poetry series

Poetry Series #14: It Couldn’t Be Done, by Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


sheet music

Finding Sheet Music

Finding good, free, legal sheet music can be a challenge. Luckily this site has lots of great resources: http://imslp.org/

Lately I’m finding I have a proclivity towards music by Brahms, Satie, and Mendelssohn, but there are lots of other classics out there I’m sure I have yet to discover


poetry series

Poetry Series #13: The Thousandth Man, by Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says.
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.

‘Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for ‘ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.

But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don’t matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.

Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he’s worth ’em all
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight
With that for your only reason!

Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot – and after!


hard cider fermenting

Food Project: Hard Apple Cider

In October 2013, I had the fortune to have a lot of extra apples. With only so many apples I could eat, and after dehydrating several trays already, I decided it would be a good idea to have a go at making hard cider. Here are the steps I took to make this happen along with some comments and notes on the process

  1. Wash and quarter apples
  2. Remove stems and seeds.
  3. Cut away any bruises and defects
  4. Place apple quarters in a high speed blender and blend until thick and smooth.
  5. Add some water facilitate fast and efficient blending
  6. Pour pulp into a strainer
  7. Place strained juice into a fermenting vessel
  8. Add yeast (I used champagne yeast)
  9. Wait until fermentation finishes, then rack and bottle

Notes

  1. When removing the stems and seeds, it’s ok if a few remain but try to remove as much as possible. I’m not sure how much this would affect the taste, but I’d imagine too much could impart a woody, bitter, and overly tannic taste
  2. If you add a lot of water to facilitate the blending of the apples, you may end up with less flavourful cider. I tried to use as little water as possible, but enough so that the apple quarters would still blend easily
  3. You can cut the apples into smaller pieces depending on the size of the apple to facilitate blending
  4. When straining a small quantity of cider, a relatively small collecting bowl and strainer can work. I ended up using an old pillowcase (cleaned and washed before using) to catch and collect the excess pulp
  5. After collecting the pulp, I let the pillowcase hang to drip overnight. I rigged up two saw horses and tied the pillowcase to a stick running across each end
  6. You can squeeze out any excess pulp to get as much liquid as possible
  7. Excess pulp can be used in a number of ways such as food for the worm compost or outdoor compost, added as a filler in baked goods like pancakes, breads, cakes, and cookies, as an ingredient in oatmeal, in shakes/smoothies, or dehydrated as apple pulp. The more juice you squeeze out of the pulp, the less sweet and flavourful the pulp will be. Squeeze out all/most of the juice and your pulp will be pretty tasteless.
  8. If you’re impatient, you can drink the cider anytime during fermentation. The longer you wait, the more dry and alcoholic the cider will be.  Taste at regular intervals until it is to your liking

hard cider fermenting

 


Chris cello performance

February 2013 Music Recordings

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to make a few music recordings on  both the cello and the piano. After finding this great website called the International Music Score Library Project, I found a number of suitable pieces for this project. After about a month and a half of practicing, here are the four recordings I made.

 

Brahms Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1 Andante Moderato

David Popper, Wie einst in schoner’n Tagen, Op 64 No 1 Andantino

Mozart Piano Sonata Eb+ KV189g

Mendelssohn Song Without Words Op. 109


shakepseare sonnets

Poetry Series #11: Sonnet 18, by William Shakespeare

 

shakepseare sonnets

Sonnet 18:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


Always a classic. I remember the day in middle school drama class when we had to memorize and perform this.