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Friday, June 19, 2015

Havana No, Houston Si!

English: Photograph of the skyline of Downtown...
The skyline of Downtown Houston, Texas Category:Images of Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Not Going To Havana Anytime Soon

         Havana, Cuba may never be an actual travel destination for me, but it is a place that will hold some lure.  Recent rumors that Raul Castro might be returning to the Roman Catholic Church might bode well for the future of the island nation.   With an inevitable passing of the Castro brothers in the years to come or at very least their retirement from government affairs, maybe Cuba will see brighter days ahead and hopefully not continue down the ill-fated road still being traveled by the government of Venezuela.  Hopefully the next decade will see better relations between the United States and the countries of Latin America.   If only the drug cartel activity can be gotten under control, maybe Latin American still has a chance for prosperity not for just the few, but for many.

         Enmity between nations rarely serves any positive benefit.   At times the symbolic gesture can end up with a good result, but usually it is a symbolism that increases misunderstanding between peoples and resolves nothing in the long run.  But countries are really bodies of people with their own opinions and ideologies.  As it is with individuals sometimes it seems better to be right than to be compassionate even though what is right eventually gets lost in ambiguity and self-righteous pride while compassion is passed off as something merely for show.

Houston Here We Come

        Tomorrow I'll be packed up and on the long and winding road to Houston, Texas, land of heat and high humidity.  Hopefully the rains will have moved on--I can only pray that they would make their way to California--and we will avoid any flood problems.   I've got a lot of traveling ahead of me, but that also might mean less time on the computer.

        I've already cut back on my blog posting schedule, but I will attempt to stay as active as I conceivably can, internet willing and the creeks don't rise.  Please don't abandon me and keep commenting on my posts so I know you're there.   If I don't make regular visits to your blog posts I hope you'll understand and I'm sure most of you will.   I'm gonna try as best I can.

           And if you see a metallic cashmere colored Town and Country van flying by you on the highway, give a wave--it might be me.

My planned route over the summer




Battle of the Band Results





      From my standpoint of musical taste, I had two great choices in my Battle of June 15th.   I like both of the versions I presented and either one was worthy of a win.   If you read my most recent post at Wrote By Rote you would have learned about my long appreciation for the traditional music of Cuba.   In some of my past posts on Tossing It Out I have indicated my enjoyment of the modern Spanish rock music.

        This was a match up that was difficult for me to predict which way it would go.   In a sense I'm continuing to put out feelers to see how Latin musical styles will go over in my Battle of the Band segments because I have a number of other Battles planned using Spanish music and particularly Rock en español picks.  Seeing as how I received quite a number of votes on this contest I will proceed in the future with some more of this type of music.  Not for next few Battles mind you, but coming soon.

       Even though I'm a big fan of traditional Cuban music, my pick in this Battle was the version by Caifanes.   I think the group's mastermind Saúl Hernández creates some great music.  His current group Jaguares is one of the best of any rock group in the world according to my personal taste in music.   It's a style of music that I favor a great deal.   However in this most recent Battle I was in the minority of voters.  

         The traditional sound of Compay Segundo won by almost twice as many votes.

The Final Vote Tally:

Compay Segundo           24 Votes

Caifanes                          13 Votes

          Do you think the embargo against Cuba had any positive results?    When is a punitive economic action against another country beneficial?    Will you be discouraged from voting on my Battle of the Bands match-ups if I use Spanish music or music of other countries?   

53 comments:

  1. That's a heck of a big travel loop. Prepare for melting heat and humidity on the southern leg.

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    1. Alex, I'm not thrilled about that heat and humidity, but I think it will be everywhere I go back east.

      Lee

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  2. On the IH-10 you should be fine, Arlee. But anytime you need to do a check, you can get current road conditions in Texas at DriveTexas.org.

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    1. Barbara, I've used DriveTexas.org before when there were blizzard conditions. It can be helpful.

      Lee

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  3. Well it's lonesome in this old town
    Everybody puts me down
    I'm a face without a name
    Just walking in the rain
    Goin' back to Houston, Houston, Houston

    Hi, Lee! I've been to Houston in the summertime and it was a steam bath. Looks like you're ready to hit the road and I wish you safe travels ahead. This will be a wonderful adventure for you.

    To answer your question I will continue to support your band battles no matter what type of music you choose to present as long as you continue to support me. Blogging is all about freedom. Dare to be different, good buddy. That's my motto. By the way, I just noticed the comment you left a month ago on my 2010 post. Thank you for your interest, Lee!

    It's interesting that you voted for the Caifanes in your latest contest. I didn't expect that. In this latest round, I noticed that my vote matched yours more often than in previous battles, but we bet on different horses in this particular race.

    Once again I wish you a safe journey across the country and back, Lee. Stay in touch as much as you can and have a great time!

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    1. Shady, since our daughter moved to Houston some 6 years ago or so we've made regular visits there every summer--I haven't been too thrilled with the weather and we end up spending a lot of time indoors.

      I have always dared to be different and I don't see that changing.

      Lee

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  4. Speaking of enmity between nations, did you see that Russia is trying to launch an international investigation... into our moon landing!

    Drive safe!

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    1. Andrew, I didn't see that, but it might be an interesting story. What a stink if they do prove that it was faked!

      Lee

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    2. It-friggin'-WAS-faked... as anyone with two-brain-cells-to-rub-together and a working computer would have known... TWO-FRIGGIN'-DECADES ago!!!

      But then, the "Leftists" are ALWAYS the last to know.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      POSTSCRIPT:
      This investigation will surely fizzle because the Russians would ultimately have to admit that they faked their own Moon program. (Figuring this stuffs out ain't "Rocket Science", as a high school graduate with a straight-C grade average proves time and time again. And, yeah, that's me: High school graduate with a "C" average. Boy, do I feel dumb around all you college guys.)

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  5. I really enjoy Houston. Besides having family there to visit, I like the vibe of the city. And the bbq is fantastic. Enjoy your trip!

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    1. Karen, Houston like most cities has its good points, but still it's not my favorite place to go.

      Lee

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  6. I follow a blog of someone who lives in Canada, they had a recent trip to Cuba; it looked like a very interesting place to visit; but then I think Canada and Cuba look at each other different than United States and Cuba.

    Looks like a wonderful loop you are doing for your adventures. If you have the time, you'll see so much of the country! If you haven't been to Montana before, you'll definitely enjoy the Big Sky!

    betty

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    1. Betty, Canada never had the same issues that the U.S. had with Cuba. A lot of our attitude was shaped by the Cubans living in the U.S.--they've had a strong lobby, but that old generation is fading away.

      I love Montana. I spent a lot of time there in the 80's when I was traveling with the roadshow. We played a number of towns in Montana.

      Lee

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  7. The embargo probably didnt have positive effects for the people of Cuba. Perhaps a positive would have been how the mystique of old Cuba has grown.

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    1. Mike, our embargo was an economic setback for the Cuban people, but hopefully the Cubans will market their old world charm wisely to attract tourism. If our government doesn't screw things up the country should start seeing a flood of tourism with a lot of development of hotels and resorts.

      Lee

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  8. Safe travels, and see you soon Lee!

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    1. Jeff, we project an arrival time of somewhere around 6 or 7 Sunday evening depending on what time we get started that morning.

      Lee

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  9. Hope you have a safe trip. I think the rain is moving out of Texas and coming our way in PA over the next two days.

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    1. Susan, I'd still rather see the rain come to California.

      Lee

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  10. Lee, I'm going to be doing rather a lot of traveling this summer, too. In fact, I'm going to be sans Internet for most of the month of July. I think we need to unplug and just enjoy visiting family and friends. Take a break. So, I wish you well on your journey. Be safe out there!

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    1. Robin, I've never had to totally unplug when I travel because I often find myself with some lull time especially in early mornings when I'm up before everyone else.

      Hope your travel goes well. I wonder if we'll cross paths at any time?

      Lee

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  11. I enjoyed your BOTB and would never be put off by music from other countries and I don't understand why anyone would be. I certainly would enjoy it.

    I know you enjoy classical music Arlee and I'm wondering if you have listened to any of the compositions from the Japanese composers who score for video games. Here is a link to a piece from Final Fantasy VI being performed by The Royal Philharmonic
    https://youtu.be/nOJi5QSxJbw

    I listen to a lot of Japanese music and there is an artist whose career I've followed since he was very young. His name is Miyavi and now that he's appeared in the movie "Unbroken", I am hoping that Americans will discover his music. He can't be pigeonholed based on just one of his songs as he is constantly exploring music and evolving as an artist. Here is a link to one of his songs
    https://youtu.be/6WgKmK5DupM
    I think he is one of the most brilliant musicians of his generation.

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    1. Anne, I don't keep up with much never music period. These are both very nice pieces. I think our soundtrack and video game music might be the "classical" music of the future. There is some amazing talent out there.

      Lee

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  12. Oooooo that looks exciting. . . good luck with the trip

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    1. Rob, hopefully lots of fun ahead.

      Lee

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  13. It's actually a good thing you have a stop to make in Texas. I swear that state takes a month to cross by car! Have you ever been to Galveston?
    Though I do have favorites, I appreciate music in general and will give anything a listen so keep 'em coming :-)
    Happy Trails!

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    1. Diedre, we did go to Galveston a couple years ago. Where my daughter and SIL live now is even closer to there, but since they'll be working I don't know that we'll do too much sightseeing while I'm there.

      I try to keep the music enlightenment coming so hope my readers enjoy what I have to present.

      Lee

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  14. I would give anything to get an RV and travel the country. That's my dream. And Canada too. As for Cuba, I always thought the embargo was pretty stupid, esp. as we got into the 1990s.

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    1. JoJo, after a while I think most U.S. citizens no longer cared about the Cuban embargo and we were just hurting the Cuban people. Money is probably a bigger influence that ideologies and we could have won the Cubans over with our dollars.

      I'd love to do some Canadian travel like I used to. I'll see how this summer's trip goes.

      Lee

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  15. One of these days you'll actually have to stop in Arizona, Lee!

    Safe travels!

    Larry

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    1. Larry, now that my sister no longer lives there it's more difficult since my wife is always in a hurry to get to Houston. Maybe one day I can come by myself.

      Lee

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  16. You have a busy on-the-road trips for your summer. Will you be seeing the gr-kids on the way?? Safe journey!
    Cuba is on my list of places not to visit.

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    1. Susan, yes will be seeing the 4 grandkids plus the one who is coming any day now.

      My wife won't go to Cuba either, but she likes everything modern.

      Lee

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  17. Wow, that's some road trip. Best of luck on your travels, Lee.

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    1. Leo, we'll see how road worthy I still am. Thanks!

      Lee

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  18. Have a safe journey Lee and enjoy your week-end.
    Yvonne.

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  19. I lived in Houston for 30 years, and the heat wave of 2011 finally chased us away. But I know about wanting to be near family. We recently decided to spend winter in NYC to be closer to our daughter (we live in western Washington). Some people think we're nuts for doing this, but it's what works for us on many levels.

    Safe travels, and stay cool!

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    1. Nadine, sometimes we make sacrifices to accommodate the situations. I'm not overly happy about not being closer to our grandkids.

      Lee

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  20. IMO, this BOTB turned out the way it should have.

    I enjoy a lot of international music. I particularly like the Cuban sound. I think, many think the Latin sound is all the same, but not to my ears. The Cuban sound is very distinctive, the sound of the Caribbean to me, although I know many don't necessarily think so. Most people think of Reggae as the sound of the Caribbean, but it too has it's roots in the Cuban sound and certainly the African sound. I guess you actually have to be there to understand that as well as the politics.

    I doubt it will simply take the passing of the Castros to make monumental changes in Cuba, but if the 'big money' decides it so, then the changes will come. No matter where you go, there they are; the men who control the $$$.

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    1. FAE, The music of Latin America is hugely diverse just like in the United States. There are many of the styles that I enjoy tremendously.

      Money talks and taints. Cuba will undoubtedly change as the more dollars flow in.

      Lee

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  21. Quite the journey you have planned there! Though why you'd want to go to Houston in the summertime?? Egads, it's soooooo hot and humid. Though this year may not be as bad as normal: El Nino is having a fabulous effect on the temperatures here in Texas. It's usually unbearable this time of year but this year, not so much. I fear we'll be getting oppressive heat in July and August, but the cooler temps and all the rain is so welcome. (Except when the rains are causing the devastating flooding). Have a safe and fabulous journey Lee. Be safe driving. And come back to tell us wonderful stories of your travels.
    Michele at Angels Bark

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  22. I wish you could push some of that rain but not the hail and high winds to middle Georgia. Just blow a line through the middle and half goes to California and the other to Georgia. If only you were a superhero, Weatherman.

    That would be a boring comic book. You have touched on several good points. The reconnection of Cuba to the rest of world would help Cuba. I agree about the animosity between countries. Those who make trouble in their own house shall inherit the wind. True for families, countries and the world.

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  23. That is one hell of a journey. And yet, I feel jealous. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  24. Come on, admit it Lee, that map shows the parade route in your honour, sorry, "honor".

    Dude, you can use any kind of music or language you want. A bit of thrash metal is fine with me.

    I think the embargo against Cuba was rather pointless. What next, America invades Grenada?

    Have fun and happy trails to you.

    Gary

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  25. I had a feeling you would pick the Caifanes and glad you did:) I love music from other countries so I will look forward to it. It is all about learning new music and culture. Cuba has old cars from the 50's which is actually quite cool. They don't have to pay for their health like the Americans do and have it better than the U.S. I think in that way. Sometimes I feel we can see Cuba and it is as if time has not passed for them in some ways.

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  26. This is the third time I've typed this on my iPad from the car. If they all come through, you're going to hate me. Have a great time and a safe trip. Maybe you'll find some fry bread out west.

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    1. This is what happens when you're a slacker and fall off the grid: you forget your password and you lose your picture. :(

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  27. Hi Lee.
    Looks like location "D" is my town! If so, prepare for "the devil beating his wife" weather. Yep, that's when the sun is shining with lots of lovely clouds overhead, but it's raining. It's quite beautiful. This time last year I had a complete rainbow across my back yard... both ends touched the ground!

    My BOTB choice lost, but I like think using other languages in music is great fun! I've strongly considered using the Chinese and French languages in battles. We'll see.

    Have fun and be safe!!

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  28. I hope your road trip is going well, Lee. :)
    My choice didn't win the battle, but I love Spanish music of all types, along with music in any other language. After all, music is the universal language, yes?
    As mentioned, Cuba has long been a vacation mecca for Canadians and everyone I know who went there enjoyed it. It's also cheaper than some of the other caribbean resorts. Only complaint I've heard is lack of WiFi. The workers are very poor though and hopefully, with the embargo lifted, the standard of living will improve there. It's never been on my bucket list, but I would consider going in the dead of winter, if it was a good bargain.

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    1. I imagine there will be some Cuba package bargains getting offered soon.

      Lee

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  29. Have the BEST time Arlee! A long and winding road! Safe travels there and back and the best of times in between!

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee