still here in 2013

Another year begins. I have been avoiding the end of year perspectives that so many of my sources lapse into at this time of year. It may be my own jadedness but I hear and read so many banal discourses empty of insights that I don’t feel like picking through the retrospectives for the gems.

Yesterday my daughter and Elizabeth and my son-in-law (no longer quasi as he used to refer to himself) borrowed one of our cars and drove off to Chicago. They both have flights home to China today. Jeremy’s leaves from Chicago, Elizabeth’s from Grand Rapids. She will drop him off and drive up to Holland (or Grand Rapids). It has been a lot of fun to have them around for an extended time.

Besides sheer companionship and joy in their presence, I have benefited by their guidance (mostly Jeremy) into purchases that have increased the quality of my life a bit.

My old netbook computers were never loud enough to actually use them to listen to music to.

But as I write this blog on my new fancy laptop I am listening to Rubenstein play Chopin at the same time on my new fancy laptop.

Earlier this morning I put some more books on my new Kindle Paperwhite. Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time reading on it. I like its feel and use and especially the convenience of its portability.

As I treadmilled the last couple of days I have used my laptop to both read the paper and listen to music. Very cool.

When I go out to run errands and require something to read, the Kindle Paperwhite is nice to slip into my pocket and have something to read available.

I am reading Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel  by Gary Shteyngart on my Kindle. He had a blurb on the back cover of Homes’s May We Be Forgiven which I have recently read. Both Elizabeth and Jeremy have read it and recommended it. My Kindle tells me I have read 36% of it so far.

Jeremy was talking about Charles Stross’s collection of short stories, Accelerando. I had previously downloaded it (it’s available online free) but didn’t remember reading it. It’s now on my Kindle and I have read the first chapter.

I skipped organ practice (Sunday’s music is not as hard as last Sunday’s). I will do church things tomorrow when Eileen is at work. I have to pick the rest of the anthems for the year and let the Sunday School teachers know when I am planning to have the Kids’ Choir sing. This will be pretty easy since I have already sketched in anthem choices for all choirs for the rest of the year. Now I just need to nail them down.

I was in an odd musical mood yesterday. It took me away from Beethoven,  Haydn, Scarlatti (the guys I have been playing) and toward the French: Debussy and interestingly Fauré. For some reason Fauré was drawing me in. I have printed up many of his pieces from online sources because my one student Rudy seems to be intent on learning all of his piano music. But yesterday I was drawn to their elegant beauty and spent time with with several barcarolles.

I am glad to be alive for another year.


Embodied Cognition: Our Inner Imaginings of the World Around Us Make Us Who We Are [Excerpt]: Scientific American

How our brains make meaning, not only with language but also with experience.


Japan’s New Premier Backs More Nuclear Plants –

It seems that more and more democracies are moving rightward in their leaders. This guy wants to roll back recent reluctance about nuclear plants and rescind apologies. Sheesh.


Let’s Give Up on the Constitution –

Some surprising musings on just exactly what our country needs.


F.A.A. Rules Make Electronic Devices on Planes Hazardous –

This article points out that the real hazard is bodily harm from other passengers who feel unnecessarily threatened by your Kindle.



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