Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Word About "The Test"

Thanks for the many kind and encouraging comments about yesterday's test run of a video.

The content, the actually video, is an old piece I have had sitting on my desktop for ages. It is a sampler, what is called a "demo reel," that I have used for one purpose or another over the years.

The "testing" part was getting the thing uploaded to my blog.

I have been encouraged by a few friends to post video monologues or even interviews on the blog and to that end I have now tried about 14,000 different methods of doing so.

I bought a JVC Everio Camcorder.

It's wonderful.

The picture and sound are movie-quality, first-rate.

The thing boasts "one-touch YouTube upload."


I have two friends who are computer-wizards and even they have been pulling out their hair trying to solve this dilemma.

So yesterday, I tried a different system, "Vimeo."

Well, as you can see, it worked with that old demo reel.


It still won't take the material from my camera.

As of this morning, I think I may have another solution.


So, bear with me while I continue to try to solve this little annoying mystery.

In the meantime...

Would you be so kind as to tell me if you would prefer that I post video monologues or continue writing or offer a mix of the two?

Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday.

There is still nothing wrong and everything right with the old traditional greeting:

Peace on earth and good will to men.

Almost There

No country in the world spends more money in total or more money per capita on Health Care than the United States of America and gets less meager results.

The highest infant mortality rate and the lowest life expectancy for openers.

America also has almost 50 million citizens with no health insurance.

But it is likely that by end of day today a Health Care Reform Bill will pass.

That's the good news.

The not-so-very-great news is that, according to a wide-ranging piece in this morning's Globe by Konrad Yakabuski, the bill is an unwieldy mess.

"It will serve to fatten insurer profits and deepen the country's budget crisis. It's not clear it will make Americans any healthier. And it certainly won't make the system any simpler."

Under the current American system, "as much as a quarter of the $2.5-trillion Americans spend on health care annually goes toward administrative costs, compared to less than 10 per cent in most developed countries with universal health coverage."

"No wonder insurance company stocks have soared as investors contemplate 30 million new insurance consumers and the absence of new competition in the form of a public health-insurance plan for Americans under 65."

I understand the Americans' long-bred and almost natural hate of government.

But the evidence is in.

Canada, England, France, Denmark, among other Western democracies have been operating single-payer, government-based universal health insurance programs with considerable success for many years now.

For the Americans to ignore this, and worse, to hiss at these successes and call them names (COMMIES! SOCIALISTS!) is childish and self-destructive.

I repeat that I can only hope that this reform, watered down and confusing at it is, might be the first step in moving an adolescent culture into maturity.

When the USA creates and supports a universal health care insurance program, we will know that a New Day has truly arrived.

David Oistrach is my All-Time Favorite Fiddler

Mel Torme's Classic Christmas Nat