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From Cambridge to Chennai

Posted in Miscellaneous on February 6th 2011 by Randy Reichardt

.: Late November 27th, I flew to Boston to spend a week hanging out in Cambridge MA.  I had been in Boston during the same week over the past three years, each time to attend meetings at a conference.  In 2010, those meetings had ceased, so I wasn’t invited back to the conference again.  But in 2009, I had spent some time in Cambridge and Somerville, meeting people with whom I’d become friends on Facebook, and visiting some of the amazing music clubs in the area, including TOAD, Lizard Lounge, Atwood’s, Johnny D’s, and The Burren.  Wanting to experience more of the music scene in Cambridge and Somerville, I decided to return during the same week, but stay in Cambridge and go to the clubs every night to experience the great music there.  There were local musicians performing that week whose music had always impressed me and who I had never seen perform before, including Kristin Cifelli and Jennifer Kimball.    I also wanted to reconnect with the people I’d met in 2009 and meet a few new ones as well.

All of the above happened.  I had a great time.  I went to a club every night for seven straight days.  In addition to seeing Kristin and Jennifer perform, I saw shows by Tim Gearan, The Wild Sea, Dennis Brennan, The White Owls, Hugh McGowan, Amy Correia, The Gilded Splinters, and more.  I spent time hanging and jamming with Paul Janovitz, and visited friends at MIT and Harvard.  The only times I was in Boston were to arrive at and leave from Logan Airport.  I hope to return again in 2011 for more of the same.  The people with whom I spent time were very friendly; I felt like I was part of the community for a few days, and I want to experience that feeling again.

.: On February 15th, I will be flying to India with my friend and colleague, Margaret Law.  This will be the first time in my life that I will visit a country other than the United States.  Yes, it’s taken that long for such a trip to happen.  Our first stop will be at IIT Madras in Chennai.  We will be attending a conference of engineering librarians, and I will be speaking at one of the sessions.  We will leave Chennai on the 21st , and fly to Mumbai, for meetings with other engineering librarians, engineering students, and faculty, at IIT Bombay.  I will also give a presentation to the librarians at IIT Bombay.

We leave Edmonton on the 15th, and fly to Vancouver, Hong Kong, and Chennai.  We leave at 10:35 hrs on Tuesday, the 15th, and arrive in Chennai at 01:35 on Thursday, the 17th.  The return flight will be on the 25th – a very long 25th that will see Margaret and I fly from Mumbai to Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong, Margaret will board a flight for Korea, and I’ll return to Vancouver.  I’ll arrive in Vancouver a few hours before I leave Hong Kong, thanks to the IDL.

I’m not looking forward to the flights to and from Hong Kong.  Each flight will take over 13 hours.  I’ll report back after the trip.


Posted in Personal on November 14th 2010 by Randy Reichardt

.: Hard to believe at times that I am 57, living in my 58th year.  Recently I received two new credit cards, and found myself staring at the expiration dates, both of which are when I’ll be in my early 60s.  I find it next to impossible to comprehend such numbers, but I’m grateful to still be alive and kicking, to coin an 80s’ musical phrase.  But as one gets older, one tends to pay closer attention to how one’s body is functioning, as it were.  Earlier this year, I was told by my physician that I have Type II diabetes, based on blood sugar readings on previous blood tests.  He advised me to work on a better diet, and to begin exercising regularly.  I met with the community nurse at the Family Medicine Centre, and it was a wake-up call.  I had to get an eye exam, and have my feet checked for circulation.  I was told that diabetes, when left untreated, can lead to blindness and poor circulation, which in turn can lead to loss of limbs.  Yikes.  The nurse gave me a monitor to check my blood sugar, and I also have a blood pressure monitor.  I use both regularly and record the readings each time.

While I have not been idle when it comes to physical activity, I am one who does not enjoy, in any sense of the word, working out, at the best of times.  I knew I had to do something, so Fate intervened.  At the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in August 2010, I met a woman who was working backstage in the same area as my crew (Performer Hospitality).  Early in our conversation, I learned she (Laura) was a personal trainer, and a few weeks later, we met to discuss a potential program.  I decided to go ahead with 10 sessions, and to date, we have met 15 (or 16) times.  Generally I meet her at the Kinsmen Field House, and I work through a series of exercises she organizes for that session.  The exercises include some using free weights, barbells, weight machines, and occasionally, the TRX Suspension Trainer.  I’ve made marginal progress so far, and plan to continue working with Laura indefinitely.  To offset the weight and resistance training, I do 30 minutes on the upright cycle in my basement three to four times a week.  The long range goal is to continue this regime indefinitely.  The trick is to continue to make myself do it!

In June, after travelling to Kingston ON and New Orleans LA, I have not been “on the road”.  This will change in a couple weeks, when I fly to Boston to spend a week in Cambridge.  I’ll be in a studio apt, close to Harvard.  I am going there to hang out with friends I have made there, mostly via Facebook, and to do so in places like Atwood’s, Lizard Lounge, and Toad, three clubs I was in when I was in Boston last November.  The last three trips I took at this time between 2007-2009 were to attend a conference in downtown Boston.  While that conference is on again, I’m not attending, but the desire to return and hang out with good people in Cambridge was too strong to resist.  I’m looking forward to going, and seeing performers like Kristin Cifelli, Ruth Peterson (The Wild Sea), and Tim Gearan.