Tuesday, September 9, 2008

As Time Goes By

We've got a good crop finally going in the garden. There's herbs: way too much basil and mini basil, oregano, dill, and chives. There's many, many late-summer cherry tomatoes just ripening. Why do they taste so good fresh off the vine and warm from the summer sun? There's a prolific jalapeño plant that has taught us that the longer you leave the peppers on the bush the hotter they get. And I was just given a jade plant from a friend that I have to trim and pot, and keep Mac from eating.

Cherry tomatoes basking in the sun

Jalapeño forest

Its been quite hot over the last week or so, so its been difficult to get the dogs out to exercise and they were beginning to drive us batty at home. So, over the weekend, I took them to the dog parks first thing in the morning. Sunday morning Mac, unfortunately, was attacked by a dog about 4 times his physical size. He was playing with a ball that the other dog had been playing with, and about five minutes later the other dog went after him. She must have been holding a grudge because Mac didn't even have the ball at that time. She grabbed his face and he immediately rolled belly-up - smart boy knew that he would be overpowered so he calmly submitted to the other dog. Right afterward Mac wasn't even phased about it and still acted like the happy little guy he is. The other dog had it in for him though and stalked him, snarling. I intervened a few times so she wouldn't go after Mac again, and finally got to check Mac out. He has a scrape above one eye, a couple cuts by his right ear, and another cut on his neck, but no puncture wounds. I informed the owner that Mac was bleeding, though it didn't appear serious, and took him home to clean him up. Of course, Mac could care less about the whole incident. I'm very glad it didn't cause him any mental trauma (one mental dog is enough, thank you very much). I hope the scrape above his eye doesn't leave a scar.

Guess Mac won't be winning any beauty pageants

I've started a new knitting project since finishing the scarf. Its the Cable-Down Raglan from Interweave Knits Spring 2007.

A diamond cable

I've spent the last week starting and restarting the blasted thing. Its knit in the round and I'd either twist my stitches when joining (mobius isn't great for a sweater) or mess up on the cable chart. I think I've restarted it four or five times. I've got it now and am enjoying seeing the cables form. I'm using an inexpensive yarn (Lion Brand Wool Worsted) since this is a big learning project for me. Wish me luck!

As for the title of this post, As Time Goes By... well, time has certainly passed. I've decided that after about a decade (seriously, how did that happen?!) I'm breaking out my old saxophone. I went to the House of Woodwinds the other day and picked up an exercise book, a fingering chart, and some Vandoren Java 2-1/2 reeds. I still read music just fine thanks to playing flute in undergrad with the Cal Wind Ensemble, and my sporadic piano playing. With help from the fingering chart I'm quickly picking up how to play again, but boy did I forget how strong your mouth and lungs have to be! I can play only about ten bars before gasping for air right now, but with practice I expect to have my wind and chops back soon enough.

"Hello Bundy, my old friend..."

Once I'm back in playing shape I plan to join the Pleasanton Community Concert Band. I used to play with a community band back in high school and really enjoyed it. I am very much looking forward to getting into one again. I'll have to buy a new mouthpiece once I'm up and running (a Meyer 5M or 6M, depending on the band's repertoire - the 6M is a jazzier sound), and I'm checking out a better instrument than my old student-model alto, maybe the Yamaha YAS-475 or the Yanagisawa A901. That's a ways off since I should be able to get a decent enough sound with a nice mouthpiece, and the Yamaha and Yanagisawa cost a couple grand that is better spent paying down our mortgage.

Now I have a case of the I-wants. I want a digital piano - I sold my keyboard a year or so ago with the intention of getting a better instrument, but haven't done so yet. I've been drooling over the Yamaha Slimline Clavinova for a number of years now, but I can get a Casio digital piano for under $1k at Costco. Why is everything I want so expensive? Wait, that's not true... I want a small Canon Powershot (new model) digital camera to take everywhere since our G5 is quite large, and that's only a couple hundred... *sigh*

Enough dreaming for now, I'm off to make pesto with our bushels of basil.


Liz and Kurt said...

How funny, I found my clarinet the other day and just had to break it out. I could barely make a sound. I did remember how to use my fingers, but they were rusty. It was funny, but eventually I put it away and it's back somewhere in the storage unit until Micaela is old enough for me to pressure her into playing.

Misty said...

I've been practicing the sax, and it is hard! My lower lip is torn up on the inside from my teeth, until I get the calluses built back up. But its coming back quickly and making me very happy. Not too much longer and I think I can join the band. I can't wait!

Future Band Geeks of America! Band is seriously my best memories of high school. I should write to George...