Saturday, September 30, 2006

Finished reading: "Congo" by Michael Crichton.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I listened to:

"Verklarte Nicht, op. 4" and "Pelleas und Melisande, op5" composed by Arnold Schoenberg and performed by The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

"Lamentations and Praises" composed by John Tavener performed by Chanticleer and the Handel and Hayden Society of Boston conducted by Joseph Jennings.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I listened to:

"War Requiem, op.66" composed by Benjamin Britten performed by Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), Peter Pears (tenor), Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (baritone), The Bach Choir, The London Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Highgate School Chior, The Melos Ensemble and The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Britten.

"Piano Sonata No.8 in C Minor Op.13 "Pathetique" composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven performed by Daniel Barenboim (piano).
"Symphony No 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 "Pathetique" composed by Peter Tchaikovsky performed by The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Finished Reading: "Hitler A Study in Tyranny" written by Alan Bullock.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

The next foster cat we had was Baby Boy. He was a guy that really impacted our lives and confirmed the calling we had in this work.

He first came into lives in March 2003. He was unhappy in his current foster home. We thought he was about 8 years old. He was adopted out in October 2003. Unfortunatley he was returned in March 2004 because he was not very well and the person who adopted him could not afford the cost. After he came back he was not himself so we took him to Snowflake's "specialist" vet, Cornwallis Road, in Durham. It was determined that he was a lot older than we thought, about 17 years old. One of the problems with animal rescue is that it is not very often we know the exact age of the cats we rescue. It was also determined that he had bad gingivits, which it then became apparant that we it was due to renal failure. As he was happy and in no pain we took the decision to treat him. He lived many happy months with a lot of loving care from Jenn. He finally came to point where after a tough life he realised he was loved and that it was time to say goodbye, so with him failing, we made the hard, but correct decision to put him asleep. The date: July 20th 2006 will always be on our minds. He taught us so much. How animals can give back, can inspire, can fight and above all love back. He is why we do so much and are driven to give back and give so many other cats the chance he finally got and give them a chance to get the special love and attention for a live time rather than the finally couple of years.

This weekend has been one of my favourite sporting events, the Ryder Cup. There is a special atmosphere about this competition between Europe and the US at golf. Its also the one time every 2 years that I am very definatley European. This years competition has finished with Europe once again totally out playing the US winning with a final score on 18 1/2 to 9 1/2, winning all 5 sessions and winning the singles by a staggering 8 1/2 to 3 1/2.

On paper the US have the best players. 1-2-3 in the World were on there team, so why over the last 10 years have they done so badly? I guess it's the problem that US National Teams have a problem. Look at the Basketball team failing in the Olympics and World Championships or the Baseball Team failing to qualify for the Olympics. I think individual franchises or individual performances are more important to the Country than the team. This is strange especially as the USA is arguably the most patriotc Country in the world.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Score Update:

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 20 Durham City 9. League North 2 East. West are in 4th place.
Raleigh 34 Severn River 29. MARFU Division II South.
Raleigh 28 Washington Irish 0. MARFU Divisin II South. Raleigh are in 1st place.

Cricket: Durham beat Essex by 6 wickets. Pro40 Division 1. Durham finish in 8th place with 6 points and are relegated to Division 2.
Durham drew with Yorkshire. County Championship Divison 1. Durham finish in 7th place with 153.5.

Football: Hull City 0 Hartlepool United 0 after extra time. Hartlepool lose 3-2 on penalties. League Cup 2nd Round.
Peterborough United 3 Hartlepool United 5. League 2. Pools move up to 13th place.

American Football: Philadelphia Eagles 24 New York Giants 30. Giants are 1-1 and 2nd place in the NFC East Division.

Rugby League: Huddersfield Giants 30 Bradford Bulls 42. Superleague.
Bradford Bulls 52 Salford Reds 6. Superleague. Bradford stay in 4th place.

Ice Hockey: Carolina Hurricanes 4 Nashville Predators 5 Pre-Season
Nashville Predators 7 Carolina Hurricanes 3. Pre-Season.

Baseball: Houston Astros 4 Philadelphia Philles 6
Houston Astros 5 Cincinatti Reds 3
Houston Astros 4 Cincinatti Reds 5
Houston Astros 7 Cincinatti Reds 2
Houston Astros 6 St. Louis Cardinals 5
Houston Astros 6 St. Louis Cardinals 5
Houston Astros 7 St. Louis Cardinals 4 The Astros improve to 76-78 and close the gap on National League Central Division Leaders, St. Louis Cardinals to 4 1/2 games.

College (American) Football: Texas Longhorns 37 Iowa State Cyclones 14. The Longhorns improve to 3-1 and are ranked 7th in the Country.
University of Southern California Trojans 28 Nebraska Cornhuskers 10
Nebraska Cornhuskers 56 Troy Trojans 0. Nebraska are 3-1 and ranked 23rd in the Country.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 37 North Carolina State Wolfpack 17. NC State fall to 1-2.


Friday, September 22, 2006

I listened to:

"Cello Concerto (Farewell to Philosophy" Composed by Gavin Bryars performed by Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) and the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by James Judd
"One Last Bar, Then Joe Can Sing" composed by Gavin Bryars performed by Nexus
"By the Vaar" composed by Gavin Bryars performed by Charlie Hadden (double-bass) and The English Chamber Orchestra conduced by James Judd.

"Six Pianos" and "Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ" composed by Steve Reich amd performed by Steve Reich and his musicians.
"Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards" composed by Steve Reich performed by The San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edo De Waart.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

The next poem is the first after I moved to London. It was written whilst waiting to get off work.

The Clock

Slowly, Slowly,
"Get a move on please
We're waiting, we're waiting.
Oh! please hurry up!"
Another minute ticks by
At the clocks own inexorable pace.

2nd April 1991 - North Acton, London, England.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I listened to:

"Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli", "Little Music for String Orchestra" and "Concerto for Double String Orchestra" all composed by Michael Tippett and performed by The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields conducted by Neville Mariner.

"Standing Stone" composed by Paul McCartney performed by The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster.

The Good Ol' Days

Those were the days my Friend!!!

"Aye!" says the old man hunched
Crippled with arthritis. Old leather slippers
Allowing a wrinkled big toe a sight
Of the flickering, temperemental coal fire
Through a hole wrought by years of use.
"Aye!", he says again, "they woz grand but 'ard
You young 'uns y'don't know yer born!"

It was like travelling back in time
My jeans and sweatshirt felt as though
They belonged to some future era more akin to Star Trek.
It should be brown baggy pants tied with string,
Or perhaps braces holding up and showing
Beneath the ragged, patched tweed jacket.
And, of course on my crown, the flat cap
Without which I could not take my rightful place.

"Y'know son, when ah was your age
Ah'd been workin' down in put for years.
Aye! me, our kid and the auld man
Doon their in Shotton Colliery. It were bad.
Made us men though, aye, it'll so you some good
Working in all that clart, wet n'dark.
No place for sissy's that."

"Ah remember me mam, God rest her soul.
Cryin' buckets she was. "Y'Dads gone t'war."
Nivver really understood, too young. "Fightin for King George,
And England." Died in glory they told us.
Ah was right proud, someat t'boast to me mates.
Better that way though, poor, Kack doon the street blind
And Johnny in number ten, gone mad they said.
I nivver did see me mam smile again.
No, not after that."

"Mind you, laddie, I did me bit for blighty!
Forty-one it was when ah was called up.
'Ad a missus n' two kids be then.
Sent me to desert under Monty, great bloke,
The lads worshiped 'im, he were a genius.
Went all the t'Alamein wi 'im. Stuffed the Krauts!!
Copped it in the leg. 'Ad to be sent 'ome.
Pity really, 'ah was just beginnin' to enjoy meself!"

"It wern't all fightin' n' work though.
Used t'love Saturday afternoon at Roker or St. James'.
Fifties were best, ganin' up to Newcastle wi' grandbairns
Stannin' in warm or cold watchin' Jackie,
Milburn that is, destroyin' Spurs or the Arsenal.
The other United, Manchester, were a canny side n'all.
It were a great day in 'Pools when the Busby Babes came.
Got beat, like, but we was proud of the lads.
Ken Johnson got a goal. He own that chippy now."

Yes! I did know, that link with today
Bringing me back to reality. Passing thro' eighty years
And, looking back, despite modern technology,
We're no better off. Just as much poverty and
On the brink of war as fifty years ago.
Jeans and sweatshity, modern trends bit no better off.
Aye, Ah'll think Ah'll get patty n'chips from Kennys.
He played again Man United and score, y'know!!

9th November 1990 - Hartlepool, England.


Monday, September 18, 2006

I listened to:

"Symphony No.2, op.14 - To October - a symphonic dedication" and "Symphony No.10 in E minor, 0p.43" composed by Dmitri Shostakovich performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink.

"Concerto for Transverse Flute in D major", "Concerto for three Oboes in B flat major", "Concerto for two Chalumeaux in D minor", "Concerto for Trumpet in D major", "Concerto for Recorder and Transverse Flute in E minor" and "Concerto for Trumpet and Violin in D major" all composed by Georg Philipp Telemann performed by Musica Antuqua Koln conducted by Reinhard Goebel.

The next poem I am going to post was inspired after reading William Horwood's novels Callanish and Stonor Eagle.

The Eagle

He sat there all alone,
The vastness of the sky,
Was once his proud domain
His wings used no more
Trapped by huge metal barws
For men to stand and stare
How he ached himself to free.

Suddenly, he saw hope
The cage was left ajar.
Forward his body surged.
Joy came back, life anew
As up and up he rose,
With grace, to glide, to swoop.
Free to where he belonged.

September 1989 - Hartlepool, England.

I listened to:

"Three Tales" composed by Steve Reich performed by the Steve Reich Ensemble and Synergy Vocals conducted by Bradley Lubman.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Here is a slide show that Jenn made of all our kids.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

It is now time to start telling the story of the cats that we have fosters for Snowflake and/or are still fostering.

We started fostering in January 2003. We started because a friend of mine at work found an abandoned Maine Coon cat and knowing that we volunteered for an animal rescue group brought him to me. We called him Stormy because he was found and survived an ice storm. He was adopted within a week to a vet tech at one of the vets that we use. Unfortunatley he came back to us in May 2005 when she split with her husband. When he came back he tested positive with FIV which he did not have when he was adopted out. He was again adopted out within a few days of coming back. He is still doing very well in his new home.

What's going on in Raleigh? Here is a blog that lists events going on in the City of Raleigh and area. I will add it's link to my links.

Score Update:

International Cricket: Pakistan beat England by 2 wickets. 3rd One Day International
England beat Pakistan by 8 wickets. 4th One Day International
England beat Pakistan by 3 wickets. 5th One Day International. Series finished tied 2-2.

International Football: Macedonia 0 England 1. Group E, Euro 2008 qualification. England lead the group.

Rugby Union: West Hartlepool 29 Driffied 14. League North Two East.
Old Crossleyans 24 West Hartlepool 17. League North Two East. West are in 6th place.
Richmond 13 Raleigh 52. Mid Atlanfic Rugby Football Union Division II South.

Cricket: Hampshire beat Durham by 174 runs. County Championship Division 1.
Durham drew with Lancashire. County Championship Division 1. Durham drop to 7th place.

Football: Milton Keynes Dons 0 Hartlepool United 0. League 2
Hartlepool United 2 Mansfield Town 0. League 2.
Hartlepool United 0 Shrewsbury Town 3. League 2. Pools stay in 18th place.

American Football: New York Giants 21 Indianapolis Colts 26. Giants are 0-1 and 2nd place in the NFC East Division.

Rugby League: Bradford Bulls 12 Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 20. Superleague. Bradford stay in 4th place.

Baseball: Houston Astros 2 New York Mets 1
Philadelphia Phillies 3 Houston Astros 2
Philadelphia Phillies 3 Houston Astros 5
Milwaukee Brewers 3 Houston Astros 4
Milwaukee Brewers 4 Houston Astros 10
Milwaukee Brewers 4 Houston Astros 0
St. Louis Cardinals 7 Houston Astros 0
St. Louis Cardinals 6 Houston Astros 5
St. Louis Cardinals 1 Houston Astros 5
Houston Astros 3 Philadelphia Phillies 4
Houston Astros 2 Philadelphia Phillies 7. The Astros fall to 71-76 and 8 games behind National League Central Division Leaders the St. Louis Cardinals.

College (American) Football: Texas Longhorns 7 Ohio State Buckeyes 24
Rice Owls 7 Texas Longhorns 52. Texas' record is 2-1 and ranked 8th in the Country.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 56 Nicholls State Colonels 7. Nebraskas record is 2-0 and they a ranked 19th in the Country.
North Carolina State Wolfpack 17 Akron Zips 20. NCSU's record is 1-1.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I listened to:

La Transfiguration de notre-seigneur jesus-christ composed by Olivier Messiaen performed by The Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France and the Choeur de Radio France conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.

The next poem I am going to post is against the Commercialism of Christmas.

Commercial Christmas

The tills link as
Shoppers rushing in the eternal haze
Grabbing what they can
In their celebration of Christmas.

Shop keepers grin,
As they see their profits soar,
Up in the sky
Where the Christmas lights shine.

The wine corks pop.
The drink flowsm the food eaten,
But where is Jesus?
After all it is His party!!

Hartlepool, England - Christmas 1989


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Earlier this week I posted about some great goals namely Beckham and de Rosario. Another one happened. A girl called Yael Averbuch playing for the University of North Carolina's Woman soccer team scored in the 4th second and against the University of Yale's Womans Team. The goal can be seen here.


Friday, September 08, 2006

The next poem I am going to Post was again written at Camp Tecumseh.

Friends II

Miles away from home,
From the friends I love,
Thro' Your love
Thro' praying to you
The gap is closed
As we're linked together,
All living in You
All as one.

Camp Tecumseh, New Jersey, USA - August 1989.

At the time my close friends were scattered around the World in Leningrad (as it still was), Northwich, Paris, Bradford and Munich to name a few places. Its still pertinent now as I am obviously still miles away from so many people. Although the choice I made I know was the right one and I am very happy in the US and especially in Raleigh, it doesn't mean that it is always easy and that I do not miss family and friends scattered around the world.

I listened to:

The Soundtrack from Steven Soderbergh's movie"Naqoyqatsi Life as War" composed by Philip Glass performed by Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and the Philip Glass Ensemble conducted by Michael Riesman.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

I listened to:

"Century Rolls" composed by John Adams performed by Emanuel Ax (piano) and The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Christopher von Dohnanyi.
"Lollapalooza"and Slonimsky's Earbox" composed by John Adams performed by The Halle Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano.

The next poem I am going to post is one I wrote about America during my first visit here in 1989.


They call it the land of milk and honey,
But life is fast an furious.
Children brought up priorities wrong,
Money and possesions are number one.

Your love, however is still there,
People dedicated to spreading
The right aspects of life,
Teaching the kids that You are first.

Thank You Lord for Your workers.
I pray that You will keep them safe
As year by year they strive
To share you to this land.

Camp Tecumseh, New Jersey, USA - August 1989.

After this first trip to the States I fell in love with the country. After I got back home my friends joked that I would end up coming back. Little did I know!! I made some good friends not least among them Jenn and her mother. Again, little did I know how that would end up a few years later. Below is a photo of us from Camp that year.


Monday, September 04, 2006

I listened to:

To the BBC Prom 65 from the Royal Albert Hall in London. It was performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which in my opinion is the greatest Orchestra in the world. I had the great joy of hearing them my self live the Season I went to the Proms in 1991. A fantastic experiance. This performance was stunning. Conducted by the brilliant English conducter, Sir Simon Rattle and for the first work a awe inspiring performance by German violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman. The works were:

Violin Concerto No.1, Op.35 composed by Karel Szymanowski and Symphony No.7 in E major by Anton Bruckner.

Who needs Beckham?

The is a long standing rumour that David Beckham will end is career over here in the States in MLS. All this will not be a bad way for him to finish his career and will not be bad for MLS. However, it iritates me because the league has players of spectacular skill which can compete with those in Europe. Just because they play in the League here they cannot be as good. Yes, I am still annoyed with the league for the way they treated my beloved San Jose Earthquakes but I still believe in this league and want it to suceed.

The reason why I got thinking about this is Dwayne De Rosario. Although he no longer plays for the the defuct Quakes he will be a Quake forever as will all the ex-Quakes be they had the re-located Houston Dynano team or any other team so I will follow their career until the Earthquake return.

David Beckham first really became famous for one goal he scored in August 1996 against Wimbledon from the half way line:

David Beckham - Goal From Half - video powered by Metacafe

Well, this Saturday Dwayne did the same against Chicago Fire. It can be seen here. He also won the goal of the year in 2005 and 2004. He also scored the spectacular game winner in this years All Star game against Chelsea aswell as the Golden Goal winner in the 2001 MLS Final againt the hated Los Angeles Galaxy in Columbus, Ohio. Watch these goals and you will see what I mean.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

I lisened to:

"Symphony No. 7 in C major, Leningrad" composed by Dmitri Shostakovish performed by Orchestra National de France conducted by Kurt Masur. It was recorded live on the 29th August 2006 at The Royal Albert Hall, London as part of the 2006 BBC Proms Season.

"Symphony N0.4 in F minor" composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky performed by The NDR Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gil Shaham. It was recorded live on the 26th August 2006 at The Royal Albert Hall, London as part of the 2006 BBC Proms Season.


As I have said many times my first and premium love in sport is West Hartlepool Rugby Club. I recounted in earlier post the up and down history of the club culmating in a glorious rise to the top of the sport before disaster almost killed the club, for it to rise above the embers. This season is a momentus one in the history of the club. It is the 125th anniversary Season a great achievement for a club from a small North-East England Team. Hopefully it will be a succesful Season and the first in a move back up the League pyramid. The history of the team can be found at the link.

A photo I took at Brierton Lane, West Hartlepool's home before it was sold. This picture was taken in a game against West of Scotland (which West won) in about 1989 (I can't exactly remember).

Score Update:

International Cricket: Pakistan beat England by 5 Wickets. Twenty 20 Match
England vs Pakistan Match Abandoned. 1st One Day International.
Pakistan beat England by 7 wickets. 2nd One Day International. Pakistan lead series 1-0.

International Football: England 5 Andorra 0. Group E, Euro 2008 Qualifier. England are in 1st place in group.

Rugby Union: Gateshead 11 West Hartlepool 33. Pre-Season warm-up.

Cricket: Sussex beat Durham by 7 wickets. Pro-40 Division 1
Nottinghamshire beat Durham by 13 runs. Pro-40 Division 1
Warwickshire beat Durham by 2 wickets. Pro-40 Division1. Durham fall to 8th place in the table.

Football: Hartlepool United 2 Boston United 1. Pools move up to 18th place in the table.

American Football: New York Giants 31 New England Patriots 23. Pre-Season.

Baseball: Houston Astros 10 Milwaukee Brewers 3
Houston Astros 1 Milwaukee Brewers 0
Houston Astros 5 Milwaukee Brewers 3
Houston Astros 7 New York Mets 8
Houston Astros 2 New York Mets 4 The Astros improve to 66-70, but, fall to 7 games behind Division Leader St.Louis.

College (American) Football: Texas Longhorns 56 North Texas Mean Green 7
Nebraska Cornhuskers 49 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 10
North Carolina Wolfpack 23 Appalachian State Mountaineers 10


Rugby League: Wigan Warriors 38 Bradford Bulls 16. Superleage. Bradford stay in 4th place.
College Football Season started this week. Its something that I would not say I am particular fan of. I without doubt prefer the professional game. However, despite living in the States for over eight years now I am still amazed at the size of College Sports and the interest in it. Back home the only two events in the sports calendar from University sports is the Oxford University vs Cambridge University boat race on the Thames and the Oxford University vs Cambridge University Rugby game at Twickenham in London. I had the priviledge of going to both these events whilst I was living in London. It was a great experience and a fantastic atmosphere. However, to imagine events like these every week in all the major Universities is staggering. Over 100,000 people attending a COLLEGE game every week. Wow!!

As I never went to University over here I do not have a team to support, which is one reason that I have not really got in to it. I do enjoy watching games when I get the chance. However, there are probably three teams that I could put into the "follow" category. They are The University of Texas Longhorns because of when and where I lived in Edna, Texas they were the team nearly everyone I associated with supported, The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers because Jenn's family come from Nebraska and the are Cornhusker fans and finally North Carolina State University Wolfpack because they are the nearest team to where we live in Raleigh and I actually drive past their Stadium when I go into the office. During the College Football Season I will include their scores on my "Score Update" post.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Finished Reading" "Eaters of the Dead" written by Michael Crichton.


Friday, September 01, 2006

I listened to:

"The Sinking of the Titanic" composed by Gavin Bryars performed by The Gavin Bryars Ensemble.

"Hydrogen Jukebox" composed by Philip Glass with Lyrics By Allen Ginsberg.

The next poem is momentus only for the fact that it was the first ever in the States. It was written whilst I was a camp counselor at Camp Tecumseh in New Jersey during my summer vacation in 1989 (where I originally met Jenn!!). This poem was written during a week thats theme was Christmas.

Why Christmas?

The Son of God has come,
The shouts from Heaven cried,
A life ahead to tell,
Of His Father's love and Kingdom come.

A little baby born of flesh,
Born so humble, in a barn.
As He grew into a man
He lived for the poor, the lonely and hurt.

Through His life He suffered,
As God's works he carried out,
In the ultimate sacrifice,
He give His life for all the world.

Today, are we any better off?
Christmas and Easter we celebrate,
The true meaning forgotten
As hurting, loneliness and suffering still go on.

Camp Tecumseh, New Jersey, USA - August 1989.