Early Practice / Practice · 2013Jan30We

Early Practice · Three ringers:  Carroll, Nancy, Thomas.  We raised all eight bells, in a harmonious sequence:  148 (fCF), 246 (ECA), 237 (EDG), 357 (DBG).

  • Carroll worked on setting.
  • Nancy worked on some problems that have snuck into her ringing motion, blocking her followthroughs, causing too tense and tight of her left hand’s grip on the tail, delaying her pickup, and separating her hands particularly from handstroke to pickup.  We tracked back to one cause, Thomas’s unclear statement of the “wringing out” of the rope and sally as one pulls, which we now see has to be presented as a sensation to feel, not a motion to actually make while ringing.  She made much improvement but there’s more to do.
  • Judy and Marguerite arrived about 6:15 so we were able to ring Rounds on Five on the light five.

Practice · Seven ringers:  Carroll, Jody, Judy, Ken, Marguerite, Nancy, Thomas.  Anne’s bicycle had a flat tire on the way to practice which prevented her attendance.  Former ringer Malu visited, and pulled a rope for the first time in a couple of years, but did not ring.

  • Rounds on Five, then Six, then Seven.  We rang on the heavy bells, standing and rotating one bell to the right every so often.
  • Full Pull then Stand, in most rotations of the ringers around the bells.
  • Plain Hunt on Five with tenor behind.  Nancy tenored while the senior ringers worked on their hunting.  Now that our striking has improved and we have more senior ringers at practices, we will be devoting more practice time to this.  We plan to run Hunting like we run Rounds, standing and rotating one working bell to the right every so often (leaving the tenor ringer in place).

New door for spiral stairs

2013-01-27.StairDoor_0435A metal doorframe and self-closing wooden fire door has been added to the spiral stairs.  There is no doorknob at this writing.

Update: Although the door has veneer surfaces, it is a code-rated fire door as shown by an information plate on the hinge face and verified by Ken.  The interior of the door is a mineral substance, visible in the doorknob mounting hole.

Springs in the hinges swing the door shut with a loud bang, so watch out.

Early Practice / Practice · 2013Jan23We

Early Practice · Three ringers:  Carroll, Judy, Thomas.  We raised all eight bells.  Carroll worked on raising, ringing form, and setting.

Practice · Six ringers:  Carroll, Judy, Ken, Marguerite, Rob, Thomas.  New learner Bobbie watched and listened.

After practice some of the band adjourned to a nearby pub.

Tower door usable

The tower door and frame have been replaced, ending the concern that we might be unable to get in to (or back out of) the tower appear to be usable.  Jim and workmen were in and out of the tower several dozen times today without difficulty.  We duct-taped the bolt’s plate against the door meanwhile to keep it from catching on the door frame again.

The door and frame will be replaced at a later date, as part of other work on the bell tower including the addition of a non-locking interior fire door for the spiral staircase.

Road closings for marathon 2013Jan27Su

2013-01-27.MiamiMarathonThe Miami Marathon will close 15th St NE between the Venetian Causeway and North Miami Ave (course map).  Ringers will have to allow extra time and possibly alter their route.  As usual, the best approach will be from the north via Bayshore Drive, entering the Cathedral grounds from the gate on 16th Street.

  • 15th St and the Venetian Causeway will be closed.
  • No access from the south via Biscayne Blvd or the exit from I-395 (MacArthur Causeway).
  • The best approach is from the north (see “Getting to the Cathedral on Race Days” map), aiming for N Bayshore Dr and the NE 16th St entrance.

Update: this morning between 9:00 and 10:00am the intersection of Bayside Dr and 16th St was blocked by drivers were sitting in their cars, or in at least one case cars whose drivers had left them in the traffic lanes.  People trying to reach the Cathedral had to ask the drivers to move or drive on the wrong side of Bayside Dr to get to 16th St.

Road race courses usually do a “rolling re-open”, with each segment of the course re-opening as the last runners either clear it or are picked up by the slow-runner van and ferried back to the staging area.

The Miami Marathon starts at 6:15am, with the Cathedral at roughly the 10.5 mile point.  The wheelchair competitors and fastest runners will have passed by around 7:15am, but based on last year’s experience there will still be a steady stream of slower runners and walkers until about 10:00am when the rolling re-open will reach the Cathedral.  Update: walkers were being cleared off 15th St at 10:00am.

The course makes a loop around most of South Beach, making egress a problem.  It is likely that I-395 (MacArthur Causeway) will be open by 8:00am, but of course the tower won’t be reachable from the usual I-395 exit;  plan to drive around by I-95 and I-195 to the Biscayne Blvd exit north of the tower.

After-service ringing too?

The band rang all eight bells both before and after the 10:00am annual meeting service last week, with such good results and such enthusiasm that we’ve been discussing whether to make this a regular occurrence.

A few ringers proposed ringing only after services (i.e. at about 11:15am), which has not found wide support and would break a long-standing tradition.

A more likely possibility is to have separate signups for before and after, and ring with different but probably overlapping bands, with the expectation that if there aren’t enough 11:15 ringers we’ll fold that band into the 9:00 band and ring only once.

About half the band has expressed interest in regularly ringing after as well as before.  We’ll continue to discuss the question and will probably try out ringing before and after one Sunday soon.

Service ringing · 2013Jan20Su

NIne ringers:  Barbara, Carroll, Eoin, Jim, Judy, Marguerite, Nancy, Rob, Thomas.  We raised all eight bells.

  • Rounds on Eight, standing every few minutes and rotating one bell to the right.  From time to time we rang some clean rounds, several times very well struck indeed.
  • At 9:40 we stood and rearranged the ringers in a sequence that promised the best results, and rang our best rounds for fifteen minutes.
  • We stood and moved the ringers who were doing best today to the heavy six, 345678, then rang Rounds for a few minutes and rang down in peal.
  • Eoin and Thomas then quickly lowered the 1 and 2.

New learner Amy sat on the spiral stairs listening and watching for part of the ringing.

Tower door jams shut

When we arrived to open the tower for service ringing, the door could not be opened.  We had to jimmy the door open in order to get in.  We blocked the door open during service ringing to ensure we could get back out afterwards.

The tower door has been sticking in its frame since the concrete work a few weeks ago.  It appears that the frame was bent at that time, and since then the door scrapes where the lock bolt is mounted.  The workman apparently tried to work around the problem by tightening the screws holding the lock in the door, and stripped the threads on both the screws and the door.  Since then it’s been impossible to fasten the bolt mechanism firmly in the door, and the two screws have floated in their holes.

Today the sticking became jamming.  The bolt plate and the upper screw holding it in the door projected enough to catch in the door frame.  Thomas had a 16″ screwdriver with which he levered the plate back enough for it to clear, and a second screwdriver with which he levered the screw back while holding the plate with the first one.  Rob made a sign warning ringers not to close the door, and Thomas put Barbara’s large spring clamp on the door to prevent it from closing accidentally.

Jim says he’ll see that the contractor replaces the frame and door ASAP.

All-afternoon new learners class · 2013Jan19Sa

Today was the second in the 2013 Winter class sequence.

Bobbie’s second class · She worked on handstrokes and continues to progress well.

Ann’s first class · She had not realized it was five hours long, and could only stay until 2:00, but made splendid progress during that time:  pulling off, backstrokes alone, handstrokes alone.  She mastered the up and down knots as well.

Amy’s second class, after her first class in 2011 · We did not realize she would be attending so there were only two instructors (Rob and Thomas), and during Bobbie’s breaks she worked with Rob on getting back up to speed.

The next all-afternoon class will be in two weeks, on 2013Feb02Sa.