Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Espresso Metro

Just about every morning, between going to the gym and my first appointment, I stop at Espresso Metro for a cappucino. This cafe is on the edge of the Sacramento City College campus and it's the only place in town whose clientele includes both college and neighborhood folk. (Rachel and Jennifer hate it when I say "town and gown"!) If it's Monday through Thursday, I buy the San Francisco Chronicle and read the op-ed page and the chess article. I try to solve the chess problem and then play through the daily game on my PDA's chess program.
This picture shows a coffee cup's-eye-view of the counter.
Added bonus: the cafe offers free wireless Internet. The router is on top of the cabinet right under the light in this picture.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Why I Wear Earplugs

From the etymology site World Wide Words.

Tuning deprivation?

On January 10, I'll start on an eleven-week tour. That will be, among other things, eleven weeks without tuning pianos. I wonder what that first tuning will feel like? Will my toolbox and car feel familiar and cozy, or will I want to throw everything out and buy new things? What will I have forgotten, and what new ways will I stumble into?
I was trying to set up TrueSync on my new laptop, and failing. I think it's about time to retire Sidekick and Truesync and get a new calendar program.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

This is what I look at all day: my PDA running the tuning software. It also has my calendar, my address book, email and Internet (when there's Wi-Fi around) and some fun games. Every morning I use the chess program to play over the game in that day's San Francisco Chronicle, and I also play Soccer Addict at odd moments.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Big Nut

My customer got this enormous nutcracker at Sam's Club. Posted by Hello


Yesterday I had a customer who didn't answer the doorbell at 11:30 in the morning. As I always do in these cases, I pulled out my cell phone and called. She answered and said she'd come to the door. It took her about three minutes. When she opened the door, I could see that she'd just thrown some clothes on and her hair was disheveled. When I came in the house, I saw a man standing in the next room... and realized that I had interrupted them having sex.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The castle

Some rich eccentric is building this castle in Fair Oaks.
I also almost tuned the wrong piano today. I showed up at the address in my appointment book; the woman who answered the door didn't know about the appointment, but that often happens. I put the muting strips in the piano but waited until she called the homeowners on the phone. It turned out that I had gone to my customer's old address. Fortunately, the new house was only a few blocks away. They thought it was funny and told me stories of when they'd showed up at the wrong time or place. Once, in Madrid, they went to the airport a day early.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mrs. D., in Carmichael, has about five of these sculptures, representing a pianist, guitarist, violinist, drummer, and another I can't remember. They are cartoonish but extremely well done.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Tune for juice

I was tuning a piano for a benefit event for the Gold Country Orchestra. I was going to donate the tuning, but then the owner offered me this commercial juice extractor. I had never owned a juicer, so I took it home. When I used it to make some (delicious) persimmon juice, it shook and made horrible noises. I am selling it on eBay. So far, no bids.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Folkie Knabe

This is from an old Knabe owned by a Davis couple that reminded me of some of the hippie kids I went to high school with. It fit very well with their folkie decor. The piano has all kinds of interesting details like the action frame that has little hexagonal nuts for seating it on the keybed. Posted by Hello

This Noah's Ark, in a Sunday school classroom, seems to be splitting in half with a tiger clinging for dear life. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This is a 1921 Steinway M in an old Sacramento house. The present owner is in his sixties and grew up in this house. His father ran the State Fair and spent an hour or two every morning reading something from this bookshelf. Titles include The American Commonwealth and California Blue Book of 1907.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Friday, November 12, 2004

This was on a shelf above a customer's piano. The son of the house had an assignment to make a ceramic piece that symbolized his life. The boat has piano keys around the edge, and the cat is holding a computer monitor that displays "". Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I've worked for this store for fifteen years. They are the most successful store in town by a long shot. I get tons of new customers from them.  Posted by Hello

This is what happens when you tune pianos for twenty years and play tennis on the weekends. My elbow hurts, but this brace is helping. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 07, 2004

We went up to Bill Spurlock's Vacaville house and shop so he could do some custom sandblasting on Jennifer's glasses. Because of her eye condition, she has to do this every time she gets a new pair of glasses. To either side of the glasses, you can see a tray full of the famous Spurlock Specialty Tools bushing cauls. To date, he has sold more of them than there are people on Earth.  Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 06, 2004

San Jose

My cousin Doug in San Jose has a nice collection of keyboards. He has a Steinway M, a Hammond B-3 with Leslie, and a non-tonewheel Hammond (foreground). Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004

This painting is by Elymr DeHory, the greatest art forger of the 20th century. When I first saw it in Trudy H.'s house, I thought, "That can't be a real Modigliani." And it wasn't. Among his many other accomplishments, deHory provided the fake Pisarros for the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

These keys cracked and fell off in a very odd pattern. They are the same way on the bass end. The customer is having them all recovered. Maybe Yvonne, the key expert, can explain how this happened; I have never seen anything like this before. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 29, 2004

Ms. P. grew up in Oxford, where her father was doing post-doc work in biochemistry. This hand-drawn map of the university shows all the points of interest. Around the border are all of the individual colleges including when they were founded (some in the 1200s) and the famous men (all men) who went there. Posted by Hello

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Last of Max's

Max's Opera Cafe, a restaurant that makes wonderful Jewish deli food and features a piano bar with singing servers, is closing at the end of October 2004. This is Don Zacharias (who happens to be my doctor) playing the piano on the final Thursday night. Posted by Hello

Paul G. moved here from Indianapolis. He is a software engineer who also has played piano for community theater. We talked about Music Circus a little. He had these prints on the wall by David Csicsko, a Chicago artist who has done graphics and stained-glass windows for the Catholic Church. Posted by Hello

Score writer

Dan Dannenfelser, a tuner friend, sent me this picture. It's a demo by an illustrator.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Clutter and Depression glass

Mrs. H., in the fabulous forties (one of Sacramento's best neighborhoods) is gunning for the clutter championship. There are piles of loose paper all over the place on the floor. Ms. V.T., who already is director of music at a Catholic church and has an audiology business, is opening an antique store. She has some Depression wine glasses in her cabinet that she says are worth $125 each. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture. Next time, I'll be more alert and nervy.

This is about the smallest grand I've ever tuned — four feet, six inches. The stretcher comes off, too, which is also unusual. Posted by Hello