Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Jimmy, you ain't got no class!

How disappointing for you to weasel in those snide comments at Bush today! What makes you think you are the better person, Jimmy Carter? What humility you displayed today! Today’s arrogant, holier-than-thou display was so far overboard, considering the only reason you had that platform in the first place was to praise a good person who lived a good life. How do your political feelings about Bush have anything to do with Coretta Scott King’s good life? I suppose you’ll hide behind your “right” to say whatever you want, when you want.

As far as I’m concerned, your insulting behavior diminishes your own reputation in history.

As for the other speakers who chose to insult our elected president in a humble forum like that, I just can’t believe it: What happened to respect in the general discourse? There are times, to be sure, such as formal debates (and roasts), when sarcasm, satire, and political jabs are all a part of the game. Do you demos really think this behavior endears you to the average joe voter? To those who live decent lives, want good things to happen to families and friends, and generally harbor no ill will towards other people? I often disagree about lots of things with other people, but that doesn’t mean I’d ever take the opportunity to insult someone so publicly to his face in a situation like this. For just a moment, I flashed on that scene back in the LA riots when that driver (R. Denny?) was dragged from his car and beaten in the street by a bunch of thugs – specifically when the one guy ran up from behind and threw a concrete block at his head and then elaborately danced away, laughing. It was that little victory dance by the “Reverend” Joseph Lowery and Charlie Rangell that got to me today. By the time the thing was done, the floor was littered with race cards.

What if the people who eulogized Ronald Reagan at his funeral had usurped that forum to slam the few demos in attendance?

After more than 15 months of avoiding my workshop, I finally hauled the lumber I’d bought for my next set of Adirondacks (nice, straight, planed, and dry) into the loft in my bedroom, and put up a lot of the junk that has slowly accumulated onto all the tables and workbenches in the last year or so. I still don’t know why I’d stopped working on them. I’ll have to tackle that question later... Suddenly, I have a garage, again.

Then I put my old Subaru in the garage to replace the brake pads on all four wheels and to take my slow leaking tire into town to get it fixed. It only took a couple hours to get it all done. Hopefully I’ll get several more years of service out of it. That car is the finest car I’ve ever driven. It’s always been fast and responsive, yet great on snow and ice. I’ve driven quite a bit more than a million miles over the years; the 125,000 miles in that 1992 Subaru SVX were the best. It also has a great sound system. Lately I’ve been listening to Yo-Yo Ma. Amazing!

I played my cello for two more hours today. I’m actually beginning to feel a little bit of control over some of the pieces. If I really concentrate (and relax), all the parts come together and it actually sounds pretty good. Time sure flies when I’m playing. I put about an hour and a half into the Suzuki pieces and then half an hour in the All for Strings book. For a while today, I found a comfortable position for my bow hand and it helped my accuracy. I even managed to do some of the trickier bow changes, without too much problem. It seems to me as if it’s pretty close to the pictures in the Potter book, yet somehow it also seems like what I was doing before my first lesson.

I’m beginning to lean towards the Jay Haide l’ancienne cello from Ifshin violins. At $5.5K it’s more than I’d expected to pay, but I’m only going to buy one cello and I want it to be good. I can’t explain exactly why I’m leaning that way, but I’ve been reading the cello.org forums and am getting to “know” several of the cellists who post there. After reading their varied points of view on every issue, I’ve come to respect some more than others, and a few of these have either owned or recently bought a Jay Haide, or they’ve said a lot of good things about it. If I decide not to spend that much, I’ll probably go with the Eastman 405 or the Stringworks Soloist. The Eastman if I decide to buy locally.

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