Daily Archives: July 11, 2008

Thirty-Seven Months Old!

This is a retrospective photo post; I missed the date and was swamped with other stuff.

First of all, we have Liam cutting out cookies being baked for his third birthday party:

Here we have Liam and I playing in his pool:

Gryff may the the one with the most patience where the boy is concerned these days. Here he demonstrates just how tolerant he can be of Liam’s shenanigans:

And finally, Liam took helping his father get my new birthday bike ready very seriously:

Liam-themed posts over the past month:

~Liam’s third birthday party!
~Explaining death to Liam
~Liam demonstrates the preschool love of Great Tragedy as played by his Collection of Trains
~Liam discovers The Sound of Music
~Liam loves They Might Be Giants
~Liam has a nightmare
~Liam and Mama pay the car registration
~Liam’s first Canada Day concert!

I’ll See Your ‘Damn’ And Raise You An ‘Oh Hell’

Last night I pulled out the Vivaldi double concerto and looked it over. I was working on it a few months ago, and I thought that I’d try it out on the 7/8.

Today I played the first movement on my cello first. Then I took the 7/8 out (Number 3 for those of you with scorecards) and played it again.

Oh, hell.

See, the size of the 7/8 actually does make a difference. It’s finally coalescing. My arms don’t have to be out so far in front of me to play; the energy and motion used in bowing is more efficient when I’m using the 7/8. It’s all closer to the body and it’s easier to use gravity as an aid instead of struggling against it.

Okay, fine. I’ve proven that to myself. The 7/8 is a better size for me.

The sound was nicer too, but again, that may just be the newer strings.

And finally, I don’t feel like the 7/8 is going to twist or angle oddly under my bow. I don’t have to brace it as much as when I play the 4/4. It feels sturdier in just about every way.

The finish of Number 3 is even growing on me.

I have done my damnedest not to get attached, and to be as objective as possible. I think I’ve finally proven to myself that the size is important. I’m still not completely convinced about this 7/8 being The One!!1!, but I am convinced about the size. I’d like to try a couple more. I’ll sign the Number Two (AKA the Scarlatti) out from Wilder & Davis in early August. It may be a thousand dollars more, but it’s worth a listen at home. There’s a 7/8 four grades higher than Numbers 1 and 3 for sale through a private luthier in Alaska too (an AE405, if anyone’s dying of curiosity) that come with the hard case I want and a bow three times better than the one that comes with this SE/VC100. It’s had finessing work done on it (including a carbon fibre endpin! and a new French style bridge!) and is $1,100 cheaper than the list price (and the basic list price doesn’t include the upgraded bow or the bonus hard case, only a mid-range bow and a soft case). Of course I’d have to order it on trial, and I’d have ten days to decide at home if I liked it or not. If I don’t, I’d ship it back and absorb the shipping cost ($100 each way, which sounds like a lot but is cheap for this kind fo thing, I assure you, wow!). But here’s the kicker: the cost of this several-notches-higher 7/8 with upgraded bow and hard case is only five hundred dollars more than good old Number 3 here, with its soft case and bottom of the line bow. If I added the $500 hard case to the cost of the VC100 here, I’d be looking at $2,000 anyway. Normally I am violently opposed to buying instruments over the internet, but the numbers are very persuasive, the luthier is reputable, many people have dealt with her among the online community and they say nothing but good things. I’ve chatted with her in forums and on bulletin boards on occasion and she’s honest.

It’s an option. And I’m serious enough about this that investing $200 in a cello I might not keep is acceptable, because the payoff could be wonderful. And if it ends up being only as good as the VC100, well, I’ve still snagged myself a deal. I find myself measuring things in freelance work now: a new printer is one evaluation, a new computer will be five, and so forth. So if I tried this and wasn’t happy with the cello I’d only have invested two evaluations in it.

Not that this is a done deal; I want to visit The Sound Post while we’re in Toronto to play some of their stock, and while we’re there I may as well swing past Remenyi as well. I have all summer to do this.


My life just keeps getting more and more interesting. Unfortunately it’s in the Chinese curse sort of way.

Yesterday my internet access went down, thanks to Microsoft sending out an XP patch that didn’t play nicely with ZoneAlarm, the firewall I and millions of other people use. I spent sixty-nine minutes and 28 seconds on the phone with an unintelligible person manning an outsourced help desk last night. We finally got things back up and running.

And then this morning, the laptop died. It’s dead. D-E-D.

For those of you keeping score, that leaves me with no computer. None. I am stealing time downstairs on HRH’s computer to tell the world that yes, I am actually alive, but I sure as heck can’t work down here. I may come down to check Gmail tonight, but apart from that, nothing. Looks like I’m writing longhand during this afternoon’s writing jam with Jan.

Mitigating today’s severe technological ARGH was the wonderful wedding ceremony I performed yesterday for Scarlet and Blade, with the assistance of HRH, Jess, and Winterwolf in the ritual. It was a wonderful day with perfect weather and a lovely potluck buffet afterwards. I like performing marriage ceremonies for friends; I’m allowed to play with them during the ritual.

Right. I can’t stay here any longer. It’s claustrophobic and very damp. If you need to get in touch with me, do it by phone.

ETA: It’s 11:14 and Blade has just finished closing up the ADZO tower HRH borrowed ages ago and has been hanging on to in order to transfer the last few files to the second ADZO tower he officially acquired. I have internet (and proper browsing via Firefox, thankyouverymuch, first thing I installed), a functional computer, and thanks to my external hard drive that I love with much love I’m fine backup-wise. I can even use my external monitor again! I have a whole desk in front of me instead of a laptop! Speaking thereof, we’ll try a reinstall XP on the laptop and kick it back into shape. I’ll lose a couple of pictures but that’s about all. Muah-hah. I’m still installing Thunderbird and setting up my email addresses even now. Did you miss me?