General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Friday, January 09, 2004
Five hours of Country and Bluegrass. Last night, we had a fiddler and a Dobro player and it was different. I have never before played with a fiddler and I quickly learned that familiar tunes sound different on a fiddle. Not just the difference in the instrument, but the way a fiddle can sustain notes that we who play fretted instruments have to keep on picking in order to feel up the space. My buddy got an amplifier and two big speakers for Christmas and now we are starting to look like a band. Maybe I can talk them into getting matching shirts or something. I am thinking of white hats and string bowties.

Thursday, January 08, 2004
I guess I was a little premature in my optimistic outlook for January. I finally made it out into the world yesterday and ended up getting home at 6:00 PM, by which time I was feeling as if a couple of semis has run over me. I then went to choir practice (I am the guy in our choir that everyone else can look at and know that they are a better singer than) where I coughed and gurgled through an hour of doggy ear range songs.

I have now had my little company for three years and am still in business with things actually looking up. Of course, we are in the position of having to at least break even this year if we are to remain in business, but that looks doable.

I start taking piano lessons next week. I have played the guitar by ear since I was 14 and have recently been trying to learn fast bluegrass picking from a lesson series that encourages you to learn to read music and requires that you at least be able to count time from written music. I seem to be mentally challenged in that. I have always wanted to play the piano, but could never do it by ear. Piano lesson seem to be a good way to learn toread music and to have someone beat (pun intended) time in to me. This should be interesting as we find out if an old dog can learn a new trick.

I have decided to sell my 1961 Mercedes 220SEb fixer-upper (car guy talk for total wreck that only a complete imbecile would attempt to fix, literally translated as "cheaper to buy a new Mercedes"). If there is someone even crazier than me out there, the FOB my workshop price is $500 based on the premise that anyone crazy enough to attempt a restoration is crazy enough to pay me $500 for the privilege. The car actually has good condition outer sheet metal, a four speed and good condition bumpers if there is someone needing parts.

For those who wait for my semi-regular retirement account update with bated (baited?) breath, I am now down to being able to retire on the day I die which is about a four year improvement over months past. My goal for 2004 is to get at least one year ahead.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Now that was certainly a good Christmas and New Year's Day. I took two weeks off for the holidays and ended up sick the whole time. I had it better than some. My brother spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia and his son has been sick for a month. Their automobile bodyshop customers would be upset except they have all been sick and don't really need their cars back.

We can see light at the end of the tunnel and just hope it isn't an on-coming train.