About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

OUT with the old, IN with the new..

and it is time to reflect - if one wants - on the past year 2013. A year filled with momentous events, deaths of the famous and not so famous, good news and bad, fun times, pain,
and so much more.
As my chers readers know, we spent 2 months in the OLD home country..

Wien, the church spire at right is where I grew up!
sailing to and from.

Followed by THE PIB and 2 sets of injections which - finally - worked.

Some great operatic experiences, some not so great.

Some fun hockey times...

Everblades vs Eagles

Fall pods in Hill country
even if one had to travel to have them!

But, as they say, travel broadens one's mind.

The joys of looking at fall pods interspersed with late blooming flowers.
Pelican grooming
The beauty of birds at rest,
in flight,and while diving for food - that one was too fast for my finger on the button -
thus this
Sunset at Bonita Springs

Sunrise in the Hill country
Sun's Reflection on the Gulf
The changing light over water and land.
Admiring the architecture of the Old countries............
 and the New ....
Bridge over (untroubled) waters
Museum experiences in Florida and Germany

Dali in St. Petersburg

The Ishtar gate in Berlin Museum

And so it went.....
Full of fun and excitement.
But also pain and , finally, relieve!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dallying at the Dali.

Yes, there is a new Dali Museum in St. Pete's.
It is built to withstand force 5 hurricanes, we've been told.
Sadly, no photos allowed in exhibition halls.

One enters via the gift shop - being tempted to buy!
Just not, perhaps, the Daliesque car?
To then pay a hefty admission fee, even for seniors, and with a $2 off coupon.
Was it worth it?

The closest to the iconic melting watches a bench in the 'garden:

I was rather excited to return to see the "Dalis",
remembering well the just stunning exhibits at the 'old' museum.
And by the big selection of art cards and magnets, there.  ;-).

I am happy I bought most then, because this time I found only 3 cards and 1 magnet I did not already have!
BUT if one wants posters, tee shirts, scarves, ties, mugs..... one will find lots there, now!

The park like grounds also boast a rock from Cadaques donated to the museum, and a sculpture of a dolphin, brightly colored.

Before DALI,
The joy of seeing the White Pelicans and other birds on Sanibel island.. and a grey???
plus alas just a few others.
Missed (our luck) the Roseate Spoonbill, seen by earlier 'birds=visitors' in the day!

'Grooming Parlor'  ;-)
Anhinga-a bit startled
 One Pool with water falls
Home away form home...at sunset-right. Delighted no crowds there, at this time.
And lagoon - left
at early morning on way to eagles' nest whose inhabitants seem to have been out to lunch ;-)
Out to lunch? Or For rent?

Unknown flowering tree
bridge from Tampa to the South
 Sanibel Island- with lighthouse and pelicans 
 Lighthouse in x-mas mode

And so:
Good Bye till next year to Tamiami Trail at night:

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The game we missed 12/7/13

On Saturday the Blades faced the Eagles again, but this time they won.
4 vs 2, both goalies back in net.
Goaling for the Blades: Roy, Boris, Pistilli, Carzo.
For Eagles: Ostrow (2 goals).

Mathieu Roy-Captain
As promised, some photos from Friday's game:
Cann's eyes follow Nr, 45 speeding by

Cann Caught that one

Bruess wins this fight

Cheverie eyes ???


Some fan covers his eyes during the Friday game.....
and a canine fan in a Swampee costume nuzzles his/her owner, when the goal is scored ;-). on Friday

And then there is Joe (not Vladimir) Stejskal, LOL.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Blades versus Eagles

So we saw a fast paced game between the Everblades of Estero and the Colorado Eagles. Since the "Blades" are the ECHL affiliate of not only Tampa Bay, the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), but also the Charlotte Checkers and the Syracuse Crunch of AHL, several newcomers played this evening.  At the Germain arena in Estero, Florida

And it sorta showed! The speed was not quite there! The passing was not exact! But the energy of this young and short - yes, 8  guys of 5'11, plus 2 at 5.9 do make for a short team ;-) - was all there.

The  Eagles team included several of that height, including the Captain (not Horation) just Riley.

The shortness of highest players did not hamper any of them in scoring: 
Daavettila (6), Ostrow (5'10), Parker and Ulanski (5'11) scored for the Eagles, as did Johnston, while Henrion (also 5'11) scored the sole goal for the Everblades, despite the 34 sogs, of which the Eagles' goalie, Cheverie, at 6'3 larger than Cann, who is 5'11, only allowed that one. Of the 13 games he played he won 10, and only lost 3 in overtime.

Trevor Cann for the Blades only played 3 games thus far and lost 2 (Friday included). Although after letting in  2 goals in 1., he warmed up through 2. and most of the third period, Ulansky's empty netter can not be blamed on him ;-)! 

There was no doubt about the three stars of the game:
 Henrion the number three, Ostrow and Cheverie of the Eagles, numbers two and one, respectively.

It was a quite entertaining game, the Blades peppered Cheverie with 34 shots, while the Eagles managed 21 ...... but with 3 goals against Cann and the one empty netter! Photos to be posted soon.

For the hockey fight lovers, the game had two...IMO..Mychan (Co) vs Buess, and later Parker (Co) vs Dame-Malka......real ones! Several other penalties were called, but only one opportunity was utilized for goals, Johnston for the visitors. 8 penalties for the Eagles (1 goal)' 5 for the Blades (0 goal)

The crowd was respectable and loud, even without the animation by ice girls and Swampee, the mascot.

Near us was the quietest fan: a grizzled muzzle Chihuahua in Swampee disguise, lol.  
But his owner made up for it...and her friends wore green hair, shook bells and screamed "Go Blades". All for naught the team barely went on board with the lonely goal. 

Captain Roy of the Blades, was apparently still in Movember mode, looking striking with dark full beard and sideburns. This is Roy's 6th season with the Blades. 

A player named Joe Stejskal reminded me of an old friend with the same name who, in his salad days played goalie in the, now known as, Czech Republic. Which made me wonder, did anyone of Vladimir's family emigrate to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, long time ago?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

ONE book a month...

Just read in this morning's WSJ that:

"Finally, there's the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which is included in an Amazon Prime membership ($79 per year, amazon.com ). The fee includes access to one book per month from a list of some 400,000 titles. The collection is large but includes only about 100 New York Times best-sellers, according to Amazon. Access to this feature requires a Kindle device (the apps for Android and iOS are not compatible). At $6.58 per month, it's not worth signing up for Amazon Prime just for the books alone, but if you're already a member for the unlimited video and free shipping that are included with the subscription, the lending library is a modest perk."

Now , that 79$  is a waste of money to me... for just one book a month!!!
I read, on average, more than one book a week!
Yes, a week!

I love my area libraries.

Multi language library on QM 2
I love having friends who trade books with me.
I love having thrift shops nearby where I can pick up books for a dollar; and even better on 'discount day'.
I love the feel of the book in my hands.
I find the nearest thrift shop, when travelling, to buy ( and 'donate' back) books during the stay.
I need not worry that the battery in the pad/kindle, etc. runs down.
I have no need to shlep chargers.

And I have NO worries that someone will swipe the pad/kindle!!!
Seems books are just very safe items to have (sadly) anymore ;-).

I do have a computer and use it well, and often.
Or else I would not be blogging on stuff such as this and more, right!?

BUT when it comes to reading, I have to have real BOOKS!

Call me an old codger who isn't up to snuff .
I really don't care!
"I LOVE real books!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

And the morale of Donizetti's Don Pasquale is....

A whole lot of musical fun in an evening, or in our case afternoon, at the OH!

After a spiritedly conducted overture, in which the strings sang, sometimes meltingly, sometimes not so, and the winds blew happily with the percussion section drumming merrily along, the farce began.
Strong singers, whose voices evenly matched, insured that the audience left chuckling.

Stefano de Peppo, and experienced bass baritone, set the pace, portraying the Don Pasquale with tongue in cheek acting without making him the archetypical caricature of an old doddering codger.

Equally strong performance came from the Norina, soprano Julia Engel, who was a saucy girl turned into fury. Her high notes were stratospheric and held, seemingly, forever.

Wesley Landry, baritone, as Dr. Malatesta, was quite convincing as the co conspirator to teach the old fool Don P. A lesson. His mellow baritone was,  IMO, a bit too "nice" for the role. 

Eric Bowden, sang Ernesto, the romantic lead, with penetrating power and endurance. 
The non singing role of Notary was taken by Maxim Bitner, a bass, who is part of the chorus.

All in all an amusing interlude on a muggy afternoon in Houston.

If, cheers readers, you miss the usual inclusions of video clips, if available, or photos, I apologize . My trusty desk top languishes at the computer whizz  " hospital", and the iPad and I are yet strangers to each other, to permit such fancies...... ;)!

Just one more note: 
both de Peppo and Bowden sing in all performances which will be Nov.21,22,23,and 24. So you have time to go and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rampage versus Admirals

Now you all enjoy a good, fluid game, right? Well if you do, you ought to have been in San Antonio on Sunday!

Both teams came out burning with zest. 

The first period seemed to just melt away, even though neither scored a goal. 14 sogs per side, and both goalies stepped up to keep the puck from going into the net.
Rampage have a new head coach,
 and he sure seems to dare the team to  do better.
And they did, in the 2.period.
Nr. 13 Pinizzotto (13 must have been HIS good luck number?) scored, then our old friend Ortmeyer made it two soon after, followed by a scuffle in which Crabb (Rampage) turned real crabby :-). 
Alas, the PP ensuing allowed the Admirals Rodney to sore 1 for the Ads.
And so we went into the 3. 2 Rampage 1 Admirals. At about 7 minutes into the 3. Moser evened the score for the Admirals. And that was it. Overtime-no goal. Shoot out-and that's were the more experienced Dov Grumet Morris had the advantage over the youngster Magnus Hellberg, at 22 almost 10 years younger. Grumet Morris stopped all attempts by Admiral players.
But - credit is due to Hellberg, he ONLY let in one. Which was the decider by Matsumoto, who scored on the first attempt.  The other 4 did not.
Grumet Morris doings splits
Following the puck

Grumet Morris named 1. *, Hellberg 2. * and Matsumoto 3. * of  the game.
Blond 9'5 tall Magnus (well named, eh?)

And that was as it should have been.  Hellberg had 43 saves, which IMO not a bad result fro a youngster - note I am a bit biased, I do like young blond giants ;-)!
Grumet Morris had 31 saves.
Both team hamster'ed 5 penalties and thus 5 PP, but only Rodney (Ads) was able to convert the advantage to a goal. Two refs kept the progress of the game swift and after 2 1/2 hours the approx. 7200 loyal fans went home (?) satisfied.

Ortmeyer in perfect position
A minor scuffle-Watson argues with  Pinizotto?
A win, a couple of scuffles,an OT and a SO.. the heart just has to jump for joy in hockey fans!
And  for us, we spent the Monday  enjoying a beautiful sunrise:
and on leisurely nature trail walks looking at Mother Nature's fall bounty :-) .
 Tuesday dawned with gusts of winds but 62 degrees, while travelling a bit North of SA to Texas Hills winery, we shivered in 48 degrees. Fortunately the temps warmed up a bit as we returned south to I-10 and drove eastward, even the sun peeked out at times. Still the wind was strong and big cars weaved on the road. We,  sitting low and loaded down with wine (lol) rode somewhat better :-)!