User:Unfree

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Who?[edit]

My name is Marshall Price (unique in Miami, Florida), and "d021317c" was the username assigned to me by SEFLIN, the Southeast Florida Library Information Network, which once afforded free dial-up Internet access. "Oh, to unfree one's heaven!", a curious mnemonic, reminds me of 021317. Who knew "unfree" was in the dictionary? It means "to set free".

Name change[edit]

I just changed my username. I didn't know I could, and forget how to do it, but now I'm "Unfree", rather than "D021317c". It might make life a bit easier for somebody.

And the d never should have been capitalized in the first place. Good riddance, oh-to-unfree-one's-heaven!

Me[edit]

Incidentally, I ought to mention that my father was a celebrity in his day, and so was my mother's father; that I was born in 1946; that I went to a marvelous school in Princeton, New Jersey, called the Columbus Boychoir School; that I tuned pianos for a living most of my life, but usually held other jobs, too; that in college I studied mathematics, then city planning, then chemistry, and then voice (not to mention many electives); that I've sung in various choirs most of my life (including some great ones); that I've never liked soloing, but never experienced stage-fright; that I may or may not be crazy, depending on my mood and whom you ask; and that I sleep in an upper bunk, but have no lower bunk. I used to fantasize about living in a huge mansion near the sea, with a library, music conservatory, workshops, laboratories, well-equipped kitchen, guest quarters, gardens, and so on, but now I have all that, and more -- all in one tiny room! And it's in a semi-tropical paradise where the living is easy. Who could ask for anything more?

(My sentiment, and an actual song title, too. It's a habit I practice, whenever I can. If I think of it!)

Good life[edit]

Oh, and I have a bike I can use any time I want, neighbors who let me use their laundry room, an aloe plant in my garden, and the occasional friendly lizard for a house guest, and something I never even fantasized about: my very own computer, with unlimited entertainment, advanced communications -- for free, amazing research powers, and.... Well, you know all that; it's millennium three. And all my friends are real characters -- the greatest!

CopyeditorStar7.PNG The Copyeditor's Barnstar
For your efforts to improve the quality and readability of a wide range of Wikipedia articles, I award you this Copyeditor's Barnstar Jonovision (talk) 21:09, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Barnstar reaction[edit]

Wow! Isn't that something! See Jonovision's talk page for the effect it had on me. Unfree (talk) 08:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Copyediting howto[edit]

Good news. There's a page on Wikipedia about how to [how to edit copy]! Unfree (talk) 16:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Bad news. I can't figure out how to correct the mark-up of that link. Unfree (talk) 16:51, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Copyediting whatto[edit]

Here's a great link: <a href="/wiki/Category:Wikipedia_articles_needing_copy_edit" title="Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit">Articles needing copy-edited</a>

Except that it didn't work right, and "needing copy-edited" isn't grammar-wise. Unfree (talk) 21:24, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

If this page doesn't look pretty, there's a good reason for it: I don't think it matters. :) Unfree (talk) 01:38, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Hope, etc.[edit]

I'm about to write something which might not belong on a user page. If it doesn't, please let me know somehow.

What I want to say is about hopelessness, but it starts with newspapers. I can't read a book a day, and a book is only seven inches tall and less than an inch thick. Why should I be expected to consume and waste huge volumes of precious wood pulp? Also, I'm not an investor. Why send me stuff that's only of interest to investors? I was a businessman, a piano tuner (technician). But how often would a new law affect the way I operated my business, and why should I be interested in anything else related to businesses? Also, I've heard that it's no more expensive to make acid-free paper than acidic paper. If that's true, why not use the better stuff? I'd even prefer ugly paper that doesn't deteriorate over paper that looks white, but only temporarily. I know it's expensive to make newspapers, but I doubt I couldn't afford one. If there were ever a newspaper I liked, I'd pay as much for it as I would for a typical meal. And I'd consider it money well-spent. I've noticed that the business part of the telephone book is much smaller than the residential part. Obviously, there isn't much business in Miami, so why do newspapers devote so much work, time, and space to it, and for that matter, why are we inundated every year with many pounds of phone books we don't want? Why not just send us the ones we do want? We're going to get rid of the rest anyway, it's not that they're worth anything. Getting back to newspapers, it seems to me that with modern computers, there's no reason why all the news can't be carefully indexed. Give us indexes. If I were interested in traveling, I sure wouldn't buy a newspaper, so why are there travel sections. Why should I be interested in local news for other localities? I rarely care about my own. Why should I get stuff about sports? I don't care about that. Let there be newspapers about sports, so I can avoid them and other people can buy, and pay for, them. It's not as if supporting them were good for the general welfare. They're just diversions. Why should I be swamped with entertainment news, when there's hardly any such thing as entertainment any more? What do I care about celebrities? If I'm interested in somebody, it's not because he's a celebrity, it's because there's something else that's interesting about him. Do I want advertising? Nope. What for? To increase my own exposure to temptation? I'd rather be able to find good, reliable information when I'm looking for it, which is rare and valuable today. "Consumer Reports" isn't covering my interests. I want to know which things to buy when I'm presented with the choice, not all the time. Why are there so many different kinds of paper in newspapers? One for color and one for the rest ought to be enough. I don't like different sizes of things in newspapers, either. I prefer Procrustes attitude when it comes to trimming paper. Why should there be pages without numbers in anything? All pages should have a number, at least. Why throw newspapers in the trash when they're new? Why not have hoppers for discarded ones, so somebody else can read them? Does somebody have news for me? That's not a good enough reason for me to care. Lots of people want everybody's attention. Mine is limited. There's never been a paper I liked. Even the New York Times is mainly trash. But the part that isn't is precious. Why can't I have it, at any price? Gee. When they go out of business, a lot of good stuff will go down the drain. I can't say it serves them right, but it sure will serve somebody right, not the journalists and reporters, but the bad guys. Let them go sit in the corner with crayons, but not any paper. Paper's much too good for them, and if they ever got their hands on it, they'd ruin it. I feel sorry for people who can't find anything useful to do, but profitable is another story. Let money come from other sources -- the government, charities, whatever -- but I'm tired of being bombarded with other people's problems, just so they, whether rich or poor, can make money. Those that are good at it are a nuisance, and everybody else is needy. I don't know what's wrong with this system, but I'm pretty sure it's not right. It certainly isn't anything to celebrate about. And I know Marxists, for example, don't have a handle on it at all. What a mess they've made of things, offering an alternative that's useless and corruptible. How much is the earth worth? Why? What is value anyway, and why? I think the earth is getting less and less valuable, the more people it supports. Isn't it time to stop the population from getting bigger and bigger all the time, and doing it faster and faster? If there were ever a commandment to reproduce, it certainly wasn't for us in our time, it was for people in very different circumstances. What are we aiming for, anyway? Kids to take care of us in our old age? What we need is nurses to take care of us -- nice, considerate, compassionate ones -- not just more and more baby Homo sapiens, all sharing the same problems we've already got in excess. And where will the nurses come from? Well, they'll have to come from factories, or at least the things that make their jobs manageable and enjoyable will. There are many things nurses do that aren't fun. Nobody likes them, not even those who get a kick out of helping people in need. If they could be made easier or less distasteful, such people would be pleased, not disappointed. I'm thinking of things like bed baths, walking down hallways, things that cause unnecessary pain, jobs that require a lot of strength, things that smell bad, things that are hard to clean or never get cleaned, ill-fitting shoes, sweaty socks, and so on. It's not that there's nothing in the world to be done, it's just that they're not the things that get done. It's the patent system that's to blame, I think. Not any agency in particular, just the whole system. People with good ideas don't get rewarded for them as they should. The motivation is shot. Only those with money and connections get patents, but good ideas occur to all sorts of people. You don't have to be an engineer to have a good idea, but you might need one to do anything with it. And patent agents, and patent lawyers, and artists, and people who are clever with their hands, and materials, and so on. And if you ever get a penny, it will be in the long, long run. But it's not likely, much less motivating. And the type of people who can come up with the money aren't the ones who are looking for that sort of thing anyway. They've got bigger plans up their sleeves. I've come to the conclusion that it's hopeless. The world won't get any better, just worse. It's an outright failure. Jupiter's better than Earth, unless we get our hands on it, in which case, we'll do whatever we can to ruin it, too. Whatever we can destroy, we will. To the spoilers go the victories. Unfree (talk) 01:38, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Georgie Price[edit]

Here's..... Georgie!

Bad life[edit]

I'm being evicted to make room for renovation. So I hired movers for the first time. I'm paying too much, but it's all been arranged. Unfree (talk) 09:19, 18 December 2008 (UTC) How's that? A sig, for a change!

Eartha Kitt[edit]

I had a very nice, if strange, Christmas, and spent several hours composing a diary entry Christmas night, with the idea of posting part, or all, of it somewhere, when What did I hear the first thing upon awakening? That Eartha Kitt is dead. That makes everything else so trivial. The last time I met her was outside a Broward County stage door, perhaps in 1994, where she, my niece Liz Larsen, two other ladies, I think, and one man, performed "The Blues Singers," I think; I'll have to check the title. It was a fabulous song revue. Who cares about anything else at a time like this. I miss her with a deep love, admiration (mixed with fun, purring, and a bit of mischief), and pain that reminds me how painful nostalgia can get. I forget what "nost-" means, but the "-algia" is real. And ow! It hurts! Unfree (talk) 13:27, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Good life (bis) ka[edit]

What's "ka"?, you ask; and well you should, because adding "-ka" to the end of a Japanese sentence changes it from a statement to a question, and to me, that's nifty! It's like putting a question mark on it, without putting a question mark on it. Neat, as well as nifty. Even tidy.

What's "(bis)?", you ask. Don't ask!

The thing is, there's been a welcome change: I can stay right here in the same house, but about three yards away from my old room, for another month. The pressure's off. And the work's almost done, anyway. Now all I'd like is a nice (but not new!) car car. That's right, a car car. Maybe that's what I'll call the next one, whatever it is. My favorite so far was Pumpkin, a (new) 1977 Honda Civic, which was very, very nice to me. (There's a thing I'm supposed to say when in such a mood, but I forget what it is, so I'll just think "RIP", "Requiescat in pacem", or "Rest in peace." Either one.) :) Unfree (talk) 04:18, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

It's a good thing![edit]

"What brought that on?", you ask. Well, it was something, but now it's two, because your question was a good thing, and that's a good thing, because now it's three. (Don't ask!)

The thing it was originally is just this: flexibility. (Think about it!)

Flexibility is a good thing (not a bad one) you see, because it enables you to... well, it just enables you. Because whatever you could do without it, you can do more with it, right? Right!

(That could mean two things. I might as well intend both; might as well. By the way, you know the diff between "imply" and "infer"? Oy! I'm off on a tangent; getting back...)

"What brought that on?", you ask. (Again, an ambiguity! Answer: again, both!) The way I'm starting to feel more Jewish, sort of. To Dad, it came naturally. He turned it on and off as easily as a faucet. As easily as an imitation. (Don't forget, of all his talents, his most impressive, to most folk, were his impressions.) Sis didn't even know he actually was Jewish (Why should she?); I guess she just thought it was just him, practicing stuff, as usual. I remember him for a week or so distinctly saying "cherries" as if he were an old, very Hebrew-familiar rabbi or Ashkenazi, or somebody. It came out sounding (to me, if not to him) like "share", but with a strongly French accent! And if Dad could be so flexible, why not me?  :-)

"And what brought that on?", you ask.

Boy! I'm fed up with all these questions! (That one doesn't even bear thinking about!) |-(

(Parenthesis: This shpiel should be subtitled: "Essays in bold", or "You and your questions!") Cheesh!, I'm outta here!

(Finally!, you say. And you do get the last word, 'cause I've already left!)

Now that's a minor edit!

You! You can leave any time you want. But I'll be back. And you can count on that!

(Parenthesis: Actually subtitled: Beat it!)

Unfree (talk) 05:09, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Garage[edit]

I'm living in a garage again, in exchange for doing miscellaneous chores. It was supposed to be chauffeuring somebody around, but didn't turn out that way, but at least it's rent-free, which makes life possible. Unfree (talk) 00:54, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Plectrum piano[edit]

I'm surprised there's no Wikipedia article on the plectrum piano. Is that simply because nobody's ever made one? That's a poor excuse! Unfree (talk) 05:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

That's my favorite melody[edit]

Here's Dad's chorus for his "theme" song, Bye Bye Blackbird:

That's my favorite melody.
When it's sung, (just) think of me.
(They call it) Bye Bye Blackbird.
Jolson's got "My Mother's Eyes";
Cantor'll sing it til he dies;
But I'll sing Bye Bye Blackbird.
Every singer has his song nostalgic
He sings til he's arthritic and neuralgic*,
But til my hair and my voice are gone,
Til they have to wheel me on,
(I'll be singing) Blackbird, Bye-bye!
  • Mom was appalled that I thought "neuralgic" was the word here; it was actually something else ending in -algic, but I can't recall the right word any more.

Many people have forgotten that "Pack up all my care and woe..." is actually the chorus; the verse was:

Blackbird, blackbird singing the blues all day
Right outside of my door.
Blackbird, blackbird why do you sit and say
There's no sunshine in store?
All through the winter you hung around.
Now I begin to feel homeward bound.
Blackbird, blackbird gotta be on my way
Where there's sunshine galore.

I don't know why, perhaps it was a holdover from vaudeville's origins in minstrelsy, but a lot of Dad's early recordings expressed nostalgia for "Dixie", the Deep South. I suspect they were popularized by Black entertainers who found it rewarding (because their audiences liked to hear it) to paint a rosy picture of the South during the days of slavery and the Reconstruction, as if it weren't so bad for the slaves, as if they were actually happy with the status quo, and felt nostalgia for "the old plantation"! White entertainers in blackface continued the genre, I suspect.

"Bye Bye Blackbird" was one of them. Another was "Southland", a song I've forgotten and never seen in print, but which Dad often sang in duo, the other singer singing "Way Down Upon the Swanee River". (I know; that's not actually the title.) The combination led to a great counterpoint featuring (what's-it-called? "hemiola"?) a two-vs-three rhythmic contrast. I remember a line ending, "the song of the Southland". One feature that made the two sound so great together was the fact that "Swanee" had a narrow range, while "Southland" had a very wide one, making them easily distinguishable. That is, you could follow both melodies at the same time, keeping them separate in your mind. Unfree (talk) 16:16, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

I have an mp3 of the original recording, presumably from 1926, when the song was written, but don't know how to make it freely available. Unfree (talk) 20:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Richard Dyer-Bennet[edit]

Richard Dyer-Bennet once gave me a ride when I was hitch-hiking in the south-west corner of Massachusetts, not far from Great Barrington, nor from his home in Monterey. If I recall correctly (which I probably don't) I'd floated south on the Housatonic River from my home in Sheffield, MA, on a "two-man" (very small for one person) vinyl inflatable boat. I was several miles south of home, and he drove me back north to my home (actually Mom's home, "Three Hearths", which she named in concordance with her fazenda in Brazil, "Tres Corazoes" or "Three Hearts") on US route 7. (The house and its oldest hearth was built in 1639, one of the oldest in that neck of the woods.) I'd seen him in concert (I don't know why I went to a concert; usually I was too frugal for such extravagance!) somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania, where I'd arrived by following one of Guru Maharaj-ji's mahatmas on his tour of the Eastern states. I'd begun, I think, in Lenox, MA (where I was introduced to satsangs by a girl in a private girls' school named "Buffy", I think; she spent a summer centering clay on a wheel!), and progressed gradually south, having attended about half a dozen of his satsangs, each in a different town. At the concert, Richard Dyer-Bennet sang a song which repeated the words "Rightful, rightful iddy-fye-day!" It was in 6/8 time, I think, or 2/4 with triplets, and I recognized it as a version of the song "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife", containing the chorus phrase "tee-roo, tee-roo" (meaning "true, true"), which I'd sang in the Columbus Boychoir, in 3/4 time, recounting the story of a woman who, being taken into Hell, so terrified Satan and the demons that they evicted her and sent her back to her husband. His version sounded more Scottish to me; ours sounded more hillbilly, but the verses' lyrics were almost alike.

Blog[edit]

Here's my Wordpress blog: Marshall Price's blog

Make way[edit]

"Monster waves make way for rare surfing competition" is a headline on Wikinews. "To make way" is "to yield". Obviously, they mean to say "Monster waves make for rare surfing competition"! Unfree (talk) 02:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

A remarkable image[edit]

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:Scheme_ant_worker_anatomy-en.svg

I agree that this image is very good, but why isn't it better? The boldness of the lettering is inconsistent; the letters "AG" and "rs" are too close together; "Metapleural gland" bleeds beyond the box it appears in; the meaning of the Roman numerals is puzzling; the letter pairs "ha", "ca", "om", "ep", etc., are spaced too far apart; the colored boxes are of inappropriate heights; the labels on the left appear strangely to be aligned with the edge of a colored box; and the final letter of "Sternite" is obscured by the lines of the drawing. Also, the choice of a sans-serif font, less legible one with serifs, is unfortunate. Unfree (talk) 05:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)