Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Harlem Lounge

Harlem Lounge lays down a deep swinging groove that never loses its cool.



Last week at the Moonah Arts Centre there was a live performance by the jazz sextet Harlem Lounge, who claim to be influenced by bop, salsa, blues, acid jazz, funk, reggae and soul.

The enthusiastic Dan Sulzberger was on piano (at one point he was so excited he was pounding away standing up at the piano), Sean Brady wallopped the drums and Damien O'Toole put so much energy into the double bass I thought he might keel over before the finale.



In an era when so much so-called jazz is quiet and laid-back, it was a nice change to see a band that was genuinely and unabashedly noisy!

The audience applauded madly and after the show there was a chance to buy copies of the group's forthcoming CD if you were quick enough. (We were.)

Enormously entertaining.




Drove down to Ranelagh for lunch at Sara's farm the other day. It was a quieter trip than I had expected -- we were carrying a rooster in the back of the car and I had half-expected it to crow all the way down the Southern Outlet.

But it never made a peep all the way. In fact I was relieved when we opened the box at the other end and found he was still alive and well.

Before we had lunch, we popped the rooster into the enclosure with Sara's hens. They seemed to settle in quickly together and we kept an eye on them from the dining room window.

Sara as always put on a great spread. She provided a choice of either chicken or steak & kidney but she needn't have worried; everyone opted for the steak & kidney.

A discussion of one of the family photographs on the wall led to reminiscences about the royal visit to the farm in 1970.

Sara had met the Queen, which set me thinking about the famous "Six Degrees of Separation" idea; if you know someone who's met the Queen, this connects you by only three degrees to anybody famous in the world.

It is indeed a small world.




My BGL readings continue to be cause for concern. Yesterday morning it registered 8.6 which is much too high.

Something must be done.




The weekend also saw the climax of the first season of the new Doctor Who series. The final episode "Parting of the Ways" was gripping stuff, with great scripts for Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.

I've been very pleased with this series and I look forward to the second season with David Tennant taking over the role of The Doctor.




Having a fully grown goose living in your backyard makes for some surprises sometimes.

One night last week I went out to feed her and she wasn't that interested. She sat between two shrubs and just looked at me. "Are you building a nest?" I asked but she didn't reply.

The next morning she'd laid her first egg.

A few days later I went out again to put out her supper and the yard was silent as the grave. I walked around calling her name and there was not a sound.

Fetching a flashlight, I began investigating all the little corners and niches around the garden. Finally I found her curled up in the walkway just past the laundry door, surrounded by a little levee of paper and clutter that she'd gathered from the backyard.

"Don't do that!" I said. "We thought something had happened to you."

At the end of the week we had four large goose eggs. Julie cooked them up with some milk, corn and parmesan cheese. Washed down with some unwooded chardonnay, it made quite an acceptable frittata.

My sister assures me we won't get four eggs every week. If we did, we'd have to learn to love omlettes, I suspect. There's a lot of nourishment in one goose egg.

And it's high protein, which was good for my BGL reading that night. I won't tell you what it was this morning -- I'm trying to forget.





Good news for Web log publishers with aspirations of making money off their sites--compared to the average Internet user, visitors to Web logs, or blogs, tend to be younger and to belong to a wealthier household, a study has found.

Blog visitors are also more likely to shop online and to connect to the Internet using a broadband connection, according to the study "Behaviors of the Blogosphere" conducted by comScore Networks. Unsurprisingly, blog visitors are also more active online, visiting almost twice as many Web pages as the average Internet user.

ComScore defines blogs as "mostly amateur online diaries." In terms of unique visitors, FreeRepublic.com ranked first in the first quarter, followed by DrudgeReport.com, Fleshbot.com, Gawker.com, and Fark.com. By visits, DrudgeReport came in first, followed by Fark.com, FreeRepublic.com, Gawker.com, and Slashdot.org.

"ComScore found that blog visitors represent a demographically attractive advertising audience. Blog visitors are disproportionately likely to be affluent, young, and broadband-enabled," reads the study, published this week.

Blog visitors are 11 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have incomes of $75,000 or more, and are 30 percent more likely to live in households headed by someone between the ages of 18 and 34, the study found.

During the first quarter, the average blog visitor viewed 77 percent more Web pages than the average Internet user, and spent 23 hours per week online, compared with 13 hours per week for the average user, according to the study. Regarding e-commerce behavior, blog visitors are 30 percent more likely to shop online than the average user.

Proof of the rising popularity of blogs is that about 50 million U.S. Internet users (about 30 percent of all U.S. Internet users) visited blog sites in the first quarter of 2005, up 45 percent compared with 2004's first quarter, according to the study.

The most popular type of blog is the political one, according to the study, which was sponsored by blogging software and service vendor Six Apart and by blog publisher Gawker Media. The study was based on comScore's tracking of the online activity of over 2 million Internet users.





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