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Thursday, April 29, 2004  
OK - so the new iTunes is pretty darn cool, as evidenced by the ability of anyone and everyone to publish their own spiffy playlists to iTunes. Blatant self-promotion mode ON: you can see my own first go at a personal iMix playlist here (iTunes required). Not sure where this will lead the world, but it isn't a bad thing to be able to group your favorite tunes together and show the world.

Written at: 4/29/2004 12:48:00 AM

Sunday, April 25, 2004  
something new

for my folks. Makes a daughter proud! They're doing great with the transition.

Written at: 4/25/2004 03:48:00 PM

Sunday, April 18, 2004  
Spring comes to Brainard
daffodils bloom again 2004primrose - 2004
Some photos I seem to take every year. And I'm glad to be able to. Saturday was the moment to see the sudden arrival of spring and that against all odds the little blue primrose blooms again.
For some other photos, this time of Mo the cat, go here

Written at: 4/18/2004 12:24:00 PM

Monday, April 12, 2004  
This just in via Antipixel -- Things that make you go hmmmmm.

From the BBC news of a radio poll for the "favourite classical work of Classic FM listeners for the fourth year in a row", "Classic FM" being apparently a British radio programme.

The top 20 list as reported by the BBC:

1 Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2
2 Mozart: Clarinet Concerto
3 Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
4 Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
5 Grieg: Piano Concerto
6 Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5
7 Elgar: Enigma Variations
8 Jenkins: The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace)
9 Elgar: Cello Concerto
10 Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
11 Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
12 Shore: The Lord of the Rings
13 Beethoven: Symphony No.9
14 Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a theme of Tallis
15 Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 (Organ)
16 Pachelbel: Canon in D
17 Barber: Adagio for strings
18 Ungar: The Ashokan Farewell
19 Sibelius: Finlandia
20 Holst: The Planets Suite
#18 ring a bell(iTunes link)? A long time favorite waltz for contra dancers, but most associated with the Ken Burns Civil War Documentary.

Written at: 4/12/2004 09:18:00 PM

One of the most important skills you can have, in my not-so-humble opinion, is that ability to put aside the noise in your head and life and do something. Sometimes it means turning off the "but, but, buts" or the "ohmigawd, what ifs" or the clutching panic that rises somewhere around your belly button and heads for your throat. Not to ignore or pretend the problem or nervous-causing thing doesn't exist. No no.

I've heard this described as the ability to compartmentalize and I've heard it described both as a positive and a negative.

To my own way of thinking, being able to do this is a good thing for several reasons. First off, it gives your head and your body a chance to step back from the problems at hand and think about them behind the scenes, while your body and head is busy doing something else. So rather than just going ohmigawdohmigawd, clutch clutch and making a decision to act on the spot you can create a little oasis as it were to stand, in a calm way, and go back to the problem from a different perspective. And second, it means that you can allow yourself the very positive thing of being able to keep working while you have this problem before you. Instead of grinding to a halt while you whir and spin over it, and thereby adding the spector of slipping deadlines to the whole problem - you can still whittle away at the work before you.

Having said all that, sometimes it's best to pretend that you're doing something, maybe tidy the room, put stuff away etc, while having a cool beverage and just chilling out. Still productive both outwardly and inwardly and still a good approach to problem-solving.

Written at: 4/12/2004 05:58:00 PM

Wednesday, April 07, 2004  
Sometimes nice things happen when you're not really around to see them. The boys - Mo, Bill and Gus take a little snooze together.

Written at: 4/07/2004 10:42:00 PM

Monday, April 05, 2004  
Some fabulous ideas on getting unstuck and other problem-solving ideas are found over at Curt Rosengren's blog. Actually I think I want his job. This is from his "about" page:
As a Passion Catalyst, I work with people who have reached the point in their career where they're saying, "What the @#%$! am I doing here?" and help them figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

Written at: 4/05/2004 03:20:00 PM

Sunday, April 04, 2004  
Somewhere along the line of enjoying this piece on Witold Riedel's blog, I tilted my head.... Thanks for a kick to the head Witold!

Written at: 4/04/2004 12:17:00 PM

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