Thursday, August 31, 2006

I listened to:

"Javelin" composed by Michael Torke and performed by The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yoel Levi.
"December" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Michael Torke.
"Run" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted byYoel Levi.
"Adjustable Wrench" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The London Sinfonietta conducted by Kent Nagano.
"Green" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Zinman.
"Music on the Floor (II)" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The London Sinfonietta conducted by Lothar Zagorosek.
"Bright Blue Eyes" composed by Michael Torke, performed by The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Zinman.

"Mass for St. Anthony of Padua" and "Hymnus:Veni Creator Spiritus" composed by Guillaume Du Fay and performed by Pomerium conducted by Alexander Blachly.

The next poem that I am going to share was written after a very close friend of mine at the time, Alison walked away from her Faith in Christ.


I can hear the hammer,
Striking the nails again and again,
Smashing the bone of His hands,
Tearing the flesh of His feet.
The pain searing with each blow,
The blow which time and time you give.

Yet, those feet you once kissed.
You held those hands close.
Accepting His love you took
That torn body from The Cross,
Cleansed your life
And gave your all to The Christ.

The crunch came, a choice to be made
Between Him and the world.
Romance came along and you fell,
Sliding away from your Lord.
Every step you made,
Putting Him back on that Cross.

Bradford, England - 1989.

I listened to:

"Mistress Mine" composed by John Harle performed by Elvis Costello (Vocals), John Harle (Saxophone/Keyboards), Steve Lodder (Keyboards/Organ), Mitch Dalton (Guitars), Roy Babbington (Double Bass), The John Harle Band and The Balenescu Quartet.
"Terror and Magnificence" composed by John Harle performed by John Harle (Saxophone/Keyboard), Andy Sheppard (Saxophone), Thomas Russell (Actor), Paul Clarvis (Ethnic Percussion), Chris Wells (Percussion), Steve Lodder (Keyboard) and The London Voices.
"The Three Ravens"composed by John Harle performed by Sarah Leonard (Soprano), John Harle (Saxophone/Keyboard/Vocals), Alexander Balanescu (Violin), Alastair Gavin (Synthesizer) and The John Harle Band.
"Hunting the Hare" composed by John Harle performed by John Harle (Soprano Saxophone/Percussion), Andy Sheppard (Tenor Saxophone) and Steve Lodder (Keyboards).
"Rosie-Blood (Sederunt) composed by John Harle performed by Willian Perefoy (Countertenor), John Harle (Saxophone/Clarinet/Keyboards), Paul Clarvis (Percussion) and The London Voices.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Finished Reading: "KGB - The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents" by John Barron.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Score Update:

International Cricket: England beat Pakistan by default. Test Match. England win series 4-0.

Cricket: Durham beat Warwickshire by 7 wickets. County Championship Division 1. Durham up a place to 6th in the table.

Football: Burnley 0 Hartlepool United 1. Carling League Cup 1st Round.
Hereford United 3 Hartlepool United 1. League Two. Pools slip to 21st place in the table.

American Football: New York Jets 7 New York Giants 13. Pre-Season.

Baseball: Milwaukee Brewers 1 Houston Astros 3
Cincinatti Reds 4 Houston Astros 3
Cincinatti Reds 14 Houston Astros 0
Cincinatti Reds 3 Houston Astros 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 5 Houston Astros 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 Houston Astros 5
Pittsburgh Pirates 4 Houston Astros 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 1 Houston Astros 13. The Astros improve to 63-68 and close to 6 1/2 games behind the Divsion Leaders St. Louis Cardinals.


Friday, August 25, 2006

The next poem that I am going to share is the first in a series called "Loneliness" written over the years. The was inspired whilst visiting France during my Easter Vacation in 1989 and meeting some unhappy, lonely people.


Alone in one's own thoughts
The world seems to pass by,
Paying no attnetion to You,
Ignoring You, leaving You.

People rush by,
Seemingly preoccuipied,
Seemingly happy,
But they're all feeling
A false security
Created by crowds,
By work, by life.
If only they knew.

Yet You Yourself knew true lonliness
What it was like,
Rejected, hurt, mocked,
Disowned by Your close friends.

You hung there all alone,
Your pain and suffering,
Not for Yourself,
You had no need.
It was love for the world,
You wanted to become our friend,
Yet we still walk alone.
Oh Why?. Oh Why?

Man need never be alone again,
Lonliness replaced by joy,
The worlds false hope
Replaced by You.

St. Nazaire, France - Easter 1989.


I listened to:

"Songs from Liquid Days" by Philip Glass performed by The Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman.

"The Last Sleep of the Virgin" composed by John Taverner performed by the Chilingirian Quartet.
"Summa" and "Fratres" composed by Arvo Part performed by the Chilingirian Quartet.
"The Hidden Treasure" Composed by John Taverner performed by the Chilingirian Quartet.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

The next poem I am going to share is a very short ditty. The first in a "Love" Series composed over the years.


In a drunken disco hall,
A boy sees a girl
Holds her hand, takes her home,
Into bed, spending the night.
Is this love?

Bradford, England - 1989.

I listened to:

"Michael Nyman Live" featuring the following works composed by Michael Nyman and performed by The Michael Nyman Band: "In Re Don Giovanni", "Bird List", "Queen of the Night", "Water Dances", "The Upside-Down Violin" and "The Piano - Concert Suite".

US States That I Have Visited.

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Countries That I Have Visited.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Rediscovering my love for Classical Music, or should I rather say listening again is hopefully re-awaking the "creative juices" in me. I think one reason that part of my has been dead for a while is the fact that I have not played the piano for a long time and do not have access to one.

One way I used to express this part of me was to write poetry. Yes, it certainly is not very good or very technically correct, especially as literature used to bore me silly at school I never paid attention. It is all self-taught. It is actually hard to believe that I did not read until I left University (unless it was a Sports book) or start writing until I was University. To hopefully kick start me again I am going to post over the next few weeks some that I have written over the years. I am going to start with the first one that I ever wrote. It was actually written during a lecture by Professor Goodman on a Natural Synthesis in Organic Chemistry. I dedicated it to Louise, my best friend at the time (and still a close friend). She plus another couple of friends are largly responsible for teacing me that is ok for a Neandarthal Male from the North East of England to have emotions and to express them.

The Day of Victory's Coming

The dark, black thunderous clouds ,
Gathered like demons waiting to pounce on an unwitting soul,
In this darkness a light tries to glow
Extinguished by mans own Satanic dreams,
Hell's terror remains the reward,
Under the rule of the fallen lucifer,
His grin is hideous and his devils celebrate,
As soul after soul falls to his clawing hand,
Hearts ripped out, souls captured,
Living in eternal devastation.
Up in Heaven The Creator mourns
The loss of soul upon soul,
His Son sacrificed once,
The enemy defeated in battle before,
Comes down to earth in great Glory,
Darkness blown away,
Life in eternal happiness.
The Devil?
Cast away, bound in chains, with him go,
All those who worship him,
And evil is forever banished,
Never to sway life from their loving Creator,
God and Son and Holy Spirit, living as one happy Trinity
Worshiped, loved and glorified,
Life at last is as planned:
Happy, loving and perfectly pure.

Bradford, England - 1988.

Over the Weekend I listened to:

"Harmonielehre"," The Chairman Dances", "Two Fanfares:Tromba Lontana" and a "Short Ride in a Fast Macine" all composed by John Adams. They were performed by The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

"Petrouchka" and "The Rite of Spring" composed by Igor Stravinsky. They were performed by The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez. Stranvinsky is my favourite composer and The Rite of Spring is with out doubt my favourite Classical work. Listening to again competley reiterated that.

"The Protecting Veil for Cello and Strings" by John Taverener performed by Steven Isserlis (Cello) and The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.
"Third Suite for Cello, op.87" by Benjamin Britten performed by Steven Isserlis (Cello) and The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.
"Thrinos" composed by John Taverner perormed by The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.

"Veni, Veni, Emmanual" composed by James MacMillan. It was performed by Evelyn Glennie (solo percussion) and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
"After the Tryst" composed by James MacMillan. It was performed by Ruth Crouch (violin) and James MacMillan (piano).
" others see us...", "Three Dawn Ritual" and "Untod" all composed by James MacMillan and performed by The Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by James MacMillan.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

The last one of our kids: Clara. Clara was a shy little girl that was in the main foster home. Jenn fell in love with her. When we started fostering more cats after we moved to our house Clara came as a foster cat with the goal of eventually adopting her. We established that she fitted in with the rest of the guys we let her out of the foster room. She started to settle down very well. I adopted her for Jenns Christmas present last Christmas. This completes our family.

I will now start telling the story of our "temporary" family members the foster cats that are in our house and have been through our house.

There is an intersting TV series we have been watcing on FX. It is 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock. He was nominated for as Oscar for his documentary of him eating McDonalds for 30 Days. The premise of the series is that someone lives 30 Days with someone from an exact opposite outlook.

The first episode of the season was an anti-illegal immigrant, a Minuteman from Arizona living with and like a family of illegal immigrants from Mexico living in Los Angeles. After 30 days the Minuteman, himself an immigrant from Cuba, albeit it a legal immigrant came to understand the difficulties of the family and also the desire to live in the States. However, is opinion is that they should still do it legally. His opinion is similar to mine. I am also a legal immigrant. I went through all the paper work, scrutiny and fees to do it properly. I have no problems, obviously with folks moving to the US. I have a major problem with them not doing it properly. I had to follow the law why should they not? If they are going to have an amnesty do I get the money I paid back? This is the main reason why I have not applied for Cizenship. I do not see why I should pay more money when so many do it illegally, break the law and do not have to pay.

The second episode was the story of New Yorker who was laid off when his job was outsourced to India. He went to live in Bangalore, India with a family who now does his job. He came back very positive after seeing wat a difference the job made in the Indians life. I have mixed feelings about this. Especially having visited Sri Lanka and seeing the poverty there. Any way to improve those communities had to be good. However, the real negative, and perhaps "evil" of the whole thing is at the end of the day the companies do not care what effect they have on peoples lives, either the ones the lay off in the States and Europe or the Cities they move to. The only care about the profit at the end. It is good for those who can improve themselves, but, the infrastructure nightmare and the inbalance in the economics is staggering. It does noting to help the underlying poverty. Infact if anything those at the bottom end will slip more and more into the mire.

The Third episode was that of an athiest moving in with a Christian Family. I thought this was a dissapointing episode. The atheist came across week, without really explaining her views and those arguments she had were very week. This is the only episode where the person moving in did not try and assimilate the hosts point of view and left without any new insight. I do not mean to say she should have changed her view, but, there was no open mindeness attitude at all. Alll the atheists they interviewed had a chip on their shoulder about how they were victimissed by the majority. Yes, they are the minority, but, they are not the ones the "trendy" media have the problem with and victimise. No, the jokes and negatives are against those who profess a faith in Jesus. I think it's about time the intelectuals of this country actually read and inderstand what The Constituion states about Religion and understand where it came from and why. An opinion for another day!!

The Fourth episode was a stressed salesman from New Jersey discovering New Age. I found this episode very disturbing for two reasons. The first being the extent of the New Age teaing and religion and some of the false hoods it teaches. The second is the obvious Spititual Thirst in the this Country and how people will spend millions of dollars in its pursuit. This is not just a spiritual religion about a massive capitlistic venture. I get very angry at using mans Spiritual search to make money. I don't care where it comes from. It is wrong period!! I think somehow this episode was the opposite to the previous one of the Atheist. She was someone who was not opened and denied the Spiritual and looked unhappy the whole time. The positives about this latest episode was it did show that man had a Spirtual need that had to be filled and that it does lead to a completeness as we were created as spiritual beings. However, it really showed that if we are not careful that void can and will be filled by lies and deceptions.

Score Update:

International Football: England 4 Greece 0. Friendly

Cricket: Sussex beat Durham by an Innings and 133 runs. County Championship Division 1. Durham drop to 7th place.

Football: Hartlepool United 1 Torquay United 1. League 2. Pools goalless start to the Season comes to end with Lee Bullock equalising Torquays 4th minute goal in the 81st minute. They drop one place in the table to 20th.

American Football: New York Giants 17 Kansas City Chiefs 0. Pre-Season

Rugby League: Bradford Bulls 48 Castleford Tigers 10. Superleague. Bradford stay in 4th place despite having 2 points deducted for Salary Cap violations.

Baseball: Houston Astros 3 San Diego Padres 6
Houston Astros 2 San Diego Padres 7
Houston Astros 0 Chicago Cubs 3
Houston Astros 6 Chicago Cubs 8
Houston Astros 0 Chicago Cubs 1
Milwaukee Brewers 3 Houston Astros 7
Milwaukee Brewers 3 Houston Astros 2
Milwaukee Brewers 6 Houston Astros 4 The Astros Slump to 58-65 and 7 1/2 games behind Division Leading St. Louis Cardinals.


Monday, August 14, 2006

So, what have I been listening to? A lot of blogs seem to have this so I figured I would write what CD's I have been listening to over the last few days:

Music from "The Screens" composed by Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso.
String Quartets 1-3 composed by Michael Nyman and performed by the Balanescu Quartet.
The Desert Music composed by Steve Reich, performed by his musicians with the Brooklyn Philarmonic Chorus conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
Time Will Pronounce, the 1992 Commisions by Michael Nyman
Vier Letzte Lieder by Richard Strauss sung by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Sir Georg Solti.
Scheherazade - By Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Loris Tjeknavorian.

Finished Reading: "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Score Update:

International Cricket: England beat Pakistan by 167 runs. Third Test Match. England take an unassailable 2-0 lead to win the series with 1 game to go.

Cricket: Durham tie with Glamorgan. Pro 40 Division 1. Durham move up to 5th place.

Football: Macclesfield Town 0 Hartlepool United 0 League 2
Walsall 2 Hartlepool United 0 League 2. Pool awful, goalless start to the season has them mired in 19th place.

American Football: Baltimore Ravens 16 New York Giants 17. Pre-Season Game.

Rugby League: Harlequins 28 Bradford Bulls 26. Superleague. Bradford stay in 4th place.

Baseball: Arizona Diamondbacks 4 Houston Astros 3
Houston Astros 3 Pittsburg Pirates 1
Houston Astros 14 Pittsburg Pirates 1
Houston Astros 5 Pittsburg Pirates 2
Houston Astros 4 San Deigo Padres 2. The Astros improve to improve to 57-58 and close the gap on National League Central Division leaders St. Louis Cardinals.


My girls!! The next two members of our little family: Andie and Mandy. They came into Snowflake after the home they were living in was destroyed by fire.

Andie (left) was a small under nourished Mam cat with her little kittens. Andie immediatly took a liking to me and every time I went to her foster home to clean she would jump on my lap and follow me around. She never did well at adoptathons, but, when we took her back to the foster home she immediatly jumped back on to my lap. She had chosen me!!

All her kittens but two were adopted. Mandy (Right) was the shyest and was (and is) incedibly bonded to her mother. The decision was made by their foster mom that they had to be adopted together.

Jenn decided for my birthday two years ago that Andie had chosen me and would only be happy in out house so she adopted her and Mandy for my present. They are both doing well, Andie follows me around everywhere and when I sitting on the coach is invariably on my lap (except time such as now when I am working on the computer. She does not like my laptop!!). Mandy the little shy kitten is our youngest, and is really blossomed and loves attention.

The other kitten, who was not adopted out, Slim is still in his foster home. He is doing very well, but, would certainly love to find a home where he can be spoilt.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Finished Reading: "Ten Days that Shook the World" by American Journalist John Reed who was in St. Petersburg during the Bolshevik Revolution and gives a first hand account.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

One of great pleasures during the summer months was always the BBC proms from the Royal Albert Hall. As long as I remember we used to listen to them on the radio or watch them on TV. When I lived in London I purchased a Season Ticket and went to most of the concerts including the famous Last Night Finale. One of the greatest summer experiences of my life. It was exhausting, but, totally worth it.

I have missed the concerts whilst I have been in the USA. However, due to the marvelous technology of the internet I can listen to the again. Although, with the time difference and work I can't listen to much, due, to the fact that each Prom can be listened to on-line for a week afterwards I can choose and pick what I want to listen to as I my main pleasure and love is modern, 20th Century music and Russian I can chose those performances. Yesterday I listened to Shostakovichs 8th and 15th symphonies once again reminding me why I love this music and how much I've missed it.

Thanks BBC and the internet.

Score Update:

Cricket: Nottinghamshire beat Durham by 6 wickets. County Championship Division 1. Durham stay in 6th place.
Durham beat Northamptonshire by 4 wickets. Pro 40 Division 1. Durham are in 9th place.

Football: Hartlepool United 0 Swindon Town 1. League 2. Pools are 19th in the table.

Rugby League: Bradford Bulls 50 Warrington Wolves 22. Superleague. Bradford stay in 4th place.

Baseball: San Diego Padres 0 Houston Astros 1
San Diego Padres 1 Houston Astros 7
San Diego Padres 5 Houston Astros 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 7 Houston Astros 8
Arizona Diamondbacks 3 Houston Astros 9. The Astros improve to 53-57 and close the gap on National League Central Division Leaders, St.Louis to 6 1/2 games.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Finished Reading: "Tom Clancy's Power Plays: Politika" created by Tom Clancy and Martin Greenberg.