Fixing a Hole   Leave a comment


February 15… I noticed I would seem to be in a bit of a pickle…

Sorta like that line in The Day of the Jackal : “The Belgian was still laughing when he got the impression his private parts had been hit by an express train.”

Yeah… the realization was kinda like that…



Suddenly there was quite a bit more impetus to getting things done, because by not keeping my attention on this — my business — focussed, I discovered I’d enough money — just — to pay my pad rent, and to buy groceries and gasoline for the next couple weeks…

Or pay up my creditors, some of whom are suddenly getting anxious. Can’t do both.


What happened? I think it’s my standard operating procedure: Sell a couple items on Shitauction in January, GREAT! Get some money, relax a little… A week and a half later discovered once again, I had relaxed a little too deeply and too long..

*   *   *

February 23… 8 days later… and I’m kinda climbing the walls a little…back from Thrifties to buy omelette ingredients for breakfast and watch Medea cook them ‘cause I didn’t really know how to make an omelette… I do now… then to a local competitor’s to buy a vintage Conn mouthpiece to go with the vintage Buescher alto sax… was going to clean the carport but… weather is such it can wait till it’s a bit nicer out. Heavy overcast and spitting rain… Then Medea left to whatever it is she does in the afternoon, better buckle back down getting on with fixing my problem…


*   *   *

March 1… Meant to put this up a week ago.. In the interim, 2 saxes posted to Shitauction, and the perpetual putting out of brush fires that seems to be most people’s lot in life… Meanwhile Claudius suddenly shuffled off the mortal coil and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibule… the news arrived via e-mail from Cecilia at St. Victor’s with the usual kick-in-the-gut intimation of mortality, because Medea and I were going to have lunch with him this week and I hadn’t quite gotten around to answering his e-mail about that… Lunch/dinner’s gonna have to wait for the Sweet Hereafter… Jesus, would you mind passing the salt and pepper… ?

So on top of the workload, a lovely funeral to attend, AND, an oboe to blow cobwebs out of, because we’re doing a “Friendly Giant Concert” at St. Victor and an Angel on the 9th… It will be dedicated to Claudius because he did everything he could to encourage the choral scholars…Friendly Giant

With dinner and maintaining morale in mind, despite our present impecunious states, Medea and I were off to The Seven Leagues to toast the weekend, our usual Friday tradition…

The Seven League Pub

The Seven League Pub on Admiral’s Road
(Not exactly as illustrated…)


Home.. check Shitauction, out of the blue the tenor sax has sold.

Mazel Tov! Wünderbar! Good on Yer, Mate!! … There’s hope for me yet… 



So until that sax is paid and bucks transferred from Paypal — should take about a week — I’ll be penniless. A lot of people would be freaking at this prospect and barely 2 years ago I was too… With the passage of time and a roof over my head that’s paid for, however humble… not to mention all the deaths… I’m somewhat blasé… and I’ll get a little over $800 for that sax, I’ve the alto on ebay and it’ll wrap up March 4th, for another $500 — $600.. and like I said, I’ve a bari sax and a bass clarinet in pieces on my bench = $1,200 + $600 = $1,800 and after that three more saxes, a piccolo, 6 flutes and 2 clarinets. Main problem is cranking them out at a reasonable rate, ‘cause all the above translates to $ 7,475.00… More than enough to pay my bills for three months…

… If.. as I said, I can crank them out at a reasonable rate…

… In the meantime the pad rent’s paid… there’s oil in my fuel tank… Hydro won’t get ugly till April… and I just got Netflix going again so we can watch House of Cards… the American version, true, but an excellent piece of work nevertheless. One of those rare TV series that bears repeated viewing to figure out everything that’s going on… Pay close attention, Children, there’s a lot, a lot, a lot, to be learned  here, about politics, about power, about life… I’m also re-reading Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power… in my late 30s I thought he was being amoral and unpleasant. With the swift passing of the years I now understand that Mr. Underwood and Mr. Greene — and of course their muse, Niccolo Machiavelli — are and were, precisely correct…IMG_1560

… And oh…  oh yeah… I have a bassoon on that list too… oh, Lordy, do I have a bassoon… typical beat-to-shit school band instrument, cludged together from two other bassoons (at least they’re the same make and model) some luminous intellect repaired a broken tenon with a piece of plastic pipe… Bought it for $400 off Shitauction as a project horn… I’ll repair that properly with a piece of quartersawn European maple, refinish, repad it, finally relist it on Shitauction for $800 — $1,000…

… And don’t look along your nose at that price too hard, ‘cause new maple bassoons start at $8,000. Never forget this: Good musical instruments are expensive. Someone will be getting a half-decent bassoon for a bargain. Make that potential income $8,275.00…

So, all of those reflections and considerations, versus, drop everything and scramble for a minimum wage job  that will waste all my waking hours, suck me dry, and bring me in maybe $1,200/month — assuming I don’t get fired first. Been there, done that: The Good Little Boy (or Girl) Schtick that we were all brow-beaten into doing; suck up to the teacher just as hard as you can, get good marks, do as you’re told, work hard,  be loyal… 30-odd years in the Kafkaesque Wonderland of Work and all it brought me was a total emotional breakdown, financial ruin and divorce. Fuck that. Think I’ll take my chances with self-reliance and getting a business going.

Fixing the hole, the way to resolving my situation, would appear to be a complete no-brainer. Once those four horns are done and sold my immediate financial woes should be ameliorated.. and then? Onwards and upwards… IMG_1408IMG_1517


Posted March 1, 2014 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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