Sunday, November 29, 2015

I'm getting Ski Fever again, and I'm too old for it...

It's a beautiful sunny day here, and colder than a mother-in-law's heart! Just perfect for flying down my favorite run on Black Mountain at Cypress.....

And with today's snow-making equipment, as long as it's cold enough, we don't really need a whole lot of clouds and snow.  I can close my eyes and relive every foot of that run. The breathless rush of air coming out of that first steep turn, the sometimes-bare spot halfway down where the run crosses under the chairlift, and the long sideways skid at the bottom to slow down enough so that I wouldn't wipe out part of the lift lineup at the finish. Being an old showoff, I just loved showing the kids how it's done on that one. Done right, the kids tending the loading at the bottom would ask "Are you back already?" ("Yes! I just love riding this chair!")

I need to read the directions more often...

I just noticed that we're now protected on here by HTTPS, and we have been for about a month or so. Maybe I should read Google's notes to users more often!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A little back home music...

I was thinking of some old fiddle tunes my dad played at square dances when I was a very little kid, and they'd have these country dances in a one-room country schoolhouse somewhere in the farming country outside town, and I'd be put to sleep on the benches of the schoolroom furniture, pushed back against the walls, so the main part of the floor was clear for dancing. This was in the nineteen thirties, when I would be maybe three, and the car we had was 1933 Frontenac 3-window coupe with a rumble seat out back that I dearly loved. I'd sometimes be allowed to ride in that rumble seat on our way to a dance, sharing it with a guitar case and violin case, but on the way home, I'd be too sleepy, and would be up front, on mom's lap. It wasn't unusual for it to be getting quite light in the east as we drove home in the wee small hours of the morning, with dad driving very carefully, because he'd had a few with the boys around the old outdoor water pump in the schoolyard before we started for home, while the womenfolk cleared away the refreshments table and the dishes and all that.
And a lot of those old dance tunes were either Irish jigs and reels, or based upon those, I suspect.


It's starting today c-c-c-cold !

So here's what we should do:-


Friday, November 27, 2015

Debussy, Pour le Piano, Cecile Ousset

The Boston Pops - The syncopated Clock

The Boston Pops - Jazz Pizzicato-Jazz Legato

The Boston Pops - Sleigh Ride (The Sleighbell Tingle) (Petersburger Schl...

George Winston: December - Full Album

Microsoft asks "Have you tried color in your Title Bars yet?"

Dear Mighty Microsoft:

Please see below for an example of a colorful title bar, and yes, I like it! Thank you for asking. And for my other readers, yes, it works, and you can have it too.

And now that MBAM has completed its scan, and assures me I'm clean, I can show you what's underneath that - the regular desktop. And you will notice that the dominant color from the desktop background is the one that is picked up by the system to use as the color for the Taskbar and Title Bars of your Windows.

I thought I should explain, because this is a good example of the successful operation of our Feedback system among our many Windows Insiders and Microsoft's Windows 10 home base. Microsoft can ask us questions, and we can reply and send back suggestions and screenshots to them, and this system works like a charm. I love it. And to get back to the point, this above was one of the  requests from a Windows Insider which Microsoft approved and in the words of Captain Picard of the Enterprise, decided to "Make It So!".  And it is.

Notes about the Celtic Woman concert video below...

Google for some reason frustrates one's attempts to add an edit under videos posted to the blog directly from YouTube, so rather than  spend time removing and replacing the original with an entry containing text, I'm adding text here.

It must be the recent full moon, coupled perhaps with the recent arrival of my 2016 Lunar Calendar, "Dedicated to the goddess in her many guises", along with the frost on rooftops recently, which put me into Christmas mode, and got me thinking especially about 'family'. I had a long, overdue, and very welcome chat yesterday with my gay Number One Son, whom I love dearly, and as we do, we got talking about various family members we've known and sometimes loved, or sometimes not, and I'm reminded that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

My roots are from English and Irish, and his are from those as well as German on his mother's side, and there's probably a heavy Celtic influence in all of it. We seem to have a grasp of spirituality and the occult not limited to usually accepted traditions, but reaching beyond time and place to other realms only nebulously engaged, but fascinating in their mysterious temptations.

But I'm digressing again. Please don't turn off that Celtic Woman video at the end of the concert portion, because following that, there's a nicely intimate session with just the four girls and their pianist/conductor around the big Steinway Concert Grand, where each contributes one more delightful offering.

Celtic Woman - Home For Christmas (Live From Dublin 2013)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Autumn - George Winston

A Winter's Solstice - Full Album

Mannheim Steamroller - A Fresh Aire Christmas - Full Album

Carmen Mcrae - The Christmas Song (1961)

My other PC's Windows 10. One's simply not enough for me. Unfacetiously speaking, two really are better than one. If I mess something up on one, then I can use the other to find out how to fix it. (Works for me!) You'd be surprised how that reduces the tension when messing around with these things.

The Well-Tempered Linux Mint

This is a nice picture! Whoever took it would probably have gotten an even better effect, with much better definition of the sky, if only he had been a little further away from those city lights just over the horizon. But it's still a very dramatic picture, and well done.

Linux Mint has some nice wallpapers, but some of the most imaginative abstracts are found among those for PC-BSD. And that might give us an opening for another rant. The rant being on the subject of why, oh why do we have so many different incarnations of Linux, Ubuntu, PC-BSD, etc., etc., etc. - and my question from all that being "Why can't all you guys get together, and create one really super-duper, ass-kicking, one-size-fits-all, you-can't-get-better-anywhere system that would include all the very best of the best of them all?"

I really like Linux, and Free BSD, and all like that, but it's like religion; around every turn there's a whole other one going on, promising that it's really "The One" when in actual fact, none of them are! They each have their flashes of brilliance, and they each do a fair-to-middling job of doing what they do. But each seems to lack something the others do better. If that circus could be assembled under one big tent, we might get a much more interesting and user-friendly outcome, and in the process, grab more market share. These are good stuff, but not well enough known and used, partly, I suspect, because we're confused about which we ought to use among the several same-but-different varieties. Consistency! Homogenize all that. But keep the Unix roots. It was a good old tree.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Well-Tempered Windows

This morning's setting Moon

Taken on the Fuji SL-1000 at a full 50X zoom, and then gamma adjusted using Irfanview to bring out the surface details a little more. I'm pleased with this, because it's a freehand shot, with the camera braced against the sliding door of the balcony. Sometimes, I get lucky!

Same Moon, different camera. The Nikon P510, at 42X zoom, also freehand to quickly grab something I almost missed.