#ROW80 Round 1 2013: Next to the last one!

So, we’re nearly at the end of round 1, and things are going… well, okay. The update:

  • Writing: While I won’t say that the wheels came off, I will say that they might have wobbled a little, as I managed to write about four days. Most of yesterday was spent looking at the things I’d written already, and getting ideas for what to do with it. Steph, at Steph’s Eclectic Interests, had a good idea about getting as many scheduled blog posts written and queued up, waiting to be released. I had wanted to get all of the posts written for the Blogging From A To Z Challenge next month, and realized that it would take some planning ahead, so I spent most of the last couple of days getting ready for that. I hope to have all of the posts for it written by the end of next week.
  • Reading: As usual, hardly did any.
  • Visiting: Did some, but not as much as I would have liked.

I’m getting my ideas together for next quarter’s challenge. My goals will be pretty much the same as they were for this quarter, only twice as much.

So that was my week. How was yours?

Two for Tuesday: Arturo Toscanini

I’m hardly a great fan of classical music, and know little about it, I admit, but I was searching for a musician to feature today who was born on March 25, and discovered that there were two that I hadn’t thought of: Bela Bartok and today’s subject, Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957).

Toscanini was best known in the United States as the conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra, which he did from 1937 until his retirement in 1954. He conducts that orchestra in our two selections for today. The first is Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” from that opera. This was filmed in 1952, when Toscanini was 85 years old. The second is “The Ride of the Valkyries,” from Richard Wagner’s opera Die Walküre, the second of the four operas in his “Ring” cycle. Both exhibit Toscanini’s flamboyant, intense style.

Happy birthday, Arturo Toscanini, your two for Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

(Note: This entry seems to have been butchered by the WordPress for iPhone application. This should fix it. So sorry!)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (all right, it’s a little

Word Hunter

This video shows an Irish dancing flashmob at Lakeside shopping mall, in Essex. Lakeside was one of my own local shopping malls when living in the U.K., especially good for Christmas shopping as the mall car-parks were free.

Happy St Patrick’s Day for all of us who share some Irish blarney.

Irish Dancing Flashmob in Essex by Aer Lingus Regional and London Southen

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#ROW80 Round 1 2013: Slacking off (a little)

Before I start, let me ask you bloggers something: My traffic has gone up tremendously in the past couple of weeks, but nearly all of it is for my post on ten interesting things about pi. Ever have anything like that happen to you? If so, what did you do about it?

The update:

  • Writing: I averaged a half an hour every day, although I skipped a couple of days. There were some days that I had other things going on, and others when I was just too pooped to put anything down. It’s quarter of eleven on Tuesday as I write this, and I’m hoping to get some writing in before my body tells me that I’m too tired to write.
  • Reading: Got a little done, some reading of my friend’s manuscript, and I decided to start reading Victoria Roth’s Divergent again, mostly because it’s so good. She’s coming out with the third book of her trilogy in October, it would appear.
  • Visiting: Did a little, then got preoccupied. Such is life.

One good thing that I did today with Mary’s help: I straightened up the cords under my computer table, which had become a tangled mess underfoot. Mary unplugged everything (a problem for me, because I shouldn’t crawl around on the floor) and I untangled the cords (in the process finding more than a few that led to nothing) and got all of them plugged into a couple of power strips, which we then managed to plug into the large surge protector our electrician recommended a few years back. While there are still a lot of cords, at least now I have some idea as to what they power. I also got a chance to use the short extension cords that I bought. Several of the cords terminate into a large transformer with a plug, and they tend to block half of the outlets on the power strips when I plug them in. The cords obviate the problem.

Hopefully by the next update I will have adjusted to the time change….

Two for Tuesday: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin started singing in her father’s church when she was ten, and in the sixty-one years since has become one of the iconic performers in R&B, Soul, Gospel, and Popular music. Rolling Stone ranked her Number One on their list of 100 Best Singers of All Time, as well as #9 on their Best Performers of All Time. The legendary John Hammond considered her the greatest singer since Billie Holiday. And she shares my birthday, March 25. I don’t know many people who haven’t been affected by Aretha Franklin’s singing. You don’t listen to her music as much as feel it.

She has done so many great songs and albums over the years that I finally just threw up my hands and said, I’m just going to pick two of my favorite songs of hers. The first is “Day Dreaming,” off of her 1972 album, Young, Gifted, and Black. It spent two weeks at #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart in April 1972, and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second is “I Say A Little Prayer,” a cover of Dionne Warwick’s hit from December 1967. Dionne’s version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the magazine’s R&B chart. Aretha recorded it as the B-side of her single “The House That Jack Built,” and it still rose to #10 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart in August of 1968.

Birthday greetings to the “First Lady of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, our Two for Tuesday, March 12, 2013.