Friday, November 25, 2011

Walking Into Guanajuato

Since I am not with my girls, I love looking at fotos I have taken of them, thinking back to what we were doing at that moment.

What a lovely walk into town.

You can see why this is a favorite spot.
The above fotos were taken 27 October 2011 during Cervantino on our way into town for trumpeter Brain McWhorter's master class on practicing. I had already been into town once on that day to listen to Brain perform with the other members of Beta Colide. A wonderful concert followd by a very intimate master class. Brain has many very progessive views on practicing and I was very thankful that Pearl and Rose were there to take in some of his wisdom.

It's always fun walking into Guanajuato. So cool to live in a walking town. Nice to not need a car.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Street Art

Here's a video of the wonderful street art on Dia de los Muertos (2 November) in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Latex Rubber Urethral Catheter

I returned to the Metroplex last week to continue helping out my Grandparents. When I first returned to help out I had a crash course in cathetering my Grandfather, Ralph Trostel. I watched one and the the next I performed by myself under the supervision of Brad, a real nurse. After that I was pretty much on my own. 4 times a day. As I'm sure you can imagine this has brought me closer to my Grandfater than ever. It's been very cool to have this time to spend with my Grandparents during this part of their life.
I have been very fortunate to have a chance to know all of my Grandparents when I was growing up. We all live in the same town of Arlington Texas. My Grandfathers were both cool in their own special ways. Looking back they were both better Grandfathers than they were fathers. Most of it having to do with the simple fact that they had much more time to spend with their Grandchildren and they were able to show us what they loved. I loved the hours I spent with my Grandfather Melvin Pettit on his different boats. I love sailing. Nothing like it. Powered by nothing other than the wind. Ralph loved taking me fishing, camping, and hiking in many close by State parks and even as far away as Durango Colorado. Beginning my love affair with that beautiful part of the world. Ralph loves maps and trails. He would drop off my oldest cousin Matt and myself somewhere on a trail and our adventure would begin.

Ralph bought me this shirt at 1 of his favorite dollar stores.
I am holding a latex rubber urethral catheter 14 French.
Yes, almost the whole cath goes in. About 11" to reach the blader.
So right now I am in my hometown of Arlington Texas playing nurse. There is a season for everything. If you are fortunate enough to be able to empty you bladder without the use of catheter, enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cool 3 Wheeled Bikes

Sorry about the complaining in my last post.

I will be beading back to Texas tomorrow evening, so today I took my girls to the Zoo in Leon and to 1 of their favorite parks.

We had a wonderful day together and we even spotted a few cool 3 wheeled bikes. The most loaded down 1 I didn't have time to click a quick foto of as we drove by but I was still pretty pleased with the fotos I did manage to get. I hope you enjoy.

Fast trash.
Fast water.
Fast food.

The Phantom Sinfonieta Potosina

As I stated yesterday, my performance last Sunday of Joseph Haydn's trumpet concerto went very well. I was especially proud of the how the middle, Andante movement sounded. I took the most chances with the Andante and they worked wonderfully.

Saint Paul's Church in San Miguel was the most packed I have ever seen it. 250 plus people crammed into the church and made an enormous difference in the temperature. The church went from pleasantly cool during the rehearsal to hot and humid. It's amazing how people can effect the local climate so rapidly. Or maybe not. Due to the size of the orchestra, 17 musicians, the end of my trumpet bell was at almost the same location as the ears of the people on the 1st row. Luckily the Haydn is pretty light and they all seemed to enjoy themselves. 1 very sweet lady who had the misfortune of being closer to me than anyone I think I have ever performed for, was such a good sport and played along with the clown show that now accompanies all of my performances.

As most of you know, Michael Pearl contacted me around 6 months ago to invite me to perform as a soloist and principal trumpet with Sinfonieta Potosina a small chamber orchestra. I was thrilled. What an opportunity. It turns out that my feelings about performing the Haydn trumpet concerto were correct. However, my excitement about Sinfonieta Potosina, ProMusic and ProMusica president Michael Pearl were completely off.

I am not familiar with the British class system but I don't think musicians are very high on the scale. It's been a long time since I have dealt with a person as disrespectful as Michael Pearl. When I was contacted by a media  source in San Miguel about my upcoming performance I was happy to hear I was getting a little press. She asked if I could send her a foto. As you all know I have lot s of those. I know it may sound silly but I do think about my image and what I am trying to convey with every piece of PR I send out. So here's the foto I sent:

This was not the "image" that ProMusica and Michael Pearl wanted was the reply I received from the nice lady who, up until this reply I believed was an independent reporter. I now realized that while I'm sure this appeared as an article in Atencion, it was in fact an advertisement. Slick.

The most insulting and disrespectful insult came after the last rehearsal with the phantom Sinfonieta Potosina. I was sitting outside the church eating a very yummy Piasana torta when I notice a box filled with programs for that evenings performance. I opened the program and as I looked through I noticed my name was nowhere to be found. I am billed in the add for the concert inside of the program as "Our star trumpeter" In the program notes there is over 1 entire page dedicated to the fictitious Sinfonieta Potosina which in reality is just a pick up group comprised of musicians from Queretaro and Guanajuato that only rehearsed the day of the performance. We never played completely through the Haydn until the performance. Not a single mention of who the soloist for the evening concert is. Or any of the musicians who made a sound. Plenty of information on how to donate money.

Here's my encore from the concert:

Michael Pearl was sitting in the 2nd row and had the most disgusting look on his face when I brought out my rubber hose trumpet. I think he was the only person who didn't enjoy it. No surprise. He also didn't announce who the soloist was so I had to take matters into my own hands. How many times have you heard someone shout during the encore of a classical music concert, "What's your name?" That's how comfortable I made them feel. And how little information they had. Thanks ProMusica and Michael Pearl you really know how to treat your "star trumpet soloist".

I'll post more of my performance when I get a chance. I can't wait for you to hear the Andante.

Monday, November 7, 2011


So many things going on right now.

Yesterday evening I rocked the house with a very little piccolo playing followed by the Haydn trumpet concerto and a rubber garden hose trumpet encore. The San Miguel sell out crowd was wonderful. Especially a very sweet lady in the 1st row. More on her and all of the concert craziness in an upcoming post.

Last year in December I wrote about the best Christmas present I ever received, Christmas Cornet. Following in a very close 2nd has to be the bicycle. There is no better site than the image of a shinny bicycle back lit from the lights of a Christmas tree early Christmas morning. As a child I was fortunate enough to see that site more than once.

I now look back and rate the quality of the Christmas gifts I have received as a child based  on a few requirements:

1. Years of use.

Cornet, trumpets, flugelhorn, mutes, bikes, records (lp's), cd's, books. Many years of enjoyment.

2. Where it takes you.

Buzzing into a tube has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. My love of cycling has taken me to many many beautiful corners of the United States and even a bit of Canada. I love the clean Canadians. Such a nice place Canada. Even better than where cycling took me is the fellow cyclist that I have met over the years. The same goes for music and performing. So many wonderful memories.

2011 has been a year of learning for me. Much of it self-inflicted and some of it just good ol' forced learning.  More on my nursing and extensive hands on male catheter (I thought I was going to throw up or pass out when I witnessed my 1st demonstration, which was also my last before I was to begin) practice in another upcoming post.

Something I am very excited to have learned this year is riding the unicycle. The unicycle is a blast. It's such a cool feeling to ride and not hold on to anything. The silence of the uni is also super cool. They make no sound at all. The cleanliness is another plus. No greasy parts at all. The pack-a-bility. I brought 3 unis (20" 16" and 12") down when Pearl, Rose and I flew back to Guanajuato in August. Take the pedals off and take out the seat/ seatpost combo and there's nothing to 'em. I think a uni would make a perfect gift for just about anyone but especially for the younger people on your gift list. It's also a very good work out. Great for your core and balance. Remember on a uni there's no coasting. Feel the burn. Oh, you can get a good 20" uni from for 112 bucks. This is what I chose for my 1st unicycle. And this is what I received:

I made a few modifications to my uni.

1. Odyssey plastic pedals that are white indoors but in sunlight the turn bright pink. More surface for my big feet. On sale for $5.

2. Root beer brown Animal seatpost clamp to replace the bulky but more convenient and more easily adjustable quick release type which comes stock. $10.

3. Animal Tom White Wall 20x2.20" tire. Higher pressure, more surface area, smoother rolling, more stable, big BMX street tire. $22.

4. Once I learned how to ride, I had some problems with flats. I'm 6'1" and 180 lbs. I have a life time sponsorship back from my bike racing days with Velox, the makers of fine cloth rim tape. So with a little help from my local bike store, problemo solved. No more flats.

Gordon is my local (when I'm in Texas) Velox representative.
He's also an excellent seatpost cutter.
Look at the size of that thing!
Just for fun go into your local bike store during the Christmas rush and tell them you're looking for a seatpost. When they ask you how long tell them, "700 millimeters" and see what their reaction is. More on what I've done with my 700 mm seatpost soon.

They say it takes 10 hours to learn how to ride a unicycle. I don't think it took me that long. A nephew (13yrs.) who not 1 person in our family, except for me, thought would have the determination to stick with it long enough, learned to ride in around 7 hours. It was so cool to watch. I'm so proud of him and my girls who have also began learning the joys of unicycling. Rose is practicing in the kitchen on the 16" uni as I type this.

If you order anything from the friendly people at please mention this post. They have no idea who I am but maybe if a few people order a uni then they'll give me a free t-shirt or something.

Friday, November 4, 2011

4 Wheeler

My neighbor Jorge is a constant source of amusement for me.

This is what he showed up with the other day

That's a big 4 wheeler. 
Or maybe a small truck.

Haydn's Trumpet Concerto

If you're in central Mexico and you're not busy this Sunday, please stop by St. Paul's church in San Miguel Allende. At 5pm I'll be performing Haydn's trumpet concerto. I'm very honored to be performing this work. Such beautiful music from the Classical period. It's going to be fun.
This is the first copy of the Haydn that I started working on in Junior High.
If you look carefully you can see the phone number
of an old girlfriend from my youth orchestra days.
Trumpet players get all of the girls.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Made Of Sugar

Wow! All of October and not a single post. Things have been a bit crazy as of late.

I spent the majority of October playing nurse in the lovely Metroplex community of Arlington Texas, my hometown.

I returned to Guanajuato on the 26th of October. Just in time for Beta Collide and Corpus Acrobatics (more on them soon). Upon my return, the lack of constant sounds is the thing I have noticed the most. In Arlington I was staying at my Grandparent's home which is surrounded by major interstate highways, 2 major league sports complexes and just about every type of eatery you can imagine (except of course for any very nice restaurants). I don't think there has been a moment of silence there in decades. Sad.

Yesterday, Pearl, Rose and myself all headed into town for our yearly Dia de los Muertos (2 Nov.) tradition of watching people assembled large murals on the streets. We also purchased a few things made of sugar for the girl's shrines in honor of Monarch and Rusty, the girls 1st 2 cats. Even in the early morning, with many of the shops closed, there is almost too much to take in.

I bought 2 things for my own collection.
I have a wonderful true story about someone just like the above foto.

I can't seem to get my camera to focus on this little guy. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.

I hope you enjoy just a few of the sites on Dia de los Muertos. Stay tuned for more.