~~~~~~

  • My Weather Forecast

    Morning Glory 31 by Harry LipsonWe do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather. Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.

    But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year. Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.

    I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it. It’s the gospel truth. We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference. The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.

    But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow. Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor. Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters. Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West. It rains a lot in Seattle. Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head. I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May; Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s. That’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Want to hear it. Of course you don’t. Not a chance, huh. Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.

    I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep. (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference). My mistake. Se la vie.

    As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis. 24/7/365.25 Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back. We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.

    Weather is perhaps the greatest difference separating one day from the next, from the next.P1010064

    I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue. I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.

    Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -

    Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Counting My Blessings

    HolidayAs the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings. Things could be worse. And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better. At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.” It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.

    With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.

    If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.

    I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.

    But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.

    It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.

    On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row. They almost got there. Again! Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.

    My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years. FinestKind.

    My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.

    My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.

    My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.

    I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.

    I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.

    I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.

    As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.

    And my dreams are fun to participate in. Generally speaking. They too are an adventure. Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important. As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”

    I can’t complain. I have been blessed. And there are blessings around every day. Some I take notice of.

    I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
    I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.

    I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached. It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing. On occasions, it can bring me to tears. I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose. My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne. I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there. Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
    Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
    Peace.
    H.


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Koji Uehara (Ooee)

    Koji UeharaThe Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.

    That is when, on June 21, the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.

    Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball. Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):

    Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63. That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.

    Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19. You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that. Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us. But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.

    Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters. Unheard of. That means the other 179 batters made “outs”. Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.

    Strike Outs: In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning. Unheard of. On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.

    Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him. As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long). Uehara has not lost a game.

    I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston. Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching. High five!, Ooee.

    Harry Lipson III for HarryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • What Is A Pickle?

    This crossed my mind as they say:

    What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” – Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • KG

    kg3My all time favorite athlete is leaving town.

    Going to another team in the twilight of his amazing career. Trading Celtic green for Brooklyn black.

    Leaving Boston for a borough of New York City.

    When Kevin Garnett eventually retires from the NBA, I believe that KG will think of himself as a Celtic, first and foremost.

    There have been several dozen unbelievable, game changing, ballplayers who wore the Celtic jersey. In my eyes, KG makes the all-time first team, along with Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell.

    Kevin Garnett gave all he had for the Boston Celtics.

    KG never mailed it in. He never took a night off.

    KG is profane. Yet, listening to Garnett, I always thought that he was the smartest professional athlete on the face of the earth. I mean that, sincerely.

    Stat-wise, Kevin Garnett has played more than 1,300 NBA games.
    He has been chosen as an All-Star 15 times.
    KG was chosen as NBA MVP. He won an Olympic Gold Medal.
    He has been the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
    He is the only player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steal, and 1500 blocks in their career.
    He is a career 50% shooter. In his long career, KG has averaged almost 20 points and over 10 rebounds per game.

    Now that he is leaving Boston, here are a few things about KG that I believe:

    He would likely prefer to walk on hot coals than lose a basketball game that mattered.

    He was always there for his teammates. He had their collective backs.

    Kevin Garnett was someone you wanted in your foxhole when things got tough.

    Pardon the cliches, but when you think of his game, words like sacrifice, drive, and dedication come to mind.

    To paraphrase another hero of mine, Bear Bryant, “KG weren’t nothing but a winner.”

    Off the court, to the extent that he was publicly visible, Kevin Garnett always seemed dignified, mature, and uncharacteristically soft-spoken.

    He is my favorite athlete of all time. Always will be. – Harry Lipson III, Boston


    _________________________________________________


  • My Heart

    rainb2My heart goes out to the good people of Oklahoma. My heart goes out to refugees. My heart goes out to all children who aren’t having a terrific childhood. My heart goes out to everyone in Boston who was injured in the bombings. My heart goes out to the homeless, to the hungry, to the abused. My heart goes out to the victims of bullying and to rape victims. My heart goes out to those who can’t make the next mortgage payment or cover next month’s rent.

    My heart keeps breaking and my feelings are often in tatters. I shutter and wince when a ferry goes down in waters off Bangladesh. I moan for every entombed miner, I grieve when trains collide, and I curl up in a ball when headlines of violent crimes keep streaming across the internet, day after day; month after month.

    So my heart requires daily transfusions of trees and flowers and the breeze on my face. My heart gets energy from babies and dogs, from Sam & Dave, Paul Simon, and the Southern Rock of Little Feat and The Allman Brothers Band.

    I draw upon shows like “Call The Midwife,” and actors like Denzel Washington and John Goodman. That is why I need the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Crimson Tide. Certainly, love from my own children fills my heart with happiness and pride. But like all parents, I worry for them. I worry about them. I try not to, but… I am their father and that is simply part of the job description.

    My heart is bolstered by every kindness and appreciation in all forms.

    My heart usually tells me that I am safe and things are all right. I know where my kids are. In my heart I know that fathers and mothers in Moore, Oklahoma felt just fine two days ago. It can all change in a heartbeat.

    So I am thankful. Meanwhile, tragedies keep happening. The News is one bad thing after another. Congress is crippled by partisan meanspiritedness. The floods, the earthquakes, the gas leaks, the rejections; the wishes that go ungranted, the prayers that go unanswered. I swallow it all in. I look for grace and for miracles.

    I live in a world that turns and burns. It is cruel and wondrous, bitter and sweet, impossible and entirely possible. It is probably the same for you as well. We write our own stories, to the extent that we can. But 2013 belongs to us all, and we catch the starfish with the seaweed. The bitter herb and the harosis. Poverty kills. Joblessness kills. Stupidity kills. We all want security and opportunity. We want a fair shake in life. My heart is full of hope and despairHarry Lipson III, 5-21-13


    _________________________________________________


  • ELEPHANT

    tufIt’s probably time for me to move on. The Boston Marathon is over. But as a Bostonian, I know that, at least for the moment, part of me is not going anywhere.

    Boston has picked itself up, dusted itself off.

    We are more than grateful for amazing outpouring of concern and support.

    To us, this is personal. And thank you for feeling exactly the same. We are all Bostonians.

    We are all Marathon runners.

    In the face of terrorism, it feels vulgar for me to devote my weekly scribble to the fine weather we’re enjoying. There is an elephant in the living room. There is a fucking elephant in here, and the weather is only the weather. – Harry Lipson – harryShots.com



    _________________________________________________


~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • My Weather Forecast

    Morning Glory 31 by Harry LipsonWe do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather. Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.

    But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year. Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.

    I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it. It’s the gospel truth. We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference. The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.

    But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow. Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor. Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters. Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West. It rains a lot in Seattle. Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head. I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May; Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s. That’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Want to hear it. Of course you don’t. Not a chance, huh. Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.

    I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep. (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference). My mistake. Se la vie.

    As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis. 24/7/365.25 Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back. We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.

    Weather is perhaps the greatest difference separating one day from the next, from the next.P1010064

    I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue. I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.

    Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -

    Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Counting My Blessings

    HolidayAs the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings. Things could be worse. And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better. At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.” It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.

    With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.

    If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.

    I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.

    But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.

    It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.

    On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row. They almost got there. Again! Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.

    My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years. FinestKind.

    My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.

    My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.

    My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.

    I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.

    I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.

    I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.

    As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.

    And my dreams are fun to participate in. Generally speaking. They too are an adventure. Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important. As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”

    I can’t complain. I have been blessed. And there are blessings around every day. Some I take notice of.

    I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
    I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.

    I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached. It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing. On occasions, it can bring me to tears. I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose. My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne. I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there. Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
    Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
    Peace.
    H.


    _________________________________________________


    br>

  • Koji Uehara (Ooee)

    Koji UeharaThe Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.

    That is when, on June 21, the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.

    Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball. Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):

    Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63. That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.

    Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19. You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that. Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us. But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.

    Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters. Unheard of. That means the other 179 batters made “outs”. Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.

    Strike Outs: In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning. Unheard of. On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.

    Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him. As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long). Uehara has not lost a game.

    I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston. Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching. High five!, Ooee.

    Harry Lipson III for HarryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • What Is A Pickle?

    This crossed my mind as they say:

    What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” – Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com


    _________________________________________________


  • KG

    kg3My all time favorite athlete is leaving town.

    Going to another team in the twilight of his amazing career. Trading Celtic green for Brooklyn black.

    Leaving Boston for a borough of New York City.

    When Kevin Garnett eventually retires from the NBA, I believe that KG will think of himself as a Celtic, first and foremost.

    There have been several dozen unbelievable, game changing, ballplayers who wore the Celtic jersey. In my eyes, KG makes the all-time first team, along with Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell.

    Kevin Garnett gave all he had for the Boston Celtics.

    KG never mailed it in. He never took a night off.

    KG is profane. Yet, listening to Garnett, I always thought that he was the smartest professional athlete on the face of the earth. I mean that, sincerely.

    Stat-wise, Kevin Garnett has played more than 1,300 NBA games.
    He has been chosen as an All-Star 15 times.
    KG was chosen as NBA MVP. He won an Olympic Gold Medal.
    He has been the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA.
    He is the only player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 steal, and 1500 blocks in their career.
    He is a career 50% shooter. In his long career, KG has averaged almost 20 points and over 10 rebounds per game.

    Now that he is leaving Boston, here are a few things about KG that I believe:

    He would likely prefer to walk on hot coals than lose a basketball game that mattered.

    He was always there for his teammates. He had their collective backs.

    Kevin Garnett was someone you wanted in your foxhole when things got tough.

    Pardon the cliches, but when you think of his game, words like sacrifice, drive, and dedication come to mind.

    To paraphrase another hero of mine, Bear Bryant, “KG weren’t nothing but a winner.”

    Off the court, to the extent that he was publicly visible, Kevin Garnett always seemed dignified, mature, and uncharacteristically soft-spoken.

    He is my favorite athlete of all time. Always will be. – Harry Lipson III, Boston


    _________________________________________________


  • My Heart

    rainb2My heart goes out to the good people of Oklahoma. My heart goes out to refugees. My heart goes out to all children who aren’t having a terrific childhood. My heart goes out to everyone in Boston who was injured in the bombings. My heart goes out to the homeless, to the hungry, to the abused. My heart goes out to the victims of bullying and to rape victims. My heart goes out to those who can’t make the next mortgage payment or cover next month’s rent.

    My heart keeps breaking and my feelings are often in tatters. I shutter and wince when a ferry goes down in waters off Bangladesh. I moan for every entombed miner, I grieve when trains collide, and I curl up in a ball when headlines of violent crimes keep streaming across the internet, day after day; month after month.

    So my heart requires daily transfusions of trees and flowers and the breeze on my face. My heart gets energy from babies and dogs, from Sam & Dave, Paul Simon, and the Southern Rock of Little Feat and The Allman Brothers Band.

    I draw upon shows like “Call The Midwife,” and actors like Denzel Washington and John Goodman. That is why I need the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Crimson Tide. Certainly, love from my own children fills my heart with happiness and pride. But like all parents, I worry for them. I worry about them. I try not to, but… I am their father and that is simply part of the job description.

    My heart is bolstered by every kindness and appreciation in all forms.

    My heart usually tells me that I am safe and things are all right. I know where my kids are. In my heart I know that fathers and mothers in Moore, Oklahoma felt just fine two days ago. It can all change in a heartbeat.

    So I am thankful. Meanwhile, tragedies keep happening. The News is one bad thing after another. Congress is crippled by partisan meanspiritedness. The floods, the earthquakes, the gas leaks, the rejections; the wishes that go ungranted, the prayers that go unanswered. I swallow it all in. I look for grace and for miracles.

    I live in a world that turns and burns. It is cruel and wondrous, bitter and sweet, impossible and entirely possible. It is probably the same for you as well. We write our own stories, to the extent that we can. But 2013 belongs to us all, and we catch the starfish with the seaweed. The bitter herb and the harosis. Poverty kills. Joblessness kills. Stupidity kills. We all want security and opportunity. We want a fair shake in life. My heart is full of hope and despairHarry Lipson III, 5-21-13


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  • ppThe best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” – Mark Twain

     

    from the harryShots.com Good Quotations


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  • tubaBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind” – Dr. Seuss

     

    …from the harryShots.com “GoodQuotations”


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  • swfThe Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself” - Benjamin Franklin

     

    from the harryShots.com Good Quotations


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  • rainbAn economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s” – Will Rogers

     

     

    from the harryShots.com “Quotes of What”


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  • SHIPWe cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails

     

     

    …from the harryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • FUNDon’t cry because its over.

    Smile because it happened.

    - Dr. Seuss

     

    the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • convrecent bumper sticker:

    You should agree with me

    It will save SO much time

    …the harryShots.com “Quotes O’ Whatever”


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  • lumaAn eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind” - Mahatma Gandhi

     

     

    …from the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • MANThe shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time” – Richard Cech

     

    …from the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • ukeI knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture” – Bob Uecker

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • hudI laugh so hard ’til the tears run down my leg - a rare Delta Blues joke, from the seminal blues tune, Silverado in My Pathway

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • east“Everywhere is within walking distance… if you have the time”

     

    from the HarryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • brightMay the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most

     

    from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • pigProcrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday

     

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • canA candle loses nothing by lighting another candle

     

    …from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • ballsI can only please one person per day. Today isn’t your day…and tomorrow don’t look good either” – anonymous

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • maskPeace begins with a smile - Mother Teresa

     

    The HarryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • sonny

    shines2

    If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing

    rock and roll or any other form of popular music” —-
    Keith Richards

    …from The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever

    .


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  • edEvery day is Earth Day

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • marshorI’ve chosen to treat my life more like a party than something to stress about” - Martin Short

     

    The HarryShots.com Quote of the Day


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  • halphFrisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck” -
    George Carlin

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • James Hood Was Here

    FosterIt is reported that James Hood died today. from THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS 1-17-2013:-

    { “James Hood, who faced down George Wallace’s stand in the schoolhouse door to help integrate the University of Alabama 50 years ago, died Thursday afternoon at the age of 70, in his hometown of Gadsden. James did a great thing for the University of Alabama,” said E. Culpepper Clark, former dean of UA’s College of Communication & Information Sciences, and author of “The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama.”

    “With Vivian Malone, he liberated the university to serve all the people of Alabama and thereby join the ranks of the nation’s flagship universities.”

    Hood and Vivian Malone Jones, who died in 2005, attempted to register and pay fees June 11, 1963, at UA’s Foster Auditorium, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Gov. George Wallace, surrounded by a phalanx of state troopers, barred them, attempting to keep his infamous inaugural promise of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Later that day, Wallace backed down after President John F. Kennedy federalized the National Guard. }

    JAMES HOOD WAS HERE. Thank you Sir. Lord, may he rest in peace.HL


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  • bayLife can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard

    The HarryShots.com Quotes o’ Whatevah


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  • How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.” – Benjamin Disraeli




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  • HAPHappiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens” – Andy Rooney

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • goalposts-150x150I’m happy now!” - Nick Saban, 3-time National Champion Football Coach of The University of Alabama




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  • No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant




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  • May 2013 bring good health and happiness to all my friends; I wish you the very best.
    hcts Let us renew our faith in ourselves, and in each other, and let safety and well-being be a given for everyone, everywhere. Happy New Year. – Harry


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  • TPMy religion is very simple. My religion is kindness“. – Dalai Lama

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha




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  • My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.” – Mark Twain

    …from The HarryShots.com “Quotes”


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  • gggNo one has ever drowned themselves in sweat” – Coach Lou Holtz

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes


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  • chGreat minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    The HarryShots.com Quotes


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  • bbhMost American children suffer too much mother and too little father” – Gloria Steinem

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha (whatever)


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  • Electricity is really just organized lightning” - George Carlin

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage” – President Teddy Roosevelt

     

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha (Whatever)


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  • Think off-center” – George Carlin

     

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss - Black Elk

     

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude” – Dale Carnegie

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever




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  • Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” – The Dalai Lama

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of WhAtEvEr


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  • Imagination rules the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte

     

     

    The HarryShots QuOtEs oF wHaTeVeR


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  • Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated” -  Coach Lou Holtz

     

     

    The HarryShots qUoTeS oF WhAtEvEr


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  • When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

     

     

     

    the HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • I am easily satisfied with the very best” – Sir Winston Churchill

     

     

    the HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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.

  • “PAGE ONE:

    INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES”

    a documentary (premiered at Sundance – 2011)

    A very interesting movie about a very interesting subject. The question posed was (paraphrased): “Do we need the Grey Lady in an age of internet news, instant information, tweeting, the blogisphere, round the clock cable news channels, among the myriad ways we find out about the news?”

    There are those who see the New York Times, always “the newspaper of record” as either anachronistic now or soon to be so. In this digital age where everybody is a reporter and we all have cellphones, cameras, and are “tapped in” to what is happening, how important and useful, relevant is the NYT and its worldwide bureaus, staff writers far flung around the globe, and the thousands more in New York City who shape and deliver a newspaper on a daily basis?

    Michael Kingsley of the New York Times panned the movie saying it was “all over the place” and “it does little to illuminate that struggle, preferring instead a constant parade of people telling the camera how dreadful it would be if The Times did not survive.”

    David Carr, the Times media and culture columnist, is the man who gets the lion’s share of the face time. Frankly, I don’t think the Times could find a better advocate, one who can relate to the question of “relevance.” David is a very interesting man, casually impressive in an offhand but on-point way. I found the movie engrossing and highly interesting.

    So, I’ll disagree, rather strongly, with Michael Kingsley and say that this is well worth a couple of hours, if only to see behind the veil and watch decisions being made and the paper put together. I give it “five highfives” “and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • Ratatouille

    Ratatouille (rat-a-too-ee) is just plain fun to watch. For adults and kids alike. From Disney/Pixar studios and the creative people behind Cars and The Incredibles. Paris never looked so beautiful at night. Voicing by Patton Oswalt, Brian Dennehy, Janeane Garofolo, Peter O’Toole, Brad Garrett, among a host of others. Light, friendly, and charming, although set in a Paris restaurant’s kitchen that is anything but. As improbable as a story can get, but it’s animation, so relax take off your critic’s hat, and let yourself be entertained.

    I give Ratatouille five highfives, and and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • OH BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?
    stars George Clooney, John Goodman, John Tunturro, Tim Blake, Holly Hunter, Chris Thomas King and Charles Durning

    From the creative minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. Which means its both funny and good.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    click to buy the mp3

     

    We start out with a chain gang prison break at Mississippi’s Parchman Farm Penitentiary in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta. The year is 1937. The film is said to be loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey, but you sure don’t need to be a Greek scholar to enjoy the hell out of this great movie. The soundtrack won the Grammy award and is good to the very last “Amen.”

    We’ve got buried treasure, wanted prisoners trying to stay wanted, a scene at the Mississippi “crossroads of musical fame”, the Ku Klux Klan, Mississippi state elections, and a great deal more to feast your tired eyes upon. John Goodman is extraordinary as always in his cream colored Southern business suit and suspenders. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? is a great movie and I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn. HL


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  • OUT OF AFRICA

    starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep (1985)

    About once every year when I am restless and looking for something good, really good, to watch, I reach for one of the all time great movies, Out of Africa with maybe the finest work ever done by both Meryl and Bob.

    This is an epic movie. It won the big awards as it should have: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Set Decoration, Best Musical Score, Best Sound, and Best Screenwriting.

    Further, Out of Africa was nominated for: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Costume, and Best Film Editing

    Suffice it to say that Out of Africa is a triumph of the human spirit. It is grand, it is large; a tour de force and very well worth your seeing, or seeing again. I love the scene where Meryl’s character, Baroness Von Blixen surprises a lion in the Kenyan brush. She implores Robert Redford to shoot the beast and the dialogue and tension are memorable. And that is just one of a great many rather extraordinary scenes we are part of, in this riveting and well told story. I give it five HighFives, “and it goes well with popcorn.” HL


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  • MASKED AND ANONYMOUS

    Want to see the coolest movie you never heard of? Want to see a movie with a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Val Kilmer, Ed Harris, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Bruce Dern, Christian Slater, Fred Ward, Angela Bassett, Cheech Marin, and stars Bob Dylan?

    Then you want to seek out an amazing piece of cinema called “Masked and Anonymous” (2003). The soundtrack is sensational. John Goodman channels The Big Lebowski to a certain extent. The dialogue is incredible. Val Kilmer is at his peak in his brief but unforgettable cameo.

    The poster at left is a Spanish language promotional poster.

    I give this film five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story (2009)
    Two brothers who hated one another and wrote the most wonderful songs. Songs you sing, songs you hum, songs your kids (grandkids) sing or will be singing a hundred years from now. The two brothers, Robert (Bob) and Richard (Dick) Sherman collaborated uneasily, but wrote songs such as:

    It’s A Small World * A Spoonful of Sugar * Chim Chim Cher-ee * Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious * Winnie The Pooh * Chitty Chitty Bang Bang * Tall Paul (a pop hit on the Billboard charts) * You’re Sixteen (You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine) (another Billboard chart topper). Their list of songs is as long as your arm. Walt Disney recognized their talents early on and they were integral parts of the Walt Disney empire. They won Academy Awards, Grammies, Presidential Medals of Freedom, and more.

    The movie is a documentary about their careers and lives, as told by their adult children. This is a story of two families, fame, creative genius, rivalry, dysfunction on one level and acclaim on another. It is truly amazing, award-winning documentary and definitely worth seeing. The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story is a HarryShots.com Ramble recommendation, I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • Barney’s Version

    I am a fan of Paul Giamatti so it was a treat to stumble on Barney’s Version (2010) not long ago. If there was press and media hyping this movie, I totally missed it. You probably did as well, ’cause I think it was minimal at best. So if you are looking for a something not too taxing or heavy handed, may I recommend Barney’s Version, with a nice role for Dustin Hoffman as icing on the cake.

    Rosamund Pike is magnificent to watch. Bruce Greenwood, Minnie Driver are both in the cast. “Barney” time travels back and forth over a handful of decades, weaving a remarkable and quirky story but a cool one. I give it five highfives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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  • SOUTHERN BELLES

    Stars Anna Faris and Laura Breckenridge. Looking for a good movie to rent? I’m recommending Southern Belles (2005). Might be hard to find, but good stuff often is. It is a little Georgia small town slice of life picture. Numerous memorable scenes and dialogue. It’s a lot of fun. Rated H for happy. I rate it Five HighFives, “and it goes well with popcorn“. HL


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Harry

“Stand by Me” by Jesse Winchester (1944-2014)

 

My dear old friend, Jesse Winchester, has died; gone to that far side bank of Jordan.  Such a songwriter.  Jesse, in person, was a lot like his music, – sweet, observant, slightly weary, with the poet’s intentional melancholia.

I knew Jesse’s music for a decade before our paths crossed.  Eventually, I produced a number of concerts and festivals  (FolkTree) that Jesse was part of.  In fact, the very first Boston concert that I produced, starred Jesse Winchester, and that, dear reader, was not a random choice on my part.   My respect for him runs so very deep and I greatly mourn his passing.

We shared the South, and later the North, a fact about which was interesting to both of us and we invariably talked about it whenever we were together.    I will always love his lyric “Me, I want to live with my feet in Dixie, and my head in the cool, blue North.”   Though he was born in Louisiana, he was Memphis through and through, and damn proud of it, at least it seemed so to me.

If I had to pick three of my favorite Jesse Winchester songs, at least tonight, I would cue up Yankee Lady, Brand New Tennessee Waltz, and Mississippi You’re On My Mind.

But I choose to honor his memory here, with his cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”

To quote you, Jesse, on the occasion of your passing, I am comforted by your lyrics  “Oh Jesse, look over yonder, the birds are southward bound.”  I will listen to your music all of my life.  Your songs are part of me and my generation.

So, Godspeed, old friend.  -

Harry Lipson, in Boston


Mannerheim Street Blues by Andrey Dobrovolskiy

 

click here to buy this at Amazon.com

adIf you go looking for the a 7 1/2 minute instrumental Delta slide guitar tune, this is the one you want.   Not that there are any others.  Great listening to this.  The acoustic slide guitar is my favorite musical instrumental sound.   I rank it ahead of French Horns, the Glockenspiel, and the Banjo.

Andrey Dobrovolskiy and a couple of his friends just slide and glide their way, outstandingly, through “Mannerheim Street Blues.” –  Enjoy – HL

Harvard Football Song Medley

 
hgc

Glee Club music is close to my soul.  I can’t say directly why, but I like the precision and earnestness.  They are mostly giving it all they’ve got and I appreciate their effort.

I specifically like chorales, glee clubs, and choruses. They’re unabashedly Teddy Roosevelt, Bull Moose cool.

Here is Harvard’s Glee Club with their rousing medley of Harvard preppy-serious, historic renditions of football fight songs, a few dating back to the mid 19th century.  I gotta admit that “10,000 Men of Harvard” is one of my favorite things to hear.

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My Weather Forecast

Morning Glory 31 by Harry LipsonWe do like to talk about the weather. A conversation ice breaker, yes, for sure. What the hell is going on out there with our weather.  Bitter cold, deluges of rain where they don’t need it; insidious droughts were water is desperately in need, storms that are way out of all proportion.

But we signed up for a good deal of what we are getting by the simple facts of where we choose to live. Shorelines get pounded by wind, waves, and periodic storms of great significance. The North East is cold and snowy for three or four months, almost every single year.   Parts of the South West and West are drought prone deserts, where water has always been of concern.

I do believe in Global Warming. It’s for real, cut and dried, no doubt about it.  It’s the gospel truth.  We need to do everything we can do while we have the time to make a difference.  The stakes are way too high to twiddle our thumbs.

But weather has been wreaking havoc for as long as anyone ever took the time to look at a cloud, or wipe the sweat off their brow.  Hot in the summer, cold and snowy in January and February, and maybe in March, with its lion and lamb metaphor.  Shorelines get hurricanes and Nor’easters.  Santa Anna winds will blow on cue way out West.  It rains a lot in Seattle.  Phoenix gets its incredible dust storms, now and again. Boy how we love to talk about the weather, primarily when it conks us on the head.  I’ve shoveled snow in the middle of May;  Believe me, I have, back in the 1980s.  That’s one of my favorite stories to tell.  Want to hear it.  Of course you don’t.  Not a chance, huh.  Okay, I’ll tell it to you another day.

I’m sure that Aristotle and Napoleon, Mary the Queen of Scots, and Benjamin “I Love Lightning” Franklin all had more than a few words to say about the weather, from the time they awoke until they nodded off to sleep.  (Mary, please forgive the nodding reference).  My mistake. Se la vie.

As we know, weather can and does kill folks on a daily basis.  24/7/365.25   Mother Nature needs all the respect in the world. Literally and figuratively. We drive in a blizzard at our own peril. We go down to the ocean’s edge to watch the big waves pile up when perhaps we should take several steps back.  We takes our chances and some will lose their lives.

Weather is perhaps the greatest difference  separating one day from the next, from the next.P1010064

I put up with difficult winters because that’s what is required if you want to live in a New England autumn or enjoy Springtime walking down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue.  I enjoy going around the public gardens in late April. It is the prize in the crackerjack box, that is our weather. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Arizona. Kitchens be damned.

Comfort is what we all want. Security and comfort are way up there on the list of what we would like to have. Weather screws around with both of them. Our friend and our nemesis. Weather is like a box of whatever Tom Hanks said it was. – Can you believe this weather? Yes, I believe you can. -

Harry Lipson 3rd, in cold and snowbound Boston

A Life of Purpose: Pete Seeger, R.I.P.

pete

 

PETE SEEGER: A Life of Purpose, R.I.P.

Having just heard of the passing of one of my heroes, Pete Seeger;  I know that his life was about making a difference. He was somebody who was willing to buck long odds.

He had two purposes, folk music and activism, and he blended the two in furtherance of both.
Brave, foolhardy, and quixotic, Pete showed up and rallied people to causes.

I mourn his passing but I praise his life, his soul, his life-force.
He cut the mustard. He rang the bell. I sing his praises, I sing his praises. –    Harry Lipson III / HarryShots.com


“Blackbird” by Kaare Norge

 

click this to go to Amazon.com and buy the mp3

knSometimes, mindless and beautiful instrumentals are just the ticket.  Easy on the thought processes.  That brings me to KAARE NORGE, the Danish, classically trained guitarist.  As they say, play it with feeling next time and, no doubt about it, KN plays from an emotional place.  His music is beautiful, perhaps a bit over the top, but when you want lovely and wordless,  Kaare Norge is, as I said previously, just the ticket.

Blackbird has been recorded ad infinitum, but this is a fairly fresh and imminently listenable tune.  Thanks to the incomparable Beatles, Blackbird is reknown and one of the great Beatles songs, known the world over.

The album, HERE COMES THE SUN, has half a dozen quality instrumentals worth your attention.

When you need a break from the English language and want to hear familiar music, Kaare Norge’s Blackbird will do just fine.  – Harry at HarryShots.com






“Duquesne Whistle” by Bob Dylan

 

click here to be directed to Amazon.com to buy this mp3

tem I love Bob Dylan when his songs achieve a “raucous” level.  I love it when you can hear his mischief and mirth.  You aurally can intuit the good time he’s having as he lays down certain  tracks.   For me, Duquesne Whistle is a riot.  The song chugs along for a while before it gets up to speed, and the rails start rattling.

Bob Dylan certainly does not need my praise.  But I get light on my feet when I hear this song.  In case you didn’t know, the cat can flat out write (he teams here with Robert Hunter).

Enjoy The Duquesne Whistle by Bob Dylan.  It’s the HarryShots.com Song of the Week.  -  Harry






“Winter’s Come and Gone” – by Dailey and Vincent

 

click this to buy the mp3 via Amazon.com

dvThese guys encompass the best of gospel and of bluegrass.   They first recorded in 2007 and their star has risen.  Darrin Vincent and Jamie Dailey     Mssr. Dailey was the lead singer and guitar player, for eight years, with Doyle Lawson & QuickSilver.  Vincent was with Ricky Skaggs Band, Kentucky Thunder, and is the brother of bluegrass’s Rhonda Vincent.

Dailey and Vincent’s six albums have received two Grammy nominations and the duo has won more than a dozen awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association.  They record on the Rounder label.

Here is Winter’s Come and Gone” from the album, Brothers from Different Mothers.   Enjoy.  – Harry /  HarryShots.com






The AppleBlossom Rag by Josh Ritter

 

click here to buy the mp3

jrSweet song by a fine, fine artiste – Josh Ritter.   This is a live performance by Josh, so credit to him for that.  Nothing overdone, just a really good song that is sung with care.

I came to Josh Ritter’s music via John Prine‘s duet with Josh, on My Mexican HomeMMH is one of my favorite Johnny P. songs.  His imagery and heartfelt delivery of those understated lyrics always gets to me.   A John Prine song will do that to a lot of us, for sure.  Man, I love John Prine’s music.  Here’s to his health.  Long may you run, John.

But back to Josh Ritter.   Here is The AppleBlossom Rag, which is the HarryShots.com Song of the Week. -  So Enjoy!  -     Harry




“Heaven” by The Milk Carton Kids

 

Click here for the mp3 download

mckThese “Kids” are really anything but.  Some have said they are Simon and Garfunkel Lite, but that may be a bit harsh.   Paul Simon is a very under-rated guitarist and the “Kids” are right up there too.  They feature two vintage guitars (a Gibson and a Martin).  Ken Pattengale and Joey Ryan are The Milk Carton Kids and they are great together.  Excellent work by two fine artists.

This is my favorite song of theirs and I hope you like “Heaven” which is on their Ash and Clay cd.  Enjoy, -  Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com




“Jesus Just Left Chicago” by Sammy Dee Morton

 

click to buy the song (mp3 version) at Amazon.com

sdmFrom the ZZ Top Tribute album, here is a killer version of “Jesus Just Left Chicago“.

You know this dude, Sammy Dee Morton has shucked his share of oysters, gigged his share of frogs, and gone wild on his share of pit BBQ.  He’s obviously been doin’ things Louisianne for a good long while.  He pours hot sauce in his coffee, eats two muffalettas at the same time, and his guitar speaks fluent alligator.   For your listening pleasure…     - Harry




Counting My Blessings

HolidayAs the new year begins, it’s a good time to count blessings.  Things could be worse.  And yes, things could, sure as hell, be better.  At the age of 64, I can no longer die young, having passed by “young.”  It is so unreal and amazing to me that all those years have passed, and the accumulated time simply staggers me.

With Facebook I now connect with my old high school classmates and our next Reunion is the big one, the 50th, in about four years.

If you asked me how old I really feel, I would say about forty five. That’s how old I am inside on most days. I am nowhere near 64. But that is where I am in chronological time. As I said, for me, it seems too soon to be this old. Not that 64 is old, but I am no longer a spring chicken. I am too old to be that.

I am still looking for adventure of a sort. I am out there with my camera almost every day, shooting life as I see it wherever I go. That in and of itself is a bit of an adventure. Like a kid with Halloween candy collected, I go back to my computer and download the day’s images and see what I have that’s good. It’s like being a fisherman, except I don’t get paid for my catch. That is a shame and one that I would like to rectify soon.

But about those blessings to count. Let me begin with my children who have essentially, each been a blessing since the day each was born. No problems socializing as a kid. No drug issues or behavioral problems in high school. Both went to great colleges and my daughter, Sarah, likes school so much she is about half way through a double Doctorate at the University of Michigan. The professor in waiting, same as my father and his father before him.

It is a blessing that my son has temporarily moved back home. It is nice to see him daily and hear how his life is going. He has weathered a lot of surgery in the past year and now that that is behind him, he has a lot to look forward to; starting with his Aliyah trip to Israel, next month. Ten days in the Promised Land, will be eye opening and possibly spiritual for him. The Middle East.

On a note of lesser importance than family, my sports teams keep on winning. Alabama vied for its fourth national championship in the last six years, and three in a row.  They almost got there.  Again!  Roll Tide. Roll Damn Tide, Y’all.

My Red Sox just won the World Series. How bout those apples. That is their third World Series in the past nine seasons, after a drought of 86 years.  FinestKind.

My New England Patriots are in the hunt again this season, led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Pats have won three Super Bowls in the past 12 years and been in contention almost every season.

My Celtics are rebuilding this year having traded my all time favorite basketball player, KG, Kevin Garnett. He was my man. My MAN! Things on Causeway Street will never be the same without KG. Even though the Celtics are rebuilding, I take solace in remembering that they are the NBA’s most storied franchise and have won more NBA titles than any other team.

My favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson, keeps winning Majors. All blessings of a sort.

I count my blessings for the health of my family. We are all in pretty great shape healthwise. And that is the ultimate blessing to count.

I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting quite a few of my high school friends and classmates. We have lost over 70 of my classmates, about 10% of the Tuscaloosa High School Class of 1967. A few to wars, most to sickness. Speaking of Tuscaloosa, I am thankful that so much of Tuscaloosa was spared in the Great Tornado of April 27, 2011. I count the blessings there as well as here in Boston, my home for the past 33 1/2 years. Alabama and Massachusetts haven’t got a lot in common, other that great sports teams, but I count both as home and always will.

I know that I am not going to actually change the world at this point in my life. No medical cures, no scientific discoveries will be credited to me. I wish that I had been of more help to more people. But I am mostly happy, and on most days I mentally feel somewhere between OK and Pretty Damn Fine.

As I have edged into my Sixties, I find that I like sleeping. I can nap at the drop of a hat. Pretty much anywhere, I can close my eyes and fall asleep. I count that as a blessing. It relaxes me. Sleep has a calming effect.

And my dreams are fun to participate in.  Generally speaking.  They too are an adventure.  Mostly I don’t remember them, but afterwards I feel that things kinda worked out, and was interesting, if not very important.   As John Prine sang, “I can’t complain.”

I can’t complain.  I have been blessed. And there are blessings  around every day.   Some I take notice of.

I feel a sense of well being, that I used to call “Lipson Luck” which I dearly hope provides protection or guidance to my children, in a silent and unseen way, for their benefit and well being.
I wish you all a healthy and happy 2014.

I kept singing Auld Lang Syne as the New Year approached.   It has become my favorite song as the years keep passing.  On occasions, it can bring me to tears.  I even count that as a blessing of a sort, I suppose.  My Ipod has several dozen versions of Auld Lang Syne.    I listen to this great old Scottish song and find a few lessons and blessings, even there.   Folk music has been long with me and it too has been a wonderful blessing for most of my life.
Here’s to a year of mostly good things in 2014.
Peace.
H.

“Nao Precisa” by Paula Fernandes

 

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PaulaBrazilian, Paula Fernandes, is on her way to becoming an international star.  Actually, I think she has already achieved star status.

Singing in her native Portuguese, here is “Nao Precisa” which translates to “You need not worry” or according to a popular translation of this song title via Google – “You Don’t Need It.”

With locally popular Brazilian singers, Victor and Leo, who lend their enjoyable voices to this catchy, catchy song, we have a duet with Paula taking the lead vocals for much of the song.

 

This is a departure from our musical norm.  Previous songs have been in English, but the vocals are so good that the language barrier is not going to hinder your enjoyment.   I am a johnny come lately to the Paula Fernandes bandwagon.  But now that I have heard her music, including a number of other songs that she sings; I too join her growing legion of fans.  Viva Brazil.  -  Harry at HarryShots.com




“Gentle On My Mind” (a live version) by John Hartford

 

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JHLest we not forget him, John Hartford was here.  He died twelve years ago.  But the music, as they say, is still here, fresh as a daisy.

You can look up all the superlatives in Wikipedia.  Look at the album photo and you will begin to know John Hartford.

He had magic in his head and in his hands.  You may not know that he was an ambidextrous calligrapher.  When I say ambidextrous, I mean he would take a pen or a sharpy in each hand and draw simultaneously with both hands.  And the details, as you might imagine, were impressive as can be.  He played half a dozen instruments, he clogged, he mimed, he cut the rug.  One man band is not the half of it.

Here is Brother John, doing Gentle On My Mind, at State College Pennsylvania, back in the day, in a live concert that captures some of his energy and spark.  – Harry Lipson III – HarryShots.com




Lightning Cans

cans

“Thunder On the Mountain (where is Alicia Keys?)” by Bob Dylan

 

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BD“Where in the world is Alicia Keys?” is so out of context in a Bob Dylan song that it ranks right up there with Dylan’s truly memorable lyrics.  I wonder if the band calls it Alicia or Thunder when they make out their set list at gigs.  Just sayin’.

You probably know the song so I won’t go into it.  Bob Dylan and his great band (Denny Freeman and Stu Kimball on guitars, Tony Garnier on bass, George Receli on drums, and Donnie Herron) with “Thunder” or is it…..  It is said that the second verse, the Alicia Keys verse, is taken from an old Ma Rainey song.  Okiedokie.  Here is one of the best songs you’ll ever hear.  The other line in this song that is extraordinary, is “I’ve sucked the milk out of a thousand cows.”  Who thinks of that?  Dylan, obviously.  But, wow.  This is a great song musically and well, lyrically.  I love it.

Harry Lipson III  -  HarryShots.com




“Big Noise from Winnetka” by Bob Crosby and his Big Band Orchestra (in 1938)

 

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bobbycBing Crosby’s little bro, Bob, had his own orchestra back in the late 1930s and 40s, and they were no slouches.  “Big Noise from Winnetka” is a little short on lyrics, but the tune is catchy. And, oh by the way, little br0ther Bob can sing like a Crosby, which is, excellently.  Ran into this song on a PBS fundraiser and it stole the show from my point of view.  Ray Baudec on drums and Bob Haggert on bass (and whistling eerily) are showstoppers.  Here is the big band jazz of Bob Crosby with a little help from his friends, circa 1938.  -

Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com




“Samson and Delilah” by The Grateful Dead and by Willie Johnson

 

 
by Willie Johnson

tpFifty years between these two versions of the very same song.   From Blind Willie Johnson back in 1927 to Terrapin Station (1977) by Bob Weir and The Grateful Dead, this is the anthropology of the song “If I Had My Way, I’d Tear This Building Down” / aka “Samson and Delilah.”bwj

The killer line, and you should listen for it, is- “And the bees made honey in the lion’s head.”  Just my opinion.  Yet The Blues will abide, Dude.  -

Harry Lipson at HarryShots.com

Koji Uehara (Ooee)

Koji UeharaThe Boston Red Sox have a 38 year old pitcher who, by default, is the team’s “closer.” When I say “by default” I mean that the planned closers were Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. Hanrahan was previously the closer for Pittsburgh and Bailey for the Oakland Athletics. When both went down to season ending injuries, the Red Sox turned to Alfredo Aceves. He was like a box of chocolates and was finally released from the team.

That is when, on June 21,  the Red Sox handed the ball in the 9th inning to Koji Uehara.

Since Koji Uehara became the Red Sox closer, he has, statistically speaking, been about the best reliever in all of major league baseball.  Not many folks are noticing what is going on with “Ooee,” but here are the statistical facts (Baseball loves stats):

Koji has pitched a total of 60.1 innings so far. Among major league relievers with at least 15 innings pitched, “Ooee” has the lowest WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) which is 0.63.  That is by far the best for any closer in the Big Leagues.

Ooee’s ERA (earned run average) is second best among all closers in baseball, at 1.19.   You eventually get to Cooperstown with an ERA like that.  Of course, the only way Koji is getting in the HOF is by buying a ticket, like the rest of us.  But if your best year in baseball was all that counted, Ooee would be a Hall of Famer.

Koji-san has faced 208 batters this season. He has given up only 29 hits and has walked 9 batters.  Unheard of.  That means the other 179 batters made “outs”.  Koji-san is a lights out closer par excellence.

Strike Outs:   In the 60.1 innings pitched, Koji has struck out 82 which is almost 1.5 batters per inning.  Unheard of.  On more than one occasion, Koji has struck out the side when he is pitching the 9th inning.

Less than 5% of inherited runners have scored on Uehara. He has given up 5 homers and only 8 earned runs have scored all season against him.  As of today, September 1, 2013, Uehara has saved 15 games ( he was not the closer for the first 2.5 months of the season, so his total saves are no where near other top relievers who have taken the mound for the 9th inning, all season long).   Uehara has not lost a game.

I think that it’s time to take a look at what is going on in Boston.  Koji-san is the hottest “fireman” pitching.  High five!, Ooee.

Harry Lipson III  for HarryShots.com




Sunlight

Sunlight

College Football

American Football 1926

Pink Bloomers

Pink Bloomers

The Yellow House

The Yellow Place

Untitled

“Rag Mama Rag” by The Band

 

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tbIn this corner, fighting out of West Saugerties, New York, are five guys (Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm) who connected with Bob Dylan, lived in a big pink house, and became what, in my opinion, was the first, and possibly best, Americana band of all time.

They made music for about 12 years, and when they disbanded in 1976, Martin Fuckin’ Scorsese, hisself, would make a movie of their final concert (The Last Waltz).  They called themselves The Band, which, if they weren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would be some kind of chutzpah

The Band reunited without guitarist Robbie Robertson in the 1980s and continued in various personnel lineups for another decade.  They would record ten studio albums, not including their great records with Bob Dylan, with whom they were, and are, so closely identified.  Sadly, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Levon Helm have all since died.

Here is the “rough mix, alternative vocal take” of one of their big hits, “Rag Mama Rag.”  – Harry Lipson III - HarryShots.com




Sweet Home

Sweet Home

A Weeping Japanese Pagoda Tree

Weeping Japanese Pagoda Tree

Triplets

Triplets

The Chaos Theory Exemplified

The Chaos Theory Exemplified

Burdicks – Best Hot Chocolate in Cambridge

Burdicks:  The best Hot Chocolate in Cambridge

A London Plane Tree

A London Plane Tree

The Good Guys

The Good Guys

“The Piggly Wiggly Blues” (from 1933) by Lucille Bogan”

 

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LucilleMe, I thought that Piggly Wiggly was just a local grocery store, in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, back in the late 1950s.   Boy was I wrong, and I only figured this out two days ago.  I was listening to the MIT college radio blues show and they proceeded to play “The Piggly Wiggly Blues” aka “Groceries On My Shelf” by Lucille Bogan.  ” Okie dokie”, I correctly surmised, I may have been slightly myopic and kinda wrong on my facts.

The facts are these.  Piggly Wiggly Grocery Stores were founded in 1916 in Memphis.  They were the first self service grocery store in the USA.  Today it is a large American chain of mostly Southern and Midwestern grocery stores, specializing in serving small towns, which I applaud.  Today there are over 600 PIGGLYWIGGLYstores in the Piggly empire (so goes my “Piggly Wiggly is “just in Tuscaloosa” thought).

Lucille Bogans was a blues woman who recorded in the late 1920s and 1930s.  She recorded this on July 9, 1933, in Chicago.  Bogans has a great voice as you can hear.  That she never achieved anything close to fame or recognition is the way the story often goes.

“The Piggly Wiggly Blues” was first heard prior to 1920, with a number of artists recording the PWB.  Enjoy “Groceries On My…” or, as most who recorded it, called it, “The Piggly Wiggly Blues.”   Eat your heart out Kroger.       – Harry Lipson III / harryShots.com




All of Boston

Boston

Shy and Blushing

Blushing Blossom

Early Morning Boston Panoramic

Early Morning Boston Panoramic

Boston Light

Boston Light

Red Exploding

Red Airing

What Is A Pickle?

This crossed my mind as they say:

What is a pickle but a cucumber that’s been fucked with” -  Harry Lipson III - harryShots.com

Structure

Structure

Skies Ablaze

Skies Ablaze

Petunia Cascade in Purple

Petunia Cascade in Purple

The Other Green Monster

The Other Green Monster

“Welcome to Goose Creek” by Goose Creek Symphony

 

gcLately, I have had the good fortune of becoming reacquainted with a great band from the underground FM days of the 1970s counterculture.  That was my time. Welcome to Goose Creek was released in 1971.   I dearly loved that record album and it was on my turntable regularly.    Today, I hear a little Grateful Dead in Goose Creek Symphony’s songs.  I hear Crosby, Stills, and Nash, circa their Deja Vu album.

Goose Creek Symphony, from back in the Seventies, happened to be a great bluegrass band that blew up the stereotype of “rigid” bluegrass bands.  These guys have mirth in their music.  They weren’t necessarily note perfect but the energy came right through the speakers. This was a new generation come calling.

Enjoy Welcome to Goose by Goose Creek Symphony.  Their raucous sound and excellent vocals and harmonizing are strong.   I can readily imagine that Roy Acuff or Bill Monroe might have scoffed at these “hippies” playing their music.   But play it they did, and the bar was raised by Goose.  -

Harry Lipson / HarryShots.com




Olde Boston Towne

Americao

Iris in Purple and Gold

Iris in Purple and Gold

In the Green

cluster

Storming Boston

Storming Boston

Rest

Rest

Angles

Anglesq

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