Dreamer’s World June 01, 2018 – Happiness Is Getting Caught Up In Something Fun

    Friday is here at last. After work yesterday, I found a used Yamaha keyboard on Craigslist and made arrangements to purchase it. Since I was waiting for my guitar to come back from the shop yesterday, I wasn’t able to go to get the keyboard and had to make the plan to get it this afternoon once work is over with for the week. It turned out to be for the best because we had some ferocious thunderstorms that rolled through the area yesterday at the time I would have been traveling to get the keyboard anyway. I would not have enjoyed being stuck in DMV traffic at rush hour with blinding rain and lightning.
    The guitar was delivered after the storm had passed, and it works just fine. Hal and I made a short trip out to get cash for today and then we had a quick dinner. The rest of the evening was spent here at home without incident.
    Once I finish with work this afternoon, weather permitting, I will call the keyboard seller and make final arrangements to meet them and pick up the keyboard.
 
    This is a picture and video of the keyboard that I am getting later today. It is a Yamaha YPG-235. The only drawback is that it is only a 76-key keyboard as opposed to a full 88-key keyboard, but for $200 I am getting the lightly used instrument, a stand and pedal so this is a great deal. I will save several hundred dollars by making this purchase. I can always upgrade at a later time if I choose to.
    Hal and I will be making the trip of about 25 miles to get the keyboard, and then we will probably stop and have dinner somewhere on the way home. A Friday dinner out is something of a routine for us since Hal has to work tomorrow and Sunday. I will have time over the weekend to get familiar with the keyboard as well as practice my guitar playing.
    I am looking forward to this weekend more than most weekends, if only because I will have the chance to surround myself with music and the chance to learn even more for the first time in many years. I know that one of the things I will do is try to locate some songs online that I can learn on the keyboard as well as continue my work on guitar songs I want to play.
    I plan to make music a much more central part of my life, I wasn’t sure that was even possible until recently when I stopped my heave social media usage. I found that I have more time to be myself and not be responding all the time to other people, and it is a liberating feeling.
    

Dreamer’s World May 31, 2018 – Never Enough Music In My Life

    I have written a lot about learning to play the guitar. It has given me focus on everything in my life and also provided me with tons of enjoyment. The entire process has also made me think more about other aspects of music that I want to either learn or get back into. The most important of these is piano. I played piano for years when I was younger, and now I find myself seriously thinking about purchasing a good keyboard to start playing once again.
    Thankfully, keyboards are much smaller than actual pianos. They do provide more features than a piano would, and they are less expensive. I am subconsciously making certain to save up some money to buy a keyboard in the next few months. I think that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. More music will keep me at home, and that will mean less money being spent when I go out.
    I have been researching keyboards, and there are several for around $500 that interest me. I can pick them up at the local Guitar Center store when I decide to make the purchase. I consider music as an investment because it certainly keeps me active and enthusiastic about things. I have often thought about taking up piano once again, but there was always some reason why I put it off.
    I also began checking Craigslist to find any keyboards for sale, and there are several bargains listed. Of course, bargain is a tricky word to use when shopping on CL, I might contact one of the sellers and try to get a feel if they are legitimate or not.
    A series of phone messages has convinced me that I can deal with one of the Craigslist people. Hal and I will go tomorrow after work to pick up the keyboard and will save over $300 with the deal. I would prefer to have made the deal today, but since I am waiting for a guitar to be ready at the shop, it is best to wait until after work Friday. At least it means that the weekend will be off to a good start for me.
    There can never be too much music in my life!

Dreamer’s World May 30, 2018 – Happiness Is Being Creative

    Once again, I am attempting to start and finish a blog post. I have slipped over the holiday weekend and not been posting things that I actually write myself. I still a posting articles that interest me, and hopefully also interest my readers, but it is time to get back to writing for myself.
    For some reason, I am drawn to the topic that Snoopy And The Gang brought to my attention, and that is being creative. I like some personal flair in my writing, and in my life in general. Creativity is what makes things worth doing in the first place.
    I found out that practicing guitar is something that I really enjoy because I can see the slow progress each day. I know that I am getting better, and that gives me the confidence to keep practicing. My technique is getting better each day, and the callouses are appearing on my fingertips. Although the callouses are tender, I know that they will develop over time and the pain will go away to be replaced by the joy of hearing myself create music.
    Since Hal and I are going to see the new Star Wars movie this evening, I should probably end this post now. I can send it out and feel a sense of accomplishment for the day, and that is something creative that I will have done for today.

Dreamer’s World May 07, 2018 – Jumping Back Into Things

    After another far-too-short weekend, I am starting Monday at work with a lot on my mind. I am still hoping that my friend and his wife are coping with her cancer as well as they can. I am already knee-deep in work this morning, trying to get ahead of things before the usual tsunami of other tasks starts to arrive later on.
    Hal and I are going to see the new Avengers movie this week. Wednesday will be the day, thankfully we can walk to the theater if the weather is nice. It is one of the perks of living here in the new apartment. We will not have to cross any major highways to get to the theater, and it’s less than a mile from us.
    I took the plunge and signed up for one of the movie clubs, at least this will give us discounts on tickets and concessions when we go to the movies. This is something that we haven’t done in years because we always lived too far away from any theater. The Cinemark theater near us has reclining plush seats and this makes watching the movie less uncomfortable for both of us. Getting older is a bitch, we don’t go out as often anymore because we value our time here at home and also, our sleep.
    Having a theater within walking distance is just one of the benefits of the new apartment. There is plenty to do nearby, within walking distance, but there is not a lot of traffic to make it difficult to get to any of those places. As the weather improves, I am sure that I will get out and explore even more around this neighborhood.
    The day passed without major incident. I managed to stay awake through a conference call that ran 30 minutes past my normal quitting time because of people on the West Coast and their schedules. I was still able to get Hal to work on time.
    The evening while Hal was at work consisted of me working on a song with my guitar as a part of my practice routine. I like to be able to play a song by learning it chord by chord. Tonight I began working on “Island In The Sun” by Weezer. It is not that difficult of a song to learn, so I am trying it out. This has turned into an excellent day.

Dreamer’s World April 30, 2018 – Letting Go Of An Old Friend And Welcoming A New Addition To The Family

I first started seriously focusing on learning to play guitar about 2 years ago. The first guitar I got was via the Home Shopping Network on an impulse buy.
This was the Keith Urban acoustic/electric model. It was an excellent beginner guitar and I enjoyed playing it for months. Then, I noticed that my progress hit a wall. At first I attributed this to simply being tired, but nothing improved. It wasn’t until I tried playing a left-handed guitar that I realized I had been doing this all wrong.
    Soon afterward, I purchased a Jackson electric guitar that was left-handed and resumed my practicing. The Keith Urban guitar sat in the closet and collected dust because I was no longer using it. I finally made up my mind that I needed to trade it for another guitar, but that had to wait until after we moved to the new apartment. I figured that if anything was going to get damaged, it might as well be the old unused guitar, rather than a new one.
     Yesterday, I finally traded in the Urban guitar for a new lefty Fender CD 60S, and it is a beauty.
    I feel a sense of regret about getting rid of the old guitar, but life does go on, and times change. I am looking forward to many years with the new guitar.

Dreamer’s World April 13 2018 – Time For Happy Hour And The Weekend

      I am so glad to report that I made it through this week. There have been ups and downs, but I am still here and ready for the weekend. What makes today even more special is that it will be a short day at work since the local employees from my company are holding our quarterly Happy Hour this afternoon. Since it is Friday, we always start the event earlier than most. I will be leaving at noon to travel to the event since one of the other people has organized it close to his home. We take turns changing the locations around so that we all have events close to our home and don’t have to travel as far.
    Today is also the last day at work for me before the move next week. I am taking next week off work to prepare for the big day, survive the big day, and recover from the big day, at least that is the plan right now. I know that Monday and Tuesday will be very busy around here with packing up the last items so the movers will have an easy time when next Wednesday arrives. I am looking forward to the move and looking forward even more to completing it.
    As for the guitar amplifier issue, a new one has been sent to me, and it should arrive on Monday. This is cutting things closer than I would like, but at least it should be here in time for the move. I think that the problem with the original amp I ordered was a faulty power switch. The amp would not power on at all. The power cord had a brick in the middle that has a light to indicate that there was power going through the cord, so the problem had to be with the amp itself. When I explained this to the distributor, they were more than happy to get a new one sent to me at no charge, as well as free shipping on the original amp to be returned to them.
    In addition to that problem, I still have to get my guitar restrung. I simply don’t have the time or the patience right now to do this. Last night I took the guitar to a local ship that assured me they could restring the guitar in less than 30 minutes. I sat in rush hour traffic for nearly an hour to get to the store. When I got there, the person informed me that they didn’t restring “those type of guitars” and that it would have to be sent away. I would also be charged $90 for the privilege of being without my guitar for at least a week.
    Obviously, this was not going to happen. I informed the people at the store that I was not going to conduct any further business with them because I had described my guitar in detail when I called them to ask about the repair in the first place. I will take the guitar to Guitar Center either this afternoon after Happy Hour, or more likely, tomorrow. At least I know and trust the people at the local Guitar Center. I should have gone there in the first place. Even if they cannot get the job completed right away, I won’t be waiting for a week or more, and I won’t be charged nearly as much.
    I must be feeling good this morning because I just realized how much I wrote over the last few minutes. I suppose that part of this feeling is the sense of relief that the big objective (the move) is nearly accomplished. I feel like a new beginning is here, and I am ready for it. My motivation for guitar has recently increased as you might have guessed, and I hope that will also transfer over to my writing as well.
    The day went well. The Happy Hour was a success, and I got home and still had time to get my guitar repaired at Guitar Center early in the evening. I have had a tough time sleeping because the air conditioner in this apartment is completely useless. The management says it has to be replaced, but we decided that it will wait until after we leave. We have enough chaos right now without people running all over the apartment maing more mess. There is less than a week before we move, and I will survive until then.
 
 

Dreamer’s World April 12 2018 – Ups And Downs

    We all have times when things swing from one extreme to another without any sense of us being in control. It is like waking up on a roller coaster that you don’t remember boarding in the first place, and then just being taken along for the ride. The ups and downs come at you without any preparation, and the best you can do is hang on and try to enjoy the ride.
     I have been on a roller coaster this week. Work has been busy with new tasking and also the preparation for taking next week off because of the move to the new apartment. These changes have made work much more exciting and intense this week. I have been altering my planned daily routine to accommodate things, and so far that has been working out for me.
     The apartment has been invaded by a horde of boxes as the move approaches, and the number will only increase before next Wednesday. We will be more than ready when the movers arrive Wednesday morning. Almost everything is done, that is because Hal has done such a remarkable job of getting ahead of things while I am preoccupied with work. The one last item we have will be to see about getting the keys to the new apartment the afternoon before the move so we can do a proper walkthrough of the new place before it is filled with the migrating horde of boxes and furniture.
     On the personal side, I waited for nearly a week for my new guitar amplifier to arrive. It finally appeared late yesterday afternoon, and I was extremely excited. I opened it and read through the basic instructions carefully. When I applied power to the amp, it failed to turn on. Repeated attempts to check the power cords and connections proved fruitless, so I ended up calling the distributor and letting them know what had happened. Because it was in the evening, the tech people were not available. I am waiting to hear from them sometime today.
     I fully expect either a refund or an exchange. If the option is an exchange, I will demand that the distributor open and test the replacement amp before sending it to me. Because there is the move to the new apartment to take into consideration, I will also demand expedited shipping for the replacement amp so it will arrive here before the move. If this is not an option, I will push for a refund and look elsewhere for a new amp.
     I will not have that much time for guitar practice between now and the move, and that fact depresses me. I seem to be in a motivated phase right now, and I want to practice more. I do have one amp that I can use until a new one arrives, and that will help me. Honestly, if I cannot get a satisfactory settlement with the defective amp and the distributor, I will have to light them up on Yelp and other social media, but I don’t want to resort to that. I want the amp that I purchased, or the replacement, to work correctly.
     This morning, I am still waiting to hear from the distributor about what the next step will be to correct things. I hope that the process goes smoothly and without any unpleasantness. I will not rage against them in the beginning because there are always defective products that go out by mistake, just my luck to receive one of those.