Posted in America, tagged America, Car Fire, cars, Fire on June 18, 2012 |
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Today I was driving back from Cleveland when I saw something I’ve never seen before: a car on the side of the highway, burning fiercely.
Fortunately, everyone appeared to be out of the car. Still, it was an unnerving sight. The car was engulfed in huge orange flames, and the interior was an inferno. Thick, greasy black smoke billowed up from the remnants of the vehicle and was visible for miles around. We passed by after the initial police car had arrived, but before the fire trucks had reached the scene.
I was amazed that cars were blithely driving past, some moving over only one lane before shooting past. Me, I got over as far as I could and kept my fingers crossed that whatever was left in the gas tank didn’t explode as I went by.
You don’t really think about it, but apparently your car can quickly turn into a tinder box, and the dashboard and the seats, the carpeting and the side panels, will burn like crazy if given the chance. Just another thing to worry about during your morning commute.
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Posted in Family, Music, Technology, tagged Family, Internet, Internet Radio, Music, Prince, Technology, WNUR on June 18, 2012 |
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Sometimes, the internet is like magic. Actually, sometimes the internet is magic.
Consider this: Richard has a radio show on WNUR, 89.3 FM, in Chicago. The broadcast airs on Tuesdays at 4 a.m. Central time, 5 a.m. Eastern time, and traces the career of Prince, the musical artist, featuring lots of his songs as well as other information. It’s a really interesting, well-done show, and because I live in Columbus I normally wouldn’t be able to listen to it — were it not that the WNUR website has a “listen live” link on its website that allows me to check out the broadcast here in central Ohio.
So, the last few Tuesdays I’ve listened to Richard’s program after I’ve taken the dogs for our morning walk. It’s extremely cool to hear his distinctive voice come floating out of the computer from far away, as I sit in the pre-dawn darkness drinking my morning coffee. It’s wonderful to have that connection, and I’ll be listening again tomorrow morning.
As I said, sometimes the internet is magic.
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Today is Paul McCartney’s birthday. Born on June 18, 1942, then going on to become part of one of the most successful songwriting duos in history, the heart of the Beatles and the head of Wings, and ultimately knighted for his many accomplishments, Sir Paul turns 70 today.
McCartney has packed a lot of achievement into his 70 years. His output is astonishing. Most musicians would be happy to write one song like Yesterday (which is generally regarded as the most “covered” song in history, having been recorded more than 3,000 times) but McCartney wrote dozens of classics, from I Saw Her Standing There, Hey Jude, and Let It Be with the Beatles, to Maybe I’m Amazed and Too Many People in his solo career, to Band on the Run and My Love with Wings — and this list barely begins to scratch the surface.
McCartney wasn’t just a songwriter, however. He was a fabulous band mate who arguably was the greatest rock ‘n roll bass player ever — listen to his stunning bass line on the Beatles’ Come Together if you don’t believe me — and his back-up singing helped to make the Beatles songs unique. George Harrison’s Something is a wonderful love song, but McCartney’s back-up singing helps to ensure that the Beatles’ recording of that song will never been matched. McCartney’s inventiveness and musical adventurousness also are remarkable. In an era when many bands found a successful formula and then stuck with it, over and over and over again, McCartney constantly probed new areas, new instruments, and new sounds. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the epic second side of Abbey Road would not exist but for Sir Paul McCartney. And the same goes, of course, for the Wings’ Band on the Run album, which was on the turntable, playing constantly, during my senior year in high school.
A few years ago, Richard and I went to watch Paul McCartney perform live in Cleveland. It was a birthday present for Richard, but it was a huge treat for me, too. McCartney’s performance was terrific, including an awesome version of Back in the U.S.S.R. and a heartfelt tribute to George Harrison played on the ukelele. It’s obvious that McCartney still has a lot of love for music and passion for performance. I’d go see him again in a heartbeat.
Each of us who has enjoyed listening to the Beatles, and whose spirits have been lifted by listening to a song like You Never Give Me Your Money or Michelle, owes a debt of gratitude to Paul McCartney. Happy birthday, Sir Paul!
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