February 12th, 2006


snow and searchlights

Last night we met with a couple who are heavily into Byzantine chant. It's a fascinating subject, and the notation is very different from Western musical notation. (It gives a pitch at phrase boundaries, and then expresses notes in terms of the pitch difference between notes, and the path you take to get there. No staff required.)

After that we and the couple who introduced us to the other couple went to El Águila Real for dinner. (Billie and I had to do it, so we could forget the horrid lunch experience we had at the new (to Des Moines) Qdoba Mexican Grill. Food assembled from lukewarm prefab ingredients. Chips that weren't just salted, but coated with a layer of salt, so that eating them burned one's mouth. Wretched; wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.)

After excellent food and great conversation, we headed home, and on the way we saw something very neat.

First, you should know about the weather in effect at the time. Every once in a while, certain factors combine: night, below freezing temperatures, light snow, dead calm (at least at the surface). The result of this combination is a dusting of perfect individual flakes of snow glittering in the streetlights...

...but tonight one of the local night clubs was doing what they do from time to time: run one of those Sky Tracker multiple-beam searchlights out in the parking lot. Those circumstances combined to produce a wonderful result: the searchlight beams glittered.

Darn, I wish I'd had a video camera.
  • Current Music
    "Snowflakes are Dancing," Debussy