Thursday, December 28, 2006


This started as a response to a blog of Soho the dog. Apparently a "consultant"
advised that the Oregon Symphony should not play so much "Classical" music.
Nothing but Baroque, Romantic, "Modern", Minimalist?

He shouldn't joke like that; these are a people who can't even pump their own gas!
there's an off chance they might take him seriously!!

Actually, he suggested Christian pop music, because it sells better.

Take a few deep breaths. Put your head between your knees for awhile.

Feeling better?


Well, "classical" music WAS born in church, a very autocratic church. Unlike todays "Christian" music, it was the antithesis of "popular" that is to say, peasant, music.
By the time it got to the "classical" "classical" period, it had become merely royal.
It wasn't 'till the 50's that Les Paul gave Elvis the tools to show the world what working "class" children could do.
Now, of course we arrive at a new period of music in which "classical" music is percieved (to people with I.Q's in the low hundreds)(or even of presidential timbre) as anything played by an orchestra.
Although, in thinking about the problem of popularising the "classics" (See Pete Schikele's magnificant work "New Horizons for "Classical music"") (how many different meanings for the word "classical" can you kiddies find?) (hint see previous blog "my cars")(none of which are true "classics")(but, in many ways, are "classic" in their own right)

I have noticed that the musical groups that actually turn enough profit to keep themselves well supplied with the staples (cocaine, heroin, little yellow pills, little pills of many other colors, Jack Daniels, marijuana, Coca Cola, et. cetera)

Where was I?

Oh yah, they all write their own music!
Something to think about.
We 21st century composers will be heard!
If you have been reading me regularly, you may have perceived that I am involved in a lover's quarrel with the Seattle Symphony. This Is partly because they play other music by 20 and 21st century composers and not any of mine! The Bitch! Hmmmph!
I came in one day to find all my stuff tossed out on the lawn, right on top of some dog waste. (O.K. That's from a Frank Zappa song, sorry, Moon, Dweeze.)
What they do play, however, is pretty good, nay, excellent. Sam Jones' Tuba concerto is one of them. Gabriella Frank, Cindy McTee of the suprizingly firm grip, David Diamond, and one guy I havn't actually heard yet, Eddy Emerald.

The major problem faced by composers of today's music is the question "What kind of music do you write?"
One must say "classical" even though the classical "classical" period is older than Keith Richard looks, and I'm not.
America was born right about then.
Don't even try to call it "Art music" I tried that once at a fiddle show in Monarch Montana. Being run out town on a rail is not that bad, the tar and feathers were annoying.
All kidding aside and no disrespect to Monarch, it was a terrific show.

There are several books of musical humor that expand on the "bean counter approach" theme. I am going to look for them now. Wait here a sec.

O.K., I'm back.
"A working musician's joke book" by Daniel Theaker. Sound and vision, Toronto.
"The Musician"s ultimate Joke book by Kevin M. Mitchell. Symphony Publishing. LLC
this one opens with a wonderful quote from Lili Tomlin "I'm worried that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else"
"Maestro, Please" cartoons by Ed Fisher. Applause books, New York.

It's in one of them, and many other places as well.

One suggestion is to get rid of all the violins and just amplify one of them.

You would think that people who worked for music organizations would know or at least care about the subject.
Naah!, I guess not.

My five minutes is up, bye!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I Feel Good

No disrespect to James Brown, I loved the music and the personality, but, for some strange reason, I feel good. The world continues to be filled with hypocracy and is still a dangerous place to show any sign of vulnerability and I am still the same turkey I've always been, so I couldn't possibly explain it.
I had two performers, both of whom I respect highly, volunteer to play my music this year. That was nice.
I found this blog thing which allows me the catharsis of spewing my nonsense in my infantile tantrums. Which is sort of what I think Beethoven's appeal is made of. Would that I could do it as cleverly as he.
I'm getting some good response, so that I don't have to think of myself as totally non-human.
That is all enjoyable.
I started going to church. Sure it's just the Plymouth Congregational's wednesday jazz service, but I don't have to actually trust or talk to anyone, so I feel reasonably safe. and some of the things that I've observed were amusing (see "surely not in church)
Also it allowes me to engage in my favorite study (The proper study of man is man, or human social psychology, primate research, or what you will)
Also the bible readings and analysis thereof have a new meaning now that I don't need to fear needing to be "part of it"
The usual family gathering seemed more meaningful somehow, having some less than happy people to compare mine with.
Ruby Lucille is two years old and a darling girl. She is speaking whole sentances
and engaging in conversational response. An obvious genius! I love her technique for opening Christmas packages.
Anyway I thought I would post a blog that has a happy theme for once, keeping in mind that Tolstoy didn't consider much of happieness as a theme for his big novel.
They did kick Napoleon's ass, however, not something I'll ever be able to brag about.
And, of course, there is always the hangover theory that states that, because all feelings, moods, opinions, judgements, thoughts, "knowledge" and whatever are the result of brain chemistry, and that all chemicals are eventually degraded and expelled, the higher the happy the harder it falls.
So I expect to be run over by a psychotropic bus soon (see "I love Emily")

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not Funny

There are laws that require citizens to help victims if they can. This is the moral aspect to my dilemma with (her). The answer to the question; Why am I being abused?, is that my abuser has been abused. So what are the moral implications?
Why am I being involved in this ?
Practically, of course I can do nothing, which does nothing to relieve the feeling that I should. Or even the feeling that I have been asked to, in some unfathomable psychological way.

I feel diminished, that I have failed in some way and that I should feel guilty about it.
That of course, is the dynamic of abusive punishment, to make the abusee feel small, fearful, and somehow wrong.
My rant against the Seattle Symphony is, of course, my way of combatting those feelings.
I still, however feel like I'm being persecuted for the crime of empathy.
Anyway, whether I am full of it or not, I think that Christmas time is a good time to remember abused children, whether they still children or whether they are inhabiting their grown up bodies.

A Christmas Prayer for all abused people of any age;

May you all, among the gifts you recieve this year, find supportive friends and community, an understanding ear, and a caring heart.

May you find the courage to admit to yourself and to your family things that have been hidden too long.
May you recieve the most beautiful and valuable gift, your self, whole and complete.

Some links


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Some disassembly required?

I haven't heard yet that my favorite group of street musicians, users of my tax money and refusers of my personal money, has found a new concertmaster. It has been, what, three years? Could the problem be that anyone with the musical talent combined with the leadership capabilities necessary for the position would be too hard on the fragile egos of the children who are "the deciders" of the once promising Seattle Symphony Orchestra? (There is one guy there who couldn't even keep a job at Boeing, that's talent).
And now, they don't even have a executive director!
Paul Meecham is gone. We have an acting director, a girl! (just trying for some controversy here (see Deborah's blog ( about the seal harvest))
What next, get rid of all the musicians and replace them with temps?
Works for some corporations, half time pay, no benefits.
Works for the guys down in Soundbridge.
Call it the great Pacific Northwest Temporary Band.
I can't comment on Mr. Schwartz's conducting because of my lack of musical sophistication, but he has lost his lip and is no longer a musician.
Unfortunately, he dosn't seem to have the leadership chops either.
A poster boy. An icon. A figurehead.
What has the poor little guy (he only comes up to here on me) given up for his sycophantic desire to hob nob with the money?
There is a wonderful story in James Joyces "Dubliners" about lowering ones self into the heights of society. Called "The race" or something.
Not to mention the many popular artist's live's going into the dumper because of addictions to recreational drugs other than vanity (see the checkout displays at your local grocery store).
Sad, but true stories all.
Poor Gerard.
To continue the comparing SSO's leadership with the country's, we await the next big election hoping to find someone more worth trying to pretend we are smaller than.

It's fun to think of Benaroya Hall as a gigantic instrument case laid out as a beggar's bowl, but let's face it, that's what it is. We are Seattle, they sit below the salt.
They should try some humility, a little harder to digest than salt, but much healthier.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Seattle Symphony rant goes on

Out searching for more things to post to try, in my pathetic way, to embarrass the Seattle Symphony, I found a blog from a founder's room patron. These people pay an extra $3K or so just so they can have a special place to wait out intermissions. The Symphony, however doesn't seem to feel that it needs to provide the amenities that they advertise for this service.
He had to treat his guests to drinks after the show.
I can understand them dumping me, I was only worth @ $1K per annum to them (not counting the accounting value of my free volunteer work)
They are in financial crisis, audiences are down, and they persist in deliberately antagonising and alienating their friends. In spite of my complaints, I am still a friend of the orchestra itself.
It's just a few incompetents I'd like to see move on.
Maybe into science, go see if there is any life on the moon, perhaps.
I just read that the San Francisco Opera is in the black.
I just read that the Detroit Symphony is in the black.
Seattle is a very arts oriented place.
O.K. ......grunge....sorry about that.
We have Speight Jenkins here.
Someone as competent as he is should take over the SSO.
Someone, who, like Mr. Jenkins, actually loves the art form and uses his position for more than personal aggrandisement.
The Seattle Opera is a world class outfit (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it)
The SSO, In spite of it's world class musicians, is, as Paul Meecham once referred to it in my presence, a "second tier orchestra".
Working on becoming third.

We gave you jet air travel.
You are reading this because of a Seattle poker player named Gates.

We have the talent to become first rate, just get rid of the saboteurs in charge

I wonder if Speight has a brother.

If there is a spill checcker for this syte, I havunt found it.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More SeaSymph dirt

It was about a year ago that I was tossed from Seattle Symphony's premises.
Actually, it was Feb, eleven twelfs, near enough.
At that time, a volunteer friend was writing letters to the HR person asking if they could have Doug back, seeing as how the complainant was leaving.
He got no more response than I did.

At the same time, HR decided to have a meeting of staff on the subject of harassment.
I recieved a rather poignant letter from him, wherein he listed his fears in this regard.My friend, naturally, wanted to attend. He wanted to know just what the rules were. There was certainly no way of knowing based on their treatment of me.
He was told that it was just for staff, volunteers not welcome.
Which action brings up two interesting interpretations.

One the SSO wanted volunteers to be in the dark in order to maximise the possibilities of confusion and misunderstanding. Perhaps these silly people get a feeling of power and moral superiority from deliberatly created problems like these and wanted to create as much trouble as they could so they could play Lone Ranger and rescue fair maidens from the ravages of their own imaginations.

That's one way of looking at it

Another way could be a justified guilt about their aiding and abetting of their employee's harassment of me. That said employee obviously kept up a constant string of complaint about me long after I had ceased any contact with (the employee)
Inasmuch as the alleged offence happened three years ago and HR refused to do anything at all about it untill there was no point to doing so, I consider their response suspicious. This is first degree incompetance.

Sweeping things under the rug like this is a way to grow strange weeds.

So, I have been set up in order to be knocked down. But, as there is no money involved, I just have to take the humiliation, the psychological injury, and the embarassment. Like a man (O.K, a neurotic old fart of a man).

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas miracle?

It was a nice weekend; asolsitce party on saturday (Beethovens birthday) and a family party (wife's side) on sunday
At the solstice shindig, we wine drinking, cheese eating, Volvo driving liberals were discussing politics, when we suddenly discovered that we were praising Richard Nixon!
The theme was intelligence (guess why) and Nixon's was noted, along with some of the accomplishments of his term.


And the possible solution to the Iraq question was offered.
Spring Hussein, put the statue back up, then look the other way for a few years.
Actually, I think we need to go back to WWl's Treaty of Versailles and restore the original political divisions separating the Sunni and the Shiite, separating the Kurds and...Whey?
Whatever, It aint gonna happen anyway.
I also found out that a friend of mine grew up with Michael Tilson Thomas. I now know his childhood nickname. Hah!
At the family gathering, I learned that there is a Psychiatrist or Therapist in the family. Boy the things I might have learned if only he hadn't honored patient-client
Anyway, a good time was had by all.
It's nice to have family, even though my poopy brother-in-law refuses to get a computer, let alone go on line and face me like a man.
I don't believe that the Seattle Symphony Orchestra is being funded by the slaughter of sweet-faced baby seals. Although with what I hear about some financing scheme with an outfit from Las Vegas, I do worry about their kneecaps.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bloody knuckle division

My Cars:

FIAT 500 @1960 500cc 2 cyl motor. Strangely, for something I own, it is all Fiat parts. Except for a catalytic converter, don't ask.

1951 Bristol 401. Mildly modified Ford 6 (144cu in Falcon) 5 spd Toyota Celica tranny. Stainless liners in the wheel cyls, alternator.
Bristol began building cars after WW2 was over and they had to stop making bombers.
The base for the line was a pre war BMW. The first Bristol cars were copies of a BMW 328 and were called 400's
The 401 is essentially the same except for a body based on an Italian by superleggera
modified a bit by Bristol in their wind tunnel.
The original engine was a BMW 2liter 6 with a rather wonky valve arrangement. the head had hemispherical combustion chambers but the cam was in the block, operating tha valves through a whole bunch of extra rockers and pushrods. Renault, Borgward, Chrysler, and others did something like this, but with less complication.

ALFA Romeo Guiletta spyder. 1300 cc dohc motor, 5 spd trans.
Series 101 hull, series 750 engine, series 105 transmission. dual path brakes using a Renault 18 master cylinder. Stainless liners in the wheel cylinders, Alternator.

In the background, amongst the weeds and trash, you can see the GOKWiiS, the amphibian. Read about it in an earlier blog under "amphibians'

I'm still trying to find the picture of my '67 VW Van with the '49 Ferrari formula one painted on the side. The picture that Road and Track published shows it all faded and devoid of its original splendor.

Despair not, I'll be back trashing the Seattle Symphony Orchestra's generals soon.

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More stupid instruments

Pretty poor picture
The thing on top is a trombone made out of ABS plumbimg pipe and an oil funnel. It sounde awful.

The thing on the right is an er-hu made out of a Mortons salt box and a length of 1/2" doweling.

The thing next to it is a similar stringed instrument, made out of a piece of drainpipe and coffee creamer lid.

The black thing in the middle is a one string viola, or cello or something, made out of PVC with a Tasters Choice coffee jar lid as a sound board.

The other one is a bassoon made out of ABS with a soda straw reed. Amazingly enough, it does not sound entirely hideous.

It's not always a good idea to go to McClendons hardware store when you are hungry.

My apologies to those who want to take music seriously.

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Draincat review

Here's the last word about my cat

This is what he looks like now.................... This is what he looked like then.

Here's what he looked like from inside.....during.

Those teeth in the front are supposed to be together.
The good Docter Linda J DeBowes at the Shorline Veterinary Dental Clinic did the surgery and now his pallete looks like new.
Except for the wider nose and the destroyed eye, he's as good as new.
Ready to go out windmill tilting again.
I certainly hope he has learned to tell the difference between a mouse and a Subaru.

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All right, the P.O.S put the trees back. The point is being made that the holiday, as celebrated here, is actually a secular one, related to harvest festivals and the accumulation of fat and warmth for hibernation.
There are very few horse drawn sleighs in Israel. Being a country located on an inland seashore only about that far from the equator, there is probably little snow. I want to say something about evergreen trees, but the phrase Cedars of Lebanon comes to mind.
Maybe there used to be large conifers there; before they were all sacrificed as burnt offerings in religious rituals.
Couldn't have been anywhere near as cool as ours, though.
Somehow, the concept of a burning yule fig dosn't do it for me, especially doing it while sitting in the middle of the desert
Anyway, I've got a solstice party saturday the 16th and it's causing a bit of a dilemma because it's Beethovens birthday and I usually stay home with the blinds drawn, light some insense, burn an ox, and pray.

Actually, it's nonsense I light, that should be obvious.

I was trying to be ridiculous in my last post when I hinted at anti-semitism at the SSO, but I wonder if it could be more a territorial thing. You know, "I'm the Jew around here, pal, buzz off".

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Monday, December 11, 2006

More Christmas infantilism

Just the other day;
A local Rabbi politely asked Sea-Tac airport (Port of Seattle) to put up a Menorah along with all the Christmas trees.
In order to avoid any controversy, the port responded in a mature, understanding, spirit-of-Christmas by pulling down all the trees!
Blame it all the Jews!
What a sensitive reaction!
Now the Rabbi is getting hate mail from all around the world.
Way to support diversity, P.O.S.
I know the feeling. I guess that's what being "chosen" means
Thanks for our Savior, Schlomo, now scram!
Feel free to laugh
You know, my grandmothers name was Rosen, maybe that's what the Seattle Symphony Orchestra has against me.
I guess that's what being "chosen" means
In the meantime Eric Elnes, a preacher from Barry "Nuke 'em 'till they glow" Goldwater's home state is attacking a video game that has "true believers" murdering off the dross left behind after the "Rapture". I feel the crosshairs on my neck allready.
Eric Elnes is trying to change the way the world sees Christianity. Lots a luck, Eric
As you all know, I play "Duke Nukem". (no applause, please). Anyway, in the pursuit of staring into the flashing lights of my computer screen and trying to imagine that I am sombody who can carry, oh, say about 300 pounds of weaponry while still being able to leap 15 feet straight up, I have often downloaded .maps built by "Christians" every one of them consisted of lots and lots of weaponry and absolutely
no other challenges. No puzzle solving, no treasure hunt, no mazes, no clever graphic tricks,
Just mindless slaughter.
John Wayne.
With a 50 caliber machine gun.
Wading through the enemy.

Of course the enemy, in this case is those of up too stupid to see the obvious fallacy in this "dinosaur" business.
I feel more crosshairs on the back of my neck.
Where was I?
Of course, I already have one Christian bullet in my back. Still, I offer my hand in friendship and love to all, even her. (Except certain ones still working at Seattle Symphony Orchestra, know who you are).

You know, I just proofread this blog and noticed the title.
For Christmas,
How appropriate.

Feel free to cry.

People argue about who killed Christ. Sarah Silverman claims it was "The Blacks"
They are all wrong. Mel Gibson did it, and he took pictures!!

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rainier Symphony

Last night we went to renton's IKEA performance center at Renton High School.
Listened to Duo Patterson: Roxanna Patterson (Viola) and Ronald Patterson (Violin)
play Mozart's Symphonia Concertante in Eb. I don't have the musical sophistication to be a critic or even a reviewer, but I thouroughly enjoyed the performance and my spirits have been lifted. Maybe S.A.D. is not due to a lack of light but a lack of music.
The orchestra also played some Strauss and some Leroy Anderson
Also, they played The Radetsky (I don't know how you spell that)March.
What's with that?
I know it is a holiday favorite and all I see (hear) it on the telly broadcast from Wein every year. Why?
Any way, the last half of the program made me want to dance. Even thinking about that embarasses me. Fortunately, there was no dancing.
The Rainier Symphony has a show coming up early next year that my wife wants to go to.
Unfortunately, they're doing it at Benaroya.
I am afraid that if I let her go by herself, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra will try to murder her. There are some truly irrational people there
She has suggested that I shave and sneak in.
We'll see.
Well, that's all in the future, for now, have happy holidays and support the arts.
There are lots of other wonderful groups here in the Great Pacific Northwest
Auburn Symphony
Federal Way Symphony
Orchestra Seattle
Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
Bellvue Philharmonic (Well; Bellevue is, know )
Lake Union Civic Orchestra
Northwest Symphony Orchestra
I got all these names from my composition teacher, who seems to think I should be submitting scores. Maybe, but my tolerance for rejection has been used up for this year. Also, maybe it's just paranoia, but I fear that What's her name isn't finished with me yet.
As Lane Savant once said, we'll see.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dean Chabreau Mercer

It's Pearl Harbor day again and I want to honor my second stepfather (my mothers fourth husband)
Dean Mercer was a pharmicists mate on the USS California stationed in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 1941.
He was a great guy, my mother's favorite.
I also want to honor the American citizens of Japanese ancestry who were sent to concentration camps during the war that followed.
It's out of respect for them and their sense of humor that I refrain from making jokes about there being a nip in the air on that date.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Usually My winter depression is in full swing by now.
Instead, it is only now starting.
The human contact of blogging seems to help.
Having something to do that doesn't involve going out into a dangerous world is better than staring at the walls.
I do enjoy my composition classes, though I know I lack the talent and whatever it takes to be a "success", it is a chance to talk to somebody about something interesting.
I still technically believe that courage is a useful way to face fears, it also is a way to get yourself damaged.
Courage is for taking chances, chances are a way to lose, and someone loses every war.
So, I wait out the dark times and hope things are better when the sun comes back this way again.
I've got more instruments to post as soon as I can get them photographed.
I am now off to my class, and maybe a coffee at Ladro.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I just recieved in the mail a letter from the Seattle Symphony asking me to donate my estate to them.
If you've been reading my posts, especially "The Story" "Genesis, Talvi agoniste", you will understand that I am seething with anger right at the moment.
Although the humor of it all IS starting to seep through.
Feel free to laugh!


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