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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:55 pm 
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88man wrote:
Want a good guide? DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are fantastic for European destinations. Buy one for each region you visit:


Thank you, and yes, I already have all three books… :)

88man wrote:
By staying in the Piazza itself you'll be situated in a great central location for everything, even the pigeons. When the time comes, let me know and I can give you more info and deals about the city and the surrounding Veneto. To get to the island of San Lazzaro, you'll have to take Vaporetto #20. From the Piazza, take a left at the Columns of San Marco and walk by the Doge's Palace, go over 2 bridges along the Riva degli Schiavone (quayside promenade), until you get to San Zaccaria (central vaporetto station). It's located right in front of the Vittorio Emanuele II statue (king mounted on a horse). So many things to see... :shock:


Wow, George, you really do know your way around Venice! Can I put you as a contact in my phone, in case I get lost while I’m there? :lol:
88man wrote:
I am sure you'll see all the major sites, but if you're thinking of buying fine Murano glass, I suggest Vecchia Murano Glass Factory - very close - walk along Calle Larga San Marco, the street behind St. Mark's Basilica, and it's the building as soon as you go over the bridge. You'll need a reference or appointment to get in, but if you're interested, I'll PM you the name of the guy to ask for at the door.

And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code? :lol: Seriously, thank you for this information. :)

88man wrote:
Sorry to hear about your HD camcorder. If you want a very good consumer HD camcorder, the Panasonic TM700 and TM900 have excellent sharpness, color, white balance, and are a good value. I might buy one for my mom since she still uses her Sony DV Hi8. Don't rush because there's going to be a glut of HD models due to be released. Just give yourself 1 month to get really comfy with the new unit before the trip.

My old video camera is a Panasonic, and the one I just bought and returned is also a Panasonic. But it was only $230, (which is what appealed to me when I was half-asleep). I should have realized that you get what you pay for. The camera was not bad, it had a great zoom and the images looked fine in bright light. It was the low-light quality that I didn’t like as it was grainy. That’s why I returned it. I’m not sure it is possible, but I really don’t want to pay more than $400 for a new camera because I have so many expenses happening right now too. Zoinks! :lol:

Another question for you, George: You once told me the name of a hotel in Paris that you like a lot, but I can’t remember the name. We’re still playing around with our hotel reservations for the Paris part of the trip. Can you please tell me the name of that hotel again?

Thank you,
Monica

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:28 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Absolutely. Don't tell anyone you heard this from me, but the official secret code word is "Vivaldi" (Venetian composer, don'tcha know). It must not be spoken, but should be written down on a folded piece of paper, pushed discreetly over the counter while you make meaningful eye contact while sporting a seductive smile. Much is down to technique, and rumour has it that it doesn't matter much which word you write down. How you write it is more important.

When I say "how you write it", this is a matter of aesthetics. Not using pencil, felt-tip, ball point, or roller ball is a good start, these traditionalists like it when you use good old-fashioned proper ink and a fountain pen. Cheap paper, such as the back of an envelope or a corner torn out of a phone book will not do, and neither will standard photocopier-quality paper. No, you need to use nice, heavy paper, with proper watermarks. It's even better if the paper is robust enough to resist tearing or moisture. It doesn't need to be pristine an ununsed. In fact, it's better if it isn't. It's best if what it has printed on it includes the number "10" and the word "Euro".


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:34 am 
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Oh, Rainer....everyone's a comedian.... :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:23 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Can I put you as a contact in my phone, in case I get lost while I’m there? :lol:
Only if you ask me in Italian. :P

pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Yes, give him the DaVinci Code. And tell him that you're here to buy a pair of red Murano glass slippers... :wink: Don't worry, there usually are 2 old guys at the door with a cigar or expresso in hand talking about the old days...

pianolady wrote:
My old video camera is a Panasonic, and the one I just bought and returned is also a Panasonic. But it was only $230, (which is what appealed to me when I was half-asleep). I should have realized that you get what you pay for. The camera was not bad, it had a great zoom and the images looked fine in bright light. It was the low-light quality that I didn’t like as it was grainy. That’s why I returned it. I’m not sure it is possible, but I really don’t want to pay more than $400 for a new camera because I have so many expenses happening right now too. Zoinks! :lol:
Manufacturers have 2 grades of major consumer electronics: 1) high volume bulk production that's geared toward Costco, BJs, HSN, Walmart, etc. 2) Premium grade that's distributed to stores like Best Buy, Adorama, JRMusicWorld, BHPhotoVideo. It's the same item, but the model numbers differ by one digit/letter - very sneaky indeed. I made the same mistake once and bought a 50" Panasonic Plasma from Costco. I realized when it was too late that it had ghost images in black scenes - junk in my opinion. Then I bought a 65" Panasonic "Professional" Plasma Monitor and it has been flawless. I never buy optical electronics from warehouses anymore. It's tough to find a very good HD camcorder that will low light and 1080p under $500 now, so just wait a little longer...

pianolady wrote:
Another question for you, George: You once told me the name of a hotel in Paris that you like a lot, but I can’t remember the name. We’re still playing around with our hotel reservations for the Paris part of the trip. Can you please tell me the name of that hotel again?
Hôtel Scribe. It's in the Opéra district, walking distance to Vendôme, Madeleine, and Concorde squares -- Very Chopin friendly! I like it because it's close to Café de Paris.

I'll PM you the other info tomorrow...

George

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:30 pm 
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88man wrote:

pianolady wrote:
And when the guy opens the little peep window, do I need to give him the secret code?
Yes, give him the DaVinci Code. And tell him that you're here to buy a pair of red Murano glass slippers... :wink: Don't worry, there usually are 2 old guys at the door with a cigar or expresso in hand talking about the old days...


So quaint, isn’t it? I love that! The DaVinci code – okay, I’ll try telling them the Fibonacci number. Then I can wear my new glass slippers and click my heels to find my way home. Or maybe I’ll just wear them to the ball (except I may lose one around midnight…. :wink: )

Thank you, George :D

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:15 pm 
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All this talk of Rome and Venice, but are you not going to Florence? There might be a surprise for you there and the train (the only decent transport from Venice to Rome (it will take you much longer by airplane, believe me passes through Florence.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:20 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
All this talk of Rome and Venice, but are you not going to Florence? There might be a surprise for you there and the train (the only decent transport from Venice to Rome (it will take you much longer by airplane, believe me passes through Florence.

Hear, hear! Florence is where I would put my money!

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:49 am 
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I've never been to Italy before, so figured Venice and Rome would be the 'must see' places. But now you guys have got me thinking about Florence. Hmmm....
@Richard - I love surprises (nice ones). What is the surprise I may find there?
I'm taking a train from Paris to Venice and then from Venice to Rome. Maybe I see if the train can stop in Florence....I don't know....I'll talk to my travel agent.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:16 am 
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The train from Venice to Rome stops at Padua, Bologna and Florence, before heading to Rome. You would need to make two tickets, from Venice to Florence and from Florence to Rome. There should, however, be no price difference at all.

The surprise (maybe this is what will make you decide against :D) is that there will be a PS member there who knows more than somewhat about that joint.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:52 pm 
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:shock: Oh my, Richard! You have finally revealed where you live...? :shock: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:22 am 
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richard66 wrote:
Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!


Why? It's neat that you live there. Aren't you glad that you do? And it would be nice to meet you in person, Richard, if I do manage to go to Florence. :)

Cloud-Cuckooland...?...wherever that is, it sounds like a fun place.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:05 am 
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Monica, Eddy and Richard are spot on! Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and hey, it has a great leather district! I don't know how long your trip is, but if you have 2-3 extra days go for it! But don't try to cram too much either with too many cities and miss out on the detail on the cities that you're planning on. You want to be seeing, doing, discovering, not spending your time riding all the time - unless you're planning on renting a Ferrari. 8)

Regarding video cameras: I did want to mention that more and more P&S and basic SLR cameras are including video. My point and shoot Canon S95 takes 720p video that looks decent and records in stereo. As far as still photos go, the pictures from it are awesome to the point of me wanting to sell my 5D digital SLR. Video capability is getting better on newer cameras as that seems to be the market trend in photography. The new point and shoot Canon S100 IS can do 1080p/24f. Do your own free test: Bring an SD card with you, and go to Best Buy and try it the video mode on 1080p for a couple of cameras. You might even want to try out an SLR camera with a zoom lens. In any case, compare in Vegas Pro at home for low light and motion smoothness. Play it on a HDTV. Judge for yourself if you need to spend money on a separate camcorder. You might feel that a point and shoot might do dual duty as camcorder/camera. The trick to travel is - to travel LIGHT, and these P&S cameras are tiny and weigh nothing! If you feel that you need better audio, take your pocket audio recorder and merge later on like you do in your piano videos.

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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:56 am 
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pianolady wrote:
richard66 wrote:
Oops. There again, I have spoken too much!!! Time to move! :D Cloud-Cuckooland, thereI come!


Why? It's neat that you live there. Aren't you glad that you do? And it would be nice to meet you in person, Richard, if I do manage to go to Florence. :)

Cloud-Cuckooland...?...wherever that is, it sounds like a fun place.


:lol: Just joking. I promise I will not hide if you get off the train! Just do not let me know when you do, so I do not get the chance! :wink: :lol:

Serioulsly, I can show you a place or two to you if I am in the mood. More if I am not. If you are really good, you might even get to see the Geier and the famous MP3 recorder.


Cloud-Cuckooland - That is Culture for you. Cloud-Cuckooland is a perfect city built in the sky and the where the birds live in Aristophanes' play (414BC), The Birds.

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Richard Willmer
"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: Piano manufacturer escapes bankruptcy
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:31 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
:lol: Just joking. I promise I will not hide if you get off the train! Just do not let me know when you do, so I do not get the chance! :wink: :lol:

Serioulsly, I can show you a place or two to you if I am in the mood. More if I am not. If you are really good, you might even get to see the Geier and the famous MP3 recorder.

Cloud-Cuckooland - That is Culture for you. Cloud-Cuckooland is a perfect city built in the sky and the where the birds live in Aristophanes' play (414BC), The Birds.

I'm a little confused here, Richard. :) But that’s okay, I can find my way around. I’m good with maps and directions.

88man wrote:
Monica, Eddy and Richard are spot on! Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance, and hey, it has a great leather district! I don't know how long your trip is, but if you have 2-3 extra days go for it! But don't try to cram too much either with too many cities and miss out on the detail on the cities that you're planning on. You want to be seeing, doing, discovering, not spending your time riding all the time - unless you're planning on renting a Ferrari. 8)


I only have 15 days in Europe. I don’t know if I can squeeze in Florence, but I’d like to try. Maybe I can rent a car (I wish a Ferrari, but probably more like a Chevy…haha) and drive from Rome to Florence. According to Google, it would take about three hours and I expect the countryside would be nice to see. Although, I would have just seen it from the train…. I don’t know… Still, I could use another pair of leather pants! 8)

Regarding cameras: I know what you mean about point-and-shoot cameras having good video capability. I’ve been using my little Samsung camera for my videos lately because the image quality is better than my (older) Panasonic video camera. The reason I want a new video camera, though, is because of the zoom. You can zoom in much more on these new video cameras, much more than my regular camera. My smartphone takes decent video too, but it also does not zoom very much. And now I have another dilemma…trying to figure out how to manage my smartphone when abroad. I’ve been reading up on it and there are so many different ideas, opinions, and service plans about data usuage, roaming charges, wifi, and all that stuff...I’m getting a little overwhelmed by everything…

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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