Category: Reviews

  • Chamber Music Festival

    We attended one of a dozen concerts in the year-end Nevada Chamber Music Fesitval. It’s been a while since I last saw classical music performed, and this was a good reminder that it’s worth doing now and then. The dedication and ability of classical musicians always amazes me, and they make music that doesn’t do […]

  • Movie: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012)

    A Christmas present! It’s just what I’d hoped for in the Lord of the Rings series: a telling of the story that focuses on characters first, and uses effects as embellishment. Sure some battles are longer than they need to be, but we also get songs and dialog that will be too long for some, […]

  • Live Music: Norah Jones

    Ann gave me tickets to see Norah Jones partly because they were light enough to carry on my birthday backpack trip. We aren’t big concertgoers, and were having a hard time getting excited. Our friends Grace and Sharli helped crank us up with some arcade entertainment in Harvey’s. I even manage a slim air hockey […]

  • 2011 – we come to rest in Reno

    Twenty eleven was a “should we stay or should we go” year for Ann and I. The debate raged, and we settled on Reno, Nevada as a potential place to stay awhile. It was right between the mountains and the desert, and fairly central in the current distribution of Ann’s family. We came in May, […]

  • 2010 – a year on the road

    Ann and I have lived in our 1999 Lance truckbed camper for the entire year. A few times we wondered what the square footage of this thing is, so I finally looked up the specs. Here’s our floorplan: Assuming we have the standard cabover option (it doesn’t seem to be marked), that gives us a […]

  • Live Music: Heinavanker

    I can’t remember the last time I heard a good Estonian vocal ensemble! My Aunt Julia provides a rare opportunity to experience six expert vocalists from Estonia create heart-stilling harmonies based on meditative, monastic-sounding early sacred music and Estonian folk hymns. The effect on me is simultaneously simple and complex, the apparent simplicity of voices […]

  • Live Music: Charles Fisk plays Chopin and Debussey

    Flood warnings on the radio accompany a hard rain as we make our way to Shelburne, Vermont to see my grandmother Ruth. We feel fortunate to make it in time for dinner and one of the musical performances Ruth, at 91, arranges for her community. Tonight a pianist from Wellesley College performs a mix of […]

  • Live Music: Carpé Diem String Quartet

    I’m not expecting much from a free concert at Saginaw Valley State University, but I’m really pleasantly surprised by this quartet. They are clearly fine, professional musicians and are having fun while playing really rich music. Their credibility is established with a fairly classical sounding piece full of rich harmonies and tones, then they cut […]

  • Book: Dark Star Safari / Paul Theroux

    A good recommendation from Ann, Theroux narrates his overland trip across Africa from Cairo to Cape Town. Full of high-powered observation, criticism, even mockery that constructs a convincing portrayal of the often desperate African life that most tourists intentionally avoid. His analysis of the effects of foreign aid to Africa is enough to give me […]

  • Book: Uncertainty / David Lindley

    I’m fascinated by the huge disruptions that early 20th century discoveries in math and physics caused. The upheaval caused by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is definitely one, and this cogent, readable history of it is really satisfying. It’s not technical, but it provides enough explanations to make the conflicts tangible. My understanding of anecdotes like Schrödinger’s […]