Monday, March 18, 2019

And away again

Ok.  So I sold the D-03R-12 to a musician who was in town just for two days.  Band is from North Carolina, touring through the country in a beat up van.

Apparently they had a gig at the MIM Sunday Night.

Gave him an outstanding deal.  Hopefully that should prevent the guitar from returning.

Friday, December 21, 2018

They keep coming back

Sold two nice wooden guitars to a fellow on the Larrivee forum:
D-03R-12 (Rosewood Dreadnought)
LS-03  (Semi-Custom Forum Guitar)

They get there, and he says they are Fabulous.  Woot!  Customer is happy so I go ahead and order a custom Emerald.

Two days later he wants to return one of the guitars.  And of course, it's the 12 string.  What is it with buyer's remorse and 12 Strings?

I offered him a discount, but in the end told him that as long as he ate the shipping both ways I'd take it back.  Arrived today.

No more long distance selling of 12-strings.  If anyone local wants a killer deal on a solid rosewood 12 let me know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Glorius Day - Janus

Janus wins at the SCOTUS!

I hate unions, with a passion.  But the one thing I hate more than unions is being FORCED to join one against my will.

Forced unionism  prima facie runs smack up against the 1st Amendment's protection of the right of association.  And no, the whole, "well you don't have to join the union, just pay us a bunch of money anyway" isn't a sufficient fig leaf.

Janus was decided on Free Speech though.  Sure, forcing someone to pay for political activities he opposes is also clearly unconstitutional (Despite what 4 robed activists might otherwise think) but it's a secondary argument.  If you can't force me to associate, you can't force me to pay.

Regardless, it's a major victory for freedom and the Constitution.

As for the Unions. Bite me!

Now my dad loved the union, but they actually earned that.  They earned it by funding their own retirement system.  They earned it, not demanded it.

For everyone who thinks a union is a good thing, earn it.  Because it's going to be voluntary association, and if you want people to associate, you better make it worth their while.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Frustration - 12 String Edition

A guy I have known for years on-line posted a want-to-buy add on the Acoustic Guitar Forum for a Guild F-212.  This is Guilds "Small Jumbo" body size.  Same size as a Taylor GA, though obviously Guild was decades before Taylor.

I happen to have one.  A nice 1973 F-212.  Condition is excellent other than a few bits of missing finish on the back of the headstock.  Basically outstanding for a guitar of this age and vintage.

It may need a neck reset.  It's borderline.  The guy looking for an F-212 doesn't care if it needs a neck reset if the price is right.  I offer to sell him mine for $850 plus actual shipping.  That's a very fair price assuming it needs a $400-500 neck reset.  With a good neck angle these are worth $1200-1500.

Sent him a bunch of pictures and measurements and he jumps on the deal.

Packed everything up nice and tight in a proper guitar box I got from Elderly Instruments.  Went to UPS and they said $122.  I'm like "your online calculator said 80".   Their response, "I don't know man, says $122."

"So... I can drive home, pay on line, drop it back off with the shipper and save 45 bucks?"

"I guess so.. We close at 8"

Got mad and went to FedEx.  Came to $77.18

Nervous as all get out shipping a 45 year old instrument from AZ to OR.  It should be ok, but FedEx...

Anyway, it arrived safe and sound today.

And...  my buyer has a problem.  He thinks the bridge has been shaved and that's going to be an issue, so he want to ship it back.  I'm of the opinion that the bridge has not been shaved, and even if he needed to change the bridge when he has the neck reset that's going to be less than the cost of shipping it back.  Remove bridge, glue new one, that's not an expensive job.

But I think I'm going to just end up taking it back, with the "buyer" paying shipping both ways.

People are hard.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Disappointment of Flake

Thoughts on Mr. Flake's senate speech:

I watched my Junior Senator give a long speech today, where he lambasted the "Tone" from the top of the government, i.e. Mr. Trump. Specifically he called out the present "coarseness of our national dialogue".

Well I have to agree. I don't like it either. I would much rather have someone with the Class and Eloquence of Mr. Reagan sitting up there. I'd rather have someone with the honesty and integrity of Mr. Carter, though certainly not his horrifically flawed policies or politics. I understand that JFK could be very inspirational. I can't think of a president who sang Amazing Grace better than Mr. Obama...

In the last election I wanted Cruz, or Walker, or Johnson, or even Rubio. I certainly didn't want this guy either. But to somehow pretend that the coarseness in the national dialog is somehow new? That's disingenuous at best, and a bald-faced lie at the worst.

I watched a president on national TV tell American small business owners "You didn't build that". I watched him berate the majority of the country as being bitter people who "Cling to Guns and Religion". I watched his state department hold a press conference and blame the murder of an American Diplomat and his security team on a freaking You-Tube video. I heard the former Speaker of the House state that the only way to find out what was in a bill constituting the largest government power grab since they made it illegal to slice bread was to actually "pass it to find out what's in it" for goodness sake.

Yet somehow the coarseness of our national dialog is somehow new? And somehow it's Mr. Trump's fault? He's certainly continued it, but anyone who thinks this is new has not been Paying Attention.

Frankly I don't care what the orange buffoon tweets. He's not the problem. You are the problem Mr. Flake. You. You and the other 51 senators with an R behind your name.

Because you made promises to the American People. You made promises to your constituents. A lot of promises. You promised smaller government. You promised a repeal of the ACA. Tax Reform. Restoration of Civil Liberties. Gun Rights. Regulatory Reform. Entitlement reform.

I haven't seen a lot of legislation Mr. Flake. In fact, other than one very high profile vote to confirm Justice Gorsuch (thank you by the way), I haven't seen much of anything. So the problem is emphatically not the "tone from the top". The problem appears to be that your promises don't amount to a bucket of warm spit.

Instead of whining and trying to play tone police with the executive, how about you do your Damn JOB. Pass a bill. It doesn't even have to be a big and grandiose one. A single sentence bill repealing the unconstitutional individual mandate. You know, a start, baby-steps. Anything. I'll even write it for you.

Do something for the American People. Forget about the tone from the top or the coarseness of the dialog. That's not important.  It's not important because I guarantee that no matter what the tone from the top, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will do everything in their power to prevent us from moving the nation forward. They will do everything possible to cling to "power and the religion of large government" to paraphrase the last guy at the top.

They, and their media lackeys, will move mountains to prevent this president, or your party, from getting a "win" no matter the cost to the American people or constitution.

So here's a idea for you: Man up and do the job we elected you to do.

A year later and still barking up the wrong tree

I am SO DONE with leftists claiming that anyone who disagrees with them on their nutty "big government is the answer to everything" is a racist. Grow up. The only folks who ever put people in camps were DEMOCRATS. But folks who can't read the Constitution can't read history books either.

Free advice if you ever want to win an election ever again. Every time you start frothing at the mouth and claiming that folks who want to cut taxes and government spending or limit government to it's actual limited and defined jurisdiction is a racist: You LOSE. That's one of the reasons your side lost the last election.  (Nominating someone even more crooked than LBJ certainly didn't help) 
I'm sure it's great virtue signalling to the fringe, but to the rest of us it just makes you look unhinged.

You want to know what most folks want from the Federal Government? They Want To Be Left Alone. They want them out of their lives, out of their livelihoods, out of their wallets, out of their bedrooms, out of their business, and out of the way. That's not racist, that's America.

So go ahead and double down on the hate speech. Because that's how you lose, and keep on losing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

And here we go again - Las Vegas Edition.

Now is not the time to discuss gun control.

- If not now then when?

Not when, where.

- Where? What do you mean where?

Where. The place. The proper location. The proper location to discuss gun control is in History Class. Yes, History Class.  Along with other failed ideas that belong on the Dustheap of History along with the War on Drugs, Jim Crow, Internment Camps, Anti-Miscegenation Laws, and Central Planning. A failed utopian ideal that causes more harm than good.

Or, I suppose we could try again...

We can double down on bad, failed, policies. Just one more time.  One more chance. Maybe, if we just tried harder this time... Used better camps, or more efficient gas chambers.

Maybe this time, we could make people... better.

Gun contol has never been about guns, always about control.  No gun law would have stopped this guy. No gun law would have stopped any of the last 20 years of mass shooting events. All but one of which took place in posted Gun Free Zones.

It's time to admit that not only is gun control a colossal failure with respect to the stated goals, but that all it has done is to create more defenseless victims.

How man women have been killed by "waiting periods"? How many of the poor have been killed by Saturday Night Special laws. How many children killed due to continued demonizing of inanimate objects instead of teaching them how they work? How many families murdered due to secure storage laws?

How many more Americans are you willing to see die to support your precious fantasy that more government control could possibly do good if only we tried even harder this time?

No. Gun control belongs on the ashheap of history along with eugenics, the Japanese internment camps, gas chambers, "separate but equal", poll taxes, and every other racist policy that we have sadly invented in our long history of humanity.

It's time to draw the line. Time to say Enough is Enough, Time to stare evil in the face and announce, This Far,  No Further!  Time to claw back inch by inch every bit of freedom we have surrendered in the past 104 years.

Now is not the time to discuss Gun Control.  Now is the time to dismantle it. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Outdoor Ukulele

There are many reasons to use alternative materials in the construction of musical instruments. Sometimes it is because traditional ones have become too expensive or restricted (like Brazillian Rosewood since the late 60's). Sometimes it is a pure cost savings measure like the use of laminates. Other times, it is to achieve specific performance goals.

Rainsong first made carbon fiber guitars to avoid the problem of very high humidity and wooden instruments. Those of us who live in the desert southwest value them for their ability to handle LOW humidity. In Phoenix a humid day means we use two digits.

This brings us to one of the newer players in alternative materials. Polycarbonate. Yes the same plastic used for fighter jet canopies and bullet-proof "glass".

I'm going to call this one GHOST...

Why polycarb?

Well for one it's immune to humidity, and it has a melting point just under 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and this is Phoenix. Not quite the surface of the sun even if it does sometimes feel that way.  It was not quite 120 degrees out when I took that picture.

Outdoor Ukulele is a Father/Daughter team up in Bend Oregon, the actual injection molding is done in Idaho, that makes the Outdoor Uke Made in the USA.

Mine is a tenor.

I paid an extra 5 bucks to have a strap button installed where an endpin would go on a guitar. The polycarb is not quite clear, there is some glass fiber in the mix to give it a nice frosted effect. Size wise it is slightly smaller than a Kala, and about 1/2 inch less body depth.

Since it is assembled using cyanoacrylate glues from two pieces, there is a seam between the top and body, and between the fretboard and the neck. This seam is actually recessed a bit. You can feel it with your fretting thumb, but it's not sharp or anything like this. Feels somewhat like a bound fretboard. Pinless bridge design similar to the old Tacoma guitars. In this case one ties a figure 8 knot in the end of the string and drops it through a hole in the molded in bridge.

 Everything is molded in. Frets, nut, saddle. So, nothing is adjustable whatsoever.

Outdoor Uke is using actual Grover open backed geared tuners. Bonus points for nice tuners. I'd prefer sealed ones, but open back are all the rage these days, and name brand tuners are a nice touch. Mine are nickel with black buttons. These nicely match the black dots on the fretboard. Note, there are no side markers. So we have to assign a few negative points for that. I normally don't use markers on the fretboard since you normally can't see them when holding an instrument, that's why they are normally on the side. I might add one at the 3rd and 5th fret.

How does it sound? Aye, that's the rub.

It's fairly quiet. Sustain seems to be about the same as my wife's spruce topped Kala. But it definitely quieter, and does not project as well. I don't have a mahogany topped uke to compare it with, but it definitely has fewer overtones than spruce. Several on-line reviews have stated that these sound considerably better once one changes out the stock fluorocarbon strings to Aquila Nylgut (possibly the new Reds). Aquila would be my preferred strings anyway, so once these wear out I'll switch.

So while it's not quite as good sounding as a wooden uke, it's also impervious to heat to roughly 240 F, and you can take it and leave it places that would utterly destroy a wooden instrument. Of course, a carbon fiber uke would do the same thing. Those are well over $1000 bucks though, which is always relevant.

This was a bit of a lark, and if I stick with the Uke I will probably get a Kala for playing out and use this one for more outdoorsy stuff, which is of course, what this type of uke was made for in the first place.  

Bottom line: Great instrument for camping, backpacking, or singing around the campfire. You probably want an actual wooden one for recording or gigging.