Autumn Approacheth

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

owl

I saw this picture on Bing.com and immediately thought of Autumn. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s because it’s the end of August and Labor Day is this weekend. Suzy and I will be visiting our son and his family, including our new granddaughter. Should be a fun trip.

Owls seem out of this world cool to many of us. Besides the size, this excerpt from Wikipedia might explain some of the appeal.

Owls share an innate ability to fly almost silently and also more slowly in comparison to other birds of prey. Most owls live a mainly nocturnal lifestyle and being able to fly without making any noise gives them a strong advantage over their prey that are listening for any sign of noise in the dark night. A silent, slow flight is not as necessary for diurnal and crepuscular owls given that prey can usually see an owl approaching. While the morphological and biological mechanisms of this silent flight are more or less unknown, the structure of the feather has been heavily studied and accredited to a large portion of why they have this ability.

Owls’ feathers are generally larger than the average birds’ feathers, have fewer radiates, longer pennulum, and achieve smooth edges with different rachis structures. Serrated edges along the owl’s remiges bring the flapping of the wing down to a nearly silent mechanism. Research has shown that the serrations are more likely reducing aerodynamic disturbances, rather than simply reducing noise. The surface of the flight feathers is covered with a velvety structure that absorbs the sound of the wing moving. These unique structures reduce noise frequencies above 2 kHz, making the sound level emitted drop below the typical hearing spectrum of the owl’s usual prey and also within the owl’s own best hearing range. This optimizes the owl’s ability to silently fly in order to capture prey without the prey hearing the owl first as it flies in. It also allows the owl to monitor the sound output from its flight pattern.

Or maybe, it’s just the Harry Potter connect.  Winking smile

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Mouthpiece Sale Blowout!

Sunday, 24 August 2014, starting a 1 PM (pacific time), Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns will be listing lots of clarinet and saxophone mouthpieces. Many of these auctions will start at 99 cents with no minimums. You can view these at quinntheeskimo.net.

Mouthpieces

Posting lots of mouthpieces starting a around 1 PM and then every minute there after, this should be a bonanza for teachers, techs, and reed musicians. Good luck!

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Paul Desmond Quotes

On the secret of his tone: “I honestly don’t know! It has something to do with the fact that I play illegally.”

image“I have won several prizes as the world’s slowest alto player, as well as a special award in 1961 for quietness.”

“I was unfashionable before anyone knew who I was.”

“I tried practicing for a few weeks and ended up playing too fast.”

“I think I had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to sound like a dry martini.”

“Our basic audience begins with creaking elderly types of twenty-three and above.”

When asked by Gene Lees what accounted for the melancholy in his playing he replied,

“Wellllll, the fact that I’m not playing better.”

“I discovered early in life that if you take gym first period, you can go into the wrestling room and sit in the corner and sleep.”

He was an English major in college. His reason for not pursuing a literary career, “I could only write at the beach, and I kept getting sand in my typewriter.”

“Writing is like jazz. It can be learned, but it can’t be taught.”

Of writer Jack Kerouac he said, “I hate the way he writes. I kind of love the way he lives, though.”

Of Vogue fashion models, he said, “Sometimes they go around with guys who are scuffling — for a while. But usually they end up marrying some cat with a factory. This is the way the world ends, not with a whim but a banker.”

“Sometimes I get the feeling that there are orgies going on all over new York City, and somebody says, `Let’s call Desmond,’ and somebody else says, ‘Why bother? He’s probably home reading the Encyclopedia Britannica.'”

His response to the annoying banality of an interviewer, “You’re beginning to sound like a cross between David Frost and David Susskind, and that is a cross I cannot bear.”

Shortly before the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, “We’re working as if it were going out of style — which of course it is.”

Of yogurt he said, “I don’t like it, but Dave is always trying things like that. He’s a nutritional masochist. He’ll eat anything as long as he figures it’s good for him.”

Of contact lenses: “Not for me. If I want to tune everybody out, I just take off my glasses and enjoy the haze”

On Ornette Coleman’s playing, “It’s like living in a house where everything’s painted red.”

Doug Ramsey wrote that Desmond on seeing Barbara Jones’ oil painting of four cats stalking a mouse said, “Ah, the perfect album cover for when I record with the Modern Jazz Quartet.” Ramsey pointed out that the mouse was mechanical and Desmond responded, “In that case, Cannonball will have to make the record.”

imageDesmond’s fondness for scotch was well known. So in early 1976 when a physical examination showed lung cancer, he was ironically pleased that his liver was fine. “Pristine, perfect. One of the great livers of our time. Awash in Dewars and full of health.”

Excerpts from the cover notes to “Take Ten”:

“I’m taking his [jazz writer, George Avakian] place this time because he’s up to his jaded ears in Newport tapes and partly because this way we’ll have room on the back for pictures.”

“Briefly, then, I’m this saxophone player from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, with which I’ve been associated with since shortly after the Crimean War. You can tell which one is me because when I’m not playing, which is surprisingly often, I’m leaning against the piano… [a little later, speaking of guitarist, Jim Hall] … hilariously easy to work with except except he complains once in a while when I lean on the guitar.”

“Gene Cherico, who’s becoming a thoroughly fantastic bass player, has only been playing bass for the last eight years. (Before that he was a drummer, but a tree fell on him. No kidding, that’s the kind of life he leads)… Connie Kay is, of course, the superb drummer from the Modern Jazz Quartet, and if a tree ever falls on him I may just shoot myself.”
“Bob Prince, doubtless overwhelmed at having a song named after him, appeared frequently with advice and council which was totally disregarded.”

“I would also like to thank my father who discouraged me from playing the violin at an early age.”

Comment by Doug Ramsey on Paul Desmond: “We were in an elevator in the Portland Hilton, waiting for the doors to close when the car jerked and dropped slightly, and a bell sounded. “What was that?” a startled woman asked. “E-flat,” Paul Desmond and I said simultaneously.”

Paul Desmond on why he changed his name said, “Breitenfeld sounded too Irish.”

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Ballard Locks Vintage Car Show

My band, the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra, played at the Ballard Locks last weekend. We had a great crowd and once again, the Vintage Car Show was set up next to the playing stand. Here are some quick pictures I took before we took the stage:

car04

car05  car03car02  car01

The first two pictures are my faves and it is a Peirce Arrow. Fun show, btw. I saw a bunch of good friends who came to enjoy the shows.  Smile

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Seattle Times: At 92, area’s last typewriter repairman loves his Selectrics

This was such a cool article I just had to share.

LastTypewriterRepairmanSeattle2014

The area’s last typewriter repairman is 92 and he’ll tell you all kinds of stories.

Bob Montgomery has the time for stories because he’s not that busy these days. Time passes slowly in his fifth-floor space at a downtown Bremerton office building.

He was always a skinny guy. At his age, he looks more frail than he is.

But his mind is sharp, remembering details about machines manufactured a century ago. His eyesight is good, and he uses magnifying glasses to work with tweezers on delicate parts.

Walk into his shop, and you’re transported to a different world.

Outside, people are tethered to their smartphones, busy, busy, busy tweeting 140 characters of random thoughts.

Read more at the Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024286725_manualtypewritersxml.html

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Security 101: 1.2 Billion Passwords Hacked and YOU

10590485_1544622415761388_2121292101621360298_nFirst, the story. From USA Today.

I asked a friend who does computer security, what to do about passwords. Here’s a small primer. He wrote up his suggestions for the layman here.

1. If you have a password that’s under 12 characters long, it’s too easy to crack. Change it.
I’ve had a few computers come to me, at work, where I need to find out what the password actually was. Resetting the local administrator password on Mac/Windows/Linux is ludicrously easy. Finding out what the password is can be more difficult. I use software that uses something called a “Rainbow Table” to crack these passwords. Short passwords are recovered in a few minutes.

2. Don’t use the same password for “social” websites that you use for your bank or other financial institution.
If I’ve successfully cracked the Woodwind Forum’s password tables, the first thing I’d do is take that e-mail address and password and try it at a credit card company. Don’t use your work password at home (or vice-versa), either.

3. Use a password keeper and use that to generate your passwords.
At Gandalfe’s suggestion, I started testing a program called LastPass about two years ago. Since then, I’ve seen other techs in my company use it and I’m really quite happy with how it works. It’s not perfect — it doesn’t like entering the proper username and password on some websites — but it’s recommended. I just wish it’d work on everything, not just websites.

4. Remember that your e-mail account is where you recover passwords. Reset these passwords monthly.
Almost every website I enter a password into has a way to reset your password: they e-mail you at the address you signed up with.

5. For my sake, practice safe browsing.
I typically deal with malware and viruses where I work. An overwhelming majority of these problems come from people going to websites they shouldn’t or clicking on links in e-mails that they shouldn’t. Especially don’t go to someplace other than the manufacturer to download software. If you need Adobe Flash Player or an update, go to www.adobe.com, not www.peteshouseofmalware.com. There are fake installers out there for just about every one of those little plug-in programs.

6. Install some good antimalware and antivirus software and use it.
The best Windows products out there are free for personal use: Microsoft’s Security Essentials and Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware. For Mac, Sophos is very good and also free for home use. I no longer tell folks that if they have a Mac, they’re probably fine. Get Sophos. Really. And do quick scans with all this stuff at least weekly and full scans monthly.

7 Don’t be stupid.
I’ve come across lots of users that have a document on their computer called something like, “My secret list of passwords,” and that document isn’t even encrypted — not that it wouldn’t be easy to crack (see above).

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39th Wedding Anniversary

marriage

Now retired, this is our first wedding anniversary in that state. So many years of love and companionship, how do we celebrate? Well for us, we celebrate with good morning kisses, walks with the dawg, picking a movie to see together and a nice dinner out on the town. How lucky are we?

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