The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: inner geek (Page 1 of 3)

Goals, ToDos & TryOuts – part 2

First seen in this earlier post and then again in part 1, a certain coffee mug takes center stage as an example of a ‘quick TryOut’.

That said, the ‘quick TryOut’ to finish Aromatic Steam Arising is only as good as the sum of its parts. Meaning: one of those parts was to compose a soundtrack specific to the video. That part was right up my alley and I certainly had fun noodling around on both the UKE and CG for ideas. The noodling resulted in two separate 4 measure motifs which I then entered into my NOTION notation program and arranged as a duo. Adjusting for the duration of coffee mug’s stellar performance, I came up with the 34 seconds of music needed for use in the video.

ASA 34 seconds Score

That was the easy part. Next came the actual putting together of a cohesive video highlighting my raw unedited phone footage in sync with a NOTION instrument rendition of my ASA 34 Seconds accompanying audio track.

Enter stage left – the challenging part of my ‘quick TryOut.’

Armed with some working knowledge of Canva, I decided to go forth and dive deep into using their free tools for video/audio projects. It took me a few days but I learned much through the process.

As promised, here is my first attempt at making a video with my personal & original uploads using Canva tools. Enjoy!

“Aromatic Steam Arising” © 2024 LBL/Purple Tulip Music

Aromatic Steam Arising postcard
An easier to read version of the ending page in the above video – yes, I need to ‘fix’ that! 🙂

Three’s the Charm?

This is a test (post). This is only a test (post).

As per my latest Jetpack techie-fixer-upper suggestion, I am sending this to see how it functions in a hopefully ‘fixed’ state!

Here’s what should happen that’s of relevance to you my Readers/Subscribers (formerly called Followers):

  • This post should appear in your notifications however you get them – WP Reader, email, etc
  • There should be a space under the notification for you to comment and/or Like if so desired
  • You should still be subscribed (please check if you are) – problems with Jetpack originally included deleting subscribers/followers

See ya on the other side – hopefully Three’s the Charm…because ‘One‘ – is the loneliest number in the Internet…Nope not gonna embed the referenced & punned vid. …even if it is by Three Dog Night. 🙂

Instead. Head here for the marketing vid for lessons (with yours truly) the Arts Center slapped together in a 15 minute session between students. It’s buried deep within the reels of The Arts Center Facebook page. If you listen to the background music towards the end, they added stock Banjo music – say what?


FYI: I tried to ’embed’ it using the WP Facebook Block but found out that block no longer functions due to a Facebook decision…not at all related to Jetpack! HA! Yet another ‘test’.

Since I don’t do Facebook, this isn’t a real problem but I mention this as a ‘Public Service’ to my fellow WP bloggers.


Yep, Still Technical Difficulties, but I’m Back Anyway

And what should appear in my email but a notice from a certain Manc Bud Poet that he’d filmed a snippet of a song I love during a concert he attended just Friday night.

He wanted me to know that the vid was too large to send so – get this – he decided to post it on his blog instead…just so I could share in its musical delights!

Hop over and take a peek! The vibe of the venue is just what my psyche needed, too.

Ya know, WP has many, many issues, but why I stick with it is because of guys like Andy…and all you other guys, too!

🙂

Meanwhile, here’s Infinite Sun by Kula Shaker via YouTube – Enjoy!

NOTE:

Yep, my website is functioning, but on only 2 cylinders. I find it interesting that my desire to blog has increased during the ‘Sounds of Silence’ stage and this further stage of waiting for fixes to be suggested and then implemented.

Jetpack tech assistance in the wp.org Forums is still pending, stuff is still messed up, but I’m back anyway.

Staging Sites, Migration and The Sounds of Silence

Under Construction

Perhaps you’ve noticed. My site has been ‘under construction’ for quite some time. Silent for even longer than that.

It’s been awhile, I know. At first, partly due to lack of time to put together a ‘quality’ post, yes. But mostly, at first, in order to keep site-traffic at a minimum in prep for a full backup download and staging of the site.

That was a few weeks ago. At that time, I worked on the too-long-ignored WP/plugin updates and tidied up the website before proceeding with the scheduled migration to another hosting service.

Nothing quite jolts one out of techie-inertia like when one’s host service end date looms on the horizon. The very close horizon.

Those of us who are wordpress.org know that hosting servers offer fantastic prices as a first-time customer. Then, once the contract is over (in this case 3 years), the renewal cost increases by at least 3xs the initial rate.

This is common practice.

I knew going in, that I’d need to find a new host to park the website when the dreaded renewal date arrived. In my case, hubby found a great package for 4 years with another host server.

A little over 2 weeks ago, I initiated the move. There’s always a bit of trepidation during the change-over, migration, re-direct of dns to the new host and how well the new host service deals with customer help once the site is in their care.

And there are always problems. In the techie-realm, problems are normal. But, as they say, there are always solutions. If you know where to look for them…

Original image lady techie

Meanwhile, my newly migrated site went live. But without the ‘Under Construction Sign’ I’d painstakingly selected, put in place and made sure it worked while the migrated site was in ‘preview’ waiting to accept the re-direct and spring back into life. Why? Because the fixes I made in prep for the migration got messed up during the migration!

I’m no stranger to setting up staging sites and fixing/testing stuff on my website. But having my semi-broken site live & visible after I made sure it’d be invisible under the ‘Under Construction Sign’ was quite upsetting to me. More so than the loss of ‘likes’ and other weird data disappearances.

Turns out, Jetpack does not play well with migration. And, active Jetpack support on the WP Forums has all but disappeared. Just sayin’…

The good news?

If not for the excellent help from the live tech assistants at my new host service – this website might have remained ‘under construction’ forever. Yes, an exaggeration about the forever part. However, I reiterate: high accolades for the live tech assistants who walked me through the fixes!

Now for the leap of faith: pushing the staged site to live. Again.

If there are problems, so be it. Otherwise, it’s great to be back!


As per the title of this post: The Sounds of Silence phrase rounds out the content of this post – even if the lyrics of the beloved piece do not. I added it here for an aural respite from all things techie. 🙂

wp5.8 upgrade issues

The Fix was Simple. Finding It Was Not.

Consider this a blogger-buddy public service post…A little over a week ago I set up a staging site to make a few changes to my site, perform updates on various plug-ins and to install the new wp5.8 upgrade. I really like that my hosting company offers a fairly easy way for this non-techie to do this task. I’d even go so far as to say, it’s kind of fun to poke around in my cPanel!

That said, after doing a manual backup, then setting up the staging site, I began my task in earnest.

Plug-in updates – piece of cake. A few other minor fixes – done and done.

Now for the biggie – the wp5.8 upgrade.

At first glance, all looked just like it always looked. Upon further perusal, my site appeared to function as usual.

In my giddiness of having triumphed over the ever looming threat of a broken site due to update/upgrade glitches, I was all set to depress the ‘push to live’ button.

But – and I think this is where my maturity and ever nagging sense of doing things ‘right’ kicked in – I decided to check just one more thing. That being, actually writing up a new sample blog post using the extra Gutenberg Blocks that came with the upgrade.

Blithely clicking the ‘add new post’ button on my dashboard, I expected to begin a fun jaunt into exploring the nuances of the newly added Gutenberg Blocks.

What unfolded before my very eyes, however, was far from being anything fun…What unfolded before my very eyes was…

The White Screen of Death

I could easily navigate back and forth from the emptiness of that edit page to my dashboard, but what good is a website/blog if one has no way to write or publish new content?

Oh and, let’s not forget, I discovered this ‘glitch’ as an after thought! I almost nixxed all my hard work in the protected environment of a staging site with the single ‘push to live’ command.

While hugely grateful to my inner OCD self to have diverted such a disaster, I was more than a bit resentful that I had yet another hurdle to jump over just to get my site up and running on a basic wp5.8 upgrade.

WordPress is not for the faint of heart…but I digress…

Thus began my long and arduous deep dive into troubleshooting. I’ll spare you the details of that deep dive, but I do want to point out that for all the ‘help’ offered, there isn’t much related to what I experienced. So I began expanding my search in more obscure reaches of that ‘help’.

Which lead me to the WP.org support forum for the Hemingway Theme, thinking perhaps it all had to do with theme incompatibility (go here to read the rapid unfolding of what became The Simple Fix).

Turns out, Gutenberg Block Editor does not ‘play well’ with my browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox.

The Fix?

Update that darn Browser and make it ‘play nicely’ with my newly upgraded WordPress site.

SwS project status & my basic music score editing process

4/6 'Final Finals' music scores 100% finished!

4/6 ‘Final Finals’ music scores 100% finished!


First off, I’m thrilled to announce that 4 of the 6 ‘Final Finals’ music scores mentioned in the previous post are 100% finished. Nestled in their respective PDFs, each are ready to be distributed in multiple media formats when the time comes. Their timing is intertwined with the release of both the vignette and recorded music parts of related content from the overall SwS project.
That said, the Goat Suite (Saga) scores are not even ‘Final Finals’ yet even though the music has been recorded and ready for mastering since 2017 and the related vignettes are now nearing the formatting stage for publication. The original scores are still scruffy with scribbles from the recording sessions.
Given that Swimming with Swans: Goat Suite (Saga) will be the first section of the project to be released, those scores are now top priority for beginning the Final editing process. For a sense of what’s involved, my Goat Suite (Saga) is written for 2 classical guitars, mandolin, 12-string acoustic guitar and rain stick. I have the Master Score pretty much done, but the details specific to each individual part need to be entered onto each of the extracted part scores.
Here then, is an overview of my basic music score editing process, as promised.

  1. Enter original hand scored piece in NOTION – just the notes, no dynamics, interpretive suggestions, fingerings, etc.
  2. Fix weird quirks that NOTION places in score regardless of how info is entered (ie-stem direction, rests, location of text info, etc.)
  3. Print it out and play from that score to approach fingerings with a fresh eye and jot down
  4. Add fingerings, and simple dynamics in NOTION, print out for spacing/alignments and jot down by hand extra needs for score as play through it.
  5. Continue with edits (#2, #3 & #4) with an eye for keeping the score uncluttered and easy to read for the player yet filled with the needed information.
  6. Add title, composer, dedication, copyright, etc. info and arrange text nicely on score, sometimes defying NOTION conventions.
  7. If composition has more than one instrument, extract each part from Master Score for individual print out.
  8. Print Master Score and any extracted parts scores to PDF and print out to proof.
  9. Proof as needed.
  10. Repeat #5, #8 and #9 until becomes a true FINAL, then print to PDF.

Using my arrangement of Mo Giolla Mear as an example, here are photo’s of the process continuing from its mention in a previous post.

The following two score photos correspond to steps #1, #2 and #3 of the basic process overview:

My hand scored copies alongside newly entered NOTION scored parts of Mo Giolla Mear

My hand scored copies alongside (then) newly entered NOTION scored parts of Mo Giolla Mear


Mo Giolla Mear excerpt

The next score excerpt photo corresponds to steps #5 & #6 – check out measure 8 for an easy to see example of a stem direction fix in addition to the overall inclusions of fingerings, dynamics, etc.

Mo Giolla Mear edited excerpt

 This last score excerpt photo corresponds to step #10 and is from the final PDF:

3 Mo Giolla Mear Final Excerpt

 Whew! I hope this answers some of the questions you my readers have asked about what it means when I mention ‘doing score edits.’ Much like literary edits, it can be tedious but the end result is the pot of gold at the base of a very beautiful rainbow.

PLUTO my favorite planet next to Mars…

When I was growing up I had an imaginary friend. Her name was Zelda. Zelda was a witch. That’s right, this little half-Italian Catholic girl had an imaginary witch-friend. She flew on a broom stick and traveled to oh so many places I could never go. Like Pluto. Actually, Zelda lived on the planet Pluto.
Pluto, my favorite planet next to Mars…
When I was an 8th grader in what was then called Jr. High, I entered the science fair. It was kind of a new thing in the 60s, not at all required for students as part of any pre-set curriculum.
My project was an in-depth study of – you guessed it – the planet Mars. I won several firsts and seconds and ultimately made it through district with an Honorable Mention. That HM meant I couldn’t go on to ‘state’, but it was still quite a feat! Back then, this thirteen-year-old school girl scientist didn’t know that it was considered unusual for a girl to be interested in math and science.
Scroll up a few decades to the 21st century.
When New Horizons was launched in 2006, hubby and I kept periodic tabs on its journey. As the internet improved, so did the ease with which we were able to keep up with all the photos and info NASA had to offer. The Jupiter fly-by photos in 2007 awed and inspired the world – talk about in-your-face beauty.
Early on in the mission, it came out that Queen’s Brian May is also Dr. Brian May the astrophysicist. Because he was dubbed an official “science team collaborator” to the New Horizons Team, I scrutinized his collaborations to see if rock stardom would overshadow scientific curiosity.
I was not disappointed, Dr. Brian is the real deal on both counts.
I’m confident he helped advance the cause of math and science showing nerdiness to be on a par with rock stardom.

pluto and charon from new horizons

Pluto & Charon from New Horizons


By late 2014 New Horizons began its Pluto encounter, rapidly entering into its approach phase to the planet. The infamous Pluto fly-by began in July 2015 while it was a mere 7,800 miles above the surface of Pluto. That’s just 601 miles above Santa Fe, NM in terms of an Earth distance comparison!
Because of this close encounter of the (formerly) 9th kind*, a map of Pluto was compiled featuring names recognizing people of significance to Pluto.  Approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in September 2017, it includes an area named after an 11-year old girl.
 
pluto features map

Map of Pluto with features approved by the IAU, September 2017


Burney crater honors Venetia Burney (1918-2009), who as an 11-year-old schoolgirl suggested the name “Pluto” for Clyde Tombaugh’s newly discovered planet. Later in life she taught mathematics and economics.
I wonder if Zelda ever visited Venetia as a young child growing up in Oxford, England back in the day?
*Pluto was considered to be the 9th planet in our solar system back when I was a child…now it is classified as a Dwarf Planet.
Pluto photo credit, Pluto map credit

note: this is for day five of my 6 years on WP.org posts

Reaching the Finish Line and Zeno’s Paradox

I have always been intrigued with Zeno’s paradoxes. Specifically, his Dichotomy paradox. As a mathematical concept it offers a glimpse into the world of infinity – an abstract concept of boundlessness – and by way of my own extrapolation: eternity – a reality outside of time, with no beginning and no end.

Yep, math is very cool*. People just don’t give it a chance.
We (I) tend to think of infinity as uncontained largeness, which it is, but Zeno’s paradox reveals another slice of that same infinity. Infinity as uncontained minuteness.
Mr. Zeno’s Dichotomy paradox simply stated says, Before an object can travel a given distance, it must travel half that distance then in order to travel that half distance, it must travel a quarter of that distance, etc. Since this sequence goes on forever, it therefore appears that the given distance cannot be traveled.
The way it was demonstrated to me back in the day was to stand a set distance from a wall, then take a step halfway towards that wall, then from that halfway point take another step halfway, and again until your nose is against that wall, but still some half of a half of an infinite half distance from that wall!
In this 21st century, I am a living example of Zeno’s paradox.
It seems I’m in a constant state of being ‘almost finished’ with various projects.
To be clear, I am not talking about confusing perfectionism with professionalism in the (he)artistic creation process. There is a time when something is truly done and learning to know when to stop ‘futzing’ with a project is part of that process.
What I am talking about is how my projects get ‘done, except for…’. Which then get ‘done except for’ something else then on and on until my nose is up against that wall and I’m staring down an infinite number of ‘except fors’.
Oh, I know that’s not truly a real-life application of Zeno’s paradox, but it sure feels like it. The infinity aspect of it certainly, but the frustration of projects never getting to the finish line – achingly acute.
Most of the time the ‘except fors’ are dependent upon some other factors that I cannot control which only adds discouragement to frustration.
Case in point, Mr. Zeno came to remembrance a couple months ago while I was ‘futzing’ with the liner notes for my upcoming Swimming with Swans: Goat Suite (Saga) cd (who knows anymore when it will be released :-().
I had all my ducks in a row – the artwork, layout, format chosen, and wav. files ready for replication, but there were just too many other obstacles asserting themselves, blocking the finish line. All ‘done, except for’ factors beyond my control – thus, hindering completion of the actual cd packaging and its release anytime soon.
But those liner notes, hey man, let me nit-pick/futz with those because I can control all of that.
In general, once I realize I’m in a Zeno’s infinite loop of frustration, I search for some other unfinished bits that can be readily completed if I take the time to focus on them. In my small multipurpose studio, such projects are easily seen and found.

Three different blocks

l-r: experiment in color & design limited to neutrals found in on-sale jellyroll pack; my take using the tiny flying geese border on ‘Red Rocks’ block; study in yellows using scraps in my usual free form piecing style


In this instance, my eyes strayed away from the practice stool and computer screen to the three quilt blocks laid out on my flannel design wall. They are each from three different projects and have been on the periphery of my quilting focus. I decided long ago to sew them the way they were arranged, but just wasn’t motivated to finish them.
In the name of surviving yet another cycle of Zeno’s dichotomy, I took to completing them and packing them away for later use in their respective projects.
That felt good.
And then that positive completion experience refueled my determination to work on a different slice of the overall SwS project while the aforementioned slice(s) are on hold. I opened my NOTION score files of related Swimming with Swans music and resumed editing several of those music scores in preparation for future inclusion in the project’s accompanying Music Folio.
That feels even better! 🙂

~~~~~~~~~

*Just for fun:

The dichotomy paradox leads to the following mathematical joke. A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer were asked to answer the following question. A group of boys are lined up on one wall of a dance hall, and an equal number of girls are lined up on the opposite wall. Both groups are then instructed to advance toward each other by one quarter the distance separating them every ten seconds. When do they meet at the center of the dance hall? The mathematician said they would never actually meet because the series is infinite. The physicist said they would meet when time equals infinity. The engineer said that within one minute they would be close enough for all practical purposes.

Seed Quote, by Hope Jahren

Quote symbolA seed knows how to wait.

Most seeds wait for at least a year before starting to grow; a cherry seed can wait for a hundred years with no problem. What exactly each seed is waiting for is known only to that seed…

A seed is alive while it waits.

Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that towers over it…they are both just waiting…the seed is waiting to flourish while the tree is only waiting to die.

When you are in the forest, for every tree that you see, there are at least a hundred trees waiting in the soil, alive and fervently wishing to be.

Each beginning is the end of a waiting.

We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.

From: Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

Re-read the Riddle of the Wind Turbines post, ponder it once again, then scroll down as directed to read the answer-comment and our replies to that comment.
Congrats to Chris for being the first and only commenter to get the answer to this riddle.
Hope you guys had fun with this challenge. Now excuse me while I go watch the second game of the World Series…go Cubs!

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