Monday, 31 October 2005

"New York State of Mind" - Billy Joel, 1975


What do I recall most fondly, when I think of the 31st of October? Of course I have childhood memories of going trick-or-treating with my father. (Somewhere, in my photo archives, there's a great snapshot of my father and me in Tulsa when I was little...and about all of you can see of me is a chimpanzee mask and lots of curly hair!) But what's on my mind most today is New York City -- and the Halloween parade in Greenwich Village. It's one of my most fond memories of the 7+ years I lived in Manhattan, back in the 80's and early-90's.

Here's the official website for the Village's Halloween Parade. I so wish I could be there tonight...especially since they are honoring New Orleans with this year's parade!

Also, check out some of the photos of prior years' parades
here... and also here.

Don't miss the chance to attend, if you're ever in "The City" on Halloween! You'll remember the experience for the rest of your life -- won't you, Scott? Along with Christmastime there, it's an opportunity for the soul of New York City to reveal itself for anybody and everybody to see!


Sunday, 30 October 2005

"You Can't Always Get What You Want" - Stones, 1969

I use something called StatCounter to keep track of visitors to Lord Celery. It's not that my blog is generating income or anything. It's just a matter of curiosity on my see where my visitors are coming from.

I had a particularly interesting visitor yesterday. They came from Lithuania. According to StatCounter's records, they had been running a search through MSN for "celery" and came upon my self-indulgent little blog.

I have to wonder what they were actually looking for. Photos of celery? Celery planting & growing techniques? Celery recipes? Jokes about celery? Varieties of celery?

If you read this, my visitor from Lithuania last week, please come by again and say hello this time. I've never met anybody from Lithuania before!


Thursday, 27 October 2005

"It's Over" - Roy Orbison, 1964

The Chicago White Sox have swept the 2005 World Series. They won Game 4 in Houston last night by the lowly score of 1-0. Congratulations to the White Sox...and to Chicago!

The Astros have nothing to be ashamed of, however. Any of those four games could have gone the Astros' direction, although I think it was clear that Chicago had the stronger team throughout the series.

Don't forget that it was the Astros' first-ever trip to the World Series! And it was also the first World Series game ever played in Texas. I guess that would be right...but it's something that had never actually occurred to me.

So don't you hang your heads either, my fellow Astros fans. The boys done us proud!

But now what will I watch on TV if I'm sleepless in the wee small hours of the morning?????


PS On a completely different note -- am I the only person who didn't know that there's a distinctive behavior difference between North American and European beavers? I was just watching a news item, on the BBC's breakfast show, about the reintroduction of beavers to the UK for the first time in 500 years. As a part of the report, the BBC reporter said that while Americans and Canadians generally think of beavers as "destructive", the European variety are considered "non-destructive", beneficial mammals! I'm going to try to learn more about this. And here I'd always thought that beavers were just...erm...well...beavers!

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

"Faith" - George Michael, 1987

It's that time of year again. World Series time. Baseball is a game full of statistics. And last night's World Series game had loads of them.

Game 3 of the 2005 World Series, at Minute Maid Park in Houston, broke the record for the longest game in World Series history. It ran for a total of 14 innings -- and 5 hours, 41 minutes -- before the Chicago White Sox beat the home team Houston Astros by 7 to 5. The series is now 3-0 in favor of Chicago.

Having lived in Houston so much of my adult life, I am a supporter of the Astros. My favorite Astros player is
Lance Berkman. Thanks to friends and business colleagues, I got to watch him play live and in person quite a few times before I moved here to the UK in 2002. He has a terrific combination of brains and brawn, and he's a real team player. (He also knows how to clobber a baseball!)

But now, the 'stros need one heck of a lot more than just my long-distance support if they are going to stay in the series much longer. They are set to be swept, if tonight's Game 4 follows the pattern already established by the first 3 games. I'm sure that Houston fans are trying desperately to keep the faith. But it's got to be really tough right now. And considering that last night's Game 3 extended well into Wednesday morning, I'm sure there will be loads of sad and bleary-eyed commuters in the Houston area when daylight arrives there today. At least in Chicago they have the excitement of their 14th-inning win to help keep them awake and functional.

Here are links to Houston and Chicago newspaper coverage of the series:

Houston Chronicle
Chicago Tribune

And for those of you who don't like having to give out personal details to register for news sites [Bronx Boy, you especially come to mind here], remember you can always fake those details!

And here's a link to
Astros FanBlog, authored by life-long fan Chip Bailey, on the Houston Chronicle's website.

Finally, here's a big thank you to
Britain's Channel 5 TV for providing live coverage on this side of the Atlantic!



PS Sorry about reusing a song title in yesterday's blog entry. Since I started Lord Celery early this year, that's never happened before. I thought about re-titling the other "Fight the Power" posting, published back in May, but John has reminded me that it's not wise to try to alter the past!

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

"Fight the Power" - Public Enemy, 1989

"...fight the powers that be..."

Rosa Parks has died. God bless her...she was 92. What an incredible lady! One of the best articles I could find about her on the web was written for students, and you can read it here.

There's a terrific quote from US Congressman John Conyers on the BBC News site I linked above: "She was very humble, she was soft-spoken, but inside she had a determination that was quite fierce."

I really don't know what else to write. Her own story says it all.

I'm sure there was a special place in heaven waiting for you, Rosa. And no one will ever ask you to give up your seat again.


Thursday, 20 October 2005

"Feels Like the First Time" - Foreigner, 1978

Not only does it feel like the first time, it IS the first time!

The Astros are headed for the World Series! WOW!!!! And here I am in Singapore when I heard the news!

John found this article -- "Baseball Jargonbuster" -- on the BBC's website. I thought my US readers might get a kick out of it.

Meanwhile, GO 'STROS!


Tuesday, 18 October 2005

"Hey Joe" - Jimi Hendrix, 1966

In memory of Joe...

You've been gone for 8 years now -- since this date in 1997. You're being missed terribly. I'll always be very sorry I never got to meet you.

But I know that much of you exists within your son...and that makes me smile.


Monday, 17 October 2005

Some photos from Singapore!

I arrived in Singapore this afternoon -- and I'm too tired from the overnight flight from London's Heathrow Airport to do more than just settle into my hotel room, order room service, and snap a few digital photos from my hotel room windows. But before I fall asleep, I thought I'd post a few here...

Here's a view over the top of the Parco Bugis Junction shopping centre...which connects to my hotel.

This is a telephoto view of the inside of the Parco Bugis centre, as seen through the skylight in their roof. I'll go visit in person tomorrow...before my three days of courses begin on Wednesday. You know, Singaporeans love shopping even more than we Americans do, and it's really fun to browse in the shops here...and sometimes even make a purchase or two!

And last but not least, here's a telephoto shot of one of the sidewalk restaurants in the Bugis area of Singapore.

With any luck, I'll have a few more photos to post as the week progresses -- photos taken from outside my hotel!


Tuesday, 11 October 2005

"Help!" - Beatles, 1965

I thought I'd give a little publicity for Relief Connections. Here's their own description of what they want to accomplish with their website:

The mission of Relief Connections is to provide a forum where community, religious,and civic groups affected by Hurricane Katrina can connect with similar groups across the nation and world who can aid in their recovery.

Of course, this now includes help for victims of Hurricane Rita as well. It looks like a good cause.


"You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer, 1976

Here's something to occupy a few spare minutes at the keyboard. And it's not nearly as full of advertising as you might expect, given the source.

Have some fun busting out moves and improving your street cred, thanks to those zany marketing folks at McDonald's!

But good luck with figuring out how it works. I must admit I was a little slow to get the hang of it, but I kept trying. Must be my age...

Warning: May be habit-forming!


Listening to: "Front Parlour Ballads", Richard Thompson
(thanks to Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2)

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

"Games People Play" - Alan Parsons Project, 1980

Who came up with "Hoops & Yoyo" anyway?

I'd never heard of these two characters until Hallmark started featuring them on e-cards. They might be on regular Hallmark cards, too...but I haven't seen them when I've been back in the States.

These two little guys never fail to make me laugh. They are very silly. But sometimes, silly is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered!

Take a look, if you want a chuckle. There are even episodes of an animated series on the Hoops and Yoyo section of (which I linked at the start of this blog entry). And be sure to listen to them sing, too...they definitely have a way with a song!

Have some fun! You deserve it.