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Sunday, 20 July 2008


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While I congrat you on being chosen I question the nothern exposure of the counties listed? As a cold weather boy who moved south I must say there is some truth in the saying "southern hospitality". The wise guy attitude that plagues too much of urban New England/NY/NJ is nearly a spec on the screen down here. I don't know much about Wisco and will take your word it's a great place to live but it seems many areas were excluded. I'd like to put in a vote for greater Austin. Especially Williamson County.

Plus, you have two Culver'ses.

"Plus, you have two Culver'ses."

By chance, I ate there tonight, although I do so only a few times a year. Only in Wisconsin could a burger chain's signature product be called a "Butterburger" and have it be considered a GOOD thing. [g]

(I had a grilled cheese sandwich.)

Mike J.

Les Paul may have been born in Waukesha, but he holds court Mondays at the Iridium in Manhattan. I haven't heard him for a few years, so maybe it's time for another visit. Like the elderly Basie, whom I heard in his last year, he wasn't playing as many notes as he did before arthritis, but every note he did play was the right one.

He's been home a couple of times lately. My son was actually invited to play for him at his birthday celebration, along with some other local high school guitarists, but Zander declined because he felt he wasn't good enough. But one of Zander's friends made it on to the TV news, spiritedly and very badly playing for Mr. Paul and having a grand time doing it. I wish Zander had participated, but I let him make his own decisions about things like that.

As for Les Paul's own playing, I saw him on TV and he played more the creditably for a 93-year-old! Though your comment reminds me of something: asked recently why he doesn't play as many notes now as he used to, Sonny Rollins answered, "Because it's really hard."

Mike J.

In an interview a couple of years ago I'd heard Les Paul say he had to reengineer his technique to adjust for the fact that his fingers weren't as flexible as they used to be, but indeed, he was certainly playing better than just about any other 93-year-old guitarist around, I'm sure.

Too bad Zander didn't take the chance to play with him. Now he needs to practice so he'll feel confident next time such an opportunity comes up. A big part of Les Paul's Iridium show is always having younger players sitting in with him, and not just on guitar. When I last heard him there was a fine jazz violinist picking up his licks and reinterpreting them for the fiddle, and Les was really into it and kept him on stage all night.

Best place to raise a family? An interesting question. The right answer is always subjective. (What are my priorities, values, bias, etc., etc.?) The wrong answer is always objective. (What is the high school graduation rate?) As a born New Yorker living in New England for the last 30 years, I can’t imagine living more than two and a half hours from: an ocean, New York City, Boston, a two-thousand foot vertical drop ski slope, and more than a thousand miles of 18th century stone walls which are the nearest thing we have to classical ruins.

I’ve lived in all four corners of the country and very near the center (Blair, Nebraska). In general, the people in fly-over country are well adjusted to a fault. While folks in the diagonal corners have either too much angst (N.Y.) or not enough (L.A.). There seems to be a geometric symmetry going on.

So the best place to raise a family may have as much to do with Pythagoras as the high school graduation rate.

Charleston got on one of those lists a few years back and a buncha damnyankees and other furriners moved in. Now we got a Saks store and a burger costs $5. Hmph. We're still one of the friendliest cities around, though. :-)

There was a PBS feature on Les Paul a while back and they took a trip through his garage (presumably in Waukesha). All kinds of prototype multitrack recorders and odd bits of invention. Les Paul is a smart dude.

Shame about the Bud though. I'm afraid that Australians would be more likely to grab an unknown Belgian beer before a known Budweiser.

On local radio in Sydney an Australian declared Bud the best beer he had ever tasted "after an extremely dry hot beerless week-- it went down so fast it didn't touch the sides (and thus missed the taste buds entirely)"

Not a family type concern I acknowledge, but it can be father's little helper, especially in adolescent times.

Regards - Ross

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