Thursday, October 16, 2003

Catscram Fever

Well! The Cat Scram 9000 appears to be very effective. Got home from work last night to the sight of Theo plodding up the stairs. Vicki mentioned that she heard something turn on a few minutes earlier. I went down and tripped the "alarm" myself, and she said "yup, that was it". The landing is dry. So I'll leave the thing up for 4-6 weeks until it's burned into his little cat brain that he doesn't like going over there.

He just uses the litterbox now. I did have to build a little platform for him to get in and out of it from/to so he doesn't have to stand at the edge (right where he's taken to "going") and have litter goo all over his feet and track it all over.

I re-discovered Wishbone Ash yesterday on Rhapsody. I bought "Argus" and "Pilgrimage" on vinyl years ago and some other one... I recall I liked them very much. But my extensive vinyl collection mostly languishes these days. The separation of vinyl and turntable (downstairs/upstairs) has something to do with it. The lack of need for music to fill an empty spot in my life has something to do with it. Spending much of my time practicing guitar has something to do with it as well. There's so much good stuff that's not getting listened to.

On the flip side of that, even though I'm far from public-performance ready, the joy of being able to sit down and make music myself is incredible. The kickstart the bluegrass workshops gave me followed by my decision to go to Lee Ruth for further instruction have opened up lots of new possibilities. While Lee focuses on technique on .... mostly the same basic songs, I take those techniques and apply them to my growing reportiore. Matter of fact (and this is somewhat bad but... ) I spend much more time practicing the techniques on songs outside of his instruction set. It's good, because you have to keep in mind I play for enjoyment, and I can go back and play the songs for him I'm supposed to play because after all, I HAVE been practicing the techniques and they're just chords right now for the most part. The bad part is I tend to avoid songs with "F"s in them (tend to... not completely) because the barred "F" is something I've been struggling with since February. Fingering it isn't much of a problem, but getting to it and back out of it is not easy.

In addition to teaching me new techniques, having weekly lessons keeps me focused on pushing myself some, practicing when I otherwise might not. It's a good thing.

Vicki and I are 4 days into this virus.... It must be a close cousin of a recent flu, because the antibodies are catching up with it pretty quickly in both of us and about everyone else who's had it.

Fall is starting to fall... it's a lot prettier than I expected after our hot dry late summer, but we've had a nice long spell of warm days and cool nights, which is the key to a pretty fall.

Well, got stuff to do.