oboe shapers everywhere!

24 04 2007

oboe shaper collectionBefore there were online doublereed supply houses – before American oboe giants such as John Mack had his name attached to a specific shaper model, oboists had few options of shapers to use. There were a few American oboists who also were machinist. Wally Bhosys (formerly of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) learned how to fashion shaper tips. This is how I acquired my first shaper. Engelbert Brenner loaned me a backup shaper tip to send to Bhosys. The resulting copy was a decent shaper which I used for years. After Brenner’s death, I inherited all of his reed-making equipment. Here is a picture of the collection. Absolutely none are stamped with a ‘maker’s mark’, so I can only report that many (with the old, short handles) were French-made, and many were probably ‘tweaked’ by either A. Wales or Wally Bhosys. I have been using both the oboe & English horn shape that Brenner used in the latter part of his career since 1986, when they became part of my studio.


baloney donuts

14 04 2007

baloney donutSometimes kids can be most picky when it comes to eating. A food they loved on Thursday is rejected on Saturday. To counter this problem, parents sometimes need to be inventive. This week, I took an ordinary baloney & cheese sandwich – and used two different sized round cookie cutters to fashion a “baloney donut”. It’s amazing how a little tweak can make one’s kids happy!

emma’s first duet

9 04 2007

Emma has asked my direction on how to play a few melodies on the piano. I taught her a few songs, and she has practiced enough to have the confidence to play accurately while I play chords or counter melodies with her. Here’s our 1st duet!

taking inventory

9 04 2007

If you’ve been visiting this blog for a while, you may have been following threads regarding Peter’s developmental delays. This blog has been a great medium, allowing me to chronicle his milestones – an online diary that you too can read.

Now you can not only read about Peter’s increasing vocabulary, you can see and hear him in action. In the following video clip, he counts his wooden train engines.

Every word is a miracle;
Here’s twelve miracles

woody and the april snow

7 04 2007

woody woodpeckerI thought it was a mistake when my computer flashed a “snow warning” window last night. It was no mistake – we awoke to 1/2 inch of fresh snow this morning. On April 7th, it actually snowed, and enough fell to stick to the grass. 2 days ago, we were wearing t-shirts & shorts.

A sometimes visitor to my bird feeder decided the fresh snow was a good enough occasion to grab a free meal. This woodpecker stops by nearly every day during the winter, but I never hear him drumming in the nearby trees. This is also the latest in the year that he has visited, but I suppose the April snowfall confused both of us!

real woodpecker

acrobat week – no safety net needed

5 04 2007

acrobat 1One of my many ‘things that I do’ is to consult, create and teach people how to use Adobe Acrobat. This unbelievably flexible and dynamic technology has entered into yet another phase of its life recently. Acrobat Professional 8 is widely available now, and many of my clients are gearing up for their classes to be run onacrobat 2 version 8. Before this happens, however, I need to learn the courseware backwards & forwards. That’s the task at hand this week. Software is loaded. Lesson files are copied. Highlighters are putting in for overtime. The new features are really cool, and I’m looking forward to sharing this with others!



New features in Acrobat 8 Professional:

Combine multiple files into a searchable, sortable PDF package that maintains the individual security settings and digital signatures of each included PDF document.
Auto-recognize form fields

Automatically locate form fields in static PDF documents and convert them to interactive fields that can be filled electronically by anyone using Adobe Reader software*. (Windows® only)

Manage shared reviews

Easily conduct shared reviews—without IT assistance—that allow review participants to see one another’sacrobat 8 box comments and track the status of the review.

Enable advanced features in Adobe Reader

Enable anyone using free Adobe Reader software* to participate in document reviews, fill and save electronic forms offline†, and digitally sign documents.

Permanently remove sensitive information

Permanently remove metadata, hidden layers, and other concealed information, and use redaction tools to permanently delete sensitive text, illustrations, or other content.

Archive Microsoft Outlook e-mail in PDF

Configure Acrobat 8 Professional to automatically archive e-mail in Microsoft Outlook for easy search and retrieval. (Windows only)

Archive Lotus Notes e-mail

Convert e-mail in Lotus Notes to Adobe PDF to facilitate searching, archiving, and retrieval. (Windows only)
Save in Microsoft Word

Take advantage of improved functionality for saving Adobe PDF files as Microsoft Word documents, retaining the layout, fonts, formatting, and tables.

Enjoy improved performance and support for AutoCAD

More rapidly convert AutoCAD® drawing files into compact, accurate PDF documents, without the need for the native desktop application.

Take advantage of a new, intuitive user interface

Complete tasks more quickly with a streamlined user interface, new customizable toolbars, and a “Getting Started” page to visually direct you to commonly used features.