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This Day in My History

  Singing and Driving in the Rain
It's Hard to Type with Frozen Fingers

 What Would You Do with a Brain If You Had One?
2004:  Real Men DO Eat Quiche

2005:  More Tales from the Nursery

Check out our Frappr!

"Wait Until Dark"

"Buca di Beppo"

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Flash version is here

Master list of links to (most) videos
by Mefeedia

My Favorite Video Blogs

29 Fragile Days
Bicycle Sidewalk
Carl Weaver's Video
Dan and Jen's Animal Friends

Drive Time
Josh Leo's Video
Kitchen Arts
Living with the Fallas
Minnesota Stories
PJK Productions
Randy Wicker Reporting
Walk Los Angeles
White Guy Eats Foreign Foods

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Toys for Tots

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Support liberty and justice for all

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My "Things I Want" Wish List

(with the hope that everyone in my family will think about making a similar list before their birthdays and/or Christmas roll around!)


24 January 2006

"Is this Ex-Tech day?" asked Barbara Heroux, artistic director for The Lamplighters, looking at the group of people coming into the theatre  to see The Pirates of Penzance.  She had coined a new phrase.

BarbaraH.jpg (5149 bytes)It seems like I've known Barbara forever, from when she was a young girl, moving from the chorus into comprimario roles, then into lead roles.  I worked with her, and others, for a few years after Gilbert died in writing Gala scripts--her brilliant, clever, bizarre mind going a mile a I loved those days!

She then took over as General Manager for the company and now serves as its Artistic Director.  I guess I've known her for some 25 years.

We were there with a group of friends who all used to work as techies for The Lamplighters, jobs which ceased to exist when the company moved into professional theatres which demanded union technicians.  But by that time, the group had forged fast friendships and so we still get together from time to time, either for dinners or barbecues or birthday parties

Occasionally the group gets together to go and see a Lamplighters show.  Saturday it was The Pirates of Penzance, an excellent production, directed by Jane Hammet (whom I remember from the days when she had her very first major role; she went on to play Carlotta in the touring company of Phantom of the Opera for many years, and now is an excellent director), with a new young musical director in the pit, fresh from the San Francisco Opera.

Days like this make me realize just how long I've been around this company.  It is now second generation Lamplighters who are running things, with third generation Lamplighters standing in the wings ready to take their place. 

I looked at a copy of the newsletter lying on the table--Cock and Bull.  Gilbert and I started that newsletter in 1981 and wrote it together for five years.  I had the same feeling that I had writing the DCOC article, when I came across copies of the old Basingstoke Bugle, which I am fairly certain I was the first editor of.

There were six of us who went to the show -- ex-techs and spouses -- and four more who met at the restaurant, Buca di Beppo, for dinner afterwards.

The "show" people got to the restaurant an hour early and while we waited for the "restaurant only" people, we sat in the bar drinking and laughing.

For those who have never been to a Buca di Beppo, it's very definitely an experience.  The decor alone is worth the price of admission, with the walls literally covered with photos and strange pieces of bric-a-brac.   All the food is served family style, you find more groups than tables for two, so as the place begins to fill up, and the wine begins to flow more freely, the noise level rises to where you can hardly hear yourself think.

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(this is actually a photo from the last time the ex-techs
had dinner at Buca di Beppo)

I sat underneath a picture of an orantugan giving the world the finger, which was hung under a huge photo of the young Sophia Loren (showing a bit of under-arm hair, we all pointed out--obviously from her days in the Italian cinema), and across from a photo of a kitten covered with spaghetti.

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Unfortunately, we've never had a large enough group to reserve The Pope Room...

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(Steve Schalchlin actually took this photo in 2001)

...but the pope is very big here, with photos of various popes hanging all over the place (note the pope head on a lazy susan in the middle of the table there).

We enjoyed several delicious courses and were uncomfortably full at the end of the meal.  I give a lot of credit to Stephen, the former tech director of The Lamplighters, who has kept this group of people together, finding reasons to meet socially.  We have dinners or barbeques at his house, go to baseball games together, and occasionally see new Lamplighter productions together.

The Ex-Tech group is alive, getting older (we've celebrated Arthur's 86th birthday and Gil will turn 70 this year), but very much still together.

Bush Explains Medicare Drug Bill — Verbatim Quote
Submitted on 2005-12-13

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: 'I don't really understand. How is it the new plan going to fix the problem?'

Verbatim response: PRESIDENT BUSH:

'Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the — like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate — the benefits will rise based upon inflation, supposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those — if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.'

Reagan's title of "the great communicator" is safe for the moment.


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Very few people reading this journal
will get why I'm posting this picture, but it's
worth it anyway!


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