Farmer: classical music makes bigger pigs

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Jan. 16 (UPI) — A Vietnamese pig farmer says the classical music he plays over the loudspeakers at his farm has a soothing effect on his animals.

Nguyen Chi Cong said he began playing the works of Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert over the sound system six years ago for the benefit of his employees and found the music also benefited his pigs, Sky News reported Tuesday.

“I saw that my pigs started eating more and that they were gaining weight faster than usual,” he said.

He said he now plays the music twice daily from 7-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. to entertain the musically inclined swine.

“I think I am the first farmer in Vietnam to apply this technique,” Cong said.

“Local farmers come here to learn from my experience,” he said. “I think that music is good not just for pigs but also for other domestic animals.”

Article here

FINALLY!Now I know why I eat more and gain weight quickly.

David Mankin has a new blog entry with a great picture; old oboe and EH reed cases!

I know, I know, big whoop. But really … to us oboesorts™ it is a big thing!

I love some of my cases. I don’t like others. I hate the fat wooden one I bought that holds EH reeds on one side, oboe on the other. (Too fat, too heavy, and the reeds don’t stay put.)

The sorts that David is showing are my faves. His are old, and it sounds as if Heckel, the maker of his old cases, no longer makes them. I have one 20 oboe reed case that is similar to his … the mandrel with the springy wire type. I bought it from Forrests a while back, but I no longer see it there. If I did see it, I’d buy another. And what I’d love would be a combo case that would hold 15 oboe and 5 EH. Sigh. Case lust. Silly, I know.

The “ribbon style” reed cases (See Forrests’ U-5, U-38 or U-42 for example) don’t always hold reeds securely enough, and they often get looser with age. The solid mandrel type I’ve located are plastic (see Forrests’ #U-14) and don’t really hold the reeds well either. But the wire clip type … ahhhhh … they are like good chocolate and a perfect cup ‘o coffee.

Well, or maybe not quite that, but still…. (And I mention coffee to honor this new friend, if I may be so bold as to call him that. 🙂

Now Charles Double Reed Co has about the biggest selection I’ve ever seen. The Silver Florentine Purse Case With Mirror is fairly nice; if you don’t like looking at your reeds you can always stare at your face. OH. WAIT. Never mind about that! And then there’s the oboe reed case/flask. Hmmm. Musicians have a reputation for drinking. Is this something we are to promote? Or are we pretending the flask is for water to soak our reeds?

These, from DWK are nice and colorful (ribbon style on the inside) but nothing is in English so you have to have someone help you with your purchase.

This is a clear reed case, holding 20 reeds. Hmmm. I’m not sure I’d want anyone to see what my reeds look like! Hodge products has a lot of cases, though, so it’s worth checking the site out. She has the “spring mandrel” sort there too. This one has space for 3 EH and 6 oboe … but it’s a wood case. I’d want to know how much it weighs first. Yes, I’m that picky. And I did buy my heavy wooden case there, but I’m hoping they’ve improved the cases since then. Oh … but I did buy an EH case recently, and the reeds are too close together so I can’t actually fit 8 reeds in it. The ribbon holders don’t hold things tightly enough either. So be cautious about that one! Then there are the 42 and 50 reed cases. Hah. As if ….

In any case (hah, aren’t I funny!?) I’d like to welcome David here. As you can see, I’ve added him to the Reed Blogs list on the right side of my home page.

16. January 2007 · Comments Off on A Response · Categories: imported, Quotes

In response to the cell phone news a friend writes:

OK, I think that when cell phones go off at concerts they should automatically ignite. Think that would make folks turn them off?

I absolutely love this idea!

16. January 2007 · Comments Off on Music To His Ears · Categories: imported, Links


I just can’t help myself. Don’t YOU get “Labradoodle-doo!” in your head too when you read about a Labradoodle saving the day by waking his owner before his place burned down?

Yeah. Me too.

16. January 2007 · Comments Off on What I’m Not Playing, What I Am Playing · Categories: imported, Ramble

There’s a short article about the upcoming Symphony Silicon Valley concert. I’m on pieces one and three. I don’t get to play the O’Connor. Too bad. I like doing something new.

Of course much of what I do get to play these days is new … to me at least. Having been “merely” the English hornist of the San Jose Symphony (RIP) I rarely played the second oboe parts to things, much to my delight.

Second oboe. Sigh. Much of the time we are unappreciated. We are noticed, for the most part, when we miss an attack, are too loud, or aren’t in tune with the principal oboist. It’s pretty thankless.

Except last night!

Last night the maestro commended me for the beginning of the second movement of the Dvorak. How ’bout that?!

Now … if you know me at all you know what this means. Double sigh.

If I had messed up the opening last night, I would have thought, “I’m doomed. I’ll never get it.” But now that I’ve managed to play it (several times, too) and play it just fine, the pattybrain™ says, “Well, that’s it, kiddo. You’ve nailed it. This is the end. No more good stuff for you. Too bad, eh?”

Don’t you just love the way my pititiful (or is that pattyful?) brain works?

Um, well, yeah. Me neither.