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Sam Barry's Blog

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Jul.18.2009
Venice, Italy: We were lost in the historic sinking city where money is sucked out of your pockets by giant underground vacuums more powerful than anything that can be found in Tokyo, Paris, or New York. We were searching for something—we weren’t quite certain what—perhaps the “Small World” ride or...
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Jul.17.2009
I have discovered something wonderful from the response to my toilet blog: the world of the bathroom is much larger than I ever realized. All these years I have been sitting there thinking I leaned pretty much all I needed to know about the toilet when I was two or three years old. What a fool I...
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Jul.15.2009
Starbucks in Paris. McDonalds in Verona. The Gap in Milan. Coca Cola and Ikea on every continent. A world that grows more corporate, predictable, and monochromatic every day. Everywhere we turn there is a sameness to the food we eat, the books and news we read, the movies and television we watch,...
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Jul.13.2009
 That’s right: today we’ve gone into the vault and pulled out a never-before-seen video and posted it on YouTube. This is the celebrated* recording of me teaching Jason Headley how to play the “I’m a Man” riff on the “harp,” or “harpoon,” or “mouth organ,” or “harmonica.” It’s as if Little Walter...
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Jul.12.2009
Live music rules. Don’t get me wrong—I love recorded music. Without it we would all be poorer. But nothing compares to seeing, hearing, and feeling the musicians perform in real, living surround sound. This was brought home for me last night when I saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo at Yoshi’s in Oakland...
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Jul.11.2009
When Kathi and I got married last week we were given many, many lovely gifts. I was truly overwhelmed by our family and friend’s generosity and expressions of love. But the gift from Joe Hutchinson stands out for its unique nature. Some of you may remember from earlier editions of The Daily Sam...
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Jul.10.2009
I went to the bathroom while I was at the opera in the ancient Verona Arena. I realize this may not constitute news in the traditional sense, but it was kind of interesting to me. While I was doing my business I noticed that there was some writing on the wall—strange writing in languages I did not...
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Jul.09.2009
We were sitting in our seats at the ancient Verona Arena. The rain had stopped and we were waiting to see Aida and the live elephants. Our seats were good, but they were not the really expensive seats down below where they used to throw people to the lions. The people with the big voices and...
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Jul.08.2009
Remember the story of Walter Raleigh spreading his cloak over a puddle for Queen Elizabeth? I mostly remember cartoonists making fun of the tale (i.e. the woman would step on the cloak and sink in up to her neck, etc.). But still, I was raised to make the chivalrous gesture whenever the opportunity...
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Jul.07.2009
How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons by Sam Barry; Foreword by Dave Barry
I wrote a book called How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons. But these days when you write a book you don’t just write a book. No. You blog about it. You tweet about it. And you make videos to put on YouTube. At least I do. And that is why today I am asking you, fellow citizens of the...
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Jul.06.2009
Michael and I share a lot. We are close in age. We like music. We are both huge San Francisco 49er fans. So I, along with the rest of the known universe (and beyond), was shocked when Michael passed away late last month, much too young. (Please take note, God. Michael was 50-years-old—younger than...
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Jul.04.2009
In Armonk, New York, where I was raised, we celebrated the Fourth of July in the most traditional of ways: standing alongside Route 128, the road to Mount Kisco and Main Street all rolled into one, waving little American flags and watching the veterans, the baton twirlers, the volunteer fire...
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Jul.02.2009
Don’t get me wrong—some of my best friends are Yorkies, but I never really thought of them as real dogs. You know what I mean. A dog rides in the back of your pickup truck, tongue hanging out as they sniff the air. You throw a stick for them and they bound after it. They wrestle and play and bark...
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Jul.01.2009
You just can’t be in two places at once. It’s a tough life lesson, and I have had to learn it again and again (which, come to think of it, suggests I have never learned it at all). It is also one of life’s greatest injustices: an electron can be in two places at once, but we can’t: see Discover,...
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Jun.14.2009
We had a great wedding. The source of the greatness is our family of blood, our family of connection, and our circle of friends. We were surrounded by love, and I felt love pouring out of my heart. My stunning, talented daughter Laura sang her superb song; my handsome and brilliant son Daniel...
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