Keyboard keyhoarder

I grew up in a time when consumer keyboards were developing fast, and a musical streak happens to run through my family. I was hooked after my first keyboard, gifted to me on Christmas. It was a Realistic brand (re-branded Casio). RadioShack … memories. Despite having rhythms, didn’t have auto-accompaniment, which turned out to be a feature that fascinated me despite my pretty much all-classical training with regard to keyboard instruments. I was surprised and delighted last month to find this little guy at Goodwill in Coudersport for $3.99:

Yamaha PSS-470
Yamaha PSS-470

I could likely flip this board on eBay (there’s probably one for sale now, or will be soon, if not). When last I checked, they go for about up to $100. So, all the cumulative time I’ve spent on eBay stalking these old keyboards finally pays off. Of course, I didn’t know if this unit worked, but I used to work … at Goodwill! What’s more, I can reach the only outlets I’m aware of in the store, above the merchandise rack on the back shelf, because I’m 75 inches tall. The keyboard even came with a compatible adapter. How handy is that?!

About that auto-accompaniment I mentioned: I thought I’d do a demo of the various beats (pre-PCM drums). But, “What to play?” I wondered. I remember the demo song from yet another keyboard in the PSS line. Here’s a recording from my SoundCloud of each rhythm with two chord variations. Since the piano sound is the same on my PSR-36, which I keep hooked up regularly for practicing and other music applications, I used that to play the melody. It’s certainly nothing special, but is “curated” through comments — since “content curation” is a hot-ass buzzword now in content marketing.

The PSS-470 is one of the “SoundBlaster keyboards” featuring the same sound chip as the original Creative SoundBlaster. Check out some other demos on YouTube.

Second Cousin, Once Removed By Police

Now, do you want to hear some gossip about somebody you don’t know? Laughing is so important; I take it where I can get it. For the past few days I’ve gotten it from The Potter Leader-Enterprise. The 2/15/18 edition of runs a front-page bit from a report from Pennsylvania State Police at Mansfield about Skyler Williams, 26.

Williams entered an elderly couple’s home in Westfield, a relatively close-by hillbilly hamlet, whereupon she shed some footwear and outer layers. She left her cellphone behind so that police could identify her. This whole ordeal already of a precision strike.

She began cooking breakfast. The report doesn’t detail whether she finished, or ate any of it, but she did use the wrong burner so, you know, I think the success story here is that she didn’t burn the place down considering a wooden cutting board was in close enough proximity to done get burnt up. Plus, raw eggs? Bacon maybe? I’m not seeing that.

Here’s the thing that guarantees her fame: she proceeded to the couple’s bedroom, where they were asleep, I should imagine, and “… climbed into bed with them.” They called police. Williams (she, not me) fled the scene leaving her belongings behind.

It’s not like this never happens ( But it happened around here. That’s front page news, babe. That’s what some of us read and talk about. You’ll have to pick up a copy of the PLE or subscribe digitally at to find out about the legal troubles she faces now.

Police say she was inebriated, according to the article, but that doesn’t necessarily mean drunk. Alcohol may or may not have been involved. A friend heard she was, “tripping.” I’m not here to investigate, or stab in the dark. I’m just writing about someone with whom I share a surname doing something notably stupid.

It doesn’t seem fair to laugh so hard without making a disclosure of my own. When I was her age, when drinking was fun, I found myself locked out of a residence in an intoxicated state. With no regard for my hand, which remained uninjured, I punched through acrylic glass and opened the door. It was my residence of course, so there were no old folks in my bed, unfortunately.  Also, I’ve used the wrong burner multiple times since, but sober on each occasion. Most recently, I turned on the burner underneath a cheap cover; moments later I noticed the smell of paint burning off of steel. Decoration or safety feature? Perhaps both.

P.S. I’m kidding around in the title: she’s not my probably cousin. There are LOTS of Williamses even around here. If her first name were a little more common, like mine, she could take comfort in Williams coming in around third or fourth in the most common last names in these United States. We just blend with the Johnsons, Smiths, and Joneses.

P.P.S. Find out how common your name is or isn’t with a bit of research at Neat.

It’s A Sign

For Rent
For Rent

The apartment unit under mine, 1 bed 1 bath, is available, per the sign. See it? It might be hard to read because it’s upside down under the snow. I don’t know how many people know about this sign situation. I would right the sign if it weren’t covered in ice.

Would I, though?

I didn’t when I could have, so I’ll be real and say “no”. It’s not even “my” yard. It’s the right wrong thing to do. I don’t think there is a single person who wants to deal with the rental of that apartment though which I mean most thoroughly and upon which I choose not to expound.

These are the things that make me laugh, and I need to laugh. I literally can’t cry which is weird to me; it seems like it’d be conveniently cathartic. In any case, the rental sign was the size of a postage stamp so I have been laughing about this thing since inception.

I won’t write any more beyond this: I could detail the symbolism of the signage which I also find hilarious in its way I’m going to zip it, lock it, and put it in my pocket.

Call 814— *squint* does that say 555???