Friday, October 16, 2009

'One Voice' up and running

The new Website is up and running, although in sort of a skeleton form so far.

It's called "One Voice," and you can enter the following URL:

I'm not sure what we'll be doing here, but the new site is the place to be.



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'One voice' will be the new site

Where do we go from here?

I'm hopeful the new site will be up by the end of the week, and this one will then either be a subset of the main one or will just be absorbed into it.

I'm hoping to put more of an emphasis on the theme of this site -- the things that really matter in life. I really don't intend to write about political issues here anymore; I do so much of that on, where I have become one of the leading contributors in the never-ending battle between left, right and the middle.

I'm changing the name of the site, largely because I think calling a personal site "All that matters ..." is a little arrogant. Who am I to decide what matters for all of you?

I thought about "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche," because I love the title and I found that old book recently. I also thought about "How to Pick Up Girls," an amazing old book from about 35 years ago that you could only buy through mail order.

In the end, I settled on "One Voice," the title of a lovely song from about 10 years ago, mostly for the lyric "life's not that simple, down here on Earth."

And for your enjoyment while you wait, a lovely picture of the Amazing Baby.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Changes coming to the operation

Sorry I have been a little slack in posting here the last couple of weeks, but I have been involved with some other things and figured it wouldn't be the worst thing to back off a little.

Actually, over the next few days I'm hoping to revamp and redesign the entire operation. This site will remain where it is, but I hope to make it a part of a larger site. I posted on that site for five or six years before switching to Blogger, and I'm hoping to do more.

I'm also planning to start working with video and podcasts; AllVoices is giving me an HD video camera to do reports for them, and I can use it to get some additional stuff on my own site too.

So sit back and watch as we move forward into the future.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Beatles remasters sound wonderful

His name was Bob, but we always called him "Tunes."

He was always singing, or whistling, or humming, usually something from one of the popular songs of the day. Tunes loved the Beatles, and since we were growing up in an era when Beatles music was everywhere, we heard a lot of Lennon and McCartney songs.

I haven't seen Tunes in nearly 40 years and I have no idea how his life has turned out, but I'm sure he is really happy this year now that all the original Beatles CDs have been remastered and re-released for modern audiences.

Tunes really loved "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver," and both of those would show up on any list of greatest albums of the '60s. My favorite was always "Abbey Road," though, and I remember vividly listening to it for the first time in the fall of 1969.

I always thought George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" would be pretty close to the top of any list of greatest Beatles songs ever. It's certainly my favorite.

I never heard Tunes singing it or humming it, but I can only imagine.

Go Tunes go.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Music still has its charms ...

When my lovely wife and I decided to make our annual visit to the L.A. County Fair today, we figured it would only be for a couple of hours.

That's the way we usually do it. We walk around some and we visit the shopping buildings so that she can pick up the latest ShamWow or 1,000 thread count sheets or whatever it is they're selling this year.

But this time was a little different. When we got there a little before 3 p.m., we noticed that the featured concert at 7:30 p.m. would be the Beach Boys. Now I know the group is a pale imitation of the original, with Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson dead and the others split into three different bands.

This one had Mike Love, though, and it had Bruce Johnston as well, along with a group of younger guys who weren't even born when Beach Boys songs were all over the radio all the time.

I had seen the original Beach Boys -- minus Brian Wilson -- three times before, in 1974, '75 and '76 in Washington, D.C. They were great shows, and the group had provided a major part of the soundtrack of my life since their first national exposure in 1962.

Still, Love and Johnston are 68 and 67, respectively, and I'm still getting used to the idea of senior citizens rocking and rolling. But in a pretty tacky week, culture-wise, I suppose I was willing to try it.

It couldn't be worse than Mackenzie Phillips going on Oprah (no, not really on Oprah herself) saying that someone needed to speak up for consensual incest victims or Tom "The Hammer" DeLay channeling his inner Travolta on "Dancing With the Stars."

So I definitely needed some of the wonderful, upbeat music that I loved when I was in high school. Without the three Wilson brothers, the soaring harmonies from the '60s weren't there, but the audience didn't seem to mind. I saw people from 15 to 65 on their feet dancing and singing along with song after song, crammed into a 90-minute performance.

Johnston sounded all right on the lovely "God Only Knows," but he knew he was just a fill-in. When he finished, he dedicated the song to the "one and only Carl Wilson, forever in our hearts."

It was a pretty nice evening, and I didn't hear one person talk about politics all day.

I needed that.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Million dollar shot great to watch

Talk about a dream come true.

I have been playing golf for 15 years and have never had a hole in one. I've come close a couple of times, including once on my favorite hole, the par-three No. 7 at Empire Lakes in Rancho Cucamonga.

I put a shot eight inches from the hole and tapped in for birdie. Close, but no ...

That's why seeing this shot from the Mark Eaton Celebrity Classic in Utah, in which a restaurant manager from Provo won $1 million, is so amazing.

The hole was 150 yards, just a little shorter than No. 7 at Empire Lakes, which is why it's obvious this guy is a much better golfer than I am.

You see, I use a five wood to clear nearly 150 yards of water.

He used a nine iron for his shot.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Amazing baby takes her first steps

Milestone, milestone.

Madison Nicole Kastner, aka The Amazing Baby, took her first unaided steps today -- five of them before sitting down. I wish I could post the video here, but if you're a friend of mine on Facebook, you can see it on my home page.

Since today is Sept. 16, little Maddie walked three days before her first birthday. She's also really close to speaking her first words, so she's right on target developmentally. With her parents in language training, Maddie is spending her daytime hours in day care. She started in a class for kids who hadn't started walking yet, but it looks like they're going to have to move her up to the next class now.

Yay, Maddie!