If it's possible for someone to love an inanimate object, I surely love my guitar. I played a Stella Harmony a little bit when I was a teenager, but never got beyond the basics. After a year or so, I put it down, and never picked it up again. In January 2006, a couple months before my fifty second birthday, I bought this guitar from my friend John Miller at work. It is a cedar top classical guitar, made by Key Fretted Instruments, according to the label inside. The label was loose, and floating around inside the body. I fished it out, but have since lost it. That really bothers me. On the brace nearist to the sound hole, you can see stamped a date, presumably it's date of manufacture, February, 1976. Anyhow, I paid John one hundred dollars for the guitar, and we both figured it was a good deal. I suspect that the guitar is probably worth much more than that, but I don't like thinking about it in terms of cost. I just know how it sounds, and how it makes me feel. It's hard to describe either one of these things, except to say that they're both very positive. Creating music is one of the magic things that humans do. The richness, and variety of human musical expression never ceases to amaze me. It's one of the major joys of my life. To be able to create music just multiplies the joy many times over. So, I'm no one's idea of a great, or even good guitarist, but that doesn't matter to me. I play for myself first. In fact, I find it difficult to play in front of other people at all. Super Stage Fright, I guess. My usual practice time is every morning for the first hour, to hour and a half right after I get up, while I'm having my coffee. This is the work part, but it's fulfilling work. Most nights I also pick up the guitar after having a couple drinks, and it's no longer work at all. Mabey it's just the alcohol, but the playing seems to be more fluid then. It's usually very hard to put the guitar down so I can go to bed. A few days ago, I got a splinter under the nail of the middle finger of my right hand. It has been very painful, and has prevented me from practicing, or playing the guitar. I tried playing a little last night, but had to stop. We tried to get the splingter out, but it's lodged in there pretty deep. I'll just wait and let it work itself out naturally. Also, since we are leaving for Korea in a couple days, I wont be playing for two weeks, anyhow. I just could not justify carrying the guitar half way 'round the world, and then lugging it all over Korea. I'll surely miss it while we're gone, but I have that to look forward to when we get back. I hope my splintered finger will have cleared itself up by then.