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Monday, October 03, 2011

The Classical Week: Day #2

What a Long, Strange Trip Today Has Been.

It started out okay, with me on vacation this week and a list of tasks and appointments to accomplish.  First we began by taking some of the children to Mass; afterwards we had a bouquet of roses blessed in honor of St. Therese of Liseaux.

Then things got a little interesting.  Our next stop was to a doctor's office in Fort Worth, and as we started driving there, we noticed this interesting cloud formation to the South/Southeast of us:

That's down where we live; we were about thirty miles from where we live when I snapped this picture.  It was the only cloud in the sky, and I suddenly noticed that it extended all the way to the ground and was also projecting above the flattened top of the cloud.  This was no ordinary cloud; it was the smoke from a fire.  We called home and asked if they could see a fire or smoke, and the children at home reported seeing smoke in the distance to the Southeast of our house.  We continued on our way, confident that we had seen the end of that.

Our visit to the doctor ended before it could even begin.  The office building as well as all the other buildings on that block had a power outage while we waited to be seen.  We decided to reschedule, and took off for our home.  On the way, I persuaded my lovely wife to make a side trip to do a little 'window shopping' at a business down in Waxahachie - which just happens to be Southeast of our home.

As we started on our way, we noticed that the cloud had not dispersed; in fact, it appeared to be growing.  After several close calls with grass fires on top of our drought and 100+ temperatures, we started to think that maybe this was more than just a 'normal' fire.  Here is a picture we took from about 20 miles from the fire, as we unknowingly headed toward it:

Even the little Moose who lives in the front of the van seemed concerned.  We did not know that the fire was very close to our destination in Waxahachie - nor did we know that people were being evacuated from the area because of concerns with the chemicals which were on fire.  We did not have our radio on, as we were complying with our week-long experiment of only listening to classical music.  We continued on, listening to Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," as we drew closer to the fire.

When we got to our destination, we were surprised that someone did not come out and greet us while we looked around the car lot.  Our children who were with us noticed that the television was still on in the lobby, but no one was around.  The place was deserted; this was extremely unusual for this kind of business.

We were about a half mile or less from the fire, and could see flames licking up out of the mass of confusion on the ground.  To us, it appeared that a lot of the fire trucks were spraying the fire from too far away.  Only later did we learn why they were doing that.  After we finished our window shopping, we headed home.  Upon our arrival, we found out that the area had been evacuated because of concerns for the chemicals burning and forming in the cloud above us.  Great.

Then things got really exciting at home.

If you recall, this whole blog entry was to report on our classical music experiment.  Well, the children at home reminded me that Fr. L- had said that the experiment required listening to Mozart continually, not just any classical music.  Of course, we don't have a lot of Mozart, so that posed a problem.  I argued that classical music was sufficient.  The children then wanted to know what defines 'classical' music.  They argued that Gregorian Chant was not classical; I argued that it was good enough and old enough to qualify as 'classical' music.

Next, I was presented with a piece which I recognized as being written by Andrew Lloyd Weber.  I nixed it as being too modern.  The same went for a classical music piece as played on an Electric Cello.

Music volume was then discussed.  Some argued that it must be loud enough to hear it.  I argued that it should be used as background music.  Several countered that one could not hear it unless everyone remained silent, which was impossible in our house.  I responded that playing classical music loud would make everyone raise his voice to be heard, resulting in a tremendous discordant cacophony.  I could see where I could lose this argument, so I pre-emptively ended it by mentioning that what really bothered me was how nobody had gotten up to do their chores which were supposed to be completed by then.

I shall leave the conversation about what they play when they practice piano for another day.

Here is a video showing why the fire trucks were so far back from the fire:


MightyMom said...

wonder if that's what I smelled in the air this morning?

I was just thinking that even though the temps have dropped, esp in the morning the air does not have that usual crisp clean smell. Not ashy like it was right after the big fires....but definitely not clean.

I wonder if it's still blowing the charred remains of the acers of fires up to us.....

I wonder how long it'll take to smell good outside again....

MightyMom said...

oh, and there is an actual definition of "classical" music....and "boroque" is one part of it....which if memory serves is where Mozart falls.

Mozart's music is a WHOLE lot prettier than Dvorak, being more melodic.

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