Gadzooks, It’s Not a Backslash

We’ve been into this World Wide Web thing for a while now. That’s right — it’s really been over 20 years, despite what certain fictional histories might lead you to believe. Despite that, you still hear many people in various forms of communication misread web addresses like this:

“Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah backslash something else.”

Nope — it ain’t a backslash. Take this web address:

http://www.nytimes/cooking

Those slashes above aren’t backslashes, sisters and brothers. Nope, those are forward slashes.

Why do people suffer from this misapprehension? Well, it may come from the legacy of a computer that (once-upon-a-time, when people saw it nearly every day) featured a little prompt that looked a little sumthin’ like this:

C:\>_

That prompt contained a backslash, but web addresses do not. Note that the problem became rampant enough that many web browsers actually convert back slashes to forward slashes if people try to type them in.

Over time, people have realized the error and have begun to read web addresses: “Find more information at so-de-so blah-de-blah forwardslash something else.” There’s no need to do this either. Just say “slash,” everybody.

To clear up another misapprehension, if you’ve (unfortunately) got the Facebook, you do have the internet:

It’s J.J. Johnson’s Birthday, 2018

It’s J.J. Johnson’s Birthday! This is from J.J. Inc, one of my very favorite recordings from this fantastic musician, who left us in 2001. J.J. Inc was recorded in August 1960 for Columbia Records, NYC, and released on April 10, 1961. The other personnel include Clifford Jordon, Tenor Sax, Arthur Harper, Bass, Albert Heath, Drums, Cedar Walton piano, and a young and fiery Freddie Hubbard on trumpet.

Here’s Mowhawk from the album:

Happy 2018, But Not For Donald Trump

Twilight Zone with Donald Trump

Just like the headline says, Happy 2018. It’s now been nearly a year since Donald Trump entered the White House. By Trump’s own design, each day, then each week, of his administration has featured mind-blowing, (and too numerous to list), antics, lies, and plain old bullshit. Trump believes — just like anyone with good reality show TV experience — that these antics are absolutely necessary to try and “get over” with 30-something percent of the American People. It’s all made worse by the fact that Donald J. Trump knows he absolutely guilty of everything.

Of course he denies it, but he knows he’s guilty of Russian collusion and almost every other charge directed his way, and it’s eating away at him. Trump is a haunted man, but unlike on the old Perry Mason TV show, he’s not going to just suddenly confess everything in court. (Notice how the trombones sometimes enter when whoever-it-is confesses?)

Some mental health care experts have offered that maybe President Donald J. Trump is losing it. Of course he is. He’s in one of the most uniquely ridiculous situations a citizen of the United States could possibly find themselves in: Unintentional Presidency of the United States. Trump is completely out of his depth. Daily, he tries to deal with subjects beyond his grasp while simultaneously possessing an ego which self-labels “stable genius.” This, dear friends, is where bluff and bluster meet their limits. Or is it?

Sure, you could write this plot into a movie and some people would believe it. Some people would, which is how he got elected in the first place.

Jack Teagarden High Tone Studies

High Tone Studies for Trombone

Almost any English teacher can be counted on to make some sort of a handout on when to use a comma. It’s sort of that same way with brass players and exercise books, going back — at least — to Arbans famous method.

Both comma handouts and brass exercise books have this in common: despite some points of controversy, you end up with lots of similar material and advice. And yet, despite all that, there’s still the occasional insight and innovation.

In 1936, Jack Teagarden, the jazz trombonist from Vernon, Texas, known for his ability to play a whole lot of trombone in the first 4 positions, came out with his High Tone Studies for Trombone, a short treatise of 51 exercises designed to help get the player up to a high D. The book is currently available on Apple’s iBooks, and also at Cherry Classics Music. As CCM’s blurb says, “it is obvious that Teagarden had put a lot of thought into his technique.” A bit of classic good advice from the book:

Do not force or strain at any time. Rest frequently.