Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Panama and the Brimstone

As you may know, I have a song called Blues for Judas.
Fuck it, here's the words:
Somebody had to do it Somebody had to be the one
Somebody had to do it Somebody had to get it done
Somebody had to do it For the Kingdom to come

Somebody had to do it Somebody had to follow his will
Somebody had to do it Somebody had to put him on that hill
Somebody had to do it For the prophecy to be fulfilled

So God Bless Peter, God Bless Paul
But God bless Judas for takin that fall
Because somebody had to do it

Somebody had to do it Wouldn't be one a them guys from Gallilee
Somebody had to do it Wouldn't be one a them guys from Gallilee
Somebody had to do it, so I guess it had to be me

He said, One of you will betray me, and he looked me right in the eye
I said, I don't wanna be the one, Lord, that causes you to die
An he said, Now Judas, you know these fishermen'll never get through it
An Somebody, Somebody's gotta do it

Here, take this money they said.  You know where he is?
Thirty pieces of silver right in your hand, man, you can betray him with just a kiss
I said, He's down in the grove, there, with those fishermen friends of his


An after it was over and they'd killed him I went
Back up to the Temple and I took every cent
An I flung it at their feet, with not a penny spent
I said, You've killed the Musician.  I was just his Instrument.


So, anyway, you can understand that the church I go to is pretty tolerant, seein as how I go there.
So one Sunday I sang that song for the congregation to great applause and the ones who said anything said, Wow, that was really cool, etc.  Awesome, is, I think, the word the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth had for it.

Then the next week, the pastor lady calls me and says you know the Baptists are having a tent revival, and I'd like it if you'd meet me there and sing that song for them.
So I did.  Went over to the Baptist and their tent and sang my little Blues for Judas.
Silence.  You coulda heard an angel feather drop.  
So then the Baptist preacher jumps up on the stump there and starts laying into poor old Judas, about what a spawn of Satan he was-uh and betrayed the Lord-uh and I don't know what all else-uh.

I packed my little Martin up and got outta there, pausing to say to the lady pastor, Joyce, you KNEW what you were letting me in for, didncha?  And she just smiles and says sweetly, "I know you already knew, but I wanted to remind you of what a good ol fashioned fire-breathin spittle-flyin brimstone burnin Baptist church can be like. See you Sunday?"

Incidentally, and this may just be Sunday school gossip, but except for Peter every one of the Disciples met violent deaths.  The New Testament is pretty unclear about the afterlife of Judas; since he died the day after Jesus, was he the second in Heaven, following that thief who gained absolution from Jesus, or is he down there roasting as I write?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Well, why do some songs start with "well" anyhow?
well since my baby left me...
well I gotta woman
well you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd
well lemme tell you about ahab the arab....
I think it's because "well" is a starting block, or a diving board, you spring onto that board and you're divin toward the water.   and the introductory bounce is that "well".
well sometimes I will and then again sometimes I won't....
see what I mean?
One of the purest necessities for popular songs, no matter what flavor, is that "well"...It's like Rule number 7 or somethin'

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Trying to understand your data usage? Let's talk.

Trying to understand your data usage? Let's talk.

This is the subject line on a message from Verizon on my website email.

Dear Verizon
Actually I thought that was something you were doing for me. Already.
But if you DO actually want to talk to me, well, you've got my number.
danny finley   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Leaving this cold and this damp

December 9, 2013 – getting ready to play that old blues number “Goin to the ATM, Sorry but I can't take you”.

Rockvale, TN - - Oh, boy! Thursday afternoon I get to go get on an airplane and fly down to Miami for a private party gig. Things have been worse.

Recently, you may have noticed the absolute plethora, not to say busload, of Make Money On The Internet ads showing up on your browser of choice. We here at the vast Panama Red Music compound have noticed these, too, and have researched them mightily. And for just one payment of $97, we'll show you the one sure-fire way to make money on the Internet. Write us. This method really works.  

Have had an ongoing coyote problem at the cattery lately, lost 4 of our favorite little guys, reducing the population of felines by about 25% before we got hip and started keeping the cats in at night. Old coyote been treating my back deck like a buffet. Gave me an idea for the fruit fly solution:
  1. Trap a male coyote
  2. Give him a vasectomy
  3. Release him back into the coyote population

Lookin' forward to Friday, Miami.
Over and Out

Sunday, December 1, 2013


AFRICA AT NIGHT: check it out: 
Here's a map of the middle of the world, showing Eurasia and Africa.

As you can see, Eurasia has a lot of lights and Africa doesn't have many.

I meet a strange Zimbabwean M.D lady, trained in the United States, and with a thriving practice here in Middle Tennessee, who regularly cycles between lectures in Buenos Aires and Bengladish, as well as the U.N., and she interests me and us into putting together a package to demonstrate the ease of installing 24-hour-a-day solar lighting in clinics throughout the Dark Continent.

A tete a tete is performed. Friendships develop. I get on the internet.

Now, I've run my whole career as a non-profit, though never intentionally, but nonetheless this comes easy to me. It ain't nothin new.

So I find out a busload about solar power available nowadays. I am not surprised that a) it ain't changed that much since I first studied it, and b) the technology side ain't changed that much, either. So that c) anybody can do it.

What's happenin' these days is flexible solar panels. It's a long story, fraught with intrigue, but the upshot is that nobody in America is makin these panels.

I get in touch with some folks in China because that's where it all went when the Koreans and Germans aped it from Stan Ovshinsky's estate in Detroit.

Over the course of months the Panama team deep in their underground warrens, puts together a package cruise that will display two rollup adhesive panels, a charge controller, two 12V 21 Amp hour batteries, a switch, and two 2 lights, which blaze on with astonishing brightness to reveal, perhaps, the young African mother delivering her child in safety, a young life saved because the medico could adequately see the problem. This gets a green light and a check from the African princess and we send off for the parts.

The parts come. 

                                              -30- for now

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Liverpool Lads and Their Contribution to Modern Radiology

Rockvale, TN, October 24, – Electric and Musical Industries, Ltd was a British firm which had been in the electric and musical business since the early 1930s. Mostly you read about EMI on Wikipedia in connection with music, but before the Beatles arrived on the scene, EMI was most highly valued for their contributions to the British war effort in World War II. Had there been no Beatles, there would have been no enormous interest in records. And the Wiki article would not be so gushily slanted as a result.
EMI did a lot of radar and microwave stuff.
Still, they kept their hand in the record biz, but even being a major player in a specialized market, which is what music was before the British Invasion, didn't count as their chief source of income. They made their money the old-fashioned way. They invented. They were scientists, not pop stars.

One of their scientists was a fellow named Godfrey Hounsfeld. Along about the beginning of the 1950s he had an idea: If you could take enough x-rays of the human body, it might be possible to mathematically manipulate the resultant images in such a way as to show the area of interest in cross-section. There was one overwhelming problem, however: it would take a lot of math. Later, Hounsfeld realized that a computer would do the trick and began to work on an idea that would ultimately become the first transistorized computer in Britain. This took a long time, however. The research and development was extremelyexpensive, even for EMI, so the idea was shelved and then re-shelved.

George Martin was a young A&R guy at EMI Records, and he heard the Beatles, signed them to the label, and produced their records. The rest, as they say, is history.

But not quite.

The Beatles not only changed the nature of the record business, taking it from small-time, largely regional endeavors to an actual industry, they also added millions and millions of sudden wealth to EMI.

Not having anything to throw all this windfall at, EMI funded Hounsfeld and his x-ray idea. The result was what was at first called EMI-scan. We now know it as Computer Assisted Tomography, or CAT-scan. All other modalities, PET-scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), are descendants of Hounsfeld's idea.

So next time you're in an MRI tube, with those incredibly inadequate earplugs which do nothing to block out the 4000 decibel clangs, whams and that rhythmic pattern that reminds you so much of "I Wanna Hold You Hand" (I can't hide!  I can't hide!  I can't hiiiiide!) you'll know why.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homeland Insecurity: Remembering September 11

Homeland Insecurity: Remembering September 11

Rockvale TN, September 11, 2013 - - Twelve years ago at about this time, 2:55 pm Amsterdam time, I was sitting in the Joost Pub when somebody came in and told Willem the barman to turn on CNN. When he did there was a picture of a building that had fallen to the ground. A couple of minutes later we watched in horror as a passenger plane crashed into the building next to it.
Like the Kennedy assassination, everybody who experienced 911 knows where they were and what they were doing when the Twin Towers collapsed. And like the Kennedy assassination unsolved mysteries remain. I saw the second tower implode and I have opinions that would brand me accurately as a conspiracy theorist. But that's ground well (but not well enough) gone over, and we're not going to go there today.

What I want to write about today is the aftermath of that horrible event.

As everyone freely acknowledges, the shock of that event made it possible for plans to unfold that would lead us into what will no doubt prove to be failed and wasted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at the expense of still thousands more lives both dead and ruined.

911 also made possible the creation of Homeland Security, and I have to say that when I heard the word “Homeland” I had an icy feeling of where we were headed, and here we are, with the NSA , capable of spying on our own citizens, but incapable, apparently, of
using data handed to us by the Russians to prevent the Boston Marathon massacre. For me, “Homeland” carries the same tyrannic connotations as “the Fatherland” did for Nazi Germany, or “Mother Russia” for the bolsheviks.

And as everyone knows, (but nobody has done anything about {WHY?}) we were lied into those wars in which billions were lost. Not misspent, not misappropriated, though of course some were, but literally picked up and carried away, to parts unknown by parties unknown.

The fact of the fabrications of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, and countless others who were either in on the ruse or dupes themselves, has been slowly obliterated by time just as messages on a beach fade with each tide. These traitors have escaped into compensated retirement, or the World Bank, or they show up on television now and again as “experts on terror”, which of course they certainly are, having generated quite a bit of it themselves..

Their crimes, and they were crimes, have faded from memory because now we worry about other things: fat cats who figuratively give the Homeland the finger by living here and paying their taxes cheaply elsewhere, for example. Health problems that could be ameliorated with an affordable diet for all, and education levels that are such that thousands of “institutions of learning” make their bones by offering nonsensical glamourous courses to student loan applicants, who do not find work once they graduate, but who nevertheless owe a great deal of money they cannot pay back.
Today, all across the Homeland, there are more payday loan places and pawnshops than there are fast food restaurants. Prices are cheap at WalMart because the pay is so low that many of its employees are on food stamps and Medicaid. If the minimum wage had kept pace with what it was in 1967, it would now be on the order of $20 per hour.,

Whether a calculated plan carried out, or a genuine terrorist event allowed to happen, or a complete surprise to the American government, the shape of America was changed on September 11, 2001. Now it doesn't seem so farfetched that the NSA is functioning with no oversight, that the homeless veteran is no longer an anomaly, that 1% of the population control nearly half the assets of the Homeland. We look on the wealthy with admiration and envy, rather than the utter rage we should be feeling.

The effects of the manifesto drafted by the Project for a New American Century, which called for an event “similar to Pearl Harbor”, is still with us. The specter of unbridled government control is imposed by those simultaneously calling for smaller government. The country has gone to hell in a bucket while we have watched reality television and the Kardashians, and paid our credit cards with more credit until we have none left.

There is no security in the Homeland.