Beethoven’s Routine

Long-time readers know that I love Beethoven (particularly his Sixth Symphony, the “Pastoral”).

Readers also might know that I keep a fairly busy schedule.  Doing so requires sticking to routine, but that’s not always my strong suit.  My mind tends to jump from one task to another, but I find that writing out a detailed “to-do” list and crossing it off helps me to focus in on a task for extended periods of time.

When I really get into something—working on a new collection of piano miniatures, grading papers, or writing blog posts—I can focus in for hours, and often do that.  But working into that flow state takes time and, more importantly, motivation.  It’s the latter that I have been lacking the past week, a combination of end-of-the-school-year exhaustion and a renewed interest in Civilization VI.

So I thought it’d be interesting during this winding down season—when my own routine is about to change to the more leisurely pace of summertime—to look at Beethoven’s daily routine, care of YouTube channel Inside the Score.

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Lazy Sunday CXLVI: Friends, Part IX

It’s been fun going back through the old Supporting Friends Friday posts (well, for me, at least; it seems to be a bit of a dud with readers, but Sunday is always a slow day for traffic), but I’m particularly excited for this weekend’s ninth (!) retrospective.  It includes three of my favorite Internet friends, all on one compact disc:

Cheers to these good friends.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: SimEarth

I’ve been on a video game kick lately, diving back into the Civilization games and listening to a lot of the Gaming Historian on YouTube.  As such, it seemed like a good time to look back at another video game post, one about the planet simulator SimEarth.

SimEarth was one of those games that I found instantly appealing—a massive simulator of an entire planet, going through all its geological, biological, and civilizational phases.  Even growing up in a household that rejected the theory of Darwinian evolution (a theory I still don’t accept, although I acknowledge that adaptation and mutation are both possible and happen frequently), the prevailing scientific understanding of our world made for a fun video game.

The possibilities were endless.  Want to be a Deistic god and let the world run on its own?  Go for it.  Want to interfere frequently in your planet’s development?  Do it!  Want to make starfish or Venus fly traps sentient beings capable of forging an advanced civilization?  Why not!

I used to be able to make pretty compelling planets in this game, with rich histories and multiple species in succession rising to sentience, before heading off an intergalactic journey of the stars.  Apparently, I lost any skills I had, as my last game a couple of years ago (detailed below) ended in nuclear winter.  Oops.

With that, here is 27 May 2020’s “SimEarth“:

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Lazy Sunday CXLV: Friends, Part VIII

The cavalcade of friendship continues this Sunday with three more posts.  Apparently, I’ve given musician, actor, and international playboy Frederick Ingram a lot of screen time in Supporting Friends Friday, but all of this weekend’s friends have enjoyed two or more Friday shout-outs:

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: Heavy is the Head

Over at her blog Words on the Word, Audre Myers posted a piece yesterday entitled, simply, “Life.”  It’s a succinct and effective little piece about how Life often disrupts our, well, lives, and how our best-laid plans are often thrown out the minute Life demands our immediate attention.

The past several weeks have been full of Life for yours portly; indeed, this school year—which seems to be dragging endlessly onward—has been one of the toughest of my career.  It got me thinking about this post from last May about the difficulties and joys of responsibility.

We all find ourselves busy at times, and I imagine many of us dream of shirking our responsibilities.  The sad fact is, many Americans do—the moment anything becomes inconvenient, or no longer offers the fun thrill it initially did, we move on to something else new and exciting.  There’s an inherent restlesness in that lifestyle, a lifestyle of constant pacing and chasing.

That’s the child’s response to responsibility and difficulty.  As adults, we should adapt to difficulties, and bear our responsibilities cheerfully, even when they are more burdensome than usually—perhaps especially so at those times.

As I noted last year, most of our perceived problems either dissipate into mootness or are otherwise resolved before they truly become problems that need addressing.  Case in point:  I was slated to teach an online class this summer.  That’s not a problem so much as an opportunity, but it was going to require a good bit of legwork this week to get the course ready to launch Monday.

I got home Tuesday evening to take a look at the course, and realized it had either been purged (due to low enrollment) or given to another instructor (likely a full-timer who needed to make his hours).  While I’m a tad disappointed about losing out on some relatively easy money, it’s also “solved” a problem for me—finding the time to put that course together during yet another busy week.

Again, another problem resolved before requiring any real effort on my part—perhaps not on anyone’s.

With that, here is 5 May 2021’s “Heavy is the Head“:

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Lazy Sunday CLXIV: Friends, Part VII

Ah, friendship.  Sometimes it’s all laughs; other times, you’re moving a marble-topped dining room table up three flights of stairs on your day off.

Fortunately, my friends offer so much, and ask so little.  This weekend’s trio offer up tunes, stories, and pictures:

I’d move a marble-topped table for any of them, any time.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: Egged Off

Shortly over a year ago I wrote a piece about officious bureaucrats shutting down two little girls selling chicken eggs in Texas.  The girls were trying to help people out and make a few bucks after the crazy ice storm massively disrupted Texan supply lines.

Since then, I’ve obtained a source to bring farm fresh eggs to my home on an as-needed basis; it’s one of many small blessings for which I am thankful.  With food prices even higher than they were a year ago, free eggs is a huge boon.

I ended this post with the admonishment “The time to start growing and raising our own food is now.”  But even yours portly has largely ignored his own advice.

Let’s work on changing that in 2022.

With that, here is 30 April 2021’s “Egged Off“:

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Lazy Sunday CLXIII: Friends, Part VI

In looking back at Lazy Sundays, I realized I had not done a compilation of Supporting Friends Friday posts since 7 November 2021.  What an oversight!

So, after six months, I decided to start going back through these posts.  It’ll give us all something positive to read on Lazy Sundays while Ponty and I exchange our worst movies of all time on Mondays.

With that, here are some classic Supporting Friend Fridays:

Here’s to good friends, good music, and good writing!

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

TBT: The Joy of Spring

Spring has sprung here in South Carolina, with some gorgeous weather.  It’s actually a bit chilly this morning, but overall there have been some warm—even borderline hot—days, with plenty of bees a-buzzing.  One managed to get into my house, but I was able to capture him in a Tupperware container and release him back to the world, though I flung the container as I opened it and dashed in the other direction—yikes!

Just like two years ago, my flowerbeds are 80% weeds, 20% plants I want growing there, so I’ve got to get on that this weekend.  The relentless growth of dandelions makes it a Sisyphean task, but I must endeavor to do better in my humble flowerbeds this year.

It’s also the downward slope to summer vacation.  At this point, there’s probably another couple of weeks of actual learning to be had, then a leisurely drift into exam review week and exams themselves.  I’m also cooking up the 2022 iteration of the TJC Spring Jam, which I might make into a recital for my students this year.

Two years ago, during The Age of The Virus, we enjoyed an unusually long, mild spring in South Carolina.  Readers who don’t live in the South might not appreciate the significance of that:  we typically get a couple weeks—maybe three—of proper spring weather before summer dominates everything in a veil of humidity and heat, refusing to lift its terrible, sweaty fist until sometime around Thanksgiving.  At a time when every remotely communal activity had to be done outdoors, a mild spring was a Godsend.

Indeed, I think it was a literal one:  I really do think God sent us that cooler weather so we could still be together during that difficult time.

Regardless, hot or cold, I’m glad to be alive, and that The Age of The Virus—at least for now—seems to be an increasingly distant memory.

With that, here is 11 May 2020’s “The Joy of Spring“:

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