Friday, June 23, 2017

Destruction For Guitars: Tinfoil Hat Edition

A few years back there was an episode of, "The Simpsons" where Bart believes that Major League Baseball is transmitting signals into the brains of Springfield's residents.  The episode is called, "Brother's little helper."  Here's the Wiki page for it:

I recently found myself in a similar situation.  However, this time I believe that Fender Musical Instruments Corp. is stealing ideas directly from my brain.  I know, it sounds ridiculous, but because of something that has happened to me recently, I have to wonder.

Here's what happened.  I planned on putting together a short run of 30 guitars to sell on  I wanted to build/put out a Stratocaster style guitar that Fender doesn't have in its line-up.  I drew up all the specs I wanted.  I crunched the numbers.  I had all the distributors planned out.  And then, I received an e-mail from Fender proclaiming their new, exciting Fender Deluxe Stratocaster.  This is what they had come out with:

In regards to the guitars I wanted to build, I wanted to call it the Azul (Blue) series.  All 30 guitars would have cobalt blue colored bodies.  When I looked at the link, this was the first thing I saw:

Oh crap.  That is pretty close to the blue I was thinking about.  I also wanted the body to be made of ash.  I look at the specs.  This Fender is made of ash. 

I wanted the neck to be all maple with the old CBS style headstock. 

Ah crap.  Well, with my design my guitar would come with locking tuners. 

... Double crap.  Well, I know something that Fender won't build on a guitar that doesn't cost $1400.  They won't put a two point tremolo .....

.........  That's a two point tremolo isn't it?  Well, I wanted to put something other than generic pickups in my series.  Fender ...  Wait a minute.  They put their Noiseless series in it? 

Here's the only things they didn't put on it:

1.  I wanted a to put a white pearloid pickguard on my series.  They used a mint green on theirs.
2.  Straplocks.  Any awesome guitar needs straplocks.
3.  Q-part knobs.  I wanted to put the chrome with jewel blue knobs on my series. 
4.  I wanted my series to come with one of the cool psychedelic cases from Guitar Fetish.  Fender's guitar comes with a soft case.

When it comes down to cost, I was planning on selling my series for $699.  Fender's cost is $799.  Immediately, my first thought was, I knew couldn't compete.  My second thought was, "How did they come up with something like this at the same time I thought of it?"  Next came anger.  Then came acceptance. 

I just don't know what to do.  I mean, do I investigate this?  Do I hire a P.I.?  Or, do I just buy the damn thing? 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Adrian: Amateur Handyman: Updating The Bathroom

Back when the house was built, its theme was to be a Florida/tropical house.  It would be an ocean theme with lots of blues and light greens.  At the time I really had a thing for sea breeze green, so that's what color the carpet was on my side of the house. 

Last year I painted my bathroom a very light green.  A cabinet was also added during that time.  However, I felt that my bathroom could use a little more color and updating.  The first place to start was the shower curtain.  I needed a new one, and I happened to find the perfect one.

I think it just screams tropical.  Other folks in the house think it just screams.  But I will say this.  It came with it's own fancy shower rings.  And I really needed some new ones.  Here's a picture of them.

I also needed a new bathroom rug.  Mine was pretty wore out.  After running some of the more decorative ones by other people in the house, I settled for a plain colored one.  This one matched the carpet in my room, in that, it was a sea breeze green color. 

So I continued work in my room.  I was shopping at a thrift store when I saw it.  The perfect curtain for me.  And the best part?  It was only $3.  Of course, that ended up being offset by the cost of the curtain rod/rod holder ($12.)  And the curtain rings ($11.)  But still, here was the result.

It's a pretty cool paisley pattern.  The really good part about it is that, it actually blocks a lot of light during the day.  I didn't expect it to block out that much light, but it does a great job of that.  I only wish I would have had it twenty years ago when I slept a few hours during the day between attending college classes and working nights. 

I feel good about the changes I've made.  I think they are not only helpful but colorful.  It also makes my bathroom feel like a warm, tropical welcoming place.  And I'm very happy with the curtain in my room.  I feel it's just right for me.  Overall, I feel great about the amateur handy work I've performed. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Fault In This Movie

I'll be honest.  I've been debating whether or not to write a blog about the movie, "The Fault In Our Stars" for about two years.  I really do like the movie, and I have to say it really touched me.  But there was one thing about it that made it more fiction than drama.

It all has to do with this scene early on in the movie.

Here's the exchange that made me throw up my hands, and say, "Okay, that's just too out there."

Hazel:  "Why are you looking at me like that?"

Augustus:  "Because you're beautiful."

That's the moment my BS meter hit the fan.  You see, during my teenage years I went to school with lots of other males.  And you know what?  Absolutely no teenage male has that kind of game.  As any female teen will tell you, boys are gross.  And they continue to be gross for quite a while.  It usually takes males a few decades to chill out and have what you would call "game."

You know what would happen in real life if Augustus said that to Hazel?  This:

Yeah, she wouldn't have bought that line.  Not one bit. 

Again, I do want to say that I do like the movie.  But, I have to admit it's a little more fiction than any film with giant dragons.  And that's okay.  It's just the sheer amount of suaveness that Augustus had really kept me from believing his character. 

This got under my skin so much, I decided to do an experiment.  I would say that exact line to a few women, and see what their reaction was.

Victim #1 was a woman who worked at the restaurant near Erwin.  Here's how it went.

Adrian:  "You know why I'm staring at you?"

V#1:  "No."

Adrian:  "Because you're beautiful."  (Said while pointing at her.)

V#1.  "Awe..." 

Adrian:  "Okay, I have to be honest, I totally ripped that off of, "The Fault In Our Stars."

V#1.  "Awe... I love that movie!"

Okay, so that didn't quite go the way I expected to.  I kind of expected to get slapped, or maybe even looked at like I was an axe murderer.  I didn't expect that.  But in all fairness V#1 had known me for a few months.  So I tried it on Victim #2.  She also worked at the restaurant.  I also waited a few weeks to use the line on her.

Adrian:  "Do you know why I'm staring at you?"

V#2.  "No?"

Adrian:  "Because you're beautiful."

V#2.  (Starts laughing uncontrollably.)  She finally yells out, "What?"

Okay that one failed pretty spectacularly.  Or maybe, it turned out exactly like I thought it would in real life.  I don't know. 

So I was supposed to try it out on Victim #3, but I just couldn't do it.  It's just so ridiculously stupid.  So, that was the end of my little experiment. 

I feel better after writing all this out.  Like I said, I've been debating on whether to write this as a blog for about two years.  But I think it kind of fits in with some of my old blogs, in that, it's about some of the silly stuff I've encountered in my day to day life.  Without doubt, this bordered on the absurd.