America in all its Glory

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

What a gorgeous shot of Mabry Mill in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia). Such a peaceful, serene setting.

Sitting on the edge of the water. Taking a worm and baiting it on the hook of a line that is attached to a long, thin tree branch. Gently "cast" the line into the water. Now to sit quietly, watching the dragonflies skip across the surface of the calm water. Listening to the frogs calling to one another. All the thoughts of your daily life are no longer with you - all you are thinking about at this moment is the beauty of the trees, where they simply meld into the banks of the water.

Who cares if you ever get a nibble on your line. Just to enjoy this moment that you will never live again. That is life!

Every crime committed by an illegal immigrant should never have happened!!!

Read my posting under Illegal Immigrants.

A quote from President Theodore Roosevelt addressed on immigration in 1907:

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ronan Hardiman - Celtic Classics

I think for my first recommendation of Celtic Music, it should be Ronan Hardiman.

My favorite of his CDs is Celtic Classicss II. I put that CD on and close my eyes and just float away to Ireland and Scotland.

Two tracks on this CD - Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave - just blow me away. I have a surround sound system and I swear when Scotland the Brave is playing, I can actually feel the pipers come from behind me and march around me. It is amazing!

Ronan also records often under the name Shanon. Below is information about Ronan that comes from his myspace.

In 1990, Ronan Hardiman left his daytime job as a teller with the Bank of Ireland to pursue his dream of one day becoming an acclaimed composer.

He quickly became a sought after bright, new talent with the Irish television and film industry. By 1996, when Michael Flatley commissioned him to compose the music for "Lord of the Dance,", Hardiman's list of credits and awards were impressive as they were international, with major commissions from the BBC and PBS (US) completed.

The spectacular global success of "Lord of the Dance" propelled Hardiman's career into overdrive. Flooded with offers from around the world, Hardiman chose to accept an offer from Universal Records to write and record a solo project. In March 1998, Hardiman released "Solas," his first solo CD.

Quickly achieving gold status in Ireland, "Solas" went on to enjoy enormous success in the US and went top ten in the US Billboard New Age Top 20 Charts. In January, 1999, "Solas" spawned a top ten hit single in France entitled "Elle Donne," a french version of "heaven" taken from "Solas."

2000 saw Hardiman working with Michael Flatley to create the hugley successful Feet Of Flames Dance show which toured the globe culminating in an open air performance to 100,000 people in Budapest.

In 2001, Hardiman released his second solo album 'Anthem' which again charted in the top ten Billboard World Music charts and continues to be a strong seller.

In 2002, Hardiman teamed up with Celine Dion and Rod Stewarts producer Chris Neil to work on material for New Zealand operatic prodigy Hayley Westenra. Her debut album 'Pure' has since sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

In 2003, Hardiman's profile as a prolific successful songwriter increases as Russell Watson records 'La Fiamma Sacra' for his million selling album 'Amore Musica,' written by Hardiman and legendary lyricist Frank Musker (whose credits include Josh Groban, Queen & Il Divo).

In 2004, classical crossover sensations 'Amici Forever' record 'So Far Away' (again wrtten by Hardiman and Musker) and La Fiamma Sacra' for their No.1 album 'Defined'.

In May 2004, Hardiman again teamed up with Michael Flatley to compose the score for the new dance spectacular 'Celtic Tiger.'

In June 2005, 'Celtic Tiger' performed to an estatic invited audience of 6000 in Birmingham (UK) NEC. The event was filmed for DVD release later in 2005. In July 2005, 'Celtic Tiger' performs to a crowd of 25,000 as the European Preview of the show takes place in Budapest Hungary.

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