Category Archives: McQ

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.

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.)

Mine!

mine

It just showed up on the lot, so it will take a couple of days to do PDI, detailing, etc. I’ll let you know when I get it home.

Woo hoo!

I know, I know. I haven’t been posting.

This is yet another of those posts that starts out by apologizing for not keeping up with the blog. Believe me, I’m more frustrated than you are that it’s been so long since I last posted.

The thing is, my life has been busy, to the point where I haven’t even been finding the time to keep up with 140 character tweets, let alone full blog posts.

Anyway, here are some highlights…

New role at work

In addition to being the Eclipse Project PMC lead, I have now taken on a significant architectural role working on the “IBM DevOps Services powered by JazzHub”. This is a new property that provides project hosting, including online development (based on Orion), tracking and planning support, etc., which is intended to be the premiere environment for building applications that are part of the “IBM BlueMix” platform-as-a-service. What’s even cooler about this is that it can be used for free. Definitely check it out.

Just finished a Divertimento concert

*sigh*. Yes, it would have made more sense to talk about it ahead of time. Oh well. This was the orchestra’s 30th anniversary concert, and it was an awesome program:

  • J. Strauss — Die Fledermaus Overture
  • Mozart — Violin Concerto No. 5, K.218
  • Brahms — Symphony No. 4 Op. 98

The concert was sponsored by the Austrian Embassy including bringing in the soloist for the Mozart, one Daniel Auner, who is a truly excellent up-and-coming violinist. Even though we only had a single rehearsal with him, I felt like he helped us achieve a recognizably stronger understanding of the music.

I bought a car

A Fiat Abarth. I haven’t actually received it yet — It’s still being built — but I expect it will show up some time in the next couple of weeks. For now, here’s a shot of basically what it will look like:

red

It’s very small, but I verified that it will hold my cello case with the back seats folded down, so we’re good. Zero to 100 KPH in 6.9 seconds. I’m excited :-).

Divertimento Fall Concert

Just letting you know that the Divertimento 2013 Fall Concert is in just over a week:

November 8 & 9, 2013, 8pm
L’glise St. Thomas d’Aquin
1244 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa

This is the orchestra that I play cello for, and I certainly hope to see you there. The pieces we are playing this time are:

  • Cardy — Kissing the Joy as it Flies
  • Wolf-Ferrari — Suite Concertino, Op. 16
  • Tchaikovsky — Symphony No. 4 Op. 26

The Cardy is a nice modern little piece built around the cycle of fifths. The Wolf-Ferrari is a bassoon concerto, with Ben Glossop as the soloist; it’s also reduced orchestra, which means I’m not playing in it, but that is fine with me given that the Tchaikovsky is definitely taking all of my energy — seriously, there are parts in it that that my cello teacher claims she would have difficulty playing.

Anyway, as usual, I can get tickets for $2 off the price at the door, but unfortunately if you want me to get you some I need to know by Thursday (i.e. tomorrow). [Apologies for leaving it so late]. The price at the door is:

  • Adults — $20
  • Seniors/Students — $10
  • Children under 13 — $5
  • Children under 6 — free

If you’ve got a printer handy, and you’d like to help us by putting up a poster, here is a PDF…

divertimento fall

First workout

In an effort to finally get back in some kind of reasonable physical condition, I’ve started going to the gym again.

Last week, my wonderful wife took care of getting me (and Dennis) signed up at Goodlife where she was already a member. Today I did my orientation and a first workout: all 9 machines of the “basic” set, twice, 12 reps on each, followed by 15 minutes on the stairmaster. Of course, all of that on settings so low that I suspect catatonics could keep up, but in any case, it’s done, in just under an hour of steady work.

Now all I have to do is keep going regularly. I could imagine getting there twice a week, but I doubt I’ll be able to do more than that. I guess we’ll see.

Spring!

So here I am, sitting at the Starbucks, having just ridden my bike over.

20120321-183757.jpg

First bike ride of the season! Ya, ok, I know I’m slow. Given the weather over the last few days it feels like everyone has been out biking already, but at least I made it. Now when it gets cold again, you’ll know who to blame. 😛

In any case, even I couldn’t pass up a day this nice. It’s 25 celsius out there and it’s coming up on 19h00. Wow!

Now let’s just all hope that we aren’t seeing 20 degrees above normal temps in July and August too.