Friday, April 28, 2006

Land Barons

I knew there was something else I forgot to blog about.

Silly me.

Geo and I bought land up in the Poconos.

Eee-yep, we are land owners now.

We own 3/4 an acre of deer roaming tree fallen wooded land.

It ain't pretty now. But, in time, in time.

Lord help me and hand me a chainsaw.

Time for a new Blog

Okay, I see a growing trend.

Time to create a new blog dedicated solely to my learning the bass and all the wonderment it brings.

Now, to think of a snappy title ...

Dinks circa October 2004

C'mon buddy, I got other tables to wait on.  What the @%#& do you want to order?
Our baby aspiring to be the next Flo at Mel's.

Easing on the tempo

Okay, I admit it. A tempo of 100 bps is killing me.

I had to drop it down to 80.

Before you think I am a total wimp, let me just tell you now that I am up to fretting.

No, dearest SID, I won't fret over it.

I'm only fretting the second fret to an A on the 1st string. But doing it in 100 is just messing me up too much. Okay, I'M messing it up too much. So, I'm dropping it down. Once my coordination improves, so will my speed, I'm sure. Then we can kick it back up to 100.

One of my lessons has me switching from low A (open 3rd string) to an open 1st string (which is G) and fretting the A. This seemingly pathetic lesson to accomplished bassists is not only teaching me simple fretting, but it is helping me read my bass notes better.

Is anyone bored by this?

Anyone, anyone?


Fine, I'll post about the Dinks next. That always keeps some interest, I hope.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Maidink practicing the bass

I've figured how to read the music bar. I was so used to treble that switching to bass was a little tough. But I did it. Cool.

The practice piece is 16 measures long. It's pretty easy. It's all open strings (no fretting). Fine.

The beat is 4/4 for each measure. For those who don't know what that means, it's 4 beats per measure and each beat is a quarter note. Easy.

The tempo is 100. That's 100 beats per minute. No prob.

Set the trusty metronome up and begin.

Now, I have to count out the beats as I am hitting the strings. So, I have to say "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc." til the end of the piece. Goody.

I can only use fingers 1 and 2. That would be 1 is the pointer and 2 is the middle. And you must alternate. 1, 2, 1, 2, etc. Cakewalk.

Here is go.

1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 41, 2


Start again.

1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 23, 4


It's not just the tempo I keep screwing up, it's the alternating of the finger plucking.

1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, ,1 ... crap

This goes on for over 30 minutes.

This happens each time.

I admit, the duration is getting longer and longer between mistakes. If I can complete the piece ten times in a row without a mistake, I know I've pretty much mastered it.

The next step is fretting.

Then I get to do the mistakes all over again.


Okay, more interesting post later.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tagged by SNICKS

Lovely. Thank you, Snickers.

Okay ... ready ... steady ... GO!

1. Reveal six weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag six people.
2. Leave a "You're Tagged!" comment to let the people you have tagged know they have to reveal six things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be their fault).
3. Leave a comment HERE to let me know when you have completed your mission.


1) I'll turn on the TV, mute it, and then turn on the radio. I have no reasoning for this one.

2) It's a weird habit I know everyone does: turn down the car radio when you are either looking for an address or you are rolling up to a toll booth. Like turning down the radio is gonna help you find an address quicker. C'mon, I know you do it, don't lie.

3) I can not sleep at night until all closet doors are closed. Booga-booga!

4) No matter where I go, I carry some sort of pocketknife/pocket tool with me (unless it's Jury Duty where knives are a no-no).

5) I am always cold. ALWAYS. Ask Geo. My hands? Perpetually frozen. Feeling my hands, you'd think I was a corpse. I freeze in A/C. The weird part is I hate hot weather. Give me cold weather anytime. I swear I'm part lizard. I have to sun myself on a rock all day just to stay warm at night.

6) I love burnt toast. It's totally yum to me. Waitresses/waiters think I'm insane (well, I am) when I request my toast at breakfast to be burnt. Toast, bagels, waffles, just chuck'em in the fire for me!


I'm sorry, but the Blogosphere will have to explode. I don't believe in tagging. Do this if you must, but you have to leave a comment stating you did as such. If not, your keyboard will miraculously become laced with LSD and you'll trip for a month!

Monday, April 24, 2006

My buddies in Baltimore MD are homeless thanks to Mother Nature

Show of hands, who remembers the thunderstorms that ripped through our area this morning?

Whoa! Feel the breeze from those hands flyin' through the air.

Now, those storms first decided to do a little damage down in Baltimore MD before they made their way to PA. And that damage was sending a bolt of lightning down to strike our friends', Vince and Shell's, home last night.

Their second floor was completely torched. And the rest of the house sustained major water damage. Add on the fact that the rain is still coming through the area and they're looking at some serious hard times ahead of them.

Shell lost her dad and step dad only two years ago. Her mom passed away over eight years ago. She had all of her parents' photos, memorabilia, furniture, etc. in the house. And now she has nothing left of her mother, her father, or step-dad.

Of all the things that can be destroyed in a house fire, photos and trinkets from relatives long since passed on are the worst to lose. And I know all about that first hand.

If you check out the flickr thingy I have in my sidebar, you'll see who I'm talking about. They are the ones whose son was just married this past December.

Please send prayers and positive thoughts their way.

The metronome - a must for all of those who are tempo challenged

I suck at keeping a beat.


I mean, I know my notes and rests. Lord knows I know how to count (I'd hope so being in accounting).

But I can't keep the beat going.

So, like all aspiring bass players, I bought one of these ...
Isn't it nifty? I see the jaws droppin' from here. Truth be it known, I really wanted one of these ...

Wittner GmbH & Co Series 803 Metronome
But at a price tag of USD$80? Ummm, I'll take cheap over asthetic for now.

Friday, April 21, 2006

It's CRIBROCK - a whole new meaning to "And the Cradle Will Rock"

Ever notice a lot of the soothing baby music available on CD's today can give either give you an instant migraine or cause drooling mind numbness?

Drool no more!!

The best, I mean BEST, CD's to play in today's nursery come from the CRIBROCK series.

Where the heck were these CD's when the Dinks was born?!

Oh yeah, they weren't produced until 2004 and 2005. Figures.

Now, there are currently only two volumes. The first is FULL METAL DIAPER. It's pure baby friendly 80's metal. The other is ST. ELMO'S PACIFIER. This one is all 80's pop set to happy baby-friendly tones.

My fave is Crazy Train on CRIBROCK: FULL METAL DIAPER.

If you know someone, anyone, who just had a little one, or you need a cool baby shower gift, GET THESE CD'S!!!

Sidenote: As far as I know, you can NOT purcahse these CD's in a conventional music store. They are on-line only via their website.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Obligatory Dink photo

You gotta love a little kid in an peep egg carton bonnet.

It's a bass thing

Yes, SID, I am alive.

No, Fran, I was not offed by a giant chocolate bunny.

I've actually been practicing on the bass nightly. Once the Dinks is settled in her state of slumber, I grab the Ibanez and my Hal Leonard books and practice practice practice. That has taken away from my blogging and other internet based duties.

I am now developing the notorious calluses on my left hand fretting finger tips and my right hand plucking finger tips. I am telling you exactly how the calluses are developing since I know just saying "I'm getting calluses now on my fingertips" would leave some with odd minds to think of how the calluses occured.

I have grown very fond of my bass guitar. I love the way it feels and the tones it produces. I would like to take lessons, but I'll stick with the self-taught methods for now.

I still have my Squier Strat with which I do practice. I have noticed playing the six-string has become easier. I wonder why? Could it be I don't have someone insisting I learn classical guitar on a dreadnaught first and refusing to let me buy a guitar I really want? Or that I'm actually learning in small proper steps as opposed to learning classical theory which assumes you actually know how to read music quickly? Or I'm learning how to do it on my level and I don't feel intimidated, or scared of doing it wrong? Or that I now see it as fun rather than a chore conducted by a tyrant? Yes, my late husband insisted on controlling everything in my life, even my hobbies. Anywho, playing the Squier is a more pleasant experience this time around.

Sorry about the rant.

But, yes, I love my bass guitar. And that's why blogging has hit a sort of blockade. I'll still blog. No worries on that.

One thing, though, is I am selling my Guild Starfire III. It's a gorgeous deep dark green hollow-body guitar. I'll post pics later. Though it is a gorgeous piece, I don't feel comfortable playing it. It's probably E-bay bound.

What will I do with the proceeds? Well, I doooooo have something in mind ...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter levity

Hee-hee-hee, I love this one.

Easter Stuff this weekend

Geo has off today, tomorrow, and Sunday. That's his first free weekend in over a month.

The Dinks has off from school today.

I'm in work.

*rolls eyes*

Easter Egg hunt and Spring Bonnet parade yesterday at Dinks' daycare (post pics later). Geo attended this one. It was the first time anyone at Dinks' daycare even met him. The parade was more organized than the Halloween debacle. At least the kids actually paraded around the parking lot.

Then came the hunt. That was funny.

It was told to me by a very good source (Geo) that the little ones in Dinks' class were actually plotting to push the big kids out of the way of the eggs and candy. Plotting! These are three year olds and they were practicing by running into the wall and pushing while yelling, "Move!" Geo and Dinks teacher were telling them, "No! you don't do that." It was futile. The little runs scrambled, crawled, and looted. They got the lion's share. The big kids got squat.

I gave Dinks the "it's better to share" talk. She gave some candy away. That made me fell a little better.

Now it's time to make baskets, dye eggs, hide eggs, pray I remember where the damn eggs are hid, go to church, and have Easter Sunday supper at my brother's home.

I'm sure there are other things I have to do. Darned if I remember what they are.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter

To my friends of the Jewish faith, shalom aleichem.

To my friends of the Christian faith, Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

White couple wanting to adopt their black foster child denied!

Only because I, too, was adopted does this piece of local news really hit home to me.

Local Couple Sues Over Denied Adoption

This black three year old child has been with his white foster family for the majority of his life. The family loves him and wants to adopt him as their son. Not only was the adoption denied, but the child was taken away from his family in what can only be described as a traumatic scene.

The reason:

Chester County in PA has a law about adoption on the books. There can not be more than one a year. Funny thing is, not one official from Chesco can provide written proof of the policy, or even proof of where the policy was ever enforced. (source)

And it is true the couple did just recently adopt a child.

That child was a niece.

Fine! Don't let them adopt the boy. Make them wait a year, if need be. But for Christ's sake, why make the child a victim by taking him away from the only family he has ever known?

If you ask me, that sounds like state sanctioned child abuse.

The couple is now suing the county to get their little boy back. They are stating that the adoption denial, coupled with the removal of their son, was racial motivated.

With all the information that is available on the case, I can't say I disagree.

"Maidink's World" Updates

Where to begin, where to begin.

Oooo, I got it.

The Dinks! She should always be first. I mean, she is "she who must be obeyed". The cute little tyrant.

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We have the phone number for a neurologist to check out her headache problem. She must be bucking for the "Most Specialists Seen in One Year" award. That award is normally won by people over the age of 68. That aside, it seems three doses of Tylenol did the trick last week. In response to everyone's thought on Imitrex for toddlers, the answer is "I have no friggin clue". I guess we'll get a more sound answer once we see the neurologist. Of course, I have to actually call to make the appointment.

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Moving on, I went to another otolaryngologist last week in regards to my increasingly poor hearing. After being tested by an audiologist, the results are I have otosclerosis. And it's hereditary and it mostly affects women (sorry, Dinks). I actually knew I had otosclerosis from the last otolaryngologist I visited; so, this was nothing new. This doctor, however, at least suggested what I can do to improve my life a touch.

I need a hearing aid. Just one, mind you. It would be for my left ear where I can't hear low tones worth a scrap. My right ear seems to be fine which the doc quickly added, "... for now."

I'm getting the one that fits in the ear. The glasses stop me from getting over the ear. I just bought them, dammit!

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Since we seem to be stuck on the broad subject of health, both Dinks and I have dental appointments next week. Mine is a check-up. And I have to be fitted for a night guard. Yes, I grind my teeth. Dink's visit is her first and this dentist does NOT allow the parent to accompany the child during the visit. As much as I don't like that idea, I must agree on their reasoning: parents are distractions. We are, actually. Removing us from the dental visit allows the child to concentrate more and I tend to agree with this. Then we have my neighbor who told me she took her kid there and "they needed three people to hold him down". Her kid has some "problems", so I can see how the incident could have occurred. Be as it may, I'll abide by the rule.

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Geo is still alive, but he hasn't done anything blogworthy. Maybe next time.

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Dink's little class at daycare has a pet. It's a beta fish. They named the poor thing "Tuna Fish Sandwich".

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Dinks is still playing her keyboard (pffffttttt to you, Spikey).

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I went and bought an Ibanez electric bass guitar package. Remember I asked everyone's opinion on the subject of "should I, shouldn't I". Jade, who is the professional, suggested I concentrate on the free six string before I put out the cash for a four string. It's not that I ignored Jade's advice. On the contrary, I took it to heart. And I know she understands the underlying passion a person may have towards the performing arts. I have had this passion for as long as I can remember with no real support (other than my late husband but even his support was minimal). I am bound and determined to know the bass in every aspect possible. I may not be headlining at the Tweeter Center in Camden or the Tin Angel on Second Street, but I will practice as if I am going to someday.

I'm still using the six string. For some odd reason, playing it seems to be clicking more now than it did before. Go figure.

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Dinks loves accompanying me when I practice. She runs out of the room and comes back with her Wiggles Wiggly guitar and rocks out like she's Jimmy Page. That had me a bit concerned that she might want a guitar now. That would convert the keyboard to our newest space for putting folded laundry. I asked her yeaterday, "Dinky, do you want a guitar like Mommy's guitar?" She looked at me and said, quite seriously, while waving her little hands, "I have a Wiggles guitar. That's all. I don't need a guitar." Whew!

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Dinks said to me the other night, while she was sitting at her keyboard, "Mommy get your guitar and we'll jam." That's my girl. Of course, I have no clue where she picked up that phrase.

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My nan hated Little House on the Prairie. "Everyone cries in that damn show" she would say. And it was true, every episode had someone crying.

Angelina Ballerina is my "Little House on the Prairie". Every single episode of that cartoon has either Angelina or her brother or some other friggin rodent crying ... without fail! It drives me up a wall.

Last night, when the show came on, I heard Dinks yelling out, "Mommy, they're crying again." See? Even my kid notices it.

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Dinks has finally fallen victim to marketing.

Has anyone seen the adverts for "Huggies Cleanteam"? There is this mule named Molly and she is a mitt. Molly jumps on the screen and talks, and then we watch a child getting a bath and being all excited that he can get done all by himself. Well, when we went food shopping and Dinks saw Molly, we had to get it. It was relatively cheap so I thought no big deal. All throughout the store, she told EVERYONE that she had Molly. She was so excited over these disposable bath mitts. Now, getting her to take a bath is no longer a challenge. She can't wait to use "the Cleanteam".

I'm not happy that it took the advert to get her into such a mode, though. That means Christmas this year will be "Mommy-Daddy-I-want-this-and-this-and-etc".

Oh joyous noel.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Caught! I'm actually here at work

And they even have proof.

I know it's not a good picture - it doesn't do the highlighting job or my cut justice.

But at least I got one on here.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What the hell! Can't I catch a break?

Dinks has a migraine. I'm positive on this one. She claims her eye hurts really bad and that she wants to sleep. Well, not really sleep as much as to stay in a dark room with her head down and eyes closed.

She also barfed three times last night.

No need for a 10 year degree for this one.

Besides, her eye doctor warned me about this. I took it to heart because I suffer from migraines.

One person, who took her child to see the same doctor, said, "He told me the same thing about my little one. I argued with him. I never went back." This person also argues with everyone, so I took what she said with a grain of salt.

Well, it seems in my case, the doc was spot on.

Oh yeah, and my head still hurts as well.

I know, I know ... "want some cheese with your whine?"

Bite me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Me head hurted

Sinuses. I'm in pain.

I'll do a real post tomorrow. For now, I want to go home and sleep.

I'll make Dinks drive home. It's about time she learned. Okay, there is that "height" thing; nothing that some wood blocks taped to the pedals can't cure.

Oh, she'll get a kick out of it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Did Wawa change their coffee?

I guess this post is for locals only. Locals being defined as residents of the Mid-Atlantic states.

It's for locals who drink coffee. Non-coffee drinkers would have no clue.

It's for locals who drink coffee and frequently drink Wawa coffee. Frequent meaning more than once a week.

Now that I have all that established ...

... is it just me or has Wawa changed their roast?

I used to love Wawa coffee, the operative words here being used to. Lately, it tastes a bit off. I can't figure out the difference. I mean, it doesn't taste like "Wawa coffee" anymore.

And it seems odd the purported change in flavor is coinciding with their "Get Caught with the New Cup" contest. Did Wawa change their roast, not tell us, and did the cup promo so we would still drink it anyway?

Has anyone else noticed the difference, or am I losing my mind?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Morning drives with the Dinks

My child is a space case. She can stare off into space and I swear it takes a voice above 80 dBs to bring her back to Earth. In the car, I am constantly checking the child safety mirror to make sure she's even in the backseat.

Of course, there are the times she.just.won't.shut.up.

Today was both.

The morning commute started off with her brain well past Pluto. I yelled her name a couple of times. When she finally snapped out of it, she looked at me and said "What?"

She's practicing to be a teenager, I know it.

I then regretted snapping the child out of her self-induced hypnosis. My gosh. She just kept yapping about anything and everything.

Then there is the "point out everything we see and let the world know what it is" thingy. With each thing she saw, she would announce her discovery. My job was to acknowledge.

"Mommy, there's a slhrfnwealewio." I just say "Really?!" when I can't understand her. It saves her the trouble of her repeating since I probably won't understand her the second time anyway.

"Mommy, that's a square." That's any random square object.

"Is that a square there, Dink?"

"Nooooooo. That is a cloud machine." That can be any random smokestack or Limerick nuclear power plant.

"Mommy, there's a tiger." Tiger Schilman Karate. We pass it every morning. She says that and I growl. She gets a giggle out of it.

"Mommy, there's a fish." That would be the Bonefish Grill. And it's not just a fish, but a dead fish. Sorry, folks, but anyplace that uses a fish skeleton as it's mascot won't see me in their dining room.

"Mommy, a bird. I have to shoot it!"


"You have to shoot it, sweetie?"

"Yeah! Shoo! Shoo!"

Ohhhh, shoo the bird! For moment I pictured my child putting a feathered being in crosshairs.

"Mommy, it's Bob the Builder!" Part of the road we travel is being widened. When we drive through the construction zone, Dinks shouts out Bob the Builder at the glimpse of all construction vehicles. It's about a seven mile stretch. That's a lot of shout outs.

This morning, I decided to play along in a sing-song loudish voice.

"Mommy, it's Bob the Builder!"

"You're right, Dink! It is! Dink, can we build it?!"


What? That's not the right answer.

Again, with more enthusiasm.

"Dink, can we fix it?!"



"Mommy, I don't want to talk now so you be quiet."


So much for playing along.

Then, she's back in space again. Someday, I want to visit wherever she goes to. It must be nice. She goes there a lot.


Now the iPod is working.

It's Franken-iPod!

Thank goodness I didn't flush it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The iPod ... it is no more

I don't know if I ever told you this but I am rather, um, er, how to say it, "rough" on high ticket items.

Take my iPod for example.

It's dead.

I don't know how or whatever, but I killed it.

The folder with exclamation point keeps popping up. Couple that with a hard drive that spins and stops, spins and stops.

No amount of resets will help it now. It's hopeless.

Damn thing's too big to flush down the toilet.

And I just uploaded all of my DMB.

This sucks.

I knew this was going to happen. I should have saw it coming.

It all started with my niece G wanting a video iPod and me thinking, "Wow, I'd like one."


Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Weekend by Maidink

Errands, hanging with the Dinks, Geo working, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda

I know, what a ripping post.

I'll blog later if something interesting happens.

Sorry, no April Fool's jokes today. I was never any good at them.

And pics are coming shortly, I promise.