it odd that I have not come across Scorpions before now. I was 18 when their debut album came out, and yes, when they were 52 and when they produced that version of their great hit, I was 46, so yes, they are of my generation, but then I was never into heavy metal and for the most part have never really been much into heavy rock - ... so actually it surprised me that I liked the song so much... :)

Anyway, if we all keep leaving you comments which you cannot resist responding to, them I am guessing we will keep seeing you grace us with your presence... LOL - which is a good thing.

Natalie said...

“…this is one of the few times I recall not being paid to write..” – not entirely true, Fram…. You got paid with our love and admiration…

Fram Actual said...

Sometimes mini-discussions evolve, which make the inter-action more "real" and more enjoyable, I think, Peggy.

Basically, from my point of view, the word "journalism" is rapidly becoming obsolete in the traditional sense. News has degenerated into mostly entertainment and propaganda pieces, and most reporters, even those on newspapers these days, are more interested in being celebrities than in being reporters and editors.

Not too long ago, I noted that much of what I love today I missed when it was in real time because I was too busy. This was particularly true when I worked in corrections, and did not have the daily news flow as part of my occupation. In terms of music, I am constantly encountering singers and bands at other blogs that I have never heard of, but they generally are of European origin or in areas such as "alternative music" or from distinct forms where I have no real interest, such as jazz. My surprise in regard to other individuals, such as you, comes when very commercially successful groups, such as the Scorpions, are unknown.

Many heavy duty rock bands have had some absolutely beautiful (to me) ballads, where both sound and lyrics just might stand the test of time, although not necessarily as performed by the original artists. The Scorpions' "Still Loving You" is among that number. Dokken had a few such songs, topped by "Alone Again (Without You)." Boston's guitars and Brad Delp's voice were special, I think, with "A Man I'll Never Be" an absolute classic.

Whoops, wind me down .... too early in the day for music.

Fram Actual said...

Natalie, you emerge from your seclusion with words sweet enough to make a man go to his knee and pledge fidelity. Thank you, Russian princess.

Natalie said...

Get up from your knees, dear Sir, I never compliment unless it is well deserved.

Before I was thinking often why did you pick an image of a wolf to represent your hidden self? I am not surprised at all now: decency, intelligence and nobleness is in blood of wolves and Fram…

Sick of my seclusion and bedroom re-decoration!! I had to invest in this project financially and time-wise. Surroundings, energy, positive-ness are very important to Scorpios.

P.S. Please don't hate me! I love Fidel!!! I think Communism is in my genes!!!

Fram Actual said...

Well, Natalie, I never go to my knee before a lady unless it is well deserved.

Regarding the wolf, I cannot recall what I was thinking when I selected the image to represent Fram. Probably the two encounters I have had with them in the wild was part of it; the eyes had to be part of it. I have been told that my glare when I am angry is impossible to look into for more than a moment. But now, I think I will go with your adjectives as the explanation from this point forward.

Well, actually I have a certain amount of respect for Fidel Castro. Even beyond that, I have considerable admiration for his Argentinean compadre, Che. While philosophically some distance apart from me, I can think of few men who displayed greater dedication and self-sacrifice in the name of a revolutionary cause than did Ernesto Guevara. Without his brilliance and bravery, I think Fidel would have been only a footnote to history.

Communists, especially beautiful ones, are on safe ground with me as long as it is neutral ground, Natalie.

I hope you will be back to writing and reciting poetry soon.

Something special ....