Friday, March 27, 2009

Trust Me, It'll Sort Out

Having finished the reed organ, I am now Thrilled (Cap intentional!) to be working, once again, on my player piano. It's been a long while. Too long. That's causing some moments of "How does this go together?" as there are parts of this that have been in parts for over 6 years. Nevertheless, I'm having a blast with it.

Finished rebushing a set of keys today. Guy won't be showing up for them until late next best. I hate that.

And guess what? On the first day that 'the Factory' will be open, I'll be working as a replacement clerk. The scheduled person forgot that they had a commitment for that day. It'll probably be a good thing as my shift on Sunday will likely be canceled due to foul weather. Heavy rain and wind.

I've made a lot more ivory earrings. I've also made 'cards' that they will hook in to. Now I've got to make a display for them all. I'm thinking that a grand piano lid shape as the background/mounting surface might be appropriate.

And in my spare time...I've read halfway through an intriguing book, written by the brother of a piano technician acquaintance. The book is titled Heyday and is written by Kurt Andersen. You can see a picture in the sidebar. Kurt is a brilliant guy and the story is an intricate weaving of characters against the background of the mid 1800's in Paris, London, and New York (so far).

Also, I'll take this moment to extend a belated thank you to both Annette and Dickiebo for this award:I shall get to paying the award forward.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Organ Kit

Don't let me do this again. If I even mention taking a free instrument, stop me. Especially if said instrument must first be taken apart and hauled down the bulkhead stairs, reassembled, rebuilt, disassembled, hauled back up the stairs, and then reassembled once more! My back is killing me!'s finished!
The 'kit'
Basic case back together
The finished organ now for sale at $1400.00. (Considering the economy I may own this one for awhile...not a problem as I love it)

Moline Chapel Organ (back is as pretty as front)
16 Stops, l-r Bass Coupler, Viola, Echo Horn, Sub Bass, Flute, Melophone, Violetta, Forte, Vox Humana, Clarionet, Orchestral, Diapason, Celeste, Dulcet, Melodia, and Treble Coupler

2 Knee Swells, left opens all stops, right opens front and rear swells.

Penciled on keyframe: Dec. 22, 79 4147 Special

Originally in church in Strandquist, MN 1880 - 1969
Moved to Bloomington, MN - Fresno, CA - N. Andover, MA - Rockport, MA

[Note: apologies for the backlighting on the first two photos. Mom is redoing her drapes (they're down for new ones arriving shortly) so there was nothing to block the glare from the doors]

Monday Madness

or...Grandma said the water was fine here!

'A' and I went on errands Monday morning. One stop was at our local Ace Hardware, also known as Smith Lumber. I only needed two items, a couple disposable foam paint brushes and a couple dozen screw 'L's. I knew where the brushes were and grabbed them first. I couldn't find the packages of screw 'L's so I asked an employee that I know.

"Do you have screw 'L's?"


"Screw 'L's. You know, like screw hooks only shaped like an 'L'!"

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "I thought you wanted to screw elves!"


Then a gentleman in the same aisle said he was looking for small nuts.

"You found her."

So we got the brushes and we got the 'L's and we headed for the check out line. Oh my! Picture this...twin ladies, about 75 years old, each decked out in full length raccoon coats and tight knit caps, trying to return a vacuum cleaner that they had purchased some time ago and had decided that they weren't happy with...on their credit card, no store receipt, hauled it in in a laundry/grocery cart which was now blocking the aisle. They wouldn't accept a store credit. The manager was paged...just as Mr. ZZZZ arrived. Last we heard, from friends, Mr. ZZZZ and his daughter had a rather raucous food fight at a local restaurant. Quite honestly, most folks have been trying to avoid them in recent years. No wonder.

Another register opened and 'A' and I headed for it to get checked out. On our drive home we saw 'crutch lady' walking up Main Street. Carrying her crutch per the norm. 'A' turned to me, rolled her eyes, and asked, "What's up with people today?"

"It must be the water around here," I answered.
"Grandma always says the water is soooo good here, straight out of the tap."

Uh huh.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today's Friday

This morning was tied up with errand doing. Collecting my pay from the good doctor for the restoration of the waterlogged organ, trip to the bank, on to Cracker Jacks for some black poster board, then Rite-Aid for the newspaper, and finally IGA.

I was expecting a call around noontime from the customer who had borrowed my grand board and mover's straps. He was going to return them around noon, but planned on calling first. No call, no return of goods. Oh well, I do trust that he will get them back to me.

Today, I made great progress on the rebuild of the Moline chapel organ. I love this reed organ and, if the idea weren't to make some money, I'd keep it as my own. I may own it for awhile anyway with the miserable state of the economy and the fact that it will be a tad on the high price tag for some. Most of the case parts are ready - a finish refurbish rather than new finish. I do have a lot of work to do eliminating a handful of grey paint drips on the back lower right. Nice that this is a chapel organ and therefore has a viewable back, lousy that it means it won't necessarily be against a wall and so the back must look as good as the front - no paint drips! Other issues included that someone had switched two of the stop labels, interchanging the 'sub bass' and the 'violin'. I pried the labels out of the knobs and switched them back to their original locations. The mouse screening on the bottom was in tatters and I've eliminated it. The supports had warped and were interfering with the collapse of the reservoir so I tipped the organ on it's back to remove the supports. No problem to lower the organ with gravity in my favor. Another story when I wanted to right it! First, I repeatedly added planking under each side of the back until it was tipped high enough to get a good handhold. Then I found that it was too great a span to comfortably grab each side and still lift the weight. What to do? 'A' was at work, Mom has a bad back - she just got cortisone injections in it yesterday. I thought and thought and finally came up with a solution. I tied a mover's strap around the prostrate organ, towards the top (if upright). I used the strap as a handle, pulling straight up from the middle of the strap, leveraging the organ back to it's upright position.

Worked great!

Now I've got the Vox Humana to sort out. It's linkage has been butchered in the past and doesn't seem to have the correct throw/fulcrum vs. brake/open that is required.

Then the entire organ, case and all, will have to be taken apart in to smaller sections to be moved upstairs. It won't fit up the stairs otherwise! Here are some parts of it when I had disassembled it to take it downstairs for the rebuild.

I feel like I got a lot accomplished today. My body feels like it, too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Duet of Days

Beginning on Sunday. Mom moved back in to her end of the house! Can you see me jumping up and down with glee!!! I spent Sunday morning undoing the hallway temporary block so that she could move her stuff. I also rearranged some furniture for her and got her TV and phones switched back to where they belong.

Sunday afternoon Mom and I went down to the Rockport Art Association so that she could see the exhibit and grab some goodies to eat at the reception. There were quite a few people even at the start. I should have taken a picture from the back of the gallery so you could have seen more. The picture I took just missed the couple looking at my painting and checking the listing...and talking. This woman showed up after.

After the RAA, we went home and picked up 'A' and headed for Amesbury to the Riverwalk Bead Shop. I needed some supplies. They didn't have what I needed. They never seem to have what I need. I'm not going again. On the way home we stopped at the Gloucester Friendly's to have our dinner. Lousy service. I'm telling you, pretty soon there will be no place for us to go!

This Monday morning I loaded up the parts to the doctor's reed organ. What a pain hauling all the stuff up to his office waiting room. Four trips carrying stuff or hauling it on the two wheel dolly. I got everything put back together (the workings minus the case parts) and tried it out. One reed didn't sound. I cleaned it and cured that problem. One pallet valve was leaking. Big problem. So, I had to take everything apart to get inside to the pallet valve. What a pain. Removed the one pallet and discovered a splinter of wood was trapped on the underside, preventing it from sealing properly. Grrrrrr. I removed the wood splinter and put everything back together - again. All is fine.

I got home to a message that my photo enlargements were ready. 'A' and I headed for Double
Exposure to pick them up. Three out of five looked really good. Here's one of them to end this post.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fellow Bloggers Alert!

Now you can have a link to your blog right in my sidebar. Net Crimes is already there and you can be too! Just click on 'Follow'. Signing up takes only a couple seconds. Invite your other blog friends along.

(ed. note) I believe that if you use another site for blogging (such as Wordpress, LiveJournal, etc.) you can still participate in the 'Followers' by clicking on the text 'Follow and connect with your friends'. This opens a window with other options including Open ID.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The 400 Club

Well, the title of this post was going to be, Friday Again, Already? But then I looked at the 'dashboard' which told me that I had written 399 entries. So......this is number 400. As an aside, The 400 Club was a dinner/dance spot where my parents and their friends used to go on special occasions. Back in the 60's.

Ah well. The painting has been delivered and tomorrow I'll go to the RAA and have my own little preview. 'A' and I will be going for a walk in town so I'll check it out then. Just to see how it looks before the opening reception.

Mom and I went to Tuck's today to buy my aunt a solid chocolate Easter bunny. We'll be sending it to her as she lives in South Carolina. While in Tuck's, I got asked to start working on Sundays at the Factory (store). My first Sunday will be on March 29th. Met up with a friend/client and she scheduled a tuning.

After our visit to Tuck's, we headed to Gloucester to a photography shop called Double Exposure. This is to have some old color slides made in to 8 X 10s. Ya see, I found out that for the Contributing Member Exhibit I could have one in each category, painting, graphics, and photography. Had I been aware, I could have shown a photo as well as a painting. So...I'm becoming prepared. There are 5 enlargements being made!

We came back home and I got busy finishing the woodwork in the hallway. Finally done. Then I painted a few more earrings - butterflies. Now I have 3 butterflies, 3 sailboats, and 5 with flowers. I also have a pin with a nice nautical scene.

The doctor's reed organ gets reassembled on Monday.

Time flies when you're busy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Winner Is

The results of the voting for which painting to show at the Rockport Art Association are:

2 votes for Number One, with 3 people liking it but not choosing it for this exhibit.

10 votes for Number Two, with one vote definitely against Number One

3 rejected votes for another painting (Cathedral Ledge 'the tree' in the sidebar). Two of the three votes cast second votes to be included in the decision on the exhibited painting. Those votes were split between One and Two. Mary's hope for the Motif in winter was nixed since that painting has been sold and therefore is not available to show.

So, the painting that will be taken to exhibit at the Rockport Art Association is Good Harbor Beach

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Plea

Okay, folks, I need some opinions. This Thursday I will be submitting one of my oil paintings to be part of the Contributing Members Show at the Rockport Art Association. I am allowed only one painting and I've narrowed the options down to two. Which would YOU choose to exhibit?

Number One
Number Two
Please cast your vote in the comments section. Thanks!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Minutes for Me

Wow! Those acrid keys have been shipped, 'A' is at work, and my mom is off on her own for the afternoon. I've time to myself. In actuality, I should be either working on the reed organ, finishing my taxes, cleaning the house, cleaning the workshop, or working on jewelry. I'm not. Maybe I will later. I found two pennies this morning and when I got home from that I found a box waiting at my door. It's all the stuff from the 50th anniversary celebration of San Jose' Elementary School, in Dunedin, FL. Remember they called about printing posters from my painting? The 'anniversary day' was on February 13th. Yep, Friday the 13th. Hope it went well for them.Included in the box were the program (I got an entire paragraph devoted to me!), a copy of the legislative recognition, two cups (one in photo), two tote bags, one gift bag, two pencils (one pictured), an alumni button for 'A', a copy of the "About the Artist" placard that they displayed with the original painting, AND... the celebration reprint that has my painting of the school as the background. (I gave them permission to make reproductions and sell them to support the PTA.) Mine has a message written in the upper left corner:

D____L____, What a beautiful picture you created for San Jose'. Thank you for supporting our 50th celebration. M____W____, Principal

A magnificent day. Doesn't take much to please me.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

There's a Bad Smell Around

Today, work gave me a headache. Yesterday, a box of keys showed up at the door. Unannounced. New client, no advance call or email. They just showed up. I hauled the box down stairs to the workshop and unpacked the keys. Eeeew. Smelled bad. Like rotted citrus. Reminded me of the odor from our garbage can when we had gathered the fallen fruit from our orange trees in Florida...after a week in the sun, closed in that garbage can.

These keys had been doused with something that someone thought would be a lubricant. An oily, smelly mess. This is a key bushing job. Whatever they had poured all over the bushings had hardened them (rather than lubricating) and had made them impervious to my usual soak out method of removal. Steam didn't work either. Eventually, I had to cut the bushing cloth out of the mortises and carefully 'file size' the holes to uniformity. Then I set about rebushing, all the while breathing through my mouth. Couldn't stand to be working over them and breathing normally. I'll be extremely glad to be rid of them on Friday. The odor has permeated half the workshop air space. Nasty.

This afternoon I went out to revisit a piano that I have condemned four times in the past six months. The owners are having a hard time accepting the fact that it is shot. Not worth a rebuild. It needs replacement. I understand their dilemma of cash flow, but I can only do so much. Today's appointment is due to a string whose pin will no longer hold string tension. I CA'd the terribly loose pin. Twice. It's still iffy. Really the entire piano could use the treatment, (although there would be no guarantees) but it's winter and the CA fumes are horrible. The window needs to be open and a fan exhausting the fumes. It'll have to wait until warmer weather. That is, if they haven't bought a replacement!

It was good to get out in the fresh air. Both getting out of the stinky workshop and then getting out of the CA smell near the customer's piano. (That should dissipate within an hour)

Good thing for all of you that I can't add odor to my blog! Of course, then you'd really be able to appreciate my smelly day.

It's predicted to be a warmer day on Friday. I think I'll get out for an afternoon walk in the fresh air!

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Roar

Of the lion in March and the surf at Front Beach. Photo of the gazebo is from our very little excursion this afternoon.

In Like a Lion

Oh yes.
I knew it was coming, but I really didn't want this view out my door this morning. I was out with the shovel, the little snow blower and the old broom from 9:30 until 11:45. Then I came in and rewarded myself with a big bowl of Cookies & Cream ice cream. Mmmmm. At 2:00 we're heading out to put some bills in the mail that need paying and drive around and look at the ocean. The mail still hasn't been delivered to the house, so I've given up waiting. Still waiting on THAT big check.

And to think that just last week I bought these...
I love my new sandals. Just wish it were warm enough NOW to wear them!