Monday, 30th of September, 2002
So the real Subaru Baja is out, and it starts at a pretty impressive $23,995. It's lost a lot from the original ST-X concept, though. First of all, the 250 bhp supercharged 2.5L H4 from the B4 sedan didn't make it, but that could be accomodated to. The large sunroof didn't make it either, but that's a minor detail. What really defeats the whole idea of the Switchback system is that instead of full access between the passenger cabin and the bed, the Baja's rear window is fixed. What was a really neat extension of the utility of a station wagon to get 76 inches of bed has become just a sedan with no trunklid and the usual pass-through area behind the rear seats. Things you can store in a station wagon you cannot fit into the Baja (like lots of boxes) because the pass-through hole between the passenger cabin and trunk is sedan-like.
As you can see in the ST-X concept, whole bikes could slide right on through with lots of space left behind it. But production Baja is far from that. In the new photo with bikes, you'll notice that the front wheels are removed from the bikes and the bed extension is flipped out, because the bikes will not go in any further than the rear window. limited to the 55.5-inch bed.
So what I thought was going to be something more functional than a wagon didn't become a reality, but maybe they'll do something about it in future models. It's at least the right direction, though not enough to ever cause me to fork over $23,995 for it. I'll take a Legacy GT for that money, thank you.
Sunday, 29th of September, 2002
The Wash U Symphony had our outdoor concert on the quad this afternoon, and the weather was nice for it. We played the overture to Suppe's Pique Dame, Grieg's Orchestral Suite, and the Orchestra Suite from Bizet's L'Arlesienne.
Tuesday, 24th of September, 2002
Real quotes from real students on my first day teaching an advanced violin class of 15 3rd-4th graders at Bierbaum Elementary School:
"Are you our real teacher?"
But seriously, the kids were great today, I love them! I have them for half an hour every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school. I'm so excited!
"Wow, we have a boy teacher."
"My violin doesn't work."
"Are you married?"
"Do you want to be married?"
"How old are you?" "19" "Wow...."
Sunday, 22nd of September, 2002
So the first real stroll of the season puts us as the Adam's Mark Hotel downtown. I get there to discover that our Clavinova electric piano has been chain locked in a room full of A/V equipment that isn't even for this event, and the person with the key wasn't even in the building. So after a 20 minute delay, she arrived and we got the Clavinova only to discover that the speaker boxes with our speakers were not stored with the Clavinova. Interesting, because the school district delivered them together. Some of the awesome staff there started hunting around in the closets, though, and they found them and we slapped together the sound setup and the Adam's Mark staff slapped the tape down just in time for the bagpipers to come marching through the doors leading all the guests. But once we got the equipment situation settled, things went pretty well. Large pots of vegetation on each table really made visual contact across the large ballroom nearly impossible, but we worked around that and the audience was extremely appreciative. They even fed us steak and a dessert, which were quite excellent.
Friday, 20th of September, 2002
The Strolling Strings kicked off the performance year tonight with a Family and Friends stroll. It went pretty well, and a good way to get back into things before our huge stroll on Sunday.
Saturday, 14th of September, 2002
First rehearsal for the St. Louis Youth Symphony today, and we're definitely playing cool stuff for the first concert - Dvorak's Symphony No. 5 "New World", Schubert Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished", and an Overture called "Youth" by Karel Husa. The overture is an cool piece with a timpani cadenza in the middle.
Friday, 13th of September, 2002
Went out to the St. Louis Science Centre Planetarium tonight to with some friends to see an outdoor showing of King Kong. They projected it on the round outside wall of the Planetarium, and in spite of the light pollution coming over from the SLU football game, it was pretty enjoyable.
Thursday, 12th of September, 2002
The Bridgestone Potenza RE900 tyres I ordered at Autotire came in today, so I went down there to get them installed. It's so great, they order directly from the Tirerack.com corporate office, so I was able to shop around online at Tirerack and find what I want and then order it at Autotire. When it comes to 13" tires, the price are all fairly close anyway, so I decided to go for the best this time around. Worked out to be $69 per tyre and Autotire includes mounting, balancing, stems, disposal, warranty, tire repair, and lifetime rotations with that. Pretty cool! I'll give these tyres and test and we'll see. Before I had 2 Mohawk Millenium Plus tyres on the front, which are apparantly some tyres with lots of traction but horrible wear (they were needing a rotation after only 4000 miles), and the back tyres were junk - one all-season Dunlop and one miscellaneous Michelin tyre. So now I'll see what it's like to have good tyres all around.
Went down to Powell Hall tonight to see Yo-Yo Ma in concert with the SLSO, conducted by Keith Lockhart. The SLSO started out by playing awesome stuff, the Dvorak Carnival overture and Copland's Appalachian Spring. Then Yo-yo Ma played Haydn's Cello Concerto in D major and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme. He played those pieces from the classical period very very well, it was very inspiring.
I have found out why when I use my electric toothbrush to brush my teeth in front of the monitor, the image starts bouncing all over the place and goes out of sync. Not because anything the motor is doing to the image output to the screen or anything. It's because the toothbrush vibrates the teeth, and therefore the entire head, and the vibration is out of sync with the refresh rate of the monitor! So my brain perceives the image to be oscillating up and down all over the place because my head is not in sync with the screen! Wow! It only occured to me tonight when I stood in the bathroom and looked in the mirror at the monitor 20 feet away and realized my monitor was out of sync with my head! Surely the motor can't affect the monitor directly from that far away - it must be in my head! That's tight!
Wednesday, 11th of September, 2002
There was a community memorial service at Wash U today in the quad, and the orchestra played Ases Tod from Grieg's orchestral suite for a part of the program.
My suitemates gave me a call while out shopping at Target and informed me that they were having a clearance sale on this light system that responds to sounds/music - $7. So I told them to pick one up for me, since the price is right and I've been kinda thinking about acquiring something of that sort for a while now. It actually works pretty well. It responds to sounds of all frequencies pretty equally, though, so tweaking the "sensitivity adjustment" is difficult on some music, but it definitely does rap and most heavier rock well.
Sunday, 8th of September, 2002
I went to one of the best concerts tonight - the Webster University Symphony Orchestra played the overture to Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Pavel Ilyashov played Beethoven's Violin Concerto, and they finished with Hanson's 2nd Symphony. I miss that piece!
Thursday, 5th of September, 2002
"The question is not how big government should be, but rather what errors [by the government] are we willing to tolerate to get more good [deeds by the government]?" - Professor John Nye, Washington University
Wednesday, 4th of September, 2002
Well the music never ends, fortunately. The first Washington University Symphony Orchestra rehearsal was tonight, and I discovered that we will be playing Grieg's Orchestral Suite, the overture to Suppe's Pique Dame, and the Orchestra Suite from Bizet's L'Arlesienne. Definitely some very well known and fun works to play, I'm excited!
Tuesday, 3rd of September, 2002
The Washington University Chamber Orchestra played the fall concert tonight, and we played the Ouverture in D Minor by Johann Joseph Fux, Tchaikovsky's Elegy, two pieces by Skryabin, and Corelli's Concerto Grosso No. 12 in F. Really cool stuff. A soprano, 2 violins, gamba, and harpsichord also did a work by Barbara Strozzi. We played in the Steinberg Art Gallery, and the stage was an interesting place to squeeze the chamber orchestra and the harpsichord but we managed.