Friday, November 20, 2015

Paris a Week Later

I’d thought about doing a post about this right after it happened. Then thought I’d do it over the weekend as more facts became clear. Then I thought I’d wait a little longer.

To say it was a horrible event would be an understatement. To say it was a shock to the system is also an understatement. Here people were going about their lives and suddenly the most horrible of things happened. Going to a concert and suddenly gun fire breaks out. I’d been to the Jon McLaughlin concert at the Hamilton in DC the night before. I would never think that a terrorist attack could happen there. I’m sure the people at the venue in Paris thought the same thing. More likely they didn’t think of it at all. They were just looking forward to having a good time.

ISIS of ISIL or Daesh whatever the hell it’s called needs to be stopped. It needs to be destroyed. The territory it controls must be taken back, conquered whatever term you like to use. Militarily they can be defeated. The question is what will the military force look like that leads that fight. Will US ground forces be sent in to do the fighting. To me that’s a win for ISIS. The evil West trying to destroy Islam. What a great recruiting tool. Also the suggestion by some that this wouldn’t take many troops and be over quickly well gosh gee wasn’t that what was suppose to be how things would work in Iraq. As I recall we weren’t greeted as liberators as promised. And the Mission Accomplished banner was more than just a little premature. So the military option is possible but is fraught with huge potential pit falls which have to be thought through there is action. Once again militarily they can be defeated.

But it is much harder to defeat an idea. There is going to have to be some long hard thinking on how to go about doing that. What needs to be done to defeat their ideas? Economic aid to the region? Some sort of political settlement or power sharing so groups feel they have a chance in the political process? What needs to be done to counter their propaganda machine? What needs to be done to defeat their presence on the web which seems to be massive and a way they recruit people. What needs to be done to dry up their money. What needs to be done to find the countries that are supporting these guys. I don’t hear much about any of those questions. Until some or most of them questions are answered ISIS will be a problem. And right now I don’t hear a great deal of discussion about that. Anonymous is supposedly attack ISIS’ presence on the web. But I’m not sure how to verify that one way or the other.

It’s a list of hard questions. I don’t see much attempt by anyone to answer them at all. And they need to be answered while we are in the process of figuring out the best military option to defeat them. None of this seat of your pants, make it up as things blow up around you like what happened in Iraq.

This is what we face in the wake of the attacks on Paris.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Last Song from Jon McLaughlin

One last song. This is not from the concert I went to. But this is a song that I really love. It's just so well done. It was from a date earlier on the tour.

More from Jon McLaughlin — Here's an Accoustic Version of Beautiful Disaster

Such a great song. So very cool to be acoustic version of the song. And to be within five feet of Jon when he sang it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tess Henley at the Hamilton

The opening act for Jon McLaughlin was Tess Henley. She was really good. Very much a one person band. She had her Mac ready to go to help her with over dubbing and background music.

I bought a couple of her CDs. I really enjoy them. I even had her sign one.

Here's one of her songs.

Jon McLaughlin at the Hamilton

What a great concert. Got a VIP pass. With that I got to see him before the concert started and even got to hear two songs that he didn't play in the concert.

The Hamilton is a great place for a concert. It was tables and you ordered dinner (which was great). Because we got in early we had great seats. Front and center.

Here's a video that I took at the concert.

This is one of the extra songs I got to hear having the VIP pass. Jon's a little in the dark. The next song they turned up the lights.

Charlie Brown, Baseball and Snoopy

Charles Schulz certainly enjoyed baseball. And he had many strips of Charlie Brown's trials and tribulations with the game. Here's something to bring a smile to your face this Tuesday.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Peanuts Movie

What a wonderful movie. What a wonderful tribute to Charles Schulz. A very sweet and delightful movie. It brings to like all the vast array of Peanuts characters in a charming and loving way.

The story is:. The little red haired girl has moved into the neighborhood. Charlie Brown is smitten with her. He tries for the rest of the movie to try and get her to notice him. Not all of his attempts work out. In fact none of them work out the way Charlie Brown hopes that they will. He tries to impress her at a dance. He does very well until he slips and some how sets off the sprinkler system. He is assigned to work with her on a book report. She has to go and see a sick relative. Charlie Brown takes it on himself to write the report on War and Peace no less. And it goes from there.

There are the usual side plots with Snoopy taking on the Red Baron. Lucy giving out advice. Linus having problems with Sally.

Here’s a sampling of the reviews:

From USA Today:
You’re in a good movie, Charlie Brown!

Those who have seen the vintage Halloween and Christmas specials a bazillion times or are just finding out now what a Pigpen is will find something to adore about the clever and charming The Peanuts Movie (*** out of four; rated G; in theaters Friday nationwide). Director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!) and producer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) bring Snoopy, Peppermint Patty and all the gang to computer-generated 3-D life while never overshadowing the timeless quality of the late Charles M. Schulz’s comic-strip world.
Yahoo News:
Maybe the Peanuts gang hasn’t been on the big screen in decades because they’ve had so much success on the small one, with specials like “The Great Pumpkin” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that have been annual TV traditions since the 1960s.

Thankfully, “The Peanuts Movie” isn’t just a small-screen special writ large. The filmmakers take advantage of their cinematic scope with a bigger story, more sophisticated animation and effective use of 3-D that gives new depth to the Peanuts world. But the characters loved by generations of fans — Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Woodstock and beloved blockhead Charlie Brown — are as charming and timeless as ever.

Washington Post:
Director Martino has captured the emotions that made “Peanuts” so meaningful, masterfully replicating Schulz’s hand-drawn expressions, including Charlie’s sighs, Sally’s smiles and the exasperated yells of Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller). The filmmakers also stay true to the timelessness of Schulz’s world. The only tweets come from Woodstock, and Linus (Alexander Garfin) grips his blanket instead of an iPhone. Schroeder (Noah Johnston) still plays Beethoven on his toy piano, and Lucy charges only five cents for advice.

Parents’ hearts will melt every time Sally (Mariel Sheets) lovingly calls Charlie “Big Brother,” and when Charlie — feeling dejected at his prospects — laments that he has no future with the Little Red-Haired Girl because “she’s something, and I’m nothing.” An entertaining combination of humor and tenderness.

I saw it in 3D. Mostly because the time worked for me because of the other things I did that day. But I’m glad I saw it in 3D. It brought a whole new perspective on the whole Peanuts gang. This is a wonderful, delightful and just plain fun movie. Go and enjoy. Make sure you stay until the end for a couple of additional treats from the film makers.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Final Pictures of the New York City Trip

Just a few of the goodies available from the place we had dinner.

After getting autographs from the Allegiance cast, we headed to the half price ticket booth.

We wanted to see Something Rotten. When we got to the window we were told they didn't have any tickets. We tried next for A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder. We were told they had seats but not together. Then they said they had tickets to Something Rotten but again not together.

We took those since I'd seen Gentlemen's Guide. Something Rotten was absolutely hilarious. The row behind me was empty so at intermission Diane and I moved there. Really really enjoyed the show.

Next on the agenda was dinner. We decided since we had a big lunch to just have a sandwich. Found a nice place north of Times Square. Had a very nice dinner and split a piece of cheese cake.

We had a little time before the show so we went to Times Square to take some more pictures.

After the show it was off to the bus. And another amazing trip to New York drew to a close.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Outside of Allegiance

A few shots of the theater.

More from Allegiance — Getting Cast Autographs

Telly Leung who plays Sammy

Our seats were right by an exit and as we exited we were right by the stage door. So we got some really good pictures and many autographs. George Takei did not come out.

Telly heading our way.

Katie Rose Clark who plays Hannah

Michael K. Lee who plays Frankie

Lea Salonga who plays Kei

Christopheren Nomura who plays Tatsuo

Aaron J. Albano