just stuff

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    • #4878

      I haven’t been playing a lot lately.

      New job teaching English to French kids in what people in the states would call a community college.  This is a LOT harder than teaching History.

      Language: My French is still limited

      Culture: Never went to school here, so I have no grasp of the norms of conduct. And my expectations about how things get done is off the mark.

      ESL: I am trying to remember to teach the form rather than the content, while trying to provide useful content.

      So far planning lessons takes about 40% longer than delivering them.

      My Fender FM 988 stays out to get tickled a=once every couple of days, but all my big guns are in cases in a cupboard.

      And I’m going to bed early!

      I must be getting old.  🙂

      How are you all doing?



    • #4883

      I think many of us are in a kind of emotional limbo, waiting to see whats gonna happen in the next couple weeks, and possibly beyond –

      I got together with my bandmates recently and it sure felt good to play some music for a couple hours – but other than that, I’m trying to stay busy, possibly a little too busy, so I don’t have to think much about everything I don’t want to think about.  Being self-employed, theres always a back of the brain nag telling me I need to try and sell more, or build more,  or organize more, and being married, theres a front of the brain, uh, encourager, reminding me that there are many projects around an old house that need attention too.

      And now, we’re starting to think holidays – probably no Halloween, but what will Thanksgiving be like without lots of family? I mean, honestly, there have been a lot of years I wanted to avoid most of my family, but when seeing them isn’t really an option, do I want to see them even more? And no playing music and singing and drinking to excess in crowded bars while out (allegedly) Xmas shopping – and have we killed the mistletoe industry?

      yeah – too much to avoid thinking about at the moment –

      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

    • #4910

      The kids are off school for a couple weeks (mid term holiday) and we are taking a long weekend in Les Vosges mountains to NOT think about ‘things’.

      We’ve been hiking, geochaching, eating, playing board games.  Kids watched some TV, and C and I read a bit more than usual.  We’ve also been drinking good wine. 😉

      I’m re-reading Christopher Ward’s 1956 military history of the Revolutionary War, The War of the Revolution. It’s simple, clear, and well-written.  It’s fascinating.  In some ways that are difficult to express, it’s reassuring too.

      Back at it on Tuesday.  Kids back in school the following Monday.

      Here’s hoping we all have some good news in the near future.


    • #4976
      Matt Hayden

      We’re holding together. Beth’s back at the library, which is fortunately closed to the public, but still more people in a space than anyone’s comfortable with.  My company, focused as it is on speech-driven development, is going gangbusters, and I’m working too many hours.  Trying to keep a guitar in the home office and play during downtime; it’s not at all easy to find.

      We’ll get by but it’ll be good to be past the winter spike in the virus, which is already underway in CA.

    • #5007

      Claudine’s school was closed for 4 days while EVERYone got tested.  Seventeen of the school’s students tested positive.  So the local health authority descended on them with cotton swabs and PPE.

      C is in the clear, thank goodness.  But the school has been re-opened by the Prefecture (county government) against the health authority’s advice. <eyeroll>

      Since I first wrote, the transmission rate (R) went up to 1.3. It is now down to .58 locally and .56 nationally. The ‘confinement’ that started just after we got back from Les Vosges worked.

      Saturday, they loosened things up.
      We can go 20km away from home now to exercise, instead of 1km. And there’s no 1hr time limit.
      Non-essential shops are now open, though bars and restaurants remain closed. (Me & the kids are getting haircuts on Friday.)
      Masks are still obligatory out of the house, and we wear ours in the house when my mother-in-law comes to drop things off and stay for a 15min visit.

      With the advent of several different reportedly effective vaccines, I have hope that things will progress to a point where we can do live music again in the not too distant future.

      In the meantime, we do our work and prepare for Christmas.  The kids are really good at playing together, so that makes things easier than other have it.

      Gisèle has pretty good pitch recognition despite our piano being a bit out of tune. 🙂  And Rémy shows a distinct interest in dance.

      I’m picking up instruments a bit more than recently, but they’re electric.  I’m playing my Fender FM-988, my JBovier EMC-5, and my Tele.  I’ve set up my POD 2.o and used the Phones Out with the Tape In of our little stereo.  I need to be a little careful about the speakers, but it works a treat.  The chorus effect in particular sounds immense and beautiful in stereo.  When I start gigging again, I’ll use the l and r outputs to go stereo. (I hate chorus in mono, it just makes everything sound out of tune.)

      Stay well,

    • #5009
      Old 97

      Hi Daniel.

      Darie and I were planning to travel to France for her 50th Birthday on the 14th. We were looking forward to crashing Chez Nestlerode. C19 put an end to that.

      When it clears up, we will be knocking on your door.

      All the best from Bakersfield,

      Matt and Darie.

    • #5011

      We’ll be happy to have you and Darie, Matt.
      The train to and from Paris is about 2 hours, and the station in Laon is visible from our house.  (It’s about a 10 minute drive because we live on the back side of the station and have to go around the rail yard to get there.)

      Buckets of history here from early middle ages to World War 2.  Lots of lovely little villages to explore, forests to walk in, etc.  Though not much in the way of high culture.  Paris is like a giant cultural vacuum cleaner.  All the best art goes there.


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