The month of February was even more problematic for me than January was. I’ve noticed a pattern that January tends to start our fairly well, because of rebooting after the winter holidays, but then “feature creep” catches up in life.
I did not manage to meditate every single day, but thanks to the Insight Timer mobile app I use, with its “journal” feature, I have a lot of when I did and my brief thoughts after each session.
When I heard that Chris Norman was coming, I frantically started rethinking my schedule for the week, because I really wanted to see him playing his wooden flutes. He has been one of my primary musical heroes since I first encountered him at a public music jam session last year sponsored by the Renaissance and Baroque of Pittsburgh. That day was one of the most important days of my life, which I will never forget, because not only did I see and hear a real master, but also was encouraged to participate myself in playing music.
I’ve always also been a big fan of Chatham Baroque, for their lively, alert performances of the standard repertoire as well as new collaborations and projects.
So I managed to attend one of this week’s concerts, and I was not disappointed!
I was very interested to attend this month’s Pittsburgh Python User Groupmeeting because Nick Sloan was going to give a talk about packaging with distribute: packaging in Python has been a huge source of confusion to me, both as a user and as a developer.
Since my use of Python at work or for personal purposes has not been very large scale, I have limped along with settling on a clean setup to use for packaging my code. This is in stark contrast to my management of libraries in Perl, Ruby, and Java, where I think there has been more of a consensus in adoption of certain tools and conventions.
Also, Joe Esposito sent around some links to interesting discussions and news in the global Python community, so I looked forward to hearing what everyone thought.
Feb 25, 2013 · 3 minute read · Comments musicfluteFrench dancebluesPittsburghCarnegie Mellon University
Last month, I reported on exciting new developments in the local French/blues music jam that happens approximately once a month. We continued with the excitement this month, playing more complex and difficult tunes that Lisa, John, Donna, and others have been transcribing.
By the way, if you are interested in checking out some of our growing French repertoire, take a look at our transcriptions, choosing tunebook “Campanule by Gregory Dyke” and “Tunes for Mondays by Lisa Tamres”.
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Feb 25, 2013 · 2 minute read · Comments OpenHackPittsburghprogrammingScala
Last month was the very first meeting of OpenHack Pittsburgh, so I eagerlly looked forward to attending the second one, which was held at The Beauty Shoppe, a new coworking space in East Liberty.
The space was still under construction and so it was kind of surreal being in there with a half-finished bathroom, walls and rooms that were not completely done yet, missing light fixtures, etc. It was cool that we were allowed to use the space though.
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Today, however, I started getting back into things. It’s been hard motivating myself to do the Cathedral of Learning stair climb, in part because I don’t inherently enjoy doing more than one rep. But now, I am part of an official team for the Fight for Air Climb! This makes all the difference.
Feb 23, 2013 · 5 minute read · Comments musicrecorderPittsburgh Recorder SocietyGeorge Frideric HandelBaroque fluteviola da gambaNiccolò DôtheltamburaMideast early music workshop
I was very excited to celebrate two years of playing recorder by attending the Pittsburgh Recorder Society “Midwinter Musical Feast” potluck and informal recital at Helen’s. Last year (2012) we didn’t have a winter party, but I still remember when two years ago (2011), on February 19, I started learning the alto recorder at home by myself, and then decided to join the Pittsburgh Recorder Society. Helen was actually my first email contact from the group, and she had immediately invited me to come to the Midwinter Musical Feast, but not having actually met anybody yet, and also barely just beginning to play recorder, I was too intimidated and decided to skip the party and instead practice for two weeks before attending my first meeting of the group.
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Feb 21, 2013 · 2 minute read · Comments programmingScalaNE ScalaAkkaactorsasynchronousRevv OaklandPittsburgh
Tonight was the second meeting of the Pittsburgh Scala Meetup. It was our first “real” meeting, in the sense that our first meetup was just a little gathering in a bar, and this time, we were able to use a nice space in Revv Oakland to meet in.
Attendance A large number of people showed up, which was encouraging, indicating local Pittsburgh interest in Scala.
Presentation Josh Suereth gave the first presentation for the group, a version targeted more to novices of the talk he gave at NE Scala 2013, “Functional Programming Patterns for the Asynchronous Web”.
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In the 6th and final round of the Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship of 2013, I was Black against Kurt Wallnau, as I mentioned I would be in my report on round 5. I’d promised him before the game that I was going to play for a win as Black (Black is OK!), even though I only needed a draw to secure undisputed first place in the tournament, since I went into the final round one full point ahead of him.
I played aggressively like a madman and brought home the full point, thereby becoming the Pittsburgh Chess Club Champion of 2013!
I have to admit that objectively, my opening choice was risky, but I’ll explain why I played so wildly as Black.