Cantigas de Amigo – Martin Codax

Some friends and I have entertained ourselves by working up our own versions of the Cantigas de Amigo by Martin Codax.  We started with a transcription by Chris Elmes.  While much of that was very good, some of the transcription was troublesome, so we took a close look at the original manuscript. (ca. 1275, image from Wikimedia).  We ended up making our own transcriptions, or heavily editing the ones we started with, for almost all of the pieces.  Information from was very helpful in transcribing neumes and informative on pronunciation.  Researching the Arabic influence on this music led us to, an endlessly fascinating site for a Western trained musician to browse and learn a different approach.

We are happy to share the scores we have come up with, invented second parts, indications of improvisation, and all.

  1. Ondas do mar de Vigo
  2. Mandad ei comigo
  3. Mia yrmana fremosa
  4. Ay Deus se sabora ora meu amigo
  5. Quantas sabedes amar amigo
  6. Eno sagrado en Vigo
  7. Ay ondas que eu vin veer


2012 Photo Links

Links to highlights of our 2012.

Tiny and his cone:

Hawai’i photos:

New Orleans photos:

St. Louis photos:

Israel 2011 photos:


Label Printing

This is mostly a note to myself in the future, the current solution to the never ending problem of how to print mailing labels.  It shouldn’t be this hard…

  1. Export the addresses to be used from Google Contacts to an Outlook style csv file
  2. Open–Print-Online.htm
  3. Follow the prompts / wizard to create the right kind of labels
  4. Save the document as a PDF locally
  5. Print to label stock

That looks a whole lot simpler in retrospect than it seemed while doing it.

Why doesn’t Google Contacts have an “Export Labels” function?


Geek alert – this post is largely for personal future reference on a geeky topic, how to set up private key authentication with the PuTTY terminal emulator program.

Other posts with instructions to use puttygen and where to put private/public key data are correct.  Google “putty ppk” for pointers to some of those.

The issue most posts on this topic don’t address is OS file permissions.  It seems that particularly on the CentOS servers I often work on, this is a sensitive issue.

The .ssh directory must be drwx——
The .ssh/authorized_keys file must be -rw——-
And particularly easy to miss, especially if you have reconfigured to make sharing easy among team members, your *home* directory must be drwxr-xr-x

That’s 700, 600, and 755 for the numeric chown crowd.

Heather Dale House Concert – 2012-07-20

We’ve done this before, and liked it.  So we’ll do it again!

Heather Dale is a Canadian recording artist who cheerfully side-steps the sterotypes for both folk singer-songwriters and Celtic balladeers. Heather fuses traditional stories with a healthy mix of Celtic folk, world music and rock influences, and she excels at finding modern themes within old material.  She performs with her partner Ben Deschamps, and together they explore a lively, diverse folksong repertoire… a mix of original songs with fresh twists on traditional Celtic & folk material. “Her music is powerful stuff, reminiscent of Loreena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan but with a depth and resonance rooted in its mythic sources.” (Vancouver Sun)

Visit for sound clips and further details about Heather’s music.

As for our concert details:

  • Doors open 6:30pm, music from 7-9 with intermission
  • $15 suggested donation
  • CDs will be available for purchase (and worthwhile!)
  • we’re a non-smoking house
  • we’ll have some soft drinks and snacks (and coffee) for intermission, feel free to bring some more and make it a pot-luck
  • we have a large friendly dog who likes music too

Reservations required!  House concerts have limited seating, we need to be sure we don’t overflow the living room!

Contact me to make a reservation – name, number of seats, and a way to contact you.  You can use this contact link, or any other way you know of to contact me.  I’ll get back to you with time and directions.  (We’re in West Rogers Park, near the intersection of Western and Touhy, easy on-street parking.)

EDIT: Date Change!  Originally planned for 2012-07-14, Heather’s touring schedule changed, and she will now be here 2012-07-20.

Free Kindle eBook Searches

I love my Kindle.  I had a Kindle 2 until it died, and Amazon’s customer support was great about trying to fix it, and then giving me a good deal on a Kindle 3.  Now I also have a Kindle Fire.  And I use Kindle Reader Apps on Windows and iOS platforms.

There are many free e-books available in Kindle format.  Google will help find them.

This post is about searching the Amazon Kindle Store to find temporarily free e-books.  There are thousands.

Many are junk by an incompetent writer that figured out how to self-publish via Amazon.

Many are good, by a writer that hasn’t been “discovered” yet.

Many are “loss leaders” by an established author, stirring up interest to benefit their most recent book.  This is often the best kind of deal, getting the first book in a series when the latest comes out.  Of course, then you’re tempted to spend money on the other books in the series…

I’ve been following a couple of blogs that regularly post information about the free books available.  Now that I have several hundred books queued up, of unknown quality, I’m going to take a different approach.  This page has some links to customized searches of the Amazon Kindle eBook Store.  I hope they’ll lead to interesting items of reasonable quality.  Feel free to copy the URLs and play with them yourself.

I’ve developed a few rules of thumb that tend to result in higher quality in my reading:

  1. Don’t get anything that doesn’t have at least a few reviews.  If there’s only one or two, they could be the author’s best friend or mother.  (A corollary that I haven’t been good about is that I should write more reviews.)
  2. Read, or at least skim, several reviews.  If there are red flags raised, get something else.

The searches below already encapsulate the rule “only look at things that are highly rated”.

The Basic Search: Published last 30 days, 4 or 5 stars, not public domain, ordered lowest price first.  All the other searches are refinements of The Basic Search, trying to get to material I might really be interested in more quickly.

NonFiction / Business / Management & Leadership (This category doesn’t have a lot of free material that’s any good, but every once in a while…)

Fiction (Many subcategories available that I’m not interested in, but I put the link here for easy reference)

Fiction / Mystery & Thrillers (There are subcategories available, I’d rather not separate further.)

Fiction / Science Fiction (There’s a separate category for Fantasy.)


Two Weeks in a Carry On

You can find other people’s techniques for this via Google.  I recently took a combined business and vacation trip that lasted two weeks, and I took only a “rollaboard” carry on bag. The business trip included a need for dress and business casual clothes.

This trip had an advantage over some hectic vacation trips in that I stayed in the same hotel for most of the two weeks I was gone. This let me find a laundry down the street, and have laundry done at the midpoint of the trip instead of hand washing in the hotel bathroom sink. Or paying exorbitant hotel laundry rates.

The weather was also an advantage toward light packing, late summer on the Mediterranean is very temperate, and warm (and bulky) clothes weren’t necessary.

My packing list:

3-1-1 bag

I carry this in the top outside pocket of the rollaboard, where it is easy to pull out and put back for security inspection.

hand sanitizer
moisturizer cream

Toiletries Bag in Carryon

dental floss
diarrhea treatment
moist towelettes
razor (disposable, replace every few trips)
2 sporks
surgical rubber braid clothesline

Carryon Contents

3-1-1 and toiletries bags, above

daypack (large enough to hold a water bottle)
laundry bag
long sleeved t-shirt (turned out I never wore it)
2 dress shirts
3 casual shirts
2 polo shirts
shoes – dress
shoes – sport sandals
socks (7pr)
trousers, Dress (1pr)
trousers, Business Casual (1pr)
trousers, Casual (1pr)
underwear (8pr)
undershirts (4) (turned out to be too many, could have managed with 2)


Batteries for noise canceling headphones
camera / batteries
camera charger

Cell phone charger

Headphones, Noise Canceling (w/ battery)
inflatable travel pillow
Kindle Charger
business cards
mp3 player and charger
laptop power brick
GTD folders
Travel documents folder
iPod Touch charger
Plug Adapter
travel e-tickets
travel router
USB power converter

Wear or Carry on my person

cash (US Dollars, use ATM in airport on arrival for local currency)
Cell phone
charge & ATM card
driver’s license
iPod Touch (preloaded, there’s another post coming)
pen & small notebook
shoes – walking
casual sport coat

I overpacked a little bit, but not too badly.  And it all really did fit in the rollaboard and briefcase, even with souvenirs on the way home.  (Buying small things helps.)

This was the first time I’ve gone this long in a single small bag.  Now that I’ve done it this will always be my goal.

The Adventure of the Shawm Case

I recently purchased some new-to-me instruments, an alto and tenor Renaissance shawm, made by John Hanchet.  That leads to a need for a new instrument case, as what I’ve been carrying isn’t deep enough for the 5″ bell on the tenor.

I spent much too long looking at various options and cases from Pelican, SKB, Gator, and several other manufacturers.  I’ve got a Pelican case for my hurdy-gurdy, and I like it a lot. The Gator web site has the best search-by-size option available, by far. SKB cases come highly recommended by other musicians and photographers.  The choice was tough…

The biggest two considerations were enough depth to hold the instrument bells safely, but not too large a case to fit in the back of the car.  ATA certification is a strong bonus characteristic, so I can fly with instruments in the cargo hold and not worry about them too much.

I looked at rifle cases, shotgun cases, double bow and bow and rifle cases, keyboard cases, trombone cases, and some general purpose military shipping cases.

What I ended up ordering is a case made as a 61 note keyboard case by SKB. I expect to have to do some interior customization to hold my instruments, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem for me.  This case is a few inches shorter than my old instrument gun case, a couple inches wider, and the inch and a half deeper I need to hold the new instruments.  And it has wheels!

Audiobook Abandoned: At the Mountains of Madness

Now that the weather has turned better, I’m listening to audiobooks while walking the dog again.  The first one didn’t turn out so well…

Title: At the Mountains of Madness
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
Source: Uvula Audio
URL: and scroll down the page

I remember reading a fair bit of Lovecraft when I was younger, and being captivated by it.  I can’t tell at the moment if this is a particularly non-sterling example of his writing, or if I’ve just moved on.  I abandoned listening to this halfway through the first chapter (of 6).  It was putting me to sleep while driving, which is a really bad thing.

The reader was doing quite a creditable job, but the prose style of endless descriptive sentences, with nary a dialog or character to be seen, was soporific.

If you’re currently a fan of Lovecraft, you might want to give these free downloads a try.  Otherwise, pass.


Test post from iOS

This post is a test. It is only a test. If it were real there would be content here that might be meaningful to someone.

Posted from my iPod Touch.