Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Umpire Strikes Back

Okay, so there isn't an umpire as such in this particular game, but I imagine that you get the idea. Apparently even Snopes has certified that this is a true story and not an urban myth...

At a Tennessee Football Game---not a joke
Christianity is now the target of persecution...


Tennessee Football
This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School , Kingston , Tennessee, by school principal, Jody McLeod.

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country."

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court,
I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate life style,"
and, if someone is offended,
that's OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex."
If someone is offended, that's OK.

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable" means of birth control."
If someone is offended, no problem...

I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess, "Mother Earth", and call it "ecology.."

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom
that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions
as "simple minded" and "ignorant"
and call it "enlightenment.."

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship,
then Federal Case Law is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.
Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.

Nevertheless , as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree.
For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical.
I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally.
I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason,
I shall "Render unto Caesar
that which is Caesar's,"
and refrain from praying
at this time.

" However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD
and ask HIM, in the name of JESUS, to bless this event,
please feel free to do so..

As far as I know,
that's not against the law--yet."

One by one,
the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray.

They prayed in the stands.
They prayed in the team huddles.
They prayed at the concession stand
and they prayed
in the Announcer's Box!

The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America-
the Seat of "Justice"
in the "one nation, under GOD."

Somehow, Kingston , Tennessee ,
remembered what so many have forgotten.
We are given
the Freedom OF Religion,
not the Freedom
FROM Religion

Praise GOD
that HIS remnant remains!

JESUS said,
"If you are ashamed of ME before men, then I will be ashamed of you before MY FATHER.."

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

...Or, at least, give me something memorable to quote. Okay, here's one, at number eleven in this list, though it's incomplete and incorrect so I've filled in the (two) gaps, and corrected the errors, from my own mental database...
""How much re-fit time, until we can take her out of here?" -- Kirk,

"Eight weeks. But you don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for you in two." -- Scotty,

"Mr Scott: have you always multiplied your repair estimates by a factor of four?" -- Kirk,

"Certainly, Sir! How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?" -- Scotty,

"Your reputation is secure, Scotty." -- Kirk, 
(from: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock)

 UPDATE: I've found a video clip of this bit, which has allowed me to get the wording precisely correct now...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony

This is a truly outstanding (and astounding!) work, not easy to play, especially by an under-sized orchestra – but here, the Sydney Youth Orchestra gives it a cracking good go, despite being somewhat short of players. I was certainly 'living it' (as you do) while listening to this live performance.

Tchaikovsky's fourth symphony is one of those rare pieces that have brought out the best and most creative work from a time of personal torment for the composer. It is very, very powerful stuff, evocative of so much, and at the same time entirely engrossing. Trust me on this!

I know it so well that I could conduct it myself, without even having the score in front of me. I memorised the entire work several decades ago, in fine detail, which is something I find (perhaps) surprisingly easy to do.

I have gone with this particular performance (a) because it has the whole work in one video rather than split into separate movements, which helps ensure the pacing is correct, and (b) as an encouraging indication that today's youth are just as capable of performing classical works – and as enthusiastically and well – as previous generations have done. It is a good sign...

I was so pleased that conductor Brian Buggy got every section to stand to be applauded and cheered separately, as well as all together – and especially pleased at the reception the audience gave the woodwind section, who performed brilliantly what is a somewhat intricate and fairly demanding work for them.

Overall, it is admittedly a flawed performance in some respects, though nothing at all serious, and it's still 'plenty bonzer', easily worth three-quarters of an hour of anyone's time!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Bean there (and he's done that)

Despite earlier sillies about such an event being put up on-line (which it obviously should, as something for the world to share in, permanently), it now seems that we have a persistent copy of the Mr Bean performance of the Chariots of Fire theme at the London Olympics opening ceremony some three weeks ago.

That said, it'll probably disappear at any moment, knowing my luck...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Three Symphonies

This Thursday just gone, the BBC Proms concert (No 46 of the season) featured the middle three of Vaughan Williams' nine symphonies. The first three were all named – Sea Symphony, A London Symphony, Pastoral – but these next three are unnamed.

They are powerful works, though the middle one (the Fifth) is gentler than the other two; and as I have mentioned previously, the first movement of the Sixth features the Family At War television series' theme at its end.

Although this playing of that particular excerpt isn't the best, it is good enough, and starts at 8 min 20 sec in on this radio-iPlayer page (just five days or so remaining as I write this, so act quickly) lasting 90 seconds.

It's also a bit quiet, so you'll probably want to crank the volume control up somewhat – not to make it loud (it won't) but to bring it up to the correct level.

The rest/whole of the concert can be re-listened to at this page.

The Marvel Of The Age

Well, it was then, back in 1960. I wonder how many visitors here are old enough to even remember this? Not many by now, I'd guess: it was over half a century ago!

There are a few episodes up on YouTube; and if you'd like to watch them, it's best to start with the very first story Rescue.

This video is in effect a guide to Gerry Anderson and Reg Hill's Supercar's controls. It's worth pausing the video when the labelled control panel comes up (at 2 mins 18 secs in) and taking your time looking around it before going on to the detailed close-ups of the various controls...

Friday, 17 August 2012

LolliBop 2012

This year's Lollibop is on again at Regent's Park, though in a different part this time.

There will be Waybuloo (Yogo and story-telling), ZingZillas, Mister Maker and many others there, including the Gruffalo (which will please four-year-old Maxwell, whom I met recently), all compèred by CBeebies presenters – plus of course loads of youngsters and their parents or guardians.

I suspect it's going to be noisy and somewhat chaotic too!

There was a time when I'd have enjoyed going along myself, if I'd been in charge of one or more children so that there was a valid reason to be there (apart from my being just a 'big kid' at heart, which doesn't really quite make the grade), but this year I think I can safely claim to have turned the corner on all that. After all, I've seen a Pipling and Rosie up close, and there is no need to do anything more than that.

For the little ones, though, it will undoubtedly be great. It's the third such event, which in itself demonstrates how successful they are (it's not easy or cheap to put and run this sort of thing, especially over three days) and I wish it well!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Parish Notice (Updated)

My pill collection. I take ten per day...
As a few people are aware (including the couple I met at Halling last Sunday) the high-dosage medicines I am now having to take daily are having greater side-effects for the time being. No doubt it'll settle down as I adapt; but in the meantime I have noticed some unhealthy consequences, especially to my temperament and (occasionally) writing.

It can come out in a way that wasn't what was intended – okay, we all do that to some degree, and sometimes spot things afterward that can be embarrassing, funny or perhaps something else when re-read.

I find this is largely a consequence of the vagaries of the English language and its ever-increasing range of slang expressions) and a simple correction/clarification fixes that. I, though, have recently been losing focus as a direct result of my medication changes, and that gives me pause.

The bottom line is that, for health reasons, it is wise for me to take a break from the political side of blogging, as it's making me too upset and angry for my own good. There might be an odd post here and there, but for now I intend to concentrate on the other topics I cover here. It just isn't worth risking making myself unwell.

Incidentally, the effect on me does not extend to the various Green party bods who are sufficiently worried that their pseudo-science fakery is being exposed here that they are bringing in reinforcements to attack me from outside my own area. They are trying all the usual double-speak stuff and emotional blackmail techniques, which in itself is a warning alarm to anyone who is aware of what they are trying on. No, all of that just produces mirth in me...

Meanwhile, this video deals far better with what made me angry yesterday than I am currently able to do myself (though do excuse the poor sound), read this useful article (but beware the comments are somewhat mixed and need to be read with a little caution – though it's fairly obvious what each commenter's political stance is, which helps) and also note this tweet...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Always Look On The Bright Side

The bright side of life, that is. I needed something entertaining after something upset me earlier today, so I thought I'd share the Eric Idle bit from the London Olympics closing ceremony. He makes his (real) appearance at 2 mins 40 sec; which I mention in case you prefer to miss out what came before...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Don't Buy For Me from Argentina...

...The truth is, their wines are very variable.

However, one very good red is the one I won in a raffle yesterday: the Waxed Bat (I kid you not!) Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec.

This is really quite good and goes well with (for example) even medium-strength cheeses and meats such as pork (including gammon, bacon and pepperoni), lamb and venison.

Earlier years had the Petit Verdot grape* in the three-way blend instead of Cabernet Sauvignon, and that I haven't tried as yet, so for now my recommendation applies only to the version I have described. If I can get hold of the other variety, I shall give it a try and report my findings in a later post.

(*  Petit Verdot is a grape I have previously encountered only once, and that in another three-way blend, Hardy's Voyage series red.)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Keeping It Real

We all know (don't we?) that Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew are most famous for "making a bad ting good".

In this interview from Salford we also discover that the Mouse is also a fan of Usain Bolt, and we are also reminded that he has a very positive attitude to life. What happens in Mouseland applies elsewhere too, of course.

As he says...
"Nuff nuff people see a bad ting an' feel it should stay dat way den complain 'bout how bad it is. But we know a bad ting can turn into someting good wid love, care an' understandin'."
– Now that's my kinda guy! –

Odd Video of the Week – Ghetto Equestrian Dressage

Well, it's certainly a bit different...

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dark Knight, Sheds Light

There is a very interesting discussion of the film The Dark Knight Rises at The Commentator that is well worth a read. It is, as the piece indicates, the norm for Hollywood to (in effect) promote the idea of wealth-making as a positive thing, even though that is how the world of human society works best.

Indeed, it's the only way society actually can work, as other models have shown through their own failure.

This reminds me of one of the paradoxes of life on Earth: Hollywood is dominated by Jews: producers, directors, executives, purse-string holders. Jews tend to support the political Left (hence Hollywood's general slant, for one obvious effect of this) yet it is the Left who support their enemies, especially the Palestinians, while rather obviously paying mere lip-service to 'friendship' with Israel, the Jewish State. Indeed, our own BBC is so slanted (as has been reported on several issues in the last week or so alone) that it really is a mystery why that Left-supporting situation still exists.

Anyway, that's where we are; and perhaps it is sign of change, of the Hollywood bosses finally waking up to reality in at least one (probably two) direction(s), resulting in a shift toward more realistic scene-setting in the dramas they produce. The writer of The Commentator's article is described as a "researcher at a pro-Israel education organisation", making this all the more intriguing.

It is about time that, especially in this era of special effects-laden superhero (and similar) fantasy, some real-world factual basis to stories being told came into the movies. We in Britain were always so good at this, years ago; and the likes of The Ipcress File and its sequels, Get Carter, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and others from around that era carried a lot of factual and (especially in hindsight) contextually obvious material within them. One could learn a lot, and get a feel for how and why things operated thus.

Anyway, I shall now have to seriously consider going to this new movie myself, to appraise its message validity personally; but by the sounds of it the job has been done well, so I might just wait for it to appear on television as is my usual practice. We shall see...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

An Ironic Hug

When a tweet popped up that claimed that "hugs and holding hands can be good for one's heart" I had a look at the linked post on this topic. As I have (significant, but not very serious) heart issues myself, I felt it'd be a bit daft just to ignore it, despite looking like it wouldn't be applicable to me.

As a loner I was of course right about that latter aspect; so offer this just as a bit of public information, primarily aimed at those with what the post terms a "significant other" – which I gather is a kind of catch-all term for those in marital, civil or common-law partnerships or are "just good friends" as the saying puts it.

So there you go: never say that I am not kind to my readers, even when there is no relevance or benefit to me personally(!)