Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New link

"Wordle" is a new link.
"Wordle" takes your text and arranges it into a "word cloud"

Wordle gauges the size of the size of the picture by how many times the "word" appears in the text you submit
The one with the "O" and "+" was made by using an "O" and an "+" as words, and repeating them many, many times.

Here are three I made. Click on the picture to go to the site and see the original.

Tuesdays post as a wordle.


Some MAD Magazine quotes.


Plus None

If the link doesn't work, go to see Omniscient Mussel.

I'll tell you about today, tomorrow.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Eddies

I checked out a book on Edward Elgar, thinking it was a biography.
But it's just letters to and from the friends about whom he wrote his famous "Enigma Variations" which is a set of short musical portraits of these friends.

I read a few, and not too surprisingly they are about as boring as an uptight Edwardian intellectual can make them.

I did find the following, which I consider quite amusing.

Midland Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.
Friday [14 Mar. 1919]

My dear W.
It was so good & sweet of you to think of such a nice plan for Carice. It is
awful here - all dreadful U.S. Americans - the lowest of the human race & a jazz band. I am dreadfully unhappy at everything. We return as soon as we can. I remember buying notepaper here with an unnecessary E on it which I kept for you till it was all gone.
Do ring up on Monday morng & we try for Tuesday & make a nice plan.

Love Ed

Geez, Eddy we're sorry about tossing your tea in the harbor.
Give us a break already.

I've had the fun of creation out of the string quartet.
Now I must pay the piper and face the agony of enharmonic spelling.
Actually the agony is David's until I catch on how to do it myself.

So, goodnight to you all,
And goodnight Miss Calabash, wherever you are.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pilot bearing

I am sitting here waiting for time to go by so that I can pick up the Volvo clutch parts that are being delivered to the parts store.

Then the rest of the day will consist of straining my back and getting very dirty.

I invited an old friend to become a facebook friend, but because her middle name is GAY, they gave her a ration.

Why does the lowest interpretation have such power?
GAY means happy, cheerful, light hearted.
It also refers to homosexuality.

None of these things is offensive.

What is offensive is making something ugly out of it.

It's these "moralists" who make the world ugly.

I remember an interview with some porn hater who compared "legitimate" (church approved, I guess) sex with porn.

He said that porn was like a "sewer" and the other was like a "beautiful fountain"

Obviously didn't have much experience with either.

What can turn a fountain into a sewer?
How about covering it up and pretending it doesn't exist.
How about calling it names like "dirty" "disgusting" "evil" or "immoral"?

Clean your mind uptight moralist, and free your head.

Nothing is ugly but that you will it so.

At the book group discussion last evening, we discussed the book "Crossing to Safety"
by Wallace Stegner.
Because of the books subtlety, the discussion was quite deep and animated

Death was one of the subjects talked about.
Being as we are all "senior citizens" there were many moving personal accounts.

So I didn't feel it appropriate to recite the following.


Santa Clause...
The Easter Bunny...
The Tooth Fairy...
God, Honor, Justice...
I'm half afraid that when I get to


That'll turn out to be bullshit too.

As Pete Seegar once said (probably)

So long, it's been good to know ya.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Humor in the Military

O.K. it's Sunday time for reflection and contemplation of God and his mighty mysterious works.
A good source for the contemplation of one of God's most mighty and mysterious faces
Go visit Butch at

  • Feel Free To Read

  • There are certain people in the world who feel that God is directing them, that their goal is more important than any suffering they might cause.
    Leopold and Loeb, Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, Abraham Lincoln, George Bush, Saddam Hussein and many other mass murderers.

    And on a smaller scale, those who feel that their "need" to get someplace is excuse to violate traffic laws, that their "need" to "maximize profits" excuses "creative accounting" that their need to "keep the peace" excuses violence.

    But you and I, we already know all that.
    We know that piloting our lives through the heavy traffic is a cooperative dance and not a desperate race.

    Don't we?

    So let's take this day of rest and consider what happens when some of us imagine that somehow we are above it all.
    Whether your "God" is called God, Jaweh, Allah, Money, The great Pumpkin, or Horsepower.

    Here's a bit of music appreciation from the aforementioned site.

    Sniper Alley

    Vedran Smailovic plays Albinoni’s Adagio
    on a sidewalk,
    on a quiet Sarajevo morning,
    wearing his finest suit,
    his cello leaning its neck
    over his shoulder,
    as if searching the rooftops
    for what audience there might be,

    A mortar shell killed so many who were
    waiting in the bread line,
    nervously patient,
    where flowers now
    hang their heads
    and fall
    piece by piece
    to the earth,
    as though hushed
    only by Vedran’s requiem,
    this impossible music.

    There is nothing romantic about this.
    There is a rifle scope
    magnifying him in its lens,
    reticular crosshatchings
    bisecting his body.
    There is a rooftop sniper,
    not far from here,
    who has watched Vedran
    come to this place
    for over twenty days now,
    resting the crosshairs
    on his heart,
    measuring the distance between them,
    how all that is needed
    is for a finger to press down,
    for one long agonizing note
    to rise from it,

    Brian Turner

    Note: In fact, Vedran Smailovic, of the Sarajevo Opera orchestra, actually did risk sniper fire at the site of this attack, playing his cello for 22 consecutive days. (See Sarajevo, A Portrait of the Siege, pp. 46-47)
    Posted by butch on FFTR


    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Couple days go by

    I had planned on a bike trip today but last night as we were going to the Chamber festival, the clutch on the Vol started acting up, so today was an under the car trip instead.
    The pilot bearing went bad.
    We got there and back... just barely.
    I'm putting in a new clutch.
    Ready for another 150,000 miles.

    I take back what I said about standing ovations. The first half of the concert didn't get but a few standees.
    The first half consisted of Beethoven at his cutest.
    a trio for piano, clarinet, and cello called "in B flat Major Op 11" an early work (later works went up in the high hundreds)
    Sean Osborn, clarinet
    Bion Tsang, cello
    Alon Goldstein, piano

    And Johannes Brahms' "Variation on a Theme by Schumann for Piano, Four Hande in E-flat Major, Op 23"
    The piece wasn't much longer than the title.
    During intermission I overheard it described as "beautiful" by one, "brutal" by the guy he was talking to.
    And "muddled" by the voice in my head.
    Most Brahms seems to run into a wall of hysteresis as far as I've ever heard.
    Orion Weiss, piano right side
    Anna Polonsky, piano left side (they traded off on the pedals)

    Then, once again, the audience participated in the large dance work known as "The Intermission for numerous feet in Arch flat Op (in the millions)"

    Then the rousing finale to the evening, Sergei Taneyev's "Quintet for piano and strings in G minor Op 30"

    Four movements;
    Powerful Russian Drama.
    Cute little Russian scherzo.
    More Russian Drama in a melancholy largo.
    Powerful Russian melancholy Melodrama.

    This time the standing ovation was enthusiastically leapt to by the audience.
    Even I creaked to attention and admitted to myself that it was pretty darn good.
    I wouldn't ever admit that to you, however.
    My music is much more intelligent and psychologically deep.
    I am truly "ahead of my time"
    And a few other's time to boot.
    This is why the SSO fears me.

    Jun Iwasaki, violin
    Lili Francis, violin
    Richard O'Neill, viola
    Robert deMaine, Cello
    Adam Nieman, piano.

    There was a recital before the main show.
    For piano and oboe
    Something by Poulanc
    Something by Walton of Britten about grasshoppers and wasps.
    And some practice exercises by Bozza
    I lost the program for that bit.
    The Poulanc was pretty good.
    The Walton or Britten, or whoever, was pretty cute.
    The Bozza?!

    I know I didn't try to bore you with my usual Wednesday slink into town.
    It was the usual slink into town.
    Including (something I may not have told you about) loading up on croissants, going upwind of B-Hall and farting in their general direction.

    Thursday, I didn't post I can't remember why. I can't even remember Thursday.

    Which probably explains something......


    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Tale of Two Coffees

    Or two hills.
    There was only one coffee, the other was some kind of fruit drink advertising itself as composed of 95% fruit.
    It's just that coffees sounds closer to the famous book title than anything else I could think of.

    The Volvo specialty shop where I took the Volvo for some diagnostics is about halfway up Roosevelt hill at the top of which I used to have my shop.
    I brought Fidelio along for something to do as I waited for the car.
    I decided on some hill work.

    First part of the trip was down hill on Roosevelt way to the Burke Gilman trail.
    I had planned to cross the Fremont bridge and climb Queen Anne hill past my 3rd N. house, but when I got to the bridge I noticed some new addition to the trail and headed to Ballard and it's synonymous bridge.
    Thence east on Nickerson to 3rd West, which is the easier but longer ramp to the top of QA hill.
    Starbucks (get 'em while they last folks) for a tall drip and a piece of lemon cake (they call it lemon loaf... tastes the same)
    And a bit of a breath catch.
    Back down the hill via the curvy road that winds its way around the north edge of QA back to the Ballard bridge and B-G trail, which I rode through the south edge of the UW campus to (gosh, what's the name of the street?, 25th?) and up to 88th (where the shop was, on the corner of Roosevelt way N.E.) by way of 65th, 19th, 85th, 18th, 86th, 17th, and 88th.
    Thats where the Strawberry "smoothie" came into play.
    That and a chocolate filled croissant.
    It was all down hill after that back to Volvopolis, and a hundred dollar bill for services that essentially confirmed my suspicion that the car in question is getting to be what is known in the jargon of the trade as an "old piece of junk"

    Sic semper volvoleum mundi.

    Shut up, spell checker! Or learn some Latin!

    Stats. (I know you're simply fascinated by this information (there is a surprise)

    19 miles
    1 hour 53 minutes and 50 seconds.
    at an average speed of 10.3 miles per hour
    adding up to a total distance of 588 miles
    and, get this, maximum speed 71 miles per hour!!

    I know I try to get you to believe some unlikely stuff here on FFTL, but this is not some of it.
    This is just a little teeny computer getting cute.
    Maybe 30 maybe 31, but no way 71... pfaugh!

    On the trip up and back in the car, I noticed that they are starting to set up bleachers at Stan Sayers pit area (formerly Wetmore slough) in anticipation of the big noisy boat race. (Seafair cup){I think}


    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    What goes around

    We are not alone, apparently

    Symphony Columbus

    has it's problems, too.

    At least they're not my problems.

    Last night we watched a video of Orson wells masterpiece "The Third Man"
    In spite of the ragged condition of the tape and the muddiness of the music, it is still an awe inspiring work of cinematic art.
    In black and white with absolutely no computer graphics, car chases or exploding helicopters.

    How Orson came up with the idea of using the Zither for the background music is as much of a artistic mystery as how that elephant got into Groucho's pajamas.

    I've been wrestling with my Facebook site trying to post a score for the cello duet.
    I may have succeeded, and I may not have succeeded.
    That is what makes life interesting.
    Annoying, frustrating, maddening, crazy, but interesting


    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Last Night

    Here's what happened to me last night.
    Dinner in an Italian restaurant at Northgate I forget the name but the food was good.
    It's right next to the Ram pub (I don't think it is called the Ram Inn)

    Then it was on to Lakeside for Toby Saks 27th annual Seattle Chamber music Society Summer Festival.

    The recital portion of the evening was exciting partially because I'd never heard of Rebecca Clarke or her sonata for piano and Viola.
    Jeremy Denk on piano always gives an excellent performance and it is as much fun to watch him work as it is to hear him play.
    As was Richard O'Neill on viola.

    The recital portion of the show is free.

    The part we paid for started with Frank Bridge's Fantasie Quartet for piano and strings in F-sharp minor H.94

    I got lost during the Frank Bridge, which is not unusual for a first hearing.

    The Villa Lobos "Assabio a Jato" with it's Latin warmth and rhythmic complexity was more to my liking even though I didn't see what a jet whistle had to do with it, except for a breath tone on the flute at the end, which was a brilliant touch.
    Also a first hearing.

    Ronald Thomas on Bass, Lorna McGhee on flute.

    She wore a beautiful oriental-looking jacket over the usual black and white musician's costume, which had me wondering about the dress rituals involved in classical music.

    Poulenc's sextet for piano, flute , oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn was also outstandingly memorable, come to think of it, ALL the pieces were new to me (or possibly heard on KING FM and ignored because not live)
    I've always loved Poulenc's qurkiness and humor.
    The performer who was to make the announcement declined so nobody talked about the music beforehand.
    Wish Jeremy had done it.
    If it wasn't such a brutal life, I could wish that he could be a standup comedian. It would be a loss to the music-loving populace, however.

    The audience performed the intermission faultlessly bringing an ineffable sense of barely organized chaos which somehow combining the complex milling patterns of any intermission with a unique and subtle pattern of it's own.

    The Dvorak Quartet, Op 23 was not Great Dvorak, but still great music.
    And well performed, which sorta goes without saying for this venue.

    Every piece got a standing ovation, which is suspicious to me.
    This crowd does know what it wants and I suppose it is used to getting it, but I wonder if our standards need to be adjusted.
    It's just that without an occasional sitting ovation, it's hard to make comparisons.

    One potentially dangerous moment occurred when Jeremy's page turner hesitated a bit and Mr. Denk experienced a touch of panic, which did not appear in the music, however.

    I'm still enduring the lethargy so I can't tell if any of this is funny.

    That's your responseability

    Friday, July 18, 2008


    Tonight wont be just any night, we will be at Lakeside listening.

    I'm hoping that this cranial contraption known as a "migraine" will have subsided by seven o'clock.

    That's what Meredith calls it and according to the Scientific American and Hildegard von Bingen that's what it is.

    Swirly things in my vision and lethargy.

    But no "ache" which doesn't qualify it as a "headache" as far as I'm concerned.

    Suffering the slings and arrows of an outrageous symphony orchestra does qualify.

    The lethargy is the annoying part.

    Hildegard painted pictures of the swirly thing thing ("auras" is what Scientific American calls 'em nothing in your philosophies so wondrous that "science" can't make stuffily boring)

    This issue contains a bit of oedipal snottiness about astrology.
    The word means "mapping (or recording) the stars" and making up stories about them.
    Which is all that there is to do about any thing, let alone the stars.

    There is also an unfunny page about horoscopes, and how useless they are.
    Like spending billions to go to the Moon or try to find water on Mars or life in outer space makes sense.

    There is life here, and here is in outer space.
    There is water here.

    "science" should learn to deal with that before it goes off on lunatic quests for extraterrestrial holy grail.

    My horoscope (Seattle Times one anyway) advises me to "love my neighbor"
    What nonsense, Eh, "science"?

    Well, you're my neighbor and I think it is a good idea.

    Yes, even you....who is most not likely reading this, but who claims the idea as the basis for her philosophy.

    I'd write more, but I have a headache.

    Labels: ,

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    H.L. Mencken is dead.

    Here's, the letter that I wrote to the Seattle Times;

    The very first thing I see when I look at the New Yorker is satire, shoving absurd prejudices in the face of those who believe their obvious nonsense.
    That there is any controversy at all brings up a Lily Tomlin quote, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up."

    That's what the Times printed yesterday, pretty lame, eh?

    Today we drove up to Bow to see a relative and take a hard hat to him.

    Yesterday was the usual stuff, although nobody harassed me on the SCCC campus.

    I was kinda looking forward to that.

    The string quartet is getting better by leaps and bounds.
    David says it's as good as the flute concerto.
    The one that caused all the trouble.


    I'm hot, sweaty and tired, see ya later.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    We've just hired a girl named Maria

    I've just swiped this from a link to NYC posted by Zach Carstensen on Gathering Note

  • Gathering Note

  • But it’s the New York Times that comes closest to what appears to have happened:

    Last summer the orchestra’s music director, Gerard Schwarz, named a quartet of violinists, including Ms. Larionoff, to share the post, saying “it doesn’t make sense” to have one person, given the length of the season. On Friday Mr. Schwarz called the arrangement a “tremendous artistic success” but said Ms. Larionoff, the associate concertmaster since 1997, would take over. “The way she has embraced this new position speaks volumes about her remarkable talent and ability to lead the orchestra,” he said. Tom Philion, the executive director, said the other three players — Ani Kavafian, Emmanuelle Boisvert and Frank Almond — would continue to appear with the orchestra.

    What’s not answered is the question of where Ms. Larionoff sits when one of the other three is present. If she moves to second chair (or even sits home on paid leave), then what really has changed?

    And what about tenure? She was tenured as a member of the orchestra. But concertmasters in Seattle don’t have tenure; they are concertmaster so long as the music director wants them to be, and no longer. Did she give up job security in exchange for a title that doesn’t really change how things work?

    There’s clearly more here than meets the eye, or at least the eye of the press. What is clear is that this doesn’t resolve the Seattle concertmaster situation. Instead, it looks more like a face-saving way to continue along the same screwy path that the SSO has embarked upon. Which, given the balance of power within the SSO, is not really a surprise.

    I added the italics
    Screwy is the word all right.
    I would have used "un"-balance of power.
    Not a lot of mentis composition there.

    As Gerry himself says "it doesn't make sense"

    Who's to argue with him?

    Anyway I've been told that my letter to the editor of the Seattle times will be printed tomorrow.
    It's not about the SSO

    It's about the New Yorker


    SSO continues harassment of innocent composer

    Earl Scruggs plays at B-hall.
    Earl Scruggs the master of the banjo I love his music as much as I love the Cajun or Zydeco or the blues.
    But I can't go.
    I can't go because an SSO employee decided to spend two years complaining to the 5th floor morons-in-charge that I continued to exist.
    Meaningless complaints that led me to be the victim of vehicular intimidation.
    That somehow led to the SSOs lawyer sending me a snotty little letter threatening with arrest if I so much as walked on their side of the street.
    Sending their security doofuses to harass me on the street while talking to a friend.
    (a gross misdemeanor according to an 1896 law)
    At the same time as the SSO was sending me letters thanking me for all I had done for them and inviting me to spend a little more money, inviting me to will them my estate, for Christ sake.
    According to the Mayor's office, there is a 6-month statute of limitation on my ability to complain about this injustice.
    But it only applies to my ability to complain.
    The SSO can continue it's prejudicial actions forever.
    It's time to dissolve the SSO and find some intelligent people to form a new Seattle Orchestra.
    One that we could be proud of, instead of reading what a hostile and toxic atmosphere exists behind the "Berlin walls" of Benaroya.

    Copies of the aforementioned correspondence can be found under "Chutzpa" on this site.

    As if you cared.

    SSO has finally decided that Maria Larionoff is to be the new concertmaster, a decision that has been obvious since before they defenestrated Ilkka Talvi and as obvious that Joshua Roman was not going to put up with the Fascist regime there.

    It becomes clear to me that intelligence has mass and therefore weight as it always seems to sink to the bottom of any social construction, leaving the air-headed and those with circular digestive systems to float to the surface and block the light of the deserving.

    In other news, idiots are complaining about the delicious slam on bigotry on the New Yorker cover.

    As Lily Tomlin is reputed to have said "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up"


    Monday, July 14, 2008

    Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité Balonié

    Bonjour, mes amis.
    Aujourd'hui c'est la jour qui est arriveé
    Et cette jour c'est le Quatorze Juillet.
    Le jour "Bastille"

    Réjouissez-vous, mes amis, Joyeux

    Et maintenent, quelque chose avec le difference completement.

    Thank you Gabriel Foureff for that notice, we haven't heard from you in a while.
    Hope you're well and still composing your ..ummm...interesting music.

    Today by the shores of Lake Woebehere, the kitchen nears completion the ceiling is being stripped of it's layers of greasy buildup as we speak.
    Later in the day, we will buy the paint and before we know it we'll all be dead....oops, I meant we'll have this project completed.

    It's a warm day.
    A day for us lotus-eater types do do nothing but lounge.
    I've drunk so many liquids over the past few days that I think I've actually washed out any impetus for dissing SSO, making absurd comments,... or even finishing this sentence.

    My anxiety about not having the talent, training, or education to be able to writr a decent review of the marvelous music I am lucky enough to be able to hear live, is at a low ebb.
    Others do that so well that I feel guilty at even pretending to any kind of artistic sophistication.

    I'm not even worried that I may not be able to come up with a punch line for this post.

    In fac, I'm losing interest in anything right at the moment for anything but slumber and cold drink.

    Summer time and the lying is easy.

    Was that a punch line?

    I think that, under this torporulent facade, the roiling, smoldering, tropical storm that is my deepest, most profound, inner self still...roils and...smolders...


    Anyway, my love to you all.

    Even those who would run me over with their cars.

    You are forgiven.

    This is pretty lame, I'll find a picture.

    This is not a beautiful scenic view from our trip.

    This is not my beautiful wife.

    This is not my beautiful house.

    This is not a pipe!

    No, my friends and my foes alike,

    This is a map of the Seattle to Portland bicycle run.

    Is it a punch line yet?


    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Little yellow flowers

    Looking out my second story window this morning I saw some cheery yellow-faced flowers staring at me.
    More than just staring, they were sneering, too.
    My second story window!
    This has gone on a little too long.

    I decided it was time for some dandelionecide.

    Went to the garden garage, fired up the Honda, which promptly ran out of gas.
    As I was taking the gas can down to the station, (no titanium spy plane fuel here either, in Seattle) I noticed several bike riders with number tags slung around their necks. Hmm....must be STP.
    As it was 10:00 AM the bulk of the riders were way far south by then and these people were riding slow, I thought that they might be easy to pass up and decided to ride my bike later, when my final solution of the dandelion problem had been effected.

    Back to the house, I fired up the Honda and commenced a Pearl Harbor on the little florabuggers.

    Now the yard is all green (and brown, mostly brown) and democracy reigns again.

    I began my ride in the exultance of victory, and headed south on Rainier hoping to catch up and pass the aforementioned stragglers, but to no avail, I passed no STPers

    Rode to the end of the pavement on the Green River trail, 16.1 miles, at an average speed of 14.1 (actually made it to the south end of Renton airport with an average of 14.9.


    Distance 32.5 miles
    Time 2:27:52
    Average speed 13.1 mph (I live on a hill, what I get going out, I give up coming back)
    Maximum speed 34.9 mph
    Accumulated miles 568

    Now I've got to go and help get rid of a large Norway rat with a damaged spinal column that the cute little kitty of ours has dragged in.

    Aspice Quod Felis Attraxit, indeed.

    Would that I could express the excitement I felt at last night's concert.
    (or whatever, I don't do emotions)
    I've never heard Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" live before, and was duly impressed.
    From hearing it first on record in it's Ravel orchestration, where I was Impressed,
    To a recording of it on piano (where it belongs) where I was really impressed, I've gone to hearing it live and up close, and have entered the "duly" level of impressment.

    Andrew Armstrong played it (fingerstrong, too)

    That was the recital;
    After that, the main attraction started with Uncle Ludwig amusing us kiddies with;

    "Quintet for piano and strings in E-flat Major Op 16"

    Proceeded after a change of personnel to;

    Ernst Bloch's "Three nocturnes for Violin, Cello, and Piano"
    Joaquin Turina's ""Circulo...." Fantasia for Violin , Cello, and Piano, Op 91"

    Then, after a brief intermission;
    Franz Schubert's evergreen "Trout Quintet"

    AKA "Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Major, D.667.

    For an intelligent read about Schubert(t) go visit Jeremy Denk's site "Think Denk" (to your right under "Blog party revelers")
    Jeremy played piano on the trout which is much more difficult than playing it elsewhere, on a salmon, for instance.

    I've been trying to get out of mentioning the names of the other musicians out of an ambivalence as to whether I'm doing them any favors by doing so on this infra dig site

    But what the hell,

    Piano - Andrew Armstrong
    Violin - James Ehnes,
    Viola Cynthia Phelps,
    Cello - Ronald Thomas

    Piano - Adam Neiman,
    Violin - Amy Shwartz Moretti,
    Cello - Robert deMaine

    The intermission we did ourselves.

    Piano - Jeremy Denk,
    Violin - Stefan Jackiw,
    Viola - David Harding,
    Cello - Bion Tsang,
    Double Bass - Jordan Anderson

    Loads of fun and there are three more Friday's of the stuff.


    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Two by four by eighty eight

    Melinda Bargreen is now working for KING-FM.
    I've added the link.

    Hang in there R.M, there's hope for a bright future yet.

    Today we go to Lakeside for the Chamber Music Festival.
    Hopefully early enough to sit in on the rehearsal.

    Then Sunday, it's the Whistlestop, our favorite Renton pub, where we will hopefully have the whole gang, including our favorite dead poet and our favorite dead imaginary dead composer/guitarist/motorcycle aviator.

    I did enjoy the Ives as presented by Jeremy Denk Wednesday evening.
    Although Ives sometimes stretches pompous passion to the point of imbecility.
    This audience doesn't applaud between movements but there was a bit of laughter at one point when an actual tune made an agonized entrance.

    I enjoy Jeremy as much as I enjoyed the music.
    All the more for bringing John Cleese and Marcel Proust into the mix.

    Harmonies too dense to be very distinguishable, umm....a couple more 2x4 chords and we might have an American P.D.Q.
    Really dense chords turn into white noise, there's only about four of 'em distinguishable on any piano.
    One could use a 2x4 the length of the keyboard and claim that one was playing all the piano music ever written "sur la coupe"

    But Whattawhyknow?

    Ives was an insurance salesman, had his own company.
    He brought many insurance scams to the notice of the insurance commission through the expedient of creating them in the first place.

    Fortunately, he never got to hear most of the stuff he wrote, or he might have tried to "work on it a little bit" this sort of activity by an artist usually does little more than confuse things.

    I've got a rather hefty anti-insurance company jones left over from my days running my pathetic little auto repair shop

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008


    decided to quit my African safari when an elephant shot me and stole my pajamas.
    I have no idea what he thinks he's going to do with my pajamas.
    I grabbed the first flying boat and arrived in Tuscaloosa in time to get my personal SR81 titanium spy plane out of the hock shop and was well on my way home when I ran out of gas in some little podunk town where they don't even sell titanium spy plane fuel.
    So I had to blow up my inflatable 10 speed bicycle and ride the rest of the way.

    Made it just in time for my usual at Caffe Ladro.

    At the library, I listened to some videos on the cellist's site I just joined.
    It's called SPOCC.
    I don't remember why it's called that right at the moment, but I'm sure that the word "cello" is part of it.

    On the way up to Seattle Central, I stopped at Victrola and ate a Zembelli sandwich and drank a Boylan's black cherry soda.

    Good stuff.

    When I got on campus some young girl started following me asking some kind of question, could have been about my book bag that is decorated with a Bach score that a friend of mine brought back from Austria (Vienna) but I'm getting deaf, so I didn't hear her.

    Anyway, the string quartet piece I'm working on (the one Meredith liked last time she heard it) is proceeding apace.

    I missed the 3:00 bus so I took the opportunity to saunter on up to the Rite-Aid and buy some CD sleeves. (I now have over a hundred CDs left over from my weekly composition work
    If you want a handful, let me know).

    While waiting for the bus I listened to a guitarist playing his battery operated electric across the street.
    He sounded pretty good,
    As well as I could hear considering the competition from the nearby CD store's outside speakers.

    Not to mention the traffic.

    So now I'm home doing this.

    Later this evening, I'll be at the Chamber Music Festival listening to Jeremy Denk playing (and hopefully talking about) Charles Ives.

    So there you have it, the balloon's deflated and packed away, ready for the next adventure.


    Tuesday, July 08, 2008


    getting a little exercise helps one's mood, due to the raised heartrate thingy.

    Distance 16.6 miles
    Time on the trail 1:21:57 hours, minutes, and seconds
    Average speed 12.1 miles per hour
    Maximum speed 35.4 miles per hour
    Total miles since I got the "compteur" 535 miles

    I've got to go now to my big machine with the Garratan Orchestra and the Sibelius and prepare for tomorrow's class.



    I've just spent an hour surfing music sites.
    Besides finding many friends, I've also learned that;

    E=F flat

    Don't feel like saying anything too profound today, but I wonder what effect this might have on the perturbation of the orbit of Mercury.

    Or maybe the effect of really fast tempos on the dilation of time.

    Or the psychological and artistic fatigue in trying to post every day.

    From which I suffer as we speak.

    II (that's meant to look like a double bar, which means that this post is at an end


    Sunday, July 06, 2008

    Something good about Soundbridge

    From Seattle Times, July 5, NW Home and Life;

    "About six years ago, I took my son to a Seattle Symphony Orchestra's "Discover Music!" concerts...

    Afterward, we poked around the lobby, where a kind of "petting zoo" for orchestral instruments was on display. While my son screeched on a violin, I picked up trumpet for the first time in my life, put it to my lips , and -- wow!

    In 2001, SSO opened Soundbridge a music exploration center, on Second Avenue and Union Street where interactive exhibits allow visitors to see what it's like to wield a baton or play in an orchestra. There are also real instruments to handle and 500 classical recordings at a listening bar.

    Seattle Symphony's school curriculum includes "Symphony on Wheels", a van that brings orchestral instruments and education staff to visit third through fifth-grade kids at their schools."

    Tom Keogh's experience at the instrument "petting zoo" brings back the best memories of my volunteer years at Soundbridge.
    That - "Wow!" from the kids when they first experienced making sound come out of an instrument was the best reward I ever got there.

    Too bad volunteering for the "Symphony on Wheels" job turned out so wrong.
    I did enjoy my thousand hours of volunteering, however, and I try to keep in touch with the friends I met there.

    Showing the Boy Scouts how to build violins was another high point.
    Starting off with a small section of a log and ending with a finished violin creates a good metaphor for the process of self-fulfillment.

    Kind of an "Ugly Duckling" story sort of thing, wherein we all have an inner beauty that we only need to believe in to realize.

    This is what I try to remember when i think of my time there.
    It all goes down the toilet whenever I walk by B-Hall, however.

    Gotta new picture for ya.
    I'll see your sweetie little kittens and raise ya an angel.


    Friday, July 04, 2008

    Sonic boom

    It occurs to me that the 24 hours of solid thunder, lightning and heavy rain occurred
    pretty close to the instant the deal with the Sonics was settled.
    I wonder if Sherman had anything to do with it.
    I've always thought that such things as rain dances were mythology.
    Not having television or newspaper editors to write opinions to, these things were just a way to pretend to have control over the inevitable misfortunes of life.

    Sorta like our "election dance" where we pretend to elect the people who take our money and give it to their friends.

    Or TV shows like "West Wing" where we pretend that the people we are herded into "electing" are decent, honorable and, even a bit competent.

    But it appears I'm wrong.

    Mr. Alexie obviously has a strong and effective link with the "I'm really pissed about this" God.

    We get to keep the name however.
    I think we should give it to Sherman.
    As a gesture of love and affection.

    The Basketball team bought the name from the 50's rock group.

    Imagine it;
    The Seattle "Nirvana" a grungeball team.
    The Seattle "Presidents of the United States of America" a mud wrestling team
    The Seattle "Seattle Symphony Orchestra" a nerfball team.
    The Seattle "Rossis" a tennis team.

    I could go on, but I am capable of compassion.

    Anyway, It's the fourth of July.
    Independence day.
    Where we celebrate the day we ended the oppressive government, religious, and social prejudices of English rule and created our very own oppressive government, religious, and social prejudices.

    Or as Sherman might think of it, "The party's over" day.

    Always remember;
    It's not the length of your life that counts,
    what counts is the life of your length.


    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    The Week that Wednesday Was

    The usual school day routine Ladro coffee & carbohydrate filled disc.

    Then, on my way to the bank, I met Katy, she's in the process of leaving for a summer's relief of S'bridge's particular annoyances.
    Aaron was helping her load the car. Hi Aaron, I'm taking a guess as to the correct number of the letter "A" in your name.

    Didn't get to know Aaron much while I was there.

    When it comes to public performances, I've noticed a sort of a Bell curve in the distances that people keep from the stage.
    Some like to go right up and blend in with the performers.
    Some stay in the back and watch, like spies, anonymously.
    But most mill casually about in between, wanting to participate but unwilling or afraid to make a public display of their interest.

    Which is why it is always impossible to walk by the flying fish ballet in the Pike Place Market.

    Later after the bank transition, while walking past the Triple Door i checked out the schedule and noted that Charlie Musselwhite was playing...Tonight! so I bought tickets.

    Last time I saw Charlie was in 1990 when Glenn and I were planning to go on a bachelor's evening's entertainment.
    Meredith showed up and were changed our plans to something more suitable for mixed company.
    Which turned out to be the fabled blues clubs of Fremont.
    A mere three block walk from the Queen Anne house.

    It turned out to be Mr. Musselwhite in a tiny bar.
    It turned out to be very loud.
    It turned out that the decibel level drove us out after a few songs.
    If what it says on yesterday's comments that Charlie only knows one song then we could extrapolate the rest of the show.

    I guess.

    Onward and upward and eastward and outward.

    The first thing that happened when I reached SCCC campus was a stranger came up to me and suggested that I cut my beard.
    I'd look better, he said.

    I have and I don't

    So, once inside the Broadway performance building (that's where David's office is)
    I grabbed a Weekly and sat to wait for classtime.
    In the NEWS section there was an article about a McNeil island inmate, a "jailhouse attorney" who is being charged with a gross misdemeanor;

    "Three months later he was charged under an 1869 law that prohibits all Washing citizens from exposing any "any living person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, obloquy, or to deprive him of the benefit of public confidence or social intercourse."
    Violation of the law is a gross misdemeanor"

    I don't know know if I ever had any public confidence, but being chased off a public street while in the process of talking to a friend definitely qualifies for a deprivation of the benefit of social intercourse.

    So that's a lot of fun, eh, what?

    Later in the same issue my horoscope informs me;

    Don't let the scare tactics get to you. These dogs all bark.
    They could bite you, and hard - which is why the scare tactics might work. Recognize that it's probably not worth their while, though.
    You needn't be foolishly brave ; I suppose if you give them reason enough, they might make an example of you. However, there's no reason to let them totally derail you. Slow down and keep an eye on their sharp, sharp teeth. but continue on your way They'll do their best to terrify you, but once you've moved on anyway, they'll find other things to do, and almost certainly forget all about you

    Forget about ME? We'll see about that.

    After the class, i ran to catch the bus home only to find it was the wrong one.
    fortunately I transferred before it was too late.

    Then we went to the Triple door and listened to Charlie.
    An hour and a half of vigorous, energetic, totally non-boring and even humorous music.
    That's longer than Beethoven's ninth.
    You can cheer when Stubbs rips off another fantastic guitar solo.
    You can applaud even before the song stops.
    Do watch the Gustavo Dudemal clip I've posted on Facebook.
    He's conducting Venusuela in Bernstein's "Mambo" from "West Side Story"

    Maybe HE's the one to define 21st century orchestral music.


    Wednesday, July 02, 2008

    I had a long and magnificent day today, ending with the incomparable Charlie Musselwhite.
    Probably no relation to Omniscient Musselwhite, but you never know.
    I found a very interesting article in Seattle mag.
    The significance of which is earthshaking (although that may actually only the thunder rolling in from Oregon)
    Fatigue demands (or at least strongly and firmly advises) that I hold off posting the whole glittering fairy tale 'till the morrow.
    I hate to tease you lovely folks this way, even though I'm doing it deliberately.
    Which adds up to I like to be teasing you this way.
    I think I'm approaching the outskirts of maudlinville here.

    Good night and .....umm....good night.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Sex scandal continues to rock Seattle Symphony

    Blogger butch said...

    Persona Non Grata, a "disappeared person"--odd, but you seem pretty substantial to the FFTLites out here. Perhaps the SSO does not have very many employees who admit following your adventures on this site. As to them removing your comment, what did you expect--that they would send you a thank you card, with the message,"All is forgiven! Please return to our premises immediately." ?

    Pathos, bathos, mathos, palmeros--yup, the SSO meets all the "os" factor. You do amaze me with how long you can harbor a grudge, how long you can continue to rant at a blind behemoth, and indifferent corporate block of dullards. It does, however, give you something to fixate on when you run out of other projects and distractions, enit?

    5:36 AM

    Theoretically, being a citizen who has never been arrested, or charged, or sentenced, I should be free to walk the streets of the city I've lived in since birth, and to which I've paid bountiful taxes.
    The fact that this organization, which lives on more tax money than it is worth, can continue to restrict that freedom without so much as the simplest of explanations is a continuing affront to me, and any concept that this is a civilized society.
    Or that the "freedoms" we are killing our soldiers for have any meaning whatsoever.

    As long as the offense continues, I have no choice but to be offensive.
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