Sunday, February 25, 2018

What's with all the guitar stuff?

Yeah, I know: where's the cat stuff? 

It's has been two weeks and two days now, since we adopted Rufus.  We know we can trust him to leave him in the coach without us for a while.  No litter box "misses" - he is a clean boy.  Speaking of the litter box, no one told me about this with a boy: he eats big and he poops big.  Without getting too graphic, when Isabella pooped, it was like the little Tootsie-Roll...

Like the one at the bottom.  Rufus, on the other hand... yeah, the dollar size.  Bigger than the one at the top.  In multiples.  TMI?

We haven't been doing any walking on the leash for a couple days.  Not because of time - something scared him last time we were out, and he hasn't come to sit by me when I hold up the leash... I'm not pushing things.  All in due time.

He sleeps through most of the night.  Until it is time for breakfast - well, when he thinks it's time for breakfast... at which point he rubs his face on mine.  Enthusiastically.  Usually, it makes me chuckle; it didn't take him long to figure out the routine.

He still isn't too interested in toys, other than the orange ball track - which he whacks the hell out of.  In spite of the ruckus, it makes us smile.

So does this face...

Or, this face...

He has assumed the throne: "I am the king of all I survey..."

Still very lovey.  I hope that never changes.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Keeping track of the date...

On the carbon fiber guitar forum, there have been participants there who have received a photo calendar from Emerald Guitars - sent to buyers of 2017 Select Series Custom guitars.  My lovely X20 is from the February Select Series.

IF I were to get a calendar, I assumed it would go to our home in Texas, then hopefully get forwarded to our daughter's address here in the Phoenix area.  It was just over a year ago that my X20 was sent to me here.  And today when I went to check mail - yep, there it was...

Of course, I looked for the February Series right away... I'm especially fond of that guitar second from the right in the group shot.  ;-)

Very nice of Alistair, the owner and designer, to send this out to his Select Series owners.  Emerald has continued doing the Select Series for 2018, making more unique guitars.  They are a classy operation.

Friday, February 23, 2018


I am excited for this afternoon - we are getting together with some other folks who are carbon fiber guitar enthusiasts; looks to be about 10 or 12 of us who will be bringing our CF guitars (all brands) for some "show and tell" and the opportunity to swap for a while.

Earl, who visited us two days ago, was instrumental in making this happen.  One of the participants (who has a pretty extensive CF collection) is letting us gather at his condo.  Should be quite a few models of carbon fiber guitars to check out; and, getting the opportunity to put faces with names that I see on the carbon fiber sub-forum.

It won't be happening until mid-afternoon, but I'm hoping to have some photos to show when we get back.


On edit: a very interesting gathering.  Traffic was backed up on I-10, so we had to take surface roads across much of Phoenix to get there... we arrived right at 3:00.  I knew this wasn't going to be a public gathering, more like some friends getting together... there were 7 of us: Kramster (the guy that hosted it) and 3 couples (us included in that).  It turns out that, besides the guitars that each of us brought, Kramster has dozens of carbon fiber guitars!

On the carbon fiber forum, I've seen Kramster reply, "Yeah, I think I have one of those around here somewhere..." when almost any particular CF guitar is discussed.  I thought he was just kidding around; he wasn't.

It was a lot of fun trying a bunch of guitars that you won't find in the typical guitar shop.  We played some songs together, and spent time trying different guitars individually.  A look around...

Kramster, who hosted the gathering...

Guitars on stands, guitars on the piano, guitars on the bed, guitars in cases...

This was interesting: getting to play an original Emerald X10 woody...

It is sized between my X7 and the X20.  No idea why I'm not smiling, because it was a treat to play that guitar.  That size isn't offered by Emerald these days, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it brought back in a more modern design sometime in the future.  A couple other guitars that I haven't had a chance to play previously: Blackbird Lucky 13 and Savoy, and a Journey OF660.  That is me playing the Savoy in the first photo in this post.  The Journey OF660 is the guitar on the right in the photo above with the guitars sitting on the white furry rug - the neck detaches from the body so you can put the whole thing in a small backpack that is a legal carry-on size.

A couple ukuleles got passed around.  They are fun to play (I have one at home), but not something I'd want as my only stringed instrument.  Also once again, Alice got out her flute to accompany on a couple songs.  It was a fun three hours.  It was interesting to hear your own guitar, played by others.  Mark (in the peach colored shirt) brought his X7 and his Shorty (I guess we have similar tastes), but strung with different strings from what I use - that makes for a different tone, as well.

Before heading out, a couple group shots...

Yes, Joan was there - she was taking these photos for me.

More bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way home, but we weren't on a schedule.  Life in the big city.

Rufus was happy to see us when we got home!


On edit again: a few more photos courtesy of Kramster...

Alice playing my X7 and her flute...

Me playing Kramster's X20...

That is my X7 camera left, and the Blackbird Lucky 13 camera right.  Lots of variety.

Proof that Joan was there and taking it all in...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

In case of an actual emergency...

Joan and I were in Steph's class again today.  Time for the distance competition for their Gravity Cruisers is getting short... and there are still teams in her two science classes that have not had a successful test run of their cars.  The final competition is in one week.  Joan and I offered to come in another day next week, before the competition, to get their test runs done.

I am remembering that the kids were further ahead last year at this time, but Steph says this has been a better learning experience this year.  And that, truly, is the goal.

Near the end of the first science class, the fire alarm went off.  Steph went right into "remember what we have practiced" mode.  The kids were pretty much being kids... all of the adults clearly remembered what happened in Florida last week.  Perhaps I am being a protective Daddy, but I went out the door first to look around - as the kids filed out, I checked every house, rooftop, concrete block fence, and passing vehicle.

I am not paranoid, but I do try to be more situationally aware these days.  When driving, when parking, when going to or from the car, when coming to the door of the coach, when shopping in the mall.  I do not have my face buried in my phone.  I make eye-contact.  As the kids filed out to the perimeter of the school grounds, I stayed on a high point to look around.

They practice these drills, so the kids know where to go; in a mostly orderly fashion.  They line up so each teacher can make sure everyone in their class is out.

It turned out to be a drill today.  Being an adult amongst all these kids, we take this pretty serious.

Back into the school, and the next science class rolled in.  Due to the fire alarm, they will have a bit less time to get their cars and test runs completed today.  On the bright side, some of those who did get test runs done turned in some decent distances.  Others perhaps learned what changes they need to make to their cars to be more competitive.  Time is getting short.

When we were done at school, Joan and I went out for a late lunch, then to the mall... with the cooler than normal weather predicted to last for another week or more, I picked up a couple hot deals (after Presidents' Day) on some long sleeve shirts.

Yes, I looked around as we went from and to our car in each parking spot.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Didn't your Momma warn you about meeting people from the internet?

We had the opportunity to meet some friends today from the carbon fiber guitar forum where I spend (probably too much) time.  Earl and Alice are from Idaho and are here in the Phoenix area visiting Alice's Mother.  They took the time to come to our RV park so we could visit, make some music, and get to meet Rufus.

We spent the first hour or so getting to know each other.  Alice got to put Rufus on her lap, but he wasn't his usual social self.  Earl and Alice have cats in their family, so they understand.  Kinda like meeting someone's kids and instead of "performing," the kids get all shy.

Out for lunch to a Hawaiian BBQ place, then back to the motorhome for some guitar "show & tell" and playing the "What songs do you want to play?" game.  Fortunately, while I am older than Earl, he knows a lot of songs from my era.  And Alice plays flute, which adds a whole new dimension to the acoustic music.

Earl brought his Emerald X20 12-string, and (of course) we swapped for a while.  Very nice guitar - makes me really miss my X20.

We traded songs most of the afternoon, until the sun got low... and things cool off pretty fast here in the desert.  We said our good-byes, but we will see them again on Friday, when we're getting together with some other carbon fiber enthusiasts.

As with other folks we've met from the internet, Earl and Alice are a delight... and he is the way he writes.  The carbon fiber forum is not huge, so you get a feel for the regulars there.  I'm looking forward to more guitar fun on Friday.


Didja read the part about Rufus being "shy" above?  Joan has been laying out a quilt project (on the bed) this evening, and Rufus is laying there being sweet.  When no one else is looking.  Of course.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


This morning, Joan was feeling like Chick-fil-a for breakfast; they have little chicken bites that are quite tasty.  It was a cold start to the morning: 36º when I got up at 6:30.  Don't believe all that "hot in the desert" stuff you hear.  Bright and sunny, and only up to 40º when we went out.  In the car, Joan said, "We'll need the heat seaters this morning."  I knew what she meant: we had warm coats on, and the heated seats felt good on our backsides.  I'm good with the fact that we rarely have a need for the seat heaters.

Breakfast was good, and we made a stop at the Post Office to pick up mail on the way back.  Joan had received delivery confirmation on a package.  Inside that package...

If you can't tell what that is from the above photo... a hooded sweatshirt/harness for cats.  Seems that friend MJ didn't think Rufus's teal and black harness was "manly" enough.  For the record, he and I are secure in our masculinity.  ;-)  But, when Joan showed me this kitty-skull and cross bones, I was onboard.  It will be good for him on these chilly mornings.

Check it out...

The boy is stylin'!  I have a plain black hoodie that I'll need to wear when he and I are struttin' around the neighborhood.



On edit:  We did a few walks today, wearing his new hoodie.  Still "carry and walk," but he is definitely getting a feel for the whole premise.  After the second set of walks, he needed a rest...

On our last walk, a lady out for a walk of her own, said, "You are the second person I've ever seen with a cat on a leash."  I explained that we are still in the learning process and she said, "Well, it looks like he is doing good with it."  Yep; while the lady and I visited, he sat by my feet, taking it all in.  No fuss, not afraid of new people.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Being sick sucks...

Not Joan, not me.  Rufus is fine, too.  But, our sweet daughter has the flu... maybe the plague... and has been down for the count since after we had lunch on Saturday.  If it is, indeed, the flu, it is recommended that the infected person stay away from public contact until they are feeling better.  Which means: we haven't gotten to see or hug our little girl in the past two days... and that sucks.

She sounds pretty miserable when we talk on the phone - I feel so bad for her.

The weather has turned here in the desert - the "warmer than normal" temperatures have been replaced by a strong cold wind, and temps colder than usual.  I took Rufus out for an attempted walk today, but he did not like that cold wind one bit!  He isn't a fan of the new noises that come with being in an RV in the wind.  Another of the many new things he has been exposed to since being adopted.

He seems pretty adaptable.