I have absolute (perfect) pitch. Even as a small child I was able to pick out a harmony to a song and sing along with it, or sing it alone, with or without accompaniment. When I was five years old, my favorite music was by The McGuire Sisters, a trio in the 1950s who sang tight 3-part harmonies. Even then, I would take turns singing along with each part. I’m not telling you this to brag. One cannot brag about something that one was born with.
Lynette was just giving a voice lesson in the living room. This pupil couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it. What I want to know is:
- Why do some people have an “ear” and others don’t.
- What the hell is an “ear” anyway? I mean biologically. What causes some to have it, and others not to?
- If you can’t sing, what is it you hear when you try to sing?
- When you sing along with a melody, what keeps you from hitting the correct notes?
- Do people who have no “ear” know that they're not hitting the notes?
Today, I’m exhausted, of course, but my relaxing Sunday in PJs is to be short-lived; Nettl’s father is taking us our to dinner. Actually, I think I’ll order a huge steak. Leftover bread sticks and veggies only go so far.
If you could live in any TV show house (past or present), what house would you choose? Assume that only you are living in the house, you don’t become a member of the family who lived there (they moved out or something), or get to appear on the TV show. You only get to live in the house.
My answer? I really like the apartment that Lucy and Ricky Ricardo had in New York. Here are some cool blueprints of a few TV homes. And here is the blueprint of the Ricardo apartment.
With conversation in my previous entry’s comments turning to Deni and me, I thought I’d post some pictures that were taken in our senior year. (Say it proudly: 1969!)
My self-esteem has been pretty low for the past month or two. It started when I decided to rebuild this blog in WordPress. Having used the crutch of MS FrontPage since I made my first website in 1998, I never really even learned HTML; only the little bit it takes to insert images or links in forums and such. I’d just gotten a little of that down when the web started going to css, and I learned a little of that by helping my friends with their Blogdrive accounts. I liked it better, but I didn’t think I would be using it myself because I always had good old FrontPage to keep me warm, despite all of the garbage code it generates. Then php came along and I recognized that before too long I was going to have to change my methods of building web pages. Besides, I liked the look of css pages; the drop shadows, the seamless graphics…It’s like comparing a high definition television to a regular old tube job–not absolutely necessary to change, but wow! what a difference.
So Deni and I began working on this blog. I found a template I liked and she tweaked it according to what I envisioned. She worked really hard at it, in fact, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I was going to have to assume responsibility and learn this new language for myself. I downloaded tutorials, but they didn’t help. I’m not that kind of learner. I learn by doing and by making mistakes, not by reading or by being instructed, and whenever I just thought about learning css, I felt overwhelmed and stupid. I’ve always been an autodidact and I could always teach myself anything, but this time I thought I’d finally encountered that One Thing that I couldn’t learn. That’s not easy on my self-esteem.
Yesterday morning I decided to rebuild my professional website and I thought that maybe I’d try to use a css template I’d downloaded a week ago. “What the heck? If I Mess it up,” I thought, “no one will ever know.” So I opened up the template and got busy at trying to learn. Fortunately, I didn’t run into any problems for a long while, so my confidence built up pretty fast, and by the time I did hit a snag, I had enough idea of what I was doing to figure it out. By noon, the space above my head was glowing with light bulbs and I had a new look for that site, and man, am I proud! Now I want to learn databases so that I can rebuild Nettl’s and my large content sites! Now I really have to get back to figuring out the database for the big project site I’ve been working on… Meantime,
Nathan and Heather are leaving this afternoon. Nathan is moving to Wichita to live with his dad and Heather’s going up to spend the summer as she usually does. Lauren is staying home because she’s grown out of the child visitation phase of her life and she has a job besides. Next June, after she graduates high school, she’ll be going to France for a year as an exchange student before enrolling in college. Heather will graduate in June ‘08.
For all my swagger over welcoming an empty nest, it’s sad, and if I didn’t have the hope of Vienna to look forward to, I’d be sorely feeling the passing of this stage of family life. When the kids first came to live with us they were still just kids and I wondered how I’d survive being the parent of a large family when I was used to a small one. I adjusted, however and now, as I see them going out the door one-by-one, I realize just how much I’ve enjoyed being a “Family Weird”.
Still, I’m looking forward to life with Nettl–just the two of us to come and go as we please–and to the times when the kids come visit us, and perhaps later, when they bring their own kids.
Ach! Let’s not rush. I’m not ready for that yet!
“Everyday, we look at dozens of websites. The structure of these websites is defined in HTML, the lingua franca for publishing information on the web. Your browser’s job is to render the HTML according to the specs (most of the time, at least). You can look at the code behind any website by selecting the “View source” tab somewhere in your browser’s menu.
HTML consists of so-called tags, like the A tag for links, IMG tag for images and so on. Since tags are nested in other tags, they are arranged in a hierarchical manner, and that hierarchy can be represented as a graph. I’ve written a little app that visualizes such a graph, and here are some screenshots of websites that I often look at.
I’ve used some color to indicate the most used tags in the following way:
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags”
You can get yours HERE.
Photo by Ryan McCoy.
1. Driver’s seat or passenger seat?
Short trips around town: passenger
Long trips out-of-town: driver
2. What was the first car you owned (could have been purchased by someone else)?
A spanking new 1970 Subaru minibus.
3. What is the first car you paid for yourself?
See above. Off the lot, cash in hand, it cost me $1,100.
4. How many cars are currently housed in your place of residence? How many are still operable?
5. If money were not a factor, what kind of car would you own?
A fully-loaded, brand new Jeep Wrangler.
6. If a police investigation was not a factor, what kind of car would you destroy any time you see it? Why?
Those pickups with the rear four-wheel axle. Especially those owned by city guys with small penises.
7. Does driving in big city traffic fill your veins with adrenaline or your pants with something a bit worse?
No, unless there are other cars on the road.
8. What is your biggest pet peeve regarding driving and/or your fellow drivers?
Lack of consideration, including loud stereos, not using turn signals, etc.
9. What’s the most expensive traffic ticket you’ve ever received (could be monetary or jailtime)?
$120 for speeding. On the interstate. With no cars in sight. In the middle of nowhere. In Kansas.
10. What is the name you’ve given to your current vehicle (be honest, everyone names their car)?
Okay. Your turn.
stolen from Chasing Vincenzo