Archive for November 2019

Long Beach Symphony

November 17, 2019

Last night we had the pleasure of attending the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra at the Long Beach Center for the Performing Arts. We had been given tickets by a friend of Paula’s. What a pleasure. We had seats in 3rd row of the orchestra section.

The performance consisted of pieces by French composers. The symphony was directed by Eckert Preu. Mr. Preu appeared about an hour before the concert (I’m told that he usually does this) to talk about the music.

The performance consisted of:

  1. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
  2. Intermezzo from Notre Dame by Franz Schmidt
  3. La Chausseur maudit by Cesar Fanck

Intermission, then

  1. Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78 (Organ Symphony) by Camille Saint-Saens

So the opening piece was quite light and airy. It kind of gets you comfortable in your seat before the heavy hitters come along.

Le Chausseeur maudit” means “the Accursed Hunter”. It takes you along on the adventure of a wild hunter in the woods. The story begins about a hunter who would rather hunt on a Sunday morning than sit in the pews in a church.

The four sections of the work are:

  1. Peaceful Sunday Landscape
  2. The Hunt
  3. The Curse
  4. The Demon’s Chase

Then we had the intermission where we get to calm our nerves over a glass of wine. Then he started on Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. So called because the fourth and last movement  has a pipe organ added to the mix. I told Paula to expect that the theme will be rattling around in your brain. The finale was strong and loud. I wanted to shout out, “Crank it up”. Indeed, Paula told me that she had the theme rattling around in her head.

And finally, I have included an organ recital of the last movement of the Organ Symphony. Play it on a speaker and crank up the volume. Enjoy.

 

Apps

November 7, 2019

I thought it might be worth writing about how I use my iPhone and iPads. I currently have an iPhone 8 plus and an iPad Pro. I was thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 11, but decided to put it off for a while. Primary reason for upgrading for me would be improved camera. Maybe next year.

My wife has an iPhone 7 and an iPad Mini. We are not an all Apple family. I still have a Windows laptop.  Last time I was looking for a new laptop, I couldn’t justify paying the exorbitant price of a Mac Book. I am pretty much the head of IT in our family. If something is not working right on her iPhone, she hands it to me and says “Fix it, please”

Having all Apple devices makes it easier to keep them all working and sharing data and apps between devices.

So here are some of my favorite apps.

ForScore

ForScore is an app for managing sheet music. I play the piano for our OES Chapter and my Masonic lodge. I primarily use this app on my iPad Pro. I first started using this on my iPad with the 9″ screen. When Apple announced the iPad Pro with the 12″ screen, I I bought one right away. The old iPad got handed down to one of my sons. I keep a backup on my wife’s iPad mini, just in case.

Evernote

Evernote is an app for storing documents. I use it for storing everything from bills and tax documents to recipes. Recipes storage is particularly handy in the grocery store. My wife will ask me to look up a recipe to see what ingredients are required. I also use a companion app called DayEntry that enters daily notes in diary fashion sorted by date. Evernote has a companion app for Windows PC. Makes it easy to store PDF’s direct from the scanner.

Microsoft Office

Gone are the days of my using Powerpoint, but I still use Word and Excel. Shares nicely with Windows. Click here for Microsoft Office for iOS

Games

First and foremost, I do crosswords. The New York Times has a decent app for the Times crosswords. For other crosswords, I use app called “Crosswords” by Stand Alone, Inc. I can start working a puzzle on iPad and continue on my iPhone.

I use a solitaire app called “Solitaire Deluxe“. It does all of the standard solitiare apps like Canfield, Klondike, etc..

I am fond of doing Sudoku puzzles.  I have several variations. Nothing to write home about here. Here’s my favorite Sudoku game by Boy Howdy.

Grocery Lists

For grocery shopping, I use an app called “Grocery IQ“. It allows me to share our shopping list with multiple devices. I’ve tried other grocery lists apps. This puts the others to shame. It can be customized to set order for all the aisles in the store.

I would usually provide a link, but it seems that Coupons.Com is no longer supporting the app. Not found on iOS app store.

There still is a link for Coupons.com

Banking

Nothing much to write here. All the major banks have apps to access and manage accounts. Functionally they all do pretty much the same things like check balances, make payments, etc.

Social Media

Also not much to write about. All of the social media sites have free apps. Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Entertainment

Lots of stuff here. IMDB is a really useful app for looking up movie information, both historical and current movies in theaters. IMDB stands for Internet Movie Data Base and has been around for a long time, even pre-iPhone. Free.

SeatGeek is a handy app to show you where your seats are for a show or game that you might be going to. Available for PC, iOS and Android. Free.

Sports are covered pretty good on iOS. Major League Baseball has a decent app and NFL does, too. Other sports probably do but I pretty much only follow baseball and football.

That’s enough for today.