Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Am A Terrible Luthier, But I'm Working On It

For quite a while now I have been building a guitar I've called "Project 5."  Here's the original post describing the ideas I had behind it.

Here's a picture of the guitar that I based my design on.

But I wanted it to have that jangle and style of the Gretsch White Penguin.

Here is what I have come up with so far.

Not bad, but I have made a number of mistakes.  I have fixed most of them, but I have two serious ones.

The first big mistake I made was drilling a hole out the back of the body.  You can see the hole in the picture above.  So I decided to plug the hole.  I would like to thank my Dad for woodturning a piece of black walnut so that I could fill the hole.  Here's the piece he did.

With a bit of Titebond 2 glue, and some time, I will be able to fix my screw up.  After the glue dries I will sand down the plug, and cover it with lacquer.

The next mistake was as serious as it gets.  I screwed up royally.  I screwed up so bad that I put this guitar away for over a year and a half.  Simply put, I made the neck too thin.  Then, when I was shaving it into shape, I cut through, so that the truss rod was showing out the back of the neck.  

So, after spending some time away from the project, I had a friend on the net show how to put a patch over a broken neck.  His was way worse, so I figured I could save this guitar since it was not as bad.  This is what I came up with.

It may not be pretty, but it will work.  I tested the movement on the neck, and it seems to be holding.  I have sanded it even, and applied tung oil to fill the grain.  Once I get the hole on the back sanded even, I will start applying polyurethane to both the filled hole and the neck.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No Cover Songs, and Good Cocaine, Part 2

The original post:

It has been one year, and three weeks since I thought about covering Dick Justice's ole time rag, "Good Cocaine."  Yesterday I finally performed it at Sacred Grounds Coffee House.  It's not that I've been lazy, I've just had other things to do.  Like work and stuff.

But a few things actually held me back.  First, the song was recorded in a tuning other than standard E, and then on top of that a kapo was used.  So, the first thing I had to do was find the correct chords, and put them in E standard.  Then, I had to change them around to fit my voice.  Let's be honest, I don't have the best vocal range.

I also had to update the lyrics a bit.  It's a bit of a blues tradition that every player will change the song up a bit. Like I had said earlier in my previous post, I wanted to change up the part that refers to certain groups as "monkeys."

Like any performer will tell you, generally the first time you play a song live it doesn't go that well.  Well, it couldn't have gone any better.  I played it as the first song right off the bat, and it just killed.  I wished I had of recorded it.  I was also very thankful I had a friend Josh playing percussion for me that night.  All in all it was a great night.

And I think I would be remiss if I didn't post Dick Justice's version here.  It is a funny video.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


When I was younger I had a dream.  A dream to have my very own radio station.  It would not be just any rock radio station.  It would be WSTN, all Satan, all the time.  That's right, I would bring only the hardest, and awesomest death metal, grindcore metal, metal metal, etc.

Of course the main problem would not be the protesters.  No, those are always good for publicity.  It would be that blasted Clearchannel owns everything in the way of radio stations.  The FCC is not handing out any more licences since they say there are too many.  Of course, what they didn't say was that Clearchannel owns them all.

So what would we play?

Well obviously....

I would have different rock shows during the day.  Some mainstream, some punk, some unheard of stuff.  But we would always answer the phones saying this,

"Hail Satan, caller what's your name?"

Then they would say, "Dude my name is Bob, hail Satan!"

"Hail Satan Bob!"

But lets be honest, I know who 90% of the audience would be.

But what would make this job totally worth it?  Well, that would be the other 10%

Also known as "Metal Chicks."

Let's be honest, metal chicks are crazy.  But they are also crazy in bed .... and other places.  

I know the old saying, "It used to be about the music, man!!!!!"  And in the end it would have been about the music.  That is of course, if Clearchannel didn't own everything.

Here's one last really weird fact.  There really is a WSTN.  Here's the Wiki page on it, word for word.  (And I am really not making this up.)

WSTN (1410 FM) was an American radio station formerly licensed to serve Somerville, the county seat of Fayette County, Tennessee. The station was established in 1983 as "WJED", changed to "WSTN" in 1986, and since 2002 its broadcast license was held by Jimmy Swaggart's Family Worship Center Church, Inc. The station went silent on October 25, 2006.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Kind Of Motorcycle Guy Am I?

I was daydreaming like I usually do, and thought to myself, "What kind of motorcycle guy am I?"  This is pure speculation due to a number of reasons.  First, I can't ride a bicycle that well, so I am pretty sure that I would be terrible on a motorcycle.  Second, when I was born my Mother only had a few lifetime rules for me.  No tattoos, no banjos (seriously she hates banjos), and no motorcycles.  But I do think motorcycles are cool pieces of machinery.

The first rule in my imaginary search is no Harley Davidsons.  I'm sure 99% of people are yelling, "Get a Harley!"  But I refuse to spend one red cent on the following, 1. Buying a Harley.  2.  Buying aftermarket parts for a Harley.  3.  Supporting a Harley Dealership in any way.  Why you ask?  Well, I am usually pretty honest on my blog, but I can't go into too much detail publicly.  All I will say is that, I was screwed over pretty badly by a Harley dealership, and refuse to support their business in any way.

First up is the Honda Shadow Aero.

This is one that I really dig.  It's affordable, there are lots of parts for it, and it oozes what a bike should be.  I have actually sat on one, and it is a very comfortable bike.  The only drawback for me personally is that I like buying American automobiles.  The first vehicle I bought was a 1992 Saturn.  This was back when they were 100% made in America.  So the thought of owning a Japanese bike makes me question .... well myself.  Still, I can't deny that if I were to get a bike, it would most likely be a Honda Shadow Aero.

Next up is a bike that was suggested to me by a friend.  If I wanted something to increase my indie cred, I would need an indie bike.  A vintage Triumph.

I took these pictures when I was on vacation.  Someone had a personal museum of motorcycles, including a number of Triumph Motorcycles.  I'll admit, I would dig having a classic motorcycle.  What I wouldn't dig is all the maintenance that a vintage bike would require.

There is another great bike company that is coming out with some really great products.  They have a touch of classic combines with modern engineering.  Also known as the other American Motorcycle Co., Indian Motorcycles.

They are American, beautiful, tough, and just an overall great bike.  The only problem for me would be the cost.  I can buy a house for what one of these bikes cost.  Still, if this is simply a theoretical argument, then I would definitely consider an Indian bike.

Now, if I am dreaming, or daydreaming in my case, I can't overlook the Vincent Black Shadow.

Okay maybe not that one.  All of those are in museums somewhere.  Besides, I know what Hunter S. Thompson had to say about them.

There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new breed of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society.

But the good news is that they are making a new Vincent Black Shadow.

But again, if I thought the Indian was expensive, I don't even want to know the cost of one of these bikes.  Still, it is pretty badass while keeping a ton of indie street cred.  This bike is so nice, I don't even know if I would want to put it on the street.  But that would kind of defeat the purpose of getting one.

Now that I think about it.... This is a pretty deep daydream.  I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about motorcycles, but I do know I like them.  I think it's in the same vein of someone who likes guitars, but doesn't know how to play.  They may not know what a chord is, but they know that they like the music. 

So I know I won't be able to get a motorcycle any time soon, but I can always daydream, and I can always blog about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Serial Killer at Cafe Kili is Really Annoying Me

So there's this nice little coffee and tea shop named Cafe Kili in Tampa (Temple Terrace area.)  The owners are friendly, the place is clean, prices are more than fair, and the smoothies are to die for.  (Note:  The banana smoothie I ordered was probably the best I have ever had in my life.)

A couple of my friends like to go to their open mic night for musicians, artists, and poets.  I went there one time, and have not been back.  Why you ask?  Because there is this one guy who I'm sure is a serial killer that hangs out there..... all the time.  Seriously, the guy even looks like Ted Bundy.

I can't be sure that he is a serial killer.  I have to play the game of whether he is a serial killer, sex offender, or a regular pervert.  Or maybe a not so regular pervert.

Now I realize that many of you are wondering, "what did he do?"  Well he was bugging this one gal, and I could see the fear in her eyes.  She was thankful that there were 50 or so people around.  I ended up asking her, "Well, he wasn't a serial killer now, was he?"  She said, "You noticed that too?"  The vibe this guy gives off is so far above creepy, there isn't a word for it.

Three different people I claim as friends, all who have much more patience than me, can't stand the guy either.  They all say the same thing.  He criticizes all the performers at open mics.  He acts like he's got all this talent.  He's also kind of pushy to go along with being snobby.  I mean, the man is not subtle.  

Okay, so he may not be a serial killer, but I am sure he is on the sex offenders website.  I am sure all of you are asking, "Well why don't you look him up if you are so sure?"  This reminds me of what the comedian Louis C.K. said, "Don't ever look on the sex offender registry.  You will make yourself paranoid with how many sex offenders there are around you."  But seriously, if I get that guy's name I am so going to look him up, and hand his info over to the owners.

Maybe if he wasn't such a dick no one would complain.  It's not like he's as likable as Herbert.

I actually imagine him as a gross, deformed asshole who sucks the life out of anything near him.  Kind of like a dementor.  But now that I think about it, he's more like the Nosferatu.  A perverted Nosferatu.

I wish that the owners would have kicked him off the property by now.  I can't make them do that.  However, I think that guy is scaring off customers.  Until then, I won't be going back to Cafe Kili.

How to Make a JB8 Guitar Pickup

Well it's time I put my money where my mouth is. I have talked about replacing bar magnets in pickups, and I wanted to show how I do that.

We'll start with a Seymour Duncan JB. It's a great pickup for one particular reason. It's the most sold Duncan pickup, so there's a lot avalible on the market. What's funny is all the negative comments I hear about it. I've never heard a pickup called both muddy by some, and too thin by others. I'm not crazy about them since I find them too compressed.

However, there is a way to take care of that, and get an awesome pickup out of an average one. Namely, replacing the Alnico 5 magnet with an Alnico 8 magnet.

Here's a picture of the pickup, an Alnico 8 magnet, and a compass:

The compass is for telling which end of the magnet is which. Notice I have marked the magnet as an A8, and which end is North or South.

First I undo the four screws on the bottom:

I then pull back the tape on one end:

Depending upon the pickup, you may or may not have to pull out the adjustable pole pieces.

You may have to push on the back side of the magnet, and/or grab the front with tiny tools. I did both. Either way, get it to slide out like a stick of gum.

Here I am sliding the new Alnico 8 magnet in. Remember kids, on Seymour Duncan pickups, the adjustible pole piece side is South. I used my compass to double check my work.

 Here's the final product:

So the big question is, what does it sound like? I have a slight inclination that it sounds like Seymour Duncan's Alternative 8. The T/M/B EQ for that pickup is this: 9/8/7. I would say that this is spot on this. It doesn't have near the compression that the regular JB has. The presence of this pickup leans toward the brighter side.

It is loud. This is a pickup that you don't have to put too close to the strings since it is so fire-breathing hot. But unlike a lot of hot pickups it is pretty open sounding due to the lack of compression.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Am A Terrible Painter, Part 2

I have come to terms with being a terrible painter.  However, something strange has happened.  I started a painting, and I liked it.  And then, nothing.  I don't know where to go from here.  Here's the painting.

As you can see it's another coral reef painting.  I have a pretty good start on it.  All the coral has come out looking really good.  

However, I have no idea where to go from here.  Do I need more coral?  Do I need fish or critters?  If so, what kind of fish or critters?  Do I need to break up the background more?  Do I need to use what I have as the background, and paint things over it?  I have no idea.  

I wish I could get an opinion from my former girlfriend who really taught me how to paint.  She would know where to go from here.  Unfortunately, she's not talking to me going on now.... about 2 years.  So that's out of the question.  

I will continue my painting.  I'm not sure where to go, but I will finish this one.  Someday.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

So Gordon Ramsey May Have A Sex Tape...

Oh yes, it is strange thing.  It seems that Gordon Ramsey may have a sex tape, and get this, it's with his mistress, not his wife.  For those who don't know, Gordon Ramsey is the abusive chef from the TV shows Hell's Kitchen and two versions of Kitchen Nightmares.

I personally like Chef Ramsey, but even I think he is over the top sometimes.  But I can't stand behind him having what is reported to be a 7 year long affair with a woman who wrote a how-to book for women to have affairs with married men.  She is kinda hot though.

But let's get into the real meat of the story.  What would a Gordon Ramsey sex tape sound like?  Never mind what it would look like.  What kinds of things would the Chef yell at his sex partner?  This is some of the things I think he would yell.

1.  What the fuck is that?  I've seen better tits on a Thai shemale!!!

2.  You call that a blow job?  I've had better suction from a Hoover vacuum cleaner.

3.  Seriously, you have a boring twat.  I've had more friction from a common potato chip.

4.  Seriously, has any man ever cum from what you call "giving head?"

5.  Try not to use all your teeth on it, will you?

6.  I've heard better moaning from cows.

7.  Is that how you normally put on your makeup, or did you make it a special occasion to look like a French prostitute?

8.  Anal sex with you is exactly what I expected it to be.  Shitty.

9.  Honey, in that leather you do not look like a dominatrix, you look like a retarded gimp.

10.  Why do I feel that your twat has more diseases than the average crack whore?

I have a feeling that a Chef Ramsey sex tape would probably be the most entertaining sex tape out there.  The man is a virtual encyclopedia of insults.  I know he doesn't want it out there, but I gotta admit, I really want to see it.