Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Adrian's Year In Review: The Best Blogs of 2014

Yes, it's that time of year again boys and girls.  It's the end of the year so I review the best blogs of mine.  I sort them into two categories.  First, I list them by the most viewed.  However, that does present a problem since blogs in January will have 11 more months to get viewed than blogs in December.

Because of that, I also list my personal favorite blogs in the order I personally like most.  There's nothing really scientific about it, I just choose my favorites.

So, in descending order, here are the seven most viewed blogs of mine for the year 2014:

#7.  Cat Craziness Explained.  46 views.

I decide to let people know how acquiring cats can make you crazy.

#6.  Lost Rosewood and The Yellow Jacket Massacre.  52 views.

I try to find some rosewood, and run into a yellow jacket nest.... in my own building.

#5.  That Will Be The Death Of Me.  58 views.

I will die..... from a palm tree.

#4.  Craigslist: Strange Tradings.  61 views.

It's a bad time to try and sell a guitar, but a good time to trade.

#3.  Just What Is That Ciroc Vodka Commercial Trying To Say To Me?  89 views.

They keep running that commercial.  It just won't stop.

#2.  Bored Scoutmasters and the Tale of the Wampus.  98 views.

Scoutmasters are people too.... just sometimes not the best of people.

#1.  Satanic Dancing and the Illuminati.  146 views.

Satan is making a comeback..... in dancing!

So those are the best blogs by views.  Here are my personal favorites for the 2014 year.

#10.  THIS! Is Not A Salad Bar!!!

Don't try to cook for my family.  It's just not worth it.

#9.  Rise.

My evil twin sister is starting to worry I have a "thing" for Chad Michael Murray.

#8.  Lost Rosewood and The Yellow Jacket Massacre

You never forget your first yellow jacket nest.  But you do forget where you put that really expensive rosewood.

#7.  Adrian: Zero Dollar Budget Director.

You have to be creative when you have no money and a 15 year old camera.

#6.  Hunting Adventures, 2014

I was very happy with my work at putting together this year's hunting videos.  I just wish everyone else would have noticed.

#5.  How a Few Jackholes Ruined Halloween For My Entire Childhood.

Darn you.  Darn you to heck all you people who ruined my Halloweens.

#4.  Things Not To Let Your Boss Catch You Doing.

Sometimes goofing off at work will make the boss hate you.  Or just look at you weird.

#3.  The Boy Who Walked Into A Tornado, And Came Out An Idiot.

Some kids are dumb.  And then there are kids who are even dumber than those kids.  This story is about one of those kids.

#2.  Bored Scoutmasters and the Tale of the Wampus.

This may be one of my all time favorite blogs.  Only one blog was better this year.

#1.  Satanic Dancing and the Illuminati.

Sometimes something so ridiculous has to be met with something equally ridiculous. 

So that's it folks.  That makes 53 blogs this year.  Back when I started my blog on Myspace in 2008 I vowed that I wanted to average writing one blog a week.  Well, this year I made that goal.  Now that I think of it, every year I have made that goal.  It just feels good to accomplish my blog goal. 

This will be blog number 456.  That's a lot of blogs over a long period of time.  It's strange to see how my writing and storytelling has changed.  I was really glad to move my blog over to blogger due to the ease of writing, and letting me add pictures and video.  So I still vow to put in at least 52 blogs next year.  Keep reading and even if you don't, I will keep writing.

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Guitar Day: Christmas Edition

It's that time of year again.  Time for gifts and all that fun stuff.  But I decided to give a gift to a most special person in my life.... me.  I'm so good to me. 

But all funny (or unfunny) jokes aside, there was a type of guitar that I had been wanting for a long time.  I had always wanted a Les Paul style guitar with P-90's in it.  Getting a Gibson was out of the question due to price, so I turned to Epiphone.  They made (they just stopped making it) a version of the 1956 Les Paul that only came in Gold or Black.  I honestly wasn't too crazy about it.  Gold guitars do nothing for me, and black guitars show every fingerprint and spec of dust that comes near them.

So a few of the members on the Dean Guitars and Seymour Duncan forums had spoken about how much they liked Agile Guitars.  The factory that Epiphone used to have their Les Pauls made in was now making the guitars for Agile.  Just to be clear, Epiphone moved their production to an Epiphone only factory in China.  The factory in South Korea, where the Agiles and other guitars are made, has been making guitars for decades, and with the new CNC machines they have been doing a great job.

So I look through their offerings.  Honestly, their website is a bit cheesy, but their inventory looks pretty good.  Then I see it.  A Les Paul style guitar in a root beer finish with a flame maple veneer.  It also had P-90 pickups.  I knew I had to have it, so I got it with a tweed style case.  This one was the last one left.  I was aiming to wait a few weeks to get it, but I couldn't take the chance that I would miss out on buying it.

I had some Seymour Duncan P-90's from a previous project that I never got around to using.  So once I did a set-up, I installed the pickups.  I used the SP-90-2 for the neck, and the SP-90-3 for the bridge.  The neck pickup has an almost piano like quality to it.  The bridge pickup just sounds like a bigger P-90.  Due to it's specs, I was hoping for a distortion like pickup, but it just sounded bigger.  I was expecting it to have a bigger bottom end, but it was actually pretty balanced. 

The funny thing is that I have an Epiphone Les Paul plain top pretty close to this color.  They call it honeyburst.  It has a bit of honey color in the middle, but the rest of the burst is root beer color.  So they look like twins.  The Epiphone has humbucker pickups in it. 

I will say that the Agile has a few upgrades from the Epiphone.  It has some sort of ebony fretboard instead of rosewood.  It also has a type of graphtech like saddles on the bridge.  The only thing that was not as good or better than the Epiphone was the three way switch.  They used one of the ones that makes a "clinking" sound when switched. 

What's weird is that even the necks are almost identical on them.  The weight is about the same too.  I may have to do a second blog showing the two of them together.  Just to show just how much alike they are.

So if you are thinking about an Epiphone type guitar, check out Agile Guitars at Rondo Music online.  They have a bunch of different types of guitars, so you can find something you like.  The good news is that they sell direct to customer so they are cutting out the middle man.  My guitar cost 60% of what an Epiphone guitar would have, and the Agile is better quality.  Also, the hardshell cases are about half of what a case would run you at Guitar Center.  So take a peek, and see if you find something you like.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Apocalyptic Bloodbath

So I was watching the show, "River Monsters," on the Animal Planet channel.  It was this episode:

Anyway, I was watching when he started talking about piranha fish.  They kept taking his bait.  He mentioned that when the water would get low, the fish would be pooled together, and anything that fell in would get destroyed in a apocalyptic bloodbath.

And that's when it hit me.  That would be the name of my new speed/death/thrash/etc. metal band.  But first I had to see if anyone already had that name.  It seems that there was no band with that name, but there was a song with that name.

So it looks like I am safe.  But will the album be called?  I kept watching.  Since he was in the amazon, he was in a region called Obidos.  He then talked about "The Rivers of Obidos."  And that was it.  I knew that would be the name of my album.

There would be an endless supply of ideas for my album cover.  Seriously, I put in "Apocalyptic Bloodbath," in the Bing image search, and came up with this:

Really, after 25 years of death metal it's like shooting fish in a barrel. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Adrian Goes To The Nikki Lane Concert

Right now, my favorite new artist of the year is Nikki Lane.  She plays Country/ Americana, and is from South Carolina.  She has been getting a lot of attention for her latest album, "All or Nothing."  Here's her latest video, "Right Time."

As luck would have it, she jumped on tour with a band called, "Trampled by Turtles."  And even better luck they were playing at Jannus Live in St. Pete.  So I had to go.

This lead me to thinking, should I bring her album with me in hopes that she could sign it?  Or would I just be stuck holding her album for three hours, and being resentful that I couldn't get her to sign it.  I had the album with me as I drove over to St. Pete.  In the end I left it in the car. 

So as I am standing in line for the concert, guess who walked two yards in front of me?  That's right, Nikki Lane.  I could have kicked myself.

Anyway, fast forward to the show.  She played awesome, and her band was also just over the top great.  Right at the end of her set she said she would be over by the merch booth, so stop on by, and she would sign stuff and shoot the breeze.

So I really began kicking myself.  But I went over, and she was full of energy talking to everyone, and signing stuff.  I was holding out my ticket stub and she signed it while talking to other people.

Once we began talking she was talking to me four times faster than I could get my own words out.  Here's kind of a sad fact.  I suck at girls and especially really pretty ones, and so I wasn't really sure what to say to her.  I told her about me not bringing her album with me, and I felt like an idiot.

She suggested I buy her first album and she would sign it.  I asked the merch gal if they took cards and she said yes, so I bought Nikki's first album.  She was then happy to sign it.

It says, "Adrian, thanks for the love.  I'm stoned, I signed twice."

In all fairness, I think that's a put-on because she was super hyper taking pictures and signing stuff.  Stoned people tend to be more laid back.  I thanked her, and was able to leave the concert with a signed CD.  I guess I was able to accomplish my mission in a different way. 

I hope to see her play again.  I had just missed her playing at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa, not four miles from me a few months previous.  So I'm sure she will swing by the Tampa Bay area sometime in the future.  Maybe I will be a little better when I talk to her next time.  Oh, and I will make sure to have her album with me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Got The Phone, Now I Need A Ringtone

So I finally dragged myself into the new decade, and upgraded my phone.  Really, all I needed was a flippy phone for years.  I only used a phone as a phone.  I never took pictures with it, or needed to use the internet on it.  But even flippy phones are getting hard to find as technology has moved us forward to the newer smartphones. 

So with the new plan I was able to get a Nokia Lumia 635 free (using the rebate.)  Now came the fun part.  Setting the darn thing up.  I had to go online and open up the instruction manual on most things.  I'll admit, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with it most of the time.  However, to truly make the phone mine, I needed a ringtone. 

At first I thought I would use the Tom Araya yell from Slayer's "Angel of Death."

But I decided that having my phone scream at me every time someone calls could get a little old.  So I decided on something just as angry in Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss."

But enough about my phone, let's talk family plans.  Yes, the whole family got pulled into the future.  We all got phones (with rebates.)  Dad needed something for him that was loud, and could be heard over the sound of his friends and chainsaws.  Seriously, he does woodworking. 

He decided on his favorite Led Zeppelin song, "Immigrant Song."

Mom decided on the Brian May solo from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"

My sister decided on something from Daft Punk.  But honestly, I don't know anything about Daft Punk.  So normally I would put their song up here, but I have no idea what song she chose.

So that's as far as I have gotten with my phone.  Well, I did manage to put in my phone contacts, but I haven't even gotten on the internet yet.  Honestly, I'm not in any hurry.  I don't really have any use for any apps yet either.  But once I have a few things suggested to me by friends, I'm sure I will start to try and figure my phone out.   

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Dog Wants What He Wants

This is a funny little story.  I'm not sure why I didn't write about it when it happened a few years ago, but I guess as time goes on, certain things stand out. 

So my then girlfriend at the time, Lili, had a service dog named "Monster."  Actually, his full name was Cookie Monster "Muddy" Fourpaws.  Here's two pictures of him.

When we were first dating, Lili came over to my place and we made popcorn.  She said that Monster liked to eat popcorn.  I thought, "really?"  I didn't know if dogs should eat it or not.  But she said it was okay.  So I get a pie plate and put the popcorn on it for him, and put the plate in his food spot.

He sniffed it, and looked at me.  Then he looked at Lili.  I said, "I thought you said he liked popcorn?" 

Lili said, "Well, did you put salt and butter on it?" 

I said, "No of course not."

To which she said, "Well you have to put salt and butter on it."

I thought about that for a minute, and then said, "okay."

Well, I put salt and butter on Monster's popcorn, and put the pie plate back at his place.  He then sniffed it, and started eating it.  I guess a dog knows what he wants.