Thursday, October 29, 2020

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, revision 4

Back in the 1990's I was asked to write an arrangement of the hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" for choir SATB and piano. Since then, every time I've revisited it, I've rewritten it.

Most recently I was looking at a perpetually troublesome section and trying to improve it. In the process I discovered some undesirable parallel perfect intervals. If I tried to eliminate parallel perfect 5ths, I ended up with parallel perfect octaves nearby.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Glacier National Park

We spent two days in Montana's Glacier National Park on Thursday and Friday (September 17–18, 2020). 

Large portions of the park were closed because of COVID-19, and smoke from the fires along the Pacific Coast hid all but the very close mountains and hills. 

In spite of those drawbacks, it was a fun visit. (We wore masks whenever we were in close proximity to other visitors.)

Friday, July 3, 2020

How to Play the Pipe Organ - by Jonathan Scott

Occasionally I've been asked how to play the pipe organ. The following YouTube video gives a good overview of how (in a previous life, it seems) I used to teach organ. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Marietta and Kirtland, Ohio, October 14-17, 2019

During the past few years as we've visited our son's family in Mount Airy, Maryland, we have taken small day trips (sometimes 3- or 4-day trips) to see places of historical significance.

This year we flew to Maryland on Tuesday, October 8.

In the interest of privacy, I won't show lots of photos of them and their small children, with whom we visited until through Sunday, October 13.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

At the invitation of my daughter, we went with them to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The visit stretched from May 30 to June 1, 2019.

We actually traveled to West Yellowstone, Montana, on May 29.

I was outnumbered by female relatives:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Pipe Organ Mutations and Arithmetic


This post shows how to use arithmetic to predict what pitch 2 2/3', 1 3/5', and 1 1/3' stops will sound relative to the fundamental 8' pitch. (It also works for 5 1/3' and other mutations.) If you hate arithmetic, already understand mutations, or are bored with organs, this is probably tl;dr (too long, don't read).

Sunday, November 11, 2018

How I Installed TNG on a Raspberry PI

Recently I've had great fun with Raspberry PIs (those small computers that cost $35.00 on Amazon—well, maybe $70.00 after you buy a case, power supply and MicroSD card). It occurred to me to try installing The Next Generation of Genealogical Sitebuilding (TNG on one of my PIs. (It is the same software I use to run the Whipple Database ( on my favorite hosting company's servers (

Monday, November 5, 2018

Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona, October 29–November 2, 2018

On Monday, October 29, my wife, youngest daughter, and I drove to the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The park is on Mountain Standard Time (an hour earlier than Mountain Daylight Time of our home), which gave us feeling of having an extra hour to drive.

It was dark as we drove the winding roads of the final few miles to our lodging at the National Park. The next morning we went exploring.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Today Barbara celebrated her birthday by visiting Big Cottonwood Canyon above Salt Lake City.  She and I took FrontRunner to our daughter's place, then drove to the canyon. We enjoyed the scenery while walking a boardwalk trail.

At Big Cottonwood Canyon

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018 Visits to Civil War Sites in Maryland and West Virginia

On June 5 we visited the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD. The following week, on June 11, we drove to Sharpsburg to visit the Antietam National Battlefield. Both visits were very educational, ... and very sobering.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

My Mayflower Ancestors

Two evenings ago my wife and I attended an original play, That First Winter, written and performed by the Drama IV Class 2018 of Mountain View High School (Orem, Utah). My across-the-street neighbor—a senior and member of that class—helped write and performed in the play.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef

We visited Goblin Valley State Park and Capital Reef National Park on October 20–21, 2017. Here are a few photos from that visit.

 Goblin Valley State Park, October 20, 2017

(For what it's worth, the movie Galaxy Quest was filmed here ...)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Visit to the National Mall, Washington, D.C., May 4-5, 1917

My wife and I decided to visit Washington's National Mall. Although I had heard of the Mall, I really wasn't expecting it to be so large. (Yes, I had visited Minneapolis' Mall of America in 1992—right after it opened and before we moved from Minnesota.) The National Mall is unlike anything I had experienced before. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Visit to Palmyra, New York, May 1 - 3, 2017

While visiting our son in Mt. Airy, Maryland, we decided to take a short trip northward to upstate New York.

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Visit to Gettysburg National Military Park

I recently visited my first historical site of the 1861-1865 war between the United States and the Confederate States. During junior high I had memorized Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and we briefly read about other battles of the Civil War. Unfortunately, however, I forgot much of the information in a fairly short time.

Friday, September 2, 2016

William Shatner and Star Trek

William Shatner ("Captain Kirk") front and center
Got to see William Shatner at the Comic Con this week. He's every bit as nice in person as he was in Star Trek. (We also saw Mark Hamill (Star Wars' Luke Skywalker) at the Comic Con.)

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Beethoven's Organ Works: A Study

My book entitled Beethoven’s Organ Works: A Study is available for purchase at and at
I prepared the book during the two weeks before and after Christmas this past December, based on a Beethoven’s Organ Works web site I had created earlier in 2015.
In the process of preparing the book for publication, I corrected several errors.
If you’re a Beethoven fan or an organ fan, I invite you to read Beethoven’s Organ Works: A Study.
Feedback is welcomed!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Invisalign Adventures

Last year (or was it early this year?) my wife talked me into taking advantage of a teeth whitening special from our dentist. The procedure involved squirting a whitening liquid or gel into some "trays"--one for my top teeth and another for the bottom teeth--and putting them in my mouth for a period of time.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Daughter-in-Law / San Antonio, Texas

Parents of the newlyweds: her parents on the left, us on the right.
At the Alamo in San Antonio, May 31, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Walmart and Watch Batteries

Lately whenever I mention that I shop at Walmart I feel like I need to offer an apology. More and more of my friends say that they "don't believe in" shopping at Walmart.

Walmart and I have had our ups and downs. ... But is has nothing to do with my belief system. Whether or not I shop there has to do mainly with price and value.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Getting His Teeth Brushed before Bed

Two-and-a half weeks ago we got to babysit our grandchild for an evening. When it was time for the bedtime story, he balked. It didn't take long for us to remember that he always gets his teeth brushed before the story.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Capitol Reef National Park, April 2-4, 2014

Barbara, Missy, Abby and I traveled to Capitol Reef National Park for a brief visit. We left Orem at 10:00 a.m. We stayed at the Rim Rock Motel in nearby Torrey, Utah.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Good Morning!

As we drove to the nearby gym for our daily workout this morning, we were greeted by this sight as the sun was about to peep over the mountain. I couldn't resist pulling over, taking my iPhone from my pocket, and taking this picture.

Today will be another good day!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Germany Trip 2013

Barbara and I visited our son in Germany for thirteen days, leaving the U.S. on April 22 and returning May 4, 2013.

During the 13-day trip we visited Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Cologne (Köln), Würzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Kattenhochstatt, Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles (near Füssen), Munich (München), Leipzig, Berlin and Hamburg (whew!).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Morning Haze

I'm not sure why I noticed this morning, but the sunrise was particularly striking. (It might be the smoke from the forest fires in neighboring states ...)

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I saw this combination of signs this afternoon while shopping at Target:
It reminded me of all the DOS programs that used to prompt me to "Press Enter to exit." (Not quite the same, but they both created a similarly confused sensation whenever I stopped to think about what I was reading ...)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You Think English Is Easy?

The following showed up in my inbox. I couldn't leave it there. (I have no idea who created it, but here it is for you to read.)

You think English is easy??

Monday, September 12, 2011

J.J. Keeler in Leipzig, circa 1932

Thanks to fellow organist Mark Bell, who emailed the above photo of our teacher, J.J. Keeler. The photo was taken during the period 1931-1933, while studying with Karl Straube in Leipzig. Keeler went to Leipzig at age 18, following graduation from high school. Thank you for teaching me how to practice! We miss you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

John's Graduation from DLI, Monterey, California, July 21- 23, 2011

After having joined the U.S. Army in January 2010, John graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey on July 21, 2011. He graduated at the head of his class (sitting at the head of the front row for the graduation).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

San Francisco, San Jose, and Monterey, California, August 23-30, 2010

Barbara and I decided to visit San Francisco for a few days, then travel to Monterey and visit our John, who was studying at the Defense Language Institute there.

On Monday, August 23, we flew via US Airways A319 to Phoenix, then an A320 to San Francisco. We took an airport shuttle to Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco's Japan Town.

The first night we found a Kinokuniya Bookstore (紀伊國屋書店).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In the Army Now!

 John joined the Army at the beginning of January, 2010.

Barbara and John just before leaving for basic training, January 3, 2010

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Dream Shattered

Somewhere over the rainbow ...
Hmmm... No pot of gold here ...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, July 23-24, 2009

We took a two-day trip to visit Yellowstone National Park on July 23-24, 2009. On the way we stopped at Paris, Idaho and Grand Teton National Park. Here are some of the photos we took:

Paris (Idaho) Tabernacle, July 23, 2009

As we drove through Paris, Idaho, we saw an interesting building, so we stopped and took some pictures:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Definitions from a (Possible) Distant Cousin

I chuckled when I received these in an e-mail from Blaine Whipple earlier today. I hope you like them, too.
A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.
Beauty Parlor:
A place where women curl up and dye.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Alexander Schreiner at a Provo AGO Convention, Early 1970s

Organist Alexander Schreiner (above) talks to organists at the sanctuary of the State Hospital in Provo. The organ behind him had been recently installed. Schreiner played several pieces on the organ, including (as I recall) Louis Vierne's Naïades. (FWIW, Alexander Schreiner is Barbara's great uncle.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Recital at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City

The photo below was taken on Christmas–25 December 2007–following a recital by my brother Walter (second from right) at the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Pictured are (left to right) Barbara, Weldon, Walter and John. (The photo was taken by Michelle Kogure, visiting from Hawaii.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rhine Cruise 2007 via Manhattan

In 2007 we took a cruise on the Rhine and other rivers in the area of Frankfurt am Main (sometime referred to at "Mainhattan" because of its skyscrapers. The cruise embarked from the Frankfurt airport. We decided to spend a day or two in Manhattan (New York City) on our want to "Mainhattan"

New York City, September 5, 2007

Our hotel (the Red Roof Inn) was across the street from the Empire State Building, so we walked to  that building on our first evening in New York City.

Barbara in the first-floor foyer of the Empire State Building

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Our 2005 Visit to England, the Netherlands, and France

Barbara and I visited our daughter in the UK in August 2005. After our visit, we rode the Chunnel to Brussels, then visited the Netherlands and France.

We visited Lakenheath, London, Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, and Bocking (Essex) in the UK. Then we took the Aerostar ("Chunnel") to the Continent and visited Amsterdam, the Hague, Versailles, and Paris.

RAF Lakenheath August 10

Our plane landed at London's Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, August 10, We managed to navigate the Metro across London, then took a train to Cambridge. While awaiting a train to Brandon, we took this photo of a taxi. (We briefly considered taking a cab to Lakenheath, but changed our minds.)

We considered taking a taxi, but changed our mind.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Haiku: R.I.P., W.B.S

Work Breakdown Structure
Outdated, ineffective
May you rest in peace.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Haiku: eXtreme Programming

eXtreme Programming.
If it's too extreme for you,
Use what works ... for now.

Haiku: Waterall Design

Waterfall design
Fundamental in the past
Now deprecated

Haiku: TDD

What is TDD?
Test Driven Development
Higher Quality
—W. Whipple

Haiku: From the Finale Mailing List: Windows

  1. Chaos reigns within.
    Reflect, repent, and reboot.
    Order shall return.
  2. Program aborting:
    Close all that you have worked on.
    You ask far too much.
  3. Windows NT crashed.
    I am the Blue Screen of Death.
    No one hears your screams.
  4. Yesterday it worked.
    Today it is not working.
    Windows is like that.
  5. Your file was so big.
    It might be very useful.
    But now it is gone.
  6. A crash reduces
    your expensive computer
    to a simple stone.
  7. Three things are certain:
    Death, taxes and lost data.
    Guess which has occurred?
  8. Out of memory.
    We wish to hold the whole sky,
    But we never will.
  9. Having been erased,
    The document you’re seeking
    must now be retyped.
  10. Serious error.
    All shortcuts have disappeared.
    Screen. Mind. Both are blank

Haiku: Two Christmas Haiku by Kurt Gnos

A Christmas concert
All angels are frolocking
singing "Silent Night"...

Winter - snow falling
Jingle Bells in Finale
Might as well be spring...

Haiku: Japanese Language

Japanese language
Even the children speak it
It must be easy...
—Kurt Gnos

Thursday, October 28, 2004

October 2004 Hawaii Vacation

On Thursday, October 21, 2004, we flew to Honolulu to visit our son John, a programmer for Konami Software. We took John's surfboard (wrapped in bubble wrap) in the back of our pickup to the airport and shipped it as excess baggage to Honolulu. We left SLC at 1:10 p.m. and arrived in Honolulu at 6:10 p.m., after a brief stop in Los Angeles. We stayed at the Waikiki Gateway Hotel.

Exploring Honolulu, Friday, October 22

After continental breakfast on the 16th floor of theWaikiki Gateway, Barbara and I hopped a bus to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Saturday, September 1, 2001

July-August 2001 Japan Trip

On Thursday, July 26, Barbara and I flew to Japan's Kansai Airport via Los Angeles. Crossing the International Date Line, we arrived at about 6:00 p.m. The Iwaki family met our flight and drove us to their home in Kawanishi in northwestern Kansai.

On the way they stopped at a restaurant named Gyōza no Ōshō (餃子の王将), where Barbara and I had yakisoba. (It was delicious!) We met the father Masaaki, Yasuko his wife, daughter Emi, 17-year-old son Shō, and 14-year-old son Kei. The family was extremely gracious to us.

Suffering from jet lag, we went directly to sleep on futons in the living room.

Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium, and Okamachi, July 28

After breakfast, Yasuko drove us to Osaka Castle, the Osaka Aquarium, and to the Okamachi Branch.

Masaaki and Yasuko Iwaki with Barbara and Weldon at Osaka Castle

Tuesday, July 21, 1992

1992 Visit to Isle Royale National Park

In 1992 we lived in Rochester, Minnesota. Bernie Allen, my son's scoutmaster, asked me to go with him and some scouts to spend a week at Isle Royale National Park, located on an island in Lake Superior. I accepted his invitation.

Besides Bernie, my son John, and me, a second scout, Scott Cook came on the week-long trip. (More scouts had expected to go, but their vacations ended up in conflict.) The four of us had a good time.

Saturday, June 3, 1989

IBM Trip to Tokyo Software Evaluation Lab, May 1989

On Friday, May 5, 1989 I flew from Minnesota to Tokyo for a three-week trip to work in IBM's Tokyo Software Evaluation Lab (TSEL).  Barbara joined me on Tuesday, May 16. We returned together on Sunday, May 28.

I stayed at Tokyo's Capitol Tokyu Hotel until May 16. During that time it was all work. On Saturday, May 13, I met Heisuke Wada (who with me had opened the Wakayama Branch in 1970). After we had some cheesecake at a restaurant, he left for the Narita Airport for an around-the-world business trip for Levis Japan. (His trip would take him to Las Vegas, Mississippi, and Stuttgart.)

On Sunday, May 14, I met Minoru Kamada. We went to Shibuya for lunch. It was good to see him again.

Barbara was tired and suffering from jet lag when she arrived on May 16. Thanks to our homework in finding maps and printed guides of Tokyo and Japan, she was able to make her way around Tokyo without getting lost while I worked at TSEL until the weekend.

On our first Saturday together (May 20), we took the Shinkansen to Kyoto and Nara.

In Nara and Kyoto we saw many beautiful Buddhist and Shinto temples. Here are a few photos:

Barbara and me at Southern Octagonal Hall of Kōfukuji (興福寺), Nara

Sunday, July 17, 1988

Kerry Arbon at the Assembly Hall Organ

Kerry Arbon playing on the Assembly Hall organ on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 17, 1988. We were visiting from Minnesota that day.

Friday, December 25, 1987

IBM Trip to Fujisawa, Japan, December 1987

The week before Thanksgiving 1987, IBM asked me to go to Fujisawa, Japan, to help them set up IDSS (Integrated Development Support System). Gary Doerge went with me. We flew Northwest Airlines from Minneapolis to Tokyo, leaving Saturday, December 5, at 6:35 a.m., and arriving at Narita Airport the next day. IBMers in Japan work very late—often until 9:00 or 10:00 pm. They arrive at work at precisely the same time every morning (likely because the subways are so punctual in Tokyo?). We returned to Minnesota on Saturday, December 19.

On Saturday, December 12, Gary and I met Minoru Kamada (whom I first met in Wakayama in late 1970). In Tokyo, we visited the Ginza, the Akihabara electronics district, and Shibuya-ku. At the end of the day we took the Shinkansen back to Fujisawa.

My good friend Minoru Kamada (left) and me, in Tokyo, December 12, 1987

Sunday, April 18, 1976

Graduate Recital at the Provo Tabernacle

Provo Tabernacle, April 18, 1976

Monday, December 31, 1973

Readying for a Recital

At the Walcker organ, Madsen Recital Hall, 1973

Thursday, March 25, 1971

Darwin Wolford

I took this photo of Darwin Wolford and his wife Julie at the Gazebo Concert at Ricks College on 25 March 1971. I first met Darwin (composer and organist) in 1967-68 as a freshman at Ricks. He was still single. I recall going on a double date with him to see "Valley of the Dolls" at the movie theater in nearby Rigby. He was also the person who introduced me to P.D.Q. Bach. His compositions probably inspired me to dabble at composition myself. I still play his organ preludes frequently. I just googled and read that he retired in 2004. He was a good friend.

Friday, March 12, 1971

Japan, 1968-1971

On October 20, 1968, I set foot on Japanese soil, where I would server as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (末日聖徒イエスキリスト教会) for nearly 2 1/2 years. I'll try to give a flavor of those years through photographs.

Kobe, October 20, 1968–March 22, 1969

Early Sunday morning, October 20, our plane from Honolulu landed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. (The Narita Airport wasn't around at the time.) Our flight to the old Osaka Airport must have arrived by 9:00 or 9:30 a.m. The Okazakis met our plane and drove us to Kobe, where we attended church at the Kobe Branch. I knew no Japanese; it was hard to imagine that everyone all around me spoke another language ... and understood each other.

After church, we all boarded a city bus and rode to downtown Sannomiya. We got off at the Daiei Department store and rode the escalator to the top (7th?) floor—a large restaurant—for lunch. I had my first ramen. The smells were so strange. The sound of the slurping of soup was everywhere.

After lunch we went to the Rokko Mansion, the apartment where we would stay for a week of focused Japanese study. I think our apartment must have been on the 5th floor? The apartment was a block or two from the Rokko Station of the Hankyū Densha (Railroad). We learned our first hiragana that afternoon.

Before bed they took us to the neighborhood sentō (public bath). The Japanese public baths were segregated by gender: males in one side and females in the other. (As one first entered the sentō, it was possible to glance into the other side of the bath, but I got used to it.)

We slept on futons on tatami mats. When I awoke Monday morning, I took the following photo out the window:

Looking south from the mission home elders' quarters in Kobe, Japan, October 21, 1968