RSVPed Attending 09/10/22 2:00 PM Iona Fyfe Live at Coffee Gallery Backstage

MATINEE! Iona Fyfe is one of the most accomplished young Scottish singers today in the folk tradition and beyond. She won the title of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Traditional Music Awards in 2018, Scots Language Awards Speaker of the Year in 2021 and was described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer.” (Global-Music.de). In 2021, she became the first singer to win the coveted title of Musician of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

Her knowledge and advocacy of the Scots Doric language has recently been extended to issues of equality in the music and other workplaces, winning an award for Equality in the Workplace from the Scottish Musicians Trade Union. Iona not only sings beautiful traditional songs of life, love, and loss in old Scots, but also songs in English written by contemporaries, as well as herself. She has recorded an album of Appalachian songs that go back to her native Aberdeenshire, as well as covers of folks such as Gillian Welch’s “Dark Turn of Mind.” One among many, Mike Harding, of the Mike Harding Folk Show, calls her voice “Absolutely stunning.”

Iona will be accompanied in her show by two of the Pacific Northwest’s finest up and coming young musicians, Alex Sturbaum on guitar and accordion, and Brian Lindsay on fiddle and mandolin. They are the duo Countercurrent, known throughout the contra dance scene nationally for their infectiously rhythmical and joyful performances.

Saturday September 10, 2022 | MATINEE 2:00 PM | $20.00
Reservations: (626) 798-6236


Reservations are strongly suggested. Seating is limited.
Call 626.798.6236 for Reservations Between 10 A - 10 P
Pay by Cash or Check. Sorry … No Credit Cards
No payment necessary when you make telephone reservations. Pay by cash or check at the door at the time of the show.

I’ve been following Iona and her music for a while now and never expected to see her live, much less 5 minutes from my house!! She’s got a few dates in the Los Angeles area this week and upcoming in her US tour, so make your reservations now.

Dw i’n hapus ac yn barod am gerddoriaeth celtaidd wythnos yma.

Cliff at Étretat, the Port d’Aval (1869) at the Norton Simon Museum

I was walking through The West Wing of the Norton Simon Museum and nearly screamed when I saw this painting of Cliff at Étretat, the Port d’Aval (1869) by Gustave Courbet.

Gold framed painting of the Cliffs of Étretat in the background with a gravel looking beach with a white and black boat in the midground and several large rocks in the foreground.

I couldn’t help but remember the Noël episode of the television series The West Wing (S2 E10) and Bernard’s flat delivery:

This is a painting of the cliffs of Étretat, cleverly entitled “The Cliffs of Étretat”.

Wall mounted museum card displayed next to a painting that reads: Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877) Cliff at Étretat, the Port d'Aval, 1869 Oil on Canvas The extension of a railway line from Paris via Le Havre brought tourism to the tiny fishing village of Étretat in the 1850's. Writers and artists soon flocked to the town, it's picturesque half-mile of beach, and its striking rock formations. Guy de Maupassant, Jacques Offenbach, Camille Corot, Eugene Boudin, and Claude Monet all spent time there, but none conjured its crumbled cliff faces and chill, frothy sea more effectively than Courbet, who spent five weeks in an Étretat cottage during the fall of 1869. His rugged method of paint application—using a palette knife as often as a brush—was ideally suited to the rough topography and lonely aspect of that place. The Norton Simon Foundation F.1969.06.2.P In the bottom corner is a blue circle with a white arrow followed by "326" ostensibly the indicator to play the accompanying audio tour portion for this artwork.
The museum wall card for the seascape oil painting

That episode described a similar painting by a minor (fictitious) painter Gustave Callioux who was apparently influenced by Courbet. The plot was likely art imitating real life as Courbet’s painting was apparently stolen by the Nazis

Perhaps the show’s reference was also a snipe at the Canadian children’s television show Caillou? One also has to wonder at the similarities of the name Cliff Calley who pops ups up in the show’s “Ways and Means” episode (S3, E3).

On hand held objects and material culture

Should we view it as a coincidence or not that the information management carrier of the early 20th century is the same size and scale as the carrier at the opening of the 21st century?

The humble index card and the cellular phone have more in common than we might expect.

Listened to Key Takeaways from the Trump's Affidavit Release from The Brian Lehrer Show | WNYC
Katie Benner, Justice Department reporter at The New York Times, joins with takeaways and the latest news from the release of the affidavit in the FBI search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Some interesting and useful depth here beyond a lot of the usual political rhetoric.
Watched We Need to Talk About Cosby, Part I from Netflix
Part 1: Directed by W. Kamau Bell. With Bill Cosby, Gloria Allred, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Harry Belafonte. In the 1960s Bill Cosby is collecting accolades for his comedy, breaking barriers for Black stunt performers and participating in the nation's sexual liberation and civil rights movement. He also allegedly begins exploiting his power.
Finally popped up on Netflix! 

I hadn’t known about his history of promoting the underrepresented in the stunt space in entertainment. 

I had forgotten about (?) or simply missed (based on my age and exposure) his history with “Spanish Fly”. I don’t recall any of these references during any of the news coverage of his trials or subsequent conviction.

The documentary is very well done and subtle so far, particularly with some snarky/clever images undergirding some of its political position. I appreciate that I’m just a year and change younger than W. Kamau Bell, so I’ve lived in roughly the same time frame he has. I have strong memories of having grown up with Picture Pages, The Electric Company, Fat Albert, et al. I’m curious to see how my experiences are similar and different to Bell’s perspective.

Watched August 29, 2022 - PBS NewsHour full episode from PBS NewsHour
Monday on the NewsHour, the death toll rises and thousands are stranded after monsoons cause catastrophic flooding in Pakistan. Ukrainian forces launch a counteroffensive to retake a strategic southern city from Russian invaders. Plus, Serena Williams competes in what could be her final major tennis tournament. We examine her impact on the sport and her towering legacy.
Replied to 'Numbers alone cannot save the Welsh language' (BBC News)
The 2022 Welsh learner of the year says achieving one million Welsh speakers can't save the language.
Stop counting and start learning.
A powerful for indigenous language learners.

Cerdd nerthol

For those wanting ample margins for active “reading with a pen in hand” are there any publishers that do a great job of wider margins on “classics”/”great books”?
I’m tempted to self-publish custom versions of wide margin or interleaved books.
During the lunch break, I’ve been thinking more about progressive enhancement in the affordances space. Here’s an example of text-based note taking evolving into commonplacing, and from there into a more complex zettelkasten.

Reframing and simplifying the idea of how to keep a Zettelkasten

 

Singer Business Furniture 20 gauge steel industrial 16 drawer index card filing cabinet

I suppose if you’re gonna goin “all-in” on having a zettelkasten (slip box) or index card-based commonplace book you may as well invest in some serious atomic-era heavy steel hardware…

So today I took the plunge and picked up a Singer Business Furniture 20 gauge steel industrial index card filing cabinet. It’s the sort of thing that Niklas Luhmann or Roland Barthes may have only dreamt of.

Angle on an open drawer with two individual card files
One of the double drawers pulled out.

The monster has 8 sliding platform chassis with 16 removable file drawers. I’ve done a little bit of clean up on it, but it has been well loved over time. Much like my prior furniture refurbishment projects, I expect I’ll bead blast off the original finish and rust and re-enamel it. I’m debating colors or potentially going brushed steel with heavy clear coat, though that’s a lot of work for the size and configuration. I’m initially thinking perhaps gunmetal grey with metallic blue flecked paint to match my desk, or perhaps a fun orange highlight color on the drawer fronts?

Specifications

Singer Business Furniture, Corry Jamestown index card filing cabinet (114 OB)

  • 8 slider chassis with 16 individually (and easily) removeable drawers
  • Exterior dimensions: 22 7/8″ wide x 52″ tall x 28 3/4″ deep
  • Interior drawer dimensions: 9 3/8″ wide x 4 3/4″ tall x 27 3/8″ deep (or 26 1/8″ deep with the card stops installed)
  • Fits cards: 3×5″, 4×6″, 7 3/8 x 3 1/4″ (Hollerinth cards)
  • Removable metal slider card stops
  • 13 removeable index card rods (3 missing)
  • Aluminum drawer pulls
  • Aluminum label frames
  • Original industrial beige color, chipped and scratched
  • 20 gauge steel

I thought about weighing it, but the thing is just too big for any of the nearby scales I’ve got access to. It’s definitely a bear to move even by sliding and required a heavy dolly and at least two people to maneuver. Three or more would be required to pick it up physically.  One drawback to the size and weight is that it isn’t easily portable if there were an emergency, but the construction is so solid that it should definitely survive the most dire earthquakes or possibly nuclear bomb blasts. I suspect it’ll be a bit before I have multiple drawers full, so I can always individually remove active drawers.

A quick calculation on the front of an index card—no more backs of envelopes for me!—indicates that packs of relatively standard Oxford index cards should put the capacity of this monster at 55,700 index cards (with the drawer stops in place).

Photos

Features

The drawers should be nice and roomy for the 4×6″ index cards I’ve been using, but can also accommodate collections of smaller 3×5″ cards I’ve got.

While the drawers come with index card rods to hold the cards physically in their files, I suspect I won’t be using them. They seem to be of a design that would require custom cards for utilizing this feature anyway. I do quite like the rod design as the thumbscrews on the outside have small nubs on them with a key-like cut out on the drawer front with a compression washer. One then inserts the rod, fits it into the moveable card stop, and pushes it into the keyhole. A quarter or half turn of the rod and thumbscrew locks the rod into the cabinet.

The index card file stops are easily removable and have a simple springloaded clamp mechanism for moving them easily within the drawer. 

While used, the entire thing is in generally excellent shape. Almost all the original hardware is still extant and the drawer mechanisms all slide smoothly, so those won’t require much, if any real work.

Because the filing cabinet is so massive and generally immovable, a fun and terrifically convenient feature is that each of the 16 file drawers are individually removable. This allows one to take a particular drawer or two to their desk and work on them before needing to return them to the cabinet when one is done. To make this drawer movement easier, in addition to the explicit handle on the front of each drawer, there’s an oval hole on the back of each drawer which functions as a handle on the other end.  This is likely how I’ll use it, at least until I’ve refinished the cabinet and the drawers and move it into my office space permanently. 

Individual drawers of cards can be removed from the filing cabinet. Here's one that has been removed and is sitting sideways on top of the file drawer that had been pulled out.
One of the individual file drawers removed and sitting on its mate.

Because the files are wide and long enough, I might also profitably use the file for holding 8 1/2 x 11″ material stacked up in piles if necessary. 

Naming

Some have talked about naming their zettelkasten. I’ve been considering calling the whole cabinet “The Ark of Studies” (Arca studiorum) after Thomas Harrison’s invention in the 1640s as it also contains a nod to Hugh of St. Victor’s mnemonic work relating to Noah’s Ark. Perhaps I’ll hame it Stonehenge II, because I’ll rely on it as a “forgetting machine” and it’s almost as big and heavy as a bluestone from the Preseli Hills in Wales—especially if I paint it that color. Beyond this perhaps I might give each individual drawer a name. This leaves sixteen slots, so I’m thinking about naming them after famous figures in the history of note taking and related spaces of intellectual history.

Right now it’ll likely be a subset of Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Seneca, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, Desiderius Erasmus, Rodolphus Agricola, Philip Melancthon, Konrad Gessner, John Locke, Carl Linnaeus, Thomas Harrison, Vincentius Placcius, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Niklas Luhmann, Beatrice Webb, Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Mortimer J. Adler, Niklas Luhmann, Roland Barthes, Vladimir Nabokov, George Carlin (I’ve got to have a drawer dedicated to comedy right?), Twyla Tharp, and Eminem. Who else am I missing? Who should I consider?

Oddities

Being a piece of used office furniture, it naturally came with some surplus junk inside. Most of this was of the paperclip and rubber band nature with plenty of dust and lint. There were a full collection of drawer labels with someone’s handwritten numbers for the files the card index once contained. Unexpected finds included some screws, nuts and bolts, part of a hacksaw blade, a rotary saw blade, some drill bits, a socket wrench fitting, and—most puzzling—a live round of ammunition! Every zettelkasten should have one of these right? 

view of bullet from behind as it sits on filing cabinet
The oddest thing I found hiding in my new slip box.

So go ahead and bite the bullet! Get your own cabinet, and start your analog zettelkasten today.

 

Bookmarked Tools for Thinking: a Conference and a Camp by John Borthwick (https://render.betaworks.com/)
Start with a conference: On August 16th we will host a conference at betaworks, bringing together makers and thinkers in this space: Tools for thinking Render Conference. Join us if you are interested, and if you are building something in this space, tell us because we will give you an access code to join for free. The Camp or accelerator program will start in mid September, details on the program are here, and the application form is here.
You had me at “networked commonplace books”…