Monday, December 24, 2018
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Saturday, December 22, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Meanwhile, in Christmas music that involves neither little boys nor drumming, we have a classic by Bing! Off to Hawaii we go....
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
(Although, as someone pointed out on Facebook earlier, if "the ox and lamb kept time," what's the drummer doing?!)
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
When this song came out I thought it was a colossal misfire, but in the seasons since, it's worn me down and now I can't help loving this incredibly goofy tune. Have a cherry cherry Christmas, everyone!
Monday, December 17, 2018
That said, here is Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on Christmas Carols.
Friday, December 14, 2018
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Sunday, December 09, 2018
Friday, December 07, 2018
Anyway, this performance is by a group called "BarlowGirl". I'd never heard of them until this very tune popped up on a Christmas music channel at work. Apparently they were a Christian music group that disbanded some years ago. I'm not much for that genre so I doubt I'll be exploring much farther than their Christmas music, but as far as this song goes, they have some really nice vocal harmonies going on. I've never much liked "Carol of the Bells", but this is actually impressive.
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Monday, December 03, 2018
Sunday, December 02, 2018
Saturday, December 01, 2018
Friday, November 30, 2018
Remember, I'm getting each week's selection via a music challenge that is the kind of thing you find on Twitter occasionally. So far so good for the first few weeks, but now we're up to Number Four, which is:
of Someone You'd Rather Forget.
See, I got nothin'. I can literally think of no one in my life (or who was ever in my life) that I'd like to simply forget. I thought about going political (that "Money Money Money" song they used as the theme for The Apprentice, before that show's host made a disastrous career change), but I wasn't in the mood for that. So, for lack of anything else, here's "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Why? Well...this friggin' movie was the featured event in two different dates I went on when I was in college, and in both instances, those dates were followed the next day by the "It's not you, it's me" speech. So...yeah. (I did eventually watch the movie with The Girlfriend, but only after we'd been dating for a year and I could be reasonably confident that its jinx effect had worn off. Which it had...either that, or it's just taking decades to work, but I really hope not.)
So yeah. "Part of Your World". Whatevs, Ariel. Harumph!
(Oh, and obviously I feel no particular animus toward either of those young women from back in the day. One's even a friend on Facebook! I've no idea whatever became of the other one, other than that I think she's a school teacher in Iowa someplace.)
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Monday, November 26, 2018
Friday, November 23, 2018
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Carla, the new dee-oh-gee
Cane, the not-as-new dee-oh-gee
Lester and Julio, the really-not-new cats
Autumn Leaves Books
The Rochester Lilac Festival
Knowing where a bunch of gluten-free restaurants are between here and the Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes
Letchworth State Park
The Ontario County Antique Mall
Finger Lakes wineries
Fountain pen ink
Popcorn with butter
Chiavetta's chicken barbecue
The Erie County Fair
Hot dogs at Taffy's
Hot dogs at Ted's
Hot dogs at home, on the grill
Hayao Miyazaki and the rest of Studio Ghibli
The Scarlet Pimpernel
88 Cups of Tea (podcast)
Functional Nerds (podcast)
Sword and Laser (podcast)
Writing for The Geekiverse
Our backyard firepit
All my various methods of making coffee (pourover, French press, Moka pot)
The Instant Pot (which I still don't even use as much as I should)
Art and craft shows where I can buy gifts right from the person that made them
Picking out jewelry for The Wife
The Great Lakes region
Pittsburgh, PA (honorary Great Lakes city in my heart)
New York City
The two friends of mine who are finding a lot of new purpose in their lives of late
Chestnut Ridge Park
Sprague Brook Park
Canalside and the Outer Harbor
Knox Farm State Park
The Mill Road Overlook in East Aurora
Roads: US 20A, NY 240, NY 39, Girdle Road, Two Rod Road
Chicken and waffles
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight
The Blue Wave
Ludwig von Beethoven
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
All the new authors on my shelf whose works I an thrilled to read
The ongoing emergence of so many authors of color and the opportunity to read them and learn from their experiences and perspectives
Twitter (the parts without Nazis)
The Last Jedi
My Fair Lady
The Chilling Killing Wind
The Song of Forgotten Stars
Princesses Tariana and Margeth Osono
Lieutenant Penda Rasharri
The characters you haven't met yet
The characters I haven't met yet
The days when the writing is easy
The days when the writing is hard
Pies on the table
Pies in my face
Well-worn bib overalls
Stiff raw-denim bib overalls
Vintage bib overalls
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
This particular performance features Charles Dutoit conducting the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. This particular combo once produced some of the finest performances of Berlioz ever.
Monday, November 19, 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Monday, November 05, 2018
Friday, November 02, 2018
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
What clatters on the roof
with a quick, impatient hoof?
I think it must be Santa Claus,
dear old Santa Claus.
Then he remembered recognizing that very tune when he'd heard this work on the radio, which the announcer then identified. Thus Bernstein was able to correctly say to Maestro Reiner, "Yes, I know this piece. It's the Academic Festival Overture by Brahms," and thus got into Reiner's class.
And here it is.
Friday, October 19, 2018
Thursday, October 18, 2018
This song makes for an enchanting dance sequence for Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, but the music itself--with Kelly's typically flawless singing--is magical in itself. It's awfully easy with musicals, I've found, to get wrapped up in the costumes and the choreography and the sets, and almost forget that there's a tremendous amount of amazing music going on too.
Here is Gene Kelly, singing "The Heather on the Hill".
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Monday, October 15, 2018
At last. At long, long, lllooonnnggg last! This book took very nearly an entire year to get done, after I started it for NaNoWriMo last year. Oy!
By way of stats, the first draft topped out just shy of 194,000 words, which is longer than Stardancer and The Wisdomfold Path, but not as long as Amongst the Stars. I really am trying, as this series progresses, to keep each book in the same ballpark, length-wise. I don't want to have a problem with massive ballooning once I get to the latter part of the series, a problem which vexed JK Rowling with the Harry Potter books and George RR Martin with the Song of Ice and Fire series.
By way of story, this book launches the middle third of the larger story. Things start to get darker this time around (but never fear, I have no plans to go "Full Grimdark" in these books), and the story starts to get, well, larger in scope. The action is no longer limited to just the planet Xonareth. And if you like the lindiath--the six-legged bear-cats who always seem to turn up when most needed--this book will be for you. Lots of lindiath in this one! And not all of them are nice.
What's next? The usual "fallow" period in which I don't even look at the manuscript for at least three months, and then first edits. First edits result in the draft that goes to beta readers, and then based on their input I generate the second edits. Then the final version goes off to those who proofread...and then, it's time to get the thing ready. The upshot is that I wouldn't expect this book to be out in the world until early 2020, at my most optimistic.
But still, it's done. Huzzah!
Friday, October 12, 2018
Tuesday, October 09, 2018
I got my trusty laptop in 2012. I bought it then even though my previous machine was still working because Windows 8 was about to come out, and I didn't really want any part of Windows 8, so I grabbed a Windows 7 machine before they were no longer the default.
That machine has seen me through nearly 6 years, if not exactly that much. I was planning to acquire its successor later this year, but yesterday the Tech Gods forced my hand. I went to turn on my computer and instead of the boot sequence, I heard four loud beeps, followed by the same four beeps, several times. This was a diagnostic code for a bad memory module.
I could have fixed this with new memory, but I was frankly loath to spend money to repair a six-year-old machine, so...now I'm doing initial set-up on my third laptop. After good experiences with Dell Inspiron machines the first two times, I stuck with them, getting a third yesterday. Now I am doing all kinds of updates and new installations and the like.
The only bummer part of this is that until the sudden computer failure I was on fire with my writing. FORGOTTEN STARS IV has taken nearly a year to write and at times it's been a struggle, but now I'm in the homestretch and I had been cranking out the words as I barrel toward the finale. Alas, now I'm stuck in a holding pattern until I complete setting up this new computer.
We'll see how I like Windows 10...I do dig the backlit keyboard, though! And I am upset that this new computer uses a different charger cord than all the other computers in the house. I'll have to get another cord or two at some point.
Anyway, that's where we are. Where are you?
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Here's the William Tell overture, in a performance with the score, so if you wish you can follow along!
Monday, October 01, 2018
(New thrifted shirt--flannel with banded collar! Hooray!)
(We couldn't really get to the lower overlook at Taughannock Falls, but I can't begrudge the wedding party their almost-certainly beautiful photos.)
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Here is Cat Stevens with "Father and Son".
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Ginastera, with whom I am completely unfamiliar, was a 20th century Argentinian composer who is apparently viewed as one of the most important composers from the Americas during that age. His music apparently (I'm getting this from Wikipedia) calls on Argentinian folk music, and a common them is that of the gaucho, the itinerant horseman of the South American plains. Listening to this work, I can certainly hear the vibrancy of Argentina, its exotic flavor, and the flamboyance of its dances.
Here is the Suite from Estancia.
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Friday, September 07, 2018
Like many from my generation, this movie is where I first saw him (I think--it might have actually been Hooper). Here's Jerry Reed and "Eastbound and Down", from Smokey and the Bandit.
So, here's a Suppe overture. Because when in doubt, one can always listen to a Suppe overture. This one is Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna, conducted by a very young and spry Zubin Mehta (who is now 82--where does the time go!).
Friday, August 31, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018
I especially like the poetry in the lyrics, such as "And the blue lights shine with a heavenly grace to help you right on by." Great song!
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
In addition to other things, I'll be mainly writing a regular column I'm calling Curios from the Outer Rim, in which I look at geeky stuff that's at least fifteen years old, so as to balance the ever-present focus on what's coming out today/this weekend/this month/this year. My first installment is live now, so go take a look!
Here is the overture to his opera Les Horaces. This is not the work of "a mediocrity"!
Monday, August 20, 2018
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Just as last week I was unable to dig up much actual information about the Bylina Overture, so too am I unable to find a lot out about The Cedar and the Palm, which is a "symphonic picture" written in 1898 (which happens to be the year my maternal grandmother was born). Here it is:
Friday, August 10, 2018
Thursday, August 09, 2018
So what's the story about? Well:
Tonight, former detective John Lazarus will finally put his old life behind him. He has a new job as a teacher, a new home, and a new love. All he has to do is get through tonight’s execution of Roy Edgar Chalmers, the last of the three men who killed John’s wife in a botched robbery. Once Chalmers is dead, John Lazarus will be done with his old life at last.
But tomorrow the murders will start: strange, violent crimes whose only connection is the pair of voices exhorting the perpetrators to kill. As an occasional police consultant, John Lazarus will increasingly suspect that something abnormal is at the heart of these killings. And when Roy Edgar Chalmers, not nearly so dead as he should be, approaches him for help, John Lazarus will realize that maybe his old life isn’t quite done with him….
Stay tuned for more!
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
If you're in the neck of the woods and you want a signed copy of Stardancer, The Wisdomfold Path, or Amongst the Stars--or all three!--drop on in!
I haven't been able to find much information about this particular work beyond its title: Bylina, an overture. You probably don't need to know more than that, though. This music is its own reward.
Monday, August 06, 2018
This park is "undeveloped", meaning it's a parcel of land in the wilderness and farm country southeast of Buffalo, with no amenities other than a fairly extensive series of trails, some of which are more heavily traveled than others. The access to the park consists of two gravel parking lots, and that's it. The park follows Hunters Creek (hence the name) as it cuts through an impressive ravine on its way to Buffalo Creek, which in turn becomes the Buffalo River, which empties into Lake Erie just upstream of where it empties itself into the Niagara River. All this water, therefore, is destined to plummet eventually over the great Niagara Falls themselves.
But anyway, Hunters Creek is a fascinating pleasure. The only people you encounter here are fellow hikers and mountain bikers, and occasionally a person camping overnight (I'm not sure this is permitted but I know it happens).
A few photos from yesterday's bit of hiking, which involved a side trip to the Creek itself because I'm always drawn to water.
Friday, August 03, 2018
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Monday, July 30, 2018
It starts with turkey legs.
There's always a parade, featuring Her Majesty the Queen.
People-watching is always a prime pleasure:
I bought a couple new mugs (no idea where to put them in our kitchen, but that's a problem for another time), an oil lamp (for use in my library), a hand-carved jewelry box for The Wife, an ocarina for The Daughter, and another knick-knack or two. I managed to not buy a quill pen with inkwell, but I don't think I'll dodge that bullet next year. And I passed up this amazing lamp-post with dragon:
This is a vendor whose wares are sadly still well beyond my price range, but...someday. Oh yes.
Special mention should be made of this fine vendor, who went to special efforts to get a signal on his wireless doodad of mercantile magic.
And then there's the jousting!
Order is maintained during the Tourney by the Impressive Scotsman...
...who must sometimes resort to forceful measures to maintain honor and peace on the Tourney Field.
But lurking behind it all is the watchful eye of Milady In Blue, whom I have decided is secretly scheming to revolt against Her Majesty the Queen and take the throne for herself. Maybe she has one of the knights bent to her will? Who knows!
What schemes might lie within Milady's heart? Who knows! But I can tell you this: as fun as the Faire is, it's even moreso when you're a writer and you can fill a bit of downtime in the day's activities by making stories about those around you...such as this fellow, who dared utter the most bitter calumny against the great Bard himself, Mr. Shakespeare.
But maybe I'll form more of a tale about him next year.