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

Conversations with me, No. 31
Email highlights, ca. Mar 2001 - Apr 2001

Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of interest to some looney toon . . .

THEE: Tablature and "standard" notation 

I thank you for your ASCII tabs of Mudarra.  My local luthier 
made a nice 4-course guitar to my specifications and when I play 
that guitar I want to do it from a tab.  I hate working a 
"normal" score back to tab, but I have done it a few times.  

As an amateur classical guitarrist (who can read), I believe your 
comments are very approPriate.  I hate music where they want to 
show off how polyphonic their guitar writing is and tie whole and 
half notes for a few measures like if their guitars could hold a 
note that long.   A tab gives you a better idea of how the piece 
is supposed to sound.  However, I do not think writing a fugue 
for guitar with a tablature would be a good idea...  you just 
would have a lot of problems trying to figure out which voice is 
doing what.  So my proposal is:  we have to know how to read 

It surprises me that someone can claim that we can't read in a 
variety of tunings... I would say all classical guitarrists can 
work with EADGBE, DADGBE, and DGDGBE.  I do not know many violin 
players that could do something with one or two strings tuned 
differently.  The plucked string people are more familiar with 
scordatura than the guys with the bows.  

An interesting issue comes up when playing in a small group 
(let's say strings +guitar)... can you imagine what the other 
musicians would say if they saw you playing from a tab? They 
claim that most guitarrist have a very unsteady beat because of 
doing so much solo work that they cannot play with a 
group...sadly, they are right.  They say most of us cannot read 
music and if they saw us reading from a tab they would have their 

I have played the basso continuo part with a small chamber 
orchestra (it is FUN), and they did not like the idea of me 
writing occasional chord symbols... looks like if you could not 
"read music", they said..  Actually, since most string players 
have no idea of how a continuo should work, they do not know that 
the little numbers are exactly that:  chord symbols. Maybe a 
classical guitarrist should be able to sight read all three:  
notes, tabs, and a bass line with numbers undeneath.  

Well, thank you again for the interesting comments, the tabs and 
a fast-loading web site, 

ME: I'm working on putting up Baroque guitarist Anthoine Carre's 
work on the web now in tablature.  There's a large suite for 2 guitars 
with a melody and a bass instrument.  I copied LC's copy, if you 
can imagine throwing a book from 1690 on a xerox machine.  

ME: playboy and pop 

Thanks for sending me the Playboy Advisor passage from your book.  

Jim Peterson was way off when he said, "For the first ten years 
of its life Playboy was a jazz magazine with naked women in it.  
We didn't discover rock and roll until about 1963." 

My web page documents very precisely the relationship of Playboy 
and pop music in the 1960s.  Virtually the only way in which pop 
music showed up in Playboy until 1967 was passing mentions of pop 
songs (almost always by the Beatles) covered by jazz artists.  
Playboy first reviewed a pop album - by the Mama's and the Papas 
- in Feb 1967.  The next time was May 19667, and with that issue, 
Playboy threw open its doors to pop musicians.  

THEE: Aguado Polonaise 

I've been looking for a guitar tablature of a Aguado Polonaise 
op.2 and wondering if you may be able to help me.  Reading 
over your website on Aguado I see you have done extensive work 
on the subject.  I'm guessing this is in volume 3 and I'll 
probably buy it but I don't read and the conversion would take 
me forever. I learn from tabs quickly however, and really desire 
to learn this piece. I am an amateur who loves to play and hope 
I'm not wasting your time.  

ME: Thanks for asking, but I'm afraid I can't help.  I limit my 
tablature production mostly to things that were in tablature to 
start with, or are in odd tunings.  Best of luck.  

ME: Re: Guitar and Piano Music 

Glad you found my guitar music lists intriguing.  Sorry, I don't 
know of any piano & guitar music on the web.  I also haven't 
scanned any of my music.  There really hasn't been any demand to 
speak of for what I have, but I can assure you that good, old-
fashioned photocopies would be much higher quality, much cheaper 
and involve far less time and effort than going the digital 

>You have an impressive list of music on your website. I'm 
wondering if you know some web sites that offer free downloads of 
sheet music arranged for piano and guitar duo's. Or if maybe you 
could email me some scans?  

ME: The MSPAP test the first week of May, and funnily enough, I 
don't know if there's life for me after the MSPAP.  I'm hoping 
they'll see that we should be gearing up for next year's now.  I 
think that, even though I haven't been under observation while 
working with the kids, I've managed to make an impression.  I 
sold myself as a "MSPAP coach", but really, I'd like to be the 
all-purpose "standardized test coach".  Besides the MSPAP, there 
are California tests for 2nd, 4th and 6th graders, and county 
benchmark tests for 2nd through 6th for each quarter.  It seems 
to me that there is so much testing that it would make good sense 
to teach directly to the tests.  After all, that's what the kids 
are supposed to know.  Believe me, if I were brought on 
permanently, we would work up lists of everything that appeared 
on every test the kids take.  That would be the curriculum.  I'm 
flabbergasted at how vague everybody is on what will appear on 
the MSPAP.  It's only been going on for 10 years, good grief! 

You gave me a start with your claim that "yesterday" is a hundred 
dollar word.  I thought I had checked all my web pages for them.  
Well, here's how I see it 

    Y  E  S  T  E  R  D  A  Y 
   25  5 19 20  5 18  4  1 25  = (something way over 100) 

THEE: eBay Bid Notice - Item 1421977942: Carl Butler and Pearl-
Avenue Of Prayer-360 LP 

Here's a quick note to confirm your eBay bid! 

Carl Butler and Pearl-Avenue Of Prayer-360 LP (item 1421977942) 

Your bid was in the amount of:         $7.49 
Your maximum bid was in the amount of: $13.00 
The auction closes on:                 Apr-12-01 11:05:49 PDT 


> Still laughing over, "Well, waddaya *think* separates Texas and 
Kansas [or whatever]???

Texas and Kansas???? Man, you Easterners do need geography 
lessons!  A while back, I got a similar remark from someone else.  
I'd said something about Nevada and that person commented that 
someone had planned to go to Fremont & some other city in Nevada 
on a trip that included Kansas and Iowa.  HUH????????  I replied, 
something along these lines.  "A long way to Nevada from Kansas 
and Iowa.  Although I'm not sure about the second town you named, 
there's a Fremont near Lincoln, Nebraska."  The reply:  "Okay, so 
I'm embarrassed.  I always get confused about that part of the 
country between California and New York." 

Did I ever tell you my NJ stories?  I have two of them, one each 
from my two trips to NJ/NY.  The first occurred when I was on a 
high school spring break trip sponsored by the Des Moines United 
Nations Association--two busloads of DM high schoolers from 6 
high schools.  One evening, we were on Broadway for a production 
of Hello, Dolly.  A large group of NJ teens was sitting directly 
in front of us, and, as they recognized the contrast between our 
impeccable standard English and their offbeat dialect, they began 
talking to us.  Didn't take long for us to figure out they 
thought we lived in the Wild West, not the Midwest.  So we gladly 
obliged.  We talked of living in log cabins, riding our horses 10 
miles to our one-room schoolhouse . . . and they believed it all.  
So we decided to embellish . . . just a tad bit, mind you.  One 
friend spoke of her dad being scalped by the Indians; I spoke of 
grandma's still in the backyard. That was just the start, but 
you've got the picture by now.  Far more memorable part of the 
evening than the musical.  

[In Teanneck, NJ] Hself (co-chaperon) & I were staying with the 
same family, and they decided to take us on a driving tour of 
Teanneck.  What a thrill.  Suddenly, the husband remarked, "This 
is what we call a stop street.  Do you know what that is?"  Hself 
& I looked around, then looked at each other, baffled.  Not 
believing what we were hearing, we both opted for silence.  
Obviously, the silence was taken for ignorance.  After all, what 
would an Iowan and a Texan know about life in the city, or about 
cars, for that matter . . .  He continues:  "You see that red 
sign on the corner, the one that says 'STOP'?  That means when 
you drive up to it, you have to stop."  "Oh, really;  we'd never 
have guessed . . ." 

THEE: Querido Seqor Sauter: Le escribo desde Espaqa y no se dsnde 
se encuentra Usted.  Creo que azn no alcanzo a comprender la 
magnitud de su trabajo en la web, si bien me siento impresionado 
por el simple hecho de poder hallar las obras de Mudarra, Gerau o 
Sanz a mi disposicisn en internet.  Utilizando una modo 
especialmente ingenioso para transcribir la grafma.  Ya sslo esto 
serma monumental, pero veo que hay mucho mas. Sinceramente: estoy 
impresionado. Soy guitarrista y estoy muy interesado en los 
vihuelistas Espaqoles del XVI. ?Para cuando Orphenica Lyra, Silva 
de Sirenas,  El Delphmn, o El Maestro?  

Reciba mis respeto y mi mas sincera admiracisn.  

THEE: Re: am. guitar 

Yes, the guitar parts of the Neville do seem like solos, and a 
careful reading of the title page only ascribes the piano part to 
neville.  I use the "Idyll", "Elsa Gavotte" and "Fleur de Lys 
Polka" as solos myself.  

ME: records, definitions 1 and 2 

First (well, not first, but recently) I run a "successful" eBay 
auction to the tune of one penny, and now I find myself outbid on 
a Carl Butler and Pearl album that my mom has been wanting for 
years.  Who'd've thought there'd be such stiff competition for 
the "Avenue of Prayer" album?  Oh well, I'll snag one sooner or 

I'd like to think I could avoid saying something as funny as "To 
rip it out takes away its whole reason for being there" to the 
press, but I'm sure I'm just kidding myself.  

I heard the highest note ever on a record today.  It was a on 
10" by Mado Robin.  I looked her up in my reference book, and lo 
and behold, it said she could, in fact, hit the highest note on 
earth!  (That's a c''''.)  The one on my record is just a b-
flat''', but that's still pretty exotick, in my book.  

THEE: Subject: Give me a C, a bouncy C! 

We went to an orioles game yesterday afternoon.  The Orioles won 
and Cal Ripkin hit an RBI.  These things don't happen very often 

This will be the last e-mail message I send before I begin 
reformatting my hard drive in just a few minutes.  There's a 
possibility that it will be the last e-mail message I send from 
this computer for a very long time, but I have confidence that 
after some aggravation all will be well again.  

Signing off! 

Subject: Alonso's Erratum 

In re-vamping my Tres Libros French tab files, I found an error 
at m50 of AM49: a flag is missing.  Other than that, the only 
errors I've caught are a couple of inconsequential redundant 

AM50 (Pater Noster): for m100 I have two different 1st chords: 
course 2  fret 3, course 4 fret 5; or course 2 fret 3, course 4 
fret 3, course 5 fret 5.  I know I observed this discrepancy 
between old and new files while doing the Italian tab, but it 
seems I never really resolved it.  Your ascii file has the 2-note 
version, with no correction listed.  Where did I get the 3-note 
chord?  What does Mudarra have?  

THEE: Tres Afterthoughts 

Something occurred to me after sending along the Mudarra volume.  
I had said throughout this process that it was for free internet 
distribution.  That still holds, and the bound volume you 
received is one of only two:  yours and mine.  Not for sale.  No 
hard copy publishing.  I just didn't know if you might suspect 
some new/hidden motives upon receipt of a finished product.  

There are a number of other musicians out there in e-land who are 
really into this idea of free internet publishing--almost like a 
sheet music version of Napster.  My only concern is a potential 
of loss responsibility for content resulting from insufficient 
editing "passes".  I know from ultimately consulting the 
facsimile that you personally put a lot of thought and effort 
into preparing your tablatures before posting them.  

Is this hurting music publishers?  Someone on the lute mailing 
list asserted that it ain't necessarily so.  If you like the 
music you're downloading, you'll very possibly be willing to 
spring for still more in a nicely bound copy to replace the loose 
sheets.  Meanwhile, if it hadn't been for the freebies, you might 
never find out about Mudarra, or Mertel, or etc. (not to mention 
Anon) and never look to supporting the printers.  

THEE: monopoly money 

Do you know where can I find out what color the monopoly money is 
for other countries besides the U.S.?  Or ... if you have 
anything other than the U.S. version, can you please tell me what 
color the money is in your country and tell me what country you 
are from?  Thank you in advance.  

$1 - $5 - $10 - $20 - $50 - $100 - $500  - 

Country: _________________ 

THEE: Grrrrrr . . .  

I'd nearly completed a masterpiece and somehow it vanished into 
cyberspace . . .  FRUSTRATION! Unfortunately, no time to recreate 
at the moment.  Masterpieces take time, you know.  

Perhaps this weekend I'll get back to the narrative of my 
morning's encouter with the Cyclops.  

ME: Subject: my fault! 

You're right about the 3-note chord in AM50 at measure 100.  At 
first I was going to chalk it up to an inexplicable input error 
on my part, but my better (and more embarrassing) guess is that 
it sounded wrong enough that I thought it needed correcting - and 
forgot to note the change.  I'm guessing I used the material in 
m182-3 as justification for my "correction".  

Of course, the thing to do is restore Mudarra's original 3-note 
chord.  Sorry about that! 

ME: afterthoughts 

Just got to your second message.  No, I never suspected any 
attempt on your part to become a millionaire off of Mudarra.  To 
be honest, though, I would cheer for you if you did.  My own, and 
probably very unique, viewpoint in this matter is: if I create 
something with no intention (and effectively no means) of cashing 
in on it, and somebody else does have the wherewithal to cash in 
on it, I say go ahead and good luck.  That doesn't hurt me in any 
way.  (Well, I wouldn't want him to steal the credit.)  And who 
knows, there are still good people out there, and he might even 
kick back a generous tip.  

I know there's a place or two in my web pages where I rant 
against our (what I consider) insanely long periods of copyright 
protection.  The intentions are in the right place, but the 
reality is that they just keep lots of great work completely and 
totally inaccessible.  It's lose-lose.  The public can't enjoy 
it, and the creator doesn't make any money.  I envision a 
copyright system where you can copy anything made publicly 
available if you pay the copyright holder his specified fee.  
Doesn't that make more sense than, "DO NOT COPY"?  

I agree 100% about music on the web creating a demand for the 
real, printed stuff.  When people ask me why I don't put up those 
1000s of pages of guitar music listed on American guitar music 
page, I explain that if I did have the time and resources to do 
it (which I don't), it would take years for an individual to 
download and print out - at a price phenomenally higher, and 
print quality much lower than even good old-fashioned 
photocopies.  They could get razor sharp copies from me in a few 
days for pennies per page.  

It's interesting that when I put up the complete Francisco Guerau 
book in ascii tab, the publisher of the facsimile, Tecla, did not 
object, and only asked for a link to his page offering the Guerau 

ME: lc ohare 

Sorry about your masterpiece going up in smoke.  I know the 
feeling (sort of - I've never written an actual masterpiece.) 
Right now I am seeing more and more old "backups" to diskettes go 
bad.  I am frantic for a simple way to save computer files 

I've never asked to have anything put on reserve in the music 
division.  With an occasional exception, of course, you can 
expect your things to come up in 15 minutes or so, maybe a lot 
less.  I suspect trying to do things in advance would be more 
trouble than it's worth.  

I'm aware of that batch of cards in the catalog under O'Hare.  
Yeah, I've seen those crazy song titles.  (I like the one, 
"Here's Your Coat; What's Your Hurry?)  As much as possible, I 
like to call up whole boxes or carts of material rather than 
individual pieces found on cards in the catalog.  If I see a 
piece for male quartet by O'Hare in the catalog, I would never 
fill out a slip for that piece; I would say, bring me up M1594.O 
"all O'Hare".  (M1594 is male quartet.)  Consider what a tiny 
fraction of the orchestra arrangements, if any, were listed in 
the card catalog! In fact, I have slips like this ready to go for 
mixed voices quartet, female quartet, and band parts.  Just 
haven't gotten to them yet because there's been so much "reduced 
orchestra parts" (M1350).  

I could send you slips like these so you'd be ready to go when 
you get there.  You can submit a max of 3 call slips, but that's 
no problem since, with WC's prodigious output, you'd be crazy to 
submit more than one at a time, ha ha.  (I was dumfounded when 9 
or 10 boxes of orchestral parts came up!) 

There's a rule now that everyone needs a library card, although I 
think they might waive that for foreigners on very short visits.  
Still, it's probably easiest just to get one.  The office is to 
the left after you enter the Madison bldg (which has the music 
division.)  If for any reason that turns out to be a hassle, I 
would go on around to the music division without a card and see 
what they say.  

You're right, I don't have much experience with the pop songs.  I 
know there's a separate pop song catalog, but I haven't gotten 
experienced with it.  To be honest, I haven't the vaguest idea 
how useful it is - what years it covers, what's considered a pop 
song, etc.  

It's not that my lawn's so big it takes me so long to cut the 
grass.  It's because it's so small that it's *all edge* - house, 
fence, shrubs, tree stumps, etc.  There's hardly any 
straightaways, just yanking this way and that.  It also takes me 
time to get prepared, rake up, bag and clean up (meaning me).  

Kansas jumped to mind as the state above Texas, but I knew 
instantly that was wrong, and that it's really OK.  I let it 
stand just to get a rise out of you :) .  Sorry about that.  

ME: tablature and music 

Thanks for your comments on tablature.  I like everything you say 
- there is value in both tablature and muusic notation.  I claim 
that even a fugue could be written in tablature.  You would just 
have to add separate stems to the fret numbers like we do for 
noteheads.  It wouldn't be as compact and neat and simple looking 
as the more usual tablature notations, but it would work.  And if 
it were an unusual tuning, it would be necessary to use tab.  

I got a kick out of your comments on tablature readers playing 
with music readers.  Right now I'm trying to prepare Anthoine 
Carre's baroque guitar book for putting up on the web in ascii 
tablature.  Part of the book is devoted to a huge suite for 
2 guitars (in tablature, of course) and a melody and bass 
instrument, in music notation.  That should be fun to play.  

ME: exotick entertainment and pics 

I guess the C is for Cal, but what's a "bouncy" C?  I didn't know 
about Paul sending Suicide to Sinatra when he was 14, and that's 
not how he tells it in the Miles book.  

U of M is running a series of concerts with excerpts from 9 
different operas on the Orpheus story.  The first one last night 
was superb.  It repeats Sunday afternoon.  Offenbach is great!  

THEE: Give me a C, a bouncy C! 

That was a terribly written article about "It's Suicide" from the 
Beeb, wasn't it?  I think you could read it to say that he wrote 
the song when he was 14 but didn't necessarily send it to Frank 
when he was 14.  

Funny you should mention "Orpheus."  I've been slobbering over 
Cocteau's "Orphic Trilogy" on DVD and may buy it some time soon.  
That Cocteau, genius! 

Hself's making me read Shakespeare's "The Tempest" this week.  

THEE: Infield fly suggestion 

I agree with your suggestion about the infield fly rule, however, 
I dont think the only underlying reason for the rule is to 
eliminate the easy double play.  

Just like the catcher is fair game at plays at the plate, where 
the runner can plow into them, what would keep base runners from 
drilling into the shortstop during these situations?   With the 
shortstop concerned with the runner, he may get hit by the 
ball........there are already to many head injuries in 
sports.....and funnier things have been know to happen.  

I think safety is a bigger issue than double plays in this 
case.......especially in ametuer baseball.  

Thanks for the fun read! 

THEE: RE lc ohare 

Don't know what's happening , but this note came back saying, 
"user unknown."  Something else was 
acting up, too, so I've rebooted and am trying again.  Since it's 
California, not Maryland, that's supposed to sink into the ocean, 
I figure you're still out there.  

As for the masterpiece, it was a highly accurate account of the 
car accident I had Thursday a.m. on my way to work.  The 
momentary inspiration, unfortunately, is gone with the wind.  Or 
should I say, "The wind done gone dat 'spired dat 'count"?  

I suppose you've heard all the flap about the parody of GWTW.  I 
kinda like the idea of retelling the story from the point of view 
of Scarlett's mulatto sister.  Hope it eventually gets published 
despite the decision that it's more plagiarism than parody.  I 
haven't looked for the eBay copies, but I hear that someone with 
pre-publication copies is promoting "the book that might not have 
a first edition."  Pretty funny.  

Anyway, as far as the wreck went, I was stopped for a red light 
in Broken Arrow rush hour traffic (7:10 a.m., everyone heading to 
Tulsa).  Screech . .  . squeal . . . . "Where's that noise coming 
from?  And THAT smell of burning rubber???"  Crash . . . crunch . 
. . jolt . . .  A few unvoiced expletives later, I opened my car 
door and climbed out to face the attacker.  "E-gads, what 
behemoth was this?"    My happy little Dodge Neon had been 
brutally assaulted by a vicious leviathan . . . Well, would you 
believe by a 1986 Merc nearly as big as a leviathan?   The 
monstrosity spewed forth its contents--an elderly man, luckily no 
worse for wear than I.  We met at the point of attack to survey 
the remains.  Glancing first at my baby, I initially discerned no 
damage.  Closer inspection revealed scraps on the underside of 
the left rear bumper and a 1-1/2 inch crack on the right.  
Turning to confront the adversary, I found myself face to face 
with the Cyclops.  One eye was gone, spattered on the pavement at 
my feet.  My baby's rear had received little but a swat, and the 
perpetrater had lost an eye and suffered some noticeable frontal 

I won't even go into the next two days of trying to deal with the 
insurance company.  No contest on the claim, but getting past the 
layers of "enter this number if you want that, and that number if 
you want this . . . and leave your message and I will return your 
call:  Your call is very important to me . . . " 
Blggggggghhhhhhhhhhh.......  Gotta enjoy the absurdity, huh?  
Actually, the first person I reached took all the info and was 
extremely helpful.  But later, when I was in class, an adjuster 
left a voice mail message on my office phone.  She talked so fast 
that I had to listen 5 times (no exaggeration; Uhhhh . . . maybe 
it was four, but NO fewer) to figure out her name was Veronica 
something-or-other and to get the new number, which I was now 
supposed to call.  So call I did.  The second person I got on the 
line was . . . well, let's just say "they" (that anonymous 
"they") shouldn't call such a gorgon a "customer service" rep! 

"What's the policy number?" she demanded.  

I began to give it:  "PHD . . ." 

"That's not a Hartford number!" she barked.  

"But . . . but . . . but . . . it's the number on his Hartford 
insurance card," I stuttered in disbelief.  

"It's NOT a Hartford number!" she persisted.  

"IT'S the number I gave to the first customer service rep this 
morning, and SHE had no problem looking it up on the computer," I 
argued, getting irritated by this time.  

"It's not a Hartford number.  ALL of OUR policy numbers start 
with three digits." 

"Odd, it WAS a Hartford number 5 hours ago . . . " 

"Do you, perhaps, KNOW the policy holder's name???" 

Clinching up inside and preparing to wrap the phone cord around 
her neck long distance, I gave her the name:  "Calvin Hself, 
Jr."    She entered it on her computer.  

THAT policy number begins with 555 . . . ALL of OUR policy 
numbers begin with 3 digits [idiot]." 

"So you changed them during the lunch hour???" 

"Your claim has been assigned to Veronica Hself.  You'll have 
to wait for her to call you." 

"Ah, Hself . . . She does have a surname!  She already called 
me.  That's why I'm calling now.  She left this number so I could 
return her call.  Darn good thing it's a toll free number, too!" 

"You'll have to wait for her to call you." 

"Gee, thanks for your helpful, polite customer service.  
Hartford should make you employee of the year . . ." 

So I waited . . . No one called.  The next day I phoned again, 
this time getting someone who took the PHD policy number with no 
problem and connected me with Veronica's extension.  

"This is Veronica Hself.  I had to leave the office.  Leave a 
message at the sound of the tone, and I'll get back to you as 
soon as possible.  I'm committed to returning your call before 
4:00 p.m." 

"Yeah, right, it's 3:45," I thought, as I prepared to leave the 

"BEEP . . .   This extension is not currently accepting voice 
mail.  Please hold the line to be transferred to an attendant." 

"WHAT THE HECK???  An attendant just connected me to this 

"Hartford.  Can I help you?" 

"I've been trying to reach Veronica Hself for two days, but she's 
never in her office." 

"One moment.  I'll connect you with someone else in her group. . 
. . " 

"This is Manuel Hself.  How can I help you?" 

"Ive been trying to reach Veronica Hself, but she's never in.  
Yesterday, a driver with Hartford insurance slapped my baby on 
the behind .  . . AND my husband has already gotten an estimate 
for the damages." 

"What?????????  Can you give me the abuser's policy number?" 

"PHD . . . . " 

"Okay.  [Enters the number].  Yes, I see that liability has 
already been accepted by Hartford.  You can fax the estimate to  
. . . ." 

"Thanks for your help.  I'll phone my husband, and he'll fax it 
in a few minutes." 

I call Hself.  

"Sure, no problem.  I'll fax it now." 

Minutes pass.  

"Sue, I thought Hartford was based in CT.  This fax number is in 
San Antonio." 

"The company address is CT.  Who knows where I phoned.  It's an 
800 number.  San Antonio's beginning to make more sense . . ." 

Donald, aren't you glad I didn't get into the insurance 

So . . .  the drum part includes a solo designated "cane hop 
effect."  Keep that in mind *whenever* this durned article gets 
into print.  :-)   It's my best proof.  

>I'm aware of that batch of cards in the catalog under O'Hare.  
Yeah, I've seen those crazy song titles.  (I like the one, 
"Here's Your Coat; What's Your Hurry?) 

Yes, a coat would be nice to go along with the hat . . .  
(Perchance, are you giving me a hard time again???) 

...yup, explains Wayne Shirley's comment when he hunted down and 
copied 3-4 band arrangements for me a couple of years ago.  
Something about how digging through the boxes looking for the 
right pieces made him realize "how important O'Hare was to 
American band history." 

>There's a rule now that everyone needs a library card, although 
I think they might waive that for foreigners on very short 

Especially foreigners who don't speak English . . . Yeah, I hear 
you . . .  

>Still, it's probably easiest just to get one.  

Guess I should be able to get a card without too much trouble.  
As a foreigner, what do I need to get one?  An Oklahoma passport?  

>You're right, I don't have much experience with the pop 
songs.  I know there's a separate pop song catalog, but I haven't 
gotten experienced with it.  To be honest, I haven't the vaguest 
idea how useful it is - what years it covers, what's considered a 
pop song, etc.  

Someone asked the definition of a pop song in his oldsongs 
listserv posting a while ago.  The answers were as varied as you 
might expect.  

>It's not that my lawn's so big it takes me so long to cut the 
grass.  It's because it's so small that it's *all edge* - house, 
fence, shrubs, tree stumps, etc.  

Now I get the picture.  We have a jungle.  Seemed like a good 
idea 12 years ago to plant trees and shrubs when we had a barren 
lot with nothing but a newly-constructed house and fresh sod.  
Now we have such dense foliage that there's little grass in the 
backyard.  Oklahoma is so hot and typically dry in the summer 
that people grow mainly grass that likes sun & dry spells.  
However, that same grass doesn't tolerate shade.  I've just spent 
a couple of hours pulling up tree seedlings that have 
proliferated in the bare dirt that used to be grass.  Other than 
all the seedlings, about the only thing thriving out there is a 
carpet of volunteer violets. Flocks of joyous tweeting birdies 
though, even a dove nesting on our front porch.  

>Oh yeah, if you were using that 10 10 811 number I recommended, 
the crooks have changed their charging system without warning.  
There's a $.75 per month universal service fund charge new this 
year, so I say nuts to them.  

$.75/month.  Man, that's robbery!  

Cuddle Up's for sale on ebay right now, as is "There's a Little 
Bit of Color, and It Means the World to Me"--WC's musical setting 
of a patriotic flag poem.  Last I looked early this morning, 
neither had any bids.  The first ends today, the other in 3-4 
days.  Although I've begun collecting some of the sheet music of 
tunes he orchestrated when I can get them inexpensively, this may 
be my first non-photocopy of his original music.  Hopefully no 
one else covets it.  Starting price is $4.30, if I recall 
correctly.  Not a bad deal, yet not as good as your hexaflexagon. 
Why didn't you tell me about that one?   I coulda easily bid 2 
cents.  Then you could charge $3.50 for priority mail like most 
of the ebay dealers do.  

THEE: We have been playing roofball for awhile now. Today I 
noticed a new site with paddles, balls, a video and strategy 

Don't know if the rules differ slightly. Have you contacted them?  

Looks like roofball is entering the big leagues.  


>My friend Brian saw your RatBag magazine and was quite 
interested.  He borrowed it, even.  He had just heard something 
himself recently about running cars on used cooking oil.  

There's a US-based video documentary called "The Fat of the Land" 
which is also useful if your friend can find it.  

>I've played your tape to several friends and haven't heard a 
negative comment yet.  

>Have no fear, I really do enjoy that sort of music.  It's a 
long haul from the opera I listen to now, 

Egads!  Opera! Must admit, opera's about as low on my list of 
musics I'm likely to listen to as you can get.  Have you heard 
Alois Haba's quarter-tone suffragette opera "The Mother"?  That & 
Schoenberg's "Moses und Aaron" are 2 of the only bearable operas 
I've ever heard.  I'm not even a big enthusiast for Cage's 

>My father has been trying to engage Andre in a pen-pal 

Now, THAT sounds interesting!! 

THEE: roofball 

Here's more activity on the roofball front.  Also found a great 
roofball ball on the Bay Bridge walk yesterday.  I've got 15 Bay 
Bridge walk certificates now.  

ME: I work with 3rd-graders, which is a blast, and they just 
finished a state-administered weeklong "school performance 
achievement" test, which is pure torture.  I swear, they put 
college level stuff on that thing.  Makes me want to smash some 
skulls together...  

ME: Right, Maryland isn't slated for sinking in the ocean, but we 
have felt a few (*very* minor) earthquakes out here in my 
lifetime.  (Plus, tornadoes, in case you thought you had the 
market cornered on them things.) 

>I quickly tried to back up my WC music database (in Access) 
to 3-1/4" diskette.  TOO BIG!!!  I saved to the hard drive.  

Yikes!  A 3-1/4" diskette can hold a thousand pages of text! 

Sorry about the insurance hassle.  You might know, or maybe can 
guess that I'm not overly fond of "insurance".  It encourages 
maximum dishonesty on the part of both the insurers and the 
insured; it's more trouble than it's worth, even when there is a 
whiff of honesty involved; it minimizes any caring we might have 
for our fellow man, or family members, even; it encourages 
maximum irresponsibility on the part of the insured.  It's a 
tremendously expensive middle man who doesn't produce anything.  
When you make use of it, they take their money right back by 
raising your rates.  We all pay 3 times as much into the 
insurance bucket as we get back out.  Who needs it, grrr...  

Still your story was great entertainment.  You should add it to 
your website, says me.  

Nope, I missed the flap about the GWTW parody.  You know what a 
normal sort of guy I am, so it's safe to admit I haven't caught 
the first flick yet.  

The MSPAP test for the 3rd-graders is now history, except it's 
not really.  I don't expect to ever fully recover from that 
miserable experience.  I'll just say here that there are people 
high up in the Maryland State Dept. of Education who, for their 
own good, and the well-being of society, need their throats 

>That's great.  I'd heard one could expect long waits.  Our tax 
dollars must really be at work. I'm sure I can find something to 
do to kill a few minutes as I wait.  

Yes, our tax dollars are at work, but not exactly in the way you 
might expect.  The tax dollars go toward putting systems into 
place that discourage the use of the library.  So there's never 
more than 2 or 3 diehards (like me) there.  The recorded sound 
division is the champ - they go to such lengths to discourage use 
that I'm not sure I've *ever* seen anyone doing research in 

On that subject, just a few weeks ago, the copyright division 
implemented a new requirement of some sort of registration card 
to use access their catalogs.  Don't know how big a hassle that 

On Saturday, I called up Grandmother's Songs.  Neat!  I copied a 
couple of spirituals and Camptown Races.  I thought it would be 
interesting to compare granny's musical memory with the original.  

>$.75/month.  Man, that's robbery! 

It's the *principle* of the thing!  They didn't inform their 
customers!  (Never mind it more than doubled the cost of my 69 
cent long distance call!) 

THEE: Washington Guitar Society 

Have you heard Stephen Bennett, the guitarist, yet?  He is 
playing this Saturday on the radio show Prairie Home Companion.  
I think his is exceptional.  

My first web hit sent me to the page where you reference Walter 
Jacobs.  I don't typically pay enough attention to sheet music 
details, but I believe that he also had a profound impact on 
mandolin/guitar orchestra music.  

I'm the webmaster and acting president of The Takoma Mandoleers, 
a mandolin and guitar orchestra that rehearses in Arlington, VA.  
I'd like to see what the WGS and Mandoleers could do together to 
help promote guitar and mandolin music.  BTW, we really need more 
guitarists in the orchestra.  

THEE: Re: Question for seller -- Item #1428270131 

Dear Customer, 
 40CDs is FORTY CDS yes.  Thanks, wrote: 

>Does 40CD mean "forty CDs"?  Might seem like a dumb question, 
but my browser could insert a funny character between 4 CD (and 
all those artists could easily fit on 4 CDs, and $15 per CD is 
not an unrealistic opening bid.) 

THEE: I work with older kids (in guitar lessons). It's tough to 
teach 8 year olds guitar. But it's definitely possible! Haven't 
heard of a state administered _guitar_ achievement test (thank 
goodness) :-) 

But I hear that those tests are ridiculous. Especially at such a 
young age. I find that kids at that age need to feel like they're 
succeeding. Not like they're failing a test.  

Things are fine here too. I used a bunch of the LC music in my 
relatively new "Easy Classics for Guitar" (Dover) You're in the 
acknowledgments. If you'd like I can send you a copy...  

ME: easy classics 

YES!  I'd love to see Easy Classics For Guitar!  That's exciting!  
Could I send you some more music as a token of my appreciation?  
You could either find some things in my web page that were added 
after the batch you got, or I could pick some of the more recent 
finds.  Or I could reimburse you for the book...


> Right, Maryland isn't slated for sinking in the ocean, but we 
have felt a few (*very* minor) earthquakes out here in my 
lifetime.  (Plus, tornadoes, in case you thought you had the 
market cornered on them things.) 

Can't say I've ever felt an earthquake, nor have I been in a 
tornado.  However, I've been as close as I care to be.  Several 
years ago, a huge funnel cloud passed over our neighborhood.  One 
idiot across the street climbed up on his roof with binoculars.  
What he thought he was going to see, I haven't a clue, but he'd 
sure have been the first to get a close up look if the thing had 
come lower.  About 12-14 miles north just outside the town of 
Catoosa, it came down, wiped out a large truck stop on I-44, 
picked up numerous cars and tossed them about, killed a dozen or 
more people.  Another time, a small tornado lifted part of the 
roof from the Broken Arrow branch of a large Tulsa hospital.  
This was within 3 miles of home.  

Yesterday afternoon around 4:30, Hself e-mailed from OU, 
irritated because she'd just lost an hour of study time for her 
two German finals today; tornado sirens had gone off and everyone 
had to head to the dorm basement. (Her room is on the 11th 
floor.).  "Huhhhhhh  . . .  What happened?" I asked.  "Dunno, 
wasn't paying attention to the weather.  I sat in a corner & and 
read German literature.  Then when I got back to my room, Hself 
called, and I lost another hour."  Really worried, I can tell...

>Nope, missed the flap about the GWTW parody.  You know what a 
normal sort of guy I am, so it's safe to admit I haven't caught 
the first flick yet.  

The Wind Done Gone has been banned from publication at least for 
the time being.  The author is black and the parody told from the 
point of view of Scarlett O'Hara's mulatto sister (no such 
character in original novel!) The judge decided the new book is 
more plagiarism than parody.  Personally, I think it sounds like 
great fun.  

"What is a sand-dance?"  It took me nearly two years to find the 
answer but finally I found the right books, including Marshall & 
Jean Stearns' Jazz Dance mentioned above and multi-volume 
International Encyclopedia of Dance.  You'll read more when you 
read my full article, but here's the gist of it--again a 
traditional African-American dance.  The dancer sprinkled a 
container of sand on the hard dance floor.  Shoes created the 
drum rhythm and drum "rim shots." As the  dancer performed 
shuffling steps, the sand shifted, making sound described by one 
dancer as the sound of "the brush on the snare drum."  How was 
some of this heard over the music?  One quote provided the 
answer.  The musical accompaniment stopped occasionally as the 
dancer performed, thus allowing an audience to hear the shifting 

>Yes, our tax dollars are at work, but not exactly in the way you 
might expect.  The tax dollars go toward putting systems into 
place that discourage the use of the library.  So there's never 
more than 2 or 3 diehards (like me) there.  

Strange . . .  With such a resource, I'd have expected a crowd.  

>At the copy machine, I'm like a champion typist who doesn't have 
any idea what he just typed.  And if you believe that one... 

I understand completely.  I'll never forget the day I spend 
copying more than 600 pages of music at University of North 
Texas.  I was in automaton mode.  

Speaking of principles (as you were . . .), such idealism has 
gotten me into trouble many times.  As one example safe to tell, 
I caught a student cheating on an exam for an independent study 
English course offered through the multidisciplinary lab where I 
used to head the whopping 2-person English staff.  I reported 
this to the lab coordinator.  "Don't say anything," she ordered 
me.  "You don't want to get involved.  It'll be your word against 
hers."  "HUH???  Since when should the cheating student's word be 
trusted over the word of the instructor who caught the student 
red-handed?"  We went around and around about such manners.  I 
consistently tried to uphold some semblance of community college 
academic standards; she as consistently told me to let the 
students lie & cheat in any way that they saw fit.  She even 
threatened, "If you want a full time faculty position here, you 
won't make waves."  

ME: Don't get used to such rapidfire responses from me.  I needed 
to go online to see if I could snag the copy of Helen Traubel's 
Metropolitan Opera Murders novel on eBay.  Nope, but I drove the 
profits up a little for the seller.  

Don't feel like you have to bring me into the modern computing 
age, but I'm still not clear on zip drives.  I wasn't asking if 
the technology is forever - everybody knows that's measured in 
months nowadays (unfortunately for our collective mental health) 
- I need to know if the actual magnetic ""impressions" last 
significantly longer than the few years you can hope for from 
disks and diskettes.  And I wasn't clear from what you said if I 
can have 25 files named "bill", for example, on the zip disk in 
the same directory (or folder or whatever they might call it 

I'm very impressed with your database.  It took me a long time at 
LC to realize I'd better scratch a note on the back of every 
piece I copy saying where it came from.  When you copy a piece, 
you tend to feel like, "How could I possibly forget where I got 
this?"  Uh uh.  

I got a fun piece from LC called A Trip To Rocky Point (1890) for 
2 banjos, guitar and mandolin solo that works in a bunch of sound 
effects.  It recreates some "Minstrel Entertainment in progress 
at the Casino.  While here we listen to the Selections: "My 
Pretty Little Dark Eyed Claire" a Song and Dance air, with jig 
effect..."  In the dance part, it calls for "Two blocks of wood 
with sand paper tacked on; when rubbed together they produce the 
effect of a jig danced on a sanded floor."  Kind of similar to 
what you described, the shuffling starts and stops for a few 
measures at a time.  

>Everything you've said about the test make it sound completely 
unreasonable for 3rd graders.  

They could have my hide for talking about anything I saw on the 
test (actually there are *5* completely different weeklong tests 
for each of the grades involved!) but I'll risk this much: they 
took *3 complete pages* of instructions (written on a high school 
level, I'd say) just to say, "Write a story about anything you 
want."!!!  Is it any surprise that after that the kids don't even 
know which end is up?  

>No copies of music copyright catalogs in the Music Division?  
I'd guessed these would be available there?  

Sorry about that.  The massive copyright catalogs are on the 4th 
floor.  The older ones are a real trip (in the other sense of the 

>I understand completely.  I'll never forget the day I spend 
copying more than 600 pages of music at University of North 
Texas.  I was in automaton mode.  

600 pages!  Wow!  I am in awe.  (But did you get perfect 


>I needed to go online to see if I could snag the copy of Helen 
Traubel's Metropolitan Opera Murders novel on eBay.  Nope, but I 
drove the profits up a little for the seller.  

I've done that a few times myself!  When WC's "Dreamland Waltzes" 
(written for Dreamland Park, Coney Island) I was determined to 
own my first piece of his original music.  I put in an almost-
the-last minute bid that I KNEW no one would top.  After all, why 
would anyone else care so much about a 1909 music sheet from a 
relatively unknown-today composer?  Was I in for a surprise.  In 
the last coupla seconds, someone topped my already absurd bid.  
Turns out it was the Coney Island Museum!  If I'd bid double what 
I bid, the same might have happened.  

>And I wasn't clear from what you said if I can have 25 files 
named "bill", for example, on the zip disk in the same directory 
(or folder or whatever they might calli it now.) 

bill1, bill2, bill3, etc., or bill, billy, billyjoe, billiejo, 
billybob, if you will, but not all bill.  

>I got a fun piece from LC called A Trip To Rocky Point (1890) 
for 2 banjos, guitar and mandolin solo that works in a bunch of 
sound effects.  It recreates some "Minstrel Entertainment in 
progress at the Casino.  While here we listen to the Selections: 
"My Pretty Little Dark Eyed Claire" a Song and Dance air, with 
jig effect..."  In the dance part, it calls for "Two blocks of 
wood with sand paper tacked on; when rubbed together they produce 
the effect of a jig danced on a sanded floor."  Kind of similar 
to what you described, the shuffling starts and stops for a few 
measures at a time.  

That's great.  Could well be the recreation of a sand dance.   
From what I can tell, such dances were very common at that time, 
but they'd gone into a major decline by the time WC wrote "The 
Sand-Dancers."  Even though they were revived now and then, 
particularly by a dancer named Sandman Sims, from whom I got the 
quote about the shifting sand being like the "brush on snare 
drum," sand dances were scarce enough that WC may well have felt 
inclined to preserve them in the music.  


Noticed your site when looking up Roofball. Liked UNARCHY idea. 
Often thought judges and lawyers cannot be trusted.  Judge Robert 
Bork likes the idea of sticking with the LAW instead of judicial 
precedent. That too would be a improvement.  

There is a new Roofball/Rooftennis site.  

Know anything about them? Was thinking about ordering a kit.  

ME: In a nutshell, the test was more insane than I could have 
possibly imagined.  I only got to see it (and, at that, only 
*one* of the *five* completely different 3rd-grade tests!) 
because I was assigned to transcribe for a student who is a slow 
writer.  There are people in the Maryland State Department of 
Education who, for their own good and the well-being of society, 
need to have their throats throttled.  

Sorry to gross anybody out with my opera stuff.  I got hooked a 
few years ago when I started searching out original versions of 
some of the guitar arrangements I was playing.  The first two I 
bought, Die Zauberflo"te and Cavalleria Rusticana, knocked me 
out.  I suppose there's dross in every opera, but that's the same 
with every sort of music.  (And which is the dross varies from 
person to person anyway.) There are non-musical aspects that add 
to the interest, like history, the history of music, the history 
of opera itself, and the history of sound recording.  For 
instance, I recently listened to Handel's Giulio Cesare, and it 
had me looking up him and Cleopatra and the Ptolemy guys in my 
big, old 1-volume encyclopedia.  Very interesting.  A few weeks 
ago I went to hear the premier performance of an opera called 
Agamemnon, and it exposed me to a cast of characters from the 
Trojan War times, and Greek drama and dramatists, of which I had 
known little.  

One of the downsides to opera is that many plots are hardly more 
than "boy meets girl" (as is the case in all literary and 
performance genres.) Even so, it's at least a little something to 
hang the music on.  The university of Maryland recently ran a 
sort of marathon on the Orpheus myth.  They performed extracts 
from 9 different operas on the story, dating from the first 
surviving one in 1600, up to ones by Krenek and Milhaud.  (There 
were also art songs, a dance piece and a play.)  Maybe the 
Orpheus story by itself seems rather slender, but it's what the 
composer does with the material.  And, in this case, it was 
fascinating to compare (in 4 sittings) treatments spanning 400 

I also wonder if part of my interest in opera has to do with the 
extent to which it is disdained by "the masses".  To find that 
out, I guess I'd have to examine my "subconscious", which is not 
accessible to me, ha ha.  Surely less than 1 person in a hundred 
could belly even the tiniest dose of opera.  Fine with me.  

You mentioned Haba and Schoenberg and, as always, your 
familiarity with "recent" serious music amazes me.  I vaguely 
know something of Haba and his music, but didn't know about his 
opera.  I would have doubted that I could enjoy an opera by 
Schoenberg, but after hearing Krenek at the U. of M., now I'm 
curious (although maybe they have *nothing* to do with each 
other, what do I know.) 

Andre was causing so much trouble that they've cut his schoolweek 
down to 2 days - Tuesday and Thursday - for whatever that will 
accomplish.  I overheard the special ed coordinator making some 
phone calls last week regarding the possibility of getting the 
police to take Andre home.  Actually, she kind of knew in advance 
that they couldn't do it.  Apparently, police can only take a 
student away from school who has made a suicide threat.  Anyhow, 
I could have told her that about the only thing police are good 
for is traffic violations.  Stand up to a 9-year-old?  You've got 
to be joking...  

Sorry about my clumsy stabs at fitting your music into the "big 
scheme" of things.  I know your music isn't either punk or noise 
- I was probably trying to find labels thhat might sort of point 
somebody who only knows music from the radio in the (*very* 
general) direction.  (And I know that creators don't like to be 
labeled at all.)  I had figured that "punk" covers a huge range, 
just like "jazz" can be sleepy or wild improvisations; or big 
band-type music with every note specified; or dixieland, even.  
I also gather that "noise" has a more specific definition than I 
had thought.  Anyhow, I'll be paying more attention to the 
structure on your tape.  

ME: Visited a guitar friend last night and we had fun finding 
Kithara Editions on the web.  I'm thrilled you could use some of 
those pieces in your collection! 

ME: wgs 

Thanks for landing on my site.  No, the Washington Guitar Society 
has never had a website.  I'm curious who your co-worker was who 
was the webmaster of something like that.  

It does look like Walter Jacobs provided lots of material for the 
mandolin orchestra.  Have you ever thumbed through the M1360 
class at the Library of Congress?  

Getting the WGS and the Mandoleers together sounds like a great 
idea to me.  My vision of the WGS was always simply to alternate 
member recitals with ensemble sessions.  One of the reasons I'm 
not involved now is my disappointment that nobody seems to care 
about playing with and for his guitar friends.  Still, I 
encourage you to give it a go.  

THEE: Roofball is great.  

I was just about to start my own website with our own variation 
of Roofball when I thought I would look up other sites, just in 
case I was infringing on others rights or something. Your's was 
the first page that came up in my Yahoo! search.  

I can't believe how many sites there are! Our home has the 
shorter garage roof as shown in the second design on your page. 
We have been using and refining our own rules over the last two 
summers. I am amazed at how similar most of the variations are. 
Then again, what more can you do with a ball and a roof.  

Just thought I'd drop a note for fun. Nice job describing the 


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