Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Emily's head

What a lovely face. No wonder I love her.
It is intrigueing how different the two sides seem.
Note the light sneer, not as obvious as Diana Rigg, but subtly inviting nontheless.
The left side (hers) seems to be a direct challenging stare, while the right seems to be uneasy, looking off (for help, perhaps?)
All in all she looks like someone a bit embarrassed and uneasy at looking into the imposing big black box of this new invention (the camera) a little later than Daguerre's machine.
Comparing the photographic quality to pictures of civil war times, I see an improvement in picture quality.
I wonder how long she had to hold that pose?

Lets take it apart and see what gives.

Very interesting. I think we have to ignore the neck.
The photo has her head turned a bit so the two sides of the neck seem different sizes.
Also the light is from her left so that the left side is much brighter than the right
So let's not read too much into skin color.
I begin to wonder about this right brain, left brain stuff.
I can understand how it might affest facial expression.
Could it affect the actual phytsical formation of the head.

Lookin right at you
Boldly going where no 19th century woman dared?
The real Emily? The alter ego?

A timid and unsure girl?
The public face?

Now Let's assemble two faces using just lefts on one and just rights on the other.

Wild nights?........................She could not stop for death?
There is still a strong determination in all three faces.

Something to think about, eh?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow and it's psychological ramifications

Some of it stuck. Not enough to build a snowman and too wet to lay down and make a snow angel. Instead I went out and scraped enough off the Alfa to throw a couple snowballs at my amphibian and my Bristol. Then I came inside and bragged about it to you. Brings out the child, doesn't it?
By the way, the amphibian's name is Gokwiis; it sounds like it might be some kind of mythical sea monster, but it's just an acronym for "God only knows what it is"

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Monday, November 27, 2006

More stuff I made, Violins

The one on the far left, and the one in a case on the floor, is a junk store rebuild, the rest I made.
The big one in the middle is a viola. It was my first attempt at violin making.
I got plans from the Seattle Public Library and, except for the selection of woods, followed them. The woods are cherry from a tree in the back yard (some kind of fake cherry, I'm told) and kiln dried lumber yard fir.
A real luthier would sneer.
The other normally shaped one has a maple back and a pine front.
The "scroll" is the head of some kind of monster I invented. I gave up on trying to carve scrolls early on.
The others are experimental shapes I designed after reading a 19th century book on the subject by Heron-Allen. They sound like violins to me.
The one next to far right is made of the proper woods (maple back, sides, and neck with spruce top)
The two you don't see were given to musicians who performed my music for me.
One was a trapezoidal viola with a cat's head and sparkly eyes.
The other was conventionally shaped but with a fist for a scroll.
It was made of oak and pine and my worst workmanship. Nontheless, the person I gave it to decided that it sounded better than her expensive, commercially obtained one. Go figure.

This is not a violin, it is a cello, based on the trapezoidal design.
It is made out of plywood and has a sea monster for a scroll.
This and the two trapezoidal violins and the trapezoidal viola played one of my pieces at the Composer's Salon at Soundbridge at Benaroya hall (terrible place, don't go there)
I played the cello.
I was awful.
There is also a string bass, or contra bass, who can tell them apart? (not a bass viol, though)
Made of wall paneling.
I don't have a picture, maybe later.

This is not a violin at all, it is a humongous fretless acoustic guitar.

Actually, it shouldn't have a tailpiece, (this one is titanium from Boeing surplus)
The strings should be fastened to the bridge so more sound is transmitted to the top.
I might do that some day.


Snow and a moral dilemma

It doesn't snow much here, because of the insulating effect of Puget sound, or "Whulge" (something like that), as it used to be called. Anyway we have some now, not much, it is never very much, but it would be nice to have enough to play in. Although with my luck, someone would call the cops on me if I did go out and play in it.
I do remember some of the good snows of my youth, the most exciting of which was sledding in West Seattle in the late 50's
And of course, there are snowmen, snow angels, snow forts, snowball "conflicts", to use the popular euphemisn. Since then, however I have come to dislke (be afraid of) fighting. I still cling to the apparently foolish notion that disagreements and misunderstandings can be ameliorated or even resolved by rational discussion. Possibly because of the argument between my mother and father that I witnessed which was followed soon thereafter by the divorce and the difficult second mother and dangerous older stepsister. That was during the Korean war. I also vaguely remember a newspaper headline about some adventurer's determination to succeed even if he had to "blow up the whole world" No doubt I don't remember it incorrectly, I was only 7 or 8. (now watch this segue) That was also the time of the big snow of the late 40's or early 50's. The snow drifts were as high as my shoulders and I undoubtedly had much fun playing in it. Although, now that you remind me, I don't remember those times being much fun. Probably, that's why I prefer to look to the future, even though Lucy always seems to pull the football no matter how much I want to believe in the basic goodness of the human soul. As I write the sun begins to brighten the day and I know that whatever fell through the night is melting. (Another interesting segue) The girl I told you about in "The Story!" blogs, and as I read hers, besides being afraid that I am going to be punished for doing so, I find that she thinks a lot like me, she reads a lot like me, our politics are congruent and our religious beliefs are the same. Although mine aren't actually "religious" but more a desire to think of all humans as basically good and deserve all they desire, even her, even me. So here's the moral dilemma. Since she filed her complaint and spent 3 years getting me thrown out of a volunteer job that was bringing a modicum of joy to an ugly, lonely, and bored old fart, she has undergone a religious journey of some sort and, by her blogs seems to have become more reasonable. Do I owe her the opportunity to face whatever demon she sees in me and see if we can chase it away, or do I just keep my heart in it's bulletproof vest and think evil thoughts about all the hurts I've recieved in my life?
I guess what I'm asking here is how much snow can God's love melt, and how much fear am I required to face just to try to make one little misalignment of human souls right again.
Well, so much for snow, some pictures of violins coming soon, and more about Emily.
Here's hoping that the winter's harvest festivals bring you and yours all the warmth, love and happiness you deserve.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's everywhere; It's water

We have set a new record for a month's wetness here in the great Pacific Northwest, and the month is barely half over.
No big surprise, those melted glaciers have to be somewhere. What better place than here, where they are known and loved?
Plus, you must realize that the main product of carbohydrate combustion is water.
We are making the stuff at a fantastic rate.
The other main product is carbon dioxide
These are the two main ingredients of soda pop!
We are turning the planet into a giant soft drink!
Anyway, there is lots of flooding in all the rivers here. Lots of houses washed out to sea, so to speak.
Most of these rivers have Indian names, like Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Skykomish, Duwamish, and lots of other mishes.
"Mish" sounds a little like a foot sloshing in water, doesn't it?
It is an Indian suffix meaning "Nice place to fish, but DON'T BUILD A HOUSE HERE!"


Monday, November 13, 2006


For most of my working life, I worked for a guy who knew how to run a shop.
It was his livelihood, it fed his wife and four children.
The money had to be earned by providing what customers needed.
It was not a matter of inventing ever more grandiose schemes in order to "obtain funding"
His philosophy was; "Hire people who are better at it than you are, treat them well, make them happy, and let them work"
He prospered.
Thats one way to run a shop.
Another way to run a shop is to be "THE BOSS!" and imagine your self to be the king of some little domain. Make sure that everyone's head is kept lower than yours.
In other words, make sure that no one enjoys his job.
Making sure that competence is on an ever decreasing spiral.
It means doing your best to create unrest, hatred, and disharmony.
This succeeds for a while, but it is a formula for eventual insurrection.
However, if you've managed to stock up on enough wealth, before they run you out of town, you can laugh as you spend it in exile.
I prefer the first philosophy.
Among other profits such as respect, dignity, and esteem, you will be keeping company with talented, competent people who you can respect.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Dream of Emily

I dreamed again of Emily
In a dark hour of the night
I dreamed we rode a carriage
Along a darkened path
Our souls together
Under a blanket of soft fur
Wordless we rode
Although we spoke, our hearts in time,
With a language of our own

That was long ago
An eternity ago
Now it grows light
The dream is gone
Forever gone, I fear
And yet, and yet, my heart declares
The dream will never go
My heart will always speak to yours
With a language of it's own

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Genesis; Talvi Agoniste

How I got started blogging.
Ilkka Talvi went to work one day as concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and was told to bug off, his contract didn't mean squat, and they didn't like him any more.
He complained (Isn't america great?) by starting his blog site ( and explaining his case to the public. I heard about it fron Gavin Borcherd in the Seattle Weekly. I read and sympathized.
Seattle Symphony also read it and demonstrated it's emotional maturity by firing his wife.
When he complained about that the Seattle Symphony sent cops to his house and accused him of harassment! What sick people, eh?
Anyway they did have the grace to admit their guilt by making some kind of super secret deal to make him shut up, which is why you won't find those early blogs on his site. What I have here is just what I remember.
You will find interesting intelligent, and insightful comments there. Visit him.
I've got him linked as Music and men.
So, I thought to myself, this Is a good way to air my own gripes, not as serious as Ilkka's, but all my own.

So, there you are, and here I am.
I had a dream about Emily that I'll tell you about soon
Mr Talvi is presently concertmaster of the Rainier Symphony who play in Renton and Tukwila. They have a website, but I don't know right off what it is.
Stop supporting Seattle Symphony and support them instead. Bye!

Monday, November 06, 2006


While talking to my stepson, I happened to mention how many hits I had on my profile
He declared it pathetic, so I added a counter.
I AM pathetic, dammit!
It's the backbone of my personality.
Don't take it away!
Please, please, please, visit my site. I'm COUNTING (Ha Ha Ha) on you.
Make the little odometer of my personal worth as a human being roll!
Leave comments! Anything!
Feel free to laugh.
Are you an audience or an oil painting?

Oh, Yah, see my other sites;, and

I am a turkey, eat me for Thanksgiving

He also suggested that I post Goth poetry, I will search for some.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tension Sheet
Red Dwarf fans know what I'm talking about.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Walking in Seattle

These cold days when the sun is bright and the air is clear are excellent days for walking. My usual walk is from downtown Seattle where the #7 bus lets me off near the library to Broadway and Pine where I study composition at Seattle Central Community College. I always go early so that I can explore the city a bit. I used to visit friends at Soundbridge (Seattle Symphony's Music Discovery Center), but I don't do that any more because of what, you know. I have a discrimination complaint against the Symphony in progress, so maybe that will change. Anyway Monday, I did about 2 miles here in my South Seattle neighborhood (Rainier Beach) checking out a new trail called "Chief Sealth" it follows the path of a power transmission line which runs from way the heck out there somewhere all the way into town. Maybe I'll walk the whole thing someday. The paved part is only a few blocks long, but it promises to continue in the future. I didn't walk too far off the pavement because of the long and frozen grass. I am reminded of many walks I experienced when I was in the Army and stationed in Fairbanks. It was much colder, of course, and the landscape presented a stark beauty that made me think I could be on another planet.
Here in Seattle, it is much milder and much greener not to mention much easier to find a nice warm cup of coffee.
Also in this area are the Kubota Gardens, a very lovely place to wander. Mr. Kubota
started his garden in the late forties or early fifties, couldn't have been earlier, he would have probably been in a prison camp, Remember WW2?
My wife used to play there when she was a kid.
There is another Japanese garden in the University of Washington Arboretum which is also a great place to walk.
I love to walk. As an art form, it leaves even less artifact than writing music.
As excercise it is an easy and natural way to get around.
Also it provides an excuse for not accomplishing anything.
I can't shut off my mind, but walking at least provides distraction.
The only downer is that you ocasionally run into other people, people who glare as if they wished you weren't there, but that seems to be a general theme in my life.
There is undoubtedly much to say about walking in Seattle on cold, clear days, but I havn't found much funny in this blog and am running into literary fatigue.
There is a reason that the human body is half legs.
So, goodbye, It's another beautiful day, cold, crisp, sunny...
I'm going for a walk.
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