Archive for October, 2009


Friday Pipe Organ

   Posted by: John    in Music

This week’s pipe organ is one of my favorites, the 1862 Cavaille-Coll in St Sulpice church, Paris, France.  The casework dates back to 1781 and was re-used by Aristide Cavaille-Coll when he installed the current organ.  The instrument is nearly original with very few changes being made over the past 147 years.  This was the largest of the Cavaille-Coll organs featuring 101 speaking stops.

The front center section containing the clock and frontal pipes hides the console, located directly behind it, and in front of the main organ case.  The console faces forward towards the church, but the view is blocked by the pipes.  Consequently the organist cannot see what is going on in the church and relies on people to watch for him and let him know when to start and stop playing.

This next picture shows the organ in the nave at the back of the church.  The building reflects the classic old church style of tall and narrow.  I don’t know to be sure, but it would appear that the floor the organ rests on is 22-25 feet above the main floor.  The top of the organ case is at least another 30 feet above that.

Here is Daniel Roth at the organ’s console.  Mr. Roth is the current titulaire (head) organist.  The organ action is mechanical, but features a pneumatic apparatus called the Barker lever system that essentially gives power assist to the keys.  Note the keys that are depressed even though no fingers are on them.  Mechanical couplers link keyboards together as well as pedal to keyboards.

The position of Titulaire Organist at St. Sulpice is one of the most prestigious in France.  Notable organists who have held this postion include Charles-Marie Widor (1870-1933) and Marcel Dupre (1934-1971).  In fact, since the Cavaille-Coll organ was finished, only 6 people have held this position including Mr. Roth.

For your listening pleasure, an improvisation by Daniel Roth performed during mass on the St. Sulpice organ.

Daniel Roth – Improvisation 1 – St Sulpice

Here is this improvisation in YouTube format.


Wizard of Id

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff


On A Sign In A Home

   Posted by: John    in Misc Spritual

A couple of weeks ago in church, the youth speaker was Claire Kartchner.  She brought in a sign from their home that I thought was great.

Be pretty if you are

Be witty if you can

Be cheerful if it kills you

Good words to live by.


Cathy at 7 Years Old

   Posted by: John    in Family

Aww, wasn’t she cute?


One of Grandma’s Early Drawings

   Posted by: John    in Family, Family History

While going through some of the family history stuff I came across this drawing that my Grandmother made in 1934.  She would have been about 16 at the time.

After Mom was married Grandma became quite an accomplished artist.  She had the talent for a long time.


Work Schedule

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff


I Remember…Hauling Hay

   Posted by: John    in I Remember...

I remember…Dad always had problems with hayfever and some asthma related to it.  Of course, the Willamette valley was also the ryegrass seed capital of the world, so that didn’t do him any good. 

We had cows, so we used to go out and get hay every fall.  We had this rickety old box trailer that we would drag around and pick up a ton of hay at a time in.  Then when we got home it had to go up into the hayloft.  (At some point Dad built a frame with a chain of some kind on it that could hook up to the tractor.  We would just chuck the bales from the trailer onto the thing and it would zip them right up to the hayloft.)

Anyway, one year the hayfever season was real bad.  We were hauling hay and Dad could barely breathe.  He had to have been in his late 40s at that time and I don’t know how he managed to get the work done.  Even though he had some medication it took him a couple of days to get back to normal.  In spite of it, we hauled three tons and stuck it up in the barn that day.


Twins…In the Digital Age

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff


Fettuccini with Chicken and Broccoli Recipe

   Posted by: John    in Recipes

Here is what’s for supper tonight at John’s house…

Fettuccine with Chicken and Broccoli

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cleaned and chopped (or 12-14 oz frozen florets, thawed)
  • 8 oz fettuccine
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 (4 oz) skinless boneless chicken breast (or 1 lb chicken breast tenders)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (can use ground oregano)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

optional: 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the broccoli for 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  In the boiling water, cook the fettuccine according to package instructions; drain.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add salt, oregano and optional red pepper and stir until mixed.  Add the chicken and saute until cooked through about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate.

3.  In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium-low heat.  Saute the onion and garlic until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in broccoli and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the fettuccini and chicken, mixing everything together.  Sprinkle with the black pepper.  Stir frequently for another 3-4 minutes, until evenly heated.  Add the basil and stir.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve. 

Serves 4.


Server Upgrade Fallout

   Posted by: John    in Computer and Network

OK, so it turns out that Backup Exec 12.5 does not support Server 2008 R2 (or Windows 7) yet.  They have a patch, though, so I applied that and rebuilt the backup jobs.  Testing it now to see what happens.  Isn’t upgrading such fun?

BTW, I have decided to not upgrade to Windows 7, at least for some time.  I loaded it up on a different hard drive on the tech PC, but I was not real impressed.  Most of the add-on goodies that Vista Ultimate has (like the DVD maker) are not included on 7.  It is very much stripped down.  I also do not like the desktop at all.  Of course, I did not much like the Vista desktop at first either. 

Strangely, I have had very few Vista problems, but then again I am running a very fast PC, using the 64-bit version and have lots of RAM.  So, perhaps that makes the difference.


Fortune Cookie

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”



The Case for Having Spare Parts

   Posted by: John    in Computer and Network

In between the time I did the last post and now (about 90 minutes), the power supply for the DSL modem choked.  I knew what it was because it has happened before.  The modem “died” about 3 months after I got it.  I called Qwest and they sent me a new one.  I installed it but used the original power supply and it did the same thing the old one was doing.  Changed to the new power supply and all was fine.  I put the original modem back (why go through the headache of configuring a new one if you don’t have to, right?) with the new power supply and things ran fine.  Until this evening.

So…Qwest never asked for the “dead” modem back so I have a good spare with no use on it.  However, I chucked the old power supply.  I dug through my box of wall-warts and otherwise homeless power cords and happened to find a 5 volt 2.6 amp power supply, with the right plug polarity and size.  Amazing!  I am pretty sure it went to a USB hub that I no longer have.  So I plugged it in and everything is running like it should.

I knew there was a reason to keep a good supply of parts.