Two pictures from a short trip to Mönchbruch

There’s a nature preservation area not very far from us, it’s easily reachable with bicycles from our place. But today we went by car to Mönchbruch (see the Wikipedia and the district pages about it, both in German only). I took two photos which show a good idea, and some birds we have here:

Bird feeder, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019
Birds, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

It’s nice there. And some places are for the animals only, and most of the people even respect that.

As always, thanks for reading and viewing.

Above the clouds

Just a short chill with Niklas (Peter’s son), Mark, and Olivier who celebrates his birthday today:


As always, thanks for listening.

Heard some nice songs on yesterday’s concert

Zuleikha had a concert with her “old” band yesterday, which is called “Brass & Co.” (she’s now a member of the Big Band which is more on a senior grade age level than the former). And during that concert yesterday we also heard several other bands from other schools and music schools, and some performances were really nice.

Like a girl in a small rock group who played keys and sang this one from Stevie Nicks:

Fleetwood Mac – Dreams [with lyrics]

Another brass band played Mark Ronson’s / Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, and while I like the original (which I played on the TV later at home for Zuleikha), I even prefer a newer video edit of it:

Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Funk

The same goes for “The Hanging Tree”, from “Mockingjay” of “The Hunger Games”, where Jennifer Lawrence’s original is good – but I like another one even more. This one is from Adriana Figueroa who also calls herself “adrisaurus”:

“The Hanging Tree” (Hunger Games / Mockingjay Original Arrangement) (Adriana Figueroa)

And here is Zuleikha playing it, without sound (don’t have a video of it):

Hunger Games on French Horn, Gross-Gerau 2019

As always, thanks for reading / viewing / listening.

Eliane Elias and Marc Johnson

Hm – I thought I had written about them before. Cannot find it, so here we go again; listen to this fine version of Desafinado:

Marc (Eliane’s husband) is playing an Eminence Upright here, quite a fine instrument when properly amplified – and I think on top of his rig I also see an Avalon preamp/DI, quite a nice way to get a signal from a bass 🙂

But listen to those musicians: Eliane Elias: piano, vocal – Rubens De La Gorte, guitar – Marc Johnson, bass – Rafael Barata, drums – all of them exceptional.

As always, thanks for viewing.

Hmmm… not for me…

In my post from Sunday I showed you a picture with two CDs, the latest one from Snarky Puppy, and one from Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley which is some 62 years older.

Currently I’m sitting at work where I turned on the Snarky Puppy one in my Rhythmbox Music Player – and turned it off again after roundabout 6 minutes or so. The reason? Too loud. And no, I don’t mean the peak but the average loudness. Have a look at the opening piece “Chonks” in Audacity:

Chonks from Snarky Puppy, in Audacity

Loud, from start to finish. Look at the opening piece “So what” from Miles’ CD for a comparison:

So what from Miles Davis, in Audacity

Aaahh, what a relief! It’s loud as well, but not all the time. What a difference to hear some nice and dynamic music instead of a harsh attack.

Those guys 62 years ago like Fred Plaut and/or Rudy van Gelder simply did it better. Much better.

Thanks for reading.

You know it’s spring when…

… the cherry blossoms are out:

Cherry blossoms, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019
Cherry blossoms, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

And while working on these photos a bit, I was listening to a new CD I bought yesterday:

62 years between these…, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

As always, thanks for viewing.

A photo of Tuna from today (March 30th, 2019)

I set the kit zoom of my camera to 17mm today, which is the equivalent field of view like 35mm on an old Kleinbildfilm (24x36mm) camera, and took another photo of our cat. Then, while listening to Freddie Freeloader (from Miles’ ‘Kind of blue’), I cropped it to 16:9 format and made this:

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

And as always, thanks for viewing.

Not *that* easy to read, but, wow!

Switch this video to full screen, and read along while Dexter plays:

Wave/Dexter Gordon’s full (Bb) Transcription. Transcribed by Carles Margarit

It’s a channel on Youtube which I recently also recommended to my brother Willi who’s also a bass player like me.

And wow, did you notice the bass player on this one? I had to look him up of course, and it’s one of the greatest, NHØP, according to the album’s AllMusic page.

Giants on their instruments, all of them. See me bowing in awe.

And thanks to Carles for the transcription of course.

F-Droid, Aptoide, and Firefox Klar

I don’t have a mobile phone. Or rather, I didn’t – and still have none that I would describe and use as such. That is why I gave my mobile phone which I once received from my wife (after buying her a new one) back to her to send it to Malaysia when the one of a relative there failed.

Except it never reached its destination. Turns out that you cannot send battery-containing devices to relatives, they will be returned to you; too dangerous to send such potentially explosive devices.

So the phone – my old phone which I never really used or liked – came back and was laying around in our house with us not really sure about what to do with it.

Thinking about such devices I thought that having had it as a remote control for my camera was ok, having it as a phone just laying around doing nothing except updating itself was a waste of time and money. So what about…

… I thought about saving that SIM card, didn’t want to have another costly (and for me at least, useless) “Flatrate” (which isn’t, so the word itself is a lie already). Oh, and I also didn’t fancy being tracked by Google or other “Enterprise” grade companies to give them even more data, and as such, more power and money. What if…

… using just our network router and WiFi instead of a cellphone network? Works.

… using an Android phone without using Google? Doesn’t really work, all you have when you start such a device is Chrome – a browser developed by Google. If you want another one, sure, you can download it – using Chrome. After doing that? Adieu Chrome. Works.

But. And that’s a big ‘But’. Google makes it really hard – no way to use their app store without having (or using) a Google account which you might have already, or maybe not. But without any form of login to Google, no downloads. If you don’t wanna play with them, they won’t play with you.

So I ‘duckduckgo’ed (‘duckduckwent’?) around using Chrome for a while, assuming that I could be a user who actually has nothing else than this phone, and a hotspot. And I found:

F-Droid (link is to its English Wikipedia page). That’s a free store with free (and open source) apps which doesn’t even ask for a login. Perfect.

Except that now I found an app like Firefox Klar (link is to its English Wikipedia page, internationally it’s slightly different and called ‘Firefox Focus’ instead), but I still didn’t have any access to non open source apps like the one from my camera maker, Olympus.

So I also installed Aptoide (link again, you guessed it, to the English Wikipedia page which describes it) which is more or less the father of F-Droid (the latter being a ‘fork’ as it is called in software development).

And with using Aptoide I also got the Olympus apps like the one for remote-controlling my camera. Perfect.

So what I have now is more or less equivalent to a small tablet PC with no cellphone access (except for emergency calls), without any contract, and without using Google too much (at least not being logged into any of their services, even updates for Google apps come via Aptoide instead).

So I can surf while sitting on the couch, or listen to Wikiloops outside of the living room. And I can remotely start and stop videos on my camera which might be outside on the veranda, filming birds or whatever. And I can tune my guitar and bass (or Zuleikha’s Ukulele, but that has a built-in tuner) with the device and Cythara.


And as always, thanks for reading.