September 2006

Music&Sports30 Sep 2006 12:08 am

A week ago Friday night, my wife and I went to a high school football game with a few other couples and some other friends. My little buddy Shawn from church is a senior and starts on the Northwood football team as a cornerback on defense.

Northwood is in Nappanee, which is way south of here. They played Northridge, which happens to be in my hometown of Middlebury. I don’t know what the Nappanee-ers were thinking when they named their high school, but possibly they should have considered “Southwood.”

The football game was fun. I have my anti-sports image to keep up, but I like football in a casual way. I spent a lot of time down at the hot dog stand though.

The high school choir opened things up with an a cappella version of the star spangled banner. Nice little choir. What really impressed me was that two of the football players were in it!

They had a big ol’ marching band too, that was cool. Except I couldn’t understand any of the words to the songs.

But the thing that amazed me the most was the trumpets!

Never in my life have I seen such huge trumpets! Look at this, here, I got a closer-up:

Good gravy, I didn’t know they made such gargantuan trumpets. They’re so enormous they have to wrap all around you and behind your head and all over. I wonder what they must weigh.

In my ignorance I always thought that trumpets only came in the small traffic-cone-shaped variety, but I guess you learn new things all the time.

Like I said, Northridge is from my town. However, I strongly favored Southwood, and not only because of my little buddy Shawn. Northridge has drawn my ire and totally repulsed me. About a mile from my house, right on the main road, they have this sign next to their soccer field:

That’s the most repugnant, unpatriotic, anti-American sentiment I’ve ever personally seen expressed in public. Turns my stomach.

ITF Business27 Sep 2006 11:13 am

Life is hard.

You might think that having experienced a certain type of setback, fate would cut you a little slack and leave you alone in that area. This kind of thinking is pure folly, however, because sometimes we’re nailed with a series of blows that just won’t quit.

We’re struggling here at the ITF office, as we’ve lost yet another intern. It’s a very difficult time. It never gets any easier. We’ve lost a lot of interns over the years, but Nate was unique, he was the best we’ve ever had.

And I know that we’re not the only ones hit hard with this tragedy, because through the webcam you’ve all come to love him as much as we have!

People ask, are you going to get another intern right away? At this point I just don’t know. I think we’re going to take some time, review our internship policy, and re-evaluate our goals and priorities before accepting a new intern. We’ll take a good hard look at our office environment, our inventory, and our aura quotient before taking any applications.

Speaking of the webcam, I’m not sure what’s to become of it. For now it will remain up with an image of Nate’s vacant office, as a memorial to his memory.

Your support during this difficult time is appreciated.

Update: Douglas raises an important point. Memorial contributions can be sent to the ITF office, marked “Nate the Intern Memorial Fund.” Paypal accepted. Funds will be used to buy something cool for the Editor to help him recover from this loss.

Music19 Sep 2006 04:49 pm

The word “a cappella” is an important word, but it’s often misunderstood, misspelled, and misrepresented.

First of all, let’s look at the spelling. What word has been spelled wrong more often than “a cappella?” It’s a travesty. And many times the offenders are people who definitely should know better.

Mainely A Cappella has a great resource on this issue. But in brief, here’s how to remember the correct spelling: two words, two p’s, two l’s.

A cappella.

Secondly, here is another grievous and misfortunate error that consistently plagues those of us involved in a cappella music (notice those last few words).

“Oh, you sing without music!”

No, no, a thousand times no! We sing without instrumentation!

A huge difference, let me assure you.

A cappella – two words, two p’s, two l’s. Singing without instruments.

Financial17 Sep 2006 12:39 pm

I haven’t done that in a while.

Every so often I get a kick out of getting car insurance quotes. You know that junk mail you always get promising that you’ll save hundreds of dollars switching to Guy Ko or your bank’s auto insurance scam? It’s actually kind of fun to call them up and go through the rigamarole of getting a quote.

Because at the end they say, “It’s only going to be $4,278 for six months on both cars! Do you want to go ahead and switch to our scam?!!!!!”

And I get to brightly say, “Nope! That’s WAY more than I’m paying now! Ha ha ha ha!!!”

For some reason, it’s really satisfying.

AHQ16 Sep 2006 12:04 pm

I was listening to Solid Gospel online a little bit yesterday and heard Les Butler and was reminded of this story.

Years ago AHQ was featured in the Singing News magazine. Right after it came out I received but missed a call from Les Butler.

“Les Butler!” I thought. “He’s such a huge big shot in the SG world and he’s calling me!”

I think it was the next day when I returned his call. I told him who I was and that I was returning his call, and he was stumped. He didn’t know who I was or why he had called!

Then he said, “Oh, were you maybe just featured in the Singing News or something?”

Yes, that was it. I don’t remember what he wanted then, probably a CD. Nothing ever came of it, at any rate.

I’ve been humble ever since.

Personal15 Sep 2006 03:15 pm

I just finished a huge plate of spinach salad. I’m listening to an online radio station. The news comes on. The announcer talks about this multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to bagged fresh spinach.

A Kentucky girl is in the hospital, and (I quote) “4 Hoosiers sick from spinach.”

He sternly intoned, “The Feds say if you have any fresh bagged spinach in your refridgerator, throw it out!”

I’m dead.

Hoosierville14 Sep 2006 10:31 am

There are a lot of small-town festivals around here, and some of them are pretty goofy. I’m trying to figure out what they say about Hoosierville, but it’s beyond me.

There’s fruit festivals, like the Apple Festival, Starlight Strawberry Festival, and the Blueberry Festival, but that isn’t atrocious. Something like the “Maple Syrup Festival,” now there’s a classic! And I thought it couldn’t get any worse, then I heard about the Marshmallow Festival! No kidding.

There’s the Chocolate Fest, Dogwood Festival, Mushroom Festival (yes, mushroom. Good lands.), the Gasthof Spring Festival (what ?!!! Gasthof!!! Give me a break!), Kites n K9 Festival, Master Harold’s Downtown Greensburg Fiddlefest, Taste of Noble County Ethnic Festival, Valpo-Fest, All-American Country Hoedown, Celebrate Schererville Festival, Gem Mineral – Fossil Show – Swap, German Fest, Indiana Highland Games (maybe better titled as the Kilt Fest), Loogootee Summer Fest, Lotus Dickey Hometown Reunion, Pierogi Festival , Brownstown Melonfest, Great Goshen Grill Out (oh my), Jasper Strassenfest (what !), Medaryville Community Potato Fest, Bossaer Farms Pumpkin Festival, Mansfield Village Cornbread Festival (hey! Maybe I could get into that one), Wizard of Oz Festival, Hoosier Heritage Fall Tour (there’s a can’t-miss!), Rising Sun Navy Bean Festival (good lands. Navy bean.), etc., etc.

And over in Valparaiso they have the Popcorn Festival. We went to Valpo to hear Max Q that weekend, and they certainly got a lot of mileage out of the Popcorn fest! They were making fun of it their entire set. I loved it.

Misc13 Sep 2006 11:02 am

I went to the Goshen Air Show this summer, like I mentioned before. I saw the most unusual Olds Cutlass there that I’ve ever seen.

It’s an albino Batomobile!

It was owned by the Shockwave Jet Truck people, I’m not really sure what the story is behind it.

Those modifications sure didn’t increase the headroom!

ITF Business&Sports12 Sep 2006 01:07 pm

I was quite pleased recently to be the recipient of this accolade:

ITF is the Jim Rome Show of the blog world.

All right!

Much as I detest sports, I like to listen to Jim Rome. I haven’t in quite some time, but he had a very entertaining talk show. All bluff and bluster and big talk and ego. That might not be what you look for in a friend, but it sure makes for a good talk show.

Wait a minute! Maybe that isn’t such a good parallel with the ITF jungle. I hope the ITF Clones don’t think of me that way, he makes for a good blog but not a good friend.

Speaking of ITF and sports, I was made aware that someone linked to ITF on the links page of a sports-themed yay-hoo group. Their summary of ITF was exquisite:

One Stop Shopping for all your sports needs.
Really, one doesn’t need to know any more about sports than you find right here. Anything more is superfluous and obsessive.

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