Culling the Herd

See other posts on my reading addiction. It’s been out of control for more than 50 years. Recently, I’ve been able to put some books down before finishing them with a hearty, “&@## no! Not worth my time!”

I’ve just recently (OK, 5 minutes ago) created another, “Nope. Not wasting my time” category under fiction reads. Picked up a real goat-gagger (something I usually enjoy: lots and lots and lots of pages of small text on very thin, high-quality–at least for this day and age–paper). It promised fair to hold my attention for a good evening’s read. . . until I got to the four pages of background timeline covering a couple hundred years of back story and another four pages of dramatis personae.

Oh, &@## no! It’s supposed to be a story! If I NEED a set of references to keep the story straight, the guy obviously can’t just tell the story and get out of the way. I’ve done that sort of thing–read books where authors just canNOT just tell the story and paint the worldscape/background into the narrative skillfully, and it’s just a PITA. If an author can’t just do his job well enough to do paint the worldscape/background into the narrative skillfully, I’m not going to waste my time on his work. He’s banned from my reading list. Period.

Moving on. . .

Better Hope TEOTWAWKI Never Happens. . .

. . . because civilization would truly collapse. Why do I say this? Because not only are young adults–you know, the ones who would have to carry the torch, as it were–largely illiterate (or at least massively subliterate and/or a-literate), but most of them don’t even know how to hold a writing implement like a pen or pencil.

Seriously. Watch a 20-something try to write anything with pen and paper. Almost every one I see nowadays has the most awkward, cramp-inducing grip imaginable. This, of course, results in nearly unreadable penmanship in many cases and is sure to induce the dreaded “writer’s cramp” in short order. Without the ability to comprehend the millions of volumes of written “dead tree” text (no matter how laboriously they may be able to decode those funny lil squiggles on the page) and thumb-text in “pseudo-L33T” on their ubiquitous dumb phones, the transmission of information is bound to die.

In short order, what was once civilization will be back to the Dark Ages where people don’t even know what used to be possible. Though it’d still be an order of magnitude more advanced than the typical Muslim society today, it’d be back to life as “nasty, brutish and short” in a generation.

Cool Heat

We don’t have a fireplace in our cozy lil home, and there’s not really any good place to add one, but. . .

We are considering finally replacing our old (still pretty nice) Magnavox bottle screen TV with a much larger LCD screen perhaps sometime this year. Yeh, no real hurry there, since TV isn’t really the center of our universe like it is for some (although I’ll admit watching Downton Abbey on my lil 15.6″ lappy screen positioned about 15″ from my eyes or even on my Kindle Fire (original) is pretty nice).

Still, a new, larger, wide aspect screen would let me build a faux mantle and surround for a collection of fireplace videos. . . πŸ˜‰ Heck, there’s even a forced air heat duct on that wall (which I want routed UNDER the EC, away from both the piano and the HTPC, in future). Right now, it’s closed off (because its close to the piano’s best location), but routed out somewhere near where the fireplace videos would be running would be nice on a cold winter’s night. *heh* Sure, no real radiant heat (well, unless I could route the computer’s waste heat differently, too* ;-)), but still, it’d be fun: some snap, crackle, pop and other fireplace sounds and views to accompany quiet conversation, snuggling, or just side-by-side reading, as is often our habit.

Continue reading “Cool Heat”

Good News?

With all the “must miss” new TV shows coming up, it’s heartening to hear them promo’ed with, “Premiering, FebYOUWARY XX” since there is no such month as “Feb-You-Wary”.

Well, either that or the dumbasses doing the promos are too illiterate to be able to simply read, “February.”


OK, remember this guy?


Well, we used to also serve the needs of two much older “dowager princesses” who have since left for greener, cathouses. (RIP, ladies) In the time since this guy fell heir to the two cat boxes we have retained, I’ve noticed that he’s a very persnicketty, urm, “waste disposer”. One is for liquid, the other for solid, and by gum! I’d better not let one become inconvenient for its intended purpose!

Cats. Bindmoggling.

Prayer for 2013

“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept stupid people as they are,
The fortitude to maintain self-control,
And the wisdom to know that if I give them what they deserve, I’ll end up in jail.”

Anyone else want that on a T-Shirt?

Post Xmas Blahs

Dec 26 and a little less so today have been devoted to cleaning out my alimentary canal. Son&Heir was inflicted with a stomach/other virus last week, and passed it to my Wonder Woman who… let me in on the fun.

So, massive joint aches, headache, fever, voiding of alimentary canal on both ends and rumbles, pains and other such usual things in between. *meh* It’s been so long since I’ve been really sick that I’d forgotten how to deal with it. *heh*

Better now, though still shaky and still emptying out the distal end of my alimentary canal. (I really didn’t know I had it in me! I guess folks who tell me I’m ‘full of “it”‘ know what they’re talking about. :-))

So, that’s why no continuation of the 12 Days of Xmas yesterday. Here, try of these:

Yeh, yeh, so Placido is in all of them. So? πŸ˜‰


I really like Il Volo. The boys have a great sound for such young voices, and they have good arrangers and producers providing them with well-written material that’s also recorded well.

Good stuff. One niggly lil thing though: they all have a strong tendency to take Italian vowel production into all the languages they sing in. Oh, it’s not offensive, but it is pretty glaring at times. Take “Stille Nacht” (below). Beautifully sung, but… the vowels are often not German. Oh, well. Picky, picky, picky. πŸ˜‰

Wherein I Make a (Pot)LOAD of Work for Myself…

So yes, it was a foolish goal to set myself. It isn’t as though I have nothing else on my plate, after all… *sigh*

I decided to collect all the digital recordings of Christmas music I have on scattered devices all over the place together this year. Yeh, yeh, I’ve been promising myself for several years now to organize it all, and I even have a media server to put it all on, but now I’ve decided to do so with just one genre, I realize what a Herculean task I’ve set myself… and promptly began making my task bigger.

OK, I have many, many hundreds (and hundreds) of digital recordings of Christmas music–mostly sacred solo, choral, instrumental and orchestral, but also tons and tons of secular selections (pop, contemporary, humorous, traditional, etc.), and simply gathering them into one centralized collection is daunting enough, let alone classifying and organizing them. But hey, I promised myself I’d do it and so what can I do but do it?

And then I have been on a buying spree purchasing MORE Christmas music. OK, so I’ve loved the most of the Celtic Woman Christmas offerings in their past work, and the new one has some good stuff, so…

And then there were a few holes in my Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberia Orchestra collections…

And I’ve been meaning to pick up some Libera recordings (a boys’ choir, in case you’d not heard them; I’m a sucker for boys voices performing choral works*)… and Woody mentioned a George Shearing Christmas album on FB, while Kat, also on FB, mentioned a collection of 280 pieces on sale for $0.99 (sucked me in)… and, and…

You get the drift. *sigh* In addition to the hundreds of selections of digital recordings I already had, I’ve managed to add another 500 or so in just the last couple of weeks. *heh*

At least I didn’t commit to digitizing my massive cassette tape and vinyl collection of Christmas music this year, although I’ll have to do it sometimes soon. And also A Good Thing: I have ripped a bunch of Xmas music CDs like this one to mp3 over the years, so that’s a wee tad less to get done, at least (although I’ve not ripped the Yo-Yo Ma Christmas CD that was a gift from my Wonder Woman a couple of years ago… or more than a few others, it seems. The Canadian Brass and the Dallas Brass and quite a few others are awaiting equal time, as well… *sigh*)

Oh, well. At least it gives me something to do when I’m not

    –on a gig
    –getting the house “Xmas-ised”
    –working on new entertainment center/MPC hookups, etc.
    –giving some finishing touches to home “fixup” projects (many and varied)
    –working through my backlog (over 200) of books I want to read (and keeping them from cluttering things up while I do projects, fixups and “Xmas-izing” etc.)

Hmm, looks like anything that sounds like “work” takes up less of my attention energy than puttering tasks. Oh, well again. *heh*

*Yeh, I’ve been that way since I was 17 and invited to sing in the changed voice section (all three of us) for a boys choir that’s since gone on to minor acclaim (minor only in that it’s limited to about 1/4 of the country *heh*). Oh, this was the second year of the group, so it was still in its formative stage, but although my life had been filled with exposure to, performance in/with and other involvement with excellent music groups and amazing musicians, that experience was a revelation to me of the beautiful sound of a cappella boys’ voices. The entire performance repertoire was a cappella and the conductor was probably the second (or perhaps third) best conductor I have ever sat under, both for rehearsal and performance, and that is saying a HUGE bunch, given the batons I’ve been privileged to sit under. Do note that the Libera album linked above isn’t a cappella music, but there are a few isolated examples, and the instrumental accompaniments are all very, very well-written and performed.