Monday, December 12, 2005


Summer at Devil's Tower

Here's a pic showing how we used to spend our summers. This one is from June 2001; that summer we wound up in Key West before reluctantly returning home. If you look carefully on the dashboard of our motorhome, you'll see Pikablu, also known as Marrill, from Pokemon.

Today, it was 32 degrees, but clear and sunny. Although the sun was low on the horizon, the sky was azure blue and really bright. The warm rain on the weekend had melted the snow to ice, and now even the ice was beginning to disappear. Our road was miserable, though, and the a-holes at DOT haven't bothered to sand it since Friday. That will teach us to vote for tax cuts!

I worked with Ellwood today in the Fingering Workbook. Each line is a series of repetitive fingerings, in different rhythms, with random variations thrown in. First I'd work on making sure I got the basic fingering right; then I'd add in the variations; and finally I'd concentrate on the rhythm, speeding it up until I could play it rapidly and accurately. Then, I'd move on to the next line. It took an hour to run through the basic first position workouts. My fingers got a good run. I'm going to try to spend at least 45 minutes a day on these Workouts.

And today for while, just for a while, I got it again! Everything clicked; my fingers flew from note to note; the bow floated across the strings; Ellwood was really humming. What a feeling!

I ordered a new monitor today, an HP 21" wide screen LCD ($750), using our $500 gift certificate from BestBuy. What a hassle! First, I tried doing it online, but their website was all screwed up. It kept erroring out on the shipping address, but it wouldn't explain why that address wasn't acceptable. I suspect that it was because they were offering $15 shipping via UPS-Ground. Trouble is, UPS doesn't do ground to Alaska, so I figure the website didn't know what to do with a non-ground delivery address. OK, then I called their online ordering number. The guy I ended up dealing with had the same problem on his computer - he was probably using the same website. Finally after half an hour and going on hold several times for consultations with his supervisor, they supposedly figured out how to enter a "supervisor's override" to get around the address problem. I told the guy several times that UPS ground wasn't going to work, but there was no other way to get the order in, and he didn't know what else to do. We'll see. I won't be surprised to get a call tomorrow telling me it will cost more $.

I was going to rant today about politics. Does anyone believe that what we're watching these days in Washington is anything more than pure politics? I feel bad for the guys in Iraq, having to listen to all the bullshit from home.


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