Friday, February 24, 2006


Tonight the cat's name is Shadow

Shadow, the cat is quickly warming up to us; she seems to want to lay on me more than on Y; which p....s her off. I am s-o-o-o-o-o much more tolerant of a kitten than the I was the last time - more than 25 years ago. In those days my attitude towards cats was "if I'm going to feed that damn cat it sure as hell better be obeying me! and if it thinks it can get away with pulling an attitude then it's going to have to find somewhere else to eat." Even though I knew it intellectually, some warped part of me couldn't accept the fact that cats don't obey humans. They never have. They never will. A cat may occasionally do something a human "told" it to do, acknowledging that it does care about ensuring its meal ticket. But there are some things it will never obey - "sit", "stay", "come here" only work if they feel like doing one of those things when you tell them to. No matter whether they agree or not, at some point in this encounter, they'll take a moment to sit and casually lick one of their paws. It's the cat's way of saying: "I could scratch your eyes out if I wanted to ... but I choose not to."

I slipped the D string's little plastic sleeve off the bridge today. The notch in the bridge has been widened and rounded out by using the sleeve for a day; the string is no longer trapped in the groove and it sounded a lot better. The A string sleeve may have done the same thing for its notch, but right now it actually sounds pretty good.

Again I varied the routine, still playing all the pieces but in a random order. It does make it more interesting. I've been using the first hour for the older pieces and the second 45 minutes to an hour on the four new pieces. I've got the first one well under way and the second is showing progress, but I've got a long way to go with the third, with its hooked bowing. Same with the Bach piece. I played each section over and over and over, slowly but trying for accuracy and rhythm. Then after several runs, I'd gradually increase the tempo. If I "lose" it, I slow down a notch two and slowly work back up again.

I upgraded the bow today. I had called the strings store to ask about upgrading to a Bam Hightech case from the Bobelock, but they won't get any Bams back in until May. So I went for a better bow, instead. J was off today, but the guy I spoke with seemed quite knowledgeable about my order and quickly answered all my questions. It all goes out Monday afternoon; I asked him to let me know what the shipping number is, so I can call from this end to arrange to pick it up as soon as it comes in. I'm guessing Thursday. Y is betting Wednesday.

We're now the proud owners of 9.253 acres of land up on a ridge just east of our current 10 acre spread. The development includes 6 to 8 comparably sized lots, ours is in behind the first ridge. It has a small hill right in the middle; with a good view of the Kenai Mountains but only a partial view of the volcanoes to the west. I've little doubt that one day it will be prime property - a great building site for someone. I'm not sure I'd want to build another house, there or anywhere else. But eventually, someone will, and the property's value will increase. Meanwhile, we'll put in a drive, a motorhome parking pad, and electricity. This will also increase the value. It feels like a good investment, a diversification.

As an ongoing dividend, we get to use it as our own private RV park with a view. We'll put in a wooden patio/deck, a firepit and a picnic table. Maybe a gazebo next year (with screens and glass windows) and an indoor barbecue/firepit, and eventually a small storage shed. I'm also going to bury iron posts at the entrance and stretch a heavy duty chain across the driveway when we're not there.

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