This Week in Zoe News

There’s a Joan interview in People!

It sounds really corny but the song choose me. The president song for example [“The President Sang Amazing Grace”], was a no-brainer. It was politically, musically, and lyrically perfect for me. The same for “Another World.” Those two songs really gave the album the depth that it has. Pretty songs, a pretty album, but it wouldn’t have the meaning that it has without them.

This generated no tweets, go figure.

“President” was nominated for best song of 2018 in the International Folk Music Awards. Folk Alliance members please vote for it!

Bustle had an interviewy thing:

With her most recent album, last year’s Whistle Down The Wind — her final one, she says — Baez is still singing songs of resistance, paying tribute to former President Barack Obama (“The President Sang Amazing Grace”)

David Harrington, artistic director of the Kronos Quartet:

Here’s a performance of “President” from NERFA:
I have a couple of videos from last week’s performance but it’ll take a bit to post them.



Today is my first class of the season. I do mean all of today. I’ve got a minimum 8 contact hours. Same again tomorrow and so on for five weeks. Yeek.

A week ago I had my final OT appointment. This concludes this cycle of corrective surgery for the arthritis induced deformity of my right hand. It doesn’t mean I’m done or even done with these folks. I’ll have a surgical follow up in a few months and we’ll probably discuss next steps if any. I have 5 kindssplints in active rotation for not less that a year. I have two “protective” splints designed to protect the gains induced by the surgery. These generally try to hold the hand in a neutral position.

I have two “stretching” splits designed to push the hand toward great extension or contraction. The former don’t hurt. The latter do.

I have one odd “protective” splint I use while typing.

That’s a lotta splints. I’m always putting them on or taking them off.

I will say that a lotta splits beats a lotta meds. I’m on nothing right now after decades of anything from 1 to 7-8.

Oh Mistune

I am about ready to give up on you.

I gained control of your renderers and they work great! Yay!

Lexers, grammars, all the parsing is a maze of twisty passages where I bark my shins constantly and make no progress.

I tried to enable math support which is a standard contributions and…it’s still not working. I’m going to try this other thing now. As far as I can tell, no one uses the “mistune-contribs” version.

I think this signals the end for me. I’ll have to migrate to something else more managable.

Gitlab Has Kanban/Trello Style Boards

And they are linked to the issue tracker! Nice!

They aren’t as nice as Trello’s. The cards are very limited and don’t “flip over”. They don’t provide full access to the issue tracker, so adding comments, even adding full fledged issues, is hard to impossible from the board. However, I think for managing a workflow, it’s fine. A little clunky, but fine.

So now I can teach them in my software engineering class…which means I need to add them to my material…yay?

It’s panic time around here! Classes are….sooooo close!

Power Outage

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve had the odd power outage during night, including last night. Then this morning it went out and has yet to come back. First they said “18:00” then “22:00” then “maybe between 20:00 and 21:00”.

Any which way, I suspect the freezer’s going to be depressing.

Update: Seems like the power is back just before 21:00. Yay.

This Week In Zoe News

We saw Joan Baez in Manchester at the Bridgewater last night. Zoe got an acknowledgement from the stage and a spotlight. We met again with Joan and her crew. I think she thinks my name is “Bob” which I find amusing.

The show was excellent though weighted heavily toward classics. She did, IIRC, four songs from Whistle Down The Wind. Her voice was in good form which given all her touring is pretty impressive. The backup band remains awesome with Gabe’s percussion solo being a big crowd pleaser. The auditorium wasn’t quite filled but I infer that the Bridgewater messed that up by just not selling some sections behind the stage. (I know people who wanted tickets and were told “sold out”!)

Amusingly, our comped seats seem to have been double booked. But as we got there first, I don’t know how it was resolved.

I think I’m not such a fan of Bridgewater Hall for this sort of show. Compared to Ulster Hall in Edinburgh (which is similarly sized) it was more awkward visually and sonicly. The non proscenium stage undercut the dramatic visuals (esp early on) and I had more trouble hearing words than I did in Edinburgh. The crowd was a bit more passive too.

Still an excellent show. We had lots of friends who went so that was fun.

The performers and crew are a bunch of really sweet people who seem to be holding up well considering their schedule.

They’ll be back in Feb. I recommend getting tickets!

Thinking a bit about the set list, I think it’s unfortunate that she’s so constrained to do lots of classics. (And, as an audience member, I’m often wanting to hear classic songs from a performer. So I get it!)

Whistle Down the Wind is an evolution of her sound built around profound shifts in her voice. Of course, that vocal shift colours her whole performance, but I don’t think the classic songs were strongly reinterpreted. A show that was built around the new voice as much as Whistle is built around would be very interesting.

Addendum: I observed the famous British respect for signage.