I hope y’all survived the holidays!  I had a great time spending time with family up in (very cold) Utah, but I’m glad to be back home in the warmer climes of Las Vegas.

I’m still very much involved in playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I now have at least one character of every class archetype levelled up to where they have their spaceship – I wanted to see what they all looked like.  I think my favorite ship, by far, is the one given to the Empire Agents.  It’s a very sleek, fast looking ship.  My least favorite is probably the one given to the Jedi – it’s a bulbous, frog looking thing.

I think SWTOR will easily hold my attention until Diablo 3 comes out.  After that, all bets are off.  And of course I’m assuming that D3 will release prior to Guild Wars 2.   As I’m sure I will be picking up that title as well.  In fact, I’m half expecting that GW2 will be my “Next Big MMO.”  But only time will tell.

In other news, my “mid-life crisis” has kicked into high gear over the past two weeks.  I’m not really sure exactly what kicked it off, but it’s definitely happening now.  I think I’m going to blame it on my sister 😀  Over the holidays she brought out her violin (which I think she gave to her daughter?), and played some Christmas tunes on it.  That got me all nostalgic over my long-lost saxophone.  I remember me and my Mom taking it in to get re-padded back in the mid-1980s, but I don’t remember ever going back to pick it up 😦

So….  I’ve since bought (in the last 2-weeks) three (3!) saxophones!  OMG!  An Alto, Tenor, and an antique C-Melody.  I used to play the alto back in elementary and Jr. High, but gave it up due to a conflict between my 9th grade band class and French classes (which I’d been studying since 5th grade – the same grade I first picked up the sax).  Anyways, I’d been doodling around on the new alto and tenor for a week or so when I remembered that they’re “transpositional” instruments, meaning if you play a C on them, it’s not a “C” on the piano (nor the violin, for that matter).  On the alto a “C” is actually an E-Flat, and on the Tenor it’s a B-Flat.  Which means you have to either “play by ear,” use special sheet music for each instrument, or learn to transpose “on the fly.”  I don’t see any of that happening in my case…

So… in comes the C-Melody sax, which actually plays a “concert C” when you play “C”  (make sense?).  This makes it much easier to play along with a keyboardist, vocalist, and violinist – who all use the same sheet-music. Also, my grandpa used to play a C-Sax back in the 1940’s, but nobody in the family remembers what ever happened to that instrument.

The nice thing with sax (and most woodwinds in general) is that they all share the same fingering – the “C” as noted in each one’s specially transposed sheet music, uses the same fingering – even if the actual note/pitch is widely different. I’m wondering if it just wouldn’t be better for these “out-of-tune” instrument players to be taught in “concert” pitch – meaning alto sax players know to finger an “A” when they see a “C” note, and tenors know to finger a “D” when they see a “C.”  Then everyone will actually be playing the same “C” note.  OMG music is confusing!

I hope all is well in your world, and if someone tells you you’re playing to the wrong tune, just tell them you’re playing it right, it’s just in a different key! Enjoy!

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