Pianos: Dogs, doors and dioramas.

It's been an aeon since I blogged, for a series of complex reasons. But, here I am, emerging from a quagmire of bleak desolation. Erm, I think...

New York Steinway parts with much-maligned teflon bushings (that little white sleeve around the centre pin 'axle') are decluttered in the form of winter-warming workshop fun. Flaming fabulous.

My regular evocation of the term wippen fire for piano part pyromania led a mate to conclude (erroneously) that a wippen was any unwanted fragment. Superfluous flotsam, no longer of use. No. The wippen (in a piano) is an assembly of parts within the action mechanism. I was quickly googling diagrams to demonstrate. My mate confessed to having used the term (in her newly-coined broader sense) in general conversation. Perhaps it will catch on.

A glimpse up at the piano lid in a bland audition room shows how cool under-lid reflections can be. And it demonstrates the correct orientation of the long prop-stick (inner locator cup). I see so many lid sins, often on 'my' prey when I arrive at an event hire tuning. The maids gussying valances and posies have no business opening the piano lid. Sound technicians may be excused. From what? Gussying?

No names, no pack-drill. Here's a recent prop-stick fail I spied on Farcebook. Local gig, eminent musos. Had I been at the gig I would have gone into gentle education mode. 

Full stick = inner cup.
Short stick = outer cup.

Speaking of education mode, I'll buy that zapper if it'll cut down on extraneous erroneous apostrophes this summer.

If a doggy insists on being in my realm I'm OK about it only once said doggy has calmed down and become prepared to completely ignore me. Seeming to emanate from this doggy's arse are some of my tuning tools. The little black pouch is compact but not easy to search, so I'm often given to disgorging its contents (tuning tips and heads) to find an appropriate fit for the piano.

I'm amused by many a book title spied in a piano room.

If a dog will just quietly read while I'm tuning in a home library, that's fine. I wonder how anyone selects books directly behind this piano. Perhaps the dog fetches. I spend many a job like this staring at interesting book titles as I tune.

Has Tosca featured in my blog before? I know I've made cheeky time-lapse videos of activities like sleeping, repeatedly circling, and sleeping.

Backstage at a grungy venue. Performance duties. Where's my apostrophe zapper?

I like to think that behind the door is a scene reminiscent of the time when Homer Simpson was given the keys to the Executive Washroom. A classic.

A piano house. The view from near the piano. You'd think these folk couldn't afford doors, or couldn't afford to tidy up. OK, I'm not normally this harsh (in public) but there was much that was annoying and weird about this job, so it's open slather, baby.

A different house: Have I been tricked into tuning this piano? It's an unusual brand name on an instrument that is probably 60 years old. These days piano producers in the People's Republic covet anything German to stamp on the fallboard to convey a sense of European tradition. Gesundheit. Schadenfreude. I demand the Cone of Silence if I'm to elaborate.

The Shanghai's nether regions featured a not-quite-avocado-coloured green frame. 

"It's noice, it's different, it's unushewal." I'll concede that it is two of those three. My client was intrigued that I documented the Shanghai piano's not-quite-greenery.

'Peak avocado' at my local outlet. Fortunately prices have eased.

As a Victorian I loved this.

I'm reminded of travelling to a certain celebration of the Alligator Pear where they misspelled the very fruit being hailed. To be fair, it was correct everywhere else. I learned that there are about a hundred breeds of avocado. I can only remember two... Haas, and the other one.

Peak apostrophe misplacement. One out of two ain't bad, I suppose.

This Boston 'pian' exists. Where the 'O' went, nobody knows.

An ode to the O.

Aye, where's the I? Again, an actual piano on the hustings. Despite this alphabetical anomaly, a Baldwin made in the USA is worthy of being called a piano. Beware of this name stamped on instruments made in a certain other large country. I demand the Cone of Silence if I'm to elaborate.

A client's front verandah. Sydney never ceases to amaze me. The piano is in the front room with strings brown with rust and regularly breaking. Two treble sections of this piano have now been restrung, with revolutionary nickel-coated music wire* and new tuning pins, courtesy of the intrepid Caped Regulators. By rights the whole piano should be restrung, or pushed off the verandah.

A cluttered basement with piano. This mysterious model made me wonder if it had been Professor Plum in the ballroom with the lead pipe. I've never actually played Cluedo. The client is an architect. With that ugly diorama you'd have to think he's channeling Mike Brady. OK, that's enough ridiculous popular culture references, Cazzbo.

A church cat I didn't meet. This photo is notable because I received it from the church organist in the process of teaching her how to AirDrop between our iThings.

Meanwhile, notes spied in the pulpit. We can commend the command of apostrophes, but is that an excessive use of question marks????

A mate and I repurpose our umbrellas as apostrophe wands, dabbing, stabbing and jabbing our way down city streets, wherever we find questionable signs. Putting the punk into punctuation. 

This does not make me any less likely to lose umbrellas. 

 Tools of the trade.

Don't pianic, Mister Mainwaring!

I get many a glimpse of the changing exhibits at the Art Gallery because pianos are regularly installed for events. I don't know much about art, but I know the eyes are supposed to follow you around the room.

* That's right - this music wire won't rust.

Check out some other bits o' the blog, folks...