About a month ago, my hard drive gradually started dying ... losing data, misplacing things, clicking and 'thinking' real slow. I've never lost a hard drive before now. Mine still sort of works, but I don't trust it much.
Tonight I finally figured out how to get an operating system onto a replacement drive. The real trick was that I don't have a cd rom on my laptop (Evon N410c). Booting from USB is possible, though.
I've previously used Linux, and Xubuntu's Hardy Heron has been out for a little while. That's my current solution & setup.
I've been gently reminded to post on my blog (thanks, Mom :) )
Frankly, it's been a rough week with the practice. I'm really depressed about that. Getting in enough time to keep myself at stasis, but ... if I'm not getting better, then it's likely I'm getting worse. At best, the people around me are getting better and I'm not! Against the community, I didn't make much headway this week. [sigh]
On the bright side, I did enjoy my second anniversary with my wife. We'll properly take a little weekend holiday this Friday/Saturday - I'm looking forward to that.
This afternoon I had the good fortune to talk to trombonist Philip Brink (University of Mahidol, Thailand). I'm doing some research on focal dystonia, and I wanted to hear about his experience as a teacher. He's recently had a student who had a slight stutter.
Phil mentioned something very important: mental/emotional approach is everything. If we're positive, hopeful, and sure, then our practice will be that way. We'll be focused on solving whatever obstacle stands in our way, and we'll be solving.
I'm still preparing my upcoming solo recital. It's a daily battle with myself: focus against all the things going on with life, practice what I need to practice. Especially when it sounds bad. Practice slowly, thoroughly.
Today's practice reminded me a lot about he importance of focusing on subdividing. And then getting out of the way of the time. The music is just floating there in front of us as we play (in front of me as I play).
I'm currently preparing another solo recital for performance at the University of Texas at Austin. With any luck, I'll also be playing it at my accompanist's school, the University of Minnesota. We're both looking forward to these. Should be late October for each, dates almost secured.
I began this round of music quite early for myself - late spring of this year. About 25 weeks out, I guess. As I've made it down into the single digits (8 or so weeks to go, now), I realize that I have made good progress on many fronts.
I easily forget the value of focused, dedicated practice. 'Dedication' is the willingness to do the right practice for many days in a row. It's easy to get frustrated when it doesn't work on the first day. . . Or the tenth. Some things have become easier in the last few weeks. Practice has time value just like money. It takes time.
Last night I played with a big band in town. It was definitely good to get out and perform, as I'm starting to get rusty performance skills. Much fun had by all. I had my share of 'oops' moments.
This morning it was hard to practice. The long night last night and frequent 'oops', though ... those aren't very good memories to start the morning. They're also not good for first thoughts when I pick up the horn. Those thoughts are physically and emotionally distracting.