Archive for March, 2009

March 25, 2009
Filed Under (Noted in passing) by transom

It was kind of bitter-sweet but in the long run, like prunes, it is going to be good for me.

March 22, 2009
Filed Under (Life in the PNW, Playing on iTunes) by transom

This week was another of the NY Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcasts. The day on the way to border was beautiful with snow-capped mountains from horizon to horizon. The performance of La Sonnambula put the view to shame. By the end of the day, I was ready to go back and see it again.

This may have been the perfect opera experience. Bellini’s music was beautiful, the casting and singing were spot-on, and the stagecraft (unlike some earlier operas) added to the impact of the scenes rather than fighting for attention with the performer. But the most amazing part is the director’s (Mary Zimmerman) re-imagining of this 19th century period piece transforms as it moves back and forth between the contemporary lovers and the opera within an opera.

It was a clever vehicle that added extra power to the performances as well as providing a means of carrying this story well into the future. No small feat for a story line that almost falls over into English farce (like a two-part episode of Frasier.)

March 21, 2009
Filed Under (Cracks Me Up!) by transom

There must be – I laugh out loud everytime I see this opening from the Craig Ferguson show (on after Letterman) I can’t even begin to provide the context. Just know that using puppets for the opening is a running gag. I MUST resist watching it more than once a day.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

March 10, 2009
Filed Under (Playing on iTunes) by transom

I am mentioning this in case someone else is left scratching their head about why songs that they have left “unchecked” in iTunes are suddenly appearing on their iPod, iPhone or AppleTV.

It appears that the behavior around checked songs in iTunes changed in a recent release. Previously, if you had an item unchecked, iTunes ignored it for all intents and purposes. Now with release 8.0.2 of iTunes (at least that’s when I noticed it), each smart list has a new option “Match Checked Items Only”. I’ve had to go in and modify each Smart playlist to honor that condition. Annoying!

March 03, 2009
Filed Under (Noted in passing) by transom

It is no surprise that the talented author, Bob Greene, has crafted an appropriate and eloquent eulogy for Paul Harvey – “He was famed for his voice, but the writing itself was so beautiful — his respect for words, his understanding of the potency of economy, his instinct for removing the superfluous. The world heard him speak, but the world never saw him write, and I think he honored both aspects of his skill equally.” You can read the full article on CNN

As it happens Bob Greene and I are about the same age (he is slightly more famous), we both grew up in the Midwest and Paul Harvey was part of the pastiche of our youth. Paul Harvey was so uncool but he was a pleasure to listen to. As a high-school debater, I was in awe of how few words it took for him to express a complete thought. His cadence was exquisite, leading you to the punch-line with a precision that you could only hope to allude to in your own arguments.

Paul never wore his patriotism on his sleeve as so many seem to do today. It wasn’t used to make a point but you had no doubt about his pride in the country and the many cultures and ideals that give its strength (and, on occasion, its failures.) Unlike the bombastic demagoguery that passes for radio today, Paul Harvey was a unique American voice that built upon that which is uniquely, the American experience.