Friday, September 29, 2006

Music & Flowers

These are just two of my favourite things...

The Musical Bar

I recieved this as a forward in an e-mail from a musician friend some months ago. I saved it to the computer, for I found it fairly funny for a forward, but then forgot about it. However, with upcoming papers looming, I find myself in Word yet again (a place I had not frequented over the summer) and re-discovering things like the following:

A C, an E-flat, and a G go into a bar... The bartender says: "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So the E-flat leaves, and the C and the G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and the G is out flat. An F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough.

A D comes into the bar and heads straight for the bathroom, saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a second." Then an A comes into the bar, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices a B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and exclaims, "Get out now. You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight!"

The E-flat, not easily deflated, comes back to the bar the next night in a 3-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender (who used to have a nice corporate job until his company downsized) says, "You're looking sharp tonight, come on in! This could be a major development!"

This proves to be the case, as the E-flat takes off the suit, and everything else, and stands there au natural.

Eventually, the C sobers up, and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. The C is brought to trial, is found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale correctional facility. On appeal, however, the C is found innocent of any wrong-doing, even accidental, and that all accusations to the contrary are bassless.

The bartender decides, however, that since he's only had tenor so patrons, with the soprano out in the bathroom, and everything has become altoo much treble, he needs a rest, and closes the bar.

I'm surprised no one had a tonic or a root beer....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Autograph, anyone?"

Within this past week I have filled out an in-depth survey about my radio listening habits and have been interviewed about my homeschooling experience (for an article soon to appear in a small magazine). And as I was sitting here, writing this, I was called and surveyed about the upcoming Municipal Election!

I'm feeling quite popular at the moment as a reslut (a little taste of stardom where my views are interesting to the broader public). Joking aside, I do think that it is important to get my two bits worth in to these surveys & pols since I like to have my views represented.

Anyone else want to know what I think?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


We are studying Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey this week. He was truly a gifted writer. This poem has much to say about the power of nature on the imagination (especially dealing with memory). I do not agree with all that he concludes about this topic, yet I like some of his insights and observations. One section (lines 61-64) on memories anticipated is well put:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years.

Another section (lines 81-86) describes the joys & pains of maturation:
That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur, other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence.

The final section looked at here (lines 92-102) is one that from its language seems to describe, in a poetic manner, his perception of God:
And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

It is beautiful. Yet, sadly for Wordsworth, he identifies this religious feeling with nature herself a few lines later; how tragic that he cannot see Who it was who rules over nature (worshipping the creature more than the Creator). He was so close yet infinitly off the mark. Wordsworth was truly blessed with poetic perception yet what did he do with this gift?

I think, though, that if we understand the position from which he comes, we can still enjoy and benefit from his insights, since they are still insights (and beautifully rendered)

Friday, September 22, 2006


William Carlos Williams ain't got nuthin' on me:

so much depends

a yellow day

struck by sun

on a blue

In praise of etymology, phonology...

I am taking a course this term on the history of the English language. So far I am facinated by what we are learning. Things like: why languages change, how languages change, why pronunciation varies, why we have strange spelling patterns, how certain sounds get cut when we're lazy since they're more work to make, why the schwa is the easiest vowel to form (thus when people are stuck for a word they say 'uhhh') and the list goes on.

Almost everything we learn makes sense and makes sense of other things that I had observed. I am very pleased that I am taking this course and, if opportunity arises, may take more of the same in future...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Psalm 113

I read this Psalm yesterday as part of devotions. Although the pictures here highlight the Psalm differently, what struck me when I read it was the 6th verse: "who humbleth himself". after speaking of His glory and how exalted He is, that verse jumped out at me. It would seem incongruous (almost blasphemous) had we not Christ's story to fill in the blank. But now, knowing what we do, we can completely rejoice in how Christ glorified the Father by humbling Himself and being obedient unto death. What a glorious Savior we have! Praise ye the Lord!
1Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.

2Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

3From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.

4The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

5Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,

6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

7He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

8That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.

9He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I'm not sure where this quote originally came from but I wrote it down some time ago and just came across it this evening when sorting through some papers on the desk.
To love is to allow hope into your life.
To hope is to allow uncertainty into your life.
To be uncertain is the essence of learning to trust God to bring only the disappointments He deems best.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


While in my History of the English Language course this past week, I recieved a bit of a shock. I was not shocked by some of the new words that have slipped into common speech (I already knew the language was going to the dogs). I was not shocked by most of the words that have slipped out of common speech (I knew alot of words that I like tend to be rather archaic). However, I say "most" since I was thrown off guard by the casual way that the class passed off the word 'unto'.
Oh, nobody uses that word anymore. Try to think of a sentence that you would say normally that has 'unto' in it.
And that was it. I'm puzzled. To me 'unto' is among the building blocks of our language; it serves its purpose quite well as a preposition and conjunction. Along with this basic function it indicates limits, spatial relationships, motion towards a goal, and the list goes on.

I suppose that "to" is the common substitution but I think a little bit is lost by plunking all these nuances into that one word.

I understand that the language is changing. I understand that without such change the language would soon dry up and eventually die but I cannot help feeling a slight twinge of regret that such a friend is now considered 'out of use' & to be footnoted in modern editions.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A New Season

having starts classes today, I feel as though this marks the beginning of the next season. Autumn has always been a favourite of mine (and this despite the fact that school starts during it!).
One aspect I like about it is that it has two names: Fall & Autumn. Of course Autumn is by far the prettier of the two but it's like having a beautiful name and a pet name (two is better than one). Actually for me Autumn only represents the first half of the season since it is a rich, golden, russet name and I cannot imagine it applying to the dull grey days we get before the snow brightens things up.

So to celebrate this short season before it's gone, here is Keats' lovely poem.

To Autumn
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plum the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells--
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now the trebel soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
-John Keats

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

II Samuel 22:1-28

1And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:
2And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
4I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
5When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; 6The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; 7In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.
8Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. 9There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 10He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. 11And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. 13Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. 14The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.
15And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.
16And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 17He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; 18He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. 19They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 20He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 21The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 22For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 23For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. 24I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity. 25Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. 26With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. 27With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. 28And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I was experiencing difficulties in the photo upload for an entry I'm preparing so this is a test (and a nice picture).

Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Canoe Camping

I took a few pictures while on the canoe trip (around 195 or so) so, following the statistical odds, a percentage of them turned out well. This gives me ample material for several posts so please don't get bored with them (I'll try not to put them all in at once).

The camp is shrouded with mist which is turning gold at sunrise on the last day of our trip.