Day: February 1, 2014

Quest for the Best (Picture), Year III

Yes, we’re at it again.  As has been the case the past two years, Candice and I are out to see all of the Best Picture nominees (or as many as possible) before the Academy Awards show.  We began this new tradition two years ago after we became empty nesters, and I have to say it  has raised my stock as a husband. One of my major failings in life before I came up with this brilliant idea was not making an effort to go to the movies. What can I say… However, we got a late start this year.  (Once again, the “sure things” we went to see early in the year – I’m looking at you Lee Daniels’ The Butler – didn’t make the final cut of the Academy.) So here it is February 1st – with the awards show just weeks away, and we’ve only seen two.  However, I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the winner. If there is any justice in the world, 12 Years a Slave will win in a rout.  …

Happy Birthday, Del McCoury

Happy 75th Birthday to Del McCoury, one of the finest voices in traditional bluegrass music. A winner of the National Heritage Fellowship lifetime achievement award and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, McCoury – at 75-years young – doesn’t rest on his laurels.  Just last Sunday the Del McCoury Band won a Grammy for The Streets of Baltimore and he continues to find new avenues to showcase his talent and new collaborators for his music. Vince Gill has said “I’d rather hear Del McCoury sing ‘Are You Teasing Me’ than just about anything.” It just so happens there’s a terrific “early morning” video version of a very casual Del McCoury Band performing Are You Teasing Me? posted by radio station WNCW.  For a group that generally appears on stage in the traditional suits and ties of the classic days of bluegrass, it is kind of fun seeing the McCoury boys in shorts (with Rob in flip-flops) and Del in his jeans. Are You Teasing Me? Me, I’d rather hear Del sing 1952 …

Now THIS is a Cool Retirement Gift

The stick-in-the-muds who write headlines for the Washington Post may have thought that this customized baseball card for retiring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wasn’t up to his accomplishments (see I saved the economy and all I got was this custom baseball card), but die-hard Nats fans – of which Bernanke is one – realize that this beats a gold watch any day! What true fan wouldn’t want to see themselves immortalized in that one medium that tells how good you really were…the baseball card.  I loved the career stats on Bernanke’s card: 2002:  First drafted from the Ivy League 2006:  Signed offer as Chairman 2008-2009:  MVP for most four-letter acronyms created 2009:  Named Time magazine Person of the Year 2010:  Inked new deal as Chairman Plus he had 79 Congressional testimonies and 226 speeches given in his “career.” Now, if you feel you need something more than a baseball card to capture Bernanke’s contribution to saving our economy (which – it should be noted – came with a great deal of help from the …