Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Back from Montana

So I'm back from Montana, after a long ordeal getting our Honda fixed after the check engine light came on outside of Denver. (Lucky it happened there, rather than practically anywhere else on the trip!)

Some scattered thoughts:
  • When you spend most of your life in a city/town, it is easy to start thinking that everywhere is developed, that we're running out of room, etc. A drive through Oklahoma, Kansas, eastern Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana will cure one of that belief. I've made that drive three times before, but I always forget how many thousands of square miles of empty land that this country contains.

  • When I was one-and-twenty, as Housman said, I thought nothing of driving 14 hours in a day, as I did several dozen times between Arkansas and the University of Georgia. (I even drove for 17 hours on one occasion, which is frankly more than I would prefer.) I like driving and seeing the country.

    But now, when I'm traveling with a 5 year old, a 2 year old, and a newborn, I seem to wear out after a mere 8 hours on the road. My wife too. It will be a long time before I can convince her to take another road trip.

  • In a nice boost to my self-esteem, an undergraduate guitar student from Georgia told me that I'm a "legend" there because I could play scales more quickly than any other guitarist. My teacher remembered something that I had forgotten -- that I once played the entire 24 major and minor scales in 81 seconds, which works out to over 11 notes per second. In all modesty, I don't know of another guitarist in the world who can play scales that quickly, except perhaps for Pepe Romero.

    By the way, I mentioned in a previous post that I didn't think I am quite "up to speed" on the guitar as of yet. My wife thinks I should clarify: Given my perfectionist standards, I'm not up to being one of the top players in America. But by most standards, I'm doing pretty darn well at present.

  • Did I mention that Wyoming has a lot of empty space? A lot of it.

  • In a Subway in Billings, Montana, we had a sub made from bison meat. It was very much like roast beef.

  • We ran across another inter-racial family in a Cracker Barrel outside of Denver. We were eating breakfast, when by our table there walked an older white woman with a white girl and three black children, all between the ages of 6 and 12 or so. Naturally, we went up to them and introduced ourselves and Jonathan. It turned out that the three black children were originally from New York City, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The woman's husband is a pastor at a small church in Wyoming, and they are homeschoolers. We had a very nice conversation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

so how do you compare to vai, satriani, malmsteen et al?!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Actually, I should have said "classical" guitarists. As to the names you mentioned, I know only that they are electric guitarists, but I've never heard their recordings.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha ok perhaps you should, if only to appreciate a different dimension to virtuoso guitar playing. i really enjoy your blog.

11:08 AM  

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