Saturday, December 12, 2009

Born this day in 1940|Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick, as photographed by the inimitable David Vance of Miami.

Beauty and Talent, born in 1970
Jenniifer Connelly

Haunting Me|Safe
George Michael

Sweet thing
I know how strong I can appear
But you don't know the days
Since somebody loved me
You came
And led me through that door again
You say you want to stay
But you don't know me (no you don't)

You make me feel safe

My darkest fears will find their way
After all
Somebody loves me
All day
My heart tells strangers how I feel
And it's hard not to feel this way
When you thought your future was on prescription

You make me feel safe

Born this day in 1863|Edvard Munch

Freedom Remembered|Cpl. Xhacob Latorre
b. 12 Dec 87; d. 8 Dec 2009

His 22nd birthday is today.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marine Cpl. Xhacob Latorre, 21, of Waterbury, died Tuesday; his 22nd birthday is Saturday.

Local Marine dies of wounds suffered in Afghanistan

Latorre, who would have celebrated his 22nd birthday Saturday, was a mortar man assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He was injured in August, and was brought to the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He reportedly lost both his legs from an improvised explosive device during the mission.

A post on the Patriot Guard Riders' Web site reports Latorre will be buried Dec. 17. Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Thursday ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until Latorre's funeral.

Latorre married his high school sweetheart in 2007 and they have a son. He was deployed to Afghanistan in May.


Latorre is the fifth person with ties to Waterbury to die during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Army Pfc. Anthony D'Agostino, 20, was killed Nov. 2, 2003, when the helicopter in which he was riding was shot down by enemy fire in Iraq.

Army Sgt. Joseph Michael Nolan, 27, was killed by a roadside bomb in Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 18, 2004.

Staff Sgt. Henry E. Irizarry, 38, was killed on Dec. 3, 2004, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Taji, Iraq.

In May 2008, Marine Cpl. Christian S. Cotner, 20, died in a non-hostile incident in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

Cloverfield v The Host

Haunting Me|Precious Box

Because these days it's the money the money
The money, honey, or your life
I said don't you know you can't have both

Stop acting so dumb
The moment will come

You may want to strip again
You may want to let me in
You may want to sacrifice
More than you think is fair or right

You may want to think again
You may want to watch your friends

You may want to change your mind
You may wish you could turn back time.

Soldier Boy|Born on the 4th of July
KIA on Dec 11, 2004

In Remembrance of Spc. Robert W. Hoyt

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

George Michael|Praying for Time
Live on American Idol

George Michael's Great Omission
Praying for Time

John Lennon's Last Public Performance
Thanksgiving 1974|Madison Square Garden
Guest of Elton John
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

John Lennon's Last Public Performance
Thanksgiving 1974|Madison Square Garden
Guest of Elton John

This Day in History|1980
Where Were You When Lennon Was Shot?

The iconic photograph taken by Annie Leibovitz mere hours before Lennon was gunned down at The Dakota.

George Michael|Live in London
The Review

I've seen lots of concerts, including this, George Michael, live at Madison Square Garden. It really was a superb show, with George of strong voice, and the crowd equally ramped up to see him, live.

I've also seen a number of concerts which have been, naturally, turned into DVDs: Madonna's CONFESSIONS, directed by Jonas Ackerlund, and numerous Depeche Mode shows, committed to film and video by the inimitable Anton Corbijn. I've also seen several Elton John shows, live, which were later turned into DVDs. Hell. There's not much you can do with Elton except train the camera on the piano, and the band, for good measure.

This DVD, highly anticipated, falls flat in every respect. First off: the set list. George left off his absolute signature song PRAYING FOR TIME. Absolutely unforgivable. HOW could he leave that song off? Then there were the differences between the UK and US setlists, playing it very safe in the US, and pulling out most of the stops in the UK. SAFE, TICKING (a brilliant Elton John cover), TONIGHT (ditto) and a few others. Basically? This set list sucks. Plain and simple.

The next thing to SUCK is George's voice. He's clearly weak, can't project to save his life, relies way too much on the backup singers, and just doesn't have any life to his pipes.

Case in point: Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, takes frequent, if annoying, "doctor-ordered vocal rests" which actually cause the cancellation of a number of shows, and throw the entire itinerary into a frantic frenzy. But Dave gives it all when he performs. Sure, it's a different type of music, but he sings for the back row. And he manages, on more than one occasion, to whip the audience up into one huge participatory sea of waving hands.

Other case in point? Freddie Mercury. End of story. Freddie needs no words. Just his name says it all.

But if you are looking for a "nice" souvenir of the concert, I'd rate this one as a good YouTube video. With such a great backdrop through most of the show, and an incredible catalog to draw from, George fell totally flat on this one.

George: how could you NOT include PRAYING FOR TIME?

I guess we can hope for a future DVD (after he dies?) with all the "outtakes" we'd be thrilled to see now.

Rating? C+.

George Michael|23 July 2008
Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden, 07/23/2008

First Half

Waiting (Reprise)
Fast Love/I'm Your Man
Father Figure
Hard Day
Everything She Wants
One More Try
Different Corner
Easier Affair
Too Funky
Star People

John & Elvis video

Second Half

Spinning The Wheel
Feeling Good
Kissing A Fool
Different Corner
Careless Whisper

Freedom 90
Freedom Reprise

both photos ©

Concert Redux|George Michael_Live In London

1. Waiting (Reprise)
2. Fastlove
3. I'm Your Man
4. Flawless (Go To The City)
5. Father Figure
6. You Have Been Loved
7. An Easier Affair
8. Everything She Wants
9. One More Try
10. Different Corner
11. Too Funky
12. Shoot The Dog
13. John and Elvis Are Dead
14. Faith
15. Spinning The Wheel
16. Feeling Good
17. Roxanne
18. My Mother Had a Brother
19. Amazing
20. Fantasy
21. Outside
22. Careless Whisper
23. Freedom '90


"I'd Know Him a Mile Off!" Documentary

1. Precious Box
2. Jesus To A Child
3. First Time Ever

Pearl Harbor|The Photographs
December 7, 1941

Some of you will have to go to a museum to see what a Brownie camera looked like?
Here is a simple picture of what we are talking about. . .

Isn't is amazing how a film could last so long in a camera without disintegrating?

Fantastic photos taken 68 years ago, photos stored in an old Brownie Camera. Very interesting photos; what quality from 1941.

Pearl Harbor photos found in an old Brownie stored in a foot locker.
And somewhat recently taken to be developed.


December 7th, 1941

And, as a personal note:

I'd like to dedicate this posting to the mother of a very good friend who was stationed at Pearl Harbor on that day, shaken from her bed, who then made her way through the day as a nurse. Everyone has a story. More often than not, you have to stop long enough and listen.

Monday, December 07, 2009

This Day in History|1941
Pearl Harbor Day; A Day in Infamy

Pearl Harbor

On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii By planning this attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island , where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States )

In spite of the latest intelligence reports about the missing aircraft carriers (his most important targets), Admiral Nagumo decided to continue the attack with his force of six carriers and 423 aircraft. At a range of 230 miles north of Oahu , he launched the first wave of a two-wave attack. Beginning at 0600 hours his first wave consisted of 183 fighters and torpedo bombers which struck at the fleet in Pearl Harbor and the airfields in Hickam, Kaneohe and Ewa. The second strike, launched at 0715 hours, consisted of 167 aircraft, which again struck at the same targets.

At 0753 hours the first wave consisting of 40 Nakajima B5N2 'Kate' torpedo bombers, 51 Aichi D3A1 'Val' dive bombers, 50 high altitude bombers and 43 Zeros struck airfields and Pearl Harbor Within the next hour, the second wave arrived and continued the attack.

When it was over, the U.S. Losses were:
US Army: 218 KIA, 364 WIA.
US Navy: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA.
US MarineCorp: 109 KIA, 69 WIA.
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA.
TOTAL: 2,403 KIA, 1,178 WIA.
USS Arizona (BB-39) - total loss when a bomb hit her magazine.
USS Oklahoma (BB-37) - Total loss when she capsized and sunk in the harbor.
USS California (BB-4 4) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48) - Sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada - (BB-36) Beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) - Light damage.
USS Maryland (BB-46) - Light damage.
USS Tennessee (BB-43) Light damage.
USS Utah (AG-16) - (former battleship used as a target) - Sunk.
USS New Orleans (CA-32) - Light Damage..
USS San Francisco (CA-38) - Light Damage.
USS Detroit (CL-8) - Light Damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) - Heavily damaged but repaired.
USS Helena (CL-50) - Light Damage.
USS Honolulu (CL-48) - Light Damage..
-------------------------- -- ---------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------
USS Downes (DD-375) - Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Cassin - (DD -3 7 2) Destroyed. Parts salvaged.
USS Shaw (DD-373) - Very heavy damage.
USS Helm (DD-388) - Light Damage.
USS Ogala (CM-4) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.
Seaplane Tender
USS Curtiss (AV-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
Repair Ship
USS Vestal (AR-4) - Severely damaged but later repaired.
Harbor Tug
USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) - Sunk but later raised and repaired.
188 Aircraft destroyed (92 USN and 92 U.S. Army Air Corps.)