Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Headbanger and the Bob

Here's a fairytale updated for the modern world.  I am writing this like I would write a kid's book.  Well, at least the best I can do on Blogspot.  Just imagine that the words and pictures go together like a kid's book.

There once was a guy named Bob.

  He was driving from Tampa to St. Petersburg so he could go to the beach over there.

While driving he saw a Headbanger thumbing a ride across the Howard Franklin Bridge.

  The Headbanger asked, "Hey man, can I get a ride across the bridge?"

The Bob then asked the Headbanger, "How do I know once we start driving across the bridge, you won't change the radio station, start headbanging, and moshing in the car?  You would distact me, and knock me around causing me to lose control of my car.  I would die."


The Headbanger then answered, "Dude!  I would totally die too!"

The Bob thought about it, and gave the Headbanger a ride.

Once they were halfway across the bridge the headbanger cranked up some Slayer on the car radio.  He then proceeded to start headbanging and moshing around the car.  He then smashed into the Bob causing him to lose control of the car.

As the car was in mid-flight over the rails, and ready to hit the saltwater the Bob yelled, "Why?"

The Headbanger yelled back, "Dude!  Cause it's totally in my nature!"

The moral of this story?  Don't give headbangers or equally weird people a ride in your car.  Or something like that.  I don't know.  Make of it what you want to.

Adrian's Best Blogs of 2011

I guess it's that time folks.  It's time for the new year, but before we do that, we look back at the old year.  This post is going to review the best of my personal blogs from 2011.  Now, while I did transfer the blogs from my old Myspace account to Blogspot this year, I am only going to count those blogs that I wrote in 2011.  Not the ones that were written prior to that, and transferred this year.

If I go strictly by numbers, here are the top blogs:

5.  Stacy Q Rocks.  44 Views.

This one kind of surprised me, in that, I didn't think it was that good.  But a lot of other truckers are looking for info about this strange statement carved into truck stop restrooms.

4.  Bitch'in Camaro.  138 Views.

A lot of people are looking for pictures of vintage Cameros, and I have some good ones.  This blog was from my trip to West Virginia, and while I was there, they had a mini-car show. 

3.  Questions I Would Ask J.K. Rowling.  362 Views.

I wrote this one with the intention of getting a lot of blog hits.  A lot of people find this blog post looking for Harry Potter pictures.

2.  Tsunami Death Toll.  484 Views.

This was supposed to be a funny blog about band names.  However, due to the Slayer pictures, this blog gets a lot of hits.

And finally number one, by a long shot....

1.  Chicks Dig High Profile Vehicles... Like Dragons.  6732 Views.

This blog took off due to a bunch of kids looking for pictures of Toothless the Dragon.  Every time that movie aired on HBO or Cinemax, you would see the hits spike on this blog.

Now, for my personal five favorites:

5.  The Republican Candidates Are In Fact, Underpants Gnomes.

I was really proud of this one.  I did my homework, and went to the actual websites of the candidates.  I had been listening to a lot of news radio, and it just sunk into my head that the Republican candidates don't understand business.

4.  Grimm's Fairy Tales Have Nothing On My Mother.

Again, this is one I am really pound of.  I spent a lot of time writing it, and making sure it was perfect.  The "tales" my Mother told me at a young age stuck with me for all these years.  I'm surprised it took me this long to write a blog about it.

3.  Overpriced Couches and Insulting the Locals.

This is a bit of truth being stranger than fiction.  I never thought of writing a blog out of walking into an antique store.  However, that is what happened here.  When the strange gets tough, Adrian writes a blog out of it.

2.  Inside the Secret World of Adrian's Hunting Adventures, Part 2.

I put so much hard work into this one.  This contains the videos of me after I had shot a hog out hunting, and then the hilarious aftermath.  This would easily be number one on my list except for one thing....

1.  Chicks Dig High Profile Vehicles... Like Dragons.

How could I not vote this number one?  I have over 280 individual blogs, and just over 10,000 individual views.  This one blog alone has 2/3's of my entire blog views.  I am also proud of the thoughts and writing of this blog.  I honestly saw one of the new Pontiac Trans Ams, and it just clicked that I should write this.

So there you have it.  Agree?  Disagree?  Can't pick a favorite?  Hate em' all?  Let me know.  Write a comment.

I do want to wish everyone a happy new year.  I will keep writing, and I hope you will keep reading them.  Happy blogging everyone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Inside the Secret World of Adrian's Hunting Adventures, Part 3

Back to the fun videos.  But first, why the duck you ask?  I just feel like a curious duck most of the time.  But seriously.

Clip 9.  While cleaning the hog I run into an old wishing well/ old timey water pump.  Then, hilarity ensues. 

Clip 10.  Out on the Hickory Mound inpoundment we run into a gator sunning himself on a sunny day.

Clip 11.  At the very end of our trip we were driving out of our hunting area.  It was then we found out where the hogs were hanging out at.  Right in the middle of the road.

I hope you enjoyed the insider's look at what really goes on during hunting season.  And remember, the Weasel is always right.

Inside the Secret World of Adrian's Hunting Adventures, Part 2

Onto more adventures in hunting.

(Really, do these guys look like they know what they're doing?)

Clip 5.  I am tired.  So tired.  Why?  I put in a lot of work in a very short period of time.  You can even see how completely covered in sweat I am.

Clip 6.  Down the road comes the Weasel (rhymes with Grease-el.)  And it turns out I have shot his hog.

Clip 7.  And the conversation continues.  Notice how the Weasel knows everything except who actually shot the hog?  This clip is kinda funny in that, you can see just how argumentative the Weasel starts getting.

Clip 8.  Finally the tension breaks a bit, and the conversation devolves into crude sexual humor.  This is very typical of men out hunting.  When you are in the middle of nowhere, it doesn't really matter what you say.  The trees could care less what you say.

Stay tuned to part 3.  More fun, fun, fun.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inside the Secret World of Adrian's Hunting Adventures

I have plenty of hunting stories that I've aquired from years of being in the outdoors.  Sometimes the tales can get either really hairy or relaly tall.  Back in 2009 I took my video camera with me to show just how weird things can get out there.

Today I bought a machine/ program that lets me transfer my video to an MPEG format.  I am really glad that this type of program exists so that I can share my wonderful and weird hunting experiences.

So without further ado, here's the highlights of the Perry, Fl. 2009 hunting trip at Hickory Mound.

Clip 1.  The Waking of the Weasel (rhymes with Grease-el.)  Note how I am doing my best Steve Irwin impression.

Clip 2.  This is an osprey sitting in a tree.  The osprey is one of the best fish hunting birds out there.  I was really glad to get this shot.

Clip 3.  In this video you can see some hooded merganzers and grebies.  This video was recording in the Hickory Mound Impoundment Unit.  It is a beautiful estruary that supports a huge amount of wildlife.  I've never seen a place quite like it.

Clip 4.  A funny little butterfly landed, and hilariousity ensued.

More to come.  Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, and 4.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Adrian's Insane Violin Project, Part 1

I am getting serious about building a violin from scratch.  I am also serious about doing it my way.  Since I am making this one for me, I figure, "What the hay" if I piss off the purist violin builders.  I think the violin could use a bit of updating, and I'm going to be the one to do it.

So here is the back of the violin.  It is made of black walnut instead of the standard maple. 

Here is a picture of the back after I shaped the outside.  I still need to shape the inside of the back.  However, I need a very specialized plainer to do so.  So it's onto other parts.

I will skip writing down all the hard work I did to get the neck like this.  Basically, it was taken from a hunk of Rosewood, and then I worked my magic on it.  Again, it's not a typical violin form, but I think it looks really beautiful and modern.

I have also decided to make the fingerboard out of Rosewood.  Again, I will skip all the hard work I put into it, and simply say that I got it from a chunk of Rosewood, and shaped it down.  The tough part was to get the curve on the fingerboard just right.  It has to have a uniform curve with no dead spots in it.  Note:  A dead spot is where a spot in the wood is so low that the string can't vibrate properly.

Next up will be making the sides.  I already have made the form for them to fit into after bending.  I will also be ordering a spruce top soon.  More pictures will follow.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stradivarius Never Had Rosewood

I feel pretty lucky to live in Florida.  There are nice selections of native, and no so native trees that grow here.  About fifty years ago there were a lot of East Indian Rosewood planted around the Tampa Bay area.  It has been my luck to run into some of this Rosewood, and I am more than happy about that.

I have been working on building a violin for a while.  But I didn't want this to be a copy of a Stradivarius violin.  In fact, I wanted it to be quite different.  99% of violins are copies of Stradivarius guitars for a reason.  They can't sell them otherwise.  However, since this violin is for me or my friends, I am happy to build it very differently. 

And that brings me to another point.  I am first and foremost a guitar builder.  Guitar builders are never satisfied with one design.  Leo Fender didn't stop designing when he created the Fender Broadcaster (later named the Telecaster.)  He went on to design the Stratocaster (guess who that's named after), and then quite a few models with G&L guitars.  So why did violin designs stop with Stradivarius's design? 

Stradivarius didn't have access to the North American hard and softwoods that luthiers have access to now.  He didn't have Rosewood.  To be honest, I think he would have liked Rosewood, Black Walnut, and Sitka Spruce.  He had to use what he had, and I think a lot of people don't realize that. 

The violin that I am designing takes quite a few ideas from different builders.  First and foremost would be Robert Bennedetto, the Godfather of the modern archtop guitar.  I learned more about guitar design from him than I ever thought possible.  The bracing system I will use is based on his style of X bracing.  I also took the body design from the pre-Stradivarius Russian violins.  The headstock/ scroll design I updated what I thought would be a more modernized styling.  And the woods I am using are woods that will give a more balanced voice to the violin. 

And speaking of woods, here are some pictures of the wood that is rough cut.

You can see the neck and two fingerboards rough cut out of Rosewood.  Oh, and this Rosewood is quartersawn for strength.  It's pretty uniform in it's grain pattern and color.

This piece of wood is for a project way in the future.  This Rosewood plank will be used for a cello fingerboard. 

As more Rosewood gets cut I am going to have more pieces of wood for my various projects.  I will hopefully be able to post a blog in the future showing them.  But for now, I have plenty of wood to play with. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tough Choices, Evil Empires, and Black Gold

Job hunting is tough all over.  Except for one place.  North Dakota.  Why you ask?  Simply put, black gold, also known as the new oil boom.

The evil empire known as Haliburton has invented a new way to drill.  Instead of drilling from the top of a mountain, they can go in from the side.  They then frak the rock, and suck the oil out.  And there's a lot of oil.  How much?  In twenty years they believe North Dakota alone will out produce Saudi Arabia. 

And that's where I come in.  Or should I say workers from across the United States come in.  Let's be honest, North Dakota is kind of sparse, and doesn't have enough workers.

And they need workers.  Lots of workers.  Heck, even the fast food employees are getting $12-$15 an hour.  And they need truckers.  Lots of truckers to move that black gold from the oil fields to the refineries.  But it is a dangerous job.  I actually had to stop and think what driving a semi truck in North Dakota would be like.  Something like this I suppose.

Ok, hopefully it wouldn't be exactly like that.  It would be more like this.

Then there is the fact that I would be working for Haliburton or one of their underlings.  And we all know what Haliburton means.  It means Dick Cheney will try to shallow your soul.

And with oil comes oil spills.  And no one wants cute animals to die.

But let's get back to talking money.  Yes, it's easy to make $1500 a week, but what are the expenses?  First off, since there are very few people in North Dakota there is very little housing.  What housing there is takes half your paycheck.  And then there's the matter of food.  Food and all other goods have to be shipped in.  They can run quite a bit of money since North Dakota is so far out.  So even if I make a good amount of money, after expenses I don't know if I would have much left.  And I would still have bills to pay. 

I'm not going to make a quick decision on this as I don't want to work in North Dakota during the winter.  Once it hits Springtime I will think long and hard about it.  Different companies up there have options as far as housing and food go.  I would just have to find one that would be a good fit for me.  Oh, and one that would let me keep my soul instead of letting Cheney suck it out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Guitar Day!

I wasn't planning on getting another guitar.  In fact, no musician really "plans" on getting one.  They always just happen to "run into a deal."  Well, the same happened to me.  I had been on the road for three and a half weeks, and was just happy to be home. 

I was scanning the local Craigslist, and saw something I thought was too good to be true.  The ad said the seller was selling a silver Dean Hardtail guitar and a Dean hardshell case for a total of $180.  I thought that couldn't be right.  The Hardtails normally sold for $600, and the cases for $130. 

I e-mailed, and hoped that he hadn't sold it yet.  Well, I got a call the next day, went over to his place that night, and gladly paid the $180 he was asking.  I'm still in shock about it. 

It's a great playing guitar, and was even better after I made a few adjustments.  When I have time, I will do a fret dress on it, and set it up the way I like.

But let's be honest.  You're want pictures.  Here they are.

I Still Miss Someone

It's been a year and a half since I broke up with my long time girlfriend Roxy (not her real name,) and I still miss someone.  That someone being the guinea pig we adopted, Punky.  I was never really into guinea pigs, as I have mostly had fish my whole life.  However, Punky was a really nice pet to have. 

She liked to chill out on my stomach.  I guess it's because I'm so warm to the touch.  I would sit her on my stomach, and just comb/ pet her.  Then she made the cutest little noises.  Guinea pigs make a "wheek, wheek, wheek" sort of noise, and it's just adorable. 

One time when I didn't want to get out of bed, Roxy put Punky in the bed with me.  She (Punky) then proceeded to snuggle up next to me under the covers.  She actually laid on her side and snuggled up against me.  There are pictures of that, but I'm not posting them because no one want to post pictures of themselves in the morning.  But the point is it was a really cute moment.

And now for even cuter moments.  Here are pictures of Punky.

The Internet Picture Collection, Part 3

And away we go with part three.

I always sent this one when talking about trucking.  This one is not exactly DOT approved.

I sent this to one gal who wrote me back saying she didn't get it.

Penguins are awesome.  Enough said.

Beagles are also as cool as penguins.

For some reason women never like it when I sent this one to them.

This one show just how futile yelling at one another is.

A good warning sign for truck drivers.

The animal lovers always like this one.

Sheep need a drink of water too.

This painting is called "The Surrender."  It was the basis for the painting of myself on a Triceratops.

That's enough for now.  More to come. 

The Internet Picture Collection, Part 2

So here we go.  Lots more fun pictures I've collected from across the net.  Here we go.

I think we have all been mormowed before.  I know I have.

I have no idea what this is about, but it always makes me laugh.

This is one of those that makes no sense, but I love it.

This is a picture that a guy posted on the My Little Pony forums.  It led to him getting banned.

This one is always good for an inside joke.

This always makes me laugh.

It's so true.  You can not simply rock into Mordor.

This is what happens when college students get bored in the winter.

Making sure your horse is safe when swimming.

Not a bad shirt for some women.

Ok, that's enough for now.  More to come.