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September 2008
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November 2008

OMG snow - what will we do?!

We've a winter storm watch/warning here in Ottawa. Not sure what the difference is, maybe one is more serious than the other. Forecast earlier today was for up to 20 cm of snow man material by tomorrow noon - that's already been downgraded to 15 cm. As usual. We seem to be in some sort of forecast fog here, we often get dire warnings of blizzards or monsoons or hail or locusts, but then things fizzle out. Maybe it's the nearness of the Gatineaus that nudges weather systems, or maybe all    the hot air rising from Parliament Hill. The snow is scheduled to start around supper time, to catch some that are driving home from work. I'm sure there will be plenty of minor "accidents". Many of them avoidable. many will not have snow tires on yer, or will be driving with the false sense of invincilbilty thety get from all season tires and anti-lock berakes. many forget how to drive in snow flrom last year, when they slide and slam into another car it always "driving conditions". Never the driver. I'm supposed to go out to band practice tonight, but I'm thinking it may be safer - and quicker - to take the bus.

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Celebrity Intellectuals

There was an interesting column in the Ottawa Citizen this week by Dan Gardner on the topic of Celebrity Intellectuals.

We've always had a fascination for the lives of the rich and famous, raising them to the status of celebrity for a number of reasons. Aside - Neal Gabler has an interesting definition of the term celebrity here. Some, like Paris Hilton seem a circular definition of the term, they are famous only because they are famous - with no other skill or talent to have started their climb with. We envy them, emulate them, mock them, or watch their public downfall with the morbid fascination of a slow motion movie of a train wreck. We follow them on "reality TV" as they try new fields, and their klutziness makes them seem more appealing, more natural, yet at the same time it elevates our image of them as celebrities even more. We watch them try to dance, answer quiz show questions, cook, even go into rehab.  Some use their status to promote a charity or cause, some to promote their new makeup line.

We celebrate the uniqueness of someone who has become a success in a field, an authority on something - be it Stephen Hawking or Frances Ford Coppola. The difficulty is when someone tries to claim the reverse - that since they are a celebrity in one area, then we should accept them as an expert in another area. 

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Brasses and glasses

I noticed I haven't posted here in a while, I tend to put little clips up on Facebook because it's easy. I assume some overlap in readership, but ther may not be a lot. So I guess it's time to add to here. 

A recent adventure has been developing my embouchure. I joined a local brass band - for people that either always wanted to play, or played to long ago it doesn't really mater much. We're pretty well all beginners. I had played euphonium in high school, and occasionally trombone, so signed up for the latter. Euphonium choice back then had been a matter of my name being near the end of the alphabet - it's what was left to be picked. Ironic, since I was also often last pick in school yard games.

The band here is a New Horizons band - adults like me, eager to learn, and not afraid to look a little foolish in the process. Plus, band members are mostly women.

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