Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Ongoing Baritone/ Tele/ Cello Project, Part 3

So today was the day I took the clamps off the Tele body.  I gave the glue 60 hours to dry just to be sure.  It came out pretty good.  There was only one spot that needed a little filling in.  I then spent a few hours cutting the body out, and sanding.






I am ever so thankful for my spindel sander and my hand sander.  It makes the sanding job so much easier.  If you have noticed I did not cut out the top.  That's because I need to route out the neck pocket.  It is easier to do that when the wood is squared up.  Once the neck pocket is routed out I will be able to continue cutting out the body.



This is a shot of the side.  The maple cap makes a natural binding around the body.  The Pau Ferro body has two colors in it.  That's because part of it is the heartwood, and the other is the sapwood.




One this has some stain and lacquer on it, it will really pop.




Here is a better view of where I have to put the neck pocket.  Once I have my new routing bit I will continue with the neck pocket.  But for now, I am very happy with the building process.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Adrian's Favorite Fishy Tale

As I think about all the fish I've caught, one stands out in particular.  It's not about me versus a huge black marlin or something like that.  On the contrary, I was only 10 years old.  I remember because I was in 5th grade. 

It actually started pretty early in the fishing day.  I think I'd only been fishing for about 45 minutes.  It was actually kind of annoying because I was catching only very small pinfish.  Pinfish by nature are pretty small, but these could barely fit on the hook.  That was, if I could hook them at all.  That seemed to be the problem.  I could feel them trying to bite my lure, but they were so small I couldn't hook them. 

The rest of the tale I will tell from the point of view after it all happened.  An experienced fisherman that I told the tale to explained to me what most likely happened.

The old fisherman explained that I probably had a small pinfish on my line, but it felt strange.  I wasn't used to having such a small fish on the line.  That's when, as a 10 year old would do, I jerked the ever-loving crap out of my line.  In other words, I jerked it like I was setting the hook.  Of course, that would be the exact moment that a giant cobia came up to bite the pinfish on the line, and got hooked by my setting of the hook.

I jerked that line like I never had before.  And then, the cobia jerked back.  It launched me into the side of the boat.  My rod hit the side of the boat, and made a thundering clap like a baseball bat hitting a ball.  Really, if the old yellow boat hadn't of had such tall sides, I might have gone overboard.

That's when the cobia came to the surface, and shot across the water like a bullet.  I'd never seen a fish move so fast.  In fact, to this day I've only seen a shark move faster.  This thing had power, and was moving like I had never seen.  And of course, that's when Mom started yelling, "JOHN!  IT'S A SHARK!  IT'S A SHARK!"  In all fairness, it did look like a shark and move like a shark.  The black tip sharks were known to move through Tarpon Springs so it definitely could have been a shark.

I managed to get balanced, and lean back to give me more strength against the cobia.  That's when Mom kept up her screaming.  "JOHN!  JOHN!  JOHN!  GET THE NET!  GET THE NET!"  For the record, John is my Dad.  Also for the record, he really manages to keep his cool.  He got up beside me, and waited with the net.  I do want to point out that he never in my life took a rod from me.  He let me fight the fish the whole way.  I managed to get the cobia to the surface, and like a pro my Dad netted it perfectly. 

That's when I noticed it wasn't a shark.  Dad quickly said, "It's a cobia!"  Which of course lead to my brilliant statement, "What's a cobia?"  Dad quickly explained what a cool fish it was, and how 80's cool I was to have caught one. 

We took pictures, had a fun time, and then Dad said some words he.... well.... He said some words that kind of started a "disagreement" between him and my Mom.  "Ok, let's put him back." 

"WHAT???!!!!!!"  Yeah, my Mom did not like giving up fish.  My Mother was always 1960's prim and proper with a beautiful, easygoing attitude.  Her and my Dad never argued in front of us kids, so it was strange to see them arguing over this fish.

Dad said, "Carolan (my Mom), cobia have to be 33 inches to keep.  This one is a big 20 inches, but it's not big enough to keep."  Great words by my Dad.

That's when my Mom gave him the evil eye.  My Mom was always about being legal, and following the rules.  But again, my Mother did not like giving up fish.  Then there was silence.  A long, evil eye silence.  But after two minutes out of the water, Dad finally decided to put the cobia back into the water.  He had to move the cobia back and forth to get it started, but it finally swam away. 

I was just amazing tired after that.  I shot my whole day's energy on that one fish.  I had to take a break for an hour.  Then I took a nap.  Then I only fished for pinfish the rest of the day.  Like I said, I shot my whole day's energy on one fish.

Now, I know that fishermen like to tell tall tales, but like I said, there were pictures taken.  Just remember, this picture was taken when I was in my ugly duckling phase.  Also for the record, the cobia measured in at exactly 20 inches.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Ongoing Baritone/ Tele/ Cello Project, Part 2

Today I got to do some more work on the Tele body. 

First up was some more routing.



I had to make sure there was enough room to put the pickups in.  Once you see the top you'll understand.  Speaking of the top, I cut it out as well.  I did it by hand, and not CNC machine.  It came out alright.  I'm happy with it.






This is a maple top.  I cut the pickup routes for a Fender special humbucker in the neck.  A single coil in the middle, and a standard Tele bridge pickup in .... well bridge.  You can now see why I routed the guitar like I did.  It has (what is called the) swimming pool route under the pickups.  It is routed in a circular pattern for the F-hole and electronics. 

Next comes the glueing.





My next step is simple.  Wait.  Yep, I have to wait 48 hours until I take the clamps off.  I like to give the glue plenty of time to dry.  Once I take the clamps off, I can route the final shape of the outside. 

I will update with a new blog once I get some more work done.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Ongoing Baritone/ Cello/ Tele Project

I had a bit of time today to work on the Tele body.  Since no one actually makes a Tele body like I would like or need for this project, I decided to make my own.  Onto the pictures!

Here's the giant block of Pau Ferro wood that I am making the body out of:



I am making this this a hollowbody, so onto the routing!




My next step is to route the proper places on the maple top.  Here's the maple top:




Once those places are marked, I will make sure those pictures will be on the next blog post.

I have a good feeling that this will end up being a very good instrument.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grandma's Beaver

My Mother's Mother (my Grandmother,) Joyce was a pretty good Grandma.  When you're a kid you think that old people don't know anything.  My Grandmother may not have known the latest G.I. Joes or Transformers, but she knew a lot.  I think she was the smartest of all my Grandparents. 

She also had a very sharp wit.  I think that's where I may get mine from sometimes.  Luckily, she also had a really pretty smile to get her out of jams.



She liked to do crossword puzzle and such.  My Grandfather and her liked to go to yard sales/ flea markets/ and small Mom and Pop shops.  Again, I think I may pick up a little bit of that myself.  I think it's like modern day archeology.  But the one thing she really liked was cats.  She always had cats.  She had a cat figurine collection.  You could say she even got the shirt.




It was funny because all the things she liked combined in what may be her best, most hilarious, defining moment.  We were all out at a flea market when her and my Mother went into a booth where the shopkeeper was selling cat collectibles.  The shopkeeper and my Grandmother really got along well.  They were talking all things cats.  He started telling her how his cat got hair everywhere.  It was a really hairy cat.  That's when my Grandmother said the phrase she will be forever be remembered for.  "If you think that cat's hairy, you should see my Beaver." 

This is Grandma's Beaver.




The shopkeeper about choked, turned 14 shades of red, and then about passed out.  That's when my Mom blurted out, "The cat!  The cat's name is Beaver!"  At that point I don't know if the shopkeeper believed my Mom or not.  She continued, "His tail is flat and wide like a beaver's tail!  That's why he's called Beaver!"

From what I hear the shopkeeper was still in a state of disbelief as my Mom and Grandmother left his booth.  I remember Mom yanking Dad to the side, and telling him the story as fast as she could.  Dad of course, found the whole thing hilarious.  I still think Mom is embarrassed about the situation to this day.

I just wanted to be the fly on the wall when Mom explained to Grandma what she said, and what the shopkeeper thought she meant.  But really, could you explain the concept of a hairy beaver to a face like this?


Friday, May 13, 2011

Battle! Or the Re-enactment of the Battle....

It has been a little over a month since I was at a Civil War Battle Reenactment while on Vacation.  I recorded a few clips, but was unable to post most of them due to the size of the files.  Now that I have a better connection I will post all the files, and explain what's happening in them.

1.  The Union Army advances while being shot at by the Confederate Army.



2.  The Confederate General is giving his men instructions.  I then pan over to the Union Army taking position, lining up, and shooting.


3.  The Union Army advances just after the Confederate Army had shot it's cannon.  At the 11 second mark you can see all the smoke from the Cannon.

At the 21 second mark you can hear my Evil Twin Sister say, "You can smell the smoke."  Then I, wittingly say, "Smells like victory."


4.  This starts out with the Confederate General giving orders to his men.  You can see him giving the different hand signals.  At the 10 second mark the cannon goes "Boom!"  At the 27 second mark the Union General lines his men up to fire.  They then proceed to fire one by one. 


5.  At the seven second mark I just barely catch the cannon firing.  At the 13 second mark one of the Union Soldiers "dies."  25 second mark I try to zoom in.  At this point they are at least 500 yards away.  At the 33 second mark the Confederate Troops advance. 




6.  This is the end of the battle, er.... re-enactment of the battle.  The Confederate Troops capture the last two Union Soldiers and the battle comes to an end.  They uncover their hats, and "Taps" is played.  At the 29 second mark some jackhole walks in front of my camera.  What's that about?  Anyway, it seems that "Taps" is magical, and all the soldiers rise from the dead.  At the 1:26 second mark the one soldier says he can't hear us.  It is kinda funny cause that cannon was really loud.  Like Metallica loud. 



The funny thing was, the Union won this battle, not the Confederates.  But I guess this was just a "skirmish" before the main battle.  I wonder if next year the Union gets to win the skirmish? 

What was kind of strange was that just a minute after the skirmish big drops of rain started to fall.  It was like a slow buildup.  By the time we made it back to the car it was raining pretty good for Kentucky. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tsunami Death Toll

I don't like how fans of music expect their favorite bands to put out the same album again and again.  They then end up complaining how that band sounds "old" if they do have an album that sounds simular.  It's a no win situation.  As a result, a lot of musicians have side projects where they can perform different types of music without running into that problem.  The most well known of these is Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.  He has more side project than I can name.  The same with Les Claypool.  He is best known as the bassist/ frontman from Primus.



This got me to thinking of what my musical side project should be.  I wanted something hardcore, and not just hardcore.  Post industrial metal hardcore.  I have no clue what that means.  I'm sure bands that are post industrial metal hardcore have no idea what that means, but that's what my band will be.

It was just after Christmas in 2004 when the deadly tsunami hit Indonesia and the surrounding areas.  They kept talking about how many people were hurt and then died.  It became an everyday, er every minute occurrence to update us on, "The Tsunami Death Toll."



That's when it hit me like a.... well, tsunami.  That would be the name of my post industrial hardcore band, Tsunami Death Toll.  We would write music that was not like very other band that covered Slayer.  Heck, even Slayer got sick of doing Slayer.  They eased off the Satan thing on "Divine Intervention," but then the next few albums were named, "Diabolus In Musica," "God Hates Us All," and "Christ Illusion."  So I guess that's not a good example.



But back to the point.  I already had a few songs lined up.  First there was one about how everybody gets small forks.  There's no need for oversized forks.  Also, one about Fibromyalgia.  I'm not sure what I would write about it, but I think it's a good place to start.



But I also needed a title for the album.  Again, I didn't want anything Satanic as that is so 1980's.  I wanted something fresh, something new, something never seen.  Then it hit me, on the evening news.  Not long after the Tsunami killed a bunch of people, a disaster of some kind was killing just even more people.  It turned out that some earthquake or something damaged a sewer plant, and it was leaking, you guessed it, highly acidic sludge.  "That's the name of my new album!" I yelled.  "Highly Acidic Sludge."



So what does this say about me?  That I watch way too much news.  That, and Tom Brokaw was the best inspiration a young songwriter could have.



Does this man look "hardcore?"



  Oh, I almost forgot.  I think I already have the look down.





There is only one problem in this whole mess.  It's that my Dad could not pronounce my bands name.  He can't say the word Tsunami.  He pronounces it, (To-sue-me.)  And I am not making that up.  No matter how much we try to train him to say it correctly, he never can.  So maybe we could change the name to "To-sue-me Death Toll?"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is 34 Too Young For A Mid-Life Crisis?

Yesterday I asked some friends of mine if I was too young for a mid-life crisis.  They said, "No, of course not, you're too young."  But I haven't been feeling too good since my gall bladder tried to kill me.  I really do think I'm hitting my mid-life crisis.  So I went to the best doctor I know.  That of course is Wikipedia.  I went over the symptoms one by one.  First they listed causes, then characteristics, and finally behaviors.


Causes:

A midlife crisis could be caused by aging itself, or aging in combination with changes, problems, or regrets over:

1.  Work or career (or lack thereof.)

I have not been happy with my job.  A friend of mine said that over the road truck driving is the worst thing you can do to a person besides putting them in (rape you in the ass) prison.  I know that working for the criminals I work for is just a first step to getting a better job, but I am still making very little money compared to what I used to.  And I'm talking about working for them the first time around.  I really haven't worked this year due to a variety of circumstances, namely my illness and recovery.  But, I really don't want to go back to work. 

2.  Spousal relationships (or lack thereof.)

I know my former girlfriend Roxy will think I'm full of shit, but it hurt like Hell to break up with her.  We were supposed to get married.  I had it all planned out.  It was going to completely kick ass how I was going to propose to her.  We were supposed to have one child and adopt a Chinese girl.  Now all of that is trashed, and I don't feel one bit good about it.  I don't think I will ever get married or have any children.

3.  Maturation of children (or lack of children.)

Yeah, see above.

4.  Aging or death of parents.

I just wrote about how my last remaining Grandparent, my Grandmother, seemed old to me for the first time.  She was having trouble doing basic things, and was having a lot of trouble with her memory. 
My father retired last year, and my Mom will be retiring within a year.  I'm really realizing that my Dad is not 35 anymore. 

In the last few months I have lost two friends I went to high school with.  One was an amazing guitarist, and the other was my cello stand partner in orchestra.  I have always realized that musicians have a shorter lifespan.  Due to the gall bladder I almost joined my two friends as members of the below ground club.  It's kind of a weird phenomenon, but a lot of famous musicians have died at 27.  I have that beat by a few years, so I feel like I'm living on borrowed time.

5.  Physical changes associated with aging.

I have been getting my first gray hairs within the last few years.  In the last few months I have gotten my first gray hairs in my beard.  I hate having to look at them in the mirror every day. 
Of course, I think my gall bladder trying to kill me really set off my mid-life crisis.  I know if it were years ago, or I lived in a poorer country, I would have died.  Right now I have to face the fact that, yet again, I am living on borrowed time. 


Characteristics:

Individuals experiencing a midlife crisis have some of these feelings:

1.  Search of an undefined dream or goal.

It's funny that this is mentioned.  It reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson's failed search of the American dream in his novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."  Maybe I have watched too many movies.  Plots are supposed to have a beginning, middle, and an end.  My life has had none of those.  It just has kind of gone on and on.  I too have failed to find the American dream.

2.  A deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished.

I have plenty of regrets.  Of course, I have a really good memory, so remembering the regrets come with the territory.  I look back and see so much more that I could have accomplished. 

3.  A fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues.

I do have to ask myself, why did this person become so successful, and I am struggling?  I knew two people who were pretty sucessful.  I had this secret hatred for them.  I'm not sure if it was because they didn't understand blue collar struggles, or because it seemed that life was so easy for them.  I'm not proud of myself for that.

4.  Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness.

I do want to do youthful things.  Play open mic nights.  Stay out late.  And a lot of other things I won't list here.  I also have to ask myself, "Why am I growing my hair out so long?"  It's not just kinda long.  It's getting out there pretty long.

5.  Need to spend more time alone or with certain peers.

I do spend a bit of time alone.  That is the life of a truck driver.  I only have a certain amount of close friends.  I had never thought about it, but I guess it's true.  But I have always been that way.  I have a small group of very close friends, and that's the way I have always liked it.


Behaviors:

1.  Abuse of alcohol.

This is one that I can say no to.  I may drink a lot of Coke Zero, but I don't touch alcohol.

2.  Acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats, clothing, sports cars, jewelry, gadgets, tattoos, piercings, etc.

Does having more guitars than I can really play count?  I mean this guitar is a little over the top:



I have been short of money due to all the guitars and guitar related stuff.  Otherwise, I totally would have gotten this:



For some reason, Honda Shadows in two-tone tend to talk to me. 

3.  Pretend acquisition of expensive items via non-authentic materials or automobile badge replacement.

I don't know what that means, but if I combine #3 with #2, I sure I will come up with me wanting a 1970 Dodge Challenger.



I guess that might also mean that I fake owning a big truck when I don't.  I only drive it for the slimey company I work for.



Look at the size of that.  I mean, it's 73 foot long.  If you think all those guys who drive big yuppie assault vehicles drive them because they have small penises, think about this:  If I drive that big a truck, how small must my penis be?


4.  Depression.

I've been taking meds for despression ever since I was 19.  I won't say that it has gotten worse, but I will say that it has changed in it's effects over time.
I also experienced a type of anxiety after the surgery.  I felt kind of naked all the time.  I didn't want to look at the scar, and I didn't want anyone else to look at the scar either.

5.  Blaming themselves for their failures.

I have always been hard on myself.  I just can't stop looking back at my life with regret.  I know hindsight is always 20/20, but man did I screw up hard.  I guess that's why may favorite saying is, "Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."  It's true.

6. Paying special attention to physical appearance such as covering baldness, wearing youthful designer clothes, etc.

I wear really cool shoes.  Does that count?  But really, I have at least 100 long sleeve, button up shirts.  I will say they are conservative, especially for todays fashions, but they are all good looking and classy.  While I may not spend a fortune on them, I do think I pay special attention to how I look.  Especially, when I wear the hat.

7.  Entering relationships with younger people (either/or sexual, professional, parental, etc.)

I don't really date much, but the last two women I have dated have been 9 years younger than me.  I never even thought about it, but it's true.

8.  Placing over importance (and possibly a psychologically damaging amount) on their children to excel in areas such as sports, arts, or academics.

Well, at least I don't have to worry about this one.  I don't have any kids.


Final analysis:

I am so ready for a mid-life crisis.  I have death, more death, a lack of money, a bad job, no female, no dog, and a hopelessness that I can't even descibe.  Man, I think I should become a country music singer.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mad Hatter

Everyone knows that my hat is kind of a part of me.  I mean, I've had it for over 10 years.  However, due to it's age it needed some maintenance.  The idea that it needed some care was brought to me by my friends Mistie and Michelle.  They do sewing and such so they know their leather.  It kind of went down like this:

M+M:  Your hat is kind of dried out.

Adrian:  Yes, it's what's called a "Vintage look.  You know, it's kind of worn in."

M+M:  No, the leather needs some Mink Oil.

Adrian:  Aren't minks protected?  I mean, what would I have to do?  Strangle a mink.

M+M:  (Dueling dirty looks.)  Ok, smartass, use nead or neadsfoot oil. 

So here's the hat before:



And here's the Neadsfoot Oil:




And here is the hat after being oiled up:




Unfortunately in the pictures you can't really tell a difference.  But in real life, it looks much, much blacker.  The edges of the hat were being to turn into a faded brown.  Now the color is much more even, and the hat is softer.  It's definitely not as stiff as it was.  Now I have to let it dry for a few days. 

I do have to admit that it was extremely dry.  I poured the oil straight on the hat, and it was just soaking up the oil.  I do want to say that I really gave it a very liberal coat of oil.  It hadn't had any in ten years so I figure I am making up for lost time.  I hope that my hat will now last me another 10 years.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gone Fishin' .... In the Huntington Museum of Art's Fish Pond

It was a dark and stormy night, or it wasn't.  It was actually the middle of the day at the Huntington (West Virginia) Museum of Art.  The whole family had gone there to see the wood turning exhibit.  It was a great exhibit, and gave Dad a few ideas.

But the real action was in the conservatory.  Yes it was really called that.



That's where the fish were.  Oh, there were also some plants.



But back to the fish.




No, not those fish.  Those are good fish.  Mollies in fact.  But there are better fish.




Those are Koi, off of the Goldfish family.  And those aren't just any Koi, those are really good size Koi.



These are the kind of Koi you want to catch.  But it might look suspicious if I brought a fishin' pole into the museum.  So I had to do it the hillbilly way.  I had to catch them with my hands. 

The Koi are used to being fed so they naturally come to the top of the water.  It was then that I made my move.  I stuck my finger in the Koi's mouth.  He didn't like the taste of my finger apparently.  I also happened to be embarrassing the ever-loving bejezzus out of my evil twin sister.

Here's some footage of the Koi in the pond.




They look like happy fish don't they?  So we left, and I didn't catch any fish.  But I did see some "art" on the front lawn of the museum.  What the Hell is that?  It looks like a bunch of pillars fell over.  Really, doesn't it?



So you might wonder why I acted so evil?  Well does this explain it?




That's right.  I ate the fruit off the tree.  An evil serpent told me to.  Really.  What?  Don't you believe me?

National Geographic Adrian: Stupid Butterflies, Part 2

When I was in West Virginia, my evil twin sister was taking pictures of any and every stupid butterfly that passed by.  I wanted nothing to do with it.  But it just so happened I was with my Dad and one flew by.  He asked me to take a few pictures of the butterfly for my sister.  So I begrudingly did.  What I learned was that those things just don't like to hold still.

I was at the Adkins cemetary when I took a picture of this one on some of the grave flowers.



The next week I was moving the maple wood up the hill.  While taking a break another stupid butterfly zoomed by me.  What's up with those things?  So I took some more pictures for my evil twin sister/ science/ whatever.




Wait a minute!  It's the same butterfly.  That damn thing is stalking me!  It just likes to zoom underneath my nose, and make a pest of itself.  Well, at least I am now at home where it can't bother me anymore. 

How Not To Draft

Hindsight is always 20/20.  This is the motto of the NFL draft.  You really don't know if you have had a good draft until at least three years afterwards.  Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen were fired for one main reason.  They sucked at drafting.  Since the Glazers, owners of the Buccaneers, will not spend money on free agents, the draft is the only way the Buccaneers can be competitive.

The worst two drafts in Buccaneers history came back to back in 2007 and 2008.  Let's look back on them.

The 2007 draft.
1 Gaines Adams DE Clemson  - Couldn't even make it as a full time starter despite being the first defensive player taken in the draft.  Traded to Chicago Bears, and then Dead.  Really.  Died of a heart problem.  Final call:  Dead.

2 Arron Sears G Tennessee - A good player, but a complete head case.  Just stopped showing up for work, and went back home.  The Bucs tried to hang onto him as long as they could, but eventually were forced to cut him.  Final call:  Cut.

2 Sabby Piscitelli S Oregon State - Also known as "The Goat."  Couldn't even make it as a backup much less a starter.  Took bad angles to the ball, and was a loudmouth with the coaching staff.  Was cut, and signed with Cleveland.  Final call:  Cut.

3 Quincy Black LB New Mexico - Has been a good special teams player, and after a few years an ok starter.  Final call:  Still with team.  Starter at Linebacker.

4 Tanard Jackson S Syracuse  - Probably the best player chosen in the draft by the Bucs.  Came in and started every game for two years.  Unbelievable talent, but has been suspended twice for smoking the hippie lettuce.  Final call:  Coming off suspension.

5 Greg Peterson DT North Carolina Central 
- Played as a backup for a bit.  Final call:  No longer with team.
6 Adam Hayward LB Portland State   - Like Quincy Black, has been good on special teams, and started a few games.  Final call:  Still with team.

7 Chris Henman T Fresno State  - Never played with team.

7 Marcus Hamilton CB Virginia  - Never made much of an impact.

7 Kenneth Darby RB Alabama - Played a few games with the Bucs as a backup.  Final call:  No longer with team.

The Wrap-up:  The first three picks are no longer with the team.  That's not good.  The two linebackers have spent most of their time on special teams, and only became starters because the Bucs wouldn't spend money on free agents.  The best pick was by far Tanard Jackson if he would only put down the hippie lettuce.


The 2008 Draft.

1 Aqib Talib CB Kansas  - Amazing talent, but a complete headcase.  So far, punched a taxi cab driver, punched a teammate with a helmet, cussed out the head coach, smoked the hippie lettuce, and pulled a gun on a man.  Again, a great talent, but with this draft pick the Bucs could have drafted USF CB Mike Jenkins who became a Pro Bowler but without the attitude of Talib.  Final call:  On the edge of being cut due to actions/ attitude/ trouble with law.

2 Dexter Jackson WR Appalachian State  - Known as the "Bad" Dexter Jackson.  This pick was a bit of a stretch.  There was a run on WR's and the Bucs took the next one in line.  However, even the Bucs knew he wasn't a 2nd round talent.  He lasted only one season before being cut.  Final call:  Cut, no longer in the NFL.

3 Jeremy Zuttah G Rutgers  - A versitile guard, but the coaches keep trying to replace him.  Final call:  Still with team as a backup.

4 Dre Moore DT Maryland  - Was considered a 1st round prospect, but work ethic had him slide down the board.  The Bucs took a gamble on him in the 4th.  He was cut after training camp, and signed to the practice squad.  He made the team as a backup.  Final call:  Still with the team, but may no longer be due to the drafting of new players.

5 Josh Johnson QB San Diego  - Called a career backup by the Head Coach.  A good backup for a 5th round selection.  Has also been used as a WR in certain situations.  Final call:  Still with team as a backup.  A good pick for this spot.

6 Geno Hayes LB Florida State  - Considered too small to play in the NFL, Hayes made his way into a starting position.  Not bad, but not a Pro Bowler.  Good value for this pick.  Final call:  Still with team.

7 Cory Boyd RB South Carolina - Final call:  Never made the team.

The Wrap-up:  When healthy, Zuttah has been a good player.  Hayes may have been the best selection for value in the draft.  Talib is a Pro Bowler but may have cut himself with his actions.  Picks in the 2nd and 4th round were completely wasted.

Again, hindsight is 20/20.  Not everyone that is drafted is going to make the impact that a team wants.  You win some, you lose some.  At the end of the day you want more wins than loses.  Maybe this draft wouldn't have been such a big deal for another team that spends money on free agents.  However, for the Bucs it is as important as it gets. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Flow of the Guyandotte River

When I tell people that my Grandmother has a river right behind her house, some don't believe me.  Others don't know what to think.  And some just think it's kind of cool.  Since she lives in the mountains of West Virginia water runs a bit differently than it does here in Florida.  In Florida, the land is very flat.  It also also mostly sugar sand so the water soaks right into it.  But in West Virginia the ground is hard clay.  When it rains on the mountain, the water runs downhill. 

Due to all the water running downhill, there are multiple wet weather creeks, drains/ ditches, and very small streams that lead into the main river.  In back of my Grandmother's house there is one of these that is only about 300 yards long.  My Uncle Wallace has one that runs from the main road across the edge of his property, and into the Guyandotte River.  It may be only 150 yards long and inches deep. 

All of these tiny streams are important.  Since these exist very 300-500 yards on both sides of the river, they feed the river with the water neccasary to keep it flowing.  When the rains come the river can move very fast, and raise it's depth level very quickly. 

I took some film footage of the river.  You can see the side stream that flows into the Guyandotte River.  Actually you may be able to hear it, and not see it since it is mostly underground.  Near the end of the footage you can see how black the grass is.  That's where the river overflowed when heavy rains came.  It was amazing to see the river that high.  I wish I had gotten footage of that.  But none-the-less here is the film footage of the river. 

The Big Maple Haul

A few posts back, I wrote about cutting up a maple tree with my Dad.  Here's the original post:

http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2011/04/timber-maple-edition.html

So the question is now, what did we do after we cut it up into piece?  Well, it took a lot of work getting the wood pieces up the hill, but Dad and me managed to haul 40 pieces of wood up the hill and into the truck.  Dad had 30 pieces that will hopefully one day be turned into bowls.  He also had and additional 5 pieces that will be turned into goblets.

I only had 5 pieces, buy they weighed at least 100 pounds or more a piece.  I had two pieces that are meant to be cut into cello sides.  One piece will be able to cut a few cello backs out of.  And then I had two pieces that I will be able to make into guitar bodies or backs.

The total gross weight of our haul had to be at least 1500 pounds.  Luckily our trailer can handle that much weight.  That may not sound like a lot for all that much wood, but think about this.  First we had to haul it up the hill to the truck.  Then load it into the truck.  After that, we had to drive over to Grandma's house, and unload the wood from the truck, and into the trailer.  It's a more strenuous job than lifting weights. 

Here's the picture of the trailer after we loaded it.  Note my big blocks of maple on the bottom.