kip_w: (hands)
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Around 1:00 today, a moving van showed up, along with a smaller vehicle. I shook hands with Chad and Vincent, who had come in the latter, and then Art, who drove the van. I'd talked to Art on the phone a couple of times. I showed them the vestibule and inside steps, and we commented on the rain. Then they set up the ramps and loaded 658 pounds of piano, swaddled in pads, onto one of those little four-wheeled dollies and wheeled it to the porch. The steps were a challenge. I helped a little. All went smoothly. I tipped them, and Chad and Vincent departed while Art put the pedals on and then we took care of the paperwork.

According to its serial number, the Baldwin Model R was made in 1975. It's 4'10" or so wide, 5'8" long, and 3'3" high. In a couple of weeks we'll get it tuned. We'll also get the upright we bought along with the house tuned (and one key fixed) so we can sell it on Craigslist. Until it sells, I have two pianos. Three, if you count the electronic one. But I digress.

I made so bold as to play a couple of short pieces. I left it open so it can acclimate for the next couple of weeks. Padding notwithstanding, it was somewhat humid to the touch. I reluctantly went back to my routine, had some lunch, tried to call Dad and thank him, but got no answer at any of the usual numbers. I watched some TV and made the rounds of internet stuff and email.

I looked a few minutes ago. It's still there.

a piano

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm off to play the grahnd piahno!
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kip_w: (Default)
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Now that I'm sitting down, I'll magically forget everything. Let's find out.

• I put up a bookshelf in Sarah's room, and she's been working to fill it up and put the room in order. She also is getting rid of some of her kiddie books and board books. So far I haven't even found any I want to pull out and rescue. She told me we could have the closet outside my office back. I said she could still use it, and she said no, Cathy and I could put boxes in it again. On Sunday night, she went up to sleep in her bunk. Soon she was back down here, tearfully telling me she couldn't sleep without a grownup around. I reluctantly went up to sit by. After a while, it just wasn't working out. In retrospect, maybe the first full night of Daylight Savings was a bad time to make the switch. Anyway, I said she could go back to her closet and she said she'd go to sleep on our bed as usual and we could carry her to her beloved closet when she was asleep.

• The A just below middle C was kind of irksome, so after ignoring it for a couple of weeks, I cleared off the piano and opened it up. I picked up the four mutes and put them on top. Only there were just three of them. After searching, I found it down inside the works, resting below a hammer. After some wrestling, I got it out and tuned the A. While it was open, I checked another couple of notes and found that the F where the mute was was now pretty well messed up. A little thin wire that should be straight was twisted across the next key, and trying to play it was correspondingly snafu'd. So I'm back on the auxiliary piano until we can get the acoustic fixed.

• Lots of school stuff. The Art Ambassador project (Faith Ringgold) went swimmingly and is finally over. On the other hand, I forgot completely that I was supposed to be at Sarah's class yesterday for Science Action, so I get a Zero on that one.

• Lots of work stuff. Wrapping up two books with one more (the French version of one of the completed books) on the horizon.

• Enjoying the new car. I'm an SUV drivin' man now, with our used 2006 Honda Element. I'm getting used to automatic shift and electric windows. Sarah's enjoying the legroom. Whenever Cathy takes her anywhere, they use the Element. More good news: the mp3 disks I made when my iPod was in the shop a while back work in the car's CD player.

• Weather's getting better. Sarah believes we've seen the last of snow; I'm not so sure. I can clearly see how much the snowplow man has ruined the lower end of the lawn. When I take walks around the neighborhood, no matter where I go, I see tire tracks through yards. Whoever went through here on the Saturday after Christmas covered a hell of a lot of ground. They crossed our yard, and the tracks are probably still visible under some circumstances, but it's much worse next door, where they turned at high speed before going -behind- the next house. I don't know who did it, but I know it was a jerk.

• Sarah got a good report card, so we went out last night for ice cream.

• It's ant season. For two or three weeks, ants have been a fact of life. See an ant, kill an ant. After a while, sweep up dead ants and discard. I looked up from piano playing (still managing, with maybe one exception, to play every day) to see Sarah and Lulu smashing Cheez-its in the driveway. The next morning when we were waiting for the bus, I mentioned the Cheez-its. "Lulu and I did that," Sarah explained. "For the ants. When they see the Cheez-its, they'll eat them and not be interested in going inside."

• As mentioned in passing, I'm taking walks through the neighborhood. It was cold enough a time or three that I used the treadmill instead, but any time I can go outside, I do that instead. I usually pick up the phone and talk to one of my sisters or Dad. If they're not available, I can't seem to think of anyone else to call, so then I just walk and maybe listen to the iPod.

• Phone guy came over and quickly found the cable that was making a constant buzz that drowned out all voices on the landline. Mice had gnawed through the insulation. Thanks, phone guy!
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felines

Dec. 22nd, 2008 07:00 pm
kip_w: (Default)
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A few days after my birthday, the snow had settled enough that we went out shopping. First we crept slowly toward the Target in Victor, mired in holiday traffic. We got Sarah a pair of shoes. Then we set a course for Lollypop Farm, a local animal shelter, to pick up a birthday cat for me.

The cats were all behind glass, which made it hard for me to conduct the simple test of how forward they were. Feeling somewhat hopeless, I drifted past cat after cat. They were mostly doing their own thing, but one brown striper sat and looked at me. I looked back at her. We made eye contact. I put her first on my list of kitties to look at, and after a short audition, I decided she was the one. I am, therefore, the proud owner of a cat named Princess. I am now calling her Frances, so that I won't have to call her Princess. If anybody has any other good ideas for names that sound pretty much like Princess but aren't, I'd be happy to consider them.

She sneezes and coughs a little, which is apparently normal for ex-shelter cats. She's six months old, spayed, and has her shots. She is reasonably friendly and alert. She hangs out with Cathy whenever she's not doing anything else, and if not, she's upstairs on the rug by the piano. She was here with me for a while on the first couple of days. Perhaps I failed some test. She's happy when I pet her, anyway.

I went out today -- had to shovel the car out -- and I picked up a piece of cat furniture for her two-level lounging and scratching pleasure. I also got a carrier so that when I take her to the vet tomorrow, I can keep a promise I made to her on Saturday not to make her go anywhere in the cardboard carrier again.

In other news, my tuning hammer arrived today, and I unwrapped it and opened up the piano and started whaling away. Several notes sound better now. I hope none of them sound worse. There's still more work to do. I couldn't find a real tuning procedure online, and (surprisingly) I don't have a book that goes into sufficient detail, with the proper order to tune in, and the information on beats and cents and all that. There are videos, but I want something I can refer to while I'm doing it. I ended up tuning it to some notes of my medium-small Yamaha keyboard, but was hampered by company. Zach, from the house back of ours, showed up on our porch just after two. I told him Sarah would be back from school in about an hour and a quarter. He continued loafing on the porch. Finally, I said it was pretty cold and I wanted to shut the door, so he came inside. I turned the TV on for him. He said he was feeling "peckish," so I suggested a couple of possible snacks, which he rejected, until I mentioned the S'Mores granola bars, which met with his approval.

From then on, I had pretty much continual company, with Sarah around 3:28 (bus was late), and then Michael shortly after, followed by running, crashing, and shouting through the house. I managed to drop a rubber mute down into the action, but was able to get hold of it an hour or two later and extract it again. Sarah introduced her friends to the cat, who took it all pretty well.

I'm glad to have a cat in the house. To me, a cat is the soul of a house. With luck, she'll maybe hang around with me some, so I'll get to see a living creature during the day.
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