Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lionel in japan

Lionel says he didn't get to see much of Japan because he was playing on a military base. But there were a lot of nice people, these are 2 of the singers he was working with. Posted by Picasa

My new computer

Here it is, my laptop sitting shrine-like on the bookshelves. I find I stay awake longer if I stand up to work.
Am still not happy with all its foibles, curious keyboard layout and loud fan. I have till Tuesday to make a final decision about it.. have spent so much time setting it up though I doubt that I will have the nerve to take it back again (would have to erase everything and reset it to the factory defaults). Posted by Picasa

Late October

Some views from Judith's apartment this morning-- it is unseasonably warm but lovely.
The gray winter days will soon be upon us so I thought I would put these up to remind me how it can be.
I only have 2 students today so it is like having a day off! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


It seems like when I have important things to do, like learning some new repertoire or doing my taxes, I find something to distract me. I had about an hour free a few days ago and what do I do? stop by Saturn and buy a new laptop. Not that my old one doesn't work any more, but the display hasn't been working for over a year, and I have been using it with an external monitor. But really that is no reason. No the reason is I have a lot of things that I really HAVE to do, and doing a new laptop installation is a pointless and timeconsuming activity. Getting all those pesky programs on to the hard disk, transferring all my browser bookmarks, etc.
That said, the new machine is quite nice, if not so quiet as my old one. Nice fast card reader, big 17in screen, usb plugs on all edges, and (what set it aside from the competition) a subwoofer and built-in stereo mike: this means I can use it for a lot of things without having to plug in an external sound card.
Still, it is avoidance, and I should be ashamed of myself. Selfindulgent bastard I am.
Picture is the view from the window this morning. Nice fall day.
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lionel jamming

My son Lionel is somewhere in Japan right now, I ran across this video of him jamming... 
don't know where it was done, probably Italy somewhere. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fall is here

The plane trees in front of the house are getting their first yellow leaves, the night temperature is dropping to near the freezing point.
Had a rehearsal this morning which was a bit tedious, have another one this evening, couldnt get the energy to do much this afternoon, but I did iron a bunch of shirts while listening to the BBC, Radio 4. The quality of the station content is extraordinary.
My student Carmen's mother rang, wants to schedule a lesson-- I was hoping she had quit, she has zero talent and the lessons are a real torture. I think I should insist on a monthly rate for her rather than per lesson because she cancels so often. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cordelia in Barcelona

They came to the airport to pick me up, which was verykind.. then we had a nice lunch. Posted by Picasa

Bike and Cathedral

My Dutch-made bicycle is an essential part of my life here, it is very heavy but pretty reliable, and I especially appreciate the brakes, which work even when it rains. Which it does all the time. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cologne Marathon

Cologne has one of the biggest marathons in Europe and the weather today was absolutely perfect... and my apartment is right on the route. The first to buzz by were the rollerbladers, out in amazing numbers this year, then come the real runners, and (about an hour later) the also-rans, in various degrees of seriousness.

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Discovered this nice staircase in an otherwise depressing building (home of the local Ausländeramt, where all the foreigns and otherwise undesirables wait for hours in smoky corridors for their chance to plead with the local civil servants) ...
Second picture I took last night of my roof garden at night. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sad Day

Decided today was the time to part with my avocado tree. Grown from a seed (yes, I ate the avocado first!) lovingly suspended by toothpicks in a glass jar (my boys said: Give it up dad, it will never grow!) it did eventually develop some tender roots, then, tentatively, 2 hesitant leaves. For two long years, nothing else happened. Two leaves peered up at us, balefully. Then 2 more. After about 5 years, it had reached a height of maybe 18 inches. Extraordinary! But about three years ago it suddenly decided to take off, and despite a decidedly spindly stalk, reached a height of nearly 12 feet. But then the bugs, to their delight, discovered it and despite my best efforts, it withered, and I have now consigned it to that Great Avocado Orchard in the Sky. I shall now have to find some other companion for my quiet times on the toilet. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 01, 2006

More New York pictures

There are always interesting things going on. This ambitious guitarist was standing in the middle of Times Square, playing his heart out. Not to mention having his picture taken with any number of horny australian tourists..
Ned talking to a colleague
This place is awesome, apparently many famous books were written in the Reading Rooms here. Posted by Picasa

Trip to New York

New York: I had been there a few times professionally (but only saw the insides of the concert halls) but this time we went as tourists. You know, it is just like the films! you can just stand on any street corner and watch the pageant happening... I had 2 cameras with me, a new cute little canon powershot A700, and my trusty Canon 20d (best camera I ever had). Here is a picture of the typical bustle on 5th Avenue...
.. and here the obligatory Statue of Liberty. Taken on a nice cruise on a schooner. Perfect sailing weather, and free champagne and beer.
We went to the opening night at the Met Opera, there was a premiere of Madame Butterfly and all the world was there, from Donald Trump to Susan Sarandon to Salman Rushdie. We felt distinctly underdressed and financially underprivileged, but the music started and we were right at home again. The American custom of starting the opera with the national anthem shocked Judith, but then she is East German. Central Park is apparently twice as large as Monaco, has 1400 gardeners. It is absolutely splendid, and the weather was ideal. Posted by Picasa

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