TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING...

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Posted on September 4, 2011 at 9:45 AM

I did it..... :D

No, I didn't strangle a politician, or wax the stairs in an old folks' home and yell fire..........

For the past couple of weeks, something's been on my mind; something that I've always wanted to do, but never could because of a lack of money - take piano lessons.

When I was a child, my parents nurtured my love and abilities with the arts as best they could, but with four kids, one income, there wasn't much they could do. So I went on with life. If it wasn't for shools with music programs I never would have even known what instrumental music is.

So, without money, buying a piano was out of the question. And without a piano, well, lessons just weren't feasible ~ an average of one hour of practice per day is the usual when learning any instrument.

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As I said, for the past few weeks it has been weighing heavy on my mind. All I had wanted was to learn to play. I had no dreams of becoming a virtuoso. With several searches on the net, many calls around our fair city, and about 3 hours of shopping around in that lovely heat yesterday, I was able to begin on a journey that has taken almost 45 years to achieve.

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I bought a digital piano from Melody Music (thanks again Kim, Steve and Ryan! Those guys are there for my music needs whatever they are!).

They gave me a great deal too! Turns out they had a model used in their showroom that was originally $959 but I got it for $719 with free delivery.

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After a search for a teacher, which took a couple of days, I found a nice lady, Brenda Goyer, my age, who gives lessons on Saturday mornings. I'm set for 11:15-11:45 each Saturday morning, and for only $17.50/visit! I never expected the lessons to be that cheap!

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On October 1st I will be 45 years old. I swear, here and now, on this blog, and to the Almighty Lord, I will give myself 5 years. On my 50th birthday, I will decide if I wish to continue with the lessons, or maybe, if I'm blessed, my teacher will tell me I don't need anymore lessons and that I'm ready for Carnegie Hall! (Hey, dreams should be big ~ what the hell else are they good for, if not to motivate us, right?)

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Isn't it strange where we get our inspiration and/or motivation from? Mine came from watching a show where the lead character plays the piano beautifully. His skill is astounding. Of course, he learned at a very young age and spent a lot of his 52 years studying and practicing.

I've watched, seen and heard many, many people play instruments including the piano, but this one man, for some reason, inspired me to the point of buying a piano and setting up lessons for 5 years.

Heck of a commitment eh? I'm not even sure if I'll be able to find the time to practice each day; but I damn well will do my absolute best!

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Inspiration can come from anywhere, anyone at anytime for anything. For example, the inspiration for this blog, came from another blog. I thought, I could do that! I'll let friends and family know and if they're interested; great!

I knew I would never make money from it, but it has proven very therapeutic for myself, and that's all I wanted. Self serving? Damn right! I spent the first 40 years of my life trying to meet others expectations for myself; kissing ass; saying yes when I didn't want to ~ and then I changed. I changed everything and now I'm happy. Sort of.

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I discovered my life was great, but I wasn't truly fulfilled. There are things I want to achieve. Some I never will, (ever seen a 45 year old med student?) but others are within  my grasp, so I'm going for them. Piano is one. And no, I'm not mentioning the others, unless I shoot for them. No sense setting myself up for failure. There's too many people in our lives that do that for us.

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A recent price increase in the Standard Freeholder daily paper caused a few of my customers to be pissed. In 2 and a half years, since February 2009, the price has remained the same. The costs have gone up, newsprint, ink, maintaining all the machinery, electricity, and so on. Salaries have gone up, (minimum wages went way up!), unions are fighting harder to avoid layoffs, new contracts negotiated, yet the price of the paper stayed the same.

Damn good work if you ask me! Most papers raise their cost once per year, no matter what.

Yet, some people seem to think that no matter what, the price should have stayed where it was. I speak of two particular homes. The first was kind enough to leave a message taped to their mailbox Saturday morning with this note: CANCEL THE PAPER. That was it. After serving them and putting up with those fucking plants on their steps; Christmas lights strung ACROSS their pathway at knee height; overloading their front porch with furniture, and in three years, one $5 tip, nothing else, they didn't even have the gall to call me ~ just to add insult to injury, they want ME to stop it for them! :o Talk about relief! I'm glad to be rid of them! (In a much earlier post, I wrote about someone who had practically harrassed me about a person who had passed away, because they "knew" I knew this person. Well, the customer and the person who harrassed me are one and the same. Good riddance!)

The second customer at least spoke to my face. They're stopping their paper at the end of September. Hmph! Can't be too pissed if they're waiting til the end of the month! And then she says to me "You stop it for me." Yeah, don't think so sweetheart. With a small, sarcastic smile, I turned to her and said, "Oh I'm sorry but SunMedia prefers the customers call in stops themselves. They like to hear from customers about what they're dissatisfied about. Let them know the truth. If you need help after that, I will do what I can." In other words too bad-so sad honeybuns. Do your own dirty work!

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And through all my collections, the most common complaint I heard was "There's never anything in the paper!" I'm sooooooooooooo sorry! Perhaps you'd like another sex scandal involving children? Hell, that added another page of print almost every day! Oh maybe another car bomb? How about a few murders? Or another big closure of a business that hires over 300 people, putting them out of work and their families on Welfare? We could get a few days of extra news from that!

Wake up Cornwall!

News is news, and if it ain't news, it's not going into a newspaper. That's why it's called a "news"paper! If there's something going on, we do our best to get it included, so long as SunMedia and Quebecor, our owners, approve it. If you're that unhappy with it, then quit! But for Christ's sake, stop taking your frustrations out on us simply because the lack of news in Cornwall makes for a thin paper! Take the Globe and Mail for example. Know why that paper is one thick paper each and every day? It has worldwide coverage. It does not focus on any one city. It's main focus is Canada, then the world. I know. I get it every day!

The Standard Freeholder's focus is on Cornwall. We do include articles from around the world, but Cornwall comes first. That's the way it should be. You aren't living in Paris, or New York, or even Toronto. If you want news coverage from other cities, then buy those papers!

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Thought for this day and probably the week: The next time you find yourself complaining about something, ask yourself this question, in exactly these words: Is there anything whatsoever I can do to change this to my satisfaction? Anything at all! If your honest answer is "No", then move on. If the honest answer is "Yes", then do it, if you can. If you can't, then move on. In either case, yes or no, change or not able to change, don't blame those who have no responsiblity. (And yes, when you're yelling, bitching, or using harsh tones when talking with others, you ARE "taking it out" on them, which is a form of blaming.)

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