Showing posts with label about me... Show all posts
Showing posts with label about me... Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2016

Humanism and Cancer.


From a friend's facebook post:


I have enjoyed this medium for a long time. I love you all including the asses, but no longer want to socialize here. I'm going to stick with my kind as suggested. God help you in the future with this mess.

Build your silo and kick out the asses. It is a social media. Social groups have standards of membership or they can't survive. "They drew a circle that kept me out, Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout." (Edwin Markham) And I own that circle. They are not welcome. There are times when inclusiveness fails. I never liked the end of the complete quote, 

I am a radical humanist in that all people are initially included in the humanist circle. They can opt out if they wish by behavior incompatible with humanism. This does not mean they are not still human it just means that they may need to be controlled or eliminated humanely for the protection of humanism.

Humans and humanism are prone to cancerous growths. I did not hate the cancer that was destroying my vocal instrument. But it could not be allowed to do so. The only choice was to poison all rapidly dividing cells in my body, dangerous to be sure, and in fact nearly fatal, but it was a risk I had to take to continue to enjoy my instrument. 

The cancerous cells in humanism must be treated in the same way. Do what it takes to eliminate them even if it is dangerous. If they take over the body politic humanism will be dead anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Stories and Tips about Traveling for a Living.

You know you travel too much when the receptionist at the airline club greets you at 6:30am with "I see it is Omaha this week," and hands you your boarding passes.  (Before TSA.) 

One thing I learned early on, was to stay at the same hotel chain and always ask for a right hand room.  That is the door is on the left and bed etc. on the right.  That way when you get up in the middle of the night to get rid of the used alcohol you know where the furnature is and don't run into it.  The other thing I learned was to unpack as soon as I got to the hotel, hide all the evidence that it is a hotel room, and turn it into home even if it is for one night. The familiar setup of the right hand room makes it easy to forget it is just another hotel room.

A fun NYC Blizzard memory was one I missed. I barely made a plane in Lincoln Nebraska when the gate agent asked if I wanted to spend the weekend in Lincoln or Chicago. I asked why and he said they have just shut down the entire East Coast. I called my favorite hotel at ORD and booked a room with key at Concierge Desk. They asked on Fri? Why. I told them EC shut down. Some shouting on the other end of the line. When I got to the concierge he said thanks to you we were able to keep the day shift on overtime, here is your key to the Luxury Suite as a reward. It was there I listened to Koch tell everybody to stay home and have a weekend party.

  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why Reading is Fundamental.

This post was stimulated by the following retweet.
Jonathan Korman
3 hrs · 

· 
Retweeted Naval Ravikant (@naval):
Text is precise, compact, indexable, transmissible, translatable, asynchronous & quick to absorb. Intelligent, busy people prefer text.
@naval is obviously talking about SMS text, but it is even more apt for extended texts. Please note the efficiency of a good tweet.  (If I had more time I might use Twitter.)
 


People have always asked me why I never got into movies, YouTube (except for music), or TV especially movies and TV shows based on books I have read and liked.
The most important reason is that I learned to read before I had even heard about movies and TV which hadn't become popular yet.  I read everything I could get my hands on. I once had a race down a school library book shelf with another reader friend of mine.  I had an adult library card at 8 yo. courtesy of my activist mother who went to bat for me at the local library which I used almost exclusively as the young adult section books were off limits to my elementary card.  I frequently strayed into the adult fiction section and found that I could learn about important social issues there more efficiently than in the news or the history sections.  A good fiction author must write believable stuff in order to sell no matter what the genre.

For me the most important advantage of text is that you must supply your own emotional context to text.  Visual and even aural media are designed to manipulate the emotional state of the consumer.  Humans are story driven, and the invention of writing gave readers much more control over the emotional impact of the story.  Not completely, of course, a good writer can influence the emotional content of his words, but the reader has a chance to process that emotional content at leisure if desired.

Another advantage of text is that it clearly indicates the intelligence, education, and sophistication of the writer by asynchronous textual analysis.  A speech or video may sound plausible, but analysis of the transcript is critical to evaluating the plausibility of the actor.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Illnesses of Older People.

I recently had to deal with a diagnosis of serious throat cancer.  The reflexive recommendation of the Tumor Board for cancer of this stage was Radiation Therapy and simultaneous Chemotherapy starting ASAP. Radiation Therapy for throat cancer has a known side effect of damage to the vocal chords, which as a lifelong singer with a concert coming up I could not allow. 

This dilemma caused me to pull together a lot of things that had been in the round tuit box for some time.  First and foremost get the Advanced Directive registered with my health provider.  Secondly figure out what my priorities for the rest of my life should be.  Cancer, like strokes, heart disease, and many other ailments are to old age what head and neck injuries, joint damage, and wounds are to younger people.  If it doesn't kill you, you have to decide what compromises you have to make to continue to live a meaningful life worth dying for.  In other words, get your living priorities articulated in a way that can be discussed with others that are significant in your life including your medical team.  

At 76 I am well aware that life is finite and death will come sooner or later, preferably much later but not at the cost of compromising those things that make life worthwhile.  While alive my priorities sorted out to be 
  1. Don't die.
  2. Live as you have enjoyed living most of your life, in my case keep singing among several other high priority activities that make up my daily life.  
  3. Deal with serious health issues in a way that keep the above in perspective.  
In my case once I convinced the tumor board that radiation was not an option, they recommended an accelerated and dangerous Chemo protocol that would allow me to sing the concert if it didn't kill me. Knowing the risks I elected the protocol which indeed almost killed me, but knowing the risks enabled good choices of emergency treatment which indeed enabled my singing the concert.       

And many more as it turned out the protocol worked beyond most medical expectations and at this point the tumor and metastases are gone according to the usual cancer scans.  There is nothing useful that medicine can do at this point but watch for a recurrence.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Choral CV




K-8 choir starting 4th grade.  First solo 4th boy sop.  Voice never broke just moved down through the parts.

Elite Church Choir 6-12.  Various parts.

Elite High School A Capella Choir.  One of two freshmen admitted. 

Highlight: Memorial Day concert ending with Faure Requiem.  Due to intense programming no applause was requested.  At the end the audience filed out in complete science. 

Stanford All University Chorus 4 years undergrad, 2 years Grad.  Good chorus nothing special

Five years not singing due to heavy travel for work but something definitely missing. 

New York Choral Society.  Top non-professional choir in NYC.  Frequent performances with visiting orchestras, Beethoven 9th,  Mahler 2nd , Handel Messiah repertoire pieces.  Chorus 1971 to 1979.  On working board 1972 to 1979. Normal venue Carnegie Hall.  We performed almost all of the Choral Standards including the big 5 Requiems and the usual Masses.

Highlights.

·         Beethoven Missa Solemnis under Roger Wagner, Bob DeCormier, and Robert Shaw.

·         Kodali Kallo Dances and Martinu Military Mass under DeCormier

·         Chorus for the Peter, Paul and Mary Chanukah-Holiday concert which was later televised as a PBS Special.  Look for the guy with the fake snow piling up on his tux.

·         Bernstein Chichester Psalms under Maestro Bernstein.



San Francisco Choral Society.  A top tier non-professional symphonic Chorus in San Francisco Bay area. Bass 1998-2005. Tenor 2006-present.  Performs standard choral repertory with emphasis on newer music.   With an annual warhorse in Davies Symphony Hall



Highlights

·         David Lang Battle Hymns: W/C Premier with active chorus, dance and children’s choir.

·         Stacy Garrop Terra Nostra: World Premier of her Modern Oratorio.

Started voice lessons for tenor soloist training 2013 with Brian Thorsett, then with Greg Wait. For the past year I have been working with Lee Strawn. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Suggested Life Celebration for J'Carlin


N.B. This post is referenced as part of my Advanced Directive which has not been needed yet (7/2/16.)  It was a hurry-up job under the gun of some grim medical procedures.  Any confusion as to time frame of the celebration is regretted.  For the moment at some time in the future:
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As people gather play the Second movement of Bruch's third violin concerto (Arcado by preference) to include sister Janet as part of the celebration.  Encourage the who, what composer, etc speculation. No spoilers from those in the know.  After the third movement resolves the second, someone should tell the story of Janet and I having to leave home frustrated and Janet calling her friend at the radio station for the ID of the out of print vinyl.  J'Carlin kept a long vigil till the CD set we just listened to was reissued ADD.

No podium speeches, but encourage everyone to tell a neighbor a story about J'Carlin that was important for them.  

After a bit of chatter a music break including the Intuit and Kyrie from the Faure Requiem, the Bogoroditse from Rachmaninoff Vespers, and "Don't Stand by my Grave and Weep" from Rob Paterson's Eternal Reflections  If a choir I have been a member of would like to organize a celebratory group for the Faure and Rachmaninoff I would request that the usual gig fee be paid to the director and accompanist.  If Kevin and Alex would sing Amazing Grace for their usual gig fee it would be nice.   A reading from "Thinking on the blue roads" would be nice.  http://jcarlinbl.blogspot.com/  Kevin might read his post #4 from http://www.beliefnet.com/boards/message_list.asp?pageID=1&discussionID=252718&messages_per_page=16  he speaks for both of us.  Order and breaks ad lib.

When the food and drinks start someone should start a musical wine glass chorus in Celebration of Dorothy's 80th.  That should get enough stories started to make everyone enjoy the party.

I would like to continue Janet's tradition of distributing cremains to people who will take them to meaningful places.  Including the Mist trail at Yosemite. If possible including them in a small bonfire in the Desolation Wilderness and the John Muir Trail.  Scattering them "Leave no trace" with the fire ashes.  Also some blown into the Mississippi from a bridge in Minneapolis to join Mom, Dad Janet, and anyone else who might care to join us.  


Note: Blog is CC3 If anyone wants to use this as a template for a Life Celebration modify at will.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Do It - The Story of the ORVR Canister.


In October of 1968 General Motors had a major problem.  At the beginning of the 1970 model year, roughly September 1969, California was requiring all vehicles to have an onboard recovery for fuel vapors displaced from refueling and from evaporation while the vehicle was sitting in the sun, both of which were significant contributors to the infamous LA smog. While there were several technical solutions to the problem all had several drawbacks.  The preferred solution was a coffee can filled with activated charcoal with several ports for the gas tank, the fuel management system and other needs.  Unfortunately hot fuel vapors ate up the coffee can in short order.  A stainless steel coffee can with arc welded ports survived the hell under the hood but ate up the profits on each car.

A creative engineer at GM's Rochester Products named Jack Castellana (sp?) read about a heat and chemical resistant structural plastic manufactured by DuPont that he thought might be a cost effective solution to making a canister for the system.  He went to his local DuPont technical consultant who you know as J'Carlin to see if this new plastic had what it took to hold hot fuel vapor in hell, and if it could be manufactured into the complex shape required.  The short answer was technically yes, but practically there was no way to produce it in the required volume by summer of 1969.  Just the lead time on the huge injection molding machines that would be needed was several years.  And tool design and manufacture took many more months than we had.  Jack's reply was give me the technical solution and let me worry about the practical aspects.

Neither GM nor DuPont were happy about the risk involved in committing to the project but permitted preliminary design and testing to proceed without committing to production.  But GM had a huge cost driver, and DuPont had huge excess capacity in nylon production, so both Jack and I got tacit approval to proceed with the preliminary work with the proviso that it would be nice but it won't happen.  HEAR THIS you are both spinning your wheels IT WON'T FLY.

Jack asked me if I were sure I could solve the technical issues involved in production by summer 69?  I assured him that they were not trivial but known solutions existed.  He basically told me I would have to solve them as he and his boss were going to take on GM and have the plastic canister in production for the 70 model year. My immediate boss took a liberal view of "preliminary design and testing" and as long as I did not neglect my other clients, I could spend the time and money needed to support the GM project. 

Once the mockups proved themselves on the Arizona test tracks, my first technical problem was to teach a zinc die casting tool builder to build a nylon mold.  None of the nylon tool builders would take a chance on the intricate design details.  Once I explained the forces involved in molding nylon they decided they could do the job if I would help with the plastic design necessities.  We did fine except that I forgot to tell them nylon and cooling water don't mix.  This is taken for granted in plastic tool building, but I didn't know that for zinc a little bit of water overflow helps cool off everything including the moldings.  After a frantic night of rebuilding the cooling for the tool, the first shot the next day at a friendly nylon molder was perfect, all three parts of the three piece canister.  I still have that shot as a souvenir of my part of the project.  The friendly nylon molder was kept very busy on pre-production test canisters to prove the system and not incidentally the right formulation for the nylon.  It didn't take long for Jack and his boss to get their atta-boys we knew you could do it and move into production mode.  Unsurprisingly GM was able to cut into that two year line for production molding machinery to meet the model year deadline.

For my reward I got to write the material spec for GM and a nice promotion as well as the atta-boy.  I am still mad at GM for taking out the line in the spec. that the container for the nylon had to have a Z on it for the Zytel brand name DuPont used, but I got everything else including some proprietary additives and a salt and pepper mix to insure the additives were in the ultimately black molding.   After a few career building moves I was back to work at another nylon supplier and at a trade show I asked a friend who worked for a supplier of HDPE to GM about the canister. He said a high percent was grandfathered to DuPont, and the rest of them were competing for the remainder.  He also commented that he would sure like to have a word with the SOB that wrote that spec.  As he appeared to be non-violent I invited him to talk away.  That night at the bar, when he heard that the project from inquiry to production was done in 10 months, he admitted that I had earned my SOB the hard way.

The other reward was that Delco ended up supplying ORVR canister systems to the other manufacturers and most US and many foreign cars used it.  It wasn't too long before "Where is the smog" became a common tourist question in LA.  I have to admit that it is nice to see the mountains from Azusa all day long, and know that I had a part in making it happen.  

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Why I Am Not a Feminist. Part 1: Feminists Ignore the Fundamental Gender Issues



I am a humanist. In the words of the UU first principle "The inherent worth and dignity of every person."


Feminism divides people by gender, and once you have us vs. them somebody is inferior. 

Why does that woman, cis trans or in transition, who is your equal in every way need your feminism? She needs your respect as a colleague and probably a promotion to your grade. Got that? Or is feminism enough?

Why does that man need to fundamentally change behavior that is socially, religiously, and genetically conditioned to creating children and providing a safe nurturing space for them against all the slings and arrows society can muster against him for that safe and nurturing space for his children.  

Admittedly certain aspects of this masculinity may not be appropriate in a modern society. But why are men and women together not trying to change the dysfunctional manifestations of masculinity: rape, assault, paternalism, and pillaging for resources; rather than trying to fiddle around with their basic natures with language and shaming of minor behavioral or dominance issues.    


I come from a family tradition of strong, independent, competent women.  In choosing women friends and partners I search out those same qualities. None to my knowledge call themselves feminists.  They are too busy being twice as good as the average man to achieve their goals in life.  (As more than one noted “Fortunately that is not difficult.")


My parenting partner was in a brutally misogynistic profession, and many times I needed my white male MBA privilege to change jobs and careers since she had no flexibility in hers.  I spent exactly no time trying to change the culture of her profession, nor mine, and neither did she until she was tenured, and even then she was more concerned with proving that even without professional support a woman could exceed the achievements of most men in her profession. 

N.B.    More reasoned essays on feminism and humanism can be found on Thinking on the Blue Roads