Sunday, May 29, 2005

DIY Guitar Effects

I've been thinking about the first guitar effect I choose to build.

The two criteria I have is that it must be easy and it must sound good. The only box that fits the bill for me is the Sola Tonebender. You've heard it, Jimmy Page uses it on the first 2 Led Zep albums.

A picture of the build shows it's pretty damn simple.
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And the schematic is almost simple enough for me to read.
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I'll probably get some help from an engineer at work to make sure I'm doing it right.

Of course I could just get the kit from Build Your Own Clone... the Tonebender they have sounds pretty damn good.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Baston de mando Musical

Thanks to thin I got tagged with the Musical Baton.

It got me to thinking about music again. I've always had music in my life and at different times it has made me feel just about every emotion available to mankind. I've been in awe of a simple chime, angered by "product" and inspired to right better music of my own after the jealousy of hearing something truly grand has left my body.

I'm always surprised when I meet a person who doesn't like music. I'm not talking about people don't enjoy music, but people who have no time for music at all. They can't hear what the hoo haw is all about. I don't think these people read fiction either.

The links below are to the iTunes music store, so if you want them to work go to and download iTunes asap.

So without further rambling, here we go...


I have about 300 CDs and around 70 LPs. I had about 500 LPs but most of them were stolen in a move. I lost about 50 irreplaceable 7" singles of early 80s Austin Punk in the same move.

I have over 2,000 songs on my 3rd gen 10gb iPod with a fair amount of audiobooks taking space from music.

I don't keep very much muzak on my computer because it's on CD, still there's about 10gb there. Hmmm...


I can't really can't remember the last CD I purchased. I think it was Green Day's American Idiot.


None. I hear songs in my head all the time though.

Just for grins I opened iTunes and scrolled with my eyes closed, hit the space bar and TV by Big Boys.

(this list is subject to change without warning)

Wilco - At least that's what you said

JET - Get what you need

Django Reinhardt - Nuages

Smashing Pumpkins - Soma

Ramones - 53rd & 3rd


Ephemenate Richard
Big V Dog

Music is the mathematical expression of emotion.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

So I finished Myst again...

I hate the Myst games.

They're like a drug. I get hooked and have to keep trying to solve the puzzles.

What's this do, how do I... I've only resorted to cheating once. I could never figure out what turns to take in the tunnels at the end of the Selenitic Age.

But that's in the past again.

Tomorrow I start Riven... again.

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Crack in the Box

Sunday, May 22, 2005

R.O.T.S. Quick Review

After breakfast we went to see Revenge of the Sith and I have a couple of opinions so here's a very quick review.

Spoilers ahead!

Dialogue a plenty! Anakin turns way to quick. Mace window! Get it? Padme just dies, WTF? Lava mine? Jar Jar didn't say a damn thing, YAY!

Disappointed? You bet! But that's OK. It's still a lot better than the last 2 crap fests.

VERDICT: Go see it on the big screen. The scenery is HUGE. A DVD keeper.

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Lucas gets it together just in time for Episode IV.

Addicted again

It happened easily enough, go to CompUSA to pick up some blank DVDs and to look around.

Josh and I went to look at the games and there it was... a box with the four letters that have cost so much pain.

I saw the name I had come to revile, if only for pointing out my own limitations.

The box said "Myst".

"Dad, didn't you have that game?" Josh asked, unaware that'd I'd already seen my nemisis.

This was different though, this was 3 times as bad. This version of the game had the first 3 versions of the game in one package for only $19. I was sold.

I'd loved the Myst series for 2 reasons. The first reason was that you can't die. No death means no restarting because you just got fragged by some 12 year old kid. 2nd rreason is that it actually challeges your mind.

Do yourself a favor though and skip the Myst universe entirely.

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Friday, May 20, 2005

The Fall Schedule

As we all know, Fall is when the TV industry debuts it's replacement shows.
has very thorough color-coded guide for next Fall's lineup.

I had a chance to see the pilot for "Everybody Loves Raymond" when I was in L.A. about 10 1/2 years ago for CBS's Star Weekend.

Star Weekend is a chance for network affiliate news reporters to meet/interview the network's TV stars and wanna-be stars before the Fall season. I got to meet Ray Romano and he was a very nice guy, but I thought the pilot was crap. There just seemed to be too much yelling, especially from the mom.

I thought for sure it was gonna tank. I was wrong in a very big way.

I have no idea what's going to succeed this year but it'll prolly be something that I think sucks.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In my head

I hate when a song is so good it gets stuck in your head, just rolls around your thoughts and becomes a soundtrack for the day.

Maybe I don't hate it, but I have a hard enough time focusing without another distraction.

Wilco - At Least That's What You Said

When I sat down on the bed next to you
You started to cry
I said, maybe if I leave, you'll want me
To come back home
Or maybe all you mean, is leave me alone
At least that's what you said

You're irresistible when you get mad
Isn't it sad, I'm immune
I thought it was cute
For you to kiss
My purple black eye
Even though I caught it from you
I still think we're serious
At least that's what you said

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I've been toying with the idea of building my own guitar effects.

One reason is that I want to build something. It's not quite creation but it's close enough. The other reason is that it costs about half the cost of new to build your own.

There's only one problem.

I don't know jack about electronics. Well, more like I don't know enough. I can change light fixtures and wire an outlet but that's about it. I can't even read a schematic.

So I've been hanging out in DIY guitar effects forums trying to gleen what I can. and what I've learned is that I'm more in love with having these boutique effects than I am with building them. I don't really have the need to build these things.

Some of these non-pros are very talented, building pedals that are sometimes better than the originals.

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The DIY box is more rugged and by all reports better sounding.

So where does all this leave me?

A guy in St. Louis is willing to build a circuit and sell it to me for only $30 without a box.

Then I can put it in my own box and name it whatever I want.

Last night's DVD

Late last night we finally Hotel Rwanda. I'd been wanting to see it for a while because Don Cheadle is one of my fave actors. No matter how crappy the film he always puts in a good performance. He does his job/craft well, though always in supporting roles.

Hotel Rwanda is the first movie that I know of that Cheadle has been the lead, and it's about time.

Cheadle plays the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who with the help of his staff saved over a thousand Tutsis refugees from the Hutu militia during civil war in Rwanda.

Without going into detail, the things they saw and suffered are mind-numbing. If Hotel Rwanda doesn't move you in some way, you need to see a therapist.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

Some things should be left to professionals.

Tired of modding your car or computer?

Well maybe you should give Amateur Genetic Engineering a go.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Naked Sun

I was looking through my desk at work yesterday and I found and old DAT that I lost about 5 years ago. On it were 3 songs from an old band of mine that we recorded in my garage on a 4 track. I loaded them in to our editor and exported them to CD.

I'll dub the songs for Rueben, maybe that'll get him off his ass to practice with our new band.

So here's a song from The Naked Sun, my band from 1992-ish.

It sounds 1992 so don't laugh to hard.

Friday, May 06, 2005

--- .-.. -.. / ... -.-. .... --- --- .-..

- -.-- .--. . / .--- ..- -. -.- / .. -. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / - .... . -. / .... . .- .-. / .. - / - .... . / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - --- .-. / .. ... / -.-. ..- .-. .-. . -. - .-.. -.-- / ---.. --... / - .. -- . ... / -.-. --- --- .-.. . .-. / - .... .- -. / ... -.-. --- - - / -... .- .. --- .-.-.-

It's flattery, right?

She stole my template, my headliner, my profile statement, background, links, graphics, HTML... EVERYTHING! She even stole some of my posts. Nope, screw that... she STOLE MY WHOLE FUCKING ARCHIVE.

The above was written by Avatar about Jane-y.

I just don't get why you would steal someone's blog... their experiences.

Anyway, if Jane-y enables comments again, feel free to let her know how you feel about theft.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ah, so this is where they're from...

Most of the time it takes less than 10 clicks on the "Next Blog" button on Blogger's bar.

Click... and there it is.

A blog that is so hideous that it's image is forever burned into your retinas. An image so vile that it can never be unseen.

I'd often wondered (after my eyes stopped tearing from these visual assaults) where the owners had gotten their templates from.

I found the well-spring of htm-hell.

It goes by the name BlogSkins and I want to break it's legs.

To be fair, they do have a couple of templates that aren't teh suk, but the opti-crap you have to wade through makes you want to pull an Oedipus.

Click if you must, I wash my hands.

Cinco de Mayo

Since 5/5/05 won't be around again for a long time I'll probably celebrate this year's Cinco de Mayo like we do here in S.A. by drinking too many cervezas and regretting it tomorrow.

On a related note, Zammy seems thinks the world will end next June.

I'll be drinking then too.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Work environment advice

To hide the fact that you are loafing on the clock be sure to have papers or a folder in hand at all times.

People who are loafing don't have work to carry.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Is it Friday yet?

The worst part about my job is the writing.

I'm not a writer. What I mean by that is that I can stitch together ideas, but it's very hard for me. When I think of "writers" I picture somebody who lives in the word. Someone who has ideas flowing, someone who can't not write.

I am not one of those gifted people.

I struggle. I fight for every mispelled word to escape until revision upon revision I am left with something I can almost live with.

You'd think that with a job that so depends on my ability to twist words into a message that sooner or later I'd have gotten better, that I'd made some improvement.

Sadly, no.

In fact I think I have lost any talent I may have at one time had.

In fact, I've been working on a 30 second commercial script all morning and all I have to show for it is a loose collection of lame sloganesque phrases that don't work together at all.

The sad thing is that the people I write for are depending on me. They come to us hoping we can boost their business so they can make more money. So they can buy make their house payments. So they can buy a new car. So they can put food on the table and clothes on their backs.

No pressure.

I know in the end that I'll give them a good commercial, but could it have been better?

What's your taste in music?

This little quiz pretty much pegged me.

But as a punk kid from the early 80s, how could I have been any different?

Your Taste in Music:

80's Alternative: Highest Influence
90's Alternative: Highest Influence
Alternative Rock: High Influence
Progressive Rock: High Influence
Punk: High Influence
80's Rock: Medium Influence
Ska: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
80's R&B: Low Influence
90's Rock: Low Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Classic Rock: Low Influence

Sunday, May 01, 2005

So how many versions is this now?

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Today the fam went to go see Hitchhiker's.

Most everything was great. Casting was great, effects were great, music was great. Etc. They kept the story essentially the same, but they did add some. Purists will have a cow but the new parts were funny.

The only problem I had was that it was way to short. There's so much detail that was left out for the sake of time.

I really would have liked to see more "Guide" but there you go.

If you're a fan go see it, if not see it on DVD.