Monday, August 31, 2009

Maggie Mae and John Left Alone

Linda's off on her second mission of mercy helping Jennifer with the three kiddos. Tony had to go out of town on business, so Linda is helping from Sunday evening through late Wednesday.

So, what're John and Maggie going to be up to during Linda's absence. First plans were to go to the Bellagio in Vegas for three days. Sadly, they are hosting a kitty cat convention and dogs aren't welcome this week. So, they'll just stay at home. They like to use the swing in the back yard early mornings and late evenings. John can do some mat cutting and framing for the upcoming gallery show at the MHCRC (Morgan Hill Centennial Recreation Center). He wants to be ready in case his two entries get picked.

John will also work on going through the rest of the 1,200 songs in the fake book (he just started on the "T's") and getting styles set up for them and memorized on the Clavinova. What a fun instrument! So far, he has about 150 songs memorized (in the Clavinova's brain, not his!), each with its own selected style. All the way from "America the Beautiful", through "House of the Rising Sun" to (so far) "The Third Man Theme".

Lunch today sounds like a can of tuna and some cheddar cheese. Or, maybe some "bottom" Ramen! The Honey Toasted Cheerios and peanut butter on toast were especially good this morning. Also, John got to finish watching the last of the Little Leage World Series Championshp between Chinese Taipei (PC term for "Taiwan") and Chula Vista, CA. Inquire, or look online for the results.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Next Road Trip Plans Underway

This is a photo that John took of a small, orchid-like flower with his new macro converter. The actual flower is only 1-1/4" tall. It seems he is preparing for our next road trip and finalizing our photo equipment. You can see other macro photos John took by going to his flickr photostream at

We're heading back north on our next road trip. We're first going to spend a couple of days visiting our son, Jay, in Petaluma. Then, we are headed for the northern California coast. We'll be going up Highway 1 at least to Eureka / Arcata and probably on up into Oregon. This road trip will be a little more "loose" than the Washington trip in terms of flexibility.

For the last part of our portrait class, we went to the Farmer's Market and local Morgan Hill Street Fair. John had just received his 1.75x teleconverter for his camera. Now he can take portraits (or sneaky pictures) from a distance. As we were walking through the Street Fair, he saw a young girl carrying her Dalmatian on her back. It was just too cool of a shot to miss. He hasn't put any of the rest up on his flickr photostream as yet.

On the upcoming road trip, we are going to do an experiment. We are going to use our blog for the running commentary and provide links within the blog to the daily photo galleries. It'll be much like it was before, only different!

Linda gets to spend Sunday through Tuesday night at Jennifer's helping her with the three kids. Tony is going to be out of town on a business trip. She'll enjoy spending more time with the new twins!

We are both very much enjoying the Clavinova.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grandparents of Twins

This was taken the day Amber and Owen were born when we could
officially wear our grandparents of twins hats that we were given for
mothers' day and fathers' day. This is Amber. We couldn't hold Owen
for two more days until he got out of the special care room.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The FERY FIVE's First Visit To The BUZZARDs' ROOST

We had our first official visit from THE FERY FIVE yesterday. That's
Amber on Tony's lap and Owen with Jen. Isaac is pointing out that
Amber looks just as cute in red in white as in pink. This picture was
taken at THE FERY CASTLE week before last. We were so busy the whole
time they were here yesterday that neither one of us snapped even one
photo despite the fact that we are taking a photo class and both had
our cameras loaded with gigafilm and ready to go. Between (among?)
Amber and Owen and Isaac and Maggie Mae and dinner, it was sort of
like a 5-ring circus around here for a while... We are really fortunate to have them so nearby!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Twins and such.....

Let's see, on Monday we went the MHCRC. John swam and Linda attended a fitness class. We had our $2.50 lunch at the Senior Cafe then went to our Portrait Photography class and learned more. This time we learned techniques for lighting a subject evenly without using flash or artifical lights. Of course, this is for doing portraits outdoors, indoor by a window or with household lighting.

Tuesday evening Linda attended a local book group. She had been attending one with Jennifer up in Willow Glen. Of course, Jennifer has a bit of a problem attending at the moment, what with the new arrivals. She enjoyed it and really likes that they pick their book three months ahead instead of one month.

Speaking of portraits, Jen & Family dropped Isaac off while Jen and Tony went to look at proofs of portraits taken of the twins by Rebecca of Portraits by Rebecca right here in Morgan Hill. Rebecca also took Jen's "preggy" picture's. When they got back we all had a nice dinner together.

John has started going through our new music "Fake Book" which has 1,200 songs in it. All with lyrics (if applicable) and chord names. Just his kind of musical notation. So, he as really been exercising "Clarence". That's the name he has given to our new Clavinova. It's major fun for him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Out with the Old... In with the New....

No, Linda and John are keeping each other! The title refers to John selling off his vintage keyboards and most all of this shop power tools to raise money for a new Yamaha Clavinova. This thing is some kind of instrument! Fully-weighted wooden piano keys and a sampled piano that is from a Yamaha 12 foot grand piano. The sample includes the felt hammers dropping after hitting a note and even the resonance of strings adjacent to the string being struck.

It also is a "player" piano, has hundreds of non-piano voices, and over 400 styles (ballad, swing, jazz, country, etc) that you can play along with. This is great for John, who is a one- or two-note melody kind of guy, but knows how to form chords with the left hand. And, would you believe it connects to the internet? John even managed to have it be a wireless connection.

And, the Clavinova is perfect for Linda, who really enjoys playing an actual piano. After she heard it, she said we could sell our upright player piano. Let us know if you're in the market.

What else is new? Well, I didn't find a posting yet our our two new twin grand-babies, Owen Vander Fery and Amber Lynn Fery. They were born July 16th at Good Sam. Linda just recently returned from being "loaned out" to help Jennifer and Tony with acclimating. One of her main jobs was to keep Isaac, their two year old, occupied. Isaac just has no idea how much his life has changed!

We are now enjoying a portrait photography class being held at the Morgan Hill Recreation Center (MHCRC) and put on by the Osher Institute out of San Jose State. This is a three session Monday afternoon class. We've had our first session and are going to the second session right after we have our lunch at the Senior Cafe here at the Senior Center at the MHCRC.