Movember is coming…

UntitledMovember is just around the bend, and just like last year, I’ve signed up as a Mo Sister. When it comes to getting out there and asking for donations, I’m not exactly the most outgoing, but I try to do what I can.

I haven’t done any designing recently, but I do have a couple of offerings for those who donate.

Starting November 1st, when you make a donation at my Movember page, you will automatically receive an email with two coupon codes for Ravelry. One of those codes is to download my Magnum Mittens & Handwarmers pattern for no charge.  I will also include a code for 50% off any other pattern purchase from my store on Ravelry (yes, that includes Warmer on the Inside, for those who were wondering…). These are one-time-use-per-customer codes, so make your purchases count! :)

It’s a win/win…you get patterns and a good cause gets some much-needed funds!

I donate time and money to Movember because I love the men in my life and I want to keep them happy and healthy for a long time to come.  Movember hopes to bring awareness to men’s physical and mental health. While one part is prostate and testicular cancer treatment and care, the other major concern is that men often do not seek or receive professional mental health treatment. The men in my life have been directly impacted by cancer and mental health issues, and are stronger for the help they have received.  I want to make sure that the care is there for anyone who needs it.

** As an aside, while I would like to encourage folks to donate to my team (my co-workers), the email with the codes will not be triggered if you do. It’s probably safer, therefore, to donate via my page only if you want the codes.  Also, there should be an option to leave a message when you donate. I encourage you to do so, and leave your Ravelry name just in case you need me to troubleshoot a code for you. It makes verification that much easier :D

Video

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 ;)

Video

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.

;)