A Bowling Extravaganza

My First Gig

This was my first gig in over a year. I was new in Tacoma, and I did not have any music connections here. But the neighbor got me a job playing violin in a Choral-Union concert at the University. To get ready, I bought a used tuxedo at the local rental store. It had exaggerated lapels that made me think of bat-wings. But the price was reasonable. They sent me the second violin part and I started practicing it. The Handel "Dixit Dominus" was pretty straightforward, but the Haydn Theresienmesse had some tricky fast parts. Only a virtuoso could play these parts up-tempo, I thought. I watched some youtube performance, and, sure-enough, the strings sounded muddled. Was this the composer's intention? For months, my D string (the second lowest string on the violin) had been bothering me. I had had work done on the instrument to enhance the sound, and, yes, there had been improvements. But now I was hearing new things I didn't want to hear: The string seemed to have a harsh nasal, fuzzy quality rather than the round tone that I imagined it ought to have.

Getting Ready to Leave

Visions or dreams of climbing and height represent psychological anxieties.

In drawing the picture on the right, I noticed that I could make the shadow more powerful than the light

To improve that drawing, I would want to explore the rest of the space more. If I were able to create a more comprehensive system of shadows, the dramatic effect would be more powerful.

These were drawn around the time of our trip "back" east.

"Perception is Reality" -- Is that something Bush said?

In Tacoma, where I am, there's a big fat plane that comes out of McChord Airforce Base nearby, and makes a circle around the Tacoma sky about twice a day. It kinda reminds me of a horse-fly (from summers of my boyhood), big, fat, overfed, and lazily, ominously buzzing around. Some kind of transport plane, I guess. I wonder how many troops this plane can carry to unhappy places.

Speaking of ominous, Susie told me the other day -- and I don't want to forget this -- that she was visited by some folks deciding whether they wanted to show her paintings. The one lady seemed a bit odd. She said something to the effect that if Susan would paint more paintings in that color scheme, they might be inclined to host them. Susan reflected to herself that she doesn't think in terms of painting in color schemes. When the two ladies left, one of them said, "I'll be dreaming of living in your house", which seems to have spooked Susan out.

Demented, or "sicky" perceptions intrigue me. Last month one morning when we had quests for breakfast, I had the distinct perception that R. was disgusted with my pancakes. Sometimes people have a sixth sense. Did R. have this, or did I?

Remembering the Society for the Eradication of Television

In the pre-internet days, back in the 80's, I struggled to free myself from the strangle-hold of TV. I used to subscribe to this newsletter from S.E.T. I wanted to liberate our household from the TV, but I was regarded as overly authoritarian. Meanwhile, I had my Timex computers, which provided hours of entertainment.

When It Hurts

If people tell lies about you, that is annoying, but facing the truth about yourself can be worse. One time I remember back in the Army days (1966-70) I was having a heated political discussion with another guy in the barracks. Suddenly, he said something that didn't seem to have anything to do with what we were talking about: "You'll always be a frustrated violinist." I was stunned by this remark. Inside I was telling myself: "Yes, he's right." Looking back on it, I think that what struck home was not the truth of the statement, but my own personal fear.

Tacoma Basketball Game

A pencil figure-drawing exercise from a newspaper photo. Despite inaccuracies, the subject-matter and rendering are interesting.

For most of the drawing I just used a cheap writing pencil.

Yesterday I took Time Out

Yesterday I took time out to start working on an arrangement of a song that involved transposing to a new key. I wanted to send my daughter Susie an MP3 copy in the new key. I had some software that came with my computer, called Nero Wave Editor, in Ahead Nero. I had dabbled with this in the past -- to digitize vinyl recordings. Every so often, it would stop writing files, and then I could get it working again by doing a system restore.


Though I am in my sixties, I have confidence that I can just start out blogging here and gradually learn about all the bells and whistles as I go. I started out in the computer business back in 1975 when my firstborn had arrived and I needed a job. I had no direct computer background -- only some training in foreign languages which I had acquired in the Army, and at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan after my discharge.

This is a Test Site

It took me awhile to do this. Of course, most Drupal enthusiasts would undoubtedly be contemptuous of the continued use of html tables.

Sidebar Contents Here

I (John Bartley), was trying to figure out how to get my html "sidebar" table to work in Drupal, because Drupal ignored the table width: Finally I hit on this exchange at http://drupal.org/node/130375:

"Ok, I searched the Drupal site on (Garland "Input Format") and came across this similar question http://drupal.org/node/113414 and the final answer was this:-

The problem was occuring because by default the Garland theme sets table width to 100%. So I had to use CSS to override the default value for this particular table. Thanks for recommending the Firefox DOM Inspector, it was a real help. My question now is, how do I use CSS to override the default value.

Thanks in advance.

Ans. Try the following to get the width working:

1. Make your table part of a class - eg 2. Then edit themes/garland/style.css and put the following CSS style: table.fixed_width { width: 180px; }"

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