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Monday, November 19, 2012

Towards Thanksgiving and a Music Review

Here we are smack dab towards the end of the month and approaching Thanksgiving Day.  Here in the New York metro area, life has returned to some normalcy with electric power having returned to homes and schools which was then followed by a noticeable reduction in the lines at the gas (petrol) stations.  The superstorm, dubbed Sandy, wreaked havoc on many local communities, which will take many months and resources to clean up and rebuild.  The storm also managed to expose vulnerabilities in our local infrastructure.  This was the second year in a row with a prolonged power disruption caused by a large storm.  Surely heads will roll and one top executive with LIPA, our electric delivery provider, has resigned his post.

This storm provided a lift for President Obama as it came within a week of the November election.  President Obama won a second and final term and he was seen looking Presidential while visiting several devestated areas following the storm.  It should be a very interesting four years ahead as our country faces many, many challenges both internally and externally, take your pick.  I'd love to hear your thoughts as to what you think are the most pressing challenges the United States faces (leave a reply!!!).

Well for me, I wanted to share a quick recommendation for all music lovers out there.  Bob Dylan released his latest album called Tempest in September.  I had heard a single from the album called "Duquense Whistle" and I next saw a video for the song.  Dylan has been performing music for 50 years and it seems that every album he's released over the last 10 years has been hailed as a "return to form".  I haven't purchased a Dylan album since 1989's Daniel Lanois produced Oh Mercy but on Tempest I found a vital, invigorated Bob Dylan.  Besides "Duquense Whistle", I also like the song "Soon After Midnight" which finds a contemplative Dylan singing about a relationship:

My heart is cheerful
It's never fearful
I've been down on the killing floors
I'm in no great hurry
I'm not afraid of your fury
I've faced stronger walls than yours

Tempest closes out with a song called "Roll on John" and in that song Dylan offers a tribute to the late John Lennon.  I find this song amazing as John Lennon was assassinated almost 32 years ago and only now does Dylan makes his own comment about the life and loss of the great Lennon.  Many of the lines in the song reflect the Beatles and Lennon's lyrics:

From the Liverpool docks to the red light Hamburg streets
Down in the quarry with the Quarrymen.
Playing to the big crowds Playing to the cheap seats
Another day in your life until your journey’s end
Shine your light, move it on, you burn so bright, roll on John

I heard the news today, oh boy
They hauled your ship up on the shore
Now the city’s gone dark
There is no more joy
They tore the heart right out and cut it to the core

Come together right now over me

A must buy to add to your Bob Dylan collection or to begin your collection.  I must credit my older brother Leo for providing early exposure to the music of Bob Dylan and I have found, as I've grown older, a greater appreciation for his music and career.  

Well that's all for now.  I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  This year we have so much to be grateful for and I hope the upcoming holiday season is a peaceful one for you.  I would love to hear back from you so please drop me any comments or suggestions you might have.  Also, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Roy M for his generous donation to the blog.  Thanks

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It's almost been one week since the great superstorm Hurricane Sandy, dubbed "Frankenstorm" by some in the media, made a direct hit on the greater New York region of the northeast United States.  The damage caused by this weather event has been staggering.  Many remain without power nearly a week after the storm hit and for many in nearby coastal areas their homes have been destroyed. 

Reflecting on this past week, I am very fortunate that my family is safe.  The electricity returned yesterday afternoon after four full days of being out.  Damages to my home were minimal with the worst being a large pine tree falling on my neighbor's driveway.  Thankfully the car parked there just missed the tree.  I also had a section of my backyard fence fall and some shingles blew off the roof.

This is certainly minimal to many residents who have no home to return to and will require a great deal of assistance moving forward.  Already there is an appeal to donate to the Red Cross to provide financial resources to those in need.  A telethon that aired this past Friday has raised 23 million dollars towards relief efforts:  Thanks Bruce, Billy, John Bon Jovi and others.  More assistance is needed, money, supplies as well as volunteers.


However as the saying goes, "all charity begins at home" and I just wanted to give a shout out to family for providing a refuge for Aimee and the kids a few days in Connecticut and earlier in the week near home.  Additionally, the aftermath of this terrible event has brought out inspiring examples of the goodness in others.  My neighbors in particular have been very hospitalble in welcoming me into their home for coffee and supplies.  One neighbor loaned me a tool to help me in trimming the fallen pine tree.  Thank you.

These examples, give me hope that during our darkest moments, light can still shine through and we can all help each other rest, recover and eventually rebuild.