Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm Sure I'll Be Slammed For This, But...

I'm going to post it anyway.

I've very thankful to have a life outside of Manilowland.

There has been a dustup of sorts regarding posting videos that violate copyright laws.

I remember years ago in the fan club (back in the 1980's) there were copies of copies of copies of video performances of Barry on VHS tapes. It's now moved into the viral arena of the internet. That being said, older videos released by Barry himself always came with a disclaimer, very nicely toned, to please do not bootleg the video they were watching. People were warned. In fact I've read somewhere that Barry made a statement equating copyright infringement to rape, although, I've never found a verifiable source for the quote.

A little while back I happened upon one of Barry's fans who was doing some serious bootlegging of videos (no the name doesn't start with a C), including an entire chapter from the DVD of Copacabana where Barry is singing Who Needs To Dream. The beginning of the video (I have it on a legitimately purchased DVD) has the federal warnings about copyright protections for the movie. I mentioned to this person on the site where the movie was posted that they were violating copyright laws by posting a video they didn't have the rights to. They started going off on what kind of a service they were providing Barry with free PR.

There are other ways of providing Barry with good PR (such as performing a service project in a local area) that doesn't require violating laws and doing something they know would upset Barry.

This individual removed my comments regarding copyright violation from the site with the video on it to hide the fact that they know they are breaking the law.

A part of me wonders if this is really about PR for Barry, or showing off to Barry's other fans.

Well the ball has dropped, not on this person, but someone else who has apparently also been bootlegging his videos. They've sent an email to their friends in the fan club of how their online "channel" of videos (to use a term from YouTube) was being shut down and this person was ordered by Barry's lawyers to cease and desist from making and posting anymore of the copies. This individual is telling everyone that they received no warning whatsoever from Barry, nor his management company, to stop, and this individual is also claiming not to have known they were violating copyrights.

I honestly don't know the truth to what they are saying, however given my experience with the person I contacted, the excuse that they didn't know they were violating copyright laws isn't holding water with me.

I'm sorry to see people get hurt over this, these are wonderful people who have devoted so much of their lives, but to a man they really don't know personally. Sometimes I wonder if people realize this.

Again, I'm thankful to have a life, and a full one at that, outside of Manilowland.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Money Driven Medicine

This is a must see documentary if you really want an educated view of health care issues in the U.S.

You can see more on the Bill Moyers Journal:

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Hi, check my new fantastic look @

If you can't see this link very clearly, watch the video below on YouTube. The interesting part is from Dove's campaign for real beauty for this video: "No wonder our perception for beauty is distorted."

For Those Who Love Glenn Beck

Now, I could be a good little member of my religious faith and say I love Glenn Beck. But, the truth is, I don't like him. He's a politician's (namely Republican politician) dream, because he rants from the same script that other republicans rant from and expects people to just believe. The problem comes when the republican rants are lies. Beck still tells these lies and still expects people to believe. Now, I've never been a fan of Steven Colbert, but this is one time when he rants on a topic that I happen to agree with. Especially the part where he talks about those who are building their careers from 9/11. Take a look.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 10.31 Project
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Next Time You're At A Marriott...

keep this in mind.

A man loiters for days in a hotel parking lot, the hotel does nothing. A woman gets raped by this man, the hotel, through the insurance company's lawyers, declare that the woman was at fault. Now Marriott is backtracking on the "official defense" in the case. Only in America.

Stamford Marriott Rape Case

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blog Surfing

I don't know if this is the "proper" term to use for this, but, have you ever gone blog surfing? You read a friend's blog, then look at whose blogs they have listed and pick someone you don't know, read their blog, pick someone you don't know from that blog and so on...

You can read about the most interesting people that way!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Las Vegas - August 2009

Wow, this is my 200th post, and I get to spend it talking about my trip to Las Vegas.

There's a little back story with this, please bear with me.

The last time I went to the Las Vegas strip, the Excalibur Hotel & Casino were brand new, and that was in 1990. It's been almost 20 years. When I do go to Vegas, I usually visit with family in Henderson and never make it to the strip, so this was quite a different trip for me.

The last time I saw Barry live in concert? It was probably around 1992. It's been a while since I've seen him perform.

This trip was thanks to a friend and fellow fan of Barry's, Bev, who had an extra ticket that a friend was not able to use due to a family emergency. I hope things are okay with the family member. It was on the floor, front row, to the left of the stage.

I flew out on Saturday, August 1st, in the afternoon. While waiting at the airport, I watched the 1st half of a movie on my iPod Touch. I decided to make things easier on myself and used my iPod as a mini computer while I was there. With my room's wireless connect I was able to check things and post updates to my facebook page. I loaded 3 movies onto the iPod and selected The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. I love that movie, it always makes me laugh. I watched the last half of the movie at the Las Vegas airport.

The flight was delayed due to an overload at the Las Vegas airport, and while coming into the city experienced some really heavy turbulence. It wasn't just up and down, the plane was also getting shoved sideways. I was thankful to be on the ground.

I don't know why, but I usually hit some issues when I fly to see Barry perform. It's not been all the time, but on very specific instances. In 1987 I went to a fan club convention for him in Washington, D.C. The flight was late and it was delayed, by the time we reached the airport, the airport had closed it's main runway. They tried landing on a shorter runway, only have to abort the landing at the last minute because of tail winds that would have pushed the plane into the Potomac River. We landed in Virginia and was bussed back to Washington National airport. The convention was fantastic, I'm just not in the habit of dying trying to get there.

Since Barry's show is at the Las Vegas Hilton, I decided to stay there to make it easier on myself. It's a very nice hotel, and I got what they call a Grand Room, which is bigger than the basic hotel room.

I was on the 14th floor, here's the view from the hotel room's window:

It was late afternoon by the time I got there, so I walked around the hotel to get my bearings on where things were at. I couldn't find (nor could anyone tell me) where to get a good salad for a late lunch/early dinner, so I ordered one from room service. It wasn't cheap, but it was a huge serving of a very delicious salad.

It was all very high class, I can understand why Barry works out of the Hilton.

After eating, I got ready for the concert. I decided to wear the nice outfit I wore to see Wicked in a few weeks ago. I got my picture taken by the house photographer, and it came out looking really nice.

I met some really nice people at the show, fans of Barry's, whether they belong to the fan club or not. There was a group from England who were there, and there was a lot of excitement and fun from the crowd for Barry. I was so glad to see this, as from what I read on a friend's blog Barry had a rough return back to the Las Vegas stage Thursday night. Because of malfunctions with a portable piano and a change in a few songs in the performance there were some people leaving during the performance of the show. Barry had asked them to stay, but I guess the damage was done.

It wasn't like that on Saturday night, though. His fans, including me, were there with all of our enthusiasm which spreads to the rest of the audience. I was so glad to see this, and to see that so many of us were there, not just because we wanted to see him perform, but to also provide a little support for Barry.

I'm not a great photographer, so I hope you'll bear with me. I didn't take any pictures while Barry was standing directly in front of me, as I thought it might be a distraction for Barry while he's trying to perform. Besides, I love the guy, but I'm not interested in getting pictures close enough to see his nose hair. :o)

I didn't get to shake Barry's hand, the girls sitting next to me did, but when Barry got to me, he looked at me and then walked away to another part of the stage. Shaking his hand would have made this trip really special and I don't know why he did that, but I came to enjoy his music and I did, very much. At the end of the show, the male backup singer, Kye, came over and shook hands with the rest of us in our section, and that really made my night. He was really, really nice, and it wasn't expected (at least by me) for him to do that.

He did some songs from an album he released a few years back based on his childhood at a Brooklyn housing unit called The Mayflower. His songs talk about the different stories of the different residents there. The melodies on this are really beautiful. I was disappointed that Barry didn't do When October Goes, Big Fun or One Voice. Those are also beautiful songs that Barry has written (or co-written). I love listening to Big Fun and played it in my hotel room on my iPod while I was getting ready for the show.

After the show I changed back into my street clothes, ate dinner and took the Monorail to Bally's Paris. I've always wanted to go to Paris, but have never left the U.S. Maybe someday. The Paris Hotel and Casino has a large mock Eiffel Tower that gives elevator rides up to where you can see out over the strip. There was an hour wait for the ride, and given the late hour I was there I decided to skip it, but I did get some pictures of the base and the elevator shaft. The base actually sits inside the casino itself, and the ceilings are painted to look like a blue sky.

I went back to the hotel via the monorail, all in all it took about an hour round trip. Now that I know this, I'll probably stay at the Paris Hotel the next time I'm there.

I had wanted to go see Zowie Bowie at the Palms, but I would have had to get a taxi to get there and back and I was so tired I really didn't want to do that. It was really late, by the time I got back to the hotel from the trip to Paris it was just past midnight and I had to get up early the next morning to fly home.

As it turned out, I couldn't sleep past 5:00 this morning, so I watched the sunrise over the strip. It was really beautiful. While I waited for my shuttle this morning at the hotel, I took one last picture that I thought was really touching.