Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homer's Mom Wrote Another Book...

and I want a copy!

This book would have been on my Christmas list...but it won't be in stores until January.  So...I'm hoping to win an autographed copy that WOULD arrive before Christmas.  You'll be seeing more of Gwen Cooper's book as I try to increase my odds of winning. (Some of you may remember her other book, Homer's Odyssey, when it spent some time in my recent reads section of the sidebar.)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Player Piano Analysis...

I've been corresponding with a player piano owner who is really too far out of my service area...yet they want me to come out and find out what's up with their piano.

I offered some suggestions to the owner based on an initial description of the problem.  She said her husband is an engineer and he would take a look.

Here is the 'official' report from the engineer.

I must say that I love this report.  So typically an engineer...yet with humor.
This is not their piano.  It is my yet-to-be-finished player piano.

Summary of Researches and Findings Pursuant
to the
Player Piano

  1. The machine is robust and possesses a non-trivial inertial mass.  Moving it away from the basement wall produced a 10-yr storm in the tendons and connective tissues of my upper and lower abdomen.
  2. To the extent that the machine is massive and relatively immobile, it is equally aloof and unreliable as with regards to producing music.
  3. It does, however, when energized, utilize compressed air to cause a set of bellows to operate in a reliable rhythm.  Of principal interest here is the observation that this hive of activity causes a shaft to rotate.
  4. The location of this shaft appears to be the cause of the problem.  The shaft spins in a constant direction, but is able to slide along a left-right ordinate.  When it is in the leftmost position, it causes the music rolls to rewind, often with alarming speed.  When it is slid to the right a sufficient distance, the gear on the left end of the shaft disengages the rollers, and instead a gear on the right end of the shaft engages a different mechanism, and the music roll is turned in the forward direction.
  5. When the latter occurs, the machine produces a clever compendium of sounds as its designer no doubt intended.
  6. I was able to cajole the machine into playing entire music rolls by manually sliding a linkage to the right, which dragged the shaft to the right, and caused good things to happen.  It didn’t always stick, but after a few attempts it would get my drift.  Adjusting the speed of rotation in the early stages of the process seemed to be helpful in keeping the shaft engaged with the rightmost mechanism.  It seems to want to slide to the left and go into rewind mode more often than not, and in the time that I spent scratching my head and wondering whether or not I would inadvertently get a finger ground into chuck meat by a gear, or deftly grab hold of something electrified, I didn’t quite parse the reason for that personality flaw.  Once it gets going, however, it will play an entire roll.
  7. At the end of the roll, another bellows fires and pushes the rotating shaft back to the left so that the roll rewinds.  That part seems to work okay, but needed a bit of help at the end of the roll as well.  So, somehow the shaft and the mechanisms that move it back and forth are just not quite on top of their collective game.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So What Is Doing?

Sometimes I think...."Waaayyyyy too much."  I can't seem to stop the doings, though.  They just keep coming!
Overhead at the tuning!
First, back to my last post.  They still haven't paid for the tuning.  I'll be sending a second notice to them as soon as I buy stamps.

Oh yeah...I've got to go to the post office for stamps, including enough for sending Christmas cards (some need airmail Europe) but that won't happen until probably Tuesday.  Monday I've got to drive my mom to and from day surgery.  A shot for pain in her back.  It's nothing serious, they just won't let you drive yourself.  It's an hour drive each way and she will be there for a few hours...

Monday is shot (hahahaha).

Okay, so back to what HAS been going on...
A 'fire road' leading along Waring Field and in to the South Woods
R and I have started our SundaythereisnohuntingonSundays walks in the woods.  They haven't been too exciting.  No great discoveries - rocks and trees.  Just different rocks and trees from previous walks.  We need a change!
'Discovered' rock art near the Tarr Trail
Nothing is happening with the Haskins Park project.  I can't get anyone in charge at the town level to even correspond with me about the project.  I'm now waiting until after the first of the year to re-approach them with the topic.  Hopefully it will still be on their list and they'll be more willing to discuss it as a new year project.

Work has been steady.  More tunings and repairs as the holidays approach and keys still continue to arrive.

Out of the blue I received a call from the SC neighbors to my cousin's property.  I think that I mentioned here, long ago, that there was a big mess over the handling of his estate and the care of my aunt.  Well, evidently things have not been satisfactorily handled at that end (no surprise) and now I feel obligated to involve myself as much as I am able.  So, many phone calls and much online research later, I am trying to locate long lost relatives.  It's not easy, folks!  And even if I find these relatives, it is guaranteed to be a bumpy road to clear everything up at the SC end of things.  I'll do my best to resolve it...but no promises!
This is BIG.  The white areas, seen below at the edge of the marsh, are houses.
We have something new on the horizon.  An extremely large wind turbine is atop Railcut Hill.  While I'm not convinced of its successful supplementation of power for the business where it is located, I do kind of like the looks of it up there! There are to be two more nearby supposedly to be tied to Gloucester's grid.
Lots and lots of supplies for the price.
Yesterday, R and I went to an indoor yard sale at a small auction house.  Mostly, it was a pile of junk.  However, I did make a great buy with a lot of art supplies for only $15!  The lot included many unused tubes of artists oils and a handful of  brand new paint brushes.  There's a large collection of ink pens and nibs that I may use someday, too.  Considering the current price at the store for these items...I got a super deal!

Work, walks, paperwork (I did get my business books up-to-date and balanced the check books), phone calls, Christmas cards written, some shopping, errands, and the Sandy Bay Historical Society meetings...I've been busy!

Friday, November 02, 2012

A Wake Up Tune

This morning I started work earlier than usual.  This customer had been postponed (rescheduled) twice.  Both times by me. I was feeling a bit bad about that so I agreed to be on the road an hour before my usual start time.
The front gate
The view from where I parked
More from my parking spot
The building where the piano lives
Not a bad looking place!

The only down side will be waiting for my check to appear in the mail.  The secretary handles all bill paying and she wasn't there yet.