On Bye to One, Hello to Another

At the time of this posting, 2010 is about to close and the door into 2011 will open with gusto hour-by-hour throughout the world. Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote the words to Auld Lang Syne in 1788 and set it to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song … and yes, the song remains a New Years’ Scottish tradition.

Those of us of a certain age recall bandleader Guy Lombardo (a Canadian, eh?) ushering in the new year on television (and radio before that), thus also causing the tradition to spread to throughout America and eventually to film and stage.

Almost one hundred years after Burns, Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture (in 1880) to commemorate the Russian defense of Moscow against Napoleon. Today, this is a common festive tune of American orchestras on July 4th.

The connection you wonder? Ah ha! How about saying goodbye to 2010 and saluting the start of 2011 to a stirring three-minute combined rendition of Auld Lang Syne and the 1812 Overture in my entertainment spirit – from a bottle orchestra complete with canons!

Happy New Year to all … safely celebrate …. and tons of joy in the days ahead!

On My 2010 Abstract

2010 is about to close, so here’s a review of my life with some other moments at the end.

January – To work on a project, I drove 70 minutes each way in the cold of winter.

February – Took a break from the project to have 8 days on the Alabama gulf coast, which had one of the coldest winters in years. Snow fell from Mobile to Tallahassee, even 7 inches 60 miles inland!

March – With so much time working and on the road, blog numbers continue to spiral downward. I kept posting, but couldn’t get out to read as much. Attended another wonder Grand Tasting at the Cincinnati International Wine Festival.

April – For the first time in over 20 years, I was not in a golf league – couldn’t get back in time from the project.

May – At least the 70-minute drive wasn’t in the cold, but the grass was growing fast.

June – My wife and I whacked ourselves with the stupid stick. Why else would two sensible people without a mortgage put their house up for sale during a lousy housing market?

July – I still haven’t played a round of golf, but the project is still delivering income. Started the tooth implant process, which is still in process.

August – The drought is in full swing – thus I don’t have to worry about making time to cut grass, but keeping the house show-ready all the time is a daily grind for both of us.

September – Going into the last week of the project, my Dad passes away, thus my role in the project ends early. The project finally is renewed, but with fewer people – good-bye to 140 minutes each day on the road.

October – Thankfully, I had time to work on Dad’s estate. I attended my first MLB Playoff game. Yippee – my wife and I have a great 4-day getaway to Charlottesville, Virginia for history, scenery, and wine … and I’m back to reading online.

November – At least I’m home to keep the house show ready, but going cross-state when I can to deal with the estate. Played my first golf round of the year, and my wife won one of the nines for the first time, so she’s happy. Watching UC Bearcat football is painful.

December – We took the house off the market, and the blog numbers are increasing. This was an unusually cold month in Cincinnati. On to the unknown of 2011.

Many personalities left us in 2010, thus click here for a great tribute to those people. For a wonderful 11-minute overview of the events of 2010, what the NBC News video below.

On 54

2010 is about to end, yet it is known as the year my wife turned 54 – thus the dedication with this post. Aging used to bother her, but she has done much better since turning 50 – the hell with everything year! She will continue to maintain that I’m older, which the Numbers Category in the sidebar will verify, but aging has never bothered me. Here’s to the 54!

Math

  • Divisible by 1,2, 3, 6, 9, 18, 27, 54
  • The answer when adding the squares of 7, 2, and 1
  • The Holt graph has 54 edges, which has nothing to do with marching band
  • Has the following factorial: 230,843,697,339,241,380,472,092,742,683,027,581,083,278,564,571,807,941,132,288,000,000,000,000
  • LIV … but that is actually language – but math is a language

Science

  • Xenon has the atomic number 54, thus 54 protons, and its neutral atom also has 54 electrons
  • NASA 54 STS
  • In temperature, 54 F = 12 C, but 54 C = 129 F

Commerce

Geography

Film, Television, and Literature

  • 54 is a film about Studio 54 – the movie trailer
  • 54 is a novel by the Wu Ming collective of authors
  • Episode 54 of Seinfeld
  • Classic TV: Car 54 where are you? theme & intro
  • Tune to Channel 54 when visiting: Bay Area, northern Kentucky, Baltimore, Erie, Augusta, New Orleans, Huntsville, Austin, Muskegon,
  • XM Channel 54: Lithium broadcasts grunge rock and 90s alternative rock

Sports

  • Cincinnati Bengals Bob Johnson, the team’s first-ever draft pick is the only retired 54 in the NFL – which is more than in MLB, NBA, and NHL.
  • Lennie Pond drove the only 54 to a NASCAR victory (6 Aug 1976 at Talladega)
  • The longest drought between Stanley Cup championships – the New York Rangers (1940-1994) … which is Beeze’s team
  • The fewest points scored by an NBA Team in a playoff game (Utah Jazz, 7 June 1998)

History

  • 54 AD Nero replaces Claudius as emperor of Rome, who then tried to prohibit the gladiator games
  • 54 BC Julius Caeser’s second expedition to Britain
  • 54th US Congress served from 4 March 1895 to 3 March 1897, the last two years of President Grover Cleveland’s term
  • 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry fought in the Civil War
  • The USAF 54th Tactical Fighter Wing is inactive, last stationed in South Korea
  • The USAF 54th Troop Carrier Wing served the South Pacific theatre in WW II

Odds and Ends

On the 2010 Doltest of Dolts List

Columnist Peggy Noonan’s referral of Sarah Palin as a nincompoop may be my favorite line of the year. Nonetheless, 2010 (like any other year), provided an abundance of people that causes many of us to shake our heads. Granted, politicians could dominate the list with their I’ll-say-more-than-I’ll-do way of doing things, and much-of-want-I-say-is-an-exaggeration way talking, so I tried to minimize them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, A Frank Angle’s Doltest of the Dolts for 2010.

17) Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel – For not picking Joey Votto for the All-Star team, who was good enough to be the NL MVP. Ok, this one is personable, but my mouth is still sour!

16) Pat Robertson – For being able to talk, thus the odds are good he said something stupid in 2010.

15) Jesse James – Sandra Bullock … You cheated on Sandra Bullock … You lost Sandra Bullock! In the words of the great American orator Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”

14) Mel Gibson – Bugs Bunny speaks again.

13) Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin – For continually trying to stay in the news.

12) Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan – For keeping themselves in the news. Get help and surround yourself with the right people!

11) BCS Executive Bill Hancock – He seems to think that because he tells us that the BCS doesn’t act as a cartel and is operating in the best interest of college football, we’ll believe it.

10) Tiger Woods – I’m a Tiger fan, but he screwed up more ways than one.

9) Former BP CEO Tony Hayward – Oh … he now has plenty of time to vacation on his yacht.

8] Rev Terry Jones and his Dove International Outreach Center for planning International Burn-A-Quran Day. At least they have been out of the news ever since.

7) Westboro Baptist – Rand McNally couldn’t help them find their way.

6) Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the biased talk show buffoons. I’m not stupid and I can think on my own. Oh … and I neither watch or listen.

5) Bud Selig – He’s horrible and will be on my list as long as he’s MLB Commissioner.

4) Congressional Ethics Committees – Congressional ethics is a classic oxymoron. Then again, the public (who is angry at Congress, yet re-elected the majority incumbents) is getting what we asked for.

3) Christine O’Donnell – Let’s face it: she provided some of the year’s best quotes! Meanwhile, I hope that Dancing with the Stars does not try to resurrect her public image.

2) Party Leaders in Congress – This was the easiest way to include Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi, Reid, and their lieutenants on one line.

1) Sarah Palin – The nincompoop who keeps on giving.

On the Bottle for the Holidays

For those you count on having this feature with their Monday morning coffee, sorry about not having this post ready because family has dominated the time since Christmas Eve.

Bottles impact the holiday season as they provide holiday cheer … and more to some than others. Other bottles, such as wine, serve as holiday gifts. In my father-in-laws case, he received a bottle of B&B (Brandy and Benedictine) from his granddaughters (our nieces). Whew … tasty fire water that warms the throat with each sip. Then there’s all the bottles to be opened New Years’ Eve.

In honor of both bottles and Zamfir, the master of the pan flute,  here’s a Zamfir-wanna-be using bottles. Cheers!

On Christmas Eve 2010

The holiday hubbub makes us think that Christmas is Christianity’s most important holiday. Nope – that’s Easter – but Christmas is important.

On the secular side, Santa Claus is a spirit of giving that intertwines with the Christian holiday, thus a spirit that calls many non-Christians to the season of goodness. This week I featured gifts of humor, wine, images, and music this week, yet today is simple the gift of peace.

I love the darkness of Christmas Eve. The drive to and from church is peaceful as we pass stores with empty parking lots. Meanwhile, the car radio will air soft holiday music to match the peace.

Merry Christmas to everyone appreciating the greeting, and to others, best wishes to you in the greeting that you prefer – and peace to all.

Your choice of videos: Josh Groban’s great voice singing Oh Holy Night or the diverse ringing techniques of the Raleigh Ringers performing Christmas Eve Sarajevo. I want to ring those big bells!

Josh Groban

Raleigh Ringers

On the Gift of Music

Music comes in some many forms. Classical compositions differ between eras and composers. The rock music is diverse, as is all musical genres.

Sometimes music is creative. For instance, this past Monday’s post of look Mom, no hands bell ringing brings laughs and wonder. Nonetheless, playing bells without hands is an example of the human spirit.

This video is a gift to you – a gift of music. As a handbell player, I appreciate the talent of the Raleigh Ringers, who ring bells the traditional way – with their hands. Their skill gives me chills and I get exhausted just watching them ring ringing Trans Siberian Orchestra holiday classic.

For those that don’t know, playing two bells in one hand is a special skill … let alone at a fast pace. Ringers cross two bells are at right angles, and the ringer plays the correct bell by flicking their wrist at different right angles. Then add another pair of bells in the other hand. Watch the ringers on the left side. Enjoy.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, brings one more gift. Hope you come back.