Saturday, June 21, 2014

Inspirational rocks

Why do they say "smite"?


Middle Frog: (randomly scatting some forgot-the-words filler) I can't be too far from the actual lyrics!

We look forward to seeing (& singing along with) Under the Streetlamp at American Music Theater next week!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On voice-recognition software

Vicki gave us a new sequence in Boot Camp. 

Usually, I write things down shortly after class.  Better a dull pencil than the sharpest of minds.  This time I tried to make voice-recognition do it.  And yes, I'm the one who on those automated menus ends up going, "English... English... English" and hitting 0 until I get a person.

My phone heard:

Rock step shuffle ball change shuffletone pet toast am the last step slap them them to the right to the left the lab steps to laugh all change

My phone is definitely not beating the Turing test anytime soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

You are good and faithful froggies.

Middle Frog: You are good and faithful frogs...
...except when you defect.

(Then the small frogs returned to Big Frog's team)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some things stick with you.

Reddit has a new subreddit, In Brother News, in which redditors get to share stories of having or being siblings.

I am an older sister but because I'm quite petite, I haven't been a big sister since approximately the time my 3-years-younger brother learned to walk. 

I got to share a story of being the younger sibling in one instance, "when cousins fill that older-sibs role"

I have a cousin who is 2yrs older than me, and I idolized her when we were little. Whatever she suggested, I was in. Gullible, but faithful. One time her family & mine were coming home from an event and she suddenly turns to me in the backseat, ducks down, & whispers that a blue station wagon was following us, & had been following us for awhile. I panicked and did the look-no-don't-look jack-in-the-box dance. Sure enough, blue station wagon. Following us. And when we made the next turn, so did the station wagon. Were they kidnappers? Were we in danger? With what delectable candy would they attempt to lure us from my dad into that malevolent blue station wagon?

Closer and closer we got to my house, and we couldn't shake that ominous stalker. We pull into the garage and I prepare to make a frantic dash for the house. If I get out of the car first, will my cousin be safe? She's older so she should be able to run faster. Should we hold hands so we stick together no matter what?

The moment of truth. Our car stops. The blue station wagon stops. I run for the house (sorry, cuz, each for themself). And the stranger unfolding himself from the terror-mobile is... my uncle, her dad.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hope does not disappoint us

Today I am reading day 254 of Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life - a Daily Devotional:

When Progress Is Slow

It's important to renew our minds, but it's also important to realize that this process of reprogramming or renewing our minds will take place little by little. Don't be discouraged if progress seems slow. Don't get down when you have setbacks or bad days. Just get back up, dust yourself off and start again.

When a baby is learning to walk, he falls many, many times before he develops the ability to walk without falling; however, the baby is persistent. He may cry for a while after he falls down, but he always gets right back up and tries again.

Learning to change our thinking works the same way. We struggle and fall down, but God is always there to pick us up. Rather than get frustrated, you should, as the Bible says, "triumph" in your hardship, because the very fact that you're struggling means that you're fighting the good fight.

There will be days when we don't do everything right, days when our thinking is negative. But never stop trying. God is gradually bringing us around to His way of thinking. Just don't give up!

Romans 5:3-5 ESV
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for picking me up when I fall down. I know that my struggles mean that You are helping me overcome my negative mindsets and bringing me more and more in line with Your way of thinking.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The actor is fine.

I was telling M at Shakespeare in the Park that the character was dead but the actor was fine, and although it may be a real sword (he's been to Ren Faire so he gets that), it certainly wasn't a real snake.

The Mad Mechanicals say it best: "Act 3: Everyone dies!"

photo source: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire's FB page

Forever Young

Messiah history prof Jim LaGrand, on Bob Dylan's benediction for today's graduates. (Must follow link. Youtube clip is the song, my personal preferred version, the SuperBowl ad with featuring Bob Dylan.)

(And, just because the song title always brings the Rod Stewart song first to mind, here that one is too.)

History pics

An eye into the past, but from unexpected perspectives.

Butterfly in the sky...

Happy 31st birthday, Reading Rainbow!

Reading Rainbow blogged some "31 years ago today" photos, such as this one of mustachioed LeVar:

I was the perfect demographic to watch Reading Rainbow through all my formative years, and as LeVar recently said, it wasn't intended to teach the reading/phonics skills (if it did, it would have had the words onscreen for all its readalouds!) so much as to nurture a love of reading. And I was and remain a voracious reader. I'm delighted that my nieces have always been bookworms and that my godson now will sit with me when I read to his younger sister. For a long time our library visits were me picking books for them to take home while they played with the many toys, games, and activities at Fredricksen Library. Lately he's been open to choosing a topic to look for more information on, such as dinosaurs, or lizards, etc.

We've certainly backed the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, and are excited to see Reading Rainbow hit its $5m stretch goal to bring the app to all platforms, not just the web, but also to expand its iOS app to Android and to gaming platforms. After hitting the original $1m goal in 11h, the total continues to steadily tick upwards.

(I told our children's library staff they need to add a butterfly.)

The return of Bill Watterson

Just read it.  And click on every strip it links to.  Squee!

Ever wish that Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson would return to the comics page?  Well he just did.  (By the creator of Pearls Before Swine.)

Thanks to Roger That for the find.

Washington Post article with some Bill Watterson comments on the genesis of the idea & process.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Busby Berkley was nuts.

I am writing this on March 13, 2014.
The more I write, the more I realize I can't publish it until after the Spring Show, May 31, 2014.
But initial impressions are powerful, and I sure hope I'll be a lot more comfortable with this dance with 10 more weeks of practice on it!

"In the Round" means the whole audience can see you but you can't see any of the other dancers.
As of today, my already-high-level respect for all the awesome people who routinely choreograph and act and dance in the round at Toby's Dinner Theatre moved to stratospheric admiration-bordering-on-reverence because of a tiny dose of experiential knowledge.

At church we say "Circles are better than rows", with the implication that community is build in small groups and supplemented with corporate worship. But in those circles, we all face IN.

In the round is TOUGH! The dance is suddenly a whole new monster! It's harder than "OK, this time with backs to the mirror." It's even harder than the learning curve of "same thing, opposite foot". And line dancing, with the same feet and the same arms but facing a different wall, is looking much easier than it was yesterday.
Another hundred reps. Practice-practice-practice! Another hundred reps and I'll have this down cold. Unless, of course, it changes next week.

AFTER-SHOW addendum, June 1, 2014: 
The choreography changed.  Of course it changed.  And Call Me ended up entering via what I call the "Union Jack" ("Get in your X-es!"), but instead of dancing to each corner as it was once projected, we did shift back into lines.  But still, mad props to Toby and her actor-waiters!

Interpreter accomplishment: Counterpoint: UNLOCKED!

I love counterpoint.

Correction: I love singing counterpoint.
Wonderful grace of Jesus, for example.  Only hymn with a bass lead.  Great song.

But interpreting counterpoint?  I'm not an octopus, and even if I were...
For example, try fingerspelling C-A-T with one hand and D-O-G with the other hand.
It's tougher than you might think.

Today in church we sang "Everlasting God", and at 3:10 by this video, it splits into an call-echo part.  Then at 4:01 it shifts into a verse-chorus counterpoint.  That means different tunes and different WORDS for each part.

I managed to put the ladies' verse part on my left hand and the men's chorus part on my right hand so that, for the first time since I had a coterp that I could have join me for counterpoint songs, I didn't have to say, "I'm with you, and you're on your own."  (That's what I do for You are Holy, and for that matter, Wonderful Grace of Jesus, because there is simply no way.)  When we went from unison to echo I shifted my stance and indicated, "hang on, things are gonna get interesting", and when the counterpoint hit... it was impressive.  I nearly hooped and hollered and jumped around after the song ended.  In a presbyterian church, you just don't do that.  BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN UNDERSTANDABLE IF I DID.