Thursday, December 29, 2005

In other news

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My iBook was acting funnier than usual so I formatted the drive an did a re-install of 10.3. It gets this frustrating habit of thinking that the mouse button or trackpad is being pressed. A very big pain in the ass. The reason I know it's not mechanical is that repairing permissions fixes the problem for a while.

I forgot to save a lot of passwords so I get to reset a bunch and guess at others. Fun!

ION, I called Austin to see if my amp was done and the amp tech is gone until January 4th. No big deal. It just pushes back my getting the amp back to about the 10th or so. I was dividing up my pedals today to get ready for the whole 2 amp thing. I decided to keep the newer types of effects for my Fender amp and the vintage ones for the Gretsch. So the Tonebender and Rangemaster go to the Gretsch and since the amp was made by Valco is should give me a fairly decent early Zep sound. A funny thing I noticed is that all of the effects I use are considered vintage by today's standards.

Yeah, so there.

Monday, December 26, 2005


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Thank you Cafe Press for making 1 offs!

In other news, my amp wasn't ready on Friday as promised but I really wasn't expecting to be anyway. I'll be giving them a call tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Gift to myself

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Building all the pedals I wanted but couldn't afford was just a step in getting "my sound". The effects are just a link in the chain.

The last link is the amp you see right here. This is a Gretsch 6162 amplifier that I've owned since I was 13. It hasn't worked though for about 20 years. I've always wanted to get it fixed but I've always had other bills and stuff.

But Saturday I drove to Austin and dropped it off at Austin Vintage Guitars. These guys know how to fix old gear and have a touch for bringing dead gear back to life.

The 6162 is a small combo amp with 17 watts of power through 2 10' speakers. It has built-in reverb and tremelo and from what I remember, the tone on this amp was clear and tight, a great addition to the rig. I'll probably be A/B ing between amps to broaden the sounds I can get instead of running them both at the same time.

It's supposed to be done on Friday and I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Beauty Pageant

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It's that wonderful time of's 2nd Annual Pedal Pageant is underway with some great prizes for the winners.

1st place: $300 shopping spree* at + 10 BYOC circuit boards
2nd place: $100 shopping spree* at + 5 BYOC circuit boards
3rd place: $50 shopping spree at* + 3 BYOC circuit boards
4th - 10th places: 3 BYOC circuit boards

To enter all you need to do is build a pedal kit from BYOC then send in a picture of your finished stompbox. As most pageants are, this is a beauty contest and is judged that way, so don't enter crappy looking boxes like mine.

Good luck.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


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At last, my mad (bad) soldering sk1llz have taught the my Tube Screamer clone who the man is!!!

The sound is pretty damn cool, though not as much distortion as I'd like. Still it has a pretty cool overdrive sound and the added tone control that my DOD OD 250 doesn't have gives the Screamer a little bit more tonal flexibility. I don't think that'll replace anything on my board but it definitely has a spot.

Now that that it's done I'll have time to make music now. At least for a little while because I suspect that the fam got me another stompbox kit for Christmas.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Trouble shooting

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The Screamer clone is wired up and of course it doesn't work. And of course it has to be due to operator (or in this case, builder) error.

I've been going through the circuit trying to find cold solders, bad components and such but even with helpfrom the engineers at work I haven't been able to locate the problem. I did however figure out today that instead of using a 1/4" stereo jack for the input that also turns the unit on I had put in some other kind of jack, so the unit was not getting any electricity at all. That's a real n00b mistake so color me dumbass.

After replacing the jack I got a little frustrated because the silly thing still refuses to work.

When I get it home I'm going to rip it out of the case and really go through the whole thing one part at a time and finally get it working before I get too upset with the whole thing and start crying like a little girl.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Teh t3rr0r1zt have 1!!!

filed under:fucktards

Some asshole spammed my comments on some old posts from last year with comments that didn't even make sense. All he wanted was text on other sites that mentioned his name so he could be spidered to infamy. Fucker.

As soon as I figure out how to set up comments for approval I'll put an end to crap like that, I tell you what!!! Actually, I just have to mod my modded template to work with Blogger's comments admin method.

So what does that mean in the long (and/or short) run? No instant gratification. :waah:

At least I haven't been "Texas Hold 'Em"ed much.

Monday, December 05, 2005

ISO content

filed under:life

This is the first full week out of sweeps ratings at work so things are a little more relaxed. I have a couple of jobs pending but nothing that needs to be done right now, so I actually have time to put thought into my commercial work. I can finally craft a commercial instead of just pushing words together.

Last Friday was the first time that I actually shot a spot in 16 x 9. I was shooting a high end jewelers shop that even though it's been new remodeled it is still pretty small. I called the owner over to the monitor to show him the difference and he agreed to shoot the spot in 16 x 9. I've shot stuff in 4 x 3 and then masked it to 16 x 9, but shooting in 16 x 9 is a bit more of a commitment than faking it. The results were great and the spot has a certain weight to it that I don't think it would've had in 4 x 3. I'll probably end up shooting more in in 16 x 9 as we make the transition to HD.

Thursday we had mini-seminar on commercial script writing from a consultant who's been helping our sales department land some big accounts. He hit the essentials then made some suggestions that went against what I consider to be truth in advertising. For example he suggested that if a client is having a sale that's going to last 3 weeks you just say "This week only!" The reasoning is that the people who shop this week won't be paying attention next week so they won't notice the spot after that. I'm very at odds with this line of thinking. To me it's that whole "It's ok to lie if you don't get caught" crap that I can't stand. I'd almost forgotten that TV stations are whores. But then again, what business these day isn't? At least my boss has a problem with it too.

The boy played a gig Saturday night. His band went on last but since their fanbase age averages 15 they either a) couldn't get their parents to drive them halfway across town to the club or b) had to be home by the time they went on stage. So after playing to about 100 kids at the last gig, they played to about 8 this time. Those are the breaks, but they learned to give it all for the ones who showed.

Oh yeah, I've almost finished the Tubescreamer clone. Just a few more solders and I'll be done. It probably won't work so I'll be trouble shooting for a while.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hiatus over!

Wow, time sure did fly by! I want to thank everybody for the words of support while I was gone. they meant a lot.

I finally got the new look tweeked the way I've always wanted. I twisted the hue in the header picture almost 1 degree to achieve the blue that I've always seen in my mind.

Anyway, the reason I cam out of hiatus was so I could share a link that wasted almost all of my time while I was away. The games at Orisinal : Morning Sunshine are kind of quirky but plenty addictive.

I liked milking the cows the best.


I'll be taking a break for a while so the 2 of you who actually come here on purpose will have to do with the archive.

When I come back I'll have a whole new look here and maybe even content!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Saturday shopping

filed under:fashion

It's starting to get cold here, Winter has finally come. What I mean by that is that it's getting down to 40ish and only up to 75 in the afternoon.

To celebrate we went shopping to get a better coat for the boy and some shirts for myself.

The boy is hovering around 6'1" at 14 and has outgrown his heavy coat, so with the weather turning we really needed to get him some warm outer wear. First stop was Academy where we found a tough fabric jacket for the boy that felt very warm and a couple of shirts for me. The wife wasn't content so we went to Burlington Coat Factory to "look for more coats" which translates into "look at purses".

I'd been looking for a new coat for a while and went in to leathers just to kill time while Mary looked at purses. After a couple of minutes I found this coat for $129. Tried it on and got it. At first I was feeling a little guilty, a hold over reaction from when we were dirt poor. This is the most expensive article of clothing that I ever owned and even though we can easily afford it now I feel like I'm spending money we don't have.

We also found a really kick ass, fake leather jacket for the boy for only $20 so the other jacket is going back tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More things

filed under:things

The Vistacruiser needs more TLC than I've been giving.

Today I was on the highway and the VC's alternator belt frayed and threw some bits off after flapping about putting wholes in the air intake duct thingy. I pulled over as soon as possible and checked it out and was way surprised that the belt was still intact.

I limped back to work and started calling about for a replacement. You'd think that in a city with a population of 1mil+ that someplace would have the belt. WRONG! The soonest I can get it is Friday morning. GRRR!

So I'll get it tomorrow then install after work, then it goes in the shop next week for the clutch jobby.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


filed under:things

The clutch is going out on the Vista Cruiser which caused me notice how much we take things for granted. Like being able to back out of a parking spot at the icehouse. Like not having people stare at you when wrench your transmission into R. Like not having to throw down $1200 on a clutch job due to the age of your ride and the labor involved.

OT, I think I may have found a replacement for the table we're using as a computer table desk. The 4 shelves for a 2 printers and crap are a plus. The table we're using now was made Mary's grandfather by hand so we have an attachment to it, but it can easily be re-tasked, maybe as a work station for me. Found it at Target but it's $200.

I need to do something to get some cash.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Well, if I wasn't scared before...

filed under:flu plan

Even after hearing all of the news about the coming avian flu pandemic I was still not worried. Concerned yes, but not worried.

That was until I stumbled across this article from Reuters about the U.S.'s plan for dealing with a avian flu pandemic. It also had the handy link to "The official U.S. government Web site for information on pandemic flu and avian influenza." To say that we are unprepared is a gross understatement. has PDFs with everything you'd like to know about the government's publicly released plans for dealing with the possible pandemic.

From what I can tell it doesn't appear like there will be much we can do.

It is unlikely that there will be sufficient personnel, equipment, and supplies to respond adequately to multiple areas of the country for a sustained period of time.

In the absence of intervention, it is estimated that 1.9 million Americans could die and almost 10 million could be hospitalized over the course of the pandemic, which may evolve over a year or more.

And while that seems bad enough, worst case scenarios are more ominous.

...mass casualties and deaths among children... economic collapse or acute shortages of food, water, electricity, or other essential services...

So in short, things could get pretty bad.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Clients are teh suck!

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Working with clients is always an adventure. Most of the time things work out, but this week...

I was supposed to have a shoot for Client "A" yesterday morning but it got cancelled. Luckily I called him Tuesday morning to double-triple confirm the shoot but he wasn't in, so I left him a message to call me at the station on his cell. Of course he didn't call back so I called him throughout the afternoon. When I finally got him at 6pm he cancelled the shoot. When I asked him when he was going to tell me since the shoot was the next morning he tried to play it off as no big deal, until I told him that I would've had to charge him $500.

Today I had to move a shoot for tomorrow morning to Friday morning because the client didn't do his part of the job. Since we have really low prices we don't provide "talent/actors" or locations for commercials; that bit is up to the client to provide. Since this client is the "talent" for his spot, all he needed to find was the location which in this case is a swimming pool. He claimed he couldn't find a pool for the spot. He had 2 weeks to find a pool but he said "I can't find one". I just started laughing because HE FUCKING HAS A POOL AT BOTH OF HIS HOUSES! That's right, 2 pools and 2 houses and he couldn't find even one. I didn't bust him but he knew that I knew he was full of shit. So I moved the shoot.

The one commercial that went through this week was from the neediest client I've ever had. The client is in another city so we use email to communicate. But when we work on projects he emails me about 6 or 7 times a day. Usually the first one is a question and the rest are emails asking me if I got his first email. Actually I don't think he's needy, I think he needs therapy.

Sweeps ratings are here so I should get a break from clients for a few weeks. Meh.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Scratch the Scrambler

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I was going to order all the stuff to build an Ampeg Scrambler this week (Did I mention I'm on vacation?), but as I was digging around in my box-o-crap I found the printed circuit board for a Tube Screamer clone that I got for free this past Summer. I'd forgotten all about it so I was pretty surprised when I found it.

The TS808 is a cool overdrive that a bunch of guitar players like because it sounds pretty warm and organic. The original is very sought after with Ebay prices hovering around $500.

I plan on getting most of the components at a local electronics store called A-Tex, which my son describes as "The Most Boring Place on the Planet". They have almost everything including the metal enclosure box, except the knobs I like (knobs = personality) and the 3PDT Carling footswitch. I'll prolly order the footswitch from Aron over at since it'll help keep his excellent website going.

Of course my plans depend on how many "honey dos" I get and how many of them I can put off until the week after my vacation.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Welcome to SugarMegs...

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Where live music lives.

About a bazillion live music files for your listening pleasure. Most of the shows seem to be jam bands including what looks to be every show the Grateful Dead ever played. There are a couple of punk files but you have to look hard. The only bad thing is that they're all WMAs.

If you poke around you can find the actual files the streams point to.

How do you convert WMAs to mp3s anyway?

Because I don't feel like writing a real post, you get to see what Lost character I am.

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Take the quiz: "Which LOST character are you?"

You are Charlie You are an ex-rocker trying to kick a drug habit. While on the island you have met a very nice girl Claire.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My next project.

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This little beauty is the Ampeg Scrambler. It adds overtones to a distorted signal to produce a sound that has been described as "doom". Ampeg only made about 2,500 so if you can find one in good condition for sale expect to pay upward of $600. Ampeg started making them again for only $249... still a little more than I can afford.

Enter They have the printed circuit board for sale for only $14. So for about $30 in parts I can add the Scrambler's doomy goodness to my setup.

On the band front, I may have found a writing partner/singer at work. I almost don't want to say anything because I might jinx it.

*crosses fingers*

Sunday, October 16, 2005


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Thursday, October 13, 2005

A couple of gig photos.

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My son played a show with his band last Saturday night. It was an all ages show and they had a pretty good turn-out.

This was taken before the show. They don't get tarted up, they just wear their regular shit.

Here a couple of girls jumped on stage and started dancing as Josh started a guitar solo.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm sure you didn't see this coming... Pt. II

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Fucking Apple and their damn sexy designs have me drooling over their video iPod.

The idea of watching stuff on a tiny iPod screen was a crappy idea as far as I was concerned. How obvious, make the screen larger.



Monday, October 10, 2005

Finally, something practical from Lego.

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This guy has made a large format camera made from Lego™ building blocks! And it works! And I can't stop using exclamation marks!

Usually I'd call them "Legos" but evidently that pisses them off.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This got nominated?!?!??!?!?

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When I got nominated for an Emmy for a news promo I edited I really couldn't remember what the promo looked like or anything else about the thing.

So last week I went looking for it and was kind of let down. The promo was one that was just thrown together. If I remember corretly the producer was shooting footage while I was editing and I was merely wallpapering the spot to get it done by deadline. Not one of my better efforts at all.

The thing that gets me is that I have done much better work, spots that in mind deserve recognition. But those spots didn't get submitted by the station.

So here it is, the spot that is getting all the hoop and hollar at work.

I just wish that something like this promo had been sent in instead.

BTW, movies are dial-up hostile.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Life of Pi - bullet point edition

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• Put my mom in the hospital last week. She lost 20# in 4 weeks due to a massive peptic ulcer. Today she was transfered to a phys rehab center to build weight and muscle so she can go home.

• Vistacruiser and I were in another accident with an uninsured motorist. $200 deductable on $2000 bodywork.

• My son and the rest of his band were sentenced to 3 days suspension and 5 days at "prison school" for almost passing out flyers at school for his band. They got caught before they "committed the crime".

So, no stress at all.


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I finally got a "new" computer at my desk today.

This one replaces the Apple Mac 9500 I've been using.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Serenity comes out tomorrow, so...

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You scored as Capt. Mal Reynolds. The Captain. You are the captain of the ship, so the crew are your responsibility. You just want to do the job, get paid and keep flying. Why is that always so hard?

Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Monday, September 26, 2005

Armed and dangerous

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The Observer has reported that an elite cadre of anti-terrorist dolphins may have been accidentally released by Hurricane Katrina.

Not only can these trained hitmen... ur... hit-dolphin rip out a man's heart and show it to him before he dies... wait... I'm thinking of a tornado. Anyway, these dolphins are armed with "toxic dart" guns!

I think it's safe to assume that they're going to take over the sea within weeks and that land will be their next target.

I for one will welcome our dolphin overlords.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I love technology

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We tried to tape the 2nd Season Premiere of Lost but stuff happened and we kinda goofed it up (one day the Tivo gods will smile on us).

A little searching and Tomato Torrent I was able to find the ep and save my marriage.

Say what?

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Saudi Arabia's Prince Saud al-Faisal claims that oil should only be $40-$45/barrel and that there is no oil shortage.

I saw on CNN that some prof in Wisconsin cooked the numbers and for gas to cost $3.00/gal the price of oil would have to be around $90/barrel.

Somebody's getting over on us/U.S. here.

I went looking for a picture about gas prices and found this old picture. Right now most of us would love to pay $1.73/gal.

How quaint.

Friday, September 23, 2005


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Without going into details... Tuesday night I put my mom in the hospital.

I don't really remember the last few days. I know I went to work a little, stayed at the hospital a lot, saw my mom make progress and lose it.

As of 8:00 Friday night she's doing well.

Things look like they'll get better and she'll be okay, but it'll take time.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cursed with house demons...

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One of the things about living in a 50 year old house is that if something isn't broken, leaking or on fire it will be soon.

Today was the day that I set upon myself the task of fixing the leaking hot faucet in the master shower.

The whole house was outfitted with old American Standard fixtures that seem to be to old to find parts for, so fixing them is a royal pain in the ass. The parts I find are almost the right size, but not quite.

Luckily today all I needed was a washer which are pretty standard so I was able to find the right fit. But looking at replacement valves and such I realized that within 5 years or so I might as well remodel both of our baths because parts for 50 year old fixtures are nowhere to be found.

And it looks like I'm going to be doing some serious electrical modifications to our Hotpoint oven as well. Same problem as the plumbing, too old to find parts. The baking element blew out in its own small electrical fire and there is not one place in the continental U.S. to find the replacement element.

So instead of getting a new oven which would entail some serious kitchen remodeling because of the dimensions of the oven, I'm going to change out the element sockets and refurb the thing with new G.E. parts. So hopefully I'll be able to keep the old the thing and retain the neo-retro look of our kitchen.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Audio books for free from... uh...

filed under: has audio books for free. Just register then make with the clicky clicky.

The books are broken into multiple file, audio quality is low and the selection is small and of the same classics of Project Gutenberg... but they are free.

So I'm gonna see what Sun Tzu has to say.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Long month ahead...

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Found out tonight that I'm up for an Emmy. Almost makes up for "Emmy Fiasco 2004™".

Normally I'm not a nervous person but I'm gonna go puke now.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

How I saved $130.

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<---That is the Eddie Van Halen model of the MXR Phase 90.

The difference is that at the flick of that little white switch in the top left corner it sounds like a 70s version of the effect and not the current model. But it costs $189 retail (which means about $120 street but play along okay?) which i way more than I want to pay.

Once again the internet proves how cool it is and coughs up the mods I need to make to my $60 unit sound like the expensive one. 3 snips and mine sounds just as good as the expensive one!

Image hosted by

4 years

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I had a long post about 9/11 ready. I almost hit publish post, then I realized that nothing I could write would ever be worthy of what happened.

I hope we've learned from what happened. I'm still angry at the ones responsible for changing the world that my son has to grow up in.

I grieve for the victims and for what we've lost.

I still feel the same way.

Friday, September 09, 2005

I'm sure you didn't see this coming...

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Yeah, I want one.

Maybe I can use my education discount. :sneek:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Things that suck.

Okay, these things may not suck, but they are certainly useless, thus the name Useless Japanese Inventions.

I wonder if any of these actually made it to mass production?

Still, I'm very happy that these inventors are using their powers for stupid and not for evil.

On to things that suck.

Wednesday I was side-swiped at 60 mph on the way to work by an un-insured stupid fucking moron who then tried to convince me to not call the cops because her boyfriend could fix it. Even with getting in an accident and waiting for the cops I still beat my always-late-office-mate to work.

Then Thursday our 45 year old Hotpoint™ built-in single oven lost it's heating element. I don't think I'm going to find a replacement and have to replace the oven which will entail some remodeling of the kitchen.

Things suck but I'm so very thankful for everything.

A personal request...

If you've donated or money for the victims of Katrina then I'm sorry, because I need you to dig a little deeper for a friend of mine.

Lisa is a single mother of 2 who could use a hand. Lisa is proud woman who is used to making it on her own. So when she asked for help on her blog I knew I needed to spread the word.

So please consider this heartfelt request of mine, if you have a PayPal account please deposit a couple of bucks into Lisa's PayPal account at lisa (at) Five dollars would be great. If you have to wait until payday (like me) that's cool. But anything you could give would help a dear friend of mine.


"Blogging the evacuees at the Reliant Astrodome and George R. Brown Convention Center."

Thanks to Richard for the find.

Monday, September 05, 2005

It's not often that I get jealous...

but these mice have made me so.

Alex Chilton found.


You know... Alex Chilton. The dude that The Replacements wrote a song about. The guy who was in the best never-was band ever, Big Star. The singer for Box Tops.

Anyway, he was missing after N.O. went under. He lent his car to friends to get out before Katrina hit and didn't get out himself until Saturday or Sunday.

Click the piTunes link to hear Big Star.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The way it is...

Mayor Nagin tells it like it is in this radio interview. He's prolly ruined his career but it needed to be said.

We started getting refugees bussed into town today. They all had a glazed look on them. I doubt I'd be holding up as well as I've seen.

There's been a real fuck up with N.O. and I want to see blame assigned and people held accountable.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina comes

I'm a little worried for my pals who live along the coast. The tally has people living from Houston all the way to Daphne, AL (it was through the Keys but somebody had to move) so this storm has threatened most of them at one time or another.

Please give your good thoughts to those in the path.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This is what DIY is all about

It doesn't matter how cool your guitar effects box looks, it's how it sounds.

Still, I like bright shiny objects.

3 boxes

I think I'm done building guitar effects for a while. It was fun and I learned a lot but it seriously gets in the way of playing music.

These'll go on my pedalboard tomorrow and I finally start playing through them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You have no idea how accurate this is. It's uncanny!

What stupid celebrity are you destined to kill? by daydreamer8852
You killed
With a
OnJuly 24, 2015
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's about damn time...

"Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, who received two Purple Hearts and other military honors for his service in Vietnam, reiterated his position that the United States needs to develop a strategy to leave Iraq."

When Dems or Libs suggest this they get skewered by the NeoCons. It's nice to see a GOPer with balls.

The thing I love is the whole "needs to develop a strategy to leave Iraq" bit. Shouldn't that have been the 1st thing they thought of when they went in?


After seeing that some of my blogmates have suffered at the hands of comment spammers I've decided to turn on word verification for comments.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I don't care if you are living off the grid...

If you need to find someone you've lost track of, ZabaSearch is the place to start.

It's actually scary how well it works.

Nothing comes from nowhere.

Avant Garde was one of those second rate bands on the L.A. hair-metal scene at the end of the 80s. Nothing really ever happened to them and they faded away. Without ever actually hearing them I can only assume that this is a good thing.

So why would I keep a publicity still of a never-was metal band?

In celebration of Weezer being in the piTunes rotation I give you this picture to show that we all come from somewhere. The lion-maned guy in the middle is none other than Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.


Cuz I don't have enough guitar crap...

I'm always interested in improving the guitar gear that I have, steal ideas here and there to make my stuff better.

After googling "pedalboards" to get new ideas I came across Trailer Trash Pedalboards. These guy's board designs are so cool looking that I don't even care how well they work.

Bad thing is that when you have black lights and tribal tattoo designs on your pedalboard nobody will even notice you or your guitar.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Soldering for fun and profit!

I've been working on the Rangemaster this weekend and for a moment I thought I was done.

I took it to my gear, plugged it in and... nothing. That is nothing when running off of a 9V battery, bigassloudmotherfucking hum when running off the AC adaptor.

So I kinda looked at the schematic to try and figure out what I did wrong but it didn't help because I don't know how to read a schematic. But did I double checked the layout and everything seems to be ok.


I did something wrong but I know I can fix it given enough time.

On a totally unrelated note,APPLE'S JOBS KILLS APPLE LAWYERS!!!... not really, but you know he's plenty pissed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No, really...

I played guitar today.

These people did not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

DIY Stompbox #2

Let me introduce you to the Rain Delay.

The Rain Delay is the build-it-yourself digital delay kit I got from a couple of weeks ago.

I was going to do a step by step thing about it here, but I got lazy.

On the whole it was a pretty easy build. There seemed to be be about a billion parts but I just went slow and it fell together.

My kit was missing the AC adaptor jack so I emailed BYOC to see if they could send it. Keith (the aforementioned "they") sent me the AC jack through the post and it came today with a little bonus.

This printed circuit board for an Ibanez TS808 Tubescreamer clone was also in the envelope! The TS808 is almost the Holy Grail of all pedals. If you've listened to music recorded in the last 20 years, there's a 97.3% chance that you've heard this box. If you do a search for a TS808 on ebay you'll see that they go for a big chunk of change.

So after a little work and less than $10 of electronic parts I get to have one of these.

Not a bad return for an email about a missing part.

Monday, August 08, 2005


When I found out last week that Dixon Coulbourn had died I went through all the emotions that mourners have.

After a couple of days all I had left was anger. Dix deserved to die as much as any of us, but for him to die in what looks like a fuckup of a fuckup really did fill me rage.

A few days after that I mellowed. Dix was a really cool guy that affected everyone around him in a positive way. He wouldn't want me wishing harm on anyone.

As I was writing this I Googled Dix and found quite a few online obits for him. All of them good and heartfelt. I can't do them or Dix justice with my own attempt so I do something different.

I want you to meet Dix. The Idle Time Scrapbook is a chronicle of those times through Dix's eyes and is prolly the best way to meet him now.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


The death toll for US forces in Iraq has now passed 1,800.

I can't imagine that anyone feels that we are better off since invading Iraq. Not the Iraqis and certainly not the family and friends of the dead.

I feel so angry and frustrated. I'm angry with our government for this war ever starting. I'm frustrated with the people I live and work with who think that this war is a good thing and for still not realizing how their emotions were used against them.

But mostly I fear for my son who becomes eligible in four years.

Four years is not nearly long enough for anyone to untangle the mess we are in.

I know some parents that voted for Bush in the last election who are looking for ways out for their kids. What the fuck did they expect? I want to scream at them that they voted for this so they can pay for it.

I know it's heartless but that's the place I'm at right now.

This will be my final post until my next one.

Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Stolen from my badass pal Lisa.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

A package from El Salvador

It's no secret, I've wanted a Treble Booster stompbox for long time now. Today I've finnaly started building one.

After doing a little research, I found a couple of places on the web that had free schematics of the stompbox cicuit in question, but only one place sold a working PCB (printed circuit board). was a life saver for someone like me; good enough soldering skills to make a circuit, but not quite smart enough to cipher a schematic without a modicum of book learning. Tonepad had the layout schematic and the PCB so ordering was a no brainer. When the package containing my PCB came in the mail I noticed the return address was in El Salvador. I've never had any mail from Central America so I was as excited as a little kid.

I started soldering today after a trip to Radio Shack for resistors, caps and LEDs. I wanted to go to this oldtimer electronics parts store but they were closed because they're moving their store closer to my house. They open on Monday so I'll get the rest of the parts and a metal enclosure then.

About the only thing I can't locally are the vintage knobs I like. But Small Bear Electronics is turning out to be the online store for parts.

I should have the circuit done by Tuesday, but I'll be working on the enclosure for the rest of the week.

That'll leave me open for next weekend to build the digital delay kit I ordered.

Clear is my favorite color

I've always been a suck for the vintage acrylic Dan Armstrong guitars. There's just something cool about them. They scream Rock and/or Roll!!!

So imagine how I felt when I stumbled across Love Is Music Store and their collection of plexiglas guitars and basses.

The best part is that you can get a plexi Les Paul or Strat for only $160 then mod it with quality hardware and maybe a neck too and you're looking at a pretty cool looking and sounding guitar for about $500 total.

I really need to put up a PayPal donation button so I can feed my addiction.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Mercury Theatre on the Air

"The finest radio drama of the 1930’s was The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a show featuring the acclaimed New York drama company founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman. In its brief run, it featured an impressive array of talents, including Agnes Moorehead, Bernard Herrmann, and George Coulouris. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but the other shows in the series are relatively unknown. This site has many of the surviving shows, and will eventually have all of them."

Why I love Wal-Mart!

After running a story about the true cost of the low prices of Wal-Mart (how WM's non-benefited, under payed employees are costing states millions of dollars in welfare and medical care), The Pensacola News Journal is no longer available at Pensacola area Wal-Marts.

To be fair, the Journal could have played Wal-Mart's brand of ball and everything would've been OK. [/sarcasm] This is just another example of how Wal-Mart bullies companies and people to get its way.

Thanks to Richard at Electronic Ephemera for the find.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


As in WhatTheFont.

Have an image with text in an unknown font? Upload the image from your computer or elsewhere on the web and it matches the font for you.

Pretty accurate and pretty damn cool.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Thank you PayPal!

Today I kept PayPal busy.

I ordered the DD80 Digital Delay kit from Josh
ponyed up $50 for my old delay so I had enough money to feed my new

I also finally ordered the PCB (printed circuit board) for the vintage
Range Master Treble Booster that I plan to build. I still need to buy
the enclosure to put it in but I can get that in town. The PCB will be
here in a few weeks; the dude takes forever to ship but he's the only
game in town and he was referred. I ordered the other hard to get
components earlier this week but I have the above mentioned DD80 to
keep me busy until the PCB arrives.

Oh, because of the DD80 Digital Delay I came close to kicking a guy at
work in the Willy! I was yakkin' that I needed a cool name for the box
because DD80 is sooooo boring and this mook said I should name it "Tom
Delay". GRRRRR!!!

So anyway, Paypal is may friend .


Je n'ai pas une crainte des endroits élevés, mais mon estomac a
flotté un bit à ceci.

Je suis vraiment comme le quart VR Panaramas et je souhaite que j'aie
eu la patience pour les faire. Je devine que j'aime la satisfaction
instantanée trop.

Friday, July 22, 2005

No wonder I've always had a thing against dysentery. It all makes sense now.

In a Past Life...

You Were: A Forlorn Sailor.

Where You Lived: Portugal.

How You Died: Dysentery.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


My DD80 plan is coming together quite nicely, indeed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wheeling and/or dealing...

After building the Tonebent! Fuzz I'm already itching to build another box. The only prob is that I can't justify paying $75 for another kit.


What about that guitar playing son I have? He's been looking for a delay. Maybe he could buy my Danelectro PB&J Delay?

Yeah, that's it.

So today I went up to the boy and told him I'd part ways with the PB&J for only $50. Now before you think that I'm taking advantage of the boy, let it be known that he's getting a good deal. New they cost about $65 new and mine's never been out of the house. Finding one that is as good as new in the real world for the same price would be pretty hard.

So if he decides to buy the my old delay I'll be able to get the DD80 kit.

It's not a bad little box with about 600ms of delay which can be modded to 1200ms with just the change of a pot. The 1200ms mod starts to sound lo-fi but that's a sound I'll prolly use. I've always liked that kind of thing. There's also a "self-oscillation" mod that causes the effect to feedback on itself with really strange results.

It's a harder build than the Tonebent! Fuzz with ICs and stuff but I think I can build it if I go slow.

I learned a few things from the last box.

This time I'll paint the box first.

And let it dry so I don't put permanent fingerprints in the finish.

Oh, and I'll actually have an idea for the finish before I pick up the spray paint.