av8rmike: (violin)
Apparently last Wednesday was my 5-year LJ birthday, and I completely forgot to mention it. Not like anyone pays attention to things like that anyway, but it's hard to believe I've been posting here for so long.

It's a significant week for 20th-century music, as yesterday was the 100th birthday of American composer Elliot Carter. I had no idea he was still alive and still composing.

This past Wednesday marked the 100th birthday of Olivier Messiaen, who died in 1992. One of his best known works, "Quartet for the End of Time", was composed while he was in a prison camp during World War II. There are a few interesting YouTube videos related to Messiaen, which I'll have to post when I'm not at work.
av8rmike: (harmless)
Maybe I should start using this Twitter thing, that way I can continually update with every little thought that crosses my mind.

On second thought, maybe not. People often request a way to filter their Friends pages to remove other people's aggregate posts.

Completely unrelated, but here's an entire blog devoted to managing an iPod without iTunes. I've been using MediaMonkey off and on for a while, but I'd like to try some of these other managers and finally get rid of the accursed iTunes.
av8rmike: Man in suit at computer looking pleased, text: Internet/serious business (serious business)
People often ask in Support about Twitter badges they can use on LJ layouts. Most of them use JavaScript or Flash, which isn't allowed on LJ and will get stripped from styles. One day, in my Googling around, I found this link:

http://bunnyherolabs.com/twitter/

It's just an image inside of a <div>, so it should work on LJ. I can't suggest it in the context of Support, but there's no reason I can't make a gratuitous entry about it!
av8rmike: Text: I can't. I have rehearsal. (rehearsal)
This past weekend ended up being a lot busier than I'd expected. Friday night I had a ticket to see the Baltimore Symphony play Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique with Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting. Or rather, as Casey and Art put it, "doing an interpretive dance while the orchestra played." Still, it was one of the most exciting performances of that piece I'd ever seen, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Saturday I had to be up early to drive out to Westminster for a 9:00 rehearsal with the college choir out there. The rehearsal went pretty well, but it sucked having to drive 45 minutes each way, then be home and tired at 12:30. I actually ended up napping for most of the afternoon (even though it was really nice outside) because I had to be out at the school in Columbia that evening. Three other orchestra members and I had formed a string quartet to play background music for a silent auction, all part of the Howard County Arts Council gala. Our quartet had rehearsed a couple of times, but I guess people weren't concentrating enough, or were distracted by heat, lack of light, etc., because we actually had to stop and start a few times. I was a little disappointed because I thought we could have done better, and I don't think I was to blame. (Anyone who's watched me play would probably find me was tremendously easy to follow.)

Anyhow, we only had to play for an hour, then we could sample all the vendor's food. After all the hors d'oeuvres, cake, bread pudding, etc., I think it was safe to say I was ending Passover early. The other exciting thing was when the chef from the Elkridge Furnace Inn nearly set me and the building on fire when he decided to de-glaze his skillet with alcohol. I'm standing there eating and all of a sudden there's a three-foot tower of flame next to me. However, it was fine and we all escaped with our eyebrows intact. It certainly drew a lot of attention. =)

Sunday I had to make that drive to Westminster again for the actual concert. The concert went well enough, but I think people weren't expecting the conductor to go slower in some sections, so there were a few places where things weren't really together. The hard parts of the Beethoven were much easier, though. At least tonight's rehearsal is a sectional and I don't have to have everything learned, because we're going to spend most of tonight learning it.
av8rmike: (watching elljay comments)
Since [livejournal.com profile] chasethestars wants some actual content and not just notes ;), and since I fall into her second category of friends (the actively informed ones), I feel compelled to weigh in on the current situation.

I first saw the story here in [livejournal.com profile] no_lj_ads about Anton Nossik, the "Chief Blogger" of SUP (our Russian overlords) being interviewed for a Russian Internet site. The original is in Russian, but there are translations here and here. In it, he's dismissive of the concerns of these striking users, labels them "idiots" and the tactics "blackmail", and confirms the removal of new Basic accounts was done because they were not profitable.

Linked to in [livejournal.com profile] the_lj_herald is a statement in Nossik's own journal, in which he claims he was misrepresented as the head of SUP. He denies making the claims attributed to him, calls himself a "Social Media Evangelist", and basically tries to absolve himself of any responsibility of speaking for SUP. He also refuses to list what his actual capacities are in someplace appropriate and visible, such as his userinfo page; instead, he tells people to seek out that information on the Internet in general, then criticized it as being out of date.

Here's the thing that gets me, though (as if that weren't enough). Anyone who has been in a sufficiently large organization should know that there is supposed to be one avenue of communication. It might be a dumb example, but in my fraternity days, we were always told never to claim to speak for the house. If a reporter wanted some kind of opinion, always say "no comment" and refer them to the chapter president. That prevents one guy from making the entire organization from looking bad. Nossik can't have it both ways; he can't grant interviews to reporters, trash the users and the site's founder, then claim he's not empowered to speak for the organization and say "it's just my opinion". As one of Russia's "most visible bloggers", a SUP employee, and a longtime LJ user, he has to know that reporters are going to ask his opinions and that they will be representing the company. Either he is the company spokesperson, or he shouldn't grant the interviews.
av8rmike: Star of David (jewish)
Re-posting this from [livejournal.com profile] tidesong, since she didn't make it public....



I should also mention here that good people of Jones Soda have not only made both a Christmas and a Chanukah holiday pack of sodas, but they somehow managed to make the Christmas Ham Soda kosher: [link]
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
Specifically, the 10 Weirdest Kitchen Gadgets, as presented by PC Magazine. Unnecessary, maybe, but as for "weirdest", I'm sure they could have found weirder than a coffeemaker that knows the weather or a digital timer with remote beeper. The latter actually sounds pretty handy.

The electronic meat sniffer is pretty weird, though.

Weekend!

Jun. 25th, 2007 12:03 pm
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
It was my first time in Atlantic City yesterday, and half of it burned down. I'm going to have to renew my Flickr subscription, because I'm way behind on the photo uploading.
av8rmike: Aqua Teen's Frylock, text: Bitch, are you for real? (frylock-forreal)
I've never heard of this "Juneteenth" thing before, but apparently, you don't want to drive anywhere near it:

Angry crowd kills passenger in car that struck child (Austin, TX)
Man pulled from car and beaten in Milwaukee
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
I meant to post something about this earlier, but it escaped me until I saw it last night on The Daily Show. The world is officially two minutes closer to Doomsday, so say the good people at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:
[The] deteriorating state of global affairs leads the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists--in consultation with a Board of Sponsors that includes 18 Nobel laureates--to move the minute hand of the “Doomsday Clock” from seven to five minutes to midnight.
It's not really a measure of anything, of course, just a barometer created as a kind of gimmick by an obscure (at the time) publication for scientists to raise awareness of global issues. Now that they've decided to take climate changes into consideration, it's become slightly more relevant than if they focused solely on a U.S./Soviet Union nuclear war. What surprises me is the time lag in the scientists' response to world events. I'd have thought they'd have changed the hands after Sept. 11, or the start of the war in Iraq, or even the Israel/Lebanon conflict. The last time the clock hands were changed was in 2002, after the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. I guess the scientists take the time to see how events will play out, rather than being seen as worry-worts.

So what happens at midnight? This column in the Chicago Sun-Times sheds some light, by way of a Case Western physics professor: "The whole purpose of the clock is to stop us from ever getting to midnight. If there's Armageddon, then the clock doesn't matter."

Finally, I couldn't pass up passing along this little gem from the same column:
Barack Obama has formed a committee to test the presidential waters and see if they are safe for him to walk on.
av8rmike: Futurama's Farnsworth, text: oh, I made myself sad (farnsworth)
I don't have much to say, nor do I want to re-hash my petty rant from last night's rehearsal. I'm just glad to have a night at home tonight to do some things I want to do.

Here's one way to keep me entertained. I'll answer in a follow-up entry.
[Poll #849374]

If you don't want to do the poll, then enjoy some cats that look like Hitler.
av8rmike: (violin)
I wish I had some good news to report. Maybe by this afternoon or evening, hopefully.

In the meantime, enjoy the George Allen Insult Generator, Macacans.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to sit in with the UMBC Symphony, because their concert is coming up and they needed more violinists. The conductor's chosen Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, "Eroica", which I've discovered is not all that difficult, just long. It's an interesting group; mostly students with some community members, but there's actually some ability there. It's a shame they don't have a better conductor. There just isn't anything particularly inspiring about him. He comes in, does his thing, sometimes we stop and address technical problems, and he leaves. Jason, on the other hand, works so much on artistic interpretation that sometimes we're stopping every few minutes. I guess it's just a difference in approach.
av8rmike: (rolleyes)
Man, who ever thought that city Board of Public Works meetings would be boring? Not with a guy like Schaefer attending. When he's not sexually harassing staffers, he's raking Governor Ehrlich over the coals:
At yesterday's Board of Public Works meeting, the first since Comptroller William Donald Schaefer lost the Democratic primary, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. was planning the same kind of pick-me-up he had employed time and again to stay on his ally's good side: a freshly baked cake from the Government House kitchen.
One of the governor's aides stood in the wings at the start of the meeting, holding a plastic-wrapped pound cake (the chef's grandmother's recipe) with a yellow bow on top.
But Schaefer's opening comments blasted the governor and his staff for not taking responsibility for the voting problems in the primary election and blaming them on state Elections Administrator Linda H. Lamone.

After that, the aide left, taking the cake with her. No mention of where it went or who got to eat it, but you can bet it wasn't Schaefer. At least the Governor didn't splurge and go to Charm City Cakes. If he had, maybe we'd have seen the aftermath on TV.

Elections

Sep. 13th, 2006 10:55 am
av8rmike: Alton Brown with megaphone (AB-rant)
Whoops. Forgot to go vote in the primaries yesterday, even though I could have gone until 9:00 PM. Hooray for electronic ballots?

Maryland voters decided they're tired of that old piece of crap William Donald Schaefer, but there's still no clear winner. Nothing like a kick in the ass out the door to conclude 51 years of public service. His antics were sometimes amusing, but it was time for him to go years ago.

Looks like John Leopold is the front-runner for AA County Executive, which will hopefully mean a few more years of seeing his signs everywhere and exclaiming, "Leopold!"

Finally, Allan "Go Limp! Lie Down!" Lichtman was barely a blip on the Cardin-Mfume radar screen, earning a scant 1% of the votes, or around 6,000. I just find it baffling that a college professor with a PhD from Harvard doesn't know the difference between public property and public TV.
av8rmike: (webcam)
In case anyone actually wants to know what was going on all weekend.... but rather than type it all up myself, I'll just excerpt from Jamie's journal and change the relevant pronouns. What was that about great writers just steal? ;)

Thursday - Jamie's (rescheduled) flight got in around 1:00 in the afternoon. We mostly puttered around my place before dinner. We went over to [my] dad's house, where [Jamie] got to meet [my] dad, stepmom, brother Phil (who took the train down from NYC), and [my] very eccentric cousin Gibson (who was visiting from the UK). After a very delicious steak dinner, we retreated to the room with the creepy doll and piano for a jam session. [Phil] plays viola, and played for us the Telemann Viola Concerto, which he's using for an orchestra audition this week. [Jamie] and I played the 2nd movement of the Bach Double, with Gibson playing the orchestral accompaniment on piano. That was a lot of fun. [I] played a number of pieces with Gibson accompanying, including The Lark Ascending, and a Brahms violin sonata. [Jamie], Phil and I played a trio arrangement of the Sinfonia from Handel's Messiah that [her] friend Diana was kind enough to arrange for us, and [she] enjoyed playing it so much [she] asked if we could play it again! ;) Sometime way too late, we left and drove back up to the city and eventually crashed for the night.

Friday- Started bright and early (relatively speaking) by going down to pay Roger, [my] luthier, a visit, as [Jamie] is still on the lookout for a new violin. We spent over an hour playing at least a dozen violins, and [she] ended up leaving with a Sofia violin on trial. That afternoon, [I] took [Jamie] to the music library at Peabody Conservatory, and [Jamie's] mind just about went 'asplodey being surrounded by the thousands of music scores there. We went to the Little Italy neighborhood for a fantastic dinner at [La Scala]. We had a grilled Caesar salad that had a smoked flavor to it from the grilling, and I was surprised at just how good it was. Spicy croutons, too! After dinner, we made our way to the Fells Point neighborhood, and I got to see part of the harbor (though not the Inner Harbor) and other neat stuff.

Saturday - [Jamie] got to see the Inner Harbor, including the USS Constellation, and lots of what I presume were Mennonites handing out "Be Saved!" literature in their white bonnets and long dresses. We headed over to Lexington Market, which is somewhere [her] friend Bruce told [her she] should go. [She'd] never quite seen anything like that. That night, [I] had a string ensemble concert. [She] enjoyed the concert a lot, especially the Corelli Concerto Grosso, and the Boccherini Cello Concerto in [G] major, which was performed with cello soloist Jason Love, who also happens to be the music director of another orchestra [I] play in. He was fantastic; it was quite a treat to see. [Jamie loved the second movement, especially watching me play and wear a tux. ;)] A little excitement ensued during intermission, when the bassist decided to take a swan dive to the floor. (It was really terrible. She was apparently suffering from post-concussion problems and fainted -- fell right to the ground. Not with her instrument, at least. Intermission lasted a little longer while we waited for the ambulance to come and take her away.) We had a late dinner at a tavern close to home after the concert, seated next to three guys who were quite openly gay. As much as [we] tried not to eavesdrop, [we] couldn't help it, and when they started talking about dressing up as a washer and dryer for Halloween ("We could be the stackable washer and dryer." "You'd be on top!") [Jamie] just burst out laughing. Luckily, this amused and didn't upset them.

Sunday - Sunday morning we headed down to the Baltimore Farmers' Market. Fresh produce, butter, cheese and baked goods, along with prepared food dishes, crafts and a trumpet player who apparently only knew four notes. We split a strawberry and Nutella crêpe, and a cinnamon chip scone for breakfast, which was quite delicious. [Jamie] got a chocolate macaroon brownie that was just about the size of the state of Delaware for [her] plane trip. Headed back to his apartment, and did some violin playing. Well, [I] did most of the playing, and [Jamie] spent a lot of time trying to get over [her] fear of playing in front of [me] [but she did very well-- she shouldn't get so worried =)].
After deciding that she couldn't keep the Bulgarian violin we'd borrowed, I had to take her to the airport, where the only meal we could get in time was a plate of tri-colored nachos. Regrettably, her flight wasn't delayed or cancelled or anything, so we had to say our good-byes. I went over to Dad's afterwards, but I think they were just tired of too much company. I did get to see Becki's neat pictures from Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
av8rmike: (edoras)
Today is primary day, or something. In Anne Arundel county, where I work, someone named Leopold is running for something. His signs don't say what, or even a first name, there are just all these red signs with white letters that say "Leopold".
What do I think of every time I drive past one? That Bugs Bunny cartoon with the mean opera singer. Bugs dresses up in a wig and tuxedo, posing as Leopold Stokowski, and enters the orchestra pit, with the musicians exclaiming "Leopold!" in turn.

I'm weird that way.

OK, WTF?

Aug. 4th, 2006 12:53 pm
av8rmike: (rolleyes)
Woman Bakes Cookies on Dashboard of SUV

BBQ.

Crazy at work earlier in the week, and now too tired to do much else besides veg when I get home. Although, I did cook a nice swordfish last night.

I think this may be a weekend to sit and get caught up on a bunch of stuff at home.
av8rmike: (webcam)
I decided to spend the better part of Saturday slathering on some sunscreen and walking around outside, checking out Artscape, Baltimore's biggest street festival and celebration of the arts in the region. The last time I went was two years ago, and I think last year was the same weekend as the trip to Gettysburg. It'd have been a better time if I hadn't got caught in the rain on the way home, but I did get to hear a free performance of the Baltimore Symphony.

I even took my camera this time, and my photos have been posted to Flickr. I was hoping to get pictures of the famous Baltimore Art Cars, but had I read the recent City Paper articles, I'd have seen that for the first time in 13 years, the organizers of Artscape elected not to invite the Art Cars to the festival. Apparently they chose to go with something more eco-friendly, like solar-powered cars.

Still, PVC art is kinda cool.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
Well, moderately productive, at least. Yesterday morning I got up a little late but still made it to Harvest Table for the French toast with the running club. Several of my friends were there, and it was good to talk to them again. Afterwards I went to Arundel Mills initially to look for new running shoes. I ended up going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and walking out with a 10" Calphalon omelette pan to match the rest of my set. A few more trips and I should have everything I need that they make. Next up: the covered saucier/"chef's pan".

To make up for not running with the club, I walked all the way down to Fells Point last night, to the Sound Garden and Uncommon Grinds. Now I have all three Star Wars movies, used! =P

Today all I did was go to the Farmer's Market downtown and buy a bunch of produce for myself and to take over to Dad's. Two weeks ago he gave me a guilt trip (all in jest) over not bringing him anything, so this time I bought raspberries, peaches, green beans, and cucumbers for my stepmother to pickle. I did a little practicing, went over for dinner, then came back here to veg again and watch videos on YouTube.
av8rmike: (webcam)
I'd type up a big summary of this weekend, but it's late and my wrists are bugging me from a long rehearsal.

Saturday:
  • Helping [livejournal.com profile] gingy and [livejournal.com profile] weirddave move again, with help from [livejournal.com profile] danceswithcats1, ultrafilter, and some Canadians.
  • Hoping my mom wasn't lost somewhere on the streets of Baltimore.
  • Found her outside my apartment, after she'd wandered around a bit and found a bookstore.
  • Going to HonFest in Hampden and Golden West Cafe for dinner.
  • Going to the massive Wegman's grocery store in Hunt Valley to be a looky-loo.

Sunday:
  • Going to the Baltimore Farmer's Market in the morning for breakfast, and came back with strawberries and herb plants.
  • Killing an hour or two walking around and investigating the MD Historical Society.
  • Seeing Yuri Temirkanov's last concert ever as Music Director of the BSO, conducting Mahler's Second.
  • Mooching dinner from Dad.


I think that's about it. Any questions?

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av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
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