Monday, May 29, 2017

A Soldier's Letter Home

Among my Aunt's possessions were letters my Great Uncle sent to his brother during World War II. I'm hoping to find time to scan them and keep them preserved for family history purposes. Most of them are from his time in training North Carolina, but there is also some V-Mail from when he was in Europe and this one from Italy in 1944.

He refers to Jimmy, my Father, I believe Chickie was my Aunt. Pa was my Great-Grandfather who died in November 1944. Eddie would never see him again as he died while the 45th Division was crossing the Rhine on March 26,1945.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Seat the retreat

It’s been just over a month since I got the guitar. I’ve tried to play it about half an hour each day, plugged in or not, except when we were out of town. No, I did not bring it with me. It’s been relaxing, even if my skills are lacking. A definite comfort and I’m having fun. I’ve stopped biting my nails, lost a few pounds and lowered my blood pressure. How much of this is related is hard to say, but it is happening.

The Back Room has become a retreat to escape from the activism of the day. The constant hammering of issue after issue on social media that must be read and consumed now or else you are not paying attention. I’m not sure if I’m out of the loop, or refuse to get motion sickness by witnessing it every hour.

I am paying attention, people are so stuck on their selfies that they fail to see that. Reposting link after link after link is time consuming and I barely have the energy to get out of bed these days.

Picked up a multi-effects pedal that is fascinating to use, but probably a bit out of my depth right now. A friend said to, “play with my hands, not my feet,” and that’s a fair point. Do need a new strap though. The one I have is for an acoustic and I worry about slippage.

My wife said that she hopes I get out of the guitar what she’s been getting out of yoga. She also has a point, and so far she is correct. Although the guitar was more expensive than a yoga mat.

Another friend said I had to put me playing Talk About the Passion by REM on video in two months or he’d send me a wall hook for the guitar. I did respond, a month early. You can watch it here.

I’m very self conscious about my lack of ability, so I have no idea how long the link will be active. But yes, I’m happy as Hell with the investment as I work on proficiency on the instrument. I’m not hiding, but that’s where I’ll be for awhile.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Next time I will wear pants, ok?

The spam filter has had some rather insulting emails inside of it recently.

A few fake addys sending some rather insulting bile. Some time of poison pen scheme?

From: Your EX @

Subject: our cloths are disguisting - Just so you know

Dude, I always wanted to tell you that the cloths you wear do not look that good on you. Please be more classy! It is for your well-being. Just an advice from a friend.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The state of the sportball

Spent the week recovering from driving the length of Pennsylvania twice in five days. I've written about it before, and will probably never make that drive again. The rain over last weekend seems to have doubled its way back to Ohio the last couple of days. We had a gutter fixed in the back of the house, now there are still leaks in the basement but they're not as heavy as before. The joys of having a ninety year old house.

Currently listening to the Mets getting their asses handed to them by the Angels, who are ahead 9-0 in the third inning. Injuries and bad managerial decisions have decimated the pitching staff this season. Once again, frustrated and Bitter Mets Fan is not having a good spring.

Everton have finished their season in seventh place, which is probably the best they can do with the talent on the team at this time. Manager Koeman has his work cut out for him in talent acquisition over the summer. They are in Europa League competition next season, which means they get to go to places like SK Brann in Norway on a Thursday night in November.

Meanwhile up in Scotland, Celtic have been a buzzsaw in the Scottish Premier League this season as they finished at the top of the table with 34 wins, 4 draws and no losses. Going undefeated in any league is quite the accomplishment and Brendan Rodgers and his team are to be commended. Maybe next year they can get through the group stages of the Champions League and once again get pasted by a team like Juventus.

Getting worn out by those who think our president is becoming more presidential when he does not fling his own poo for twenty four hours. He's no statesman, but a con man.

Friday, May 12, 2017

You may ask yourself, well how did I get here?

I'm writing this from the parlor of a B&B that was built in the late 19th century and once owned by the family that exported Mumm Champagne into the country. Word on the street says it's now partially owned by a financial analyst who shouts a lot on a cable network.

We're going to be meeting some friends, and attending a pre-wedding dinner of a family member on Sunday in an Ivy League club in Manhattan. Excited about taking trains.

The weather is unseasonably cool. Drove here yesterday in an incessant rain through most of Pennsylvania. A drive I already cannot stand. Paid about $25 for the privilege of driving on some substandard roads.

When we got to the room last night, we set to lie down and catch up on events online but the power in the building went out for about fifteen minutes. It seems the power company was working on some utility lines and they knocked out power in the whole town. So it was not me signing into the wi-fi.

Going to head out and explore the town a bit more before getting lost on the way to our lunch date. Then again, Siri helped us get here with no incidents, maybe she can help us get around New Jersey without any tears.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Life is too short, so I did it

For a minute I was worried the world would blow up while a dream was in transit. I looked in local pawn shops and the guy at Sam's was very cool with good banter as he let me play the 360 they had. Also the people at Sam Ash were kind enough to let me play a new 360 even though it was not what I wanted to pay. Found it on ebay, from a guitar shop in Phoenix who did a great job packing and shipping the instrument.

Rickenbacker 330. It's new, and it's mine. Wife said she was not going to stand in my way. My Aunt's planning made it possible, and she would have agreed too. So there it is. Wanted one for about 40 years and now I can play one whenever I want. It's lovely, I'm building my callouses again and it's what I wanted. (Although the Epiphone Casino is pretty sweet)

I like the amp too. Stereo loud. I have no plans on upgrading the amp to annoy the neighbors but am looking at pedals.

It has me playing again, with noted improvement over the last three days and I walk around the house with it.

But mostly, since I have no plans on going to the studio or touring, it's for The Back Room.