Thursday, November 27, 2008

This Thanksgiving, we're having HAM!

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country . . .

"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat "

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Please vote for Mason!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mason, ten weeks old on Saturday, is growing by leaps and bounds.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Snowy weather

Mason seems to enjoy it, though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

My latest review...

Arthur Rubinstein: The Original Jacket Collection

This volume of Sony/BMG's Original Jacket Collection compiles Arthur Rubinstein's stereo cycle of Chopin's solo piano music. Well regarded by most critics, these are some of the best selling classical recordings of all time.

It's no surprise that Sony/BMG would choose Rubinstein's last cycle of these works: recorded in stereo, they are easy to market to a generation accustomed to excellent sound. Rubinstein changed over time, he matured and mellowed, and by the time these recordings were made, he was already considered the elder statesman of Chopin interpreters. In general, his later approach is better suited to works like the Sonatas, but I prefer the spontaneity of his trailblazing 1930s versions of the Nocturnes, Mazurkas, and Scherzos, and the controlled fire of his 1950s set of Polonaises. There is one mono disc in this set, from 1946, including Rubinstein's first recording of the Sonata, Op 35, and his only version of the Preludes, Op. 28 - - neither of which show the pianist at his best. Rubinstein never recorded a complete set of Etudes, although he did record the Trois Nouvelles Etudes twice (the latter set is included here).

These recordings were originally issued as complete sets by genre, and Sony/BMG mostly follows the original programming concept (with the exception that the Mazurkas and Nocturnes are published on 2 CDs instead of 3 LPs). The original record covers are produced in miniaturized form, and the original liner notes are included. The sound is identical to BMG's 1999 complete Rubinstein reissue, which faithfully reproduces the pianist's distinct tone. If you already have those releases, there's little point in getting this set. But if you're new to Chopin or Rubinstein, this Original Jacket box is a worthy and classy investment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

There are a few sore losers out there who are equating Barack Obama's victory to reverse racism. "Those darned black and brown people voted for one of their own." But the election was merely a repudiation of modern Conservatism, and eight years of failed ecomomic and foreign policy. To me, it's ridiculous to equate Obama's election to some kind of reverse racism. It's not racism to have pride in a member of one's own community. When John F. Kennedy ran for President, Catholics overwhelmingly voted for him. Was that religious prejudice? Besides, Obama got more of the white vote in Ohio than did Gore or Kerry.

I also hope this election will put to rest that whole "experience" mantra as well. The Presidents who came into office with the most impressive resumes were Buchanan, Hoover, and the elder George Bush. How well did they do as President? The lesson of history is that judgement trumps experience every time.

Finally, this election is a vindication of Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, and a repudiation of the Clinton/McCauliffe strategy of only emphasising the states "that matter."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

As promised, here are some photos of Mason

Monday, November 3, 2008

Puppy Uppers!

Danny and I adopted a puppy on Saturday. Danny did the research and found an animal shelter in Akron which had a litter of seven pups available. Only 8 weeks old, he’s a mix of ½ chocolate Labrador, ¼ Shepherd, and ¼ Collie. He’s very sweet natured, and Danny and I are happy but tired “parents.” We’ve named him Mason.

I’ll be posting pictures soon.