Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Worst Ripoff (My Musical Failure)

I have been in a musical rut as of late.  I have to admit to myself it is an annoying kind of funk.  When I was in college, I would write my term papers deep into the night.  Well, I like doing that with music too.  However, try plugging in a guitar at 2 in the morning, and you will find out what your family really thinks of you. 

I had something neat kind of happen though.  I have a good friend Nick who shared a cheat sheet for musicians.  It showed what chords you should play if you were in a certain key.  A lot of my music is pretty simple 1-4-5 stuff, so I never really thought about music keys when playing guitar.  So when Nick posted this chart it really opened my eyes.

Anyway, so I was messing around with the chord chart, and started playing basic chords in this order:

C, G, Am, Em.  I liked where it was going.  I use those chords a lot.  Then I decided to use something that I never really did.  I went with F since that's what the chart suggested.  I felt that Em would be right after that.  I felt that I was onto something, but was having trouble deciding what to do next.  It was then I went back to F, and followed up with G.  So try that this way:

C, G, Am, Em, F, Em, F, G. 

I have having fun with it when I started to play it a certain way.  It then hit me, I had just ripped off note for note the cello part of Canon in D.  Yes.  That Canon in D.

And here's my confession.  I played cello in high school, and yes, I played Pachelbel's Canon in D.  I felt like such a heal.  Seriously, if you have a guitar by you, play those notes while listening to this:

This is really getting to me.  I had the chords and rhythm picked out for both the verses and chorus.  I had even started writing some lyrics.  However, I have just stopped.  I am just disgusted with myself.  I'm just not sure where to go from here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Welcome Mike Nugget to the Fishtank

So yesterday I welcomed Mike Nugget to the fishtank.  He's a Gold Nugget Plecostomus.  My Sister wants to dismantle the fishtank in her room, and Mike was the last fish in there.  Actually, she always called him Nugget.  But I thought he should have a first name.  To be honest, I was watching football, and Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (not to be confused with Nugget) was mentioned.  So I saw that as the perfect sign to name Nugget, Mike Nugget.

Despite Mike's small size, he is at least eight years old.  Since he has lived most of his life in a 20 gallon tank, he never grew that big.  But the tank he is in now is 46 gallon so he has plenty of room to grow.  Not to mention he will have plenty of friends.  He will have Big Joe the 6th, (he's a common Pleco,) and a number of Loaches. 
In his old tank Mike tended to hide quite a bit.  However, he has actually spent some time in the open while eating algae in the new tank.  That's how I got all these pictures of him.
Speaking of pictures, here are a few more of Mike.  I hope he likes his new home.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Guitar Trade Day: Fender Stratocaster, Part 2

Part 1:

So here is the Stratocaster that I traded for:

I was looking for a black Stratocaster since I had a tortoiseshell pickguard with three Dimarzio pickups in it.  It has the Blue Velvet neck, FS-1 middle RW/RP, and Heavy Blues 2 in the bridge.

So last night I changed it all out, set up the guitar, and this is what she looks like now.

I was only able to play it through my Rocktron amp out in the garage, instead of one of my higher end amps, but she sounded really good.

I adjustment that I did make was to make sure the tone knob worked with the bridge pickup.  They usually don't come wired like that.  I was given some of the new D'Addario NY XL strings in a giveaway at Sam Ash.  So I put them on this guitar to see how they perform. 

So, I look forward to playing out with her when I am feeling better.  This guitar seems like she's going to be a lot of fun.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Guitar Trade Day: Fender Stratocaster

Read here to understand a bit of what's going on in this post.

So I bought the Dean Gran Sport with the intention of selling it.  Namely, I don't care for the active pickups that it comes with, not to mention it's not really my style.  So, I tried to sell it on Craigslist and  However, with the economy being what it is most musicians are equipment heavy, and cash poor.  In other words, musicians are trying to sell equipment, but no one has any money to buy.  So we end up trading instead of buying/selling. 

The last time I tried to move out some guitars, I ended up trading for other musical equipment and only managed to sell one.  And the one I sold, the guy wanted to return it like I was Guitar Center or something.  Really, I can't make that up.  In the end I had put five guitars up for sale, and only sold the one. 

So this time, I put an ad on Craigslist saying that I was more than willing to trade.  I listed some specific things I was interested in.  One of them being a Black Fender Stratocaster.  Well, to make a long story short, one guy had one and offered to trade it for the Dean. 

We met at Guitar Center which was halfway between us, and we were both happy.  Now for the guitar pron.

I've had a tortoiseshell pickguard sitting in my parts drawer with three Dimarzio pickups in it.  I think they will look nice on this guitar.  So look forward to me blogging about that. 

Super 500!

Back on April 4th, 2008 I posted my first blog post.  Like the blog itself, it was called, "Destruction for Fun and Profit."  My original idea for the blog was to talk about how things had to be destroyed in order to create new things.  I had to cut up and destroy a tree to make it into a guitar.  I had to cut grass and bushes to create the nice lawn we had. 

Pretty soon however, I started running out of ideas about destruction.  I started telling a lot of old stories of things that had happened to me or others.  I also blogged about my musical instrument obsession.  When I was dating Lili, I had a number of posts about me repairing and improving her house.  Some of my favorite posts were about pets and pet care.  I even had multiple parts to blogs that would span up to four parts/chapters.

But here seven and a half years later is my 500th blog. 

I wasn't sure I'd get this far.  A lot of people took up blogging, and then life happens to them.  However, I made a promise to myself to try and post four blogs per month, and if I could one a week.  I thought that would be a fair amount of time to put towards a blog. 

So here's to Super Blog number 500!  I already have an idea for blog number 501, and no, it's not about Levi's Blue Jeans.  It's about..... yet another guitar.  So I'll keep writing even if no one reads.  But I have a loyal few readers, and that's all I need.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Comfortably Numb

A good thing happened.  New furniture has come into the house, and not a second too soon.  My old chair had broken one too many times, and the recliner mechanism finally broken rendering it useless.

The old furniture was made out of leather which I do not recommend for anyone.  Oh, it may look nice, but it's cold in the winter, and hot and sticky in the summer.  Never get leather furniture.

So to make sure that this didn't happen again, I made sure to test out the furniture myself.  Long story made short, I now have a nice, soft and squishy recliner from Ashley Furniture that goes up and down easily.

And believe me, I've already tested it here at home.  Which is code for, I took an awesome nap it in yesterday.  I look forward to many naps in the future in this awesome recliner. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Tale of Adrian Bear

A few years ago I was dating a gal who hated being called Shelly.  So I will call her that in this blog.  Again, I try not to use real names.  Anyway, I was talking to Shelly, and made a joke that after our date she would snuggle her teddy bear all night long thinking of me.  And no, I couldn't say that with a straight face.

She then said that she didn't have a teddy bear.  Which I replied, "Well, you've had a teddy bear when you were a little girl, right?"  She said, "No."  She then went on to tell me about how she didn't have that great of a childhood, (Okay, it was pretty awful,) and never really had any stuffed animals.

So I decided to make the situation right.  I went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, and decided to make her an, "Adrian Bear."  This is what I came up with.

Okay, so I put my hat and glasses on Adrian Bear, but you can see the resemblance.  She had moved to a different place, so I mailed her Adrian Bear, and told her she now had her own teddy bear.  She loved this.  And on a side note, who wouldn't?  Adrian Bear is pretty darn awesome.  You can really see the how much we look alike. 

So, that's my touching story.  I haven't talked to Shelly in a few years.  I hope she and Adrian Bear are doing well wherever they are. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pleco Plushies

Like a lot of great thinkers, I do my best thinking in the shower.  I have no clue as to why this happens, but something about the water, soap, and being refreshed makes my brain step, "outside the box."  It was while I was on in the shower I thought of something that I thought was a swell idea.

Before I get into it though, let me start with Joe.  Joe the Pleco, also known as Joe the 6th, as he is the 6th pleco I have had in my life.  Joe is a plecostomus, also known as, "that sucker fish that eats the algae in your fishtank. 


So I've had Joe for about a decade or so.  He's been a good pleco.  When I worked in the pet industry, I sold a bunch of them.  However, when I showed the plecos to a woman who was new to having fish as pets, she freaked out as to how "ugly" they were.

I told her I thought they were like some breeds of dogs that were so ugly they were cute.  You know, like a bulldog with an underbite.  So ugly, but you want to talk baby talk to them all the time.

So back to the shower.  I was thinking about how they were ugly/cute, and that they would make a good plushie.  Then it occurred to me that if I'm thinking it, someone has already done it and put it on the internet.  And you know what?  Yep, it happened.

A company called Green Pleco beat me to the punch.  But I can't be mad, they have done a great job.

You know what would be great?  A pleco plushie that is around two feet long, and part pillow/part stuffed animal.  I think the kids would love it.  I have to admit that I feel better just knowing that these plushies are out there.