Sunday, December 03, 2006


Silent playing

I'm thinking about buying a silent electric cello, the Yamaha SVC200.

Too often I find myself wanting to play for another half hour or so in the evening, but it would intrude too much on everyone else in our somewhat compact house. I've been thinking about building a sunroom off the southeast side of the house, with lots of windows that we could open up in the summer and use as a screened porch (sanctuary from the mosquitos). We'd put in an open-front brick fireplace/oven and install our "parilla" (a unique barbecue grill) that we brought back from Argentina for just this purpose. Although I don't eat meat (except for an extremely rare BLT sandwich), I like cooking barbecue and I really like using this type of grill. In the winter we'd close all the windows to keep the room warm, yet we'd be able to enjoy the bright midday sun hanging low in the southern sky. This would also be my music room. One day...

In the meantime, a lot of what I'm wanting to learn on my cello involves repeating specific fingering and bowing patterns, which I'd like to work on in the evenings. Also, it appears we'll be traveling a bit next year, and I can't imagine going cello-less. My cello is too precious to let it bounce around in the back of the motorhome for 10,000+ miles. Also, my cello would be too loud to play in campgrounds and RV parks. The Yamaha will ride well, and even fly if I need to. I don't know yet what I'll do with my real cello while I'm gone. I can't leave it at home without humidification. Do people store their cellos at luthiers when they have to leave home for an extended period? If not there, where else?

The computer I'm writing this with is just 11 months old - I bought it for blogging. I also use it for my consulting work, which lately has increased a lot. Last week I needed to use this computer at a client's jobsite, but the battery was dead, and it won't recharge. I downloaded HP's Battery Analyzer, which reported the battery was no good and needed replaced; it also said the battery was no longer under warranty. That didn't sound right. The computer has a one-year warranty, why wouldn't the battery?

After a few minutes sorting through the HP website, I emailed a note to HP's technical group. They forwarded it to a service group, which responded WITHIN THE HOUR ON A SUNDAY EVENING(!) that HP actually would honor the warranty, and requested details on make, model, and my particulars. Their email said a new battery should be on its way by Tuesday! I have never had such an easy time resolving this kind of problem. Is it possible that HP has figured it out - that customers remember how easy (or hard) it is to get service and support? Still, I'm suspicious. It was just too easy.

OY! Why did you have to get a new computer for blogging?
I mostly blog in the evening. Normally Z monopolizes the desktop, so for a while I used Y's laptop computer, but I eventually got the hint that she wanted to use it in the evenings too. Now we are all three online at the same time...
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