This & That

Renaissance Man or Jack of All Trades? – Part 1

It’s said that Mozart at an early age—not sure when but later than five, when he started composing—had to choose on which instrument he would focus his efforts, violin or piano. He was a genius as a composer and prodigious on piano, though he was no slouch on the fiddle. However, it is his concertos for piano that are more highly esteemed than his for violin.

Perhaps because he was more of a perfectionist than I am, he decided on one instrument, whereas lately I’ve preferred guitar, even the electric over acoustic. I will always be primarily a piano player, unless at some point my guitar technique catches up to that of ten years of piano lessons, which is quite possible considering I hardly work on piano anymore.

I wish I had more time. More time to become as good as Bruce Hornsby and Eric Clapton. Not that I’ll ever become either, though perhaps in the life to come. I also play a little bass and some drums; mess around on the banjo; and would like to try the mandolin.

It’s not only music, though. I want to pursue other interests, as well.

Unexpected Gifts

Recently, Cindy bought me a bike. Understand that I have a hard time with Cindy buying me an extravagant gift—meaning anything over $50. Sure, from time to time I’ll surprise her with something nice, like her iPod touch or KitchenAid mixer, but I typically resist her gifts of appreciation and adoration. Well, she emailed me a craigslist link with the message: “I want to buy this for you.” When I refused her offer, she explained her reasoning.

See, five or six years ago, we were having car trouble (which I wrote about in “The Man’s Van”), so I purchased a cheap mountain bike at Walmart. For some time I made the seven-mile trek from home to the office. Eventually we worked out the car situation, and my bike became merely recreational. But I’ve had some trouble with it recently, simply because it was cheaply constructed and I’d put quite a few miles on it. Cindy wanted me to have a better one.

Racing for Donuts

Now this new, used bike I have is a pretty good one, one that says I’m a little more serious about cycling. And I’d like to be. I’m even signing up for a race, although it’s hardly serious. It’s called the Tour de Donut, a 30-mile race with stops for cyclists to eat donuts. For each donut I eat (and keep down, their website informs), five minutes will be slashed off my time. Not exactly the Tour de France, but it should be fun—and tasty. (I’m sure Lance Armstrong never got jelly filling on his bike shorts.)

Where am I going to find the time when I’m already busy as a husband of one, father of four, and pastor of many? I’m not sure. But there’s more. More that I want to try that I’ll share in my next post. Until then, look for me on my bike with a guitar strapped to my back.

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