Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Potpourri No. 44

Peaks and Happy Valleys

By far my favorite college football outcome on Saturday was Navy's 46-40 upset over previously unbeaten No. 6 Houston.

It was the Midshipmen's first win over a Top 10 ranked opponent in 32 years. It was also a nice bounce- back from the tough loss last week at Air Force.

I also watched my best friend Skip's Penn State Nittany Lions trounce Maryland 38-14 at Beaver Stadium, handing the Terrapins their first loss of the season.

For one Saturday, at least, Happy Valley was very happy indeed...

Aside from that, it wasn't a great batch of results for my rooting interests: 
"Well, at least you have the Chiefs game today to look forward to. Oh, wait..."

No one thinks you're funny...

Tech Update

I've begun to dig myself out from the rubble of all of my tech woes experienced during my trip to Pennsylvania. The most serious of these was the battery bulge problem with my beloved Motorola Moto X, and after some deliberation I decided that replacement made more sense than trying to get a repair done. Spending $150 repairing a three-year-old tech gadget (and being without a phone for some time) didn't seem like the wisest choice.

I spent a good bit of Friday and Saturday looking at the latest Android phones, and have elected to go with the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, the closest match to what I already have. It is a bit bigger than what I have now, but not uncomfortably so, and I verified that it will soon get the very latest version of the Android OS, Version 7.0 (Nougat). I am planning to order the new phone from the company's Moto Maker website later today.

Four USB ports

On Friday I bought a replacement for my laptop cooling pad, which died in Pennsylvania after years of faithful service. The new Targus two-fan model I bought at Best Buy didn't do the job, so I returned it and looked at other options.

At my local Office Max I found the Targus Chill Mat Plus which, in addition to having two fans plus a mesh surface and a tilt feature to improve airflow, also featured four USB ports into which I can plug other stuff while using the laptop. That would have come in VERY handy for recharging my phone and Kindle at Midway Airport.

So far, at least, it seems to be doing the cooling job nicely, and it is quieter than its predecessor, which is also a welcome feature. I've got 14 days to decide if it's a keeper, but the early returns are good.

As for the problems with my Motorola Moto 360, I think I have finally eliminated most of the battery-draining app problems, but I still need to see a few more days of normal performance before I'll be satisfied that the issue has been resolved.

"You know that you're never going to be completely satisfied with all of your gadgets, right?"

I have begun to consider that possibility, yes...

Hurricane ACA

From the insightful pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On October 9, 1835 Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was born in Paris. Although he showed signs of being a true musical prodigy as early as age three, his widowed mother worried about fame ruining the boy, so his first public performance as a pianist didn't happen until he was 10.

An exemplary student in all of his subjects, Camille was admitted to the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris at age 13. He won acclaim there both as an organist and as a composer. It was his prowess on the organ that got him noticed after his graduation,
and eventually he was able to pursue his interest in composing. He became one of the most important composers of the Romantic era.

My personal favorite of his compositions is his Second Concerto in G minor, at whose 1868 premiere Saint-Saëns himself was the pianist. Although it was not initially well-received, eventually it became one of the most-performed works in the classical repertoire.

My first exposure to the work was in fragmented form in the 1980 motion picture The Competition, but it wasn't until I began researching the music featured in that film that I finally got a listen to the entire work. It's popularity is well-deserved.

Today's send-off is a performance of the famed concerto by Arthur Rubinstein and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by André Previn, filmed in 1975 at the concert hall at Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Enjoy...

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