All entries for September 2004

September 20, 2004

The West Wing – Officially Addictive!

Research published today by this blog proves that the American TV Series 'The West Wing' is addictive.

A statement by Dr. Baresbreath McKneegrasper says:

"We showed episodes 1 and 2 of the first series of the West Wing to a random sample of 3 of my mates. Including myself, this brings the sample population to 4. Out of those 4, 3 became addicted to the West Wing, and showed a strong desire to continue to watch the rest of the series.

Our results were only confirmed last night when the final of the test subjects saw the first two episodes, and then immediatly went on to watch another eleven of his own accord. This resulted in him not actually going to bed until 6am this morning. That's correct, isn't it Matt?

Those who have not yet experienced this TV series may have noticed that season 4 is currently being showed on Channel 4,. however you are advised to borrow the DVD's off of a mate and and start at the beginning of season 1. It's far more enjoyable when you know whats gone before…"

September 17, 2004

Croatia – the final part

Writing about web page

It's been a while, but I thought I'd just tidy up a few loose ends from my entries on my holiday in Croatia,

First of all, the link above goes to my gallery of photos from my trip, and also a cartoon that I spotted in The Daily Telegraph that I thought was rather relevant.

Secondly, I'd just finished talking about how we had arrived in Hvar Town.

After having moved around quite rapidly for the first part of the week, it was a welcome break to lay around and not go anywhere for the next 3 days. I'm not going to bother detailing everything we did from now on, just some selected highlights.

We stayed at Georges place, just around the corner from a) the main town and b) the holiday home of the President of Croatia, who we happened to see a few days later whilst at the beach.

Hvar Town has an open-air cinema – about 2.50 to watch Kill Bill vol.2 outside, the film projected on to a huge suspended screen, with a very handy bar, which means that later on the screen is removed and the whole place turns into a nightclub.

We were in Hvar during it's summer music festival, so one night we went to a violin (and piano) concert in one of the monastaries. The effect was great – the performance was in the central courtyard which was open to the night air. A great place for a concert.

Having not been scuba diving really since I got my qualification back in 2000, I took the opportunity of a cheap try-dive around the bay area – it was good to get back under the water!

Apart from all that, the days mainly consisted of getting up late, finding a bar (not difficult) and having dinner!

Took the hydrofoil back to Split on the Saturday (about 1 hour, 3), and the coach to Zadar. Stayed over in the same hostel on the saturday night then flew back to Gatwick. Oh, and then hung around in Chesham for a day to go to another Prom at the RAH!

So, in conclusion. Croatia is a great place for a holiday. Good weather, nice people, great food, very reasonable on the wallet, beautiful scenery and beautiful 'scenery'! Hvar Town comes particularly recommended.

September 16, 2004

Get Firefox

Writing about web page

I imagine a large number of people who read this do so all ready, but just so that i'm doing my bit to spread the word I'd like to take this opportunity to say Get Firefox – the ultimate in web browsers!

Get Firefox!

September 12, 2004

Cox Bazar

Writing about web page

Went to the new restaurant 'Cox Bazar' at The Butts in Earlsdon this evening. It's on the site of the old 'Imran' curry house, opposite Akbars (no, honestly, I don't navigate my way around Earlsdon by curry).

Cox Bazar ' the result of a dedicated passion to present to you the true authentic flavours of sub-Continental cuisine, namely Bangladesh, India and Pakistan…'

Similar to the place I went in Chesham with Matt about a month ago, this is no curry house. Beautiful surroundings, great service, delicious food and reasonable prices.

Menu examples include Hima-chali pepper flavoured shredded white chicken with ginger and coriander served with steamed basmati rice; seared fillets of fresh sea bass on a bed of auteed red cabbage served with a mild pasanda sauce; pan seared wild king prawn marinated in a chilli and tomato sauce served on a bed of sauteed fresh greens.

Highly recommended – and they do 15% student discount as well!

September 10, 2004

2005 Area Test Pieces

Writing about web page


Tam O'Shanters Ride by Denis Wright? WTF?

Not looking forward to rehearsing this one…..

Edit: I appreciate that if you're not a bandsman none of this will mean anything to you whatsoever.

September 06, 2004

Is it a Rit. or a Rall.?

A large proportion of musicians generally take the terms 'ritenuto' (or rit.) and 'rallentando' (or rall.) to mean the same thing. However, there is a difference.

I write this as I am myself currently in the process of arranging and transcribing a variety of music for brass ensembles and I think it's important that I use the correct word in the correct place.

So, here for me and everyone else:

  • rallentando – \Ral"len*tan"do\, a. [It.] (Mus.) Slackening; — a direction to perform a passage with a gradual decrease in time and force; ritardando.
  • ritenuto – \Ri`te*nu"to\, a. [It.] (Mus.) Held back; holding back; ritardando.

(Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.)

September 05, 2004

The West Wing – Episode 6

Follow-up to The West Wing from Wilby's blog


Watching episode 6, "Mr Willis of Ohio", Jed Bartlett lectures his daughter about the (his) nightmare senario of her being kidnapted from a party and the USA being held to ransom. This of course is the exact senario visited at the end of series 4.

My question is, when Aaron Sorkin was writing the show, did he write this on purpose, knowing he would use it in series 4? Or when writing Series 4 did he remember episode 6 and decide to give Jed his nightmare? Or was it a total coincidence?

The West Wing

Oh I how I love The West Wing. I can't wait for Season 4 to come out on DVD (September 13!).

I also love how people get addicted to it – my housemate only started watching it this afternoon. He's just about to watch episode 6…..

Sibelius – grrr!

I use the Sibelius music scoring program. It's great (it should be with how much it costs). and it's done a lot for me, but there a couple of things that really annoy me about it:

  1. It doesn't crescendo or diminuendo through notes. This is the number one, cheese me off, beat it to death thing which truely annoys me about it. I know that it's all based on midi data, and midi doesn't allow volume changes during notes, but I would have thought that Sibelius could stick some of its own code on top that would allow it.
  2. It doesn't playback the instruction 'A Tempo', so I have to go through and create hidden metronome markings every time it occurs.

September 01, 2004

Dirk Gently – Reverse Scrounging

Writing about Scrounging for holiday reading from Kieran's blog

So, having been home and checked, I still can't find my copy of the combined novels 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency' and 'The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul' by Douglas Adams. The only book I've ever read for the first time, than immediately gone back to the beginning and started again.

I must have lent it to someone. But who?

Can I have back please? :-)

September 2004

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