Friday, January 28, 2005

Buried on page 5

I visited the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop and Museum in West Dayton. On display is a page of a paper announcing (with many factual errors) the first flight at Kitty Hawk. Down at the right-hand corner I noticed this piano ad. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

This photo comes from a news article about a public school that got a new grand piano. This is their old piano after a flood. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Unexpected pleasure

I took the bus to Cincinnati today. My first stop was the Cincinnati Museum of Art. I was wandering through the galleries when suddenly I noticed a faint yet familiar sound. What was it? I couldn't place it. Finally --- the sound of piano tuning! I followed the sound to its source --- Allen Wright of the Cincinnati Chapter PTG, tuning a Steinway for a concert that day. We started talking and before we knew it, we were having lunch and then he drove me around town, showing me some of the main landmarks on the way to the historic Union Terminal (now a museum/IMAX theater complex). The pictures show the old Baldwin Piano factory, now an office building. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pianos on tap

This is another music store in Dayton -- Hauer Music. They sell all kinds of musical instruments including pianos. The building has a smokestack because it used to be a brewery. Posted by Hello

The Midwest's largest piano store

Emmert Royer started BHA Pianocenter in a 6,500 square foot former raincoat factory in Dayton, OH in 1949. At first, they sold appliances - the name originally stood for Best Home Appliances. Later they got into pianos and organs. In the sixties they were the leading Conn organ dealer in the country. Even though the organ business is practically dead, BHA still has rooms and rooms of organs, including one dedicated to Allen organs.

BHA is different in many ways from piano stores in Sacramento. First of all, they own their building - and they have so much extra space that they rent it out to other businesses (including the billiards business in the basement.) They also own all their inventory outright, instead of "flooring" it and paying a monthly finance charge to the manufacturer. They offer a lifetime of free weekly piano lessons to any piano buyer. They also have a strong presence on the Internet. On their website they have pictures and prices of many of their used pianos, and they also list them on eBay. Bob Royer, the current manager and son of the founder, says his goal is "to sell fine preowned grands for $2,000 less than [my] best competition on eBay." Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stool caddy

Backstage at the Temple Buell Theater in Denver, where I am playing with the Peter Pan tour, this grand is helping to keep the floor clear of stools. It's a Steinway S. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Phone bank

Our chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild is hosting the state convention this February. To drum up more registrations, we set up a phone bank at the PianoDisc warehouse to call every Guild member in California who hadn't already registered. We did it on a Saturday so we could use free weekend minutes on our cell phones. I called every member in San Diego and got one new registration. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Last Niemeyer

This is the last piano I tuned before the Peter Pan tour. It's absolutely typical in every way: a Chinese upright (Niemeyer) owned by a first-generation Chinese family with children in a brand new tract home. Posted by Hello

This is the beautiful farmland that is turning into tract homes in Elk Grove. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Goddess of Coffee

The owner of Espresso Metro is a very attractive red-haired woman named Joan. In the back of the cafe is this picture of her posed alluringly in front of the Espresso Metro station wagon. Posted by Hello

Letting their freak flag fly

This is from an area of Davis that is mostly college students. This co-op house has a refurbished school bus in the driveway. Posted by Hello


My odometer passed 200,000 miles today on the causeway between Sacramento and Davis. I rested the camera on the steering wheel while I took this picture. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


About six weeks ago I crossed over a double yellow line to get into a car pool lane and got a ticket. Today I found out for how much: $340 plus traffic school. One good thing happened, though; I looked in the CAR folder in my bag and found a car registration form that needed a smog check. After work I went to the smog check place; this is a picture of the office.
I also got into trouble with a customer that had two small barking dogs. After about twenty minutes of the barking, I asked her if she could put the dogs outside or in a room. She did so, to my great relief. It wasn't until after I was done that I realized she was infuriated and didn't want me ever in her house again.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Hello. I'm Mark, and I'm a soccer addict.

When I have a free moment I often play Soccer Addict on my PDA. I've gotten to the point where I can score at will against the computer, so I challenge myself to only score on a header or first touch.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Steve's piano in the kitchen

I visited Steve at the end of the day and helped him move an old upright from the office to the living room. We passed through the kitchen where we stopped for this photo. Posted by Hello

Meet you in the practice room

This is a practice room at Cosumnes River College. I tuned five of these pianos today. This is where students slave away at their scales and arpeggios --- and, according to an article in the school paper, it's one of the top spots for illicit sex. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 02, 2005

No tunings?

I'm not going to do any tunings while I'm on the Peter Pan tour, but I'll try to do at least one tuning-related thing each week --- visit a piano store, call up a tuner, or at least look at the piano in the hotel lobby. And I'll continue to manage the website for the local chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.