New Years’ Eve, 12.31.2016

Pearls Before Swine cartoon for 12.31.2016 by Stephan Pastis.
Pearls Before Swine cartoon for 12.31.2016 by Stephan Pastis.

Getting over major events and holidays where you previously drank heavily are always a bit tough while sober, especially the first few times.

The anxieties leading up to these events or holidays are the worst part, at least for me.

Finding out whether or not you can get through a New Years’ Eve without drinking, for example, is a big one.

Sure, for every New Years’ Eve from, say, 1983-2013, I would either work, get plastered, or some combination thereof.

That doesn’t mean I can’t do something else today.

That’s all I have to say to myself.

That, and, not drink.

I recently came across this article on NPR, by Sarah Hepola, which was pretty good.

Eat, Don’t Drink And Still Be Merry: Staying Sober Through The Holidays

She takes a while to get there, but I like her closing sentiments a lot:

But in time, I got used to this new world, and more accepting of myself. I still go to holiday parties, although I tend to arrive early and leave when everyone starts talking really loudly, but I don’t struggle with that sense of radioactive weirdness anymore. I feel at home in my body, and in the world, in a way I did not for many years.

So if you’re struggling to stay sober, hang in there. Because that feeling of comfort — of no longer being wracked by shame for who you are or what you did — is a gift the bottle can never give you. But it is a gift you can give yourself.

With only two years of New Years’ Sober Eves under my belt, I’m still working on it, but I feel like I’m getting there.

But, back to today, 12.31.2016.

The best things about New Years’ Eve are surrounding yourself with good friends and family, hanging out, talking, eating, and agreeing to work together towards a better next year.

We just have to try.


Please turn to number 74 and join with the clarinets in “All Glory, Laud, and Honor”.

Number: 074
First Line: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
Meter: 7 6, 7 6. D.
Tempo: Vigorously
Music: Melchior Teschner, 1585-1635
Text: Theodulph of Orleans, cir 760-821
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-66


All parts doubled, three times through, Hymnprovisation on the second chorus, refrain at the end.

Theodulph of Orleans seems like an OK guy.

Theodulf of Orléans (c. 750(/60) – 18 December 821) was a writer, poet and the Bishop of Orléans (c. 798 to 818) during the reign of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. He was a key member of the Carolingian Renaissance and an important figure during the many reforms of the church under Charlemagne, as well as almost certainly the author of the Libri Carolini, “much the fullest statement of the Western attitude to representational art that has been left to us by the Middle Ages”.[1] He is mainly remembered for this and the survival of the private oratory or chapel made for his villa at Germigny-des-Prés, with a mosaic probably from about 806.[2]

Theodulf brought fresh ideas and an open mind to the period known as the Carolingian Renaissance. He believed in always keeping the door open and never refusing pilgrims, travelers or the poor if they needed a meal or a place to stay for the night. He believed that you had to offer the less fortunate a seat at your dinner table if you one day wished to have a seat at the banquet of God. These ideas were highly influenced by his readings of Augustine.[17] He often referred to himself as the poor traveler or stranger, being born in Spain and of Visigothic descent, and being accepted with open arms by the royal court of Charlemagne.[4]

Though, as usual, he fell afoul of Monarchs, in this case the French variety, was exiled to a monastery at Angers, and died attempting to return to Orleans.

Interestingly, the tune, “Valet will ich dir geben“, written by Melchior Teschner, is a “Hymn for the Dying”.

“”Valet will ich dir geben” (“I want to bid you farewell”[1] or I shall say farewell to thee[2]) is a Lutheran hymn, written by Valerius Herberger in 1613 with a melody by Melchior Teschner. A Sterbelied (hymn for the dying), it is part of the current German hymnal.”

By the way, at Hymn 74, this is the last of the three tunes for Palm Sunday, but, more importantly, about the half way point for the hymns specifically dedicated to occasions of the Church Year. Woo!

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Nut Nog

The other night Mrs. Flannestad and I were visiting Old Bus Tavern and bartender Rachel Leiderman was excited to have us try something she was working on, a spiced nut milk.

We tried it and were blown away. Both Mrs. Flannestad and I were of the opinion, “Why would you drink gross, gloppy, egg nog, when you could instead drink delicious spicy nut milk?”

So I sent Rachel a note a couple days later and asked her to let me come in and watch her make it. Rachel got her starting place from a recipe on Bon Appetit: Basic Nut Milk and added some tweaks inspired by local Nut Milk Purveyors Living Apothecary.

Rachel is still working on the process and deciding whether she will make it for the bar menu, but stop by and ask her for it. If she doesn’t have Nut Milk made, she can always make something else tasty, alcoholic or not.

(Since “Spiced Nut Milk” sounds like something you squeeze out of a grumpy old walnut tree, so I am making an executive decision to call this beverage “Nut Nog”. Get it?)


1 Cup Nuts (Rachel used a blend of almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)

4 tsp Agave Nectar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 TBSP Rolled Oats
3 dates, chopped
2 TBSP Fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP Fresh Tumeric, peeled and chopped (wear rubber gloves when cleaning and chopping, will stain your hands.)
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Cloves, ground
1 tsp Allspice, ground
4 Cups Hot Water

Equipment: Blender (preferably Vitamix or similar), Fine Strainer, Nut Bag.

Step 1. Soak Your Nuts.
Cover the nuts with water by 2 inches and leave to soak overnight. Drain nuts and rinse.
Step 2. Grind Your Nuts.
Add nuts and remaining dry ingredients to bowl of blender (preferably high powered, as in VitaMix or similar). Begin grinding ingredients and pour in hot water as you go. When you can no longer see nut pieces, stop grinding.
Step 3. Squeeze Your Nuts.
Pour mixture through fine strainer, and press to extract as much liquid as possible. Remove nut and spice solids and compost or feed to your livestock (Mmmm, tasty, spiced ham!). If you don’t mind it a bit gritty, you can stop here. Otherwise, line strainer with nut milk bag and strain liquid again. Allow to drain, this will take a while. Squeeze solids nut milk bag to extract as much liquid as possible.
Step 4. Enjoy Your Nut Nog.
Serve warm or cold, garnished with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes about 3 cups. Refrigerated, it will keep for several days.


Please turn to number 73 (Second Tune) and join with the clarinets in “Ride On, Ride On”.

Number: 73 (Second Tune)
First Line: Ride On, Ride On in Majesty
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: In unison, with dignity
Music: Graham George, 1912-
Text: Henry Hart Milman, 1791-1868

Clarinet Arrangement: 073b.RideOnRideOn

This is an interestingly modern take on a hymn. Some meaty chords to chew on!

Graham Elias George:

Graham Elias George (11 April 1912 – 9 December 1993) was a Canadian composer, music theorist, organist, choir conductor, and music educator of English birth. An associate of the Canadian Music Centre, his compositional output consists largely of choral works, many written for Anglican liturgical use. He also wrote three ballets, four operas, and some symphonic music. In 1938 he won the Jean Lallemand Prize for his Variations on an Original Theme. At first he employed traditional tertial harmony, but the influence of Hindemith led him to introduce quartal-quintal harmony as integral to his style. Successful completion of RCCO/RCO diplomas and external degrees had demanded he attain very considerable expertise in counterpoint, and so his neoclassic deployment of contrapuntal devices such as imitation, canon and fugue is hardly accidental.

The hymn is supposed to be sung in unison, so instead of just including the vocal parts, the arrangement includes what I assume are the organ parts. Teasing out all the chords in the organ parts into serial clarinet parts, I end up with 1 Soprano part, 3 alto parts, 2 tenor parts, and 2 bass parts. To imitate the unison, I recorded the melody/soprano part 4 times.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 073 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets in “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty”.

Number: 73 (First Tune)
First Line: Ride On, Ride On in Majesty
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Broadly, with dignity
Music: John Bacchus Dykes, 1823-76
Text: Henry Hart Milman, 1791-1868 a.

Clarinet arrangement: 073a.RideOnRideOn

A short hymn, only 8 measures long in this version, this is the first of three hymns for the celebration of “Palm Sunday”.

Applying the current “Hymprovisation” method. First time through as written, second time improvisation and variation over the accompaniment, third time back to the melody.

I was feeling a bit like featuring the Bass Clarinet as soloist, so I did.

John Bacchus Dykes

John Bacchus Dykes was born March 10, 1823, at Kingston upon Hull in England. He was a “natural” musician, and became the organist at his father’s church when only ten years old. At age 12, Dykes became assistant organist at St. John’s Church in Hull, where his grandfather was vicar.

The burden of caring for his large parish without help, together with the strain of the controversy with the bishop, took its toll on him and he died at only 53, on January 22, 1876 at Ticehurst, Sussex, England. He was buried at St. Oswald’s. After his death at St. Leonard’s-on-Sea, his great popularity was seen when his admirers raised 10,000 pounds to benefit his family.

In his music, as in his ecclesiastical work, he was less dogmatic than many of his contemporaries about the theological controversies of the day — he often responded to requests for tunes for non-Anglican hymns. In addition to his gift for writing music, he played the organ, piano, violin, and horn. He is thought to be the most representative and successful composer of Victorian hymn tunes. His tunes are standard repertory for all the major hymnals in the United States, after being first introduced 100 years ago in Baker’s “Hymns Ancient Modern.”

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 72 and join with the woodwinds in, “Savior, When in Dust”.

Three times through, Soprano Sax playing the melody part instead of clarinet. First time as written, some improvisation on the second time through, then a return to the written part on the third.

Number: 72
First Line: Savior, When in Dust
Meter: 7 7, 7 7. D.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: Arranged by Benjamin Carr, 1768-1831
Text: Robert Grant

Clarinet Arrangement: 0072.SaviorWhenInDust

I guess this is a Spanish Chant which was arranged by Benjamin Carr.

Benjamin Carr (September 12, 1768 – May 24, 1831) was an American composer, singer, teacher, and music publisher.[1]
Born in London, he was the son of Joseph Carr and older brother of Thomas Carr. He was also the nephew of his namesake Benjamin Carr (1731–80), who ran an instrument-making and repair shop in London for over 20 years.[1]

He studied organ with Charles Wesley and composition with Samuel Arnold. In 1793 he traveled to Philadelphia with a stage company, and a year later went with the same company to New York, where he stayed until 1797. Later that year he moved to Philadelphia, where he became a prominent member of the city’s musical life. He was “decidedly the most important and prolific music publisher in America during the 1790s (as well as one of its most distinguished composers), conducting, in addition to his Philadelphia business, a New York branch from 1794 to 1797, when it was acquired by James Hewitt“.[2]

He was well known as a teacher of keyboard and singing, and he served as organist and choirmaster at St Augustine’s Catholic Church (1801–31) and at St Peter’s Episcopal Church (1816–31). In 1820 he was one of the principal founders of the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia,[1][3] and he is known as the “Father of Philadelphia Music”.[4] Mrs. French, who had achieved a degree of fame as a singer, was one of his students.

The text is pretty grim, a catalog of Christ’s suffering and ultimate triumph. It is a bit odd, sort of an invocation.

1 Savior, when in dust to Thee
Low we bow the adoring knee;
When, repentant, to the skies
Scarce we lift our weeping eyes;
O, by all Thy pains and woe
Suffered once for man below,
Bending from Thy throne on high,
Hear our penitential cry!

2 By Thy helpless infant years,
By Thy life of want and tears,
By Thy days of deep distress
In the savage wilderness,
By the dread, mysterious hour
Of the insulting tempter’s pow’r,
Turn, O turn, a fav’ring eye;
Hear our penitential cry!

3 By thine hour of dire despair,
By thine agony of prayer,
By the cross, the nail, the thorn,
Piercing spear, and torturing scorn,
By the gloom that veiled the skies
O’er the dreadful sacrifice,
Listen to our humble sigh;
Hear our penitential cry!

4 By Thy deep expiring groan,
By the sad sepulchral stone,
By the vault whose dark abode
Held in vain the rising God,
O, from earth to heav’n restored,
Mighty, re-ascended Lord,
Bending from Thy throne on high,
Hear our penitential cry!

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 71 and join with the Woodwinds in “Print Thine Image”.

Number: 71
First Line: Print Thine Image
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 7 7, 8 8.
Tempo: Brightly
Music: Geneval Psalter, 1551
Adapted and harm. by J. S. Bach, 1685-1750
Text: Thomas Hansen Kingo, 1634-1703
Tr. Jens Christian Aaberg, 1877-

Clarinet Arrangement: 0071.PrintThineImage

“Adapted and harmonized by J.S. Bach” always makes for a bit of a challenge. I upped the challenge to myself by doing a little “hymprovisation” and variation on the second and third times through.

This hymn is a single verse:

Print thine image pure and holy,
On my heart, O Lord of Grace;
So that nothing high nor lowly,
Thy blest likeness can efface.
Let the clear inscription be:
Jesus, crucified for me,
And the Lord of all creation,
Is my refuge and salvation.

“Print Thine image on my heart” is such an odd turn of phrase and Kingo is such an odd name, I had to look him up.

Thomas Hansen Kingo (15 December 1634 – 14 October 1703 Odense) was a Danish bishop, poet and hymn-writer born at Slangerup, near Copenhagen. His work marked the high point of Danish baroque poetry.

He belonged to a rather poor family partly of Scottish origin and was educated a clergyman. In his youth, Kingo wrote a series of poems picturing humorous scenes in village life and a pastoral love poem, Chrysillis. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, graduating in 1654, and for some time acted as private tutor. In 1661 he was appointed vicar to the pastor at Kirke Helsinge, and in 1668 he was ordained a minister at his native town, where his poetic activity began.

At first he essayed patriotic poems, but later devoted himself almost entirely to writing hymns, and in 1674 the first part of his Aandelige Siunge-Koor (“Spiritual Song Choir”) appeared; followed in 1681 by a second part. This work consists of a collection of beautiful hymns several of which are still popular in the Danish Church.

In 1677 Kingo was appointed bishop of Funen. Charged by the government with the compilation of a new hymn-book, he edited (1699) the so-called Kingo’s Psalmebog which contains eighty-five of his own compositions, and which is still used in various parts of Denmark and Norway. Some parts of the Danish rural population were firmly sticking to his hymns during the pietist and rationalist period contributing to their survival.

Though not the first Danish hymn writer Kingo must be considered the first real important one and also among the Danish poets of the 17th Century he is generally a leading figure. His hymns are born by a forceful and often Old Testamental wrath and renunciation of the world switching with Christian mildness and confidence. Both elements are thrown in relief by his private thrift and fighting nature. His worldly poems and patriotic songs are often long-winded and marked by outer effects but in short version he is unequalled, as in his both plain and worthy commemorative poem of the naval hero Niels Juel.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please join with the clarinets on number 70, “O Lamb of God Most Holy”.

Number: 70
First Line: O Lamb of God Most Holy
Meter: 7 7, 7 7, 7 7 7.
Tempo: Slowly
Music: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Text: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Tr. Arthur Tozer Russell, 1806-74 a.

Clarinet Arrangement: 0070.OLambOfGodMostHoly

Hm, apparently, writing hymns for the church is more dangerous than I previously suspected. Girolamo Savonarola was hung and burned, while Nikolaus Decius is suspected to have been killed by poisoning just after he wrote this hymn.

Nikolaus Decius (also Degius, Deeg, Tech a Curia, and Nickel von Hof;[1] c. 1485 – 21 March 1541[2] (others say 1546[3]) was a German monk, hymn-writer and composer.

He was probably born in Hof in Upper Franconia, Bavaria, around 1485. He studied at the University of Leipzig and obtained a master’s degree at Wittenburg University in 1523 and became a monk.[4] Although a monk, he was an advocate of the Protestant Reformation and a disciple of Martin Luther.[4] He was Probst of the cloister at Steterburg from 1519 until July 1522 when he was appointed a master in the St. Katherine and Egidien School in Braunschweig.[2][5] He wrote in 1523 for Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, adapted by Luther in 1525, a German paraphrase of the Latin Gloria.[6] Decius’s version was first sung on Easter Day at Braunschweig on 5 April 1523.[7] Decius’s Low German version first appeared in print in Gesang Buchby Joachim Sluter, printed in 1525.[7]

In 1526, Decius became preacher at the Church of St. Nicholas in Stettin at the same time as Paulus von Rhode was appointed preacher at St. James’s in Stettin.[2] In 1535 he became pastor of St. Nicholas and died there in March 1541 after a suspected poisoning.[2] Shortly before his death he wrote the hymn “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig” (O Lamb of God, innocent) sung on a tune from the 13th century. Decius’s version was first published in Anton Cornivus‘s Christliche Kirchen-Ordnung in 1542.[4]Johann Sebastian Bach used it as a cantus firmus in the opening chorus of his St Matthew Passion. It was translated into English by Arthur Tozer Russell in the 19th century.[4]

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Tacolicious, 09.26.2016


One of the best things about restaurants with Mexican food is, as a matter of course, they usually have more non-alcoholic options than many other restaurants. You’ve got your grain drinks like Horchata and Atole and you have your fruit drinks like Agua Fresca and Limonada. (All of which will get posts of their own!) Not to mention Mexican Coca-Cola and Jarritos.

The extremely successful Tacolicious chain of restaurants steps those normal Mexican restaurant options up a notch or two by adding a brace of creative non-alcoholic refreshers to their menu.

Started at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market in 2009, they now have 3 very popular locations in San Francisco, one in Palo Alto, and one in San Jose, making them, perhaps, one of the most influential purveyors of non-alcoholic beverages in the Bay Area.

Tacolicious’ founder, Joe Hargrave was kind enough to respond to my questions about the humorously named subsection of their menu dedicated to non-alcoholic libations.

1) Recently, it seems more common for restaurants to leave their non-alcoholic options off the menu entirely, and have them as verbal options. What prompted you to feature non-alcoholic drinks on the Tacolicious menu?

“We know plenty of folks who choose not to consume alcohol for one reason or another and we feel strongly that a beverage program needs to be inclusive and not just give teetotalers the usual, pedestrian choice of iced tea or lemonade. Call them mocktails or just call them delicious drinks, but offering up mixed non-alcoholic beverages gives everyone—including kids—some more creative choices. “

2) As an, ahem, actual Recovering Bartender, in several senses of the phrase, I really like the humor in the subheading of the menu section you use for non alcoholic drinks, “Drivers, Kids, and Recovering Bartenders”. Who came up with that subheading and what sort of feedback do you get, positive or negative?

“I came up with it. It’s important not to take ourselves too seriously. Humor is a huge part of Tacolicious’s culture. “
3) Do you think having non-alcoholic drinks on the menu at Tacolicious increases their sales?
“Yes. Tons of people appreciate the fact that we’re looking out for them as much as the folks looking to imbibe a full-blown cocktail.”
4) What is a ball park figure for the percentage of non-alcoholic vs alcoholic drinks at your restaurants?
“We offer the Mia, Silas, and Moss on our regular menu (all named after our three kids), as well as housemade horchata and seasonal, housemade agua frescas. Of course the percentage of cocktails, beer and wine is higher than the NA, but we hope that we’re giving people enough options to satiate their desire for something non-alcoholic yet fun to drink. (And btw, you can always ask for our cocktails to be made without alcohol. The paloma is delicious without the tequila.)”


Please turn to number 69 and join with the clarinets in “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary.”

Number: 69
First Line: Jesus, Refuge of the Weary
Meter: 8 7, 8 7. D.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Johann Thommen’s Christenschatz, 1745
Text: Girolamo Savonarola, 1452-98
Tr. Jane Francesca Wilde, 1826-96

Clarinet Arrangement: 0069.JesusRefugeOfTheWeary

The author of this hymn’s text was quite an interesting fellow!

Girolmo Savonarola from the wikipedia.

Girolamo Savonarola (Italian: [savonaˈrɔːla]; 21 September 1452 – 23 May 1498) was an Italian Dominican friar and preacher active in Renaissance Florence. He was known for his prophecies of civic glory, the destruction of secular art and culture, and his calls for Christian renewal. He denounced clerical corruption, despotic rule and the exploitation of the poor. He prophesied the coming of a biblical flood and a new Cyrus from the north who would reform the Church. In September 1494, when Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and threatened Florence, such prophesies seemed on the verge of fulfillment. While Savonarola intervened with the French king, the Florentines expelled the ruling Medici and, at the friar’s urging, established a “popular” republic. Declaring that Florence would be the New Jerusalem, the world center of Christianity and “richer, more powerful, more glorious than ever”,[1] he instituted a campaign of extreme austerity, enlisting the active help of Florentine youth.

In 1495 when Florence refused to join Pope Alexander VI’s Holy League against the French, the Vatican summoned Savonarola to Rome. He disobeyed and further defied the pope by preaching under a ban, highlighting his campaign for reform with processions, bonfires of the vanities, and pious theatricals. In retaliation, the Pope excommunicated him in May 1497, and threatened to place Florence under an interdict. A trial by fire proposed by a rival Florentine preacher in April 1498 to test Savonarola’s divine mandate turned into a fiasco, and popular opinion turned against him. Savonarola and two of his supporting friars were imprisoned. Under torture, Savonarola confessed that he had invented his visions and prophecies. On May 23, 1498, Church and civil authorities condemned, hanged, and burned the three friars in the main square of Florence.

Savonarola’s devotees, the Piagnoni, kept his cause of republican freedom and religious reform alive well into the following century, although the Medici—restored to power in 1512 with the help of the papacy—eventually broke the movement.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal