Thursday, December 29, 2016

This Christmas Season 2016

Christmas this year was/is unusual.  It was very musical choir-wise, not harp though (at least - not played by me, we did a special piece with choir and a professional harpist).  I was on the "bad list" at work, so was scheduled for all of Christmas, other than a small window of time later on Christmas Eve. Robert is in Portland, and Julie and Tyler went to Michigan since I was stuck working.  So our big family dinner is yet to come.  But I will give you the highlights so far, starting from early December.

Early December: 
Handel's Messiah, a new church for us, with a new choir.  
I was asked to sing a "O Thou That Tellest", my first solo.  
It was nerve-wracking, but all went well.

Our fireplace needed extensive repairs: 
Tuck-pointing, chimney cap, a stainless steel liner, and a fan.  ($$$)  
But all is well, and I love being able to use the fireplace again.  

Before Christmas frivolousness:
Christmas red toenail polish!
(And a kitty who likes to rub his chin on toes!)

Christmas Eve Choir Music:
Multiple pieces, including selections from Britten's "Ceremony of Carols".  
We had Ben Melsky as our harpist (awesome, playing the difficult harp accompaniment).  
I practiced long and hard on this piece.  
Musically it is difficult, but also the text is Middle English and Latin.  
(Here's a sample: "Wolcum Yole!" Voci Nobili with harpist Willy Postma)

In a nice surprise, we have been slow at work.  I had to go in from 11 AM to 3 PM, but then was downstaffed for the rest. Paul, Kristin, and I had a nice Christmas Dinner together - enjoying each other, but missing the rest of our family members. But we will all be together next week.  Julie and Tyler are home, and Robert will be visiting from far away Portland.  
(I haven't seen the lad in four whole months!)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Anniversary Clock Repair

This fall found Paul taking on a new skill to add to his arsenal: Clock Repairman!  

Three clocks demanded his attention all at once, sort of.  Paul had received an Anniversary Clock from work one year.  Note: the name "Anniversary Clock" comes from the fact that supposedly one only has to pay attention to it once every 400 days, although 365 days would suffice, hence, the anniversary portion of the name.  Official definition: "Unlike a regular pendulum clock, the Anniversary Clock keeps time with a mechanism called a torsion pendulum. This is a weighted disk or wheel, often a decorative wheel with 3 or 4 chrome balls on ornate spokes, suspended by a thin wire or ribbon called a torsion spring (also known as "suspension spring"). The torsion pendulum rotates about the vertical axis of the wire, twisting it, instead of swinging like an ordinary pendulum."  Unfortunately the suspension wire had weakened and over-twisted, rendering the timekeeping useless.  I thought it was just broken, so searched and found one on eBay for cheap.  Guess what - same problem (it would have been nice of the seller to mention that, but like I said - it was cheap.  

So we started looking into this.  Paul took one of the clocks apart carefully, and saw what we needed.  Unlike others of this ilk, these particular ones used a plastic end suspension wire, almost impossible to find.  however, we did find one shop online that carried it, Timesavers. The part is a Hermle 400-Day Suspension Unit.  We ordered, and Paul was able to fix them.

At the same time, the clock Paul made for his mom many years ago also needed repair.  The parts for that (the box where the hand-moving mechanism is) were easier to find, although it took forever to arrive. We got these parts at Clockparts.

Side by side suspension wires.
The on on the right is the broken, twisted one.  
Note the plastic ends.  

The suspension from the inside

Close-up of the bottom plastic end inside the suspension

A Clock Video

Part finally arrived, Mom's clock fixed!