Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lost Rosewood and The Yellow Jacket Massacre

This story starts long ago, er, at least a few years ago.  It started when I was able to procure some really nice rosewood for a couple of projects.  In fact, here's some pictures of the rosewood that I was able to get.




And here is a picture of me, taking pictures of the rosewood.


Yes, that really is me.  The computer properties tell me that picture was taken in November, 2011.  So, my main point is that, it is the right time to use the rosewood for a project.  It usually takes a year for a piece of wood to air dry, but a Florida summer is like two years.  So I figure these pieces of wood have 7 years worth of drying out. 

It's time I used those pieces of wood for a project, and I have the perfect project.  In fact, I wrote about it the post before this one.

http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2014/08/project-7-project-to-end-all-projects.html

So I go to where I stash my personal wood.  The rosewood is not there.

I go to another pile.  It's not there.

I check behind the door.  It's not there.

I check underneath the bench (after I move all the heavy equipment, and throw out some rotten wood.)  It's still not there.

I check in Dad's piles of wood.  It's not there.

Sidenote:  At this point I am starting to get irritated. 

The only logical place left is the outside building.  We mostly store lawn-mowing equipment, and chemicals.  But we also have a pile of wood in there.  It's mostly maple and cherry brought back from West Virginia.  So I open the doors, and things start flying by me.  Yellow Jackets.


No, not the Georgia Tech kind, the kind that are none too nice.  As I tried to move my pieces of wood around, they came pouring out.  One stung my Dad on the ear, and another got me on the leg.  That meant war.  So we went against the Geneva Convention, and declared chemical warfare.

So I waited a day, opened up the doors, and went to town with a spray can of wasp killer.  I ended up putting a bunch of them out of their misery.  I tore down the nest they had made.... IN MY WOOD!  Let's just say, it was a bloody massacre.  I'd show you pictures but....


So I spent time cleaning up the mess, and sweeping out the dead bodies.  Then I came what I meant to do, look for my wood.  And you know what?

I didn't find it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

THIS! Is Not A Salad Bar!!!

I have a pet peeve.  I will admit it.  It has been the cause of many a fight among the household.  First off let me show you a picture.  Look at this:


Notice anything wrong?  Well, it comes down to the fact that I can not make a damned salad in this house.  Everyone gets all bent out of shape to what's in their salad.  I can only put lettuce and carrots in a big bowl, and then have to make a salad bar for all the other ingredients.

So why is this a problem?  Well for starters notice how much room is on the table?  There's no more room to put dinner on the table.  Due to the salad bar, I can't put anything else on the table.

Next, it creates much more work for me.  I end up spending more time than I should on it.  I am not a God Damned restaurant.  Shut up and eat!  I mean really?  Do I have to go through this amount of work for every single time I have to fix a salad in this house?

I think back to my childhood.  You know who doesn't raise a stink about what you are cooking?  Poor kids.


That's right, starving kids don't tend to complain about what they're given to eat.  I grew up in a middle class neighborhood that was going downhill fast.  The kids I ate lunch with never complained about what food they had, because they were frickin starved. 

My point being, the people in this house have gotten too soft, fat, and lazy.  As cook, I have the right to put a freaking salad in a salad bowl without making a salad bar.  This is not a restaurant.  This is my kitchen, and the cook is always right.  So shut the fuck up and eat.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Project 7, The Project To End All Projects

No, not really.  I hope this won't be the last of my projects.  But enough of my shtick.  I am starting a new project.  It is going to be a copy of a 1954 Les Paul Custom.  Here's what one looks like.



I would be making a few changes to it.  I will be making it mostly out of black walnut.  I will also be adding an archtop tailpiece out of it.  The neck will be a three piece walnut neck. 

Let me start at the beginning.  First, I acquired some black walnut in West Virginia.  Here it is in it's rough sawn form.




 
 
 
So I cleaned it up by running it though the planner/joiner.
 

 
 
It really cleans up nicely.  Once it gets some finish on it, it looks even better. 
 
So the next thing I did was join up the body pieces.
 

 
I then cleaned up the three pieces of walnut for the neck.  I then glued them together.
 



 
So I do have a few goals for this guitar.  Instead of painting it black like the Gibson version, I am going to dye it black.  That way it's still dark, but you can see the grain pop through.  I am also going to use gold hardware like the original.  I am still up in the air about what type of wood I will be using for the top.  However, I am trying to track down a certain piece of wood for it. 
 
The good news is that I will always add lots of pictures, and continue to update my blog.  I am really digging this project, so hopefully it will turn out pretty good.  Stay tuned!



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Have Lost My Writing Edge

I have lost my writing edge.  It's true.  Where I was once pushing the envelope like Hunter S. Thompson, I now write about boring things like acquiring wood, and various projects.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to tell all the stories I had in my head.  There were things I liked to tell people, so I thought I should put them on paper.  And so I did.  Unfortunately, I think I ran out of stories. 

Another thing that happened was that more and more adults joined Facebook, and started to notice things I posted.  So I had to start censoring myself.  And I started doing it more and more.  Until one day, I started to notice that I was missing what made me funny, hence, my edge.

Here's a few examples of what I'm talking about.

I once wrote a blog, and my sister's comment about it was:  "Please God, don't let Mom ever read this."  You have to be pretty edgy to write something like that. 
"The Secret of Meatloaf."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/secret-of-meatloaf.html

Speaking of over the top, I could never write a blog nowadays about getting drunk, shitting on a neighbor's doorstep, and using a stray cat to wipe.  But I once did.
"Late Night Drunken Luthiery."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/late-night-drunken-luthiery.html

I just don't have the Adrian humor that I used to.  Here's a good example of it.
"The Headbanger and the Bob."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/12/headbanger-and-bob.html

Then there was my writing that I did when I was really angry.  When my former girlfriend unfriended me on both Myspace and Facebook on my birthday, I just cut loose.
"The Only Difference Between A Break-up And Getting Dumped Is Press Coverage"
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/only-difference-between-break-up-and.html

I used to be at least a decent enough writer that if I ran out of ideas I would just make shit up.
"Adrian Annoys Satanists Like He Does Everyone Else"
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/adrian-annoys-satanists-like-he-does.html

I think the best Adrian blogs are when you don't know if I am being serious or not.  I mean, if what I write makes you worried that you may be handling my asspennies, then I have done my job.
Asspennies From Heaven - An Inspirational Tale
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/asspennies-from-heaven-inspirational.html

Sometimes I could be a bit too honest about myself.  Again, it made for an uncomfortable, yet funny blog.
"Coming Clean."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/coming-clean.html

Sometimes my stories were way too true about how I enjoyed thrusting my sense of humor on other people.
"Ray Perkins."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/ray-perkins.html

Not even my relatives were safe from my pranks.
"Sabotage! With Fish!"
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/sabotage-with-fish.html

My Pagan/Wicca people where definitely not safe from me.
"The Blue Tent"
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/blue-tent.html

And then there was my greatest writing, about my greatest prank, that will never be topped.
"Adrian Fakes a Spirtual Experience, Part 1."
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/adrian-fakes-spirtual-experience-part-1.html

Part 2.
http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/02/adrian-fakes-spiritual-experience-part.html

So you can see where I am coming from.  I just don't feel like I write like I used to.  I was always on the edge.  Now, it just seems like I am trying to be polite, but it comes out boring.  I also seem to have run out of old stories from earlier in my life.  I'm just not sure what to do. 

We all go through changes in life.  I know a lot of ballplayers my age now have the wisdom of baseball, but not the ability of it anymore.  I feel like that is happening to me.  I also have so much over stuff going on in life.  It makes it hard to sit down, and really put time and effort into a blog post.  I'll have to really think on it, and see what I can do.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Black Walnut Acquisition Day

So when I was in West Virginia on vacation, Dad and I went to see this guy about some wood.  It turns out the guy had bought out a barn of the stuff, and was selling it at very good/great prices. 

Wood buyers have very different wants when it comes to wood.  As a luthier, I am looking for very straight grained wood with no knots.  Wood turners want the pieces where a limb joins up with the body of a tree.  And some builders like highly figured wood with knots. 

However, for guitar building I can see why some builders will only take 1 in 100 pieces.  I went through this seller's entire stack of black walnut and came away with 5 pieces of wood.  When I bought the wood, it was still rough sawn, so I'm not sure how good it was going to be. 

Today I laid out the wood for planning.  Here's what I bought.




As you can see, it was kind of a crapshoot.  For $20 I couldn't complain.  I figured I had enough wood for one Les Paul type of guitar.  Here's what I got after I planned the wood.



Again, very clean grained wood, with no figure in it.  There are some places I will have to cut around, but I can say with certainty that I will be able to get one guitar out of it.  I know it looks very light colored in the pictures, but once I add water or finish to it, the wood will darken up.  This wood is extremely dry so I can start working on it right away. 

I will continue to update as my project progresses.  I know what I hope to do with this project, but we'll see how it actually turns out. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Adrian: Zero Dollar Budget Director

I don't tend to talk too much about my band on here.  I tend to reserve my blog for my oddball thoughts.  However, a few things have happened which happen to make a very good blog, so I thought I would talk about them here.

First off, my band is an Americana band called, Possum Apple.  Here's the Reverbnation link:

http://www.reverbnation.com/possumapple

So I was just recently in West Virginia for vacation.  This was my inspiration for the song, "The Road."  Basically, the short story is that I was driving to West Virginia for my Grandfather's funeral, and as I was driving around a curve in the road at two in the morning there was a beagle lying right smack in the middle of the road.

Looking back, it was kind of funny, or the look he gave me was kind of funny.  It was like, "No one comes through here at two in the morning.  I should be allowed to lie here in the middle of the road without you coming through with your high beams on."

So I decided to make a video for my song, "The Road."  I'll let you watch it, and then I will comment on it.

Here's the direct link as Youtube and Blogger are giving me crap about putting in a direct video.


So this is what I had to work with.

1.  A zero dollar budget.
2.  A camera that also records video.  Note:  I bought this for a good deal off Ebay.
3.  Having Dad drive around Lincoln County, West Virginia, and me shoot footage of the roads.
4.  A "borrowed" beagle.

Seriously, I was at the 4 Mile Church, and this beagle comes up to me out of nowhere.  I wanted a beagle for the video, but didn't have one.  I guess when you need something, the Goddess provides.  Anyway, she was a good beagle.  She knew a few tricks which made for awesome footage. 

For a first try for a video it came out pretty good.  I wasn't expecting anything too over the top, but I think I made it entertaining enough.

So most people tell me is the best song off of the album is, "Buffalo."  I wanted to do a video for it, but wasn't sure where I was going to get footage of buffalos in Florida.  Then it occurred to me what I should do.  A friend of mine made a video for a song of his strictly from public domain footage.  This was great for me.  Namely, I needed nature footage and old cowboy footage, and there is plenty of it in the public domain.  There was so much in fact, I really had to narrow it down since the song is only a bit over two minutes.

So I found some nature footage, but I also found some really funny old Western footage.  I'm really proud of what I came up with.

Again, the direct link to Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcP8KjIjIBo

My Dad got a kick out of it since he had seen all of the scenes from those old Westerns.  It brought back some old, funny memories.

Anyhow, I hope to make a few more once inspiration comes to me.  I've only got time right?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bored Scoutmasters and the Tale of the Wampus

As I have written before, I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America for roughly 12 1/2 years.  That's counting the years I was a Cub Scout, Webelo, Boy Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster, and employee at Philmont Scout Ranch.  So when I write about my time with the BSA, I can remember it anywhere from being an eight year old kid to an adult leader.



The BSA like any organization is going to get it's good and bad people, whether they are kids or adults.  Looking back, I know there were a few things I shouldn't have done that made life hell for my Scoutmasters.  And likewise it was paid back to me by a few snot nosed brats that needed a good paddling. 

Believe me, they don't all look like this:



The problem with being a Scoutmaster is that you are either bored to death while the Scouts are off doing their thing, or are inundated by 20 to 30 youths with too much energy.  So, it comes to the point where payback stops being a bitch and starts being a demonic force that will scare the pants off of any camper.  Case in point:  The Wampus. 

Now I live down in Florida and when it comes to the woods it means lots of wild hogs.  I have actually run into a pack of them while out on a trail with the rest of my troop.  They are big scary looking things that have a bad attitude.


I remember being told to take safety precautions around camp.  Always use the buddy system.  Make sure trash is in it's place.  Don't go off the beaten path.  Why?  Because of the wampus.  That's right, it was an animal that was off the wild pig line, but had broader shoulders like a bear, and bear like claws.  It also made a lot of noise, and squealed.  It liked to eat Scouts, so make sure to mind your Scoutmasters. 

Really, before South Park came out with Manbearpig, there was the wampus.


Really, it was a great scare tactic for bored Scoutmasters. 

But here's a fun fact.  What does a wampus sound like?  Well, it sounds a lot like a ghost howler.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Ghost-Howler/

I preferred using the metal baked bean cans, but they have a good overall method.  And why not make good use of them?  Those little bastards have driven me to drink before.  And I don't even drink.



But back to the point.  The wampus.  It turns out however we were wrong all along.  I searched google, and found out a few things.

Wampus cat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wampus cat is a creature in American folklore, variously described as some kind of fearsome variation on a cougar.

Oops.  It turns out the tale of the wampus kind of got twisted by the time it got to our ears.  Here's the Wikipedia description:

Description[edit]

The wampus cat is often compared to the Ewah of Cherokee mythology, in that it was a woman who disguised herself in the skin of a cougar to spy on the men of the tribe, as they sat around the campfire with their wolf brothers, and told sacred stories on a hunting trip. When the woman was discovered, the tribe's medicine man punished her by transforming her into a half-woman, half-cat, who supposedly still haunts the forests of East Tennessee.[1] In folklore, it can be seen as one of a number of fearsome critters. In some sections of rural East Tennessee, the legend of the Wampus Cat takes on a more sinister tone. It is said that the Wampus Cat is a spirit of death and the earth, and when her cry is heard, it means someone is going to die and be buried within the next three days.


So that's my tale.  The truth is once the kids get to be Boy Scouts it gets to be a little harder to scare them.  However, it's the Cub Scouts, Webelos, and first years Boy Scouts that you can really scare.  I recommend it to bored and angry Scoutmasters.  It's just a heck of a lot of fun.  I'm sure all the campers will find it funny after years of therapy.