Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stop the presses!

Philharmonia Northwest Local conductor and composer Roupen Shakarian has resigned as music director of Philharmonia Northwest after 24 years at the podium. Shakarian began conducting the chamber orchestra in 1986, and helped shape the ensemble’s tradition of highlighting fine musicians from the Pacific Northwest as guest artists and showcasing new works by local composers. A search for a new conductor is currently underway. Philharmonia Northwest will continue to present concerts in the 2010/11 season, featuring exceptional guest artists and programming which includes much-loved standards as well as distinctive lesser-known works. Specific programming details for the upcoming season will be announced in August.

Seattle Symphony has chosen a new Artistic Director Ludovic Morlot.
I'm pleased even thought I WAS hoping for a cabernet.

Seattle Phil is also looking for a new trail boss.

Exciting times in musicland by the sound. (sound, like music is sound and Seattle is situated on the creosote drenched shores of Puget sound.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bike stats splog

25 miles
37.2 max speed
10.8 avg speed
442.2 on the odometer + 1307 = 1749.2

At approx 6 miles I accidentally reset the computer.
So this is not as totally accurate as other rides.

When I reset it, I had an avg speed of 13.2, if I average that with the 10.8 of the second part of the trip, I get 12 mph. This is a long sought after goal for this particular ride. Unfortunately I don't think that particular way of determining averages is valid, so I'm just going to have to ride it again.
Actually the goal is 25 miles in 2 hours, so I'm still quite a bit short.

I'll try to come up with a more interesting post later.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season us warming up in the gulf. I suggest we call this one "Arco" the next "British Petroleum", then 'Conoco', et cetera.
I'm going to do that, anyway.

Anadarko, BP, Chevron, Devon, Exxon, First Texas, Gazprom, Hess, Inpex, Jay oil, Korea National, LUKoil, Marathon, National Iranian, Occidental, Pemex, Qator General, Royal Dutch Shell, Sonatrach, Tesoro, Ucimet, Venoco, Wintershall, XTO. Yukos, Zorro.

Enough for 26 hurricanes, and there's more!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Retires today!!
A poet and a Hero.
All the best to him.
I lift a pint in his honor.

In a completely unrelated story; Push this button to see what the oil spill would look like if it happened in your part of the world.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Spent the morning rasslin' the flute concerto into reasonable shape.
The first movement anyway; the other two have sounded right all along.
Finally (Sibeleusly, actually) it sounds like it's supposed to sound.

Other foolishness this week; I transcribed the piano and violin piece to two guitars.
Sounded terrible.
Then later it sounded not bad.
A bit of foolin' wid it today and it sounds pretty good.
But, tomorrow, what will it sound like then with a fresh hearing?

We can only wait and see (hear).

Monday, June 21, 2010

In between symphonies.

The Stool
This is not the ukulele I'm building or the hybrid Ukelele-violin I'm building, nor is it the mandora I built but am still working on.
No-sir-eee-bob, this actually has some practical use.

It was white, with many coats of paint, which I scraped off and sanded smooth before I painted it with thick hard hammerite enamel.
The top was a soggy hunk of pasteboard, which I pried off and replaced with a piece of veneer-faced plywood, which I sanded filled and varnished.

Looks sharp, eh?

M. has been painting the dining room the last couple of weeks going to great lengths to make everything right.
Even got all the doors to the corner cabinets to close properly, which wun't no pik-nik fer shure.

M. asked me about refinishing the thing so I did it!

Just heard a cry of surprise from the next room, M has been selected for an archaeological dig in N. California. She has been trying for one of these for a couple months and didn't expect.

Way to go M.!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

School's out for summer

David is taking the summer off.
I am bereft,
about to find that the true talent in my music is not mine.

Spent the morning copying my stuff from the recording session onto a CD

Finishing up the piano violin piece and posting that.
It's called "Aria" now.
I don't know why.
The file name is "eightball"
I don't know why that, either.
On the score It says "Fro Piano and Violin; behind the eightball"
Or maybe it says "FOR piano" et cetera.

Don't know why that, either, either

Spent the morning fooling with MIDI codes only to find that they don't work with my fantastic Garritan patches, but only with MIDI patches.

As far as I know.

Which isn't far.

Well the dynamic controller works.
The pitch bend sorta works.
But patch changes seem to be right out.

General MIDI instruments don't sound much like instruments at all, at all.

So I heave a great sigh and hope who or whatever is in control of the big machinery takes pity and emails me the solutions to it all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Workin' my way back to you.

Finally got out and mowed the lawn today.
The grass was deep.
Couldn't see over the dandelions.
Couldn't see over Mount Rainier.
Got lost.
Ended up in Africa of all things.
When I did see a mountain again it was Killamanjaro.
Had to abandon my lawn mower.
Decided it was of no use on the veldt.
Had some veelings about that, har har.
I did see a nice painting of Elvis there, though.

Went looking for big game instead.
Thought it would be cool to bag a world series, but I don't know what their tracks look like.
Besides, my bat boy left me right after the veldt joke.

I 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 "where the tusks are looser" 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.

So here I am and I hope you appreciate the trouble I've gone through.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sun splog

56.40 miles
10.00 average speed
34.3 max speed
5:37:57 hours riding time
417.8 odometer + 1307 = 1724.8

Missed Bothell went on up to the bike rest stop on the Sammamish trail.
Missed the sausage and egg breakfast I intended to have.
Walked out the waterfront trail through the wetlands between MOHAI and Foster island.
The lake is high and I stepped up to my ankle in mud.
Took a break on a park bench at 45 miles. Rode both ways the upper trail at the arboretum.
Beautiful trail, wish it was 100 miles long.
Took another break under a tree at a boat launch ramp and all the stuff in my pockets fell out.
Some change and my best Swiss army knife.
Went back after I got home and had a shower and lots of cold water and got it.

The sun was out and so was everyone else.

A poem;

This is what dreamers do -
The upper trail through the arboretum should go on


The sun was out and so was everyone else.

My doctor has me on these pills that make my skin more sensitive to sun. so, natch, I wore a short sleeve shirt.

Now my arms look like this.

Friday, June 11, 2010

E - G# - B -

Got in last night from the recording session after 12 but still couldn't sleep in.
Been this way for awhile. Couple of months. Usually I seem to need 10 hours. Maybe I'm enjoying life or something and want more consciousness.
Anyway , so what?
Recording session was fun. Some of the kids write some nice piano music and some of the kids sing well, and some of the old farts hire professionals.
I got there early and found a rack of guitars next to a comfy chair.
Picked up this Ovation six string and made the magic sign for an E chord.
The action was so nice and smooth that it seemed like the guitar was sucking the music out of my fingers.
Played some blues riffs to relax.
Nice ax.
Plays better than my Martin 00018.
Plays smooth -
Plays sweet -
Plays every note that uncle Doug needs
If I could aver finish a song, or sing, I'd want to buy one.
But I don't want to sell the Martin.
Or spend the money that could go to hiring real musicians.
Maybe I'll just spend more time at music stores pretending I'm gonna buy something.

Anyhow, I'm in a good mood, so probably not be very funny today.

Besides, it's made in Korea.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am having trouble sleeping late these days.

The concert went well. David has some very talented students, and is a terribly nice guy to boot. Although anybody tries to boot him will get a boot in the booty from yers trooly.
And on the ride home M. was kind enough to deconstruct my work for me so now I know everything that's wrong with it.

So nothing has happened since then, and it is rainy, dank, and glum.
Maybe I should ride a masochistic ride just to feel sorry for myself.

But, damn!, I don't feel sorry for myself so I can't even do that.

Gloomy too, it's gloomy t'other side of my window.

Gloom all over the place.

Perhaps I should just hide in bed 'till the recording session tonight.

I am recently reminded that Jamaica is still suffering from earthquake related problems.
Perhaps some gigantic international corporation can spread some oil on those troubled waters.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


About to head out to get ready for the concert.
Caprichino is the name of the piece I'm presenting.
It is a collection of short caprices for piano and clarinet.

Caprichino is a caprice with a shot of foamed milk and some nutmeg sprinkled on top.

So....see ya later.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Yet another nice day splog

Down the hill to the lake stopped at Stan Sayers pits (used to be Wetmore slough)looked at some unlimited class hydros. Watchad the Oberto boat make about six or seven laps. Interesting thing about that; most of the races are three laps, and most of the boats don't make it that far. I suppose that shakedown and practice runs aren't all that hard on the equipment. Rode the kilo long hill of 3rd west but didn't get bizze with an Izze cause S'bux was closed for remod. Went across the street for some fresh brewed tea. They've got lots of diff kinds and I don't remember which one I had. They give it to you in a cup with a little filter device in it and a "hourglass" filled with just enough sand to brew the tea properly and a little cup to put the filter thingie in when the tea is properly soaked.

What a hoot.

And a peanut butter cookie.

I had done 20 miles by then because of a loop around Seward park and the high road at the Arboretum and other excursions and diversions.
Normally, it's 15 miles.

Dead duck and dead squirrel on the road on the way back.

36.47 miles
3:40:20 hours
9.9 avg speed
32.5 max speed
361.3 on the odo. (+1307 = 1668.3)

Clear air brings out lots of snow capped mountainry.

Soon I will drive to the library and pick up M. from her volunteer job.

After that is life's big mystery.


Music biz

Today I go to SCCC for a rehearsal of the piano-clarinet piece.
Tomorrow right after class, I head downtown to get set up for the concert.
Meredith will be coming with me; the class is over at 4:30 and I need to be at Soundbridge at 6:00, so we will get dinner at one of our many favorite restaurants.

The weather is rideable and my headache seems to be gone, so maybe I will be able to bore you all with another bunch of numbers about a bike ride.

I am having a discussion with the pianist-facebook friend about the piano-violin piece which I have labeled "dichotomy" although, having looked up the word, I think that"soliloquy" might be better.
Not that names mean much to the musicality.
I am drafting a brilliant rebuttal as we speak.

But I am not drafting any more of this; it's a volunteer army from here on in.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Too nice a day not to ride, but I dint wanna.
Did it anyway.
I may never see blue skies again.

Popped off down Rainier Ave to the airfield,
around the airfield to the park at the south shore of mighty Lake Washington,
then back home again, via Holyoke hill.

10.66 miles. (measly)
00:53:16 hours.
12,0 avg speed.
31.3 max speed
324.9 + 1307 = 1631.9 Odometer.

You'll notice that I didn't include the silly word "splog" in this post.


Thursday, June 03, 2010


School day yesterday.
Got rained on.
Ate Thai food.
Had coffee at Ladro.
The peanut butter cookie I ordered was misshapen, as if it had been baked up against the edge of the pan.
Most likely explanation, anyway.
What the need for such an explanation might be, I can's begin to guess.
So I referred to it as "Baroque".
My favorite barista was not familiar with the word.
"What's that?", she asked.
"It's a term for a odd shaped pearl" I replied.
"And where the word for baroque music comes from" I also replied although being an additional sentence, it was not precisely a reply any more but more of a post script.
And being spoken, not exactly scripture.
But this is irrelevant quibbling.
I might have also mentioned that it was, and is still a slightly derogatory term applied to anything overly ornamented; one could refer, for instance, to the automobile styling of the American cars of the fifties as 'baroque'.
And one would be right.
Of course you could refer, for another instance, to the American automobiles of the fifties as anything you'd like with a certain more or less random chance of being right or wrong.
But I can't imagine why you'd want to.
Anyway, I didn't mention that.
She said "I never knew that before", and I said, "That's great, I finally got to tell someone something they've never heard before".
And she smiled.
She has a nice smile.
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