What’s it like to be a musician on a cruise ship

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I played piano in the show band on the RCCL Navigator of the Seas from June 9 thru July 14, 2013. Ports of call included Rome, Sicily, Athens Crete and Ephesus (Turkey). This was my first time doing a cruise ship gig and it was a fun experience.

So what’s it like working as a musician on a cruise ship? I had read a lot of horror stories online so I was prepared for the worst. But you know what, it was pretty fun! Much better than I had anticipated.

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USA Green Card Lottery Scam

This is a really horrible scam. People that sign up for the USA green card lottery are sent emails saying they have won a green card. They just have to send in $800 for processing. It is not true. It is a scam. It is a lie. I hope innocent people that don’t know much English understand this. It’s not true.

The US Department of State has a scam warning here:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1749.html

This email is being sent to people that actually entered the real US green card lottery (Yes, there is such a thing.) The REAL United States green card lottery from the US Department of State is located here:
http://www.dvlottery.state.gov

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Venetian Macau Changes It’s Tune

The Venetian Macau has changed it’s tune as of around Spring 2011. I don’t mean this in a symbolic sense, it’s literal. And maybe I’m the only one who has noticed or cares – it’s quite possible.

When I first started working at the Venetian Macau in April of 2011, all the background music piped through the hallways and upper shopping canals was Vivaldi. I’m pretty sure it was all Vivaldi all the time; specifically the Four Seasons. At the time I commented how much I loved it. The recordings were great with fine string performances. A friend said “Just wait, after six months you’ll be sick of it and never want to hear it again.” But I didn’t find that was true. I loved the music when I first heard it and still loved it three years later.

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Definition of Bull Market and Bear Market from local Chinese

So I’m talking with a friend here in Macau, China about stocks and I asked them if they knew about the terms Bull Market and Bear Market. They said yes. The Bear Market is when stocks go down. They said the phrase comes from the old West in America. The cowboys would sit around and got very bored so they decided to bring in a bear to fight with a cow. The bear lost to the cow. So a Bear Market means the stock is losing.

Oh c’mon, that’s just so darn cute. I asked them for clarification, “The bear lost to the cow?” and they said most certainly, “Yes!”

Lens Comparison Canon 5D Mark II

Here’s a video I made for a lens comparison on the Canon 5D Mark II using Final Cut Express, MPEG Streamclip and ProTools 9. Footage is automatic settings with tripod at 25 (23.98) frames per second. Lenses in the comparison are:

  • Canon 24-105mm f/4L
  • Canon 50mm f/1.4
  • Canon 15mm Fisheye f/2.8
  • Tamron 20mm f/1.8

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ZAIA Live Promo – Hunan China TV

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjQwMDU1MzYw.html

Cirque Du Soleil artists from the ZAIA show did a live television promo up in Hunan, China in late January 2011. It featured the acts of Straps, Skate and Hand to Hand.

I don’t know how to embed that link because it’s from a Chinese website – but it’s there if you’d like to watch it. I’ve been told that the spot was seen by several million viewers in mainland China.

2011 Chinese New Year – Kong Hei Fat Choi!

Kong Hei Fat Choi from Macau, China! 2011 is the year of the rabbit so that should be fun for all of us. Above is video and photos I shot in Macau on Chinese New Year’s Eve (February 2, 2011). Pictures of Senado Square, Macau Tower fireworks and my personal adventures purchasing rockets and explosives on the Macau waterfront. Good times.

And here is a very fun video from Mr. Kong Macau News. This was my third Chinese New Year living in Macau and this one was the best ever! I gave out my lucky red pocket lai cee cards to all the security guards and even received on myself at work.

Sentosa Island Singapore

Just spent three days in Singapore and thought I’d share some of my thoughts on attractions there and on Sentosa Island as of January 2011.

If you want to book Sentosa Island Resorts World visit:
http://www.rwsentosa.com

If you want to book some tours or harbor cruises in Singapore visit:
http://www.dosomethingdifferent.com

(I printed up my vouchers from the DoSomethingDifferent website and called locally to confirm each reservation and had no problems. Very smooth and enjoyable process)

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Christmas Story: Chinese Restaurant Singing

The waiters singing Deck The Halls at the Chinese restaurant in the movie Christmas Story.

Now I know so many people that love this scene so much from that movie. I just showed this clip to a Chinese friend of mine and asked them if they thought it was funny. They said, “No, it’s normal”. They didn’t see the humor in it. They said “That’s what I would sound like if I sang the song”.

So I bet in China they must have some movie clips where Westerners are trying to sing Chinese or something like that. Anyways….I love this scene from the movie.

Merry Christmas 2010!

Karl and Conrad 2010 Vacation Thailand and Cambodia

November 2010 my cousin Karl and I took a two week vacation through Thailand and Cambodia. This is the second video I’ve ever made and did it on Imovie with a Mac. It was very fun to work on. After doing a few more on Imovie I plan on jumping into Final Cut and learning how to edit video in that. I have Final Cut Express to start. If you have any video tips or websites with tutorials that would be much appreciated.

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English Practice: Taking a Taxi to Texas to Pay Taxes

A Chinese friend of mine came up with a mild tongue twister: Taking a taxi to Texas to pay taxes. I thought it was something from an English book like “Sally Sells Seashells by the Seashore”. But they said they made it up. I googled it and don’t see it anywhere on the web. I guess I’m a geek. I think it’s so cool that it’s original.

So play a stupid game with me and let’s see how much we can expand on it. The first version was “taxi to Texas”, then someone added “to pay taxes” and someone added “taking” so we have:

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2010 Thailand and Poi Pet Cambodia Border Crossing Details

Last week (October 2010) I crossed the border from Thailand into Poi Pet, Cambodia. I had read on internet forums and websites about how hairy it is with scams at every corner. My experience was exactly as others had mentioned so I wanted to detail that information for other people that plan on making that crossing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poipet

If you’re crossing the Cambodia/Thailand border via Poi Pet it’s probably because you are going to or coming from Siem Reap (Angor Wat) Cambodia. Angor Wat was fantastic. I cannot imagine anyone who would not enjoy it. Well worth the journey. So here’s info to make your journey safer.

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女導遊喪鬧大陸客 7分鐘 熱爆網 Hong Kong Tour Guide Pressures Tourists to Shop

香港导游阿珍骂大陆游客购物不够多摄像录音_在线视频观看_土豆网视频 香港旅游 导游阿珍 导游骂人 大陆游客 港澳游.flv

Video is in Chinese. Hong Kong tour guide says “Spend more, you’ll be happier… don’t tell me you don’t need [to buy more], next you’ll be telling me you don’t need to eat at meal time. I will lock you out of your hotel rooms because you don’t need them [either].”

Continue reading 女導遊喪鬧大陸客 7分鐘 熱爆網 Hong Kong Tour Guide Pressures Tourists to Shop