The Soapbox Archives:
If you take your car to one of those automated carwashes where some guy puts your car on some conveyor belt and your car gets dragged through the car wash with no one inside, it might be a good idea to have an extra door key with you.
At a local carwash, they managed to lock my car during the wash so they couldn't get in to drive the car off the track.
To be honest, I had the time of my life because I could just imagine the thoughts going through their heads: "Oh, sh*t!". I didn't have any place to go so I was fascinated with how they were going to get themselves out of this mess.
Turns out they have to get into a locked car fairly regularly so they've figured out how to deal with it, without calling a locksmith and without damaging the car. I was very impressed with how they managed to create an opening to the car without a crowbar. And they didn't use a stick to hit the automated door locks; they used it to lower the windows (the engine was still running). It was really interesting to watch.
However, next time I'll have a spare key with me.
Now for something [sorta] different:
I went online to listen to some of their clips:
I thought, "Oh %&^*$#! This sounds like the stuff that Asleep at the Wheel plays...and that stuff is fun to dance to.
I gotta admit: Western Swing isn't Lindy Hop and it isn't West Coast Swing. Like any new dance, it takes a while to get used to the different rhythm. On the other hand, if you've been swing dancing for a while, you're going to recognize all the moves (just like the moves in West Coast Swing).
I found knowing this stuff very useful when dancing with a certain blonde in a bar in Taos, New Mexico; Oh, wait, that was my friend Sharon Porter and she taught me how to dance to that stuff that night. In a few minutes, I was dancing as well as anyone in that place. See? It can't be all that hard.
But don't take my word for it...
"What is Western Swing Dancing and why should I try it?
Simply put, it's the dancing you do to Western Swing Music (popularized by Bob Wills and by Asleep at the Wheel). The music varies, the same as traditional swing, so you can swing dance or Two-Step. The bands also play an occasional waltz and polka (which we will be teaching during the first break).
This dance is special in that it reunites the original Doughboys and they sound great. You can hear them on YouTube. What's special about this band is they have "the feel". You HAVE TO DANCE to them. The music, the singing, the beat...everything about them will get you up dancing. They are one of the few bands that can really swing, as well as "nail" the Texas Two-Step shuffle feel."
The following was posted on the Tango side of this website a couple of weekends ago. It's even more important here since the swing and ballroom readership is about 10-20 times bigger than the tango side.
[Editor's note: it's really best to send your information *at least* two weekends before your classes start or before your event takes place.]
Another note from the webmaster:
I got a call on Saturday from a friend who told me that a dance was being held that night and it wasn't listed on this website. I would like to take a moment to remind all dance promoters that it's not my job to get your information to put on this website. It's the *dance promoter's* job to make sure their information is correctly listed on this website.
A lot of dance promoters just add me to their mailing list (without asking first if it's okay), send me their generic newsletters, and expect me to take the time to read it and figure out what needs to go on the website. Guess what? The formatted newsletters all look alike from week to week. Most of the information in these newsletters is also just repeat information from the previous week anyway. Do not assume I read your newsletters! It's a total waste of my time to have to look up on the calendar just to find out that I already have your event listed already. Save yourself (and me) the grief: Expect that I won't read anything that's longer than a paragraph. If you want something listed on this website, add the line "Benson, please list this in the calendar" at the top of the message. Then I'll know it's not a form letter and that maybe I should pay attention to it. And leave out the propaganda; just send me what you *know* I'm going to allow on this website.
Some people have figured it out. They get their information to me months in advance so there's no chance of forgetting to let me know.
I was lucky. I had a lot of water going into my basement during this storm, but I was never flooded. I had my own "babbling brooking" in my basement and you could see a lot of water flowing around my basement, but I could still walk around without getting my feet wet.
One interesting item: a certain part of my basement that never got wet before had a recurring puddle this time. Turns out that the puddle was forming near the former location of my oil tank. The tube from the oil tank to the furnace was still embedded in the concrete with the ends exposed. The water was entering the fuel line near the furnace and going all the way to the front of the house. I didn't have a leak in the foundation there.