Archive for October, 2011

31
Oct

Happy Halloween!

   Posted by: John    in Music

And now, the grand-daddy of the Halloween organ music!  This is the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.  This performance is by Dr. Sean Jackson on the organ at St John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford Connecticut.

30
Oct

Other Plants in the Front Yard

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

The sun was not on these other plants when I took the pictures of the leaves earlier. 

Some kind of bush (Not George)

Red and Green

Contrast

Beads

A Plant

I should note that these pictures were taken with the Nikon D1 with the 17-35mm lens at very close range, less than 6 inches.

30
Oct

Autumn Leaves

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

We have a tree in the front yard that is going through the autumn colors just beautifully.  Not sure what kind of tree, but the leaves have turned this awesome yellow and brown and a just gorgeous.  I took the camera out this morning and got a few pictures.  I wanted to get some fairly close up so I could see the details on the leaves.  Click to see them full size.

Autumn Leaves 1

Autumn Leaves 2

Autumn Leaves 3

Autumn Leaves 4

Autumn Leaves 5

30
Oct

Pre-Halloween Music 13 – Tu es Petrus

   Posted by: John    in Music

Henri Mulet wrote the piece “Tu es Petrus” about the apostle Peter of whom Christ referred to as the Rock.  Yes, a very religious reference, however there is no doubt that this piece is very Halloweenish. 

Stephen Tharp plays the organ of St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  This organ features some incredibly fiery pedal reeds in the second half of this piece.

29
Oct

Pre-Halloween Music 12 – Leon Boellmann Toccata

   Posted by: John    in Music

No Halloween music set would be complete without Leon’s Boellmann’s toccata from his Suite Gothique.  Boellmann was a student of Eugene Gigout and was principal organist at the Church of Saint Vincent-de-Paul, Paris.  He was a prolific composer, but the Suite Gothique, written in 1895, is his most well known work.

In this video, Phillipe Delacour, principal organist at Notre Dame de Metz, France, plays the 1912 Stahlhuth organ at Saint Martin’s Church, Dudelange, Luxembourg. 

28
Oct

Albertson Park

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

On the way back from downtown I decided to stop at Albertson Park.  I have never been there before today, even though I have driven by it hundreds of times.  The fall colors are beautiful this year.  Here are a few pictures I took at the park.  Click them for full size.

Nice Red Tree

Tree Trunk and Leaves

Log and Foliage

Trees of Several Colors

Path and Park

Buds

I didn’t take this one at Albertson Park, but I was in front of a school in downtown Boise.  I liked the way the street looked with the trees and the mountain in the background.

Street

27
Oct

Should the Umpire Be Nervous?

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

Just curious.

Impending Disaster

Because it looks like that ball is missing the glove and heading for, well, you know.

26
Oct

Oops!

   Posted by: John    in Computer and Network, Fun Stuff

Today, I got to move a client from the 2nd floor of their building to the 5th floor.  This included moving the PCs in their office, but also their server which was in a IT closet.  Nice closet, double doors, good lighting and the cabling is very neat. 

So, we got the PCs upstairs, I shut down and removed the server the the 2nd floor closet, and was sitting in the 5th floor closet along with the gal who runs (owns) the building…and here comes a lady from the law office next to the client’s new office.  “We’re down.  And here you just happen to be working in the closet.  What did you do to us?”  We hadn’t even started in the closet yet, but we traced the lines down to her switch, power is on, and there are blinking lights. 

So she calls her IT guy, he can’t get on to the system.  I end up talking to him on the phone, and finally go back and look at their server rack.  No power.  Well, one system is running on a battery backup unit and there is no power to the thing period.  I asked about a breaker panel, but nobody knows where it is.  They are calling the building electrician.

I go back to work on my client’s project.  After the server is in and powered up, here comes the other person’s IT guy…a fellow I used to work with at a different IT firm.  It was good to see him, I have wondered what happened to the guy.  Anyway, the problem turned out to be the electrician’s fault.  The way the building was wired, the “dedicated” circuit to the law firm’s servers went through my client’s “new” office, and the electrician said the circuit (which had a connection point in the floor) didn’t do anything and could be disconnected…which the person doing the floor panels did.  Oops!  The circuit was not labeled either, so there was no way to double check it.  To get to the panel to fix it, we had to move a very heavy cabinet that had just been placed there.  Oh well.  Connected the ends together and the servers powered right up!

Yeah, I am just twisted enough to find the whole episode a litte funny (after it was all fixed).

25
Oct

Pre-Halloween Music 8 – Beethoven’s 5th

   Posted by: John    in Uncategorized

Beethoven does not have anything to do with Halloween at all.  Not unless his music is played on a pipe organ.  We are all familiar with his 5th symphony.  The Boise Philharmonic played the 5th symphony last season and it was absolutely dazzling. 

Here, Thomas Heywood plays his own transcription of the first movement of this remarkable symphony.  I find that the character of the piece is changed.  Not bad, but totally different in that it becomes very suitable for the background music to a Halloween graveyard scene in the front yard with a tombstone bearing Beethoven’s name. 

The organ is made by Schantz (originally Hill, Norman and Beard, 1929) and is housed in the Melbourne Town Hall, Australia.  It is the largest in the Southern hemisphere, containing around 10,000 pipes. 

24
Oct

Pre-Halloween Music 7 – Sabre Dance

   Posted by: John    in Music

Aram Khatchaturian was a Russian composer, born in Tiflis, Georia.  He studied at the Moscow Conservatory under many of the leading music instructors of the time.  He was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but fell from the party’s favor along with other famous Russian composers, namely Shostakovich and Prokofiev, for being formalist and un-popular.  It took some years before he regained the party’s favor and eventually received many awards for his works.

Khatachaturian’s works were often influenced by Armenian folk music.  He wrote the ballet “Gayane” in 1942.  The Sabre Dance is a movement of the final act where the dancers display their skill with sabres. 

Originally scored for orchestra, Eric Plutz plays this version for organ on Princeton University’s Aeolian-Skinner organ. 

23
Oct

Something For Your Morning

   Posted by: John    in Food

The old saying is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  Maybe it is but that doesn’t mean it is the healthiest, right?  Give me a stack of bacon any morning and I’m happy.  Good American breakfast…bacon and Mountain Dew.

I spent 2 years in Australia, and while I do not remember going out to breakfast much I do remember those folks and their Vegemite.  (Gag, choke, vomit…we used to kid around that Vegemite was Australia’s attempt at peanut butter.)  We had boxed cereal, eggs without the bacon (sob), French toast.  The best was getting a fresh lot of crumpets.  Totally unhealthy and incredibly delicious. 

Ever wonder what other country’s breakfast fare may be?  Well, wonder no more.  Here is a sample of Breakfasts Around the World.  Complete with pictures and descriptions.  Some of these look absolutely delicious and others…well, I will let the natives have them.  Bon Appetit!

23
Oct

Pre-Halloween Music 6 – Prelude and Fugue

   Posted by: John    in Music

Marcel Dupre was a student of Charles-Marie Widor, who was principal organist at St. Sulpice from 1870 to 1933, and succeeded Widor in that post from 1934 to 1971.  Dupre was a child prodigy and entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1904 where he studied with some of the great French musicians of the day.  During his career, he was a prolific composer, writing many pieces of incredible technical difficulty.

In 1912, Dupre wrote the Prelude and Fugue in G minor (opus 7) at the request of Widor, his teacher.  Upon presenting it, Widor declared it unplayable and it was not published until 1920.  The piece starts off with a haunting prelude at breakneck pace.  The hands play fast obligatto, while the feet take the melody.  Notice at times how each foot is playing more than one note at a time.  The fugue immediately follows and, at the same high speed pace, is played by hands and feet.

A good number of organists have learned to play the piece…and many more have not.  Phillippe Delacour (principal organist at Notre Dame, Metz)  is one who has learned it, and plays it at Dupre’s indicated speed on the Haerpfer organ of Chateau-Salins, France.  Notice during the fugue how his feet just dance over the pedals.