I have many other interests unrelated to astrophotography. Some
of them are listed below. As time goes on, I intend to add
information related to interests in physics, mathematics, geographic
artificial intelligence, etc.
A discussion arose on the astrophotography list server regarding the
capabilities of the HP PhotoSmart Scanner. Someone reported seeing scan
lines. I have
seen them but very rarely. So people were wondering how well this
works for non-astrophotography slides. Over the years, I have taken a
of slides featuring places out here in the west. I have scanned some of
using the HP PhotoSmart Scanner and placed them out there so you can
how they turned out. See the western photo
I'm a banjo player and tenor singer and long-time member of the Arizona
Bluegrass Association. I Started playing the banjo in Virginia in 1975.
Mathematicians in general tend to be musicians. I believe it is related
to pattern-recognition skills. The banjo allows a high degree of
creativity. Playing it is, in some ways, similar to talking where you
compose what you are going to say in real-time while maintaining the
theme of course.
Banjo Lessons for Beginners
These items are for the banjo workshop Keith Freedman and I gave at the
"Ranching & Mining Music Festival 2009" held on October 17th
School in Peeples
BasicBanjoDocument.doc - Overview document.
- If you have GuitarPro
BasicBanjo.mid - If you want
to listen to the licks.
BasicBanjo.pdf - If you don't
have GuitarPro but want to see the tablature.
Listen to Maricopa County Breakdown.mid
Copyright 2003, Howard C. Anderson , All Rights ReservedB
Maricopa County Breakdown.gp4 - for Guitar Pro 4
and above users...
Listen to The Gunfighter.mid
Copyright 2006, Howard C. Anderson, All Rights Reserved
The Gunfighter.gp4 - for Guitar Pro
and above users...
The Gunfighter.mp3 Copyright 2007,
Howard C. Anderson, Bill Breen, Lynn Breen, All Rights Reserved.
Howard on banjo,
Bill Breen on Guitar, Lynn Breen on bass.
Daybreak in Arizona is in open Cm
tuning, i.e., GCGCD# Thanks Bill
Breen for showing me this tuning!
Guitar is capoed up 3
Listen to Daybreak in Arizona.mid
Copyright 2007, Howard C. Anderson, All Rights Reserved.
Daybreak in Arizona.gp4 - for Guitar Pro
4 and above users.
Daybreak in Arizona Track1.pdf
The sheet music of track 1
Daybreak in Arizona Track2.pdf
The sheet music of track 2
Daybreak in Arizona Track3.pdf
The sheet music of track 3
Reuben's Train, Train 45, Norwegian Wood.mp3
Copyright 2007, Howard C. Anderson, Bill Breen, Lynn Breen. Bill
on lead banjo, Howard on other banjo, Lynn on bass.
In 1975, Susan said "Let's go to the 'Harper's Ferry First Annual
Fiddle and Banjo Contest'. I said OK. I had been playing
the guitar prior to that time for 10 years. No bluegrass, just
folk and rock and roll. I thought OK, sitting in the sun for a
couple of days would be fine. I had no great expectations.
We had just bought a little camper and wanted to get out of the
house. Susan and I sat in the sun for two days with a tape
recorder and we recorded much of the contest. That Harper's Ferry
event was what led to me playing the banjo. I loved the sound of
the banjo and could not get it out of my mind. I mentioned it at
work in the Pentagon and one of my colleagues, a fighter pilot, said
he'd sell me a banjo for $15. He said it had been owned in
succession by three fighter pilots in Viet Nam, none of them learned to
play it, and he brought it home with him. For $15 I though I
could give it a try. (If it had been $250 I would still be
playing the guitar -- I thought the banjo was as close to impossible to
play as anything...) Six to ten hours a day on weekends and 3 to
4 hours every night for the first year (no kidding...) and I was
subsequently just barely able to call myself a beginning banjo player...
One of the songs I worked on was something we taped at the Harper's
Ferry contest, Dixie Breakdown, as played by Linda Slaughter - Don't
know if the name is spelled right because I never saw it in print, just
heard it mentioned on the stage. I learned it pretty well
although I still don't play it smoothly. It is a Don Reno tune
and is reasonably difficult. Linda played it very well. I
believe I was able to figure out what she played and learned to play it
similar to the way she played it. It took some real doing.
I was at a party in Virginia and some kid played it and I asked him if
he would show me the "licks" in one part of the song and he
refused! That made me more determined than ever. I finally
got it although that section of the song still causes me trouble.
It does a TIMITIMIT... roll (Thumb, Index, Middle, Index, Thumb...)
which is unlike any of the rolls I normally do. I just need to
practice it for a few hundred hours - Literally - I do not
have enough time to do all the things I want to do... ( If the genetic
engineers would just get busy, I could live forever. I know they
will get a handle on the aging process eventually. I've told
people that if I miss that by like just five years, I'm going to
I have just transcribed the song as well as I can at this point and it
plays better electronically anyway than I can play it. Hope
others can learn it. I don't get to play it much in jam sessions
because hardly anyone is familiar with it. At least you won't
have to puzzle over the "secret lick"... Its all here:
Dixie Breakdown.mid - Midi file
Dixie Breakdown.gp4 - for Guitar
Down the Road
Here is a tune that I have known for many years but only recently
figured out how to play it to
my satisfaction. The trick is to use slides to make it smooth.
Down the Road.mid - Midi file
Down the Road.gp4 - for
Guitar Pro 4 (and higher) users...
Blood on the Fretboard
(Inspired by the song "Blood on the Saddle" and bass players I have
Banjo plays a variation of Earl's breakdown...
Oh, there was
Blood on the fretboard, blood all around,
And a pool of bassman blood was covering the ground
Then the guy on banjo said "Hey lets pick it up!"
The bassman groaned and staggered and whimpered like a pup.
When it all was over his hand was mighty sore,
He of course don't know that yet, he's passed out on the floor.
He awoke next day at noon, his hand it still was sore,
but when the evening rolled around, he said let's play some more!
Blood on the Fretboard - Midi file
Blood on the Fretboard.gp4 -
Lyrics for Soldier's Joy written by Joe Magie
As far as I know, Soldier's Joy did not have words. I think it was
just a fiddle tune. Joe doesn't have a web page so I
offered to post
his words here:
Soldiers Joy Lyrics
Susan took each of these photos.
(Click on a thumbnail image below to see a larger image.)
Playing banjo on the Mongollon Rim.
"Bluegrass Express" playing at the Desert Botanical Garden during
Luminaria Night. We played there several nights each year for 10
years beginning in 1990. For the first two or three years they
put us up on the hill pretty far from everyone else. One would
follow a trail lighted only by Luminarias (paper bags containing lit
candles - actually really beautiful at night.) The crowds got so
big that they blocked the trail. Staff members asked us to take
rest breaks so they would disperse.
In later years, they moved us down around the buildings where other
were and where there was a large patio so that allowed crowds to gather
without blocking the trails.
When I first started, I was really dedicated.
These photos were taken at our home in
Wickenburg contest 2003
I've always had a strong interest in music from as early as I can
remember. I never took lessons as a child. I doubt we could have
afforded them so
I never asked (who knows, lessons might have killed my interest). I
had a musical instrument except for some harmonicas I bought in Germany
when I was 9 (my Father was an Army Warrant Officer). Lost them on a
MATS flight home from Germany when we unexpectedly changed planes in
the Azores - due I think to the little rivulets of oil flowing over the
wing on my side of the plane. I told my mother who then reported it.
The pilot came back and looked and said "no problem" but he came back
every half-hour of the remainder of our six-hour flight to the Azores
There were no musical instruments in our house until I was seventeen
when my parents bought an old piano. You know, the kind where the ivory
on the ends of some of the keys is chipped off? I worked with a friend
on some rock and roll duets and learned a tiny bit about chords. I
became interested in classical so I bought the sheet music for
Beethovan's Moonlight Sonata, recoded the notes into a form I could
work with, wrote the names of the notes on the
piano keys in pencil so I could tell which key was which note and set
learning/memorizing the first movement bar-by-bar. By the time I was
I was able to play the first movement of Moonlight Sonata rather well.
piano was my refuge in many ways. When I was in college I found the
practice rooms and played whenever I had time and was able to find an
unlocked room with a piano. (Thank you whoever left those unlocked
sometimes...) I began composing some music after learning Moonlight
Sonata. Over the years, I added to it. When I began working with home
computers I was able to store it and get a printout of it. I had never
written the music down prior to that time, simply composed it and
memorized it. Using the Music Construction Set on the
Amiga, I was able to add to it and refine it a bit. I just re-entered
music note-by-note on the PC so that it is now in MIDI form for the
At this point, I cannot play all of it on the piano (I don't "read"
music although I do understand the notation and can work with it.) but
the computer has allowed me to save it so that I can share it with you
if you are interested:
Listen to Muse.mid (12KB, 2 Minutes 22
A more recent composition:
I've had an Amateur Radio Operators (HAM) license since age 14. My call
letters are K7AZA. I often use the Arizona Repeater Association (I'm a
repeater on Mount Ord to call my wife when I am out observing with the
A tribute to our big, beautiful, lovable Birman cat.
Susan and I have back-to-back computers. We are both currently off-line
editing our home pages as I write this. We were married in 1970 and the
since then have been the best times of my life. She makes everything
worthwhile. She's my best friend.
In 1995, after much puzzlement on the part of several doctors and
after losing 62 pounds, she was finally diagnosed as having "Carcinoid"
cancer. This is an extremely rare form of very slow growing cancer
that, in the
past, was thought to be non-malignant. It had nearly completely blocked
small intestine. This strange malady we now believe was present as far
as 1988 when her first symptoms began to appear.
Susan's home page contains information and links to other
carcinoid-related information sites uncovered by her extensive research
on the Internet. Her site also contains information related to her
other many interests, books, bluegrass music, government, current
issues, prayer lists, humor, Arizona information including links to
scenery and cowboy poetry, and genealogy.
Susan's Home Page
Howard C. Anderson