Saturday, December 17, 2005


Downloaded Finale Notepad today

Nice program. I like how Finale Notepad plays each note you enter in whatever instrument you are writing for. So, brave me, I wrote out a 20 measure piece intended to exercise switching back and forth between strings. Quarter notes in duplets on a 4/4 scale, but using the four first position notes on A & D strings. It turned out to be harder to play than I thought; I worked a while on it and will pick it up again tomorrow. I still haven't gotten through it at a decent pace. I seem to push the pace too soon, before correctly hitting the proper notes at their right times on a full play through.

The program is really nice and remarkably easy to use. There is even a wizard on startup to set up the piece you will be working in - you select the type of music, the instrument(s) you want to write for, the key, the meter; and then enter a title and author. It opens up a blank sheet. You select what note you want to enter (quarter note, half note, etc.) and then place it wherever you want on the staff with a click. It produces a reasonably good (for computer MIDI) quality cello sound (in my case) as you enter the note. You can move the notes up and down and from side to side with the arrow keys. To hear what you've written there's a little radio console in the toolbar. Very intuitive commands and well-integrated with Windows. I think it uses Sibellus Scorch for the playback, but I'm not sure.

How neat to find stuff like this on the internet - free!

I had trouble focusing when I played Ellwood this afternoon. Z was sitting right beside me, using the computer, even talking to me at one point while I was trying to focus. I couldn't use the onscreen tuner/analyzer to check my fingering. I don't know why I waited so late to get started; I much prefer to play in the mornings - the earlier the better.

We're in the middle of a warm stretch. It's been above freezing for several days - above 40F the past two days. The other night it rained for several hours. Almost all the snow is gone. We might even be able to bury Arthur if it last a few more days. Lets hear it for global warming!

I'm so glad Bush spoke out today about the NSA leaks.

The New York Times ought to be shut down for acts of sedition in a time of war. Where is it written in the constitution that the press has the right (they even say "the responsibility") to print classified information? It's about time; Bush finally stood up and told the demos who was in charge! Whether they approve of him or not, he's the president, not them. They are just going to have to accept the fact that in the end, he is the one going to be held responsible for protecting this country from terrorists, so he's going to do what he has to do in order to do HIS JOB! He's got my unqualified support.

I don't agree with him 100% of the time, but I helped elect him to do what I sure as hell know I wouldn't want to be responsible to do. I don't understand why anybody would want to do that job. What would make a person decide he was the right one to do it, especially since he'll spend a large proportion of his time fending off personal attacks from the other party and the press? But, fortunately, our system requires us to elect a president and then give that person the awesome responsibility to act on our behalf in matters such as these. Thankfully it also only allows one president at a time.

Isn't it funny how little attention the Al NY Times and their bretheren gave to the Iraqi election? The first free and fair election in the Arab Middle East - EVER! A 70% turnout in the face of bombings and random terrorist attacks! Just barely 50% of our oh-so-quick-to-criticize voting population bothered to get up off their fat asses and go vote in our last, "hotly contested" election.

It's amazing how little comment they and Al ABC and Al NPR have given to the import of what has occured over there! You can bet they'll point out every disagreement between the factions as they go through the complicated and challenging process of forming a government and amending their constitution (does this sound familiar?) They can't accept that Bush's plan is finally beginning to pay off. That he was right and they have been wrong, wrong, wrong at every step of the way. Bush and Rumsfeld, et al, have had their share of missteps along the way; more than a few miscalculations and overly optimistic estimates about the status in Iraq; and for sure not much success in international relations regarding Iraq.

I've made the case several times, that no president has been that good at directing a war. No general, either - at least at the beginning, where you will take losses at first as you size up your enemy and then figure out how you're going to defeat him. Hitler, Tojo, Napolean, Ghengis Khan, etc., were not stopped without an enormous cost. No war plan written before these conflicts and gathering dust on a shelf somewhere, was even remotely helping in beating back these attempts at world domination. Lincoln came awfully close to losing the Civil War in its first years, and his general, McClellan, was a boob who didn't hold a candle to Lee. Roosevelt had years to prepare for taking on Hitler and Tojo, and even then he had to absorb several big shocks before he could start effectively pushing back. Still, no one expected it to be that hard to defeat Japan.

Yet the demos seem to have no compulsion about belittling every setback in the war on terror and in Iraq, looking for a scapegoat, and then whimpering that it's time to bail out.

I can't understand that some supposedly literate and rational people don't have a clue about the terrorist agenda, and seem to honestly believe that we can back out and they'll leave us alone. I guess it's just been too long since America had to face the prospect of being overrun by a ruthless enemy bent on destroying our way of life and forcing us to live under their rules.

Last summer (conveniently in time for an election) we did a very public and agonizing self examination of our flaws and failures that led to the 9-11 bombings. Of course the demos took every chance to try and pin the blame on Bush, while they knew it was Clinton's years of issue avoidance that allowed it to come about. This was always tied to the implication that Bush "should have known" and done something to prevent those attacks. Yet, everything Bush is now doing to prevent another attack is criticized, belittled, derided, and appealed to the most appeasing judges in the system.

But, if another attack does happen, it will be Bush's fault!

What a system!

I'm p---d off that Lisa Murkowski voted against the Patriot Act renewal. She fell right into the demos' trap, sprung with impeccable timing by Al NY times, the day of the vote. I couldn't believe it when I saw she voted against it. I sent her an email politely chastising her and asking her to reconsider her position. Sure.., that'll help.

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