Tree Trouble

I had thought we escaped significant damage from the summer storm earlier this week, but I was wrong.

Today Russell casually mentioned that the tree next to our patio was splitting, and when I went out to look this afternoon I found that the tree has slowly split apart.  The crack is down to within two feet of the ground and seems to be moving ever downward as the tree is jostled by the wind.  Unfortunately, we will have to take the tree down — and quickly, before it falls on the house.  This means that both of the trees we planted around our patio have been split by storms and have had to be removed.

The loss of the tree will be a severe blow to our use of our patio.  It provides great shade, and without it in its accustomed position we will get hours of direct sunlight.  Kish is already pushing for an awning.  I don’t mind the direct sunlight, but I do like to sit outside on the sunny side of the patio and listen to the soothing sounds of the breeze gently ruffling the leaves of the tree.

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Looney Tunes And The Gateway To Classical Music

This morning I had my Ipod on “Shuffle Songs” and the Overture to The Barber of Seville began playing.  As I listened to the music I immediately thought of . . . Bugs Bunny.  Yes, I thought of the classic Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs and Elmer have an encounter in a barber shop, chasing each other with axes, applying hair restorer, and engaging in other tomfoolery while snippets from the score of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville played.  The actual cartoon is here:

It made me think about how much I learned about classical music, and for that matter a bunch of other things, when UJ and I sat in front the TV on Saturday mornings, watching the Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck comedy hour as we ate our bowls of cereal.  For me, at least, Bugs Bunny cartoons were a gateway to the world of classical music.  I would hear a portion of, say, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony as background music during a thunderstorm scene and think that it sounded pretty good.  Later, when I began to try to find those pieces and started to regularly listen to classical music, I was amazed at how many portions of classical pieces I had heard before — in cartoons, as theme music for news shows, as music in a commercial, or in some other form of popular culture.  The painless exposure to the songs through popular culture, as opposed to being dragged as a kid to some concert hall, had conditioned me to enjoy and appreciate classical music.

The downside, of course, is that I can’t hear the Overture to The Barber of Seville without thinking of Bugs Bunny, but I suppose that is a small price to pay.