Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Daylight Saving Time funnies

Sunday, March 11th, 2018


Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

A couple weeks ago, I posted a video of ‘Tico, Tico’ that I liked. Since then, I’ve run across some more performances of it that I like. The first one is by Paco de Lucia. He gets pretty fast with his fingers on this. I used to have an LP or two of his. I’m not sure what the short bits that follow his performance are.

Here’s another version that’s pretty fun – it’s by Liberace. He gets some incredible speed in his performance.

Liberace was one of the more flamboyant performers I remember from my youth. I remember Bugs Bunny did a Liberace impression once or twice. Given his over-the-top wardrobe, I wonder if he had the same problem with the IRS that Diana Ross had – they were going to disallow the deductions she took for her stage outfits, but she demonstrated that most of them she couldn’t wear offstage – they wouldn’t allow her to sit down. He couldn’t make the same argument, since he performed sitting down.

Here he is performing ‘Malaguena’ and mugging with Sammy Davis, Jr.

And here’s another version of Malaguena, this time from Chet Atkins.

I’m back!

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Marion and I just returned from a European trip. Well, we actually returned last Saturday evening, but my internet was out. It remained out until last night.

I couldn’t get a tech over the holiday weekend; the first available slot was Wednesday morning, which I couldn’t do. Wednesday afternoon I was available, though, and when the tech came, it didn’t take him long to determine that it was a cable problem. The cable crew couldn’t come out until sometime yesterday, but they got my internet up and running again.

We were on a tour called “The Best of Eastern Europe.” The tour group leader (CEO, or Chief Experience Officer in the parlance of the company) didn’t agree that it was a tour of Eastern Europe; her opinion is that it was a tour of Central Europe. The company actually has a tour that goes to most of the same cities that they call “Explore Central Europe.”

The differences are that the “Eastern” Europe tour includes Poland, and the “Central” Europe tour is part of their National Geographic tour series. Joking around on the tour, we decided that that the tours were named as they were because the general public considers anything east of Germany to be “Eastern Europe,” while “National Geographic” readers are likely to know more geography.

We had a great time. I drank a lot more beer than I normally do on the trip – I’d have one or two half-liter glasses with most dinners. It was usually quite good beer, too. The only beer I wasn’t that fond of was the “smoked beer” that I tried in Cesky Krumlov. It’s a local specialty that was first brewed when part of a brewery caught fire, and they decided to use the barley that had come through the fire. It wasn’t bad, but I preferred the more usual beers, such as Staropramen. One of the other guys on the tour asked for “a good German beer” at a biergarten in Berlin, and was told that the really good beers came from the Czech Republic.

I was rather surprised at how hard it was to find restaurants serving traditional food in Berlin; the best meal we had there was actually at an Italian trattoria. Italian and kebab places seemed to be the most common.

Warsaw and Krakow were nice (I prefer Krakow). We got traditional food in each of those cities, and Marion acquired a taste for pierogi.

In the Czech Republic, we also got traditional food in both Prague and Český Krumlov.

By the time we got to Vienna, I was starting to tire of traditional foods. We attended a concert of Mozart and Strauss music in the venue that saw The Magic Flute’s first performance. The Instagram reviews the people sitting in front of us were reading described it as “cheesy but fun,” but we thought it was both good and fun, with no “cheesy” involved.

We’d been in Budapest before, so we hadn’t planned to stay there after the trip officially ended. We ducked out on the walking tour part-way through, because we’d already seen Heroes Square, and took a tour of the State Opera House instead. Much more interesting, and we took the tour that provided a mini-concert of two arias at the end. Beautiful building, with great acoustics.

We saw several castles, and took tours through most of them. We had a couple of extra days in Berlin prior to the start of the tour, so we took a day trip to Potsdam. We toured Schloss Cecilienhof, where the Potsdam Conference took place, then saw the gardens at Sanssouci. We couldn’t get onto the grounds of the third palace in the area (the New Palace, I think) because it was closed for a classical music festival.

In Krakow, we saw Wawel Castle, but didn’t take an “inside” tour.

We did tour Prague Castle, and attended a concert in the Basilica of St. George. If you’re there, definitely pay for one of the inside tours – St. Vitus’ Cathedral is not to be missed.

Český Krumlov Castle is nice, but not as impressive. The gardens are pretty nice, though.

In Vienna, we toured Schönbrunn Palace, which was impressive. We also had a very good meal at the palace cafe. The palace offered nightly Mozart/Strauss concerts, but we attended one downtown. The palace was on the far side of downtown from our hotel, and its concert ran later. Given that we were leaving Vienna the next morning, I wanted to get back to the hotel earlier, so we went with the concert at Palffy Palace.

I’ll probably post a few photos over the next few days, but it’s getting too late to do so tonight.

May the 4th be with you

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

A little late in the evening to post, but I had classes earlier.

The big Star Wars thing going on at the moment is all the clamor over the Sgt. Peppers/A New Hope mashup. It looks like fun, from the little I’ve been able to watch so far.

There’s also a video of Triumph the Comic Dog at a Star Wars premiere or convention, but I haven’t seen that one, either.

Don’t forget to continue your celebration into tomorrow:

Serendipity, or, The Troubles That Come With Age

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Marion and I went cross-country skiing in Frisco last Sunday. It was a beautiful day, but the skiing was a hell of a workout. The temperature was in the upper 30s, and it had been snowing all day. Because of the snow and overcast, it was hard to see the tracks in the groomed trails. I had trouble seeing them at times, depending on the light, and Marion found them by following behind me. Because of the snowing and the relatively warm temperature, the snow was “slow.”

Even going down the steepest parts of the Frisco Bay loop, I had very little glide and no carry. On the steepest downslope near the end of the trail, I couldn’t even coast to the bottom, and Marion was able to shuffle down slowly with her skis pointing straight downhill.

It took us roughly two hours to go around the trail once, which is about twice what it normally takes. As I said, a hell of a workout.

The serendipity comes in because I decided Sunday morning that I was going to need a backpack, so that I would have somewhere to put any layers I removed while skiing. It wasn’t a problem Sunday, but I’ve ended up wearing just a t-shirt above the waist more than once while skiing. The backpack I grabbed is one I’ve used for exercising while walking, and had 20 pounds of weights in it. When I removed the weights, I noticed something else in it as well. It was the 18-55mm lens for my Canon camera, which I’ve been looking for for almost a year. That just goes to show how diligent I am about getting my exercise, I suppose.

In any case, I’ve been looking for it for a long time, because I backed a Kickstarter project over a year ago for the Pulse camera controller from Alpine Labs, and I received it last May or so. Since the only lens I could find was the 70-200mm zoom lens that was on the camera, I really didn’t do anything much with the Pulse until this week.

Today, I tried taking a time-lapse sequence of photos. It worked, but stopped early, and I need to determine why (I have a few ideas). However, I did get over 150 RAW photos of the foothills in Golden that I need to figure out how to stitch into a movie. It wasn’t the best weather for anything that looked impressive, but it was good enough for a first try. I’ll be trying more soon.

A holiday I can enjoy

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Today is November 28th. In Japan, it’s unofficially Nice Knee-High Socks Day. This is because the date forms a pun in Japanese. Writing the date as 11/28, or 1-1-2-8, the Japanese for the numbers would be “ichi-ichi-ni-hachi.” Shortening it by dropping the second syllables and adjusting the final sound, you get “ii ni-hai,” or “nice knee-high socks.”

A lot of people post pictures, which I think is nice.

Happy Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Click pictures for bigger.



Halloween costumes that are puns.

NSFW Witch after the break.

Can’t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

What with all the brouhaha concerning clowns in the news recently, I thought I’d dust off a song I wrote a few years ago and post it. I had run across a graphic showing a young boy crying, with the words, “Can’t sleep. Clowns will eat me.” It’s from a Simpsons episode, apparently, but I didn’t know that. I also started off with a blues joke, because it seems that most of the old-time blues songs start with, “I woke up this morning, and <something bad happened>.”

In any case, the following goes to the tune of “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Well, I didn’t wake up this morning,
‘Cause I never slept last night.
The clowns were coming to eat me
And you know that just ain’t right.

And I’m getting so tired, baby,
So frightened and tired.
I’m getting so tired, I could cry.

Well, they’ve got those big, red noses,
And they wear those floppy shoes,
And the way they paint their faces, Lord,
It just gives me the blues.


I saw that little car coming,
With twelve of them inside,
And when they started to pour out
Well, I tried to run and hide.


They had loaded up big with weapons –
Cream pies and squirting flowers.
The fighting was hot and heavy
And the cleanup just took hours.


So I’m watching for polka-dot jumpsuits,
Balloon animals, as well.
I want you people to know
These clowns are making my life hell.


Saw a Captain Kirk fan this morning

Friday, October 7th, 2016

At least, that’s what the indications are. The vehicle had a Star Trek logo on one side of the rear window, a Tardis police box on the other, and a personalized plate with the name, “Tiberius” on it (missing one vowel so that it would fit in seven letters).

Seems pretty obvious to me.

It’s ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’ today

Monday, September 19th, 2016

I missed last Saturday’s ukulele meeting at Swallow Hill, which had ‘Pirate Songs’ as the theme, because I wasn’t quite feeling up to it. I fell asleep so quickly Friday night that I didn’t get my CPAP on, and I woke up Saturday irritable and tired. Meh.

I don’t have much to say that’s new or unique, so I’ll just point to a couple of posts by someone else (caution: likely NSFW).