Well, the CD of Gathering photos is not here yet, but that’s OK – I don’t have time to get to it anyway (later…doorbell just rang – it’s here).  Besides, the blog was originally going to be a “real-time” day-in-the-life-of-a-pope.  As you can see, I’m not giving you a lot of that (it gets tedious), but instead busting my butt to try and do more interesting, fleshed-out stories.

But sometimes it’s just gonna be dry, so let me give you a rundown of a random day (today) so you know why I can’t be entertaining 24/7…

Much of this takes place during my lunch hour (most days, I can run home from work, about 5 minutes away) and breaks or on the phone walking between buildings, etc.  It continues the moment I come home (after dog-greeting/feeding), and stops (or not) when I’m beat, or “normal life” makes its demands (tonight I’m typing while eating, as Jaci’s off at her mom’s).

So, today’s adventures in no particular order:

  • Read a couple dozen emails, answered about half
  • Screened and deleted another couple dozen spams
  • Deleted another dozen spam comments on the blog (they’re increasing big time, and really becoming a pain)
  • Packed a couple orders (strings,  Xmas sets, Amazon fulfillment) and ran out to the PO.  Got an auction catalog from Vichy in Paris…dang! They have a Pleyel chromatic harp!  That’s my holy grail – I’ve passed up 3 of them in my life (the last 2 due to lack of funds and space…perhaps it’s time to let go?  Unless Benoit can go and get it cheap…)
  • On the phone several times, including:
  • Chatting with Mr. Burwell/Holloway about this and that
  • Repairman, coming over to check out Knutsen nuts (replacing a lost one)
  • Other local friend, just called to drop off his Knutsen steel to sell (waiting for doorbell to ring)
  • Another Holloway buyer, requesting final quote.
  • Just got offered another one-of-a-kind harp guitar, and negotiating that (with seller and Jaci) – one of those stressful now or never cash offers (“now” won out)…now to schedule a trip to pick it up…
  • Another interruption – the friend (John O’Kennedy, my old multi-instrumentalist pal from the Mandolin Orchestra days) just dropped off this gorgeous Knutsen steel.  It’s for sale (this weekend only) if anyone’s interested…$3500, sounds great and looks really cool with flame mahogany (?) top.  Small piece of missing top wood on the treble side has been decently patched.  Has an obvious refin – I’d strip and re-polish and then this is a $5k guitar.  Goes back to him next week to trade to a dealer for other things.  Sweet – John picked up 4 SB Rock Cds and hasn’t even heard it yet!  (Presents, I suppose.  Among other guitar students, he teaches Peter Frampton’s daughter…and yes, I’ll try to get a Holloway…or better yet, a Merrill…to the “rock icon”!)
  • Meanwhile…still paying a few last bills and helping Jaci crunch accounting books for the Gathering.
  • Transfering funds at my bank (credit union in my own building at work) to cover all these madcap transactions.
  • Just got a call – restorer coming tomorrow (perfect – he can help I.D. this strange Knutsen wood – what IS it with that guy…?)
  • Hey, actually a quiet night…our internet is temporarily down…I’m taking this opportunity to finish the Merrill listing.
  • OK, ready to post.  Now going over today’s emails again…ah, I see Nancy newly-Bennett is trying to blackmail me because she now has this incriminating photo from one of the her friends at the Friday post-wedding party…no matter – happy to incriminate myself (hey, not my fault, the woman asked for “naughty pope”)
  • Oh, very sweet and sad…here is a nice note from the sister of recently departed harp guitar builder/player Doug Whittier.  I’ll add this to my forum thread.  A reminder not to take anything for granted…live, love, play, share, blog – leave your mark on this world!
  • Ah, I see my pal Paul Fox has now listed all the Gibson catalogs on his site here…I still believe we can (and should) pinpoint more closely the release date of some of these early ones from scouring the Cadenzas…I know I found the first and last month & year (it spanned 2) of Catalog F for example…perhaps Paul can finish that exercise for us…
  • Another phone call…a new Jeff Sigurdson harp guitar is on the way!  Affordable, hand-built (hide glue, anyone?!), Dyer-style instrument – this is sans pickup, so will be a bit less than the first I sold.   It’s in UPS Customs at the moment – just have to give them my Tax ID tomorrow, and it’s released…
  • Yay, internet is back up, so back to work!  Gee, only another 30 emails…17 spam, gone.  Hang on while I peruse…
  • Cool!  A wonderful new Giacinti specimen (this makes # 4, and all different) – similar to the one Ben snapped in front of his shop way back.  This comes from a fellow in Italy who just bought the Knutsen book (the cross-pollination continues!) – he has a lot of restoration to do on this, he says, but will document the process for us.  BTW, for that instant link above to work, I of course had to quickly save the image, then Photoshop optimize, then size and upload to my FTP, grab the new link and paste…
  • Oh my – speaking of Ben – he just sent another 10 links to check out.  He is now doing organized Googling for new harp guitar postings for us.  I’ll check these this weekend, pal!
  • Interesting – Gibson harp’s are super common, but this guy has an original(?) 11-bass.  No pics, he’s just asking about strings…don’t worry, Ben, I’m on it!
  • Here’s something I can’t ever get enough of…a “Love it!” comment on my old Bring a Torch video (see – that look is already making a comeback…)
  • Cool – the Holloway quote-ee just paid…now gotta go pack that up tonight and do the online Fedex thing…only orange left now…
  • Well how timely…a new Holloway owner is asking for advice on stands “the offset weight of the harp guitar makes it lay cockeyed.”  I’ve been working  on this for years…meanwhile, SB had ordered new locking Hercules stands for his wedding, and of course they had this problem, as do most all.   A total bust.  So Andy, Joe and I brainstormed, and we each had a completely different idea for a new invention.  We’ll each draw up some plans and re-convene…
  • Oh, now this is too funny!…my own brother Mark, who came to his first Gathering  last month is now asking about trying a harp guitar…hmmm, I happen to know a good source….hey, bro – it’s never too late!

OK, that’s about it for tonight…anyway, that’s the daily stuff you usually don’t hear about.  Are you getting the picture?  Anyone want to volunteer for a week while I take a real vacation…?