In the world of musicians, there are those who stand by the traditional form of their instrument and those who have gone digital. I am a recreational musician, and have preferred acoustic pianos up to now; I’m about to embark on a digital adventure.

When I was about 10, my family purchased our first piano, a Henry F. Miller upright. We bought it from some grandparents who had acquired it for their granddaughter as she jumped from interest to interest (horseback riding, then piano, then ballet). I used it through seven more years of private lessons, then played on it once in a while just so my skills wouldn’t vanish. It’s been in three different homes under our ownership, and now it’s time for it to find a new home without us.

Recently, I decided to search for a digital piano. Digital pianos have weighted keys to mimic the feel of acoustic pianos, as well as pedals to mimic its abilities (such as damper/sustain). They have added benefits such as headphone jacks (so I can play without disturbing others – or more realistically, without being disturbed by others), the ability to record as you play, and never needing tuned.

While digital pianos like the Yamaha Clavinova line are designed to sound as good and to be as responsive as a grand piano, I am a bit nervous that the change will be negative. Hopefully my new digital piano can prove me wrong.

Slate.com posted a article by the name Swear Words Old and New , a post discussing how swear words have changed over time. I refuse to link to it here due to its vulgarity, but I feel the need to disagree with its conclusion.

The premise of the article is that in the past, swear words were usually blasphemous in nature. Then words related to sex were added to the list of those considered vulgar. But over time, their shock value has faded, and many have become replaced and forgotten. Now, words like the f-word are fine, because “all of us use it all the time.”

I’m sorry, that word, along with many other “salty” words people find acceptable today, are still vulgar. I find them offensive and degrading to the listener and the speaker. People sound far more intelligent and far more capable of controlling their emotions when they refrain from using swear words. But, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Once upon a time, the Papermate Mirado Black Warrior was considered one of the best wood-case pencils available. Then Papermate moved production from the USA to Mexico. Ever since, people have complained about how inferior this pencil is to the original.

I purchased a pack of 8, made in Mexico. I thought I would be unable to compare them to the USA version, then lo and behold, I found a USA Black Mirado Warrior tucked away at the bottom of the center console in my car.

After just a few moments, these are ways I found that the USA version surpasses the Mexico version: 

  • sharpening feels smoother
  • tip is more uniform in appearance after sharpening
  • body doesn’t crack

This pencil was worth something when made in the USA, but is not worth its inexpensive price as currently manufactured in Mexico.