some quick thoughts, in no particular order

Got back from vacation Saturday evening and I’m already back in the rat race. Even so, here are some brief thoughts before I forget them:

  • I’ve been loving MobileMe’s wireless sync between my iPhone, MacBook Pro and the cloud now for several weeks. This is how it should have worked last June. No complaints so far.
  • Finally figured out how to get my TiVo programs from my laptop to my iPhone. There are AppleScripts out there along with some open-source apps, but I haven’t gotten them to work. Instead, I finally figured out that Toast Titanium, in addition to downloading content from my TiVo to my MacBook Pro, can also encode the content for an iPhone or iPod. It’s hidden, but if you click on the Convert button, you can take it from there by selecting iPhone/iPod Touch as one of the destination options. Now, Toast will freeze forever if I try to batch several TiVo files at once, and even sometimes with just one file. But it works about 50% of the time if I just convert one file at a time, and it’s smart enough to dump it into iTunes when finished.picture-6
  • The CD we got of all of us swimming with dolphins near Marathon, FL was blank, but a new one is on its way via snail mail, so I should have them posted to FaceBook and my photo gallery in the coming days.
  • The Pope is wrong on condoms vis a vis HIV/AIDS. And by saying that I’m not being “anti-Catholic” or hurtful. I’m calling out the head of the Catholic Church, who is also a world leader, for comments that are, from a medical standpoint, harmful, potentially disastrous, and frankly stupid. I’d be as critical if it were a Chief Rabbi saying crap like that.
  • Punishing the conductor of a Palestinian youth orchestra for leading a concert in front of Holocaust survivors is as bad as if Israel were to punish David Barenboim for leading concerts in front of Palestinians. Which Barenboim does. And Israel doesn’t punish him. Look, I’ve been severely critical of Israeli policies towards the Palestinians and Israeli policies towards citizens of Israel who are not either Jewish, or Jewish enough for the Orthodox theocrats there. But the concert by a Palestinian youth orchestra was a good thing, and a very positive thing. Just as Israel needs to accept that the Naqba is a painful historical event for Palestinians, the Palestinians need to come to grips with the significance of the Holocaust. Trying to ignore the Holocaust and to even claim that the Naqba was worse than the Holocaust is historically and intellectually dishonest. It’s also just wrong.
  • I’m going to get some parts for zichron together for Brian Kauth and his colleagues. Yes, Virginia, it’s playable. And it’s stimulated more comments on  my blog than any other post. So far, no one has told me it’s a piece of crap. So that’s good news.
  • JC Combs has been really great about including my dreck in his Friday Improv podcasts. Check them out on his Web site.
  • What’s next for my music? I’m probably going to develop a synthesizer piece I’ve been toying with. I don’t know that I’ll actually notate it, but I might leave it as a synthesizer piece and maybe just preserve it as a Reason file as well as MIDI and MP3 output. We’ll see. Beyond that, I’d love to try to develop a better recording of digitals, because it’s a pretty decent piece and the realization I made a few years ago really isn’t that great.
  • I’m probably getting together next week with a composer I’ve wanted to meet who wrote an amazing, long string quartet I used to listen to on LP many years ago when I was in college. Looking forward to it. And no, I won’t say who it is until after the fact.