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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« pegasus nominations | Main | harp research »

insomnia problems

Been having trouble sleeping lately. Instead of lying there in the darkness, trying to will myself to sleep in the middle of the night, I got up and surfed on the Web instead. Cobbled together a list of harp links I've been perusing during my harp research. Bizarre how relaxing it can be to create a mini-website from scratch in one sitting. Normal people read or watch tv to relax; I write HTML. :-)

By the way, I just joined the FKOfilk mailing list. Peggi Warner-Lalonde and Judith Hayman are the moderators. Description on ONElist: "For those who recall the fun of the old GEnie Filk Round Table, a place to discuss filk music. We are looking for discussion of the music and the community and the related interests we have in common. An ongoing focus will be the posting of news, information and announcement related to FilKONtario." To subscribe, send e-mail to or go to ttp:// Only a couple more weeks until FKO! Hope to see some of you there.

re: harp names. Experienced harpists in blatherchat tell me that it's no use trying to pick a name now, that my harp will let me know what its name is. So I've decided to wait... :-)

Thanks also for the advice re: travelling with a guitar. Here are a few comments people posted:

"Traveling with guitars - I have actually asked my travel agent to find out what the size of the overhead compartments are . . . After all if the guitar won't fit, it won't matter. I have also chosen to insure my guitar (maybe this would be a good idea for your harp). When I check in and board the plane, I never mention my guitar unless directly asked, at which time I politely ask about taking it on the plane. If they want me to check it, I always "gate" check it, meaning that they take it at the gate and that I pick it up and carry it through all connections, so it doesn't experience the baggage handling system (i.e. unkind baggage handlers). Using these tactics, I almost never have to check it, and then if I do, I don't fret wondering if it will arrive safely through connections, because I am carrying it."

"My guitar/flying experience sounds much like Andrea's: just take it along with you, unless they try to tell you otherwise. Getting a seat toward the back of the airliner is handy, as it means you'll board first, when the overheads are empty. I will mention that I've never found a jetliner where my hardshell dreadnaught case wouldn't fit in the overhead compartments (and I tell them that when they try to tell me sometimes that it won't fit). Probably 90% of the time, they let me just carry it aboard. Unfortunately, the most hard-nosed attitude I've ever run across is in Toronto, where I've never been able to take the guitar aboard with me (when leaving TO). I'm told that it's a national air regulation, disallowing carry-on guitars (although I'm allowed to carry it on in Winnipeg)."

"Unlike the charismatic Paul Kwinn, I've rarely been able to carry my guitar on board an aircraft with me. I will soon (although perhaps NOT before FKO) be investing in an ATA-approved case, so that 1) it is less likely to get broken, and 2) they can't make me sign a waiver, since it's packed in an officially mandated case. At least then I can worry SLIGHTLY less about it appearing on the luggage carousel in bits and pieces. As for a soft case... I wouldn't recommend flying with it unless you are guaranteed that you can carry it on with you. A soft case in the luggage compartment, even if it's gate checked, is a disaster waiting to happen."

"I've very rarely been allowed to carry my guitar on board, but almost always carry it through for checking at the gate. Downside of this is that it comes through on the conveyor at the other end, so sometimes one has to barge through to catch it as it comes down the slide at the start! One piece of useful advice is to pad out your guitar with clothing inside the case. Not only does this reduce your fears about the guitar, it also makes (often badly needed) more room in the rest of your luggage - as Debbie found coming back from England!"

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