Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MAC EVANS aka "BABY MACKIE", 1995-2009

Mac is still with us tonight as I write this. By the time you read it, he may well be gone. He and I will be making his last visit to the veterinarian either tomorrow or Thursday this week.

Mac's body is shutting down. He is unable to do much now but sleep or sit motionless. He drinks a little bit of water, and he doesn't eat much at all. He appears to be having trouble eliminating, possibly because there really isn't much in there to eliminate. The problem is his hyperactive thyroid, and he has anemia now too. Add in his old age, and there isn't really any hope of him getting better. There is nothing else I can do for Mac at this point but the right thing, which is to help ease his passage.

Losing Bonnie to old age last year was difficult; we had her for 15 years. Losing Zeke in April to kidney failure was awful too, because he was so young and it was so unexpected. But losing Mac may be the hardest of all for me to handle. He is one of my favorite pets of all time, one of those I have most enjoyed throughout my life. As with all the animals who find their ways into our home and our hearts, Mac has been more than a pet; he has been a beloved friend for 14 years.

Mac is unable to respond to his name or to "kitty kitty" any more. But he still responds to a gentle touch, and I can still discern a faint purr here and there.

Mac, if there's such a place as Rainbow Bridge, I hope to someday come and cross that bridge with you, Bonnie, Zeke, and all the other animal friends I have known and loved throughout my years.

Doing the right thing for Mac is noble, and it is easy. The hard part is letting go.

"Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Monday, June 29, 2009


Thursday, June 25, 2009


This guy's life was an American tragedy if there ever was one.
It seems he started out as a storybook fantasy, but gradually devolved into a wretched mess.
Reports of his death say it was from cardiac arrest. Maybe it was from a broken heart...
No matter how weird he became, or how strange he was, I'll always think of him as one of America's great entertainers.
Still after all these years, I love the "Thriller" album.
Thanks for leaving us with your musical legacy.
Rest in peace, Michael.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Ever wonder what it looks like when you put a CD in your microwave? A friend of mine did it for me once at his house, and it's pretty cool! I don't know what it does to the microwave, but the CD looks pretty cool when it's being cooked, and equally cool afterward! I found the picture at
http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/ , a site that has lots of fun stuff to do with your microwave... check it out!
But before I get into agonies and ecstasies, first things first:
I'm having a major problem with Blogger lately, or maybe it's just with my computer... but it won't let me copy and paste things any more. It's very annoying. I was writing the following in an e-mail to J. Marquis, and thought "hey, this might be fun to post at my blog".
So when I went to copy what I was writing and post it here? Nothing. Blogger (or my computer) allows me to copy and paste when I am here at Blogger writing my post, but it doesn't allow me to do it from outside sources. If any of you might have an insight as to how I can fix this without having to spend hours on the phone with a support tech or waiting for an e-mail response from Blogger, I will appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Now, on to what I was writing about, and I have had to retype it all here:


I'm at something of a loss as to what to do with my CD collection. It has gotten quite large. I haven't counted the CDs in a long time, but I know there are well over 1,000. There are at least that many, and maybe twice as many burned CDs. Being obsessive-compulsive, it makes thinking about such things rather difficult for me. I realize I am basically hoarding things for the mythical time that might come "when I might need" the thing. But is some OCD behavior justifiable?
But maybe I shouldn't be at a loss, and should just allow myself to enjoy it all without any guilt.

I tend to get emotionally attached to some music, and I find I want to have the CD around whether I ever listen to it or not. I have some CDs I haven't listened to for years.

For example, I can't tell you when the last time was that I got out any of my dozen-or-so Rolling Stones CDs. It has possibly been at least a couple years... But would I want to get rid of any of them? I'm not sure. Would I want to burn particular tracks I like onto CD-R compilations, and just keep the compilations? That's a tough question for me.

On the Stones' "It's Only Rock and Roll" album there are four or five tracks I really like, but there might come a time when I would specifically want to hear other numbers like "Short and Curlies" or "Luxury". I dread experiencing a sense of loss I might feel because I would not have a way to hear those songs other than via a download.

I also tend to view albums as whole works. I tend to view the songs I like on particular albums in the context of the album as a whole. Using the same Stones album as an example, I always think of "Till the Next Goodbye" as the song that bridges the album's title track and "Time Waits for No One". When most artists create an album, they set out to create something that creates not just a collection of impressions, but an entire impression. Looking at it this way, albums develop their own attitudes or personalities in my mind, and they become very real, very human. Individual trees combine to make a forest. And without some of the other, smaller trees, the woods can take on a very thinned-out look.

Would the Beatles' "White Album" feel complete without "Wild Honey Pie" or "Revolution #9"? Would "Led Zeppelin III" be complete without "Bron-y-Aur Stomp"? Of course not!

I do like downloading songs for several reasons. It is convenient, most things I would want are available as downloads, and it allows me to cull through albums for particular songs I like and thus spend less money by not having to buy a CD for $15 or more just to get those few songs I want.

However, I'm "old-school" in that I find downloading music to be kind of impersonal. It is an almost-impersonal way for me to go about collecting and listening to tunes. Without the cover art, the liner notes, and actually being able to hold the artifact in my hands, it just doesn't seem complete. It seems like without these things, I lose a great degree of connection to the artist, in that I have only a partial piece of the picture the artist created. For me, it is like viewing a famous painting with only the prominent features visible and nothing in the background. It strips the artwork of context. As a lover of music, I want to feel that connection.

Okay, okay, so I am just trying to justify my obsessive-compulsive behavior. I admit it. But I think this DOES justify it to an extent. I don't see this behavior as BAD. The CD collection takes up quite a bit of space in a spare room of our house, but because Mrs. Snave and I are "empty nesters" the collection is basically out of sight and it doesn't invade anyone's personal space. Other than being online a lot, the CD collection is really the only vice I allow myself besides books, but Mrs. Snave shares some of my love for books (she could probably care less about the CDs, but she has put up with my CD obsession for about 22 years, bless her heart!)

I will probably keep most of my CD collection. When vinyl LPs were pretty much discontinued, I sorted through my collection of about 900 to 1,000 records and saved out about 250. I actually do get a record or two out and play some of them now and then. Same with my cassette tapes. I probably still have a few hundred of those around too.

Some day when CDs are no longer being made, will have a few thousand items which can only be played through an obsolete delivery system? Maybe not. CDs are so ubiquitous today, I see no way they won't still be around in 15-20 years, maybe even longer. Heck, vinyl LP records have made something of a comeback in the last five years. Why wouldn't compact discs also have staying power? Or, should CDs fade, why wouldn't they also have a renaissance someday?

I could look at it this way: "Hey Snave, if you don't think you have listened to it in five years, get rid of it." That would cut the number of factory-manufactured CDs down to a few hundred.

But no, I will continue doing things as I do now. I will only cull through the collection a few times a year, pick out a dozen or so discs to take to the CD store to use as trade-ins (after I have burned a few tracks I like onto CD-Rs) and keep all the rest, while continually adding new stuff. Cycle and recycle.

I look at my big CD collection as a great investment for a lot of hours of happy listening when I am an old man. I think that when I am 80 or so, it will be GREAT to have all that variety, and so much of it with original artwork, liner notes, and albums in their entirety. And when I'm gone? Mrs. Snave and the kids can have what CDs, cassettes and LPs they like and sell the rest of them for like fifty cents a pop at a big yard sale. It obviously won't bother me at that point.

Until then, having a big variety of music to suit my many moods is of great importance to me. Music is a major thing in what makes my world turn.
So is anticipating the arrival of new music... say, when does that new Wilco CD come out?
Why, didn't you know? It's June 30, of course!

Monday, June 08, 2009


It wasn't bad. I enjoyed it quite a bit actually, despite having to urinate so badly it became painful with about a half hour left in the movie.

It almost seemed like the dialog was forced at times, but necessarily so in order to propel the movie along so that all the labyrinthine plot details could be included in the roughly two hours. I enjoyed Dan Brown's book, so the movie was one I had been looking forward to for some time.

The special effects are good, and although some of the Vatican scenes were done on stage sets or with computer effects, the overall effect is of being there.

Tom Hanks is good as usual, if you like Hanks. I thought Ewan McGregor was excellent in his role. Ayelet Zurer was good.
If you like Dan Brown's books, as I do, be prepared for some changes to the plot line. I was a bit perplexed by the changes made for this movie, but I still like the film.
Now, I look forward to the release of the next book, "The Lost Symbol" September 15!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


The major league baseball season is about a third of the way done, and my Seattle Mariners are actually still in the American League West race, sort of.

In 2008 the M's were a miserable 61-101 but so far this year they are 27-29 and 6 games behind the division-leading Texas Rangers. A record of 27-29 isn't exactly better than mediocre, but it's unexpectedly good considering how poorly the team did last year.

New Seattle General Manager Jack Zduriencik and the ballclub have some interesting decisions ahead. The major league trading deadline is July 31. Seattle has some players who could be coveted by other teams. If the Mariners are not in contention anymore by the end of July, they could be "sellers" on the market.

Starting pitchers Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard are both in the American League top ten for earned run average. First Baseman Russell Branyan has been hitting for both power and batting average this year. Third baseman Adrian Beltre is in the last year of his contract, and after a slow start he has been hitting very well in the past couple of weeks. Washburn and Bedard are in the last years of their contracts, as is starter/reliever Miguel Batista.

The Mariners have good pitching, but their problem this year has been hitting. If they're out of contention in July, they could send their tradeable players to contending teams for prospect players who could help stock Seattle's minor league system with young talent and build the team's chances for the future.

But what if the M's are still playing .500 ball by the trading deadline, do they keep some or all of these tradeable players and instead trade some of their younger talent for a couple of veteran hitters, to allow the team to stay in the AL West race late into the season?

I don't think they are likely to still be contending by July 31 because their hitting is just too weak. But this season sure has been fun so far. After a 61-101 year, even mediocrity is enjoyable!