Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
But hey, better late than never, right?
So it's a few minutes after 6am and I've been up for two hours because I'm an idiot and I never follow my plan to NOT crash immediately after stepping off my flight in some European city. Slept from about 12:30-6:30pm, then showered, went out for dinner, walked around, and crashed again at 11pm. And now I'm awake, hungry again, and wishing I could not hate myself for paying €3.75 for a small tube of Pringles from the minibar. Normally I keep a granola bar or two stashed in my computer bag for between-classes emergencies, but I've gone through all the pockets to no avail. Damn me for being stupid.
But at 7:00, SOMETHING should be open, so I just have to hold out a little longer. Meanwhile, I should catch up on life since my last blog post was months ago. Hmm. Classes start this week, and I'm teaching Strategic Management again, using an updated version of our strategy game that I haven't actually tried yet. Should be chock-full of frustration, given the bugs they found in beta. What else? Oh yeah... been subbing on a few pro bands, which is fun, but nerve-wracking as hell when I'm the new kid in the room, playing with a bunch of folks I go to clubs to see. Got my butt kicked this past week subbing on Roger Neumann's band in rehearsal, but it was after nearly three solid days of oh-my-god-don't-f***-up-the-part sightreading on similar bands, and I guess I just got too mentally exhausted. I'm not sure whether being on this trip for four or so days without horns will be good or bad for my chops, but I suppose I'll find out.
Not much else happening and I'm tired of listening to my stomach growl, so it's off to find a shop--or at least a vending machine--somewhere. More later...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
So... about a year later, I finally get to drive my own smart fortwo. And boy, is it cool.
A few specs: This car has a 1-liter gasoline-powered engine. It's a two-seater that weighs in at about 1800 pounds, and is just under 9' long by 5' wide. The EPA mileage rating on it is about 42/highway, which is better than every gas-powered car sold in the U.S. except for two: The Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic hybrid. However, *this* car doesn't come with the $23,000+ pricetag those do, and... well... let's just say it's WAY more fun to drive.
Oh yeah... you can just about park it on a postage stamp. :-)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Pictured here are a couple of the rare, tolerable ones. Taken tonight at rehearsal; that's Ron Sewer on the left, and Kendall Wallace on the right.
And yes, I know I missed a couple days' pictures. I'm make 'em up, I guess. Sorry mom.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
If you're a sax geek, here's what you're looking at: The one on the right is my Yamaha Custom 875 tenor, which I'm just back to playing more of lately. The horn on the left is my Yamaha 82 Custom "Z" alto, and yes, it's in silver plate. I use a copper Phil Barone neck on that horn, which makes it look a little odd but boy--it sure does play.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
With the current budget crisis, the teachers and administrators are especially glad to have us out on campus, as funding for performing arts has all but dried up. Remember to support the arts in YOUR community!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Anyone who knows goats knows they like to climb stuff. This tyke was getting his practice by climbing... his mom. He was pretty good at balancing there, too.
The other thing goats like to do is play. These youngsters were jousting at the back of the pen.
It was close to dinnertime when I was out there, and although the goats were curious and friendly, it wasn't surprising that the guy with the chow wagon was WAY more popular with them than I was.
Finally, here's a species I didn't know we had on campus. This pair of llamas had a baby in the stall, and boy... they look just like teddy bears with long necks. Funny and irresistible.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
For those who didn't get to see the lunar eclipse, now you can... sort of. I think what was really eclipsed was my ability to take a decent shot of this, at least with no advance preparation. With a an SLR, a tripod and a long lens, it might have worked. With the PowerShot, you get... um... the general idea, anyway.
And yes, I'm posting this late. One of several...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I'm a little late posting this, but what the heck. The engineering student clubs were having a noon fair yesterday, and I snapped this picture of the "Dunk Your Professor" booth on my way to my office. It's probably a good thing the business students haven't caught on to this yet, because it was NOT a warm day and I'm not sure I could be as good a sport as this professor obviously was.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Take, for example, yesterday's F-104 photo. I've discovered that the cellphone handles photos best when there's plenty of light. But it seems like too much of it (in this case, the highlight off the plane's canopy) tends to blow out the white point and lead to the really weird color balance you can see in the photo. For purposes of comparison, here's a unedited shot I took at the same time using a Canon Powershot SD750 (click the photo for a larger version):
While this photo isn't perfect, it does reveal the limitations in my original cellphone photo. The hues are more accurate, and whites appear to be rendered a little more nicely. I get the opposite problem with low-light photos: I don't know if any cellphones include a flash, since (I would think, anyway) that would be a HUGE drain on the battery, so the camera's software has to compensate by increasing the exposure time (leading to blurs), or the ISO (which gives you graininess). Argh.
So... I suppose I have to decide whether to continue doing this according to my original plan regardless of the usually crappy photo quality, or to free myself to use whatever camera I happen to feel like using. Time will tell, I guess, but I'm going to violate my own rules today for this image, which I simply could not have gotten with the phone:
Eeek! Bones! A little backyard paleontology here... we've been taking out a deck that's falling apart in places and needs to be replaced with a small garage-type building. While pulling up some supports, I spotted these bones and thought I'd share them. My guess is they're rat bones (and yes, mom... I washed my hands afterwards), but I'm surprised I found them before the dogs did. This image was also useful, since it helped me discover that you can actually take something approaching a macro photo using a little point-and-shoot. Just zoom way out, back up a foot or two (like you would if you're doing this with an SLR and a long lens), and take several shots so that you've got a decent chance of getting the focus right. Cool.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
(Note: font size and color edited in the interest of good taste.)
Hello! Welcome to my shop.
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The photo, of course, is the kicker. It's the tiniest baritone saxophone I've ever seen. In fact, I'd bet it's pitched in Bb looks/sounds every bit like a soprano, but you just never know about these eBay guys... perhaps this is the pocket bari we've all secretly been hoping for.
Not sure how (or if) one of these horns would play, but in the interest of fairness, I'll post a link to the seller's current auctions, just in case anyone wants to give one a try. Even if you don't want to shop, I'm sure they'll make for amusing reading.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Growing up, we always had a hive on the yard, since my dad was a beekeeper as sort of a hobby/obsession. He'd harvest the honey and put it in jars, and we'd sell it in a little stand at the curb after school. Decades later, I ended up with a bunch of bees living under a deck in the backyard, but there was no way to save the colony at the time. But dad had an old box around, so after I'd bugged him enough, he brought over this colony and they've been living here ever since. The plants LOVE these guys, and they've been busy, so I'm gonna have to get in there soon to add another level to the hive.
Their front door, by the way, is the slot you see toward the bottom. There's a Morning Glory behind them that's gone absolutely nuts since they arrived--to the point where we have to be careful about trimming it or it tries to attack the house...
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Me? Just getting some Mongolian food... I'd rather be nice ALL year than just on one day. :-)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Reeds are the bane of a woodwind player's existence. We need them. We hate them, because there are no good ones. And when they die, we don't know what to do with them. My own grave of dead reeds includes some for soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, clarinet, and bass clarinet. There might also be a contra-alto reed in there, but I'm not digging to find it. Eventually, they'll become a sculpture or something...
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
And yes, I know we're already five days into February. It gives my limited attention span a good head start.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Catch this group if they come to your neck of the woods. Tickets and a complete list of dates are available at the MJF website here. You can also buy their live CD from Concord Music Group here.