Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oboe Reed Making Workshop

Do you or somebody you know want to learn how or improve upon your reed-making skills?  Let the oboist in your life know about McGill's 2013 Oboe Reed Making Workshop!  It is July 7-11, 2013 in beautiful Montreal.  I will be assisting Dr. Jacqueline Leclair in running the program.  Reed making isn't scary!  We will show you how scientifically fun it is.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Watch Volpone LIVE Online for FREE!

If anybody is interested, McGill is streaming John Musto's "Volpone" online this Friday, February 1st at 7:30 pm eastern time at  It is about two hours long and based on a play by Ben Jonson.  We are playing the Canadian premiere on Wednesday.  Exciting stuff!  The stage is gorgeous.  I will be down in the depths of the pit playing English horn.

ADDED:  Now that I've seen the costumes, there are two costumes that may offend some due to their paganish male accents.  I don't know how well this accent will be seen on the camera.

Product Review- Lube

BIKE lube!  You silly people.  I bought this lube at Grinders from my dear friend Cody who is an amazing unicycler and bike repairman.

I wanted some chain lube that would be appropriate for winter riding.  I bike in cold (the lowest I go is  -5 fahrenheit), in rain, on ice, and in soupy snow.  Cody recommended this White Lightning Wet Ride which is a heavy lube meant for extreme conditions.  I love it!  I needed to wipe the old grease off before applying it, and I need to reapply it every few days, but it works wonderful.  The ride is always smoother after I use this.  I have some cheap lube I bought from Wal-Mart a few years ago, which has worked in nice conditions, but I think I will stick to the White Lightning brand for my year-round bike needs.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oboe Studio Recital

This Thursday, January 24, 2013 is the oboe studio recital.  I believe that it is at 8 pm in Tanna Schulich Hall.  So far, there are only three of us playing: me, Assyl, and Olivier.  I'm playing three movements of the Heinz Holliger's Sonata for Oboe Solo.  It's a beast.  I'll try to get a recording of myself and put it up here, but only if it is good :)
These were my Christmas reed blanks.  They are all done now.  I am now tying them with black thread and then sealing them with cool colored nail polish.  It's fun.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Volpone by John Musto

McGill University is performing the Canadian premiere of John Musto's opera "Volpone" on January 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm, February 1, 2013 at 7:30 pm, and February 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm in Pollack Hall.  It is said to be a great opera.  You can read a review by the Washington Post here.  Tickets are $25 for students/seniors and $30 for adults.  I am playing the English horn book, which is proving to be fun!

Super Cold Biking

Winter biking isn't bad, but only if properly dressed.  Earlier this week, it was in the upper 20s and most of the snow had melted, which was perfect weather for my winter jacket, hat, mittens, jeans, thick socks, and normal shoes.  Well, I didn't check the weather as I was rushing to school on Thursday.  It was COLD.  When I got home, I was jumping up and down because I was freezing.  The temperature read 5 degrees, feels like -6.  I was not dressed appropriately.  Here is a picture of my toes after 15 minutes of walking around next to the heater.
My right toe had looked like the left one, but the left one took a lot longer to thaw out.

The next day was colder, but I wore long underwear, a neck warmer, and winter boots.  Much better.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bike Crash!

This is my knee after my brakes stopped working while going down a hill.  I hit a curb and went SPLAT!  Both knees now are very, very purple, while this knee also has lovely scabbing.  I fixed my brakes Sunday morning.  All is well in biking world again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Biking in a winter wonderland

I began snow biking on Saturday, January 5.  We have a good three feet of snow in Montreal.  Commuting has its challenges including slush, hidden ice, hard ice chunks, over-heating, and less room on the road.

Zip ties did not work well.  They may have added a little bit of traction, but all but 2 broke off today while riding.

I depend on less-used back roads that are still used enough to have tire marks down to the pavement to bike on.  When I don't have that option, I bike on sidewalks or walk my bike.

I suit up in snow boots, wind pants, winter jacket, manly leather mittens, hat, ski goggles, and my helmet.

In non-snow conditions, it takes 20-25 minutes to bike to school.  Now it takes 35.

It is also much harder to bike through snow, however, I still enjoy it!  Part of the difficulty stems from Christmas cookies and having a month off from biking.