Saturday, May 31, 2008


Last night's salon consisted of two parts separated by a raffle which neither I or Meredith won anything.
We stayed anyway.

The first part consisted of two presentations.
The first was a a set of songs, text from the Bible, written by Richard Johnson
and sung wonderfully by a girl whose name I didn't catch (a touch of deafness, you see)

Then Steve Luksan presented a piece for "tape" and voice.
A setting of a poem of a friend of his whose name I don't remember.
(excessively loud rock music at the taverns in Fremont near to which
I used to live too.)
Then after the obviously rigged raffle, Tom Baker introduced

Ann Cummings-->

who presented

The winners of the Seattle Music Teachers' Simon Fiset Composition Contest:

Bryan Zhap
Conner Jensen
Robert Yamann
Benjamin Davis
Kevin Ke
Ernest So

Who played their winning compositions.
They were magnificent!

All us "grown up" composers immediately rushed home to practice.

Steve also showed an instrument that he made out of a bass clarinet mouth piece ABS tubing, various metal tuning slides which were operated by electronically controlled motors.
Which inspired me to get back to my pile of hardware and try something new.
Or at least finish the violin and the pochette that have been waithig patiently for the kitchen to be finished.

Got a wedding to go to this afternoon. A nephew in law.
Meredith is at the hall now, helping set up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Once more onto the coach, dear friends.
I boarded the number seven for downtown at approximately 9:00 and popped into town about fifteen minutes before the library opened, so I got to the bank for a little financial project (they'll never take me alive)

Wandered around Pike Place Market.

Some kind of celebration there this weekend, I believe.
I also believe that for every little drop of rain that falls, something gets wet.
At the Library, I loaded several more mp3s to my facebook site (Thank you Society of composers)

Then I forged onward, which is much easier than forging iron, especially since had neither coal nor bellows nor hammer with me.

I have been going to Caffe Ladro long enough that the sweet girl behind the counter knows my order, as do you, so there is no purpose served wasting time and keyboard reminding you.

Tall drip and peanut butter cookie.

Thence, as a matter of nostalgia, I decided that, in spite of the fact that I had just finished my morning carb'n'coffee, I might as well head off to the Pike Place Brewery for a nice spinach salad.

A meal which has important emotional significance for me.

The friendly girl directed me to the bar whereupon I felt it encumbant upon myself to order a nice XXXXX Stout after which a salad didn't seem appropriate.
So I ordered Fish and chips.
And it was good.
Those fish and chips.


The bartender turned out to be someone who used to sing in the choral with the SSO and with whom I've had conversation about the former choral "coordinator".

He thought he recognized me, and sure enough.
I brought him up to date on our mutual acquaintance.

I felt better for this as I walked to Capitol hill and my appointment with David, even though I've not been paying much heed to my musical muse lately.

Wait, Did I tell you about my waking dream this morning?
No I didn't
I had a dream this morning that I had made peace with someone with whom I've had a troubled relationship.
So the day started out nice to begin with.
And was made nicer by a pint of stout.

David loves my music, Ya, so do I, and so should you.
It's an entirely new type of music.
I'm ahead of my time.

Number nine bus home.
Cooked burgers for dinner

Popped open a litre of Corbel extra dry and celebrated the retirement of Meredith, whose official retirement is either today or tomorrow or something.

At least I think it was a litre, it might have been a liter, or even a quart, or a furlong for all I know.


We had a really nice conversation about the Marx brothers, Gilda Radner, SNL and humor in general.

She's now in bed with her computer and I'm doing this.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On the road again part two

Wukoki Ruin from a couple of distances and views.

We left Flagstaff and headed north toward Page.

We found a scenic loop road that led to this place and others.
First there was a mound of volcanic sand that we climbed hoping to look into a crater. Maybe we didn't go far enough, but it didn't look like much of a crater.
The other ruins looked pretty much like this one, but we played around all of them.

Interior view, showing wall construction and "T" shaped doorway.
Shape kinda reminds me of a "Kachina doll" shape.

Further on, at Wapatki ruin we found a place where a ranger and his wife lived in one of the rooms of Wapatki for awhile with a modern, (for it's time, the 20's or 30's or so) kitchen and all the mod cons. Of which there were few.
Sounds pretty romantic.

Wapatki was a bit larger and more spread out and had a circular pit arena.

Then we went on to Page and Antelope canyon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On the road again. part one

Well, doggone it, My connection seems to be too slow to upload pictures right at the moment.
See them in part two.
So this post will be about the bike trip I'm still cooling off from.
Distance - 31.1
Elapsed time - 3:03:00
Average speed - 10.1
Maximum speed - 40.2
Odometer - 356

I tried some of that 5 hour no crash energy juice and it seems to work.
My legs are weak and my neck hurts but I'm still awake.

Maybe later I'll be able to post the pics of the trip to Page and the bypass loop to the crater and

Wupatki National Monument

The climb up the crater got my heart rate up, like riding my bike or thinking of Katy, or Robin, or Anne, or Liz, or Meighan, Or Ginny, or you for that matter, dearheart.


Sunday, May 25, 2008


Folklife was fun, as always. There was no instrument makers booth, but the music and the noise and the crowd were invigorating.
I ran into Katy Webber who I've talked about here before.
A real sweetheart, a singer lovely voice, and a songwriter.

  • Katy Webber

  • Really like her, meeting her made the crap I got from the SSO almost worthwhile.
    She still works there, doing the job that Bryan Stratton did.
    Head teacher and Soundbridge manager.

    I left the Festival before the shooting.

    Today was taken up so far by the Indy 500.
    I like the Monaco Grand Prix better.
    Much more interesting track and cars.
    Although seeing Danica Patric well and truly honked off because of a shunt in pit lane was worth the price of admission.
    Too bad security stopped her before she accomplished the murder that was clearly on her face.

    I'm taking a day off from the Road to Ruins, but maybe I can find a picture for y'all.
    Ah, yes the road to ruins itself.
    This, I think is still Tuzigoot.

    Perfect segue to next part of trip.

    I've got to go out and stock up on some groceries, Ciao!


    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    In re inevitability

    Today, I will go to the Folklife Festival. Blog ya later.

    In the meantime, inspired by the various cat news circling about, I post this picture of Fearless Fuzzbutt (aka Polalie) who in celebration of his approximately annual death daring adventure (See original story at
    Draincat )
    has disappeared.
    Gone for about two weeks now.
    If we weren't so used to his irresponsibility,
    we would worry.
    But, you know, Cat sera, sera.

    The label for this post is in Occitan, an ancient French language that I found about in a book called "Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse.
    Speaking of Moss, Did you know that Sterling Moss's family name was originally Moses?
    Did'ja, huh?
    Just drop the penultimate "e" and there you go.
    Give to Kate.
    Recycling, it's easy to do.
    Although with "e" being the most popular letter in the English alphabet, it seems a somewhat meaningless gesture.

    Here's all the ways I know to say What will be, will be;
    What will be will be,
    Que sera, sera,
    Quod fiat, fiat.
    Si es atal, es atal.
    Che Cosa sara sia,
    Cual sera sea,
    Ce qui sera soyez,
    Was ist, seien Sie,
    Wal zal zai zjin zjin,
    Αυτό που θα είναι θα είναι,
    Что будет, будет,
    Cat sera, sera


    Friday, May 23, 2008

    Road to ruins, the real beginning.

    Flagstaff was cold when we got off the train at 7 in the morning.
    I crossed route 66 and took a walk around what seemed to be most of the old town searching for coffee and breakfast.
    Turned out to be just a block from the station, not a great station like L.A. but still better than Seattle.
    When Budget opened we checked out the car and got on the road.
    Headed south toward Sedona scoping out the red rock formations, an old fort and the first of the ruins, at Tuzigoot national monument.

    Where I bought a hat.
    Useful for sun protection.
    Effective too.
    No sun on my face.

    Heading back to Flagstaff, we went through Sedona again only to encounter a massive traffic jam. apparently the place is some kind of major tourist destination.
    Didn't look like much in the morning.
    Anyway, back in Flaggers we checked into a room (only to find Gideon's Bible) then went to a local pub for dinner.

    Last night I added a new feature, a link to even more of my turgid and mediocre music.
    The Facebook site.
    Not much on it as of 9:44 AM Friday May 23, but that'll change.

    Tomorrow, a new Page.


    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Stationary encounter

    Before we got on the train, however, we walked through the station.

    Looks like this. Majestic, I'm sure I've seen it in movies.
    Birds fly in and out working the crowd for peanuts.
    Or chips.
    One came up to me while I was chewing on a tough cinnamon roll.
    "Hey pal, you gonna eat that?"
    "Sorry, it's not good for you little birdies to eat this stuff"
    "You from Seattle, bird hugger"
    "What's it to ya if I am?"
    "You soggy envirocephs, are so lame"
    "It's your health"
    "You know, mossbrain, it's not those cheap levis that make your butt look big, it's all that fat that makes your butt look big. If you're so bloody healthy, let's see you do this."
    With that, he flew to the rafters and emitted a white substance that seems to have permantly stained my REI Gore-tex jacket.


    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Then we

    Went to a "modern art" museum across the road.
    I was not impressed.
    But, so what?
    There was this nice "water feature"
    After which we walked back to the train station.
    Spent some time in the plaza across the street listening to some nice South American music featuring a kid on a flute with the usual percussion and guitars
    Strolled through the stalls of the street vendors at the Pueblo de Los Angeles.
    I guess it's something like our Pike Place Market only outside and Latin-flavored.
    Spain was here first.
    By quite a bit.
    Some of the Spanish architecture we visited on the trip was here before
    "I Puritani" landed at Plymouth rock.
    Then we got on the train to sleep (try to) our way to Flagstaff.

    See you on the morrow

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Side trip

    Rather than take a nap this afternoon, I decided on a small bicycle jaunt down to Seward park, around the park trail, back to Dead Horse Canyon and thence homeagain, homeagain, tweedeleedee.

    10.7 mi trip
    58:31 minutes
    10.9 avg speed
    36.1 max speed
    Odometer shows 325 miles, I'm not piling them up very fast, but what the hey?
    You're supposed to train for at least 500 mi before you try the STP, but I'm not going to ride the STP.
    I may get up to 100mi in a day, but I don't think I want to do it in a crowd.
    I just don't have the social skills for it.


    A day in L.A.

    The train arrived in Los Angeles in the evening.
    The Metro hotel was visible from the street outside the station, so we stayed there.
    It was a reasonably nice place.

    Next day, we took a walk to see if we could find La Brea tar pits, when suddenly appeared a crowd, a host of...oops, this fantastic building.
    We walked to it and found, as I had suspected, that it was the L.A. Phil's new concert hall.
    In spite of my misgivings (it might be that all the concert halls in the world have been alerted to my person non grata status by the evil cabal that runs such things)
    We decided to take the tour
    Must have been someone's day off because the tour was terrific and the people were all nice.
    The Disney hall does to Benaroya what "Stars and Stripes" does to "Radetzky" (see previous post)

    There is a walkway around the top of the building that gives one a look at the surrounding landscape. There are gardens on the patio on the second (or third) floor

    I bought the T-shirt

    This is Disney Concert hall.
    It's a Gehery.
    Like the Bilbao museum.
    But not like the EMP.
    (we'll get to that later)

    Of course L.A. has real money, unlike Seattle piddling scrapings from the wallets of land developers and purveyors of cheap car parts. (we'll get to M-soft later)

    L.A. after all is the home of the Major Major art form of the United states of America, even eclipsing Jazz and Rock for overall impact on world society.

    This one started with 50 mil from Mrs Disney who wanted something that reminded her of a church covered in vines....hmmm.
    I guess if you can see the virgin Mary in a burnt taco...
    Nontheless, it is a lovely building, an inspiration, if you will.
    Looks to me like music striving to flight, along with the swoops of a composer's baton (Esa Pekka Solonen's)

    Benaroya started with a paltry 15 mil to Gerry who wanted a building with his name and picture all over it.
    It wasn't designed by Gehery.
    It's built over a train tunnel which leads to some interesting sub-sonic rumblings in the basement where Soundbridge is.
    To counteract the train (and bus noise)the main hall (Taper) is isolated by 2 or three hundred rubber (probably more like neoprene) mounts.
    They claim that this will even make it safer in case of an earthquake.
    Boeing tried that one on a pair of buildings once.
    When the earthquake came, the two buildings started banging into each other and were about the only ones that did get damaged.
    So who knows about that.
    The interesting to me is the possibility of deterioration.
    In my years as an auto mechanic, I've had lots of experience with failed rubber like substances, most notably motor mounts, they get soft, they get brittle, they get weak.
    So who knows what will happen in years to come when it begins to settle and strange buzzes begin to interrupt the show.
    A dumpy looking thing that is supposed to look like a lantern.
    A lantern surrounded by skyscrapers on all sides.
    So the Seattle Art Museum can find it in the dark, I suppose.
    (Btw, SAM is no longer on my s-list)

    I promised more on M-soft, Gehery, and the provincial tastes of the stuff that floats to the surface of Seattle society.

    We HAVE a Gehery building, the EMP. The EMP which looks like God caught pneumonia and hawked up a slimy pus filled lunger just barely missing the George Jetson designed "Space Needle"
    It was perpetrated by M-soft money.

    BTW Lower Queen Anne already had a blobular building a few blocks from this disgusting monstrosity. A cute cave like thing that was the home to several small enterprises (had a nice Mexican dinner there once)
    There was an incredible howl about it that led to it's demolishment.
    Now there is a weed filled vacant lot there (last time I checked)
    And the EMP.
    Some improvement.
    Anything with any character in this dingy little city gets dumped, the Kalakala, the Twin Teepees, etc
    Lame as it is, the Googly (?) Mannings building in Ballard is about the only architectural personality we have left.

    Really the existence of the L.A. Hall really reminds me of what a pathetic little hick town I was fortunate enough to be born in.
    (lemons and lemonade, if you catch my drift)

    Stay tuned.

    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Musical weekend, Speight Jenkins, Ilkka Talvi.

    Speight was right, anomann, you shoulda been there.

    I Puritani was terrific!
    Maybe the weather had something to do with it, but I have never in all my opera going experience (all at Seattle Opera) seen such audience response.
    Every aria was applauded.
    The standing ovation at the end was ear shattering, I was holding mine which saved my hands from applause blisters.
    Bravos, Bravas, Tuttibravas abounded.

    The story, of course was absurd and irrelevant.
    As was Bellini, frankly.
    Well, B. wasn't any more absurd than any other composer, it's just that the performances were so outstanding that the work itself didn't seem to make much difference.

    In order of audience decibelity the stars of the show were;

    Lawrence Brownlee, As Arturo; What a fantastic voice!
    Norah Amsellem, as Elvira; Just a touch shrill at the top but more than capable of convincing me that she was, in fact the tortured girl in question.
    Pretty much tied with;
    Mariusz Kwiecien, as Riccardo; Great stage presence, bounding up staircases two at a time while singing. I would comment on the singing, but it was overshadowed by Brownlee's.

    The set, for some reason was a DaDaistic collection of stairways.
    Reminded me of Kurt Schwitters a bit.
    I liked it, but I can't imagine what it had to do with Cromwellian England.
    It didn't really need to.

    Would have been fun to play on.

    Anyway, that was Saturday Night (Live of which I missed because I.P. was four hours long [Wagner territory {though it didn't seem long to me, as Wagner often does}], I didn't mind),(however)

    Meredith was uncomfortable due to being under dressed because of the strange weather
    (warmer than Arizona, go figure) and having a blast of conditioned air down her back.


    Out in Tukwila (means hazelnut in the local native language) the Rainier Symphony gave a concert yclept "Around the world in 80 minutes" a "Pops" concert.

    David Waltman - Music Director -- Ilkka Talvi - Concertmaster

    Overture to William Tell ..................................Gioacchino Rossini
    Bersaglieri March ..............................................E. Di Capua
    Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 ...............................Franz Liszt
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice ...............................Paul Dukas
    Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op 28 ..Camille Saint-Saëns

    The Capriccioso was played by Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi


    Toccata and fugue in D minor .................Johann Sebastian Bach/Leopold Stokowski
    Tarantelle, Op6..........................................Camille Saint-Saëns
    Peer Gynt Suite No1.................................Edvard Grieg
    The Pirate King Song from "The Pirates of Penzance" Sir Arthur Sullivan
    Hoedown from "Rodeo" ...........................Aaron Copland

    Tarantelle was played by Shari Muller-Ho, flute and Eric Tishoff, clarinet.

    Andrew Krus was scheduled to conduct (and sing) "Pirates" and "Hoedown" but couldn't make it, so Mr Waltman did the honors (including costumes)

    But wait, don't leave the theater yet we have three John Phillip Sousas for you.
    ending up with "Stars and Stripes" the greatest march ever written.
    Kicks "Radetzky's" butt.
    Eat your heart out "Aida"

    Stay tuned for more

    "Road to Ruins"

    Find out what this is all about.

    Labels: ,

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Just picture it, details later.

    Someone we met in Arizona at the Wukoki ruin.

    Here's how the trip went;

    Train to Eugene, bus to Kalamath Falls because of a mudslide, back on the train to LA.
    Day in LA, train to Flagstaff Rte 66.
    Rent a car new Chevy Cobalt (8009 miles on it) fool around Sedona area.
    Next day to Page, two nights there.
    Then to Kayenta, expensive motels.
    On to Grants.
    Through Santa Fe to Española.
    Petrified forest
    Winslow, more Rte 66
    Get rid of Chevy (10018 miles)
    Train to Seattle, no mudslide.
    Hi, howarya, goodaseeyagain.

    Bus Trip

    Through the clouded night
    binary stars passing
    at the speed of light
    distant red stars pulsing
    left and right
    square, round, diamond
    galaxies reflecting
    far off
    buffeted by dark matter,
    unseen hands
    interstellar winds
    rocking the bus
    the cradle

    Someone we met begging at Petrified Forest in 80 mile an hour winds



    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    Nice picture

    I don't remember exactly where this is, but it's a nice picture anyway.
    Well, it must bein Arizona.
    At some cliff dwelling nobody lives in anymore.
    I'm not quite up to posting much today,
    Meredith is out in the garden,
    pulling weeds,
    making me feel guilty.

    I like this picture because its gentle and relaxed.
    No greatness or meaning to speak of.
    Just a path with trees.
    In a warm climate.
    No underbrush.
    Not necessarily going anywhere.

    I've got work to do on the others
    so they will fit and,mainly,
    rename them so I can find the right ones
    When I want to post.


    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Springtime in Arizona

    Here we are in Flagstaff Arizona.

    May 13 2008

    Temp 36 deg F.

    Dunno what is is Celsius

    About six inches deep the snow was.

    Probably gone by now.

    I wanted to show you this first because it's the anomaly.

    Stay tune to this station for the amazing adventures of

    "The Road to Ruins"

    Starring Me and Her, a bunch of places where people used to live
    and a Chevrolet Cobalt.

    One reason I don't like traveling is 'cause it feels like this;

    Me speaking, "Hey Chief, nice double wide, C'n I take a picher?
    Jissa minnit, let my wife hold the papoose OK?
    Hey nice TV izzat new? We gotta 45 incher.
    Thanks, Tonto, hey, kid don't lean on the car,
    aincha got no respect for other folks stuff?"

    And that's just when I'm eating fry bread in a restaurant.

    Anyway, we made it back without any international incidents.
    Lots more pictures.
    She took 'em all so they are all pretty good.

    All right I took this one.

    I do like fry bread.
    And not just because of Tony Hillerman

    or Sherman Alexie.

    Picked up Sherman's new book

    I'll have something to say about our favorite Yakima later.

    As soon as I remember what it was that struck me about that and
    "Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian"

    Opera tomorrow, "I Puritani"

    Then, Sunday, it's The Rainier Symphony doing their "Around the world in 80 minutes"


    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    This just in


    With lots of pictures and things to say.
    Blog you tomorrow.
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