David Dykstal

Now in Galway for the day!

Dunsverick Castle. North (Atlantic) coast of Northern Ireland. Near Giant’s Causeway.

Entering Belfast harbor.

Had dinner last night at Badger & Co., the restaurant in the home of Kenneth Grahame in Edinburgh. Very pleasant.


The proliferation of markdown editors with syntax extensions and fancy previewers is getting out of hand. Markdown is meant to be easy to read plain text. Not sure anything other than a plain text editor is needed.

📚 Books in progress
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (ebook)
The Poet’s Corner, compiled by John Lithgow (audiobook)
The Cruel Ever After, Ellen Hart (paper)
So Far So Good, Ursula K. LeGuin (paper)
You Come Too, Robert Frost (paper)
Figuring, Maria Popova (paper)

📚Finished the Audible “Ben Franklin”. Narration was good. The book seemed quite thorough and well organized. Ben is a complex character, not always consistent in matching word with deed. Sounds pretty human to me.

📚Starting “The Cruel Ever After” by Ellen Hart. Physical paper.

Anyone here worked with nvUltra beta? I would think it would be out fairly soon. I’m wondering how it stacks up to Bear or Drafts.

📚 Finished “Reckless Daughter”. I enjoyed the book, but it kind of leaves you hanging about Joni Mitchell since it ends in 2017 with her recovering from her aneurysm. However, I saw a photo of her out and about fairly recently so I assume her recovery is progressing.

One tidbit: I didn’t realize that Prince was a huge fan of Joni’s.

Current Audible Book: “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life”. 📚

Currently reading “Reckless Daughter: A Portrait Of Joni Mitchell”.📚

Devil’s Kettle in Judge C. R. Magny State Park on Minnesota’s North Shore. The Brule river splits in two and half disappears underground.

“Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” is the first Neil Young album I purchased, and marks a lifelong fascination with Neil. I put him in the pantheon that includes Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Lennon/McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen. Sure, he flirted with some oddball stuff in his middle years, but always seemed to come back. Crazy Horse was/is his best band.

This is not my favorite album of his, that’s reserved for “Zuma,” but it’s the one that got me started. Good songs are “Cinnamon Girl” with the one-note guitar solo, “Down By The River,” and “Cowgirl In The Sand.”

I’ve got quite a substantial collection of Neil (and friends) and still listen regularly.

Album 10 of 10. “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” 🎵



“Fragile” didn’t quite get me started on so-called progressive rock but it was a huge influence in that direction. “Roundabout” was, of course, a favorite, as well as “South Side of the Sky”. Those two have aged reasonably well, but the album has some real clinkers. “Cans and Brahms” was always dreck.

On the plus side, Jon Anderson’s opaque lyrics should detract from the songs but don’t. Chris Squire’s bass and Steve Howe’s guitar are stellar. Rick Wakeman’s keyboards added a punch that the earlier albums lacked.

I followed this up with several albums by Yes, ELP, King Crimson, and a few others. Unfortunately, there was a huge tendency for these bands to wander into the ether. The earliest stuff is still the best.

Album 9 of 10. “Fragile” 🎵

Two angles. North shore of Lake Superior.


“6 and 12 string guitar” by Leo Kottke was a favorite of a few of my friends in college where I first heard it. I didn’t think anyone could play guitar like this. It sounded so massive. However in one sense I was right, he had to change his style significantly due to RSI brought on by the aggressive way of playing he had taught himself. I’ve kept up with him over the years.

If you get a chance to see him in concert, take it. If he’s on his game, it’s worth it.

I even like his singing voice.

Album 8 of 10. “6 and 12 string guitar” 🎵

Saw “Glensheen” at the Minnesota History Theatre in St. Paul this evening. I liked the play and the venue. First time there.

1985 was the tricentennial of the births of both Bach and Handel. That summer I spent ten weeks in classes at the IBM Systems Research Institute in mid-town Manhattan.

Ten weeks is a long time to be away from home, family, and my music and books. After about 3 weeks I broke down and bought a Sony Walkman and four cassette tapes: Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites, Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, and a collection of Sousa marches. I would play these on walks through Central Park through tinny little earbuds.

My favorites were the two Bach collections, particularly this one. I loved the fire of this violin. I’ve not been able to find it streaming and may have to go with another artist. Any links/pointers are appreciated.

Album 7 of 10. “Bach - Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin - Shlomo Mintz” 🎵

My love for David Bowie lasted for three albums. “Ziggy Stardust was the first one I bought. The other two were “Hunky Dory” and “Young Americans”. The man changed so fast and so much I could not keep up. Though I would only sample later work here and there, I never lost respect for him as an artist. This album directly influenced much of the stuff I bought later. 🎵