Sunday, July 24, 2005


My brother Ron has been writing a BLOG about his new car, a MINI Cooper. I've been reading his writings, and it's entertaining. Ron liberally sprinkles in MINI Cooper jargon (his car color is "HB") and other car care factoids (he used ClayBar on some dirt a few months ago). It's fun figuring out what he's talking about. One of the things that I learned is that owners of MINI Coopers get free car washes for life. Now that is going to generate some brand loyalty!

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

You Can Play Guitar!

Six months ago, I bought a guitar and a DVD set called "You Can Play Guitar!" from Homespun Tapes. And almost every night since then I've been playing the guitar, going over the different exercises and songs from the DVD. It has been a rewarding way to learn!

I stopped watching the DVDs a few months ago, concentrating on the finger picking exercises from memory. On these DVDs, Happy Traum performs two songs called "The Fox" and "Shenandoah" that seemed outrageously difficult when I first watched them, but now I'm able to play both songs without too much problem.

I've cut MP3s of me playing these two songs in case you want to listen:

The Fox - 387K (24 seconds)
Shenandoah - 745K (46 seconds)

It's time to climb up the learning (playing?) curve some more. I just bought Easy Steps to Guitar Finger Picking. Let's see what I'll be able to play in December!

Saturday, July 2, 2005

The Longest Match

Wimbledon had an historic tennis match this morning.

Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport battled one another in the longest ladies final in Wimbledon history. As I played with my daughter in our yard, I stepped into the house to check the progress of the tennis match. I was rooting for Venus. My wife thought Venus had been eliminted in an earlier round. She was surprised to see her in the final!

After Davenport's first set win, I thought "Oh well. Better luck next time Venus!" Then as the second set progressed, and Venus began to turn up the heat, I got drawn back into the match. When she won the tie breaker to extend the match to a third set, I jumped up. Venus and Davenport are going to a third set! This was exciting!

There were some strange moments during this match. Davenport ranted to the umpire over a blown call (Davenport is typically silent during a match). Venus doing "shadow strokes" to warm up on the sideline, as Davenport received off-court medical attention for her back.

There were some incredible rallies, including a 25 stroke epic that ended with a Venus point, both competitors doubled over with exhaustion. There were spectacular passing shots. It was scintillating tennis for the spectator!

Venus somehow battled back from a Davenport championship point, but Davenport never gave up. I felt that it was anyone's match to win. But when Venus poured in the unanswered points after coming back from the jaws of defeat, I felt she could do it.

Venus beat Davenport, 4-6, 7-6, 9-7, and I was glad to have watched it!