Friday, February 27, 2009

Music Video Day - I'd Rather Be A Cowboy

It got a little difficult to maintain a series of scheduled posts, particularly video Friday, so now if I have a new video, or a cool website, or other news I'll just post it when I have it, and not necessarily on a specific day.

Today I have a new music video of John Denver's "I'd Rather Be A Cowboy." This song was released on his 1973 "Farewell Andromeda" album. It's not one I've ever performed in the past and it's a little high for me, but I always liked the overall sound and especially the guitar figure.

I'd Rather Be A Cowboy

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Music Video Friday - Paradise

"Paradise" is a song by John (blow up your TV) Prine. I first heard it when John Denver covered it on his "Rocky Mountain High" album. This is the 4th song from that album that I've put up on YouTube. Except for Darcy Farrow and Season Suite, I've played all the songs from that album at one time or another during my years of playing with Carl & Jim. I'm hoping to cover them all here eventually. Season suite may present a guitar challenge.


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vacation Report - Part One

Last weekend we had a short tropical getaway. Even though we were just there in November, the bargain airfare made it impossible to refuse this chance to spend Valentine's Day on Maui. The weather was perfect, and we had enough time to do both a little sightseeing and relaxing.

Day 1
We were picked up at 5:15 AM by the airport limo service, and arrived at the airport with ample time for our 8:10 AM flight. We had put in for upgrades for all of the flights there and back but only the first flight from Chicago to San Francisco came through so we got to ride in business class for that leg of the trip. We arrived in Maui around 5:00 PM and rented a Mustang convertible. At the hotel check-in we were happy to learn that we had been assigned the ocean front rooms we wanted.

After settling into our room we headed over to the Hula Grill for some late dinner and our first Mai Tai of the trip. We had to wait about an hour for a table, and were disappointed when the band finished for the night just after we were seated. The waiter explained that the slow economy had resulted in shorter and shorter hours for live entertainment. The food and Mai Tais were good though. On our last trip I discovered that fish in Hawaii can be very good, so I ordered the Island Fish and Chips along with everyone else.

Day 2
This was our whale watch sail day. We were in Maui at the peak of whale season, and you could even see whales from the lanai of the hotel room. We booked a 2 hour whale watch tour on Trilogy and were treated to some spectacular sights of many of the humpback whale behaviors including breaches, fluke slapping, and flipper slapping.

Breach Series

We also had time for some relaxation, and I got a sunburned face from laying by the pool. Dinner was at the Sea House, an excellent restaurant that Janet and I found at the Napili Kai resort on our last trip. We all enjoyed the macadamia crusted mahi-mahi. They also make a very good Mai Tai. All through dinner we were entertained by a guitarist playing and singing Hawaiian songs. The dinner was delicious, but we saved enough room for dessert.

For a short trip, the report seems to be getting long, so I'll put it up in parts. Friday is music video day, so look for vacation report part 2 maybe on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weblink Wednesday

Today's cool weblink is to the online video on demand service called "Hulu". Hulu provides free on demand viewing of TV shows, movies, and clips, with content from FOX, NBC, Universal, MGM, Sony, Warner Bros., and more. Some content is even in HD*. Hulu doesn't require any special software downloads. Just go to and click on a video to watch. You can even embed all or part of a video on your blog:

Missed an episode of "ER"? Hulu has it. Want to see the entire season of "Firefly" but don't know how to download torrents? Watch it on Hulu. Save a trip to the video store and watch "Muppets From Space" right on your computer. If they don't have the show you're looking for, keep checking back. New content is being added all the time.

Click here: to explore Hulu.

*Higher system requirements for HD.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Measure Up Monday

I'm fresh back (5:30 AM today) from a short vacation and as far as weight watching is concerned, I'm still on vacation, so I wont be posting any stats today. Check back next Monday to see if I manage to recover from the last several days of indulgence. I'll try to get a trip report and a few pictures up in the next day or two.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Music Video Friday - Four Strong Winds

Does everybody have their paraskavedekatriaphobia under control? Good. On to the music.

Four Strong Winds is a great Ian Tyson song about migrant workers and the effect of their seasonal movements on a love affair. It was written in 1961 and has been covered many times, notably by Neil Young in 1979. But I'm pretty sure the guy who taught me this song learned it from a guy who learned it from a John Denver cover. I hope you enjoy my version.

Four Strong Winds

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weblink Wednesday

Today's weblink is to Definr, the "Incredibly fast dictionary". There are certainly plenty of online dictionaries available, and some probably have a larger word database, but I doubt if any can compete with Definr for its fast lookup speed. You simply begin typing the word and Definr presents you with suggestions that match what you have typed so far. Click on one of the suggested words to get to the definition.

Click here to try Definr.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Measure Up Monday

You may have noticed the ++ on the end of some of my Measure Up Monday posts. That was an indicator that I had something besides my weight to post about in the "Other News" section. No such additional post today. :)

DateWeightGain/LossUpper WaistLower Waist

Friday, February 6, 2009

Music Video Friday - For Baby (For Bobbie)

"For Baby (For Bobbie)" is one of John Denver's early successes that appeared on his "Rocky Mountain High" album. I've previously performed 2 other songs here from that album , "Prisoners" and "Mother Nature's Son". I didn't do any fancy video tricks or multi-track audio for this one, but I am featuring my new 12 string Taylor. Hope you like it.

For Baby (For Bobbie)

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

1 Year of Blogging

Today is my unofficial blog anniversary. Tomorrow is the actual anniversary date of my first post, but since last year was a leap year, my blog is really 365 days old today.

When I started this blog, I wasn't sure how far I would go with it. I have a reputation for starting a new interest, obsessing intensely about it for a while, and then abandoning it when a new interest comes along. Some would say this is a manifestation of my Gemini astrological sign.

So it's kind of surprising that I've been at this for a whole year now. Another surprise is how much I've had to say. I am not known to be a very communicative person, and in fact many of my blog posts are quite terse. So I guess it's not really how much I had to say, as much as how often. In the past 365 days I have made 160 blog posts, for an average of 1 post every 2.3 days. Once someone jokingly said my blog was boring because all I ever post about is my weight. While it's true that my weight is the largest single category of posts, 77% of my posts were on other topics. Here is a list of general categories:

Category# of Posts
Web Links8
Mackinaw Race5

Happy bloggiversary to me. Watch tomorrow for my first new YouTube video in 5 weeks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weblink Wednesday

Last week I told you about a site that allowed you to make anagrams of your name, or any other words for that matter. Today I have another fun name site.

"Behind The Name", contains a huge database of names and their associated etymologies. It even contains "Ginette"! Depending on how common the name is you may be able to learn other interesting facts like the name's popularity over time, or even how it is rated by other people. If you're having trouble coming up with a name for a new arrival, give the random name generator a try.

Visit and have some fun!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pictures from the ICIC

You can check out the menu from the ICIC here:
It Menu

Measure Up Monday++

I was on track early in the week, but a weekend of celebratory eating including birthdays, graduations, and Friday's Iron Chef (see below) blew it all. Look for redoubled effort next week.

DateWeightGain/LossUpper WaistLower Waist

In other news...
I work on the technology team of a cross-discipline department consisting of teams from Customer Experience, Restaurant Operations, Equipment Engineering, and Computer Technology. As a team building exercise we've instituted a bi-monthly Iron Chef competition. Last Friday the tech team was the first to compete. We were given a theme choice, fixed monetary resources, and 4.5 hours to come up with a meal to feed the rest of the department for lunch. Initially I was dreading it but it actually turned out to be fun.

The theme choices were "Super Bowl" or "Chinese New Year". We decided to go with "Chinese Super Bowl". We planned a menu, found recipes on the internet, dashed to the store for ingredients and started cooking. I was designated as "soup chef" and charged with making 2 gallons of egg drop soup (Chinese soup-er bowl). It was pretty easy to make so I also pitched in helping to chop chicken and vegetables for the other items on the menu. We served up a delicious meal consisting of fried rice, kung pao chicken, egg rolls, egg drop soup, and fortune cookies, all made from scratch ingredients. The fortune cookies were a little unfortunate, but everything else turned out great. I'm hoping to have some pictures to post later.