Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shuffle - No. 2

Today 10 tunes, randomly selected from my library by my MP3 player. Only the second time I've done this and I get two songs off the same CD - TWICE! - in the shuffle. Shouldn't happen too often with 927 tracks currently in the library!

Stella by Starlight from Loved Ones by Branford and Ellis Marsalis

Infinite Sadness (Instrumental) from Rarities and B-Sides by The Smashing Pumpkins

Dear Old Stockholm from Impressions by John Coltrane

Three to Get Ready from Time by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Wasting My Time from The White Stripes by The White Stripes

San Jose from Welcome to the Pleasure Dome by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times from Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

A Globe of Frogs from Globe Frogs by Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians

Nancy (With the Laughing Face from Loved Ones by Branford and Ellis Marsalis

Obscured from Rarities and B-Sides by The Smashing Pumpkins

Saturday, April 28, 2007

An Afternoon of Disc Golf

This afternoon, my two sons and I hit the disc golf course in Dover and had a great time. Before I get to the scoring, I have to say that it was my most consistant and probrably best round of my life. I was getting good distance on my drives and most of my shots were going where I intended. And the boys played wonderfully. Jake actually would have beat Max if he had been a little more patient with his close putts. He'll figure it out soon and I predict that Max will have a hard time keeping up with his little brother on the course. Heck, I'll have a hard time keeping up with both of them soon.

We had to start on the 4th hole because the bridge at the course had been knocked out in last week's storms (see photo below). We played holes 4 through 18 and then finished with the first three holes.

I drove from the blue T's (farthest from the hole) and the boys drove from the white T's, with the exception of the eighth hole, which they drove from the blue T and the 16th, where the blue and white are at the same spot. We all Tee'd off on the first hole from the white tee because the bridge, as I said, was washed out, preventing me from Teeing off from my usual spot. First a few pictures and then the scores.

Our Scores:

Hole Four Jake: 6, Max: 7, Dad: 4

Hole Five Jake: 5, Max: 6, Dad: 4

Hole Six Jake: 4, Max: 4, Dad: 4

Hole Seven Jake: 6, Max: 4, Dad: 4

Hole Eight Jake: 6, Max: 5, Dad: 4

Hole Nine Jake: 8, Max: 6, Dad: 4*

Hole Ten Jake: 7, Max: 6, Dad: 4

Hole Eleven Jake: 4, Max: 4, Dad: 6*

Hole Twelve Jake: 6, Max: 6, Dad: 3!

Hole Thirteen Jake: 8, Max: 8, Dad: 6

Hole Fourteen Jake: 4, Max: 4, Dad: 4

Hole Fifteen Jake: 3!, Max: 6, Dad: 4

Hole Sixteen Jake: 7, Max: 8, Dad: 4

Hole Seventeen Jake: 7, Max: 6, Dad: 6

Hole Eighteen Jake: 5, Max: 6, Dad: 4

Hole One Jake: 4, Max: 5, Dad: 4

Hole Two Jake: 7, Max: 5, Dad: 4

Hole Three Jake: 7, Max: 5, Dad: 6

Round Totals: Jake: 105, Max: 102, Dad: 80

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Lunch with Mitt Romney

Today I had lunch with Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Of course there were 200 other guests at the lunch, but I had the privilege of sitting next to Mr. Romney. Did you know that he studied piano for six years as a child? Sang in his school glee club? Performed in school musicals? - The one he reminisced about in particular was Bye Bye Birdie.

This was a Rotary luncheon, and he spoke and answered questions about his politics. But in those few minutes before he got up to speak (I also introduced him to the audience - not because I'm a supporter, but because I chair the Rotary program committee) I asked him questions that I often ask Rotary guest speakers. "Do you play a musical instrument?" "Were the arts important to your family?" "What other creative activities do you pursue?" And what I discover time and time again is that people who are sucessful - regardless of their career or area of expertise - have studied arts at some point in their life. Whether a musical instrument, or acting in school plays, painting or dancing, there is some creative aspect to their education and life. And I heard Mr. Romney say what I often hear from adults throughout the community - that he loved playing when he was a kid and wished there was time to still play. So I told him the New Horizons Band story and that it is NEVER too late. That when he is ready, the piano will be waiting for him.

So without saying anything about his politics, I'll just finish by saying he is a very nice man. Very personable, and actually, not larger than life, like you so often get with public personalities. He had no difficulty reminiscing about his mother's involvement in the theater and their family's love for the arts. He stopped campaigning when I asked that question and answered it honestly. Though it wasn't a tough question - nothing to dodge.

So I'm again grateful to live in a part of the world where we all can participate in the process, and in a part of the U.S. where the process comes right to our doorstep. Only ten months until the primaries. I wonder who will visit next?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shuffle - No. 1

People sometimes ask what I listen to. This morning I had my MP3 player play random tracks from my entire library. Here's what came up, the first ten tunes in the order they played. It was pretty cool, so I'll do a post like this from time to time - which is why I call this one "Shuffle - No. 1". Look for No. 2 soon.

Walking in Your Footsteps/Live in Atlanta from Live by The Police

Summertime from The Very Best of John Coltrane by John Coltrane

Woody and You from The Way Through by Donny McCaslin

Perfect (Perfecto Dub) from Rarities + B-Sides by The Smashing Pumpkins

Pequines E Pitbull from Carolina by Seu Jorge

Cherokee from Alone Together by Brad Mehldau, Lee Konitz, and Charlie Haden

Heaven or Las Vegas from Heaven or Las Vegas by The Cocteau Twins

When I Fall in Love from Steamin' by Miles Davis

Sloop John B from Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

Birthday from Life's Too Good by The Sugarcubes (Bjork's early band)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great weather means one thing...'s time to play more disc golf!

Over the past year I've become an avid disc golf player. And after playing on and off throughout the winter months, whenever warm enough weather appeared (over 30 degrees F.) and there was enough ground not covered by snow, the warm weather has returned and I'm hoping we've seen the last of the snow. That means returning to the course for regular games (at least once each week).

It took a lot of convincing for my friend Bryan, also a PMAC board member, to get me out on the course last year. But ever since that first round, I've been hooked. Earlier this month I took my two sons out for their first round and we had a great time. They've been begging to go back, and I'm planning on taking them this week. Below is a picture of Max driving off the eighth hole at the course I play in Dover. His brother Jake watches on and the white circle is the disc he has just launched.

Monday, April 09, 2007

On My ZEN Micro MP3 Player...

I'm currently listening to...
Canonball Adderly Something Else
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Laurie Anderson Live in New York
Cocteau Twins Heaven or Las Vegas
Branford Marsalis Creation
Nirvana Nevermind

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The 2007 Practice-a-thon Comes to an End

April is here, and the 2007 Practice-a-thon has come to an end. I've enjoyed watching the "stars" add up on the lobby chart and hope everyone had fun while building good practice habits!

The Practice-a-thon is an important annual event at PMAC, both for students and teachers. It gives us a fun opportunity to renew our commitment to music. Practicing on a daily basis can be one of the most challenging aspects of studying music - but it is also one of the most important. Each March, the Practice-a-thon give students and teachers the opportunity to experiment with different motivations and methods of practice. If we find ourselves in a rut, unable to pick up the instrument at home, sometimes there are creative ways to break out and move to the next level of musicality.

I hope that the Practice-a-thon accomplishes that and more.
Thank you to all who participated! It was another successful event and I look forward to many more in the future.