Remember I was talking about size designations for acoustic guitars, based on Martin's descriptions? Martin is kind enough to have them on the website.
We bailed on the realtor today. It didn't make sense to drive all that way to look at one or two unavailable properties. (One will be sold by tomorrow, and for the other...violent psychotic neighbors, plus I need a $250,000 down payment and I'll get a higher interest rate? Where do I sign up?)
I hate the word "property". It reeks of slavery, and greed, of human beings controlling and destroying each other to gain power. I don't enjoy owning things for the sake of ownership: I like having stuff because it helps me create the kind of environment I like to live in, where I have a guitar on a stand in my living room and I can easily play Internet broadcast streams through my stereo, and I have a car that helps me see my friends, or get out of town and relax. But the idea of owning things and having them be so critically important...ew. Even my beloved guitars can be replaced.
I decided to hit some music stores in Berkeley today and wandered into The Fifth String, and it being in a funky part of town and having no street windows, was pleasantly surprised to discover it's a hardcore Martin dealership. Dozens and dozens and dozens of beautiful guitars, banjos, and mandolins hanging from the walls and ceilings. I tried out a guitar smaller than my usual style (000 instead of Dreadnaught), and the guy helped me for twenty or thirty minutes, handing me different variations on the 000 style to try. I did find one I mostly liked, the Martin 000-15S, but I'm a little hesitant about the 12-fret neck instead of the 14 (though presumably the 14-fret version sounds about the same). It was a little odd, because the Style 15 is all mahoghany back, sides, and soundboard, and I don't particularly care for the D-15 dreadnought; but maybe the 000 size lets the sound be more balanced. In any case, while I can't say I'm generally above impulse-buying a $900 guitar, today wasn't the day. Even better, the guy in the store didn't expect it would be.