Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pretty cool!

Especially at the 1:10 mark ...

Paul Dateh began studying classical violin at the age of four. However, on his first day at The University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Dateh suddenly dropped his major in Violin Performance and enrolled in the Jazz Studies program instead. The move shocked his colleagues as it was hard to understand why anyone would walk away from fourteen years of classical training to begin learning an entirely new musical discipline. Today, as a singer, an award-winning songwriter, and an instrumentalist, his work can be heard on releases by various artists within both mainstream and underground hip hop circles, and he can currently be seen performing throughout the United States with his band “The Live Movement”.

More on violins in hip-hop here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Deep thought on a windy night

Sometimes, when the dictionary in Facebook Scrabble is taking a really long time to tell me if the letter combination that I've typed is actually a word, I imagine there is a little 1 or 0 taking my submission back to some room to laugh about it with all the other 1s and 0s.


Friday, December 26, 2008

A song for you to check out

I downloaded a free song a while ago that is really good that I want to share (sorry, the free download offer is now over). The band is 6 Day Riot. Click on the link and then select "The Last Stand" from the music player on the right side.

It's eclectic, fun, and a bit raucous. GREAT drums and some unusual instruments (yes, a ukelele! But don't worry - it really works in the song!!!).

You can also check it out at iTunes.

My favourite part about yesterday

Yesterday I hosted a Christmas potluck, attended by 13 other people. Several people brought meat-based dishes that I as a vegetarian chose not to eat, but there was still so much good stuff to consume that I was groaning from a full belly. I need to tell you about this food because it was SO. DAMN. GOOD.

The first thing that hit my system was some bubbly rose by the Australian winemaker Yellow Tail. Basically it's champagne, but not from France so technically it's not. It was refreshing and tasty and I drank a bit too much of it. LOL

Erik made an extraordinarily yummy veggie chili. He is a devoted carnivore, so his making veggie chili was an act of supreme consideration and thoughtfulness. He's a great guy, as his girlfriend Linda would agree. :)

David made an outstanding bean salad, and has promised me the recipe. Must send him a reminder e-mail!

His sister Anita made incredible chocolate chip cookies with pecans and walnuts. I ate more than a few of those, as did we all. Must ask her for the recipe.

Katherine brought the most amazing French Camembert cheese I've ever had. Seriously, this stuff goes beyond food - it is an experience. There are some leftovers in my fridge, and I started craving it around 9:15 this morning - !!!!

Even the garden salad that Pete brought was really, really good! Especially with the dijon mustard salad dressing ... it totally rocked. Pierre brought some wholesome bread, and the artisan multigrain loaf was fresh and soft and mouthwatering.

I heard excellent things about Teresa's Peruvian chicken and rice dishes, and there was nothing left of Perkin's panchetta and green bean casserole, so it must have been good! :) Sabrina's chicken pieces got a little burned in the oven, sadly, but the pies brought by Kim and Daniel finished off whatever sweet cravings might have remained after this feast.

Unfortunately, Barry's salmon salad was left forgotten in my fridge until everyone else had gone home. Hopefully I can find a home for it while it's still good .... :-S

A great Christmas day. Now I need to waddle to the gym to burn off all those calories!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Waterboarding as torture

This essay is over a year old (and President-Elect Barack Obama has already said he will ban torture by American personnel), but it's still well worth reading. Some excerpts:

As a former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego, California I know the waterboard personally and intimately. SERE staff were required undergo the waterboard at its fullest. I was no exception. I have personally led, witnessed and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people. It has been reported that both the Army and Navy SERE school’s interrogation manuals were used to form the interrogation techniques used by the US army and the CIA for its terror suspects. What was not mentioned in most articles was that SERE was designed to show how an evil totalitarian, enemy would use torture at the slightest whim. If this is the case, then waterboarding is unquestionably being used as torture technique.
Who will complain about the new world-wide embrace of torture? America has justified it legally at the highest levels of government. Even worse, the administration has selectively leaked supposed successes of the water board such as the alleged Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessions. However, in the same breath the CIA sources for the Washington Post noted that in Mohammed’s case they got information but "not all of it reliable." Of course, when you waterboard you get all the magic answers you want -because remember, the subject will talk. They all talk! Anyone strapped down will say anything, absolutely anything to get the torture to stop. Torture. Does. Not. Work.
What next if the waterboarding on a critical the captive doesn’t work and you have a timetable to stop the “ticking bomb” scenario? Electric shock to the genitals? Taking a pregnant woman and electrocuting the fetus inside her? Executing a captive’s children in front of him? Dropping live people from an airplane over the ocean? It has all been done by governments seeking information. All claimed the same need to stop the ticking bomb. It is not a far leap from torture to murder, especially if the subject is defiant. Are we willing to trade our nation’s soul for tactical intelligence?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Never too late, after all

I guess it's not too late for my mom to give me that sister I've always wanted ... LOL


See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

But how does Neil Patrick Harris keep singing even as he does a somersault???? :-D

Kittens playing on a slide

Laugh-out-loud funny, especially with the music. Make sure your speakers are on!

I never would have believed that kittens would do this, at least as long as they've done in this video. I have to conclude that these kittens in particular are not very smart. LOL

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008