Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Guitar Day: Replacement Les Paul

Back in 1998 I bought a Limited Edition Epiphone Les Paul in Quilt Blue.  It was only offered through Mars Music.  I think it was the second guitar I ever bought.  Unfortunately, I don't have that guitar anymore.  I always wanted to replace that guitar, but never really had a chance until now. 

It seems that Guitar Center and Musician's Friend commissioned a limited run of Blue Quilt Les Pauls.  I knew I had to have one, but a lot of things would have to happen at once.  The good news, is that, a bunch of things did happen for me to be able to acquire one.

The first thing was that particular model went on sale.  They knocked $80 right off the top.  I ended up trading a guitar and an amp to Guitar Center, along with a bit of cash to even it up.  The salesman, Al, who I've known since our Mars Music days together, was able to knock 10% off to even up the trade. 

Since they didn't have any of that model in the store, they ordered it straight from Epiphone HQ in Nashville, TN.  They had it shipped to Guitar Center pretty quickly, and I was able to pick it up just minutes after it was delivered.  Here's what it looks like:

I have to say, this guitar is much better than the one I bought in 1998.  Here's some of the improvements they made.

1.  They put Grover tuners on this guitar.  My old one had terrible overseas Kluson copies.  They couldn't hold tune worth a dang.

2.  The neck profile is very close to a 1960 Gibson Les Paul.  It's a bit flatter, and not bulky at all.  This may be one of the best neck profiles I've ever played.

3.  The hardware has been greatly improved.

4.  This new model has Epiphone's Probuckers.  My old guitar had generic Epiphone pickups.  They were actually pretty good for the time period, but nothing close to the Probuckers.  On my old guitar I replaced the pickups.  I don't think I will be replacing the Probuckers on this new one.

5.  The frets in the old one were made of some of the softest metal I've ever seen on a guitar.  It also needed a fret-dress in the worst way.  This new one doesn't have a dead spot on it.  I was able to set it up nice and low so it plays great. 

6.  This new one has coil splitting.  I don't use splitting that much, but it's there if I want to.

The only change I've made to this guitar, is that, I have added strap-locks.  I already had an awesome strap to match up with the blue color.  I feel I am going to have this guitar until I die.  It's like it was built just for me. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Spritz: New Cologne Day

In my entire life I have never bought cologne.  That's not to say that I haven't been given any, but I've never actually purchased any before.  I was given my first cologne by an aunt.  It was simply called, "Player" and had a very nice lime smell.  The second bottle I ever received was Hugo Boss cologne given to me by my mother.  In the twenty some years I've had that bottle I've used only about one-third of it. 

So I felt it was time to find a cologne for me.  What I've been looking for was something close to the Player cologne that I received many years ago.  The problem I've had with the lime colognes these days is that they are really musky.  The Player cologne had a much more clean lime scent, and I can't seem to find anything like it.

So I stopped by a store, and asked about the cleanest scents on the market.  One of the colognes the saleswoman showed me was called Thallium.  Of all the scents I tried this one stood out to me as the best. 

I read some reviews of it, and the reviews were mixed.  The biggest complaint was that it wasn't musky.  I found that to be a ridiculous statement, in that, it's not supposed to be musky.  It's supposed to be clean.  Some felt that since it was clean it was too much of a woman's perfume. 

The biggest factor in searching for a cologne, is that, it shouldn't smell musky.  Personally, I find musky colognes to smell like B.O.  I wanted the cleanest smelling scent I could find, and I found Thallium to be the perfect cologne for me. 

The good news, is that, since it's a well known cologne it can be found at many different locations.  I'll never be able to not find it.  But lets be honest, I'm sure this bottle will last me for quite a few years. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Angelfish: Gold Evolution

I have written quite a bit about the angelfish in my fish tank.  I have to admit they are some of the best fish I have ever raised.  I'm still learning a lot about them.  They have great personalities and are really friendly.  They've started taking food from my hand.  That's pretty awesome.

Due to the high cost of angelfish, every one I have brought home has been young and tiny.  (So I can buy them cheaper.)  Most of them were no bigger than a quarter, counting only the main body, not the large fins.  So I've had the chance to watch them grow from very tiny to pretty good size.  And boy, do they grow.  They have grown faster than any fish I've ever had.

But now, something new has happened.  My two oldest angelfish have started to have some orange/gold develop on their bodies.  I was kind of shocked at first.  One day they were black and white, and the next day they have this beautiful orange/gold color.  Let's go to the pictures!

This one is my oldest. 

You can see the orange/gold on the nose and dorsal fin.  It's like highlights for fish. 

Here's a picture really close up.

This one is my second oldest.

Again, you can see the orange/gold developing on the nose, lips, and dorsal fin.  It's an amazing look.

This next picture is of my most recently bought angelfish.  Boy, has this one grown up fast.  Again, this is one that was no bigger than a quarter when it came home.

When I bought this one it was transparent.  I'm not kidding.  You could see right through it.  Now, it's starting to develop some black on it's long fins.  I hope it will continue to have some color patterns develop on it. 

If it does, you know I'll post about it here.  I love talking about my fish.  It's my thing. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Adrian: Amateur Handyman: The Pet Peeve Silverware Drawer

Every damned day it's the same thing.  The knives get shoved in the back of the silverware drawer, and get bent.  This is due to the drawer being 22 years old and warped.  Over time the knives have been shoved to the back, and opened up the back of the drawer.  Let me show you the pictures.

So you see the problem I'm having.  The knives get pushed to the back, through the slit, and then bent.  Seeing as how it's Sunday morning, Adrian the Amateur Handyman comes to the repair!

First, I take the blasted thing out.  Then I look for a flat table in my workshop.  There is none.  There's too much stuff everywhere.  So I take everything outside. 

Cue the Titebond 2, small nails, and a hammer.

This is what happened.

1.  Glued it.
2.  Realized the drawer had warped after 22 years. 
3.  Realized I really should have seen that coming.
4.  Broke out the clamp.
5.  Spent 10 minutes looking for the correct kind of nails.
6.  Found nails.
7.  Bang, bang, bang.

So I cleaned up the drawer, and it looked like this.

Not bad, right?

So I go to fit it in the slot, and it won't fit.  It was a bit warped, and when I tried to straighten it, it didn't want to line up correctly.  So, a little bending was in order.  In the end, it made it into the slot.  However, I have now traded one problem for another.  The sliding action is a wee bit tight.  But we'll see what happens after it gets moved back and forth a little bit. 

So I can't really claim victory on this one, but I can't call it a defeat either.  I guess I'll call it a draw (er?)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Not So Special

I grew up in the 1980's, and I love 80's music.  As such, I also love listening to Sirius XM's 80's on 8 channel.  It takes me back to not only what we think of 80's music (the MTV pop years,) but the deep tracks as well.

I was listening to the 80's on 8 when I heard it.  One of the few songs I really hated from the 80's.  It's called, "Second Chance."  It has to be one of the whiniest, suckiest songs I've ever heard.  The worst part was that it was so overplayed back then.  They must have played it twice an hour every hour for months.  It was just awful.

But the one thing I never knew, or cared to find out, was who actually sang it.  The good thing about Sirius XM is that, it tells you the song, artist and sometimes the year.  I look over to the dashboard and see, "Second Chance..... .38 Special???" 

I think, "That can't be right?  .38 Special would never sing that song in a million years."  These are the, "Hang on loosely" guys.  Also known as the "Caught up in you" guys.  This is a band with Donnie Van Zant (brother of Ronnie Van Zant.)  These guys are Southern Rock.  What are they doing singing this song?

So I had to search the internet.  I didn't like what I found.  Namely, I found this:

I also found out that this was their biggest hit.  "Hold on loosely" peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200.  "Caught up in you" peaked at #10.  But "Second Chance" peaked at #6 on the Top 200.  It was actually #1 on the Adult Contemporary, and #2 on the Rock charts. 

I have to say, all this info really blew my mind.  But then, my mind was going to be blown up even more.  Let me take you all the way back to 1986-1987.  You see, back then when you had HBO, and or Showtime, you only had one channel.  You didn't have 14 different HBO's or 14 Showtimes.  You didn't have "On Demand."  You had one channel.

We had Showtime, and during the day they would show the cheapest, newest movies they could.  They played the movie "Revenge of the Nerds 2: Back to Paradise" every day, two or three times a day for about a year.  I am ashamed to admit just how many times I have seen that movie.  So what does this have to do with .38 Special?  Well, the theme to "Revenge of the Nerds 2: Back to Paradise" was a song called, "Back to Paradise."  Guess who I found out sang that?

That's right.  .38 Special. 

If you think I'm making any of this up, please feel free to view the following resources.


Music VF:

I hate to sound like a hipster, but stick to their early work. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hats Off!

A week ago I posted something on a Facebook timeline of a friend (who will be called "G".)  It was a funny meme about 21 Pilots, a band that a common friend of ours (who will be called "C") likes.  Anyway, G shared the post with C, and his response was, "What the fuck?"

Here's the meme:

So here's the thing, I was making fun of C's taste in music.  However, he happens to wear a hat that looks a bit like the one above.  After seeing that meme he didn't wear his usual hat the rest of the week.

I feel terrible.  I mean, all the guys there at Erwin really bust each other's balls pretty hard.  But, I think I really hurt C's feelings on that one.  I apologized to him today.  He told me he thought it was kind of the usual stuff we say to each other.  But that doesn't change the fact he didn't wear his usual hat for a week. 

I'll be honest, I really don't know where to draw the line when busting chops.  It's kind of like the time I made a "camel" joke to a fellow student who is from the Middle East.  I wrote about it here:

I was told I went too far with that joke by some people.  However, some said it was "the usual kind" of stuff we say to each other.  I know my interpersonal skills aren't the best, and this has always been an area of concern for me.  Where is the line?  I'll just have to keep working on it.  You know, take it day by day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


There seems to be a Facebook phenomenon I've noticed going around.  I've always known that creepy guys are going to be creepy, but it seems to have hit a level of weirdness.  I'll explain, but so as not to embarrass anyone, I won't use actual names. 

Here's how it starts.  A female friend of mine will post a picture of herself.  It's usually one of the following: 

1.  Eating food.
2.  Hanging out with friends.
3.  Showing a picture of them with new clothes or hairstyle.

The replies then go something like this.

(Best female friend.)  OMG LOL.

(2nd friend.)  That looks (like one of the following):  1.  Like fun.  2.  Great.  3.  Good on you.

(Me.)  Awesome!

(4th friend.)  We had so much fun!

(Random creepy guy.)  Goddess.

That's when I'm like, "What?"  I'm also thinking:

Other noted replies from random creepy guy are one of the following.

1.  Goddess.  (As noted earlier.)
2.  GODDESS  (All caps with no punctuation.)
3.  Your a goddess  (It's never "You're."  It's always misspelled.)
4.  Yer a goddess  (Again, spelled wrong with no period at the end.) 

What I just don't understand is that it's usually an average, everyday picture.  I'm not talking about photos of women in swimsuits or club wear.  It's always a picture of an average day.  Everyone is being polite with their comments, and then, "BOOM!"  Out of nowhere comes creepy guy with the "Goddess" comment. 

I've always known there have been creepy guys.  Yes, they existed way before Facebook.  It just seems that hiding behind the computer has brought out a new kind of creepy guy.  As I've gotten older I've really noticed how men treat women, and I don't really like it.  I'm not talking about being old-fashioned.  I'm talking about just treating someone decently. 

Every time I see the "Goddess" comment the hair on my arms stand up.  It just seems very sinister.  Like a very twisted and demented person is trying to cover up their own sickness by posting an over the top compliment. 

I do hope that a few female friends of mine read this.  That way, they know to be a bit on cautious side the next time someone posts the "Goddess" comment on one of their photos.  They will know not to "LOL" or "OMG" or even give any response to that kind of comment.  They can reevaluate why that person is on their friends list.