3.270 docent, hiromi

Thursday 09/08/2022

Today I had docent tour, a private group at 11am. This was a small group of high-achieving kids age 14 or so, plus one teacher, plus three people who just kind of wandered in and stuck around. When I got there I found that they were already getting a 1401 live demo. I had not known this, and had planned on starting them in the 1401 lab anyway with my talk on “mid-century computing”. So I had to adapt on the fly. Also peeved because if I’d known they were going to start at 10, I would have been there to be introduced. Oh well the tour went OK.

Back home I did three things I’d been putting off. One, pay the Xfinity bill. Two, order another case of masks; the RA exec committee has approved the expense and asked me to continue storing and dispensing the masks as the Front Desk needs them.

Three, I looked into making custom 3×3 post-its. This is because when I moved in 3 years ago, I received a pad of nice, white, Channing House post-its. Which are all used up now, and nobody has any idea where they came from or where to get more. So I thought they would be ideal items for the Gift Shop to stock, if they existed.

Of course it turns out there are multiple online vendors who will print post-its with your uploaded graphic. It only remained to make a graphic to upload. I looked at the typography used on the channinghouse.org home page. It was easy to lift the little green and orange leaf icon but the words “Channing House” were a problem, mainly because I couldn’t figure out what font they had used. It was a traditional, serif, font with small-capital letters instead of lowercase.

OK it turns out there are multiple online sites that dispense free and for-money fonts and let you filter their collections by “serif” and “small-cap”. It took maybe half an hour to identify good matches to the website font (two free fonts named “cinczel” and “cormorant” were very close). So in about 90 minutes I had created a graphic, uploaded it, and ordered four pads of post-its. If they look good I will try to sell the idea to Mary Beth, Gift Shop manager (you need to order 100 or more in order to get the price down). Anyway I will have some of my own.

At 4:30 I headed out to attend a concert by Hiromi. Marian and I attended a Hiromi set at least 10, probably 15 years ago, at a little club in Half Moon Bay. Probably 5 years ago we went with Suzanne and Chuck to hear her at SFJazz. And now I went alone. I ate supper at the Ramen Cafe and it was very good, a big bowl of noods and tomatoes and chicken.

Hiromi has only gotten better both as a composer and as a musician. Her long, intricate numbers are starting to make real sense to me, not just a lot of notes tossed out for their own sake but with structure and themes. Her technical skill is amazing. She finished up with a version of “Rhapsody in Blue” where for 15 minutes she turned that familiar piece every which way but loose, and it was well worth the standing-O she got at the end.

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