Thursday, May 10, 2012

She’s in a plane.

It’s really a long,  long freakin’ trip if a person wants to venture into the wild blue yonder and come to Vienna.   Our next guest is coming all the way from Vancouver,  with a stop over in Heathrow.   That would be London,  England for those of you who might be severely challenged in the airport geography department.

I just now took a quick look and couldn’t for the life of me find a non-stop flight.  The most sensible of the one stop versions would come through Amsterdam,  but Ljuba wanted to use points as much as possible,  so it was Heathrow,  or don’t go. 

Personally,  I’ve never ventured into Heathrow,  but I’ve heard from some travellers,  (and these would be English type folks)  that it can be a bit of an abomination.  Huge distances between terminals,  that kind of thing.  I wouldn’t know.  It’s unlikely I ever will.  And I’m OK with that.

We briefly considered flying in to Heathrow on the 8th of June for our weekend in the Midlands,  but it was a challenge to get to Birmingham,  unless I rented a car and drove.  Didn’t want to do that since well,  then I’d have to drive back,  now wouldn’t I?  The train service was less than ideal.  My impression of the train service in England is that it’s a bit of a Hodge-podge as well,  but we still just might take the train from Birmingham out to Shrewsbury on the 9th.  That journey is all within one system.  For a while there I couldn’t seem to find a flight that was anything close to reasonable,  but then about a week ago the prices had dropped by a couple hundred Euros,  and we booked it.

There was the consideration of using some of Travelling Companion’s “Miles and More” points,  but we neither liked the times available,  nor the idea of burning up 60,000 miles worth of points and then still having to pay several hundred Euros in taxes.   So that was out.

I’ve driven in Birmingham, an event which you’re quite welcome to familiarize yourself with here.

And even though a final decision hasn’t been made about getting out to Shrewsbury and back,  I’m definitely leaning towards taking the train.  It’s a little tough on T.C.,  since she has those bum knees of hers to contend with,  and I don’t know of any train station where there’s not a certain amount of walking involved.

Speaking of looking back in the blog, (like that segue?)  I realised a few days ago that it had been a while since I had changed the strings on my guitar,  and lo and behold,  it was actually an embarrassingly long time ago.

Of course,  at the moment I’m having some issues finding that entry again, but suffice to say it was over a year ago or something?  People who actually play the guitar (a group of which I’m definitely not a part) are known to change strings once a week.   That seems excessive.  Certainly for an el-cheapo like me.

So I rummaged around in my guitar case and found these guys.


Bluegrass.  Really?

It’s also a chance to get some of the dust off of the poor thing.

Warning,  you’re about to see some nakedness.



Of course,  if I did this thing more often,  then I’d be a little better at it.

I should have started the other way around,  with the E strings.  Dough head.



Once you put them on there though, and clip off the hanging out bits,  there’s no turning back.

And there we go.  Bob’s yer Uncle.



Hey.  If I take these pictures dammit,  somebody is going to see them!   I’m just saying.

There was a tip I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to put the date on the package when you put on the new strings,  just in case you tend to forget when they were changed.  Duly noted.

I do think I could have used at least another wrap around the tuning pegs,  but it seems to stay in tune,  so I guess it’s OK.

Which reminds me of a very brief story.   (segue number two)

Once upon a time when we were back in Canada,  and I was taking some lessons to hone my guitar playing skills.  (Puh!) 

Whatever.  I mentioned to my teacher, that I really liked the way the guitar did seem to stay in tune from one day to the next.  Without missing a beat he said, “Dude.  It’s a Martin!”     To which I replied,  “Oh…. is that what that’s all about?”   “OK then.”   And yes,  it does play nice,  and stays in tune. 

If only the operator were a little more ‘highly tuned’.

It sucks trying to learn new sh*t when you’re turning into an old fogey.  But, I guess it’s better than the alternative.


I’m trying to come up with a reasonable analogy to the replacement of those strings.  It’s sort of like getting home from a camping trip and just coming out of the shower.  You knew you needed a shower,  but you sort of felt OK.  Then when you finish showering,  you realise just how much better you feel.  It’s kind of like that.  Does that make sense?


I won’t be heading out to the airport until a bit later,  since Ljuba’s flight doesn’t come in from Heathrow until 19:05.   She will have had a long couple of days.  We’ll then swing by Travelling Companion’s office and fetch her. 

So I might come back to this later,  but I doubt it.


Keep your popsicles frozen.


Thanks for lookin’.





  1. Jet lag would about do me in on that flight. Have a great visit and try to stay out of trouble.

    1. Well, just now close to midnight Vienna time, she's been up well over 24 hours (actually, I think that was a few hours ago) and we're now just headed off to bed.
      My guess is she just might sleep a little late in the morning. We'll see.

  2. Bob, somehow, I never pegged you for a guitar player. Live and learn something new every day!

    1. Well see, that's where you would have nailed it. I wouldn't peg me as any kind of guitar player either.
      Mind you, I've seen guys out on the street busking that do worse, but that's no consolation.

  3. Guitar, what type!

    Colin changes his strings every 2 -3 months depending on amount of playing, salt air, etc. Some do indeed change them weekly and for every concert.

    Glad you dusted the poor think off.

    1.'s a Martin? Oh, unless you mean which particular Martin? Seems to me it's a Dreadnought. But not the really pricey one.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.