Monday, June 30, 2008

Look What I Found!

Blooming in the yard, after a couple of years of hardly a leaf...

Monday, June 23, 2008

And Again, Nobody Knitted Anything

I'm having a hard time explaining my long time away from knitting. For the most part, the spring and summer weather has remained cool and rainy. I'm not even out showing most weekends this season, as I used to be. Why, then, am I going through such a trough? I don't feel the need to pick up the needles, have pretty much given up on Ravelry and the blogs, and even delete sale notices on sock yarn unread. Knowing that the amount of money I have to pay for what passes as a heating oil "monthly budget plan" is roughly equivalent to what I paid each month for my car when it was new, you'd think I'd be doubly motivated to make warm things for the cold times ahead. But nooooooo.

With everything else that's been going on these days, maybe apathy is a form of rest. I've had so much going on during the daytimes between juggling three projects simultaneously at work, helping out with Second Life, Web stuff, stuff from various clubs, and trying to keep up with dog events that something had to break somewhere. I haven't been to a training class -- agility or rally -- in a couple of months. I don't knit. I'd still read more, but I fall asleep. Cripes!

The SL in SL5B Stands for Server Lag

Greg's been busy exhibiting his music at the SL5B celebration in Second Life this past week. He was selected to participate from among some gazillion people, since being one of the few classical composers in SL makes him fairly remarkable. He put together a short video about his music and its historical context, got some support from one of the classical music communities, and set up shop at the equivalent of the SL World's Fair. If you're in SL, stop by the Via Media exhibit and have a listen. When Greg's online, he's usually "playing" the piano at the exhibit, and is always happy to chat.

Funny thing happened: Greg struck up a conversation with the artist whose exhibit was directly across the street from his. It turns out that she lives in NJ, and was planning to visit Maine this weekend. We met up with her in Portland last night and had a delightful time. This is the first time that either of us has met someone we know in SL whom we haven't met in RL first.

This is just sooo SL: The server lag was so wretched on the first day of this much-ballyhooed, much-advertised celebration that the keynote speaker by the now-former CEO was about 15 minutes along before anyone could hear so much as "Can you hear me now?". Perhaps in his first act as former CEO, Philip should look into upgrading the parallel computing capacity to "adequate."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sumer is icumen in (Already...!)

Seems funny to contemplate on this rainy, dark, and dopey Sunday, but summer really is only a week away. We had a bout of actual summer-like weather a little while ago, but it descended with such suddenness that no one was prepared for it. It's been a cool spring, so normal summer weather feels like a heat wave in comparison.

Dinah and I spent yesterday in western MA, doing CGC tests for NEOESR. We tested 13 dogs -- 12 Old English Sheepdogs and a German Shorthaired Pointer -- and 12 passed. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe all of them were former rescue dogs. A couple of them were deaf and responded to their owners' hand signals. Little Denver, a rescued Sheepie puppy whom I got to see (and smooch) at the Boston shows last December while blogging on my other blog, has grown into a handsome young lad. I was particularly happy to be able to award him a CGC. Collecting Sheepie kisses was a particularly nice benefit, too.

I don't think she reads my blog, but I'd like to thank Debe, husband Jim, and rescued Sheepie Princess for spending their day helping us with the tests. The NEOESR picnic is always a wonderful time, full of giggles, reunions, and lumps in the throat -- and Debe gave up a lot of her own socializing time to help me with paperwork and collecting funds for the club.

Music News From Two Worlds

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the annual ACA concerts in NYC to hear two of Greg's pieces performed. The first of the two, April for SATB chorus and piano, got a brief-but-positive mention in the next day's New York Times review of the concert. I don't know if the second concert, on which The Waking (for soprano and piano) appeared, but New York Magazine and some other traditional media types were present -- with cameras. Greg was favorably impressed with the performances of his pieces, and we're awaiting the CDs from the concert. He wasn't as impressed with the performance of Tony Lanman's piece -- he's heard a better performance before. I am happy to report that there weren't too many "squeeeee" pieces or tape-recorder games on the two programs this year.

All in all, the trip wasn't too bad. Our bare-bones, overpriced closet of a hotel room had a fridge and a great view of the river. We had some terrific meals, though I'm really sorry we never got to try the Japanese-tapas fusion restaurant in between SymphonySpace and our hotel. We also visited the Roerich Museum and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Cooling my heels for a couple of hours in an under-construction wing of JFK Airport and another frickin' hour on the tarmac in the plane didn't exactly make my day, though.

Apparently the recording session for the Sax Quartet is happening Any Time Now, so Greg will shortly have to beat it back to NYC for that event. The New Hudsons only have to do Greg's piece, and the CD is done!

The Man has been busy in Second Life, too, putting together a presentation booth for SL5B, the Second Life Fifth Birthday celebration. It's going to be a sort of World's Fair SL artists and contributors, and Greg might be one of a very small number of classical musicians featured in the show. He's been working with the talented staff and builders of the Music Academy -- they're helping him build his "set" and promote the exhibit. It could be a fruitful collaboration for everyone involved.

New Media Douchebags Explained

Hilarious! The next time I hear the phrase "blogging superstar" I'll just replay this video.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Photos From the Homestead

Charlie enjoying his new summer buzz cut and the fresh-cut grass

Seamus with a little grass to decorate his coat

Dinah wants some company -- now get down here and throw that dumbbell!

The Lovely One Herself