As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
Of course, it's always an annual ritual when I go shopping and laugh at all the kids at the Back to School sales because I know that I don't have to go to school soon.
In the Boston Globe this week, there was an editorial by a couple of political consultants (both Republican and Democrat) who declared that it was okay to send political email spam unless the recipient decided to "opt out" of those mailings. They felt that it was good that this lower-cost of reaching their audience enabled them to get their message across to more people. They felt that people didn't have to read their messages and they could just get off their mailing lists if they wanted.
What they didn't say is that they're really trying to pass the cost of political advertisement onto you. It's your broadband or phone line time that they're using without your permission to get their message to you. It's your time that you have to sit through while spam, political or otherwise, downloads into your mailbox. It's your antivirus software that has to sift through the spam to make sure it's safe. It's your connect time quota from your ISP that gets used up to download spam. You still have to take time to read at least the subject line before deleting it. Of course, *no one* would ever fake the subject line just to sucker you into reading it, right? :-P Sending spam is a deliberate act, similar to harassment, and is not a victimless crime.
Ads on television pay for the shows and news we get. Ads in the paper pay for the information and comics (especially the comics!) Even ads within websites pay for having the website in place (though I have opinions about that!). Some ads even pay for the software you're using. What does spam give us back in value? Absolutely *NOTHING*. They take away the most valuable asset that you have and it's in limited supply: your time. They offer nothing in return.
I can't believe anyone could say that the majority of people don't mind getting spam in their mailbox. I turned on my computer this morning to find 10 messages, 9 of which were spam (The New York Times summary was the only thing I wanted). I can't believe anyone thinks they have a right to send out spam. I believe in the Freedom of Speech, but I don't believe that they (the spammers) have a right to make *me* pay for *their* spam. If they want to send me their political advertisement, let them pay for the postage *and* printing costs to send their advertisement to me. Let them run ads on TV. At least *they're* paying for the message, not me. At least I don't mind getting political postal mail because I can always recycle it or use it to line some pet's cage.
Talk to your politicians. Ask them about their stand on spam, political or otherwise. Tell them that it's not right that we have to "opt-out" of spam mailings when we never would have "opted-in" in the first place. Congress has sucked up to the telemarketers who twist the Constitution into their God-given right to slam their unwanted messages into our faces. Ask your legislator to ban faked return addresses (particularly for for all commercial and political spam) so we can hunt down these spammers and shut them down. Ask your legislator to push other countries to set up laws regarding spam. I recognize that this is a small issue in the big picture, but let your area's politicians know that this might be the straw that pushes you over. They might even do something about it.
Piece of advice for two particular gentlemen, though: "It's hard to listen when your lips are moving." You know who you are. :-P Discussions include listening as well as talking. Not enough people do that these days and that's how most misunderstandings occur.
There were some dedicated dancers who showed up at the Boston Swing Dance Network's season opener, featuring the Bob Bachelder Totem Pole Big Band. One woman showed up with supports on *both* knees! I'm sure they were just supports and not repairs because I saw her doing "suzie-q's" on the side of the floor (ouch!).
I can't say I was happy with the band that night. I think they weren't prepared for this event because I think they ran out of music for swing dancers. Some stuff was at the right speed and energy, but I pretty much sat out the first hour. Someone mentioned they repeated at least one song, but I might have tuned it out. Some stuff was too slow, some too fast, some songs were typical big band show pieces that just don't swing. I didn't dance that much.
This was too bad since the band has some incredible talent. I was told that the alto sax player was 78 years old and his solos were crisp, strong, and full of energy. The same came from other players. I think I've heard this band play better before and I think I was expecting them to play better that night.
I really, really, *really* think that guys shouldn't wear shorts to a social dance. Making a minor effort to look nice for the women we're going to dance with should override any desire to be comfortable (some people can be comfortable and still dress nice). I mean, what is a dance? It's a 3-minute date. Do you wear shorts on a evening date in a public social event? (No, it's not the county fair) What amazes me are those guys who wear shorts in the *winter*!
It was my first opportunity to wear my "chromed" sneakers for an entire evening of dancing. I picked up a kit with "chrome" leather and put them on the bottoms of my most comfortable sneakers. The white leather Adidas "Star" (formerly the "Superstar" when I was a kid) is a wider sneaker than most so I can actually wear the proper size instead of buying a larger size to accomodate the width of my feet (which make my feet look bigger!). It's also a very comfortable shoe with very good support. I also like the white leather "walking" sneaker because it's "dressier" than most other sneakers (that's the only kind of sneaker I buy) so it was a natural choice to chrome. With the support of the sneaker, my feet didn't hurt from dancing all night long. It was worth dedicating those shoes just for dancing (and way cheaper than Bleyers. :-P )
That whole thing was a disappointment since I know many ballroom types come by here each week and it might have gotten some swing types to check out some of these ballroom events.
However, I do feel blessed this week, because I'll get to dance to Doc Scanlon's Rhythm Boys twice in one month. I was heading back to Massachusetts on Saturday from Connecticut. I could have gone right and gotten home in an hour. Going left for the same hour, however, led to the Hooked on Swing Society's monthly dance and I caught up with two of this website's sponsors at the same time. Definitely a no-brainer. Catch Doc Scanlon's Rhythm Boys at the next Boston Swing Dance Network's monthly dance in Watertown.
By the way, it was/is the band's 25th Anniversary!.
I've complained about guys wearing hats on the dance floor enough times and respect for one's dance partner has not been enough to convince these guys to take off their hats in presence of a lady.
Well, how about this reason?
I saw this guy on the dance floor and he had a cap (not a baseball cap). With the light, the cap was casting a shadow over his face so it couldn't be seen.
At some point, he took off his hat and I could see that he was a good-looking guy with *great hair*. These guys. *Why* hide your face and hair (he had all of it, no grey, and a decent haircut) from your partner? When I see a guy wearing a hat for non-weather reasons, I'm wondering if he's hiding something. Why hide behind a hat? Let your partner see you! Having all of my hair and in its original color was one of the reasons why I went to my 20th high school reunion! :-)
I saw this one woman dancing and I couldn't help but be mesmerized by her "walking". When she was doing the "walk-walk" (beats one and two) during a West Coast Swing song, she put some serious "attitude" into her legs while she moved across the dance floor. It was almost like her entire leg was doing a wave (!). I don't think I've ever seen that anywhere before. I'll bet she had some ballroom training. Trying to figure out the mechanics of that movement made it fascinating to watch.
I was watching this one guy dance and I usually don't pay attention to guys on the dance floor because they're just competition and I'm don't plan on dancing with them soon.
I was trying to figure out what attracted my attention. His partner(s) were following all of his leads and having a good time. He was certaining dancing everything he wanted to and wasn't left out.
After a while, I realized that he was making his partner shine. He didn't out-dance his partners. He lead those things that his partner(s) could do. He made sure that all the attention was glued to his partner without sacrificing his own dancing enjoyment. He concentrated on making sure his partner had fun dancing with him; he never tried anything that was a surprise and made everything smooth. In spite of that, he had fun with every partner.
I've always like Bobby Darin's music better because it had more energy and was more "danceable". I also thought his voice had a better range for singing a wider variety of music. Bobby Darin's music was never labelled "swing" but it always encouraged me to dance. Frank Sinatra's "swing" music never did a thing for me.
It was the same sort of disappointment for me when, after dancing for many years, I realized that Glenn Miller, as originally scored and played, wasn't as "swingable" as I had thought when I first started dancing. I expected Frank Sinatra to be swingable and I finally woke up.
Many of the mainstream pages on this website have been converted to a red color scheme, mostly because I was bored with the existing Green(/Orange) color scheme, though I still think that the Green is the best one so far. I like the Blue of the calendar page better than the Red because it's hard to highlight important stuff with red when the whole page is already red. The Blue on the Hustle page is also interesting. What I really want to do is Purple but I'm not sure if that would look nice on a webpage.
I'll be experimenting with different color schemes on the other pages as time goes on.
Let me know what you think.