Monday, July 11, 2011
I don't teach a class - it's a seminar. All the people have to do is show up and sit through it, and they get a certificate. I do throw in a lifetime of experiences to make the points necessary, and I make sure they understand the concepts instead of just reading the text.
After I passed out the certificates Wednesday, several people did tell me how much they enjoyed the class, and the stories I used to make some of the points.
I can't remember Thursday, but Friday the rain really came, the power did drop out for a second, and the Brighthouse modem didn't work any more. We have had momentary power losses before with no ill effects, and all the significant electronics in the house are on good surge protector, but we didn't have any internet or telephone service from Friday morning to Saturday at 8:00 PM. Then I had internet for the desktop if it was plugged directly into the modem, the the wireless router didn't work. I bought another router Sunday, and it did work for the cables but not for the Roku or laptop. It eventually turned out that it has a strong signal, but nothing can connect to it if it is secured, so today I finally came up with a scheme that lets me use this computer while the router is turned off, and the router is unsecured so that I can turn it on when we want to watch Netflix of the NASA TV channel or use the laptop to update the antimalware programs. The desktop doesn't have an ethernet connection to the modem any more, but the USB cable works just fine. I don't know if someone can load a virus into the router, but even if they can the firewall will keep it out of the desktop, and the notebook just sits in the BW's antique writing desk anyhow. I should have kept the old notebook for emergencies, but we run out of space and it didn't seem necessary.
I sort of hate the klugey setup, and I'm going to check out finding the setting information for the Netgear router to see if I can get it to work again, but two long days is enough to fool around with one problem for a while. It still makes me nervous to have the D-Link router open to the whole world for any use, and for any time.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I had 14 out of 15 registered students show up this morning for a safe driving course, which is pretty good. The guy who didn't show up registered yesterday, and I called him by accident twice, so I was a little surprised that he didn't get there this morning. The class lives over an area from Tarpon Springs in the north all the way down to Largo, so maybe I'm one of the few people with a class this month. I did start on time, finish on time, and not make any terrible blunders. We all seemed to have a pretty good time.
The only problem was that Coral Oaks came up with a new tray of oatmeal cookies with either chocolate chips or raisins scattered through them. They didn't get there until after the last break, so there were a lot left. I choked down three before I left, and carried another home for a fresh cup of coffee.
I rolled out at six this morning, and was done with the certificates and ready for tomorrow by 3:30, so it was a pretty good day.
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 -
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