Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's all about the connections... [43/54]

This past weekend I had a great opportunity to support a great programme and as I see it, a cause.

Pierre held his 10th Annual Canadian Celtic Celebration, and after some previous work with him he had asked that I participate.  It's always been part of my hope to build a sort of "Highland Heritage Society" in town.  So often we all work individually, but rarely as a concerted group.  There are plenty of Italian societies, Finn, First Nation and whatnot, but nothing for the celts.

Well, I think Pierre has done an awesome thing in bringing a bunch of great musicians together with the sole purpose of sharing.  Our own pipe band has made it a near centure [next year, 2012, marks our official centennial] only because of the fact that we 'share' it as much as possible.  Our free instruction I think is a testament to that.  However, we're still not as open as we need to be.

Part of the weekend involved a concert and it was nice, although limited, for me to make some other contacts with the people I performed with - I want to find ways for us to all work collaboratively together more often, and I'd like to thank Pierre for that opportunity and give us a glimpse of what that could look like.

Additionally, I was pretty nervous performing.  I've competed before, and played at the Auditorium, but never as a 'solo' in front of such a crowd.  That lineup of musicians was absolutely stellar, and I can't believe I was allowed to even be considered to be a part of it.

It's just ironic how in the past few years my work life has centred on the community partnership models, and it's not something that has really sunk in for the organization I've been in for almost 2 decades.

And... it's kinda sad that the vision wasn't caught much by others in my 'community'.  As a person related to me, don't be so surprised that less and less people come out to our fundraising events if we can't also support our fellow groups.

And for those of you keeping count it's 43 biked days out of a possible 54 = 79.6%

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's been a week? [38/49]

Just realized it had been a week since I last posted on here.  Figure I should post 'cuz I like to keep track of my biking at least, and tomorrow I might not be able to [going to go and meet the new p2p and/or it'll rain]

Had a great last after business, good food - and it's nice to have it off the shoulders for a while.

Finished up our busier season of some gigs.  Got eaten alive at the Relay For Life.  Next year we'll be re-evaluating how we're going to do that gig.  Too often it feels as though they are trying to 'fit us in' and do us a favour by letting us play.  Well, we'll talk next year.

Had a nice father's day [oh and birthday].  My mom had a huge dinner for us.  Those oreo truffles were really good.  [and to top it off our favourite German chocolate fairy dropped off more chocolate - I'll donate these to you mom]

Other than that... not much on the major horizon - which is good.  I have the Canadian Celtic Celebration this weekend I should finish working on my curriculum for it [probably way over thinking it as my handout so far is 26 pages].

I have Minocqua coming up, which should be a great treat for us.  4 parades in one day will help the coffers out a lot, meaning we won't have to do as many.  Rory wants to go a day early to go shopping, but I just realized I said I'd play a wedding.  Hmm... go shopping, or earn some cash.  I do want that eeePad.

38/49 = 77%

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mark it, 33 days without an accident, there goes my streak [34/44]

So here I sit with a cold pack on my elbow... I made it 33 days without an accident... Probably a lot more, as I can't remember the last time I crashed on my bike.
I had just gone past a spa for you and somehow I flipped.
I bet it would have been hilarious to watch. I think I used one hand to hit the brake, and it was the front wheel (lesson for next time) and some how it skidded, then turned the wheel and I remember a vaulting motion, then I was tangled up in my bike.
Nothing hurt but the ego, thankfully. Scraped off the part on the shifter where it indicated which gear you were in, but I'll manage.
Bound to happen sooner or later right?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Judge's Coment Kicks in the Stones [33/43]

So, I knew, after listening to the recording the other day over at Al's, that my recording was definitely not my best one.

However, the comments were quite the veritable ego slasher.  He didn't really pick on the areas I knew I needed to polish up for next time [apparently in the fall], but it did fall in line with what I think Rory was asking about (a doubling on E, vs. no embellishment).  He did NOT like my ending in the Strathspey, "...some might say you didn't finish the tune ???"  ouch.  And even commented later that about setting is what is acceptable ("or not").

So, all adds up to a non-placing.  Oh, well.  More prep time for next time then.


On the biking front, I'm at 33 out of 43 today [provided I bike home].  76%... keeping above my 75 average ... however, missing one day really can chop the % down quickly (whereas biking everyday is only a bit of a gain).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sore day... Couple that with some piping results [31/41]

Wow, that was a sore bike ride - my calves are still throbbing.  I guess it has been a fair bit cooler... but still.  Gotta start stretching more I guess.

Only a bit of wind today, but still was like pedalling on flat tires.  Funny, I just had it tuned up the other day and it rode like butter.  Ah well.

So, to add some 'insult' to 'injury' got my 2nd result from the piping competition.  If I hadn't mentioned it already - I got 6th place for my Hornpipe / Jig.  Which I'm okay with ... I guess.  Always hard to take criticism.  But some good solid points were made on the judging sheet which really makes it worthwhile.

Today I got my piobaireachd results.  It doesn't list a 'placing'.  But in another spot says I played "appropriately" for my grade level.  Fooled them.  I didn't expect anything in this competition as really... it'd been 12 years since I last competed with a piobaireachd... and don't tell nobody - but I cheated on the memorization.  And I only did a couple run throughs before recording.  Okay, now it sounds like I'm making excuses.  In actuality I enjoyed learning and playing - just I need to do so with more appropriate prep work in the future.  Again, the comments were really good [they didn't notice my error in playing some wrong notes], and that's what I appreciate the most.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A couple parades down - many more to go [29/38]

Yay, I avoided the apparent storm we were possibly going to get.  And it was a great bike home - not only did I find it a nice easy ride (was able to climb to the top of the gears), but I now fit the new riding underwear I bought.  I bought ones that were at one point uncomfortably tight (couldn't read the size when I bought them), but I put them on today and they were just fine.  Maybe this is working!  29/38 = 76%

Anyways - we've started our busy season for the pipe band.  We had 2 parades this past week (Westgate and then Hammarskjold graduations).  I was pleasantly surprised by how well we played.  Okay, not 'surprised', but we really didn't have any issues (besides tardiness... and the fact that I forgot both belts on the first day => punch myself in the throat).   But on the 2nd day we sounded even better.  Pleased to no end.

Definitely my reed needs to be changed, gotta step up the 'transfer' process.  Few more gigs to do, so I'll get through those first before switching.

We have the Shelter House Relay tomorrow morning, and then there's the Library's ribbon cutting, another grad, Relay For Life, then several out of town parades.  Gonna get some good TLC time with my pipes - which I'm loving after playing them so much for that competition (which I'll hopefully have the results for by Monday).