Tuesday, September 18, 2007


What to say? Life has been very turbulent lately. There was a relationship that was nice while it lasted, but had to be cut short for the sake of being good to that person... I've lost a good chunk of my income from being laid off of my orchestra conducting job, and then resigning from said orchestra society. It's very sad, because I've been there for 7 years, all of them with unique challenges that the kids have always came through. But I guess moving on is the theme.

I've taken bartending courses to fall back upon, and I've taken A+ and Network+ certification courses in an effort to get a job in IT. I've always been comfortable with computers and putting them together and troubleshooting them, so it's worth a shot. I plan on taking the exams fairly soon.

Anyway, if there's anybody still out there looking at this page, swing by my facebook page. It's at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=555419993

I've been putting music on there lately, a bunch of duets and quartets that I've been recording via garageband. It's weird hearing 4 of me playing at a time, but it's been fun. I'll try to put some on this site as well...

Well, wish me luck on the exams!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

RIP Luciano Pavarotti


He will be sorely missed.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007


* blows the dust off the webpage *

Sorry! Been neglecting this page for quite a while! I blame... Facebook.

It's been a bit rough the past month... most of the students had gone into vacation mode, and that occasionally digs me into a financial hole. Consider that I made $975 in private lessons in June, and made $375 in July... and you get the picture.

I went to bartending school to have something to fall back on just in case... and now I'm looking at A+/Network+ certification courses to start an IT job. Suffice to say, these lessons are expensive, but I think they are a means towards a weekday and/or day job... I have debts to pay, training I want to add, and someone special that I want to work towards supporting, and the musician gig alone is not going to cut it anymore.

That said, I'll still be teaching the lessons, just most likely only on the weekends... I'll still be at COS doing the conducting thing...

Teaching the language of music is still what I do... it just won't be the only thing I'll have to do anymore.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

Aerodynamic once again

Conducting the "Clock"

3rd and 4th movements of Haydn's Symphony #101, from yesterday's concert.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Comic-Life silliness with Chabi

Who knew Chabi loves Sam Adams Black Lager? :)

Note to self: get Photoshop for improved photo mischief.

Classic Chabi

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My new favorite song and video.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Post #150!

I have officially become a total Apple fanatic. :) I got an iPod, after years of resisting. 30GB and video capability was finally too much for me.

The interface took a bit of time to get used to, only because it was so simple! I'm used to pushing a ton of buttons. Once I got used to the wheel, everything became second nature.

Videos look surprisingly good, despite the screen being rather small. Colors look great on my martial arts podcasts.

I'm anxious to try putting it in my car and seeing how it sounds when I play stuff through the radio...

iPod rocks!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

This is just so goofy...


Hey everybody...

So tired! I spent all day moving and cleaning part of the garage to continue my goal of making it into a workshop. Lots of heavy machinery being lugged around!

Then, like a maniac high on endorphins, I went and trained for an hour at PMA. Whew!

Anyway, just thought I'd share some pictures! Here is Chabi, looking cute as ever.

And here are the fishies! Well... what's remaining of them...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Life gets in the way sometimes...

The weather is getting warmer and nicer, and as a result, I'm spending more time outside than inside. Therefore, less blogging. :)

We're now in the extremely slow process of finally clearing the garage, in the hopes of putting my power tools in there and creating a bonified workshop for me to work my creative side.

During my blogging hiatus I've managed to acquire an aquarium of goldfish, play in a small broadway-ish gig through COS at the Queens Theater in the Park, cheer my Mets who are not doing too bad for the start of the season, boo my Knicks for sucking yet again, and chuckle silently at the Yankees for having a $200 million payroll and still being in last place, muhahhaha!

Training continues apace, and with the completion of my blacksmithing class, my Tuesdays are once again free, and so I'll be back to helping out at the Phase 1 Kali classes as well as making Tuesday my "A Day" for JKD. I'm enjoying FMA a lot, and have pretty much made it my main focus at PMA.

My car battery is finally giving out after nearly 5 years... pretty impressive! I gave it a jumpstart this morning, and we'll see if it charges up for once last run.

Ok, pictures and video probably should be forthcoming in the next few days... uh, maybe weeks.... after all, it's getting nice outside. :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Today we play... Compare and Contrast!

Props to Alanis with some nifty self-defense moves. :)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Myspace is crap

Attention Dear Friends:

I've cancelled my Myspace account. It's not that I don't love you all, it's that I hate Microsoft and their inability to control and protect their system from bots and spam.



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007


  • Did a pre-emptive strike on the snow, with early shoveling and massive shock&awe rock salting.
  • Practiced some stuff from Moyse's Tone Development through Interpretation book for relaxation
  • Taught two lessons. I still hate NYSSMA.
  • Sayoc Kali training! Finished a massive knife drill that must have been a sequence of at least 28 steps. It's good to be back.
  • Uploaded the Chabi video in the previous post... enjoy!

Chabi Catnip Joy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


... was a good day. Quick recap.

  1. Worked out a bit... some jump rope, some fly presses, some lat raises and some situps.
  2. Worked on a transcription project... almost done! Just about 13 measures to go.
  3. Had a meeting with COS music director and executive director about stuff.
  4. Had 2 lessons tonight... they did well! I hate the NYSSMA organization. My kids are doing well despite the crap they have to deal with them.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Royskopp - Remind Me

My rough weekend, with a few bright spots

Sigh, where to start?

  • Dermatologist appointment was for Friday 10:45am. Waited until 12:45pm to be seen, 20 minutes of which was spent waiting in the actual examination room. After a quick 5 minute exam, which I'm not sure they really looked too intensely at the affected area, said it probably wasn't ringworm but eczema, and they give me two small vials of lotion, and send me off on my way. Okay, just 2 hours of life wasted... nothing bad really happened did it? Except....
  • I get back to my car, and my right passenger window is smashed. GPS is stolen. So much for my X-mas present. I hope the bastards track my house and try coming over... I have a few new moves I'd just LOVE to try on them, most involving paralysis or death.
  • The lessons that Friday evening were good. Thank you so much for practicing hard and putting in some geniune effort. Made my crappy Friday much smoother.
  • Met up with a new friend in town, and tried Pinkberry for the first time. Had it with coconut and chocolate chip, so not exactly super healthy, and I'm not a big fan of yogurt, but it was pleasant nevertheless. Afterwards, we hung out at the 5th Ave Apple store, and discovered it truly is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NYC truly is the city that never sleeps.
  • Saturday involved a little office drama at COS... it's been a rather high drama area lately. Nothing terribly serious though, more an inconvenience than anything. A double shift of rehearsals went rather well. Later that evening, had dinner and drinks with staff members, and balance was restored for the day.
  • Sunday had 6 students instead of the usual 8... two will move to Tuesday for this week. Still exhausting. One of my students STILL didn't get the assigned book yet, and I had too use Finale to quickly whip up some lesson material. Maybe at some point, I'll write my own book.
All I can say is, thank goodness that was all over.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Carenza #1

It's a bit rough, as you can see. My left hand clearly is weaker than my right in terms of fluidity and strength. The alive hand (non-weapon hand) needs work, and is totally non-existent when I have the weapon in my left hand! I think I also need to open up a bit more during the double stick (wasn't much room to work with, but still...)

I'll keep putting stuff like this up from time to time... it really reveals a lot of things that I can't sense yet while executing the maneuvers...

New idea...

I haven't posted much... been quite busy with the COS JSE season, and blacksmithing course, and the training. But rather than make a huge post, I think I'm going to try something new... just listed the things accomplished semi-daily.


  1. Made an appointment to see the dermatologist... Stupid ringworm rears its ugly head again. 10:45am tomorrow. Either I caught it from the training grounds, or it lay dormant and never really went away. Stress from student's parents not following my advice probably exacerbated things.
  2. Threw a lot of stuff away! Cleaned a lot of crap I meant to clear out.Completed my collection of series 1 and series 2 CubeWorld cubes. Yes, I know, it's a silly little toy, but it does say "Ages 8 and up". I need something to stare at and help me fall asleep while I'm grumpy from not being at the training grounds... see point #1.
  3. Cleaned out the poop box, but ran out of poop bags in the current cartridge... down to the last one. Reminder: get some more at PetCo. Target doesn't have them.
  4. Bought a firewire cable that has adapters for big and small plugs. I hope it's the last one I have to buy... stupid things keep getting swallowed up. Used said firewire cable to transfer a tape of a recent quartet appearance from last week. Google Video now has my upload of it and is processing it and taking forever. :P

  5. No students today... the student I would have had is doing a performance at her school talent show. Hope she does well! :)
Anyway, I'll edit in more if something earth shaking occurs, but that's it for today!

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

I so want something like this... :)

Multitouch is AWESOME! It's the same stuff that's had limited appearance in Apple Macbooks (the two finger scroll option), but it's already in Apple's upcoming iPhone...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Laptop Cushion

This feels pretty good!
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Made it!

I survived the bladesmithing seminar! 30+ hours of work, a ton of mistakes and setbacks that were valuable learning experiences... Tuhon Tom Kier helped impart knowledged that led to 12 razor sharp blades of various styles. I think we all did very well, and he said it exceeded his expectations for a bunch of bladesmithing newbies!

Here's me with the finished blade. It's still quite flawed, but razor sharp... and there's only one in the whole world like it. I'll make the sheath sometime this week or next... didn't have time to make it this weekend. I might even make the sheath out of white kydex...

A better photo will be forthcoming... :)

Day Two: The knife takes shape...

Too tired... but blogging must go on... :)

The knife is polished, heat-treated, and tempered... all that remains is the Corian scales, sharpening, and making a sheath....

Passing out.... will write more tomorrow.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Oh, beautiful pain....

Today was the first day of the bladesmithing seminar... and boy am I exhausted. There's a reason why all the old paintings and photos of Blacksmiths all have the massive physique of Hephaestus of mythology... It's a lot of physical work!

The day started off with a quick overview of basic blade anatomy, design, and purpose, as well as an overview of the various steps we'd be taking towards successfully fashioning our own blades by the time 30 hours was up. Then it was off to the homemade forge that was set up for us!

I had in mind a nice mini barong design, which immediately was discarded when I burnt the first piece of steel by overheating it and had to start over with another one. So I opted to make a much simpler clip point knife. I didnt' have much experience in this thing, so I guess it was inevitable once reality settled back in. Nobody makes Excalibur on their first try! :)

Two things I'm happy about... I didn't burn myself, and I didn't cut myself... luck was certainly part of it, but a lot is owed to Tuhon Tom Kier's expert instruction and in my case, assistance, as my blade was rather crooked due to my poor skills with the hammer and anvil. He straightened the poor thing out in like 2 minutes, as I watched in awe how easy he made it looked.

The rest of the day was spent on laborious filework, profiling the blades bevels and edges and trying to make things as symmetrical as possible. I was so involved with it that I ended up skipping lunch. We had a belt-sander, a small Ryobi 4x36 rotary/disc model, that helped speed things up considerably, but the final shaping of the secondary edges required filework. I'm kind of glad that I got a chance to test out that Ryobi, as it was something I was considering getting before... now I'm pretty sure it'll be a purchase in the near future.

I didn't bring my camera, and I'm too exhausted anyway to go outside the hotel to my car to get my unfinished blade, but suffice to say it's still a bit ugly with some more smoothing and filing and sanding to get it looking more even.... but it still looks close to a knife at least! :)

More to come tomorrow!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sleepy Town

Well, here I am in White Haven/Drum/Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, depending on which map you look at and who you ask. :) After a smooth 2 hour drive from NYC, I'm now here in the Comfort Inn - Pocono.

I haven't been out driving from the city in a long while, and doing it during daylight hours really helped. When I went out to try to find a way to a local Arby's, I had a hard time getting around, because I wasn't used to it being so dark! Made a few wrong turns, and if not for this trusty GPS, I'd be screwed.

NYC is the sort of place that you could theoretically drive around with no lights on at 3am and still be able to get from point A to point B with little difficulty (if not for the cops!). Out here in the Poconos, it gets pitch black really quick, and no lights = death. And missing an exit or turn sucks because it's about 6 to 10 miles between exits.

Heh... reminds me of Indiana.

Anyway, I'm settled into this nice little hotel. Yay for high-speed wifi to keep me in touch with everything! It's time to get ready from tomorrow, the beginning of the bladesmithing seminar I came here for!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hands dry in less than 10 seconds!

I love these super powerful Xlerator dryers... here's a link to what I'm talking about.


Kydex Madness

Quite a number of you might have been wondering what I've been up to, as I've hardly updated my blog in the last few months... I'm getting into bladesmithing, slowly but surely. Starting this month I'll be taking a Bladesmithing seminar with Tuhon Tom Kier of the Sayoc Kali International Group up in the Poconos this weekend, and then following up on it in the next few months, I'll be taking the Creative Blacksmithing course at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

But before I get into dealing with the sharp stuff, I thought it might be rather cool to try my hand at sheathmaking... the easiest of which seems to making them out of Kydex. Kydex is a thermoplastic that's easily shaped after being heated, and makes sheaths that hug the tool and provide for a solid fit and retention. I didn't have any sharp knives yet to sheath (don't trust myself yet with that), but I do have aluminum trainer knives that I use during Kali classes at PMA. The pictures you see are the steady results of a few months worth of experimentation.

Here's the first sheath that I successfully made. It's a small sheath designed for one of the mini trainers designed to simulate a folding knife or small tactical. As you can see, the cell texture is pretty burnt or distorted on the surface, as I didn't have a good sheath press and also overused the heat gun. The Kydex kit and the premade belt loop are from Knifekits.com.

A rear view of the first knife sheath. I used Chicago screws to secure the premade belt loop.

This is the second sheath I made, for one of the larger trainers... obviously this is not one of the Sayoc trainers, though I'd like to modify it to something similar by swapping the heat shrink tubing handle for a paracord wrapped one. That'll be a future project. :) I'm particularly proud of how this one turned out...

Rear view of the sheath. The sheathpress I used from Knifekits.com really helped with the shape definition. The tape you see is 3M Dual-Lock self-mating tape - basically Velcro on steroids. I use it to attach to either a Dual-Locked Tek-Lok or belt loop/panel.

Eventually, I thought I'd try my hand at tackling making a double backsheath for the Sayoc training rig, as I frequently have my mini-trainers drop out from it... I've tried screws and I've tried cable ties with mixed results. The middle three rivet holes of the sheath were designed to attach to a Tek-Lok belt clip. However, trying it out during a training session made for mixed results. The way I folded it over still made it a bit loose, and it was difficult to get a positive feel for the angle that I needed to resheath it. Also, because it was a single piece construction, it was difficult to make adjustments, because the heat would mess up the other parts when I attempted to tighten one side or the other. Some suggestions and feedback from my fellow training partners yielded better results in the next project.

This is my improved backsheath system. Originally, I had a small riveted strip connected by screws in between both sheaths, but it turned out to overcomplicate things. If you look carefully, I've had to engrave "L" and "R" on my mini-trainers now because while the overall dimensions of each blade (they're handmade and hand ground by Edges2, I believe...) are remarkably consistent, there is just enough variation to throw off the fit of the kydex sheath if a different one was inserted.

Here is a the same view of the system without the trainers. You'll notice that I've added a small section near the sheath's opening to help guide the blade in and out. Also, notice that the shapes are uneven... ha ha. I "freehanded" shaping these, and perhaps next time, I'll try using some sort of template to make it far more consistent.

A rear view of the large belt loop panels I use to secure the system to the 2 inch belt. Once again, the awesome Chicago screws save the day. :) On nicer versions, I probably would still prefer to use Tek-Loks.

The backsheath system opened up. Inspired by Mr. Justin Garvey's use of 3M Dual-Lock for his Sayoc Tribal Drop Point knife carry system, I also used it to hold things together and make the system more modular. You might be wondering why one side is white Dual-Lock and the other side is black Dual-Lock... I wish I had a fancy artistic answer, but it's simply because Target ran out of black colored Dual-Lock tape. :P

Thanks for reading. :) It's becoming a steadily more serious hobby of mine. I'll be posting more pics ands projects in the future.

A sleepy first post of the New Year 2007