Don’t Expect Much; Then Rock a Bit

I can’t even recall my last post. I know it was while in SoCal last week, and its end, then we went home and within a couple of days, departed — to convert our long time personal and private use mountain cabin into a vacation rental. Many reasons for that and, no fucking need of being boring. Why should you care?

But while I continue to structure and refine the rental listing on the world’s premier listing service,, here’s the adjacent tub of pics I put together. That’s from what it is now, to what it used to be and, on the fire six weeks after acquiring it and that…after a year and a half of legal struggle enforcing a sales contract with the seller who tried to back out, to what it became.

We’ve been enjoying it with special friends, family, and our pets for quite a while.

So that’s what the fuck I’m up to.

I actually have a substantial post in the works, on low carb. Gary Taubes, Don Matesz, Matt “fuck head” Stone will all be featured. I may even touch on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It’s not about macronutrients. It’s about thinking. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I was listening to some tunes the other night. I have long loved Van Morrison but never blogged it, so here goes. My favorite tracks of one my all time favorite complete albums. What I mean by that is that there are but a few albums in my life I’ve ever heard where I like or love every track. What springs to mind? Well, Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Billy Joel’s Piano Man. Two of the best top-to-bottom awesome albums ever laid down on vinyl. No matter how much I hear these albums and the music, I never tire.

My favorite track from the former, Sweet Thing. Sorry, I always want a decent live version and there simply isn’t one. So here’s just the studio version. It’s that good I’ll just do it. You get the rhythm and lyrics and if you know what you’re listening to, amazing strings and flute. Love it.

So there you go and why not just go?

Shifting gears…like…totally, Michael Jackson. I miss the dysfunctional deviant. A lot, sometimes, especially when my wife hijacks my wireless stream and puts on her various collections usually heavy with Mraz, Jack Johnson (whom I really dig) and the Jackson, i.e., the Jackson who made the name “Michael” into a metaphor. Shit, Michael d’Angelo (Michelangelo) didn’t even do that.

I really like a lot of Michael’s music, actually, if not just for the funk, or soul of it, just the pure creativity. He surprised, like James Brown always did. He led, always. Never followed.

Sometime after his sad and tragic death, I blogged about my favorite song & performance of his, Dirty Diana. Just now, it’s Earth Song which I was reminded of today and perhaps my second favorite but all the while recognizing that he was a masterful creator who always and always stood out which, is about the best thing you can do for yourself in this one and only of your one and only life. This is not my typical, but it’s big, and it punches while being at times a little too tender.

Some days I really miss Michael and what he might have continued to create, and always leading the pack.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Darrin on June 21, 2011 at 20:22

    Hell yeah. It’s always annoyed me that no Greatest Hits albums of Van Morrison’s ever have one SINGLE track off Astral Weeks. But as you said, it’s a classic from start to finish and really deserves to be listened to in its entirety.

  2. Alex Good on June 21, 2011 at 20:28

    Any chance you`ll insult vegans again any time soon? I really miss the vegan bashing.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 21, 2011 at 23:17

      Certainy it’ll happen again. I’m not predictable. I don’t wallow in the same shit. I require new and different shit.

  3. LisaW on June 22, 2011 at 01:20

    Are those your dogs in the cabin pictures? They are gorgeous!

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 03:42

      No, we don’t have any dogs. But we know a couple of dogs who own a couple of humans, like Bea and I. 🙂

    • Daniel on June 22, 2011 at 17:41

      Richard you should seriously consider adding a “like” button to your posting layout. I’d definitely click it for this one.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 17:43

      Hum, have you looked at the top of the post, just under the title?

  4. Sean on June 22, 2011 at 06:05

    I’ve been reading math and physics books here on vacation and have been thinking about Don Matesz and another defense of hard science and its offshoots like modern medicine. Not that I have a problem with Don specifically, but he sort of typifies throwing out the baby with the bathwater mentality of ‘alternative medicine’ advocates.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 17:44

      Jesus, Sean, thanks for reminding me to read math and physics on my vacation. 🙂

    • LisaW on June 23, 2011 at 08:02

      Sean, modern medicine might think it’s hard science, but generally it would be wrong. Now physics, that is hard science. Maths is poetry.

  5. Erik on June 22, 2011 at 06:27

    Nice cabin. What caused the fire?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 08:26

      Improper tile job by the wood burning stove.

  6. Rikke on June 22, 2011 at 07:05

    Ooh, that cabin looks absolutely awesome! Totally envious!
    Also, I’m really looking forward tothe posts you mention; thinking > analyzing. I’m slowly moving more towards the carbs, having been quite the “carbophobe” and somewhat concerned with macronutrients. Your post can only be awesome!

    Btw, if we had places like that in Denmark and I brought my dogs there, they’d never wish to leave there! All the interesting things to sniff up – all the food to find, haha! (My dogs are quite the gatherers, being labrador retrievers with a constant hunger.)

  7. Primal Toad on June 22, 2011 at 08:00

    Michael Jackson was an incredible creator. I was a huge fan of his music and still am to this day. One can say what he or she wants.

    I know he was an amazing musician and has inspired millions around the world in a positive way. We all have our “negatives” but what MJ did in a positive sense was massive – not comprehendible.

    I have never heard of the Earth Song but I just watched the whole video. Awesome. Thanks for posting Richard.

    • Bay Area Sparky on June 22, 2011 at 08:46

      Agreed on the video. I hope Richard’s readers stick with it till the not-so-bitter end.

      Definitely worth watching the whole thing.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 09:41

      Yea, the last minute is definitely the best.

    • Aaron Curl on June 23, 2011 at 05:49

      This song is very deep and means a lot to my understanding of the world we live in. Most people think its just a few trees, a couple of animals and the war had to be fought. Others know that all these little things combined are whats leading to the “quickening”.

  8. Bay Area Sparky on June 22, 2011 at 08:43

    Purely as a music video, the MJ one is pretty cool… clearly he threw a lot of money at it but I think the pre-production concept was pretty cool and the finished product kind of compelling.

    Great pictures of the cabin… what a beautiful corner of the world.

  9. Alex on June 22, 2011 at 11:28

    I no longer believe that white people could have possibly originated in Africa:

    • Grok on June 22, 2011 at 21:12

      LMFAO! +1

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 21:33

      Alex, took me a while to get it. ha!

  10. Jim Arkus on June 22, 2011 at 12:34

    “It’s not about macronutrients. It’s about thinking.” Very interested in this post. You know I love when you get philosophical..

  11. wilberfan on June 22, 2011 at 14:31

    Funny you should be thinking about MJ; I think the anniversary of his death is just days away…?

  12. Aram on June 22, 2011 at 15:13

    Saw a documentary on Van Morrison when I was younger; there was a short focus on the recording of Astral Weeks and Sweet Thing in particular. Fell in love with it. I got to see him a few years back in Harlem. Great concert. The man is all business and one smooth man 🙂

  13. rob on June 22, 2011 at 16:02

    I have always liked the Jackson 5 but MJ makes me change the channel.

    “And We’re Gonna Ride The Boogie”

    What exactly is the Boogie and how does one ride it?

    The song presumes that Riding The Boogie is something that is quite wonderful, but at no point does it give the slightest hint of the nature of The Boogie, or how one partakes of The Boogie, or the form of reward one receives for Riding The Boogie.

    Perhaps one receives instant enlightenment for Riding The Boogie, who knows, but in any case the author provides not the slightest clue as to HOW one Rides The Boogie.

    To me The Boogie is much like a religion, people say “If you just open yourself up to The Boogie you will feel it,” but I open myself again and again and am left without The Boogie.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 16:20

      Laf, rob.

      Actually, I’m total love hate with MJ, no in between and I hate far more tracks than I love. But the few I do, I love a lot. I also think he’s an awesome performer, even if I hate the song.

      Well, I’m off to ride the boogie

    • John Q. on July 6, 2011 at 11:45

      The Boogie is code for young boys. Talented or gifted MJ was still a pedophile.

  14. DurianRiderFan on June 22, 2011 at 18:04

    Matt Stone is super cool. Second only to DurianRider himself. Go vegan ! You will not get angina pain, and you’ll have a much more vibrant life, Richy Rich.

  15. Jessica K on June 22, 2011 at 18:19

    I find myself wondering if you (Richard) heckle Durian on his blog. I really only wonder because I don’t care enough to check out his blog. Just sayin’.

    • Jessica K on June 22, 2011 at 18:20

      I guess I should say if your fans heckle Durian on his site.

    • Alex on June 22, 2011 at 18:22

      I just looked, and he doesn’t allow commenting on his blog site.

    • Jessica K on June 22, 2011 at 18:27

      Now isn’t that interesting. Must be why DURIANRIDERFAN comments here.

    • keithallenlaw on June 22, 2011 at 19:15

      Just ignore him. He has no credibility here, or anywhere as far as that goes.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 22, 2011 at 19:35

      I don’t heckle blogs ever. I have my own shit to produce, as pathetic as it gets.

  16. MightyAl on June 23, 2011 at 07:02

    I have a love/hate with MJ. His personal life was a mess but the man was a creative genius. Watch This is It and you can see behind the scenes. He is truly a master of his craft. Too bad every thing around that was a complete mess.

    I love that Durianrider comes over here to heckle. He actually thinks he is relevant.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 23, 2011 at 07:13

      Is that the film they put out shortly after his death, about the run up and rehearsals for the London show? Yea, that was pretty cool. I really liked his management style and there was absolutely no question that he was in charge and that it would be done his way. He got everything he wanted by being a gentle force, not a tyrant.

    • MightyAl on June 24, 2011 at 05:10

      Yeah that is the one. I didn’t want to be impressed but it was hard not to be.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 24, 2011 at 07:06

      Ha, exactly. Dragged, kicking and screaming, as they say. Then you pretend not to like it, until you do.

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