Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Roundup

My blog articles tend to all come in groups, today is no exception. So you get three completely unrelated items of interest today:

Inauguration Excitement

Well, yesterday was probably the most excitement and fanfare I've ever seen for a Presidential inauguration. Being a big fan of the pageantry of such events, I'm always excited to watch these things, but this was even more exciting than usual. Most of my office gathered in a conference room to watch the webcast. Though I did find it somewhat funny that we were requested not to send out an e-mail about it, but we could still do it. I think some people don't understand now that the Inauguration is not political, it's patriotic. Democrat or Republican, like him or not, Obama IS the President of the USA. If you're an American, he's YOUR president. There's nothing political about it. You respect the position, even if you don't agree with the man in it. The same goes for the recently-departed President Bush. Like him or not, agree with him or not, he was President, and you show the position the respect it deserves. Somehow, I think so many people don't share my sentiment in that regard. But I digress.
Of more interest to me was the musical piece performed by Perlman, Ma, McGill, and Montero right before Obama's swearing in. This was a new composition by John Williams, "Air and Simple Gifts," borrowing the classic shaker melody most popularly used in Aaron Copland's Appalchaian Spring. Music geeks of the world unite in enjoying this, not only because it was great, but because it's nice to see John Williams write something that doesn't sound like everything else he writes. :)

Husky Stadium - To Fix or Not To Fix

Now, I'm biased. Having spent literally thousands of hours in Husky Stadium over my college and post-college career, I've been in every ominous corner of that stadium. From the terrifying restrooms, to the press box with its long, narrow hallways seemingly hanging by a thread from the roof. And if I didn't have such a sentimental attachment to it, I'd probably be saying "why bother?" But my journeys have also taken me to dozens of other college stadiums around the country, and I can honestly say few if any rival the gameday experience at Husky Stadium. As such, I'm greatly concerned with preserving that in any stadium improvement plan. Imagine my surprise when I found the latest artist rendering of a "new Husky Stadium" (above). It's spectacular! They took the rundown look of the current stadium, and wrapped it in a beautiful new layer. But it still LOOKS like the Husky Stadium we know and love. Absolutely amazing. I can only hope the UW can scrape up the money to make it a reality.

The Unit

And finally, I don't think I've fully extolled one of my newest favorite shows on television: The Unit. I started watching it this season, only to get hooked and find out this is Season 4! Where have I been the last 3 years?! In my own defense, its first season was a mid-season replacement, with only 13 episodes, and its third season was cut short by the Writer's Strike that left it with only 11 episodes. But for Christmas, I was fortunate enough to receive the first 3 seasons on DVD in order to catch up, and last night finally finished them to get me all the way to this season. What a spectacular show! If you've never seen it before, I highly recommend it (Sundays at 10pm on CBS). One nice thing is that it follows a semi-serial format (as did one of my other all-time favorites The West Wing), where story lines do continue throughout the season, but each episode individually contains its own distinct plots that wrap themselves up nicely by the end of the episode, so you don't have to worry about having not seen previous episodes in order to keep up. (Lost and Battlestar Galactica could take a lesson in that. One of the biggest reasons I've never really picked up either of those shows.)

And that's all the news that's fit to print for now.

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