Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Not Being A Monday Morning Quarterback

Now that the GOP [Ryan/Trump] American Health Care Act has gone up in flames, I see many pundits wondering if they [President Trump and the congress] shouldn't have taken up tax reform first.  Now I hear other pundits asking [rightly] "isn't that being Monday morning quarterbacking?"  

Here is how a Republican pundit I like and respect a lot, Chris Stirewalt, put that question on his Face Book page:  "People saying they should have re-written the tax code first: You sure they wouldn't be saying the same about health if the tax deal tanked?"

But the Tales, may I say humbly but boldly, was prescient in asking why tax reform wasn't taken up first more than 2 weeks ago, as I asked that question in tweets on twitter, way before the vote when the bill went down took place-so, I cannot be accused of just being a Monday morning QB.  

I found one of those tweets I tweeted on March 9, 2017:
March 9, the Tales opines, "I still don't understand why this [AHCA] had to be first."







Not to be braggadocios, well maybe just a little, the "Tales" could see where this train was headed weeks ago.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Porcelain Unicorn"

Repeat Tales post from 2010 of a very moving and powerful award winning short film directed by American director, Keegan Wilcox, entitled "Porcelain Unicorn."



This short film of only about 3 minutes in length is very emotional as it tells the tale of how an encounter between a young German boy and a Jewish girl hiding in a closet during the Holocaust affects the boy in later life. 

You wouldn't think a film of such short length could bring tears to your eyes, but this just might.  Thanks for this video from director Wilcox' You Tube page.

Porcelain Unicorn by Keegan Wilcox, 2010:


I can see why this won the grand prize for the competition it was in. 

Bravo, Keegan Wilcox!  


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Symphonic Mastery From 'The Master'

The fetching Mrs. B and I will be attending a special concert in Houston's Jones Hall this Saturday night, as our Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada leads our world class Houston Symphony Orchestra in an all Beethoven program:  Symphony #6 "Pastoral", and Symphony #7.   
Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada the director of the HSO
Speaking of our [HSO] great conductor, some fantastic breaking news via Carlos Andres Botero, the music ambassador for the Houston Symphony Orchestra on his Face Book page:  "Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada has extended his contract with the Houston Symphony into the 2021-22 season!"

This will be a great concert program featuring two of my favorite Beethoven symphonies.  It also features two of my favorite movements in the symphonic repertoire: the beautiful melodic last movement [Allegretto] in Beethoven's Pastoral symphony #6 and the beautiful and mesmerizing Allegretto movement of Beethoven's symphony #7. 

Here is how the Houston Symphony Orchestra website characterizes this weekend's symphony concert:  "An exploration of nature, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony evokes cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside and a harrowing storm which resolves in one of music’s most satisfying finales. Beethoven’s lively Seventh Symphony abounds with high spirits that surround a haunting second movement, featured in films such as The King’s Speech."

As always, when we go to a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert, I like to give a small sample of what we will be hearing tonight.  [of course, if you want to hear it all, come to Houston and Jones Hall and join us!  :-)]

Please turn up the volume and play in full screen to hear some grand symphonic mastery from "the master".

L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #6 in F Major, Movement 3, Allegro; Movement 4, Allegro - "The Storm"; and Movement 5, finale, Allegretto, "Shepherd's Song":



L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #7 in A Major, Movement 2, Allegretto:


Update:  What a magnificent concert it was for me and the fetching Mrs. B.  We have never heard the Houston Symphony Orchestra sound any better - under the great baton of Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada [HSO director] - this was indeed the sound of a world class orchestra in both the Beethoven 6th and 7th symphonies. 

They had a new set up of the orchestra, putting the double basses in the back where the percussion instruments usually are, and they had the timpani on the right side [from the patrons perspective].  Wow, it really made a difference in the wonderful sound. 

At the end of the awesome Beethoven 7th, the patrons leaped to their feet in shouts of Bravo, making Maestro Estrada come back for 3 standing ovations-a response you usually only see given to soloists in a virtuosic concerto.  This was truly a special concert.



Bravo and thank you Houston Symphony Orchestra!
  

Spiel From The Horses Mouth

With the "Affordable Health Care Act" going down in flames on Friday, March 24, 2017, as the "great closer", President Trump, was unable to seal the deal, let us look back at what candidate Donald J. Trump said confidently during the campaign for president.  

H/T: Anderson Cooper, CNN. 

Direct from the horses mouth:


Hmm.  All this time I thought it was "the art of the deal" when it was always "the art of the spiel."