Monday, August 31, 2009

Jasper part 1/4- Wilcox Pass

Hey everyone,

So, as you probably know, I got back from six days of camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains (Jasper area). I went for a three day camp with my Venturer company, and my dad and I went three days early to do some extra hiking.

Below are some photos.

The first day, we hiked about 12 kms (with about 400 meters of elevation gain) in Wilcox Pass.

There was a herd of 11 bighorn sheep in the pass

 And down below, we visited Horseshoe Lake which is one of my favourite little lakes in the Rockies. It's very beautiful ( and really deep and full of fish!). Actually it's deep enough that people like to go to a little cliff ledge and jump in, just for kicks. We saw a whole bus load of people in swim suits going to jump into the water. It was pretty funny.

More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm home! No, really, I am. I'll post something good tomorrow. Good night.

This was a lame post.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'll be back tomorrow. Do you miss me?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New flute!

I have some pretty exciting news!
What could possibly be in this case?

Ooh, I know!

It's a brand new Miyazawa...


And it's mine!

Ain't it pretty?

You get a mini lesson about flutes now. This is the end part of the flute. It's called the "foot". See the three circular keys? This is a B Foot. My old flute only had two keys on the foot and so it was a C Foot. With the extra key, you get an extra note! Flute music never really goes below the B, so with this flute, I can play pretty much all the flute music written! (Theoretically, of course, I'm not technically capable yet. :P)

This flute is also an open hole flute. That means that the flutes have a hole in the middle of them, as shown by the photo below. Open hole flutes are quite a bit tougher to play, but give a lot more room for different tone colours, pitch control etc.

Now, I've never played open-hole before, so until I get used to it, I use plugs that basically make the flute just like a closed-hole model. The plugs are just like little silicone blobs that you push into the keys.

More photos...

Sterling silver lip plate!

So that's my new flute! I absolutely love everything about it. I love the tone, and and the action of the keys, just everything about it! I tried out a lot of different flutes, and this one really "clicked" for me. We have a good relationship. :)
So, I hope you enjoyed this, and learned a thing or two about flutes!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Click buttons, do some good

Good day! If you're like me, you've probably seen websites (or perhaps the facebook group) that say stuff like "feed a child with just one click!". I've always been pretty skeptical about them, as I think that some of them are definitely hoaxes. 

Nevertheless, I am very pleased to have come across one that actually does what it says it does. It's called The Hunger Site and all you have to do is visit it everyday and click the button on it and the sponsors will pay for cups of food.

Here is the link.

I looked it up on and it's real. Here's what Snopes has to say.

So go and click daily! You'll notice that there is a bunch of different tabs at the top of the page (they read: Hunger, Breast Cancer, Child Health, Literacy, Rainforest, Animal Rescue).

So please click the "Click Here to Give- it's FREE" button on each tab daily!

Snopes also has an article about the Breast Cancer tab. You can read it here.

Whadaya know? It seems that you can actually (distantly), do some good from clicking buttons on the internet. Tell your friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gone camping!

Hello my lovely blogging buddies.

I'm going camping and hiking with my Venturer group, and  so I'm leaving today for the mountains! Actually, our camp officially starts on Thursday, but my dad and I are going a few days early to get some extra hiking in beforehand. Once the rest of the Venturers arrive, we're going to be doing some long dayhikes in the mountains, and just getting more experience camping in the mountains. I'll be back on Sunday. Meanwhile, I've got some posts written that are scheduled to be posted while I'm gone. I'll try to have one written for everyday that I'm gone, but we'll see.

Take care everyone!

Monday, August 24, 2009

To give or not to give?

I had an experience two days ago while I was busking at the farmer's market, and I'd like your opinion on what you think is the correct course of action.
I was busking at the downtown market with my flute and an open case of money at my feet. I had been playing for about 45mins and so a fair amount of money had accumulated. As I was taking a break, a homeless man approached me and asked if I could spare some change. He seemed sober (and I couldn't smell alcohol on his breath) and was not "stoned" as far as I could tell, so I pulled $2 out of my case and gave it to him. I don't usually give money to people who just ask for money, but my money was sitting right there, so I did. 
Then he said "Please sir, can you give me at least $5, enough for a meal?". I said "Sorry", but he kept saying "please". I kept saying "Sorry", but he just kept repeating "Please, I haven't eaten in days". He wasn't being obnoxious, but he was just being very persistent, and finally I fished $3 out of my case and he took it, thanked me and off he went.
I'm never sure whether to give money or not. My kind of default answer is "Sorry, no" but I'm not sure whether that's the best (and most moral) answer. I've seen posters around the city saying not to give money to panhandlers, but to instead give money to homeless shelters and places that provide safe food and shelter. That way you know that it's going toward "healthy" stuff rather than drugs, alcohol etc. I think that's probably the best thing to do. But how could I in good conscience not give him anything when I had a full case of money sitting right there? 
So comment with your thoughts!
  • Do you give panhandlers money? 
  • Do you think we should just give money freely and believe that it's not our responsibility to know what they do with that money?  
  • Should I have caved in and given him that $3?
Thanks for the thoughts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Email post option

Hey everybody, just to let you know, there is now an option to email posts to friends really easily. Beneath each post, by the commenting option, there is a little graphic that looks like this:


You can click on that and email that post to anybody you think may be interested. :)

My (temporary) facebook purge

If you're friends with me on facebook, you probably noticed that I'm taking a two-week break from facebook. I've done this once before (you can read about that here) but I did it for just a week then. So I'm going to quote some my post from then, as my reasons for leaving are largely the same.

"Now, I'll just clarify. I do not hate facebook. I love facebook. I really do. It's fun, and makes it easy to connect with friends I haven't seen in a long time, or live far away from me. So this isn't a stand against facebook at all. Its just a way for me to take a break from something that was becoming too much of a time waster for me"

And mainly, I've been feeling like I really need more time to read, think, observe, write and compose. And facebook is too much of a distraction from that. So goodbye facebook. I'll be back in two weeks. I'm still going to blog daily and email and all that, facebook.

It feels good for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: How Doctors Think

So at at good friend's suggestion, I read How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman. I found it very interesting, and enjoyed it a lot. I'm a big nerd when it comes to books on psychology and how people think (which is why I find books by Malcolm Gladwell fascinating!). This one is pretty similar in thought process and in writing style. It offers some very interesting insights into what affects diagnoses and what can affect misdiagnoses. And it certainly isn't only for people in the medical field, or for those interested in the medical field. It gives lots of suggestions on how patients can help with diagnosing and questions to ask your physician. It's a good read. I'd recommend it.

"I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity."

--Nelson Mandela

Friday, August 21, 2009

Important news!

Hey everyone,

After a temporary hiatus from blogging, I am back! And so, I have something extremely important to share.

I have new sheets. And a new comforter. No, really, it really is that cool.
Check out the photos.

Isn't that fabulous?

Check out this pattern and tell me if that isn't the most groovy, rad and cool pattern for a comforter ever.

Look at this wonderful sea of green and blue fabric and see if it doesn't harrow you with joy and jubilation. It does for me.

Okay, more exciting goodness coming up in the next couple days! Watch for topics like my brand new flute(!), a book review on How Doctor's Think, a movie review on the new movie Adam and other things! Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Folk fest

For the past couple days, I've been attending a Folk Music festival. I mean they call it that, but it's really not limited to folk music at all. You'll hear bluegrass, country, blues, celtic etc. It's great. I've been attending every year for 16 years, which I think is pretty good, seeing as I'm only 16 anyway. Anyway, it was a great festival, I heard some incredible music, and I'm very inspired by what I heard musically.

I was also inspired by something I heard from a little boy. He was probably about six years old. I was sitting on the hill on my tarp, when he and his family walked by. The mom and the dad were looking around and discussing the best place to lay their tarp down. Then the little boy said
"Mom, it looks like they put a lot of work into this, so let's just enjoy it."
It was completely adorable. But more importantly, I think he unknowingly hit right on the head, exactly what I trying to say in this post. I really think that one of the important things about living life is realizing that circumstances are not either good or bad, but simply are and if we simply appreciate them for what they are, we'll be a lot happier with our lives.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Folk music festival

Hey everyone, right now, I’m just in the middle of a great folk music festival, so I haven’t had the time to post regularly. Sorry! I have some posts that have been stewing in my mind and I’ll get back to a regular posting schedule on Monday.

Take care,


Friday, August 7, 2009

What do you do with the time that you've got?

There's a line that's repeated a lot in the songs of the musical RENT, (which is quite possibly my favorite musical ever) that says "no day but today". It's kind of like the "motto" of the show, which is all about making the most of the time that you have on earth.

So, what do you do with the time that you've got?

It's a question that I've been thinking about, because I don't know if I'm really living or not, you know? I mean, I love life, and I'm really very happy, but I'm always wondering if I'm really making the most of my life. What can I do differently? What can you do to really live? Maybe it has something to do with learning to notice every single aspect of your life, and realize that they all come together to make this moment, and then be able to appreciate the moment, not label it for good or bad, but just to appreciate that it is.

Daniel, once more thinking out loud.

Wait, did any of that actually make sense at all?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What have I been up to lately?

Well, for starters, I'm writing a whole bunch of music for a youth production of The Tempest with Celsius Youth Theatre which is the theatre company that I co-founded. I'm writing a fair amount of music, in a relatively short time, so it's rather challenging, but hey, deadlines are good. We're having some live musicians that will be playing the live music on stage with the production, so I think it will be really great. We have 1 bass guitarist, 1 classical guitarist, 1 violinist and 1 recorder. Funky combo, huh?

I'm also doing some reading. At Kelsey's suggestion via the comments section, I'm reading How Doctors think by Jerome Groopman. I'm finding it really interesting, and I'll be sure to post a review once I'm finished. I'm also reading Richard II by Billy Shakespeare. I've only just started reading it, but again I'll post a review when I'm done.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Went for a great bike ride today. About 25kms and found six geocaches. It was pretty cool out, but not horrible. Anyway. I'm tired and so I'm not writing anymore. Thats all. Good night.

Danse Macabre

Okay, this is the single greatest thing I've heard for a long time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New poll!

New poll! Please vote! ========>
So as you know, I just got back from a few days in the mountains. I would like to write a little bit about something that I was thinking about while I was there. I don't expect that it will make much sense, as I'm very confused about it myself and I don't know the answer to it at all.
Hmm, it seems like I ask waaay more questions on this blog than I answer... But I suppose it's true that:

"The unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as the unquestioned answers." (Anonymous)

Being in the mountains, I felt very, very small. It was wonderful in some ways, because I felt like all of my problems and concerns were all so insignificant and unimportant to the planet in general. I'm just one small person in the entire universe. It was refreshing.

On the other hand, I'm the only thing in the entire universe that I can control. So is it better to focus on the fact that the universe will go on without you and that your problems are insignificant in the scheme of things, or to focus on the idea that you and your problems are the only things you can control and focus on working on you and not thinking about the universe?

I guess that the best thing is to find a medium between them both- realizing that you can only control yourself, but working on bettering yourself so that you may have an influence on others.

Thoughts anyone?

Daniel, thinking out loud.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Camping, mountains…

I just got back from camping in the mountains. It was a really great vacation. It’s been said hundreds of times before, but there really is something about the mountains that is so rejuvenating, awe-inspiring, spiritually-provoking, or something. It gave me a lot of time to think and read, and I’m thankful for that. We did a whole bunch of hiking and saw some incredible views. It was seriously breathtaking. I feel like it was just what I needed. Now my challenge is: How can I better appreciate all the beauty and goodness that is all around me?