This is one of my favorite pieces, breathtakingly beautiful, by Cristóbal de Morales and performed by the Hilliard Ensemble. Two versions are featured.

Sans sax:

Some folks REALLY (viscerally, brutally, completely) object to the sax part, but there's something about it, especially in where it pulls out, and diminishes, that makes it more than the vocals alone (which, in my opinion, cannot be improved upon). (Also, it's important to make your judgement based on analog or high sample rate digital recordings...medium-fi mp3 doesn't cut it).

My hunch is that a careful remix, modulating the volume, approach and decay of the sax portion would make it ... perfect.

A very big word.

Parce mihi, Domine, nihil enim sunt dies mei.
Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum?
Aut quid apponis erga eum cor tuum?
Visitas eum diluculo et subito probas illum.
Usquequo non parcis mihi, nec dimittis me, ut glutiam salivam meam?
Peccavi, quid faciam tibi, o custos hominum?
Quare posuisti me contrarium tibi, et factus sum mihimetispsi gravis?
Cur non tollis peccatum meum, et quare non aufers iniquitatem meam?
Ecce, nunc in pulvere dormiam, et si mane me quaesieris, non subsistam.
Spare me, Lord, for my days are as nothing.
What is Man, that you should make so much of us?
Or why should you set your heart upon us?
You visit us at dawn,
and put us to the test at any moment.
Will you not spare me and let me be,
while I swallow my saliva?
If I have sinned, how have I hurt you,
O guardian of mankind?
Why have you set me up as your target,
so that I am now a burden to myself?
Why do you not forgive my sin
and why do you not take away my guilt?
Behold, I shall now lie down in the dust:
if you come looking for me I shall have ceased to exist.

There aren't too many performances that I consider to be great, meaning, standalone timeless displays of technical skill, emotion, a story and communication between the players and the audience. This is one.

I think YouTube has revolutionized music more than any other service in my lifetime. The ability to compare covers, look for old music, discover new music "by accident," and even learn basic music theory and technique has made YouTube my first stop when I'm in the mood to find new sounds, or reconnect with old ones.

Great song, great band, great performance. Real soul music updated with a punk attitude.

The original video to their performance on David Letterman on January 18th was removed from Youtube. But if you get a chance to see it, you should. Great song, great band, great performance.


What is it about winter that forces very strong desires for specific kinds of food?

There's something about snow on the ground, a bitter bite in the air, darkness, the smell of woodsmoke and wet bark that makes me crave food from my childhood. And not necessarily food that I LIKED in my childhood. (What's that about?)

-Akavit (just found a do-it-yourself recipe that I'm going to try)
-Manhattan w/ a splash of Roses Lime and Cointreau
-Scotch/rocks/water, preferably an Islay variety
-Pickeled herring on Wasa Hearty Rye
-White cheese and butter on Wasa Hearty Rye
-Smoked, dried herring
-Paté on toasted baguette rounds
-Caviar on melba rounds
-Smoked eel
-Smoked salmon, lox or gravlox, with fresh dill on butter and Wasa Hearty Rye
-Black bread
-Cucumber slices, dill on butter and Wasa Hearty Rye

I guess winter brings out the inner norseman. Time to sand the boat and get ready for voyaging on the spring thaw!

I just stopped reading an editorial provocatively entitled, "You will lose your private health insurance." ( I thought it might help clarify what precisely is being debated in the House and Senate these days on health care.

But I stopped when I hit this line, "Of course the left will accept restrictions on funding for abortion, because they want to keep moderate Democrats on board for the goal they know is really important: giving the government a dominant role in health care."

Why did I stop here? Because this sentence revealed precisely who the article was targeted at, and it wasn't me. By trotting out "the left" as the other, the opinion piece reveals its true purpose, to convince those on "the right" that the bill will do horrible things.

I am open to argument based on fact. I am not open to argument based on political position. I don't care if a good idea comes from "the left" or "the right," only that it's a good idea that seems to address the factual circumstances of a situation. Trotting out "the left" as a straw dog simply tells me that you aren't interested in factual conversation, but emotional conversation, and that I can better get from those I trust and care about, and that generally doesn't include partisan hacks.

So, when it becomes your turn to compose and opinion piece, be aware that I'm not the only one to parse writing along the fault line of fact vs. position. If it's your intention to only address the partisan state of affairs, that's fine. Just don't expect me to take you seriously, and don't be surprised when I automatically dismiss your arguments as being invalid time-wasters. Because as soon as you fall into that category, you fall into the dreaded category of: "There is no monster more to be feared than a communicative man having nothing to communicate."

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to bite the bullet and upgrade my laptop (MacBook Pro 2.2 ghz) to the current version of OS X.

Having read a few horror stories online, I decided to do a clean install, and, while at it, replace my hard drive and upgrade my RAM.

I ordered a 500 GB drive and 4GB RAM from Other World Computing, ( and they arrived when they said they would. One really cool thing about OWC is that they have installation videos right on their website.

I watched the videos, bought the appropriate torx screwdriver (T-6), and went to town. The hard drive & RAM replacement took less than an hour to complete. Everything worked first time through (a record I think). The OWC install video was very useful.

Then, I installed OS X 10.6 from the Apple upgrade DVD. The base install (no file/user migration) took a couple of hours. I had to partition and format the drive first, then run the installer. Glad I knew how to do that, I suspect a new user would have had a bit of an issue here.

The base install went well. The next part took a while.

The migration tool never was able to locate/calculate my User settings, but it found the Applications and Other stuff ok. So, had the migration assistant move the apps and ancillary stuff, then I had to manually move my user preferences, mail and associated files (over 90 GB) by hand.

This was complicated by the fact that I accidentally turned on secure deletes, which meant that deleting 141K files that were moved from my backup drive by mistake, took all night to delete.

I ran the Apple Software Updater and that took about 5 hours to download and then install.

This morning, I finished up moving my email files over, and getting the licensing back on my software.

Everything seems to run faster, and the new OS seems just a hair slicker. All in all, worth the $300 for the upgrades. I now feel like I have room to play with video and audio recording (yay!) and burn those DVD's that the Olson's have been asking for.

Basically, everything worked predictably, if slowly. So, a successful upgrade.

From: Capt. Bob A Lou
To: Leon Panetta, Director, United States Central Intelligence Agency
RE: Business proposition

Hi Leon! How's the wife?

Listen, I've got an idea I'd like to run by you. You know that deal (;_ylt=AqsA32Dhoha2HP3ysh...) that Porter made with Eric. Well, I can do it cheaper, with a lower profile.

Look, I can give you a great deal on NOT assassinating Al-Qaida (you know, I always want to put a "u" in there) leaders and pesky Iraqi Shiites: $1 Very Large per year.

None of my people will be induced to reveal the program. No one will be hurt. I'll simply put the money (in used $20s and $50s ok? But bundled in stacks of $1000) in a few banks, and no one will be the wiser. I won't buy any weapons. I won't train a bunch of neo-Crusaders to go rampaging through Iraqi traffic circles, I'll just put the money to good use, maybe start a health co-op and buy a ranch or two.

I'm sure the R's will go along with the plan. What's $1VL compared with what Haliburton gets? Plus, I'll make fewer waves and you can assure both the D's and the R's that you've got a plan to deal with the Al-Qaida leadership.

Give me a call, or come on out and we'll float the Missouri. Life is good here in Montana. It could be better, for both me and you.