Daily Archives: July 7, 2006

Days Five And Six

What do you know: three fish, still very alive.

We may have winners. The aquarium additives have probably helped a lot too.

If we get to Sunday with no losses, we will have a little fish party. There will be party hats. No, really. Noisemakers would be nice, but useless, because, you know, there’s that whole underwater thing.

Cellists Don’t Count

Last night I went out with some other Band People (TM) to the Montreal Musician and Musical Instrument Show. Since three quarters of the exhibitors were luthiers, I was looking forward to seeing, if not actually playtesting, some electric cellos. In particular, Vector Instruments, a Nova Scotian maker of electric instruments of the violin family, was going to be there. I’d been researching their stuff recently, and if no one else had anything, at least they would. And I was in the mood to mess about with one. This is a big thing — it takes me a while to psych myself up to test instruments, particularly in public places.

There were a grand total of — wait for it — zero cellos there. Anywhere, in any of the rooms or halls. Traditional or otherwise. There were violins (trad and electric), basses (ditto), but if you’re a cellist, you apparently have no place anywhere in or around the jazz festival.

I wasn’t as bothered about it there as I was by the time I got home. Thinking about it on the metro made it worse, for some reason.

On the other hand, there were a surprising number of saxophones, flutes, clarinets, and accordions among the other expected string instruments. There were bassoons, for heaven’s sake. And drum kits being played by four and five year olds who had better coordination than I could demonstrate in the same situation. I had fun watching them, and looking at the beautiful beautiful work-of-art guitars, and watching Jan and the Baron play pretty things, and hanging out with everyone’s mother’s favourite guitarist and Ceri until the show closed.

The one piece of information I gathered that was directly applicable to my instrument was from the reps for Schatten Design, Canadian makers of pickups for various acoustic instruments, specifically the cello pickup. The reps were informative and friendly, and promised me a money-back guarantee if I tried it out and didn’t like it. They also told me that if I ordered it within the next week and mentioned that I’d talked to them at the exhibition, they’d ship it to me free of charge. It’s fifty dollars more than the ubiquitous Fishman C-100 pickup, but I’m more inclined to test it because of the support offered by the makers. Part of my resistance to the Fishman comes from the fact that it’s what the local guitar salespeople try to sell me, and they know guitars, not cellos, so when I ask them for more details they can’t tell me anything but keep trying to sell it to me irregardless. (Yes, yes, I know, it’s my birthday soon, and I’m not buying anything for myself until it’s well past, just in case someone has taken it into their head to do something extravagant. More evidence proving that I can learn.) And the Schatten is Canadian, too; I like that.

And because I’ve had several less than stellar days in a row, here is a terrific picture of Liam that makes me laugh every time I see it. I hope it brightens your afternoon as well, in the last hour before the weekend arrives!

To: Everyone. Re: The Birthday Thing.

Okay, look.

I’m not seeking a babysitter. I truly appreciate the flood of offers that have poured in, but that’s not the actual issue. The problem really revolves around scheduling the event.

It’s nice to know there are piles of people willing to spend time with the boy, really, it is. But it’s not the solution. When a solution has been found, there will be a general notice, and everyone can be happy, including me, and Liam, and HRH, and you too, dear reader.

So thank you, and thank you again, and by the way thank you. Now go read a book or go play outside or something.

Life Is Determined To Unhinge Me

Yes, because an unstable hard drive threatening failure is precisely what I need right now.

Blade, if you could stop by tonight, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve done all I can without your expertise. (I’m probably blowing my chances of a third-degree Geek Cord by calling in a friend, but a hard drive is a hard drive, not a card or a peripheral.)

I’m going to go back up while I can. Then I think I’ll go cry, then beat something up.

ETA: Hang on — it’s my back-up drive that’s had the biscuit. It’s not even registering as being on the computer. Still not good, of course, but at least it’s not the end of the world, either. I’m going to back up to CDs, because I don’t trust anything today. Blade, it still wouldn’t hurt for you to come scowl at it.