Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Tough Day

Well, at least the reed organ is finished. Here are a couple pictures of it. This week I'll be able to call the owners and arrange payment and pick up. The case repair work came out well. I did have to completely strip the top and refinish it due to water damage. That meant creating a custom stain color to match the faded color of the original finish.

Not good news...

I heard from a very good friend that her dad-in-law is not doing well at all. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer just about a month ago. Yesterday he went in for surgery and they could do next to nothing to help him. The cancer is too advanced. He has been given 4 - 5 months. I feel so bad.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ups and Downs

The good news first.......

Just heard from a friend that she is FINALLY getting some child support money. She has done with very, very little support for about 8 years. I'm so happy for her....may it continue!

The bad news.....

All of my dad's doctors have decided that he would not benefit from radiation treatment. There is nothing further that they can do as the overall condition of his lungs are too bad from the emphysema to be able to treat the cancer. They will just keep a check on things every couple of months.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Good, The Mediocre, and The Ugly

The long title being, Some Great News, a Weird Road Trip, and Those Who Are Privileged (or at least think they are)

I'll start with "The Ugly" as I would like to end this post on a good note.

We have a group of people that we refer to as "privileged". You see them lots of places but most frequently in No Parking - Fire Lane(s). When I'm waiting to pick up my daughter at work, I see lots of them. They drive right in front of the store doors and park in the fire lane. Usually, one person will wait in the car while another runs in the store. I guess they feel better that they are "waiting" not "parking". I have seen some people literally park their cars there and leave them unattended while they shop. I was early for pick up the other evening so while I was making some phone calls, I watched. One couple was parked there for over a half an hour! How come they don't have to follow the rules like the rest of us? You've got it...they're "the privileged". They also see no need to wait their turn in line, use the appropriate traffic lane (then cut in at the start of another lane), or move in to a different lane AHEAD OF TIME when the sign says "Left (or right) Lane Closed Ahead, Merge". They fully expect that, because they are "the privileged" you will make exceptions for them. After all, you aren't "the privileged"!

The Mediocre or "A Weird Road Trip"

Well, summer is definitely over. We made the jaunt to "Skip's" for the last time this year. They are closing for the season on Sunday. "See You in the Spring" It took an amazingly long time to get there, today. We were aiming for a late lunch and got kidding that we may make it in time for breakfast....tomorrow. SLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWW traffic, road construction, line painting for miles. We finally get clear of that and head for the Rocks Village bridge crossing the Merrimack River. Traffic stops. Huh? We wait and wait and wait. Some people give up and turn around. I have to be very desperate to do that. I'm one of those folks that as soon as I've reversed direction, to go the long way, traffic will start to move. Unbelievable! The bridge was actually being opened for a boat. We used to live nearby and had never, ever, seen that bridge open. It's a swing span...and a hand cranker. Three men on a capstan. Took forever to open and then close. The middle, swing span is actually paved in wood, and has been asphalted over. Anyway, we managed to finally get to "Skip's" and enjoy the last lunch of the season.

The Good!

I'll be servicing the Rockport Public School's pianos! Their current tuner took me to the schools on Tuesday to show me around and talk about the 8 pianos. I should be meeting with the head of the Music Dept. next week to iron out details and priorities. This is fantastic for me as it is so nearby. I've been getting a lot of calls that are really farther to drive than I would like. It's hard to schedule those around driving my daughter to and from work and helping out my folks. Especially now with my father looking at radiation treatment for cancer. What a blessing to have this come along.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Okay, I should have seen it coming. Okay, I actually did see it coming, but being an optimist, I thought maybe it wouldn't. Ha, Ha. I was interviewed for a magazine story. Writer was all nice and pleasant....really. Everything went fine and I agreed to supply the documentation he wanted. I "blacked out" surnames and email addresses on the documentation since we had agreed that they would not be used. A few days pass and I get a request to use not only my surname, but that of another party. Well, first off, these folks knew from the start that I would not disclose "the other's" last name. So, I wrote and reminded the writer of that and that he could use real first names. Funny how his "Dear Debra"s became just "Debra:" when he wasn't able to get his way!

So, I've been "dumped" from the story. I'm okay with this. I was never positive that I would be included anyway. And, I was not all excited and hyped about ME being in a magazine story. Hey, if I was, I would have wanted my full name out there in bold print, right? It was nifty but nothing more than that. What I don't like is the language of the "dump" saying that legitimate magazines don't use fictitious names. Well, I said he could use my real first name (and the other party's), just if he needed a surname for any perceived reason he would have to invent one as he didn't have permission to use *MY* (or the other's) SURNAME. Geez...I felt like saying that any legitimate magazine would understand the need, in certain circumstances, for a person's well-being and safety. Besides, as I recall, many "legitimate" magazines *do* use fictitious names and they say why. Guess he thought I never read any mags.

I'm irritated, very irritated. Oh well, I'll get over it shortly!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dump Picking

Now I'm disappointed. So the rest of the world does the dump, dump, dump thing, too. I still want to find the Vonnegut reference. I did a little search and came up with many more mentions of the dumb Lone Ranger joke than I ever want to see again. Maybe that was what was in Vonnegut's book. Now that would be real annoying. Maybe I'll quit looking.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Just some stuff

Seems the guys at the DPW have a great sense of humor. This sign was on our street several years ago. I thought it was rather clever, but, unfortunately their inventiveness was lost on most of the other residents. Nobody found it odd. Huh?

Okay, this strikes me as a bit odd, too. Is this where you turn to find out if you are male or female? LOL. Yes, I'm being weird. Yes, I *do* understand what it really means.

Maybe I'll start a collection of weird or clever sign photos. There was (or maybe still is) an auto body shop on the main road through Lee, NH called "Bump and Grind Auto Body". I always liked that one :-)


Rockport has a great social club. It's called the dump. Oops, excuse me, the transfer station. It is the place to see and be seen on Saturday mornings. Even politicians do the handshaking bit there. If there is a petition to be signed, you'll find someone with it at the dump. You can meet up with your neighbors, the police, the harbormaster, and every local business owner at the dump. No joking. I love it! And not just for the social aspect. They have a great metal pile to rummage through, a swap shop with good used items for free, and a book barn.

Furry friends.....................................

There are alot of dogs where I walk. A few cats, too. Cedar is a black lab who used to bark so viciously at me that I stayed clear. Now he barely lifts an eyebrow when I'm near. I always try to stop and talk sweetly and rub his head. Then there is Fiona. Oh my! Fiona is a Basset Hound that is in love with me. She is always overjoyed to see me and if I don't get over to her quickly enough (daydreaming generally), she starts with a sorrowful whine. Her whole body just wriggles with excitement and she eventually plops down and rolls onto her back so that I can scratch her tummy. Another house has P Kay, Taz, and Baron. P Kay is a darling English Staffordshire Terrier. She is quiet and just comes to the fence to say hi and lick my hand. Her step-sister Taz is part Chihuahua. Taz really likes me but doesn't like to admit it. She yaps and barks, but once she sees it's just me, she turns around and walks away. Once in a long while I can coax a lick. The new "kid", Baron, just hasn't a clue! He barks and barks and only stops when I'm out of sight or he is scolded by his owner.

And now, yippee, it's off to the dump.

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump (read very quickly!)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Change in the Air

And it's not about money! (although, I did find a dime today)

This week has felt far. I don't know exactly why. Maybe because the summer humidity has moderated a bit. Even the start of the leaves changing color is not bothering me...yet! I really don't like anticipating cold, snow, the snow shovel, and shortened days. I hope winter passes as quickly as summer seems to have passed this year. Yuck, just thought of having to turn the heat on and the continual filling of the humidifier. I really, really, really prefer summer! In a few weeks I'm going to try something with the scanner and this blog (if I remember). Maybe I can get a little artsy.


See Fall colors!


Am I bored? Actually, no, I've been very busy for the start of the week.
A chuckle occurrence - Monday, I was walking down a side street in town when out of the corner of my eye I saw a police cruiser approaching from behind. Now, you know I have this thing about waving to people I know (and also some that just like to wave). Well, for four years I have been "working on" the police department. Most now wave. Usually I can't see which officer is in the car due to the light or reflections, whatever, so I just wave. One officer just lifts a single finger in acknowledgement (NO, not THAT finger). Anyway, here comes this police car Monday. As it passes by me I turned to look and IN UNISON I see three heads nod and three hands raise to wave! It was so cute! They are getting so well trained. LOL

Well, I must get back to work on the reed organ casework. It has become very annoying as I can't seem to get an exact match for the finish. I just spent $40 on various finishes to do a lot of trial and error.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Venturing Into a New Experience

Ahhhhhhh........a deep breath and.........

I just did my first media interview! A writer for Ladies Home Journal had emailed and scheduled a telephone interview for 2 p.m. today. The interview was for part of a feature the magazine is doing on cyberstalking. I wasn't really nervous about it, I just had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. For the most part, I actually enjoyed doing it. My concern is that there was soooo much information that it might be confusing. Anyway, I was very impressed with the writer, Joe Treen. First of all, and a pet peeve with me, he was ON TIME! I liked this guy from the start LOL. And, he was easy to talk to, asked good questions, and LISTENED. I'll be sending him some documentation this week. Now, I have no idea whether anything about "my story" will actually make it in to his article, or whether anything will make it in to the magazine. But you can be sure if it does, I'll let you know!

Now exhaling.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Skip's and Gripes

Another Monday and it was another trip to Skip's for burgers. I had to go that way anyway! On this trip we went to Haverhill to Building 19 since I had to get some "oriental carpet" for reed organ rebuilds. I use inexpensive carpets for the covering on the pump pedals. It's about as close to original as I can make the appearance. I ended up buying 4 small rugs (one for myself for my kitchen!). It's great that they are under $10, look great (very convincing), and therefore I don't mind cutting them up for pedal mats.

Then on to Skip's. This time we made another stop afterwards. Hodgies Ice Cream! It's about 5 minutes down the road from Skip's. Some really cool guys let us "cut" in line! Talk about a long afternoon in the car. An hour there, eat lunch in the car, eat ice cream in the car, then an hour back home. Phew............

On to other things.....................................................

This week it was pretty slim pickings for found objects. Two pennies, a No. 2 pencil, and a senior citizen. Yep, you read it right. I was walking out Main Street, on the non-sidewalk side of the road (had to be facing oncoming traffic). There was an older lady wearing a red, wool, tartan plaid skirt and navy sweater carrying a blue tote bag. As I passed her she said "excuse me, may I ask a question?" She was wondering how much farther it was to the DenMar Nursing Home. Yikes! She was totally off course. I told her she had the wrong road and that it would be about the same distance ( well over a mile) from town that she had already walked, but on South Street, not Main. I suggested that she stop at the police station, just a little bit farther, and someone would be glad to give her a ride to the nursing home. No, she decided to wait until another day, cross the street and wait for the bus to Gloucester. Okie-dokie. I continued on my way. Later, when I headed back down the hill towards town and home, I could see "Lady Lost" walking on down waaaayyyy ahead of me. No bus ride and I haven't a clue where she ended up. Maybe she's still walking!


Okay, now my gripe of the week. I'm tired of being blamed! Lady claims she didn't get a newspaper. Insists she didn't and calls the paper to complain. Gee, we count out the number of papers per route two times. Once when we undo the bundles and again when packing the papers for delivery. This is so we CAN'T miss anyone. If we did we would have a extra paper at the end of the route! And yes, that has happened sometimes. Do we ignore it? Of course not! We call, knock on doors, whatever it takes until we find out where that extra paper belongs. Grrrrr. And yes, I'm overly sensitive about being accused. I know this. And I know why, too. I was accused of stealing (or failing to return) a school library book when I was in 4th grade. They made me search the shelves for the book. I was in tears. I never found it. They did. Someone else had taken it without signing it out. While divorcing my first husband I was accused of spending him into bankrupcy. He denied me access to our joint account because I was frivolously spending on groceries. "What is she buying?" my attorney asked during depositions. "Is she buying lobster, steak, what?" "No", the soon-to-be-ex replies, "Pop-tarts." Everyone in the room giggled. Then I have a second divorce and I'm *wrongfully* accused of enticement and entrapment, and of stealing over $200,000. And yes, all that was proven to be fabricated and lies. Give me a break. I'm honest. Yes, I make mistakes. I've got two ex-husbands, right? It still bugs me. Please think before blaming anyone.

Okay, done griping.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Don't look for anything clever having to do with the title. It just is what it is!

First question - Why are some people so self-centered, uncaring, and oblivious to any responsibility to others?

Second question - Do there seem to be more of those people lately?

Okay, I feel better having asked.........

I'm a member of several online groups and there is an individual on one of these groups that frequently comes up with some oh-so-applicable comments. I think I'll begin calling them Ronnisms. BTW, I met this guy at a convention this year. He is a great guy. Funny and down-to-earth, and very, very intelligent. So here are a couple recent Ronnisms:

"While being exposed as an idiot has gotten easier through the years by repetition, it's still nice to make the really moronic mistakes in private once in a while."

"I never could define the difference between intrigue and folly without crossing the line occasionally."

Watch for more Ronnisms in the future........

And now.........................

I'm thrilled! I have completed the "guts" to a customer's Kawai reed organ. I tested it today and it is fantastic! This instrument pumps sooooo easily. I still have some case repairs to finish before I can declare the job done. I've got another reed organ to work on after. It is a Bridgeport and about 60 years older than the Kawai. It may live at the "Keeper's House" on Thacher Island when it is finished. That'll be cool!

Friday, September 08, 2006


What a week. While out walking, I ran into (no not literally) a woman that my daughter delivers newspapers to (they also see each other at the supermarket where my daughter works). Her first comment was "I really admire you." Huh? What did I do? Seems she thinks that I have done an amazing job with my daughter. This woman's expertise is in special education. Now, my daughter is 24, a high school graduate, no college, a little tech school. She's average. She has a real hard time learning stuff and it does take her extra time and a lot of repetition. She's a bit immature and does get frustrated very easily. Much of her immaturity and lack of self confidence comes from her dad disassociating from her when she was 10 years old. Okay basically he failed to be an adult, dumped emotional support and responsibility, and did as *he* pleased. To his credit, he did reliably pay child support. But that's all folks. When she reached "the age of majority" he totally vacated her life, no card for birthdays or Christmas, nada. She hasn't seen or spoken to him in nearly 14 years. That's got to be tough on her.

Anyway, to get off the made me feel super good that someone noticed what a great "kid" she is! And yes, I've worked my tail off for 24 years, 14 of them as the 24/7 parent, and I'm still doing it. She gets just takes awhile!

So, that was the good start to the week.

Then there are Dads...mine was supposed to start radiation treatments for cancer in his left lung. The radiologist saw a questionable shadow in his right lung. So now my dad must have a biopsy of that before any decision on treatment is made.....A friend's dad was to start chemo this week. His doctor detected a blood clot and now my friend's dad must wait on the treatment for that, before he can begin treatment for his cancer. They were both in the ER on the same morning this week. Different hospitals. Too bad we don't live closer. I think they might enjoy each other's company. They share some similar interests.

Lousy mid-week.
Gets me come some people struggle and struggle, work their hardest to be kind, thoughtful, and try to do the "right thing", but yet never seem to get "a break"? Every little thing comes at huge effort. Hmmm.

Small joy at the end of the week...I've got my computer back! I have found another service person who is reliable! Yippee! The company is US Computron.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Annoying

My computer is in the hospital. It is very annoying. I'm presently using the computer at the Rockport Library. I did have some stuff I wanted to write about, but I will wait until weekend. I hope to have my own computer back by then.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Me in Wonderland?

It all started early Saturday morning while I was delivering newspapers. As I was delivering to a house that is at the end of a dirt road, I noticed a rabbit wandering near the side of the house. This wasn't a wild rabbit. It was a LOP. Enormous and white. I talked softly to it but it wouldn't let me get close. I wondered where it escaped from.

So, with it being a holiday today, we had to deliver the papers early in the morning once again. As I was leaving the dirt road, I saw the white rabbit again. This time near the edge of the road. It was nibbling on some grass and looking quite pathetic. I stopped and talked to it again, hoping to get close enough to pat it. I felt so bad for it as it had obviously been out in the rain over the weekend. As I tried to slowly approach, "Whabbit" as I am now calling it, (white + rabbit) ran a ways off, trying to keep it's distance. This time though, I did get a bit closer and Whabbit did stay around for awhile and listened to me.

Yes, it got me thinking. Hmmm...seeing a white rabbit. But, I won't follow it and I hate mushrooms!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Just found this close-up photo of the horse race part of the "Derby".

Put Another Nickel In....

These are the pictures of the Western Electric Derby that I have been working on for the past six months. One photo shows just the top portion of the instrument and the horse race inside. As a tune plays the two tracks of horses race in a circle. When the tune stops the horses glide awhile longer and then stop. An indicator light tells which horse (inner or outer track) has won. The roll and all the other pneumatic mechanisms are located behind the doors in the bottom of the case. Sorry about the picture quality. Even with flash it has been impossible to get a good photo of the whole thing. Operates with a nickel. One tune per nickel. Ten tunes on a roll which then automatically rewinds to the start.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Aw, so cute!

This morning, a friend sent me an email with this "postcard".

Just makes me feel so warm and cozy!

We miss our cat. He was 14 years old when we had to have him put to sleep. Maybe in the spring we'll get another. It will be relaxing to have Christmas decorations up without having to monitor a cat who loved to eat them! He used artificial greens like a toothbrush and loved to play with anything shiny.