Posted in Fiddle Resources and Tools

Improving My Cheap Fiddle

It took about a week of practice before I started to pick out things about the cheap fiddle I bought that I felt required fixing or changing. There was actually quite a bit I needed to tweak… but rather than kick the little $30 kit to the curb, I decided to take some time to try to improve it.

While I already had a sense of what was wrong, this video helped confirm things I could do to improve my experience:

I talked about some of this last week, but here’s a list of all the improvements I made to my violin:

  • New shoulder rest
  • New chin rest
  • Replaced all strings
  • Replaced the bridge
  • Applied peg compound & graphite to nut
Two strings removed and new bridge placed

While I’d ordered the new self-adjustable bridge last week through Amazon, it wasn’t available for Prime. I expected it to arrive today (Monday), but instead, I was excited to discover that it came earlier on Saturday. So I spent some time on Sunday learning how to replace the strings and bridge. I didn’t buy anything expensive when it came to strings at this point, just a set of Preludes. These already seem a good deal better than the strings that came with the violin originally.

Since I was taking the strings off anyhow, I took the opportunity to apply some Peg Compound to the pegs in hopes it will help keep the instrument in tune longer. I do have trouble with the E string in particular constantly going flat (and I’m concerned to apply too much pressure to it because it always seems to be stretched enough as it is!). We’ll see if this helps — the strings are still so new, it’s hard to tell right at this point.

I’ll talk more about the actual process and resources I used for all of this later. I’m glad I messed around with it, though — I learned a lot about replacing parts and restringing my instrument. As much as I’m beginning to doubt the wisdom of buying a cheap violin at this point (the new bridge I bought cost more than the violin!), I do have to say that I’ve been able to learn a lot because I’m not very worried about messing it up.

If nothing else, I can always use the chin and shoulder rest on any new instrument I buy (I’ve determined this is really the right chin rest for me!). And the bridge can always be transferred to a new violin or serve as a backup. Knowing how to change the strings is just something I should be able to do by default, in my opinion. If I own an instrument, I should understand how to maintain it.

Posted in Blogging, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Pony Farming Like It’s 2019

I’ve played FFXIV for over 5 years. I’ve done a lot in this game during this time, and often delve into as many systems as the game provides — from maxing out Squads, to chasing dumb achievements, to running way too many Beast Tribe Quests. Despite that, I have only ever once unlocked and run an Extreme Primal. That was Bismark, and I was trying to help a friend get a bird drop.

Well, that changed last night.

FC folks, Kade and Amoon, had been farming ponies a while back. Kade just needed the Ramuh drop as his last to get the Kirin, but due to some mechanics, they were having trouble duoing it. So, Syn and I unlocked it and gave them a hand.

Kade got his pony on the first run, but the guys were nice enough to run it until Syn and I also got a drop (though Syn kept swearing she didn’t care about mount farming). This led into unlocking the rest… and in about an hour and some change, Syn and I had all but two of the total ponies.

There’s a certain sort of fun in obliterating old Primal fights in a 4-man unsynced party, to be honest. Though, I somewhat wished I’d done it on my main… now I really do want to get ponies on her, as well. XD

So far, my favorite for Amon is the Ramuh pony — the colors and the lightning just fits him nicely!


Blooming Crafts

The other thing I started this weekend for the first time was growing flowers and learning how to change their colors. I noted that one of the things I wanted to do was get the fancy Blessed tool for Amon’s alchemist. Well, yesterday, I was scanning the list of recipes that alchemists make, and realized there are literally pages of corsages, which require different colors and types of flowers that you grow in the pots in your room/house.

So, I invested in some soil, seeds and flower pots, and got to learning about how that system works. Thankfully, I have plenty of personal rooms between all of my alts for this sort of thing, and flowers grow in 24 hours.

There’s always something new to mess around with in FFXIV, even for me.