Wednesday, April 27, 2011

home by toothpicks

Thanks to my cousin Anna for finding this. This man's creation and creativity blew me away. He did a great job of capturing the stories of the San Francisco Bay.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cheddar, Somerset, England


I love cheese. This was fun visiting Cheddar, seeing how they still make cheese in small batches by hand and age them in the Cheddar Gorge's caves with its constant humidity. Tasty stuff. 

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Monday, April 18, 2011

More Munich / Salzburg / Hallstatt photos

In a previous post, i shared some of the simple photos I took with my phone. Now, all the real photos from our 3-day weekend can be see on my facebook page here, along with some commentary.

Here are a few selects.

London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO last night was amazing. Jaime and I were really blown away and felt like we witnessed something truly world class.

There was one point during Stravinsky's "The Firebird" when the intense inferno movement starts and I nearly jumped out of my seat. I was listening and reading the Program(me) notes, when the sudden BANG! hits and if I had coke and a popcorn, I would have been sharing them with the nice folks three rows back and maybe the double basses on the stage in front of us.

They also played this Suite called "Fire and Blood" inspired by the "Detroit Industry" mural by Diego Rivera. It's by an American composer and he was in the audience and got a huge applause when he made his stage call after his piece. It had tons of brake drum clanks and ratchets and fun percussion, plus mariachi band-esque Mexican influence (based on Rivera and his wife), and a mind boggling violin solo throughout one of the movements. Read more about it from the perspective of the conductor, here.

Jaime really liked watching the conductor - he was having fun up there. Kind of like this kid (you should watch this all the way through).

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011



William Wallace was dragged behind a horse to Smithfield Market, steps from where I work in London, then hung, drawn and quartered here. Right next to an Anglican church that's been here since 1123.

That kind of stuff just isn't around the corner from the office in the States.

And in a weird way, that's why I like the States, especially the west. Relatively unspoiled country, well cared for by Natives until we showed up. No Anglo-Saxon ancient history tickling your feet at every corner. You can go to the grocery store, then drive into the true wilderness

Still, this is pretty cool.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Munich/Salzburg/Hallstatt trip

I'm sitting on the Stansted Express train to go back to central London from the airport. I thought I'd post a few camera phone shots from one of the coolest weekends I've had in a long time. I'll let the photos speak for themselves and provide more commentary from my computer, along with nicer DSLR photos later.

Sent from my Windows Phone

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Identity crisis?

This who I am to people:

I don't drink, smoke, use illegal drugs or even swear (much). I'm married, have a mortgage, go to church, and am even involved in Boy Scouts. I know more useless Star Wars "facts" than I'm proud to admit, and I wear collared shirts much more often than tee shirts, even though my steady job requires no particular dress code. In high school, I had a letterman jacket, but it was from a fine-arts letter earned through years of band, choir, drama, etc. I'm a bit overweight and I have allergies. According to my last voter registration, I'm a registered Republican. At one point I carried a Michigan driver's license. By this description I'm pretty much the squarest dude on earth. And it's all true.

In contrast, some people know this other guy:

He's a drummer, guitarist, and rock band veteran. He has owned motorcycles (plural), and is an addicted snowboarder, skateboarder, and outdoorsman. He works in advertising, wears thick-framed glasses and shades, drives a VW and has a hot woman and an awesome dog. He grew up in California but has lived in major east coast, Midwest, tropical, and inter-mountain west markets, as well as more than a couple years in Europe. He's bilingual. His favorite movie is Ferris Bueller's Day Off and pretty much strives to live a life that makes Ferris look boring. He's big on tolerance, cultural education and open-mindedness. He listens to NPR and is currently thinking about his next album release while planning another adventure in a foreign country.

Together, here's where I've noticed we're netting out: Between the urbane hipsters who get nervous/contemptuous around anyone who doesn't drink and has already been married four and a half years at 28 years old, and the quiet, church-going family types who like to put down roots and not cause a ruckus - our combined presence is bound to make most anyone uncomfortable. Just for different reasons.

Those who are open minded, no matter where they come from, tend to get along with me splendidly.