Learning to play S-L-O-W-L-Y

28th Oct ’14

I have been very slowly improving my piano playing. It is almost 2 years since I began (  http://tomndi.blogspot.ca/2013/03/begining-late-adventure-in-music.html ). I have now reached a point where not being able to pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time has become a problem.  At the piano this is called hand independence and is a stumbling point for most learners. I recently contacted Scott Houston about this. His book “Play the Piano in Flash” got me started playing.

In the book he advises learning on hand at a time playing slowly before attempting to play them together. In his reply to my inquiry he reiterated this saying if you can recognize the tune your playing in the beginning then your probably playing it too fast ! Wow that Slow !

I have just discovered another tool to help in this regard ” SpeedShifter ”
(  http://ca.abrsm.org/en/exam-support/practice-tools-and-applications/speedshifter/ )  which enables you to slow down your favourite mp3 song so that you can learn it more easily.


Yosemite – Not all Good

21st Oct ’14

Apple proudly offer a free upgrade from Mavericks to Yosemite  BUT!!!!!!

I mistakenly installed it on both the MacBookPro and my Mac Mini . all looked good until I received my weekly bulletin from Larry Jordan the video editing guru saying that Final Cut 7 did not work with Yosemite 🙁 .   Out of curiosity I opened my Apple video editor FinalCutProX ( FCPX10.09 ) to find it did not work either GRrrrrrrrrr!

I am not a professional video guy and reluctant to spend another $300 on another upgrade of Final Cut Pro when the 10.09 vers. is more than adequate for my needs and is far better than iMovie.

OK so how do you back out of Yosemite and revert to Mavericks ?.  It is not easy, and for most of us not possible. After much reading online and research I decided on this path below now in process.

Having had issues with Time Machine I now use Carbon Cloner to maintain a current copy of my Mac HD’s so immediately Yosemite was installed the Mavericks packages were wiped of both drives :(.  Had I had a TM backup I may have had the option to restore my system from it to Mavericks?


For now at least I have decided to leave Yosemite on the the MacBook as I do most of my video work on the Mac Mini.
The Mac mini has 2 x 1 TB drives ( one being the OS X main drive the other being the original server  converted to a back-up drive. I have and another couple of 1TB drives for data and media files.

I was able to download the latest vers. of Mavericks via Apple App Store from my purchases – download and have that copied to a 16GB USB and a 2nd copy on a 1TB spare drive.

Reinstalling from the download 
Following the Start+ Option boot on mini I selected reinstall OSX .
Next I was taken to a page where the was a choice of OSX downloads 10.10 or 10.8 = Mountain Lion the original OS for the Mini at the time of purchase .
Mtn Lion is 45min download now in process. and is being installed on the 1TB drive.

When done I am hoping that Start+ Option will allow me to boot from the 1TB ( now renamed Mavericks ) and then upgrade it to Mavericks 10.9

This for me looks like better option than partitioning the Mac HD into dual boot as it is already at 70% near the limit of good function. I will be moving as much as possible off there when I get this mess sorted 🙁

The big benefit of Carbon Cloner comes into play here because I have full access to a copy of the MAC HD no mater which OS I am operating from. You would not have that with Time Machine.

The above solution has worked perfectly for me I now have FCP 10.0.9  Motion $ and compressor all functioning on the Mavricks OS X drive.
Incidentally, when I started FCPX the first time it found my media drive and loaded all the editing histories automatically 🙂

I shall now set up a 1 TB drive to use Time Machine to make a Back up BEFORE any major install in future.

Final Thoughts
I see that Costco now offers a 3 TB WD Desk drive for $129 this would be big enough to back up all my HDs with Carbon cloner and free up one of the 1Tb for a Time Machine BU of both the Mini’s OS X’s ( Yosemite & Mavericks ).

‘Nuff said


RC Sailing – New hull skin material = A Great find !

16th Oct ’14

I have been researching building super light versions of Wee Nips along the lines of the boys at Bayside NSW. They are using 1/64″ aircraft plywood . Where I live this material is not readily available and expensive to have shipped into Canada. While looking at Arborite and Formica web pages this week I discovered ” Cabinet Liner ” laminate . It is .026″ thick and comes in 48″ x 96″ ( 4 ‘ x 8 ‘ ) sheets 32 sq ft for $20 . A full sheet weighs 6 lbs 2 oz = 98 oz that is just 3.0625 oz / sq ft.

Having built my first boat from similar material twice as thick I am sure that this will prove to be a near perfect hull skin material . It bends and twists easly and is very strong and being hard faced will not require additional finishing or fibre glassing. CA = super glue works well for the initial joining.

I will add more info when I have completed my first hull.