Monday, December 25, 2006


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I am really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really thinking about signing up for a Guitar Center credit card and picking up one of these with a cheap hardshell case.

I don't consider myself a Les Paul kind of player, but I tried one last week and I haven't been able to keep my mind off of it.

Must obsess now.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

English Channel

Here's a picture of the English Channel that I finally finished.

It gets you real close to the sound of a Vox AC30 for about $1,000 cheaper.

The clean sound is like the early Beatles sound, but the dirty sound actually sounds more Marshall like than it should. I probably need to go inside and re-bias the transistors a little closer to the specified voltages.

It plays well with the 250, Phase 90 and my BYOC Delay but it hates my Distortion+ and Tremolo pedals. But this might be fixed with the re-biasing thing.

The boy kinda freaked on how close it sounds to a real Vox. He even hinted that he'd like one.

Maybe for a bday present.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


filed under:, and

For months I've been working on The English Channel from the good people at

The English Channel is a FET pre-amp that is supposed to sound like the Vox AC30.

I started building mine way back in August or so. After assembling it over a weekend it didn't work. Yea!

That's not the entire truth. It did make a rather loud squeeling (for the record, it is not supposed to make a loud squeeling).

Not really wanting to pick up the soldering iron I let it sit.

And sit.

And sit.

It sat collecting dust until about 2 weeks ago when I became interested in the circuit's potential again. I took it to work to let a couple of engs look it over but they couldn't find the prob either.

So I let it sit.

Until last night. I went over the pcb with a volt meter for a billionth time. I re-re-re-biased the transistors again, plugged it in and it worked.

It worked. WTF? I have no real idea why it works, but it do.

It makes my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and Tele sound real close to an AC30 and a Tele. Real close.

The problems I had with the project are a reflection of my lack of skills and not any shortcomings of the circuit design.

In short, The English Channel fucking rox0rz your box0rz and while it can't replace a Vox AC30 it is about $2,000 cheaper.

We're supposed to get a new HP tomorrow so I'll post pics soon.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

One man's trash...

A couple of weeks ago the boy and I came back empty handed from a gear quest. Not that we have any money to actually buy gear, but the hunt is fun.

As we pulled up closer to our driveway I noticed that our neighbor had put a small guitar amp to the curb for trash collection.

The boy grabbed the amp and brought it in to the house for inspection. It turned out to be a DOD Grind IT practice amp. At first look the amp didn't seem to be in bad condition. The terminals on the speaker were missing, just broken off. The wires connecting the amp to the speaker were just twisted together. Also the clean/dirty switch was broken and unable to latch to dirty. Other than that the amp was dirty but in good physical condition.

After attaching a speaker terminal and soldering the leads from the speaker coil to the terminal I powered it up. The sound was pretty lame; as in very bad indeed.

Since I don't need another amp I gave it to the boy to use as a very terrible/experimental keyboard amplifier.

So I guess the moral of this story is "One man's trash is another man's".


So the amp sounds cool with some effect and a crappy keyboard going through it!

Also, I offered the amp back to the neighbors and they didn't want it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TiVo skip commercials hack!

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In an effort to end my TiVo n00bness, I started searching the web for all things TiVo and found a whole world of TiVo hacks. The hacks ranged from the pretty hard like upping the hard drive for extending recording capacity to the very, very easy.

The thing that I hate about watching recorded TV is the commercials (ironic, no?).

When I stumbled on the 30 second jump hack I jumped for joy! Not really...

So in an effort to spread the word, here's the "TiVo commercial skip" hack I found at

Grab your TiVo remote. Bring up any recorded program. (I believe you have to be watching a recorded program rather than "Live TV" in order to enable the feature.) On your TiVo remote, key in the following sequence:


If you've successfully entered the code, you should hear three "bings" in succession to let you know that you've successfully enabled the 30 second skip feature. The skip-to-hash button on your remote will now skip forward 30 seconds during playback. The previous function of the skip to hash button (that is, jumping to the next "hash" mark on the playback progress bar at the bottom of the screen) can still be accessed by first pressing fast forward or reverse. Press the fast forward button and then press skip-to-hash and the playback will advance to the next hashmark (or the end of the program if you're close to the end of playback.) Press the rewind button and then the skip-to-hash and you jump back to the previous hash mark, or the beginning of the program depending on your place in the playback. Skipping past the end of the program takes you back to the start of playback.
Note that you'll have to re-enable this feature any time your TiVo is rebooted (such as after a power outage or a software update.)

Should you not like the 30 second skip, you can disable it by re-entering the Easter Egg exactly as you did to enable it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Olbermann's Decision Oh Six, OH YEAH!

filed under:, and

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is nice little video montage that aired on Countdown.

A big thanks to greats at for having the video and for the hard work they do.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Soon to be TiVo Diva.

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So after years of battling with numerous VHS VCRs (one dies, pick up another for 30 Washingtons at the grocer) we've finally dragged into the New Meleni... New Millenie... into the 2000s and finally purchased a DVR.

We went for the TiVo instead of our cable company's DVR for a couple of reasons.

Reason numero uno: the mooks over at Teh AAF said I should get one.

Reason numero dos: I didn't want to be tied to the cable company. After a few months with a cable/phone/broadband provider we typically call them up and ask for the "Retention Department" and threaten to leave unless we get a better price. It doesn't matter if we're getting good service at a good price, it's about getting a better price. The thing is that if you threaten to leave, sometimes you have to follow through. So I wanted a DVR that I could take with me

Reason numero tres of a couple: The interface is supposed to super badass.

But for now we're waiting the 4-6 business days for the box to be delivered which isn't bad at all. I remember being a kid sending off for stuff from the back of cereal boxes. Delivery time was always 4-6 weeks, which in kid time seemed like 4-infinity centuries.

For those keeping count, the TiVo will bring the remote control count to 5.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And the winner is...

filed under:, and

I won two Emmys last night.

Total count is 3 Emmys at the Pi household.

Incredulous I am.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wilco is teh best band EVAR!!!!

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The boy and I saw Wilco last Friday the 13th at the Sunset Station Pavilion. It may just have been the best concert I've ever seen.

The Sunset Station Pavilion is a refurbished train station that still sees passengers every couple of days. It has a couple of bars, restaurants and an outdoor pavilion with a stage.

We showed up at 7ish and waited inside the pavilion but the performance area was still closed off. After 10 minutes or so the gates opened and we went in. On the way to the stage I stopped after seeing an ex-coworker running camera for the show. We chatted for a couple and and caught up on times, he was still working as a Genius side gigs like the show.

After that the boy and I flowed up to the stage and settled about 15 feet from the front.

45 minutes later the opening act started playing and time slowed. The Altered Statesmen are an odd bunch, part oldtimers and part young slackers. The songs were good I guess but the band was boring. They seemed disinterested at best. The bass player was checking out his nails between songs. 8 songs or so later they left the stage.

We made conversations with people around us for a while and made pals with Chad Wadsworth who took some great photos of the Wilco show.

Some strange music started playing then Wilco took the stage without a word and went into Hell Is Chrome; a great song but not the kind of asskicking-first-song-of-the-night you expect to hear, but it was... perfect.

Instead of giving a blow by blow of the show I'm gonna just pass on some moments.

The crowd sang every song. Sometimes drowning out the band.

The intro for the song Sunken Treasure sounded strange. Jeff Tweedy starts the song alone but ass others started to play it became more dischordant. Nels Cline looked worried and pointed to Tweedy and changed his guitar to a spare. Then the second funniest thing of the night happened. Jeff Tweedy sang the first chorus of the song:
I am so
Out of tune
With you...

With that he stopped and song and said he figures out the problem. He took the capo off his guitar and threw it backstage. "Have any of the other songs been in tune?" Everyone laughed and he started the song again

Later Jeff asked for the house lights to be turned on. He pointed into the crowd and asked some guy towards the front of the stage why he had spent the night with his back to the band. "Did you think I wouldn't see you? You paid good money to see the rock show happening up here. Are you protesting something?"

Evidently the guy was pissed that he had gotten to the show early and was pissed that he didn't get to the front of the stage and was a couple of "rows" back. Jeff just kind of laughed and said "So you decided to throw a hissy fit? Well, I could have you come up on stage but that would be rewarding your bad behavior"

Everyone laughed including the guy and they started playing again.

They did a couple of encores and the music was great.

But the thing I want to remember the most is how great it all felt. During the song Hummingbird I turned around and looked at everybody. Everyone had smiles on, just singing. It was great.

I think the boy and I were really lucky and saw something special.

Listen to Wilco live from Washington DC at 9:30 on Thursday, October 19 via and via

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Was a long post.

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Every so often, "We the people" need to be reminded why over 200 years ago we revolted, why we said "no more" to a country and its king an ocean away.

While reading our Declaration I was troubled by the similarities of what they were going through and our times today. King George, indeed.

I once read that the longest a "democracy" can last is about 200 years. Going by that we're due for a change. But then again I once read that print was dead.

Anyway, while the Constitution is where our thoughts on freedom are laid out in law, the Declaration is where the emotions are. You can tell that these men knew that they were taking a big chance but decided to say fuck it anyway.

Click here to read what our forefathers' deal was.

Once again, Olbermann is my hero.

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Usually I'm not one to get into talking-head infotainment type of shows and at first that's exactly what I thought Countdown with Keith Olbermann was.

For some reason he was a put off. I don't know what it was, but something about him rubbed me the wrong way. That was a year ago.

Recently though, I've been paying attention because he seems the only person in the media who has the courage to say what needs to be said. His Special Comments over the past few months have really hit the nail on the head, and seem a lot less comments and more truth.

Last week his comments on recent Bush speeches on the campaign trail really scared me though.

This President — in his bullying of the Senate last month and in his slandering of the Democrats this month — has shown us that he believes whoever the enemies are — they are hiding themselves inside a dangerous cloak, called the Constitution of the United States of America

What scared me was that to any rational person, this appears to be true.

Click the picture to get to for the video and full transcript.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

4 is enough

filed under:blogs and

At last count I have 4... ur... 5 blogs on the internets.

All but this one are dead, but to be honest the one that died was the LJ. LJ was cool for a while but I ended up leaving for Blogger because it worked and looked better.

The latest is on Vox. I got that one just a few days ago for the same reason I got the others, as a place-holder for names I may want in the future. Territorial pissings of my nic just to makes sure some randoms don't get the addys I want.

But Vox seems more of a community than I want.

So yeah, 4... ur... 5 blogs is enough.

And no, the picture has nothing to do with this post.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'd take an apology. Or fifty.

filed under:, and

I just wish that the Dems could borrow his spine.

Press button, clap for bacon.

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filed under:

• have about a lb. of bacon that will get cooked off tonight, possibly added to steaks that will be grilled over coals

• have yet to finish the "english channel" stompbox i started over a month ago. or more to the point, i finished it but it doesn't work

• met a band and saw their video yesterday. their guitar player failed to show for a tv appearance. i might be able to take his place

• i feel like history is being changed and we have no control over it

• my wife is ready to drop her agent

• my son has a gig monday night

Friday, September 22, 2006

Long month ahead... Pt 2

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If the title of this post sounds familiar it's because I posted Pt 1 about a year ago.

Last year it was about being nominated for an Emmy. This year it's about being nominated for 3 Emmys.

GAAAAAAHHHH!!! WTF?!?!?!? Has the world gone totally bonkers? 3 fucking nominations?!?!?!??

What's really cool is that my office mate "Bob" was nominated too. What's really cool is that everybody in the Promotions Dept. (not "Bob"'s or my dept., we edit for them) had something nominated. If you go by nominations our work kicked some major ass!

What's really bad is that four of us are against each other in one category. It gives us a pretty good chance of beating the other 2 mooks in that category but at least 3 of us are going to lose.

Luckily, I'm nominated in 2 other cats as well but I'm just planning on winning nothing so I can have fun and enjoy the award ceremony.


So yeah, I have a long month ahead...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In celebration of Talk Like A Pirate Day...

What kind of Pirate are you?
created with
You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. You are definitely quirky and often mistaken for mad but if anyone is truly paying attention they can see there is method to your madness. You try really hard to be bad but in the end you tend to do the right thing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rock And Roll Confidential | Your Band Sucks

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After sounding out a few guys about forming a band I'm starting to get frustrated.

A band is a special thing. If one piece is wrong the whole thing falls apart. It has to gel just right.

Part of the problem is that a couple of the guys have young kids and don't really have the time they think they have. Guess what guys, having a family is a big obligation. If you have a baby you need to be home. Two others just didn't have it. They we're good guys but they couldn't keep the beat.

I did however get my office mate "Bob" to commit to drums. Big step.

I'm hoping to end up with me on guitar, "Bob" on drums and a couple of guys to pick up piano and bass. I really want a piano player, not a synth player.

But at this point I feel like I've been stopped. It's just taking so long to find the right people.

So the brick wall picture serves me well. It's an obstacle, but it can be knocked down.

It also represents a recurring theme of bad band promo photos. Rock And Roll Confidential has the best of the worst.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


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I was on the couch just kind of vegging out after dinner when out of nowhere the boy started screaming "OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD!!!" from the iMac.

This not being his typical computer behavior I asked him what was wrong.


"There's something wrong with Wilco?"


After he calmed down I found out that Wilco is coming to town. This is a big deal. San Antonio is not a Wilco town. In fact it's been called "The Heavy Metal Mecca of the World" for good reason, it's true. Metal bands make sure to stop by because they know that they'll sell more tickets in San Antonio than anywhere else on the tour. In fact the hard rock/early metal band Legs Diamond used to reunite once a year just to play in San Antonio.

The show is at a very small amphitheatre that also triples as a bar and a train station. We got tickets online so I have no way to gauge what the crowd will be like but I can't imagine that'll be more than 1000.

On one hand I want them to have a great turnout, but I'd kinda like "An Intimate night with Wilco".

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lost Season 2 DVD Easter Egg.

filed under:, and

We ran by Best Buy and picked up the Lost Season 2 DVD box.

We got home late so we didn't have time to actually watch any episodes, so I went straight to the extras disk.

It starts out with a Dharma style intro with Dr. Marvin Candle talking the 3 Phases of some. experiment or something and blah, blah, blah. After the intro the screen gives you a choice of 3 Phases of the experiment to choose.

Use your left and right buttons to navigate to the "Phase 3" button. With the selector on "Phase 3" arrow up and press enter or play. Sit back and watch a hidden short about Dharma cookies.


I wonder if people would notice if they started showing up in my lunch?


Monday, September 04, 2006

Dear Apple,

Thank you for letting me know that you have new television commercials.

I can't ell you how much of a joy it is to go to and have my experience made richer by forcing to wait while the Quicktime movie of your newest commercial loads slowly on my computer.

I really needed to get to your support page, but your movie is very, very important to me.

Feel free to keep adding your new commercials to your front page so I can see them as soon as they come out.

Maybe when one of your commercials is playing on my computer it might also be playing on my TV! That would be crazy!

Thanks again



Looks like Stevo Jobsolino read my little blog post. He caved and put some new iMac models on Apple's front page.

Damn right, Jobs. Don't let it happen again, asshat.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Comments off, for now...

Thanks to some asshole and his ability to copy and paste HUGE amounts of pr0n links, comments have been turned off.

So the 2 of you regulars have to...


not comment.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

special commentary

filed under:, and

I started becoming a fan of Keith Olbermann's about 2 months ago. I don't know what time his show is on, but when I channel surf across it I stop.

But after a his response to a recent Donald Rumsfeld speech I may have to find out when his show actually comes on.

Crooks and Liars has the video of Keith Olbermann delivering his special commentary on Rumsfeld.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile, it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

I think the reason Olbermann's words resonate with me so is that I have felt like people around me think I'm crazy for doubting the Bush Admin. Like somehow they're more American than I am just because I question.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'm sorry, a what?

filed under:, and

I've written and trashed a couple of entries about this a couple of times.

Am I treating the subject the way it should be treated? Am I putting in too much personal information? Am I over-emo-ing the whole thing?

After telling myself to just shut the hell up with the questions I've just decided to write a much simpler account and be done with it.

About 3 weeks ago I found out from my mother that I had an older sister that had been adopted. My mother was in no position to support a child and instead of running to Mexico to get an abortion she gave her daughter to a family that could take care of the child.

Pay attention to the following paragraph. In fact get a pencil and paper and draw a flow chart to keep track.

My sister started hunting for her birth parents for the purpose of getting medical records about 4 weeks ago only to find out she knew our mother and me. My mother was never sure about my sister's identity and never even told me about her. My sister's adopted sister has known for years and had become a friend of my mother's was the one who let my sister know who her birth mother was. I was totally unaware and convinced after years of evidence that I was an only child.

We had a meet and greet a couple of weeks ago and we get along pretty well.

She has regrets that we didn't meet sooner and I guess I do as well, but for her this has been a quest. She's known since she was 5 that she was adopted. She's dreamt of finding her "real" family.

I on the other hand am still a little numb. I've never had reason to entertain the idea of siblings, so when someone comes into my life to be my sister I just can't accept it. THE EARTH IS FLAT!

Part of this is because of the fact that I don't know how to be a brother. I've played a number of roles but nothing has prepared me this.

How do I be a brother? Do I try to make up for lost time? Exactly how much brothering am expected to do in a week?

I know that this is something that I'll grow into but at the moment I'm pretty much just winging it.

The whole thing though is terribly exciting!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

carpel thumbal syndrome

I got this at Best Buy the other day and I'm way hooked.

It's pretty campy in a "Plan 9 from Outer Space" kind of way with a gore factor of 8.7.

Good stuff.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

picasa test

desktop pictures
Aug 3, 2006 - 6 Photos

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

i fixeded it!

This is my iBook. Well, it's a picture of the same model.

Our iBook has served us pretty well over the years. It's always booted up, took the OS X leap pretty well and been quite the little road warrior. It's had 2 problems in it's life. Apple replaced the video board for free after it crapped out, and I had to replace the keyboard after years of heavy, heavy use.

The DC in board though has been slowly breaking for years and I never got it fixed because of money probs. I just KNEW that it would be a costly adventure.

So I just let it go and figured out how to wedge things between the plug and the socket to maintain the power connection. I started with small things like a toothpick but at the end I was using a Dremelled chopstick wedge. At least I did until 2 weeks ago when it finally said "Fuck it" and broke.

Looking around on the INTERNETS I found that the DC In Board when in stock range in cost from $35 to almost $100. That's just for the part, no installation included. The local Mac fixxxxxer said he could turn it around in a day after getting the part overnighted but he wouldn't give me a guestimate on price. That sounded like bad news to me.

The main reason I was being cheap is that we were going to Atlanta later that week so my wife could attend an RWA convention (see if you guys can figure out what RWA is) and I didn't want to . She would need the laptop to stay in touch with her agent and others. We even entertained getting a new Macbook with a free iPod and printer/scanner until the salesguy at the local Apple Store said he didn't have any in stock.

With some advice from Zapski at teh AAF, I decided to try and fix it myself.

I found some instruction online a proceeded to rip the thing apart. The instructions were 14 pages long but chock full of idiot proof pictures and in no time I had parts all over our dining room table. After getting the DC board out I found the 3 solder pads that had come loose and soldered them back on and 15 minutes later the clamshell was together and running again. There is a little gap in the case on the left side but it feels solid, plus it looks kinda cool in a junky way.

I really. really, really wanted a new Macbook and free stuff, but getting new stuff isn't a good way to save moneys. :waah:

So yeah, I can repair computers now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I would have settled on finding out what I am right now. Or in a future life. That would be cool.

pi22seven's Past Lives

245 BC: Roman Gladiator
1370 AD: A shipping merchant
1684 AD: A composer
'What were you in your past lives?' at

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ancient tech

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It doesn't look good for our oven.

The power switch stopped working last night. Just stopped. I tried using electronics cleaner on it but no go. It is kaput.

So I tried looking for a replacement on the internets. Nothing, nein, nada. Nobody seems to have a replacement switch.

I kind of expected that would be the case since our house is over 50 years old with a lot of the original fixtures, appliances and plumbing.

But the age of the thing didn't hit me until I did a search on the patent number and found out it's true (approximate) age.

Oh joy, I'm screwed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

things break

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I usually don't think that things are out to get me, but I have the feeling that my possessions are in league to drain my bank account. Now before you think that I have finally gone over, I have what seems to be no proof what so ever to back up my claims. Wait... that doesn't help.

It kind of started on the 3rd of July when the sewer main for my house decided that 4 weeks before our big vacation would be a good time to become clogged. This came out of the blue with no hint of slow drains or anything, just "Hey, enjoy the fecal water in the shower!" I have my f.i.l.'s snake so after work I hopped on the roof to see if I could stack out the problem. The boy was kind enough to help which made the whole mess easier. The snake cable is to small for our 4" stack so it was just getting kinked up in the pipe instead of tearing the clog up.

Not wanting to call the plumber for a very expensive 4th of July visit we tried to schedule a visit for the 5th. On the night of the 5th our plumber called to let us know that none of their crews were going to make it that night. Yay, another day of schedules flushes and 2 minute showers!

During the whole deal I had visions of vacation fund going toward replacing the sewer main, easily $2,000 US, the death of a 50 year old tree and the repair our sprinkler system would need after having a ditch witch trench our yard. Friday morning came and went with the plumbers fixing the problem in 30 minutes and for only $200.

One problem down.

On July 4th we had a very severe thunderstorm that caused our power to go out and before we could turn off the lines to anything expensive the power came back on and blew out our router. YAY!!! No big deal, just went and bought a new one. I only paid $45 and got wireless B/G too to retire my Airport Base Station.

Second problem down.

Also on July 3rd my '87 Landcruiser wouldn't start after work. I push started it and got it home then waited until last Wednesday to even start because of the whole fecal water thing I was working on. After a few trips to the parts store to have the starter, alternator and battery tested it turned out to be an $8 starter cable. Vroom.

Third problem down.

Tonight the switch on our 50 year old oven stopped working. I'm gonna try using some electronics cleaner on it tomorrow. I would've got some tonight but by the time I found the right breaker to kill the AC to the oven and the get the electronics out it was too late to get get to the store. I'd replace it but my chances of finding a NOS switch are pretty small.


So yeah, my stuff is trying drain my moneys away!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006


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I've discovered that when you have absolutely nothing to do at work time will stand still.

That and there's only so much internet you can look at before feeling the need to /wrists.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Can you dumb it down a little more, please? Pt. II

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So after trying out iWeb for a couple of days it no longer is on my Mac and no trip is on the agenda.

It's not that it's a bad app... well maybe a little. It puts out huge files that take forever to load. Even when you start with a blank page, your creations still feel like template pages.

But worst of all, one click publishing to a non-.mac website isn't possible. It's not like it'd be hard to include, Apple just chose not to. Yeah, I know that Apple wants me to buy a .mac account but that doesn't mean they should cripple their software to force me into the purchase.

When apple fixes these problems I'll be more than happy to plunk down my cash to buy iWeb. Until then, SMART MOVE APPEL!!!!11!!!!1!1

new digs

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If you're here then you know that I've moved.

The reason I moved was that I was dangerously close to having to pay for extra bandwidth from my old host. That and my host forgot to pay their own bills and all of their clients' sites went dark for a couple of days. Fuck that. So I moved.

I've been wanting to get the domain pi22seven dot com for a while but I never really had an idea for it. But now... I still don't.

I was thinking about selling some stompboxes here though for the time being that has to wait until I have more time. It also has to wait for some legal trademarks and such to come through. I've started the legal stuff just in case I decide to follow through with that idea.

So what's to come?

I have no idea. I'd like to make the site more dynamic in some way...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

new rule

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You are not allowed to wear your bluetooth phone earpiece and have a big conference call while I am in the next urinal trying to piss quietly.

Friday, May 26, 2006 you don't.

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According to new research invisibilty may be possible.

Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


For some reason I started thinking about all of the concerts I've been to, so I though I'd make a list. I've seen some pretty good shows along with a few embarrassments.

This list will be incomplete for 2 reasons, first off I'm not dead and second because I remember remembering more shows. This list does not include the hundreds and hundreds of club shows I've seen.

Anyway, here you go and make your own.

The Ramones
Judas Priest
Def Leppard
The Who
Billy Squire
Steel Breeze
The Pretenders
The Alarm
Thompson Twins
The Go-Gos
A Flock of Seagulls
The Police
Joe "King" Carrasco
Talk Talk
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Jason and the Nashville Scorchers
The Romantics
The Hooters
The Pixies
The Psychedelic Furs
The Clash
Bob Dylan
Wire Train
Soul Asylum
Screaming Trees
Albert Collins
Spin Doctors
Sheila E.
Dez Dickerson
Billy Idol
Wendy O. Williams
Foo Fighters
Eric Johnson

Friday, May 19, 2006

Bid or buy now?

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So I found this on ebay the other day.

It's the same model of chorus I had a billion years ago in the 80s. I really liked the sound of that thing. It was lush and very organic sounding, not cold and processed like most that I've tried lately. The only thing bad about it is that it was pretty damn noisy. When you weren't playing it would make a soft woosh as it swept through it's cycle.

The guy had it on a 1 day auction, but I'm not even supposed to be on ebay at work so I put it off until later. So of course I got home late and missed the auction. I messaged the guy letting him know that I'm still interested with no answer so it looks like I just have to keep my eyes open and buy now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Can you dumb it down a little more, please?

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I was able to get a copy of iWeb from a guy at work today.

Now before you get all "PIRATE!!!" on me, I'm actually just trying it out before I buy. I just can't afford to shell out 7 Hamiltons just to test drive one part of Apple's iLife. I"M NOT A HILTON!!! If the program works then it's off to the Apple Store to get it for real.

So after installing iWeb I made clicky clicky and fired it up. It seems easy enough and the templates look really slick, but for stuff like this I tend to need an idiots manual.

Ironic that I can figure out tv systems that cost over $100,000 in no time but simple apps like iWeb cause me probs.

Friday, May 12, 2006

My new puzzle

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So this is my pedalboard all ready to go. Almost.

I made all of the patch cable to length to fit between certain boxes. A great idea in practice except when one has a short and you pull them all to test them, then you try to remember which went where. I know what order the effects chain, but I can't find the proper cables to fit.


UPDATE: Solved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Oh yeah!

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I am so getting this on DVD!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm not absent, just real tardy.

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So, I haven't posted on the blog in a long time. *blushes at the attention*

There really aren't any reasons why... yeah okay, that's a lie. Actually there're a couple of reasons but they have to do with meat life. Nothing bad, just reasons.

The biggest reason is that I have a habit of losing track of time when I'm on the net. It starts out innocently enough; check the 3 email accounts I use for various purposes, check a couple of forums, am I watching something on ebay?, I need to catch up on the regular blog reads, OH CRAP I FORGOT TO BID!!!, hey a link to a video... and so on until I blink my eyes and realize the evening has disappeared and the day is almost done. It's not anything like an internet addiction, I just get lost.

So I laid out one rule: all the internet I can handle for 10 minutes a day. It doesn't have to be 10 minutes in a row, just in total. Seems harsh, but there you go.

Usually I check my main email quickly, then head over to teh AAFs, then I... time's up.

On the whole the experience has been pretty cool. I've been playing guitar everyday, some days I get an hour of practice in before I feel I need to spare the neighbors. I also have been looking at the sky with a scope like this one (I got it by selling a beat-to-crap pick-up that wouldn't run), but the best part is just hanging out with the fam.

But the real reason is that the past month or so has been pretty hectic. 2 weeks ago was Fiesta in San Antonio, our time to celebrate something or another, drink beer and eat food on a stick. My station broadcasts 2 parades with over 200 entries each and yours truly gets to produce said parades. The past couple of years were pretty easy and this one was shaping up the same way until one of the guys in my department decided to quit to become a... wait for it... a border agent. He willingly chose to leave the bright lights of television to watch Mexican Nationals walk across a bridge. So that left me and the blogged about "Bob" with 50% more work. Yea! We've made do well enough with a lot of late hours and weekend work but the leaver couldn't have picked a worse time to leave. Thankfully our boss has made a hire that'll be in town on the 15th-ish.

So really I have nothing but life to blame for getting in the way of me and my precious, precious interweb.

I'll try not to let it happen again. ;)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I'm a what?

Thursday, March 23, 2006


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So somehow I picked up this eye infection called blepheritis in my right eye and it sucks. It's incurable and it sucks.

The best I can do is to keep it under control. So for the next few days I'll be putting it's hot compresses 2-4 times a day to get the gunk out, then if my eye is still swollen I get antibiotics and steroids.

Right now my right eye is very swollen and I've been hiding in the sanctuary of my office so I don't scare the faint of heart and small children. I've already heard "Eeeeewww, what happened to your eye?" 3 times this morning. Some mook asked me if my wife hit me.

It doesn't hurt, but if it develops into a sty it will.

So... what did you have for lunch?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


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So I scored this at work today. Yes, it's an iced out LED belt buckle.

I'm going to have it say "CORPORATE DRONE".

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Can't make it to SXSW this year?

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With the way prices for a 'band have gone up in the past few years I don't know anyone who can afford SXSW.

But don't worry.

The good people at CitizenPod have come come up with a handy little thing for your iPod called the SXSW 2006 clickguide. The clickguide makes the entire SXSW schedule available to you on your iPod. That's not just bands, that's panels, films and every other SXSW event available at your fingertips.

The clickguide by itself is pretty cool, but if you can't go you don't need the guide right.

You can also download 942 songs from the scheduled bands using BitTorrent. Yours for free to own and with almost 1000 free songs there's sure to something you like.

My fave from the bunch is Love of Diagrams' No Way Out.

Friday, February 24, 2006

This is a test.

This is a test of the new Google Blogger Dashboard widget.

Had this been and actual post there would not have been content.

Again, this is only a test.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Uh... my nut fell out.

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Well, more like slipped out.

I was playing guitar today and noticed that my low E string was a little closer to the edge of the neck than I remembered. Sure enough the glue joint had failed and it had slipped in it's notch. It's an easy fix, in fact all I'm doing now is waiting for the glue to dry. The hard part is making sure that both sides of the nut are equally flush after clamping.

It's probably been loose for a while and my sustain and tone should improve.

Speaking of tone, this weekend I went by Atex Electronics and picked up a 1458 dual op amp chip. W00t!!! Sounds like fun, huh? Well my DOD OD 250 has a 4558 dual op amp chip in it, the vintage 250s had a 741 single op amp chip in them. Keeping up? Ok, the 1458 is essentially a dual op version of the 741 so replacing the 4558 with the 1458 makes it sound like the original design.

This is actually a pretty cool thing for 2 reasons. Numero uno is now I can set my amp's eq for a good clean sound now as opposed to just setting the eq to make the OD 250 sound good. IOW, now both clean and OD 250 sounds sound good. It also makes the effect sound more vintage-closer to the sound I hear in my head. The second reason is that I was able to throw the 4558 in my Tubescreamer clone and replace the crappy one I had in there.


Yeah, well just be glad I didn't load the post down with pics of naked chips.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What band?

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Words are objects of sound that confound me. I know the power, but I don't have it. Yet here I am, making ready to write lyrics for songs to come.

Rueben, though not bowing out of the band with words has essentially not joined through inaction. I was really depending on him for his words. I can come up with music all day long. But words... even if I find a subject I can never find my meter. Still, if I don't write the lyrics for my music to be songs, who will?

I'm still looking for a bass player but I've already had a couple of heavy nibbles for the "other guitarist" position.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


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I've not been ignoring this place or the rest of the internet, but I have been playing a lot more guitar.

I finally got my Gretsch amp back a couple of weeks ago and running it through it's paces trying to see how it works with the rest of my rig. So far I've discovered that it likes pedals, has a nice punchy tone with a tight low end and that gets a little dirty when cranked. I say a little dirty because it stays pretty clean even at full volume. Clean or dirty it really has a tone that is totally unlike anything else I've heard. The amp has a built in reverb that is kind of toy like. It's not a huge, wet Fender style of reverb, more like a reverb that'll do in a pinch. It also has a tremolo that I had never heard until I got the amp. It's a great little tremolo that sounds almost exactly to the box you see to the left.

This little gem is my version of the "Electronics Australia" Tremolo circuit printed in EA way back in the '60s. I found the schematic and layout at and built it point to point without a printed circuit board. A couple of guys at work saw it when I took it by to show it off, were impressed and asked me to make them one.

Uhm... whah?!?!?!

So I'll be working on a couple for profit. The whole problem is that I don't know what my time is worth. I can get all of the components for one pedal for about $30 US and I'm thinking about selling for $70 or so, but I almost feel like I'm charging too much. Almost.

I'll build these 2, put fake serials numbers and my sig on the inside and be done with it.

And just so I can set the record straight, I am not accepting orders.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Not much, you?

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It's been a while since I last updated. Life has happened but nothing worth going back to blog about.

Today the boy and I were in Borders. He was there to meet a possible bass player for a new band, I was there as transportation.

We got there early and I made for the coffee and he went to the music to wait for the bass player. I waited for my coffee for a about 10 minutes and the girl the boy was meeting still hadn't showed. As I was sipping wondering what else to do with my time I saw them walking up to the store. They seemed like nice enough people but you could tell that they felt out of place at the book store. Not stupid, just that they didn't belong. Like "the word" made no impact on them. I let the boy have his meet and wandered about trying to find something interesting.

For some reason I ended up in the poetry section. Now when I say poetry section I mean 3 shelf sections full of poetry books which is quite a lot for RedneckNeoCon Central. Right away I ignored it all looking for anything by/about John Keats. I've been interested in Keats since reading the Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. Simmons actually used Keats as a character(s) and referred to his poetry a great deal. I wanted the book pictured because it is complete but it also has some letters in it. That is what makes this book special. Sure, the poetry is great, but the letters really show who the man was.

So after looking at every poetry book they had I left the poetry section empty.

The boy's meeting was over and I met the girl's parents who seemed nice enough. I offered up Casa De Pi for rehearsals, then we left after a few minutes of casual conversation.

We listened to PiL's Second Edition on the way home.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bullet point re-cap of the last month

•19th wedding anniversary
•didn't work new year's this year
•produced the largest mlk day celebration in the world with 5 days notice
•still haven't gotten my amp back from austin
•finally received the name plate for my emmy
•aced my employee review
•8 year old clothes washer has a leak in the tub
•did get the flu

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I'm sick, so will have to count as a post.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Pi22seven!

  1. Without its lining of pi22seven, your stomach would digest itself.
  2. Neil Armstrong first stepped on pi22seven with his left foot!
  3. If every star in the Milky Way was a grain of salt they would fill pi22seven!
  4. Scientists believe that pi22seven began billions of years ago as an enormous ball of dust and gas!
  5. The first pi22seven was made in 1853, and had no pedals.
  6. A pi22sevenometer is used to measure pi22seven.
  7. Pi22seven invented the wheel in the fourth millennium BC.
  8. Pi22seven has a memory span of three seconds.
  9. Finding pi22seven on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck!
  10. Pi22seven will give a higher yield if milked when listening to music.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So, anyway...

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I called the place in Austin that has my amp (see below, below, below, below) to see how things were going with the whole repairing end of repairing my amp. The amp tech had gone back home to Phoenix for the holidays but he's been back for a almost a week now and no word. So I gave him a call and stayed on hold for 7 minutes before I decided to hang up and call back 10 minutes later.

When I finally got the amp tech on the phone he fed me some bullshit line about not being able to buy parts until the end of December. Uh... okay.

So anyway, he's supposed to give me a call tomorrow. At this point I would usually be pissed off, not because of the time it's taking but of the lack of communication. And if it this guy wasn't a total amp miracle worker I'd prolly drive up to Austin and walk it across town to another tech.

So kids, the moral of this story is 5.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

the 2 things i know

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Thing 1:
Apple's new laptop, the MacBook Pro has teh sucky name.

Thing 2:
I want one.