So, I’m driving home from soccer practice with Luke and his best friend/teammate Ryan. Somehow, they get to talkin’ about gravity and the amount of G’s this pulls or that. Then they say, “I wonder what would happen if earth’s gravity all of a sudden went to 5 times what it is now. I’d weigh like . . . 400 pounds. Would your bones get crushed under all of your new weight? Hey, maybe you’d just fall down and go splat! Well, nobody would be able to stand up except the strongest people . . . maybe. We’d all have to crawl around on the ground until our leg muscles got strong enough to hold us up. And, what about snakes? Would they be fine? They already crawl around on the ground.” Too much Calvin and Hobbes perhaps.
I stopped to think about something today and the hum of my computer made me remember the electric sound of a guitar turned up but when nothing is being played. It’s a sound or feeling where the room fills with a sort of static electric charge. Similar to the sound I got when I recorded Sunrise at Lake Ann when I started the tape to record but hadn’t played the first note yet. That then, took me back to being 17 or 18 and sitting in my second floor bedroom on New England Avenue . . . in mid summer . . . early evening . . . warm wind blowing, making that sound with the leaves of the maple trees. The green/yellow hue of the light, the scent of the humid air. I stop the song I’m playing and just listen. Then I’m in the high-mountain meadow above Lake Ann. Blue and white and yellow flowers only three inches tall create a blanket over the landscape, with a backdrop of the Three Apostles and some other peaks. Listening to the utter quiet . . . except for the breeze. Blest am I. If you’ve never backpacked into a wilderness area, you need to.
I worked with a tech named Manuel Mora when I was 22 and working at Hughes Aircraft. We were having a conversation one night during lunch (he was a former Navy Seal) and he told me that I lived a charmed life. Even with all of the downers that had happened in my life up to that point, I can’t say that I disagree, even to this day.
After the soccer game in Lakewood (near Denver), which we won 4-0 (yea), I drove over the the Olde Town Picken’ Parlor in Arvada. After two hours of playing and looking at Mandolins and some other instruments, I bough a Collings MT2. It looks like the one in the picture, except mine has gold hardware. I don’t think that it’d be a stretch to say that this, handmade in Austin Texas, mandolin is worth more than my other 6 guitars combined. But it is . . . sweet. Now I just need to learn how to play it better.
Diane – I did pick up (not purchase) a banjo while looking around today. I didn’t know that the 5th string which has its tuning peg half-way up the neck is actually thinner and higher pitched than the strings right next to it. Interesting.
My boys soccer team is 0-2 for the season. Arghhh!!! Both games were pretty good, but we lost 2-1 and 2-0. Still not playing like a team, but it’s starting to come together. 8 new players for this season makes a big difference in their ability to play like a team.
We passed the electrical and mechanical inpections last week for the house remodel. All I think that we’ll need next is the building inspection for the roughed-in walls and then it’ll be drywall, paint and flooring. Yahoo!
I’ve been playing mandolin for nearly two weeks and I’m due to return the borrowed Gibson mandolin. But, I don’t have my own yet . . . . guess I better get to the store and buy one. I’ve got my eye on a Collings.
I’ve been considering learning another musical instrument for several years now. The candidates are accordion, banjo and mandolin. I borrowed a 1920s Gibson A body mandolin from a friend last night. He had a couple of old Mel Bay books and I got about half-way through the first one. Not too difficult to learn, so far. What’s wierd is that the strings are the reverse of a guitar minus the B and E string (E-A-D-G vs. G-D-A-E), so it can be a little confusing. I guess this is the way a violin is set up. It turns out that the mandolin is like a violin, and a mandola is like a viola and a mandocello is like . . . you guessed it. A cello.