Technical difficulties galore, newspaper nostalgia
By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels
Sometimes my writing inspirations overtax my intelligence, or at least my knowledge, and it turns what should be an hour’s effort into a half day’s exploration, head shaking, and frustration. The insert note is what I had formerly used as a “roadmap” to read the music for singing a song that used musical notation convention to keep a musical “score” from being 20 pages long. When a certain section of a song, like the chorus, is used to precede or fit between verses, rather than insert the full body of words, multiple times necessitating more pages of music, a combination of musical symbols are used to accomplish that.
Over my 40+ years of “formal” chorus singing, having no previous musical training or education, I would struggle at times knowing what part to sing, when to sing it, and how to know which parts were to be repeated or sung again, where to start from, how much was to be repeated, and when to stop the repeated section and continue to go on. Until just recently I was able to glean enough information from reading and listening to be able to perform. Over time I learned what the standard musical terms and symbol notations meant but had to be supplemented with notes to myself used while learning the music and by making notations in the printed musical “score” itself. Trying to read the lyrics, and read the notes to be sung, and think about those pesky repeats when singing a fast-moving piece is quite a challenge for me. Until the other day when I was trying to learn a song to be performed with the “Praise band” at Grace United Church, I had a pretty good idea of the meanings of the symbols, but the piece we were working on had significantly more complex repeats and jumps of different parts of the song for me. Dave Toot, our Church Choir director and oft times fill in with the Genesee Valley Chorus, has become somewhat my musical mentor. When I asked him how to interpret those symbols, along with the musical notations directing me on the “repeats,” he replied to my Facebook message and instructed me as follows:
So, you read all the way through the piece to the place on page 4 where it says D. S. al coda. At that point you jump back to “the sign” on page 2 (funny S shape). Then sing to the place on page 3 where it says “to Coda” where you jump to the coda. In this piece the so-called coda is almost as long as the first part.
Being ever anxious to learn I researched the meanings of those words and symbols and familiarized myself as to how to interpret the various Coda codes. I need to understand the why of doing something along with the how.
Wrambling on: I had another experience with a road “flag person” the other day as I traveled the Vandermark Road (Cty. Rte. 10) into Scio. As I approached the bridge repair section on my return trip from a wildlife relocation venture, I approached the same section to the temporary detour and was somewhat surprised to find that the detour had changed, the cones had been moved, and there was a flag person on duty. He was positioned on the side I was approaching and like the “flag person” a few months ago had done he casually swung his arm (without flag) indicating I should stay in that lane, go around him, and to stay on that, the opposite side of the previous detour section. His traffic directing was a little vague.
I wonder if it was the same “flagman” that I had seen a few months ago on the Friendship-Cuba Road who used the same “directing technique.” I know it can be a tedious and boring job, but it should be done a little more professionally or clearly. I wonder if they get any flagging training.
In last week’s Wrambling I extolled my Modem/Router change out experience. This week I had the opportunity to switch out my computer and printer. I had replaced my computer with a newer, refurbished computer, with an almost up to date “processor” to give me more operating speed. I have no reason other than impatience, to be in a hurry but my snail-paced computer had to go. The printer too needed changing as the print capability had deteriorated significantly. Interfacing modern technology these days is best left to 12-year-olds or a professional like my old friend Keith Loines. I thought it prudent to have him do the computer install from the front end rather than calling him after, or midstream, to straighten out that which I probably would have screwed up. The switch between old and new computers involved transferring my old computer software and programs from old to new. From start to finish the two hours it took him, likely would have been two days for me. I did manage to install the new printer myself and now it’s just a matter of getting the various devices to talk to each other, and the hardest part trying to figure out what username I used for what and what the password was. It was a temporary setback as I couldn’t find the password for the modem until I remembered that it was on the Modem itself.
Scanner Question. I occasionally hear emergency dispatch calls regarding fire alarms going off in a local school, as happened the other day. The responders are promptly called back when it is learned that it was just a fire drill at the school. That begs the question of; don’t the schools, or at least shouldn’t they, notify County emergency dispatch when they are going to have a fire drill if it is a planned activity? Another Scanner question regarding the call out for an Air Ambulance response resulted from a recent request for a “Pediatric Helicopter.” I wonder if that merely referred to the personnel that would staff the helicopter or other accommodations for the age dependent passengers.
Since this week is National Newspaper Week, I would give a shout out to the Olean Times Herald and other printed media which I still enjoy. I can appreciate the modern upgrade from print to media and am grateful to be able to reach out to the many who now rely on avenues such as The Wellsville Sun for their news and information. I personally still prefer my daily (when it can be that) routine of sitting down with my morning coffee and picking up the paper to spend a relaxing hour or so reading the paper. Snippets, condensed stories, and media coverage typically and strategically cannot, or does not include all the information that can be put into print. Recently many former Newspaper reporters, who I enjoyed reading in print, are migrating over to the media outlets. This migration often coincides with the “print industry” shrinkage, and firms such as The Olean Times Herald downsizing. I appreciate them and applaud their transition and their work. My local information is now still readily available thanks to them. I still enjoy reading the many Bills and Bonnies sports reporting articles a little more extensively covered in newsprint, however.
It is no secret that I wanted to be a writer and began my writing, other than poetry, with the Friendship Volunteer. I now have the luxury of writing, albeit now in the media fashion and can still enjoy both “in print” and “in media.” Happy National Newspaper Week. Thanks for writing.
Under the category “If you don’t ask, they can’t say yes” I have another happy ending story about a recent purchase. With my wife’s birthday on the horizon, and her passion for home decorating, I spotted an ad for what I thought was a three-lantern set sold by the Bradford Exchange online shopping entity and made the purchase. These “lanterns” house different types of figures ranging from animals, people and to outdoor scenes including landscape. houses and buildings. We had previously bought other items through them and were pleased with the experience. Upon receipt of the order only one lantern was included.
I found a customer service toll free number and called them. After a 6 or 7 minute on-hold wait a very nice, but difficult to understand, lady came on and asked how she could help me. I explained to her that I had made the purchase expecting three lanterns in the order rather than just one. I said I needed to return the item as it would be too costly if there was only one and asked for a “Return Material Authorization” (RMA) form. Her almost immediate reply initially surprised me, but soon turned to my gratitude. She told me I could keep the lantern without needing to return it and they would issue a full refund for the total amount I had paid, including tax and shipping costs. The savings for me were close to $100 and we got to keep the decorative lantern.
Getting ready to wrap up this article and paused to listen to a scanner Emergency Dispatch call for a vehicle fire in Wellsville. Next to “domestic altercations,” vehicle fire reports, for some reason, have become the number two most frequent call outs lately. It seems there has been about one each day for a few weeks now.