Graduating a musician

Berklee Graduation 2016

Having been through a couple of engineering graduations with my daughter Iona, I was intrigued to see what it would be like attending my son Calum’s graduation from Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Berklee certainly did not let us down, as is befitting of such an institution, they put on a great show.

This year Berklee was awarding honouring degrees to Rita Moreno, the Isley Brothers, Lucian Grainge, and Milton Nascimento. Friday evening was a concert put on to celebrate all of their contributions to music over the last 70 years or so.

On Saturday we were treated to some great speeches, focused mostly on how much the world […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:16-05:00May 8th, 2016|Categories: Calum, Personal|Tags: , |0 Comments

Heart of Midlothian :: We’ve won the league flag

There has been considerable debate this week as to whether we wanted Hearts to with the Scottish Championship today by virtue of cross-town rivals Hibs not winning or wait until we play Queen of the South at Tynecastle and win it in front of our own fans.  General consensus was that Hibs would win relatively easily today against Rangers and we could have our party next week.  This of course fails to take into account Hibs never ending ability to buckle when the pressure is on, especially if Hearts are involved!

And so, a year on from being on the very edge of extinction,  Heart of Midlothian have won promotion back to the top tier of Scottish football and the future […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:19-05:00March 22nd, 2015|Categories: Heart of Midlothian, Personal, Scotland, Soccer|Tags: , |1 Comment

The joys of working in the cloud

I’m sitting here waiting for my car’s brakes to be worked on (and dreading the bill). Obviously I get get out my phone and my laptop and keep on working.  I’ve already done a bunch of emails, talked to a few customers, and if I am stuck here much longer I’ll be doing an interview too!

The funny thing is how completely normal this feels to me, it also brings back memories of when it really wasn’t as commonplace: in 2006 I wrote this post.  At that time the mobile internet was really quite new, especially to do more than just see text.

It is quite remarkable how quickly things change and how we now take for granted […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:20-05:00March 20th, 2015|Categories: Personal|Tags: |2 Comments

Catching up with Margot

Margot Collinson Margot Collinson

If you haven’t been over to my mother’s blog “Margot at Oxford” either recently or ever, you really should take a few minutes to do so.

Over the course of the next three years Mum is publishing the letter sent home from Oxford University by her Great Aunt.  They give a fascinating insight into life at college during the First World War.

Here’s a sample from the latest entry dated 25th February 1918:

Ever so many thanks for your letter and the parcel, and also for the photo.  I was very thankful for the jam, as I have just finished both my jam and my marmalade, also my cocoa.  […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:21-05:00March 1st, 2015|Categories: Personal|Tags: |0 Comments

Have you heard of the Heart of Midlothian?

It’s been a while since I have blogged about Hearts, in the meantime, we have basically gone bust, been relegated, and started all over again.

For those of you not used to the world of soccer/football, the team that finishes bottom (and sometimes second bottom too) of a league is relegated to the second tier league (in Scotland there are four leagues in the senior game – to complicate it even more there are additional feeder leagues).  It’s almost like the worst team in Major League Baseball getting replaced by the best AAA team).

Well, due to them going into administration last year, Hearts were docked 15 points and finished bottom of the league (only just as it would end up).  This […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:21-05:00February 22nd, 2015|Categories: Heart of Midlothian, Personal, Scotland, Soccer|Tags: , |2 Comments

A lovely (if chilly) week in South Carolina

Time to head home now from a wonderfully peaceful week in Myrtle beach, South Carolina.

Hopefully the trip home won’t be quite as exciting as the trip down here.

We’ve had a great time chilling out (literally) and then warming by the fire!

Probably top of my list was discovering that the local Piggly Wiggly has a growler fill station! (what’s better than pouring beer at your grocery store?)

Hopefully next time we are down here we’ll be able to explore a bit more outside.

:: Justin ::

By |2016-11-03T04:23:21-05:00February 21st, 2015|Categories: Personal, Siraya, South Carolina|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Joys of Winter Travel

It’s that time of year (especially this year!) when Michele, Siraya, and I try to get somewhere warmer for a few days.  Siraya is a kid who just loves to be outside, but really doesn’t like the cold.  So, this year we thought it would be a great time to come to South Carolina (given how much we like the state and how much we have going on here).  So we booked a place in Myrtle Beach and booked some flights and have been looking forward to it for months.

What we didn’t take into account was the face that there seems to be a weekly snow storm in New England right now!  So on Friday we were watching the weather […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:26-05:00February 15th, 2015|Categories: Personal, Siraya, South Carolina|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Proud Dad Post #472

Catching up on other things that have happened while I was blogless…

A couple of summers ago, Iona was interning at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory outside Pasadena, California.  While she was there she was working on a satellite called SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive)).  Click here for much more about what is a very important mission.

Well, she got invited to go back to California to watch it launch.  It was an incredible adventure probably best told in her own words (Source:

During the summer of 2013 I interned at JPL, working on integration and testing for a satellite called SMAP – Soil Moisture Active Passive. Today, I was lucky enough […]

By |2016-11-03T04:23:26-05:00February 14th, 2015|Categories: Iona, Personal|0 Comments

Letters from Oxford, England in 1917

Rowing at Oxford i 1917

While I have been over here I have been helping my mum put the final touches to a website which will publish letters her aunt wrote from Oxford University in the early 20th Century.

Here’s the intro:

Ethel Margaret Harker Collinson was known in the family as Margot.  She was born in 1896 and attended Streatham Hill High School.  She went on to study history at St. Hilda’s Hall (later St. Hilda’s College), Oxford,  1917-20, followed by a one-year teacher-training qualification.  She became head of  history at Parliament Hill High School, a member of the London Bach Choir, and a member of the Society of Antiquaries.  On her retirement from teaching, she […]

By |2015-02-11T16:03:31-05:00October 16th, 2014|Categories: Personal|Tags: |0 Comments

A week in Edinburgh, Scotland

Just in case you have been looking for me or I haven’t been as responsive this week as I should be, there’s the reason!

I am spending a week or so with family in Edinburgh, with the big event being my nephew Matt’s wedding.

It was a great event with plenty gratuitous kilt wearing (the photo is with my brother and my dad).

The rest of the week will be catching up with family, friends, and the famous Heart of Midlothian.

If you do need something, drop me an email or jump on Live Help.

:: Justin ::

By |2015-02-11T16:03:37-05:00October 15th, 2014|Categories: Personal|Tags: |0 Comments
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