Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Adrian's Year In Review: The Best of Blogs 2013

Well, it's that's time again folks.  It's time for my year in review where I select my best blogs by the number of views and my personal favorites.  This year I am judging from 54 blogs, so I have kept up with my personal goal of writing at least one blog per week. 

It was a different kind of year for my blogs.  In past years I wrote about trucking or stories from yesteryear, this year I wrote more about doing repairs on my Girlfriend Lili's place.  However, the blogs that did the best were ones that were about odd stories and of videos I made.  Here's the list.

Adrian's Top 10 Favorite Blogs of 2013

9 and 10.  (Tie)  Repairing Josh's Guitar, Part 1.

Repairing Josh's Guitar, Part 2

This is probably the best work I have ever done on a guitar.  The work is almost seamless.  The work I did on this job got me work on other guitars.

8.  The People I Work With

In the big tree that is the Target Corp. you are bound to have a few nuts.  Seriously, the store I work at has 170 employees.  Not all of them can be normal.

7.  The Amazingly True Story of How Adrian Got His One And Only Wood Duck

This is a tale years in the making.  It's a good read.

6.  Farmer Adrian and the Sheepie Pigs

From the lighter side of Adrian's mind, a idea that would make an awesome kid's book.

5.  Adrian Guy, Superstar

The worst/best practical joke I have pulled on a health care professional.

4.  The Guide to Adrian's Spirit Guides

This was one of my more researched and in depth blogs.  It was probably the longest one I wrote in 2013.

3.  Kingdom of the Petting Zoo

I have an awesome program that will let me do a lot with what I film.  This is the first video that really let me expand what I thought was possible in movie editing.

2.  Life of Gourami

This was kind of a changing point in my life regarding the fish I had.  I had never had Gouramis before so it was neat getting some new fish.  I had a great idea about filming a video about them, and putting some music to it.

1.  Doggie

This is by far my favorite blog of the year without a doubt.  In fact, it was my clear cut decision from the get go.  It combines the music of a great friend, a great dog, and I really pushed the boundaries of what I could do as a movie editor. 

Adrian's Top 10 Blogs By The Numbers For 2013

10.  Repairing Josh's Guitar, Part 1.,  45 views.

9.  Frog Baseball,  50 views.

A funny little tale about invasive frogs.  A lot of funny in a short blog.

8.Observations From The Blues Bar,  59 views.

The blues bar is its own culture.  It also makes a great blog.

7.  Kingdom of the Petting Zoo, 59 views.

6.  Adrian: Amateur Handyman,  61 views.

This blog is all about work and pictures.  In this blog I show the work I did on Lili's place.  It also has a great photo of Monster Dog.

5.  I Possess The Chamberlain High School Library Door Handle, 62 views.

I wrote this on the first of the year, and it's still hilarious.  I've never got so many "Oh no's!" and "Oh my's" from my friends from a blog. 

4.  I Am Homer, 72 views.

Adrian has a love affair with Home Depot and it shows.

3.  Life of Gourami, 102 views.

2.  I am a ..... Sloppy Painter?,  136 views.

Some of my bad art is now out there on the internet.  You're welcome.

1.  Farmer Adrian and the Sheepie Pigs,  414 views

I have a sneaking suspicion that I might see a sheepie pig book with some other author's name on the book.  That's more views than I would have thought from this blog.  In fact, it is the number one viewed blog post for 2013 by a mile.  Who would have thought?

So there you have.  There's the best of 2013, and it's a wrap.  It wasn't my best writing year, but there were a few gems in it.  I'll try to get the tale tales up and running again next year.  Take care folks.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Broken Amp Day, Part 4

Here are the previous parts of this post:

Part 1. 

Part 2.

Part 3.

Well, here's what happened so far.  I bought some Electro Harmonix tubes for the amp.  After putting them in, and making sure the amp's switch was put to EL-34, I fired it up.  Shockingly, I actually got guitar sounds out of it.  But I also got a loud humming.  At this point I knew I had gone as far as I could with this amp.  It was time to take it to a pro.

I took it down to Diversified Audio where they discovered that the tube sockets needed reseated and soddered.  They also biased the amp to fit the new tubes.

So here's the rundown so far.

$90 - Amp
$15 - Gas and Tolls to go get the amp
$100 - Tubes and handle
$7 - Fuses and washers
$107 - Repair costs
$4 - Silver/metal polish

Total cost - $323

But here's the main question, what does it sound like?  It sounds awesome.  It is brighter than I thought it would be, has a touch of compression, and sounds like a high end amp should. 

On a side note, I decided to go with a "hard" tube quartet.  That means that the tubes won't overdrive as easily.  But there is a method to my madness.  This amp has so much gain on tap that it makes it more usable if I were to use tubes that won't distort as quickly.  It spaces out the gain more evenly. 

I haven't gotten to play it much, but I plan on taking it outside and really cranking it up. 

Here's the picture of it after all the work.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My So Called Celebrity Feud With Paul Walker

In a way I hate to write this since Paul Walker just passed away.  However, people keep asking me what happened between Paul Walker and myself.  So here's the story.

I was working in Miami as the main luthier at Guitar Center in 2002.  Fast and Furious 2 was being filmed in Miami.  In fact, they even shut down one of the main bridges in Miami for a day to film a car chase scene. 

Here's the funny part about this whole story.  I don't actually remember meeting Paul Walker.  I know, right?  How did this big dust up happen if I didn't even talk to him?  Well, here's what I was told.

I was told by my dickhead of a boss that Paul had come in on a Friday for me to look at a $2200 Gibson acoustic guitar that he had bought.  He said it wasn't playing right.  I supposedly took a quick look at it, told him nothing was wrong with it, and blew him off.  He then returned the guitar on Sunday (a day I didn't work.)  It cost the salesman who sold it to him $400 in commission.  Paul bought the same model guitar from Sam Ash, and liked that one better.  He wasn't rude about returning it, he just thought the other one played better.

But here's what I remember.  That Friday was the worst Friday I had ever had.  I only had three customers instead of the 10-15 I usually did.  None of them were Paul Walker.  I told my dickhead boss this.  He said he was going to look into the matter and "get to the bottom of this."  He never did get back to me on that. 

So here's my conundrum.  Did I really blow off Paul Walker or is this something that was made up by my dickhead boss?  Anyway, this thing really blew up around the place, and due to that and one other incident I was fired. 

I was fed up with Miami at that point, and gladly moved back to Lutz at that point.  I hate that Paul Walker passed away, but I will always wonder what really happened.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The People I Work With

A few weeks ago I started a temporary Winter Holiday job with Target.  Everyone is pretty nice, but as I've gotten to know my co-workers more, they are an odd bunch.

Here's the rundown. 

Sherri - Sherri is going through menopause and never forgets to comment about all her hot flashes.  She is pretty funny with all her off the wall comments.  Today she asked me if I had a plastic tie (to tie up some plastic.) I told her all of mine where made of silk.  She did find it funny.  She needs her knee replaced, but can't afford to do so.

Pam - Even though Pam is a middle age Spanish woman, she has a voice like a Pok√©mon.  The first time I heard her speak, I thought she was putting me on.

Daisy - She is now engaged to a Japanese man who has never told his family about her... period.  She's rarely in a good mood.

Serge - He is my trainer in electronics.  He has been there so long he knows the ins and outs of the place.  He's been there so long his favorite saying is, "I just work here."

Doug - I don't think Doug works here anymore.  He told me, "I've quit better jobs than this."  I now think he's quit a job that he considers the worst he's ever worked.  He worked in the food industry for a long time.  I think he finally found a new job being a chef, and left Target behind.

Terri - Terri has not said one nice word to me since she's been there.  I have talked to my boss about her.  I don't talk to her if I don't have to, and she still tries to talk to me.  She tries to be funny, but is just insulting.  I swear the next time she talks to me, I am just going to go off the handle.  I've never seen someone who just "doesn't get it," like her.

Thomas - I have to say, Thomas works so hard he is making the rest of us look bad.  He says he just wants to get home, but he is cutting his own throat by finishing too quick.  He will probably be kept on after the rest of the Holiday help gets let go.

Justin - He is actually and electronics salesman, and not a stock guy like myself.  He looks like a caveman.  I mean, we both have long hair and beards, but his is almost ready to dreadlock.  And his beard looks like it needed trimming months ago.  Not a bad guy, but sloppy looking.  I'm surprised the bosses haven't gotten on him about it.

Jim - There's not much to say about Jim except he knows where every bit of food goes in the grocery isle.  That's actually pretty neat.  He's a hard worker, who brings his own "sweat towel" to work.  I also hate that no older than he is, he is balding really badly.

Greg - Greg is a harder worker and always says hi to me.  He also has a porn stache.  I'll give him credit, in that, he knows where everything in the store is.

Marcia - Now this is something I can't make up.  Marcia has a hole in her throat.  I'm guessing from cancer.  However, she only speaks Spanish.  So she croaks through her throat hole in Spanish.  The first time I heard her, I thought she was putting on.  It sounds like a frog croaking.  However, the Spanish people seem to like her.  Honestly, she sounds like Donald Duck meets a frog. 

Lu Lu - Again, I don't know much about her.  She mostly speaks Spanish, and doesn't understand me.  However, she does seem nice.

Angie - Angie is the girl all the bad guys want.  She has tattoos, nose ring, and those giant stretched earlobe thingies.  She is also really hot, and knows it.  She's nice, but knows she's in a league where none of the guys there are good enough for her.  I also get a strange vibe that she is bi-sexual.  One of those hot bi-sexual chicks. 

Annie - Annie is 65 and doesn't have a sense of humor.  She's like the angry Grandma.  There is one really strange thing about her.  I don't know if she has really pointy tits, or she wears the old fashioned pointy bras?  Seriously, they look like Madonna when she did that point cone bra thing during the Express Yourself tour.

Rafael - Raf was born deaf due to his mother having German measles when she was pregnant with him.  I learned sign language in college, so I can speak to him a little bit.  It's always strange when you are like one of two people who can talk to a deaf person in the store.  It leave them with only two people to talk to so they always have something to say to you.  Raf is a good guy.  He's still pretty young, and I hope has a good future in front of him.

Carin (Pronounced Karen) - She has always been nice to me.  I haven't gotten to talk to her that much, but she is in charge of softlines. 

The Bosses:

Jason - He is actually the store manager.  I didn't know this for the longest time since he was so nice.  Most store managers are complete corporate dicks.  Jason is extremely nice, and has never had a harsh word for anyone.  Sidenote:  I am not sucking up.  I am actually shocked that he is manager.  When I asked who was the store manager and they told me, "Jason."  I thought they meant another Jason I hadn't met.  Again, I was shocked that a guy that nice was the store manager. 

Steve - Speaking of corporate dicks...  This is the guy to worry about.  You know that one guy whose life revolves around the corporation?  Yeah, Steve is that guy.  He is so corporate that I don't think he is human.  He is like a manbot or something.  He is also part Kanye West, in that, he constantly interrupts other people and puts his two corporate cents in.  I also have a feeling that he is a Tea Party Republican.

Anna - She is my direct boss.  She is also a lot younger and prettier than me.  Seriously, she is Spanish, thin, and in charge.  I don't think she really likes me.  I guess I'm not in the Espaniol (Spanish) club.  Yeah, despite being in the white people/ part country part of town, this Target has a large number of Spanish people.  And they all habla (talk) with each other in Spanish all day.  I feel like Anna is much closer to them then the rest of the workers. 

Diane - She is in charge of HR, and is pretty nice.  She has Northern/Jersey accent.  She sounds just like Kyle's Mom (Sheila) on South Park. 

That's not everyone, but it is the most interesting of the bunch.  Maybe I will add to this list when I find out some more gossip or get some new co-workers. 

Having Fun At Ribfest

A few weeks ago Vinoy Park in St. Pete. hosted a great event, Ribfest.  Basically they invite all these award winning rib joints from all over the U.S. along with a number of bands.  And first up was my favorite band, the Gin Blossoms.  After that was Gainsville based Sister Hazel.  The Edgar Winter Group and John Kay with Steppenwolf finished out the day.

Now due to me having to work early in the morning the next day I decided that I would only stay for the Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel, along with nomming on some awesome ribs.  I had a fun time, and made sure to that some pictures.

Here's the pictures of the Gin Blossoms that I took.

And here are the photos of Sister Hazel.


And finally, here's some of me.