Dec 10

2017 – End of the Year Review

  This year’s travels — Early in the year – Atlanta, I enjoyed the time with young Mr. Pi, though I did catch a nasty bug on that trip.   Jinan in Springtime, as always it was great to meet with so many of my friends and students.     In conjunction with the Jinan visit, …

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Dec 08

Building Confidence in Your ESL Skills

  The more I learn the more I realize how little I know. * Recently, I had the pleasure of receiving praise from one of my long term students. She had just returned home from an international business trip. She was so excited to exclaim that, I “gave her the confidence” to communicate with foreigners …

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Nov 29

Sunset doesn’t last all evening.

Long ago, before Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and all the rest of the cacophony out there today…. There was a band called the Beatles. They came from England and they had a profound impact on the world music scene. Their sound was new, fresh and innovative… it was different than anything that had come before. …

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Nov 14

I’ve looked at life from both sides now…

Canadian artist, singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell has had a prolific career in the world of music. I first introduced readers of this blog to her music in this article about poetry, and here in a post about another of her tunes. She’s written many songs about life and love, but one of her most …

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Nov 10

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald

*Sometimes called the “Big Fitz” or the “Mighty Fitz”, the Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest American working vessel operating on the Great Lakes. She was used to carry iron ore from Duluth, Michigan to Detroit, Cleveland and various other industrial ports. This was, of course, during a time when the U.S. still manufactured automobiles and …

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Nov 01

Casey Jones

In the annuls of American folklore there are many characters who’ve had songs written about their lives and deeds. John Henry – “the steel driving man” is perhaps one of the most famous, Paul Bunyan and Babe his blue ox is another. Blackbeard’s ghost is a tale from North Carolina. From the Southwest region the story of …

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Oct 22

Oh, the Dreadful Wind and Rain!

Sometimes called, Twa Sisters (twa = two in old Scotland). In other regions it may be called The Cruel Sister, and still others may refer to this tune as Binnorie. It may also be simply referred to as The Wind and Rain.. The origins of this song are hard to determine. Some historians say it comes …

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Oct 09

More on Vintage Port

Be sure to visit this older post to learn much more about Vintage Port. And this link for the basics of wine tasting. In this post I will share tasting notes on a bottle of Vintage Port that I opened after an extended stay in the cellar. Warre’s 1997. 20 years is generally a minimum …

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Oct 08

The Culinary Institute of America

Many regular readers know that my first career was in the restaurant industry and my first college degree was from the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, N.Y. The school is recognized as the world’s premier culinary college. The recent weather has been splendid. Dry days with glorious sunshine and pleasant temperatures. This is …

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Oct 07

Vintage 2000 Bordeaux

While many people consider wines from the Burgundy region of France to be the very best in the world, I think Bordeaux offers wines that are more complex and nuianced. I prefer these blended wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (and to a lesser degree Cab. Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot) more than the …

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