Friday, January 27, 2023

2023 - NO LANGUISHING ALLOWED - TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR WORLD

 IT'S STILL CHILLY HERE IN GOD'S COUNTRY - BUT SPRING IS COMING!

OK. I was remiss all of 2022. Busy, Covid, Excuses, Blah Blah Blah. I have posted nary a travel post in over a year. The first week of this year I was recovering from the Love and Power of Christmas. I was sitting in the recliner watching reruns and being utterly worthless. My significant other, my one and only, my lover, my wife, and my best friend found an article on LANGUISHING. I am paraphrasing as to what the commentary actually said but basically, it said the following:

You are lying on the couch or sitting lifeless in the recliner - you are napping on and off all day - you have no desire to actually do anything - you think you may be despondent or depressed - but you are not. You are Languishing. According to Adam Grant of The New York Times, this long word means "A sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield." The word has been used in mental health circles since 2021. But it can come upon you at unexpected times - like right after Christmas and New Years.

I made up my mind - I WILL LANGUISH NO MORE - I will write, I will work and I will listen to great music and plan our next trip to places known and unknown. 

To get you thinking about Travel, I thought I would share some random thoughts from mild humor to insane dreaming. Great travel thoughts by famous and not so famous travelers who think travel, at the very least, is a requirement for an interesting, thought-provoking, and searching mind.

So here goes - Quotes from Afar!!

  • “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag
  • “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller
  • “Vacation calories don’t count. Right?” – Unknown
  • “I need six months of vacation, twice a year.” – Unknown
  • “The most stylish country in the world is Italy.” – Nick Rhodes

  • “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
  • “France is to me the heroine in the romance of all the nations of all time.” — Lt. William Arthur Sirmon
  • "The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.” – Wallace Stevens
  • “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
  • “In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.” – Robin Leach

  • “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "Paris is always a good idea" - Audrey Hepburn
  • The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” – Mark Twain
  • "France is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.” — John Gunther

  • “You may have the universe if I may have Italy” – Giuseppe Verdi

  • "America is not just a country, it's an idea." - Bono

  • “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures.” – Lovelle Drachman
  • ‘If I ever get lost, don’t look for me too far. I’ll be walking in Madrid.’ – Unknown
  • “In Paris, they simply stared when I spoke to them in French, I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.” — Mark Twain
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “Life is short and the world is wide.” – Unknown
  • “France is beautiful. I stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower today and looked up at it. There are very few times in my life I’ve felt so small.” — Leisa Rayven
  • ‘The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.’ – Christopher Columbus
  • Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Never go on trips with someone you do not love" - Ernest Hemingway
  • “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” — Charles de Gaulle

And finally a profound quote for all Vagabonds who just can't wait.

“Please understand, I have been waiting to leave ever since I figured out that there were roads willing to take me anywhere I wanted to go.” - Unknown

So, get up, make a plan and just GO!!! You always learn new things when you travel. And, if you become a true wandering Vagabond, you will stay in amazing cool places, you will meet some of the most interesting people and you will enjoy some of the greatest food on the planet, no matter where you decide to go.

Enjoy, Jouir, Godere, Disfrutar, Mwynhau

In any language, just travel and ENJOY the world - It's still big enough to see what you dream!

D.LStafford 
thenomadARCHITECT
Here's a little ditty, written by the Man in Black, performed by The Sunny Cowgirls.












Sunday, December 25, 2022

HALLELUJAH! IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY - WE CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST & ENJOY THE LOVE OF THIS SPECIAL DAY

TO ALL VAGABONDS CELEBRATING THIS DAY -  MERRY CHRISTMAS 

Here we are - It's finally Christmas Day. Like all Vagabonds, I have memory after memory of Christmas from my growing up days to my kids' growing up days. It's the one time of year when you can just enjoy the stress and the joy of December. The gifts, the tree, the decorating - All fun! And the cooking. I've said it many many times - Without the women in our lives, it just wouldn't be worth it, and we would never have any good food to eat! But that's a story for another post on TNA. I fervently wish everyone who has listened to the music and read some of the stories on the 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - A VERY VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Here is a great tune to celebrate this day - NO. 1 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - ANNE WILSON & JOSH TURNER - THE MANGER.
.

IMHO - The greatest piece of music ever written is from the classical work Messiah by George Fredric Handel in 1741 - THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS. Here The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS with over 2,000 people from around the world virtually singing from videos uploaded to YouTube. Watch and hear the amazing sound of this classic piece of music by one of the largest virtual choirs ever assembled.


Enjoy your day with family and friends. And a Very Merry Christmas to all Vagabonds everywhere.

D.L.Stafford

“For to us, a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9-6









Saturday, December 24, 2022

CHRISTMAS EVE - NO. 2 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - WHAT A NIGHT!

 


One of the most hallowed nights of the year will be here in a few hours. It starts to bring back all of those memories we have of trying to go to sleep as we were ordered by our parents. Very tough for your basic 5 or 6 year old. 

First up today is a unique reading by the one and only Louis Armstrong. If you have little kids, make sure they see this distinctive Christmas video. NO. 2 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - LOUIS ARMSTRONG - A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS ('TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS).


To celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ - NO. 2 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - A compelling arrangement and video - LITTLE DRUMMER BOY.


And to wrap up Christmas Eve - One of the greatest radio personalities to ever wax eloquently over the airwaves - PAUL HARVEY gives us a different take on the BETHLEHEM INN KEEPER sometime in the early sixties.


Get plenty of sleep tonight, you're going to need it!

Merry Christmas

D.L.Stafford

“Christmas Eve ought to be a very joyful evening to us in all its associations, in all the truths which it naturally brings to the soul…. A man’s soul is to be as the heavens were on the night when the shepherds looked up and saw them full of angels as well as stars.” – Henry Ward Beecher











Friday, December 23, 2022

ONLY THREE MORE DAYS - NO. 3 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - GREAT SINGING - GREAT DANCING


We are nearing the final days of THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN. I have been hard at work finding mostly new tunes with some old standards thrown in. Today, you will hear one of the greatest Gospel groups to ever grace the stage. In addition, you will hear a group I discovered when they recorded Jingle Bells with Michael Buble'. And last, but not least, is a new discovery for me - A British phenom bringing a very cool song with some very cool dancing - Enjoy!

Bottom Line - I love Southern Gospel music. It just has a feel to it. Since 1981 The Gaither Vocal Band has ensured that the spirit and sound of Southern Gospel Music remains alive & well. It has changed members many times since then, but they are always performing new innovative tunes to audiences all over the world. NO. 3 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - THE GAITHER VOCAL BAND presents MARY WAS THE FIRST ONE TO CARRY THE GOSPEL.


OK - It's Friday and I know that many of you Vagabonds will be attending one, two, or even three parties or family gatherings to celebrate Christmas. So, today, we'll close out Friday with a couple of tunes that will fire you up for the weekend.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE PUPPINI SISTERS. These girls can sing!


And if this last tune doesn't get you going - Sorry - Merry Christmas anyway. British sensation -
Si Cranstoun with three backup singers and dancers performs A CHRISTMAS TWIST.


This music makes me wanna' dance - LOL!!! Christmas is only two days away. I hope you're ready.

Merry Christmas

D.L.Stafford


William W. Purkey
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey





















Thursday, December 22, 2022

IT'S THURSDAY - NO. 4 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - TIME TO HEAR FROM THE BOYS !

TODAY - WE'LL LISTEN TO SOME OF THE GREATEST MALE SINGERS TO EVER TAKE A STAGE SINGING CHRISTMAS TUNES

When I hear male singers hitting all those notes, high and low, and singing with amazing passion, fast or slow, I can't get enough. Today's post features some of the truly great singers both gospel and secular. Like any male singer I have always aspired to achieve the levels of inspired singing by the artists in today's post.

First up today features one of the greatest Gospel singers to ever record - NO. 4 on THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - Multiple Grammy winner LARNELLE HARRIS presents Sweet Little Jesus Boy with a strong Gospel Choir backing.


And then there is the one and only David Phelps, a longtime member of the award-winning Gaither Vocal Band, giving us his take on the classic OH HOLY NIGHT with the Vocal Band.


No list of great male singers would be complete without the great Tom Jones. I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible singer from his early days to a show in Saint Petersburg a few years ago. Take a listen as Jones gives us a killer version of JESUS IS HERE TO STAY & JESUS ON THE MAINLINE at the tender young age of 77 with a power choir behind him! 


Once again - Crank up the volume. These guys peel the paint!

Merry Christmas

D.L.Stafford


  • “Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it. You feel it. You know it. You remember it." — Kevin Alan Milne, "The Paper Bag Christmas"





Wednesday, December 21, 2022

NO. 5 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - HOW ABOUT A LITTLE CLASSICAL FOR MIDWEEK?

CLASSICAL MUSIC FROM A MASTER IS ALWAYS COMPELLING AND PROFOUND

I'm no expert when it comes to the music of the Classical Masters. Suffice to say - Listening to Beethoven's 9th or Mozart's Requiem gives me a sense of history and majesty that comes from the geniuses who wrote the music and the talented players who perform it. Mozart was only 15 when he wrote his First Symphony.

Today's music features one of the greatest compositions by Ludwig von Beethoven ever written. This is the longest piece of music ever posted on The Countdown. I must admit to being emotionally moved beyond myself every time I hear this powerful composition by one of the world's greatest composers. Beethoven wrote Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Opus 125 between 1822 and 1824. 

One source states that he was completely deaf when he wrote this choral symphony.  Others say he was profoundly deaf. Ultimately, it really doesn't matter. I do hope you will listen to this Finale, the 4th Movement of the 9th Symphony. I highly recommend watching and listening on a large, big screen TV with the sound turned up high. NO. 5 on the 2022 Christmas Countdown - Ludwig von Beethoven's 9th Symphony - Finale - 4th Movement - Performed by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the The German State Berlin Choir comprised of over 200 singers and directed by award-winning conductor Daniel Barenboim


Here's a quick movie clip about the life of the composer. This clip shows the emotion and power of Beethoven's 9th Symphony - From the film Immortal Beloved starring the Oscar winning actor Gary Oldman.  Beethoven steps up on stage to stand facing the orchestra "feeling" the music he cannot hear. Then the conductor turns him around to face the wildly applauding audience as the 9th is completed. 


I hope you enjoy this moving powerful music by one of the greatest composers in history.

Merry Christmas

D.L.Stafford

“Consider difficulties as stepping stones to a better life.” Ludwig Van Beethoven.


Tuesday, December 20, 2022

NO. 6 ON THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - A NEW GUY ON THE NOMAD ARCHITECT BLOG

CROWDER - I RECENTLY BECAME AWARE OF THIS GREAT CHRISTIAN ARTIST - HE'S ON TODAY

I discovered this talented artist after talking to one of my favorite relatives, who has very hip taste in music, about new Christian artists and he mentioned this guy and his band. So, I did a little research and checked him out. Crowder and his squad of players impress. 

CROWDER released his first record in 2014 entitled Neon Steeple and has been a force in the contemporary Christian music scene ever since. 

So here are a couple of cuts showing the evolution of Christian music with today's featured writer, performer and producer putting out some interesting new music. First up is a very cool Christmas Tune - NO. 6 0N THE 2022 CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN - CROWDER - THANKS GIVER


And just to show that CROWDER has a humorous perspective on Santa Claus and Christmas - THE ELF SONG.


I Hope your shopping and wrapping are nearing completion.

Merry Christmas

D.L.Stafford

"A cynic is just a man who found out when he was about 10 that there wasn't any Santa Claus, and he's still upset." - James Gould