Monday, December 29, 2008

Fun with Google Adsense

...and drive Toyota! Toyota is awesome! Toyota has been sponsoring blogs like mine fervently, keeping the google Adsense system in business!


you scream,


But G-M isn't sponsoring wonderful blogs like mine, like... TOYOTA is. TOYOTA supports American cars, and helps employ Americans, whose wages--non-union as they may be--nonetheless reflect UAW market conditions. TOYOTA doesn't want to see America fail.

Toyota: makers of the Paultan

and the Corolla

and many other cars. Like the Tundra, the Prius, the Camry, Solara, Highlander, Rav 4, and the Lexus line.

Other things that are cool are celebrity ring-tones to your phone by bands like the Jonas Brothers and acts like Miley Cyrus, thumbnails of Scarlett Johansson, and Saturday Night Live embeded videos of Rod Blagojevich, and news from your favorite sports teams, like the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, LA Dodgers, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, and a host of other teams.

I also wish I could get supported by BCS bowl updates for bowls like the

EagleBank Bowl
Dec. 2011 a.m.
Washington, D.C.
Wake Forest 29, Navy 19
New Mexico
Dec. 202:30 p.m.
Albuquerque, NM
Colorado St. 40, Fresno St. 35
St. Petersburg
Dec. 204:30 p.m.
St. Petersburg, FL
South Florida 41, Memphis 14
Pioneer Las Vegas
Dec. 208 p.m.
Las Vegas, NV
Arizona 31, BYU 21
R+L Carriers New Orleans
Dec. 218:15 p.m.
New Orleans, LA
Southern Miss 30, Troy 27 (OT)
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Dec. 238 p.m.
San Diego, CA
TCU 17, Boise St. 16
Sheraton Hawaii
Dec. 248 p.m.
Honolulu, HI
Notre Dame 49, Hawaii 21
Motor City
Dec. 267:30 p.m.
Detroit, MI
Florida Atlantic 24, Central Michigan 21
Meineke Car Care
Dec. 271 p.m.
Charlotte, NC
West Va. 31, UNC 30
Champs Sports
Dec. 274:30 p.m.
Orlando, FL
Florida St. 42, Wisconsin 13
Dec. 278 p.m.
San Francisco, CA
California 24, Miami (Fla.) 17
Dec. 288:15 p.m.
Shreveport, LA
Louisiana Tech 17, N. Illinois 10
Dec. 293 p.m.
Birmingham, AL
Rutgers vs. N.C. State
Valero Alamo
Dec. 298 p.m.
San Antonio, TX
Northwestern vs. Missouri
Roady's Humanitarian
Dec. 304:30 p.m.
Boise, ID
Maryland vs. Nevada
Dec. 308 p.m.
Houston, TX
Rice vs. Western Michigan
Pacific Life Holiday
Dec. 308 p.m.
San Diego, CA
Oregon vs. Oklahoma State
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Dec. 3112 p.m.
Fort Worth, TX
Air Force vs. Houston
Brut Sun
Dec. 312 p.m.
El Paso, TX
Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
Gaylord Hotels Music City
Dec. 313:30 p.m.
Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt vs. Boston College
Dec. 315:30 p.m.
Tempe, Ariz.
Kansas vs. Minnesota
Dec. 317:30 p.m.
Atlanta, GA
LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Jan. 111 a.m.
Tampa, FL
Iowa vs. South Carolina
Capital One
Jan. 11 p.m.
Orlando, FL
Georgia vs. Michigan State
Konica Minolta Gator
Jan. 11 p.m.
Jacksonville, FL
Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose presented by Citi
Jan. 14:30 p.m.
Pasadena, CA
Penn State vs. USC
FedEx Orange
Jan. 18:30 p.m.
Miami, FL
Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
AT&T Cotton
Jan. 22 p.m.
Dallas, TX
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
AutoZone Liberty
Jan. 25 p.m.
Memphis, TN
East Carolina vs. Kentucky
Allstate Sugar
Jan. 28 p.m.
New Orleans, LA
Utah vs. Alabama
Jan. 312 p.m.
Toronto, Canada
Connecticut vs. Buffalo
Tostitos Fiesta
Jan. 58 p.m.
Glendale, AZ
Texas vs. Ohio State
Jan. 68 p.m.
Mobile, AL
Tulsa vs. Ball State
FedEx BCS National Championship
Jan. 88 p.m.
Miami, FL
Oklahoma vs. Florida


UPDATE: Thanks to my newest advertiser, Ford--I think somebody at the Ad Sense headquarters read this post and got embarassed and finally decided to advertise on an American blog.

And for the record, I drive a Ford Focus. Superior handling capability, and a roomy enough cabin for a small adult, his companion-dachshund, Maddy, and his entourage of junk.

Why, just last week I emptied out dozens of Vitamin Water bottles from my front seats. I have another dozen Vitamin Waters in my trunk (yet to be consumed), courtesy of my sister. I love the refreshing flavor of Revive (tm) and, to a lesser extent,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A New Special Teams Unit?

Like money in politics, every change in a sports rule is rife with loopholes. Well, here's an idea.

Every week, like the Bears just did with the Houston Texans, a team snatches up a dubious-looking fumble, the defense celebrates, the Quarterback takes his time, enters into his snap count, and--after one or two minutes of watching replays up in the booth--the coach of the (now-)defense throws the red flag at the last second. The weaselly miscall gets overturned, predictably, and the television announcers have just mumbled awkwardly for 90 awful seconds.

What's more, refs now err on the side of the fumble because they know that there is the cushion of the challenge. More dubious-looking calls are being made on spots and fumbles. Perhaps teams ought to take a page from hockey line-changing and employ a little bit of agility to exploit these new strategic areas.

Why not have a quick-snap unit, all third-string, perhaps, always at the ready? They have a QB sneak in the I-formation ready to run in fifteen seconds. In the initial stages of having such a unit, of course, you would draw the other team off-sides, force them into burning time-outs, or rush them into foolish challenges.

There are other ways that a quick-snap (or, in this case, quick-punt) unit could be used. For instance, let's say it's 4th and 4 around midfield. Why employ "sportsmanship" and wait for the returner to get in position? (Unless there's a rule defining this.) Again, this could be a way to cause timeouts to be burned or force the returning team into a first-down-causing illegal formations, too-many-men-on-the-fields, etc.

Just a thought: what do you think?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Words. Words. Words. Words. Words.

Ha, why can't we have cable talkshow guests like this?

This is really funny.

Wonder where Hannity and Colmes came from?

Skip to 7:15 if you're in a hurry.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm defiantly blogging.

I'm a TA for the University of Iowa's massive "Great Musicians" class, and I've been doing a whole pile of grading of concert reports lately. (For those of you outside of UI, "Great Musicians" is our local, anachronistic euphemism for music appreciation.)

There's one malapropism that I've been seeing everywhere lately. I wonder where it comes from, or if this is always a frequent switcheroo:

Defiantly subbing in for definitely.

I remember trying to dabble in a typewriter a few summers back. I understood how my spelling had slipped a bit. With "defiantly," however, instead of "definitely," you can end up with some pretty hilarious sentences.

"The band defiantly worked hard on this music."

Yeah! Take that conductor!

I'm not by any means a grammar snob--I'm wondering if there's some way we pronounce things, and if that somehow leads to the mistakes? I wouldn't be making light of this if just one person did it. It's a bona fide grammatical crime spree!

Kidding. Okay, back to grading/medieval polyphony/listening to Radiohead and then realizing that it's making my medieval transcription very difficult. Then I turn off my Itunes, and realize... that my medieval transcription is still very difficult. Then I grade some more, set my media player to shuffle, feel guilty for not transcribing, and start the whole mess over again.

And now, in T-Spoons, I'm defiantly blogging about the whole cycle. Like, whoa.

Friday, December 12, 2008

On this day in music history...

Maybe this is madly narcissistic, but why don't we think of ourselves historically? Maybe there's cold comfort, economically, when I find I don't have any money, that we're in an economic crisis, and so I'm some sort of Representative Man or something. What I'm thinking about, though, is less personal and more collective and academic: the relationship (or not) of ourselves and our activities to what we consider important.

I spent a great deal of contemplation sifting through articles about the history of brass instruments this semester. That was really the one bright spot in an utterly overwhelming academic semester that found me dabbling in mathematical proportions at every turn--and ending up confused and feeling stupid for the first time in a while academically (since, hmm.... my last math class, Geology, and Latin).

But in the course of my ad-hoc investigations, I found that some of the best musical scholarship right now isn't about Bach or Haydn or Beethoven, etc., but about reg'lar folk. This is sort of what I want to do, something about music as an element of everyday culture. There are fancy terms for this, like "superstructure" or, in a very slightly less politically-toxic phrasing, "people's history".

I'm sometimes, as a historian who has grown up around and in the brass world, a bit embarassed, a bit apologetic, that Arnold is not Haydn; Plog is not Boulez. Whatever. Brass music's not about that, not about playing background music for cocktail parties for fat cats (although it can be, and that's awesome), not about winning Pulitzer Prizes, although that's cool too. It's about doing it! There's so much research about the place of brass bands in the 19th-century American social fabric. It's where your neighbors are, it's where you meet people and connect in a social way, like an Elk's Club or a church... except instead of scripture, you argue over articulations.

I think that's what keeps me involved in the brass band movement. First of all, it's a connection with my dad, I think. I remember going to concerts of all kinds when I was young, Navy bands, municipal bands, brass bands... Lots of Rossini overtures and Rodgers and Hammerstein medleys... Am I supposed to be unlearning that, unliking those, renouncing them? I've been thinking often about marriage in general lately, and it caused me to re-read the famous passage by the Apostle Paul on love. This familiar verse stands out:

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

That's much of what college education is; doing away with childish things, replacing Stephen King with Jonathan Franzen and "history" books with footnoted history books. Music is the same way. But I think bands in particular represent the re-democratization of music, town bands coming back into existence, trombones coming out from closets, messy, drunk big bands blaring in VFW halls when nobody's listening. The future of video is on youtube, and many people think that's where music is heading. I disagree. Music is a social art, a social phenomenon. What's more important: when Elliot Carter comes out with a new symphony, or when John Rutter publishes a new anthem? Hundreds of church choirs will sing the Rutter--most badly, but so what?--and thousands of parishoners will sit through it. And in 100 years, if I lived to be 125, I could make a splash as a historian rediscovering that fact.

I met an older lady yesterday at the bus stop with what looked like a suitcase. Freezing, we talked about ridership. I mentioned that I was taking the bus now that the music building at Iowa had gotten flooded out--what's the point in parking? She asked what I played, and if I was in the University/Concert Band concert she went to the night before. I felt a bit superior--those are the undergrad/non-major bands, but then she mentioned she was on her way with her flute to the New Horizons Band (a wonderful trend for "mature" adult music makers!). I asked if she knew my friend, who works with the New Horizon flutes, and she said she wasn't in the group with the very intense commitment and just liked to play for fun. I invited her to my friend's recital last night (he's an assistant director of the band) and I saw her there.

All the while, Elliot Carter turned 100. It was an historic day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For the music nerds.

Can you tell I just learned how to screenshot?

So, I had something very simple that worked for Machaut, but then I'm like, "nah, let me start back at the drawing board. I think I see some syncopation."

So I tried something. This!






Maybe homorhythm was a good idea. But this just seemed so boring:

Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong line of work, or maybe the wrong century.

UPDATE: I'm not sure if I'm in the wrong line of work or the wrong century, but one thing's for certain, I think...? I'm in the wrong meter?

Ironic Screenshot of the Day

I'm positively drowning in work lately but I can't resist the urge to blog when I see this:

I took a screenshot of the video, at 0:17:

Here's a bold proposal to send out to the Conventional Wisdom: No Illinois governor should ever, ever include the subliminal image of a hand counting large amounts of cash in his or her advertising.


...And, seconds later, from the man who is actively trying to strongarm a Chicago children's hospital, Uncie Rod shows off his softer side by touting a children's health insurance program he allowed to bankrupt:

I think the outstretched hand is out of the frame.

This would be great fodder for a caption contest. I'll start:

"I'm sorry you have [BLEEPING] Leukemia, but you expect me to help you out and all I get is [BLEEPING] appreciation? [BLEEP] you, [SICK LITTLE GIRL 1]! Curing your Leukemia is a [BLEEPING] valuable thing. You don't just [BLEEPING] give it away."

And again, to paraphrase Patrick Fitzgerald, the "bleeps" are not really "bleeps."