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Hand Injury, again......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This is so like me....

Thursday last week I was making chili. We use canned kidney beans.

So, I was cleaning out the cans preparing them to put in the recycling, when RIPPPPPP!!!!! right across the top of my right hand thumb, a two inch slash from a rough edge on one of the lids.


It bled, a lot, had to apply pressure to stop it. And of course, bending the thumb (cut right across the thumb knuckle) was painful to say the least. I will stop with the detail, kind of graphic.

So, the above led to no guitar work for a couple of days.

I am now bandage free and can bend the darn thing with little or no pain.

Think I will go and play my music!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TYGRLILY 12/22/2011 12:44PM

    Ouch, thats exactly the kind of thing I always end up doing to myself no matter how careful I try to be - and yes it's usually always when getting it ready to recycle - you'd think we're doing a GOOD thing so we'd get good karma huh! Glad it's healed and you can play again!!

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ROCKMAN6797 12/19/2011 1:26PM

    Ouch, thank goodness that you have healed and can now get back to playing your guitar!

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DDOORN 12/18/2011 9:40PM

    Yeouch! Sounds like me too...always getting cuts, bumps & bruises here & there. Sounds like you won't let it slow you down TOO much! :-)


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PUDLECRAZY 12/18/2011 6:23PM

    Dang! I hate it when that happens. I hope you heal up quickly.
emoticon emoticon

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THE_HERMIT 12/18/2011 6:05PM

    Playing guitar by creative visualisation is one technique I have used at times when i have been unable to physically play.

It is a good way to learn the music by visualising the hand movements on the fretboard and the right hand technigue too. I also think of the type of sound quality I want to achieve when playing the piece.

I am glad that you have recouperated now though.

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The Sweet Spot of Guitar String Changing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

If you have been following my friend feed, you will see day after day of string changing, and tuning, and tuning, and tuning...thought I would say a bit more. Non-musicians, feel free to skip this one, but, you might find it interesting.

The really nice things about guitar strings are that they are the one disposable you have on a guitar. After taking a deep breath and putting out many dollars for your guitars, you think twice about trading, or selling. And if you've chosen right you don't want to. But strings, ah, there you can experiment and have a bit of fun.

Now, one of my guitar teachers once said that all strings are made in the same factory and are just put into different wrappers. Can you believe this? It may be true, but he was kind of cynical, and had long hair, so I try to take the comment with a grain of salt. It would break my heart if true.

Now, strings for classical guitars are typically called "nylon strings." Three of the set of six are actually nylon, and three are metal wound around a multiple thread core. At least that's the way it used to be. There are newer developments, such as composite strings, and graphite strings, but I am kind of traditional and stick to just plain nylon.

Now, nylon strings, especially the ones that are actually nylon, stretch. And stretch. And stretch. and ssssttttrrrreeeetttccchhhhh. They can go down a half tone in a matter of seconds after being tuned up when they are new.

So, you never, never, never change strings just before a lesson. Or even worse, just before a public playing or performance. You change strings about a week before any of these occasions, and spend time tuning, and tuning, and tuning.....

The thing is, brand new nylon strings sound phenomenal. They sound the best they will ever sound during their life on your guitar. But you can't really enjoy them, because you are tuning, and tuning, and tuning....

And then comes a time, oh, just about a week after stringing to maybe two weeks after stringing. This is the sweet spot. This is when the darn things are staying in tune long enough to actually play music on, and are still sounding almost as good as brand new.

I am approaching the sweet spot on both my Yamahas.

And smiling about it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_HERMIT 12/15/2011 3:49AM

    When I worked as a guitar teacher I had to become quite adapt at rapid string changes and tuning,

which reminds me of a joke the Australian Guitarist John Williams sometiemes makes when tuning between pieces in concerts.

he has be known to say. I am going to play you a short chineese piece called Tun-ing

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PUDLECRAZY 12/14/2011 7:47PM

    Don't I know it! I had to contend with that also with the 10 ukuleles I bought for my class this summer. Plus I restrung all of my school guitars this fall. I had to retune each instrument each day, sometimes more than once. Not to mention my own three guitars. All are settled in now. Ahhhh!

Like you, I experiment with different kinds of strings. The ones I like for my flamenco guitar are La Bella 2001 light tension flamenco strings. I use Martin Silk and Steel for my school guitars, Elixir Anti-rust Nanoweb strings for my Taylor Grand Symphony, and Aranjuez strings for my Taylor NS34CE. I buy more of the bass strings than the nylon strings. For each complete sets of strings I buy one extra set of bass strings. They just don't wast as long, so I change them more frequently. I think StringsByMail loves me. (And I love them!)


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DDOORN 12/14/2011 6:25PM

    How about a Yamaha myself and know quite well this sweet spot you mention.

But have to admit it's gathered WAY too much dust and the strings are WAY I appreciate the inadvertent "nudge" and will treat myself to a string changing soon. I'm sure that'll get me playing more again and refreshing my repertoire!

Love the sound of my nylon-stringed Yamaha and the roominess of the fret-board a classical guitar offers! If I play any regular or electric guitar my hand feels so scrunched up!


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ROCKMAN6797 12/14/2011 5:50PM

    An interesting and informative blog Bonita.
You obviously are very knowledgeable about the guitar.
Your discussion of the "sweet spot" can certainly apply to other things, like running shoes, jeans, and caps!
Thank you for sharing!

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I kept up! I kept up! I kept up!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Did I happen to mention that I kept up? emoticon

So, I was in downtown Toronto today for a meeting. The office where the meeting was held is about a five block (long blocks) walk from the train station.

Walking to the meeting, I was by myself.

Walking from the meeting, now, that was another story.....

I have never really kept up. My brothers used to walk me to school and I remember having to run to keep up with them, they saw no need to slow down.... emoticon

Later, I still had problems. Because of my short stature and my correspondingly short legs. Because of my excess weight. Because the other people seemed to be walking a gazillion miles an hour..... Even when I was getting exercise with treadmilling, I could not keep up!

Then came Sparkpeople and my handy dandy fitbit. All of a sudden I realized that I would get more SparkPoints by treadmilling faster. And the handy dandy fitbit is incredibly accurate in measuring mileage and steps. So I gradually built up my mph on the treadmill....

Back to today. I walked to the train station with two female colleagues.

Both were a decade or two younger.

Both were significantly taller than me...heck, just about everyone is significantly taller than me...

Neither was overweight.


Technical note--I was wearing my ridiculously expensive MBT boots, so had the power of that technology behind me (or should I say under me). One colleague was in flats and another in low heels.

But, I was carrying a heavy briefcase with computer inside, and they weren't, so that kind of leveled the playing field.

It was easy to keep up. In fact, I had to slow down a bit a few times (imagine Ode to Joy in the background) so the colleague in heels could keep up. HA! SHE COULDN'T KEEP UP WITH ME!

Isn't that something?

Thanks Sparkpeople, fitbit, and MBT's!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHAWILL 12/14/2011 8:41PM

    Loved this blog. You go!

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OOLALA53 12/14/2011 2:25PM

    You deserve to be proud! emoticon

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TYGRLILY 12/9/2011 8:35AM

    WOOHOO - way to go!!!! As I'm only 5'2" myself surrounded by a whole bunch of amazons and giants with long lanky legs... I can COMPLETELY understand the trials and tribulations of 'keeping up' (my fiance - who is 6 feet - even jokes around when we're walking briskly "pump those little Chihuahua legs!" (since every ONE stride of his is like THREE strides for me!) LOL

So emoticonand emoticon and emoticon for keeping up with the Amazons and Giants, yay for the Lilliputians!!!


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ROCKMAN6797 12/8/2011 1:57PM

    Good for you!
As I have said before, you are an inspiration to all of us!
Keep on moving!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BD3269PM 12/8/2011 7:12AM

    WooHoo! Yea! You should be so proud. You have changed your life and your health. The new you can do so much!!!Stay healthy and keep on Sparking emoticon

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SATYAGRAHA 12/8/2011 6:49AM

    Gotta love those small victories! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 12/8/2011 6:48AM

    What sweet pay-off for your efforts! :-)


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PUDLECRAZY 12/8/2011 6:24AM


How cool is that!

R> emoticon

I have toyed with the idea of getting a fitbit - I am a bit of a gadget freak, so it appeals to me in that way. So, I am glad to hear that you like yours and are finding a benefit to it.

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The Zen of Hooping

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Actually, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds cool.

So, in travelling around these Sparkpages, I could not help but run across MOSTMOM1. It started with the guinea pigs, which I had as pets for years. They are sooooo stupid and soooo cute. Any creature that thinks lettuce is the best food ever has got to be not so smart.

But I digress. It became evident (how could it not become evident) that MOSTMOM1 was really into hooping. I watched the vlogs and read the blogs. I thought, that looks like an incredible amount of fun! I I had a hoop when I was a girl and was able to keep it up! (I'm not on the most athletic side). I have three days after my cardio when I don't do weights and why don't I hoop?

So I did my research. And found that you pretty much had to order a hoop online here in Canada, another great idea had not quite made it to the land of ice and snow yet. But, to my joy, had lots of hoops for sale. 3 pound, 4 pounds, 5 pounds, contoured or not, falling apart at the seams according to on-line reviewers...

Looking at the wwww (wonderful world wide web) I learned the right size and weight for my pixie stature. And, again joy, had one that shipped in pieces, had gotten good reviews, with FREE SUPERSAVER SHIPPING! Whoo-hoo!

So, credit card used, order placed, and good old reliable Amazon .ca (they are actually a really reliable site) had the thing at my door in two days.

So I put it together and watched the DVD of these young, beautiful women with indescribably lovely midsections demonstrating hooping. Self-esteem appreciably diminished, I took up the hoop. It is HUGE!. Theoretically, the larger it is the easier to keep up. My first attempt was truly laughable. I could not keep it up and was out of breath in about 2 minutes. And I do an hour on the treadmill each day. Whassup?

My admiration of MOSTMOM1 increased googleplexly. Hooping is not easy.

But, I did not give up. I am hooping for about 3 minutes each time now, no or little dropping, and my waist hurts. I think this is the Zen of hooping. What is fun is also darn good exercise.

Tomorrow is a hoop-after-cardio day. I embrace the anticipation and the actual experience.

Yay hooping!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_HERMIT 12/14/2011 5:16AM

    this isn't a blokey thing to admit but I had a green glow in the dark hoop as a kid, I wouldnt try to use it now though. I will stick with wall push ups and some gentle pilates for my core

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TYGRLILY 11/29/2011 7:43AM

    You had me laughing from guinea pigs to googleplexly!!! What a fabulous blog, you made me crack SEVERAL grins and feel an itch to do some amazon shopping (gotta love that supersaver shipping!) :)

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PUDLECRAZY 11/22/2011 8:06PM

    Hooping looks like so much fun. I used to love it, but now I worry about my back. I'll have to check with my chiropractor about this.

Have fun!

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LADYEYRE 11/17/2011 11:10AM

    So hilarious. I love your writing style. Hooping sounds fun but I never could keep a hula hoop around my waist. My theory is that one leg is shorter than the other which prevents me from hooping effectively. I'll stick with my jogging. Best wishes! emoticon

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PAMNANGEL 11/16/2011 8:10PM

    Always wanted to hula hoop, but even as a kid I could never manage it.

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SHEILA-45 11/16/2011 7:51PM

    Sounds like you have some fun in store for you later ~ Enjoy! emoticon Here's to a fit and trim ripped mid-section!

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Binging, cravings, and just plain hunger....?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So, I have been reading a lot about the above.

And thinking.

For 13+ months, I have been one of the 5%, maintaining a loss of just more than 100 pounds. What a lot of work1 Could I fall of the 5% wagon? You betcha! Sparkpeople, fitbit, other tools keep me sane and more or less at goal. What I write from now on reflects my thoughts, I am not an expert except for what I have learned on my own journey....

Just plain hunger--well, that is pretty easy to figure out, and to deal with for me. I get the stomach growls, or sometimes when I have gone too far below my goal, I get the sweats and shakes. I rarely get the stomach growls, as I plan my eating very carefully time-wise and my body has adjusted. Sweats are more spontaneous (recently twice when I have been lifting weights) and can be asssited by a piece of fruit, something with natural sugar. No big deal.

Now cravings, for me these are desires to eat specific foods, those that I usually eat anyway. Chicken or steak? Cauliflower or carrots? Pear or apple? These are petty much managable as well, as if I can't deal with the craving right away I can tell myself tomorrow, and am satisfied.

Now, binging......I have learned a lot about binging from SP and am so grateful. I am an emotional binge eater. I remember as a girl sneaking chocolate covered graham crackers into my bedroom to eat and it went downhill from there. Binging is, for me, insanity (no slurs intended to anyone). When I want to binge, I can keep it away for a day or two but in the end I succumb to keep the top of my head from blowing off. It is a matter of pressure and release, related to speficic social situations, specific emotions, and specific foods. So far, I have found that it is better to binge and then use the calm days that follow to work the extra weight off (usually no more than a pound or two). Also, binge foods are absolute poison from a nutrition perspective (Frosting out of the can, anyone? Peanut butter? Hot chocolate mix?) and I would never eat them in a planned eating day, although I have a hot chocolate drink every day--that's a drink, not the powder!

So what have I learned? I've got an eating disorder, an addiction, and in a lot of ways am very fortunate that I never got above 212 pounds.

That I will probably need specific therapy to address the binging.

That I have found a way (kind of) to cope.

And again, SP is the tops with challenges and streaks. I would be in worst shape for sure without the Spark!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TONEDTORI 10/27/2011 11:47PM

    thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. Since I wrote on my reply that I ate one evening, I was really glad to know that it was not a binge. WhY? because I actually thought about what I was eating. I chose the grapes because they were healthier and I only had 2 servings. When I emotionally eat, I eat until I am disgusted and I still go on until the ice cream is gone. It was a controlled eating and I felt the hunger go away. I was content. We have to judge for ourselves w/ honesty why we have the need to eat. This 21 day binge free challenge is helping me because I have you all to report to and support. thanks again.

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OOLALA53 10/27/2011 7:54PM

    I'm humbled to think Spark has been so much help to you even after you've already managed so much.

I'm no professional, but I've got to say I'm a little fearful for you that you say it's better to go ahead and binge and then use the calm days that follow to work the extra weight off. That's how I worked my way up from 145 lbs. to nearly 200 over a period of time. That is classic eating disorder behavior; unfortunately, it usually escalates. If you can afford it, get thee to the therapist right away!

I'm not known for my tact, so I'll just be direct. It is an absolute myth that you need to overeat because of stressful situations that build up. Doesn't mean you can't CHOOSE to use food rather than give it up and find something else, or that you feel compelled. But it is unlikely anything truly dire will happen to you if you don't eat. Unless you think you would end up being violent against yourself if you don't relieve the pressure? This is the worst case scenario, and that is serious, so who am I to say? but is it likely? isn't it more likely you would just whip yourself into a really unhappy state and feel either ugly anger or heavy sorrow, in which cases you might either gnash your teeth or cry for awhile. From plenty of experience, I know both of these are no party, but they aren't actually deadly and -dare I say it- even seem funny and melodramatic in the light of the day. So, if the worst that would happen if you don't eat is that you either stomp around or crawl in bed and cry, might it be worth experimenting trying those? Of course, you don't get to stomp ON anyone, and you might not get to make anyone else watch you cry. (I'm writing this to think this through myself. I need to choose these options sometimes, too, though I think for both of us, after awhile they won't be the default behaviors. I bet I'll just watch more TV or surf the net more.

If I've gone too far, I apologize and invite you to jettison this stupid comment! emoticon

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