Glee Season 2 Finale

 

New Directions is writing their competition song(s) the day before nationals?
Finn wouldn’t understand or like New York?  after that montage w/Rachel?
Rachel doesn’t know that Cats has been closed for 11 years, but Quinn does?

Does this show ever watch itself?

I Told You So

The country music tent has grown very large in recent years, and I enjoy almost all of it.  Vince Gill has some great blues chops; Nickel Creek progressively pushes bluegrass boundaries;  Zac Brown Band recalls Skynard and the Allmans; and Toby/Trace/Keith frequently release rock songs.   I even heard Lucinda Williams referred to recently as a country artist.

But  now and again its nice to hear a good ole throwback country song, with plaintive emotion, steel guitars, a good story, and just the right amount of twang.    Carrie Underwood gets it right with her recent cover of Randy Travis’ 1980’s hit “I Told You So“.

Bob Dylan in concert

It was on Sunday evening 10/11/10 at the UCF arena.  Linda and I figured we should take advantage and see him in person while we have the chance.  The price was excellent, and I secured two mid-floor seats in the three year old 9,000+ seat facility.

Dylan and his band came on stage about 20 minutes after the published start time of 8pm.  He had a slick looking electric boogie blues band dressed in seersucker suits and black shirts.  Guitarist/frontman Charlie Sexton had all the stage swagger and style of Robbie Robertson.   Dylan played guitar, keyboards and harmonica and moved nearly seamlessly from song to song for the nearly 2 hour set.  Dylan had the only vocal microphone; no harmonies expected in this show.

There were no acoustic versions of any songs, it was all wall-of-sound rock/blues, with some radical style changes to his well-known tunes such as Tangled up in Blue, and Just Like a Woman.   In fact, I completely failed to recognize Tangled, although Linda bopped along and cited it as her favorite Dylan song.   To me, the sound mix was loud and muddied, made even more indistinct because  Dylan is hardly known for his diction and annunciation.   Perhaps if I had caught any of the lyrics to Tangled, I might have been able to recognize it.

Many people ignored the fact that it was posted throughout the arena that photography and recording were forbidden.   I took advantage and whipped out my casio cell phone for a few pictures, but I was wrong place and time.  As facebook readers may know, a plainclothes security guy promptly escorted me out of the hall and requested I take my camera and leave it in my car.  I promised to be good, and he relented and allowed me back in to the concert and even became somewhat apologetic saying he was just doing his job, and it was Dylan’s rule anyway.    I didn’t attempt anymore photos, and regretfully, the ones I took had the image stabilization turned off so they are very unsharp.

After 1 hour and 45 minutes, the band wrapped up with a cursory encore performance of Like a Rolling Stone, then they took a bow and were off the stage and gone.   Altogether a very worthwhile time was had, and I’m really glad for the opportunity.  I was not bored, although it was nowhere near the thrill or excitement of other icons we’ve seen in concert like Sinatra (late 80’s) or Paul McCartney (1991-ish).    In fact, Carlos Santana in the UCF arena back in 2008 was a whole lot bigger and better concert experience for me.  Santana was at least as loud as the Dylan band, but his sound mix was crisp and clean – you could hear every single instrument.

Sentinel review is here.

f*ck it list

Inspired by http://blogs.vocalo.org/amykr/ I thought I’d put my own list together.  These are all things that I have done at one time or another in my life, which I am intending to avoid altogether for the rest of my days.

  • leave a shopping cart in the parking lot
  • permit someone to cut in a traffic lane because they didn’t want to wait at the beginning of the backup
  • get in a fight with someone on the internet
  • borrow money with pre-payment stipulations
  • smoke (unless I go to prison)
  • try to impress someone with how much I know
  • drink to the point of blackout
  • eat while talking on the phone
  • litter
  • fail to record car maintenance events
  • be careless while handling a catfish
  • texting from the drivers seat while the car is moving
  • eat a clam, oyster or mussel
  • be pressured into volunteering for a job I really don’t want
  • go for a year without a dental checkup
  • break things when I get mad or aggravated (I have a punching bag now)
  • download warez software

streaming HD video

We are now living room consumers of streaming high-definition video on demand from Netflix, thanks to this $150 blu-ray/netflix player I picked up over the weekend.

Network connection to the living room is via a cisco powerline network extender that uses existing electrical house wiring.  I got this $90 network gadget in a random grab bag from woot.com last month for $8 shipped.    I plugged it in, and it just worked, with no throttling of network throughput, and no configuration required.   I’m getting a 10Mbs download stream at the remote hub just like I get at the source router.  That is over twice as fast as what’s needed for HD delivery.   And the added bonus is that my dish network DVR is now connected to the internet and I can manage the recordings over a web browser.  SOOO much easier to search for programming and navigate our queue of recorded programs. (Can a slingbox be far behind?)

But back to the streaming video: it almost indistinguishable from regular HD, although I did notice some visual stuttering during rapid camera pans.  We watched Julie and Julia Sunday afternoon, and there wasn’t a single hiccup in the whole movie.

Plus our first blu-ray DVD’s start arriving from netflix this week, and I look forward to that.

Hope this makes up a little bit to the family for my accidentally erasing the season finale of  Nurse Jackie,  after the series stopped airing on Showtime.

blame

How do you deal with human error/mistakes and improve accountability?   In any event, but especially when safety is involved?

James Bagian—NASA astronaut turned VA patient safety expert—suggests in this Slate.com article to set a “blameworthy” criteria for mishaps.  His criteria is 3-fold: resulting from intentionally unsafe actions, intoxication, or criminal action (assault, rape or larceny).   I might add carelessness to that list, although from a systems perspective, carelessness can be the result of productivity standards set too high.

Bagian says that safety practices in our health care system are shameful compared with the fields of aeronautics and engineering.

Interesting series about wrongology on Slate.

Chicago (the musical)

Sunday Gina and I went to see the touring company of Chicago at Orlando’s Bob Carr center.  It was the final performance before they moved on, and our tickets were perhaps the best I’ve ever had at the Carr – orchestra center just 10 rows back.  Sight lines were ideal and I had no use for the opera glasses I brought along.   The Carr was nearly sold out.

I was a little surprised at the minimal staging.  The set was only a bandstand, and there were no costume changes.    However I read up later and found that this staging was characteristic of the 1996 Broadway revival of the show, which is still running today.  The original opened in 1975.    Popular thought is that the show resonated more with audiences in the 90’s era of celebrity criminals like OJ Simpson.  To me it brought to mind the media appetite for our local Casey Anthony case, a pretty young woman suspected of a particularly heinous murder.

The touring cast was polished and first rate.   Bonnie Langford was a little oldish for the part of Roxie Hart, but both she and Brent Barret (Billy Flynn) appeared in the Broadway revival at one point.  Langford is a Brit, best known as one of the 1980’s Dr. Who companions.   All cast members had near invisible body mics which were almost perfectly mixed from where I was seated.   The onstage band included a banjo player.   It was nice to hear some songs that were cut from the 2002 movie.