Monday, July 17, 2017

(Broken) Pawn Shop Guitars, The Epiphone AJ-1-NA, Part 2

Here is Part 1 so you, the reader, can understand what I'm talking about.

(Broken) Pawn Shop Guitars, The Epiphone AJ-1-NA, Part 1

In Part 1 I had glued the headstock back onto the neck.  While the gluing process worked out fine, there was another problem.  When the headstock broke it blew out wood chips on the surface.  So I had to fill them in.  This is what the headstock looked like after being glued back together.


I used a Gibson lacquer pen to color in the black parts.  I then filled the crack with C.A. glue.  Normally I would use some sort of lacquer, but I wanted the glue to seal the exposed wood, not to mention fill the crack. 



In these two pictures I took steel wool to the glue to even it out.  Normally I would use sandpaper, but I didn't want to take a chance of going through the black overlay.  Basically I just smoothed it down until I could take it to the buffer.



The fretboard really needed cleaned up so I used the same steel wool on it.  It really cleaned it up nicely.  I also removed the grime from the frets so they ended up looking nice.  I used my straight edges to check the various frets.  They were in good shape.  After examining the frets I'm pretty sure someone has fret-dressed this guitar before.

One thing I didn't like was that the guitar seemed to have a weird film on it.  I believe it was tobacco film from a smoker.  I tried using my Ken Smith polish, but that stuff wasn't coming off. 





So here's what I decided to do.  I broke out the buffer with the coarsest grit I had.  As you can see I used it on the headstock.  It took out the scratches beautifully.  I used it on the front and the back, and I couldn't have asked for any better. 

I also buffed out the fretboard.  It really improved the look of wood as well as the frets.  I then buffed out the whole guitar to remove the weird film on it.  Normally when working with a buffer you add your buffing compound one time.  In trying to remove the weird film on this guitar I had to repeatedly add buffing compound. 

I have to say it worked great.  It took me longer than I thought it might, but I kept at it slow and steady.  I ended up buffing out some of the old scratches in the guitar so that was a bonus. 


My next move was to set up the guitar.  Since these guitars tend to sound a little bright, I strung it up with silk and steel strings.  Everything went pretty simply for me.  I put the tuners back on without any trouble.  I managed to turn the trust rod to where the neck was perfectly flat.  I oiled up the rosewood fretboard and bridge.  The only thing it really needed was for the nut slots to be cut correctly. 

Now that I have it tuned up and ready, it was time to take pictures of it for my sales posting.





Now that it's strung up, here is what the headstock looks like.


Right now, I am looking to trade it more than sell it.  No one is buying on Craigslist.  I've been seeing the same stuff on there for the last few months.  So I figure I can trade it better than I can sell it. 

The funny thing is once the strings stretched out this guitar sounded really good.  It surprised me just how well the bass came through.  I'm sure the silk and steel strings helped with that.  Whoever is interested in this guitar will really be happy once they play it.  I just hope they have something nice to trade for it.  We'll see.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Walkabout: A Search For The Perfect Truck, Part 2

Here's part 2.  It will make more sense if you read part 1 before reading this.

My Walkabout: A Search For The Perfect Truck

So visiting six dealerships in one week just wasn't enough.  I had to visit more.  Let's be honest, I had the time, and I wanted to do some "research."

Dealer #7.  Courtesy Toyota of Brandon. 

I loved driving my Ford Ranger for the three years I had it.  Since Ford doesn't make the Ranger (in the USA) anymore, the Toyota Tacoma was the closest thing to it on the market.  So I gave Toyota a call, and set up a time to visit. 

I have to say, I really liked the Tacoma.  Even though the one I drove was close to a base model (V-4, single cab, no high end electronics) I really liked the ride and the way it handled.  The one thing I liked was that they were saying it was on sale for $18,000 new.

However, once all the tax, tags, title, and whatevers were added to it, the cost of the Tacoma ballooned to over $25,500.  I flat out told the salesman that I could buy three different Ford F-150's for less than that.  (Individually, not all three together.)  Heck, even the Chevy Silverado 1500 came in under that. 

I asked why a smaller truck with not as much on it cost more than a full sized truck.  The salesman said that Toyota doesn't have the rebates like Ford and Chevrolet.  But I had a co-student bring up a good point to me.  He said that Toyota is always running it's "Toyota-days sales events."  His family bought a Toyota van, and they had all sorts of sales rebates that drastically lowered the price.

I was nice to the salesman, but I didn't even take the offer sheet with me.  Namely, since he said that the price was more or less going to stay the same.  They may have a few hundred dollars wiggle room, but they weren't going to match the Ford or Chevrolet offers.  So onto the next one. 


Dealership #8.  Jim Browne Chevrolet. 

I actually found a Silverado 1500 with everything that I wanted (minus Sirius,) on the lot.  The good news was, it was a 2016 model.  It had been sitting on the lot for a while.  Usually they will make a good deal just to move it off the lot.  Especially when the 2018 models are going to be coming in within the next two months. 

So I looked over the Chevy, and gave it a test drive.  I have to say I really liked this one.  However, when we went to talk numbers I couldn't believe what I saw.  The final price was $29,000.  I flat out told the salesman, "Bryan," that I had better offers from three Fords dealers with a price of $5000 less, and two Chevy dealers at $4000 less. 

He didn't even do the, "I'll take it to my manager" thing.  He just said the numbers were the numbers, and that was it.  I asked him if they liked looking at it?  I explained that it's 2016, and the sticker probably said it was built in 2015.  It had 2,5000 miles on it, and he (Bryan) called it a demo vehicle.  I then asked if they were really wanting to sell it, or did they like taking turns driving it around for themselves?

Again, he wouldn't even budge on price.  So I left without even taking the offer sheet.  I then received an e-mail from the internet salesperson Melissa asking me how things went, and if I was still interested in the truck?  I wrote her back, and told her if they ever wanted to get serious about selling it to let me know.  Otherwise that thing was going to sit there and rust on the lot.

An hour later I received a call from a manager at Jim Browne Chevy.  He then tried to blow smoke up my ass by saying that just because a car sat on the lot a long time didn't mean they were going to discount it.  (Bullshit.)  He said they were a big dealer, and didn't have to do that.  (Note: They are not that big.  Brandon Ford has four to five times as many vehicles on their lots.) 

I told him that the truck was priced $4000-$5000 more than anyone else.  He said that it was more equipped.  I said that it wasn't, and that it was also a 2016, not a 2017 model.  He asked me what I thought it should be priced at?  I said, start at $20,000 plus tax, tags, and title, and we might be able to come to something.  He then went on to tell me, "How it was going to be."  I just hung on up him.

I have to say Jim Browne was the worst car shopping experience I have had so far.  I couldn't believe the arrogance and sales tactics.  If that's the way they act, I'm surprised they sell anything off that lot.  It really left a bad taste in my mouth for car shopping.


Dealership #9.  Rivard Buick and GMC.

I hadn't really thought about looking at the GMC line of Sierra 1500's.  I thought they were just a more expensive version of the Chevy Silverado 1500.  But I gave them a call, and the salesman Francisco was a pretty nice guy.  Basically, the Sierra is a heavier duty truck than the Silverado.  It also came with a V-8 engine.  I have to say it really had some power. 

Due to all the extras, (namely the tow package with brake controls for the trailer, a big V-8 engine) the GMC Sierra cost a bit more.  Once all the numbers were crunched, it came in at $31,000.  I let Francisco know that it was more than I could actually spend.  He was really cool about it, and said he understood.

I have to give Rivard Buick and GMC credit.  They acted the most "human" of any of the dealers I had gone to.  I really appreciated that.   


Dealership #10.  Arrigo of Fort Pierce (Florida.)

Since I was a feeling a little disheartened with my ongoing search I decided to expand my search on Autotrader.  I put in a very specific search on trucks, but I expanded the mileage out to 200 miles from me. 

162 miles away in Ft. Pierce they had a Ford F-150 STX in blue.  So I contacted them via e-mail, and received a call from Lisa about an hour later.  She was pretty straight forward when I told her what I was looking for in a truck.  She got right down to talking turkey.  I said the truck was actually perfect for me, but they were $1,800 over KBB price. 

Lisa said she wasn't sure why they were that much over, but the mechanics had replaced the brakes and rotated the tires, as well as conducted a 100-some point inspection.  She said when I had my finances ready, let her know and she would she what she could do.  I thought that was fair enough.  When everything gets straightened out I'll definitely give her a call. 

At this point I think I've visited enough dealers.  It's been weird to see just how different all the dealers were.  Although, they did have some similarities.  But it won't be long before I finally make a decision.  Well, hopefully it won't be long.  I'll continue the tale in Part 3. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

(Broken) Pawn Shop Guitars, The Epiphone AJ-1-NA, Part 1

I was killing time the other day in a pawn shop.  Some folks may think they are sleazy, but I think they are like a mini flea market for a guy.  They have tools, musical instruments, odd ball items, DVD's and video games. 

As I was in this pawn shop, I noticed an Epiphone AJ-1-NA acoustic guitar with a broken headstock.  I wanted to ask the manager if it was on special since it had been broke.  When the manager came up and saw it, his words were, "MOTHA FUCKA!!!"  Yeah, he didn't know it had been broken.  I told him, "I didn't do it!," like Beavis used to say from "Beavis and Butthead." 

He knew who had done it.  Apparently a woman had been in just a few minutes before with two unruly children, and they knocked it down, thus breaking it's headstock.  I have to admit, he was a bit hostile. 

I tried to give him a few minutes to calm down before I told him that I was a luthier, and would buy it as is, and repair it myself.  He told me, "no."  I talked to him a few minutes later, and explained a little further.  I told him I would buy it for $20.  Again, he said, "no."  I then went on to say, "I understood, as he could write it off as damaged on the store's taxes."  A minute later he said, "Twenty-five dollars plus tax."  I agreed.  So the total was $26.75. 

When I told my tale on Facebook, my cousin suggested I show the progress of the repair.  I told him I would.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take some "before" pictures of the guitar.  We'll start with my gluing the headstock back together. 



 As you can see, here are my magic ingredients.  Titebond 2 wood glue, an old timey wood clamp, and two modern clamps. 



The wooden clamp held it nicely, but he edges weren't quite squished all the way down.  So I added the two metal clamps.  Once I put them on, nothing moved.  It was right where I wanted it.


Here's a view from the top.  In the lower right-hand corner you can see my butter dish filled with hot water.  It comes in very handy when working with wood glue. 


And here's another view. 


Once the wood glue had dried it was time to work on the break line.  I put some stain in to darken it some.  I think due to the wood glue, it didn't really want to stain.  Since the break and repair left the break line so fine, I used C.A. glue to fill in the gap.  Once it dries I will sand and buff it out.  That way, the neck will have a smooth feel to it.


I used a Gibson lacquer pen to fill in the black spots on the front of the headstock.  Again, I totally forgot about taking a "before" picture. 


Lacquer has to be built up.  So I will let this dry a while, and then add more and more lacquer with my lacquer pen as needed.  Once it's built up to the level I would like, I'll start filling it in with C.A. glue.  After that, it's time to lightly sand and buff it out. 

More to come in a week.  Stay tuned. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Walkabout: A Search For The Perfect Truck

For the last twelve years I have driven a 2001 Ford Focus SE (the station-wagon model.)  I inherited it from my Grandmother when she passed away in 2005.  So, for its 16 year lifespan it has only been owned by two people.  I knew I would have it a long time so I have kept great care of it.  Honestly though, I didn't expect I would have driven it as long as I have. 

It's been agreed in the household that I really do need a new vehicle.  I have wanted a truck for some time now.  So I decided to strap up my tough work boots, and set about a walkabout.  Actually I didn't immediately put them on.  I started on the computer.  I knew I wanted a regular cab 3/4 ton truck with a short-bed. 

Since this family is a Ford family I decided to look at all the Ford dealers first.  The problem with the Ford F-150 XL (the regular cab/short-bed model) is that they are usually all work trucks.  A lot of them don't have the upgraded electronics or even cruise control.  Also, dealers like Gator Ford and Wesley Chapel Ford didn't even carry them on the lot.  There were about 10 total dealers whose websites I looked through that didn't even carry a vehicle that was anywhere close to what I wanted.

Since the Ford dealerships were carrying so little of what I was looking for I decided to look at the Chevy websites.  Again, a lot of them carried straight work trucks.  Some didn't carry any at all.  I did found two Chevy dealers that carried a few Silverado 1500 Work Trucks (that's their model name) with a few upgrades to them. 

So I decided I would visit one dealer per day.  I would find a truck or trucks I was interested in on their webpage.  I would send an e-mail, and let them know I'd like to drop in and take a peek at them.  Now, it was time to strap on my boots, and start a walkabout. 


Monday:  Brandon Ford.

Brandon Ford has an advantage that a lot of other dealers don't.  They have a huge amount of space.  The main lot and overflow lots of theirs let them carry 2,500 vehicles.  That's pretty wild.  I talked to Jim Gordon (not the Gotham detective), and his associate Gabriel. 

The blue Ford XL I was looking at had already been sold.  So I test drove a white one with the same features.  I have to say, the steering was a bit loosey-goosey.  I liked that the engine and other parts were spaced out under the hood.  I'm sure that would help keep it from overheating in the summer.  I also liked that even with the 17 inch tires, it had a lot of clearance room underneath. 

It was a nice truck, but usually nice equals more expensive.  So we talk numbers.  They had a set formula for what they would sell a vehicle for.  The only thing that didn't really make me happy was that they offered only $500 on my trade in.  Kelley Blue Book said they should have offered $900 at least.  So that ticked me off a bit.

What I didn't know at the time was that, they actually offered me the best price overall.  Also, what I didn't know at the time was that, when it came to trade-in prices, every dealer was offering about the same.  It came down to if they were to accept the trade-in they would sell it at auction or sell it to LKQ's to part out.  They wouldn't make any money on it.

It just so happened that I saw a post from a friend who was looking for a vehicle.  I contracted him, and explained my situation.  I told him that for a private sale, KBB said $1800 was a fair price for my Ford Focus.  And on trade-in it was $900.  I told him I would sell it to him at the $900 price.  I also told him all the good and bad about the vehicle. 

He was really excited to see the Focus, and was thankful for the deal.  Now, when I would go to a dealership I could tell them I would straight up buy a truck and there would be no trade-in.  That made it easier since I would just be dealing with the truck price. 

So Brandon Ford's price was around $23,250 with the trade in, so figure $23,750 without the trade-in. 


Tuesday:  Ferman Chevrolet.

I talked to Bill and Maz at Ferman Chevy.  As far Chevy dealers go, they were only one of two in the area to carry a few Silverado 1500 W/T's.  They had one in metallic silver that I test drove.  I have to say, I really liked it.  The turning radius was really short.  That's good for me since it makes it easier to park.  It had a few electronics on it.  Let's just say it had more than the Ford.  But it still didn't have quite everything I wanted on it.

I have to say there were a few tense moments between Maz and I.  He thought I was going to buy today (Tuesday.)  I told him I was going to many dealers.  He said, "If we have what you are looking for what do you need to go to other dealers for?"  There was a bit of miscommunication on both ends.  I honestly felt like a woman who had to defend herself from, "leading a guy on."  He wanted me to sign, and I told him I wasn't going to. 

I also told him the truck didn't have everything on it I would like.  He ended up saying that, "If this isn't the right truck for you (meaning me) he understood.  He could acquire something that I would like.  Again, I said I was on a walkabout, and collecting information on trucks.  I also wanted to know what price range the Chevy's were because in the past they had always been $4000 more than the Fords.

Maz and his manager Bill came out with a price that was about $4000 more than the Ford.  (Surprise, right?)  But when I showed him the price that Brandon Ford (which is just down the street from them) they huddled to come up with a new price. 

Their price was $22, 893 plus tax, tags, and title.  So that would put it in the $24,000 range.  Now, with all the equipment they had on the truck that's not bad. 


Wednesday:  Bill Currie Ford.

There was only one Ford XL on the Bill Currie lot.  It was a stripped down work truck, in that, it was economy white and didn't have a lot of flashy things on it.  Don, my salesman, was a pretty good guy.  We took it for a test drive.  Again, the handling seemed loose, and it felt like it hadn't been aligned correctly. 

We walked into the building to go over numbers.  He came back and said that the Fleet Sales Manager had just sold that truck.  So I couldn't go over any numbers regarding the truck.  So that visit was over. 


Thursday:  Elder Ford.

My parents bought their current vehicles from Elder Ford.  Elder had a white Ford XL with a few things on it.  I didn't worry about test driving it, since I had already test drove two of them.  My salesmen were Jason and his manager Mike.  Since Jason was internet sales he found a Ford F-150 XL in silver that had quite a few things on it. 

He first price came in a bit high.  I told him both Brandon Ford and Ferman Chevy had come in under that price.  He talked quite a while to his manager, and then came out saying he had a "deal of a lifetime."  $23,900 out the door.  Not only that, but Elder Ford had something that no other Ford dealership had.  They had a lifetime warranty on a lot of the main parts that aren't normally covered by the warranty. 

The catch I found out, is that, you have to make sure all the regular maintenance is carried out by a certified Ford dealer.  In other words, if I change my own oil, well, that would cancel out the lifetime warranty.  Oh, and to be clear the "lifetime" part is as long as I own the truck.  If I sold it to someone else it doesn't transfer. 

Right up front I told Jason that I didn't want to buy today.  I didn't want to, "lead any dealer on."  I was just collecting information.  That didn't seem to matter as Jason and his manager started in on the "hard sale."  Since Thursday was the 29th of July that price would only be good until the end of the month.  In other words, the next day.  So they went over every way I could put money down on the truck, and buy it that day.

If I had to rank the dealers buy slimiest I would have to put Elder Ford number one.  They really put the clamps on.  I told them that I had promised to visit two dealers the next day, and even had appointments with them.  He asked if I, "would cancel the visits."  I told him I don't break my promises, and again, I wasn't buying that day. 

When I made mention that I was visiting Dimmit Chevrolet the next day, and Jason said that, "He wasn't worried about them.  Fords were so much better that he didn't even think the Chevys could compete."

I just told Jason, I would let him know tomorrow after my visits what my thoughts were. 

I was able to let them know as I was at another dealership when Jason called.  A few hours later his manager Mike called.  I told them I would not have the money ready during this month.  When it would be ready (middle of July) I would let them know. 

So Elder Ford's price:  $23,900 out the door. 


Friday:  First visit:  Dimmit Chevrolet in Clearwater.

Now, you may be wondering why I would travel so far to Clearwater when there are other dealers all around me.  Well, Dimmit had the most Silverado 1500 W/T's of any Chevy dealer.  They had some in white, black, and blue.  They had about seven trucks I would consider.  But the two blue ones they had on the lot had a lot of what I was looking for. 

Christine was the telephone salesperson who passed me on to Jerika.  Both were really nice, and acted more human than any of the other salespersons I'd talked to.  She pulled the truck's listing up on the computer, and then drove it to the front of the dealership. 

I have to say I was impressed.  This one had pretty much had everything I wanted.  An upgraded electronics package with Sirius XM radio.  It had the bigger screen as well as back-up camera assist.  And it actually had a spray-in bed-liner.  The only thing it didn't have was a trailer hitch receiver.  I found that kind of odd. 

I'm not so worried about the trailer hitch as one can be welded on.  I forgot to check if it had the wiring harnesses installed.  Again, I don't think it did, but that can be easily taken care of. 

I drove it around the lot.  For me, I thought it had better handling, a tighter steering wheel, and a tighter turn radius.  I thought, "This is the truck for me...  but let me see what price tag this might have on it." 

We went in to talk prices, and Jerika was honest, and said it wouldn't be fair to quote a price since it will change at the end of the month.  She said that when I do have the money she could give me an offer then.  I have to say that was one of the more honest things I've seen a salesperson do.  As of now the Chevy is in the pole position for which vehicle I would buy. 


Friday:  Visit #2:  Autonation Ford in Bradenton. 

So I made my way down from Clearwater to Bradenton.  Yes, I drove around 70 miles to see one truck.  They had an F-150 XL in blue.  Don my salesman was really nice, and Autonation Ford really felt like a family run business. 

Unfortunately, the blue XL they had was really stripped down.  The only things that made it so it wasn't a complete work truck was that it was blue, it had a bed-liner, and a trailer hitch receiver.  It didn't even have a CD player.  It had no electronics package to speak of.  There were no power windows or mirrors.  There was no cruise control.  The radio was as stripped down as far at it could be. 

So this one was a no go.  Don didn't try the hard sell.  He said that I had done everything I should do.  I had visited 6 dealerships in 5 days.  I had looked at 10 more online.  The only thing left to do was pick a truck.  Unfortunately for him that would not be the Ford he was trying to sell. 

Autonation's offer:  $23,550.  But remember, that's a really stripped down truck. 

So here I sit in my comfy chair on Saturday.  I think back to what Jason from Elder Ford said.  Today I would tell him that he should be concerned about the Chevy.  I come from a Ford family.  Out front there are two Focuses, an Escape, and an F-150.  But the Chevy drove better, had more power, and I had better 360 degree vision around the truck. 

Again, Christine and Jerika acted like real human beings, and viewed me as a person, not a walking cash register.  So in a couple of weeks, when all my finances line up, I am going to give them a call first, and see if we can work something out. 


Friday, June 23, 2017

Destruction For Guitars: Tinfoil Hat Edition

A few years back there was an episode of, "The Simpsons" where Bart believes that Major League Baseball is transmitting signals into the brains of Springfield's residents.  The episode is called, "Brother's little helper."  Here's the Wiki page for it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother%27s_Little_Helper

I recently found myself in a similar situation.  However, this time I believe that Fender Musical Instruments Corp. is stealing ideas directly from my brain.  I know, it sounds ridiculous, but because of something that has happened to me recently, I have to wonder.

Here's what happened.  I planned on putting together a short run of 30 guitars to sell on Reverb.com.  I wanted to build/put out a Stratocaster style guitar that Fender doesn't have in its line-up.  I drew up all the specs I wanted.  I crunched the numbers.  I had all the distributors planned out.  And then, I received an e-mail from Fender proclaiming their new, exciting Fender Deluxe Stratocaster.  This is what they had come out with:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StratDSMSBT

In regards to the guitars I wanted to build, I wanted to call it the Azul (Blue) series.  All 30 guitars would have cobalt blue colored bodies.  When I looked at the link, this was the first thing I saw:


Oh crap.  That is pretty close to the blue I was thinking about.  I also wanted the body to be made of ash.  I look at the specs.  This Fender is made of ash. 

I wanted the neck to be all maple with the old CBS style headstock. 


Ah crap.  Well, with my design my guitar would come with locking tuners. 

... Double crap.  Well, I know something that Fender won't build on a guitar that doesn't cost $1400.  They won't put a two point tremolo .....


.........  That's a two point tremolo isn't it?  Well, I wanted to put something other than generic pickups in my series.  Fender ...  Wait a minute.  They put their Noiseless series in it? 

Here's the only things they didn't put on it:

1.  I wanted a to put a white pearloid pickguard on my series.  They used a mint green on theirs.
2.  Straplocks.  Any awesome guitar needs straplocks.
3.  Q-part knobs.  I wanted to put the chrome with jewel blue knobs on my series. 
4.  I wanted my series to come with one of the cool psychedelic cases from Guitar Fetish.  Fender's guitar comes with a soft case.

When it comes down to cost, I was planning on selling my series for $699.  Fender's cost is $799.  Immediately, my first thought was, I knew couldn't compete.  My second thought was, "How did they come up with something like this at the same time I thought of it?"  Next came anger.  Then came acceptance. 

I just don't know what to do.  I mean, do I investigate this?  Do I hire a P.I.?  Or, do I just buy the damn thing? 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Adrian: Amateur Handyman: Updating The Bathroom

Back when the house was built, its theme was to be a Florida/tropical house.  It would be an ocean theme with lots of blues and light greens.  At the time I really had a thing for sea breeze green, so that's what color the carpet was on my side of the house. 

Last year I painted my bathroom a very light green.  A cabinet was also added during that time.  However, I felt that my bathroom could use a little more color and updating.  The first place to start was the shower curtain.  I needed a new one, and I happened to find the perfect one.


I think it just screams tropical.  Other folks in the house think it just screams.  But I will say this.  It came with it's own fancy shower rings.  And I really needed some new ones.  Here's a picture of them.


I also needed a new bathroom rug.  Mine was pretty wore out.  After running some of the more decorative ones by other people in the house, I settled for a plain colored one.  This one matched the carpet in my room, in that, it was a sea breeze green color. 


So I continued work in my room.  I was shopping at a thrift store when I saw it.  The perfect curtain for me.  And the best part?  It was only $3.  Of course, that ended up being offset by the cost of the curtain rod/rod holder ($12.)  And the curtain rings ($11.)  But still, here was the result.


It's a pretty cool paisley pattern.  The really good part about it is that, it actually blocks a lot of light during the day.  I didn't expect it to block out that much light, but it does a great job of that.  I only wish I would have had it twenty years ago when I slept a few hours during the day between attending college classes and working nights. 

I feel good about the changes I've made.  I think they are not only helpful but colorful.  It also makes my bathroom feel like a warm, tropical welcoming place.  And I'm very happy with the curtain in my room.  I feel it's just right for me.  Overall, I feel great about the amateur handy work I've performed. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Fault In This Movie

I'll be honest.  I've been debating whether or not to write a blog about the movie, "The Fault In Our Stars" for about two years.  I really do like the movie, and I have to say it really touched me.  But there was one thing about it that made it more fiction than drama.

It all has to do with this scene early on in the movie.


Here's the exchange that made me throw up my hands, and say, "Okay, that's just too out there."

Hazel:  "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Augustus:  "Because you're beautiful."

That's the moment my BS meter hit the fan.  You see, during my teenage years I went to school with lots of other males.  And you know what?  Absolutely no teenage male has that kind of game.  As any female teen will tell you, boys are gross.  And they continue to be gross for quite a while.  It usually takes males a few decades to chill out and have what you would call "game."

You know what would happen in real life if Augustus said that to Hazel?  This:


Yeah, she wouldn't have bought that line.  Not one bit. 

Again, I do want to say that I do like the movie.  But, I have to admit it's a little more fiction than any film with giant dragons.  And that's okay.  It's just the sheer amount of suaveness that Augustus had really kept me from believing his character. 

This got under my skin so much, I decided to do an experiment.  I would say that exact line to a few women, and see what their reaction was.

Victim #1 was a woman who worked at the restaurant near Erwin.  Here's how it went.

Adrian:  "You know why I'm staring at you?"

V#1:  "No."

Adrian:  "Because you're beautiful."  (Said while pointing at her.)

V#1.  "Awe..." 

Adrian:  "Okay, I have to be honest, I totally ripped that off of, "The Fault In Our Stars."

V#1.  "Awe... I love that movie!"

Okay, so that didn't quite go the way I expected to.  I kind of expected to get slapped, or maybe even looked at like I was an axe murderer.  I didn't expect that.  But in all fairness V#1 had known me for a few months.  So I tried it on Victim #2.  She also worked at the restaurant.  I also waited a few weeks to use the line on her.

Adrian:  "Do you know why I'm staring at you?"

V#2.  "No?"

Adrian:  "Because you're beautiful."

V#2.  (Starts laughing uncontrollably.)  She finally yells out, "What?"

Okay that one failed pretty spectacularly.  Or maybe, it turned out exactly like I thought it would in real life.  I don't know. 

So I was supposed to try it out on Victim #3, but I just couldn't do it.  It's just so ridiculously stupid.  So, that was the end of my little experiment. 

I feel better after writing all this out.  Like I said, I've been debating on whether to write this as a blog for about two years.  But I think it kind of fits in with some of my old blogs, in that, it's about some of the silly stuff I've encountered in my day to day life.  Without doubt, this bordered on the absurd.