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February 12, 2007

Give Me My Radio Back!

I'm a big NPR / MPR fan, EXCEPT during those infernal times of the year when they have their pledge drives -- like now. The latest one started last Thursday. I just can't bear to listen during it - it's so irritating and distressing. (I know they need the money, and I guess they keep being reinforced for doing the pledge drives, because people do respond. I make sure to send in my membership fee at OTHER times during the year.)

In the Twin Cities, we had a good thing going when WCAL, a classical music station not owned by MPR, conducted its pledge drive at times when MPR stations weren't. So when MPR was doing its drive, I could listen all the time to WCAL, and vice versa. Now that MPR bought out WCAL, all 3 of the MPR stations do their fund drives simultaneously. There's no escaping. To top it off, the pledge drives seem to extend longer each year.

I feel sorry for the announcers who have to go on and on begging for money. I suspect they're muttering "This is not what I signed up for!" But they seem to weather it with relatively good humor.

I've been tuning in to some "commercial" stations - but AACK! This morning, one of the stations was telling the story of Anna Nicole Smith meeting St. Peter at the pearly gates. I can't tell you how many different ways that was revolting!

Well, that's enough of a rant for this Monday morning. It felt good to get it off my chest. But give me my radio stations back!

Posted by hgroteva at 9:22 AM

February 14, 2007

Conspirare - A Group to be Watching

Thanks to Paul for introducing me to a wonderful new chorus - Conspirare - based in Austin, but a national / professional group. For Christmas, he and Carolyn gave me a recording of "Requiem" - a 2-CD set that begins with the Howells Requiem (one of my all-time favorites) and includes the Frank Martin Mass (another favorite) plus some new pieces that I really love --- especially Three Songs of Faith by Eric Whitacre and We Remember Them, by my friend Don Grantham. (Don directed a choir I sang in when we lived in Austin -- small world.) The CD was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards - congratulations!

I dragged out my trusty Cassell's Latin Dictionary (from 8th grade - what a packrat), and found that conspirare means "to breathe together." They're doing a lot more than breathing together. They are creating incredible sounds that echo in my mind for hours and days on end.

Here is a recent story about the group, and here is another.

Apropos Valentines Day (today), Paul also mentioned a recent PBS special called "The Mystery of Love" that used Conspirare as the focus of a section on "Community." Betty Sue Flowers (Prof. and Director of the LBJ Library) was one of the commentators in the story. Here and here are relevant stories.

I eagerly await their next CD!

Posted by hgroteva at 8:54 PM

February 17, 2007

I Am Ready for Summer!

Lazy punting - b.jpg

WHERE IN THE WORLD WAS THIS PICTURE TAKEN??

Posted by hgroteva at 10:40 PM

February 21, 2007

Musical Cats

I was sent this link to an amazing You Tube clip about Nora, the musical cat - it's worth a watch. If it's possible, I'll post the actual clip here so you can just click and go. It's a fun one, I promise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM

Posted by hgroteva at 8:44 PM

February 23, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging - Tonkpile

Tonkpile 021807-b.jpg

Personal space doesn't seem to be a problem with these guys. (Photo taken 021807)

Posted by hgroteva at 1:48 AM