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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


December 12, 2013

Only On Occasion
Thursday. And so to bed at a decent hour last night, up with the alarm to head off to breakfast and back, the usual routine, but with another annual doctor's appointment at ten, this time with the dermatologist. Get them all out of the way before the end of the year, I guess. I still have two more remaining.

Anyway, back home to post yesterday's entry and then off to the doctor's office in the Summit hospital area for an exam that took all of half an hour. Nothing to report: no malignant moles, holes or voles from what the doctor is saying. Good. Another bullet dodged for another year. I guess.

Back now to wait on a package from Amazon. I ordered a Fender Telecaster on Tuesday, something I've been thinking about doing and successfully avoiding for well over a year. Why would a beginner need a second guitar? We'll see if it makes any difference, if the new toy high lasts for more than about a day or two, here at the rock and roll epicenter of Oakland.

Later. This is a nice guitar. Seems somewhat smaller and lighter than the Strat - light but not too light, easy to handle - and I'm pleased. Probably why you don't buy a guitar over the web before you've seen or handled it. I've picked up and played other guitars, the Gibson Les Paul, other Strats, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I got more than I expected.

I'll practice today on both guitars, see how I react and how they sound. There's a slight hum from the amp when you plug in the Telecaster that disappears when you lay your hand lightly across the strings, something that doesn't happen with the Strat. It's not loud enough to hear if the television is playing in the background, but there's a number of descriptions of various kinds of hum and how to eliminate them on the web. So we'll look around. As said, it isn't loud, maybe it isn't even a problem.

Later still. A good afternoon doing this and that, playing both guitars, looking things up on the web before a walk along the lake (because I don't seem to be able to get through a day without a walk along the lake) thinking - my, my - this day feels good and so I for the first time stopped for a cookie and a cup of coffee at a place I haven't visited in a long time. Change? Clearer days ahead?

Try to stay quiet and not put the hex on it.

Rare, this feeling. Probably want to avoid talking about it more for looking the fool when I screw it up rather than any hexing it might invite.

Evening. Nothing on until Elementary later at ten, so more guitar and puttering around with the slight hum in the Telecaster, discovering finally it had to do with the cable connection, a re-seating of the guitar cable in the amp eliminating the problem. Probably grounding. I've learned there are guitar cables and guitar cables: some work fine in the beginning, some don't; some last for a long time, some won't. Don't. Whatever. At least the fix was easy.

Anyway, as said, sounds nice, sounds different, maybe we're learning things you only learn after you've played for a while. The differences in sound and how they're produced between guitars, by different settings, by the phases of the moon. So much to learn, so little time.


Well, all the time in the world from one perspective. I've been wondering lately, as the head seems to be settling down, the sinuses and such behaving somewhat better, if this period since I've retired hasn't been one long “dear god, what do I do now” session and I'm aware of this now as some of the old pieces of life that interested me are starting to return, if there isn't another chapter no matter how long or short beginning. Starting. That's started.

You're hallucinating again.

No. That only seems to come after eating something on the forbidden foods list and even then, only on occasion.

The photo up top was taken at Lake Merritt this week with a Nikon D4 mounted with an 24-120mm f/4.0 VR Nikkor lens.