Monday, June 13, 2011



It is a rare night indeed when I am in tears at the end of a concert performance.

But that is exactly what happened on Saturday night before a packed and deliriously appreciative house at the Orpheum.

The VSO and James Ehnes, who have collaborated on a number of recording projects over the years, absolutely nailed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

This is a famous and popular piece.

But it is notoriously difficult to play, both for the orchestra and for the soloist. The rhythms and tempi change abruptly, the moods shift and slide and there are often more notes per square inch than any mere mortal should be able to produce.

Ehnes, playing no less than a Strad, was lyrical and dynamic and full of a thousand colours.

And Maestro Bramwell Tovey was possessed.

It didn't hurt that Ehnes quietly came back to the stage and blessed us with an exquisite little Bach sonata for an encore. Wow!

A ton of standing, shouting Bravos for all concerned.

The video above features Mr. Ehnes talking about and playing sections of the Tchaikovsky.


Dirk and the Two Jasons were sensational.

The richly deserve the NBA championship they stole from Miami last night.

But tell me.

Have you ever seen a professional sports team choke and wimp out as badly as the Heat did in the last few games.

LeBron James is supposed to be the best there is.

He didn't even show up.

Just sort of wandered around the parquet like a guy looking for a hot dog and a beer.

Maybe the Heat can be fined for Failure to Appear.

Maybe multi-millionaire athletes should try a little harder.

Meanwhile, never thought I'd cheer on a Dallas team in any sport, but the Mavs were absolutely great in every department.


The Sun has a full page report on Education this morning.

Here's the gripping headline:

December-born children at a disadvantage


Study shows youngest kids are 12% less likely than older peers to graduate on time

Why not go right back to reading bumps on heads or isolating lefties?

A much more enlightening, but not very politically correct, article about Education can be found in this month's Atlantic magazine.

This excellent piece by Joel Klein, the prosecutor who took on the software giant Microsoft, tells a simple but chilling story about New York Schools. The exact conclusions could have been reached if he had studied BC schools:

Teachers, not parents or income class, are the single biggest determinant in how a child does in school.

But, thanks to controlling teachers unions (Here it is the BCTF.) teachers can not be graded, assessed or held in any way accountable for their performance.

There are almost no politicians on earth who are prepared to take on these unions and bring some measured quality to the classroom.


Franklin the Turtle is a boy.

Shame on him.

He, and all the other dominating sexist boy animal characters in children's books, are warping the minds and hearts of little girls everywhere.

These are the conclusions drawn in a 227-page study led by sociologist Janice McCabe of Florida State University.

Poor Janice.

Poor family and friends of Janice.Link
Just another excellent argument for more children staying out of University and going into auto mechanics and plumbing - regardless of their gender.

This is what is funded?

This is scholarship?