Back to index of "this and that in my life" pages by Donald Sauter.

Conversations with me, No. 16
Email highlights, ca. November 1998

Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of use or interest to someone . . .

ME: About the Chobanian trio, I want to perform at least 2 out of 
the remaining 3 movements.  I think the one we worked on Saturday 
may be my favorite so far.  

Hself, thanks for not throwing a damper on my Thanksgiving.  

ME: Subject: string gauges 

Thanks for struggling through my string calculation web page.  

You want *gauges* for your cittern strings, but that's the 
problem - gauge depends on composition.  I presume some strings 
are simple wire and some are wound, right?  The best we can do is 
calculate the desired mass per length (and to do that, you'll 
need some idea of the tension you want for each string).  The 
formula is in my web page.  Then pester the string companies to 
tell you the mass per length of the strings they sell.  Good 

ME: Subject: printing tablature 

Thanks for the instructions on how to print from Claris Word.  
I will incorporate that in my web page as soon as I get a 
chance.  As I say, my own computer equipment is old, old 
technology, and I've been worrying about whether or not the 
average person with up-to-date hardware and software can print 
the tablature out correctly.  

ME: Subject: ufos 

> Do you believe in aliens visiting Earth?  Intelligent life other 
than on Earth?  It was not clear from your descriptions if you 
are or not.  

Rather than answer directly, I invite you to spend some time with 
my web pages examining "Is the human race special?" and the Fermi 

ME: I see I forgot to mention that the next record convention 
is Dec. 20.  We didn't miss it last Sunday; there was 
one the Sunday before, when my guitar trio performed.  Keep 
hanging in there.  

Had a mandolin/guitar session yesterday.  My buddy is 
developing eye problems, which may be serious.  

In our guitar trio, we all breathed a big sigh of relief when 
Hself's colon tumor turned out to be benign.  There were major 
reasons for thinking it might not be.  He's only 42, and has 2 

Did a little reading and arithmetic at school today.  Also 
affixed more bar codes to library books.  I keep finding books I 
want to check out.  By the way some kids were looking at me from 
another car today, I think they must've recognized me from 

Bought some bolts for my license plate today, so everything's 
back to normal.  Threw out my facsimile NZC 696 which was 
velcroed in my back window.  

Comparing U.S. and Brit Beatle recordings sounds like a splendid 
idea.  Don't let us forget I Feel Fine.  

Hooray for the Simpsons.  I remember the last few we watched - at 
least the Rock Hudson one, maybe others - were well done, but had 
such dreary, downer stories.  

THEE: The day got off to a rough start--it was raining and that's a 
major crisis when you have a dog who wants exercising.  The rain 
stopped (conveniently as I was finishing my album of the day), so 
I took Hself out for a half hour of fetch.  

Upon our return, Hself wanted me to know that he wasn't even 
winded by that extra long session.  He ran around, ate, and 
drank, and then threw up.  Hself!  Two minutes after i finished 
cleaning up, he brought me a tennis ball.  he wanted to play 
more!  Now he's sacked out on the floor, as he should be.  

Hself and I watched a terrible movie last night, "Ludwig" (1972).  
It was two hours and 50 minutes of pure tedium.  I had taped it 
because it did feature the ravishing Romy Schneider.  Now, just 
talking about this movie makes me ready for another nap.  

Today's "Post" has a story on Takoma Park's house of Musical 
traditions.  Do you guys in the guitar cult ever deal with them?  

It's always good when a friend's diagnosis comes back clean, 
isn't it?  

A record convention on Dec. 20 sounds like just the way I want to 
start the holiday season.  Keep it in mind.  

I definitely would like to do some A/B comparing of Dave Dexter 
"improvements."  I'm aware that the U.S. "IFF" sounds different, 
but I want to hear the versions side by side.  

THEE: Subject: ufos 

I too believe, though I'd rather not, that we are "special".  My 
reasons, though, may differ from yours.  Though the odds seem to 
favor the evolution of life on other planets unknown in the 
universe, "inteliigent life" is an entirely different matter.  
From what I know about the evolution of man and the evolution of 
his brain, much was accidental (the meteor thing), relied on 
mutations as well as natural selection, and other happenings that 
made our existence anything but inevitable.  We still are not 
sure why or how our brains got so big, so it seems to me 
presumptous to think that this happened (whatever "this" is) all 
over the universe.  

I am a reader of the "Skeptical Inquirer" and I, too, seem to 
have alien B.O. because I have never been abducted, or even seen 
a spaceship from another planet.  I think it a hysterial movement 
by a bunch of people with overactive imaginations.  

ME: in the meadow we will build a snowman...  

Thanksgiving was good.  The count was 35.  For a change, I 
brought a regular-meal (as opposed to dessert) dish.  The logic 
was, no matter how good a dessert is, it can hardly be enjoyed 
when you're already stuffed - not to mention, there will be 15 
other desserts.  I was daring, and made a salmon-noodles-alfredo 
dish that I always like.  There weren't too many takers, so that 
just means leftovers for me.  I bought a hot-plate carrying 
contraption by Pyrex that managed to keep it about 3 degrees 
above room temperature.  Man, I thought we had insulation down 
pat by now.  

I went to the House of Musical Traditions one time to buy some 
lute strings.  I think we may have sent them a few WGS 
newsletters in the past.  I feel very little affinity, actually.  
Non-classical guitars might as well be Yamaha DX-7 keyboards, as 
far as I'm concerned.  

I guess that's the way it is, but was still taken by surprise by 
a few Christmas songs on the radio the day after Thanksgiving, 
and the news being dominated by fast-breaking Christmas shopping 
stories.  If *I* ran the radio stations of the world, I'd ask 
listeners when they want to start hearing Christmas music, and 
average the responses.  

Was that Ludwig as in Beethoven?  

Keep the Hself stories coming.  I enjoy them, even though I have 
little in the way of response.  

Our trio got together today.  We recorded a set of pieces called 
Irish Dreams.  We'll do them for the December meeting.  We figure 
the folky/dreamy element is sort of in the holiday spirit.  

ME: a guitar-related favor 

I notice on the BCGS home page the statement, "The BCGS is funded 
in part by generous donations from the DAddario Foundation for 
the Performing Arts..." 

I have a guitar-related idea that I would like to find funding 
for.  When I go to the DAddario site, I don't see mention of the 
Foundation.  I wrote their webmaster, asking who I should 
approach with my idea, but got no response.  

I was wondering if you would do me a favor and point me in the 
right direction.  I'm sure the whole process is too large to 
describe, but if you could just get me started.  I presume that 
whoever at DAddario approved giving money to the BCGS would be an 
appropriate person to contact.  

THEE: Re: a guitar-related favor 

yes, i've never been able to find a webpage for the foundation.  
the image on our webpage looks as fuzzy as it does because it's 
scanned off one of their envelopes.  

THEE: Merry Christmas everybody! 

Have a fuhlie luhlie Christmas! 

Christmas does come too early these days.  I had reluctantly 
accepted the Thanksgiving start date but when I drove into 
Bethesda last Saturday (five days before Turkey Day), the 
landscape was already dotted with Christmas trees and 
decorations.  This just won't do!  When should we begin 
celebrating Christmas?  I ask because I have a nice Beatles 
Christmas theme for my computer and I've been torn about when to 
put it up.  

Speaking of my computer, I finally got the manufacturer to agree 
to replace my monitor.  Now I'm panicked about the possibility 
that the new one will continue to give the same dark image.  

It sounds like you had a huge Thanksgiving.  Our crowd numbered 
11 adults and six children, which was big enough for me.  

Your revelation about no one having room for dessert is another 
one of those profound "emperor has no clothes" observations that 
will never benefit the masses because it's far too radical.  Keep 
this dangerous wisdom hush-hush!  (I think of my own experience 
this year where our hostess wrapped two pieces of pie for us 
because we didn't have the strength to eat it there.) 

"Ludwig" was not about Ludwig Van, but about "Mad King Ludwig of 
Bavaria."  One of his crimes against the state, according to this 
movie, was draining the treasury to support production of Richard 
Wagner's ambitious operas.  That was kind of interesting but, 
still, it was just a dreadful film.  

THEE: Two more clews for y'all 

I've recently started reading a book published in 1984 called 
"Sitting in Darkness" by David Haward Bain.  It concerns an 
incident during the U.S.'s little-known war against Philippine 
guerillas around the turn of the century.  The author also 
discusses his visit to the Philippines in 1982.  Along the way, 
he provides a lot of the history of the years between and before.  

I'm about a third of the way through this fascinating book and 
the Beatles are getting short-shrift so far.  However, this is 
what I've learned: 

* Our author stayed at the Manilla Hotel in 1982.  John Lennon's 
name appeared on a list of famous guests who had stayed there.  I 
wonder if that was where the Beatles stayed or if Lennon stayed 
there during one of his post-green card Far East jaunts in the 
'70s.  Has a Beatle ever revisited the Philippines?  

* I always got the impression that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos 
had already been in power for years when the Fabsters touched 
down in 1966.  In fact, Marcos was elected in a (relatively) free 
election in 1965 and took office in early 1966!  The Philippines were 
(was?) then still nominally a democracy--Marcos did not assume absolute 
power until 1972.  So, I need to know more about how Marcos 
marshalled all that popular resentment against our lads, just 
seven months or so after he assumed the presidency of a 

THEE: Family Feud Game 

I am trying to locate the computer version of the Family Feud 
game show.   Gametek has gone out of business and it is difficult 
to get a copy now.  Do you have any ideas?  

Also, do you know if there is a way to input our own survey 
questions into the game?  

THEE: Re: free space 

Hi Mr. Sauter, 

Sorry for the delay. Finally I could get your article up. You may 
find it under "Free Space".  Best Wishes, Sailor's Web Manager 

ME: Subject: sunday journal 

It's probably thrown out by now, but do you still have that 
Sunday Montgomery Journal from Nov 22?  I could use a few more 

THEE: web surfing par excellence 

Since our phone talk today, had a couple of Beatle encounters of 
the 2nd kind.  Turned on my radio to WWMD to catch a "Don't drink 
and drive" public service announcement in progress with Paul 
McCartney on vocals.  Heard a strain or two of Drive My Car.  

Replenishing my mayonnaise supply in the grocery store tonight I 
heard a superlative muzak version of Another Girl.  There's one 
you don't hear every day.  

I know you have deadlines, but that's what you get for 
procrastinating.  Your managers are lying to you anyway.  Take a 
break.  Go to Sailor's Home Page 

and click on "Maryland information" 

and then click on "Free Space".  There's a good one there.  

THEE: sedition 

Have checked the PG Journal dumpster a couple of times in vain 
for discarded copies of my photo and dumb quotes.  Had to wait in 
line behind the Gazette spies.  (Just kidding.) 

Spent a good day at LC yesterday.  No friction from any of the 
staff, although I didn't request anything that might strain the 

Speaking of Patrick Henry, go to Sailor's Home Page 

and click on "Maryland information" 

and then click on "Free Space".  There's a good one there.  

The Marcos and Manilla questions are good.  If you don't want an 
answer, post them to the usenet Beatles discussion group.  About 
the resentment, heck, even if he was in power only 5 minutes, if 
a bunch of pop stars snubbed some disadvantaged kids (were they 
orphans or handicapped, or something?) in my town, I'd be pretty 
riled up too.  

THEE: Boycott! 

Ooh, some guy had something on Sailor about boycotting recycling.  
What next?  Making bootlegs is OK?  

Another beautiful morn with Mr. B. this morning, although I'm mad 
at the sun for sleeping in so late.  We saw a deer on the grounds 
of the school across the street from our apartment, where I take 
the dog.  Actually, I don't think Hself saw it or if he did, he 
decided to remain silent.  

Hself urged us to get together next week, at your place.  It's her 
last week of teaching and she'll be working at home every night.  
Is that OK?  I'm free Monday and Wednesday.  

I forgot about the widows-and-orphans angle of the Marcos snub.  

In the latest issue of the newsletter of Politics and Prose, a 
bookstore near our old apartment, there's a review of a new 
biography of Mohammed (sp?) Ali.  It's illustrated with a photo 
of Cassius Clay belting Harry Georgeson and Ringo.  

ME: Subject: Proposal for sponsorship.  

Thanks for inviting me to submit my idea - more like a long-time 
dream - to you.  That's very gracious.  What I would like to do 
is make the fantastic collection of guitar music held by the 
Library of Congress available to all guitarists.  Of course, I am 
referring only to public domain music - 19th century European 
editions, first and foremost.  

ME: Thanks for the Thanksgiving card.  Were you behind the teddy bear 
design, or was that just a nice coincidence?  By the way, I'm 
still text-only at home, but I just go down to the local library 
if I *have* to see web pictures.  (Not *too* often...) 

I'm doing some volunteer work at the local elementary school one 
day a week.  Probably does me more good than the kids.  

Still having a good time with the guitar.  Helped out my 
violinist friend at a little concert at the Frederick Douglass 
Home in D.C.  It turned out *very* nice.  

My web site is getting about 350 hits per week now.  There are 
about 30 more pages I "have" to do before I can rest easy, but 
I'm having trouble pushing myself.  

ME: consonant blends: sn st tr br gr bl sl pv wx cb...  

Another nice day at the elementary school.  Deonte and Adeleye 
were model students.  Little Ronnie flies off in every direction 
except the one you want, but she's fun.  Showed some of the kids 
a video from my youth.  If you riffle a deck of cards, it shows a 
pitcher pitching a ball, a bat smacking it, the pitcher fielding 
it and throwing to first.  They got a kick out of it.  

THEE: Thanks for responding!  No, unfortunately was not part of that 
card teddy bear design, however I will send you a few photos of a 
recent bear I completed for a friend in Ft. Lauderdale for Xmas.  
Hopefully you can get these photos when you hit the library the 
next time! 

Sounds like your site is doing well.  Have to confess I still 
have not gotten around to visiting it--shame on me!!!!!! 

Think it's super that you are doing some volunteer work!!!  Bet 
the kids are crazy about you!!!!   Did that kind of stuff years 
ago, but don't do the things I should do along those lines 

Thanksgiving was loads of fun, the bird was cooked to perfection 
(Linda Mac would have turned over in her grave, bless her)--but 
we aren't completely veggie around here.  Kind of fun watching 
grandchildren at their first Thanksgiving together with you.  

Speaking of Grandparents, you likely know that Sir Paul is to be 
a grandfather soon!!!!  Mary is expecting.  Most of us thought 
Mary was preggers at the wedding--now it is confirmed.  We are 
all saddened that Linda Mac did not have the very special joy of 
watching her daugher Marry, or to be on earth to see her first 
grandchild born.  So sad.  She really deserved to experience 
those special events.  Don't understand why she was denied that 
after all she contributed in life.  Paul must be overwhelmed!!! 
over this child.  My guess is that if it is a girl, they'll name 
her Linda in tribute.  I've heard it will be Allistair, if it is 
a boy.  

Gotta run.  When you have a chance, would love to 
hear your views on the Clinton and Monica pony show which is 
finally coming to an end.  No cigar, please....teehee..........  


Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.
Back to Donald Sauter's main page.
Rather shop than think? Please visit My Little Shop of Rare and Precious Commodities.
Back to the top of this page.

Abbreviations: Hself = generic name, male or female (Himself, Herself). IFF = I Feel Fine.

Parents, if you're considering tutoring or supplemental education for your child, you may be interested in my observations on Kumon.