Prisms before Dark Side of the Moon

Posted in Call it what you like! on July 27th, 2006 by admin

Have some new tune ideas that I’m working on. One of them is a little ditty about this guy: Gustav Robert Kirchhoff

and his partner in spectroscopy, Bunsen. Yep, that Bunsen (well, sort of that Bunsen).

These fine fellows were the subject of my Bachelor’s thesis. They made seminal discoveries demonstrating the in-retrospect-simple concept that objects in the sky (the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets…) can be analyzed by chemical techniques used on Earth. Even better, they showed that a popular celestial object–ye olde Sol–is made of materials also found on Earth. Seems pedestrian now, but it was a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster of a mind shift at the time.

So, I wrote my BA thesis on their work. 16 years later, it seems like I ought to do a song, too. Exciting, I know.

Woo! Clean chest.

Posted in Call it what you like! on July 26th, 2006 by admin

Not to get all LiveJournal-like-personal-newsy, but:

I’m very pleased to say that my first X-Ray/blood marker followup after the end of radiation is clean. Officially in remission and all that. I get to have blood markers, chest X-rays, and abdominal CT scans every couple for months for a few years for monitoring, but this first one kind of feels like a big deal. Whee!

Tooba Wooba!

Posted in Call it what you like! on July 9th, 2006 by admin

Nothing makes you really feel alive in quite the same way as spending hours getting a Tuba part just right.

Except maybe seeing just how weird the tu-ba used to-be:

Some history
Some more history (an academic study, even)

And by the way,
See Tuba City!

Sucks to be the Squirrel

Posted in Call it what you like! on July 7th, 2006 by admin

About the coolest thing I saw this week: I turn the corner around a building on campus to a long paved plaza. I see something moving to the right, and do a classic Python double-take at the ginormous hawk munching away on a squirrel. Or a freshly ex-squirrel as it were.

Man, this thing was impressive up close (about 8 feet away in this case). It was close to 2 feet tall. I’m guessing it was a very light morph of Red-Tailed Hawk–it was the right size (big big big) and shape, and had the red tail, but the head and belly were mostly all white. Very striking.

What was also interesting was its attitude. A lot of birds, suddenly confronted by a large mammal, would hop around nervously or fly off outright. Not this sucker. (S)he just kept on eating as I gawked, and the one or two times the bird looked my way I got the distinct impression I was being sized up for whether I might taste better than the squirrel.

Wow. Much cooler than the stray dogs that usually pass for wildlife hereabouts.