In response to my previous blog, which featured videos of two acts from a UK talent show, I received an email pointing me to an old "Burns and Allen" television show from yesteryear:
Good grief this takes you back in time... On a completely different tack, another friend sent me a link to the most amazing audio/video composite of a "virtual jamming session" that spans the globe. One street performer recorded the original track, and then additional instruments and vocals were laid down by different singers and musicians from around the world:
The song itself is the classic Stand By Me, which was originally released in 1955 by The Staple Singers and then released again in 1961 by The Drifters. This composite version is a real toe tapper, so turn up the speaker volume and prepare yourself for a warm and happy feeling.
Did you ever see the incredibly Irish dancing in River Dance. When this first came out (circa 1994) it blew me away. River Dance was followed a couple of years later (circa 1996) by Lord Of The Dance.
I think there were a few incarnations of this, like a New York version versus a UK version. The one I'm thinking of is where the blond-haired lead dancer Michael Flatley gets into a "dance battle" with some nasty guy who broke a little girl-spirits' penny whistle. Well, returning to the UK talent show, if you've not already been exposed to the father and son team performing their Greek-Irish version of this dance battle... all I can say is that it's a MUST SEE:
Speaking of tin whistles... (we were, weren't we?)... when I was in my early 20s vacationing on a Greek Island I met three Irish lads who each had a tin whistle. You wouldn't believe how wonderful it sounded to hear them all trilling away together.
Anyway, as fate would have it, a couple of weeks ago I happened to run across a Celtic Tin Whistle on Amazon. This reminded me of my misspent youth, so I decided that it would be fun to learn to play it. I ordered one (not unreasonable at $12.95) along with The Penny-Whistle-Book (a real bargain at only $5.95).
The basic idea is quite simple. There are only six holes on the top and (unlike a recorder) no holes on the bottom. Getting the lower octave is easy-peasy, but achieving the upper octave is a little trickier (it's the same fingering as the lower octave – you just have to tongue/blow differently).
Our cat Rocket absolutely loves it when I play. He races through the house and leaps onto my lap where he sits entranced (of course this makes it a little harder to read the music). My wife, on the other hand, turns out to not be quite the lover of music I was led to believe... in fact, I am now banned from practicing my art when she is in the house.
Moving on ... are you looking for a Birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day ... "Any Day" present for anyone? Well, if so, dare I be so bold as to note that you really can't go wrong with my How Computers Do Math and/or Bebop To The Boolean Boogie (Edition #3) books, both of which are 5-star rated on Amazon. The reason I bring this up is that I am currently a tad short of funds, so I'm encouraging everyone I know to buy these books and bring a little smile to my face...
Last but not least (for the moment), someone recently sent me an email with the subject What Pets Write in their Diaries. This is an oldie-but-goodie... we've all seen it before (more times than I care to remember)... but it still makes me laugh because we have two dogs and a cat and this is so like them:
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Diary...
Day 983 of my captivity...
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am.
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow – but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe... for now...
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=118, R=247|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=354.00, A=365.82, Δ=+11.82, R=634.18|
|Note:|| I have the 400-mile-marker in my sights...|