Wagner Ring journey

Over the past three weeks, I’ve been going through the 19-LP, 15-hour recording of Sir George Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic playing the full Ring Cycle. Tonight, I started opera number three, Siegfried

Here is the set I own:

It’s an amazing recording. Check out this background.

Like all Wagner, it’s beautiful, loud, sometimes boring, bombastic, and just exhausting. But I can’t help but be overwhelmed by it’s scope and majesty. Once you start hearing the different character’s liermotifs, it’s hard to go back just listening to the “songs” such as they are in Wagner.

All that musical foreshadowing and throwbacks that John Williams peppers his movie scores with? Wagner perfected that.

And try listening to the slow build up at the opening of Dad Rheingold with the appearance of the Rhine nymphs. It’s just an amazing gradual audio reveal.

Supposedly the wait for tickets to Bayreuth is over a decade. I’m signing up.


Podcast hint: Stephen

Sunday Funday?

I’m one of those people that tends to have depressing or negative energy on Sunday’s. It’s not because I am back to work on Monday. I’ve probably done a little work over the weekend anyway. No, it is because I made grand, unrealistic plans and lists for the weekend and then inevitably “fail” to do it all.

So now I’ve scaled back and try to keep it to one or two things that must get done, being careful to actually do them and making sure that they really are important to me. I also have a tendency to do the easy before the important, and that catches up with me.

Today was a better Sunday. Gym, some digital organization, some cooking, exercise with Ginny the dog, and reading. That will do.

Podcast happening

Re-starting the blog has made me realize that I’ve been ruminating on a podcast idea for over two years now. Now is the time.

But first finish 30 days of blogging.

The key will be producing it in bite sized chunks. It’s a huge topic (no hints!) and I’ve made the mistake in the past of getting overwhelmed by its massiveness. It’s a historical topic and so the temptation is to be rigorously chronological. That will bog you down. Instead, I will start at 30,000 feet and steadily descend toward interesting people and vignettes within the broader narrative.

I’m excited about this. For years I’ve listened to Dan Carlin, Mike Duncan, Sebatian Major and a few others and been mesmerized by what they do. I want to give it a shot. Right now I see a first episode in June as I gather research and equipment.

The Metaphorical Ass-Groove


Right now, I am excited that I’ve lifted myself out of my metaphorical ass-groove. It’s comfortable but ultimately (mentally) unsanitary.

In the past two months, I’ve become a 3-days-per-week regular at my gym and gone mostly keto, I’ve taken some steps to become more of a local community member here in Minnesota, I’ve checked off some long-lingering boxes (KE0QOU), and I’m committing to my long-festering podcast idea. And of course this blog challenge.

At this point I should probably write some inspirational piece on how I did it. But let’s leave that to 30+ days from now when this blog is still going and I have some tangible podcast product.

‘Don’t stop trying’ is the best I can say now. Because if you string together enough tries, you’re doing. (Meh.)

PlanetFitness has it wrong about your future

The sign when you entered PlanetFitness today:

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

It’s a decent sentiment, but I think they have it wrong. If you workout and get healthy you will presumably live longer and have fewer aches and pains in the future. But those will be things you will largely not see and therefore not think about.

Who sits around when they are 85 and says, “Boy, I’m glad I worked out when I was 42?” No one. You’ll be too busy living your life and being a cool, alive old person.

Here’s what the sign should say:

“Do something today so that your future self is not in pain and constantly bitching to your family and friends.”

Piling up — adding more

Hitting the blog again, and I am challenging myself to get this done every day for 30 days. Here we go.

I am starting to up again, but there is just a lot going on. We’ve just wrapped up a financial quarter at work, so reports are due in the next couple of weeks and my team and I are on the clock. Outside of the job, shit has piled up: busted car, researching my podcast concept (more on that later), studying for some credentials I wanted to pick up.

It seems like a lot. So I’m adding more to show that I can. This long, gloomy winter needs a challenge.

Prince said “Sometimes it snows in April.” I’m going to make it blizzard and come out with some successes.