Category: Piping

Another sick weekend [90/112]

Didn’t I just post about this?  Yeah… I also meant to post mid-week, but that never happened, so it seems like it just happened.

Anyways, yeah – went all week and was pretty ok.  No problems.  Then Friday night I started to have ‘sniffles’ and then it was a real runny nose.

Mandy, you’re awesome, for not killing me – she was quite the trooper and took care of Dean the entire weekend while I just convalesced in bed.  Seriously – I was in bed all weekend, until around Sunday 3pm when she went to work.

Jarron had another photoshoot Sunday night – when these calendars come out I think y’all will be quite impressed.  And you better buy one!!

Freaky ride yesterday [85/104]

So, I know I’ve had one accident this past year on my bike.  But yesterday I experienced another.  No, I didn’t have an accident, but it felt like it.

I was biking a different route as I had to stop by the in-laws.  And on the way back along James [going South, on the East side] I passed another biker.  I moved onto the grass, and he moved closer to the house’s side of the pavement.

After we had passed I heard some noise (see, my headphones don’t block out sound) and I looked back and he had gone into the bushes just a bit and had fallen over.

Now I knew I didn’t do anything to cause that, he clearly did it after we had passed, and I did give him ample room.  But somebody falling is nasty, so I stopped and ran over to him.  Hey, I am first-aid certified you know.

He assured me he was fine; but it was still spooky as he was just laying there for the less than minute it took me to stop and run over.

I couldn’t tell if he was shaken or really hurt, but his demeanour was just odd.  He could have been just embarassed, or pissed off at me… and that part of me wanted to say “hey, this wasn’t my fault you know”.  But I wanted to ensure he was alright.  I offered like 5x to call an ambulance and asked if he was okay.

Just weird.

On other fronts… not much new.  Been uber stressful at work lately with newsletters and deadlines and events and shows…

Band did really well at the Miles with the Giant.  I was extremely proud of Mandy going in the 10K walk… more than I did.  The band also sounded awesome at the Scottish Rite.

The Band calendar is coming along, Jarron’s working hard to put it together and get some funky shots.  Will look amazing I bet.

Can’t think of much else… knew I had to write today, as I hadn’t all last week.  That bugs me… but it’s a sign of how busy I’ve been [tell my jaw to relax somebody, it’s giving me headaches].

So this week started off cold.  Man it was cold. Not freezing, but frigid.  It was 4°C when I biked to work – and that was a bit hard on the hands.  Luckily it would warm up throughout the day and I’d be fine going home.

Let’s recount what happened this week:

Work?  Not much – busy as all can be with the Newsletters combining into one big massive headache [which culminated in me leaving early Thursday].  We announced the NOVAs.  Not much else, at least nothing that I should really say.

Home? We steam cleaned… that’s not fun.  Means having to move EVERYTHING and if you know me, I’m nothing but wires and connectivity… plus my little bit of OCD gets all in a flitter if I have to move things about.

Band? started back up this week with our Open House.  I was able to get on ShawTV and CBC Radio for an interview for it.  That was neat.  Plus the CJ came by for a photo shoot.  Things are a-movin’.

It’s been a pretty hectic week, despite how I’ve written very little.  I guess that’s a sign of the busy-ness.  I’ve even wrote less this week for the blog than I usually do [ blog that is].

Really starting to wonder how much longer I’ll be able to keep up the biking — tho’ today was amazingly warm – just gets chilly in the morning.  Plus as my schedule heats up I’ll have more out of office stuff to get to, so less opportunity to bike.  At least I got a high of 84% before the day I missed this week.

It feels weird having a Saturday/Sunday and not being on the road or getting ready to go. I’m sitting here on a Sunday and actually had the opportunity to be somewhat productive. Feels good after the week I had. It wasn’t dull… Never is at the Chamber. But there was a lot of communication outwards and then some waiting for a communication return.

Anyways, week was good and next should be as well. No more piping responsibilities for a while. And it looks like we’ll be able to get away for a quick family trip this weekend. It’s the Day Out With Thomas in Duluth. Just there’s no cheap hotel rooms around there, so it might just be a day trip.

Not much else to report on. Need to follow up with the City for my cheque from the gig the other day. I should make it a rule, cash up front. I like when Ed was able to pay me right away on Friday. Makes it so much less awkward.

Oh, if you haven’t tried yet, go get the Steak and Spuds from the Wayland on Fridays… $8 well spent.

Yeehaw, after the performance of on Wednesday night and a quick relaxed practice at Rory’s on Thursday we are ready to rock our last gig of the summer.

The thriving metropolis of butternut won’t know what to do with us,… Errr more likely vice versa.

It’s been a pretty hectic season, and I can’t wait to have it at my back. Just means I’ll start planning the fall. There’s potentially a band online competition, plans for the beer sampling, the calendar prep, etc….

It just never ends. But, that’s what I love and hate about the band… Oh, there’ll be new voting going on, and the ever present questions of if I should write a new book of music. Probably not.

Otherwise my world has been pretty quiet, or none of your business… Heh.

I still can’t believe it’s going to be August on Monday… Crazy… Summer’s had I er and it feels like it hasn’t even started yet.

Rory & Rain’s wedding [50/63]

Took ’em long enough, but finally Rory & Rain are married.

It was a great time, and I was proud to be able to play my part in it.  Rory has been instrumental (pun intended) for a lot of what the pipe band is today.

Too bad I screwed up the intro.  We set it all out, the only thing was timing – I couldn’t play in sync with the band all the way over on the other side.  As soon as I had the tempo going I started to march and then I realized “I can’t hear a thing” so I fumbled it a fair bit.  By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs I knew I was out… I looked to Rory and he just shook his head to say ‘no’… so I fumbled a bit more and eventually got in time.  Hopefully not many other people noticed… to me it sounded horrendous.

Other than that – it was hot… very hot.  You would think in those cases it was best to dress coolly… not so for Rory or the priest.  And then the priest didn’t let anything back in terms of the ceremony. That was one long ceremony, but full of cool appropriate rites and whatnot.

After the ceremony I piped them back up and and we all rushed into the hall for some A/C.  We mingled and talked etc… for some time, as in typical Bain fashion, it was delayed.  But we enjoyed it nonetheless.  Dean, who we thought was over-cooked from the heat, really enjoyed it as he danced and ran around.

Then at some point in the evening, the A/C stopped working.  And man was it hot.  Sticky hot.  You could either stick outside and get eaten by the bugs, or stay inside and sweat.  Oddly enough, nobody complained, we just trudged along and enjoyed the company and the speeches and the food.  Did I mention haggis?  Rory never said what ‘haggis lite’ was  tho’, but it was good.

Dean really enjoyed himself.  He really wanted to dance and jump around.  He was dancing with Anna a bit, and then after a while she tired of it, but he still wanted to… it was like that annoying non-social guy who kept asking but kept getting shut down.  Kinda felt bad for Dean, and wondered when Anna was going to slap on the restraining order.  Aah, youth.  Eventually he just played with the other kids at the party – he had a blast.  [and slept in until 9 this morning]  Even better was he got so hot, we took off his shirt, and left him in his ‘wife beater’.  People found this most histerical, the kilted kid in a wife beater who was just hitting on all the girls … he even had a pretty good shot of taking Brandy’s date home with him [you the man, cool guy]

All joking and everything else aside – it was a majestic day for Rory and Rain – and I was glad to be a part of it!

[And congrats to Mark and Allison – nobody reads these anyways, so I’m telling their secret]

Minocqua “weekend” [46/58]

So, what a “weekend”.  I say it with the rabbit ears as it wasn’t really a Saturday/Sunday ordeal, but a Monday/Tuesday one.

Anyways, nice little drive down.  What was really nice was that this year we decided to have all the cars meet up at one place first, and THEN drive down.  Caravan it for all of us.

So, we take off and about 7-8 hours later we arrive in Minocqua.  Such a nice little town. Fair number of places to choose from to eat for such a small town.  I enjoyed having played for a quick little wedding celebration the night before we left, so I ended up having some coin.

The trip also forced me to clean up the car and ensure I had room for a cooler so that I could grab some breakfast.  Apparently it’s becoming predictable at these trips that I’ll have yogurt and blueberries for breakfast.

Well, the first night was a good time with the gang.  Just enjoying the comraderie of a band.  We ended up using google’s talk/dialer to call Brandy and sing her the “towlie” song [gotta be careful how I word it, once Live refused to post the actual name of the song].  We also “pamela’d” Erin… tho’ she didn’t pick up the phone, so I’m sure she chuckled in the morning to her voicemail.  We even made it to a local shop to enjoy the last few minutes of the night downtown.  I played in the streets for a little bit before the police reminded me of the time, then gave me a reprieve of 30 seconds to play one last bit.

Then it was the day of the parades.

We did 4 that day.  It’s nice to get a lot in one day to make the most out of the trip… but man, by the last parade I was starting to feel a little funny.  Eric had to step out of one too.  Graham I think enjoyed it, as he had lent Peter his uniform (because as Pete tells it, Carole forgot to pack it for him). We’ve had guys forget pieces, even kilts before, but never a full uniform.

That night we played only a little bit as most had to return to work the next day so it was pretty subdued; however, we did have a great time (despite someone attempting to steal a set of pipes).

All in all… AWESOME weekend. Tiring, but awesome.

This past weekend I had a great opportunity to support a great programme and as I see it, a cause.

Pierre held his 10th Annual Canadian Celtic Celebration, and after some previous work with him he had asked that I participate.  It’s always been part of my hope to build a sort of “Highland Heritage Society” in town.  So often we all work individually, but rarely as a concerted group.  There are plenty of Italian societies, Finn, First Nation and whatnot, but nothing for the celts.

Well, I think Pierre has done an awesome thing in bringing a bunch of great musicians together with the sole purpose of sharing.  Our own pipe band has made it a near centure [next year, 2012, marks our official centennial] only because of the fact that we ‘share’ it as much as possible.  Our free instruction I think is a testament to that.  However, we’re still not as open as we need to be.

Part of the weekend involved a concert and it was nice, although limited, for me to make some other contacts with the people I performed with – I want to find ways for us to all work collaboratively together more often, and I’d like to thank Pierre for that opportunity and give us a glimpse of what that could look like.

Additionally, I was pretty nervous performing.  I’ve competed before, and played at the Auditorium, but never as a ‘solo’ in front of such a crowd.  That lineup of musicians was absolutely stellar, and I can’t believe I was allowed to even be considered to be a part of it.

It’s just ironic how in the past few years my work life has centred on the community partnership models, and it’s not something that has really sunk in for the organization I’ve been in for almost 2 decades.

And… it’s kinda sad that the vision wasn’t caught much by others in my ‘community’.  As a person related to me, don’t be so surprised that less and less people come out to our fundraising events if we can’t also support our fellow groups.

And for those of you keeping count it’s 43 biked days out of a possible 54 = 79.6%

Just realized it had been a week since I last posted on here.  Figure I should post ‘cuz I like to keep track of my biking at least, and tomorrow I might not be able to [going to go and meet the new p2p and/or it’ll rain]

Had a great last after business, good food – and it’s nice to have it off the shoulders for a while.

Finished up our busier season of some gigs.  Got eaten alive at the Relay For Life.  Next year we’ll be re-evaluating how we’re going to do that gig.  Too often it feels as though they are trying to ‘fit us in’ and do us a favour by letting us play.  Well, we’ll talk next year.

Had a nice father’s day [oh and birthday].  My mom had a huge dinner for us.  Those oreo truffles were really good.  [and to top it off our favourite German chocolate fairy dropped off more chocolate – I’ll donate these to you mom]

Other than that… not much on the major horizon – which is good.  I have the Canadian Celtic Celebration this weekend I should finish working on my curriculum for it [probably way over thinking it as my handout so far is 26 pages].

I have Minocqua coming up, which should be a great treat for us.  4 parades in one day will help the coffers out a lot, meaning we won’t have to do as many.  Rory wants to go a day early to go shopping, but I just realized I said I’d play a wedding.  Hmm… go shopping, or earn some cash.  I do want that eeePad.

38/49 = 77%

So, I knew, after listening to the recording the other day over at Al’s, that my recording was definitely not my best one.

However, the comments were quite the veritable ego slasher.  He didn’t really pick on the areas I knew I needed to polish up for next time [apparently in the fall], but it did fall in line with what I think Rory was asking about (a doubling on E, vs. no embellishment).  He did NOT like my ending in the Strathspey, “…some might say you didn’t finish the tune ???”  ouch.  And even commented later that about setting is what is acceptable (“or not”).

So, all adds up to a non-placing.  Oh, well.  More prep time for next time then.

On the biking front, I’m at 33 out of 43 today [provided I bike home].  76%… keeping above my 75 average … however, missing one day really can chop the % down quickly (whereas biking everyday is only a bit of a gain).