Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 21, 2007

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Turkey shocker! The bird isn’t the culprit when it comes to that post-feast “oh so sleepy” feeling. An article on the Live Science website destroys the tryptophan myth. Christopher Wanjek says what’s making you sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner is any combination of booze, bad conversation and a carbohydrate-heavy meal, but not the turkey itself. Read the whole article here.

Are you doing some holiday traveling? This article from Budget Travel has some great tips on eating healthy at the airport and on the plane. Number one tip: fight dehydration caused in flight “pick snacks that are wet or have high water content. Apples and pears are great because they pack well. Or look for instant soup with 500 milligrams of sodium or less per serving.”

One more pair of tickets to the San Francisco Symphony and Berlioz Symphonie fatastique went out to an early bird on the Commuter Quiz at 6:30 am. Michael from San Francisco was a February baby so he knew that the birthstone that was a favorite of Cleopatra and St. Valentine was the Amethyst. It’s also the symbol of sincerity. I knew you could by that. There’s a new prize Monday morning.

In our Blind Date year Sergei Rachmaninoff launched his 2nd Symphony the same year the RMS Lusitania was launched in Glasgow, Scotland. That was 1906.

I’m off to Shanghai for a quick trip in the friendly skies with my wife (she works while I drink champagne…seems fair). I haven’t been there since before 9-11 so I’m expecting huge changes. Will hopefully come back with some tales to tell and pictures for the blog. I’m planning more picture blogs from past travels to places like Edvard Grieg’s “Troldhaugen” and Beethoven’s home in Vienna.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 20, 2007

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Tick, tock. Two days to Thanksgiving. Is the holiday rush getting to you? If it is then we’re not doing our job, or your not getting enough KDFC. If the turkey day meal plans aren’t working out, check out this link to Yahoo food and their 60 minute feast. It’s laid out minute by minute and looks pretty tasty. No, there won’t be a whole roast bird in an hour, but still…

Are you trimming the tree and the like this weeknd? Do you need some Christmas holiday cheer? Check out our KDFC Christmas Station. No singing dogs or grandmas getting run over. Just our unique blend of holiday favorites.

Some assembly required…uhm, okay. Back when France liked us, a lot, they gave us a swell gift that arrived in 1885 in 214 crates. It stands today in New York Harbor. That’s right, the Washington Monument all packed in bubble wrap…sorry. I was just checking to see if your eyes were glazing over. No, that would be the Statue of Liberty. Bob from San Francisco called in the answer (he sounded very surprised he got through) and now has a pair of tickets to hear the San Francisco Symphony play Berlioz Symphonie fantastique on December 8th at Davies.

Our Blind Date piece today confused at least one listener. He heard it as music from one of Mozart’s contemporaries written the year NATO was formed. In reality that was the year Arthur Benjamin took four of his favorite keyboard sonatas of Cimarosa and combined them into the larger concerto form. The mystery year, 1949.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 19, 2007

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The word went out and the Bay Area responded. Food and money are pouring in to local food banks after the news item last week. They still need our help, but the need is less dire. If you’d rather give time than food and cash the excellent Chronicle writer Jesse Hamlin reported today on charities that need volunteers over the holidays. They range from Project Open Hand to Larkin Street Youth, but one in particular caught my eye. I don’t know about you, but I’m bugged when I see tray after tray of prepared foods in supermarket delis all over town. Sure it’s nice to have the choices and convenience of a nearby deli when you don’t want to or can’t cook. But I wonder where all the leftover food goes. With so many hungry I chaffed at the idea it was being tossed. Enter Food Runners, a San Francisco nonprofit that collects leftovers from restaurants, events planners, hotels and caterers and delivers it to community centers all over town. 10 tons per week. Wow! They have two paid employees and a data base of about 200 volunteers. Here’s the list from the article. To read the whole thing click on Jesse’s name above.

Food Runners(415) 929-1866, www.foodrunners.org

Project Open Hand(415) 447-2300, www.openhand.org

Glide Memorial Church(415) 674-6080, www.glide.org

Hands On Bay Area(415) 541-9616, www.handsonbayarea.org

St. Anthony Foundation(415) 241-2600, www.stanthonysf.org

The Volunteer Center(415) 982-8999, (650) 235-3550, www.thevolunteercenter.net

One Brick www.onebrick.org (then click on Bay Area)

Larkin Street Youth Center(415) 673-0911, www.larkinstreetyouth.org

We have a new prize this week in the 6:30 am Commuter Quiz…tickets to hear MTT lead the San Francisco Symphony in Hector Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, Saturday December 8 at Davies. Mondays question du jour: This gesture drives from knights of old raising their visor to identify themselves. A big “salute” to Mike from Los Gatos for the answer.

From our Blind Date year we played music from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by Patrick Doyle. It was th year Lance Armstrong won his 7th Tour de France. The year was 1985. Another Blind Date tomorrow at 8:30ish.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 16, 2007

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While playing some of Handel’s Water Music on the Morning Show I came across this video about a cool re-creation of the famous musical event that Handel composed the music for George I in 1717. Handel’s Water Music entertained George, his mistresses (nicknamed Elephant and Castle by his subjects) and various dignitaries and aristocracy. It was his chance to impress upon the assembled folks that even though he was German, he was also the English king. Here is a video snippet…

To see more and find out about the full video head here.

Our final pair of tickets to the Magic Theatre’s latest “The Crowd You’re In With” went to George in Oakland who deduced that of the three possibilities, A: Copland B; John Adams C: Charles Ives, it was the flinty New Englander Ives who gave away the Pulitzer prize money saying “prizes are for boys, and I’m all grown up”.

Out Blind Date piece Friday was the fun “Bright Blue Music” by American composer Michael Torke. It dates from the not so fun year that the FDA finally approved a blood test for AIDS…1985

Have a great weekend.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 15, 2007

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It’s been my favorite holiday forever and I know I’m not alone in that feeling. There’s a simplicity about Thanksgiving that appeals to virtually everyone especially if we give ourselves the time to reflect. It’s a wonderful time to step back from the noise of everyday life and take stock with a focus, for a change, on the positive. As we set about taking care of the mechanics of the Thanksgiving celebration there is also time to help those around us who need more to be thankful for. Like a decent meal for a change. A headline today stated that 35 and half million went hungry in 2006. This morning Betsy reported that food banks around the bay are coming up short this holiday. KDFC listeners were touched and the calls started coming in. “Where can I find out who needs help”, “How much do the food banks need”, etc

Here’s a link to find or donate to a food bank near you. www.bayareahunger.org. And I hope we’ll all remember it’s not just a problem at the holiday season.

We’re giving away tickets to the the Magic Theatre this week at 6:30 am in the Commuter Quiz and our winner from San Francisco picked up a pair for The Crowd You’re In With, a World Premiere play by Rebecca Gilman. Elfa knew that Robert Schumann was the composer who only let his talented pianist wife, Clara, practice at night when we was out with the boys having a beer. Clara went along with it because, hey, it was the middle of the 19th century. Your chance to win tomorrow.

It’s still a staggering figure. 25-million dead of influenza. The pandemic took twice the number of people lost in the bloody fighting of WWI that preceeded it. In Vienna, Erich Wolfgang Korngold premiered music for the play “Much Ado About Nothing”. It was our Blind Date year…1918.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 14, 2007

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Love going away, but sometimes the time zone shuffle catches up with you especially when you’ve done nothing but soak up sun, read, listen to the ocean and eat. Some folks asked about the book that absorbed me during our time away. KDFC listener and friend Jeff Hansen of Amici Cellars sent it to me. “Carter Beats the Devil” is set in the Bay Area in the first twenty years of the 20th century. A fascinating and fun read by Glen David Gold. As for the islands, I don’t think I could become a full-timer on any island, but it sure is sweet in small doses. I’ve never seen so many cranes dotting the Maui beach resorts before. As I mentioned it all seems to be going resort timeshare. I just hope there is a reasonably priced room when we want one. We’ve thought about buying into various places we visit. With each one we start dreaming and scheming. Costa Rica, Turkey, France, Mexico, Australia. But there is still so much of the world to see we’ll probably just house trade when the time comes.

The Bay Area is a great destination as millions of tourists will attest to. Wonderful sights, art, music and theater. A night out at the Magic Theatre is our prize on the Commuter Quiz this week at 6:30 am and Dottie from Antioch won this morning. She knew I was referring to artichokes when I asked what vegetable type food needs to be treated like a flower before it’s eaten…kept cold and misted so it won’t dehydrate.

Today it’s home to 33-thousand students, but when it launched in our Blind Date year there were only 53 students and 10 faculty at USC. That was the year that Tchaikovsky wrote Serenade for Strings in C…1880.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 12, 2007

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Off to Maui to celebrate our 9th anniversary. We were on the fast  trak when we arrived, but now just lounging and recharging. Wednesday 5am will come soon enough. Why am I checking email and journalling? Had to check on flights and see if we can get back. You can’t beat the price flying standby as an airline employee spouse, but it has it’s downsides…like you might not get to your destination on time.  All looks good for Tuesday flight back to SFO. EVerything on Maui is going “timeshare” whole resorts are being changed from hotel to timeshare units. Looks like you’re going to have to buy your way into paradise on monthly installments. Drove “up country” to where Maui’s winery is (Tedeschi). Pineapple wine! Diferent. Fun. Surprisingly good. Serious hangover potential. Time to brew up some Kona coffee and get ready for a day of “nothing much planned”.

Back on Wednesday.

Aloha,

 

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 9, 2007

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I love the Japanese. They have a most unique take on life. Their culture, especially pop culture is full of surprises. My latest bit of wonder is the news item about the toy maker TOMY and their new gadget/toy to inspire Japan’s youth to save. The Savings Bomb, to be introduced next week, will explode and scatter it’s contents around the room if you do not feed it regularly. “Users must pick up and collect scattered coins and reflect on their laziness,” said a company spokesman. Like I said on the Morning Show, that’s maybe a little to “zen” for kids in the U.S., but I bet we’ll see it on store shelves by Christmas.

First time winner Jordon from Greenbrae new that the most popular day for folks to throw a party at home is…Super Bowl Sunday. Jordon has seats waiting for him at SF Opera’s The Rakes Progress coming up in December. There’s a new prize Monday morning with Rik Malone.

Before I go…another discovery piece you might have heard first here on KDFC was from our Blind Date year. It was from Argentinian Astor Piazzola. His Ave Maria was from the year they broke up Ma Bell….1984.

Talk to you on Wednesday. Have a great weekend.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 8, 2007

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It’s one of the oldest fruits know to man. They spread from Persia to China and on around the world. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Homer have all extolled the virtues of…pomegranates. The pomegranate reached American shores by way of the Spanish conquistadors and the French named their hand-tossed explosive a grenade after the seed-scattering properties of the pomegranate fruit. It’s National Pomegranate Month and I commented the other day how I never got into them because, well, they’re fussy. I remember as a kid trying to pick the seeds out of the intricate little package they come in (an artful container, Mom Nature) like my friends. I’m too much of a “big gulp” kinda person. Give me the things I seek in big bites. My wife calls it the “Scorpio” in me. So it’s with thanks that I pass on some suggestions from Lisa and Ted. Lisa wrote “I recently learned how to open them w/out a lot of fuss:Cut them in 1/2, squeeze most of the seeds & juice into a bowl then w/the back of a wooden spoon hit the outside of the pomegranate and the seeds fall out into the bowl! If you mix them w/mangos, blueberries & a squeeze of lime juice it is a high in anti-oxidant fruit salad not to mention really delicious!” And Ted wrote: ” I press the half cut pomes with a citrus juice press. Yum, yum, just juice and no seeds. You”ll be surprised at the amount of juice one gets from one pome.” Thanks for the tips you two.

On his way back from a early morning visit to the gym, Dave from San Carlos called in with the answer to the Commuter Quiz. I’d asked about something that is increasingly necessary for Americans on the go. They were only for the privileged and well to do in Middle ages. One of the earliest from our country was signed in Paris by Ben Franklin and John Adams. It’s the passport. Dave is off to The Rakes Progress from SF Opera. Good luck tomorrow.

For the Blind Date I played music from the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius written in the year Russia responded to international pressure to free Finland by tightening imperial control over the country. The year was 1900.

Thanks for listening.

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Posted by Hoyt Smith on November 7, 2007

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A buzz all over web news sites today about a recent poll out of England from UKTV Gold Television about Britain’s most stupid laws. It’s bound to happen in a nation that’s as old as England. One law goes back to the time of Puritan Oliver Cromwell designed to outlaw gluttony. It’s still against the law to eat a mince pie on Christmas day. It’s also an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing a British monarch upside-down. Here’s the top ten silliest according to the poll. We still have some pretty stupid ones on the books in California. Allegedly it’s against the law for animals to mate within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. Yeah, try and stop them. No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour. Silly, but supposedly still on the books.

Folks are trying for SF Opera tickets to enjoy Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Rakes Progress on December 4th. Crossworder Jim from Greenbrae figured out that the one thing that “purple, orange and month” have in common is that they don’t rhyme with anything else in english.
Another chance or two through Friday morning at 6:30 am.

Hard to believe with the Yankee’s payroll closing in on $200-million per year that the team sold for a grand total of $10-million to a 12-person syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner the same year Paul McCartney wrote My Love. That was…1973. $10-million today wouldn’t even get A-Rod on the field for half the season.

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