Monday, November 23, 2020

Analog Things: The Mountain Dulcimer

 

by Laurie Allee

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Are you looking for an acoustic instrument that is highly portable, easy-to-learn, inexpensive and capable of creating absolutely beautiful music?  Look no further than the mountain dulcimer.  This unassuming little instrument has been known by a variety of names: lap dulcimer, Appalachian dulcimer, Kentucky dulcimer, "dulcymore," harmonium, harmony box and (my favorite) hog fiddle.  Traditional to the southern Appalachian mountains of the US, this stringed instrument is one of the easiest to play.  Essentially a fretted zither, it commonly has three or four strings and can be played by plucking or strumming with a pick.

And it sounds AMAZING.
 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Unplugging as a Political Act



by Laurie Allee

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Doomscrolling
As I write this, the president of the United States is probably adding another tweet to his ongoing, stream-of-consciousness tone poem in a frenzy that makes Kerouac's "spontaneous prose" look downright mellow by comparison.

For your sanity's sake, don't be like the president.

As the 2020 circus of chaos expands its rings, I can't seem to stop checking Twitter. A day's news seems like it will encompass an entire chapter of a future history book.  

And it happens every day.  

No, actually, it happens every hour.

The strange new normal of disorder and upheaval has left me in a perpetual state of shock. I'm overwhelmed by the statistics, the scandals, the outrage, the ever-increasing vitriol, the spin...and my own crushing disappointment, fear and incredulity at the antics of all the lunatics running our asylum. 

Log off. Tune in. Opt out.