On Multiple Connections

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In November 2014 I posted this collaboration with a photographer around the word connection. Below are a few thoughts from that post.

Connection: A correspondence between two partially ordered sets
Connection: Causal or logical relation or sequence
Connection: A relation of personal intimacy
Connection: A means of communication or transportation
Connection: synonyms including coherence, continuity, link, affinity, association, kinship, liaison, linkage, relation, relationship, union

This past April I wrote a ballroom post about Lead and Follow. Since that post, I continued thinking about the role of connection in ballroom – especially in a social ballroom dance setting. After all, our instructor preaches it! The Lead and Follow post included the following paragraph:

Lead and Follow requires a connection between the partners because that connection is the communication line transmitting signals through a strong frame. With the goal of moving together as one, signals travel through any of the following (or combination of): whole body, core, shoulders, hips, back, elbows, arms, hands, legs, and feet, plus extensions and compressions.

In ballroom there are other connections beyond the physical connection between the dancers:

  • the physical connection between two dancers
  • the connection between dancers and the craft
  • the connection between the dancers and the music
  • the mental connection that some partners have with each other
  • the connections between friends
  • the connection between instructor and students
  • the connection between the feet and the floor – and I imagine a few more.

The music is part of the setting. The music can be traditional ballroom, contemporary, and from a variety of genre. In general, I see three key factors from the music affecting ballroom dance: timing, tempo, and rhythm.

Timing: Whereas waltz music is in 3-4 time (3 beats per measure), the other ballroom dance are in 4-4 time (4 beats per measure.

Tempo: How fast/slow is the music? For instance, Rumba and Bolero music are similar, but Bolero is slower. Viennese Waltz is faster than Ballroom Waltz. Three-count Hustle music is slower than Four-count Hustle. East Coast Swing is faster than West Coast Swing, but not as fast as Lindy.

Rhythm: The background rhythms supporting the music provide the musicality and the feel for the dance. Whereas a friend would say one can dance Tango to Foxtrot music (and vise versa), I say that would be a mismatch between the music and the dance because the background rhythms supporting the music are vastly different – therefore not even close.

Regardless of the place, the music sets a tone – a mood for the dancers to explore. Therefore, different dances provide different moods: Cha cha is playful and sharp. Foxtrot is smooth and classy. Waltz is grace and elegance. Rumba is rhythmic and sultry. Bolero is fluid and romantic. Salsa is lively and party-time. Quickstep is exuberant and glamorous. East Coast Swing is fun and energetic, but West Coast Swing is bluesy and slinky. Tango is strong and edgy, but Argentine Tango is personal and intricate.

Different songs provide different moods. For instance, the elegance of waltz serves to transport the mind to a beautiful place. The beauty of the dance fits with the beauty the music provides. Music comes from many sources – including popular songs. However, not all danceable waltzes set the same mood. Yes, I’m picky on that count – for instance, many country waltzes are for a bar or a barn – not a ballroom.

So to put the two thoughts together. Two dancers with a strong physical connection in their frame and contact points in the presence of the right music, the dance can be special. The dance can be a moment that one may never forget. At the end, the dancers may look into each other’s eyes with special admiration and gratitude for the moment. Now that’s what connection can do in a social ballroom setting.

“Laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing: We are not alone.” (Brené Brown, author)

Below are two scenes from popular movies that you may have seen … and these scenes are about important aspects of connection – well, at least to me. Enjoy, and thanks for reading. Does this make any sense?

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On a Beach Walk: No. 35

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I see the faces of people I pass during the walk. I believe some people look at the sea and see faces in the water – but I don’t.

On the other hand, the sky is a place for faces. On this day, a full moon is in the daytime sky. Although it is not a bright smile as its nighttime glow, Mr. Moon’s presence is known – yet it can be easily missed. Each of us have memories of that face and how we see it.

Given that it’s daytime, we know Mr. Sun brightly shines to illuminate other faces; but we don’t see its face – yet we value its presence as it warms our face.

The clouds in the sky are always moving and changing. Sometimes they are happy and/or spiritual; other times a menacing evil. Sometimes a distinctive profile; other times an imaginative image as an ultrasound baby.

I think about real human faces – the ones that I pass during my walk and the ones that I’ve encountered through my 65 years. The many faces I’ve seen in malls, crowds, in my classes, during travels, and at any gathering I’ve attended. The faces of different people – the young and the old – the able and the disabled – the men and the women – the faces of different cultures and races.

The faces of different gifts and abilities – the musical, the artistic, the analytical, the athletic, the strong, the generous, the helpers, the kind, and many more.

The faces of smiles and kindness who are willing to embrace everyone. Those whose help lifts the faces of others.

The faces who are willing to share. The faces who truly try to help change the faces of others by helping a variety of needs – these are the faces bringing the shining light of humanity – but so are the kind faces who smile to each other as the pass when walking the beach.

Let’s keep on smilin’ because I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pronouns: The Musical – Act 4: He

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program

Act 1: I
Act 2: You
Act 3: Me

Act 4: He

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” (John Muir, naturalist)

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” (J. K. Rowling, author)

“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” (Franz Schubert, composer)

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” (Maria Montessori, educator)

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” (Nelson Mandela, statesman)

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.” (Anne Bronte, novelist)

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.” (Groucho Marx, comedian)

Guidelines

Songs must have He in the title

Cautions

No duplicates songs regardless of artists
Foreign language equivalents unacceptable
Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer

Production Note

To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to Act 4 of the latest musical by aFa Productions – Pronouns: The Musical.

This act was a more difficult challenge than the previous acts – but it’s still a worthwhile goal. The opening performer won five Grammy Awards, and the only artist to win four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance Plus, the opener’s title contains two qualifying terms. Ladies and gentlemen, Singing He Thinks He’ll Keep Her, lets give a strong aFa Production welcome to Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Note: After clicking the video, “Video unavailable” will display … BUT, don’t panic … below that will say, “Watch this video on YouTube” … click it, and a new tab or window will open!

Act 5: Him

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 371

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Pronouns: The Musical is continuing its trek this weekend featuring songs with He in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). A word of caution: Songs qualifying for this act are not as plentiful as one my think – but that would be Obama’s fault.

Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio) hosted its first PGA golf event in 1959. This past weekend, the PGA held its last event at the famed venture. I don’t know who made that decision – the sponsor, the tour, or the course – but that is a pathetic decision.

For those who enjoy a wide variety of music, our church sponsored a summer concert series featuring strong talent in the Cincinnati area. The series featured a Bluegrass band, a string quartet, an organists, a French Gypsy jazz quartet, and a well-travelled concert pianist. Simply an outstanding effort!

I knew head position is important in ballroom dance, but wow – I’ve been underestimating its importance.

Don’t forget to check your Comments Spam folder on your WP Dashboard. I look before emptying because I occasionally find a legit comment in that location.

Because I like milestones, this week my little corner of the world may pass 80,000 comments.

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It’s early August, and I’ve already seen too many political ads for the November election.

Months ago I suggested that it would be best for Democrats if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would announce that she would not seek leadership if the Democrats gained control in November. While Republicans continue to use her as a negative against Democratic candidates in competitive races, some Democratic candidates are saying they would not vote for Pelosi for House Speaker.

In the current season of special elections, Democrats are elated with strong showing while Republicans are happy with winning the high majority of elections.

Shortly after the US-North Korea meeting in Singapore, I made a statement about when President Trump would be meeting with Iran. So far, President Trump is following a similar playbook with Iran as he did with North Korea. Here’s an article by Aaron David Miller, a foreign affairs expert and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.

I see foresee the following 2020 scenario as a possibility: Republicans renominate President Trump while Democrats swing left for their nomination. This opens the lane of an independent moderate candidate, plus Libertarians learn from 2016 and nominate a sensible candidate.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion notes one of the problems of the current wildfires in California.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

This woman’s weekend-long trip with her friend should have really just been a lunch
Dog meets owner at door in desperate attempt to get ahead of diarrhea-rug scandal
Beloved father and infrequent pornography user loses 3-year battle with cancer
Owl can’t remember which direction to rotate head back
Report: Takeout place put burrito in completely different container this time
Financial planner suggest spending one evening each week ripping walls, floorboard, in search for cash

Interesting Reads

Dos and don’ts for a heatwave
Ways to apologize in Japanese
Resources of sub-Sahara Africa
An asylum seeker’s journey and back again
Thinking about economic data
(Graphic) Excise taxes and wine
(Pictures) Hiking the Sinai Trail

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a throwback to 1969 for you to enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Cutting the Cord

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You requested it – I listened – so here it is – a post about replacing your cable or satellite television system.

This past July, we made the decision to shed our television provider for a local antenna. We simply were tired of dealing with price increases and playing the promotion game in order to get a reasonable rate we were willing to pay.

Your biology class may have used a dichotomous key as a tool to identify organisms as trees, flowers, fish, and others. These keys begin with a question followed by options (typically 2) that force the user to make a choice. The decision may include information followed by a “Go-to” statement, which directs the user to their next question (by number). To me, this tool is similar to a flow chart displaying a decision tree.

I constructed the dichotomous key below as a tool to help interested parties make a decision about cutting the cord. Answer the question, then follow the appropriate “Go-to” statement. Bullets are notes that go with that answer.

A Decision Tree

1) Do you want local channels?

1A) Yes – Go to 2

  • Depending on your distance from the stations, you may need an amplifier
  • The higher the antenna location, the better the reception
  • In general, outdoor-type antennas are better than indoor antennas, and multidirectional/omnidirectional antennas are better than directional
  • Condos owners – consider an attic because high inside is better than low outside
  • Consider an using an installer
  • You will receive more stations than you anticipate because some local stations offer substations. Click here to find your local channels by zip code.

1B) No – Go to 3

2) Do you want to record shows from local channels?

2A) Yes – then purchase a DVR – Go to 3

  • Beware of monthly fees
  • DVR will only record shows on stations from the antenna, not from streaming
  • We purchased a TiVo Roamio OTA, no monthly fees (from Amazon)

2B) No – Go to 3

3) Do you want “cable” stations?

3A) Yes – Go to 4

3B) No – Go to 7

4) Do you know your options for receiving cable stations?

4A) Yes – Go to 5

4B) No – You will need to do the following, then Go to 5

  1. Identify the most important stations for your household
  2. Research available streaming options as Sling, DirectTV Now, Hulu TV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, Watch TV
  3. Prioritize the services by comparing their offerings to your most-important stations list

5) Do you want to record “cable” shows?

5A) Yes – Go to 6

  • Remember, DVR equipment (as TiVo) does not record streaming services
  • Some (but not all) streaming services offer DVR cloud service, so select the service with this option

5B) No – Go to 7

6) Does your preferred streaming option offer DVR cloud service?

6A) Yes – Go to 7

6B) No – re-prioritize your streaming options or change your desire for DVR cloud service – Go to 7

7) Do you have or want streaming services as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Showtime, or others?

7A) Yes – No problems – Go to 8

  • Previous choices should not affect these services
  • These services run on dedicated apps
  • Streaming service are more efficient through wire than through wireless

7B) No – Go to 8

8) Did this exercise help?

8A) Yes – Congratulations because you may know more about the topic than you did

8B) No – Seek professional help

Our Decision

Although we did not do this to cut expenses, our decision saved $75 per month. However, we spent about $800 for the antenna, its installation, and the DVR – but our savings should take care of the expenses in 11 months.

Based on what our viewing preferences, we selected Sling Blue – but at the expense of me losing the ESPN family (and Discovery Channel). (We gained BBC America.) However, I may expand to Sling Orange for several months to have access to ESPN college football – then cancel the Orange tier at season’s end.

On a Beach Walk: No. 34

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Silence on this day as most of the birds – the herons, sandpipers, sanderlings, and pelicans are silent. Even seagulls frequently gather to stand in silence – but it seems they also enjoy hearing their own squawk.

I’m away from the sounds of the street – no cars, no trucks, no motorcycles interrupting nature’s natural sounds. The low tide stimulates my auditory sense with a variety of pleasures.

People sounds at the beach are minimal. It’s the off-season, so there are fewer people than during the region’s prime time (summer) – and present are primarily seniors. Other than friendly hellos as people pass, my ears don’t detect a human presence on the beach.

The rolling sounds of waves approaching the shore stereophonically pass by. An occasional thunderous clap serves as a warning of a high probability of a splash.

Today is a luck day as I notice my favorite beach sound – the steady, gentle splash of water gliding across shallow sand on its way to the beach. The sea seems to be speaking to me – Hush – Be quiet and enjoy – Shhhhhhhh – Listen and enjoy.

I hear the wind interacting with my ears. It’s easy to detect – from what appears as a light touch to a persistent whistle or even a roar. Then the wind’s auditory message changes as I turn to face the opposite direction.

I hear the regular rhythm of my feet on the sand with each step. It resembles a bass drum keeping the steady beat on a glorious sound of a marching band playing a classic march. I loved my band days.

My feet splashing through the water seemingly muddles the steady beat, but it’s still present.

I stop to stand and look out to sea. I listen. I hear the light popping of tiny foam bubbles caressing my feet.

Sounds are my thoughts on this day. One can hear so much when they take time to listen. Meanwhile, walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Pronouns: The Musical – Act 3: Me

The Story

Welcome to Pronouns: The Musical.

Some may ask, “Pronouns?”, but we at A Frank Angle say, “Why not pronouns!”

A subset of nouns, pronouns serve as a substitute for nouns and noun phrases. These bits of linguistics and grammar are versatile and can almost refer to anything.

Although pronouns can be personal, objective, possessive, indefinite, relative, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive, and reciprocal, this musical extravaganza focuses on selected pronouns.

Program

Act 3: Me

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” (Carol Burnett, actor)

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” (Henry Ford, business leader)

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin, statesman)

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” (Mark Twain, humorist and author)

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” (Albert Einstein, scientist)

“What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.” (Helen Keller, author)

Guidelines

Songs must have Me in the title

Cautions

  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists
  • Foreign language equivalents unacceptable
  • Contractions are acceptable at the discretion of The Producer

Production Note

To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement

Welcome to the latest musical by aFa Productions – Pronouns: The Musical.

Although I’m not self-centered, Act 3 is about Me. We at aFa Productions appreciate legends agreeing to appear to open an act. Without checking the archives, this may be the first opening act appearance for this classic artist. The song was not only a hit, but Bill Gates paid to use the song to launch Windows 95. Let give a big aFa welcome to the Rolling Stones with Start Me Up.

Act 4: He