July 11th, 2014

NASA_bighead

Band Experiment was some WIN mostly FAIL

Took the newly bought battered old Euphonium to band practice tonight. In the past I have only played baritone horns, which look very much the same, lay the same music, but the euphonium has a wider set of tubes.

The first FAIL is my best mouthpiece is too small. It did not make a good seal. I'm not sure, but I think this is an error in the building of the horn - I'll look it up tomorrow, but trombone, baritone and euphonium are supposed to all take the same size mouthpiece. The way too wide mouthpiece which came with it, OTOH, fit, but was too large - it did not go in as far as I expect. But it made a good seal and the tone was noticeably better.

And that's the main WIN. This horn sounds fantastic. When I can get the notes out. Much purer tone, rounder, more mellow. More, well, euphonious.

But that's the problem. The horn does not comfortably fit my body. I struggled all night and could not find a position in which I could play it, see the music, see the conductor, and be comfortable. Got a cramp in my thighs after an hour. The position of the mouthpiece stem is too low for me to sit the horn on my lap. I had to either put a hand under it, or go on tiptoe to raise my leg enough.

Another similarly shaped euphonium player has made a device from plastic plumbing pipe and duct tape which props his horn up to the right height while the pipe sits on the seat of the chair, between his legs. Don't want to go there.

Another WIN is the position of the valves relative to my fingers means I push the down straight, so they don't stick. All my baritones' 1st valves stick, because I push them down at an angle. I could get that fixed, if I could find a competent repair person. The only one I knew closed up shop 2 years ago.

So though it has a superior sound, and the valves are smooth, it will get sold, and I'll go back to the 4-valve baritone. :-(

Nothing to report from work.

My first choice (because it's closest) cat boarding place did not have space for when I'm going away. Can't use a pet sitter because Domino leaves surprises all over the place, unpredictably. In a cage with a litter box that gets cleaned daily, she will be fine that way.

Drove all the way to the Sunnyvale PetSmart because their ad said they board cats, but no, they only board dogs.  But the Mountain View one does, I called them, they had space, and for $7 a night less than Kaluah, my first choice. And what sounds like better care. So she is booked.

Home, looked for Domino's vaccination records, I could have sworn I took her top a Petco weekend clinic about 6 months ago, but research on Quicken showed that was for Kaan. I gave those docs to the Humane Society when I gave him up.

Last October when she was groomed at VCA they gave her a rabies shot, but no FV&L because she was an all-indoor cat. The boarding place of course requires FV&L because she will be near other cats. Found her last one, was a 1-year dose, 2 years ago. :-(

So I'll take her in this weekend to Petco's affordable clinic. Her rabies is good till October, but they may want to give her the whole bundle, which is fine, and good for 3 years. If she lives that long. Found her adoption papers, and it looks like as close as they could figure it, come October she will be 18.

Enough for now. No plans for tomorrow except work. Good night.