The “Canjo”


I thought I had seen most versions of musical instruments, but recently I was (rarely) proven wrong! If you attend many orchestral performances you will generally see variations of instruments that we have been accustomed to for years. Things like “heralding” trumpets that are many feet long instead of curved back onto themselves and uniquely contorted French horns and clarinets are included in the lineup.

A Pastoral Scene

In looking around in this mountainous region where I have re-located, one can quickly see how the “postcard” views of the area are so appealing. The grass has suddenly turned a bright green, obviously from all the recent water (rain & snow) and the spring flowers and fruit trees are abounding with rich colors.

Especially lovely were the apple, cherry and other fruit tree blossoms. I say “were” for they have pretty much peaked, and with all the high winds of recent weeks for the most part the delicate blossoms have blown away. But while they were with us, the panorama was fabulous.

Uprisings in the Mid-East & Elsewhere


For several months now we have seen “continuing coverage” on virtually every news venue; newspapers, magazines, radio & TV/Cable news and talk shows. Mostly they emphasize the carnage that has and is occurring in those nations where the people are “up in arms”. Most are demonstrating and even fighting to see democracy established in their land. They are tired of being oppressed.

The Volt & Alternative Fuel Cars

As the price of automobile fuel increases and attention to alternative method of powering our cars is on the “front burner” that brings up some interesting questions.

Chevrolet is heavily publicizing the new “Volt”, its all-electric vehicle. It appears simple enough – just plug it in to a special electrical outlet at your house and it recharges its trunk-load of heavy and costly “deep-cycle”, specially-made-in-Japan, batteries. However, there ARE a few drawbacks; the range is limited before you need a recharge of the batteries. They perform well; quietly and at good speeds, but normal highway speed consumes energy at a rather high rate. As with high speed driving in gas-powered cars, efficiency and economy drops rapidly.