Saturday, July 02, 2011
This morning we had a great walk. There was cool air and a light fog, and the dogs and I were nearly alone in the world. We heard one braking dog, saw one curlew, a few geckos, and no people, and when we were nearly home (after more than two miles) we saw three cars moving on Nebraska, one from the east and two from the west. After we let them pass and crossed the street, we didn't see anything else moving until we got home. It was like being a kid again and going for a walk on Ohio Rt. 598 in front of my grandparent's farm.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Last night we watched an independent 1998 movie called "The Red Violin." It was a movie that both of us liked a lot - "loved." It got me because it was the story of the 300 year life of a great violin, and the story itself was a mixed bag of life and death.
My father was a concert master (first violin) in his youth but gave it up to drive a gas truck because he wanted to get married and couldn't do it on a salary of five dollars per week. His teacher, Weinberger, had promised to teach me for free because Pop had been such a good student, but before I learned to read music well he died, and I was stuck with the piano and organ for 12 years. After he died, my mother passed his fiddle on to me, and I did spend a couple of years, a lot of money for lessons from two teachers and maintenance money to a violin maker, and time a home to get to where my teacher said I was ready for a string quartet. Unfortunately, the BW couldn't stand to have me practice at home. I would go down to the basement, shut the basement door, and put a mute on the violin. She would shut the kitchen door, go upstairs to the big bedroom, close that door, and turn on a radio and read. After 30 minutes I would find her saying, over my shoulder with gritted teeth, "Are you almost done?"
I always practiced the piano two or three hours in the evening when I was in school, and you don't get better unless you practice, so I quit taking lessons and stored the fiddle.
After I retired, and when we were going to sell the house and live in a trailer full time, I decided to sell Pop's violin rather than put it in storage. It was made in Germany by the son of a famous maker, and a broker found a teacher in Taiwan who paid $3,000 for it. That was about what I had spent on another bow, tune-ups and cleanings, and a wonderful accessory that would almost let me play it without a left thumb, not to mention the cost of music and two year lessons, but I was still surprised that it brought that much.
In the Red Violin, one of the recurring scenes was in an auction house where good instruments were being sold. The price for a couple of the violins was two million dollars and more, so I guess I did have a cheap violin. It would burst into sound if you put your fingers on the strings at the right place, though. I though it was great.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I rolled out at six this morning, but instead of walking the dogs I cut the grass without stopping to dig out weeds, except for one big sand burr. I noticed that we have only four big avocados, and a few more lemons, but lots of limes this year. Here are three pictures of the lime tree - there's no way to show all the limes, but you can get the general idea. There are even a couple of new blossoms on it, so maybe the "everbearing" label, which just means a long season, will work out. Most of them look to be about the same size, but there is some variation.
Far away -
Mid range -
Close up -
Sunday, June 26, 2011
It rained this morning, and it's Sunday, so the dogs and I took the day off. I have some pictures of the muscadine vine showing how far it went in two weeks. First, from June 10. This is the top of the vine.
Then, from June 24, two weeks later, same vine.
You can see that I didn't figure out what to do until the vine was half way up to the second wire, then trained it back down to the first wire when I had two (actually three but I pruned the middle one off) sprouts after I cut it back.
And this is what it looks like now.
That first wire is 67 inches above the ground, and the tip of the growing vine is 18 inches out from the post. The bottom branch is 18 inches out too, but only the last 8 inches are growing along and attached to the wire. It takes three years to get the first crop, I have read, and it will be interesting to see how many other things I do wrong.
The seedless vines all died, then sprouted up again with new growth. One of them has had several of the new leaves shrivel up and die, and I have no idea why. I spray them with neem oil, which is supposed to control everything, but if there is a virus around I guess they are doomed. They all look healthy again right now, but they aren't very large.
The other thing I have is a couple of pictures of me with my head shaved, and one yesterday with 16 days growth. I don't need a pocket comb any more. From the 10th come this:
And then, from yesterday, comes this:
I think I'll just use the dog clippers to keep it about this short - no bother with the barbers any more.
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