Monday, January 14, 2008


Scarves seem to be the Finnish fashion statement. Nearly everyone on the street has an open-collared jacket and a scarf around their neck. I don't really notice such a trend, even in the northern United States where I spent most of my life.

(Image by

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Interesting comment...

This quote comes from a peer review of a manuscript that I helped coauthor. The lead author of the manuscript is Russian and most of the other coauthors are Finns. Among my contributions, I helped improve the readability of the paper by improving the English.

"Sometime, there is a less good English, please let the article read once more by a native English speaking person"

Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. ;-)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Best Music of 2007

With 2007 behind us (except for taxes), I follow up on a tradition I did for several years around the turn of the century, but haven't done for the last few years. The best music from 2007. I have to admit that I haven't bought much new music this year, so if I bought it, I am pretty confident that I would enjoy it.

1. Magic - Bruce Springsteen
A return to form with the E Street Band. My favorite tune on this album is "Livin' in the Future", with the classic E Street Band sound a la "Tenth Avenue Freezeout."

2. Sweet Warrior - Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson is one of the most critically acclaimed musicians you have never heard of. Favorites from the album: the mellow and thoughtful "Take Care the Road You Choose" and the lively "Mr. Stupid"

3. Beauty and Crime - Suzanne Vega
I enjoyed this album before, but even more after seeing her live. Highlights include "New York is a Woman" and "Pornographer's Dream," a sultry song not about what you think it is.

4. Taking the Long Way - Dixie Chicks
They are pissed and they aren't taking it anymore. "Lubbock or Leave It" (definitely not a love song to the Texas town) and "Not Ready to Make Nice."

Honorable Mentions:
Cimarron Manifesto - Jimmy Lafave
Wolfgang's Big Night Out - Brian Setzer Orchestra
X - Kylie Minogue

Two other albums came out that if I had heard them would likely be included on this list.
Pleasurado! - The Floating Men
Washington Square Serenade - Steve Earle

<Clever treble clef mug from>

Mystery Christmas Song

Yvette and I enjoyed our Christmas. Separated from my volumes of Christmas music (still on tape, LP, 45, and CD in Oklahoma), we resorted to listening to web radio stations. This turned out to be quite a treat.

One song we heard was quite catchy...early rock from the 60s, sung by a young woman. The chorus was something about building a "snowman to take the place of you."

Web searches have turned up empty? Anybody have any information on this song?