Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I don't know why writing something every day is supposed to be so valuable. I'm not going to "be" a "writer" or "be" a "poet" any more than I'm going to "be" a "composer"
No future Ken Burns will be making any archaelogical profit from any of this mundane chattering.
A cartoon in the Times is making a point about the inanity of this blog/myspace sort of "conversation"
Buddy Hackett's act was once described as "He just talks until he gets to a punch line"
He was a famous comedian.

Punch line

The cabinet people have the cabinets ready, I'll go and get them.

Reading Jan Swafford's "Charls Ives, a life with music".
Depressing, but what isn't these dark days?

Vale, lacerte.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Saturday, the members of Slumlords, unc held thier approximately annual meeting.
Liz Chenoweth, Robin Atkins, Anne Helmholz, and I once bought a duplex in Ballard. We held on to it for several years, then sold for a semi-reasonable profit. Since then the ever expanding universe has caused somewhat of a geographical dissipation.(I suppose that's supposed to mean that we've all moved on, or out, or something)
So, we get together for lunch and talk about old times, or new times, or even the Seattle times.
Over the years, we have collected some associate slumlords, a stamp dealer and a photographer
  • Robert Demar

  • I got a criticism that my blog posts are somewhat incomprehensible. Well, fjfirgjsdj of the vjoighoig on a newly minted ;odfij;oizdg, to that, Eh?
    So after that, I went home, took Meredith to the Whistlestop in Renton for dinner, then to Half price books to get rid of one of the many boxes of books littering our basement. Got eighteen bucks for 'em.
    Paid for half (approx) the dinner.

    Then home for an evening of Swing years and beyond on...on...hmmm..."nearly 95" public radio station. Then I stayed up till 1:30 watching "Saturday Night Live" and reruns of "Almost Live" I don't know why I do that, habit I guess.

    Sunday, the book club meets at our house, so I made a big pot of turkey lentil soup which turned into turkey lentil (something other than soup because all the water got sucked up by the pasta I threw in at the last minnit)

    Anyway, the book was "Possession" by A.S. Byatt.

    Here is what it is about (This synopsis was written by Meredith Kraike. She has not abandoned the copyright, so watch it.)

    Possession – summary

    · Roland Michell, research assistant to Prof. Blackadder, editor of the works of Randolph Henry Ash, finds a letter by Ash to a woman (unnamed), and decides it might indicate some new info abt Ash.

    · Roland lives with Val. They clearly don’t love each other; it’s just a convenient arrangement and a dysfunctional relationship in which they are both trapped. (She is the main breadwinner.)

    · There is another important, and competing, scholar of Ash: Mortimer Cropper in the U.S. He is very competitive and is not above using unscrupulous methods to get information about Ash.

    · Roland figures out that the letter may have been written to Christabel LaMotte, a poet who lived with another woman, Blanche Glover. He goes to see Maud Bailey, a scholar of LaMotte.

    · Another scholar of LaMotte: Leonora Stern in the U.S.

    · A scholar of Ellen Ash, Randolph’s wife, is Beatrice Nest, who is connected to Blackadder’s team.

    · Maud Bailey is a descendant of one of LaMotte’s nieces. She and Roland travel to Seal Court, where Sir George, a descendant of LaMotte’s sister, lives with his wife. Maud is a very closed and guarded person, and is aloof to Roland.

    · At Seal Court, Maud and Roland discover a cache of letters between Ash and LaMotte that suggest the two might have been lovers at one time. Sir George realizes the letters may be valuable and decides to keep them at Seal Court for the time being.

    · Meanwhile, Cropper has come to the U.K. and gets wind of the fact that Roland and Maud are involved in some kind of research involving Ash and LaMotte.

    · Roland and Maud think that when Ash went on a natural history expedition in Yorkshire in the summer of 1859, LaMotte may have joined him there.

    · Maud wins Beatrice Nest’s confidence and gets to read the section of Ellen Ash’s journal that corresponds to the time that Ash was away on his expedition. One item in the journal is that a woman wrote a couple of letters to Ellen, asking to see her about an urgent matter. The woman turns out to be Blanche Glover.

    · Maud and Roland retrace Ash’s trip to Yorkshire. During that time, it’s clear that they are becoming closer and that Maud’s defenses are softening.

    · Cropper befriends Hildebrand Ash, a direct descendant of Ash. It’s obvious that Hildebrand is easily controlled by Cropper.

    · As Roland and Maud become more and more involved in their quest, Val becomes involved with Euan MacIntyre, an attorney.

    · When Maud and Roland return from their trip, Leonora Stern surprises Maud with a visit. Stern has a letter from Dr. Le Minier, a fellow scholar in France, telling her that she has the journal of Sabine de Kercoz, a relation of LaMotte, and the journal talks about LaMotte.

    · Maud and Roland go to Brittany to see Dr Le Minier, who gives them a copy of the journal.

    · The journal reveals that LaMotte went to Brittany in Oct of 1859 to stay with Sabine and her father because she (LaMotte) was pregnant.

    · LaMotte disappeared at the end of April, 1860, just before the child was due to be born, and reappeared a week or so later, without the child. LaMotte told Sabine and her father nothing about the child---whether it was alive or not, or anything else.

    · It’s known that Blanche Glover committed suicide in the summer of 1860.

    · It’s also known that Ash attended at least two séances in 1861, although there’s no indication that he believed in such things. LaMotte attended at least one of these. Ash evidently asked about the whereabouts of a child at one of these events.

    · Cropper follows Roland and Maud to Brittany, as do Leonora and Blackadder, who have joined forces.

    · Val and Euan become engaged.

    · Maud and Roland return to the U.K., knowing that the others are on their trail. They are becoming closer, emotionally, and Roland is beginning to think like a poet.

    · We learn that when Ash died, Ellen burned some of his letters but put one unopened one, along with a few other things, into a sealed box which was buried next to his coffin. Cropper knows of this, and Maud, Roland, et al do too.

    · Cropper and Hildebrande plan to dig up the box, illegally. What they don’t know is that Beatrice Nest has overheard them discussing this.

    · Euan and Val get together with Maud, Roland, Blackadder, Leonora, and Beatrice Nest; and hatch a plan to catch Cropper in the act.

    · Roland returns for a night to the apartment he’d shared with Val. He discovers that there are letters from three universities offering him teaching positions. This means that he can break out of the trap he’s been in for years, barely making ends meet and going nowhere. He also begins to realize that he has a passion, and it’s to write poetry.

    · The group following Cropper and Hildebrande do in fact catch them in the act. The unopened letter is from LaMotte to Ash, telling him that he had a daughter, who was raised by Sophie, LaMotte’s sister, as one of her own children. The daughter, Maia (or May), believed that LaMotte was her aunt.

    · Roland and Maud finally go to bed together and assume that they’ll work out a relationship which allows them space to pursue their own scholarly passions, etc.

    Anyway, there was lots of hugs which made life seem almost worthwhile untill bedtime where the shrieking demons of the Seattle Symphony kept me awake most of the night.


    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Another Wedensday

    The usual pre-lims Bus ride, Coffee Ladro, Library, check out the things on the Library computer that I cant check out at home.
    Oh, well, yeah a book store in the market, Leonard Bernstein, couple a books. Then the library. Ives, life with music, by Swafford, Spafford, something like that, I'd have to go into the next room to find out.
    Walk up the hill stop at Olympic frame, where I last had the Volvo's wheels aligned.
    Order a tall drip and biscotti.
    The place in the Roosevelt district is now a coffee shop "Cloud City".
    Actually Olympic frame is now "Victrola" I've been meaning to drop in for a while. I've been watching it morph over the last couple a years.
    Inasmuch as all i drink is coffee black, I can't tell you whether it is any better or worse than any other coffee shop in town.
    At home I drink Taster's Choice instant.
    I was reminded of this shop because of Think Denk's mention of a "Cafe Victrola" on
    15th which is further up the hill.
    Bach and Handel never met either.
    Lesson was typical, I continue to inch my way toward geniusosity.
    I did get a little frisson of excitement, however, when David mentioned that the Salon was going to be held at Good Shepard instead of Soundbridge.
    The salon this month will feature David Mesler, Keith Eisenbrey, Elizabeth Falconer.
    Elizabeth was present at the Salon when I presented a trio for piano, bass and flute
    She told me that she liked the piece, which struck my thunder, 'cause she is a real musician, and I am apparently some kind of scary clown.
    This was also the event at which the exquisite Christian sweetheart of a flutist thanked me for "letting her play my music" never saw that one coming. She continued her blind siding tecniques and now I can't go there any more. Life, as we all know, is a meaningless pile of shit. Nothing new there.
    But it's not true, the Salon will be at Soundbridge, and will be at Good Shepard in the future.
    No good news comes without a swift kick in the ass accompianing, eh?
    I doooo wish I had a recording of that performance, but I didn't have a recorder at the time. When I did, It didn't work, It would record rehearsal and test but when I got it home, nothing on the card. That was the Joyce poems that Bryan Stratton sang so well. I would truely love to have both those pieces to link. Pfaugh!
    So I went home.
    Changed clothes
    Put on the new shoes I got at Macy's in the morning between the Library and the frame shop.
    Drove up to the festival and listened to Jeremy (I hope I'm not getting too familiar
    by using only the first name here but it saves space)(hah) play a four handed piece by Joe Mozart.
    Something by Kodaly and some Brahms.
    I may have had some opinions about the stuff, but why bother.
    Good Italian roast beef sandwich.


    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Can't get 'er outta my head

    O.K the song "A Whistler and his dog" is running through my head, not a bad tune but I can't seem to separate it from "The Liberty Bell March". Both these tunes were played at Good Shepard last Sunday and I can't get one phrase straight before the other tune welds itself on.
    I think that the two could be played together as a single piece and nobody would ever know the difference.
    Jeremy Denk has run into a related phenomonen involving a Beethoven's "Apassionata" and the theme for "Three's Company".
    Doth approach the Apocolypse?

    Or is that just my tuba concerto that's making my plaster crack?

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    Sunday afternoon

    Last sunday, yesterday, was the dedication ceremony for the opening of the Good Shepard center.
    The program invites us to "come back to 1907".
    1907 was when Good Shepard opened as a home for "wayward" girls, and I think that, in spite of the horror stories they write in novels about that sort of thing, that is was a good thing and helped many unfortunates to a better life.
    It's not that today, today it's for artistic purposes.
    Which, I guess, is sort of similar.
    I was there because my composition teacher, David Mesler, was playing a piano recital of music from the period.
    Such as;
    "The Village Bells" by Stephen Foster
    "The Dying Poet" by Louis Gottschalk
    "The Wild Rose' and "From the Depths" by Edward MacDowell
    "The Caissons go Rolling Along" by Edmund Gruber
    "The Whistler and his dog" by Arthur Pryor
    "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" by John W Bratton
    "Elite Syncopations" by Scott Joplin
    And the piece de resistance;
    "The Alcotts" third movement of Charles Ives' piano sonata #2

    The Ives I had heard two weeks ago at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, played by Jeremy Denk. Mr Denk played it like was a rocket ship, with lots of passion, and even a touch of sturm. (maybe some drang, but I don't know what that is).
    Mr Mesler played it in a style more appropriate to the era being celebrated. You could hear the rythem of the times in it. Laced up ladies, Model T Fords and the like

    The laced up ladies were delightful. Wearing vintage clothing from Good will.
    I wouldn't want to make a law about it, but I wouldn't mind if women dressed like that today. I don't mind girls walking around half naked, but some of them shouldn't
    However, that kind of clothing is uncomfortable and even a bit unhealthy. (see the opening minutes of the hilarious British film "Stiff Upper Lips")
    So, liberation is a good thing in many ways.

    Also on the program was the "Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band", a marching band that plays sitting down.
    They even have a majorette who performs her batonnerie in a chair.
    They played Marches by J.P.S. and others
    They are from Ballard.
    I am sort of from Ballard.
    There ya go.

    To any of those to whom I've compared Charles Ives to P.D.Q.Bach;
    It's not that I think that Ives is silly or incompetant, it's just that there is a certain naivete that colors that entire period of history.
    We had cars and airplanes, but we didn't have World War One yet.
    Just as now, we have this wonderful computer internet thing but have absolutely no inkling of the incredible disasters about to befall us.

    George Antheil was seven years old in 1907.


    Sunday, July 22, 2007

    God particle found?

    Scientists are tricky sorts. Look at their "Metric" system of measurement. Theroetically, basing measurement on tens makes a kind of simpleminded sense. Just add or subtract zeros. But, the real, physical world is created and perpetuated by bifurcated branchings. One cell divides into two cells, et-cetera. Dividing by folding in half is simple and efficient.
    Computers, a much more important and useful discovery than nuculear weapons of mass distruction.
    Computer intelligence is based on a bi-nary measuring system.
    Setting standards by certain human body measurements makes no more nor less sense than using some arbitrary division of the length of a portion of the planet.

    Here's the real reason why the scientific community uses the metric systen.
    Funding requests are read by senators and congressmen. People who are easily led and easily fooled. (read the news papers)
    So they cannot tell the difference between 2.3x 102 dollars and 2.3 x 104 dollars, thinking, perhaps, if they think at all, that it might be twice as much.

    Big bucks for science.

    And they don't really need it. Most of the things they need their gigantic "pocketa-pocketa" machines for are easily accomplished using very simple measures.

    Parenthetically, the european auto industry likes to take advantage of the fact that they can brag about a speed of "100", when in reality it is just "60".

    I'm not saying that the discoveries are not sometimes accurate, just that they could be gotten to using simpler, cheaper methods.

    Scientists have been searching for the soi-disant "God particle", the sub, or sub-sub
    atomic particle that explains everything.
    I'm sure that science considers the quest to be chimerical.
    Einstein has declared that "God does not play dice with the universe". No, Al, dice have only six sides and come in pairs, you don't even need "the calculus" to figure that one out.
    Whereas "God" and "the universe" are concepts that are beyond us all.

    So, using simple methods, inexpensive methods, methods that can be safely confined to my small basement laboratory, I have continued the research and achieved success.

    I have discovered the "God" particle.

    Starting with the discoveries of those who have gone before, I have extended the search and come to the following conclusion.

    There is no doubt that the discovery of the four types of quark, up, down, charm, and strange, are accurate depictions of the sub-atomic world, I decided to investigate other particles. After long and harrowing study, I found that the underappreciated "Gluon" seemed to be a rich field for discovery. "Gluons" are binding particles, the things that hold other particles together. I do not need to tell you the importance of the need for that.
    Following that trail, I found that there are more binding particles than were heretofore recognised.
    To wit, in addition to the gluon, there are nailons, screwons, rivetons weldons, solderons, and velcrons.
    Furthermore, each quark uses each of these binders in various combinations
    That is to say, there are, for instance, nail-downs, nail-charms, et-cetera.
    All combinations are used. Not all combinations are used in the same numbers,
    in fact, some are used hardly at all, and some are used more often.
    In fact, one of the combinations is way more prevalent and is, in fact "The God Particle"

    I'm sure it will come as no surprise that the universe and all it contains is comprised of Screw-ups.


    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Dog Poets

    Well now that equilibrium is more or less restored after a couple nights sleep, I feel a bit embarrassed about losing my cool in public (see last post,"Jesus Christ"). (although I doubt that my version of "cool" meets the minumun legal definition) But, having one's inner sanctum suddenly invaded like that is a bit jarring. I don't have to go back there, however, and on the street, I can at least stay on the qui vivre and not be surprized.

    This blog is about my sister's dog, Layla, who wrote a poem.
    Layla was of indeterminate parentage but had the coloring, size and personality of a golden lab, as I recall.

    I think not too many animals write poems, or if they do, it's about food, killing other species, and doing things in the neighbor's yard.

    Actually, you might consider that analysis when reading your human poets. I mean, the subconscious will out, eh? Know what I'm sayin'?

    Especially the "warrior poets". Dig it.

    Anyway, my sister (she's the talented one, wonderful watercolorist), translated it and submitted it to some publication. She told me all about it but, of course, I forget.
    Perhaps it was a competition of some sort.
    Anyway, it got published, and for a while thereafter, the dog was getting fan mail.
    Fortunately, fame went not to the dog's head, so there were no incidents of drug abuse.

    Here is the poem

    by Layla

    The Bitch/ Man
    Took us to the
    Soft ground
    and big wet

    We did stick
    and dig
    and bird go
    Muppet played bark

    Many smells were ours
    The moving nothing was cool
    and the soft ground
    was warm

    There were no NO's
    and our tounges laughed

    Muppet was another dog in the family, looked like a foot stool.
    They were both getting along in years and are now ex canis.


    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Jesus Christ!

    Rainy day, I even wore my old Gore-tex jacket with the hood.
    Coffee at the usual place, then on to the library where I checked the site, published the comments, and listened to the trombone excerpts.
    Then I had lunch at my little sandwich shop. Pastrami on rye, lettuce, tomato,dab of mustard.

    On to the jazz service at Plymouth church. I was reluctant to go in at first, for some reason. But someone greeted me and handed me a card with the order of services on it. So what the hell?
    We go through the jazz and the singing and the prayers and get to the sermon.
    It was about Meighan, for chrissake! Something wonderful she did on that long march of hers. Showing something about hospitality.
    For some reason that hit me hard, I was seething, my hands clawed up, made fists.
    I managed to keep my mouth shut, but I did tell the preacher "the story.
    Jeez, There's one venue of solace ruined.
    I guess God wants me out of churches.
    He's going to be shuffling me off the mortal whachacallit soon enough, you would think He, of all people, would show a little patience.

    There's other noon music performances downtown on Wotan's day, I guess.

    Anyway, on up the hill to SCCC. The lesson went well. I'm beginning to think my music might be worth a defecatory unit, after all.
    I have been beginning this for ten years now.

    Especially with Butch's comments on my mp3 links.

    After that, I went back to the library and dropped off the George Antheil CD thatI had checked out last week then hopped on a bus for home (I do a lot of hopping these days, trying to pretend I'm still young)

    After a short nap we Volvoed to Lakeside School for the third of our Seattle Chamber Music Festival concerts. Debussey, Shubert, and Mendelssohn.
    I didn't think much of the Mendelssohn, although it was excellently played and of a barn-burning persuasion. I ventured this opinion to Meredith. She straightened me out on that score, and proceded to criticise the other pieces, which I had liked, especially the Debussey. I ventured no more opinions.

    Perhaps I should limit my music discussions to the classroom.

    So now I'm home. I'm still seething.
    Waiting for the sense of humor to kick in.

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    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Commanding Officer Jones

    Yeah, I agree with Steve about Zappa, (see "Midnight" comments) I love his naughty little songs and some of his guitar work.

    The first Mothers had some great singing, I, of course forget the names, he did "America drinks up" sweet voice
    I love the Marx brothers style insoucence, but Frank was a bit "too cool", too reserved, unwilling to risk losing control, or make a mistake, because of the jail time I guess and I think that's why his later stuff was a bit monotonous.
    The Symphonic stuff didn't do much for me. It was interesting and all, but large works are a whole different kind of composing.

    I hope his royal highness McCartney is listening.

    That was OUR music you used to save England from bankruptcy, cutie pie!

    BEEFHEART on the other hand is (or maybe by now was) a genius. He is what
    G. Antheil should have had the guts to be, instead of backing off after "Ballet Mechanique" in order to please that arch enemy of "true" American music, Nadia Boulanger. Or whoever he was trying to kiss up too.

    Wake up gang, we are not European. Our music comes from the blood of the people who picked our cotton and scraped our coal out of a hole in the ground.

    The snob factor and racism are diseases that still infect the "upper" reaches of the symphonic scene. Where heads empty of imagination float above us to no purpose than to block the light.

    A quote from a book I just read "The holocaust was, most of all, a failure of imagination"

    Sure you can blow things up, George, but what are you gonna replace it with?.

    Sure, you can break a contract and fire a concertmaster, but where's the new one? It's been what? Three years? That's some Dynamic Decision Making, children.

    Let's get Woodard and Schartz on a hunting trip with V.P. Cheney and try to get Michael Tilson Thomas up here to straighten those kindergardners at the SSO out.

    Any idiot can break stuff, what can you build?

    As Duke once said, "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and I'm all out of gum".

    Unfortunately for me, I am also all out of kickass.

    I now turn you over to an anxious and over zealous need to explicate and illuminate, a genius in his own right.
    Butch, you are an actor, you comment on everything except my opinion of Branaugh's Hamlet.
    If you don't agree that Jacoby brought a whole new dimension to Claudius (or was it Polnonius?) I'll send you to the principal's office. This time I mean it.

    GGGG, what is this stuff. I think that my bike trip has promoted some serious muscle building steroids here.
    At least it's a lot more fun than the other 'roids I've got.

    I am all out of stupid opinions to pad this thing with.

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    All things in

    Moderation is a good thing, grab as much as you can.

    I have added comment moderation to this site.
    This is not for the pourpose of censorship, but so I can get notice of comments made on archived comments.
    Also, I can trim some redundancies, as when a comment gets entered more than once.
    Maybe a little censorship.
    My rules about naughty words are for me, I want to challenge myself to come up with more creative ways of expression.
    You can say what you wand (or want, for that matter. Wave your wand how you will)
    I realize that sometimes ************ is the only proper word for what's being described, but euphemisms are amusing, puns by nature, a sort of "hipness test"
    You jellyrollers know what I mean, the rest can ask.

    My flag is not afraid of fire and my god is not afraid of disbelief.



    I've stayed up tonight and gone back through my archives. ido it because I base my entire worth as a human being on my hit counter, and the more times I access the site the bigger numbers I get. There it's the religious concept of loving one's self.
    This is something I am trying to do, although I sometimes wish I would bathe more often. I can live with the sense of humor.
    Of course, I got no choice on either point.
    Anyway, thanks, Steve, for visiting my site.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Quelle jour! , J'aime SAM

    Got an early start got downtown before 9:00 AM. Met nephew Wally by the busstop and had good conversation untill his bus came. Caffiene & carbs at Caffe Ladro, and then went in search of the McCleod residence, a commercial art gallery that I found after searching for Nancy Guppy because I didn't watch last Sunday because we had guests.
    You can join McCleod and adopt a family name. mine will be "Getoff' McCleod (unless someone else gets to it first)
    After that I checked out the new Seattle Art Museum; ces't magnifique! I got lost in the new larger setup, which is one of the best things that can happen to you in an art gallery. Much better than getting lost on a bike trip.
    Then a short trip to the library where I listened to my new music links. Can't do that at home, need new computer.
    Finally, after a sandwich, at a little shop across from the Benaroya Gulag, where I can cast an evil eye (the left one, the right is 20/83) across the street. I think it's working, I detect a bit of crumbling on the facade.
    Finally I trot on up to Broadway and SCCC for my class with David Mesler, where I manipulate him with devious psychological devices to tell me that I am, indeed, a brilliant composer. (He may not have actually said anything of the sort, but I'll hear what I want to hear.
    Then I went home.

    After which, we went to the second of our chamber music festival concerts.
    Due to the heat, the 7:00 recital was held in the (hang on a minute, I'll go look up the proper name of the hall.)
    Well, how do you like that? I can't find it in the program.
    Anyway, it was Jeremy Denk playing Ives. Something other than was listed, but the one that he has been analysing on his site.
    I think it is a better piece than the one we heard last week.
    Then, however, he played some Bartok, which was better than the Ives.
    I have more to say, but I've got to catch a bus to city hall for the noon concert there.

    oh, yeah, I also walked by a rock band playing at Westlake..........
    Coincidentally, it was a rock concert at city hall that I just came from today.
    And it rained, yesterday it was 100 degrees, today it rained.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007


    Last weekend, 7&8 July, whilst out shopping near here on Rainier avenue, I saw an official-looking person in a watch-out-for-me dayglo green vest with the logo of the STP run. I managed to miss this 200 mile trek this year (Phew!)
    Anyway, it reminded me to get the bike out for it's first run since I had it fixed.

    So yesterday, I took Fidelio, (My 1965 Puegeot bicycle, not Beethoven's opera about his mother) out for an inaugural trip.
    I went a little too far and ended up in Auburn.
    I had only intended to check out the Interurban trail to where it met tne Green river trail, but I missed the juncture and swooped onward.
    On the way back, I found the Green river, but got lost at one of the detours and went about 3 miles out of my way.
    It was thirty five miles for the whole trip.
    At least, I know how to hook up with the Green Valley road, which goes to Flaming Geyser park. From Flaming Geyser, I already know how to get to the Cedar river trail which runs to Renton and Rainier avenue and home, making a 60-mile loop that I plan to ride sometime soon.

    Sorta also reminded me of another trip I've been meaning to tell you about.
    I don't remember what month it was, but what difference does it really make, anyway?
    We left on a friday. We headed south for the Mt Rainier passes, couldn't get through on the Ohanapecosh side so we backed up and went counter-clockwise past the Paradise side., and ended up staying in a nice little rustic cabin at Trout Creek, on the way to whatchacallit, that city that you go over White pass to get to. (Yakima!)
    Saturday, had trout for breakfast and headed out to whatchacallit.
    Ended up in Spray, after passing through Shamico, or maybe we stopped in Shamico on our way through Spray. No, we had ice cream cones in Shamico and stopped in Spray.
    Ate in a grocery store next to the motel. Great twisty windy roads out of Shamico, I bet the motorcyclists had fun touring there. Wish I had my '54 Porsche speedster,
    Sunday we strolled through the John Day fossil beds and looked at stuff and ended up in Baker City and walked around and ate in a fancy hotel.
    Sunday, we ended up in Union and the fabulous Union Hotel. We stayed in the Annie Oakley room, which was all done up in purple and had various memoribilia and pictures of Annie. Got a flat tire.
    Monday, we had the tire fixed and headed out to try to get to a mountain loop road in the north east corner of the state (Oregon)
    Tuesday, On the road 8:30 drive till 4:30, long day,
    Ended up in Mt. Vernon.
    Wednesday, Lava dome, wind, snow, mount Batchelor, up to the lodge, too much snow, had enough driving in the snow, back to highway 58 to Water falls creek, big drop, it takes a snowball over four seconds to hit the river below. ended up in Bend. and the Deschutes Ale House.
    Thursday, On to the high desert museum and Salem.
    Friday, Coffee and doughnuts at Safeway store, new wiper blades and on to Oregon Gardens, nice place, volunteer run, if they had the money, it could rival The Buchart. Then on to Silver falls and a few pictures from under the falls. Sleep in Sublimity very near the highway. Wrote a few tunes for the trombone concerto.
    Which concerto I'm rather pleased with.
    Saturday, back in Washington again. Stay at the Sou'wester lodge in Seaview. Love that place.
    Sunday, back to Seattle again.

    Somewhere in all that we saw the worlds largest gold dredge and all the busted rock it left behind. I don't remember where it was.

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    Monday, July 09, 2007


    Please notice new link to one of my newer works.
    It's an invention for two tubas.
    It was written as exploration for the Tuba concerto.
    A bit of fun, nothing profound.
    It also is now the music link on my profile.
    There being no link on the full face view.

    Low level of loquacity today, I leave you now.


    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    Morning Ululations

    Once again I awake to the schreech of birds.
    Yesterday morning when I went out to pick up the paper I saw two eagles being chased by an osprey to the tree in our backyard.
    Or maybe they were racing for the tree in order to claim territory. At least they don't have guns.
    The eagles spent the next half hour screaming at the air, either to announce thier "mission accomplished" or to pretend that they were never afraid of no osprey.
    Today I just let them jabber away.
    At least there are no crows playing dive bomber as of yet.
    I am somewhat insulated from exterior cacophony here in the "studio" ("studio" Hah, that's rich) so the only cacophony I'm obligated to endure is that which my muse forces me to create. It's always sombody elses fault innit?

    At least the cat hadn't dragged one into my room.

    Actually, the real reason I am up at this ungodly hour on a Sunday (Sunday, ungodly?)
    is that we have a guest staying and I didn't stay up till 1:30 watching Saturday Night Live and Almost Live reruns.
    Usually I'm asleep till at least 10:00.

    I don't know about that Saturday Night Live show, it's cute, but I have a hard time keeping from laughing.
    Kidding aside, I am somewhat divorced from Mainstream America and I watch in order to keep an eye on, so to speak.

    And, besides, it makes much more sense than the "news" which never seems to me to be very new. I've read too much history. I've compared too much real weather with too much predicted weather. And, get this, one team wins and the other team loses.
    Almost Live is a sentimental favorite partially bacause it is (was) local and more because it featured Nancy Guppy.
    I am a fan.
    She brought some intelligence to the usual insulting comeback sort of thing that one would have to endure if one actually watched more than the promotion ads for the soi disant "humor" shows that litter the screen of AM television these dark days of human civilation.

    I would say "I'm in love with her" but there are undoubtedly more lunatic lawyers in the bushes ready to make something ugly out of it.
    Hey, looneys, make something out of this! (too bad you can't see the gesture that goes along with that invitation)

    Anyway I've nearly completed my experiments in sub-atomic physics and you may look forward to my report soon. (you could hardly look backwards to something that hasn't happened yet, could you?) (Or can you? Stay tuned).

    A confession, awhile ago I reported that I had decided to take a bicycle ride.
    That ride never happened. I am sorry that I misled you. I hope I didn't spoil any plans you may have made. I did pump up the tires and got all ready, but "events conspired" as they say. Actually, I've never heard anybody say that, but I say that because it is a nice mixed metaphor.
    You may want to skip the next few sentances because I am going to explain my what I mean by calling a mixed metaphor "nice" and you, loyal fans, already "get it".
    This is for the "Parade magazine" level intellects who accidentally access this site due to some misspelling error in thier blog search endeavors.
    A "nice" mixed metaphor is one that works on a metaphysical plane.
    Of course "events" canot "conspire". A conspiracy is three people complaining about the government.
    It's just that when things totally out of your control co-incide to prevent some silly thing you had planned, it feels like a conspiracy.
    To say "It seems like events have conspired" is using a mere simile, which is an acedemic observation and doesn't have the blood and sinew of the metaphor.
    To use the simile is to divorce ones self from the emotional reality.
    Conspiring events excite paranoia.
    Delicious paranoia.
    Another "Mixed metaphor" that the english teachers and other "guardians of the tongue" like to whinge about is Hamlet's "Take up arms against a sea of troubles".
    Any one who dosn't feel that thrust has never faced even a pond of trouble.
    While I have never faced a sea the dimension of Hamlet's, I have on occasion known what it is like to whack away at never ending waves of liquid insolubilities with
    a short sword.

    Or a sloppy crescent wrench that won't hold it's setting.

    Or a blogsite against the stone facade of a hick town Symphony Orchestra.

    Well....I notice that time once again has raised it's cute little head and the hour is no longer ungodly.

    Although, according to certain "Christians", I am.

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    Saturday, July 07, 2007

    Cosmic Connection

    Having read Norman Lebrecht's "Who killed Classical Music", "The Maestro Myth", "Covent Garden", not to mention Blair Tindall's "Mozart in the Jungle"* and having my own experiences with the Seattle Symphony, I thought I had had assembled a reasonably complete picture of what that environment was like.
    At the same time, however, there was a nagging feeling that I had known it already, that somehow I'd already experienced it all.

    Then, last night, we broke out our old VCR tape of the Marx Brothers "Night at the Opera" and it all came back.

    Kaufman's version penetrates to the heart of the matter more deeply than the other aforementioned authors.

    I thought I told you not to mention that.


    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Seattle Chamber Music Festival

    Last night, July 5, we drove out to Lakeside to listen to some chamber music. The first piece we heard was by Ravel for violin and 'cello. We heard it while leaning against some large rocks out on the lawn. A piece I'll have to think about a bit. If I had written it, I think I would have worked on it some more. It was miked and piped to large speakers outside, so that must have had something to do with it.

    Anyway that's not really what we came for.

    The 8:00 show consisted of three pieces. The first was Robert Schuman's Trio for violin, Cello, and Piano Fmaj, Op 80.
    The last (of three) was Brahms Quintet for strings also in Fmaj Op 88.
    there is always something soporific and even depressing about Schuman. Perhaps simply knowing his life story. Or perhaps sympathy for the struggle composers faced before Sibelious (the music scoring software, not Jean)
    In those days, they had to spend hours writing it out by hand very carefully following all the rules in hopes that it would sound alright if anybody ever played it.
    When I spend two or three hours composing, I can check my backup files and find ten or fifteen revised versions. And, I've ALREADY heard all of it performed.
    A whole lot of lazy people, like myself, are going to be calling themselves composers.

    My wife complained that it was hard to stay awake.

    Then we have Brahms. Lush Brahms. Brahms lullaby.
    Brahms, even in his big symphonies, feels to me like a warm blanket.

    The important piece was the centerpiece, listed as Charles Ives Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 1 with Jeremy Denk at the piano and Scott St. John at the violin (it looks to me like he uses a foam pad instead of a typical wooden shoulder rest. Irrelevant, but that's the sort of thing I like best about chamber music, you can notice stuff like that)

    What I heard, was Jeremy Denk doing a sophisticated Professor Peter Schikele explanation of Chuck Ives doing a reincarnation of P.D.Q. Bach.


    Reference to Ives as "our greatest" composer only added to the merriment.

    Ask me sometime about the use of "humor" to mask artistic incompetance.

    Anyway, all the artists performed impeccably and a grand time was had by all.

    Those of us here in the Great Pacific Northwest are truly hap.

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    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    More attitude

    We live close to Lake Washington. On the fourth of July we get to see the entire shore sparkle with private firework shows. Directly across from us, on Mercer island, are the homes of some of the more moneyed classes. The size and loudness of some of these displays indicate that they are "illegal" fireworks bought at the reservation stands.
    A couple hundred people injure themselves every year with these things.
    Which is not a good enough reason to abstain for the millions and millions of us who want to demonstrate our pride in our country by blowing stuff up.
    Considering the trouble we are going to to destabilize the semitic east, It seems a small price to pay.
    Besides, it's one time of the year when the pops and bangs are not cops and robbers shooting it out.
    We also get to see the top of the Lake Union show and the one near the Boeing Renton plant.
    America, **** Yeah!!

    So... I'm supposed to be interested in music here.

    Just finished reading Norman Lebrecht's "Mahler Remembered".
    I thought I had read them all, but it turns out that there's one about Handel, I'll have to find it.
    My only opinion abt. Mahler is this; I dont think he wrote nine or ten symphonies, I think he wrote eighteen or twenty symphonies and scrambled then all together.

    Just the opinion of a redneck in the cheap seats.

    I also just finished "The life and music of George Antheil" .
    A man overshadowed by his most memorable work.
    I began to worry that I would be remembered only for my "Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit"
    (as sung by a choir of cats) until I remembered that most likely I'm not to be remembered at all.

    Blessed, blessed Oblivion.

    Anyway Mr. Antheil was in the habit of writing "manifestoes" which shared the salient features of the writings of many other great artists, like Joe Chris Wolf Theo Mozart* and James Joyce, in that they are mainly pleas for more money.
    So I thought I should have a manifesto, too.

    It isn't music until it rattles the eardrums of the audience and causes the secretion of various kinds of endorphins and other self manufactured psychotropic
    If the seats aren't wet at the double bar, it don't count.

    But, of course you are more interested in the tires. The '67 VW van with the '49 formula one Ferrari painted on the side has it's new tires. I drove it to the tire store Tuesday and left it. I enjoyed a nice little walk home, about five miles. I am always amazed at the number of things you see walking that you miss driving. There is a brass plaque on the first south bridge for instance, that informs us that is was built in 1930 and has an official name...ummm
    The Duwamish Waterway Bridge? I don't remember (see "*" below)

    And the incredible amount of trash along the side of the road.
    Tell me if this has ever happened to you; I saw an odd bit of stuff by the road, I picked it up and found that it was apparently some kind small radio receiver. After examining it and finding it wanting, I was reluctant to toss it back because I don't like to "litter". You never know where the "Pure Earth" Gestapo might be lurking.
    This in spite of the fact that the roadside was already covered with beer cans, odd bits of plastic, random body parts**, and shards of our broken constitution.
    So, I put it in my pocket and threw it in my trash can at home.

    Part of the trip took me by the Boeing Air museum where, although it was not open yet, I still could walk around some of the outdoor exibits, including a B-47, a DC-2,
    and a FIAT "Frecce tricolore"

    Which brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to "attitude" and environs.
    Looking at the jet fighters on display reawoke in the depths of my soul the atavistic desire to jump in one of them*** and jam the pedal to the metal and blast up fourth avenue (south to north,it is a one way street)full throttle with afterburners lit at about fifty feet off the ground and suck out all the windows from Jackson street to Mercer.
    Fortunately for all involved, I know nothing about flying one of those things and they don't set there all fueled up and ready to go anyway.

    Probably some kind of security setup there too, I imagine.

    So...I wended my way homeward, taking advantage of my pedestrian status to walk past some dead end signs and visit some paths that have always intrigued my when driving.

    They just lead to other streets, sic semper ambulatoriam mundi mundane.

    I did find the lightbulb sculpures I have been wondering the whereabouts of since I read about them in the paper. They are part of the park-like landscaping around a local electrical plant. A close walk from the house and not far from the Kuboda Gardens. Go there some time if your in town.

    Anyway, the trombone concerto is a magnificant hoot, hope y'all get to hear it some day, I'm on to the tubacon already.
    As a precurser to that piece, I've written a two tuba invention called Tubatuba, which I hope to link for you soon.

    Something like that, you know how I hate to have to look things up.
    Mainly auto body.
    Not the FIAT, I have a FIAT, from which home I can walk when stops working it does.

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    Monday, July 02, 2007

    Today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

    Today, I am going to go to the tire store and see if they have five 155 - 15 tires for my VW van
    I wish I could find the picture that my sister took of it when back in '85 when the Ferrari I painted on the side was fresh. It's a magnificant sight. I'd like to post it here.
    Also, if time permits, I may finish some details in the kitchen.

    Wednesday, the family is coming over to celebrate the day. Gotta clean the Weber

    Thursday evening it's the Seattle Chamber Music annual festival.
    Can't wait.
    Although, whether I can or not, I most likely will.


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    Sunday, July 01, 2007


    My comments section is barren these days.
    "Butch" is on vacation and "Anomann" is in town with his very lovely girlfriend who is staying with us.
    She is out in der garten as we speak, helping my wife rip innocent plant material out of the ground simply because of it's social status.*

    Physical labor, yuck!

    So I am pleased that "Bubba" left me an encouraging comment.
    Although, after years of practicing "courage" I am left with the impression that it is a virtue (if it can be so called) better left to others.
    I mean, when you think of it, courage is only needed when the odds are against.
    So, therefore, it is unlikely to lead to much success.

    Like lottery players, only the names of the winners are published

    Perserverance, on the other hand does seem to have some practical value.
    But, on further reflection, it seems to fail tautologically. I mean, how do you not persevere?
    That's just what the bastards want.

    Hamlet addressed this question a few years ago in a whiny, navel-gazeing letter to the editor. As I recall, he never got a sufficiently useful answer.

    Wasn't Derick Jacoby brilliant as Claudius?
    They might as well rename the Branaugh version "What's a stepfather do do anyway?".

    So... I continue, continue being a milder form of perseverance more suitable to my age and delicate constitution.
    I continue with my wrestling match with the muse, "Melodia", or perhaps that's "Harmonica", I never can remember, maybe it's "Saxophonia".

    Unfortunately, I also continue my relationship with that other muse "Erratica"

    I continue with my rightous indignation about the Symphony's low class treatment of petite moi, "rightous" being a synonym for "usless".

    On another front, getting back to John Adams et Le chien Soho, I was reminded in his comments section of the old saying "there is a divinity that shapes our ends".
    I was ready to push the fateful "send" button on the following;
    "Does this divinity make my end look fat?", when discretion raised it's ugly head and I refrained.

    I hope Soho appreciates the courtesy.

    Remember children, "neither a borrower nor a lender be".
    Steal it and keep it.


    Tone clusters, or chords, that contain seconds are not strictly horizontal on the page.
    The notes are offset a bit because they are so close together.
    In a greater sense, aren't we all?

    Offset a bit because we are......never mind.

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