Monday, December 24, 2012

Adrian's 2012 Year End Review: The Best of Blogs

Yes, it's that time of year again.  It's time to count down Adrian's best blogs of 2012.  I do two lists.  The first is a strickly by the numbers best of list.  It goes by the most views.  The second list is my personal favorite lists.  It's the blogs that I wrote in 2012 that I like the most.  Onto the lists!

10.  Soul Asylum Vs. The Rolling Stones:  Who ya got?   126 views.
As I was listening to "Without a Trace," I noticed something.  See if you can too.

9.  Hairy Fishnuts   130 views.
Religion is sometimes funny.  I found this out firsthand.

8.  The Worst Vacation   150 views.
Read (or don't) on why Adrian had the worst vacation in years.

7.  Absinthe, Part 2.   165 views.
Read only, don't drink.

6.  What Kind of Motorcycle Guy Am I?  236 views.
I ask a question every adventurous guy should ask of himself.

5.  Goth Night at the Coffee House   298 views.
Seriously.  Check out the last picture with the goth chick wearing ..... not much.  Is that even legal to wear outside your bedroom?

4.  Guitar Project #7, The Rosewood Telecaster   370 views.
I inherit a big piece of rosewood, and decide to get crackin on it.

3.  The Headbanger and the Bob.  397 views.
Even though this shows up as written on 12/31/2011, the actual time I wrote it was on Jan. 1st early in the morning.  It's a fun little story.

2.  WSTN   498 views.
This is probably my most metal blog ever. 

1.  I'm Finally Putting My Orchestra Training To Use.   1838 views.
I never would have thought this would be so popular.  However, it's by far this most popular Adrian blog of 2012.

And now for Adrian's personal favorite blogs of 2012.

10.  A Little Piece of Heaven.  A House, A Home, A Log Cabin
What I wouldn't give for my own home.  What I wouldn't give to build my own home.

9.  The Green Recliner
Sometimes the universe gives you gifts.  Mine was the green recliner.

8.  I'm a Terrible Painter
Seriously, I am bad at painting.

7.  The Serial Killer at Cafe Kili is Really Annoying Me.
I'm just waiting until I see this guy on the news.

6.  Too Cute To Shoot?
I like hunting, but I don't know if I have the heart to shoot one of these guys.

5.  The 80's Attack!  Movie Review:  The Adventures of Hercules 2
I don't know if I could become drunk enough to make it all the way through this movie.

4.  Goth Night at the Coffee House.
I know I said it earlier, but did you see that goth chick?

3.  Hairy Fishnuts.
Seriously, it was all I could do not to lose my shit when watching the Hairy Fishnuts.

2.  Fuzzy Memories With Durice D. Long
Durice was a great man.  How could I not love this blog?

1.  Hunting Season 2012: Story 2, Hoggin It Up.
I have to admit, I am partial to myself.  So it should come as no surprise that this is my favorite blog of 2012.

Thanks to everyone for reading.  I do appreciate it.  Including this blog, I will have written 65 blogs this 2012 year.  Like I always say, I try to aim for one blog per week, so I was ahead of my average.  I hope that I continue to write well in 2013.  Take care everyone.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hunting Season 2012: Story 6, Don't Hurl

Story 1:

Story 2:

Story 3:

Story 4:

Story 5:

When out hunting with our friend The Weasel (pronounced like Grease-el) a lot of weird things happen.  Let's be honest, hunting would be boring without him.  But a lot of things that are funny when looking back on it are not funny at the time.

On the last morning of hunting, right before I shot my hog, I agreed to let The Weasel sit in my tree (my hunting spot.)  Since Dad and I didn't know where we were going, we sat in the truck while the Weasel started getting ready.

Dad has a 4 door Ford F-150, and The Weasel sits in the back right seat.  Dad and I sit up front.  The Weasel had the door open, and was standing right by the truck when he unleashed a torrent of insect spray inside the truck. 

I had just enough time to yell at Dad, "Open the door," as I swung mine out.  The air was so thick with bug spray I could taste it, as well as breathe in what I suspected was a mustard gas canister worth of spray.  I thought to myself, "Oh my God.  I am going to hurl."  But then I realized that I can't hurl.  Dad is a sympathetic hurler like Wayne and Garth of Wayne's World.

That's when Dad yelled at me, "Don't you dare hurl!"  To which I replied, "I'm trying not to!"  And remember all this time I am choking, coughing, and crying due to the obnoxious amounts of mustard gas, oops, I mean bug spray that was unleashed in the truck.

At that time we figured it was prudent to abandon the truck, and get out into some fresh air.  I continued coughing for the next 20 minutes or so.  In fact, I continued to cough right up until I shot the hog. 

But the good news is that despite barely being able to breathe I did not puke.  Oh, and I did get a hog that day.  I'll take them both as great victories.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hunting Season 2012: Story 5, Fighting the Good Fight

Story 1:

Story 2:

Story 3:

Story 4:

Enjoying the outdoors can be a great time, unless it's that time of the year for the bugs to be out.  Unfortunately in Florida that means all the time.  So when out hunting it is always important to apply generous amounts of bug repellent.

For years I have used a brand called Muskol repellent.  It is 99.9% deet, and the mosquitoes don't even think about touching me.  However Muskol has been hard to get down here, so I knew I was eventually going to have to go to another brand.

The bad thing in Florida is that, besides mosquitoes you have to deal with other biting flies.  For me, I react worse to the bite of no-see-ums than I do from mosquitoes.  And unfortunately, Muskol doesn't offer any protection from sandfleas, gnats, or no-see-ums.

It just so happened that my Dad had bought a new kind of insect spray called Repel 100.

I put it on after I was done cleaning the hog, and an amazing thing happened.  The no-see-ums backed off my hands in a hurry where I had it on.  But they kept at my face where I had previously applied only the Muskol.  I know companies don't like to give away their company secrets, but the Repel 100 has some stuff in it that blocks a number of bugs, not just mosquitoes.  Whatever it's formula, it works great.  In fact, the description on the website says it all.

Repels the following insects: mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, chiggers, no-see-ums, biting flies.

According to the bottle it is 98.9% deet.  But whatever the other 1.1% is, it does a great job of getting the other bugs to back off.  And the thing I like is that it is a pump bottle, not a spray.  The spray bottles always give me the wiggles.  The pump is definitely the way to go.

So I feel good about having another repellent to use now that my Muskol has all but run out.  I wish I would have had this years ago, especially during some of the really hot winters we had down here in Florida.  Some years, there would be huge clouds of sandfleas floating in the air.  But now I have a way to back them off, and I am very thankful.  Hopefully, a lot of other hunters will be able to get the bugs to back off as well.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hunting Season 2012: Story 4, Cypress

Story 1:

Story 2:

Story 3:

On the day we were coming home from hunting, we decided to make a little detour.  Before we hooked the truck up to the trailer we went down the road to visit Bo Swindell's Sawmill.  Bo is a true old timey Florida Cracker.  I mean that in a good way, as most people have no clue what a true Florida Cracker is.  It's a term from the 1920's that referred to Floridians who raised cattle, and used a whip.  Hence, the cracker. 

But Bo is a great guy to talk to, or should I say listen to.  I gotta be honest, the man had a lot to say.  He had hurt his back, and hadn't cut any fresh wood in a while.  But he was sitting on a lot of new-old stock.  The good news about that was the wood had dried out, and was ready to go. 

We took a tour of the sawmill, and all the wood he had.  I think Bo was more interested in talking than actually selling wood.  He was 75 years old, and was concentrating on building tables and such.  As we wandered the piles of wood, Dad managed to find some persimmon. 

We then came across a pile of wood that surprised Bo.  He thought he had sold all of his cypress, but he had a giant pile of it stacked chest high.  I looked at a few boards, and picked one out.  Bo wanted all of 12 dollars for it.

The neat thing about this cypress is that it was old growth fallen cypress.  You see, over the years the cypress trees get old and when they die they fall into the water and much where they live.  These logs are then submerged in the water for many years.  The oxygen can't get to them, so they don't rot.  What's really neat is that the tree then soaks up the minerals in the mud and water. 

The tree harvesters then pull the logs out of the Florida/Georgia rivers and swamps.  The logs are then dried out, and sold as old growth fallen trees.  The good news is that they are not cutting down live trees.  These trees have been dead for many, many years.

So here is the board I bought in its rough sawn form:

Now here is a picture after I had run the boards through a planer.  Notice the golden yellow color?

Here's a picture of the growth rings.  Notice how they are black with the minerals in them.

So the main question is, "What am I going to use it for?"  Well, I'm not sure yet.  But cypress is used on acoustic guitar tops.  The most popular acoustic top wood is spruce followed by red cedar.  Cypress is a great tone wood, but is much more expensive than either spruce of cedar.  That's one reason why it is not used that much. 

I tap toned a few pieces of the cypress at the sawmill before I decided on the one I did.  But I have to admit, I liked them all.  The cypress's tone is not as bright as spruce, but not as dark as cedar.  The one thing I like about it is how loud it is.  It really surprised me at how the sound seemed to jump right off the board. 

So hopefully I will be able to write a post a year or so from now telling what magic project I have created with this cypress.  But I have to admit, I'm in no hurry.  I have more guitars than I really know what to do with.  But I guess I could always use one more. 

Hunting Season 2012: Story 3, The Mystery at Spur 4

Here are the previous stories about Hunting Season 2012:

Story 1, The Gator:

Story 2, Hoggin It Up:

Imagine if you will, a mystery.  A mystery where we park the truck out at hunting at Spur 4 (that's the name of the road.)  Here is the scene.

First we notice a bad smell.  It is the smell of death.  That's when we notice the skin of a hog.  Apparently, someone has skinned a hog right here.  That's when we notice a bunch of of large palm fronds cut down, and laid out on the ground.  They are laid down in a pattern to cover the ground.

We then notice two T-shirts lying on the ground about 60 yards apart.  This is disconcerting, but not as disconcerting as the ripped up underwear lying on the ground in between them.

We thought that was as bad as it could get until we notice the used tampon lying in the middle of the road.  Things had already become weird, but this just solidified the weirdness.

Sidenote:  I know a lot of people are not really believing what I am saying right now.  I usually take pictures to back up my stories.  However, I thought that this crossed the line.  It went right by the boundaries of good taste.  So I didn't take any pictures.

So as we walk back to the truck I take this picture of the creek/ditch at the corner of Spur 4 and the main road.

What you don't see is the hogs head lying in the creek being ate up by flies and other insects.  Yeah, it was pretty bad.

So basically, here's the mystery.

1.  Hog's head thrown in the river.
2.  Hog's skin in the road.
3.  Cut palm fronds on the road in the pattern of a blanket.
4.  2 old shirts 60 yards apart.
5.  Shredded undies.
6.  1 used feminine product lying in the middle of the road.

So if you were Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. what would you like happened?

I guess is a Satanic ritual was held there sometime in the last few days.  That, and someone completely shit their pants.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hunting Season 2012: Story 2, Hoggin It Up

Here's the first story of the Hunting Season 2012 series:

Let me continue with my original story.  We (Me, Dad, and the Weasel) had gone hunting later in the year due to Dad injuring his back.  So we only had two travel days (one up, one back) and three hunting days.

It was the third day of hunting when our friend The Weasel (pronounced like Grease-el) asked if he could hunt out of my tree.  This story goes back 17 years, but I will give the short version.  Basically, I found this hunting spot, and marked a certain tree that I put my treestand in.  I shot my one and only deer out of it.  A few years later during a year I couldn't go hunting, The Weasel sat in my tree, and shot a hog.  Ever since then he has claimed that there is some debate as to who found the tree.  His memory is complete shit, and every blasted year I have to tell him the long story on why that is my hunting spot, and not his.

So he asks me if he can hunt out of my tree.  Since it is the last day, and none of us has seen a thing I say, "Sure.  Go for it."  When we get out there, he gets out of the truck super early, and gets out to the tree to set up his tree stand.  Dad and I take our time, and leave the truck a few minutes after The Weasel. 

We start by walking down the road called Spur 4.  My usual routine is to walk about 80 yards down Spur 4, and then walk back into the woods about 200 yards.  There's a nice place where a few game trails come together.  That's where my tree is.  However, since The Weasel is in my tree, Dad and I decide to walk down Spur 4 to see if we can come across some good woods.

We were about 220 yards, and/or four minutes down Spur 4 when I hear some noise at about 7:10 AM.  I say to Dad, "Did you hear that?'

He said, "No."  And then a lot more noise came from the bushes.

I asked, "Did you hear that?"

He said, "Yes!"

I then put my shotgun up, and pointed down the trail.  It was then that a pack of hogs started running across the road.  I shot twice in quick secession.  I tried to shoot a third time, but my gun jammed.  As I was unjamming it, I heard a squeal.

I told Dad, "My gun jammed, you go on ahead."

At this point Dad put down his treestand, and walked on ahead.  I worked on clearing my gun, and reloading.  He walks up to where the hogs crossed, looked down and saw the hog I had shot.  It was still moving so he put a kill shot in its head. 

I caught up to him, and we both agreed that there were about 7 hogs in the group.  I shot twice, and thought I had hit two.  However, I did not hit the hog I was aiming at, I hit the hog behind it.  And it was a small hog.  To be honest, it was so small that a few years ago it would have been illegal.  But since hogs are an invasive species and breed like crazy, the rules were changed that there was no size limit and no number of game limit put on them.  So basically you can shoot all the hogs you want during hunting season.

I told Dad, "I think I hit two.  We should get some of the dog hunters down here to see if one of their dogs can track down that hog.  Dad walked back into the woods to see if he could spot a blood trail or a downed hog, but he couldn't find either.  I marked the spot on the trail where the hogs had crossed with a orange ribbon.

So we grabbed our stuff and the hog.  I counted how many steps I was when I shot, and it was 65 steps.  My steps are pretty close to a yard so you can call it 65 yards.  Once we made it back to the truck we flagged down some dog hunters down the main road. 

The dog hunters we ran into were pretty nice.  They had a couple of trucks and quite a number of dogs.  The one guy told me that he had "hog dogs" and he had "deer dogs."  He wanted to get his son over with the other truck to get the hog dogs.  His son was also really nice.  I jumped in one of the trucks and they both went down Spur 4.  When we pulled up the ribbon, I showed them the blood pile where the small hog had fallen, and Dad had put a bullet in it.

The deer dog hounds started whimpering and going nuts.  They could smell that much blood not 7 yards from them.  But the dog hunter got out a red nose pit bull, and a black pit bull mix.  He set them on the trail and had them search the woods.  They ran around, but couldn't find anything.  So it seemed that I only hit one of the hogs, and not the one I was aiming at. 

So they went back to following where the hogs might have run to, and Dad and I went back to the truck to put our stuff away, and get some stuff out.  We needed to get out all the animal cleaning stuff.  But before we did that, we took some pictures and video.

Here's a picture of the hog:

And here's a picture to get a better idea of it's size:

I know, it's tiny.  But the one I was aiming at was so much bigger.  Anyway, here's the story in my own words, and my own choice of editing:

We then started laughing about how The Weasel was sitting in my tree.  As my story stated earlier, every year he wants to try to sit in my tree.  And when I finally say, "Sure thing, take my tree," I'm the one who ends up shooting the hog.

It was then that Dad and I had this conversation:

Dad and I then got to work on cleaning the hog.  It's funny, after watching "The Walking Dead" cleaning a hog isn't so bad.  We put it's feet up on some branches, and cleaned/skinned it out.  Since we were doing this right off a main road not far from the check station, we had people driving by us.  It was funny how they would be going way too fast, see the hog and let off the gas, and then slam on the brakes.  One guy even backed up, and hollared at us.  He was happy we got something.  So then, we put the hog, which was a sal by the way, in the cooler, and threw some ice on it.

At this point The Weasel had not come out of the woods despite three loud gunshots, multiple trucks going up and down the road, and a few dogs making all sorts of racket.  He said he could stay in the woods until 10:30 AM, and be back to the truck at 11;00 AM, and by golly he was not kidding.

Since it was still only 9:30 or so, Dad and I took a stroll down Spur 4.  After all, we still did have time to hunt that evening.  So we did what we were originally going to do, scout the woods and find a place to hunt.  We see some great woods down the road.  It's funny.  All these years I have always gone to my tree, but never all the way Spur 4.  There were a great number of places to hunt down there.  So after an hour of walking around Dad and I made it back to the truck. 

Some of the dog guys stopped by again to chit chat.  I'll admit, I was having a tough time understanding their "country accent."  But Dad is from West Virginia, and understood every word the guys said.  It was then that The Weasel got back.  He excitedly told us that he saw two very small does in the woods. 

The dog hunter drove off, and that's when I took this video of The Weasel:

He has a habit of getting all excited, and telling us what he saw, and forgetting to ask us if we saw anything.

So we then went down near the ocean to have lunch.  Hickory Mound is right on the water, and the area near the ocean is beautiful in its own way. 

So that evening Dad and I are planning on going back to Spur 4, but the strangest thing happens.  The Weasel wants to hunt this completely different area.  Since it is the last hunt of the last day, we say okay.  After all, I'd already gotten my game.  It's only fair to give him a chance to hunt where he wants to.  Even if that is right after I gave him the opportunity to hunt right out of my tree that very morning. 

Hunting Season 2012: Story 1, The Gator

Earlier this winter, we (Me, Dad, and our friend, The Weasel) didn't get to go hunting during the quota hunt season.  My Dad hurt his back and the next best time to go was this past Dec. 6th to the 10th.  Since we started hunting on the day after we got there, a Friday, there weren't too many hunters in the woods.  It was pretty quiet that day, like a lot of hunting days.  However, sometimes things take a turn for the weird.

Our hunting buddy, The Weasel, was walking down the road when he saw something in the ditch.  By golly, it was an alligator.  He said it was an 8 foot alligator, but when we looked at it, it had shrunk.  Yep, it had shrunk all the way down to 5 foot.  But that wasn't the only thing.  The alligator's left eye had been injured/destroyed.  You can see it in the pictures.

So we grabbed our cameras, and took some photos.  Note:  We were careful to only look at the gator, and not disturb the gator as that is a federal offence.

So here are the pictures:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Affirmation Retriever

I want a dog.  But not just any dog.  I want an Affirmation Retriever. What's that you ask?  Well, it's a dog that hasn't been invented yet.  I was thinking about all the things I look for in a dog, and no dog was completely perfect.  So I thought I should do some selective breeding, and come up with a new breed of dog, the Affirmation Retriever.

First up, a lot of you may ask "Why a dog?  A cat can be just as good."  For that I will answer this, a cat can be kind of angry.

They also just seem like they want to kill me in some way.

So let's start off with a Golden Lab.

Make it a little more family friendly.

Next, let's add some honest beagle to the mix.

I want a dog that's going to be right there to reaffrim how great it is to see me.  I want him right up in my face.

I basically want a happy dog.

But I also want a silly dog.

I want a dog that will also get mad when another team scores on the Buccaneers.

And of course, one that won't steal my food.

And I need a dog that won't tell anyone about me or my friends bad habits.

I want a dog that I can dress up for the fun of it.

I want a dog that will take me places I've never been.

But the main point is that I want an Affirmation Retriever.  I want a dog that will think I'm the center of the universe, and reaffirm that I am great no matter what crap life throws at me.

That's the kind of dog I need.

Adrian Gets Along With Women Online As Well As He Does In Real Life

There is a reason I am single.  I admit I am just a tad difficult to get along with.  I've also been told that my "Adrianess" is a little too strong for most people to take, including my own family.  So while I have female acquaintances, I don't have too many female friends.

This is mainly due to my lack of patience.  While most guys are used to talking rough to each other, when you do it to a woman, she gets really mad when you show irritation.  And let's be honest, I show my irritation on my sleeves. 

So what does this have to do with women online?  Well it starts with this little RPG online game called Wizard101.  I play it instead of World of Warcraft since Wizard101 is more family friendly, and has tighter controls on what players can do and say.  But since it is considered a "family friendly game a lot of kids play it.

Since I don't have kids, I'm not used to dealing with them.  I had kind of forgot that kids will be kids, and it's something you have to get used to.  I also have to remember that I am over two decades away from remembering how kids used to be.  Now kids have access to all sorts of technology that I didn't have growing up.

The thing that surprised me was how kids on Wizard101 would say they "needed a girl/boy."  I thought they needed someone to complete a mission.  What I didn't know was that the filters won't let you say "boyfriend/girlfriend."  So I went up to one girl who was looking for a boy, and had this conversation.

Adrian Lightheart (my game name):  I'm a boy, did you need help?

Her:  (No answer)

Adrian:  Did you need help with a mission?

Her:  I'm looking for a boy.

Adrian:  I'm a boy.

(Pointless banter goes on for a few minutes before this exchange):

Her:  Hey, you came up to me.

Adrian:  Yes I did.  You asked for help, and I came over here to help you with a mission.  And I am a boy.

Her:  I'm looking for a cute boy.

Interjection for a moment:  All of our characters look the same except for clothing, skin tint, and hair.

Adrian:  My dragon thinks I'm cute.

Interjection again.  I ride a giant dragon around the Wizard101 neighborhood.  It's like driving a 1970 Cadillac, in that, it's huge and everyone can see it for miles around.

Her:  Are you weird?

At that time another friend of mine transported to me, and asked for my help.  So I kind of left the conversation with the girl who didn't think I was cute.

But it was another conversation that showed I still had my way with women, in the only way Adrian knows how.  Badly.

So I became friends with this girl Hannah (her game name) on Wizard101.  She was nice, and was always interested in helping with my missions.  Actually she was happy to do any sort of game activity.  I think she liked to sit on the back of my dragon.  It's a two seater.  Honestly, here's a picture of one.  (Not me, but the picture of the dragon is the same so you can get the idea.)

So one night as I am playing we have the following conversation:
Hannah:  Do you have a girl(friend)?
Adrian:  No, I am single.  I don't have a girl.  I almost had a wife once.
Hannah:  I could be your girl.
Adrian:  Well, I am a lot older than you.  I'm old enough to be a Dad.  My age rhymes with "dirty sticks.'
(Sidenote:  Wizard101 won't let you type in numbers.  I don't know why.  Everyone just finds ways around the system.)
Hannah:  Well, it could just be for on here.
Adrian:  Society tends to frown on that.  People go to jail for that sort of thing.
Hannah:  Oh, okay.  Well goodnight Dad.
From the way she types and what she says I think she is around 10-12.  I also think she's in Europe due to the time she plays online. 
So one time we are playing, and I ask her if I can help her out with any quests.  Since she has helped out on a bunch of mine, I thought I could help her through hers since she is only level 11.  (Note: At this time I am level 33.)  Since she only wants to help on my missions I explain to her that her that at her levels she needs better armor and weapons.  I even take her to the best shop in the game, and explain that she doesn't have an amulet, ring, or knife equipped.  She could up her stats a lot by just equipping something.  She is also equipped with beginner's armor.  So I tell her to get better stuff from the Bazaar.
I explain this to her three times.  She just stands there and doesn't say anything to me.  This goes on for five minutes.  I then start to lose my patience. 
Adrian:  Hannah, are you there?
Hannah:  Yes.
Adrian:  Did you understand anything I just said?
Hannah:  (nothing.)
Adrian:  Because I feel like I am talking to a brick wall here.
And it right when that message got plastered on the screen that Hannah went running out of the Bazaar as fast as she could.  I didn't hear from her for a few minutes, but then I get this message:
Hannah:  I still wanna be friends, but I don't wanna play no more at this time.
Adrian:  Okay.
Hannah:  I'm going to be at my house.
(Sidenote:  We all have our own dorms or houses in the game.)
Adrian:  Okay.
A few minutes go by and I get this message.

Hannah:  Cry :(
So she is crying, and sending me a frowny face.  This is why I am single.  So I don't have to put up with over-emotional women.  Instead of sending a message enlightening her to the fact that "crying is emotional blackmail," I don't say anything.
Five minutes later she show up to where I am.  She wants to continue on the missions.  I ask her,
Adrian:  Are you mad or something.
Hannah:  No.
It's like the emotional hurricane of a PMSing woman meets a pre-teen.  It's not a pretty sight.  But the funny thing is she is still a good gaming partner/player.  And she just kind of goes with the flow when it comes to whatever mission is up next.  It really is it's own little world, and I've got to learn the rules of it.