Friday, March 31, 2006

Learn to relax, like Chabi here! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Cool Silly Web Page of the Day

Online Conversion - Morse Code Conversion

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Back to the beginnings...

I've been playing a bit more piano lately... it's something I haven't done in a long time. The original impetus of it was to better accompany some of my younger flute students so that they get a better sense of rhythm and harmony from the accompaniment.

It's turned into something more.

Mostly, it's a revisitation to my musical roots, to my first instrument. I've been playing some stuff from my very old piano books, now yellowing and fraying at the edges. Memories ebb and flow as oddly familiar tunes emanate from the 25 year old piano in my studio. Yet I'm seeing and hearing the old books in a new light, things I couldn't possibly have perceived when I was very young. It's amazing how fun it is when you can actually read music.

It's a new source of relaxation... it's an option, and it's how it always was meant to be for me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Hello... just a post to keep readers updated on what's been going on...

Things have been going well for me. I have my health, I have the health of my family and friends, I have my music, and I have my martial arts. What more can a man ask for? Well, a beautiful woman, but that will probably still take a while.

I've been substitute teaching for a flute faculty member who is on sabbatical for the rest of this year, as well as taking on new students, so I've been having greatly expanded teaching duties at COS. The flute studio at COS still needs a lot of work, but I have one or two students I teach there that are finally breaking through and starting to make some very real progress. It hasn't been easy for any of the students, since my style and standards of teaching are so drastically different from that of my predecessor. But I absolutely believe that my approach is the right one, because it's 100% No Bullshit flute playing. Pure technique, with minimal dogma and based purely on ergonomics, physics,science. No gimmicks, no crap. I totally believe that if one follows my assigned progression with diligent practice, they can be competent in 1 year, great in 3 years, and incredible in 5. I'm actually starting to run out of room to put students in my schedule, so I'm going to start to become far more picky in who I'll accept and maintain in my studio, both privately and via COS.

I've lost touch with most of the old gang at the kung fu academy I used to go to. Basically it's just occasional chats with the Master's daughter on MSN, occasional contact with this nice Japanese couple, a few training sessions with another ex-student that decided to follow me to PMAA, and not so infrequent drinking sessions with my friend Ray who went with me to China on a kung fu training vacation. I do miss the training there sometimes, even occasionally pulling out a half-forgotten form now and then. But what I've lost there has been replaced by a far more fulfilling and organized experience at the current academy I train in.

It's been nearly one year since I joined PMAA. Overall, it's been a wonderful time so far. I've learned far more about real combat there in that short amount of time than all of my time spent doing kung fu. That's not to say the kung fu training was completely useless - quite the opposite actually, since it allowed me to have preexisting discipline, flexibility, and fitness to function well in the classes. Remembering pad drills and stick combinations is almost a cinch compared to remembering all those fancy forms. But what separates this school from the other are a couple of things: a central location, proper equipment and safety gear, pressure-tested techniques and concepts, variety of curriculum, and a truly dedicated head instructor and assistant instructors, who are there nearly every day, giving and teaching their all.

It's hard work done by very hard-working people, people with apparently a pretty good history and high sense of morality. Very exciting things are going to be happening at the school soon. It's being relocated and expanding from its current tiny 1100 square feet corner location to an entire 4500 square foot building. Ten years of dedicated teaching and proper school management by Sifu/Guro Nick Sacoulas have resulted in a just reward. The students are all super psyched about the move... if anything, it means more sparring partners to play with (and more room to do it in)! :)

Just a brief plug.... On March 19th, starting at 4pm at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, COS will be having its annual Concerto Extravaganza concert. Yours truly will be assisting Sara Aomori, a young promising flutist, in playing the Cimarosa Double Flute concerto. For more info about location and tickets, go to

Getting sleepy now. Will write/post more stuff soon.