Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

-20 but sunny blue skies


Early this morning, while I was playing my cello, I looked out and saw the bright yellow slivered moon hanging at its zenith, really low in the dark sky just above the trees to the south. It had that classic cow-jumped-over-the-moon crescent shape. While the sky slowly lightened, the moon edged behind the bare branches of the aspen trees at the south end of our hill. The sun rose in the southeast as the fading moon slowly slipped below the hill across the creek valley to the southwest.

The air was super nice out today – cold, dry, sharp, crisp, crackly. The sun is still low in the south all day, but it was quite bright. The sharp sun and sharp air was an interesting combination. Although the sun wasn’t very warm, enough radiant heat got through to eventually melt the thin layer of frost/snow on our A-frame’ metal roof.

After lunch Y and I drove up to the 9-acre lot on Tustumena Lake Road we’ve been considering to take another look at the views from its hill on a sunny, clear day. We do like a lot of the features, especially because the top of the hill would make a great motorhome spot. Tustumena Lake is visible along with most of the Kenai Mountains to the east, and to the west we can see the top 2/3 of Mt. Spurr and Mt. Iliamna. The trees on the hilltop just west of us block out any view of Mt. Redoubt. There is a small swamp (probably an old lake) on the west side of the property, which worries me – mosquitoes. There’s been some equipment work on the property, but with the snow cover it’s hard to tell where, and what those parts of the property actually look like. Although I’ve let the seller know I’m still interested, I won’t make an offer until I see it after breakup.

Since I was already dressed to play outside today, I spent a few hours tinkering with all the cars – see yesterday’s post. The SVX started OK, even at zero; although I immediately smelled gasoline in the air. So I popped the hood and immediately saw gasoline squirting out the end of the hose (!) connected to a small plastic canister mounted beside the engine – it might be a filter. I quickly shut down, loosened the clamp slid the hose further onto the nozzle and reset the clamp. It held. The left front tire was completely flat, so I pressured it up. Now it’s ready to go to town tomorrow. The battery from the old SOBurban thawed out overnite in the garage without cracking or leaking, so I put the charger on it. Six hours later it measured 12 volts. Maybe it’s OK after all. I’ll install it tomorrow and see if I can get the SOBurban running so I can plow the driveway.

Tough day on the cello. It started with my left wrist hurting. I tried to relax it and each time I thought of it, it helped. But my playing sounded whiney. I wonder if the extreme cold affects the bow? Especially the A string. I like the sounds I produce from the lower three strings, as well as their upper fingerings. But I haven’t gotten that sound from A, yet. Although its D does reverberate, the B is especially sour, no matter how I finger it. I also had trouble today not hitting adjacent strings.

Great Cello Jokes
(Click the link… here are some of my favorites:)

Q: How is lightning like a cellist's fingers?
A: Neither one strikes in the same place twice.


Q: Why do cellists stand for long periods outside people's houses?
A: They can't find the key and they don't know when to come in.


Q: How can you tell when a cellist is playing out of tune?
A: The bow is moving.


Q: What is the range of a cello?
A: As far as you can kick it.


Q: What's the difference between the first and last desk of a cello section?
A1: Half a measure.
A2: A semi-tone.


"Are you in trouble? I hid it!" – smiles

Sometimes, you may want to link to another webpage, but have it open in a new browser window, leaving the original webpage open beneath it. To do this, you can just add target="_blank" to the link. This tells the browser to make a new, blank window for the link. The link would then look like this: <a href="http://URL" target="_blank">TEXT</a>

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