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What are your other interests, music related or just interesting!

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Initial post: Jan 8, 2012 9:19:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 9:23:00 AM PST
I often wonder about the people who post on the classical music forum, what their other interests are.

Exploring this might open up some new topics and create some surprising revelations.

Some may just reveal an OCD side but so what!

For example, besides music CDs, I also collect watches.
Astronomy, Chess and Bridge (the 4 handed card game) grab my attention.

Probably more irrelevant is a collection of older mechanical and electro-mechanical calculators collecting dust in my room. I think those are a result of my feeling that the mid 20th century was the pinnacle of our pre-computer age. The ingenuity that went into constructing those machines is something I do find fascinating.

I probably shouldn't admit this but I'm also interested in the UFO phenomenon and would like to know in the worst way, what the actual truth is. I wonder what our gov't really knows. I haven't had any sightings myself, but know those who claim to have seen some inexplainable stuff.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 9:28:08 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
Mountaineering, volcanoes, growing and studying cactacea, writing, this forum, literature (especially Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann as we all know to our sorrow, but many other English, American, French, German), poetry (especially Robinson Jeffers, Rilke and the English Romantics). and history. We've had a thread on this before, but I'm hopelessly in a rut and unchanged from the previous confession.

I remember your comments on the Solstice, David, and am verifying them by careful observation of the sunrise, still stuck at 7:18, although sunset has stretched out 17 minutes already, to 4:37.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 9:34:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 9:36:09 AM PST
how old are you and can you use a 'slide rule'?
I'm asking because I was born in 1960 and was such a precocious math geek that the slide rule was one of my favorite toys when a was about 11. however, by the time I would have officially learned how to use one the HP and TI calculators 'scientific' calculators came out and the whole slide rule thing became quickly obsolete.
I'm always interested in finding people younger than myself who can use a slide rule.
because they really would have to be self taught.

that gersh dern HP-35. changed my life.

with its round off error problems it also got me in the direction of numerical analysis.
A branch of mathematics which by its very nature really took off do to the advent of computers and pocket calculators.

Though my first love in 'number theory'(which is about as esoteric as one can get) my 'numerical analysis' skills is what has been the most 'bankable'.

I'm a simple guy with a couple of dogs.
I probably play too many video games for a man my age.
last year I went through LA noire and portal 2 and am currently working through the new legend of zelda. I probably spend about 5-10 a week and sometimes I wonder why I bother since it takes forever to get through some of today's games.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 9:43:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 9:51:14 AM PST
John Spinks says:
I've messed about doing bad poetry (who hasn't?), and dabbed paints onto canvases in an abstract sort of way (better than my poetry). I used to fish a good bit. I ought to take that up again...I live under a mile from a big lake. Still enjoy hiking and camping out with dutch oven cookery, though I haven't done that in over a year.

Blast! Forgot some very important things...that is being a Texas boy:

Texas Rangers (baseball)
Dallas Cowboys (football...though they break my heart every year)
Dallas Mavericks (basketball)
And, dare I say it, handguns. I have a Glock 9mm, Smith and Wesson .357 revolver and a Taurus .357 revolver. I'm a lousy shot, though.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 9:43:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 11:50:23 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
In the Army I worked for a West Point colonel who had taught at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a full bird colonel named John W. Cave, the most brilliant officer I encountered. He later became Chief of Army Ordnance and retired as a general, as I had predicted he would.

Col. Cave presided over staff meetings of his officers with a slide rule at his hand. At that time he was C.O. of several ordance depots in Germany, including Stuttgart-Esslingen and Butzbach, where I was, 40 kilometers north of Frankfurt-am-Main. Each time he got another command, he added one divider to his briefcase. At staff meetings when he called for estimates on anything, he quickly ran out the percentage of variance on his slide rule, announced it as unsatisfactory, and called for new and better estimates. He was also one of the best chess players I met in the Army, and there were several.

He was also wise and disinterested enough to advise me against making a military career in the Army Ordnance Corps. As he delicately put it, "I don't think you have the military temperament." Despite this he sent me to the Adjutant General's School at Lenggries on the Austrian border south of Munich, promoted me, invited me to his house for dinner with his family, had me draft his annual evaluations of other officers, and handed me off to his chief when the time came, General Dietrich at USAREUR headquarters in Heidelberg, where I had nothing to do in Patton Barracks but attend concerts at the University, go to Bayreuth, and miss my old boss. But I made good friends there.

My complete autobiography will prbably appear in future installments on this forum unless someone can find a way to stop me. And someone nearly did! This was supposed to be just about the slide-rule, prompted by Jacky's comments, but everything seems to be connected to everything else, as John Muir said more elegantly.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 10:30:30 AM PST
T. Anderson says:
i'm a medical technologist (microbiology) and work in a hospital laboratory, however, that's really just a job. my only real scientific interests outside of work are quantum physics (conceptual; i'm horrible at math) and a little astronomy, although i'm not really a star gazer. i'm more interested in how the universe works than actually looking at the stars.

mostly, my life is more about what i do in my spare time. i'm a music freak. while classical is my favorite, i also enjoy rock and roll, r & b, jazz, and electronica. i played saxophone in junior high and high school (marching band, symphony band, and jazz band), and i am a self-taught drummer, and a lot better at that than i ever was at the sax.

i love to travel, although i haven't been to too many places abroad. other than canada, i've been to paris and south korea. south korea is my favorite place so far; i've been there twice, and hope to go many more times, along with other places in asia (japan, hong kong, thailand, and vietnam are on the list).

i am an avid reader. stephen king is my all time favorite writer, and my book shelves contain every published novel of his. i also love sci-fi and fantasy, as well as books on asian philosophies (taoism, buddhism, and especially zen). i also like movies; drama, sci-fi, thriller.

i love college football, my favorite team being the michigan wolverines (go blue!). tomorrow's national championship is the last hurrah until next september. no NFL for me, although sometimes i watch the superbowl for the commercials. they're usually more interesting than the game.

music, however, is my biggest passion. i've studied, played, listened, collected. in addition to what i mentioned above, i've listened to traditional music from many different countries, and i find a lot of it to be very interesting.

john spinks: i hear you on the bad poetry. tried that myself; got over it quick. not the painting, though. i leave that to my wife; she's actually pretty good.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 11:14:04 AM PST
Lez Lee says:
I'm 71 and was widowed in 2008, no children, live alone in my own house in Scotland. Was a Library Assistant in public libraries for 34 years in Liverpool and Sheffield.
I enjoy crosswords, puzzles and quizzes - was a contestant on a BBC radio music quiz and part of a team in a BBC Scotland TV quiz where we reached the semi-finals! I don't read nearly as much as I used to but still enjoy detective novels. My main non-music hobby is needlework of various types and I also like a bit of DIY though a bit physically restricted these days. I spend far too much time on these threads but have made several local friends through them which has made it all worthwhile.
I've nowhere near the erudition or experience evident in you posters but I'm still learning!

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 11:32:52 AM PST
HB says:
I enjoy politics even though most politicians are basically incompetent. I also love sports, mostly the NFL but also college football, college basketball and the NBA. When I visit Florida, I love to go fishing on the ocean piers. I also love to cook. My love for cooking can be seen around my waist. I volunteer once a week at the local hospital emergency room. Volunteering is the best thing a retired person can do, IMO.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 11:48:58 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
I say, Lez, BBC radio music quiz contestant, and BBC Scottish team? I'm VERY impressed, as I am by your great value to the threads both here and in the UK.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 12:20:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 12:21:22 PM PST
Auntie Lynn says:
Weight training, complicated needlework, repertory development, London theater, Manchester United, the Romanoffs -- I also work for three high profile first-tier performing arts organizations...bizzy bizzy!

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 12:29:50 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 22, 2012 8:58:00 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 12:54:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 12:55:36 PM PST
John Ruggeri says:

This wonderful Forum source of companionship + exchange of ideas.

Cooking and food buying and eating - I am a decent cook and try to only buy fresh high end products.

Reading -- almost exclusively non-fiction [ Biography - history, constitutional law, classical and Renaissance Art
philosophy and Religion ** the source of a few arguments on the forum.
Happy New Years Friend-John

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 12:59:13 PM PST
bejart7092 says:

I'm currently trying to pick that hobby back up. I played a lot in college, too much in fact. My usual partner was a senior when I was a freshman. Late during the second semester, I wondered about studying for finals and completing term papers, but if my man-of-the-world partner wasn't concerned, why should I worry? It was only at the very end of the spring that I discovered that he'd dropped out at Christmas !

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 1:14:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2012 5:46:18 AM PST
David, I used to collect American railroad-grade pocket watches. I sold them all but one when our older daughter went to college and paying tuition became a huge factor. The one remaining is a 16-size 23-jewel six-position Waltham Vanguard Model 1908 with the Lossier inner-terminal hairspring, lever set, with a winding indicator. The double-sunk porcelain dial says: "Waltham Vanguard 23 jewels", and the inside of the screw back case says: "Cased and Timed at the Factory". Produced in 1926. I keep it in a bank safe-deposit box and wonder why I retain a watch I don't use and hardly ever see.

(For people who don't collect American mechanical watches: The Vanguard is one of half a dozen models of railroad-grade pocket watches made in the USA that are exemplars of the finest mechanical mass-produced watches ever made in the world. Even the Swiss never managed to mass-produce a mechanical watch better than that Vanguard or the highest grades of Hamilton, Elgin, and Illinois railroad watches. )

Full disclosure: I'm bragging something fierce here. Thanks, David.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 1:21:18 PM PST
Jacky, I was born in 1940, used a slide rule through college (chemistry, biology), and still have mine somewhere. I think I could probably remember how to use it to multiply and divide if I tried. I carried it to class every day in its fake leather case. I was a quintessential geek. But in 1953 or '54 I went to my first-ever orchestral concert: Boston Symphony, Charles Munch, in Providence. It took me years to understand that what I had heard in 1953 was still Koussevitzky's orchestra. I knew nothing then. I like to think that I can remember the sound, but I'm probably deluding myself.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 1:34:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 2:09:36 PM PST
Edgar Self says:
Young Angelo Mendillo -- What was your field or profession? I was a railroad marketing manager for Atchison, Topeka & Santa fe, Burlington Northern, and St. Louis-San Francisco Railways, but could never afford one of those grade pocket watches with the 16-foot stops.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 1:35:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 1:37:37 PM PST
OMG those are fun to read!! What a neat group of people. I'm just glowing over here! Honestly!

palJacky - A few years ago I did troll ebay and actually did buy a few slide rules. I got one of those Russian ones that look like a pocket watch. I also picked up a Pickett and it had a book with it explaining some of the functions. Unfortunately for some reason I just can't get past the most basic logs...sigh...But I do find it fascinating! It is a brilliant invention and I'm sure only appreciate it on the most superficial levels.

bejart7092 - I did the same stuff in college. Playing bridge till the wee hours instead of studying for midterms. I still have nightmares about not being prepared for exams.

John Ruggeri - Food is wonderful!! I think that is one of the areas of appreciation that has grown in my older years. Our shopping has become more complex with each year. This store for one thing, another store for the next. It can take hours but we do eat very well.

Piso - please continue with your autobiography. Fascinating is not a good enough word to describe your experiences.

Everyone, please don't feel slighted if I haven't responded to each person yet. As this thread goes and grows, I will try to.

I gave myself a little "short shrift" in the initial post. Some of you already know I have a Bachelors in Music. I didn't do it until I was 40 though! School was much better when I went back in my late 30's. No late night bridge games!

Most of my life I've supported myself as a performing musician. Although I listen to almost exclusively classical music, I actually play blues and jazz and Rhythm & Blues in public. I can play classical piano, but mostly play guitar in the bands. Our singer died of cancer earlier this year, so I stepped in to that role out of necessity. I also play keyboard but for some reason, the microtonal possibilities of the guitar and the tactile connection with the actual vibrating strings has a much stronger attraction to me.

I'm 62 and did do some "day" jobs. I worked at a music store for some years, hung drywall briefly and most recently worked at Capital Law School in their library. I did that for 10 years, just long enough to get a deal where I get to keep the health insurance. Now I'm "semi" retired, just playing in the band a couple of times a week.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 1:38:03 PM PST
rustic says:
t. anderson, i to am becoming quite the stephen king fan. i am about halfway through IT. forget about the scary clown. i find this novel most moving by the personal stories of kids growing up and just trying to get by with asthma, bullies, being black, being overweight, etc. i think the most touching part that i've read so far was when mike hanlon was helping his father on the farm and for no reason he said, "dad, i love you." being a dad i was incredibly touched by this simple scene. i look forward to more of his books.

i find myself bitten by the art collection bug. i can't hang anything on my walls anymore unless it's original. i of course don't have major dollars to buy art but i have come across several local artist pieces that were somewhat affordable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 1:39:30 PM PST
KenOC says:
David, the log log scales are easy to use. So when somebody asks at a party, "By the way, what's the two-thirds power of 98.6?" you can just whip it out (the slide rule I mean) and give the answer to universal applause.

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 1:43:22 PM PST
Edgar Self says:
Ken, you carry your slide rule WHERE?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 1:45:16 PM PST
John Ruggeri says:
David J. Friedlander says:

John Ruggeri - Food is wonderful!! I think that is one of the areas of appreciation that has grown in my older years. Our shopping has become more complex with each year. This store for one thing, another store for the next. It can take hours but we do eat very well.
I am 67 and growing up in an Italian American Neighborhood in South Philadelphia - the store for this and store for that was
the only option. My mom was later suspicious of the one stop shop places but as a non- driver they work but still use smaller stores for produce when possible. We have several farmers markets PA and NJ in the summer. Peaches tomatoes and melons of supreme sweetness.


Posted on Jan 8, 2012 1:49:21 PM PST
bejart7092 says:
David ---
You wonder about other interests.

Although I don't read nearly as much as in the past, I do have a sizable military history collection. At first, I focused on the American Civil War, and began replaying battles in miniature. I painted opposing armies in 15mm, meaning the height of the average model soldier was 15mm high. There has been much research on even the smallest skirmishes, and every gamer knew the outcomes and the hidden attacks. There were no surprises on the gaming board so I switched eras, and began concentrating on the second World War. My primary interest was the Eastern Front, again replaying battles in miniature, this time on an even smaller scale. The troops were 6mm and the tanks and trucks and armored personnel carriers not much bigger. It allowed for larger battles with more maneuverability. After all, motorized units can go much farther and faster than horses.

I haven't gamed in several years, but I did put much of what we did on a website, with hundreds of pictures, many detailed close-ups. I started the site about 4 years ago and have had over 16,000 visits.

The address:

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 2:18:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 2:19:33 PM PST
Edgar Self says:
John Spinks -- Alarmed at your sidearm collection, but relieved that you're a bad shot. Being Texan is a heavy responsibility. Heavy, heavy ...

Posted on Jan 8, 2012 2:22:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2012 4:50:23 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
"What are your other interests, music related or just interesting!"

I say:

I enjoy a variety of music depending upon my mood. I like American folk and country, Gospel music, Broadway songs, and music by singers such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and the 1940s/1950s era of American entertainment. I was very big into jazz while in college and jazz probably has come closest to matching my interest in classical music. I was into "world" music before it was even called "world" music. I think my intertest in "world" music started back when I was a small child and my mother was dating a Greek man and once at a party at his house I started dancing wildly to some ethnic Greek music that was being played on the stereo. I'm still atrtracted to music from Greece, Turkey, India and even China and Japan because I find the sound to be very exotic and different, even though my exploration has been limited due to the language barrier. Having traveled to Latin America; I've also been taken with Latin American music folk music of several varieties.

I've never been deep into whatever has been current on the pop music scene, and I hate the sound of loud electric guitar solos and I don't like going to parties where people play loud hip-hop and dance music. However, there's even some of that I like and I'll concede that Michael Jackson was probably the greatest American entertainer known to mankind, even though there's only a few songs of his that I like enough to put on my I-pod.

As for other interests besides music, I generally don't like sports or excercise. Walking, miniature golf, bowling and swimming are about all I do. I have gone skiing a few times and I liked it, and would like to go more often if we ever get any snow this winter in Massachusetts. In any case, I'm still a beginner.

I love games and I've spent a lot of time with cross-word puzzles, anagrams and cryptograms. I'm also fairly good at Scrabble, Risk and Monopoly. I was big into war games for a while during the 1970s and 1980s and was enthusiastic over a board game called "War and Peace" that simulated the Napoleonic Wars. The board was a giant map of Europe and the pieces were French, Russian, British, Austrian, Prussian and Spanish armies. Needless to say, that game never caught on with the public at large.

By the mid-1980s, chess became my favorite game and is still my game of choice. I've spent many hours playiong in tournaments and studying chess books. My favorite chess players are Jose Capablanca, Aron Nimzovich and Carlos Torre. My favorite chess openings are the French Defense, the Caro-Kann Defense, the Slav Defense, the Dutch Defense, the King's Gambit, the Torre Attack and the Spanish Opening.

I like to visit art museums and have been known to spend hours in them.

I also like to construct plastic model airplanes. Most are World War II planes, but I'm thinking of doing some from World War I. I've also done a few boats. On a rainy day I like a model airplane kit, a cup of tea and some classical music in the background.

I don't like movies and TV that much. For TV I like "The Honeymooners", "The Odd Couple" (TV series and movie), "The Incredibel Hulk" and the old "Bob Newhart Show" from the 1970s. I also like the "Three Stooges". My favorite movies are "Smokey and the Bandit", "The Cannonball Run", "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", "What About Bob" and "Gandhi". I also like many of the John Wayne movies.

I don't read much except for chess books. I like some poetry and I am often inspired and comforted by some things in the Bible even though I'm somewhat agnostic. My favorite poets are Longfellow, Whitman and Tennyson. My favorite novels are "The Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway, "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck and "Frankenstein" by Shelley. I was big into Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolf Man movies when I was a kid and from time to time, I still like the classic "horror" movies with actors such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2012 4:12:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2012 5:57:31 PM PST
Joe - Did you ever compete in chess tournaments? EDIT (I read your post too fast - I see that you have a lot of experience - sorry) I like some of the same openings you like - I've owned many chess computers and software over the years. I still have a Mephisto that plays somewhere over 2200 and Fritz6 and Fritz9, both of which are horrible monsters, rated somewhere near Grandmaster strength.

I played in a few tournaments and on a team here in Columbus that won the city league in the 1970's. Our first board played a game against one Robert J. Fischer. He lost, but was in the game. Michael Bretoff is his name though I may have the spelling wrong. He missed a tactical move and dropped a rook on the back rank if memory serves. (you may find the game on My rating was 1922 at one time although I've been inactive for many years now. I usually just amuse myself playing against Fritz or the Mephisto.

I did beat Fritz6 once at an "action" game. (30m) The moves were:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 exd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nxc6 bxc6
6. e5 Qe7
7. Qe2 Nd5
8. c4 Nb6
9. Nc3 Qe6
10. Qe4 Ba6

11. b3 Bb4
12. Bd2 Bxc3
13. Bxc3 d5
14. Qh4 dxc4
15. Rc1 o-o
16. Be2 Nd5
17. Ba1 Nb4
18. bxc4 Rad8
19. o-o Nd3
20. Rc3 Nxe5

21. Re3 Ng6
22. Qg5 Qd7
23. h4 f6
24. Qa5 Qc8
25. Rg3 Qe6
26. Re3 Qc8
27. Re1 Nxh4
28. Rh3 Ng6
29. Qh5 Qe6
30. Qxh7+ Kf7

31. Rg3 Qe4
32. Rxg6! Qxg6
33. Bh5 Qxh5
34. Qxh5+ Kg8
35. Re7 Bxc4
36. Qg4 Resigns (because if 36...Rf7 37. Qxc4)

Probably bad manners for me to post the game but you might find it enjoyable. Typical human success against computer when the computer goes for material gain (pawns) and the human manages some sneaky kamikaze attack.

If you can stand this, I have a game where I beat the Mephisto with the famous queen sacrifice / smothered mate. A source of unending pleasure for me! HA! Take that you bunch of bits!!
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  49
Total posts:  245
Initial post:  Jan 8, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 1, 2012

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