Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Gone for a week

I had to keep it a secret until now, but we are in Boston. We flew here yesterday to surprise our daughter on her 40th birthday. I will be back on Monday and will start posting videos again then....hopefully some good ones from here!

(The party was a FANTASTIC success!!!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jeri

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Wednesday is our daughter's 40th birthday and I spent today putting together this little trip down memory lane. I have to admit that I was quite happy when I got it all finished.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"I'd Do Any thing"

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This was one of my favorite moments from Oliver! 1981. Just a sweet moment of Paul (as Oliver) dancing with Jeri (as Bette). Warmed the cockles of my heart every night. (And of course I was there every night!)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Consider Yourself

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This is from a 1981 production of "Oliver!" in which my son Paul played Oliver and his friend Kag was The Artful Dodger.

This was the first show for the choreographer and somehow she figured that "choreography" meant that every word or phrase had a movement with it. I suspect that she created an incredible amount of unnecessary work for herself. As I watch the video, I see that in some places, it's just plain crazy all the movements she had those little kids doing--but amazingly, they actually do a credible job of it. I remember the long hours of painstaking rehearsal for these little kids, age 5-12 learning dozens of intricate movements. This woman never subscribed to the "less is more" philosophy!

There were 20 orphans and the opening number ("Food, Glorious Food") is so busy you can hardly concentrate on it. Up, down, hand up, hands down, mime the words, jump up, turn around, march in place. It's overkill to the 'nth degree.

The video that I've posted for today came out of that insane choreography and makes me giggle whenever I see it.

It's "Consider Yourself," the song sung by Oliver and the Artful Dodger, when they first meet. (Note the unnecessary choreography down to each raising a foot as they sing "...foot the bill..." The set was wonderful (Walt built it) and contained a bridge connected by two long staircases which curved down to the stage. The choreographer had Paul and his friend Kag singing and running up and down those steps. Great training if you're going to be an Olympic sprinter!

But the thing that tickles me about this video is that it happened to be taken the day that the two kids cracked up. As Kag introduces himself, he did something he hadn't done before. He says "I'm...the Artful Dodger," and as he says that, he taps the top of his hat. For some reason this made Paul giggle and then the two of them started giggling. They finished the long song, but trying desperately to stop laughing the whole time.

At one point, they have walked/danced/run to the top of the stairs and at the top of the stairs was an "old woman" (actually a young-ish woman, mother to one of their friends, who was quite friendly with the kids). She caught the giggles from the two of them.

I remember sitting in the audience that night just praying for them to finish the damn song and get off stage. But looking at it this many years later, it's really fun to watch.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's really very simple...

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Just put the golf ball on top of the tee. What could be easier?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Doin' the Puppy Mash

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The puppies have graduated to solid food--first step to their new home, where they will move next week.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Wake

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It was impromptu -- sort of. Our friend Bill died at midnight last night. Our friend Phoebe flew in from Denver for the day. Our friend Char drove up from the San Francisco Bay Area and we all met Phoebe at the airport and then on up to Jeri & Bill's house. There were tears and laughter, food and drink, and lots of memories about Bill. I dont have a clue how interesting this video is going to be to the world at large, and at 7 minutes long I didn't really make it for "others," but for all of us who counted Bill as one of our friends.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Feeding Time

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I really wanted a record of the puppies while they were still on formula. Ned took this video for me, which is just about exactly what I hoped it would be.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Show and Tell"

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Everyone agreed that I won the "show and tell" award at Easter, by bringing the puppies.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Musical Easter

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With several musicians in the family, my sister-in-law decided we would all have a sing-along-after dinner. I think we needed a few more musicians, but we had a good time anyway.

(Can you tell I put this together between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.?) 

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Morning Ritual

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Morning with the puppies. (Note that it usually comes with lots of little puddles!)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Queenie's World

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They are starting to notice the world around them. Here is Queenie checking the place out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

They're baack

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You know it's going to be a bad day when you day starts off like this.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Babies are Growing

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The puppies are about 3-1/2 weeks old now. Their eyes are pretty much open, they've learned to come when I call them (it's still a slow process!), they haven't started playing with each other yet, but they sure do know how to let me know when they are hungry!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

God Talk

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Anthony over at Conversation God issued a challenge to start a discussion about God, religion and anything related. So I took him up on his challenge. I figure that my whole religious experience has gone through several different permutations in my 63 years. and I could share how I feel about things "God."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bottles of Chance

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I've posted videos of this song before, but they were captures off of the TV screen; this is one that is ripped direction from the DVD and is better quality (also a different performance)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Boom Boom Boom

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How about a change of pace. Every June, Sacramento's Taiko Dan drummers perform here in Davis. I caught a snippet of their performance last year. Very exciting performers.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Videoblogging Week #7: Time to Say Goodbye

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The four older puppies have moved on. Sigh.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Videoblogging Week #6: Atmospheric Phenomenon

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I managed to catch a strange atmospheric phenomenon on video. I don't know that it has received nation-wide coverage.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Videoblogging Week #5: Feeding Frenzy

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Now we have 7 puppies, four 7 week olds and three 2 week olds, who need to be bottle fed. The older puppies go crazy when I'm feeding the younger ones.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Videoblogging Week #4: Go Away Kid, You Bother Me

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The puppies haven't quite figured out that Sheila and Kimba aren't as eager to play as the puppies are.

Background music for this is Kettleman's Lustige Streiche, written by my daughter, Jeri. I used this in a dog video some time ago and as with that video, this one, too, seems almost to have been edited with the piece of music in mind (tho it wasn't).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Videoblogging Week #3: Bird Carnage

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Was Alfred Hitchcock directing this film?

A "moment of zen."

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Videoblogging Week #2: The Battery

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People suggested that the problem with my camera was that the battery was exhausted, so today the new battery finally arrived.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

It's Videoblogging Week! - #1

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This is Day #1 of Videoblogging Week...and an e-mail I received led me to make this video.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Pops Concert

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Another segment from the Davis High School Pops Concert 1986. Paul and his friend Paul singing a duet from The Music Man, and the Jazz Choir's finale, "One" from A Chorus Line.

The Jazz Choir was an award-winning chorus. It's surprising how many of these kids went on to perform professionally.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


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Xena had been the runt of the litter of 11 and had been attacked by her siblings, which was why the litter was split up (which is how I happened to have Fudge, Curly, Greta and Blackie). So today, Ashley decided Xena was doing well enough to return to some of the litter and gave her to me. (I named her Xena, because I figure she was kind of a "warrior princess.") I tried working her in with the others, but ultimately I could see that it was not going to be good for Xena and I told Ashley to come and pick her back up again. But I kept this record of what it was like.

It's obviously "survival of the fittest" even in the puppy world.