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Showing posts from February, 2010

To Download or Not To Download

That is the question … do you download music? Or do you buy music on soon-to-be-old-fashioned CDs?

Here are some more deeply personal questions: do you own cassettes? And a cassette player? Eight-track tapes? Records? Something to play them on?

For me, the answer is “all of the above except eight-track tape,” but Compact Discs are the media that contain most of my music collection. CDs have been around since the mid 1980s and it seemed like they would never go away. But downloading music is rapidly taking over and I have to admit that I now buy music this way about twenty percent of the time.

I heard a new Bon Jovi song on the radio tonight and wanted to buy it. Music stores are closed, Wal-Mart was the other direction from where I was going and I only wanted that one song. I got home, tapped a few keys and I’m listening to it right now as I write this. iTunes tagging makes this even easier; on certain types of radios, you hit a button when you want to buy the song you’re listening to an…

Got Me Some Culture

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I went to the symphony last night for the first time in more than fifteen years. Blues, country and rock are my usual favorite genres but I like classical music too.

This performance was not by just any ordinary orchestra. It was the National Symphony Orchestra performing at the world-famous Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

The first half of the program began with Requiem for Icarus, a contemporary composition by Lera Auerbach.

The reason I chose this night was next: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. My friend Eliz got me interested in this work and when I saw it on the schedule I knew I had to see it live. I wish I could have shared this with her. Maybe next time.

Pianist Denis Matsuev was incredible. He got a long standing ovation, came back to take a bow 3 times, then did an encore (I think it was Marriage of Figaro) and received another standing ovation and returned for bows two more times.

I learned later that Rachmaninoff himself perform this work …

And the Award Goes To …

The Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series goes to … Tiger Woods!

(insert polite PGA-style applause here)

“But most of all I’d like to thank my acting coach and marketing director for helping me rehearse this speech. I look forward to getting all of this behind me so I can get my balls out of storage and my putter back into action. What?! Golf balls! Putter, as in golf club, you know, that thing with a long shaft that I used for a hole in one … oh, c’mon people, you’ve all seen me play. I’m determined to reach all my goals and to get what I want. My actions are inspired by my name.”

Wood?

“No, Tiger.”

How does an obviously talented sports figure with a great personality, a good look and an inspiring life story get to the point where he is in the spotlight for behavior that brings embarrassment to his family and shows a side of his persona that completely contradicts his positive image as a role model? We have already learned a valuable lesson from him that someone can achieve exc…

Am I Forgetting Something?

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Every year around this time I start to think I’m forgetting something. Doesn’t this part of February mean something?

This year Mardi Gras happened this week, but no, that’s not it. There’s Valentine’s Day but that’s not it either; I’m a hopeless romantic so I always remember that day.

Oh yeah, I know. My Dad’s birthday is/was this week. Even though he died eight years ago I still think about him around his birthday. In fact I remember it better now than when he was alive. It seems I always got cards and presents to him late. A few years ago I found the card I meant to send him on what turned out to be his last birthday.

There are reminders of him all over my house and my life. I have a few pictures of him on bookshelves. My garage is filled with many of the tools and tool boxes he always intended for me to have after he died. Some of those tools are gifts I gave him on various birthdays.

I am reminded of my Dad every time I look in the mirror. I have his mouth and his eyes and sometimes h…

Happy Mardi Gras!!

Mardi Gras seems to go on forever, partly because it does. In New Orleans is lasts for several weeks and this year it was even crazier than usual because the New Orleans Saints won their first ever appearance in the Super Bowl right in the middle of this year's Mardi Gras season.

But the actual Mardi Gras DAY is TODAY. It varies each year because it is always the day before Ash Wednesday.

Check out these links for a little more info and flavor:

Watch live streaming video from mymardigrasexperience at livestream.com

The New Orleans Site

Mardi Gras Parade Cam

Bourbon Street Cam (this one might not be active till the evening)

Excitement, Stability and Bicycles

For a shy Catholic school kid from the south, I’ve led a pretty exciting and charmed life so far. Yet a conversation with two high school buddies last summer provided an interesting perspective on how unpredictable life can be.

Here is a glimpse of my life to this point: I’ve lived in five states, worked at nine radio stations and an international radio network, been self-employed twice, met numerous celebrities, rock stars and country singers, interviewed CEOs, Senators, an astronaut and Bill Clinton’s press secretary in her office in the West Wing, emceed concerts in front of thousands of fans, narrated a skydiving show in front of 40,000 spectators in Cotton Bowl Stadium, flew as a passenger in a hot air balloon race, did a few traffic reports from a helicopter, took four cross-country train trips, served in the Army, had more girlfriends than I could possibly have imagined and married three of them, helped organize a record-setting blood drive, gave a speech at a hospice event that…

Blizzard Perspective

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Dealing with back-to-back blizzards provides some interesting perspective on life, nature and human behavior.

As humans, we think we can control everything. We dam rivers, kill weeds and cure diseases yet we can’t stop blizzards. Meteorological science enables us to predict potentially disastrous weather and psychological observation allows us to predict our reaction, but the weather keeps a comin’.

We watch the snow fall and fall and fall and accumulate and pile up. We break out the shovels and snow blowers and try to clear paths for cars and feet. Wind whips across open fields and between buildings, blowing snow back across the paths. The cycle continues but the only real progress occurs when the wind stops and the temperature rises. Mother Nature wins the Super Bowl ring every time.



After several years of little or no snow in the Mid-Atlantic we became complacent. Oh, it won’t snow much. We don’t need extra water, food or firewood. We don’t have to plan ahead in case we can’t get to w…

Think Warm, part 2

This video says it all, doesn't it? ...


Think Warm

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I have a lot to say about these back to back blizzards, but for this post I'll let this picture be worth a thousand words. The statue wearing the baseball cap is me in Hawaii in January 1996, days after another record-setting DC-area blizzard.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow .... oh shut up!

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Two feet of snow last weekend, two more feet this week. Time to stop!!

This is me standing in the driveway in front of where I work.



Can you figure out what this is?




Here I am with some work friends ... doing shots! I never do shots. But we were all at the hotel next door to work because we couldn't get home and I didn't have to drive anywhere, soooo...

Another One Is Coming

I'm still digging out of the record-setting weekend snowstorm and now another one is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.

I like snow but this is ridiculous. It isn't usually this bad. In fact, I haven't seen any snow falls of more than 4 or 5 inches in several years, which is why I keep putting off buying a snow blower.

Maybe it's time to visit my friends in Hawaii. The last time I saw them was just days after a blizzard. Great seasonal therapy then, would be again.

They Did It!

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The New Orleans Saints WON the Super Bowl. Here is a picture of a celebration in the streets in New Orleans.

OK, I'm Ready

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Saints Snowman

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I should call him Drew Freeze.

Two In One Season

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We're in the middle of the second record-setting snowstorm of this season. As of 9:00 this morning, it has been snowing for twenty hours. The prediction is for at least six more hours and 4 to 8 more inches of snow. I'm glad I don't have to be anywhere today or tomorrow.

A view from my front door:



Clearing a path in the back for the dogs:

Saints and Snow

While I'm waiting for more snow to fall, let's get back to the New Orleans Saints for a minute. They're in the Super Bowl for the first time in their 40-plus year history.

Here is something a co-worker with New Orleans connections sent me. It's a little "fun" game that might enhance your enjoyment of tasty adult beverages during the Super Bowl.

WHODAT!


The New Orleans Saints Superbowl Drinking Game

1. Every time they mention hurricane Katrina, drink 1
2. If they show pictures of the City of New Orleans right
after Katrina, drink 1
3. Every time they say how much the Saints mean to the City
of New Orleans , drink 1
4. Every time the words "tragedy", "flood", or
"devastation" are used, drink 1
5. Every time they talk about how good Reggie Bush was in
college, drink 3
6. If they show Kim Kardashian in the stands, drink 5
7. Every time they show a picture of Reggie Bush with a bat
or say "bringing the wood" drink for 5 seconds.
8. Every ti…

MORE Snow Coming

This is the snowiest (is that a word?) winter I've seen in Maryland in a long time. A huge snowstorm is coming tonight. Light snow started falling a few hours ago but the heavy stuff is due within the next few hours.

I like snow, but NOT this much.

Stay tuned for pictures ... if I don't lose power or internet.

Sloppy Gloppy Snow

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Last night's snowfall consisted of wet snow. It's a little sloppy but still beautiful. This is the view from my sunroom, which I should rename 'snowview room'.


Finding Your Nietzsche

I heard this thought-provoking quote at the end of a TV show tonight:

When you look long into the abyss the abyss also looks into you.

I have heard of Friedrich Nietzsche, knew he was a philosopher, did not know any of his famous quotes. So I Googled him. Here are a few more. Interesting stuff.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.

I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer.

What does not kill me makes me stronger.