Friday, December 2, 2016

Finishing Touch

I'm suffering the journal paradox at the moment.  I have a lot to write about, but no time to write.  I still need to say something about the violin convention in Cleveland, our trip to House on the Rock over Thanksgiving, and about the election.  But those things take time.

So instead, here is a post about painting my Kitchen Aid!  (Because that's easy, and right now I need something to be easy.)
After the kitchen remodel was complete and we moved everything back into it, I realized the color of our Kitchen Aid bugged me.  I liked the color.  We bought the mixer only about a year or two ago to replace the overworked one we got as a wedding present.  That one was white and we retired it to the cottage where it will fall apart at a much slower rate.  The new one was that sort of icy blue that recently came back into fashion, and I was frustrated with our kitchen and needed the cute distraction.
But that pale blue looked weird against the green tile back splash in the new and improved kitchen, so I did a little online research and discovered it wouldn't be too hard to change.  I found a green that looked like it would blend in with the new color scheme and got to work!

Pretty much all there is to it is removing a couple of screws and then covering all the parts you don't want painted.  Then you have to sand the gloss off the original paint.

After that it's just lots of spray painting, first with color, then with a lot of protective enamel. 

I didn't do a perfect job, and someday (in my *free* time) I will do a bit of touch up in a few spots, but overall I'm happy with it.  I like that it matches the kitchen now and it feels like the last piece is in place.

Ta-dah!  (See?  Playing with spray paint can be a little like sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "Lalalalala" when you don't want to deal with the world falling apart.  Easy peasy.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tired of Mean

This isn't a real post.  This is me just needing a moment to vent.  I'm trying to find time to thoughtfully prepare some ideas and sort out some important issues, but I keep getting stuck and overwhelmed, so thoughtful will have to wait.

Tonight I'm just tired of mean.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Not Just a Rental Instrument

I'm in Cleveland this week for a VSA (Violin Society of America) convention.  It's a competition year, so I brought my latest violin for judging, and it's always nice to spend time with others in the same business.  I've gotten to catch up with people I don't see often, and even made a few new friends and contacts.  I'm enjoying myself a great deal.

This year I also had the opportunity to give a talk!  It went well, although it was on the first day of the convention before some of the people I knew had arrived, and there are talks happening concurrently this year, so some people had to miss mine who wanted to go.

But it was a good talk and I got many good questions afterward.  The best part was to discover other people with shops like my own in different parts of the country; smaller shops where they care more about relationships and music than they do about profit and growth.  I was approached several times in the following days by people who liked what I had to say, and told me they run their businesses with the same philosophy.  They were pleased not to feel alone.

So here, if you are interested, is a slightly edited version of my talk.  The original had more than 60 slides and some graphs and I can't include most of them here, but trust me, they were awesome.  My regular readers may be bored by the more nuts and bolts descriptions of our business, but I wanted to include them for my colleagues who missed the talk.  (There are some things of more general interest if you skim past the contract stuff.)


Korinthia A. Klein
Korinthian Violins, Milwaukee WI
VSA Nov 2016

My name is Korinthia Klein and I run a small violin shop in Milwaukee WI.

I come at this business from many angles: as a player, a teacher, a parent, and a luthier.

I began playing violin in public school in Michigan, switched to viola in high school and majored in that instrument at the Ohio State University, and I still play today with a group called Festival City Symphony.  

I got my diploma in lutherie from the New World School of Violin Making in the year 2000 and then worked for several years doing repair work at Classical Strings in downtown Milwaukee where I learned repair and setup.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kitchen Accomplished! (Before and After Photos)

The kitchen is DONE!
I cleared it out back in July, demolition began in mid-August, and on November 1st the final bits and pieces were completed.  The new kitchen works so much better it's unbelievable.  Plus it's beautiful and it finally matches the rest of the house.  I love it.  I love it and I am beyond glad we did it.  (We can't really afford food to put in it now, but never mind that...)

Some general design choices that worked out well:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Elelction Time

Like many, this presidential election has left me stunned.  I have apologized to my children for the behavior of the so-called adults involved.  All our children deserve better than what we have seen over the past year, and probably better than what's to come.

I have numerous thoughts about the many troubling aspects of recent politics, but most of them would just be rehashing observations everyone is all too familiar with.  Other people have written at length about the grotesque absurdities we've witnessed, so there's no need to restate them here.  What I would like to talk about are a couple of key points I think could use more consideration going forward, regardless of the results of this election.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

I do like living in a neighborhood that has fun with Halloween.  Tons of people out for trick-or-treat, the Pumpkin Pavilion event, and I don't think anyplace in the country has anything as cool as Zombie Hill.  They outdid themselves this year:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mona the Scorpion!

Mona is amazing.  She made her costume almost completely unassisted this year.  She did all the sewing on the machine including the zipper.  She watched me do parts of Quinn's costume (since there were useful similarities) and then copied what I did where it worked, and came up with her own ideas where it didn't.  The only thing I helped with was occasionally unjamming the sewing machine when it acted up, and I hand stitched on all the extra legs for her torso while she was at school to save her a little time.

Honestly, she did a much better job of creating a scorpion costume than I would have.  Her attention to detail is impressive, and she did many things in a way I wouldn't have tried that worked beautifully.