On Sunday, Susan and I attended a program at the Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth entitled, Sousa Forever. It consisted of a fairly wide range of Sousa’s works performed by The Texas Wind Symphony. There were the required assortment of marches such as Star and Stripes Forever! and The Liberty Bell (probably better know as “the music from Monty Python’s Flying Circus”). More interesting were Sousa arrangements of popular hymns, ragtime, and songs of his day. A member of the symphony had even obtained two rare, original songs by Sousa from the Sousa Archives and made special arrangements of them so that they could be performed for the first time in nearly a century. The whole thing was quite a bit of fun. Ray C. Lichtenwalter, the conductor, wore a Sousa outfit complete with braid and military medals. The entire performance was designed to replicate an authentic Sousa performance, right down to a stage hand walking out on stage at the begining of each piece with a large, white placard bearing its name.
There was quite a thunderstorm last night. We lost power at home about 11pm when the worst of it hit. Both the Linux and NT boxes survived intact. We sat in candle light watching the rain and wind for a while. It looked like a hurricane at some points with gusts of wind that were reported at up to 50mph. Not bad for a gentle spring rain. It’s all clear today – no clouds and lots of sun.
I’ve been working on more Perl DBI stuff today. When I got back from lunch and checked my mail (postal mail, that is), I found that my copy of Programming the Perl DBI by Alligator Descartes & Tim Bunce had arrived. I’ve been waiting for O’Reilly to get this book out the door for a while and it came at just the right time. It’s full of useful examples of DBI, SQL, and ODBC stuff. Highly recommended.
It’s been a quiet week so far. The weather has improved enough that I can wear my DVD CCA T-Shirt now. I’ve actually had a few people stop me and ask what it means.
This past weekend, Susan and I got to attend the world premier of Lowell Liebermann‘s Symphony No. 2. Neither of us had any complaints about his new composition (we actually quite enjoyed the performance) but Scott Cantrell, a music critic at the Dallas Morning News, gave it a pretty bad review. Oddly, the review makes no mention at all of the DSO performance of the piece, only assorted complaints about what Mr. Leibermann did wrong in composing it. Mr. Cantrell called the composition “excruciatingly conventional”, “foolhardy”, “uninteresting”, and reminiscent of “third-rate high school choruses”. And he didn’t seem to like the choice of Walt Whitman’s work for the choral text either. Oh well, those who attended the performance liked the piece enough to give it a standing ovation. But I suppose if music critics really knew anything about music, they’d compose some instead of complaining about those who do.
There’s a nice summary of last weeks DVD Protest on the 2600 web site. I never did find out if the Dallas 2600 group did anything here. Hopefully they’ll put a little more planning into this if they do another event. Some of the reports in the summary are pretty funny. Sounds like the upside to having virtually no advance notice is that the MPAA didn’t have time to organize a response.
I’m trying out the new alpha release of mozilla. So far, it seems reasonably stable. The interface is really awful looking but apparently you’ll be able to swap out the “skins” like you can on winamp and xmms. Speaking of new software, Windows 2000 ships in matter of days. According to an article on zdnet, an internal Microsoft memo reveals that Windows 2000 will have over 65,000 known bugs in the final version. Fortunately, Microsoft claims that less than 28,000 of these are serious, the rest are unfinished code, partial functionality, “long-forgotten” problems (whatever that means), or merely “potential issues”. Hmmm… Sounds like more good news for Linux to me.
I’ve been using NEdit for a while – it’s one of the best, easiest to use editors available on Unix. I just noticed today that it’s been GPL’d which is very good news – hopefully we’ll see it become more widely adopted and maybe even included in some of the standard Linux distributions. Now, if someone will just port it to GTK and finally free it up from the ugly Motif/Lesstif look! I downloaded the latest beta but it looks like it has a ways to go, the make bombed off on the first source file. In the meantime, though, you can always download a static binary of the latest stable build.
I’m working late again tonight but thought I’d take a break and post a news update. Most of the weekend was spent coding more Perl stuff but I actually left the office for a couple of hours Sunday night so Susan and I could make it out to the Bronco Bowl for the Pretenders concert. The opening band was some truly awful sounding thing from the UK called Gay Dad. The Pretenders sounded great. Chrissie had a mirrored guitar that was useful for reflecting the spot lights back into the audience. Adam Seymour was really impressive on the guitar, as was Martin Chambers on drums. Well, back to work now.