Friday, December 16, 2005


The new monitor arrived today but I'm not happy

(Here's a pic of us stopped this past summer at one of the finest places along the Alcan Highway, called Summit Lake, just south of Stone Mountain in the middle of British Columbia. There's a small campground right off the road, and a few trails to hike, but the best part is the serenity. Since it's so high up and near a pass, it's usually cool, but well worth the stopover.)

Several days ago, I ordered an HP 21" widescreen LCD from BestBuy, and it arrived this evening; but it turns out that it really isn't any different than my existing 17" CRT, except that it's wider - they say you can put two pages onscreen at the same time - whoopee. I wanted a monitor that gives a larger picture (for my aging eyes), not just a wider one. I'm p---d off that they don't make that very clear in any of their ads. I guess that's something we're supposed to know about somehow.

Anyway, now I've got to return it to BestBuy. It looks like their return policy is pretty reasonable. I'll save a lot of money on shipping by returning it to their store in Anchorage. I guess we'll be going to Anchorage next week after all. I'm going to replace it with a 20.1" Samsung LCD - all the pictures show it to be reasonably square (5:4 aspect ratio). We'll hopefully be able to look at several monitors to make sure it's the right way to go. It's also a bit cheaper.

I played my cello for an hour and a half this morning - again until my fingers wore out. I worked the exercises, mostly; but by the time I got to some actual music I wasn't able to get much out. Tomorrow, I'll switch and after some warmups, I'll work on some pieces before going to the workbook. I've been enjoying reading the forums, listening to all the students talk about their celli and their experiences. I'm continuously amazed at how much information about anything and everything is available online.

I've been looking for an downloadable score editor, so I can write a few exercises and then print them out for playing. I want to put in some exercises for switching more accurately between strings; such as DAD, EBE, F#C#F#, or GDG, and variations such as F#DF#, etc.; and the other strings. I want to train my fingers to jump back and forth from string to string and find the right positions. I think I found a free download called Finale Notepad, so I entered my email address and they said they'd email me back a password. I haven't heard back from them yet.

I've seen a lot of people talking about the Suzuki method for learning to play a cello. I'd heard about this method for many years, but I don't really know that much about it. I'll do some research tomorrow to see if it's worth switching over.

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