35 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-11-19

  1. Morning! I see no sun out there yet but I am certain it will make an appearance before too long. And just who is that red beaked bird hiding from in those trees!?
    We had a send off for two neighbors and one welcome home for another last evening. Just ladies in attendance and it was so very sweet. Our young widow is moving with her two children to the other side of town…we shall miss her…her heart is so tender and she is putting up a strong front…but as I sat and talked with her I sensed her vulnerability. I do hope she comes back for many visits with us…I know I will be praying to that end.

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  2. Good morning! No sun showing yet here. The cicadas are making their wonderful summer sounds. Birds are calling from all sides of the house. The roar of a jet high in the clouds detracts a bit. Now I hear a second jet. Ah! We are under a flight pattern so it will be a constant background noise. I think they switch flight patterns along so no one area gets the added noise for too much time. I hear another one now. And a car on the street. And another jet. Busy travel day. Now a train is passing on the tracks behind the houses across the street. We get it all! Right now. So I can really share for my fellow wanderers the sounds from here. No one is mowing or buzz sawing. Thankful for that. Another jet passes as the train has gone. And now another jet. And there is certainly the possibility of a passing helicopter or small plane from the nearby local airport. Now another jet. Except for the birds or cicadas I might be inclined to put on noise cancelling headphones.

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  3. Nancyjill, that is so nice that you all had that sendoff. I hope everyone will be able to get together with her still until she makes new friends. How far is the other side of town?

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  4. It’s quiet here, the street workers haven’t arrived but the street is mostly cleared of cars. Annie woke me up at 5:45 as usual, what a pill, and she will not be brushed off. Then after eating she sleeps all day long, of course.

    I have an early port meeting to get to, apparently the bernie sanders campaign has hooked on as a “sponsor” for a 7:30 a.m. rally outside the meeting hall with the union (though the senator himself is not coming).

    Interesting piece in the JOC (Journal of Commerce, admittedly a pro-terminal/business publication) about all of this yesterday. The writer points out (accurately) that the union had already signed off and agreed to terminal automation in their last contract (along with agreeing not to try to forestall it or slow it down). This was in exchange for a whole bucket load of pay and benefit increases (on top of already 6-figure salaries). So the article argues that now, a few years later, the union oddly decides to balk and is trying to undo what they’ve already agreed to by taking a back door in using area politicians sympathetic to the union (or to their financial contributions at at any rate) to overturn it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janice- Ah, yes, the noise of flight patterns. Sometimes they have to change flight patterns because of wind direction.

    My grandparents lived under the flight patterns of both Laguardia and Kennedy airports in NYC. Talk about noise! Add to that the subway rumbles and car horns or car alarms going off. There was a park across the street and at night you could here the music from boom boxes as the young people gathered. Life in NYC.

    I miss visiting them. It was cheap entertainment to watch the city from a 4th floor window.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. I grew up next to LAX and remember the noise as well. It was worse at my cousin’s house on the other side of town though; people would have to stop talking to let the planes go overhead. The noise was never that bad at our house (though we were closer to the airport) — unless fog or other weather conditions forced runway changes, as Peter mentioned.

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  7. Good morning. I am on day shift, so no early post. According to my email, I might be getting an offer for a full time position I applied for last week. That would be good, as no more having to hustle for enough shifts to make ends meet.

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  8. I had my interview yesterday and am still worn out by the journey to get there and back. But, broken down as I am by the travel, I am still more discouraged by the interview. I was more confident about most of my responses to the interview and I would be well fitted for the work, and I think I could get along with the people in the office. But, it became quite clear from the moment I walked through the door that I have very different convictions than the physician I would be potentially working for.

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  9. Waiting on the Lord is always difficult, but He grows us through the waiting and suffering. Blessings on you, Roscuro, as you continue to show strength of convictions and wait for God’s best.

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  10. I hear on the radio that a man has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole.
    They say he may face additional charges.

    ?

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  11. I understand seventeen year old has headed off to California. I hope he has a nice time.

    My dad left California and headed to Idaho and Montana when he was seventeen. He and a couple of friends came up here to go canoeing. He came back a couple years later with his new wife, my mom to be.

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  12. Hello, all. Popping in while 5th and 6th Arrows do some independent work.

    Praying for you both, RKessler and Roscuro, on your job searches.

    Update on the new (to me) grand piano I’ve talked about lately. This should be on Rants & Raves, I suppose. Feel free to stop reading here if you don’t want to hear another rant from me this week, or if you don’t want to read about the grand piano saga that isn’t finished. (I don’t have the piano yet, and haven’t signed anything or paid for any part of it. I am wanting to be cautious and know, as best as I can before purchase, that this will be an instrument that will serve me well. I’m approaching age 60 and don’t anticipate buying any more pianos in the future beyond the one that will follow my current 30-year-old piano. The new piano needs to be a decent one.)

    Rant:

    Some red flags have gone up in this period since I first looked at the piano eight days ago. It may overall be only a temporary problem, but it could also be something that has long-term ramifications.

    I don’t want to plunk down thousands of dollars for an instrument that is going to cause problems right from the get-go.

    I told you that the look, the touch, and the sound of the piano were all lovely. That remains true, except for a couple of out-of-tune keys near the top of the piano. I didn’t pay much attention to that at first, so captivated was I about all the other wonderful things about the piano.

    I meant to mention the problem with those two keys to the store personnel, but forgot, with all the playing of various types of pieces I did (none that used those keys except the full chromatic scale I did first), and with all the yakking we did about old times. (I used to teach piano at that store when I was in college, and the people who currently work there were also there when I was an employee.)

    (But really, they should have known about the problem keys themselves, and taken measures to remedy those problems before putting it for sale again on their showroom floor.)

    Anyway…I left the store that day with piano mat in hand, thinking that the only thing that would stand in the way of buying the piano was if that size instrument wouldn’t fit well in our home space.

    When that potential problem proved not to be an issue, I thought I had found my next piano.

    But I let it simmer, and thought about what I’d learned about the piano’s history, and that a couple keys (albeit infrequently used) didn’t sound right.

    So I called the store a few days later to say that the piano would indeed fit, and I’d really like to purchase that piano if a couple of notes at the top of the keyboard that didn’t sound quite right could be adjusted to correct pitch.

    The saleslady was quick to assure me that that could easily be tuned and wouldn’t be any problem, and, besides, she said, those keys really don’t get used much, no big deal.

    Well, having everything sounding as it should IS important to me. Something out of balance in one place can affect other places, too.

    My husband encouraged me to go visit the store again, and let them know I’d like the piano tuned before I buy it, so I can find out whether those two spots that sound off are in fact able to be adjusted satisfactorily.

    So I made a surprise visit to the store this week, to return the piano mat and listen more closely to those two wonky keys. Turns out that one of them (the highest G# on the piano for those of you pianists here) has one string of the three that the G# hammer strikes that is not in unison with the other two strings.

    Worse yet, the highest C on the piano has all three of the corresponding strings at totally different pitches. Plucking those strings individually, you can hear that they’re each about a half step apart in pitch, when all three are supposed to be exactly the same pitch!

    The question in my mind is, why are those four strings so off in pitch like they are? And why did whoever has tuned the piano in the past apparently leave them so terribly out of tune? Hitting the G# key yields two distinct pitches at once, and the three pitches of the C key are a mishmash of sound that, at the end of its vibration just before the full sound decay, it sounds like it’s lower in pitch than the B just below it. (C should sound higher than B, not lower.)

    The saleslady thought whoever tuned the piano must have just left those sounding like that because those keys are hardly ever used anyway. Or maybe he was in a hurry to get to his next job, and didn’t think getting everything just right was that important, she rationalized.

    How unprofessional, if that was the case!

    But here’s another possibility: there might instead be an issue with the tune-ability of those particular strings, or a problem with the pins around which they’re wound. Maybe the piano was left that way because perhaps it can’t be remedied any better than that.

    I wonder if someone is not being straightforward about its condition — the tuner, or the owner from whom the piano got repossessed, or the dealer who now has it back and clearly really wants to sell me this piano?

    All I keep hearing is about how well the piano has been taken care of.

    No. No it hasn’t. The piano is 15 years old and sat in the showroom for a full 11 years before it was bought. Then four years later, they repossess it because the owner has hardly made any payments to them on it. Yet, in that 15-year-period, they tell me the piano has only been tuned twice.

    That’s horrible care! A piano dealer should know that tunings should be done once a year at the bare minimum, and that they need even more than that in the early months after purchasing a new instrument, because the strings don’t hold their tune as well early on. They need time to get accustomed to staying stretched around the piano’s tuning pins — early on, they loosen and go flat, so need more frequent tunings to “train” them to hold their tightness to stay on pitch better.

    Obviously, they can’t control how often a buyer has it tuned once the piano leaves their showroom, but when 11 of the 15 years of the piano’s life has been spent in a dealer showroom, they sure dropped the ball on maintaining it properly while in their possession!

    What was really disappointing about my visit there this week was how reluctant they seemed to get in a tuner/tech to examine the problem. I asked that they get someone to tune the piano (they admitted the piano hasn’t been tuned since the time it was repossessed) before I buy it, so I can make sure that these problems are fixable.

    The saleslady then tried to convince me it would be better to have the piano tuned after moving it rather than before, because the move will cause it to go out of tune again. In other words, buy first.

    Yes, the tuning will change when it moves to an environment with a different humidity level. The move itself might affect tuning, too, if the piano gets bumped into something.

    But I got the sense they didn’t want to spend any money on getting the piano in good condition for a buyer. They urge me to get it tuned after I have it delivered (which, in and of itself is a good idea), but they don’t bother to get it tuned when the piano got moved from the original purchaser’s home way out of state after it was repossessed and brought back to their showroom?

    I held my ground, though, and said I wasn’t comfortable purchasing something before I knew what was going on with those keys.

    That’s when they acquiesced and said they’d call a tuner to look at those two keys, when it was clear to them I wasn’t buying before that.

    The thing I’m thinking now is that I might call them and say I’d like my piano tuner/tech to tune the whole piano (not just look at those two keys and do something with them, which is all the dealer wanted their tuner to do). I would tell the store that I’d like my tuner to do the job, and I will pay him. Then they don’t have to pay someone to do a job they seem rather reluctant to have done in the first place, and I can get a trustworthy, informed opinion on the condition of the piano, rather than from someone who’s working for others who have a big financial interest in selling me this piano.

    I’d rather spend an extra hundred or so dollars before deciding to purchase than spending thousands of dollars and not knowing until after the fact that the instrument will cause problems from the time I get it home.

    Or, at the very least, if they’ve already got their guy lined up to look at it, I could have my guy meet me at the store to take a good look at the affected strings and pins, and the whole piano in general.

    Sorry for the rant. It’s rather frustrating that all of this is happening with people I’ve known for so long. My experience buying my first piano with them was good, but in those days, I wasn’t a very discriminating piano shopper. They’re not used to pushback from me like they’re getting this time.

    Thank you to those of you who prayed for wisdom for me about this purchase. Cheryl, I know you were one by your comment last week about it. That was, and is, certainly needed and timely.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I’ve got to say, too, that when a new piano sits unsold for 11 years, it raises some red flags about what the real problem was.

    Too expensive? Maybe.

    A noticeable problem that the usual grand-piano buyer would notice? (Usually someone who is more serious about long-term playing, rather than your average my-kid-wants-to-take-piano-lessons-what’s-the-best-starter-instrument-I-can-find shoppers.)

    Not enough interested piano buyers, or grand-piano buyers, in that market?

    Interesting that when I went to the store the second time, the owner commented that at the very time I was there the first day, another customer came in the store and commented about what a great sound the piano has, and how she would love to own that piano.

    He told me he’s not making that up, that that really did happen — two potential buyers in the store at the same time, both interested in that piano.

    I hate to say it, because I really don’t want to believe that a friend would lie to me, but I’m skeptical. Eleven years without a sale, and suddenly there are two people simultaneously interested in the piano.

    I felt like I was being pressured to scarf up this piano before someone else got it. (He did say that he supposedly told the woman that I had first dibs on it, as I’d made contact first.)

    If there’s someone else interested in having that piano, why do they seem so eager to sell it to me very quickly?

    Do you think I’m too suspicious?

    The exchange bothered me, the more I thought about it later.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. 6 Arrows, sounds rather like having one’s own mechanic look at the car one is considering buying, and a good idea in this case. May it proceed smoothly from here, or a better one be found!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I’m not searching for a job, just applied for a full time position. I will be doing the same thing I am now, with the guarantee of full time hrs. I work lots of hours now as prn, but some weeks are really slim. That is part of why I picked up the second job for this summer.

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  16. Sorry, Chas. 🙂

    RKessler, oops, you’re right; I knew that, but worded it wrong.

    Cheryl, yes, very similar. I hope my piano tuner/tech is willing to do that. (I didn’t have any tech accompany me the first time I bought a piano. Even if I’d thought of it, I probably wouldn’t have looked for a tuner to ask, because I bought a brand new piano that time.

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  17. DJ – (re: your comment last night about watching Stranger Things 2) – Funny thing is that I was gonna ask you if you’d seen Stranger Things 3 yet, so when I saw your comment, I looked back at my own comments, to see if I had asked, but forgotten. 😀

    Stranger Things 3 was really good, too – as good as the others, I think. I love the combination of comedy, pathos, and monsters. 🙂

    *******
    6 Arrows – Sounds like you are using some wise discernment in this possible purchase. From what you describe, things do sound kinda fishy. I hope it works out for you.

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  18. RKessler – As you know, Nightingale, too, had to try each month to pick up enough shifts, and some months were sparser than others. For that reason, as well as for my own personal reasons, I am glad she now has a permanent schedule. (And she will still pick up a couple or so extra shifts each month.) Glad for you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 6 Arrows, you are being wise. You don’t want to buy a Trojan piano with the wrong sounds coming out of it! At the same time, it is very easy to place more value on money and possessions than relationships. If y’all have not kept up with each other for years then they may not be placing as much value on the relationship as you are. Also, from being in the craft group on Saturday, some ladies were discussing that quality in furnishings does not matter much to younger people. Antiques are difficult to sell and people put paint on everything. So their customer base for a high end item may be way down. They may be trying to cut their losses. If they are giving you a good discount up front, then I do understand them not wanting to put more money in it. They should have labeled it, “As Is,” if they knew the problem existed. They can at least get a tax write-off for the cost of the tuning and inspection. I suppose you could, too, since you would be using the piano in your business. Especially since they are in your industry and can potentially direct students to or away from you, I would be very careful in showing suspicion toward them. Perhaps if you both shared the expense of tuning it might keep everyone on friendly terms?

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  20. Kizzie, I stayed up way too late and started Season 3, too — I can’t get over how much older the kids are in this season 😦 Guess they filmed the mall scene at the mall next to our former office but I really didn’t recognize it (though I don’t go to malls much anymore, I actually avoid them).

    My morning: A five-hour port meeting and public hearing with about 1,500 really loud & raucous people constantly yelling, chanting and having outbursts from the audience.

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  21. I hear planes here. I can even hear when they are revving their engines at the end of the runway. It is fun because they are all our planes and I may know who is coming or going. I cried once as I saw a plane return knowing my friends were on it who had been in Cairns for seven months after a road accident.

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  22. You’ve looked at the soundboard, too, to make sure there aren’t any cracks or irregularities there?

    I agree, having your usual tuner take a close look is a great idea, and yes, you’ll need to tune again once the piano is home, but, better not to be penny wise and pound foolish.

    And totally odd on the pins and strings.

    When a piano, of course, has been moved and not tuned for a long time, it can be harder to tune. But I’m sure you know more about it than I do.

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  23. DJ – This season is over a year and a half after the last season. The first two seasons aired in fall, and this one made us wait until the following summer. But it was worth the wait. 🙂

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  24. Kizzie, 4:29, thanks. And, yes, I do want to be discerning with such a major, important purchase.

    Janice, thank you, also. You’re right, the quality of sound is important. I ask my piano families to provide their children with an in-tune instrument (for those with acoustic pianos) and to make sure all 88 keys (digital or acoustic) are in good working order. I can’t then have an instrument they play on at lessons have keys that sound 2 or 3 pitches at once when there should only be 1 sound!

    (And, though those keys aren’t often used, as I pointed out earlier, they are actually used in a piece early on in the method series I use with my beginning students. My student who started in May, for example, has already gotten to that piece. Kids love the piece! There’s no way I’m going to have two clunker notes happening when I teach that piece, and there’s no way I’m going to skip teaching it the way it is to be played just to avoid having my students hear those clunker notes! Every key, no matter how infrequently used, needs to be in good working order on this teacher’s [and all other serious teachers’] pianos!)

    As far as the store personnel directing students my way, they’re not in the same state where I live, so I’m not really in their immediate area, though they are less than an hour away. Plus, they have a piano teacher giving lessons at their store. If they didn’t have any teacher on-site, then maybe they would give me some referrals, but I don’t think most people from their city of 25,000 or so would be interested in traveling to my little town of 9,000. The city that’s around 50,000 and only about a half hour from them would be more likely the place that students who travel to lessons out of town would go.

    And, yes, paying for tuning expenses is something I can and do use as a tax write-off.

    Michelle, that’s a good reminder to look closely at the soundboard. I did a little, and didn’t see anything amiss, but I definitely could (and will) be more thorough in my examination of it the next time I look.

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  25. Whew! Catching up while I have a couple minutes to myself! Son and family came today and now they are outside after I served them pizza!
    Janice the other side of town is about 25 minutes from us but I am hopeful she will come back to see us. We will just have to have a gathering of the ladies and make certain the time fits her schedule.
    6 I am praying the Lord will give to you clear direction. It does sound like they want to have it be gone….but, if there is something wrong with it that would make no sense that they would not guarantee such a large ticket piano!

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  26. Thanks for praying, NancyJill. I appreciate that.

    I can understand their wanting it to be sold sooner than last time. The prospect of having it sit unsold for so long, like before, is probably quite discouraging to them.

    Yet, as a piano teacher, I really can’t compromise on quality, and they know that’s where I stand. The store bookkeeper, though, or whatever her title is now, looked quite displeased with my decision to not buy yet on that second visit. The owner (our friend, as is his wife, who doesn’t work there) seemed more willing to listen. He kind of had a furrowed brow, though, not in anger, but more like he was a bit distressed at my decision to not buy that day. A reaction that seems odd, given he told me they have another potential buyer for that piano.

    I’m also not willing to go into debt to pay for the grand piano. The funds that we were gifted, and that we decided to put toward a new piano, are just a little more than its cost with tax added in. I would also need a new piano lamp (my lamp for my vertical piano isn’t designed for use with a grand) and possibly a large rug for under the grand, if the sound of the piano is too live for the space.

    Those purchases and the extra tunings on top of the cost of the piano with tax would mostly use up the piano funds, leaving little left for any expensive repairs if the problem strings with those two keys are difficult to fix. I don’t want to pay $8,000+ for a fixer-upper. It would be better to either put those funds toward regulation/voicing of my present piano, and/or keep adding my lesson wages to the interest-bearing business account in which those gifted funds are now kept and continue saving until I have enough to buy a new piano in the future.

    But if this string issue is a temporary problem that my tech believes can be solved relatively easily without a great deal of expense, then I will be more than happy to take that piano off their hands and put it into mine. 🙂

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