Easter 2024

30 June 2005
News - Sindens in the, preschool graduation

Griffin Sinden[Beep, beep-beep bee-beep!] Hot off the wire, more riveting Sinden news from around the world!

We begin in lobster country, where in

Eliot, Maine - a guy named Fernald is selected to lead a panel and Gary Sinden is mysteriously involved.

From here, we head to that thriving diary metropolis of

Baraboo, Wisconsin - where this year's Great Circus Parade is deemed "ultra-successful and ultra-safe" by Baraboo Police spokesman Lt. Rob Sinden.

But wait! Back on the Atlantic seaboard, culinary chaos ensues in

Princeton, New Jersey - when Princeton Regional Health Commission member Grace Sinden advocates closing down restaurants that are not in compliance with the health code. What will she think of next?

Meanwhile, on the hockey front, that famous Sinden, coach Harry, has his very own system. It has the Sindenrific name of "the Sinden System." We at have been using the Sinden System for years! Rest assured, we'll be following this one closely folks! And finally, in the tiny town of

Tillsonburg, Ontario - little Griffin Sinden has managed to graduate from preschool! Way to go, little buddy!

This has been Sindens in the News! [Beep, beep-beep bee-beep!]


29 June 2005
Houston TX - IAH

George H. W. Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston Texas


28 June 2005
photograph - poor June 2005 The American Organist cover

terrible TAO coverEvery so often, The American Organist, the official publication of the American Guild of Organists decides not to publish a full bleed cover photo and print a silly border around a smaller photo instead.

I cannot normally understand the rationale for this practice. The smaller photo radically alters the appearance of the cover and disrupts the continuity of the serial publication.

This month, however, the quality of the photo was so poor that I could understand a graphic designer* wanting to soften the blow.

The organ console appears to be centered in the room, but inexplicably, the photographer is not. Notice the pews on the left side of the aisle are nearly lined up from the camera's perspective; those on the right are not.

The photo's off-centeredness becomes painfully obvious when looking at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church's large suspended cross. It should be directly in front of the center of the case. Since the photographer is standing to the left, the cross is offset to the right. I would estimate the cross obscures about 70% of the second facade pipe on sharp side, while leaving the C side completely exposed.

This kind of disparity should be painfully obvious to the photographer!

Other things that would have improved this photo:

* I don't know if TAO has a graphic designer but they do have an Editor, Copy Editor and Editorial Assistant on staff. What they really need is a photo editor.

27 June 2005
Cooke, Robert (1768-1814) - notable deaths of notable church musicians (third in a series)

Westminster Abbey floorplanCooke served as Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey beginning in 1802.

Twelve years later, on August 13, 1814, he drowned himself in the Thames.

I can't be certain from the Psalter blurb, or from Grove's account, but I don't think this was an accidental drowning.

The New St Paul's Cathedral Psalter lists Robert Cooke (1768-1814) as the composer of chants for Psalms 7, 45 and Benedictus 4. These efforts seem quite deliberate, as does his burial in Westminster Abbey.

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26 June 2005
Parsons, Robert (c. 1530-1570/2) - notable deaths of notable church musicians (second in a series)

Robert Parsons is remebered for two things: his Ave Maria and his death. The Oakham School cleverly combines these two things in a program note: map of the River  Trent

Many Catholics composed settings of the Ave Maria as it is one of the chief prayers, often said as one dies. Whether Robert Parsons (15277[sic]-1570) remembered to say this when he was drowning in the River Trent at Newark is unknown, but he did leave behind a luminous 5-voice setting which some see as the crown of Tudor polyphony.


As a gentlemen at the Chapel Royal, Tallis and Byrd would have known Parsons. They would also probably be able to clear up some of the confusion over exactly when he drowned. Both 1570 and 1572 appear in the literature.

My guess is he was not in the process of drowning for two years.

More: Previously in the Notable Deaths of Notable Church Musicians Series.

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25 June 2005
Wise, Michael (1648-1687) - notable deaths of notable church musicians (first in a series)

St. Paul's Cathedral, Londonfrom his biography in The New St Paul's Cathedral Psalter:

In the course of an altercation with the night watchman in Salisbury, he received a blow on the head "which broke his skull, of the consequence whereof he died."

Kind of gives new meaning to the word wisecrack, doesn't it?

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23 June 2005
17 - July

July 17th?As a new adherent of the Apple Computer religion, I was interested in the significance of the 17th of July. This is the default date on the icon of iCal, Apple's calendar program.

At first I thought it might be Steve Jobs's birthday, but no, that's February 24.

Then, as an Episcopalian, I thought there might be some connection with the Feast of William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania. Among the psalms from the day:

It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD, *
and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;

To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning *
and of your faithfulness in the night season;

Psalm 92:1-2. The entire lection is Psalm 92:1-4, 11-14 from page 720 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP)

This psalm serves as a gentle reminder to use our time (and our calendar) to praise God without ceasing. iCal, interestingly enough, allows to schedule events in the morning and the "night season." But the alternative psalm, though it deals with time, doesn't really sustain this line of thinking: David Hasselhoff

For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room, *
and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Psalm 84:9. From Psalm 84:7-12 BCP page 708.

Turns out July 17 is just the date iCal was announced.

But I think there's something else going on here.

Namely, July 17 is also David Hasselhoff's birthday.


20 June 2005
"What does the W on your button stand for?"

On my way down the jetway on Saturday evening, I heard voice behind me "What does the W on your no-W button stand for?"

no-W buttonI turned and saw a cute young blonde girl in a bright yellow shirt. I was actually in a horde of 47 people in bright yellow shirts. I would later learn that these members of Smersy(?) Christian Church in central Illinois had just returned from an eight-day mission trip to Mexico.

"It's the W in George W. Bush," I said.

Slight pause.

"Oh," she said, looking kind of offended.

Wanting her to understand my backpack theology, I went on. "My other button is a peace button. My desire for peace is supposed to overshadow my no-W button."

"Uh-huh." She was not impressed.

Follow-up: Later, as two adult chaparones slid into my row, I could hear her voice shouting, "he's anti-Bush!"

13 June 2005
causes - progressive is overrun by progressive causes!

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.I heard Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at the Hobby Center tonight. His incendiary Crimes Against Nature exposes the Bush administration's rape-and-pillage antagonism toward the environment, a result of its industry-friendly leaning.

The administration has appointed former industry lobbyists to key environmental positions. Corporate interests have no business in government other than to turn the public commons (air, land, water) into profit. They're going on a wild binge with the world's natural resources, and our great-grandchildren will still be dealing with the consequences.

The administration clouds these policies with Orwellian double speak like the "clear skies" bill, which actually makes the air dirtier by easing standards.

On the ides of March of this year, Bush passed a weak coal plant regulations bill. As a result, fish will (continue to!) contain high levels of plant-produced mercury. More mercury will enter women's wombs, and more children will be born with birth defects, autism and impaired intelligence.

Meanwhile, the front page of USA Today declares "The debate's over: Globe is warming" after General Electric earmarked $1.5 Billion for environmental and greenhouse gas emissions research. Bush has never liked global warming science, and doesn't acknowledge that it's real. (Maybe his mother ate too much fish?)

Since the President isn't doing anything, maybe you can help me and Robert Kennedy Stop Global Warming.

While you're at it, let's Make Poverty History too.

Houston TX - JP Morgan Chase Building

JP Morgan Chase Building, Houston, Texas

An illicit photo taken inside the JP Morgan Chase Building, Houston, Texas. (After I took this, a security guard told me I couldn't take pictures because "some people from overseas came in and were taking pictures of the tellers," but he did give me some informative literature about the building.)

The New West Building (actually looks pretty old), Houston, Texas

10 June 2005
Names - Baby

The ever incredible Baby NameVoyager has been updated.

It now yeilds more data for the name of one of my future sons: Thurston.

Alas, still nothing on Sacheverell.

09 June 2005
Baseball - Apple Computer out of touch with Major League

I've been really impressed with Apple lately, but something on their website struck me as a little odd and out of touch with reality (see illustration at right).

They depicted the Astros as winning.

But, as soon as I had this realization, I came to understand that this image is reality based. The Astros were in fact leading 3-1 in the bottom of the 6th. Crazy.


04 June 2005
Indiana - summer plans in

Things to see and do in Indiana this summer:


02 June 2005
waistpack - orbital

That's funny. I thought it was called a fanny pack.

Tangent: Finally! I can check email from the organ.

01 June 2005
Visitation - Feast of the (2005)

St. Thomas ELCA, Bloomington
Rogue Evensong for the Feast of the Visitation
Colossians 3:12-17 / Luke 1:39-49
Tuesday 31 May 2005

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Mary's day is just getting started when an unexpected angelic visitor gives her some troubling news: she's pregnant with the Lord. Mary doesn't waste any time; she quickly packs her bags and heads for the hills. She's going for a visit. To get away for a while, to think, to talk things over with Elizabeth. (And also to get away from Joseph. He's a nice guy, but he can't find out about this.)

Luke tells us that Mary left quickly, and it seems like she was traveling alone, probably on foot. she would have traveled during the day, so she must have arrived in the late afternoon or evening. Mary would have sung her Magnificat in the evening; it was the world's first evensong.

For most of us, our families are flung far and wide. We can't just walk over the hills in a day, and sometimes a long phone conversation just isn't good enough. When something big comes up, we need to meet face to face. Like Mary, we need a "visitng space." Paul encourages us to create this kind of space in our community: "Bear with one another," he writes, "and , if anyone has a complaint against another forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so also you must forgive."

In the film Napoleon Dynamite, Kip, the title character's brother, finds that his budding relationship with LaFawnduh cannot be confined to an internet chat room. He too is in need of "visiting space." And sometime after their visit together, Kip and LaFawnduh are married.

Preiding at the ceremony, old farmer Lyle says:

When an argument arises . . . if you go outside and take, uh, a nice walk . . . you'll calm down and then you can come back and it won't be an argument. And you'll find that helps your health. All that fresh air and exercise will do you a lot of good.

If we think of the "visiting space in marriage being raised like a tent, we see it supported by two poles erected in cooperation holding up a relationship where two people dwell in close proximity. The late comedian Mitch Hedberg reminds us that a tent is a bad place to get into an argument, because how can you express your anger? Walk outside and slam the flap? Maybe zipper it up really quickly?

But a marriage is never a bad place to argue. Arguments arise in marriages, friendships, churches, communities-anywhere people meet together. We can be sure Mary and Joseph had at least one big one before they were married.

Our arguments and actions continue to create conflict, not just at home, but on the other side of the world. American economic and military actions have made new classes of hungry who need to be fed and lowly who need to be lifted up. Conflict is inevitable in our human world. Paul knows this but insists that we find a way to "bear with one another."

At the world's first evensong, John the Baptist hears Mary's voice and, from Elizabeth's womb, gives a little kick. This kick is a spark that ignites the presence of the Holy Spirit in both women. And in this holy "visiting space," Mary's fear melts away as she sings that she and all of humanity are blessed.

What would Mary sound like on American Idol? There's no "visiting space" on the show, but there is a "judging space," a hostile and unpredictable "Simon Cowell space." The goal of the show, which stems from its own greed, is to silence as many people singing as possible. But Mary can't be silenced because we are already singing with her. We're expanding the song.

American Idol is a global phenomenon. What started as Pop Idol in the UK is now in Australia, France Germany, Poland, Crroatia. It's everywhere. The audition tapes reveal that even people who have no vocal training or concept of pitch still want to sing. To sing is human. The church should make it possible.

At that first evensong, Mary proclaims the greatness of a God who bears with us, forgives us, and genuinely likes us. God wants to be with us. Following God's example in Christ, if we bear with one another, forgive each other and love each other, then we will find ourselves accepted, forgiven and loved. How, then, can we be anything but thankful? And it is "with gratitude in [our] hearts," Paul says, that we "sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God."

Through God's grace, let's learn to expand the song. Let's learn to slam flaps and take walks so that we do not speack or act in anger or hatred. Let's learn to forgive each other truly. Through God's grace, forgiveness, and "love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony," let's journey toward a place where we want to visit with each other and sing with each other.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




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