Tuesday, March 31, 2009

AI: Top 9

Predicted Bottom 3:


Of the 3, Matt is the worst and most forgettable, but DialIdol has Megan at the bottom. She's a bit of a one-trick pony and should be voted off soon. They also have Allison in the bottom 3; I'm not sure why, she's a phenomenal singer, especially for a 16 year-old.

Top 3 aren't announced, but I would think they are

And based on tonight's performance, I'd put them in that order. Scott would follow them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Windy City

In one of the strangest games I've ever seen, the Cubs lost to the Giants on a very cold and extremely windy night in Scottsdale.

It was so windy that not only did pitchers have trouble finding the strike zone, but every ball hit into the air was like Russian roulette as to where it would land. At one point a foul ball clearly headed for the outfield turned around in mid air and landed behind the catcher.

As a result, the game was suspended at the 7th inning stretch as it seemed almost pointless to continue. Driving home from the game felt treacherous.

Barry Zito pitched amazingly well considering the circumstances, going 5 innings and giving up only 3 runs. Marshal did even better for the Cubs; it was the relief pitchers who gave up the losing runs.

Milton Bradly hit the only home run of the game, and even that ball floated for a while before going out over right field.

This finished my spring break/spring training trip. Next baseball is April 10th, opening day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Angels beat Indians

The Angels played their full starting lineup today; a rarity in spring ball. Adenhart pitched 6 strong innings, giving up only 1 earned run and 5 hits.

Cleveland did not look as good. Two costly errors piled up te runs for the Angels, plus 4 home runs gave the Angels an easy victory. Lewis only made it through 3 innings for the Indians, giving up 8 hits, 5 runs, and 2 walks. Betancourt, Kobayashi, Mujica and Perez did much better in relief but the damage had been done.

This is my 6th game in 6 days. Tonight will make 7 games in 6 days. This is a record for me, and hopefully will hold me the two weeks until opening day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A.I. Top 10

American Idol Top 10 People Who May be Booted:

10) Adam Lambert is safe with the tranny vote, as well as being extraordinarily talented vocally.

9) Danny Gokey looks so much like Ironman that he can't lose.

8) Allison is an amazing singer for a 16 year old, she blows me away.

7) Lil Rounds did not have her best night, but she is still a pro ready to be recorded.

6) Matt Giraud may have sounded good to the judges at the top of the show, he did not "bring it" and may be in trouble.

5) Anoop's howls were out of tune. Poor song choice for him.

4) Kris sang well. Unexpectedly well.

3) Megan chose a terrible song and performed it very poorly. She sounded even more nervous than previous weeks. Even VoteForTheWorst.com may not be able to save her.

2) Scott also chose a poor song. I'll be very surprised if he makes it to the top 6, and if he does, it wll be for the wrong reasons.

1) Michael has outworn his welcome. Nice guys get cut, good singers continue on.

Dodgers lose to Brewers

The Brewers have a nice stadium and it was a gorgeous day for a game!

Too bad no one told Dodger pitching. Eric Stultz looked good for 2 innings but gave up 4 runs in the 3rd & 4th innings, including a homer by Hart that was hit dead center.

Claudio Vargas gave up as many runs in 1 inning, with 3 of the runs off two homers. Tough to overcome that kind of deficit.

Ethier had the best day for the Dodgers with 3 hits ad 3 RBI.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Broxton = Loss

The Dodgers had a good thing going tonight with Kershaw pitching very well for 5.1 innings, and Casey Blake's 415' home run inspiring the old man in front of me to say "he hit the ball farther than I can see!"

But in the 9th, the Dodgers' new closer Jonathan Broxton proved once again that he's not ready for the job by allowing 4 runs, 4 hits and a walk in only 7 batters faced.

Manny was hit by a pitch but managed to get a hit as well. Everyone took pictures every time he got up to warm up (including me).

The new park is very nice, and it was a big crowd for a rare night game. But parking is a bit of a nightmare; they need more entrances and exits and better access roads to make it as smooth as Dodger stadium (which ain't saying much!)

Spring Training used to be easy just 5 years ago, but it has grown to a cottage baseball industry with many fans wanting easy access to the ballplayers. This means that ticket prices have doubled or tripled due to demand. I still enjoy going, but 'm sorry that it is not as intimate as it used to be.

Monday, March 23, 2009

WBC Finals

Both teams played well in a tight game, but Japan won thanks to the amazing bat of Ichiro. He went 4 for 5 with the winning runs scored off his bat. He had an amazing at bat in the top of the 10th, at which point Korea should have simply walked him. But they didn't, and a hit up the middle made the difference.

There were over 54,000 present at the game, mostly Korean, and the crowd was wild until the end. It was a lot of fun to be there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

World Baseball Classic SEMI-FINALS

Three years ago I had hoped to go the the first WBC in Anaheim, but a job prohibited it. This year it fell perfectly into Spring Break, and I had to be in town anyway for an event yesterday. So I was excited to get to the ballpark yesterday for the Korea - Venezuela game. I had expected a close race, but by the time I got to my seat, the second home run of the game made it 5-0 in the top of the first for Korea, a lead they never lost.

Venezuela was a mess. They had played very well to get to that point, but in the semis it's a single elimination, and that was it for them.

The crowd was only about 2/3rds full at its peak, but it was as loud as I have ever heard it. Korean fans are insane.

Tonight it was the Japanese team versus the Americans. American fans have been terrible. Attendance was even worse tonight, and almost all of the crowd was Japanese. Roy Oswalt had a weak outing and Dice-K pitched well again for Japan.

That means the finals tomorrow night will be Korea vs. the previous champions, Japan. They have already played 4 games in the WBC this year. It should be exciting.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meet the Oscar, Emmy & CAS Award Winners!

The Cinema Audio Society invites you and a guest to join us in an open no cost forum to


Featuring the participation of the winners of the 45th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards:


Guests Scheduled to participate:
Oscar Winners Resul Pookutty CAS; Ian Tapp; Richard Pryke CAS from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Emmy winners Michael Minkler CAS; Bob Beemer CAS from JOHN ADAMS

Emmy winner Bob Bronow CAS from DEADLIEST CATCH


Saturday, March 21, 2009 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Norris Cinema Theater
University of Southern California Campus

Enter Gate 5 at McClintock & Jefferson.

Parking on campus is $7. Limited street parking is available, mostly metered. Please read signs carefully, there are time limits on most spots.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A.I. Top 13

Without a doubt, Anoop was the worst, picking an untouchable song with no range and doing it badly. Worse than karaoke. But amazingly he will probably be safe due to a large following already.

Although the judges raved about Adam Lambert, his vocals were almost as bad. His range and androgyny are similar to MJ, and that may have fooled them, but I suspect that when the judges hear playback, they will change their tune. But he's safe anyway.

Alexis screamed her song but is safe thanks to her short skirt.

Jorge was also terrible but he's not safe.

Michael was very weak and although he's likeable, I think he's in trouble.

Danny & Lil Rounds are safe. I still think Lil is totally ready to record right now. Danny is popular but not as good as he or the judges think. I like Scott but his performace was forgettable and he could be in trouble.

I like Megan but her song choice was terrible. But she's safe with that valentine dress. Allison is extremely talented for a 16 year old and could make it to the top 4.

Matt was good but the judges were right, his choice was forgettable. Jasmine is talented but at 16 she has room for growth and will be back next year.

Kris is not at all talented but the girls certainly like him.

Tough to predict; Jorge and Jasmine are near the bottom on DialIdol.com and deserve to be there, so I think they may be the one out.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Great Letter to CAS

The entire board of the Cinema Audio Society received this e-mail today:

To Whom It May Concern:

Please take this as positive critisism. This past weekend our family spent much time in Chicago for a weekend getaway. We sat at the condo and watched 2 excellent movies.

Problem #1: Why is it the sound mixers or sound production artists have this continual urge to make the music louder at the soft spoken portions of the movie? Isn't the object of the movie to allow us the HEAR what is being said vs commenting on how the music fits the scene or how beautiful the arrangement may be? As a person with a slight hearing impairment I missed several important portions of the movies, and so did my family members who have no hearing impairments.

So what does a resoursefull family do - heck we Google and Wikepedia for the answer to what we could not hear. Dare I say the folks from good ole' Iowa know how to conquer a bad situation?!

Here's a challenge - make a movie that we can actually hear what is going on and leave the background music as it states - BACKGROUND. Do I expect an answer to this email? Certainly would be nice, reality is that I'm' sure no one really cares. So I guess we'll just turn up the volume, keep a computer or i-pod handy and google/wiki away. And in my case, make an appointment for a hearing aid meant for watching movies.

Oh, by the way, "NEXT" and "THE GOOD SHEPHERD" were very good.


Steven and Karen Schulte
Cedar Rapids IA

Vince and Kathleene Berta
Bowling Green KY

Anthony Berta
Chicago IL

The sad truth is that they are right about bad mixes on many movies. But they are wrong to blame it on the mixers. Sadly, it is almost always the producers of the films who argue that the music or sound effects are not loud enough. Experienced mixers know how to make room for the dialogue. But insecure producers think that young audiences need to be constantly bombarded by sound effects, and frequently they are convinced that they will sell more soundtrack albums when they overplay a song. Write your letter again, and address it to the studio exectuives!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I wish Paula would shut the f*#^ up so that the show doesn't go past my 2 minute Tivo buffer!

It was a weird night with too many people let through again... Anoop deserved it, and the probably all did on some level, but I feel like I've been waiting two months for the show to start. Next week we should finally get what we've been waiting for.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

AI: Top 36 Week 3

Strangely, the third (and extra) week of the Top 36 has turned out to hold the best singers. In fact, I'd be surprised if less than 2 of the 3 wild cards come from tonight.

It will be interesting to see the results.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Russian Masters

The Colorado Symphony had an excellent concert over the weekend of 5 pieces by Russian masters. The concert was quite full in length and the hall had a good crowd.

The concert began with an early Stravinsky work, Fireworks. Not his best or most interesting piece, the orchestra played well on it.

The concert continued with Rachmaninoff's orchestration of Vocalise. I know I'm in the minority on this, but I don't think it's one of his best works. It's not well-developed, and the orchestration is not great; he simply put a vocal part in the violins and never really balanced the rest of the orchestra well. Nonetheless, it's a very popular piece (even though there is only one fragment of melody that is brilliant). The orchestra was OK on it, but the violins were strangely not together on the melody.

The third piece was one of the highlights of the evening, Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. One of the most lyrical pieces ever written, it's also a masterpiece of string orchestration. He gets amazing sounds out of the orchestra. The performance was impeccable, and Kahane's conducting was wonderful. The elegy may be one of the most beautiful melodies ever composed.

I had never heard the full Prokofiev Symphonic Suite from The Love for Three Oranges performed live (only the famous March), so it was quite a pleasure to hear Kahane's performance, which was quite good. The orchestra does quite well on the fully orchestrated pieces. And they found quite a bit of humor in the piece.

The final piece was the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, which is not one if his best pieces. Soloist Chee-Yun, violin, looked positively stunning in her dress, and performed quite well. She was also quite friendly to the crowd and stayed for an encore - the only one I've seen in quite a while. Her projection of her instrument was not as good as other violin soloists that I have heard in the hall. But she did play the piece lyrically and seemed to get more comfortable as she went along.

It was a great night.