what a friend we have in cheeses.

I had a lovely day in the East Bay yesterday. In addition to spend an hour or two in the nice guitar store, I spend many many hours hanging out with old friends and housemates. Nice to re-connect with everyone--not that I'm exactly a hermit down here on the Peninsula, but I won't see them on a weeknight, for example.

I have re-arranged my living room furniture, finally. The feng shui is probably not so great, and the couch is still not really comfortable, but the room is a lot more open and I think I can fit a poof chair in there, at least to replace the Ikea chair. Once the weather dries out, I will start on my Ikea coffee table, replacing its hideous gray-white with a variety of saturated interesting colors.

I don't think I've ever felt this unready for an aikido test. It's awesome. Pushing your boundaries is good.

I'm currently deeply in love with Ulrich Schnauss's Far Away Trains Passing By (just recently re-released, which gives me a chance at owning it). It's a beautiful and nigh perfect album, like Lemon Jelly's Lost Horizons, Brian Eno's Music For Airports, or Guster's Lost and Gone Forever. None of those may mean anything to you, but I highly recommend picking up any of them.

And, hey, I figured out how to mostly fix the intonation problems on my guitar! You see, the 12-tone system we use in Western music is actually just a bit out of tune: there's math and physics that govern what harmonies sound good to us, and that math doesn't match up with a 12-tone scale. For a long time, instruments were put into perfect tuning, where they are perfectly in tune for a few keys and sound awful for the rest of them. Around Bach's time they started doing tempered tuning, which spreads the out-of-tune-ness across all the keys (Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier has pieces in all different keys, to show how nifty tempered tuning was). Wikipedia has an index page on tuning systems which I'm sure is accurate but uses a lot of terms I don't know. At any rate, in guitars and other instruments, certain notes can just be very difficult, and on my guitar, it's been the B string. But, if I leave the B string and the adjacent G string just slightly out of tune in the right way, overall everything I play sounds just right. I was tuning those two strings into perfect tune with each other, so some chords sounded crappy; put the string slightly off with regard to each other, and it's fine. Neat, huh?

One thing about time spent not having an SO in your life is that sometimes you miss having an SO in your life, or it seems like it'd be nice. The other part is recognizing that now is not one of the times to have an SO in your life.