Skip to main content

The Sound of Music!

So I took my two older children (11 and 10) to see a local high school version of The Sound of Music.  It was enjoyable but also surprising in a few ways.  I think it was well above the level that my old high school could have done (go Ki-Be!).  The singing was well done and the acting was very good.  The only issue was that some of the microphones kept cutting in and out (sure, not quite broadway but did I mention it was a high school musical?) and that it ran quite a bit longer than I expected - it was 3 hours total.  However, it was good enough that after two hours, during intermission, I asked my kids if they wanted to go home (we are one hour past their regular bed time at this point) and both of them said they wanted to see the rest.  So we stayed.

The story followed the movie with a few changes that didn't really change the story line.  It was fun to watch and well done.  In fact, there was one scene that really affected me.  During the music festival scene (right before the family escapes from the Nazis), they dropped a bunch of Nazi banners from the ceiling and had a bunch of Nazis take up positions all around the auditorium.  It was downright creepy!  I think I got a very small inkling of what it might be like to live under an oppressive regime and it was not good!  However, they kind of made up for it by having Rolf do the right thing in the end and let the family get away (I told you it wasn't exactly like the movie).

Overall I had a good time with my kids and enjoyed the musical.


Popular posts from this blog

Insteon: Controller vs Responder

This entry is going to be more of a technical article.  If you're not planning on setting up scenes in an Insteon environment, this isn't for you.  If you are or like me, have been running into some confusion about what should be set up as a controller, what should be a responder, and what should be both.  Here's what I learned.

I've been using Insteon switches for a couple of years now and had set up a few scenes.  When adding a switch to a scene, you have the option of adding it as a controller, a responder, or both.  Not knowing the difference and wanting to cover my bases, I set all of my scenes to both.  Since my scenes were all timing type scenes (e.g. turn on night lights at sunset) it worked fine.  Then I added an 8 button keypad and started programming the buttons to control other lights.  The program for this, of course, is a scene.  Once again, I set every switch and button as both a controller and a responder.  Then I created a scene, specifically for my E…


I just finished reading The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. It's a biographical novel of Michelangelo (you know, the famous sculptor/artist whose statue of David and the paintings in the Cistine Chapel are super famous) that gives a very interesting view of his life. It seems that while Michelangelo had a very productive life, it wasn't a very happy one.

One of the first things that I noticed about Stone's portrayel of Michelangelo is that he was obsessed with creating sculptures and a true perfectionist. For a large portion of his life (into his 60s it seems) his every action was calculated toward a goal of sculpting marble - either getting a commission or improving his talent (or both). Not only did he want to sculpt, he wanted his pieces to be as real as possible.

His obsession with carving perfect sculptures drove him to do endless studies of the human form. He even spent months sneaking into a morgue to dissect bodies so he could figure out how the body real…

Sonos Control with the Amazon Echo - How I did it

I've had my Amazon Echo for a year or so and one thing that I've wanted ever since I purchased it, is to be able to use voice commands to control my Sonos speakers.  I waited patiently (OK  not patiently) for Sonos skill to appear on the Echo but it still hasn't come.  I was encouraged when Sonos announced it was going to focus more on voice but still nothing.  Isn't there any way to control my Sonos with my Echo?

Yes - sort of.

WARNING: This post is not for the faint of heart because the solution is not trivial.

So, I found a project on github that uses another project on github combined with a custom skill on
the Echo via a web service hosted by AWS Lambda.  OK, that was the easy part.  I knew that going in.  That's why, initially, I waited.  There must be an elegant solution out there.  I searched and waited and searched again and waited again.  Finally I decided to give it a try.  If it worked it would be really cool.  If it didn't, well I'm no worse o…