Back when I was in the Olympics…

In 1984, I had the privilege of participating in the Summer Olympics, as part to the Olympics Band. We performed at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Members were chosen from across the country, two musicians from each state. The remainder of the band wall filled out with members of the UCLA (and USC) bands. It was such a great experience to be surrounded by so many amazing musicians.

Back then, we didn’t have the production values (or giant budgets) of the current extravaganzas that we now see in Beijing or Greece. But the crowd loved it nonetheless. And we had the time of our lives.

We rehearsed for 3 weeks at the gorgeous Pepperdine University, overlooking the ocean. My parents got to come see the dress rehearsal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. And I had not realized, or just forgot, that Ronald and Nancy Reagan were there watching us perform.

Woodpecker problem — Solved!

In my last post, I was describing how a family of woodpeckers were banging on the side of our townhouse since we moved in last week. Amusing, yet destructive and somewhat annoying, as I kept running downstairs to see who was knocking on my front door. Oh — it was the woodpeckers again. How to solve this problem? The California Wildlife Foundation frowns on the “shoot them with a gun” approach, since the woodpeckers are a protected species. So instead, we now have environmentally-approved protected-species-friendly mylar streamers stapled to the side of our house, blowing and sparkling in the breeze.

And the woodpeckers have now moved on to the Utility Pole behind our dumpster. A win-win situation for everyone.

Video shot from my bedroom balcony:

Oh, and South Pasadena has parrots too. Lots of them. They’re noisy as all get-out, but non-destructive, at least.


Lia, practicing her Fantaisie-Impromptu piece, by Chopin, prior to her recital.  She wasn’t aware of me turning on the iphone video camera behind her.