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The Cook County soda tax has been placed on hold by a local judge. The next act in our morality play is now proceeding as usual, as the Cook County government is now issuing dire warnings about the draconian cuts that will be required if this relatively small in the whole budgetary scheme amount of money isn't available.

This includes, of course, a fifteen percent cut in personnel for the Cook County Police, because the first thing that they always threaten to cut is the police. I'm sure they'd threaten to cut the fire department too, except that Cook County doesn't seem to have a fire department to cut, based on my brief Google search. That's all controlled by various municipalities and townships. Well, you threaten where you can...

In any case, I am old enough to remember Tom Lehrer. For those of you who don't, here's the original. And the altered lyrics follow:
Read more... )
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It has been extraordinarily busy here for the last few months. It was thus that we found ourselves coming up on the end of the school year and having not yet written a song for Katie's teacher, Mrs. Sharko. We knew what we wanted to write, but actually putting pen to paper was being challenging. We had had discussion on the subject with Katie and Julie. We had nothing actually written down.

And then on Thursday night, I started my vacation.

And at 3 AM I woke up Gretchen and rapped out a verse to her.

"Can I go back to sleep now?"

"Yes. Yes, you can."

Not much later, but much more awake, we managed to finish pulling everything together. While performing the song as a rap was a possibility, setting a tune to it was going to be a better choice. :)

And today, Katie was able to take the recording of the song to Mrs. Sharko, who likes it.

It is only deadline that would get me to record something with this case of bronchitis... :)

Anyway, here are the lyrics:
Lyrics inside... )
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This is what happens when Gretchen and I have not had enough sleep, it seems. :)

(And you'll probably suss out the tune in a moment.)

I don't want a ham for Christmas, I don't want a roast to sear.
I don't want a big old turkey that will last until New Year.
I want something that is hot,
Slowly simmering in a pot.
Something I can chew.
All I want for Christmas is stew.

Good Advice

Nov. 7th, 2016 10:38 pm
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The topic for the OVFF Songwriting Contest this year was "Dr... I Presume". I stared at this for a moment earlier this week, thought "What can I do with this?", and then realized that the following would work.

In any case, I got a song out of it. :)
Lyrics inside... )
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Meanwhile, another addition to our fine collection of doggerel, prompted by an episode of Renovation Realities and a rather hapless couple:

Shim shimanee, shim shimanee, shim shim sharail.
A shim's what you use when your measurements fail.
Shim shimanee, shim shimanee, shim shim sharoo.
With luck this won't fall when the reno is through.
And always cut once, after measurements two.
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Balticon had a new hotel this year. In a bit of, well, interesting strategy, Programming -- much against Gary's will -- moved the filk room to a different room every night so that we could "try them out". We figured that Gary deserved to have a song written from his point of view about his plight.

Happily, Gretchen and I picked on a song that only has two verses in the original -- and a very singable chorus.

Note for the interested Programming Head for 2017: Gary would actually be quite happy to be in Kent, but it rhymed, so he is not responsible for that particular observation. :)
Lyrics inside... )
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FilkONtario also has an annual at-con songwriting contest where you are supplied with a list of words -- always including "penguin" -- and challenged to write a song that includes them all. This year, the words were "penguin", "titanium", "synergy", "infinity", and "entropy". This was a fairly happy set of words, as it didn't take me long to figure out what my song should be about.

I don't frequently set songs in other people's universes, but in this case the universe belongs to my brother-in-law, Jeff Duntemann, and I figure that I can always set Gretchen on him if I need to. :) We'll see when he finds this... :)

Anyway, the song is set in his Drumlin universe and it goes like this.
Lyrics inside... )
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I wrote this song for the FilkONtario songwriting contest this year, where the theme was "Pets in Space". I've been kicking around a number of ideas around this theme for some time, so it was a good opportunity to get them fixed in place.
Lyrics inside... )
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So Gretchen is buying me a new guitar for Christmas. What this means is that I am charged to arrange the guitar which will then be appropriately wrapped for Christmas and placed under the tree, because guitars are a very individual thing. So the last time I was at The Guitar Works, I asked Terry if he carried the line of guitars that I was interested in and he said that he did. Well, that was convenient. :)

Last week, I called him up and asked him to place the order. He contacted his sales rep and it turns out that he hadn't bought enough guitars from this particular manufacturer recently to be able to order a single guitar, but if he ordered $5000 worth of guitars, they'd be happy to send him the one that I wanted as part of the package. This was a few more guitars that Terry wanted to get from that manufacturer right now, so he called me back and apologized for not being able to get the guitar, which I certainly understood. He also gave me some pointers to other dealers in town that I could get the guitar from, which was nice of him.

I ended up ordering the guitar from one of the local dealers via Amazon, because that meant that I didn't have to pay City of Chicago sales tax. And a couple of days ago, the new guitar arrived. It's an electric baritone tuned B to B, which gives me a new guitar voice in the collection. Of course, it had to be checked out, so I plugged it into the amp and made sure everything was working correctly, which it was. And I played around with some chords...

The last couple of days, I pulled out my desk guitar and worked through the chords and produced the following song:

Lyrics inside... )

Gretchen approves. :)

And the new baritone guitar is back in its box, waiting for Christmas.

And Julie is enjoying playing with the outer shipping box...
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Having made it safely back from OVFF, here are the lyrics for the song I wrote for this year's songwriting contest for which the topic was "Time After Time". (The over/under on the number of entries containing that phrase in their title was 3.5; we hit the under at 3.)

Lyrics inside... )

Or, as I once said in a SpaceTime Theater bit, "Do you have any idea how much paperwork it takes to requisition a comet?"
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Yes, I'm still going through the filk file. And I found a napkin that I can only think was written in advance of Dorsai Thing 31, the Decadent Thing, which we held in Chicago some years back. I'm assuming that I wrote this -- at least, it's in my handwriting:
Lyrics inside... )
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See, this is what happens when you clean out your desk. I'm going through the big file of filk, looking for the lyrics and chords for Chess so that I can record a backing track for Randy, and I found a printout of a song that I barely remember writing with Gretchen.

Is it in the filk directory on my machine? No, it is not. Ok, search.

There it is. Let me move it to its proper home.

And here's a copy for all of you, from August 25, 2001:
Lyrics inside... )
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The local Enlightenment team (read "frogs") have a park about a mile from my home where they like to establish a farm for gear. As the newest level 8 Resistance agent in the area, I am now on the list of people who get asked to make it go away. :)

I hit it today on the way to lunch, so the timing doesn't quite work, but...

Dimucci Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet green icing flowing down.
Firing off my bursters like the rain
And I think I'm going to take it
And they took so long to make it
And I know they'll have this recipe again.
Oh, no!

Hey, another day, another 40K AP... :)
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I'm in the middle of a long compile at work, so here are the lyrics for the song I wrote for this year's FilkONtario songwriting contest, where the theme was "Silver".
Lyrics inside... )
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Katie will be having her last day of class with her first grade teacher, Mrs. O'Brien, tomorrow. Katie also really wanted to write another song for her, much like the one that we wrote for her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Schaefer, last year.

Life has been exceedingly busy, so although [ profile] daisy_knotwise had constructed a chorus, a verse, a coda, and a plan for two more verses some time ago, I had not contributed my part of this project. Over the weekend, I put together a tune for the existing verse and chorus, extrapolated an extra line for the existing verse so that it matched up with the tune :), and then sat down with Gretchen and a rhyming dictionary to build the two additional verses that she'd planned, and a fourth verse that I thought we needed.

Of course, then we needed to record it. And there was no time for anything complex if we were going to get it to her this year, so we set up the portable gear in the living room so we could collect all four parts, record, quick mix, and send it down to the studio to be burned to a CD. Katie really wants to sing on the verses, which will be possible once she actually learns the tune. :) And Julie would like to sing too and since she's got at least a 50% chance of being in Mrs. O'Brien's class next year, well...

So we'll re-record this over the summer and send a fresh copy in the fall.

In the meantime, the song arrived today (barely in time) and was happily received by Mrs. O'Brien and her class. The whole class already knows the chorus and can sing along. :)

Meanwhile, here are the lyrics:
Lyrics inside... )

The pigeon comes from the book by Mo Willems that Katie is very fond of and which pushed her over the edge to active reading.

Every Friday, a Mystery Reader (frequently a parent or other relative) comes to the class late in the afternoon to read them a story. The Reader sends clues to help the class guess who he or she might be.

The students collect tickets for good behavior which they can exchange for special treats, such as going to the other first grade class for a day.

There's a behavior report that comes home with the student each day where the space for the day is colored green for good behavior, yellow for a small problem, and red for a big problem.

And the bucket is where the class collects points that can be exchanged for a class party when the bucket is full.
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I was noodling with a couple of chords on my guitar after playing my new song for [ profile] catalana when I stopped at her and Steve's place on the way down to Marcon last week and noted that they sounded interesting.

Yesterday, they decided they wanted to climb into a song. :)
Lyrics inside )
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The topic for the FilkONtario songwriting contest this year was "Music in space". I rolled this around in my head for a while before coming up with an idea on Easter Sunday. And then I had to write it, which turned out to be easier than I'd feared, but some ideas fall apart when you take a run at them.

This one held up well enough to place second in the contest, which was nice, and it garnered a number of positive comments from folks, which was even nicer. :)
Lyrics inside... )
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It's been nuts here. More to the point, it's been the sort of nuts here where I haven't been writing much of any music.

But I recently found time to pick up the guitar and over the course of a week or so, the following song came together.
Lyrics inside... )


May. 5th, 2013 10:49 pm
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Oh, my. Harold Stein has been going through old tapes from Conterpoint 1993 and found something that I had completely forgotten that [ profile] daisy_knotwise and I had ever written. Gretchen remembered it pretty quickly once the music started playing though.

And so here it is, from 1993, based on a true story (sadly):
Lyrics inside... )
Update: Edited to reflect a note back from Dr. Jim noting that the tune wasn't his, although you're all probably pretty familiar with "Drivel". :)
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For this trip, I hauled the iPod out and let it merrily play through the various tunes that I've ripped from our CD collection. Eventually, it hauled out "P.F. Sloan", a Jimmy Webb song that was being covered by The Association. And [ profile] daisy_knotwise started constructing alternate lyrics.

I figured this might be worth finishing. Gretchen was skeptical, noting that this was a pretty obscure song, so no one would be familiar with the original, but I told her we'd just have to make sure it was funny anyway.

We finished it up on Saturday, I transcribed the lyrics and took them down to show to Judith. "Could Gretchen and I please sing this right before the Interfilk auction? It seems like the best place for it."

Judith read through the lyrics, declared them funny, and said, "Sure!"

I had to keep Howard from dismantling the sound setup on stage before the auction, as he was trying to get ahead on work.

"You need two mics and a direct in for the Interfilk auction?"

"Yes. You'll see."


And so we sang the song. Which seemed to go over pretty well. Kathleen liked it...
Lyrics inside... )


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