Category Archives: Family

Divertimento Spring Concert

It’s that time again! I’m very pleased to say that I will be playing in the Spring Concert of the Divertimento Orchestra, April 28th and 29th, 2017. We’re playing three pieces:

Halifax Harbour by Elizabeth Raum
As part of the Canada 150 celebration, we will be playing this fun piece (with a great cello part 😉 ) by Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum. Shhhh! Rumour has it that depending on the night, you might see her in the audience.
Tres Danzas Españolas by Enrique Granados
Enrique Granados was born the 27th of July 1867, 150 years ago. The three pieces that we’ll be playing are orchestral arrangements (by J. Lamote de Grignon) of three of the “12 Danzas Españolas” a piano work published in 1890. There’s a strong Spanish feel and some great solo playing (not by me <g>).
Symphony No. 3 in Eb, Op. 97 “Rhenish” by Robert Schumann
This Schumann Symphony is big, deep music, with complexities that you probably don’t hear on the first listen through. It really wasn’t until I’d played the cello part in context that I felt like I understood it. Very cool!

All and all, it should be an excellent show. And given my recent health issues, I’m particularly glad that I’ll be able to participate. By all means, come and give us a listen.

Here’s the poster for the show. Feel free to print this out and post it wherever people might see it. We love playing for a full house!

Poster for the Spring 2017 show

Yes, the 9.7″ iPad Pro is the iPad you want.

(This is an old post from June 9, 2016, recovered via the Wayback Machine…)

If you’re looking for a tablet because you draw stuff for a living, then there’s no doubt the 12ʺ iPad Pro is the tool you want. It’s fast, the Pencil is as responsive a tool as you could ask for, and it has all the benefits of being part of the iOS ecosystem. And I can say this as someone who also owns a MS Surface Pro.

The thing is though, if you’re actually in it because you want an iPad, you’re better off going with the 9.7ʺ. It’s almost exactly as fast as the 12ʺ, but its weight and form factor make it a tool that you will carry around with you all the time. By contrast, as Deb said, the 12ʺ is something you’d “always be worrying about bending”. It’s just too unwieldy to be anything but something you put in a laptop bag when you’re not using it.

The other side of the question is whether an iPad Air would be just as good as your main iPad. All I can say to that is, if you want that to be true, do not try the iPad Pro. The Air is a great device, but the Pro really is materially faster. Really, with the lighter weight iOS running on it, the iPad Pro feels like it’s faster than my MBP for many tasks. It’s definitely the best way to read Notes email now.

And speaking of which, I did indeed put the IBM security package on it, so I can now read my Notes mail and calendar, and get access to VPN, etc. To give you some idea of how much faster this is than my old iPad. My first gen iPad Mini took about 2 hours to install all the software. The Pro took just under 10 minutes. Very nice.

Anyway, the iPad Pro is too expensive to be an impulse buy. I was lucky enough to have my wonderful wife Deb give me permission to get one as an early Father’s Day gift. Thanks, love. It’s awesome.

iPad Pro with keyboard

Divertimento Spring Concert

(This is an old post from March 29, 2016, recovered via the Wayback Machine…)

Please join me and the other members of the Divertimento Orchestra for a wonderful Spring concert:

Donizetti! – Overture to Don Pasquale
An exciting, rip-roaring overture with some brutally fast playing.

Beethoven — Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 “Pastorale”
This is a deeply moving, powerful Symphony that paints beautiful images, from a shepherd tending a flock, to a ferocious thunderstorm. The more I play this piece, the more I discover in it.

Grieg — Symphonic Dances, Op. 64
Originally written for piano duet, and then orchestra, this is a cycle of four pieces founded on Norwegian folk dance melodies.

The concert dates are:

April 22 & 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
L’Eglise St. Thomas d’Aquin
1244 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa

Tickets prices are:

$20 for adults
$10 for Students and Seniors
$5 for kids under 13
Free for kids under 6

I hope to see you there.

Lucas

As many of you know, there’s a new addition to our family: Lucas.
Lucas sleeping

Things have been very hectic here for the last few days. We had a health scare with our adult dog, George, but it seems we’re mostly through that now. In any case, I don’t really have time for a full post tonight, but there’s a short clip of their first meeting on YouTube

And here’s one more picture…
Lucas between Deb's feet
Yes, he crawled between Deb’s feet while she was cleaning up and fell asleep. 🙂

Psst… Track 8?

Not sure how many people downloaded the [HBDI]:four album, but for those that did if you were sharp eyed (eared?) you would have noticed it was missing track 8. I have since rectified this omission and the complete album can be downloaded by clicking on the album title on that page.

The missing track is called “New Dream”:

(If your browser doesn’t support in line audio. Click here to play or download it.)

Great Castle Wilson update

A couple of “mildly interesting” things happened in the last week:

Deb and I stained the deck

When we had the deck built last year, they told us to wait a year before staining it. So we did…

Picture of the deck just after we finished staining it

It took Deb and I about 18 hours of work total to do it. The result isn’t really professional but it’s good enough, and we’ve already seen evidence that it’s protecting the wood from the rain. We may put down another coat of stain at some point, but given how much work the first one was, that may have to wait until next year. 🙂

Carpets cleaned

We got the carpet in the living room professionally cleaned this week. The result is certainly a lot cleaner than it was, but I don’t think it’s done as much for reducing the “old dog” smell as we’d hoped.

It also gave us an opportunity to re-think the layout of the room a bit, so we removed a bit of clutter and swapped the couch and love seat around.

And on the list of downers for the week…

  • I scraped up one of the rims on the Fiat. I’m pretty pissed with myself, but at least that’s the “first scratch” out of the way.
  • The top tray on our dishwasher broke. Someone is coming over to look at it today. Hopefully it won’t be weeks before the parts are available.
  • George has already peed on the cleaned carpet. I think we understand what happened — we accidentally left the water dish out overnight. As long as it’s not a new trend I’m just going to chock it up to the life of a dog owner and move on.

Anyway as I am fond of saying “Oh, well”. If those are the worst things that ever happen to us, then we’re leading a charmed life.