Back to Work and The Random Events That Unfold

The first week of the year at work is often quieter than usual. End December was a quiet month and work slowed down as people were on leave. The year-end celebration was pretty much muted due to travel restrictions. 2020 was an unusual year. In my decades of working, I have witnessed the Asian financial tsunami, 9/11 and the Iraqi war, SARS, subprime crisis, and now Covid-19 – events that have a direct macro impact on the economy and ultimately risk to my livelihood. It reminds me that there is a much bigger picture out there, while I am swimming in my daily events.

Wet Market

Speaking of daily events, I have resumed visiting the wet market in the morning to buy fresh produce for cooking. With our country’s phase three reopening, I notice that the rest of the entrances to the wet market are now reopened. No longer do I required to enter through the main entrance as the crowd control measure is now lifted. While the wet market is not that large, it is more convenient for me to enter from the back where the stalls that I frequently visit are located. In the past, many times, I was tempted to jump across the taped barrier. I thought of the CCTV and the frequent news on people arrested and charged for violating safety measures. I resisted the temptation.

New Year Resolution

When people ask what my new year resolution is, my immediate reaction would be, if I wish to have a resolution, it could happen any time of the year. I could have a new beginning at any time of the year.

So no, I don’t have one on Jan 1st.

What I have done on new year’s day though was to go through my mailbox and unsubscribe from all the promotional emails that keep popping up like mushrooms as more and more purchases are done online.

I felt much better after that.

The Direction of the Morning Sun Ray

My apartment faces the north and the east. So I do get the morning sun into my bedroom and my balcony. The units in the opposite tower face the south and the east. You would think the balcony of mine and the balconies of the opposite tower would receive direct morning sun every day.

But no.

Depending on the months and days, at times my balcony would get the direct morning sun. Other times, my balcony would get none. All the morning sun like today landed onto the balconies of the opposite tower and not mine.

It is good to have a morning tea by the balcony. It is not good to dry the shoes and sun my guitar case today.

Re-stringing My 12-String Guitar

When I bought my Yamaha 12-string acoustic folk guitar 16 years ago, I thought it was a really good idea.

As it turns out, the 12-string guitar is a pain to play. Tuning the guitar is a pain. And the sound is too bright for my liking.

So I am considering to sell it off and free up some space in my home and in my mind (as I keep on thinking that one day I will play it). But before I can do that, I need to restore the guitar first.

After years of no maintenance, the condition was atrocious. There were molds all over the guitar body and the guitar case. The strings were rusted. What a sad state it is.

I did my best to clean up the guitar and the case. I have ordered strings online as a replacement. I have even watched a YouTube video on how to change the strings for I have not done it before.

A couple of observations for sharing. First, it is hard to replicate what I see on YouTube. I just couldn’t.

Second, the mobile app Yousician while pretty good at tuning a 6-string guitar and a Ukulele, the app cannot be used to tune a 12-string guitar. For those of you who may not know how a 12-string guitar works, basically, instead of 6, the guitar has 12 strings. The lower 4 of the strings have a corresponding octave string that goes one octave higher.

Because the app is unable to tune the octave strings, the very first string I have installed broke because I have tuned it too high. It was the tension that broke the string.

At that point, I have contemplated to continue or to stop because I have to buy another set of strings any way. I have decided to still continue and go for the experience. Using a proper tuner, which I really should have done in the first place, I was able to install the rest of the 11 strings, played my favorite song You Are My Princess before going to sleep. The 11-string guitar does give the song a different feel.

It went so well before I broke the very first string I have installed.

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