Having a yard

So, having a yard is both a blessing and a curse (as everyone who has a yard knows). We’ve spent a fair amount of time and money on ours recently, what with the usual fixing sprinklers (a new tradition in my life that makes me wonder about whether sprinklers or irrigation is better), fertilizing, planting flowers, etc.

One of the big projects we just finished was to take out a bunch of ivy in the back corner of our yard, and then to grind down the three or four stumps in the yard (as well as the 5 or 6 stumps we found in the ivy patch). Rosanne’s parents rented the grinder for their house, and then brought it up to ours and helped us grind ours down as well.

And, our fence is in really poor condition, so replacing one side of it is another project coming up really soon. I’m looking forward to that one.

On top of that, there is the weeding, the mowing, the weed-wipping, the trimming, the spraying, etc. etc. that takes tons of time and effort.

 

However…

 

Then you look out at your yard, and it actually looks really nice, and it is so neat! Earlier this year a couple decorative trees that we have were in full bloom–two of them had white blossoms, and two had purple (flowering plum trees, I think). They looked really pretty! (sorry, I didn’t think to take a picture). And then you see how much better your yard looks because of your efforts. For me I have to say that having a yard is worth the effort (so far–that could change).

Classical Soundtracks

I have to say, I quite enjoy a lot of John Williams’ soundtracks. When the initial Harry Potter films and the Star Wars prequels came out, I rather poo-pooed his music, as it didn’t seem to really contribute much to the films and what was going on–it was more background noise than anything (However, if you think about the movies that said music was for, then perhaps it is excusable to have written background-noise music for background-noise movies).

At any rate, I’ve been listening to his music again recently, and have enjoyed a fair amount of it. It was rather interesting to listen to the Harry Potter soundtracks in order. In the first one only the main theme is listenable, the second one has a little more music that is good (Phawkes’ theme), and the third has a fair amount of music that I enjoy.

Here are some of my favorites from John Williams:

  • Star Wars – Throne Room, Empire March, Asteroid field, Yoda’s Death, Luke and Vader fight
  • Hook – Main theme, “You are the Pan”
  • Harry Potter – Phawkes’ theme, Hedwig’s theme, Buckbeak’s flight, A Window to the Past
  • Empire of the Sun – Cadillac of the Skies
  • The Patriot – Preparing for Battle
  • Indiana Jones – Main theme, Grail theme, and “Scherzo for Motorcycle & Orchestra” (mostly because of the title)
  • Jurassic Park – Main theme, Dinosaur theme

 

Some of my other favorite classical soundtracks/composers are:

  • Basil Poledouris (Hunt for Red October, Les Miserables, Quigley Down Under)
  • James Horner (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Legends of the Fall, Glory, and… dare I say it? …Titanic)
  • Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Da Vinci Code, Batman Begins)
  • Jerry Goldsmith (Rudy, The Shadow)
  • Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings)
  • Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Carribean, Time Machine)
  • Patrick Doyle (Henry V, Harry Potter 4)
  • Trevor Pinnock (Last of the Mohicans)
  • James Newton Howard (Lady in the Water, Signs, The Village, Atlantis)
  • Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
  • Danny Elfman (Spiderman, Corpse Bride)

Any good ones I’ve missed?