The Soapbox Archives:
PS: It's not my job to go and find your new website address.
Ever since I started working for my current company, I started paying more attention (more than normal) to what comes across the Internet. I use the Firefox browser from Mozilla. I also use the NoScript add-on which prevents scripts from running in my browser without my explicit permission. When using NoScript, you can block third-parties from doing "stuff" on your computer and also see *who* is trying to run a script in your browser. One common use of scripts is to fetch ads from websites other than the one you're in or to keep statistics on the visitor who visits a site.
In this case, I was doing my annual review of all the links on this website to make sure they were all still valid (because I actually care whether or not the information on this website is up to date and useful). I got around to checking my Wisconsin page and clicked on the link for the Milwaukee Rebels Swing Dance Club (on Monday, December 28).
If your browser is set to accept and run any scripts in the webpage, you'll see this version of their webpage. However, if you use Firefox with NoScripts on, you'll see a different version of that website. What's different? With scripts not allowed to run, you'll see that there is hidden text that is also linked to a bunch of webpages based on a computer in *Sweden*. Note, I have no idea if this is a website that was hacked or if the original webmaster just wanted to improve the rating of his website on the popular search engines, but I wasn't about to click on those links to see where they went or what might get downloaded onto my computer. In any case, I wouldn't have known about this unless I had a function like NoScript in my browser. (Their website was fixed by Wednesday).
Surfing the web is dangerous and a lot of people have their head in the sand in denial. Take the time to learn about this stuff and assume someone is out to take advantage of you.
My friend and I got a couple of seats in the balcony at the back of the hall; we had a great view of the stage. Someone had returned those tickets/seats to the hall so we were able to snatch them up (in a sold-out concert). I wish I could thank the people who originally had those tickets. About an hour before the concert, there was a pre-concert lecture on the the composers of the evening: Haydn, Bach (the son) and Shubert.
It was amazing how one individual instrument could be heard from all the way back. Yo Yo Ma was the featured guest in the second section of the program, "Cello Concerto No. 1 in C". His performance was truly awesome and inspiring. Each musician on that stage was a Master musician who had achieved great expertise in their craft. Somehow, Yo Yo Ma went past that level.
The last piece was Franz Shubert's Symphony in B Minor, the "Unfinished" symphony, a wonderful and familiar piece of music. The coolest part of that was Yo Yo Ma coming out to play with the rest of the orchestra. I would have imagined that anyone in that orchestra would have gladly given up their hard-earned seat to have Yo Yo Ma play. He just took a seat in the third/last row of the cellists and played as a journeyman musician without a partner to turn his page. Wait. He played without music in front of him. What a class act.
How did I first hear the Unfinished Symphony? It reminded me how much exposure we got as kids to classical music. I first heard this music in an episode of the Casper the Friendly Ghost, "Boo Bop".
I was sitting at the light where Memorial Drive and Mount Auburn Street meet Route 2 in Cambridge. I was headed westbound towards Mount Auburn Street and I was stopped at a light behind another car. When the light turned green, a car made a U-turn....from the *right* lane. He was lucky the guy in front of me hadn't moved yet; if I had been in front, I might have floored it when the light turned green (because that's what guys with 260 hp engines do when the lights turn green).