Légère Oboe Reed Review – First Impressions

legord

I was so excited to get my Légère oboe reed in the mail the other day.  I’ve been looking forward to this day for a few years now.  It has taken them a while to prefect it so we’ve all been waiting.  As soon as I got the newsletter that said they were shipping I ordered quickly.  I was a little taken aback at the price.  $149 plus shipping freaked me out but you only live once so, BAM!

The pictures you see in the internet are a little hard for your eyes to comprehend because it is clear and so different from the cane reeds we have been used to.  I read a few warnings about it like problems with the fit into the reed well or being hard to play.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that both were not a problem for me.  It is a “European scrape” reed so my European oboe was apparently a good match.

I was a little concerned about the fact that is “European Scrape” rather then “American Scrape” but I found no difference in how it plays.  Right out of the box it played like a good old friend.  It’s completely synthetic so you don’t need to soak it.  How awesome is that!  No drying out while somebody talks between pieces.  So cool!

It took a little getting used to but it didn’t take long before I was able to get all the notes to speak well.  The sound is not as bright as my cane reeds but I never liked that brightness anyway.  It has a more mellow tone.

I find that I have to do less or no pinching of the reed with my lips for certain notes to play.  With just a little more air pressure than I am used to it plays every note quite confidently.

They say that the Légère reed will “Last for months instead of days.”  I don’t know what kind of person whose reed lasts only for days anyway.  I use a cane reed for at least 4-6 months.  This synthetic reed should be good for years.  I’m not a professional who practices all day so I expect a long life.  It’s hard to imagine that it could wear out anyway.  It’s plastic.

Our Community Band’s Independence Day concert is coming up in a few days.  I wasn’t sure I would be ready to use it so soon but I am feeling quite confident that it’s a go for the concert.

 

A Few months later…

I’ve been using my Légère oboe reed for a few months now and I love it!  It plays very well once I got used to it.  Not having to soak or adjust it is totally wonderful.  If I had one of these when I was in High School, my life might be totally different today.  Who knows.  I might be some kind of professional oboe celebrity rather than some guy who fought with his reed for decades.

I think I’m in love.  The Légère reed is my favorite thing.  If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Please don’t pee on the seat!

1-14There’s a special place in hell for people who pee on the seat in public restrooms.  This is the 21st century and we are living in a civilized society.  LIFT THE SEAT DAMNIT!

What kind of person does this?  I just can’t wrap my head around it.  What if I went to your house and peed on your toilet seat?  Would you be angry?  Do you want to go into a public restroom and maybe not notice and sit in someone’s pee?   If you do notice, do you want to have to wipe it off before you sit down?

How about a little consideration for others here.  This “civilized” society that we try to live in is becoming more and more self-centered to where people just don’t care as long as it doesn’t affect themselves. What utopia do we have in store for us?  Not a good one.  If you absolutely MUST pee on the seat, wipe it off!  It’s your pee!

I can only imagine that people are so uptight that they just can’t be bothered to touch a toilet seat which in reality is cleaner than your computer keyboard.  You don’t have to lick it or anything, just lift it and THEN do your business.   You can leave it up so the next guy can perhaps not pee on it.  When you are done, wash your hands.

I’m betting that people who don’t lift the seat also don’t wash their hands because they would have to touch the faucet handles that are covered with other people’s poop.  You know they are.  Still.  Man up and be a contributing member of society rather than making it suck for the rest of us.  COME ON PEOPLE!  DON’T PEE ON THE SEAT!

pee

I think one of the contributing factors is the slot in the seat.  It makes people falsely believe that they can somehow pee there and not on the seat itself.  I don’t know the actual reason for the slot.  I Googled it and still can’t find a plausible explanation.  I’m betting that if they can make slotless seats like they used to then we would at least cut down seat-peeing by 50%.

I hate this planet.

 

 

Dreamblog – San Antonio Explodes Again

xplsn

It happened again!  This morning I had another dream about a big explosion in San Antonio.  This is the third one that I have memory of in recent years.

I was in the back yard at my mom’s house where I grew up.  Suddenly there was a huge explosion in the distance.  There were more explosions, each one closer than the other.  The sky was fill of smoke and sparks.   Large rocks started to rain down.  I ran to a nearby culvert and hid from the destruction where I fell asleep.

I woke up seconds later and it was morning.  We walked around the area looking at all the rocks laying about.  They seemed to be chunks of flint.

I guess this is more proof of how much I hate San Antonio.  It helps me feel even better about planning my exit.  I guess it wouldn’t hurt my feelings too much if the city did explode.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.

 

Quick product review – Ryobi One+ hybrid string trimmer

rbistrngtrmrThis morning my old string trimmer started smoking and actually burst into flames while I was using it.  It was pretty cool however now I can’t trim my grass.

I popped over to Home Depot to see what I could find and ran across the Ryobi One+ hybrid string trimmer.  It uses Robi’s standard 18V lithium battery that works in all the One+ line of tools.  The kicker was that it is also a hybrid meaning you can use an extension cord too.  The price was $99.00 so I bought it.

If you already have the battery and charger you can get this trimmer for as low as $29.00.   I already did but the store didn’t offer the trimmer only so I went ahead and bought the set.

Assembly was easy.  All you have to do is attach the guard and the handle.  You only need a phillips head screwdriver.  I put the battery in the charger and gave it some time to charge.

When it was ready, I went outside and tested it out.  I immediately found a few cons:

1.  It is kind of wimpy.  I kind of expect that from a battery powered trimmer so I was not really surprised.  Even though it is wimpy, it is still effective so I’ll let that go.  I plugged in the extension cord and was delighted to see that it was far more powerful running on regular power.  I will probably use the battery most of the time since my trimming is pretty simple.  The convenience of not needing an extension cord kind of make up for the lack of power in battery mode.

2. The string that it comes with is very small.  Unless it is made of really strong plastic I think I will be burning through it pretty quickly.  I’m going to see if I can use thicker string when that time comes.

3. The trimmer seems to feed line out every time you turn it on whether it needs it or not.  You can hear it hitting the blade that trims it to length.  Bad engineering!  Bad!  Unless you are selling trimming string and want people to buy a lot of it.  This pretty much sucks.  Smart designers would make it to where it only feeds line when you tap it on a surface like they used to do.  This was a perfect mechanism that didn’t need to be improved on.

I’m going to keep it anyway.  I think it is good enough and I like the hybrid power thing.  Maybe I can replace the head so it can use better string and not waste it.  I’m not sure I can recommend it to regular people though.

Hey Ryobi.  The next time you build something, run it by me first and I’ll make sure it is engineered correctly.

 

An old desire resurfaces

dsreI have but one lifetime goal.  I want to retire early and move to a small town in Colorado where the weather is cold and dry.  I have it picked out but I’m not telling you where because I want it to stay a small town.

I have no common-man desire for a wife and children.  I don’t want a big mansion and a fancy car.  I don’t want a lot of extra money.

I just want to not have to go to work every day and I want to be comfortable.  I’ve worked my life away already for 27 years and I’m tired. I’m ready for the rest one gets when he doesn’t have to work for a living.  A few days, a week, a month, a year off is just not enough.  I took 10 months off between jobs and it was nice but it only lasted a few days.

My current job requires that I take a whole week off at one time.  I don’t have anywhere I wanted to go.  I asked an acquaintance to go on a cruise with me but she is currently locked in a bad situation.  Cruises are not for single people or you have to pay double the price.  Who’s idea was that?

I came up with the idea of going to visit my Colorado town again and look at land.  I’ve seen a number of lots that look good on Zillow and it stirred the old desire up to the surface again.

I had recently come up with the plan to chuck the job and everything in 2020 when I hit my 5 year mark and get all the retirement money the company contributes to my account.  Before then I only get what I put in.  Even 4 years from now is really far off when you consider going to work every day.

Financially, I could pull it off.  Retiring at 51 is early for most folk.  But I have planned for it all my life.  When I was a little kid I promised myself I would retire at 50 and technically, I could do it.

I have one big problem.  Mom.  In 2020 she will be 90 years old.  Still spry but needing my assistance around the house for upkeep.  Can I tell her that I’m leaving the state??  Who does that?   Yeah, people do that to their parents all the time but they are immoral bastards.  The world is full of them.  That’s why it sucks so much.

What happens if she lives to be 100?  She is healthy enough to do it.  I’ll be 61.  Still relatively young but older than I want to be for starting a new life.  What if my health fails.  My back already makes it difficult to do some things.  How am I supposed to build my dream house if I am virtually crippled?  Maybe I’ll be OK if I take it easy for the next 5-10 years.

What happens if I have to live in San Antonio for 15 more years.  I can’t see how that could happen without something dreadful happening to myself.  It would take an amazing amount of mental control and denial.  If you’re not Mexican, living in San Antonio is worse than Hell.   If you are Mexican, then it is the top tier of Heaven.

I could move to a nearby small town in Texas but it is still unbearably hot.  I would still have to move to Colorado later so is it worth it to move twice?  If I am going to live in hell I might as well work and make maximum money until the time comes.

What if I just gave it up?  Suppose I just destroy my only goal in life.  What is the point of living then?  Can I just allow myself to merely exist and blow like dust in the wind?  I guess there are a lot of people who live that way.  What makes me so special?  Just because I am the creator of the known universe doesn’t give me any special rights does it?

What if I chose the Dust in the Wind option?   I’ve pretty much been doing that all my life as it is.  I never set out with any other goal anyway.  Eventually I will achieve it, just not on my own terms.  This is insanely frustrating.  Breathe….Breathe…..  Think of nothing.  Nothingness is good.  Nothingness is calm and everlasting.

 

Where is everybody?

evrbdySo where is everybody?

I drive to work every morning through mind-numbing traffic.  I answer calls from people all day.  I drive home though the same traffic.  I watch the news full of idiots.

I’m surrounded by billions of people but where are they?  Where are the people?  I sit here in the darkness every night watching TV until I go to bed.  Alone.  Where is everyone?  What are they doing?  Where are they going?  Are these figments of my imagination real or just figments?   They’re everywhere but nowhere.  I walk the neighborhood in the evening and see nobody.  Where are they?

Where is everyone?

 

Memory – My secret Indulgence – Teddy Ruxpin

tdyrxpnBack sometime when I was in High School, I discovered The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin.  A cartoon for little kids based on the technoogical teddy bear that told stories.  Pretty high-tech for the 80’s.

I was way to old to be watching this cartoon but I saw it once and it captured me.  I had a VCR and small TV in my bedroom and I set it to record whenever it came on (Probably during school hours) and secretly watched it in the evenings.   I never told anyone obviously.

I liked the characters and the stories.  I still like cartoons.  I’m surprised it is not currently showing on any of the million channels we now get.  I thought about it the other day and went to look on the internet.  I found the entire series complete in one set of 10 DVDs for $19.00 on eBay.   Totally worth it so I bought it.

It’s not exactly high definition video but we didn’t have that back then.  I appears to be a pretty good transfer from a videotape source.  Every once in a while the music goes wierd.  I converted the whole set to MP4s using Handbrake and sharpened the video a bit.  The result was a nicely watchable series.

I’m watching the whole thing when time allows and am enjoying it just as much as I did back in the 80s.   Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.