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The MadScientist Fiddles Around


MadScientist

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Trade show is over, so I can relax a bit.  I am in a folk music group that performs in nursing homes once per month.  I sing and play fiddle and mandolin in the group.  We do just about any type of music you can do with guitar, flute, fiddle, and mandolin, everything from Cantigas from the 1200s to bluegrass and Peter, Paul, and Mary numbers.  We do a lot of Gospel, since the old folks really like it and we like to do the tight harmonies.  I also am a cantor at my church, and lead the congregation in song about every other week.  Thursday, which is the Feast of the Assumption, I will be cantoring and playing four Cantigas.  It should be fun.  Finally, my daughter, who plays hammered dulcimer and numerous flute-like instruments, and I are working on another Christmas album for my family.  We did one last year, and they really liked it.  I keep trying to get my son, who is an excellent percussionist and marimba player, to join us, but no luck so far.

 

I must brag on this son.  Today, while being a lifeguard, he rescued a man having a heart attack in the pool.  He got very wired and was wiped out when we picked him up after his shift, but his supervisor said he did well.

 

I also have to vent a bit.  I went to a seminar offered at work today about heart health.  After a couple of questions, it became obvious that the cardiologist was firmly mired the in the science of the 1980s, and had no desire to change.  On the plus side, he complained that half the people he wanted to prescribe statins for did not want them and he had to argue with them.  As a scientist, I know that statins have not been shown to help people live longer (they do prevent a few cardiac deaths, but the side effects cause cancer and death through depression and suicide, balancing it out to no effect).  It was with difficulty that I realized I was arguing with a zealot and no amount of logic would change his mind.  I should have stayed in the fight for the rest of the people in the room, but did not think about it at the time.  I was having enough trouble convincing myself not to argue with a zealot.  Oh well, I can still post an internal blog on it.

 

I have been doing pretty well the last couple of days.  My carbs have been kept under control, and I have managed to do a fair amount of music.  Most of it has been preparation for Thursday's Mass, but I have worked a bit on sheet music for Christmas in Killarney.  I need to decide whether to sing multiple verses like the Irish Rovers do it, or sing one verse with multiple instrumentals like everyone else does it.  I am leaning toward multiple verses.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Your folk music group sounds neat :)  I used to play at nursing homes until school got in the way, and it was nice.  You've made me miss it all over again...

 

Good for your son!  Also, I don't blame you for wanting to vent.  I had a hard enough time getting my mother (an extremely intelligent environmental scientist) that fat isn't the enemy, so trying to convince a cardiologist determined he is right that he is, in fact, very much not right, would be like trying to reason with a dead tree.  Or a grizzly bear.  Take your pick.

 

Anyway.  Nice work on your goals!  Keep it up!

One day, your heart will stop beating, and none of your fears will matter.  What will matter is how you lived.

-Henri Junttila

 

My current challenge

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Mass went fairly well today.  I was inexplicably nervous during the prelude, so my timing and intonation were a bit off, but most people probably did not notice.  The offeratory solo went well.  So not too bad.

 

I have kept my carbs down today, and will hopefully continue to do so.  My house is rather stressful at the moment, since we are preparing for my brother's wedding and my son going off to college.  As a result of those two items, I will have my work cut out for me for the next few days to stay on track.  Just have to remember "I eat low carb!"

 

In addition to prep for today's Mass, I decided to typeset "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" for the Christmas album - something that takes almost no thinking, just added chords to a MusicXML file I found on The Hymns and Carols of Christmas and rearranged the music on the staffs the way I wanted it (treble and bass staffs instead of SATB separate).  I finished it and sent it off to my daughter so we can start getting our library of songs for this year complete.  Two down, eight to go ;).

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Nerves can do strange things, even to a well-polished piece.  And they can sometimes just come careening out of nowhere, which can be a tad disconcerting.  I imagine the vast majority of people didn't have any idea you were a little off :)  And good job with the low carb thing.  It can be really hard during stressful times to remember things like that.  Saying "I eat low carb" instead of "I don't eat carbs" seems simple, but that language change did wonders for me.  Keep rocking this challenge!

One day, your heart will stop beating, and none of your fears will matter.  What will matter is how you lived.

-Henri Junttila

 

My current challenge

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I agree, the folk music band sounds great!  I bet your audience absolutely love you too :)

 

Well done to your son for saving a life - that's an amazing thing to have done, and takes a special kind of person.

 

Glad to hear that you mass went well - I'm sure, like you said, people didn't notice you were slightly out, and they no doubt enjoyed the offertory solo.

 

I can imagine things are a bit, well, mad in your household at the moment, but I guess all will be calm soon!  Good luck staying on track with the low carbs :)

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

-- Facebook

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What a weekend!  I logged about 1000 miles driving in the last four days.  First up was a trip to Ft. Worth, TX for my brother's wedding.  It was a great ceremony and equally great reception.  They played enought two-steps and polkas that I got to dance a lot with my wife, and even drug my sister up (her husband has a bad back and I could tell she wanted to be out on the floor).  As I was dancing with my sister, she told me she worried I would ask her to dance and she would not be good enough.  I taught her a couple of twirls and fancy steps and she did great.  She was a lot better than she thought she was (like most of us :pride: ).

 

Interestingly, ten years ago, my wife and I were in a similar situation when my daughter was invited to a quinceañera.  At that time, my feet hurt almost immediately (I have very flat feet) when I started dancing.  Since then, I have slowly worked up to walking barefoot most of the time I am not at work.  It seems to have cured the problem.  I danced all night with absolutely no after effects.

 

I managed to eat mostly low carb, although I did have a piece of wedding cake.  It got its revenge on me this morning, reminding me why I do not eat flour any more.  My waist stayed the same measurement this week, although my belt seems to be loosening a bit again.  Hopefully, I will be down another half inch next week.  My waist seems to change size in spurts.

 

Today, we dropped my son off at college.  He was both excited and scared to death.  We told him not to stay in his room but to go out and take in all the festivities before classes start next week.  Hopefully he will listen.  I will check in with him tomorrow to see how things are going.

 

As one might imagine, I am pretty tired tonight.  I will try to catch up on everyone tomorrow!  From what I have read in my post digests, you guys are doing great.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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I'm not surprised you're tired!  My feet used to be almost dead flat (and now I magically have arches, for no reason anyone can explain to me...albiet they are still very weak ones) and so I can understand having your feet hurt almost right away.  Glad to hear you were able to dance all night without pain.  And good for you staying mostly low carb, even given the circumstances.  

 

I remember getting dropped off at college.  "Excited and scared to death" sums it up pretty well.  Here's hoping your son finds some new friends, and enjoyes all the fun stuff before classes begin.  And good luck to you, as well :)  

 

Keep up the good work!

One day, your heart will stop beating, and none of your fears will matter.  What will matter is how you lived.

-Henri Junttila

 

My current challenge

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You would think things would slow down a bit, but that does not seem to be the case.  I have been at scout meetings three of the last nights and been riding herd on my son's college escapades.  Practice for my nursing home gig and cantoring this weekend have also taken time.  I am still hanging in there low-carb wise and doing lots of music, in addition to other things ;).  Busy!  I would still like to catch up on all the great things everyone else has been doing, but my time has not allowed it.  Hopefully tomorrow...

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Well, things have now settled down to a dull roar.  Today was filled with music, though.  I went to lunch with my music buddies, then we practiced an hour and a half, then did a one hour nursing home concert.  I then ran to church to cantor at the church feast day Mass.  I am kinda tired, but I think it is just dehydration.  I kept well hydrated this morning doing my usual weekend housecleaning and fix-its (fixing a china cabinet drawer this weekend).  After lunch, I drank almost nothing until supper time.  Not good in Texas.

 

I nailed low-carb, though.  I was offered bread, potato salad, and beans for lunch, but took the coleslaw (only a little, it was sweeter than I would like) and about a half pound of brisket and sausage.  Yum.  I was not hungry for a long time.

 

I need to practice more and do less music layout.  I tend to get everything ready before launching on something, but I find I am losing my fiddle and mandolin chops if I don't practice every day.  Nailed today, but need to work on that as a side quest.  Music is not enough, I need to include performing, playing and recording.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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It's Sunday, so it is time for a progress check.  I would give myself about a B on losing an inch from my waist.  I think I lost about 0.1", but it is kind of hard ot measure that small an increment.  My diet seems to be back on track after a party week, so things are moving in the right direction.

 

I would rate myself a B on substituting music for video games, as well.  I managed to do it most of the time, but sometimes did not.  I am certainly getting better.  I need to focus on actually playing instead of other music related activities, so that is what I will be working on this week.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Hi there!

 

Wow, what a week for you - son going to college, brother's wedding, 1000 mile driving, and busy with your musical gigs, too!  That sounds full-on by any standards!

 

Well done on steering your diet back in the right direction, and making progress towards spending time on music over video games.  Do you have a routine time you could practice your violin?

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

-- Facebook

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Hi there!

 

Wow, what a week for you - son going to college, brother's wedding, 1000 mile driving, and busy with your musical gigs, too!  That sounds full-on by any standards!

 

Well done on steering your diet back in the right direction, and making progress towards spending time on music over video games.  Do you have a routine time you could practice your violin?

Thanks for the words of encouragement.  I had a less stressful time yesterday, got a lot done, and toed the low-carb line. I played no video games. I managed to gently persuade my wife to start playing her recorder again by playing with her with my mandolin (it is less imposing and loud than the violin).  My autistic son is off at school Mon - Thur from about 4 - 8 so we have some new-found time together.

 

I currently do not have a time I always play.  I would like to, but my efforts in that direction have always ended up stymied.  With one more child out of the house, it should be easier.  My starter goal is at least a half hour of practice per night, expanding to an hour or more as time permits.  If I can get my wife involved, and that could certainly happen, it could end up being really nice.

 

But tonight I have a Boy Scout meeting I must attend, so reality rears its ugly head.  I should have some time before and after to do something.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Things have quieted down a bit.  I got in some music practice today and yesterday and have not touched a video game in two days (yay!).  My wife and I went out clothes shopping tonight, and I have to get up for my music group's semi-weekly 6AM morning practice tomorrow, so I will not be doing much more tonight.  Diet has managed to stay in bounds.

 

I have a very full Labor Day weekend planned, so may not be doing many updates for the next few days.  Good luck to all on your challenges during the holiday.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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After a very labor-filled Labor Day holiday, I am back.  I visited my parents and refinished eight chairs and a table top.  In between times, I helped clean out a very overgrown garden, complete with a plethora of small trees.  The garden originally contained iris, which were overgrown, so we divided them up.  I got to bring a few home since there were far more than my parents wanted.  I will use them to fill the holes in my iris garden due to our continued severe drought.  Finally, I fixed a couple of doors that were binding due to the house shifting.

 

Despite a full Labor Day, and a birthday party, I managed to keep my carbs pretty low.  I avoided the cake, but not the cheesecake (a lesser evil).  It was a celebration, so fell into the 20 part of the 80/20 rule.  I did virtually no between meal snacking.  Back on the wagon now.  I think I actually lost some waist circumference, but will check tomorrow morning and report to keep things consistent.

 

I did not have much time for music, but did take the time to do some mandolin/recorder duets with my wife and did a short concert for my parents.  In addition, I always play Ashokan Farewell on my parents front porch just before I leave.  I warmed up with St. Anne's Reel, did Ashokan Farewell, then packed the fiddle in the car and away we went.  Just 500 miles this weekend.

 

Less than a week to go.  Time to finish strong.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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I forgot to check my stats yesterday, but got them this morning.  I have not changed my waist size at all still 36.4" :(.  My diet has stayed pretty low-carb, so my guess is that I need to change its composition more toward fat than I currently have it.  Jimmie Moore recently had good success with that, and my past efforts have pointed in that direction.  I should try a bacon and egg diet for a couple of days ;).

 

On the plus side, I have not touched a computer game in almost a week, and music has been at the fore.  I had a group practice last night, and we went over a lot of old favorites, such as Dan Fogelberg's "The Reach" and Stan Rogers "Mary Ellen Carter."  Yes, we were on a nautical bent.  They were practicing "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" when I had to leave.

 

Time to quit typing and start playing!

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

Link to post

Well done on the swapping video games for something else thing!  That requires discipline :)  As did not going to town on the food at the birthday party!

 

Sounds like you had a productive Labor Day (sounds like quite a lot of laboring to me, all that work in the garden & house!)

 

I hope you get to enjoy more time practising together with your wife now.

 

And thanks for supporting me in my challenge over the last few weeks!

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

-- Facebook

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Final Roundup:

 

I measured out at 36.1" this morning, so just shy of my goal, but good enough to avoid buying video games for the sons.  I kept my carbs down, but discovered I was simply eating too many nuts.  When I eliminated them, my waist started dropping again.

 

I have not opened a video game in a week and a half at this point, and have typeset a bunch of music and practiced more this six weeks.  Trajectory is correct.  Next time, I would like to start publishing my music.

 

My goals were about 85%, 90% and 98%, so B, A-, and A for scores.  Thanks to all for the encouragement.  Looking forward to the next challenge!

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Go you!  You've just kept going, and have been very inspiring to others (including me :) ) in the process!  Nuts are very easy to eat too many of...I ended up putting little portions in individual bags for long car rides to eat instead of pop tarts, but otherwise try to avoid them.  It'd be really cool if you started publishing your music!  That's an exciting thing to work towards.  Really great work this challenge!

One day, your heart will stop beating, and none of your fears will matter.  What will matter is how you lived.

-Henri Junttila

 

My current challenge

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Great job! There's not many exams where 85% would be a B either, I think ;)

Well done with everything & I hope you will share some of your music some time :)

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

-- Facebook

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