just rambling on

Although I like my new netbook, I’m not wild about Windows 7 Starter, the operating system that came with it. At first it kept me locked out each start-up until I entered a password. I managed to disable this. Then this morning I thought it might be nice to change the background on my desktop and discovered that there is no personalization with Windows 7 Starter. There is a workaround but it involves downloading a program called “Oceanis” which then will have to stay up and running all the time to correct this simple simple little thing. Good grief. Screw it.

desktop for my new windows starter 7 os.... yuck

I’m working on a playlist for my little concert I am giving at my Mom’s nursing home today.  I chose a couple movements from Bach’s Goldberg variations: No 13 & 19. I’ve also decided to play these two movements as Sunday’s prelude and postlude, prelude on piano and postlude on organ. That way I get a little more mileage out of getting the pieces in my fingers.

I am thinking that contrary to my usual practice, I might not take the repeats on the 13th variation at the Nursing home. It’s hard to judge, but my sense is that not everyone is a fan of classical music there. Since I do a variety, they may be patiently waiting for the “good” stuff. No need to try such good natured patience with, in effect, doubling the length of a slow piece.

At church however it’s just a matter of starting the prelude a bit earlier so I have time to do the repeats.

Also planning to play Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” at the nursing home.  I have to perform this in June at a wedding, so it’s pretty much in my fingers as well.

The good news is that when I stopped by the nursing home yesterday and checked out the piano I found it relatively in tune and in pretty good working order. Last time I played this was not the case. I had made plans to bring my electric with me today. I set it up and fiddled with the amp. I am still not satisfied with the sound, but at least got it in working order. Now I won’t have to lug it over there.

I had an interesting thing happen while I was working with my elec piano and the amp. I plugged in a mic and did some singing. I was pretty much appalled at the sound of my voice. Not that it’s getting worse, just that I found the sound unattractive and frankly embarrassing. Not that big a deal. I’ve never thought of myself as much of a singer. But I usually enjoy singing. But working with a crappy amp made listening to my own voice singing my songs a bit uncomfortable.

This is unfortunate because the Barefoot Jazz quartet wants to do some Jenkins tunes. We have a recording session Sunday and the manager (Keith Walker, a local high school band director and dad of Nate Walker, the bass player in the band) emailed me to bring some of my own tunes.

I always have to practice my songs because there are so many of them and I sing them so rarely that I don’t remember them well. I will pick a few, prepare them and take them along. Maybe Nate can sing them. I know he enjoys singing in the High School “Vocal Dimensions” ensemble. Or maybe I’ll sing them or we can look at doing them instrumentally. I don’t think the melodies to my songs are that strong that they hold up as instrumentals, but what the heck.


Literary Stockholm Syndrome — Great Writing — Utne Reader

This essay compares the compulsiveness to read long books like Ulysses and Infinite Jest to falling in love with your kidnapper. Witty.


Utne Reader Music Sampler May 2011

From the same site as the Stockholm article. This mag puts up free mp3s temporarily each month of new music. I have found some interesting new stuff there from time to time.


How Piano Wires Changed Through Centuries : Discovery News

I thought this was interesting, but I play piano. Heh.


Nuclear proliferation: Disarmament and democracy are natural allies. – By Christopher Hitchens – Slate Magazine

My favorite complicated-war-hawk-conservative-liberal-dieing-antheist writes another interesting article.


Elevator Repair Service Performs at New York Public Library – NYTimes.com

This recent theater performance piece involving writings of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner sounds pretty cool.


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