Sacred Music Friday: Beautiful Savior

Conductor Emeritus Kenneth Jennings (1925-2015) leads over 900 choir alumni during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the St. Olaf Choir in June of 2011. Courtesy of Unapologetically Episcopalian.


things not to do

quoteYou don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim

—Jim Croce

In addition:

  1. Don’t lie to the feds.
  2. Don’t argue with Food Network judges.

You can sometimes negotiate with the feds if you admit to some level of guilt. What they really hate is being lied to. Martha Stewart learned that the hard way. It’s why she ended up spending time in federal prison.

If you’re on a Food Network competition show, don’t argue with the evaluation that the judges give your cooking. Don’t try to explain or justify yourself. It’s likely to cause you to be the one to be sent home that week. And in any case you’ll just annoy the viewers.

I’m just sayin’.


my ancient iPod

Terry and I went to a traveling Smithsonian exhibit in San Jose a number of years ago. They had one of the Apollo capsules there and a woman told a group of kids, “That’s really old!” iPodThat did not please me in the least given that I was growing up in the days of the space program before the shuttle. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon on 20 July 1969 I was between my sophomore and junior years of high school. Still, the best response that I could muster on the spur of the moment was, “Hey, Lady!”

What is old is a matter of perception. By the standards of today’s technology my iPod is ancient. Apple has a web page that allows you to identity what model iPod you have. Although the model numbers don’t match, I seem to have a fifth generation iPod. It has a Click Wheel and appears to be the first model to support video. It was released in October 2005.

It still works well. It has a lot of music on it, but I use it primarily to listen to lectures from The Great Courses while walking or doing yard work. I’m glad it’s still going strong. Today’s technology is all about streaming and I don’t have WiFi when I’m out walking.


language rant: annoying word usage

I think I’m overdue for a language rant. So here is a language rant.

I love the weekly newsletter from grammarbook.com. I don’t agree with everything they say, but I like a lot of their material. One recent newsletter brought up the use of the words “optic” and “pivot” being used as jargon words. That got my attention.

grammarbook.comI had a manager who all of a sudden out of nowhere started using the term optic. Something like: “With this new product being released we’ll need to consider the product line through that optic.” Horribly annoying.

I also heard pivot used with some regularity. According to the newsletter, in the high tech world “pivot means ‘to adopt a new strategy when your startup is floundering.’” But I heard it in the Fortune 100 high tech company for which I worked. “They really pivoted in their marketing message.”

Here’s one of my own: over-rotate. One marketing manager in particular loved the term. When the boss said to do this instead of that and the staff responded accordingly, “We really over-rotated on that one.”

I feel better. End of rant. Thanks.


table topics

One component of each Toastmasters meeting is something called Table Topics. The Table Topics Master comes up with topics for three to four people to talk about in an impromptu manner for one to two minutes.

very. very good topic!!Last week was my first time as Table Topics Master. My subject was based on the Doonesbury cartoons below. They are from 1986 when Mike Doonesbury left his wife J.J and had a soundtrack playing in his head. We actually did five, rather than the normal three to four, as we were short a speaker that day.

What was your soundtrack…

  • when you were a senior in college about to graduate?
  • when you started your first career path job?
  • when you had your first romantic breakup as an adult?
  • when your first child was born?
  • on your first date in high school?

The General Evaluator said that was the most thoughtful Table Topics he had ever seen, and he was going to steal it for the other chapter that he is involved with. I got several compliments from members, including the written one you see here.

I like the fact that I’ve kicked my participation up a notch.

Doonesbury cartoon #1 Doonesbury cartoon #2


Sacred Music Friday: Praise to the Lord

Praise to the Lord, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, 2015, directed by Andrew Carwood, organist: Simon Johnson


end of an era

PrinterC6280I was busy trying to print out the meeting agenda for my first stint as Toastmaster. Suddenly my printer stopped working and said it was out of paper. It wasn’t. I shut it off and turned it back on. It said I had shut it down improperly. I hadn’t. It still said that it was out of paper. It still wasn’t. Oh, and it was making strange noises as well.PrinterC6280CD

I guess that was it for my printer. I’m thankful for Terry’s printer and for our wireless router that allows me to connect to it. No need to buy a new printer, as long as Terry doesn’t mind me traipsing in and out of her office. She says she doesn’t.

I pulled out the original CD that came with the printer. It had a 2007 date. That’s nine years. Even if I actually bought the printer in 2008, which is possible, that would be eight years. The printer lasted a long time had has worked very well. It’s hard for me to complain.