Sunday, August 29, 2004

A New Song

I have been sitting on this one for a while because I don't actually have rights to use the words. The words are a poem written by Katherine Artus Taylor, who is (or was) a woman who my late grandmother knew when they were girls. Mrs. Taylor wrote a small chapbook of poetry late in her life, which my grandmother had a copy of, and which she passed on to me before she passed away. The poem actually consists of three stanzas. I used the first two stanzas for the stanzas of this song, and the third stanza for the chorus. I don't know if Mrs. Taylor is still on this earth, and if she is, where she may be living, and I have been unable to get any contact information. So, I guess I have to say "lyrics used without permission." On the other hand, I think I did really well on the music.

So the new song is God Shall Keep Me Ever, and as usual, the midi file will be coming along later.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Reading List

I don't read nearly as much as I used to. I still read when I can, but not as much as I should. Here's a site that I might someday find very useful if I can afford so many books. Maybe it's time to get a library card again. U.S. Army Chief of Staff's Reading List:

"The Professional Reading List is a way for leaders at all levels to increase their understanding of our Army's history, the global strategic context, and the enduring lessons of war. The topics and time periods included in the books on this list are expansive and are intended to broaden each leader's knowledge and confidence. I challenge all leaders to make a focused, personal commitment to read, reflect, and learn about our profession and our world. Through the exercise of our minds, our Army will grow stronger."

I do already have one book in Sublist 1: Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Files Update

I finally got around to fixing up and adding the midi file for My Heart Is Steadfast. Each voice part has its own track so you can use your favorite midi player to mute, solo, or change instrument tracks for learning purposes.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

New Truck

I guess I should try to post more often, but I usually can't think of much to write about. So how about this.

Four years ago I bought a Toyota Echo. It got great gas mileage (about 41 mpg highway) but was just a tiny little car that did not come close to replacing my old '89 Ford Ranger (which got over 30 mpg highway, by the way). This year the balloon payment was coming up on the Echo so it was time to get rid of it, or something. So I ended up with a '03 Ranger.

I spent a lot of time outside yesterday with the truck. I gotta say although the mileage is going to stink, it's really nice to be in a truck again. To be up off the ground where I have some decent visibility is just flat-out wonderful. The previous owner had spilled some oil (not motor oil, something like 3-In-One oil) in the toolbox, so I got some Dawn soapy water and cleaned it up, then started putting stuff in it. Then I broke out the owner's manual and figured out how to break out the jack and spare tire (it is actually more like my old Courier than like my last Ranger) and then spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how in the heck to put a radio in the thing (ham radio, that is). It has an extra auxiliary power jack in the cab that is rated at 20 amps, so I might be able to get away with just hooking up to that, and not running power cables all the way to the battery. This still leaves the problem of how to get the antenna cable out. My old Ranger had several rubber grommets in the floor that were seemingly made just for such a thing (as did the Echo, in fact), but no such things exist in this Ranger. It looks like I will have to drill a hole somewhere.

One nice thing is, the extended cab creates a much larger roof area, so large that I could actually get one of those big 4-magnet mag-mount bases and put a big antenna up there if I wanted--although I probably would not actually move with a bugcatcher on the roof. I still have the mount that I fabricated for the old Ranger, and it might work on this one--it might not, because this one is slightly different in the area where I had it mounted on the old one. This magmount scheme might be okay for what is called "Rover" operations, where you drive somewhere and park before operating the radio. There's a special Rover class for the annual Field Day event.

I mention radios because, as I was driving it home the other day, I realized something that I had thought about several years before--an automatic transmission means no stick in the middle of the floor. There's a big empty area there that will hold multiple radios if the proper mount can be created. Some hams are kind of snobby about magmounts, but to me they have always been very useful and versatile. I have even occasionally operated with a magmount stuck the roof of my house. But then, living in a trailer house doesn't give me room to be snobby about much.

Nearest Book Meme

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

"As far back as the 1930s Giovanni Montini as a young ecclesiastic had been profoundly influenced by a single attitude that would, thirty years later, go a long way toward making him a Pope unlike any Pope before him." --from The Final Conclave by Malachi Martin.

via Peachwater, Tx. Journal

Thursday, August 12, 2004

What Famous Leader Are You?

Another one of those what something-or-other are you tests. I get a kick out of these, though I don't know why. I took the long version of the test.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Five more LPs

I should do this more often, just so there's a new post every day. Five more vinyl albums.
David Bowie Tonight (accidentally got from RCA Record Club, decided to keep)
Jackson Browne For Everyman (bought used, has Jackson's original version of Take It Easy)
Tony Carey Some Tough City (bought new, still think it's a cool album)
Harry Chapin Greatest Stories Live (bought new, haven't heard it in a loooong time)
Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Front Boulevard (bought used, not a huge Clapton fan)

New Books

I got some new books this week. I am now reading The First World War by Hew Strachan. It got very high marks at Amazon.