Monthly Archives: February 2016

Take a Leap: Frasier Crane on the 29th of February

Twenty years ago, Dr. Frasier Crane urged his listeners, family, and friends to use February 29th as a “free day” to take chances.  It didn’t end well.  Here’s the famous clip of Crane trying to sing his “signature piece” for a PBS Pledge Drive.

Context and (over?)analysis at The Onion’s AV Club.

Frasier sings buttons and bows
Watch this video on YouTube.

Hit the road Jacques: Virtual walking tour of Switzerland


Screenshot via

It’s about 130km (~80 miles) from Thusis to Tirano and the Canton of Graubünden and the Rhaetian Railway have come up with a pip of a way to see it. Hikers walked it while wearing hi-def video cameras and the jaunts are available for the clicking. No joke, this is an algorithm and a treadmill away from a holodeck. Visit (or click on the image), select any one of ten starting points and let the friendly ibex take you through some breathtaking scenery. All the virtues of travel without the hellish slog through the modern travel industry.  The website is exquisite, in and of itself.

Sawing Stravinsky

When I lived in the Bay Area eons ago, I used to listen regularly to classical radio stations KDFC and KKHI. The former signed off every midnight with an instrumental transcription (one of many) of Stravinsky’s Pastorale. I often dozed off just as this heady mix of string and winds faded out. Here are two renditions: The first plays it as I remember it. The second features the late David Weiss, retired principal oboist of the LA Phil, on musical saw. I once attended a talk Mr. Weiss gave on his avocation and even tried it as part of the audience participation. The theremin-like sound of this deceptively simple instrument color the piece dramatically.

Stravinsky - Pastorale for Violin and Wind Quartet
Watch this video on YouTube.

" Pastorale " Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Nice Work if You Can Get It: ‘Lear’ at City Garage

Playwright Young Jean Lee has a Guggenheim, two Obies, a couple of Duke Foundation awards, a basketful of government and private grants, multiple commissions, a screenplay, a Berkeley degree, and her own theatre company whose mission is to produce the work of Young Jean Lee.

God help us. for details of her take on King Lear

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
Watch this video on YouTube.

Backyard Treasures: Western Museum of Flight’s speaker series

Who knew that The Western Museum of Flight has a speaker series and that the Peninsula Seniors have made many of these talks available for all to see? I routinely search for things like this and last night stumbled across these by accident. Aircraft buffs owe both organizations a big vote of thanks. And, there are plenty more gems where these came from.

A-12 Spy Plane
Watch this video on YouTube.

SR-71 Pilot Maury Rosenberg
Watch this video on YouTube.