Back to index of "this and that in my life" pages by Donald Sauter.
Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of interest to some tomfool . . .
Note that there is about a three-month gap between this and the previous batch. I lost lots of email in shakeups with my email providers during that time. Somehow or another, though, the world seems to keep turning . . .
ME: l o n g... letter about MSPAP I was hoping to get a letter/article/editorial/opinion piece(?) printed in the Gazette about MSPAP. It's something I feel very strongly about. I know it's long, but I don't see how I could make the same impact in a third of the space. Is there any chance you could make an exception? If it absolutely can't be printed in one shot, could it be printed in two or three parts? Thanks for your consideration. Donald Sauter. MSPAP - enough is enough The release of the 2001 MSPAP test scores have been held up because of "unexpected increases and decreases" at various schools (Gazette, Nov 8, 2001). The first thought that comes to mind is: if the MSPAP people know in advance what the results should be, why do they even bother with the test? That's a bit flip, of course, but the recent problems and the hiring of outside consultants to figure them out are further evidence, if any is needed, that the MSPAP people themselves have no idea what sort of monster they've created. I can only hope that the repercussions from this latest debacle will put this limping dog of a state-mandated test out of its misery. If we're really lucky, they will send state level educrats packing (but, heaven forbid, not up to the national level.) It may take a while to vent my spleen, so if you already know how insane the MSPAP is, feel free to jump in at the end for my suggestions of what we can do to bring it down. Here goes. [See: http://www.donaldsauter.com/maryland-mspap-test.htm ] THEE: Re: thanks (to somebody) Okay, Donald, so am I gonna have a heart attack & keel over right here on the spot? Another e-mail so soon???? What's this world comin' too, anyway? >You'll never believe what I found in my mailbox yesterday! "Ragtime", by Ed Berlin! I can't imagine who sent it. They must've typed my address by accident (a million monkeys at a million typewriters?), but if they think I'm gonna return it, forget it. Monkeys . . . typewriters . . . yeah, that must be it! But it's really cool that they came up with an out-of-print book. >It's already undergone a rebinding operation - into 2 volumes actually. The 2nd booklet is all the footnotes so I can have them laid out while I read the chapters. Odd, but not a bad idea at that. Sure would be handier, but imagine trying to sell books that way. Most people wouldn't bother to buy the footnotes if they were sold separately. Probably wouldn't even bother to pick 'em up if included for the same price. I've frequently included quiz items from footnotes, but only when major substantive footnotes appearing on the page of text. Do students get the answers right? Sure, they do . . . Seriously! After about the second time losing points. >Glad to see I wasn't the only one kinda confused about what ragtime is, precisely. No one seems to have a definitive answer . . . at least not one people can agree on. Hself, for instance, refuses to include anything that doesn't have "rag" in the title. >When I'm done I'll let you know if Ed addressed my most burning ragtime question. If he doesn't, e-mail him and ask. He'd probably answer it, or tell you that he doesn't have a clue. He'd like the story about the monkeys and the typewriters, anyway. You'd definitely have to include that one. Might even like the two volume story; at least, it would let him know you're a serious reader . . . even if the monkey story might have blown your rep. as a serious person. As for the book, some of it was much too deep for me; Ed advised me to skim certain portions and skip others, though I don't think I skipped anything. Just read and failed to understand. Other chapters were easy, and, yes, even great fun. "The Ragtime Debate" will provide some belly laughs! On the whole, I suppose I got more wrapped up in the Joplin biography. It reads almost like a mystery, full of problems to solve, unexpected discoveries, research anecdotes. It's unusual in the sense that it employs first person, not obtrusively, but it's rare to see at all. I pointed that out, adding that it seemed the right approach even though most scholars would probably frown on it. The book would have lost much without the story of the search. When it comes right down to it, so many unanswered questions remain that a book confined to straight facts, without the quest stories & the acknowledged speculation, would be pretty slim. I was already confronting somewhat similar problems even though I was only a couple of months into my research. I looked for Ragtime and failed to find it for several months, but the bio. I found in a local bookstore. Later, Ragtime mysteriously arrived in my mailbox. Darn, those monkeys are good, aren't they? Too think that could happen twice! What are the odds? There's a problem for you, huh? In my case, they even managed to inscribe my book: "For Hself, a true child of ragtime, Christmas 1998." They're either very bright monkeys, or the odds have just skyrocketed. ME: thoughts on GDFN [greater detroit freenet] crisis I live in Maryland and surely won't make the GDFN survival meeting but, for what they're worth, here are a few comments from one GDFN user (who has no idea how typical he is.) The only thing I use GDFN for is email. If GDFN were to pare its functions back to only email, that would be perfectly ok with me. I suggest a reasonable way to control disk space consumption is to simply delete enough files, oldest first, in an overflowed account to bring it back under the limit. (The thing that's always scared me, though, is somebody sending huge images which may exceed the limit in one email.) I came to GDFN from the Cleveland Freenet when it terminated itself. I had gotten used to the FreePort menu way of handling email and USENET discussions. When Cleveland pulled the plug, I had to find alternatives. I eventually found that, not only could I live with Deja's (now Google's) newsgroup handling on the web, I actually preferred it. Not so with email. Try as I might, I could not get used to handling email on the web, as with Yahoo! or Email.com. For one thing, saving emails is tremendously easier using the freenet system. (I archive everything that isn't junk mail.) In general, using a web-based email system feels like slogging through knee-high quicksand. [nb. I still feel that way. DS Jun 2012] If GDFN ultimately can't be saved, would you please suggest to us users another freenet which has the FreePort system, that would welcome us? My life was thrown into turmoil when Cleveland went down, and I dread going through that again. Would it make sense for GDFN to talk with other freenets to see how everybody else is doing? Might it make sense for GDFN to pool resources with other freenets? Maybe that's absurd - just talking off the top of my head here. Still, I'd be glad to pay just for GDFN-type email handling. It seems to me one organization or company could handle that for the whole world. (I only ever see 2 or 3 people logged onto GDFN at one time.) THEE: Re: thoughts on GDFN crisis >The only thing I use GDFN for is email. If GDFN were to pare its functions back to only email, that would be perfectly ok with me. I suggest a reasonable way to control disk space consumption is to simply delete enough files, oldest first, in an overflowed account to bring it back under the limit. (The thing that's always scared me, though, is somebody sending huge images which may exceed the limit in one email.) Presently with our current computer, what we need is a once a week cleaning of all email, the same as the once a week cleaning of all files in your work directory which is done automatically by the system. That would clear some much needed disk space but we have no one left on staff who knows how to write the UNIX script to do it. Once we get a new computer, we can give members much more disk space. >If GDFN ultimately can't be saved, would you please suggest to us users another freenet which has the FreePort system, that would welcome us? My life was thrown into turmoil when Cleveland went down, and I dread going through that again. We will survive. What we need is a $25/year membership fee so we have money for emergencies like the present one. This will be voted on once we get a new computer to stop the system crashes. ME: bloomin boooooks? Music Man at the U of M Saturday night was a tour de force. The entertainment started before the show because their computer had sold 20 or so seats twice, including the ones directly in front of us. Like overbooking a flight, I guess, but everybody showed up. I would have gladly given up our seats for free tix to a later performance, but my friend said no way. There were some interesting things in the "latest" Beatlefan, foremostly that Raymond Jones has apparently bounced back from his banishment to the realms of fiction. This is the craziest story ever... Still on for the Brandeis book sale Sunday morning? I have verified that Sunday is a bag day. I'm presuming the 9 am opening time applies to Sunday, although I haven't seen that stated explicitly. THEE: Something's missing! I just unpacked the bags to show Mary the loot and I found ONE book that doesn't look like one I bought. It's: Edward J. Dent, "Opera" (Pelican, 1940, 1968, 206 pp.) It's safe here! ME: re: must be fate! (was: something's missing) Strange that you should end up with E. Dent's "Opera" - I kept meaning to put it back. Dunno why I even picked it up since I already have a copy. Happy reading! (By the way, remember the strange case of trying to track down Dr. Johnson's "famous definition of opera" referred to on page 27? The index doesn't show an earlier reference, so where is it, where is it???) Mom apologized for the ironing board in the living room (I didn't even notice it.) She said she was ready to take it back down the cellar just before getting ready for church when the phone ring. Mom also asked if I found another old book for her. Whoops. She really enjoyed the last one, a novel about some preacher in the mountains, published in 1917. Anyhow, that one came from the free book place in Baltimore [the book thing], which I can visit any ol' time. I've read about 40 of the kids' books I bought for the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade. [Don't have a heart attack; you will see further down that the fractured grammar was in jest.] One is autographed by the author. Favorite was "The Man Who Lost His Head", which was once checked out by Don S. [not me; just a coincidence] at Hebbville Elementary School. Thanks again for joining me on the book/record jaunt. ME: any students looking for a guitar? Any of your students in the market for a new guitar? I just got a Rawdon Hall cutaway - the first and only in this country - but I'm not satisfied with it. I figured before sending it back next week, I'd make one little shot at seeing if anyone in the area wanted it. It's $925, including case. Rawdon Halls get glowing endorsements from Ben Verdery, Robert Trent, etc. in the Soundboard ad, which is what caught my attention. ME: cutaway arrived... The guitar arrived in perfect condition yesterday (Tuesday). I apologize, but I can already tell it's not "me". The cutaway feature is great - now I know for sure that's a requirement on my next guitar. But, otherwise, it's not quite as playable as my beat-up, $100, 40-year-old Guild classic, and my next guitar has to be better in every way. Sorry to be so picky, and for getting up my hopes that it might be comparable to $4 and $5 thousand guitars (not all of which I see as all-around improvements on my own.) I really appreciate you giving me first shot at it. That was a major drawing card, since one of my hang-ups in shopping for a new guitar is a resigned belief that guitar stores or brochures just offer the "leftovers". Guitarists have a gene for grabbing up new guitars to try them out, and it's hard for me to imagine any really good ones not getting snapped up even before making it to a shop. THEE: Re: any students looking for a guitar? << Any of your students in the market for a new guitar? I just got a Rawdon Hall cutaway - the first and only in this country - but I'm not satisfied with it. I have been dissappointed in these as well... especially after Hself gave it such glowing reviews. I don't think it has much to offer. Sorry. THEE: Re: Comin' home Naturally, I am disappointed that this guitar wasn't "you." I suppose I always knew the day would come when a Rawdon Hall guitar would be returned, and you have achieved that honor. Oh, well. I am actually grateful that you didn't wait until the very end of the 7-day trial period... THEE: Re: orlando furioso It it good to hear from you again after such a long period. I hope you are doing fine. Thanks for all the background information. Operas are my blind spot i have to admit. But can i mention a title of the piece where the folia is sung Act 3 Scene 4 (i mean 2,5 cm from the end of the record is hardly scientific) and the place and date, and duration of the track to keep things in span with the other Folia-listings? THEE: Famous firsts Thanks for a great evening. Hmm, what did we do? I saw my oldest bootleg and I heard the first rap song. Not bad work for a couple of hours. It was also a famous first: It was the first time I listened to an album of the week that was so bad that I actually just forgot about it and left it behind. I'm sorry to stain your house with its presence. If you want, just throw it in the box under the table. Alternatively, if you're getting tired of that thing you stick at the foot of the door to keep drafts out, you're welcome to use that record to block the gap. ME: earth school Thanks a million for letting me show off all my dumb junk to you - makes it all twice as valuable! Yep I discovered Polly And Pop soon after you left and chased you all the way to Silver Spring before I gave up. (Not really.) I will make use of at least 3 or 4 cuts on it. I'd put it up near the top o' the album of the day heap, myself. I've already played Kitty Brazelton's "All The Freebies" cd about 1.5 times. It was great the first time and getting better. I can't figure why they stopped Yin And Yang after only 3:30. Still hit or miss regarding whether it will crank up or not. Went online this morning to see what USPS would charge for sending the guitar. It looks like the combined dimensions of the box put it about 1" into the "Oversized package" class - which would run $38.94 (not including insurance). An inch less would get it down to about $15 ($20.80 with insurance.) Guess I'll make the trek back to Fedex with a pocketful o' nickels. The Detroit Freenet has been having some problems for a while now, but it looks like they have some new equipment and a plan to make it something really outstanding. This is great news for me - I was afraid they were going belly up. THEE: I read the news today, oh boy ... Hello There! Thinking about u today, and remembering John, and i was looking for something online, couldn't find it but i found this. This story broke in the summer, but i missed it, and happily i discovered it today. Maybe u already know, maybe u don't. But this is so fitting, i'm glad it's finally being done, and i am happy to be hearing about this today. So here it is; i hope u enjoy. The thing i was looking for was the BBC "Tribute to John Lennon" interview, the very long one done by Andy Peebles on Dec. 6. 1980. I have it on homemade audio tape, which was very poor to begin with, and gets poorer over time. I wish the BBC would put out a clean copy of it. I wonder if maybe they have? At one point in the interview, Peebles mentions something about being able to see John's face. Was the interview filmed? That i've never seen. Friday, 29 June, 2001, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK Airport renamed after John Lennon The move is a "lasting tribute" to John Lennon Liverpool is to honour one of its greatest sons by renaming the city's airport after the musician John Lennon. It will be called Liverpool John Lennon Airport when a new terminal opens in the spring. This is the first time an airport in the UK will have been named after a famous person. ... ME: on it's way The guitar is (finally) on it's way back. I won't go into all the trouble I had, first with the pain-in-the-neck jerks at UPS, and then a snag at a FedEx office. (They wouldn't accept cash.) So I finally got it off at another FedEx office yesterday (Tuesday). Rest assured it is packed every bit as well as the way it came, with some extra packing, even. You should get it in a day or two. ME: orlando info Here are some brief answers to your questions about "Orlando Furioso". Composer: Antonio Vivaldi. Opera: "Orlando Furioso" (actually called "Orlando" by the composer.) Place: Venice. La Folia is heard in Act 3, Scene 4, at the end of Orlando's recitative beginning "All'invito gentil che Amor le fa Madame la Crudelta". La Folia timing: 4.81 seconds. ======================================================================== Here's the first message, in case there's anything useful in there: I am writing to confirm the claim that a snippet of La Folia is used in Vivaldi's 1727 opera "Orlando Furioso". I have the performance recorded on the Musical Heritage Society lp set, MHS 3918/19/20. Orlando is sung by Marilyn Horne. Music is by I Solisti Veneti, directed by Claudio Scimone (who revised and edited the opera down from the original 5 or 6 hours.) Vivaldi actually titled the opera "Orlando". "Orlando Furioso" was the name of an earlier opera with music by G. A. Ristori and a libretto by Grazio Braccioli. Vivaldi made modifications to that opera in 1714, and in 1727 wrote completely new music to Braccioli's libretto, which is why Scimone calls it "Orlando Furioso". In Act 3, Scene 4, Orlando says this in his madness: All'invito gentil che Amor le fa / To the kind invitation which love gave Madame la Crudelta / Madame Cruelty Con guardo torvo e minaccioso aspetto / With sullen glance and threatening look, Disse "Petit fripon; je ne veux pas!" / Said: "Petit fripon; je ne veux pas!" Ed il rigor, presa belta pre mano / And Monsieur Severity, taking my beauty by the hand, Lascio con passo grave e ciera brutta / With solemn steps and an ugly face, Il mio povero amore e bocca asciutta. / Left my poor love with a dry mouth. Deh, appaghi ella il mio amor meco danzando / Ah, this woman here may satisfy my love by dancing with me. Danziam, Signora, la follia d'Orlando. / Let us dance, madam, the folly of Orlando. Suonate! suonate! / Play ! Play! La la la la la la (in atto di danzare) / La la la la la la (dancing) The last lines are directed to the sorceress Alcina. The 6 "la"s are sung to the Folia tune, just making it into the 3rd measure. This snippet can be found about .9 inch (2.3 cm) from the end of side 5. English translation is by Edward Houghton. THEE: Subject: Hello Are you THE Donald Sauter? (actually you are - I somehow found your webpage and wanted to say Hi) I am an old acquaintance. I also attended Johnnycake Junior High and Woodlawn Senior High. I was in your sister's class. Trying to relearn guitar after not having played for a while. I am not much of an emailer. THEE: D. Aguado Study #1 Your web site devoted to Dionisio Aguado was very informative. I am a beginning classical guitartist and have just been given the Aguado Study #1 to practice. I have not been able to find any recordings of this piece, and in fact have found very few of Aguado's compositions on C.D. Do you know of a source to find a recording of Aguado Study #1? ME: Nice to hear from you! Kind of coincidental, in that our family just had a real nice visit from Hself not so many weeks ago (I lose track). She hasn't been home in years. Any chance you've been in touch with her lately? She moved to Florida some years ago (like I say, I lose track!) after spending many years in San Francisco. It was too cold there. You ask: Are you THE Donald Sauter? Nope, just *a* Donald Sauter, a guy with a few thoughts on this and that - like all the other ones. (I live in Lanham in Prince George's County, and there are, or were, at least 2 "donald sauter"s in the PG phone book.) After all these years I am still in awe of people, like you, who can pick up a guitar and just start *playing*. I'm still locked into black dots on a page - but, fortunately, there have been lots of people to write lots of black dots of guitar music over the centuries to keep me busy and more or less happy. If you detect a hint of disappointment in there, it's just that I've always wished there were more classical guitarists, and classical musicians in general, who like to play for the pure fun of it. Hey, send me your address and I'll send you a couple of recent newsletters of the Washington Guitar Society. You can see the nutty sorts of things I write trying to drum up enthusiasm. ME: Subject: (email's back) (Only thing that jumps to mind since writing the email below is that I read and enjoyed tremendously James Thurber's "The Thirteen Clocks".) I went down LC yesterday (Monday, Dec 10) for the first time since summer, and had some good successes. One reason I chose yesterday was because there was a noon-time lecture by Todd Harvey, who just published a book about the origins of 70 of Bob Dylan's earliest songs. It was a great talk. I mean, I'm a long-time Dylan fan, but everybody there seemed to dig it, too. One of his examples was Dylan's "Restless Farewell", which Dylan took from the Clancy Brothers' "Parting Glass." I had stumbled on that one myself a few years ago, leading me to believe I was some sort of master musicologist! I also checked out and photocopied a few missing pages from one of my recent bag-day treasures - "A Treasury of Grand Opera" by Henry W. Simon (1946). It took 2 slips since the first one brought up the 1965 second edition. That was my mistake, but it was interesting to note the differences. The later edition has an extra 100 pages devoted to 2 operas left out of the first edition - strictly for reasons of conserving paper for the war effort. I also fired up some microfilm in the newspaper and periodical room, but just as I was getting up nerve to punch the print button (25 cents was at stake), an alarm (fire alarm? bomb threat?) sent us all outside. No matter - we were eventually allowed back in; I hit the button; and out came a copy of notices about Emory & Co.'s lottery, Mary Ann Parry's death at 46, and Christopher and Ann's wedding. I've been on the go lately, culture-wise. The new performing arts center at the U. of Maryland is really something. When they were constructing it, I was thinking, what's the big deal? A building's a building. The old concert and recital halls were fine with me. But their idea was far bigger than just a building; they were shooting for one of the leading performing arts programs on the east coast, and they might have succeeded. Last Sunday I saw a really nice chamber ensemble program of Peter And The Wolf, and Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony (with the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade, plus the friend, herself.) On Tuesday was an honors chamber recital. On Wednesday was Le Nozze di Figaro. The opera theater has a turntable floor. My seat was in the center of the 3rd row. All in Italian, no surtitles, but I was in heaven! Saturday evening was a "reading" of a new opera called "Pope Joan" - "reading" in quotes because the performance was almost fully acted. However, the only stage props were white hankies draped from the music stands signifiying the scenes in heaven. Sunday afternoon was the world-renowned Salzburg Marionettes doing the Nutcracker. The schedule of events had said this was supposed to be highlights of Die Fledermaus *and* the Nutcracker. I was really disappointed when I saw in the program that it was the Nutcracker only. I had pulled out all my Fledermaus records and write-ups to prepare myself, of course. Before the show began, I went to the box office to let them know I was disappointed. They were completely sympathetic. The lady herself said it was "news to me" after she confirmed the peformance was, in fact, to be the Nutcracker only. So they gave me 2 complimentary tickets (70 bucks worth) to that evening's show - which was the *complete* Fledermaus. Even though by that point I was starting to run down a little, I gladly hauled myself back again. One of the tix went to waste, but that show wasn't a complete sellout anyway. My big disappointment was not being able to get the autograph of Gretl Aicher, the director of the Salzburg Marionettes. At one of my recent booksale bag days, I got a real neat, old book (Salzburg, 1956) about the Salzburg Marionettes. Gretl is the granddaughter of the man who created them in 1913. The book has a picture of her (late 20s?) with her family and father, who was the director when the book was published. Keep in mind that each of these shows I've mentioned may have been scheduled at the same time as 2 or 3 other shows at the center! I think there are 5 main halls and theaters. To give you an idea of how eager and determined they are to make sure everybody's happy, listen to what happened to me and my friend Hself. A few weeks ago, we tried to make it to an open rehearsal of the Guarnieri string quartet, which we have done often over the years. But the traffic was horrendous because of one or two sporting events at the university. So we finally got there 20 minutes late, only to find that the rehearsal was over. They had rescheduled it for 2 hours earlier because of the games. Fair enough; nothing to get upset about. BUT... they had somebody there to apologize profusely, AND offer free tickets to the Guarnieri's real concert next year. All that for people who missed a free event! And not only that, they were happy to accommodate those, like Hself, who wouldn't be able to make it to the Guarnieri concert, on a Friday night. So Hself got a Tuesday ticket to Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea - which coincidentally, I already had a ticket to. I came across a sand dance mention in O. Henry's "The Defeat of the City": "He [Robert] turned handsprings on the grass that prodded [brother] Tom to envious sarcasm. And then, with a whoop, he clattered to the rear and brought back Uncle Ike, a battered colored retainer of the family, with his banjo, and strewed sand on the porch and danced "Chicken in the Bread Tray" and did buck-and-wing wonders for half an hour longer." The local paper couldn't print my MSPAP rant for space reasons, which disappointed me. Anyhow, I put it up on the web at ... It just occurred to me to ask, do you know anything about writing? If so, here's the deal: the next 2 dollars worth of LC photocopying is on me if you can make the same points with the same forcefulness in one third of the space. Sound easy enough? Feel free to work in your Bill Gates joke, if it doesn't put us over the limit. (Just kidding, of course. Don't waste any of your time on this.) Right now I am back in email heck. I thought fer sure that I could trust my freenet again, but their disk filled up again just like that, and I can't see my mail for the time being. (So far they have been pretty good about not actually losing anything.) I might try turning off mail forwarding and just access mail from email.com, although that has driven me crazy in the past. >especially doesn't matter that I consistently get great evaluations from my students, I guess they don't even ask 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. I bumped into one of my former students in a store last month and he said all of the kids have been asking, "Where's Mr. Saw... saw... sawster???" And he's not the sort who would just say something like that. I've left behind little friends at 3 schools now, boo hoo hoo. >>You wouldn't believe how annoying and horrible the line breaks look in your emails on yahoo. >Yours are no picnic here, either. Sometimes I see all of one word on a line . . . and the word is "a" at that! Some of your lines are nuttin' but a space - so there! >>About 40 of the books were kids' books for the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade. >A young friend to have a daughter. ;-) Here I thought Oklahoma was second only to Arkansas in young mothers, but maybe Maryland's got us whooped. I assure you, it is absolutely impossible that I wrote that sentence! It was either sabotaged, or an internet data packet got out of order on the way to grbonline.com - I swear! (You gotta believe me!) >>Most enjoyable for me is one called "New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra". >Don't think I know the group. There's a New Leviathan Ragtime Orchestra that I know of from Nawl'ans, but on an LP, gosh, these folks may be rotting away in the swamps or bayous by now . . . or, perhaps, gator bait. The album dates from 1971. In fact, the NORO violin player was only 66, the trumpeter only 60 and the drummer only 55. No reason they couldn't still be kickin'... >He [David Reffkin] now has a credit card... I've actually been trying to get one lately. Of course, I can't, because I've never been in debt (which would seem to make me the best credit risk, no?) I've begged, but nobody wants to look at my last 20 years of utility bills paid on time. >>A couple of the non-music books were Modern Library editions: "Great Modern Short Stories" (ca. 1940) and "The Best Short Stories Of O. Henry". I'm getting a kick out of the O. Henry - still chuckling over "From The Cabby's Seat". Other faves: "Roads of Destiny", "A Retrieved Reformation", "The Renaissance At Charleroi", "The Duplicity of Hargraves" (the most guessable ending, but a wonderful story), and "A Blackjack Bargainer" (sad). >Gonna be a quiet Thanksgiving--just the three of us. Speaking of Thanksgiving, O. Henry's "The Thanksgiving Day Gentleman" is another good one. Not action-packed, but thought- provoking - all about tradition. You'll never guess the ending. THEE: Signing guestbook... Donald: ...just huge! I will need more time to delve into it. Looks so interesting though; will get back with you... Really enjoy the sections on Spanish Baroque, especially Sanz and Mudarra. My love is the guitar and my hope is to play it well; thanks for helping in that regard. Best wishes. THEE: What an amazing resource! What an amazing resource! I found your page after looking for sources of public domain guitar pieces. I'm sorry but I haven't really read all of your page properly yet, but I suppose there's no way to actually find hard copy of all these pieces [all in one place] is there? THEE: I enjoyed reading your monopoly page. I think I can help you with some of your frustrations about the game. I read your article about fixing the rules. I want you to know that they are already fixed. First, If A lands on B's property and C slams down the dice, B can still collect rent. You better read the rules again because they allow B to collect anytime before D rolls the dice. Second, I have been involved in a number of regional, national and international Monopoly events. In official tournament play, a player who owes more money than he can pay is allowed to negotiate any deal he can to raise money to pay his debt to avoid bankruptcy. The only caveat is that what ever deals he makes must result in raising the money to fully pay the debt or else all deals are off and he goes bankrupt. Your proposed house rule 2, while well meaning, is a misguided attempt to improve the world's most perfect game. Your rule would remove a significant amount of strategy from the game. Third, while players can initiate and negotiate deals whenever they want, the other players do not have to pause the game during negotiations. in fact, the tournament judge will instruct you to continue to roll the dice and will not allow the game to pause for negotiation. I often make a point of moving the game along to disrupt negotiations because I believe any deal that does not involve me can only do me harm. Please accept these few game tips which I hope you will find useful. THEE: Kaufmann Index You asked, in your report on Helen Kaufmann's Little Book of Music Anecdotes, for anyone who made use of the appended name index, to let you know. Well, I have! Your review interested me so much that I did indeed purchase a second-hand copy, and my one displeasure with the little book was that it had no index. Then, looking through my files today I came across your review which I had printed out and, lo and behold, there was the index. Thank you for this! Oh, by the way - you must be younger than some of us (and luckier, too) if you have not heard, "Tonight We Love," sung to a tune in Tchaikovsky's B flat Minor Piano Concerto. I'm sure you've been told this by now. Thanks again for the index! THEE: >Only thing that jumps to mind since writing the email below is that I read and enjoyed tremendously James Thurber's "The Thirteen Clocks". Oooooh . . . Loved that one when I read it years ago. Here's another fun one in case you don't know it, Ellis Parker Butler's "Pigs is Pigs"--guaranteed to set you howling: http://www.bookrags.com/books/pgpgs/PART1.htm Despite the site address, it's in one part. >I also fired up some microfilm in the newspaper and periodical room, but just as I was getting up nerve to punch the print button (25 cents was at stake), an alarm (fire alarm? bomb threat?) sent us all outside. No matter - we were eventually allowed back in; I hit the button; and out came a copy of notices about Emory & Co.'s lottery, Mary Ann Parry's death at 46, and Christopher and Ann's wedding. And here I thought you sent that page for ICELAND MOSS COUGH CANDY. >Oh yeah, I also called up 24 Witmark Collections of Male, Female and Mixed Quartettes, containing about 40 arrangements by WC. These include WFACG, WTRSF, TH, MD, TR, TSMMUTS, ALATWRO, and the ever-popular THH, among others. How on earth could you have ignored TYLBO???? >I didn't do any copying. I don't think I'm up-to-date on your vocal ensemble collection. Let me know how to proceed. Your suspicion that 10 volumes of Male Qtets preceded No. 11 was spot on. I'm no math wizard, but . . . Nonetheless, I'm a little puzzled since the column I have is 12. >There were also Nos. 12 to 16 following it (where all the goodies are, except none in No. 16.) Not surprisingly, No. 11 itself was missing. As for the copies you found, copy 'em. Not No. 12, of course, but of the others, I have only one title--the ever-popular THH ;-) from Female qtets No. 7. You noted a duplication of ALATWRO, but looks like ED, TH, and SLY,D also repeat. Or are they variant arrangements? Anyhow, go ahead and copy 'em next time you go in to the LC. Last weekend, we attended a performance of Oliver, done mainly by Tulsa's Theatre Arts School, always excellent productions with 1- 2 stars brought in from outside to enhance the cast. Fagin was played by Jamie Farr of MASH fame. Ne delivered an outstanding performance without once having to dress in drag. Not exactly "Culture,! " but fun. >To give you an idea of how eager and determined they are to make sure everybody's happy, listen to what happened to me and my friend . . . What a deal! Here's my free ticket story, a frustrating one that doesn't compare. Yesterday, we went to the new Meg Ryan film, "Kate and Leopold," a fun story. She's a rather tough, jaded career gal who meets a Duke from the 19th century brought back through a "portal" in time by her ex-boyfriend, who's been trying to build a time machine. Yeah, I know; it sounds idiotic, but it's quite charming really. Won't go into the details. Near the end, Leopold is returned to his past (present???) where he'll have to make a decision whom he'll marry. He's a poor noble, who has been sent to Old New York to pick a wealthy American bride, his only chance of living well. Although the announcement of her new vice presidency in an advertising agency is just being made that night (at a party in the old home where Leopold's uncle once lived and where Leo (upon his return) is to choose his bride at another party), Ryan's character opts to follow Leo into the past. (To do so, she has to leap from the Brooklyn Bridge before the portal closes since it won't open for another 20 years. Although the ending was more or less obvious, some loose ends remained to be tied up. Then, suddenly, the film stopped . . . and the trivia shown before the film came back on. Clearly, there was some flub. Several people walked out, but most remained in the theatre, trusting that the technical difficulty would be resolved. A few minutes later, a theatre employee came in, saying that a projectionist would get the film going again. We waited another 5 minutes or so. The lights dimmed, and we were hopeful. The film started again . . . the music . . . and the credits. The end of the film was never shown! Most people exited to the parking lot just to the end of the hall from the theatre entrance. (This was a place with 20 theatres.) We went to the main ticket counter in the central lobby, where a few other people had lined up, but only 4-5 of them, surprisingly. The manager wasn't very pleasant about the whole thing. "We don't know how much was cut off," he insisted. "What difference does it make?" I wondered. Even if it was 20 seconds, it was an important 20 seconds. in the end, he gave us free passes for the next time we visit the theatre. Guess we'll try to find out the ending of this one and use the passes for another film. On the way home we theorized about the ending. Clearly, Kate and Leopold would end up together. After all, it's a romantic comedy. But if so, they'd have no income. She'd given up her promotion. All may not have been lost, though. He was an amateur inventor, who'd created a model elevator among other things. We envisioned a invented a scene in the present, where the brother and former boyfriend returned to the apartment building where they all had lived. (There'd been some elevator problems.) A new elevator was being installed. It was no longer an Otis Elevator, but a Leopold Elevator or a Montbatten Elevator. Kate would have been in a position to market his invention. It'll be interesting to see if we were close. >I came across a sand dance mention in O. Henry's "The Defeat of the City" . . . This is nice. Will save it with my "Sand-Dance" materials and music. Maybe someday it'll have a use, and readers will marvel at my knowledge! Actually, I have some terrific literature examples to go in my discussion of African-American hoodoo magic as portrayed in Treemonisha. Part of what I'm trying to do is put the opera in its artistic context, and I've found literature, popular songs, and theatre filled with hoodoo, though treated differently than Joplin's handling. Much of this I found, or at least began finding, thanks to the Internet. A Southern literature e-text site at Univ. of VA has a search engine that allows one to enter keywords and search the full site for that word. Picking several appropriate words, I was lead to numerous novels and short stories that I'd never have found on my own. Great stuff, too! >Right now I am back in email heck. . . . I had trouble with email.com, too. Try yahoo.com or hotmail.com. Both are easy to use. Hotmail automatically scans all attachments for viruses before opening them, a nice feature. Both also have junk mail detectors that will sort out most incoming spam mail rather than put it into your regular inbox. I get more of that on hotmail than on yahoo. Heaven knows where it comes from, but one can readily tell from many of the subject lines that it's nothing one wants to read . . . or see. >Please don't write up your student strangulation stories just for my reading pleasure, but if and when you do, put me on the mailing list. Time off work is gradually calming me . . . but perhaps I'll get to them yet. >>>You wouldn't believe how annoying and horrible the line breaks look in your emails on yahoo. >>Yours are no picnic here, either. Sometimes I see all of one word on a line . . . and the word is "a" at that! >Some of your lines are nuttin' but a space - so there! Okay, you win . . . >>>About 40 of the books were kids' books for the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade. >>A young friend to have a daughter. ;-) Here I thought Oklahoma was second only to Arkansas in young mothers, but maybe Maryland's got us whooped. >I assure you, it is absolutely impossible that I wrote that sentence! It was either sabotaged, or an internet data packet got out of order on the way to grbonline.com - I swear! (You gotta believe me!) Then it happened twice: >"Last Sunday I saw a really nice chamber ensemble program of Peter And The Wolf, and Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony (with the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade... >The album dates from 1971. In fact, the NORO violin player was only 66, the trumpeter only 60 and the drummer only 55. No reason they couldn't still be kickin'... . . . and bowin', and tootin', and beatin' . . . >>He [David Reffkin] now has a credit card... >I've actually been trying to get one lately. Of course, I can't, because I've never been in debt (which would seem to make me the best credit risk, no?) I've begged, but nobody wants to look at my last 20 years of utility bills paid on time. Strange how that works, huh? Yet by the time they were graduating from high school our daughters were getting piles of junk mail and incessant phone calls offering them credit cards. Both got them easily without any income other than summer jobs. Granted, the credit limit is low, but, like us, they never use the cards for anything they can't pay off the next billing period. Over the years, our limit went up much too high. Not that we increased our spending proportionately, but we've been victims (temporarily) of credit card fraud a couple of times recently. In one case, someone on the East Coast used our card number to buy a car! I can't believe that anyone would accept such a transaction. Anyway, in the couple of cases something like this has happened to us and in the one that it happened to our older daughter (someone spent about $1200 in a day from her checking account with her check card number), we've not ended up losing a cent in the long run. As a result, though, we contacted VISA and had our credit limit dramatically reduced. They thought we were nuts, I think, but what would we need with a credit limit that could buy someone a new Lexus? Seems these card companies must hope that people will spend and spend up to their limits and then have to pay interest for life. But only some people are that dumb. I think we had to pay a couple bucks interest once when somehow we accidently overlooked paying a bill one time. >Your discoveries still amaze me. Did you read the book simply because you had finished "Ragtime" and figured you had another 20 minutes to kill? No. A couple years ago, Doctorow spoke at the Tulsa Public Library on a Saturday morning. he'd received a substantial--as in about $20,000--literary award given annually by a local millionaire through the library. Of course, I attended the lecture. Knowing that he'd sign books after the lecture, I took my first edition of Ragtime. Hself had mentioned being jealous that I was getting to attend, so when I was browsing the paperbacks on sale while standing in line to get my book signed, I noticed "World's Fair," the story of very young Jewish boy in NY in the late 1930s. It was a long line, so I read a bit of it and got hooked. We'd been told Doctorow would sign two books per person, so I bought that one for Hself and got it inscribed for him. Then I picked up a copy at the library, and we read it at the same time and had fun talking about it. He found the experiences astonishingly like his own, including the kid's description of visiting a sick Jewish relative in a Catholic hospital with a crucifix on the wall. >Great job on the Billee Taylor discovery! Did I mention Rodney Sauer's silent film find related to Irenee Berge, a film composer. It's a similar story, with Irenee showing up in books and on a website as female. Rodney tracked down his marriage license! ME: Congratulations on rigging up your own baroque guitar. I had plenty of fun with mine, even though it's not perfect. But even a real baroque guitar wouldn't be "perfect", for a lot of reasons. Thanks a million for catching the problems with my Carre tablature pages. No, no one else ever informed me, which disappoints me since it means that, after all this time, no one can possibly have made use of the "big suite" for 3 guitars. I've re-uploaded the problem files now. I don't know whether the problem is with the browser or with geocities, but I have noticed on other occasions that things get mixed up when I upload several files at once. So now I just upload files one at a time. ME: big bang reply You wrote so long ago you probably hardly remember me. I've had major email problems for months, and I get so behind, I can hardly face it. In any case, I appreciate your interest my big bang thoughts. You asked if I knew of any pages that would explain on a 9th grade level what's wrong with the big bang theory. I know it's too late now anyhow, but I wanted to respond. No, I haven't sought out any such pages, but my suggested approach would be to look for pages that *do* describe the big bang theory convincingly on a 9th grade level. If nobody can do that (and I don't believe anyone can, of course) I would think that would have to be interpreted as a strong argument against the theory. What value does a theory have if even its proponents can't explain it in a way that it fits in with, never mind derives from, what we know from experience to be true? ME: happy new year Sorry about the rapid-fire response. Don't have a cow. One of the big reasons I can hardly face email is that I've almost completely lost control of it. I've mentioned I can't get into yahoo anymore; well, email.com has done me dirty. They have revoked mail forwarding as part of their free service. I had figured to use the email.com address for as long as they stay in business, just changing the forwarding when need be. If that's not bad enough, they code their HTML in such a complicated way that I can't even access the unforwarded mail from home. The upshot is that I can only see mail in email.com or yahoo on other computers, like at the library. And even there, I can't download it electronically. The best I can to is manually forward it to the freenet address, which is a bigger pain in the neck than it sounds like, plus I lose track of what's where, what's been responded to, etc. I need to spend a whole day bringing things under control. What it may shake down to is having the world switch over to email@example.com and have yahoo forward messages to whichever convenient final destination I'm using. Right now, nothing will be lost no matter where you send it, but I suggest: firstname.lastname@example.org Whew, the number of bytes people burn up explaining their ever- changing email situations! Great news! I started working at the school again today (Jan 2). I had gotten a call from the principal a few days before Christmas. This time around I'm working with 5th graders. There are 2 classes of regular ed 5th grade I'll divide my time between. Things went very nicely the first day in Ms. M_'s class, and I have no reason to expect different in Ms. S_'s class. Ms. M_ is new this year; I already know Ms. S_, and she'll take all the help she can get. About half of the 38 5th graders, including 6 special ed, have IEPs (individualized education programs - I don't know if that's universal jargon.) In other words, it's a 5th grade that is very far behind. What happens at a school like this is that the higher grades get weaker and weaker because, with each year, it's more likely a parent will pull a good student out of the school, since there are so many problem students. You can see it's a vicious cycle. Just today, the first day back after the holidays, Ms. Mitchell's best student was absent. A classmate informed Ms. Mitchell he's not coming back. In any case, Ms. Mitchell's class was quite well-behaved, and I had a great time. Lots of warm reunions with staff and kids from last year... >"Floating Ancillary Ants" sounds intriguing, and I'd love copies of these recordings, if possible someday! I'll definitely keep you in mind. I have a few other ideas of recordings for you, too. Nothing listenable, mind you... >>Only thing that jumps to mind since writing the email below is that I read and enjoyed tremendously James Thurber's "The Thirteen Clocks".) Nuts! Here I'm the one who always objects to spelled out numbers - and I see that Thurber actually titled it "The 13 Clocks". Good for him! By the way, even though I enjoyed it tremendously on the first go through, I didn't get the punchline until the 2nd reading. Hey, I never said I wasn't a dummy... >Last weekend, we attended a performance of Oliver, done mainly by Tulsa's Theatre Arts School, always excellent productions with 1-2 stars brought in from outside to enhance the cast. When the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan in Feb 1964, there was an excerpt from Oliver, with a young Davy Jones - soon to be of the Monkees - as Oliver. Your "Kate And Leopold" ending sounds like a good guess - very Twilight Zone-y. >>>Also, I finally got myself started on writing a scathing letter to a local paper in an effort to destroy that insane MSPAP test I've talked about. . . . the next 2 dollars worth of LC photocopying is on me if you can make the same points with the same forcefulness in one third of the space . . . >Sounds like fun, actually, and I like challenges, but right now I'm swamped. Will take a look at it though, and see if I'm inspired. Don't hold your breathe though. Again, I was jokin'. I try not to ask for $250 worth of work for 2 bucks worth of photocopies, plus, I would hope that I'm not so wasteful with words that 2/3 can be hacked off without losing anything! >>Some of your lines are nuttin' but a space - so there! >Okay, you win . . . Not necessarily. Your last email got through without any email reader adding line breaks (in other words, your paragraphs were all on 1 line) - so I had to do all that formatting manually. >>I assure you, it is absolutely impossible that I wrote that sentence! It was either sabotaged, or an internet data packet got out of order on the way to grbonline.com - I swear! (You gotta believe me!) >Then it happened twice: >>"Last Sunday I saw a really nice chamber ensemble program of Peter And The Wolf, and Leopold Mozart's Toy Symphony (with the daughter of a friend of mine who's in 2nd grade, plus the friend, herself.) Man, it's gettin' rough being a comedian. I planted the first one to get you primed with a big ol' smile, so that when I hit you with the follow-up, desperate denial, you would be rolling on the floor, chokin' for breath. It ain't the same when you have to explain 'em... Anyhow, thanks (I think) for noting one of the all-time great misplaced modifiers. >but we've been victims (temporarily) of credit card fraud a couple of times recently. In one case, someone on the East Coast used our card number to buy a car! Whew! No wonder everywhere I go I'm heard muttering, "Back to cash, gosh darnit!" THEE: Re: orlando furioso I know it is very late but the December-days were awefully busy. Thanks once more for all the details I have tried to list it as accurate as possible in the pages. It is much appreciated. I like it a lot because it is not an obvious Folia, yet very much in the spirit of the Folia. >I am writing to confirm the claim that a snippet of La Folia is used in Vivaldi's 1727 opera "Orlando Furioso". ME: Kaufmann index A very belated and a very big thanks for your note about Helen Kaufmann's Little Book of Music Anecdotes. I had wanted to reply, but thought I had accidentally clobbered your message with a bunch of others. Well today I found a copy I had forwarded to another account! It thrills me to pieces that a) you were inspired to find a copy of the book and b) you felt a need for the index I made. Also, thanks for answering *my* question about Tchaikovsky's pop hit. You were the first one. I will be on the lookout for "Tonight We Love". This is what the internet is all about! Thanks again. (By the way, I'm no spring chicken - will hit ?? this year.) ME: First of all, here's a paragraph I tried to send when you said you were moving to San Francisco. It got returned, for I don't know what reason. This year I am working with 5th graders. I quite enjoy it still, although I'm working in the classrooms themselves rather than my own cubicle, which means I'm not being used anywhere near my full capability. If you're at all interested in education, you might take a look at the page below for my rant against maryland's MSPAP test. I've just sent a slightly improved version to each of the state legislators and have gotten some positive feedback. George [Harrison]'s death made me sad. It took me by surprise, even with being aware of his prior health problems. I suppose I thought his doctors would be able to beat it. There were some deaths among my relatives last year, and I guess George's death made me realize I can't keep pretending my parents aren't getting older, never mind me. Thanks for the news item on the Liverpool John Lennon Airport. No, I hadn't heard about that. For a few years now, my main music interest has been opera. I doubt I've ever mentioned that to you. Lots of good music, and lots of great fun.
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