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So the priest I've been seeing periodically (when both our schedules allow) for... not exactly spiritual direction, even though he's doing a bit of that I suppose, more of personal crisis management - I saw him this week, and he suggested that maybe I need more creative outlets.

Meanwhile, in my actual day job I'm launching the helpdesk for our new UK branch, which means I'm working from 3am-noon in my own time zone for awhile, which should be interesting given that singing season is starting up and I'm in one paid choir and one volunteer choir currently.

The audition deadline next spring for the local opera company is probably not happening next year either, in light of that, unless something major changes.

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I need to do more with my "talent" (really a skill I've put a lot of effort into acquiring and maintaining) but it feels like it's less valuable or marketable to be just a singer who doesn't even play piano or guitar passably and couldn't compose my way out of a paper bag.

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I need to start attempting to do networking so I can get more gigs. I could say that having a day job has made me lazy, but the honest truth is that I'm terrified. My teacher says I'm ready; in fact, she's been trying to get me audition for the local opera company for about 2 years now.

2 years ago, I was working at a day job with a fairly long and tiring commute and didn't have anything to put on a resume anyway. This past spring, I had a lot of personal stuff going on, plus a stressful Easter program, and the application deadline flew past before I knew what was happening.

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There's nothing like a week of people saying "So, what are your plans after the PhD?" to make me doubt my ability to support myself as a composer.

If you like my choral music and want to support me financially so I can continue to put new works online under #CreativeCommons licenses, please consider one of the options at

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a tour of carillon -
An enormous tower filled with 100 tons of bronze bells, some the size of a car, that you play with a massive keyboard at the top of the tower.

video by Rob Scallon.

English is hard and I apparently can't today. Can you tell I've been having a rough time lately?

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For work (as in my actual day job that) I'm taking a Mendix training... Unless I'm way off base, it looks like basically MS Access, only more open? Am I completely wrong?

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Jonathan Coe has a good piece at the always excellent Crisis Magazine. In it, he looks at the flaws of modernist, "liberal" Catholics vs. the timeless magisterial teaching of the Church (true and unchangable, btw).

Of course, one of the places where I sit in the choir loft every Sunday does pay ME for the privilege...

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I put some cash in the collection plate when I sit in the pews, but when I'm sitting in the choir loft, I don't give any money.

This doesn't come up in my mind terribly often, but I've heard 2 sermons on tithing recently, and I always find myself questioning the fact that I don't feel guilty about not donating cash.

What brought this on was my first visit to an eye doctor in 15 years, which in turn was brought on by yet another family member being diagnosed with glaucoma.

I'm told that my macula and optic nerve are perfectly healthy, probably helped by having picked up the habit as a teenager of wearing sunglasses every time I go outside. I've decided to supplement this with some of those glasses that block blue light so as to minimize eyestrain when staring at screens all day. We'll see how that goes.

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I find it a bit disappointing that nobody ever bothers to measure visual acuity that's better than 20/20. I've had a noticeable deterioration of my vision over the past few years, but since I still test at 20/20, I'll never know how much.

This is not to brag about my genetic lottery win when it comes to eyesight, just a data nerd's lament at finding some statistic that wasn't measured.

Requesting prayers not only for myself but also for those involved in the situation that precipitated this course of events.

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I just got the sort of phone call I'm both grateful for and... not.

Some stuff has happened, and I'm requested to come up with a solo to sing on Sunday that fits in with the theme. Oh, and I have to let them know what it is before tomorrow.

I'm just getting over bronchitis, so they are probably just getting a hymn, but that should be okay. Now to figure out which one...

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The truth is the statistics aren't usually wrong. But more often than not people draw the exact opposite conclusion than they should from statistics because they aren't trained int he fallacies. We see this in almost every area of politics and it the central reason that democracy based politics fail, because people are really shitty at creating actionable solutions from data, even when that data seems clear.

#Stem #Science

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The power to stop someone you hate from speaking online can be used to stop speech by someone you love, or your own speech, EFF's Cindy Cohn writes in Wired:

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"A truly profound atheist is someone who has taken the trouble to understand, in its most sophisticated forms, the belief he or she rejects, and to understand the consequences of that rejection. Among the New Atheists, there is no one of whom this can be said, and the movement as a whole has yet to produce a single book or essay that is anything more than an insipidly doctrinaire and appallingly ignorant diatribe."

David Bentley Hart

The second class in the series is the one on how to make pants, though, and I assume pockets will be taught at that time, though I'm kinda sad the class on how to make tops is last, because what I really want to make is dresses.

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