Archive for January, 2008

January 25, 2008

What's the time?

Sometime in junior high I got a really nice watch for Christmas. My grandparents (who gave it to me) came from an era where a nice watch was an important gift and I was flattered. I always suspected that my parents had a hand it the gift as well because I was chronically late. I used my new watch all the time on my paper route, at school, when I was traveling, etc. (My lateness continues to this day) Somewhere in there I lost the watch and never got another one.

Now that I’ve started running again I’m wearing a watch to time myself, but I take it off whenever I’m done. I don’t like the feel of it on my wrist and there are so many clocks in my house that I hardly need to have a personal timepiece. But out in public, without a watch (and rarely with a cell phone either) I’m dependent on public clocks. Two of the ones I relied on the most–the one on the north wall of the far check-out area at Woodman’s and the exaggerated clock face at Target–have been taken down in the last year. There’s still one at Woodman’s by the customer service station, but if I’m far away I can’t read it accurately. I was at Target yesterday and I still looked over and remembered that, oh yeah they remodeled in 2007 and disposed of their ugly clock.

I guess I could look at my receipt for the time or ask someone around me since every other soul has a cell phone. But public clocks are a wonderful concept and a service that just isn’t as vital anymore. I was crushed when the tore down the building with the Bucky Badger Clock as I always liked looking at it when I was stopped at the light at Park Street. I just noticed the other day that they put it up on the New UW Welcome Center. The clock is not close to the street and not as noticeable, which to me defeats the purpose of a public timepiece.

January 22, 2008


In my quest to play piano I’ve had to dig deep into my record collection to find piano-based stuff. In many cases, I’ve had to dig deep into records I used to own and tonight it dawned on me that I could probably figure out some Billy Joel tunes. He’s a baritone like me (so I can actually sing ’em) and I used to have his Greatest Hits and I played the shit out it–though it’s more likely I taped it and played the shit out of the tape. Nobody seems to take Mr. Joel all the seriously these days but I grew up in the late 70’s/early 80’s period where he cranked out some tasty hit songs. I immediately dialed him up on YouTube and found that, like many smart artists, his entire video catalog is officially posted. My immediate pick to figure out was “Allentown” as I’d always liked the way the chords flowed. I listened and watched for a while and fumbled on my guitar and couldn’t quite keep up with what was going on, so I searched for someone else’s chords–and, like usual, found a page that was about 2/3 correct. It got me on the right track and I figured out everything that was incorrect and then I noticed at the top of the page it said:

“Have you seen a mistake? Has someone defaced this transcription? Help Lovebolts by editing it or reverting to an older version.”

So I clicked through and found that you could indeed do real editing to an existing chord page. I spent about a half hour combing over “Allentown,” making sure I caught every detail and fixed all the broken chords. You can view it here. I added a little note at the bottom that explains that Mr. Joel adds lots of notes to his chords, thus making it almost impossible to render this song accurately on an acoustic guitar. I was impressed by the ease by which I was able to fix everything and it made me wonder why more chord sites aren’t set up like this. I’ve done a few Kinks chord pages over the years and corrected many more and I love to lend my ear to the world in this way. As I’ve said before, I love searching for chords and coming across disturbingly accurate work.