Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Piping / Drumming Workshop

This has been something I know our pipeband has been trying to pull off for many a year.  Years ago we often went to workshops, ... but as we get older, it's harder and harder to pull ourselves away from family and work for a week...

So, kudos to the Police Pipeband for being able to pull off the workshop.

John Cairns, of and of course the recent Maxville winning Peel Regional Police band, was our instructor.

I have had the luxury of being instructed by John many years ago.  At that point he really helped change the way that I play and set up my instrument.  So I was eager to have some time with him again.

Now, I knew that going in there would be a high teacher:student ratio, and much of those students would be at a very 'beginner' level, but still... you can't pass up this kind of opportunity.

The first night was really good as we went over some basics of setting up our pipes.  An echo to what I had previous with him, and it re-enforced with me some of what I've done in the past.

(funny prelude... prior to the workshop I had scoured kijiji for some cheap pipes and found a set in Owen Sound -- turns out the seller's son plays with Peel... so I got to say to John "Bill says to say hi")

Second day (after missing part of last night, due to Dean's hospital visit) we work on some piping basics.  Basics I say, but it's true fundamentals, and stuff you just can't afford to forget; like blowing the pipe and proper breathing/squeezing techniques.  It's great to have somebody really explain in a down to earth way what to do.  It's hard trying to teach it to somebody and say "well.. just do it... it'll make sense the more you do it".

One thing I couldn't get over from this day was the amount of "here, fix this" that abounded from the pipers.  I mean, this guy is here to give us instruction and teach us what we need to know for when he's not there.  Merely 'fixing this' does not help us in the end.  He pretty much spelt that out early on... but at every break somebody would yell "John, this isn't working", or "here, look at this, I can't get it to work".  Ugh... glad it wasn't me giving the workshop, or else I woulda told them something different than "well, let's see...".  Patience of Job I tell ya.

The 3rd day (after missing out on the evening 'fun' at the bar) we cover much of what I wanted to hear.  Listening for ensemble, how to pick tunes, being a leader, running a band practice.  It was really good to get this information.  True GOLD.

With guys like John out there, you wonder if you should be running a band, as he's got it all figured out, there's no way you could 'compete' with that... so why bother?  But it's good motivation as well... nothing is static, everything can get better, so long as you keep progressing.

A family that's sick together...

You know that old saying...

Anyhow, on Thursday of last week (Feb 23), Dean was starting to really get the sniffles.  So much so, that Mandy asked that I come home early and bring some juices etc...

Not really much was going on at work, so I figured, why not.  (well, there's always something going on, but I had been through the heavy of it, and was coming out the other end...)

Well, that settled, I went to band.  After giving the members a good reaming about how we only have 21 more practices until the Centennial, I get a call for me to come home, Dean's fever is starting and she wants to take him to the hospital.

I rush out... 'cuz hey, family first.  And Dean is just sluggish and tired.  We can't find his (ear) thermometer anywhere, so Mandy has Greg bring over an oral one.  Dean won't use it whatsoever, so I rush out and buy a forehead one (in addition to some medicine to try to bring his temperature down).  I finally get a reading.  Not in the warning zone, but he's HOT.  Just his whole body is warm.

Next day is work, and Mandy's folks are watching Dean at our house.  I get to leave a little early, to find Dean has been just a slug on the couch the entire day.  Something is not right, so Mandy takes him to the walk-in.  (I head to the workshop... which my other blog post will talk about).

The walk-in tells Mandy to just go to the hospital "tell them I sent you; don't let them send you home".  At the ER Mandy learns he has a 'raging' ear infection in his left ear, and the start of another in the right.  At this point I'm now at the ER and the doctor tells me (Mandy went to find a drink) that it's a real "rip-roarin'" ear infection and Dean will be admited for 1-2 days and will need IV antibiotics.  A little panic sets in.

So, while we eventually get Dean ready for his room in paediatrics he subtly coughs.  The admitting nurse notes:  "nobody said anything about a cough... coughs + fever = instant isolation" ... which means we get our own room.  Yay.  Then Mandy and I argue about who'll stay the night.  Mandy's cold by this point is quite raging in its own right.  However, Mandy's argument of "I won't sleep at home regardless" and her stubborn attitude wins me the scorn of the nurses as I tell them I'll be back in the morning.

In the morning I rush in with some breakfast for the group, and it looks like Dean's getting some energy back.  Mandy looks tired.  Back to the workshop I go.  I visit again at lunch.

After the workshop I pop in and it turns out an old highschool friend is the attending doctor, and he lets us know that Dean should be well enough to go home (but he'll have to take his medicine on his own).  Yay, so not 2 days.

At home, Dean does NOT take his medicine... grumble.  That next morning (now Sunday) he spits up MUCH of it, and then I rush off to the only open pharmacy to get his prescription filled.  The guy there is awesome, especially for 6am.  He tells me we can mix it with juice or chocolate milk (a plan is hatched).

So, I head back with that knowledge and then head off to the last bit of the workshop.

At home, Dean is in much better spirits, but still won't take medicine (but I think he's catching on that the chocolate milk tastes funny).  However, after all this our own health has deteriorated ... to the point that I take 2 days off work.  Mandy is just horrible as well.

It doesn't help that Monday is a huge dumping of snow that I have to try to shovel out... walking up stairs winds me out... shovelling is a huge marathon of endurance.  Mandy did a good job too.

Well, Mandy went to the walk-in yesterday (Tuesday) and it turns out she has bronchitis.  Yay... we've all been sleeping in the same bed lately as we only have the one humidifier... however, I think it's causing the illness to quickly spread to each other.

Now, only for me to go to the walk-in myself and find I have pneumonia or something... my ear does bother me, but I think it's psycho-somatic more than anything else...

le sigh...

The past weekend

I guess my posts have become entirely too much of my AiC mirror... and I don't mean for that to happen.  It just happens.

But a couple things occurred this past weekend, and I just haven't had the time to write about them... but I should.  And I will!

So, there... some personal content in my blog...

yes, I had to blog that I would be blogging... I'm so meta

Friday, February 24, 2012

Asus transformer tf101 has ICS | Android in Canada Blog


Asus transformer tf101 has ICS | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

Using your Phone as a Camera [your poll results & app options] | Android in Canada Blog

Using your Phone as a Camera [your poll results & app options] | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

Google Docs app now has a (better) editor... and much more! | Android in Canada Blog

Google Docs app now has a (better) editor... and much more! | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

Canadian Android Phone list... now with specs | Android in Canada Blog

Canadian Android Phone list... now with specs | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Android Phones in Canada | Android in Canada Blog

Android Phones in Canada | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

#patentfun Feb 13 - 17, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog

#patentfun Feb 13 - 17, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

To sip or chug? (best battery practices?) #cameronning | Android in Canada Blog

VLC for Android (pre-alpha still) | Android in Canada Blog

VLC for Android (pre-alpha still) | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

It's Mid-February, I want my ICS (for my TF101)... ASAP | Android in Canada Blog

It's Mid-February, I want my ICS (for my TF101)... ASAP | Android in Canada Blog:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 12, 2012

#weeklyroundup - Feb 6 - 10, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog

a listing of all the past week's articles

#weeklyroundup - Feb 6 - 10, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog:

#patentfun February 6 - 11, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog

another week, another dozen cases...

#patentfun February 6 - 11, 2012 | Android in Canada Blog:

How to install an app that may not be available in your area | Android in Canada Blog

still say the best is to side-load

How to install an app that may not be available in your area | Android in Canada Blog:

DELL VOICE launches for us Canadians! | Android in Canada Blog

free number, free long distance (for ascribed cities)...
can't argue with that.

DELL VOICE launches for us Canadians! | Android in Canada Blog:

Reader Feedback -- RESULTS | Android in Canada Blog

I recap some of the answers from your comments.

Reader Feedback -- RESULTS | Android in Canada Blog:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mandy's 35!

So, Dean turns 4, and a week later Mandy hits 35 (Grandpa Greg turned... something... the day before).

It was a good day. A long day, but a good day.

It started out with a 630am event with the Mayor and then a normal day at work.

We get home and we start deciding if we're going out to dinner.  We decided on 5 forks.  Not bad.

Then I get to show Mandy my gift.  Which prompted her to tell the story of Dean's gift to her.  I have to share this with y'all.  Because we were talking today at work about 'what did Dean get mommy?', and after we were at the open house for the school and Dean had to make a 'prize for Grandpa's birthday, and he picked out a great gift for him and Grandma.  So I felt bad that I didn't take Dean to go get Mandy something...

...but she took care of that.

They went shopping today for other things, and while at Zellers, Dean grabbed some necklace off the shelf and threw it into the car saying "DON'T LOOK MUMMY, THERE'S A 'PRIZE IN THERE!".  Apparently he wouldn't even let her near the cart to see.

When they went to the check out, she put everything but what Dean had on the till and then turned to Dean and gave him some money to purchase what he chose.


Would love to have been there.  I don't know when he gave it to her, but that's just a sweet story.

What a kid.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dean is 4

Wow... 4.  That I can barely believe.

For the past few weeks we have been trying to ready him for this birthday.  It's going to mean getting him a new bed (meaning he'll have to give up his old bed... something he's reluctant to do:  give up old things).

We also readied him for the party.  What kind of cake, who should come, etc...

It wasn't until his actual birthday morning that we woke him up and said "Happy Birthday" that we didn't realize what the prepping was doing.

His response:  "It's not my birthday... where's the girls?"

We had to think for a second... who was coming to his birthday?  "Alexis, Anna, Emily, Kaitlyn..."  heh... you remember that line of yours Dean... it'll pay off in a dozen or so years.

So we had to convince him that the party wasn't actually on his birthday.

Well, that day came and went, and then it was time for his party.

Crazy time -- called for some crazy amounts of cleaning.

It was worth it as there was lots of fun.  We had balloons, a ton of candy/snacks, played musical pillows (because, after all, it was a pyjama party), some Wii, and Dean handed out trophies (part of their loot bags) because "we all won".

[Dean wanted this "cake"]

After the kids all finished most of the games, it was pretty much 'open play' time and they did whatever, while the parents just kinda hung out.  It was fun.

[this is when the home games became inclusive -- before this shot the boys were playing video games and the girls were making food, baking and sweeping in Dean's room]

Eventually they all headed home and we had a little bit of time to recover before the family portion was upon us.

If it's one thing the family brings it's food.  Holy smokes we had food.  Dean enjoyed more presents and another cake.

Just as we thought he was starting to fall asleep he got into some of the presents again and was good for a few more hours.

Don't know how he stayed awake, I was pretty much done.

I'm glad he had a great time.  He deserves it.  Often I make fun of my 'technology' that is more than a year old... but Dean continues to bring smiles and joy int our lives... wonder if there's a software upgrade for some of his behaviour tho' (anybody know any tricks to get him to like one set of grandparents?).

#patentfun January 30 - Feb 3 2012 | Android in Canada Blog

#patentfun January 30 - Feb 3 2012 | Android in Canada Blog:

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