Musings & Observations / Barry Halpin
Published 10:33 am, Sunday, April 14, 2013
Ironically enough, despite how much we talk about valuing our privacy -- and it is a common mantra these days -- we tend to act inconsistently, according to the research of Alessandro Acquisti, a behavioral economist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Our browsing habits, search terms, email communications and Facebook likes reveal bits of information that can be assembled by data companies, usually for the purpose of knowing what sorts of products we're most likely to buy.
In our "Twilight Zone" hi-tech world, where increasingly more and more businesses are trying to get us to reveal as much data as possible about ourselves -- the more data, the better they can market to us -- I willingly submit for your perusal what I consider to be the relevant data of my life since my last column.
I've been addressed as: buddy, pal, boss, dude, sir -- which always throws me -- Big B, Mr. Barry, Bar, cuz, brother,; man, sweetie and love. When I lived in London, having a woman in a coffee shop say, "What can I get for you, love," was music to my ears.
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My wife's Dublin accent has faded away, but when she musters up a bit of Irish, I'm putty in her hands. I admit that if a woman with an English or Irish accent is doing the selling, there's a better chance that I'm buying.
I've greeted friends, acquaintances and people I've just met with: lo-fives; hi-fives; a power fist; the good old regular firm handshake; various hip handshakes; hugs with and without accompanying pats on the back; air kisses; kisses on the cheek; European-style kisses on both cheeks; and the infamous "Hi, how ya doing" cha-cha. I'm partial to the European style kisses on both cheeks, but I trust folks who give a firm handshake.
In the ongoing saga of many Barry Halpins, I've been told I look like: Philippe Jernnard, who was charged with impersonating a pilot at Philadelphia International Airport, after airline officials found him in the cockpit of a plane scheduled for takeoff; Steven Tyler from Aerosmith; and George, by Thomas Hamlin, the drummer in the band Black 47.
Tell me I look like a musician and you have a better chance of me listening to your sales pitch.
My new must-see television show is "Bates Motel," on A&E, Monday nights from 10 to 11.
Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore are sensational as Norma Bates and her son, Norman, in this certifiably creepy and very cool prequel -- even though it's set in the present day -- to Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho."
I love the peculiar folks and bizarre goings on in the town of White Pine Bay, Ore.; it's got all the weirdness of Twin Peaks and the story lines have great twists and turns.
Some of the story lines make me go, "huh," but on the whole, I'm hooked. I admit I've always wanted to own an Irish Country Inn, preferably in Kinsale, Clifden or near Galway or Dublin.
In the last two weeks, I've seen two great concerts at my favorite music venue, Stage One, in Fairfield. It's without a doubt the best place to hear live music in Connecticut. It was two nights of beautiful, magical, sweet rock `n' roll for the soul.
Black 47, a New York City-based Celtic rock band was brilliant, playing a mix of rock, reggae and hip-hop. Larry Kirwan who formed the band in 1989 with Chris Bryne, who has since left the band, is a marvelous songwriter and musician.
In 1993, Time Magazine said it was "the proletariat passion of Black 47 song's that make the group stand out." It doesn't get much better for a Bronx boy than to hear Black 47 play "Rockin' The Bronx." They closed the show with a smoking version of "Gloria/I Fought The Law."
Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys were brilliant as well. I've been a big fan of Alejandro Escovedo for years.
He's a great songwriter and player; his music is heartfelt and it rocks.
He's a master of writing songs about people, places and love that anyone can relate to. It was great to hear him intro a few of the songs with a story on how he came about to write it.
Over the years, I have also seen him with "Rank & File" at Madame Wong's in Los Angeles and with a rock violinist and cellist at The Acoustic Cafe in Bridgeport. All his incarnations have been amazing.
I picked up the "True Believer: The Best of Alejandro Escovedo" CD after the show and will buy "Bankers & Gangsters," the latest CD from Black 47 real soon.
Both Escovedo and Black 47 are part of the sound track of my life and I will joyfully continue to buy their music. My wife tells me, "Don't you have enough CDs already." Hey, what's a music lover to do?
Barry Halpin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.