New Alto Recorder

I’ve been craving for an alto recorder ever since I’ve tried tooting a few notes on an alto recorder displayed at Allans Music in the city. I found its notes much more mellow and relatively quieter than the soprano recorder. I should say it has a sweeter voice.

With all the tasks we had to do that involved the move to the new house, I had to set aside my recorder playing. That meant that my soprano recorder learning was placed on hold last week. And since I didn’t even had time to pursue my soprano studies, I knew I couldn’t possibly devote time to learn the alto which uses a different type of fingering technique than the smaller soprano.

Now that we’ve settled in our new home, I started doing research on the alto recorder again. Which brand is better? Do I really want an alto or do I want a tenor recorder instead? What are the available music sheets and method books for the alto at the nearby music shops? I at least found out from other recorder players that the Yamaha 300 series alto recorder is a strongly recommended plastic recorder. There were other brands and models but they weren’t available in the shops I go to anyway. So, I guess it is fortunate that the most recommended brand and model is available at Allans Music.

Then yesterday, Raquel surprised me when she pulled out of her bag a Yamaha YRA-302BII alto recorder. I was all giddy. For the past few days, I’ve been thinking of various ways to convince her to allow me to buy one and here she bought it for me. It was my Christmas present, actually. She would’ve rather given it to me near Christmas day itself but she was afraid that I would buy an alto recorder without telling her.

My two Yamaha series 300 plastic recorders: the YRA-302BII Alto/Treble and the YRS-302BII Soprano/Descant.

I quickly pulled it out of its case, assembled it and promptly played a few tunes using the fingering technique I learned from using the soprano recorder. The low soft mellow tones were indeed lovely. Of course, to properly play it, I will have to learn the F-fingering technique as the alto recorder is an F type instrument.

Today, I bought a method book (instruction book) specifically for the alto/treble recorder. I realised that it will take me a while to get used to the different fingering technique. I also have to get used to stretching my fingers more as the holes are now farther apart as compared to the soprano’s.

Anyway, as you can see, I’m quite excited with the new instrument. I can’t wait to learn it. Once I’ve learned most of the fingerings on the alto, I’m going to record (no pun intended) the two recorders playing the same tune and post the mp3 files on the site to give you an idea of what each one sounds like if you didn’t know.

Published in: on December 15, 2005 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

You Can Never Leave!

As you know, we’ve just moved to a new place so we didn’t need the services we were using in the apartment anymore. So starting last Thursday, I’ve tried to have my broadband and phone services (they were bundled services) disconnected from iiNet. There wasn’t a way to end the service using their online toolbox so I had to call them up personally.

I requested that they disconnect all of my services by Monday as I won’t be needing it anymore. It was straight forward enough and the lady I was talking seemed to have understood my simple request.

Come Monday, I logged on to the iiNet toolbox and it said there that my broadband and phone were both still active. I thought that maybe it’ll all be disconnected by the next day. So when Tuesday came, I logged on again to see that my services were still active with them.

So I called them again. The man I talked to told me that there was indeed a reminder that my account would be disconnected. He explained that the person I talked to last time was probably on leave and that was why it wasn’t actioned as promised. Okay, fair enough. I asked him to end the service that day and he said he would do it.

Later, I checked my toolbox again and saw that the broadband service was now flagged as cancellation pending. The phone, however, was still pretty much active. Okay so maybe they needed to have the broadband deactivated first before they can do anything about the phone line.

The next day, yesterday actually, I called iiNet up again to complain that the phone line is still active. According to the lady I talked to, they couldn’t disconnect my phone line. They told me to call Telstra instead (where the line originally came from before I had iiNet take over it) and have them disconnect it for me. At the time, I couldn’t believe it. I had a similar arrangement done with another ISP before (iPrimus) and they were able to disconnect my phone line for me with no problem.

But okay. Maybe the rules have changed since two years ago so I called up Telstra. The Telstra lady on the phone told me that they couldn’t disconnect the phone because according to their records, the telephone line was under iiNet’s control. She told me to call iiNet back because she couldn’t do anything from her side. Great.

So I called iiNet again. The iiNet lady (a different one) told me that they couldn’t disconnect my line and that I should have Telstra “churn” the phone line back to them and then have Telstra disconnect it.

I said my goodbye and called Telstra. Now, apparently, there is no problem with having to churn the phone line back to Telstra but in order to do so, I have to select a home plan first. What that meant was that it’s as if I’m starting a service from scratch with Telstra just to have my phone line disconnected. That meant that I was going to be billed for connecting back to Telstra. And since I was going to disconnect the line immediately afterwards, I will incur an early termination fee with Telstra to boot!

No way! The Telstra lady also told me that the churning could take 10 to 21 working days so in the meantime, I will have to continue paying iiNet for the phone line I wasn’t using and when it does come over to Telstra, I will have to pay Telstra for the phone line rental and the early termination fee! And all because I want to disconnect the bloody phone!

Fortunately, the Telstra lady was very helpful in this case. I explained to her the situation then she talked to a Telstra communications technician. She couldn’t believe that iiNet couldn’t disconnect the line for me. And the technician agreed that iiNet should have the power to disconnect my line.

So Telstra canceled my attempt to have the line churned back to their service with no dramas. I mean, they could have easily just done what I asked them to do and they would’ve taken some money off me. But they didn’t. And so I appreciated their assistance there.

I called iiNet once again. I was ready to ask for the manager if the person I talked to wouldn’t do what I wanted. I was all psyched up to shout at whoever was on the phone if he or she was going to be difficult.

I started the conversation by plainly stating my request. “Could you please disconnect my phone line? End it? Cut it off? For good?”

And that was it. The guy told me they could do it and would do so as soon as possible. What the?! Then why did the first two iiNet people I talked to said that they couldn’t disconnect my line?

Well, I was glad that I finally had iiNet’s assurance that my phone line will be disconnected.

I just hope that the guy I talked to was telling the truth. Because when I looked at my iiNet toolbox this morning, it indicated that my phone line is still active. I just hope they deactivate it soon.

I wonder what will happen if the new tenants of the apartment decided to have a phone line connected in that place and the iiNet phone line is still in place.

It’s just so frustrating.

Published in: on December 15, 2005 at 4:05 pm  Comments (3)