I am trying to find the owner of this domain name. Please help!
All posts for the month April, 2012
The 2012 World Tour of “The Boss” is called The Wrecking Ball Tour. Of course, by the “Boss”, I mean none other than Bruce Springsteen, perhaps America’s last great rock and roll star, someone who can at least, be spoken of in the same sentence or paragraph as Elvis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. I last saw a live Springsteen concert in the Mile High City of Denver, back in the 1980s. I was also in London a few years ago when he played at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival. I could hear the beat and the cheers coming from old Hyde Park.
The current members of the band are: The Boss, Steve Van Zandt, Patti Scialfa, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Roy Bittan, and Nils Lofgren. In Memoriam members are the great sax man, Clarence Clemons, and Danny Federici. Additional musicians are Suzi Tyrell, and Charles Giordano. Wrecking Ball refers to the Boss’ 17th album, featuring eleven new Springsteen songs.
Bruce Springsteen was born on September, 23, 1949 in Freehold, New Jersey. He played in local bars while he began assembling the E Street Band. His album “Born to Run” symbolically linked arena rock with his tales of struggle of the working class in America. His father had a hard time holding down a job. His mother was a secretary in a local insurance office. He strongly feels his parents’ experience helped forge his own. Basically, it told him what was at stake when you are born in the U.S.A.
His first love affair with music was seeing Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. His mother took out a loan to buy a $60 Kent guitar for his 16th birthday. He was frequently in trouble at his Catholic school. He even skipped his own high school graduation. In 1967, he was drafted for service in the Vietnam War. He was disqualified he says for his weird behavior and a concussion from a previous motorcycle accident.
By the late 60s, he was spending most of his time at Asbury Park on the Jersey shore. He played with several different bands, and began to get noticed with his gravelly baritone voice. Here, he met the future members of the E Street Band. The nickname, “The Boss” came from his habit of collecting money during the shows, and distributing it evenly among the band members.
Columbia released his first studio album in 1972, “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” which garnered acclaim, when people compared him to Bob Dylan. Even his second album was highly acclaimed, but did not sell any better than the first. Finally, the third album, “Born to Run” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and placed him on the threshold of fame. The album drew heavily upon his Jersey roots, with soaring guitars, larger-than-life characters, urban romance, and his rebellious spirit.
The fourth album in 1978 was “Darkness On the Edge of Town”, was somber, with lost love, depression, and existential suffering. With success, he feared that he was going to change. To promote the album, they went on a national tour, where they became famous for marathon shows of 3 to 4 hours. During this period, The Boss became famous for his integrity and pride as a performer, and for his perfectionism in the recording studio. In fact, that is how he got his nickname.
Superstardom came in 1984 with “Born in the U.S.A.” in 1984, with seven singles hitting the Billboard charts, including two of my favorites, “Dancing in the Dark” and “Glory Days.” The album became a best seller, and spawned the tour that I saw in Denver on a freezing rain and ice stormed night. He met and married actress Julianne Phillips in 1985. After a separation and divorce, he married Patti Scialfa in 1991, and now have three children.
In 1989, he dissolved the E Street Band, and moved to California. The next two albums came from a much happier place. But his songs seemed to lack emotional intensity. But he came back strongly with an
Oscar-winning song, “The Streets of Philadelphia” for the movie, Philadelphia. Finally, in 1999, he reunited with E Street and went on tour to promote their “Greatest Hits” album. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 as well. His music is used in films, like Jerry Maguire, and Philadelphia, among many others. He was won 21 Grammies. The Boss and E Street released “The Rising” in 2002, much of it dealing with the 9/11 attacks on America. A few more albums, including the more traditional rock album, “Magic” in 2007 were inspired by the band and the death of long time band mate and friend, Danny Federici.
Like many of us, he joined the effort to elect Barrack Obama as President. “The Rising” was played at Obama’s victory party. Later, he opened the show at Obama’s Inaugural celebration. In 2009, he was honored by the Kennedy Center, where President Obama called him, “The Boss”.
This will be an evening with very little sitting, and certainly few if any quiet times. This is “The Boss” at his best, minus sax man Clemons. I cannot wait. This should be the highlight of my 2012 music concerts. Kudos to my music wife, Sian. You are the best music fan in the world! This concert, in fact, maybe my musical highlight of the decade or at least, the new millennium. I am certain to feel at least thirty years younger. He does that to people. He makes us forget, yet he pleads for us to remember. He is “The Boss.”
Trivia question: What do George Costanza (Jason Alexander on Seinfeld) and Frank Lloyd Wright have in common? Of course, they are both architects! Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s home from 1937 to 1959, when Wright died at the age of 91. Today, it serves as the primary campus for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Wright paid $3.50 an acre when he envisioned the desert as his winter home. His official residence and place of business were in Wisconsin. Because he felt so strongly about his connection with the desert, he continued to build and eventually live here full-time.
I am certain you can read all about him, his many wives, and offspring. His most famous living relative is a granddaughter, Anne Baxter, the actress. My focus is on the campus itself, and the School of Architecture. And no, George Costanza did not graduate from this esteemed school.
It is a fully accredited institution of higher learning, offering both a Bachelor and Master of Science degree. First year students are forced to live in make shift tents on the property behind the main campus. Our guide told us that a big problem, bigger than snakes, were the desert rats. The experience is meant to force the student to think about what could be done to improve their living arrangements.
Students could build a better home, so to speak, and often asked for donations from nearby builders and supplies. Labor, of course, was free, as in “do-it-yourself”. One enterprising student got a solar company to offer two solar panels. He had a single light from which to read upon completion. Sometimes, a student left their project incomplete, only to have another student come along and complete it!
Kitchen duty was another part of the curriculum, again designed to make the student think about their living space and what a kitchen should be. Peeling 400 pounds of onions, however, seems a little overboard. Students also had to arrange the dining tables and seating in the dining hall, again with a lesson in mind. If the tables and chairs were not placed for maximum efficiency and movement, the student would continue until he or she found a solution.
I think you get the idea by now. Every job or assignment, no matter how trivial, had a lesson. Students learned architecture through life lessons as well as book learning. After housekeeping duties were complete, a student might finally get to work in the drafting room.
Students must live on campus, for 50 weeks of every year. The tuition these days runs about $30,000 per year, but includes room and board. Eventually, the student earns dormitory privileges though their sleeping bags from their “tent days” are still used in the small, but efficient dorm.
Students are told to bring two items to campus. The sleeping bag, of course, and a tuxedo. The tuxedo was for Saturday night “fun” night. They were not allowed to drive into Scottsdale and partake of the town’s nightlife. The students were invited for cocktails into the Wright’s living room, often with dignitaries present. One such person was Joseph Stalin’s daughter. Often times, Congressmen or local politicians, musicians, and lecturers were invited. After cocktails and dinner, a movie might be shown, or a live musical performance would take place. A large auditorium type amphitheater was built for this purpose.
The school can accommodate only 30 students, though currently only 22 are on campus. Scholarships are available after the first year on campus. Our guide and practicing architect said he was admitted after filling out a one page application and an interview with Mrs. Wright. Today’s student must submit some of their drawings and designs, as well as the usual admission garbage.
I did ask if Mr. Wright and Georgia O’Keefe were friends. Most definitely, to the point where they corresponded regularly. In fact, aside from his over 1100 architectural designs, over 550 were completed. This is an ungodly number for one man! He was also a prolific letter writer, and probably did not sleep more than a few hours a night, much like Thomas Edison. Busy man, as he also had six children by his first wife.
I could go on and on, as these stories are not found on their website or Wiki. But I think you get the idea. And hopefully, you have received flavor enough to drop in on your next trip to Scottsdale. It is certainly a stark contrast to the bleached blondes and plastic surgery that I have come to associate with modern-day Scottsdale.
When my son was younger, we embarked on many baseball trips, certainly on the West Coast, and often beyond. The new Washington Nationals ballpark here in DC brings back many of those cherished memories. We would get to a city, check out the schedule, and hope for a home game by the home team. Often, we bought tickets beforehand, planning the entire trip around the games, usually with the Giants as the visiting team.
Of course, the two Bay Area ballparks have nothing in common. The San Francisco Giants reside at the nicest ballpark in baseball, ATT Park down in China Basin. Prior to that, we endured the old Seals Stadium, once housing the old San Francisco Seals, and the DiMaggio brothers. I saw my very first professional game at Seals Stadium when Willie Mac was a rookie! Then came the windy, cold, and downright poorly designed Candlestink Park out near Hunter’s Point. Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s stayed in the Oakland Coliseum, far longer than anyone ever realized. But I did see five different World Series there.
We visited a few minor league ball parks too. In fact, I also played in many of them. Euless Park in Fresno was the old home of the Fresno Giants when they were a Single A team. This was the site of my first home run over a real fence! Salinas has a cute minor league park, but not too exciting. The San Jose Giants ballpark down near San Jose State is great fun on giveaway nights, and their BBQ is primo. I played baseball one summer in Lodi, where the minor league park was also our home field. I also went to minor league games in Modesto, Stockton, Visalia, and another in Portland.
On the west coast, and in California, Dodger Stadium was once the gold standard. I never got to play there, but did get to play in the old Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. It was a replica of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and site of the old black and white TV series, “Home Run Derby”. I saw the Angels play there, as well as in Dodger Stadium, before they moved to Anaheim. My son and I saw the All Star Game in Anaheim back in 1989.
By the time I got there, the bleachers were gone. Our family and fans had to go out and buy cheap lawn chairs at a nearby K Mart as I recall. But for most of us, the dream of playing in a (former and temporary) major league ballpark was a great thrill. We had to walk out beyond the outfield fence to use the porta-potty, as the dressing rooms by the dugouts were flooded and stinky.
The Dodgers also played at the Los Angeles Coliseum, home of the USC Trojans football team, and site of the 1984 Olympics. The left field fence was not more than 250 feet from home plate. A large screen was erected to keep ordinary pop-ups from leaving the field as home runs. It was a joke of a baseball field.
Of course, I was able to see baseball at its very finest, with Chicago’s Wrigley Field at the top, followed closely by Fenway Park in Boston, and the new Yankee Stadium in New York. I would rate ATT Park in San Francisco at the very top of the new ballparks, with Coors Field in Denver second, and Chase Field in Phoenix a close third. I have been fortunate enough to see all three.
A few stadiums have since been replaced since I crossed them off of my list. These would be the old Seattle Kingdome (previous home of the Seattle Mariners), Denver’s Mile High Stadium (previous home of the Colorado Rockies), and old Busch Stadium in St. Louis, home of the World Champion Cardinals. All three have been imploded, and perhaps rightly so.
A few other baseball venues I have been to are: The Superdome in New Orleans, home to college baseball (Tulane and Xavier), Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, since replaced by Petco Park. I plan to see Petco Park in June when the Giants visit. College games are fun to watch, the stadiums so small, the coeds so tanned, but no beer for sale!
One of the cutest little baseball only parks in the US is in Honolulu, at the University of Hawaii. My son and I saw many Rainbow games there over the years. They tend to cheer there, just like regular college football games!
At this point in my life, and with my son moving on to bigger and better things, I will probably just leave the ball park “water pail list” to chance. But if you get bored, and want to visit some out-of-the-way place, like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, or the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, give me a call!
Turns out that we know several of you who are NPR Junkies. So, it begs the question, what is NPR? Let’s see, the Junkies around here are Lori V. and Rosie. Back east, the Junkettes are Ginny and Lisa. I do not know the frequency on the FM dial. It is FM, right? I just read where it is 88.5FM.
NPR was formerly called National Public Radio. It is a privately and publicly funded non-profit membership media organization, I would assume similar to PBS. They turn around and syndicate the shows to 900 public radio stations across the US.
NPR produces and distributes news and cultural programming. The various individual radio stations do not have to broadcast all NPR produced programs. Even rival providers are allowed, as well as local produced programming. Their flagship programs are Morning Edition and the afternoon All Things Considered. They are the two most popular radio programs in the country.
NPR distributes their programs, as well as independently produced programs via the Public Radio Satellite System. Content is also available on-demand via the web, mobile, and podcasts.
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Public Broadcasting Service, in addition to NPR. NPR’s first program broadcast in April 1971, covering Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. All Things Considered began in May, 1971, hosted by Robert Conley.
NPR nearly died in the 80s with over $7 million in debt. Fortunately, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting agreed to lend the network some money to avoid bankruptcy. NPR agreed to turn its satellite service into a joint venture, making it possible for non-NPR shows to attain national distribution.
In 2002, NPR spent $13 million to acquire and equip a West Coast 25,000 square foot production facility. It was called “NPR West” and located in Culver City, CA. The facility improved coverage over the west and provided a measure of security in the event of a catastrophe in Washington, DC.
Leave it to the estate of Joan Kroc, widow to Ray Kroc , the founder of McDonald’s to donate $235 million. It was the largest donation ever made to a cultural institution. An endowment was increased with $35 million from Mrs. Kroc. The 2005 budget was $120 million.
In July 2010, NPR quietly replaced the National Public Radio moniker. In October 2010, NPR received a grant of $1.8 million from the Open Society Network. It is a program designed to add 100 journalists at NPR member station across the 50 states over a three-year period.
NPR is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of sixteen people, including the Chair of the NPR Foundation. The current President and CEO of NPR is Gary Knell. Most recently, NPR revenues totaled $180 million, 50% of which comes from fees it charges its member stations. Member stations raise money through pledge drives, much as seen on PBS.
According to surveys, about 20 million people listen to NPR on a daily basis. Get this!!! The average listener is 50 years old, and makes $78,000 a year. Their listenership is 80% white, and 20% for the rest of us. The Morning Edition program is the networks most popular program with 12.9 million listeners a week. All Things Considered is a close second at 12.2 million listeners. And in 2005, NPR was voted the most trusted news service in a Harris Poll.
In perhaps one of the strangest juxtapositions of political leanings, NPR has been accused of both a liberal and a conservative bias. In addition, NPR has been accused of bias towards Iraq and Israel. How does anyone really ascertain the validity of these so-called biases? Flip a coin, and donate it to NPR after it lands on its edge?
Some of the music can be characterized as leading edge, such as Bon Iver in November 2011, the famous song writer, Jimmy Webb in September 2011, and Emmy Lou Harris at the Newport Folk Festival. And I love their recent special on “The Fourth Stooge: Memories of Uncle Shemp”. I am so thankful I do not have an Uncle Shemp. I do have an Uncle Sus, not to be confused with Dr. Seuss. Note: In the entire universe, why did I tune in to NPR on my way back from the Grand Canyon, only to hear all about Uncle Shemp?
If I were to draw some common characteristics from those of you NPR-Heads out there, it would be this. You are all strong-willed, all female, all well read and educated, and above all, all opinionated (in a good way, of course). I wonder what the typical demographic profile of an NPR-Head would be?
Go Shemp!!!!! You were a legend.
Retail therapy comes in many shapes and sizes. Downtown DC, at least the White House, Capitol, and Business District has lost most of its retail over the last twenty to thirty years. The neighborhoods, like Adams Morgan, U Street, and Georgetown are now the best, and only places to get downright deep and dirty in shopping bags.
Sidebar: I did make up one name. Do you know which one?
I did find a few interesting stores, however difficult they are to find. Carbon on U Street carries the Tsubo shoes that I enjoy. The last pair I bought were from Boulder, CO. The first pair I ever bought were from Goler in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Circle Boutique on 17th near DuPont Circle carries Obedient Sons men’s cardigans. I also would buy a Corpus denim blazer if I ever had a need for one. I don’t, but I should. Girls, do not despair, as they have the smartest tweedy blazers to cure your inner Preppy!
A store called Go Mama Go! cannot be ignored! This 14th Street home goods store sells teapots, cutting boards, sake sets, you know, the stuff you ladies like to accumulate and never use. They say it the place to go for your color themed parties.
For my friend Sian, Hu’s Shoes is the place for stylish shoes. If you don’t go, you could end up hu-less, much less shoeless. It is the grownup girl’s version of Fantasyland, if not Imelda Marcos-ville.
Relish on Cadys Alley is not a hot dog place, but a place for those who dress like hot dogs. Enter only if you have a serious sense of style, and absolutely NO inhibitions regarding color, texture, or pattern. For example, they carry Dries Van Noten for both men and women.
Alex on Pennsylvania Avenue, not far from the White House, makes boys play upstairs, girls play downstairs. The have those unique Custo Barcelona tops, and Varvatos for both play areas. Best things are the stuff from local designers.
Candida’s World of Books is not about the song, but perhaps the best collection of travel books, both guidebooks and travel writing) in all of DC. The experts say spending the day at Candida’s is like spending the day travelling the world! Just take the Circulator bus to 14th.
Destination U, obviously on U Street, has the Kowboy’s T’s for men. Now personally, I will buy a souvenir T-shirt from a point of interest, but I am not sure I want to be a billboard for a brand of beer, or line of cosmetics. Shame on me, I did buy a T-shirt at Ben’s Chili Bowl. But the locally designed jewelry has women drooling, or was that the medication?
Monday, I had to settle for some Puma tennies, at half price, to replace my worn out Asics. I am now looking for a used clothing drop off. I also replaced my toilet kit with a great new, lightweight one from Tumi. And I found another safari shirt for my trip this summer to Africa at Banana Republic, for under $20. Neutral colors are so hard to find! But what will I do with the stuff after my safaris? Donate, donate, donate!!!
BTW, Part 2, they do dress differently here on the East coast. The colors are not as bright, the suits are so very conservative. And shoes, nothing compares to the West coast, nor to my shoe stepping expert, Sian. She could probably start a boutique out here with just the shoes she has given away!
Sugar on Wisconsin Avenue in G-town is not a candy store, but an eye candy store. It is a more conservative approach to style, but no easier on the wallet. The Shoe Hive on South Royal exists for women who are addicted to honey like bees. Someone told me it is THE place to buy sandals in DC.
The topper of all stores and store names is Wild Women Wear Red. Please do not say that too fast, or it should like wild women wet the bed!!! Perhaps you might need some go-go boots or something so unique that my friend Sian does not own a pair, YET! This is yet another U Street destination.
Another creative name for a shoe store is Sassanova, again in G-town. So named, since Casanova was the greatest seducer of women, Sassanova is the second greatest seducer, with their shoes. Can you imagine how the old lady who lived in a shoe really felt?
So, did you guess the name of the store that I conjured up? That is right, boys and girls. They ALL exist! And as George Costanza said, it is NOT a lie, if YOU believe it!
Again, the only reason to go to Maryland is to have crab cakes on the Chesapeake, see an Orioles game at Camden Yards, or visit the great Naval Academy in Annapolis. To think I almost went to graduate school in old downtown Baltimore at Johns Hopkins! It was the seventh state to ratify the Constitution. Though it is a small state, it is the fifth most densely populated and the nineteenth most populous. Several government agencies are located here. Baltimore is the most populated city, and Annapolis is the capital.
Maryland has an area of 12,407 square miles, or roughly the size of Belgium, without its great chocolates. Washington, DC sits on land that once belonged to Maryland. Chesapeake Bay nearly intersects the state down the middle. It is one of the few states with no natural lakes! As a border state during the American Civil War, it assumed characteristics of both the Union and the Confederacy. The population today is almost 6 million. Germans are the largest reported ancestry, though African-Americans make up almost 30% of the state.
By far the most interesting place in Maryland is Annapolis, the capital, home of the US Naval Academy, and an otherwise quaint little town by most standards. With Maryland being a large producer of seafood, it is only natural that blue crab (crab cakes), striped bass, and oysters make up large catches. Maryland has also become a state known for biotechnology, with Johns Hopkins University, many government agencies, Celera, Human Genome Sciences and the Craig Venter Institute.
DC has become the window to the world, as the ethnic makeup of this city is just astounding. Our Ethiopian limo driver last evening (Wed) said there are over 200,000 Ethiopians in the DC area. For those of you unfamiliar, DC is made up of several neighborhoods, though it is often thought of as a homogeneous mass of people, with the Middle Class in the surrounding suburbs. Not so true!