October 29, 2014

New "Business" Card

I'm heading out to the New England Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference in a few weeks. It's a bit of a "fun junket" for me - I've got my foot in a several musical worlds:
  • The Guinea Pigs (musician)
  • Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (crew chief of performer merchandise sales) 
  • West Hartford Yoga (run the sound for kirtan and other events)
  • Scenic Root (concert and album reviews, on this blog)
But really, I'm not really there in any official capacity - just to hang out with sympatico folks, hear some good music, network, and relax.

Now, I've not been much of a business card / networking person for many years. I have had "professional" business cards for my engineering / consulting business for many years, and hand those out occasionally. But more often than not, it's not really appropriate.

I've also put together some "yoga" business cards, but really, I'm not selling myself as a yoga instructor / business most of the time - I'm part of the "West Hartford Yoga" collective. I rarely if ever use 'em.

And over the past few years, I've really struggled to define myself, my work, my life. I've got way too many irons in the fire to call myself an engineer, a yoga teacher, a musician, a blogger, a social media wonk, or any number of other careers / vocations. So here's what I've come up with:


I can see myself handing them out to folks I meet at NERFA, to yoga students, to Guinea Pigs fans and connections, to Falcon Ridge folks, even to balloon passengers.

Oddly, this feels like a big step. I feel like I've been hanging out on the periphery, staying out of sight, for many years. Time to let myself be seen, perhaps.

October 15, 2014

Flying While (possibly) Infected

CDC: U.S. health worker with Ebola should not have flown on commercial jet - CNNHealth.com

The second Dallas health care worker who was found to have the Ebola virus should not have boarded a commercial jet Monday, health officials say.
We happen to have a pretty extensive airline security / "no fly list", remnant from the so-called war on terror. Finally, a good use for it. I vote that anyone exposed to Ebola and under watch be placed on that no fly list until cleared by the CDC.

I'm not really the sort to panic about Ebola, but I'm also cognizant of the stupidity, selfishness, and privileged assholery of my fellow Americans.

Make it so....

October 02, 2014

Robert M. Palter


Some sad news this morning; Robert Palter (known to many as Bob and to his family as Buck) passed away last evening. I was privileged to get to know him through my former partner, Alex - Buck was his father. They have lived near each other for as long as I have known them, after many years of living apart, and it's been sweet to get to know Buck through the years.

The bio from his magnum opus, The Duchess of Malfi's Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits, gives an overview of a full and varied life:
Born in Queens, New York, Robert Palter earned a degree in chemistry at Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army, working on the Manhattan Project. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and is currently Dana Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. A scholar with wide-ranging interests, Palter has throughout his academic career published on the philosophy and history of science as well as eighteenth-century intellectual history. He lives in New Britain, Connecticut.
He was a fascinating man, an intellectual who could be brusque especially when debating some subject of science or philosophy. He had an unusual medical condition, possibly Gustatory Sweating or Frey's Syndrome, resulting in sweating during a meal  - when I first met him, not knowing there was a physiological reason, I kept wanting to open a window or find a cooler restaurant. Going out to dinner with the Palter clan was often overwhelming, a lively (some would say raucous) mix of humor, intellectual debate, and a fair amount of raised voices. My "don't make a fuss, don't draw attention" attitude was always challenged by Buck and his offspring.

Buck was a passionate collector of literature and art, filling his small condo with books (over 10,000 volumes, reportedly), prints (he has multiple architectural flat files devoted to his collection) and sculpture (often primitive or along the lines of folk art). He remained active until has last days, eating out, visiting museums, art galleries, and performances. 

I have not seen Buck much over the past few years, but we did get out for dinner a few weeks back; and I have an unread copy of his book of short stories / essays, Twosomes, sitting on my "to be read" pile. I am grateful that the threads of our lives have intertwined, and sad today to say farewell.

Because there's not a lot of consolidated material about him (wikipedia entry, etc.) I thought I'd spend some time this morning pulling together his online life, in his honor and memory.

June 1960 - University of Chicago Press
Whitehead's Philosophy of Science 

1960, Philosophy of Science
Book Review:Frontiers in Science Edward Hutchings, Jr

1961, Noonday Press
Toward Modern Science, Volume I: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Science (Editor)

1961, Noonday Press
Toward Modern Science, Volume II (Editor)

1961, Ethics
Book Review:Theories of the Universe. Milton K. Munitz; From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe. Alexandre Koyre; Space, Time, and Creation. Milton K. Munitz

1964, Ethics
The Ethics of Extermination

1970, MIT Press
The Annus mirabilis of Sir Isaac Newton, 1666-1966

Nov 1984 - Science Magazine
Relativity and Other Issues (Review of Understanding Relativity, by Stanley Goldberg)

1994 - University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign, School of Chemical Sciences
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
A Note on Joseph Black and the Smell of "Fixed Air" 

April 1995 - Hume Studies, Volume XXI, Number 1
Hume and Prejudice

April 1996 - UNC Press
Black Athena Revisited (Contributor, Edited By Mary R. Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers)

Dec 1, 2002 - University of South Carolina Press
The Duchess of Malfi's Apricots, and Other Literary Fruits - Amazon 

Review by Jacqueline M. Newman in Flavor and Fortune 

Nov 2, 2006 - The New York Review of Books
What Happened at Oak Ridge? 
Letter to the editor in response to Jeremy Bernstein's "The Secrets of the Bomb"  
  
2012, Monroe Publishing
Twosomes

Dec 11, 2014
Selected Essays - eBook

October 01, 2014

The Colin McEnroe Show 5th Anniversary Celebration

It was, let's be honest, a love fest.

Greater Hartford, sub-genre public radio nerd, turned out in force (sold out at 500) last night for the 5th anniversary celebration of the Colin McEnroe Show at the Hartford Infinity Music Hall. And I, who have been smitten with Colin throughout his radio career, was thrilled to be there. I've been self employed since 1995 and Colin has kept me company (via radio shows on WTIC and WNPR) through the past decades.

First, a note about the newish Infinity Music Hall. It's a beautiful space, and completely vibes the Norfolk Infinity Hall without feeling quite so snug (some would say claustrophobic). I think even the bathrooms have a similar decor and feel. I have not found my way there for a concert yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. My one regret was not traipsing upstairs to get a feel for the balcony seating.

Now, to the party. Loyal blog readers will note that I've been a Colin McEnroe fan for many years - going all the way back to his MORNING show on WTIC. (Remember all the Barbaras? The squids who ply Long Island Sound?) It was during that time I penned and performed the "Ballad of Colin McEnroe", with Jon Lewis a local folkie / open mic friend from Bristol. I was there for Colin's first departure from WTIC, and there when he returned to an afternoon drive-time slow with Bruce Stevens. I was there when they let Bruce go in October 2006 and when Colin left the station two years later.

I've witnessed Colin's WNPR career from teh start, sensing something was up in February 2009, live blogging the first show on August 31, 2009. And long before TCMS elevated Chion Wolf to minor diety status, I had her in my sights.

So, it was wonderful to see these talented and amazing folks celebrated and honored. So nice to see the WNPR folks behind the scenes, Grayson Hughes, the many guest hosts and panelists who have contributed and become beloved voices over the past few years.

And if things did drop off into a "Prairie Home Companion" level of sentimentality (by was of two sing-alongs), it was understandable and welcomed. I tease because I know Colin is not the world's biggest Garrison Keillor fan; had he donned red sneakers last night and sung a duet en bass, it would have been a total transition to the dark side....

Colin occasionally promotes a theory that as a culture, we celebrate things just as they are leaving or becoming obsolete. Hopefully, that's not the case here - TCMS is still on the air with perhaps it's best years ahead, and at 1 pm, I'll be listening.