Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
I just had to write this follow-up to a gripe post that I made awhile back. It concerns that tech that had complaints about some keywork, was rather obnoxious to me about it, and....I hadn't even done the work! Well, guess what.....an after Christmas ho, ho, ho.
As the title says, I'm not gloating. (I *am* chuckling a bit inside, though) Mr. Tech showed up unannounced at the house today. I think he was hoping to miss me and just drop off some stuff with my folks. He didn't call to say he was coming, nothing. Anyway, seems he needs some keybushing work done. He brought the set of keys. They had just been rebushed...very recently...very poorly...extremely poorly...embarassingly poorly. The keys wouldn't move up and down the bushings were so tight. Hmmmm....wonder who *tried* to do them? So he says they are all numbered (only the stamped in type so not very readable), they have been dumped in a "Shaw's" brown grocery bag, grrrr. I took them down to the shop to get started. Unpacked them, got them in order and cleaned, then in the clamps. Noted that two keys had chips out of them and two had burn marks on them. These brand new bushings ranged anywhere from less than .25 into the mortise to around .75. Absolutely wild. They were curved all around the ends, no shoulders on the front rail, just standing up straight with cloth above the mortise shoulders. A couple were missing so I tried removing one without soaking the cloth/glue to release it. Well, so little glue was used and evidently no cauls were actually left in while glue dried...I could actually remove ALL the bushings by merely lifting them out with needle-nosed pliers! No tugging, no bits of keywood stuck to them. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the cloth was the cheap type, too.
And yes, when these keys are finished and returned to the tech, I *will* make a point to nicely remark on the absurdly unacceptable, amateurish attempt at keybushing that I had to correct. Maybe they have learned! Ooops.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
My first trip back to MA after moving to FL was in 1986, the anniversary of "Lady Liberty". My mother, Amanda, and I were visiting my aunt and uncle in New Bedford. We had decided to wander around some antique and gift shops. In one shop, I saw a brass Statue of Liberty mounted on a dark marble base. I decided that it would be a good souvenir of our 1986 visit north. That was Number One and really was to be the only.
Then I was in a antique shop in Dunedin, FL. My adopted hometown. There was an art deco style statue with a "candle light" bulb torch and a clock in the base. Well, we had quite a collection of period art deco furniture and assessories...so...why not? Number Two. And so now, 20+ years later...............................
Only once have I had a duplicate. Not bad for more than 70 over a period of 20 years with friends, neighbors, relatives, and of course me acquiring them! A neighbor, on our street in Dunedin, brought one back as a gift for taking care of their house while they were away. Since it was a duplicate, it was discreetly packed away in case I should need a replacement someday.
BTW, I have never been to the Statue of Liberty! I have been to NYC many times. I think I have done all the sights. Most many times over. However, the closest that I have been to Lady Liberty is a drive around Manhattan and my dad saying "see over there, that's the Statue of Liberty". Just a side note - My dad, my first husband, and my Uncle George, sailed past the Statue when they sailed the Minoan (see a previous post) from Rockport to Stuart, FL. Now, I haven't been to NYC in about 30 years. But, next time!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The next photo is of another gift I got this year. This was a Statue of Liberty kit! It came as punch out wood pieces on three sheets of .25 thick wood. Pretty much no instructions on how to assemble. Only lots of little numbers to match up. No numbers on the pieces, just a drawing of each sheet of pieces that was labeled. No glue required. As I recall it was something like 1 - 120. It said for ages 5 and up on the package...UH, HUH. Oh yeah, the framed poster behind came from the "snow globe" friends when I lived in FL. The wooden statue is about a foot tall.
And just so y'all get the idea. I've taken a couple pics of part of my collection. I have over 70 actual statues, all sizes, types, a bottle with maple syrup in it (from Maine), wacky with a light-up torch, some that open with surprises inside, a pencil sharpener, a pen, a liquor bottle, a giant puzzle (not pictured) that I mounted to stand on the floor, a thimble, ornaments, and on and on. I also have collector plates and mugs, postcards, magazine articles, posters, piano rolls, a mask, tins, and jewelry.
Oh, and don't you love the Liberty Cow! There's a bobble-head, too, in the back. So thank you for my Amazing Liberty F and L in FL. LOL, I just noticed that F and L match their state!
Just a little note...one of these days I've got to change the setting on my camera. I'm tired of poor photo quality.
Now that Christmas is over I spent some time thinking about the past year. I have been soooo anxious to get this year over with. It hasn't been very good.
- 3 of my newspaper customers died of emphysema/lung cancer.
- My father was diagnosed with lung cancer. He has emphysema. There is nothing that can be done for him as far as trying to "cure" the cancer.
- 3 friends that I never had chance to meet died. Yes, I know that sounds weird. I had contact with each person in some manner, and they were part of my life.
And the good of ahind.....
- Volunteering with WHOA. It gives one purpose to my life. And it's a purpose and, yes, obligation, that *I* have agreed to and love.
- Meeting some wonderful and caring people.
- Knowing that I am thought of by others. I am not alone.
- An apparent end to 3+ years of being cyber-harassed.
Now for ahead. Some certainties.
- I will start each day hoping for the best. It's my nature and sometimes I hate being that way. LOL
- I'm pretty sure it will eventually snow this winter (drat).
- I fear my dad will not see the end of the next year.
- My life *will* change, for many reasons, in many ways. Nothing that I can do about it.
- Summer will come with its warmth and sunshine!
- I will continue to be stressed with family stuff.
I find it odd that people need a number, or more specifically a date, to remind them to be generous and caring. Should be that way all the time. Same goes for "resolutions". Seems the ones made on the "day for it" don't work well anyway! I like to sometimes forget about the "assigned" time. Just do things. I hope it makes other people feel good. I won't lie...it makes me feel good to do it.
And what about the down side of traditions. They play such an important role in our lives as long as things are good, happy, and "right with our world". They cause havoc and despair, stress and sorrow, when things are wrong. Could there be a tradition of intentional change? Would lack of tradition work as "tradition"?
Saturday, December 23, 2006
"Our remarkable, amazing pine tree is still going strong and heading for its 10th Christmas with us! My husband and I purchased a pine tree from Michigan, the Christmas of 1981. We decorated it, and enjoyed our tree. The only thing that was different about this tree, was that after a few weeks it remained pretty, full, olive green and did not lose its needles!
The weeks went into months and still, this unbelievable tree was beautiful. Yes, year after Christmas year this amazing tree has graced our living room.
This coming Christmas, our pine tree will be with us for its 10th year, green, decorated, lights and beautiful as always. It drinks a lot of water - oh yes, it has no soil, no roots and just refuses to die.
So many people have seen it through the years and feel as we do, that is (sic) is a "miracle of God" and a sign and symbol of eternal life, which is the real and true meaning of Christmas.
We really think that you would be happy to know that our (God's) "miracle tree" is still alive for this Christmas, and the New Year 1991. May you all have many "miracles", and a blessed Christmas and new year."
H and L W.
May I add this...I would like to think that the "miracle tree" had a lot to do with the care, love, and nuturing that it was given. May H and L's example be followed each day, in all that we do, particularly as we "tend" our families and friends.
Friday, December 22, 2006
This has not been a particularly great week. No big problems, at least for me. Just a bunch of little stuff that has added up along the way. It started out with one of my customers dying on Monday. She had been ill with emphysema and lung cancer. She spent most of her time sitting in the window watching traffic and the goings on. Everyday on my walk (the paid exercise of delivering newspapers), I would look for her and wave. She always smiled and waved back to me. This is the second person on my walking route that has died of lung cancer in the last 6 months. It just reminds me of my dad and I wonder how much longer he has.
My mom has been trying to keep up with some of the stuff that my dad used to take care of. Since his eye surgery and because of macular degeneration he has not been able to read. She has started paying the bills. The problem is she is so insecure about it that she keeps coming over and asking me to check everything. Not a problem per se. Problem is that she just interrupts whatever I'm doing. I've tried explaining that we need to work out a time to do it but she gets all irritated with me. Another thing is teaching her how to balance the checkbook. I've gone over it for three months now. She still can't do it. Then she says, "No one I know has to balance their own checkbook".
I am getting very frustrated with the whole thing. The "I can'ts" and the "do for me's".
I won't get into the non pay customers. Well, just a bit! What is wrong with people? I had a customer that owed me $14. She put $7 in an envelope for me. Now she's back up to owing $10.50. Come on folks. You would think that at the holidays they *might* think to pay.
Then there are the little things that made my week, put a smile on my face, made me feel good.
Amanda got a Christmas card/tip that was fantastic. She opened the envelope and looked at the card and commented on its plain appearance. Then she opened the card and we were so pleasantly struck. The card....everything about it....was perfect. When opened, white doves spread their wings....it was a pop-up. (Insert oooohs and ahhhhs) We have it on display.
One of my customers, (she owns P-Kay and Taz. P-Kay is an English Staffordshire Terrier that loves me. It's reciprocal!) didn't get home in time to leave me a Christmas card and tip today. She drove to my house to drop it off!
I received a Christmas kit gift this week. Well, that's what I'm calling it. My best friend (from FL) sent it. I was told that although well-packaged, it was not gift wrapped inside the shipping box. I got to wrap it in my favorite paper! Nice bow and a tag, too. I have been promised that I will be amazed by the contents. I like to be amazed. I'll let you all know but you'll have to wait until after Santa has been to our house.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I *really* wanted to see the Storm Stories about the "Can Do". Really, really, really.
Went out for dinner, did an errand, folded laundry, sat down to tune in and they changed it. I couldn't believe it. I checked the Channel Line-up. Yep, 7:30, Weather Channel, Coast Guard Storm Stories. Nope.
Last minute change evidently. Even the Weather Channel, just before 7:30, had an advert on for the show (that preempted Storm Stories) saying that it would be on at 8. Then 7:30 rolls around and they say "welcome to a two hour special showing of (whatever it was)".
So....my apologies to any of you who were also looking forward to watching. Yeah, I know, it's not my fault they changed it, but I still feel bad having made the announcement here.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
So go ahead and view my COMPLETE PROFILE
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
BAH, HUMBUG to them......................
Thursday, December 14, 2006
It's a good thing, too. The left of my left is troublesome. Arthritis. And it's all on my left side. And of the locations, it is the left side. The left side of my left ankle, the left side of my left wrist. The wrist has been the most trouble lately and sometimes makes it hard to work. My left index finger, my left thumb. It is, however, the worst on the right side of my left thumb because that's the spot I mashed last spring.
I tuned the Steinway M at the Art Association this afternoon. There was an office party tonight. Remarkably the piano wasn't toooooo bad. This piano needs TONS of work. Anyway, it is sort of a pleasant place to work. Lots to look at in the big gallery while listening to the piano. The big room does make the tuning tiresome. The top three octaves reverberate noisily. The room "grabs" the sound of the hammer impact louder than the tone produced by the strings. This is very annoying to listen "through". Ginny came by and we talked for a little bit. It was a nice break during some of the above mentioned octaves.
I timed the tuning perfectly, by accident. I got there around 1 pm and was just finishing up as the caterers began setting up tables. Glad I missed working around all their noise.
On the way out I stopped by the shop. I bought a couple notecards that are repros of paintings of Rockport in the winter and at night. I've been writing to a friend's mom-in-law every couple of weeks. She recently lost her husband to cancer and then her son died. She has been very lonely and hasn't many social opportunities as she doesn't drive. I had been writing to both her and her husband during the time he was ill and now it just seems right to keep in touch with her. Anyway, it gives her a little something different in the mail every once in awhile. The cards are real pretty.
Dad went to his primary care doctor this morning. He is doing okay. His doctor was a bit surprised and told my dad that he was doing much better than he expected him to be. Does that translate to, "I'm surprised, you should be worse considering...."? Oh well, we'll take the good news for now!
It's been profitable walking. In the past two weeks I've found: 3 pennies (one very mutilated), 2 nickels, 4 dimes, and 7 quarters. And....3 screws, one bungee cord, and a car key (yeah, I picked it up and I don't know what I'll ever do with it).
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
How do you like the title to this post? I thought it labeled me perfectly.
I created another word awhile back. It was when that senator or congressman or someone was caught and photographed with his "girlfriend" on a sailboat down around the Dade County area. I probably have all those details wrong. As I remember, he was considering running for Pres. maybe? Hmmm...I'm not to good at remembering political specifics. Anyway, my word for what he did...politicide. Killed his career in politics.
Guess what? Give up? Okay, I'll tell. All my Christmas shopping is done. It's all wrapped (minus bows as I have to be able to stack all the boxes in my closet, out of sight), all my cards are sent, and all the customer cards have been handed out! I took my mom on a little shopping trip to a Home Goods store, today. Just for fun, just to browse. I like doing this at this time of year. I get to watch everyone else madly trying to get caught up with their shopping! I did buy a couple things. I bought another roll of wrapping paper. I bought it because - alot on the roll for very little $$$, I liked it, and I didn't need it but will use it eventually. I also bought a box of "antique look" glass ornaments, little snowmen, santas, stockings, and mittens. They are miniature size and perfect additions to my artificial Victorian feather tree.
Good stuff came in the mail today....three checks!!! Payments for keywork. Now I'm only waiting on one more BIG one. Since the week between Christmas and New Year is generally slow work-wise, I'll be getting all my tax paperwork ready for that enormous chore. Oh yeah, New Year's. Rockport has a celebration. This will be the 10th year they have done it so it should be real good. I'm really hoping a friend will come and join me for the evening.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Last night I started reading "Dear John" by Nicholas Sparks. This is easy reading. Totally different from anything that I normally read. I say that having read all his books LOL. It's his style of writing rather than the subject matter that hooked me. Nice stories, friendly prose, a delight for the "act" of reading. I'll write about this latest from Sparks once I'm finished.
After that I may reread "Cruel Doubt" by Joe McGinniss. I read this to keep my mind occupied during the divorce proceedings from RC. At the time, I found it riveting. The jacket has this to say...."In Cruel Doubt, Joe McGinness probes the dark heart of family life and brilliantly weaves together the tangled strands of this fascinating and terrifying story-at once murder mystery, courtroom drama, and a heartbreaking account of a mother's love and courage. This is his strongest book to date."
Friday, December 08, 2006
Ferd sent me this today and I just *loved* it. I have to share. Take a look at this and make sure the volume is turned up...Ho, Ho, Ho.
Thank you, Ferd!
I hope you don't mind me sharing.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Work has piled up again, too. I'm appreciative of the work, don't misunderstand. It's just that time of year everyone wants it NOW. Like they are the only ones needing a piano tuned or keys recovered. I had a call from a couple in Boxford. Their player piano quit working. They want to know if I can get it fixed for their annual Player Piano Party right after Christmas. I'm 99.999999% sure it won't happen. It's an odd-ball unit made mostly of pot metal rather than wood. For those of you reading that know this stuff - it's a National Air - O - Player. No way to fix or get replacements for the old metal stuff. I'm going to take a look at it on Saturday afternoon, anyway. At the least maybe I can take some pics. Right after I drop off some finished keys to a tech in Georgetown. Yeah, he wanted them by the end of the week. I only got them Wednesday afternoon. Rush, rush, rush. He offered to come and pick them up. I'm not here tomorrow and I'm not going to change my plans. I've got to go finish shopping or I'll go nuts. So, either I drop the keys off on Sat while I'm up that way or they will have to be shipped back on Monday.
I tune at the Rockport Art Association for two different functions before the end of the month. The piano needs PILES of major work. I'm referring them to a rebuild shop in Lowell to get that done as I can't get a piano into my shop :-(. There is another message on the machine for a tuning. I'll have to call them in the morning. And still I *have* to get in touch with some local folks (around the corner) for player work. I'm only 6 months behind on that contact. I could scream. Then there are some people that want me to take their player piano off their hands. Another tech gave them my name. I want a player, probably not the one that they have, and I just don't feel like thinking about it right now. I'll call them tomorrow, too.
Maybe I'm just feeling tired and isolated. (Truly living on an island) Nothing seems to be going quite right lately. I miss technical talks with "the guys" in Florida. I miss having Guild Chapter meetings to go to each month. It puts me sooo out of touch with what is happening in the piano world. I feel like I'm working hard, like crazy, at everything and either getting nowhere or more just gets added on. Never ending. Blech.
I'm going to bed early. Maybe tomorrow will be better. All I can say is it better not snow. I did hear mention of it.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
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This book is excellent."
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Monday, December 04, 2006
Then it happened....
I was exiting the end of our street driving my truck (had made the stop and waited for traffic to clear) to cross over Main Street to High Street. All was clear. I started across and had nearly made it when a women pulled out of High Street to turn "out of town". She never looked to her left (where I was). As she pulled out she continued looking to her right. She ran right into me. Pushed the rear end of my truck sideways for quite a bit. Fortunately, even with her lack of "vision" she didn't damage my truck (nothing apparent). I couldn't believe it! I looked and looked at the rear quarter of the truck and NOTHING. She had minor bumper damage to the driver's side front of her car. Huh??? and nothing on mine?
Well, Officer Roger and Officer "I Like Mike" showed up. We kept looking at my truck and then I saw it. There is a large black scrape across the tire/wheel/rim. Anyway, pertinent info was exchanged, no injuries, report filed.... So far my tire seems okay and the truck seems to handle fine considering the substantial sideways trip it took! As we were getting ready to leave, the woman apologized (don't ever do this at an accident as it shows an acknowledgement of blame) and said that she would let me pull out first. Officer Mike laughed at that comment.
I hope the rest of today is calm.