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Sunday, 28 June 2009
The Sun Sets On 20th Century Song And Dance Men

With the passing of Michael Jackson, we can say goodbye to an era that started with "The Travelling Minstrel Shows" of the 19th century. In some ways these shows were racist, but in other ways, it celebrated the joy of the oppressed who could relieve their sufferings momentarily with songs and dances. Take a look at Al Jolson and some dancing minstrels doing "Camptown Races". It's both funny and joyous.

It is interesting to note, that Jackson's autobiography "Moonwalk" was dedicated to Fred Astaire. There are some great pictures on this website of Michael with Fred. It's like "the torch of song and dance excellence" being turned over to a new genius.

Lets not forget the innovating and energetic dancing of Gene Kelly who thrilled audience in "Singing In The Rain" and "An American In Paris".

It's a rare person who can entertain millions with both singing and dancing. This has brought much happiness and excitement to many.

In the words of Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy, "To live is to dance and to dance is to live".


Posted by qualteam at 1:16 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 29 June 2009 1:30 PM EDT
Friday, 26 June 2009
Naughty Marietta And The History Of Popular Music

 

The passing of Michael Jackson made me think of all the great innovators in the history of popular music who brought unique sounds and visuals to their art. With Jackson, it was his rock/dance songs that popularized MTV videos.

With the Beatles, each song was different from another. They combined old rock and roll, country, blues, ballads and novelty material into their own creative sound.

Elvis Presley popularized rock and roll/blues which before him was played only on African American radio stations.

Before Elvis, Al Jolson was singing "Black Music"  like "Mammy" and "The Robert E. Lee" for more than 40 years.

In this blog entry, I'm paying tribute to Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy who popularized operettas in the 1930s. Not only did they sing great duets together like "Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life" from Naughty Marietta. They had an unfullfilled love affair that never resulted in marriage. The reasons for this are complicated but you can read about it in their bios.

The above duet brings tears to my eyes when I hear it. It a shame that Jeanette's and Nelson's story hasn't hit the big screen or the stage yet.

Ask Andrew Lloyd Weber to do it.

 


Posted by qualteam at 1:59 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 26 June 2009 4:53 PM EDT
Monday, 22 June 2009
Regrets I've Had A Few

Over the weekend, I attended the birthday party of my grandniece, Cecilia, who is now two years old. The above picture is not her, but it's close facsimile.

It's was great seeing Cecilia blow out her candles and play with her supersoaker squirtgun that was almost as big as she was.

She helped herself to the cake by sticking her hand into it. When you're a two year old, you don't need a fork or spoon. 

My stepdaughter, Roxane, and stepgrandsons, Kyle and Devon were also there.

The birthday party was held at Delores (Irene's niece) and Danny's home in Ajax.  They are the parents of Cecilia.

The next evening, we went to The China House in Cambridge with Irene's brother Joe and his wife, Laurie, to celebrate Father's Day.

Joe's two sons, Blair and Bryant, and his daughter, Jo Anne, were there as well to celebrate this special day with their dad.

One of my few regrets in life was that I never had kiddies.

My wife ended her childbearing days many years ago. That was ok, she had three children by her ex-husband.

I know there are joys and sorrows of raising children, but the joys seem to prevail. I miss that.

My two brothers and sister all had kids, I had a ballon with the skin off it.

If I live long enough, maybe I will have children. Some flowers and humans are late bloomers.

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:19 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 June 2009 10:28 PM EDT
Monday, 15 June 2009
A 21st Century Look At Purgatory

As you might know, large parts of this blog deal with my visions of the afterlife, heavenly places and alien life forms. The links on the right column called " Cosmic Views Of The Universe" contain most of these entries.

The one subject that I haven't discussed so far is Purgatory.  Roman Catholics seem to be the only ones that believe in this place. It's suppose to be an afterlife condition where souls are cleansed half way between heaven and hell.

Personally, it seems to be a reasonable explanation as to where souls go immediately after death. A soul would probably be disoriented in a new environment. It might take some time to familiarize a spirit with new realities and unknown beings.

Also, most beings are carrying around the memories of a previous life like heavy baggage. The new arrivals would have to be debriefed and unburdened from this baggage.

Human beings suffer from mental problems of various degrees. Purgatory would give them a chance to resolve those issues on a higher spiritual plane.

While one was waiting to be placed elsewhere in the universe, the darknesss of subconscious impulses would be exposed to the light of understanding.

I'm aware that certain religions on Earth do practice extensive spiritual counselling. This indicates to me that such practices are common in this part of the galaxy. 

Purgatory might be called different names by different people like Limbo, the Twilight Zone or the Q Continuum. Maybe, they're just suburbs of the same place.

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:25 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 June 2009 1:27 PM EDT
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Lunch With Canada Post President, Moya Greene

I'm not the person in this picture with Moya Greene. That's Liberal MP, Scott Brison.

However, my wife and I did have lunch with her at Heritage Fish & Chips in Brampton.

We talked about the joys of retirement and, of course, Canada Post, the Canada Post Pension Plan and CUPW. Revenues were down because of the recession and Canada Post still needs to cut costs. This is understandable because our defined pension plan depends on Canada Post profits as well as employee contributions.

We also talked about the kinds of electrical vehicles that Canada Post  needs for the future, but these have to be made individually for the particular requirements of the company.

Both my wife, Irene, and Moya were from Newfoundland, so they shared moments of reflection on this one-of-a-kind province.

Like many of her fellow Newfoundlanders, Moya has an unpretentious friendliness and outspokeness about her. She definitely wants Canada Post to survive this downturn and insure jobs for present employees and defined benefits for retired employees.

There are many pension plans in dire straights these days. It's important to take nothing for granted about company profitability. All employees have to work together to make sure the employer makes enough profit to pay sustainable retiree benefits and pensions.

My history in Canada Post and CUPW can be found at www.cupw.info.

 


Posted by qualteam at 9:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:22 PM EDT
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Rock On Dave: Today's My Birthday

Nice version of Elvis singing "Happy Birthday". It's good because it's short and sweet.

Yesterday my wife, Irene, took me to Baton Rouge for dinner in Mississauga. Both the quality and quantity of the meal met expectations. The honey mustard salad was so good that I gave it to Irene and she loved it. The main course included huge baked potatoes which we enjoyed immensely. Irene had Altantic salmon as her main entrée and I had sirloin steak. They were both cooked to our specifications and filled us up.

The dessert, chocolate mousse, was ok, but we really didn't need it.

The bill which included two beverages came to $61.00. This was bit higher than most family restaurants, but for good homecooked food, it's a bargain.

As far as my age is concerned, I've been around before rock and roll and TV.

I've worked at Canada Post for over 35 years. You can discover my postie years at www.cupw.info.

My wife and I have a family website at www.daveandirene.ca. There lots of pictures of our families, Ontario, and Newfoundland on this site. There's also great oldies that you play in the background.

The other websites at www.davebarron.info, www.davidbarron.info and www.davidbarron.biz pertain to me as a writer.

Since I've retired, I've lost 16 pounds from working out and playing volleyball.

I still have goals that I want to achieve beyond paying off the mortgage. I want to succeed as a writer and screenwriter.

I've been lucky in life to have secure pensions. I've been lucky as well to have the ability to express myself with words and images.

Enjoy a song about the 1950s from the Statler Brothers.


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Posted by qualteam at 9:04 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 7 June 2009 9:51 AM EDT
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Winning Poker: Luck? Skill? Deep Pockets?

While there are disputes about how much skill goes into Hold'em Poker, there is no dispute that it can be very entertaining. Check out the hand  between Phil Hellmuth and Danial Negreanu above. It's hard to believe that Hellmuth is one of the top poker players in the world.

Recently, I ran into many bad beats over the last four months. This was hard to take because I did so well last year. 

I reassessed my views on poker. 

There's no disputing that there are acquired skills connected with playing winning poker. You could probably learn them in a year or so. You can read opponents. You can follow "Poker Basics 101" or you follow your instincts. You can clown around or act like tar baby. In the end, you have "to go all in" to win large or progress further in a tournament. You have to get lucky each time the flop, the turn and the river are turned over. You need "deep pockets" to get through the bad beats. In the end, the game is about 60% luck, 20% skill and 20% reserve cash.

In my opinion, it may take more than one lifetime for one's poker skills to win in the long run. Despite that, Texas Hold' Em  is still an exciting game both to play and watch.


Posted by qualteam at 12:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 June 2009 1:01 PM EDT
Friday, 29 May 2009
Lawyers Of The Year: David Share & Associates


It's not very often that I would recommend lawyers to you, but David Share & Associates are an exception.

My wife and I had to handle an issue with an insurance company recently and the lawyers from this firm were up to the job.

The lawyers maintain a high level of professionalism while treating their clients with the upmost understanding and compassion.

Our dispute with a major insurance company was handled in less than a year and we were always updated on the progress of the negotiations.

Check out David Share's website here

I paid for legal insurance for over five years and all I got from it was two "free wills". This is something difference, expertise that is very helpful with lawsuits.


Posted by qualteam at 11:17 PM EDT
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Born Again People

When Jesus used the analogy of being "Born Again", in the Gospel of John, I believe it's quite obvious what he meant. When I person is born into the world of human senses, he become aware of his body, other bodies and the physical existence that surrounds him like clothes, toys, etc. When he's born again, he discovers the spiritual world in much the same sense that a baby discovers his crib and parents.

Becoming spiritually aware is part of other religious practices like Buddhism. Somewhere along the way, one finds oneself in some kind of spiritual world. There are various rituals to help one transcend this world like mediation, soul travel and past life therapy.

In Christianity, the concept of rebirth seems to be related to water and spiritual baptism from the Holy Spirit. Something divine happens which opens one's eyes to the spirit world(i.e The Kingdom of God).

You don't need to be a Christian to jump into the spirit world. Many different religions have done that for thousands of years. Connecting to Christ is a different thing. It's a decision to be part of "his team". It's a decision to "mind meld" with the team leader and his brotherhood. Basically, this is the big "I AM" connecting up with the little "I ams".

Different religions have different ways of expressing themselves on the above subject. We should honestly try to understand the other guy's point of view.


Posted by qualteam at 2:01 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 May 2009 2:06 PM EDT
Saturday, 23 May 2009
The Science Fiction, Star Trek Gateway

Science Fiction and Star Trek are not only gateways to the universe, but to the subconscious as well. Trekkies go over details of Star Trek movies and episodes to make sure they are remembered in detail. To many, these Star Trek visions are foundations for the organizations and life forms in this galaxy.

Do Trekkies need a life or is Star Trek part of their previous lives? There has been six TV series and 11 movies based on the basic concept. These characters and ideas seem to endure more than others in science fiction literature.

It's natural for human beings to want answers about their life in a very large universe. We want to know where we came from and where we're going. Science fiction, Star Trek and various religions try to fill a thrist for knowledge beyond what we know in this world.

Space fantasies, the internet and other media seem to link our minds to remembrances of advanced and/or alien civilizations. 

There's a mental renewal process going on that makes the present "Star Trek Movie" fresh and exciting.

Because of the divine influence of Jesus and "The Brotherhood of Christ", we are looking deeper and longer into the universe than ever before. 


Posted by qualteam at 10:21 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 May 2009 10:33 PM EDT

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