Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A lesson learned...in an amusing way

You can make a difference, one person can change the world, blah blah, etc etc etc. You've heard it before. I had heard it lots before. The message happily floated through my brain and out my ears, making no notice of the fact that it should stay in my mind. It never clicked. Two days ago though, it clicked.

I was in a car driving to a piano lesson. The traffic slowed and we were no longer moving at a normal pace. Trapped between a couple cars with no way of getting out of the slog, we inched along at a snail's pace. We drove for about ten minutes, going no faster than 10 kph. As we came around a bend, we discovered the cause of the slow moving. It was a young man standing beside his truck. By the looks of the oil tank beside him, he had ran out of gas. There is the lesson, right there.
One person affected about fifty people, just like that.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I actually finished it! I actually finished it on November 30th. 50,038 was my official word count but I still have a tiny bit more to add to my novel (or novella if you want to call it that). I might post some excerpts here at some point, but I have to do a load of editing to get it into readable condition.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just testing something...

I'm just testing to see if I can make a link to an audio clip

Linky link link

EDIT: Aha! I can! Thats one of my compositions.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prokofiev's second piano concerto

Wow. I have been listening to Prokofiev's second piano concerto and it is amazing. It is definitely one of my favorites (mind you, that isn't saying much because it changes every couple of weeks.)

Did you know that when he first wrote it, it was very strongly disliked? One critic even went as far as to say:

"To hell with this futurist music! What is he doing, making fun of us? The cats on the roof make better music!"

Each to his own, I guess. I think that its a masterpiece. It was pretty futuristic for his time though, so I guess that man can be excused.


Done! I have finished my longest, best piece that I have composed. The second movement of my piano concerto, officially titled Piano Concerto no. 1 in G Sharp Minor-Andante. Ooh, doesn't that sound spiffy? Now, mind you, I say that I am done it, but in three months from now, or so, I will likely scoff at it and rewrite a lot of it. Oh well, I am pretty happy with it at the moment. On to movements 1 and 3!

King Lear

I finished reading King Lear for an online course that I'm taking. Its a pretty neat book, and its fascinating to see how a small thing that we do can trigger big things. A good reminder that all our actions have consequences and that we need to be responsible for all our actions. A very smart man that I know once told me and some others that you are an adult when you take responsibility for all your actions. Hmm...I know a couple "adults' who don't do that...


Yahooo! I just made it to 35000 words. Only 15k left. Problem is, I only have six more days to do it and I'm running out of plot...

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I am almost finished the second movement from the piano concerto that I am writing. Its always nice to finish a piece that you don't completely hate. And no, I haven't written the first or third movements. I wrote the second movement first because the theme just strolled into my head and I knew that it would make decent second movement

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I just found out about Matchstick Rockets and they are soo neat. You make a little rocket with a paper match and aluminum foil with a little "Exhaust pipe". Then, you hold a match underneath until it launches! Too cool. Mine didn't fly very far, but I am going to refine my technique a bit more. Check out this link for how to make one (See? They're even known by NASA!)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Things I want to do

Kathleen has done it. Raine has done it. I think I will jump on the bandwagon and do it to. (Sorry for copying your idea).

Gosh, there are so many things I want to do! I'll just list a few.

1. Learn all 4 Rachmaninov Piano Concertos and play them with an orchestra.
2. Read War and Peace (by Leo Tolstoy)
3. Play in an orchestra
4. Learn to speak, read and write Italian, French, Spanish, German, Latin, Hebrew, Mandarin and Greek fluently.
5. Have my one book published.
6. Have some of my compositions published or played by an orchestra.

I might just keep adding to the list. Those are just a couple things.


I just joined NaNoWriMo! That means that I am going to write a 50,000 word novel in one month! Quite scary, I think. I'm really excited though, it should be fun. Check out the website for more details.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I just wanted to share a couple of photos of a male white-winged crossbill that I took, the last time that I was in Jasper. The first photo shows the bird through just my camera zoomed in as far as my camera would allow. The last two photos were taken through my binoculars. Yes, you read that right: through my binoculars. I put the camera lens right in to my binoculars zoomed in a bit more, brought it home, Photoshoped a bit and Voila! Okay, they aren't very good pictures, but they are pictures nevertheless, pictures that are useable enought for IDing birds. Cool!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #4

I listened to Rachmaninoffs' 4th concerto today. Its Rachmaninoff's least known and least liked piano concertos. It's a good concerto though, in my opinion. Perhaps one of the reasons that it isn't so popular is the lack of a really defined cadenza. I think that the cadenza is one of the best parts of a concerto. Its sort of the pianist's big solo, the chance for him to really give all he's got. The concerto as a whole seems slightly disconnected. However, I know that if I listen to it more and really try to understand it, the more it wil make sense and the more I will love it.

-Daniel (still humming the them from the first movement)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New blog!

I have started a new blog! I will still continue blogging on this one, but I have started specially for classical music. I will post my favorite pieces, analysis of them etc...Here it is.

Friday, October 19, 2007


A few days ago, some of our friends introduced me to ATCs, or Artist Trading Cards. They're basically really small peices of art, 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches to be exact. People all over the world create them and trade, not sell, with each other. Here is the first one that I made. Sorry for the lousy picture quality.


About a week ago I attended probably the most amazing concert I have ever attended! It was called Firebird Festival and it was sooooo good. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra played Shostakovich's Festival Overture (one of my favorites), Sibelius' Finlandia, The Firebird Suite by Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff's first piano concerto, with soloist Hong Xu, who I actually talked to afterwards! Rachmaninoff's first concerto is one of my favorites pieces so it was sooo exciting to hear it played by with an incredible pianist!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I just finished cleaning my room and wow! it felt good!!! I recycled lots of paper and neatened up some things and now it looks great. Cleaning your room is just something that is so annoying to do, but when you do it it feels great! I now enjoy spending time in my room!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

New Poll!!!

Don't forget to vote!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ooh, spiffy...

Blogger has a new "Poll" option which I just had to take advantage of. I know my current poll is rather lame, but I will think of some better ones, I promise.

Friday, August 31, 2007

8 things about me!

I have seen this on a number of other blogs and I thought I'd do it on mine too!
Here is 8 random things about me!

1. I loooove classical music.

2. I was born in Vancouver, BC and I love the ocean. I want to live on a small island a couple kilometers out to sea when I am older.

3. I own two Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads. I love frogs.

4. I'm a composer. Not a very good one, mind you, but I do love it.

5. I love reading. I like history and some fiction.

6. I am considered a nerd by some of my friends. It could be because I love learning and studying thing that they consider boring, like parlimentary procedures. I am reading Roberts Rules of Order right now.

7. I love to geocache.

8. I love making lists and have every thing organized neatly, but fail to do so in my own room!

Liber Youth Retreat

Okay, here is my promised post about the Liber Youth Retreat. Once again, it was great experience. I have been trying to think of somehow to write about it, other then just using a bunch of superlatives, but they are really what sum it up! I had two excellent counselors, both of whom I knew pretty well from previous events but it was great getting to know them better and to just hang out with them for a weekend. Our speakers were very engaging and their topics were excellent and applicable.

The simulation--well, I could write a whole post on the simulation. The "story" was about a water dispute between two African tribes. Because of this dispute, smaller disputes were happening: cattle were being killed, people were being killed, the other tribe was hunting on our land etc. We were split into two larger groups-the tribes and one smaller group-mediators from a peace organization. I was a delegate from one the tribes. We had come together at this meeting to come to an agreement. We argued and debated and finally, with about 3o seconds remaining on the clock, we came to an agreement! With only 3 hours, it was really quite a feat! Have you read The Anatomy of Peace? For me, this was a great example of always seeing other people as people. At first, I was seeing the other tribe as "them" but when I started to look at them as "us", I was able to see the situation in a clearer light, and think about solutions that would make us all happy.

I had some great discussions with really neat people. It is just so refreshing to see so many wonderful people who are really trying to become better people and make the world a better place. Its such a great atmosphere.

Phew, so much to write about, and I have really just touched the surface. I wish I could show you the photos that I took, but, to protect people's privacy, I will not post them on the internet.

I can't wait 'till next year!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Have you ever had a time in your life where you become completely and utterly obsessed with something i.e. a type of music? I am going through that at the moment. For me, it is PCOS aka. Piano Concerto Obsession Syndrome. I looove piano concertos! Thats all I ever listen to now! I just went to the library and go out 10 CDs of them. The library lady looked at me funny. Here is is a list of some my favorites (feel free click the red X in the top right-hand corner of your screen now if you're not interested... :P)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2-Rachmaninoff
  • Piano Concerto in A Minor-Grieg
  • Piano Concerto in G Minor-Dvorak
  • Piano Concerto No. 1-Tchaikovsky
  • Piano Concerto No. 3-Prokofiev
  • Piano Concerto No.1-Prokofiev
  • Piano Concerto No. 1- Saint-Saens
The list keeps growing...

Please share YOUR favourites! Or other favourite classical music pieces, for that matter...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sibelius 5

Wahoo!!! A few days ago, I got a computer program called Sibelius 5. It is music notation software that allows you to enter your musical compositions and it will play them back to you and you can print them out and they look "professional". You can read more about it HERE. It is AWESOME!!!!!!! I have been wanting it for a looong time, so I saved up my money and my parents paid some as my early birthday present. I'm really excited about it...!


P.S. For those of you who are still waiting for a post on the Liber Youth Retreat, it is still coming! I hope to have it done in the the next day of two. Maybe even tonight, but thats assuming I stop composing and playing with Sibelius long enough to write it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


As some of you know, I just came back from almost two weeks in Quebec. The reason I went was to go to a large Scout Camp: Scouts Canada Jamboree 2007. There were scouts from Ireland, USA, Kenya, Switzerland, Taiwan( and other countries, I forget) and of course, lots from Canada! It was really great. There were almost 8,000 people there! Located about an hour north of Montreal, Camp Tamaracouta was the perfect place to hold CJ. It is right next to a really nice lake, and even though there were almost 8,000 people there, it really didn't feel like it! One of the highlights for me came when I got to meet Adam Baden-Clay, who is Lord Baden-Powell's great-grandson! It was neat meeting a living relative of the man whose started this great movement. I didn't bring my camera to CJ (intentionally, so I wouldn't lose it), so I don't have any photos to post, but you can find some on the site I posted above.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The "actual" Utah post!

Here it is: the big Utah post!

We did so much that I won't possibly be able to write as much about our trip as I would like to, but here goes! The first two days of our trip were mainly just driving. From where I live, to where we were going (Cedar City, UT) is about a 24 hr. drive so it can get loooong and boring. However, I was in the USA, a place I had never been before. How cool is that!
We passed through:Observe the snow in the background...This is June, remember!
And finally:
The first night, we stayed in Helena, Montana and drove past their State Capitol building, which was really neat. Here is a photo:
We arrived in Cedar City, and poked around there. It is a really neat city with lots of character. It is quite small, around 10,000 people.
My YFA began the next day. We had three book discussions, three excellent speakers and two simulations. Besides that, we had a formal dance (ball room dancing, not that random bobbing up and down that you find at most dances) and lots of quiet conversations. What was really awesome is that everybody there is really, really, really nice and is really trying to make a difference in the world, which is cool.

My YFA was just a tiny bit of what we did while we were in the States. The evening that I came back, we went to Kolob Canyon, which is quite close to CC. In the evening, the red rock there is very beautiful.

We went to Grand Canyon. Its HUGE!!!
We saw lots of these lizards at the Grand Canyon. I have to admit, I sort got obsessed with them, and my sister would groan when I zoomed off in search of them...

The next day we went to Bryce Canyon. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I am going to post lots of them.

Kathleen had her YFA then we went headed home! We stayed overnight in Salt Lake City. I am not Mormon, but is was really neat spending time there and learning more about LDS. Sunday morning we poked around on Temple Square and went to the dress rehearsal of "Music and the Spoken Word" and heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live!

This is on the roof of the LDS conference center. In the background, dead center, is the Salt Lake Temple, of which there is photo (5 photos up) of it at night.

All in all, it was a great trip, and I learned loads.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Hi all!

I am in Cedar City, Utah (using the library computer)! So far, our trip has been amazing. I have met some many wonderful people, made new friends and got to know other friends even better. Yesterday, we went into Arizona and went to the Grand Canyon! Its...really...BIG!!! The size of it, completely took my breath away. In the visitor center, they had a small scale model of it, which showed where we were in it. What we saw was a tiny part of the canyon. It made me feel very, very, small! In Utah and Arizona, they have all these cute little lizards. I am a avid nature person, so I spent a lot of my day trying to find lizards!

I would like to write about my conference, but to do that would take days. Suffice it to say that it was incredible and tons of fun. I made some really great friends and learned so much. My counselor was someone who I already knew, so I was thrilled to have him as a counselor. I plan to write a much longer entry when I get back to Canada, but until then, this will have to do.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

To Utah!

In two days, I will be leaving for Cedar City, Utah. I am attending a Youth Conference put on by George Wythe College. We will also do some touring around and make a bit of a "holiday" out of it. I am excited to learn about the history of the area. I will make a post about my trip when I get back!

World Day against Child Labour

The past few weeks, I have been researching the issue of child labour. Child labour is the employment of youth under the minimum age set by the government. They are usually made to do work that is dangerous and are paid very little. June 12th is the World Day against Child Labour and in honour of that, I would like encourage you to research child labour yourself and tell as many people about it as you can.

Some excellent resources:
Free the Children- Craig Kielburger(book)
Wikipedia's article on Child Labour
UNICEF article

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Frogs and Mother's Day

Today, on Mother's day, we went for two lovely walks in the woods. Frogs are my favorite animals, so I was delighted to see some. On the first walk, I saw some adorable Boreal Chorus Frogs, about an inch long. I also saw this funky tree.

On the second, I saw a beautiful Boreal Toad. The picture quality is a bit poor, as I had to zoom in a bunch and it pixelated a bit.

And also this flower:

Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 7, 2007


Hello everybody,

I'm terribly sorry that I have not posted in almost a month. I have still to write a longer and more interesting post, but I would like to share something with you that I think is the coolest thing ever. Observe: THE BUTTON!

I am learning HTML right now and have learned how to make cool, professional-looking buttons!

I am sorry if I have bored you terribly..:)


Friday, April 13, 2007

Vimy Ridge/ World War I

As many of you know, last Monday (April 9) marked the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, in which the Canadians took the ridge where many other armies failed. I realized how little I really knew about Vimy and WWI and after watching a documentary that was shown on CBC Television, my interest was piqued! The next time I was at our local library, I got a bunch of books out about WWI. One particular book, which I am currently reading, is Vimy by Pierre Berton. It is an excellent book, and although I am not done it yet, I would already recommend it! Anyway, looking back, I am disappointed with myself about how little I knew about a battle that changed our nation. I am happy to say that I know considerably more now, and if you don't know much about Vimy, I suggest that you read up on it!

Signing off...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I recently read a book called Between a rock and a hard place by Aron Ralston. It is a very good book and I highly recommend it. The author was rock climbing in Blue John Canyon when a rock shifted, trapping his arm between the rock wall and the boulder. He eventually escapes by snapping his arm and amputating it with his pocket knife. Isn't it amazing what humans will do to survive? Isn't it amazing what people can do with a bit of determination?

"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."~Napoleon Hill

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Writing a Personal Mission Statement

Having a personal mission Statement can help you make difficult decisions and give you a solid grounding to base your actions on. It forces you to define what is important to you and write them down on paper. How you write your mission statement is entirely up to you but here are some suggestions on how to begin.
  • Just write freely about what inspires you and what sort of standards you want to set for yourself. Dont worry about editing, just write.
  • Make a collection of your favorite qoutes, songs and poems and use them.
  • Jot down in point form the most important elements of your life.
  • An assortment of all of the above.

Remember, it can be as long or as short as you want it to be and you can always change it later. It's YOUR Mission Statment, so make it yours!


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Happy April Fool's!

Happy April Fool's day.

Check out this article.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Writer's Block

Hmm, I seem to be experiencing some writer's block...Any suggestions? What do you do when you don't know what write? Do you write about something really random(like a CD player) and hope that something profound will come out of it? Do you wait around for days waiting for a stroke of inspiration to hit you like a bolt of lightning?

Well, no stroke of inspiration coming towards me... :(

I could just write about writer's block. When does writer's block come about? Is it when our lives are at their most uneventful peak? I don't think so. Nobody's life is all that boring that there should be nothing to write about! What is it then? Is it a lack of having something profound happen in our days? Not enough that seems important enough to share with others? Then I think we must find things important enough to share. When we have done that, we will perhaps be finding the good in tiny things, rejoicing in the little subtleties of life.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day (a day late)!

I am sorry that I have not posted for quite awhile. *sheepish grin* I am an Irish Dancer, so during the St. Patrick's Day "season" I am quite busy dancing with my troupe's performance routine at schools, seniors homes and various other functions. I do have a longer blog entry in the writing at the moment, so I should have that up soon.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Ahh! Its a new colour scheme!

Yes, yes, I know. I think it is rather nice actually.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Fallen Firefighters

Recently, I visited a memorial in a neighboring city. It is called The Fallen Firefighters Memorial. It remembers fire fighters that died doing their duties at a fire. (Pictures below of the memorial.)
This entry is not really a "musing" but more of a thank you, a thank you to not only to fallen fire fighters, but a thank-you to all fire fighters, police and paramedics both past and present. What ever would we do with out you all? Thank you!

Little Britches and Gratitude

Sorry I haven't posted in over a week...Either way, here is something for you to read.

This week I re-read one of my favorite books of all-time; Little Britches, by Ralph Moody. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend reading it.

This time, when I read it, what really stuck out at me was gratitude. Let me share with you this quote from the book:

"He didn't answer me for a few minutes, then he told me we hadn't stopped to realize how well off we were to have enough to eat every day, and to have a good home and clothes enough to keep us warm, when people were actually starving."

You, my reader, by reading this are showing that you own(or at least have access to) a computer. What a marvelous tool! How fortunate we are to live in an age where technology is so easy to access. However, I am positive that you agree with me when I say that gratitude is poorly measured by being thankful about having access to a computer! We are lucky to be alive. What a great thing it is to live in such a wonderful world. No matter what happens in life, we need to be grateful. If your ever feeling down, look around you and say I am lucky to be alive. Things could be so much worse. I can't possibly say what I want to say as well as Bob Thiele and David Weiss said it in their song What a wonderful world. So, I am just going to post the song and you can enjoy!

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007



Just some "musings"... :)

The other day I was taking the elevator up to our local library. There was one other person on it, an elderly lady. When we got to the top, I stepped back to let her off first. As we were walking toward the library door, she turned to me and said "I can see that you have been brought up to be a gentleman, there are not many of them around these days".

"...there are not many of them around these days.."

It really made me think. Are there not many gentlemen around these days? I'm not sure that I think that is true, but is it something that people really think about? People are getting to be so obsessed with careers, looks and fitting in with culture, they forget what really matters, which is to become a better person, whichever way that is, to you.

Another thing that I was thinking about... In TJEd, of the main themes is to build statesmen, "Men and women of virtue, wisdom, diplomacy, and courage who inspire greatness in others and move the cause of liberty." How does a statesman compare to a gentleman? Certainly I think all statesman should be gentlemen, but is this always the case?

Just something for you to ponder...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I am a fourteen year-old boy who wants to learn about EVERYTHING and get an awesome education. I do Thomas Jefferson Education. You can read more about TJEd on my sisters blog which is here


Daniel is starting a blog! I will post ideas and epiphanies that I have come across on my quest for a great education along with some other random tidbits about my hobbies, interests, great movies, books etc...You get the picture. :)