I once dreamed of playing the accordion for fun and profit. I was attracted to the instrument by its weirdness. It groans and sighs and hisses in anger to produce music the way that wealthy Republicans make laws in the House. And if you squeeze them the wrong way they make a very, very foul noise — just ask any prostitute after the Republican Party’s convention.
What dumbfounds me about accordions is how difficult they are to play well. Your left hand and right hand play different parts of the music, and do so in a different way (keys on the right, buttons on the left). The music is also written so that, in the bass clef, notes below C are the chords you play, and notes above are the individual notes. This is in addition to playing the melody written on the treble clef with your right hand. You also have to squeeze the bellows, and ensure that your phrasing is such that you don’t get caught fully extended and needed to reverse direction at the wrong time.
I came to it late, and gave it up after a couple of years. I hit a plateau, and decided I was not going to invest the time necessary to go beyond that level of skill.
Which brings me to my recital in 2007. About half-way through, if you can bear to listen that long, you’ll see how to embarrass yourself before a live audience in a place of worship, with no place to hide.
I recently had an altercation with another parent at a soccer match. The kind that brings the officials, the tournament marshal, and all the other parents into the melee. It’s all fun and games, they say, until someone loses an eye.
We lead reasonably safe, secure lives here in America. But in the past few weeks, the shit has hit the fan more than once. The first time was figuratively when the Chechen-American terrorists bombed Boston, and the second time quite literally when a fertilizer factory exploded, destroying much of a town. If your world changed . . . → Read More: What Would You Save From Your House in Case of Catastrophic Disaster?
The meaning of life — it’s a big scary question. There are billions of stars in the galaxy, and billions of galaxies. So what about poor little us, quietly abusing our planet? What matters us, and, more importantly, what matters me? Why am I here?
For the few people who read my blog regularly, you may know that I try to be funny. I haven’t blogged a lot lately because I’ve been working on a novel, but my resolution this year was to be more consistent with humorous writing, especially over at my other web site, Dying Is Easy. Comedy . . . → Read More: How to Not Be Funny
I had to deal with a flooded car today, something I haven’t done in decades. I thought the widespread inclusion of fuel injected engines made flooded cars a thing of the past. I learned how to fix them, and this article explains it all.
But first, some background:
I grew up surrounded by some real . . . → Read More: Flooded Car
Michigan has had its share of road rage and highway shootings over the years. Traffic circles were introduced partially in response to that, and have three simple rules: yield to any car already in the circle, drive in the same direction as the other cars, and enter at your own risk. The number of deaths . . . → Read More: Off The On Ramp
I recently went to a Meijer’s grocery store near Kalamazoo, Michigan. If you’re not familiar, Meijer’s is notorious for carrying everything–it’s a super store with all manner of goods and groceries–and for low prices. It’s also notorious for the clientele it attracts, but they are not all bad. Now I think I’m one of the . . . → Read More: The Mos Eisley Cantina in the Pirate City of Kalamazoo on the Planet Michigan