Showing posts with label about me... Show all posts
Showing posts with label about me... Show all posts

Monday, January 1, 2018

Fortune Cookies


 All time fortune cookie:
The great pleasure in life 
is doing what people say you cannot do.


 Fortune cookie of the week:
A person of words and not of deeds
is like a garden full of weeds.

 Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day. And needing a nap after lunch. Firefox.7.11.17

 My candle burns at both its ends;
It will not last the night;
But, ah, my foes and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light.
Edna St. Vincent Millay  



The plural of anecdote is not data. :)

Tara Goddard
@GoddardTara


Don't tell me why it won't work.
Tell me what you tried that didn't work.
Carlin Black, DuPont, 1966 


To try and fail is at least to learn; 
to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.
 Chester Barnard


Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,
the divine beauty of the universe.
Love that, not man apart from that,
Robinson Jeffers
 

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized.  
Daniel_Burnham

Sunday, May 28, 2017

On Steak and Other Red Meats.

Vegans and PITA trigger alert.  Stop here.

Red meat animals have been bred for millennia as walking larders for nomadic people which convert non-arable vegetation to useful proteins for human consumption. By and large the animals are selected to be herd able and relatively trusting and are therefore unfit for survival in the wild.  If this is cruelty to animals so be it.  It is prehistoric cruelty, so enjoy the food or pay for their freedom in human habitations as India does.  They die in the wild.  Probably more brutally than even a factory slaughter house.  Not that I condone factory methods. Religious or humane slaughter is much preferred, as most "Free Range" ranchers have learned to advertise.  If stem cell meat becomes commercial I would probably break our prehistoric contract with those animals and condemn them to extinction except for zoo farms to keep the species alive.  Similar to our treatment of Buffalo in the US.  Culls would go to the fancy restaurants and the stem cell pink slime to fast food as usual.

White meat, pigs, chickens and recently turkeys were bred as human garbage and bug eaters and therefore can carry human diseases.  Nonetheless useful food if well cooked.  It loses most of its flavor if cooked well so most white meat dishes are heavily spiced and good.

Red meats are most flavorful rare and are safe for human consumption if freshly sliced as in prime rib or seared to remove handling pathogens. They stand up well to strong flavored sauces as in barbecue sauce and steak sauce for those that don't like rare meat.

A high quality steak if it is seared on the outside is safe and wonderful.  If it is a low quality steak, burn it.  Chefs know this and select the meat by how it is ordered. Steak tartare was almost certainly mishandled in most restaurants.  Hence the spices and crap they include covering up the spoiled meat. I learned this lesson in high school in the Midwest when I worked in a gourmet meat market and grocery store.

My boss overheard me tell a customer that I liked my steak well done (without the ketchup) :-)  He didn't say anything at the time but soon invited me to his home for dinner.  The Colonel asked me to select a T-bone steak, my favorite at the time, from the "Super Deluxe" case which was meat from steers bred for show. He displayed the blue ribbons on the wall of the meat department. He asked me to select one exactly like it from the "Good" case which was USDA select, the lowest quality in the store.  His butcher was good so even that was well chosen.

I showed up at his home with the steaks still flash frozen as all employees were instructed to recommend to our customers, and asked me how I liked my steaks cooked and naively I said well done. He said nothing but my plate when it came out had two parts of T-bones without the bone well done just like I liked them. The Colonel asked me to taste them and asked me which was the Prime  and which was the Select steak. I guessed wrong. He then said to his wife "take that away, and bring the other half properly cooked." I looked at the poor cow bleeding all over my plate, almost gagged, but he was the boss so I tried them both and answered confidently which one was Prime and which one was Select.  I didn't need the A-1 sauce I was thinking about asking for, and enjoyed the rest of both steaks. I was a growing athlete at the time and almost asked for the burned halves back. Ever since if I trust the chef I will order steaks Extra Rare and am usually rewarded with an excellent steak. At one time I asked for my steak as rare as the meat was good that day, but quit when one day I got a well done steak which made even a bad piece of meat worse. I needed the A-1.

It is hard to find but I still like a rack of Lamb rare, but even medium rare it is good without sauces.  If it is only offered with sauce I assume the chef knows his meat and go with the flow.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Humanism and Cancer.


From a friend's facebook post:


I have enjoyed this medium for a long time. I love you all including the asses, but no longer want to socialize here. I'm going to stick with my kind as suggested. God help you in the future with this mess.

Build your silo and kick out the asses. It is a social media. Social groups have standards of membership or they can't survive. "They drew a circle that kept me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout." (Edwin Markham) And I own that circle. They are not welcome. There are times when inclusiveness fails. I never liked the end of the complete quote, 

I am a radical humanist in that all people are initially included in the humanist circle. They can opt out if they wish by behavior incompatible with humanism. This does not mean they are not still human it just means that they may need to be controlled or eliminated humanely for the protection of humanism.

Humans and humanism are prone to cancerous growths. I did not hate the cancer that was destroying my vocal instrument. But it could not be allowed to do so. The only choice was to poison all rapidly dividing cells in my body, dangerous to be sure, and in fact nearly fatal, but it was a risk I had to take to continue to enjoy my instrument. 

The cancerous cells in humanism must be treated in the same way. Do what it takes to eliminate them even if it is dangerous. If they take over the body politic humanism will be dead anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Stories and Tips about Traveling for a Living.

You know you travel too much when the receptionist at the airline club greets you at 6:30am with "I see it is Omaha this week," and hands you your boarding passes.  (Before TSA.) 

One thing I learned early on, was to stay at the same hotel chain and always ask for a right hand room.  That is the door is on the left and bed etc. on the right.  That way when you get up in the middle of the night to get rid of the used alcohol you know where the furnature is and don't run into it.  The other thing I learned was to unpack as soon as I got to the hotel, hide all the evidence that it is a hotel room, and turn it into home even if it is for one night. The familiar setup of the right hand room makes it easy to forget it is just another hotel room.

A fun NYC Blizzard memory was one I missed. I barely made a plane in Lincoln Nebraska when the gate agent asked if I wanted to spend the weekend in Lincoln or Chicago. I asked why and he said they have just shut down the entire East Coast. I called my favorite hotel at ORD and booked a room with key at Concierge Desk. They asked on Fri? Why. I told them EC shut down. Some shouting on the other end of the line. When I got to the concierge he said thanks to you we were able to keep the day shift on overtime, here is your key to the Luxury Suite as a reward. It was there I listened to Koch tell everybody to stay home and have a weekend party.

  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why Reading is Fundamental.

This post was stimulated by the following retweet.
Jonathan Korman
3 hrs · 

· 
Retweeted Naval Ravikant (@naval):
Text is precise, compact, indexable, transmissible, translatable, asynchronous & quick to absorb. Intelligent, busy people prefer text.
@naval is obviously talking about SMS text, but it is even more apt for extended texts. Please note the efficiency of a good tweet.  (If I had more time I might use Twitter.)
 


People have always asked me why I never got into movies, YouTube (except for music), or TV especially movies and TV shows based on books I have read and liked.
The most important reason is that I learned to read before I had even heard about movies and TV which hadn't become popular yet.  I read everything I could get my hands on. I once had a race down a school library book shelf with another reader friend of mine.  I had an adult library card at 8 yo. courtesy of my activist mother who went to bat for me at the local library which I used almost exclusively as the young adult section books were off limits to my elementary card.  I frequently strayed into the adult fiction section and found that I could learn about important social issues there more efficiently than in the news or the history sections.  A good fiction author must write believable stuff in order to sell no matter what the genre.

For me the most important advantage of text is that you must supply your own emotional context to text.  Visual and even aural media are designed to manipulate the emotional state of the consumer.  Humans are story driven, and the invention of writing gave readers much more control over the emotional impact of the story.  Not completely, of course, a good writer can influence the emotional content of his words, but the reader has a chance to process that emotional content at leisure if desired.

Another advantage of text is that it clearly indicates the intelligence, education, and sophistication of the writer by asynchronous textual analysis.  A speech or video may sound plausible, but analysis of the transcript is critical to evaluating the plausibility of the actor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Choral CV




K-8 choir starting 4th grade.  First solo 4th boy sop.  Voice never broke just moved down through the parts.

Elite Church Choir 6-12.  Various parts.

Elite High School A Capella Choir.  One of two freshmen admitted. 

Highlight: Memorial Day concert ending with Faure Requiem.  Due to intense programming no applause was requested.  At the end the audience filed out in complete science. 

Stanford All University Chorus 4 years undergrad, 2 years Grad.  Good chorus nothing special

Five years not singing due to heavy travel for work but something definitely missing. 

New York Choral Society.  Top non-professional choir in NYC.  Frequent performances with visiting orchestras, Beethoven 9th,  Mahler 2nd , Handel Messiah repertoire pieces.  Chorus 1971 to 1979.  On working board 1972 to 1979. Normal venue Carnegie Hall.  We performed almost all of the Choral Standards including the big 5 Requiems and the usual Masses.

Highlights.

·         Beethoven Missa Solemnis under Roger Wagner, Bob DeCormier, and Robert Shaw.

·         Kodali Kallo Dances and Martinu Military Mass under DeCormier

·         Chorus for the Peter, Paul and Mary Chanukah-Holiday concert which was later televised as a PBS Special.  Look for the guy with the fake snow piling up on his tux.

·         Bernstein Chichester Psalms under Maestro Bernstein.



San Francisco Choral Society.  A top tier non-professional symphonic Chorus in San Francisco Bay area. Bass 1998-2005. Tenor 2006-present.  Performs standard choral repertory with emphasis on newer music.   With an annual warhorse in Davies Symphony Hall



Highlights

·         David Lang Battle Hymns: W/C Premier with active chorus, dance and children’s choir.

·         Stacy Garrop Terra Nostra: World Premier of her Modern Oratorio.

Started voice lessons for tenor soloist training 2013 with Brian Thorsett, then with Greg Wait. For the past year I have been working with Lee Strawn.  

Original publication 5/26/16

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Illnesses of Older People.

I recently had to deal with a diagnosis of serious throat cancer.  The reflexive recommendation of the Tumor Board for cancer of this stage was Radiation Therapy and simultaneous Chemotherapy starting ASAP. Radiation Therapy for throat cancer has a known side effect of damage to the vocal chords, which as a lifelong singer with a concert coming up I could not allow. 

This dilemma caused me to pull together a lot of things that had been in the round tuit box for some time.  First and foremost get the Advanced Directive registered with my health provider.  Secondly figure out what my priorities for the rest of my life should be.  Cancer, like strokes, heart disease, and many other ailments are to old age what head and neck injuries, joint damage, and wounds are to younger people.  If it doesn't kill you, you have to decide what compromises you have to make to continue to live a meaningful life worth dying for.  In other words, get your living priorities articulated in a way that can be discussed with others that are significant in your life including your medical team.  

At 76 I am well aware that life is finite and death will come sooner or later, preferably much later but not at the cost of compromising those things that make life worthwhile.  While alive my priorities sorted out to be 
  1. Don't die.
  2. Live as you have enjoyed living most of your life, in my case keep singing among several other high priority activities that make up my daily life.  
  3. Deal with serious health issues in a way that keep the above in perspective.  
In my case once I convinced the tumor board that radiation was not an option, they recommended an accelerated and dangerous Chemo protocol that would allow me to sing the concert if it didn't kill me. Knowing the risks I elected the protocol which indeed almost killed me, but knowing the risks enabled good choices of emergency treatment which indeed enabled my singing the concert.       

And many more as it turned out the protocol worked beyond most medical expectations and at this point the tumor and metastases are gone according to the usual cancer scans.  There is nothing useful that medicine can do at this point but watch for a recurrence.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Suggested Life Celebration for J'Carlin


N.B. This post is referenced as part of my Advanced Directive which has not been needed yet (7/2/16.)  It was a hurry-up job under the gun of some grim medical procedures.  Any confusion as to time frame of the celebration is regretted.  For the moment at some time in the future:
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As people gather play the Second movement of Bruch's third violin concerto (Arcado by preference) to include sister Janet as part of the celebration.  Encourage the who, what composer, etc speculation. No spoilers from those in the know.  After the third movement resolves the second, someone should tell the story of Janet and I having to leave home frustrated and Janet calling her friend at the radio station for the ID of the out of print vinyl.  J'Carlin kept a long vigil till the CD set we just listened to was reissued ADD.

No podium speeches, but encourage everyone to tell a neighbor a story about J'Carlin that was important for them.  

After a bit of chatter a music break including the Intuit and Kyrie from the Faure Requiem, the Bogoroditse from Rachmaninoff Vespers, and "Don't Stand by my Grave and Weep" from Rob Paterson's Eternal Reflections  If a choir I have been a member of would like to organize a celebratory group for the Faure and Rachmaninoff I would request that the usual gig fee be paid to the director and accompanist.  If Kevin and Alex would sing Amazing Grace for their usual gig fee it would be nice.   A reading from "Thinking on the blue roads" would be nice.  http://jcarlinbl.blogspot.com/  Kevin might read his post #4 from http://www.beliefnet.com/boards/message_list.asp?pageID=1&discussionID=252718&messages_per_page=16  he speaks for both of us.  Order and breaks ad lib.

When the food and drinks start someone should start a musical wine glass chorus in Celebration of Dorothy's 80th.  That should get enough stories started to make everyone enjoy the party.

I would like to continue Janet's tradition of distributing cremains to people who will take them to meaningful places.  Including the Mist trail at Yosemite. If possible including them in a small bonfire in the Desolation Wilderness and the John Muir Trail.  Scattering them "Leave no trace" with the fire ashes.  Also some blown into the Mississippi from a bridge in Minneapolis to join Mom, Dad Janet, and anyone else who might care to join us.  


Note: Blog is CC3 If anyone wants to use this as a template for a Life Celebration modify at will.