~~~

  • Tom Brady and Deflate-gate – My Take

    TOM BRADY and Deflate-gate MY TAKE

    nflHere is what I think. Tom Brady’s game footballs were, whenever possible, slightly deflated by a a pound or two. This, I believe, from all that I have heard and read, is common throughout much of the NFL.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Quarterbacks like their balls to have a particular grip and feel, and air pressure is one of the factors in getting a game football to a quarterback’s liking.
    – – – – – – –
    The NFL rule that says footballs must begin the game inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch; a rule that, as far as we know, has never been enforced by the NFL in the six years that it has been in the rule book.
    – – – – – – – –
    Is that cheating? Let me ask you, when you drive 40mph in a 35mph zone, are you speeding? That’s what we have here, rules violation wise. Most quarterbacks do it and nobody’s been pulled over and given a ticket. Until Brady.
    – – – – – – – –
    What I am upset about is Tom Brady’s reputation. When mid October rolls around and the suspension has been served, the draft picks docked, and the million dollar fine paid by New England, what is left is Tom Brady being forever labeled a cheater and a liar. They can’t take it all back or make it go away.
    It’s a relatively minor offense that he committed, and yes, I think he knew about it, and somewhere in the distant past (Brady has been the starting QB since 2001), Tom had a discussion with some equipment guy for the Patriots and the balls were subsequently “attended to.”
    The fact that Tom didn’t deflate the balls himself is not the issue. It was done at his behest and he was okay with them diddling with the pigskin. That makes him guilty of the violation, but it does not remotely rise to the level of spousal abuse (Ray Rice and his wife in the elevator). It does not remotely or vaguely rise to the level of pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, as another Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, did in 2000, regarding the murder to two men in Atlanta. It does not remotely rise to the level of Richie Incognito, a veteran lineman for the Miami Dolphin who engaged in horrendous hazing of rookie teammate, Jonathan Martin.
    Tom is technically guilty of violating a rule has never been enforced and is regularly broken by lots of other teams in the NFL. TB got caught but the price he is paying is far to steep. A man should not lose his reputation for this.
    When it’s mid October and this suspension has been served, where does the greatest QB in NFL history go to get his reputation back?
    All those kids who wanted to grow up to be like Tom Brady, have a hero with an asterisk, a backstory, a black mark, something parents will long be telling as a cautionary tale. From most accounts, Tom Brady is a guy who basically never takes a shortcut, who has never done drugs, who always does the right thing and is unfailingly polite and humble.
    – – – – – – – – –
    Had this sting operation not been bungled from start to finish by the NFL and Roger Goodell, the league’s best player would still be just that. Look, I am a diehard New England Patriot fan and a big Tom Brady guy; still I candidly admit Tom Brady’s associative guilt and subsequent foot dragging during the Wells Investigation regarding what is a relatively small infraction that had never once been enforced, that has now morphed into a public flogging of Tom Brady and his legacy, due to the thoughtless and careless way the NFL has handled this somewhat tragic sports story.


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  • Rioting in the Streets

    I very well remember 1968; the days after the Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Gunned down on a motel balcony.  The ghettos of America erupted and there were riots in every major city in America.  The frustration and anger that was all pent up in Black America boiled over.

    Baltimore, D.C., Hough in Cleveland, Roxbury and Mattapan in Boston, Watts in L.A., in Indianapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, Philadelphia, NYC, and essentially every African American ghetto had uncontrolled rioting.

    Watching Baltimore re-live the bitterness, fear, resentment, alienation, and despair is heart rending.  The same socio-economic conditions exist.  Today gangs are far more prevalent than back 50 years ago.  I would be angry too if I lived in those conditions.  I’d be protesting and maybe even joining the rioting.  I would hate to live in near or actual poverty, without an interesting job, without feeling safe and respected.  Our Society has addressed some of these issues but while many may be the beneficiaries in 2015, it is quite clear and obvious that we have failed, as a society, to provide opportunity and hope to a lot of Americans, of all races and religions, all ethnicities.   Baltimore may be in for a long hot summer, as the expression would go back in the late 1960s.  “A long hot summer.”

    We have so much wealth that is concentrated in such a way that the chances of happiness and success are limited for a significant portion of the American population in 2015 America.   So tonight on the streets of Baltimore and on the street of Ferguson, there are a lot of voices with a lot of questions, and unfortunately, there are too few answers and no easy, quick fix to a societal problem that truly must be addressed.  I can’t help but think of Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “If I Had A Hammer.”  The lyrics ring true today just like they did in 1949 when Lee Hays and Pete Seeger wrote it. –  Harry on April 29, 2015


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  • Celtics Defeat Cleveland ?

    Well I was wrong. We got swept.

    But, however, nevertheless, in spite of this, say what you will, such is the case, Se la vie. And so it goes…

    You have to hand it to the Boston Celtics. This team is unselfish. They move the rock. Every night they are busting their butts for each other. The scrappy Celtics seem to listen to their young Coach, Brad Stevens, in his first foray into the pro ranks. If all that weren’t enough, these guys are almost always out-hustling their opponents. Diving for balls. Grabbing rebounds. Stealing basketballs. Making the extra pass. Plus, they seem to check their egos at the door. Those are adjectives that describe a Winner. This team fits that description.

    Many teams wear down from the long regular season, Not these kids. The reason for mostly fresh legs is depth. They play a lot of guys every night. The minutes are spaced out between them. Brad Stevens is lucky that his team has so many interchangeable parts, due in fact to their lack of a star on the team. Late in games, the Celtics seem to usually find a way to win. This may all be a big surprise to NBA fans. We kind of sneaked up on everybody. For a team that wasn’t expected to win many games, our record ends up at 40 wins and 42 losses.

    In the last 36 games of the regular season, the Celtics were 24-12. That’s almost the last half of the season there.
    I think the Celtics will beat the Cleveland Cavs. Not too many people believe that is going to happen. It’s just my opinion, but I think every member of the Boston Celtics team expects to actually win the series. I’m going out on a limb, but I say Boston will beat Cleveland, and advance in the NBA playoffs. LeBron James is going down!

    Harry, 4-17-15


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  • 2nd Anniversary

    rosesToday is the 2nd anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    4  died, 3 at the scene.  Several hundred were maimed.

    Boston Stronger.


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  • SELMA
    I just watched President Obama speak, standing in the sunshine next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a National Civil Rights Landmark. It was, to me, one of the finest and most important speeches of his Presidency; a glorious and proud moment, and a time to reflect on what was, what is, and what is still remains to be done.

    I wish that I had been in Selma, fifty years ago, lending my voice for justice, but at the time, in 1965, I was fifteen, not yet old enough to have my drivers license, living in Tuscaloosa, an hour and a half north of Selma, Alabama. I might just as well have been 3000 miles away.


    Estimates now say there were only 300 to 500 marchers who attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River, on their way from Selma to Montgomery, the Alabama State Capitol, located about fifty miles away. There were three separate attempts made by Dr. King and the marchers (March 7, 9, and 21).

    Back in 1965, fifty years ago, there were just three TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC). No DISH, no FIOS, no Direct TV.

    Cable TV had not even been invented yet. Of course, no TIVOs or DVRs. There was 30 minutes of local TV news, followed by 1/2 hour of national TV news to watch each day. In fact, all of the TV networks went off the air around midnight and returned early the next morning. In between you could sit in silence and watch a static test pattern. Everyone my age and older will remember this very well.

    Of course, there was no internet. There were no cellphones. No social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No CNN. No Fox.
    It was a different time, looking back one-half a century later. – Harry


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  • HARRY’S RULES OF THE ROAD:

    HARRY’S RULES OF THE ROAD:

    1. DO NOT FRIGHTEN.
    2. LIKE WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK.
    3. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK IS TRUE.
    4. DON’T GET FOOLED.
    5. CLEAN AS CLEAN CAN BE.
    6. HONOR EVERYONE WHO COMES IN PEACE.
    7. BE KIND AND GRATEFUL.
    8. SAFETY FIRST IS MANTRA ONE (the healthier the better).
    9. UNDERSTAND HISTORY AND FOLLOW THE NEWS.
    10. SLEEP HAPPENS WHEN SLEEP HAPPENS (no alarms).

    MORE RULES OF THE ROAD:
    1. DON’T GET FAT OR STAY THAT WAY FOREVER.
    2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
    3. BELIEVE IN SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES YOURSELF.
    4. SPEAK UP. SPEAK OUT. MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
    5. DON’T JUST FOLLOW THE LEADER.
    6. WHAT YOU THINK MIGHT NOT BE RIGHT.
    7. SEE THE NIGHT SKY, SUNRISES, AND SUNSETS.
    8. FIND BEAUTY IN FLOWERS AND POWER IN TREES.
    9. LOVE YOUR CHILDREN ALL YOUR LIFE.
    10. GOOD BBQ AND CORNED BEEF HASH ARE HARD TO BEAT.

    MORE GOOD RULES:
    1. STOP FOR THE NIGHT AFTER DRIVING ALL DAY.
    2. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR FEET. BUY N.B. 1080s.
    3. THE PRIUS IS A DAMN FINE CAR.
    4. DON’T SPEND IT ALL. (is your homepage Amazon.com?).
    5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK.
    6. DON’T SMOKE.
    7. EASY ON THE MAYONAISSE.
    8. JOHN PRINE IS SHAKESPEARE’S COUSIN.
    9. IF YOU AIN’T HUNTING FOR FOOD, DON’T BE HUNTING AT ALL.
    10. NYLON TRICOT SLEEPWEAR IS A POOR MAN’S SILK PAJAMAS.


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  • Doug Ashford. – R.I.P.

    daProducing a FolkTree concert at Carnegie Hall. The FolkTree Team, circa 1989 (well, part of it, anyway). L-R, Richard “Gidge” Villeaux, Doug Ashford, Kristin Kunhardt, and Harry Lipson.
    —————————————————————————

    On the 26th of February, 2015, Doug Ashford (2nd from L) passed away after a quietly courageous battle with cancer. Doug was a friend and colleague, and a fount of musical knowledge. I never knew anyone with a better cd collection. And Doug knew every record, every track. He absorbed the liner notes.
    It was music that connected Doug, not just to me, but to a lot of his friends.
    With a passion for live music, If there was a good show in the vicinity, you’d probably find him there in the crowd. If there was an interesting festival across The Pond, or in some far flung outpost, you might very well find Doug there, as well. He made these musical pilgrimages to be present when alchemy connected everyone and everything through the incredible power of song.
    Intelligent, organized (his event calendar was the best such resource in New England), and kindhearted – are some of the things that come to mind as I remember Doug. When the grieving is over, we will have fond memories of all the good times we shared. – Harry


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  • High Heels?

    Tell me that high heels aren’t Big Fashion’s war on feet and ankles.
    If it is just image that you are bringing to the party, perhaps vanity is driving Miss Daisy.

    Notably, orthopedic surgeons overwhelmingly agree. You aren’t doing yourself any favors, and wearing them indicates that you are a slave to fashion’s demands at the expense of you own comfort.

    It is not a secret that some are wearing spiked heels because of height insecurities. Point is, it is quite ok to be whatever height you are. What is the first thing you do when you get home? You kick off the heels. Right?

    While they undeniably make you taller, you don’t need them to be perceived in whatever way you want to be seen.
    It is time to say no to those stilettos. And men who wear elevator shoes because they want to be a few inches taller than they really are; well, not to blow your cover, but you aren’t fooling many people.

    Body image has become such a big deal. Thin, fat, tall, short. We pay a lot of attention and money in pursuit of popularity and self confidence. Psychiatrists couches are filled with worriers.

    I’m not a shrink. I am not a fashion plate or a guru offering the latest and greatest, whatever that may be. Note to the liberals out there: Think of all the cows that will be saved if they aren’t bred, raised, and slaughtered for their hides that get strenuously processed to turn them into your next pair of polished leather high heels. Think of the money to be saved. Think of the extra closet space you’ll have by liberating your under-represented toes.

    You can be fashionable all you want, but high heels look, to me, like someone is trying too hard. – Harry



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  • DANICA

    I am a racing/motorsports aficionado.

    Be it Formula One, Indycar, NASCAR. TUDOR United, Rolex, LeMans- I follow them all. I will get up early and I will go to bed late, watching races from Australia, to the streets of Monte Carlo (The Principality), from Motegi, or Abu Dhabi, to the high banks of Talladega.

    For more than forty years I been following the men who put the pedal to the metal, and for the past ten years, I have been following Danica Patrick, as well.

    In Indycar Danica had a rain-shortened win and three poles.
    In NASCAR’s Nationwide, Xfinity series, she earned a pole.
    In NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Danica has one pole (a Daytona 500), but she has neither won, nor finished in the top 3 in any race.

    Tomorrow, Danica lines up on the 10th row of the grid, for the 2015 Daytona 500. Like always, it’s a big deal.

    I am here to tell you that Danica Patrick is a gutsy driver who gives as good as she gets. She belongs.

    Some, however, think otherwise, including some of the very same drivers she rubs fenders with in NASCAR every week.
    To make matters worse, Richard Petty, the aging NASCAR legend, doesn’t hide his misogynistic disdain for all things Danica.

    On the other hand, the legendary Darrell Waltrip has not been shy in defending her. And DW is, of course, a mensch.

    If you go through the history of women who have raced in the upper echelons of motorsports, there are pioneers such as Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie who paved the way. There were quite a few others, like Denise McCluggage, wo raced over the decades, going all the way back to the 1920s.

    These days, Katherine Legge pilots the experimental and semi-competitive DeltaWing in the Tudor United racing series, Jennifer Jo Cobb races in NASCAR’s Truck series, while Susie Wolff is slated to see track time with Williams, in F1, this season.

    Still, Danica stands out among them. For one thing, she is photogenic and chooses to market herself, or be exploited (depending on your viewpoint), as an object of desire and attention. She has gotten pretty rich being pretty.

    I think that Danica Patrick is among the best “interviews” in all of sports. Answering questions directly and usually unfiltered, you can tell that she is a hard-nosed competitor who wants to win every time she straps in.

    There are rumors floating out that Danica will be headed to Formula One in 2016 with Carl Haas’ Racing. If and when she goes, I’ll be cheering her on, as always.
    – Harry


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  • David Carr: 1956-2015. Media columnist at The New York Times

    carr I am extremely sad to hear that David Carr passed away tonight at age 58, dying while at work, shortly after moderating a New York Times podcast. This tragic news comes on the heels of Bob Simon, of CBS, dying when his limo crashed in Manhattan 24 hours ago.

    Great losses both. And all this within the same week that Brian Williams is banished, for good reasons, from NBC’s Nightly News and then the announcement that John Stewart, resident genius of the Daily Show, will be walking away later this year, ending an incomparable 17 year run which had an influence beyond easy measurement on our culture and society. 

    Now more than ever, we, the public, need fearless reporters/newspapermen/TV anchors who aren’t afraid to find the unvarnished Truth and give us informed analysis on politics, politicians, breaking news, as well as the latest information regarding health, energy, business, and technology.

    We need intrepid reportage that can be found on battlefields, and in far flung outposts. We need the news, good or bad; determined and explained by those we come to trust in media, in print, on the web, or on TV.

    Farewell to Bob and David. So long Brian. Thank you, John.
    It has been a terrible week.

    -photo of David Carr courtesy of Chester Higgins/The New York Times.


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    br>



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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Here’s To A Wonderful 2012 !!!

I want to wish you, my readers, the happiest and healthiest in 2012.  May those dreams you wish for,  come true, and be everything you always imagined.  May those dreams you keep to yourself add interest and meaning to your life.  May you find things working out in your favor.  If I could grant wishes, I would like you to all find satisfaction and contentment in the new year.  Laughing and crying make us better people.

Be brave. Be courageous.  Be forgiving.  First and foremost, of yourself.  Show kindness and patience to those closest to you.

Kick up your heels once in a while.   The writer Tom Robbins said, in  Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, that “taking small excursions when invited out of the blue, is God’s way of having angels ask you to dance.” (I paraphrase)

Let’s worry less.   My wish, my resolution, my hope is that we will be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.  I look back asking for forgiveness.  I look forward with guarded optimism asking for all good things.  I hope the world finally recognizes your genius and mine.  I hope we rise to all occasions and notice when angels are inviting us to dance.  Happy New Year everyone.     HL

Boston Convention Center

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

“Sing Sing With A Swing” by Benny Goodman

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One of the greatest big band jazz tunes is Benny Goodman doing one of his signature instrumentals, a variation of the great “Sing, Sing, Sing,” here is Benny and the Band doing “Sing, Sing, With A Swing” which is today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Enjoy.  HL

December Morn

December Morn

Sugar Maples

Sugar Maples

“Pachelbel Canon” by The Canadian Brass

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Today’s post Christmas, HarryShots Song of the Day is The Canadian Brass performing “Pachelbel Canon in D.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

Light on the Lake

Light on Water

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to All

Mark E.

I found a name in the obits that jumped out at me last week.  It took me back to my freshman year in college at the University of Alabama where I was a new freshman pledge in a fraternity.

Long story, short; I was hazed, nearly every day, for the duration of my freshman year in college.  Mark E. was the Hazer in Chief.  There was Animal House-ish hazing, but plenty worse than that.  Mark E. liked to get in my face and shout, up close and personal.  He played the part of the drill sergeant in the movie that was my life back when I was a freshman pledge.  I was warned repeatedly that If I touched him once, I would be blackballed.  He  got a kick out of downgrading me in front of everyone.  The hazing was both verbal and physical.  I duckwalked the halls of my frat house on a regular basis, to his amusement, and that of others (at age 55, I had two total knee replacements).  I was paddled, hard, on occasions.  There were the usual push-ups.  They got pretty imaginative.   I provided entertainment to a few upperclass assholes.  Most of my pledge brothers were hazed in a slightly amusing, once-in-a-while way.  Not me, I got the full metal jacket hazing.  This “Brother” (upperclassman), Mark E. was the one who died last week.  It was his name that I read in the obituaries of the Birmingham News.  It said he was 65.

With the hazing, I suppose that I could have de-pledged and quit the fraternity.  I heard that from him, and many others, all the time.  I was their whipping boy.  It was not just Mark E. who hazed me, but he was the worst.

But I stuck with it.  I kept my anger in check and dealt with it all.  No one in the fraternity ever intervened on my behalf, or stopped it from happening.  A number of upperclass Brothers privately spoke with me, some saying that I should quit for my own good.  They said “why take it.  Just quit.”

I never waivered, never strongly considered leaving.  Also, I never told my family.  I didn’t tell anyone.  Everyone in the fraternity saw it go on.  A handful of my pledge brothers had my back and did what they could to help me through it.   I decided that I was in for the long haul and a long haul it was.  I was humiliated on a regular basis and I could not fight back.  It was ritual hazing 1950s-1960s style.  But I endured and hung in there.  Should I have stayed, I think yes.  Would I put up with it now, not for five minutes.  But I was seventeen years old, a freshman in college, and I toughed it out.

At the end of the year, on the night of Initiation into the fraternity, every pledge was secretly voted on by the Brotherhood.  As pledges, we were in the basement and were brought upstairs, one at a time, blindfolded.  There was a widespread belief that I was going to be blackballed.  One down vote by a Brother was all it would take.   I had no idea if I would get in or not.  The Brothers had hung that over our heads all year.

I was blindfolded by two Brothers who led me up the stairs, one holding onto me under each arm.  I was marched into the Chapter Room.  Even though I was blindfolded, I could tell the lights were off or very low.  I was spoken to by the chapter president, Alan A.   He was standing right next to me, and he asked me how bad I wanted in. Then I was  jostled and there was a lot of shoving and yelling.  I heard them all yelling that if I wanted in, I had to “go through” Mark E.; literally take him on.  Someone removed the blindfold, I saw I was surrounded by all the Brothers,  and I looked around and found him.

I charged him wildly with all the pent up frustration of the whole year of hazing.  I was scared, enraged, unbelievably angry, and I really went after him.  It took a bunch of them to hold me back before I got to him.   There was a lot of cursing and shouting while they were trying to hold me down.  Finally I heard them telling me over and over that I was IN.  It took a moment for me to realize they were laughing and clapping me on the back and telling me I was a Brother and that I had made it.  They let go of me and asked me shake hands with Mark E., which I did hesitantly and reluctantly.

After my freshman year, I had a truly wonderful time in the fraternity. I knew I had earned respect for taking it and being strong through the hazing. It turned out to be a great life experience. Looking back at college, I laughed a lot, I had lots of friends. It was the time of my life. I would not trade it for anything. That was in the late 1960s, in Alabama, where the Greek fraternity system was the center of social life on our campus.  I totally related to the frat house dances in  Animal House.  I partied to a bunch of Otis Days.

So Mark E. died last week.  I never spoke to him or saw him after college.  Obviously, I never forgot him. I can’t forgive him, but I have not had malice toward him for decades.  I know who he was.  My bitterness faded away a long time ago.

Reading his obituary, I was surprised to learn he served in the Vietnam War. He apparently had no wife, kids, or close family.  The paper said his closest relative was a cousin.  They didn’t say much else other than he loved Bama athletics, Broadway shows, and horse racing.

Having outlived him and knowing that his life is over, I am not exactly sure how I feel about it all.  The best I can come up with is that I finally feel sorry for him.  Maybe that is payback enough.  HL

Nature’s Christmas Card

Nature's Christmas Card

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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Back again with the Mormom Tabernacle Choir, except this time it is the Mormon Tabernacle Hand Bell Choir with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

The Promise

The Promise

“Suo Gan” by John Williams, from the movie soundtrack of Empire of the Sun

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Click here to download the mp3 of Suo Gan, by John Williams, from the sountrack of Empire of the Sun, via Amazon.com

The greatest living composer, John Williams, adapted “Suo Gan” for the sountrack to the Spielberg movie, Empire of the Sun.  There are many versions of Suo Gan.  To my ear, none rival or compare to this moving version of this incredible song.  I give it my highest recommendation and it is today’s Harry Shots Song of the HoliDays.  Enjoy.  HL

Autumn in Massachusetts

Autumn in Massachusetts

Christmas Medley by Placido Domingo

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Placido Domingo at his very best, pours himself into this Medley of Christmas Carols.  Included in this song are Joy to the World, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wencelas, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and the 1st Noel.  Enjoy the Christmas Medley as today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  HL

 

The End of the War in Iraq/ Now What Next?

American combat troops crossed into Kuwait last night, and the War in Iraq officially came to an end.   I am profoundly struck by the quiet, “ho-hum” nature of this news.

The Iraq War was among our nation’s longest.  The cost was incredibly high.  Far too high in lives lost, lives destroyed, and in “treasure” as they say.  Lies, and the aggression of the Bush 43 administration, including George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney boldly and with malice aforethought, deceived the American people and the world, in taking us to war.

The War, and the manner in which we entered into it, was Topic One for years in the American dialogue.  Our leaving last night barely seemed to be noticed.  No agate type headlines, no breaking news bulletins interrupting our football games, and TV re-runs.

Most of the “democracy we established” in Iraq will largely evaporate.  Iran will fill the void.  Bombings and regular acts of terror in Iraq will become commonplace.  Kurds will try to reassert their independence.

We are working/hoping for regime change in Iran.  Israel and/or a Western Coalition/United States will, at some point in the short term, strategically bomb numerous Iranian nuclear facilities.  It will ignite the region in anti-Israeli/anti -American fervor.  It may lead to another Arab-Israeli war.  At the very least, Israel will come under withering criticism, rocket attacks, and acts of terror.  The Arab “street” will erupt in bitterness toward Israel and the U.S.

The War in Iraq was a great failure.  The next chapter will be far more important in determining meaningful long term peace in the entire Middle East and beyond.

True peace, honest self governance, equality, safety, security, and the chance of a decent life are goals to which most in the Middle East aspire.  Someday Peace will come.  That is a very long way from where we are as 2012 begins.

Nevertheless, tonight the War in Iraq officially ends and that, for damn sure, is very good news.     HL

 

 

Sky Flyer

Sky Flyer

“Last Month of the Year” by the Tarbox Ramblers

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Click here to download mp3 of “Last Month of the Year”, at Amazon.com         

The Tarbox Ramblers originally came out of the Cambridge, MA music scene.  They have a raw hard blues sound which is fairly primitive and harkens back to Otha Turner, but as a bues rock band, if you can imagine that.  I love their hard driven “Last Month of the Year” an old African-American church/gospel hymn.  Done here like no other, it is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Closing for the Winter

Closing for the Winter

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by John Starling

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John Starling is a fine artist and his version of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” from the album, Sugar Plums:  Holiday Tunes from Sugar Hill, is today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

Wind Powered Tall Ship

Wind Powered Tall Ship

“The Christmas Song” (Chestnuts Roasting by An Open Fire) by Mel Torme

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Click here to download this song at Amazon.com

 

The Christmas Song” was co-written by Mel Torme, who made this his signature song.  Back in 1944, Mel wrote this with pal, Bob Wells on a scorching summer day in Southern California.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  They were trying to think “cool thoughts” and came up with the whole song in less than an hour and a half.  Not bad.

Christmas carols don’t have to be old to be great (unless you consider 1944 old, which it certainly is not).  So here is Mel Torme singing his original song which is the HarryShots Song of the HoliDay.  Enjoy.  HL

 

 

Almost Christmas at Walden Pond

Almost Christmas (at Walden Pond)

Reflecting: Walden Pond

Walden Pond

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by Faith, Family, and Friends

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Not sure where I ran across this group, but I’m glad to have found them.  I am unsure if they are a group in and of themselves, or a larger group effort from various musicians.  Here is a great version of the wonderful Christmas carol, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” and it is today’s HarryShots.com Song of the HoliDay.  Check it out.  HL

Christian Science- Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy

The Brussel Sprout Kid

The Brussel Sprout Kid       (EXPLORE)

Check Out The Pilot

Wheels Up.  American Eagle out of 500 ft.  Check out the pilot.

Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

“The Holly and The Ivy” by The New York Choral Artists

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The Holly and The Ivy” is believed to have been written and first performed in the early 1700s.  No one knows its author, but it was published in England, which makes sense because this song is of Gaelic/GBR roots.  I am told that holly and ivy were both worshipped as long ago as The Druids, which is going back a long way.

This version, today’s HarryShots Song of the HoliDay is sung by the New York Choral Artists, from their album “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  Enjoy.  HL

 

“Silver Bells” by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely

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Margaret Whiting was a very popular singer in the 1940s and 1950s.  She died this year and I pay homage to her by making her version of “Silver Bells” our HarryShots Song of the Day.  Interestingly, Margaret’s father was a well known songwriter (“Hooray for Hollywood”) and she was performing for Johnny Mercer at the age of 7.

Silver Bells” was first heard at the movies.  Bob Hope sang it on the big screen.  Bing Crosby was the first to record “Silver Bells” and it is now a Christmas classic.  Enjoy  HL

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Mr. and Mrs. Jack O. Lantern

Roanoke Road

Roanoke Road

“Sleigh Ride” by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops

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Click to download the mp3 at Amazon.com

Well it becomes the Christmas Holidays when Arthur Fiedler is on the old turntable leading his beloved Boston Pops in Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”  Anderson, a Cambridge native, and Maestro Fiedler had a special working relationship over the years, and it was many a Leroy Anderson piece that debuted with the Boston Pops.

Sleigh Ride” is a great picker upper and crowd pleaser, and it is today’s HarryShots Song of the Holidays.  Enjoy.  HL

Tough to Tackle

Tough to Tackle

“Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” by Jerry Douglas

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Not only is this one of my favorite Holiday songs, this version is by Jerry Douglas, the finest dobro player this side of Timbuktu.  The entire album is one to cherish, and it is hard to pick one song from the record.  That being said, here is today’s HarryShots Song for the Day, Jerry Douglas and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”  HL

The Three Pumpkins

The Three Pumpkins

“Go Tell It On the Mountain” by Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops

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Click here to download the song at Amazon.com

Well, here we go with the first of our twenty-four Holiday Songs running from December 2 through December 25.  We are starting out with Erik Kunzel at the

baton, directing the wonderful Cinncinnati Pops that Maestro Kunzel was so instrumental (pun intented) in bringing to prominence.  One of my favorite conductors and one of America’s most energetic during his long career, I honor Erik, the Cincinnati Pops, and the great Afro-American spiritual that is “Go Tell It On theMountain,” today’s HarryShots Song of the Day.  Spread some holiday cheer, y’all.  HL

In December The HarryShots Songs of the Day Will Focus On Superb Holiday Music

For December, the HarryShots Songs of the Day will be exclusively featuring wonderful holiday music.  I have chosen my favorite songs to share with you and I hope it brightens your season.  Some of the songs are well known and popular.  You’ll here the best version of those songs.  Some of the songs are not so well known and again I will choose the good stuff, that I hope you will enjoy.

We cover a lot of musical ground here at HarryShots and the holiday music will be varied as well.  The daily song selection will come from such artists as the Morman Tabernacle Choir, Margaret Whiting, Buddy Clark, Patty Loveless, Dan Crary, John Starling, Jerry Douglas, Yo Yo Ma, Robin Petrie, Bryan Bowers,  the Philadelphia Brass, Leroy Anderson and the Boston Pops, the Harlem Parlour Musicians, Peter Rowan, John Williams, Stile Antico, The Elizabethan Singers, Celtica among others through the month of December, which will conclude with a daily variation of “Auld Lang Syne” between December 26 and New Years Day.

I hope that you will each drop by daily during December for a taste of my favorite holiday music.

Happy Holidays,

Harry

A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault“.   –  John Henry Newman

Sunlight in the Forest

Sunlight in a Forest Woods

“Love’s Old Sweet Song” by Thurl Ravencroft and The Mellomen

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Click here to download “Love’s Old Sweet Song” at Amazon.com

“Love’s Old Sweet Song” is what my Mother sang to me as a bedtime lullaby when I was a little tyke.  I remember this song with all of the fondness and all of the nostalgia my heart can hold.  It is one of my favorites for purely sentimental reasons.  “Love’s Old Sweet Song” was probably the first song I ever heard for obvious reasons.

Today would have been my Mom’s 91st birthday.  Sadly, she passed away in 1971.  So this one is for you, Mom.  Happy Birthday.  Today’s HarryShots Song of the Day is “Love’s Old Sweet Song” sung barbarshop quartet style by The Mellomen with Thurl Ravencroft.  Oh my.  HL


The Quotes of "Whatever"

  • If you are going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

     

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • There is nothing more annoying than two people talking while you’re trying to interrupt

     

    The HarryShots Quotes of Whatever


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  • The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ― Ernest Hemingway




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  • My wife tells me one day, ‘I think you love baseball more than me.’ I say, ‘Well, I guess that’s true, but hey, I love you more than football and hockey.'” – Tommy Lasorda




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  • The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain




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  • He got hit so hard that I had to get all the married men off the field” – Hall of Fame baseball manager, Whitey Herzog, on his starting pitcher’s day




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  • ppThe best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” – Mark Twain

     

    from the harryShots.com Good Quotations


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  • I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs




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  • My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me” – Coach Jim Valvano

     

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  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mohandas Gandhi

     

     

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  • Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere“. – Carl Sagan, astronomer

     

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  • The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau




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  • In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.” Ellen Degeneres




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  • When those waiters ask me if I want some fresh ground pepper, I ask if they have any aged pepper” – Andy Rooney

     

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  • Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein




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  • The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” – Louis Brandeis




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  • If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything Mark Twain

     

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  • The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” – Eric Hoffer




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  • It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden




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  • It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it“. – Coach Lou Holtz




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  • Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin

     

     

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  • You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think” – Milton Berle

     

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  • Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports … all others are games.”- Ernest Hemingway




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  • Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” – Satchel Paige




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  • The thing I would encourage you to do is to go where your love is. Go where you heart tells you to go. I think that it’s difficult to work in a job that you really don’t like, that you really don’t enjoy. If you’re doing something that you love and is a lot of fun, it’s a lot easier to come to work every day.” – Coach Bill Belichick




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  • James Hood Was Here

    FosterIt is reported that James Hood died today. from THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS 1-17-2013:-

    { “James Hood, who faced down George Wallace’s stand in the schoolhouse door to help integrate the University of Alabama 50 years ago, died Thursday afternoon at the age of 70, in his hometown of Gadsden. James did a great thing for the University of Alabama,” said E. Culpepper Clark, former dean of UA’s College of Communication & Information Sciences, and author of “The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama.”

    “With Vivian Malone, he liberated the university to serve all the people of Alabama and thereby join the ranks of the nation’s flagship universities.”

    Hood and Vivian Malone Jones, who died in 2005, attempted to register and pay fees June 11, 1963, at UA’s Foster Auditorium, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Gov. George Wallace, surrounded by a phalanx of state troopers, barred them, attempting to keep his infamous inaugural promise of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Later that day, Wallace backed down after President John F. Kennedy federalized the National Guard. }

    JAMES HOOD WAS HERE. Thank you Sir. Lord, may he rest in peace.HL


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  • TPMy religion is very simple. My religion is kindness“. – Dalai Lama

     

    the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha




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  • “Believe you can, and you’re half way there.”Teddy Roosevelt

     

     

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  • Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote.” – William Simon




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  • HAPHappiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens” – Andy Rooney

    The HarryShots.com Quotes of Whatever


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  • Progress is all right. It’s just that it has gone on too long.” – James Thurber




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  • Electricity is really just organized lightning” – George Carlin

     

    from the HarryShots.com Quotes of Wha


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  • chGreat minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    The HarryShots.com Quotes


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  • FUNDon’t cry because its over.

    Smile because it happened.

    Dr. Seuss

     

    the harryShots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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  • Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ― Marthe Troly-Curtin




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  • No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts” – Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant




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  • Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage” – President Teddy Roosevelt

     

     

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  • In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention.” – Rachel Dratch




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  • One tequila two tequila three tequila floor” – T-Shirt.

     

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  • A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the word you first thought of

     

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  • I’m not bossy… I just know what you should be doing

     

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  • Sometime the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss




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  • I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” – Robert Redford




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  • We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
    Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh




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  • You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.” – Paul Walker




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  • Wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.” ― Paul Krugman, Nobelist in Economics




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  • The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket“. – Will Rogers




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  • I don’t think you can ever get enough pickin’.” – Earl Scruggs 1924-2012




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  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

     

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  • ukeI knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture” – Bob Uecker

     

    …from the harryshots.com “Quotes of Whatever”


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