Yesterday I did, in fact, hit 25,000 steps. I ended the day with 28,828. I considered going for one more 15-minute walk to hit 30,000, but decided I'd had enough for the day, and went to bed—and got 7½ hours of sleep.
This morning it was once again clear and crisp (but above freezing), so I walked to work, just over 6 km and one hour of walking, and about 7,000 steps. So at 11am, I've already got 9,200. With a forecast 11°C and an Apollo Chorus rehearsal 5 km away, I might hit 20,000 again today.
Tomorrow's forecast looks even better for walking. Wednesday looks OK, too. And then it will rain all day Thursday. Still, I'm confident of making a pretty good showing in a Fitbit challenge going on this week.
And as we have just a two more days of meteorological winter, I'm also ever more confident that January 1st will remain the coldest day of 2018. (We'll see what happens in late December.)
And with that, I'm off to Starbucks, and probably 10,000 steps before noon.
Yesterday started with a performance on local television and ended with a three-hour rehearsal and midnight showing of Star Wars. I'd already planned to go into work late today, but Parker didn't eat dinner last night and he refused breakfast this morning, so I'm waiting to see if I can get him to the vet.
With that and other things up for grabs today, plus two more performances this weekend, posting might suffer a bit.
I'm on the Board of Directors for the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and information technology is my portfolio. Under that aegis, I'm in the process of taking all of our donor and membership spreadsheets and stuffing them into a new Neon CRM setup.
So far, it's going well, and it's going to make the organization a lot more effective at managing membership, events, and donations.
That said, in the last 24 hours I've logged five bug reports, including one of the most frustrating user experience (UX) bugs possible: a broken back button. This UX failure is so well-known and so irritating that we were talking about it when I started developing Web apps in the late 1990s. Jakob Nielsen called it the #1 web design mistake...of 1999:
The Back button is the lifeline of the web user and the second-most-used navigation feature (after following hypertext links). Users happily know that they can try anything on the web and always be saved by a click or two on Back to return them to familiar territory.
Except, of course, for those sites that break Back by committing one of these design sins:
- opening a new browser window (see mistake #2)
- using an immediate redirect: every time the user clicks Back, the browser returns to a page that bounces the user forward to the undesired location
- prevents caching such that the Back navigation requires a fresh trip to the server; all hypertext navigation should be sub-second and this goes double for backtracking
Neon, however, has made some alternative design choices, and even has a FAQ explaining how they've broken the rules.
Seriously, guys. It's a good product, but wow, is that irritating.
If you're in the Chicago area, today is your last chance to see the Apollo Chorus "American Masters" concert.
We're performing Jeff Beal's "Salvage Men," with Beal himself in attendance (and playing flugelhorn on his "Poor in Sprit" later in the concert). Tickets are still available, $35 at the door ($15 for students), this afternoon at 3pm at Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.
Things to read today:
And finally, the Chicago Tribune has an article on our concert this weekend, and composer Jeff Beal performing in it:
"I suppose it might have been DNA asserting itself," said Beal, who will be in Chicago May 5 and Evanston May 7 when the celebrated Apollo Chorus includes his "The Salvage Men" and "Poor in Spirit" as part of their 145th-season-ending spring concert, "American Masters," in Chicago and Evanston. "It's true that [my grandmother] passed on her love of improvisation, but there's also something almost eerily similar about what she did, watching a screen and creating her own musical accompaniment, and what I do in my day job."
[H]e had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. Though he took seven years to process the news before beginning to write "The Salvage Men" in 2014.
Serendipitously, that was about the time that Apollo Chorus music director Stephen Alltop, who studied with Beal at Eastman, got back in touch to praise Beal's work on" House of Cards" and suggest the possibility of doing a concert together. Which explains why Beal and his new choral works are appearing in Chicago directly after their debuts in London and Los Angeles. Beal also will perform solo trumpet over the comparatively simple text of his "Poor in Spirit," — it consists entirely of one repeated phrase from the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit" — much as he often plays trumpet over the score of "House of Cards."
Tickets are available through the Apollo Chorus website. It's going to be an amazing concert.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago held its annual benefit on April 7th, with me as benefit chair. We raised more money than at any previous benefit, as far as we know. I've got some photos to post; here's the first, of soprano Meaghan Stainback and alto Molly Mikos:
Our choral benefit is tonight, and I'm benefit chair, so posting will be sparse.
And hey, come to Uptown Underground at 7pm with an open checkbook! We've got a few tickets left.
The Apollo Chorus of Chicago are literally in the mix of the upcoming Netflix show Sense8. You can hear us in this promo.
We haven't been able to share this information until just now. The chorus recorded a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at our November 21st rehearsal. (I unfortunately missed the rehearsal, so I'm not singing in the episode. Boo.)
Yesterday the Apollo Chorus of Chicago sang Händel's Messiah for (possibly) the 274th time since we first sang it in 1879. We're going to do it again this afternoon. Our local ABC affiliate has more:
For nearly a century and a half, the Apollo Chorus has brought beautiful music to Chicago. On this night, the all-volunteer choir is rehearsing for one of the city's most cherished holiday traditions: a performance of Handel's "Messiah."
"When we sing Messiah, since Handel wrote it - think of how many thousands and how many choruses have sung it in how many countries and we're a part of that," chorus [president] David Beer said.
So, it's a fluff piece, but apparently I was on TV. Thus the link.
Seats are still available for today's 2pm performance.
We had perfect weather this weekend, including for last night's performance of Mahler's 2nd, and it's still pretty epic, which is why I haven't posted a lot. Except for a brief interval to do a stupid task in my office, and after catching up on Game of Thrones, it's time to take a walk. Not sure when I'll be back.
I haven't hit 25,000 steps since March 8th, and I've only hit 30,000 steps once. I don't think I'll hit either today, but if I do, I'll blog about it.