Orange Blossom Chorus

My original barbershop chapter now has a site on! Its got a lot of the annoying myspace design faults (unbidden audio, too-large photos, visually obstructive background images, font-changing hover style tags), but the content is great and its the best web presence the chorus has ever had.

There’s a good story about the history of the chapter’s building property that I had not heard before, and photos of the inside of the rehearsal hall, and the chorus in performance. Even videos of rehearsals posted on youtube.


I just got a used ipod from nephew Austen.

itunes sucksthis is crazy. I’ve been struggling with iTunes for almost two
hours. I can’t get any music on the ipod. I’ve renamed
the ipod, and itunes erased all the contents owned by Austen.
I built a library from files on my computer, over 700 songs. I’ve tried synchronizing, I’ve tried
‘consolidating’ the library (what the hell does that mean? it took 10 minutes to complete!), I’ve tried exporting the library. I’ve tried clicking and dragging. there are still no files on the ipod.

I don’t want to use itunes to play music or to rip CD’s. I don’t want to use itunes to
buy music. I just want to put existing files on the ipod.

Intuitive interface my ass. itunes sucks.
big time.

movie streaming, almost here

Netflix has announced the provision of time-metered access to online streaming movies.

The NYT reports they are rolling out the service to existing netflix customers at no extra charge. They report the quality of the stream can be very good, near-DVD, provided of course you have a reliable high-bandwidth internet pipe.

Its not the same as movie downloads, but there are numerous advantages, and Netflix says they expect to build a significant catalog.

The masses have yet to connect their computers to their TV sets. Only then will the decline of the DVD begin in earnest. Only then will the futurists’ fantasy of instant access to any movie, any time become a reality.

When that day arrives, Netflix, for one, will be ready.

Meanwhile, we (the Reeds) opted just last night to sign up for Blockbuster DVD’s-by-mail.


Managing Editor Sarah RichSustainability seems to be the new century’s catchword for the leading edge of responsible environmentalism and economics. I came across this site/blog with a focus on products, shelter, politics and more. They have an email newsletter, and just published a book.

They pay special attention to “tools, ideas and models that may have been overlooked in the mass media and make a point of showing ways in which seemingly unconnected resources link together to form a toolkit for changing the world.” Managing your ecological footprint isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. It starts with incremental change(s).

Looks like something to keep an eye on, I’ve bookmarked it.

Opera chorus

I had a great time with the Orlando Opera chorus on a road trip to a Vero Beach concert sunday. The Vero Beach Opera Guild produced this concert, and brought in Soprano Susan Neves as the headliner. There was also a Vero opera chorale group on the program. We were about 35 singers strong, and had three songs, only one of which was with Ms. Neves.

We were lined up waiting to go on stage for our first number, and heard Ms. Neves in her opening number head into a soaring crescendo of the most dramatic operatic sort, when at the very top, her voice caught and broke briefly, in a manner that you could almost feel the collective wince of the audience. Our chorus director rolled his eyes and remarked sotto voce that she’s gonna be bitchy when she comes offstage. She exited to polite applause and came right through the door we were lined up at, strode to her waiting water bottle and declared in a loud clear voice, “well, that SUCKED”.

I’m happy to say that that was the worst of it. Everything else went terrifically, I sang well and contributed my fair share. I got to sing some 2nd tenor – which I prefer over bass or even baritone in choral arrangements. We compared very favorably against the volunteer Vero chorus, and I’ve got another item for my performing resume.

Intentional eating

This sounds like an interesting book — a close examination of the origins of our North American diet, and some recent dietary fads.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan.

Conventional nutritional wisdom holds that salmon is automatically better for us than beef, but that judgement assumes the beef has been grain-fed and the salmon crill-fed; if the steer is fattened on grass and the salmon on grain, we might actually be better off eating the beef. (Grass-finished beef has a two-to-one ratio of omega-6 to -3 compared to more than ten to one in corn-fed beef.) The species of animal you eat may matter less than what the animal you’re eating has itself eaten.