Jake W.

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Everything posted by Jake W.

  1. Just wanted to share my little summer routine of the last few years, and God do I miss it. I work a summer restaurant job (teaching pays like #### in Colorado), and our getting-older Great Dane can't handle the intense mountain sun (day walks mostly amount to laying lazily in the grass). So, every summer night, for the past few years, I strictly avoid checking DrumScorps notifications on my phone at work; then I get home at 11:00ish or midnight, make myself a cocktail or pour myself a beer (and grab a few extra), take the pup on a much-cooler late night walk, and finally check the scores for the evening. After digesting said scores, I'd then look at the recaps and digest the caption placements, and would wrap up the walk by searching YouTube for bootlegged videos from the night, or rewatching those I had found from the night before. Maybe would post some booze-soaked thoughts on DCP upon returning home, or wait until I got up the following afternoon to do so. All of that routine is still in place --- except for the checking of scores. Now I'll listen to a podcast or some music or just think, but god do I miss the ritual of diving deep into the drum corps world while unwinding every night. It is a noticeable absence from the nighty walk. Just seems like a part of summer is gone. Life is good, and everyone I love is healthy, but I thought I'd lament the noticeable absence of an activity I love dearly : )
  2. I believe your problem is more with current writing trends than the number of mallet instruments in the front ensemble. For better or for worse, the mallets in the front ensemble currently shoulder a majority of the weight of beginning and ending musical phrases, something I assume your long-listened ears were once used to hearing the brass do. Cutting the number of mallets won't change modern drum corps writing style, it'll only make it sound thinner. It is what it is, and I'm not saying it's good or bad, merely pointing out that gathering from your posts, your problems might be more with a current writing trend itself rather than with the number of mallet instruments present.
  3. Oh no that's not what I meant at all! Of course all groups do; having marched drum corps in any capacity is to have laid the groundwork for competent adulthood. I just mean that those four corps I mentioned specifically place a higher emphasis on that throughout the season than competition results; listening to any interview with an Academy staff member for example reveals that their operation and ground game is different than those striving to achieve a consistent Finalist or Top X status. Neither approach to a season is superior to the other, I'm just reiterating that these more experience-driven corps exist and are just as vital to the activity as the highly competitive corps.
  4. A friendly reminder as well to those donating a few bucks over the next year that lower-ranking & recently-founded corps will be just as in need of our support. By all accounts, groups like The Academy, Troopers, Seattle Cascades, & Colts work in a bit of a different arena each season in that they emphasize turning out excellent members of society over the placements of the season. These organizations are just as integral to our activity's health as the headliners that draw the giant crowds. Not to mention the help terrific younger groups Genesis, Music City, Guardians, & Legends will need who don't necessarily have the deep alumni support, simply because they haven't existed long enough to have churned a generation or two of alum through their program. 2019 saw groups like Pacific Crest and Jersey Surf on top of their games like never before and having thriving seasons, and that's what will keep our activity alive and well in addition to the big names returning to success in 2021.
  5. Your snark always makes me chuckle, skevinp : ) and maybe we'll get rpbobcat to stop posting in poetry.
  6. Absolutely not my opinion, and I did mean vastly considered as I typed it; i.e., by most metrics, Italy's healthcare system is considered superior to ours. The WHO ranks them at 2nd to our 37th, and the OECD has Italy ahead of us in population coverage, lower expenditure per person, higher nurses per capita, beds per capita, life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, cancer incidence, number of adults with diabetes, obesity rates, and higher access to health care (we have a much higher rate of consultations skipped due to cost, prescribed medicines skipped due to cost, out of pocket medical expenses, and a lower rate of physician density per capita, number of pharmacists per capita, and number of doctor consultations per person), among many other metrics that I didn't include because they're not directly related to hospitals, which is what this conversation is about. All of this can be found in the OECD's "Health at a Glance" book they publish online every year. To be fair, the U.S. leads Italy in some categories, like cancer survival rates and doctor pay, but Italy wins the aggregate by far. Again, I don't intend for this to be a referendum on our health care system --- I'm circling back again to the point that Italy is facing a humanitarian crisis with a hospital system overwhelmed by the sweep of the coronavirus, and we are consistently about two weeks behind them in this pandemic, with what seems to be a less-prepared healthcare system. Every single American citizen needs to be paying attention to what is happening in Italy right now, which was the point of the post I quoted & echoed.
  7. ...because their healthcare is vastly considered superior to ours. So people live longer. But, yes, more older people skews the data for coronavirus. On the other hand, Americans are obese at a rate of about 4 times more than Italians, so there's that trade off of respiratory side effects vs. the elderly.
  8. The current situation in Italy is something every single American citizen should research intensely. It's where we'll be in a few weeks' time if we don't continue to curb this. Italy's hospitals are entirely and utterly overwhelmed; most ICUs aren't taking any patients over 70, and people are dying every day because they can't receive proper medical care; not because Italy's healthcare system is poor or inferior, but because doctors simply can't get to everyone and those who are sick can't get into hospitals. For those who think this can't or won't happen here, Italy's healthcare system is consistently ranked, year after year, by the WHO as among the top 3 in the WORLD. Their hospitals are among the most technologically advanced in the world and they're sinking, hard. For comparison, we are generally ranked in the 30s in terms of health care quality year after year. Fun (and by fun I mean horrifying) fact: according to the OECD, the US's average hospital bed available per 1,000 U.S. citizens is 2.8 of them; Italy has been ahead of us with around 3.2 available per 1,000 citizens. Their hospitals are entirely overwhelmed and can't provide care to the number of patients who have contracted coronavirus. This is not a post about our healthcare system; it's more just to say that a lot of us have a tendency to think of Italy's failures as the result of an inferior system, when in all reality, they have the best-rated & best-performing healthcare systems and doctors year after year in the world, and they can't seem to handle this. I certainly don't mean to fear monger, I just think the situation in Italy is ridiculously sobering, and every U.S. citizen needs to do everything they can to stop the spread from getting to the point of Italy. Also, we should all be eyes-wide-open aware of what's going on over there right now. No one can claim ignorance or peddle in conspiracy theories at this point.
  9. As long as the hem on her skirt is low enough, we're safe.
  10. Per the death rates being significantly inflated over what we will eventually see, as discussed ad nauseam 15 pages back or so, that's the point! Yes, we will all be trying to prove a negative at that point, but the idea is that we DO take the precautions we're taking now so that this doesn't spread and that the death rate does remain lower than anticipated. Again, ###### if you do, ###### if you don't. We already have estimates of what it is in South Korea, China, Japan, & Italy, why not try every attempt to make that death rate much lower here, which will inevitably make it look like we were overreacting? My argument with FlamMan is not on the merits of whether we should be washing our hands or not, it's his implications that all this is overreaction as a form of conspiracy by the MSM to discredit the president, which is, of course, absolutely insane and has no basis in reality.
  11. That's what you're hinging everything on, your experience with hygiene in Italy? In the real world, people go by facts, and all medical sources put the average death rate for the coronavirus around 3%. No one should go off of anything else other than facts, and it makes perfect sense to use them as predictors and close all major events and schools out of precaution. To imply that this thing is a conspiracy against the president to make him look bad is nothing short of sheer barking lunacy. Back up your arguments or get off the pot. I just told you in two different replies that this is either 15 or 150 times more deadly than H1N1, using YOUR numbers in each case. In the face of those numbers, how can you still call this a conspiracy?
  12. OF COURSE. 3% death rate means 97% survive, and most with benign symptoms. But if, again, it reaches the same number of 60 million that swine flu did, then almost TWO MILLION U.S. CITIZENS WILL DIE. That's a gigantic number. FIFTY TWO TIMES the number of people (34,200) that died in the last complete flu season in the US. Why would you not try your hardest to quarantine this?!
  13. And also, a .03% death rate (again, the virus is relatively new to our country), is still FIFTEEN TIMES HIGHER than swine flu! Why don't you understand why everyone is taking all the precautions necessary?
  14. I can't understand why you're burying your head in the sand so hard on this one. everyone is trying desperately not to let it get to 60 million infected, because then almost 2 million people will likely die. The current death rate estimation is at 3.4% from the aggregate of all countries infected, not the US, where the virus is relatively young. Look to Italy, South Korea, China, Japan to see how this virus most likely will progress. Why on earth would we assume it won't progress with the same death rate here and not take every precaution?!
  15. I'm with a few others in that I don't think the "any instrument" proposal is particularly hair-raising; the important ones to me are actually the sound reinforcement & brass amplification limiting proposals. Having spent millions of hours on these forums, I feel like THAT'S where the current distraught mostly lies within the fan community; yes, we all have nebulous discussions about whether drum corps will fundamentally change with a woodwind instrument on the field, but the real ink has been spilled (proverbially) in the last few seasons over the purity & authenticity of the sound being produced on the field, as well as where it's physically coming from and often how harsh and unbearable it has become in the first few rows. I've seen this discussed a million times more than most other subjects, and I think these are the rule changes at stake that could go the furthest in preserving the authenticity of the activity. Even more, I feel like now would be the perfect time to put limits on sound reinforcement --- the cat is far from out of the bag, corps are still experimenting, and now is the time to enact limits after a few seasons of free-range testing. Those are the two proposals I'll be watching with the most curiosity.
  16. "Ok Boomer" could not apply any more thoroughly.
  17. Bump. Gotta be some people around here who marched and have an idea. Anyone know if they’re planning on returning in 2020?
  18. Do you mean John Meehan? If so, I relegate most of his original compositions as well to the category of forgettable/uninteresting that houses the vast majority of works written for the field.
  19. It's way less common than it was at its height in the mid-00s, and thank whatever deity you believe in for that. Only one Finalist in the past 10 seasons has had a music book composed of primarily original music: Xmen's Continuum (Andrew Markworth) in 2016. Otherwise, it's been over a decade since Blue Stars flirted with original Frank Sullivan shows, SCV tried out original Key Poulan music, Cavies used original Saucedo music, etc. It's a mostly-passed trend, thankfully, and that's even apparent in the BOA world: long time original music hold outs Tarpon Springs (Sullivan) and Carmel (Saucedo) have been using real music for the past 5+ years, and have found much more consistent success with it. Original music on the field has always been a pet peeve of mine, especially at the high school level. I was teaching at various band camps during my college years in the late 00s and early 10s just when this trend was sweeping through the high school marching band world, and I watched way too many groups I worked with spend 5-6 months focused on nothing but a wind book that most would call musically uninteresting and unworthy of performing, lacking in all hallmarks of musicality other than some non-organic technical passages. One caveat: at this point, heavily original music shows seem to be suitable for lower tier drum corps (not marching bands, whose students should still be learning how to play musically) who are rebuilding, or who need a cohesive vehicle that can take them to a certain point. There's something to be said for the design team creating something together and tying up elements that maybe weren't aligned before --- a great example is Genesis this year, or Mandarins leading up to 2017. Granted, using all or heavily original music shows keeps a ceiling on the group as well (Mandarins 2016 went about as high up as they could with that show), but I do think it can provide a cohesive vehicle for groups near the bottom who maybe don't have one otherwise. Once you get to a certain point in the rankings, all-original music books don't hold a candle to a masterfully-designed music book with great source material.
  20. I'm positive 2019 will stick out as one of the great top 2 rivalries of the years. I've revisited both shows with alarming alacrity since the season's end, and I believe both shows will age well --- not a dull moment in either one.
  21. I do disagree on this point. I comb these forums like a madman and can't get enough of drum corps throughout the season, and this seemed to be a very popular BD show. I think the general consensus seemed to be that most loved both BD & Bloo this year.
  22. What's with the resurrections of all these 10-15 year old threads this season??
  23. An interesting twist to this thread: those who are intrigued by this idea vs. those who are totally confused as to why anyone would put a Babs (or even worse, "who's that?") show on the field is a clear litmus test for who's gay and who's straight on DCP. Babs is before my time; millennial gays might prefer a Gaga compendium, although we as a people always pay respects to any of the Great Divas.
  24. ####, that’s disappointing. They’ve developed such a lush, sonorous brass ensemble sound over his time period there! But, Blue Stars are nothing if not intrepid when it comes to getting the best people in and keeping them around. I’m sure this won’t even be a bump in the road.
  25. Agreed! I revisit it with frequency. It truly does check all of the boxes for any drum corps fan --- a vague storyline that was insanely clear without being heavy-handed (and unique at the same time....how many other "death comes for the bride and then eventually the groom and they're reunited happily in the afterlife" shows have we seen? I would imagine the number would be close to zero), full hummable melodies and the use of well-known repertoire, the bizarre choice of ending with the ballad that proved to be one of the best choices they could have made, the xylobones, the beautifully written (and performed!) flugelhorn solo in Unchained Melody...ah. Seriously. I could wax poetic about that show all day long. Impeccable design choices for every detail, large & small. What I also love is that they were comfortably in Finals after Prelims & Semis; Boston was of course the corps that memorably knocked Madison out, meaning that the show is one of the few isolated Finalist events that isn't really viewed as knocking someone else out, so there's really no bad blood towards this show from anyone --- fans or members who competed against it.