Sacred Music Friday: Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Royal Wedding Hymn, William and Kate

endings: 2

An era is ending at work.

The site where I have worked since the spring of 2000 is shutting down. I will officially be a teleworker. It won’t be completely closed until the end of October, but my floor is pretty much empty already. I moved out of my cube yesterday. Not that this will be a huge change. I’ve been pretty much a teleworker for a few years now. But what this means is that I won’t have my own space at all any longer, and that when I need to be in an office I’ll need to find a visitor cube at one of two sites. And that’s just a tad sad.

At the same time, my manager is taking early retirement and her last day is tomorrow. Now I’ve worked for a number of people over the years, but I’ve worked for my current manager for more than five years, and have been in the same organization and known her for much longer. I will miss her.

Change is inevitable. But it’s also entirely fair to have some grief at the ending of the old.

endings: 1

Some time in the next week or so the owners of our local Thai restaurant will hand the keys to a new proprietor, who will turn it into an Asian restaurant of a different ethnicity.

Aside from losing a favorite lunch spot and the associated rapport with the friendly owners, I am embarrassed for Gilroy. Drive up to Silicon Valley any weekday at lunch time and you will find any number of Thai restaurants that are packed. Here, I was many times their only customer.

They tried. And not just the current owners. The restaurant was originally opened by a Thai couple. They found business too slow and the cost of living too high. They moved to Oregon, but not before training Michelle, a local Gilroyan, in the preparation of Thai food. Michelle stayed in the back and cooked, making Mam, a charming, sweet, personable young Thai woman the face of the franchise, so to speak. Ultimately Michelle could no longer afford them both, and Mam went on to work at other local restaurants while Michelle held down the fort. Ultimately Michelle decided to move on to other things and sold the place to a young Thai brother and sister.

Yes, they indeed tried. They tried their best. But they just couldn’t make it work. I’m sad about the loss and embarrassed for my community.


If you were a fan of Janis Ian in the 1970’s, you might enjoy her autobiography, Society’s Child. It’s a bit depressing to learn the extent to which she was cheated and ripped off over the years, but it’s also very engaging and, of course, it describes her journey as a lesbian.

And I do have to give her credit for having a sense of humor about it all. She wrote this song in conjunction with the book.

My life doesn’t have a very good plot
Guess I’ll have to lie a lot
Should be easy to make things up
There’s no one left to call my bluff
A lot of my old friends have passed on
The rest did drugs and their memory’s gone
so I’ll write my own history
in my autobiography

We still love you, Janis.

language: cracks what?

I saw this headline in our local paper last week:

GUSD cracks whip on transfers

GUSD is Gilroy Unified School District. The article was about parents who were trying to get their children transferred from the old high school to the new one, even though they lived within the boundaries of the old high school.

That struck me as not quite right and it hit me again when I saw the headline online.

I realized that what the headline writer wanted to say was “cracks down,” not “cracks the whip.”

“Cracks down,” suggests that the district wants to stop the parents from doing that. “Cracks the whip,” has the implication of seeing that something gets done. For example, “The high school is cracking the whip to ensure that students put out full effort and don’t slack off in physical education class.”

It’s an obvious error that the headline writer should have caught.

Sacred Music Friday: Mozart – Agnus Dei

W.A. Mozart: Agnus Dei (Coronation Mass in C-major K317) –  Rome, St. Peter in Vatican, Herbert von Karajan conducts The Vienna Philarmonic and The Vienna Singverein, Soprano: Kathleen Battle

then again, maybe not

I’ve been reading about Community Supported Agriculture for quite some time. That is where you sign up to get a box of locally grown, usually organic, produce on a regular schedule. Terry and I have often thought about subscribing to a program. But we’ve found either that a given program does not serve our area, or the pickup times or locations do not fit well with our schedule.

One risk, though, is that the selection is naturally set depending on what is available and in season, and there is always the possibility of this.


everything will be okay

I wrote on Monday about one approach to dealing with stress. Here’s another:

Everything will be okay in the end.
If it’s not okay then it’s not the end.

I first heard this in the movie The Best Marigold Hotel, which, by the way, I highly recommend if you’re over fifty or if you have relatives or friends who are over fifty. Turns out the quote has been around for a long time and has been variously attributed to Paulo Coelho and John Lennon.

Who ever said it first, I find it helpful.

high tech silliness

The business of high tech is seriously goofy sometimes. I was reminded of that when I had the unexpected expense of having to buy a new computer last week.

  • The sales guy told me that I would get a $30 discount if I bought both technical support and a service contract on the machine. Made sense, so I did. I got home and realized I didn’t get that discount. I went back to Best Buy and they told me it was because I didn’t buy anti-virus. Well, I didn’t need it – I still have a hundred plus days left on my current Norton. But they let me return everything and buy it over again to get Norton. It wasn’t even the version I use so I can’t use the license key or make use of it in any way, but I got my $30 refund.
  • I remember this from my last computer. Microsoft’s own, built-in photo slide show screen saver doesn’t let the automatic monitor turn-off function work. But it works fine with a third-party slide show screen saver.
  • Why does Microsoft have to change the world with each new version of Office?
  • My computer shipped with a third-party PDF reader not nearly as good as Adobe Reader. I downloaded Adobe and it installed itself as the default PDF reader without asking. Not usually what you want, but this time fine.
  • The computer came with Internet Explorer 9 and Microsoft Big as the default search engine. There was no way to select Google as the default. But when I installed Picasa, the photo tool acquired some time ago by Google, it asked me if I wanted to make Google the default search engine in IE. I said Yes.

To quote Mayor Shinn’s daughter, Zaneeta, in The Music Man, “Ye Gods!” (“You watch your phraseology, young lady!”)


Life at work is stressful. My manager is one of many people taking early retirement at the end of the month. That means organizational change, and losing a manager whom I know and like and respect. But I just have to take a deep breath and know that right now, today, everything is fine.