||This old house was only a few blocks from the state Capitol in Madison,
Wisconsin. All the neighborhood cats lived in the basement during the
winter. The house has long since been torn down, but in 1972 there were
AR2ax speakers in the front room, and a lot of good music was heard there.
In the 21st century I am just as opinionated as ever,
and I now have an outlet. I shall pontificate here about anything
that catches my fancy; I hope I will not make too great a fool
of myself. You may comment yea or nay about anything on the
site; I may quote you here, or I may not. Send brickbats etc.
August 18, 2012All Or Nothing At All: A Life of Frank Sinatra
Last February I put my Sinatra biography, first published in 1997, up for sale as a digital download. Amazon and Barnes & Noble tell you they are going to help you to format it, but they don't even begin to do that, and I was dissatisfied with the result. So I hired eBook Architects in Austin Texas to do it for me, and now it is a very nice download indeed.
The book got very good reviews when it first came out, which I have quoted on the websites. These are my favorites:
Clarke certainly knows his stuff. He is able to put Sinatra in his musical context in a way that no mere biographer could. He knows the history of jazz, of radio, of recording technology -- and how these impinged on Sinatra's career.
--The Daily Telegraph, London
Effectively conveys a sense of the time and place in which Sinatra was so important... helps readers not of that era understand why Sinatra meant so much to so many.
I am still very proud of it.
You can look at the Amazon Kindle version by clicking on "A Life of Frank Sinatra" at the left, and it is also on sale as a Barnes & Noble Nook book here.
August 18, 2012Pennsylvania: a continuing struggle
Ethne got pulled over yesterday on her way to work, because her road tax sticker had expired, and then she didn't have a registration certificate in her car. The very nice Whitehall policeman just gave her a warning. She leased the car last September, and what happened, it transpired, is that PennDot, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, stupidly sent the registration certificate, and the subsequent reminder to renew the road tax, to the leaseholder in Atlanta instead of to us.
Ethne was cheesed off and rattled. The warning demanded that she rectify the situation within five days. It is now the weekend, we're going away and won't be back until Monday evening, and on Tuesday she has wall-to-wall meetings in her office. So we called the dealer, who was supposed to have taken care of the registration, and they knew immediately what had happened. Bethehem Suburban Motor Sales Inc. on West Union Boulevard took care of the whole thing on the spot. Last September they were not connected digitally with PennDot, but they are now, because Pennsylvania is dumping its work onto people like car dealers, incapable of doing it themselves. Three cheers for Bethlehem Ford and the delightful Kerry in the office! Not only did she print out a registration certificate and give us a sticker for the licence plate, but the dealer was able to service the car and gave it its annual inspection and emissions test as well. So now we don't have to worry about the damned car for a year.
Ethne's employer lost her skills for an afternoon while she followed up on the prats in Harrisburg. I keep saying that I don't mind paying taxes, but I do mind not getting a competent level of public service for my money.