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Just Dance (kinda)

I’m a sucker for a good cover. It may be a hipster thing to do (that’s the trendy thing, right? Call it “hipster” if it’s non-mainstream?  Whatever), but I’ve been enjoying Postmodern Jukebox for awhile…This is just one of the many offerings on their Youtube Channel….you should take a look!

I’m the first to admit that “Just Dance” is catchy on its own, but you give it a 1940′s dance swing and I’m smitten all over again.  They have a few songs like that.

 

Oh. And this. If you don’t know why I like this, you haven’t been paying attention ;)

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Neutrality

 

I enjoy Vi Hart’s videos. I find that she has a particularly riveting way of explaining music theory that makes me actually want to like math. For the record, math and I don’t get along and never really have. Ours is an uncomfortable détente.

Vi has put together a video on Net Neutrality.  Why, as a Canadian, am I concerned about Net Neutrality?  Because Canada watches what happens in the US and often absorbs their legal ideals. We also aren’t immune to US political lobbying.

I’m not even suggesting that Canadian ISPs would attempt to throttle my Netflix traffic in order to try and force me to watch cable TV or use their OnDemand services – which I’m sure they could. What I see happening is even more sinister than that.  It’s the possibility of US content providers telling my ISP / cable provider that they need to lobby for Canadian Neutrality Laws that benefit US Monopolies.  US Networks make money every time you watch an American TV show on your Canadian network (or network affiliate) – otherwise they wouldn’t license those networks to broadcast those TV shows. If you aren’t giving your $7 to Netflix every month, that’s more money in their pocket, and is also a reason why many US networks are upset that Netflix doesn’t categorize its content by network brand.

To be blunt, many US content providers have a stake in your TV and internet viewing habits. It’s the reason why we have Internet, Copyright and Privacy bills being proposed fairly regularly.

I enjoy the fact that I have a choice in whether or not I consume my media via the internet or via cable TV. Because my schedule is non-standard, I choose to use the internet more often than trying to catch a show on TV or set up a PVR recording. I generally watch shows when I have the time, and when I have an idea what I’m in the mood for.  I’m sure my PVR has already dumped 2/3 of the recordings I just didn’t have time to watch over the past 6 months (okay, more like a year). Having choices means that I can watch Game of Thrones on OnDemand, use Netflix to find out why my friends are raving about Supernatural, or catch the latest broadcast of CSI on its network’s website.

Choices.  I like ‘em. I’d like to keep ‘em. Get informed! :)

Harmony

There are some things that you’d think I would burst if I didn’t mention. And then I go and do something like sit on the news for a month or more. I guess that’s just the way I roll….I tend to try and downplay all the pretty little grace notes that pepper my life.

That said, I have a new piano.

Not long after I had the realization that something was missing in  my life, we did a little research — and we found out that the cost of a decent digital piano is actually fairly comparable to a decent laptop. So with that in mind, I checked out some reviews, did a little math, and made some arrangements with some key people for making it happen.

I has a piano!

Buried under sheet music and a 20-year-old metronome. Typical.

 

It’s not the most expensive, top-of-the-line model tricked out with all the bells and whistles, but it has everything I need. I will admit that while I loved my Gerhard Heintzmann acoustic, it was very well broken in. This piano, though digital, has better weighting to the keys, good tone, and the pedals do just what they should.

As a bonus?  I don’t have to make arrangements for regular tuning appointments.

We’ve discussed that if it becomes necessary, we may save up for a newer acoustic, but for now, this will do just fine.  I’m not going hardcore on the scales and technique yet, but taking some time to enjoy relearning some of my old Conservatory pieces. I’m slowly, but surely, rebuilding my repertoire.

Of course, my idea of “slowly but surely” is entirely by my own perspective. It really hasn’t taken me long to actually start re-memorizing some of my old pieces. I’m looking forward to learning even more new pieces from the Grade 9 syllabus list.

Thanks Robin, Mum and Dad. I’ve mentioned it in person, but I’ll just say it here: Thanks for restoring that piece of my soul. I’ve missed it.

***

As an aside, I think I mentioned that I’d taken my grade 2 Rudiments and had been studying for my Grade 3 Harmony when I stopped piano lessons? I remember my teacher, Greg Chase, putting myself (and two other students) through the lessons and mock-exams, but for some reason I don’t recall the exam itself. The Conservatory begs to differ.

Grade 3 Harmony Exam results (1993)

Harmony marks hidden in a shoebox in the furnace room. I’m probably lucky I found it.

 

I don’t recall the exam, but apparently I did very well, thank you very much. It just means that more of my theory will be review, and that I have one less exam that I’ll have to take (hooray!). I guess it also means that I can work through the other two thirds of the workbook that we had been using when I took the Grade 3 exam.  I’m nothing if not vaguely frugal.

;)

C2E2 (Calgary, not Chicago!) 2014

There is a reason why we buy a Weekend Pass to the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.  It’s because we’re never quite sure when we’re going to get there.  Sure, it’s an expensive insurance policy, but it’s better than not being able to go because you didn’t buy a ticket for a specific day. Plus, we’ve had times when we have been energetic enough to make it more than one day in a row.

This year, we didn’t get there til Sunday.  Yes, Sunday.

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We managed to keep our plans for Friday Night, however…

We both worked Thursday. This meant we were too tired to go anywhere on Friday. Saturday? We were on our way, but hit a huge pothole in a parking lot that necessitated a trip to the mechanic (the car is ok, surprisingly enough).

 

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A weekend like this deserves a really big beer.

So. Sunday.

We saw stuff like this guy.

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We parked the car at one of the stations, hopped a train, and snagged some lunch along the way. We spent most of our time in the Artist’s Alley / Merchandise Hall, mainly because that’s where our friends are.

We even went outside to enjoy some of the sunlight and fresh air.  And Vikings.

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But mostly we were there to see our friends.  And this guy.

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A Dalek called Dudley and gratuitous advertising for my friend Kyle

But mostly our friends. Maybe next year we’ll be a bit more on the ball, take a few extra photos.  For now, I’m just hoping to get through my next shift at work (So. Tired), and the Husbeast just wants the cold he contracted to go away (it’s not the Con Plague. Unless you consider him Patient Zero, in which case, mazel tov!)

Hope everyone had a good C2E2, and we’ll see what the next year brings.

Lost and Found

Lost: One (1) sock knitting mojo.  If found, please return thisaway.

In the meantime, you’ll likely see me over here spinning away *

and knitting frantically on shawl/ettes **.

Maybe I just need more really nice self-striping sock yarn.

 

 

 

* ITW Call Box – 50/30/20 Alpaca/Merino/Silk, half of 8.5 oz

** Quaker Yarn Stretcher (Boomerang) in ITW Aurora Borealis – 80/20 Merino/Silk