Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Rambler

A Half Turn's Worth

You got to know when to post 'em, know when to save them...
In No Particular Order (a stream of consciousness ramble)
...there's not a rain cloud in sight on the weather map; I can't use that as an excuse to stay in and not feel like I'm missing any great opportunity..

I haven't slept yet after last night...

last night I had a can of salmon and then was still hungry and made rice and then was still hungry later and ate the rest of the "natural" peanut butter...

I stayed up drawing and reading and listening to music...

I got back from the Family Dollar just now; oh, I ordered a new harmonica and two new sets of strings and used the "2 day ground" delivery option....

I wimped out and got another Suzuki Folkmaster; they were undergoing a "price drop," and were $12.08, about 5 dollars off...

I don't know if it has to do with Donald Trump, it's a Chinese made harmonica; maybe the Chinese are trying to dump their inventory and grab as many U.S. dollars before January 21st as they can...

or whatever day the inauguration is...

Obama played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," by Stevie Wonder, which paean, I thought, was a nod to the African Americans who did put him in office; they were sending around vans to run people from the projects to the polls; but they never came back 8 years later to scoot them over there to vote against Trump, and so, there you have it...

I think Trump will have them pump the theme from the movie Caddy Shack out of the speakers right after he kisses the bride, so to speak. 

I got Harold the cat almost 2 dollars worth of food, and I got a can of mackerel and one of green peas, for myself...

.at the Family Dollar..

I wonder if mackerel get snubbed by other fish in the sea for being $1.69 a can; I can see some fish that are 18 bucks a pound swimming by them with their swords in the air...

...something about the season of winter that makes the body want more fats of the kind that allow mackerel to swim in pretty chilly waters; I used to eat a lot more nuts in trail mix when I was homeless in the winter, especially when I was in Federal Way, Washington...

beautiful country...

I was there 2 weeks before I knew that Mt. Ranier was within our view; one day the fog cleared and there was a postcard shot of the mountain...

I didn't get blank CDs to record more music; I really need to "finish" with the music I already have i.e. give it all at least 3 or 4 listens unless it is undeniably garbage upon the first listen...

Neil Young jamming with Pearl Jam comes to mind; a version of "Keep On Rocking In The Free World," with an ad nauseum Neil Young style, warbly, straining so much with emotion that you can hear it in the out-of-tuned-ness, guitar solo which went 14 minutes past the point when the soloists reached a crecendo, ostensibly exhausting the possibilities of the 3 chords in the refrain, and then became like climbers who had ascended the mountain and who were now at the peak, repeatedly jumping off the ground trying to crescendo more....

There is no sign of rain...

...I haven't slept but am feeling the rush of energy that I get at the same time each night now, whether I am planning to busk or not...I'm used to being fully awake between 10 PM and 2 AM if at no other time of any day....

...the Fender "Blues De Ville" harmonica that I wanted to get for 33 bucks -twice as much as the Susuki Folkmaster and thus promising some empirical improvement over it- was only "in stock" in a few select keys, with C major not being one of them. The key of C ships "by 1/10/17" or, not for another 3 weeks...

I thought about this logically.

First: Whenever I get a harp in a key different from the old one, I very rarely ever use the old worn out one again. I might get a wild hare to, perhaps for wanting to play a certain song in that key; but a few notes in, I remember why it was time to replace that harp. So, getting a different key would not give me 2 harmonicas that I could play
.
Second: The Mel Bay Harmonica Method book that I have is written in the key of C and has the appropriate accompaniment. Too much is to be gained through studying that book, and since it is a doe, ray, me type of rudimentary study, I might as well get the doe-ray-me type of harmonica...almost everything Mozart wrote before the age of 8 was in the key of C. I rest my case.

It's 9:21. I have books to read, art to draw, music to study, mackerel to eat, but. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go out and play. "Just give it an hour," I will tell myself.

It takes me like 21 minutes to be at the Lilly Pad, and working for 2 and a half of the 24 hours in a day ain't a whole lot to ask...

...plus, I only have provisions for one day. It's the little bit that I've been making each night which has kept me from having to tap in to the 60 dollars that I put on my credit card...

...I'll need spotlight batteries, a new spotlight soon, my bike is making a clicking noise in the back tire area, perhaps I need a new wheel...

Should I come up with an ad to rent my couch again? I need a new vacuum cleaner...
I've got toilet paper, no lavender Epsom salts to soak in, though....

Harold has been scratching around the outside of his ears; I need to perhaps go in his ears with a Q-Tip lathered in vinegar, or is it olive oil, in case he has mites....

If I don't go out tonight....

never mind, I'll drag myself out there on no sleep; might even play well...I become wide awake around busking time each night; kind of proves that I'm conditioned for at least something...

For the first time in my life, I have adjusted the "truss rod" in a guitar.

Another guy who lives here and just bought a guitar, lent me a hex wrench. I loosened the rod on mine and a concave curve in the neck which had been visible became almost flattened. The guy told me that the goal is to have a slightly concave bend in the neck. I could see how this might give the neck a little torque or leverage in pulling back against the strings and send the vibrations into the body better....

I'll have to see how it plays tonight...it will be like the princess feeling a pea under her mattress if I can sense a difference because I only gave the rod a half turn in the loosening direction....

I'm a person of minuscule incremental adjustments...

...a ship doesn't just point itself in the exact direction of a distant port and sail in a straight line; it is constantly being corrected with little half turns of the wheel, or whatever its seafaring name is. I have made my first half turn of the rod...

I'm hoping that lower string action will be the outcome of the adjustments...and, of course, I'm going to search Youtube for "Adjusting the truss rod on an acoustic guitar."

I loosened my strings before turning the hex nut. I just figured that adjusting something that has tension on it might be a no-no.

Aha!
The prudent thing would be to not even touch the thing until I "know what I'm doing," after watching a couple videos on the subject: "Do not, I repeat, do not EVER loosen your strings before adjusting the truss rod. The tension is necessary in order to...."

But hey, some strange old dude who lives at Sacred Heart Apartments gave me the low down; and I trust him about a half turn's worth...

This just in (right): I guess I was wise in only giving a half turn...something told me, no more right now...

4 comments:

  1. You really think Obama got elected because "they" were busing people from "the projects" to vote? You really believe that kind of shit?

    And Trump really has the kind of self-awareness to play "I'm Alive" from Caddyshack on the inauguration? He's no Rodney Dangerfield. Rodney Dangerfield is an intelligent person while Trump's an idiot who's either a coke head, suffering from end-stage syphilis, or just plain going senile. Or, why not all three?

    Yes, the Mel Bay book I sent you is pretty basic. Theoretically you can use any harp, but the beginner books are all for the key of C.

    The one I have is more advanced, and probably works better for more keys of harps, and the harp I got is either an A or a G, I forget.

    Don't put vinegar in the cat's ears, he'll hate it and it won't work. You want to use some kind of oil.

    I know truss rods can be tricky, also, if you're going for low strings, you can end up with buzzes - often a tune-up involves not only tuning the truss rod but "leveling" the frets with a very long, very flat, file.

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  2. Yes, I truly believe that large groups of African Americans, whole congregations of churches, whole neighborhoods had voter registration "drives" and I know that older blacks were going to vote for the guy sight unseen because "I just want to see a black president before I die" and in an election so close (all other things being equal) 65% of any huge demographic group that turns out and votes is enough to swing an election...Hilary was hoping that a group that it is just about 50% of all registered voters (women) were going to do the same for her...and then 8 years later, they were going to trot out an openly gay guy, probably, to see if those 25 million motivated voters would put him in office
    And, there were vans in Jacksonville, donated by black churches and others that were in service the whole day, making sure that all the poor blacks without transportation would "have and opportunity" to vote; they're entitled to it, after all; sorry if I sound a bit cynical, my neighbors sit and watch Huey P Newton videos all the time and it rubs off on them, and they rub off on me...
    The harmonica book could theoretically be studied on any harp because hole 5 is hole 5, for instance -a universal thing...but, to use the accompanying chords, hole 5 on a non C major harp would play the wrong pitch over the chord, defeating the purpose..I could spend 5 minutes transcribing the chords above the staff into the right key, but then I would have to write them lightly in pencil so I could change them for a different harp. Plus, it is detrimental to ear training to be playing the note on the first line of the treble clef, for another instance, and not have it be an E note...
    Calling the book doe-ray-me isn't discounting its usefulness; to the contrary, a little Bach piece is like a kernel that holds all of the genetic information to produce a huge Spreading Oak; it's all there in his "doe ray me"s. It's as advanced as it gets, because it's Johann. LOL!
    Plus, as I was thinking last night as I walked to the Quartermaster: "you know, there's a good chance that "Auld Lang Syne" is in that Mel Bay book..."

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  3. Maybe you have a point about the race thing ... although it was pretty clear that Hillary was going to be the "third term for Obama" and the alternative is such an asshole, that I'm really surprised the colored folks didn't get their asses out and vote, because that's exactly why trump won. It's not that tons of whites got out and voted for him; it was about the normal amount of white voters. It's that the Democrat voters didn't get their asses out and vote. Now, the Republicans have been doing things to block voting by nonwhite voters, but this was being well-documented in the media and it should have spurred a big turnout for Hillary. But it did not.

    So all I can conclude is that Hillary was just not a very inspiring candidate, and thinking about it, it seems if you take the same spread of years, Obama was out doing his community organizer thing while Hillary was being a "moderate", voting for things no Democrat should be, etc. Since we've been letting far too many Indians and Chinese in, a good number of voters probably thought at least Trump might do something about that.

    And I think in a way he will. Not personally, but now it's OK to be a racist. So while Trump says a lot of very racist things and goes on about his superior white genetics, he's not going to personally firebomb your house, but his followers sure as hell might. Depending on how things go, it might get very interesting after the 20th.

    In your case, since you already hate gays, everyone who's on welfare who's not you, and probably the nigras although you have to bury that last one deep and keep smiley with 'em since you're in a place with so many of 'em, you'll do fine no matter how crazy things get. Sure, you're a skeezing bum now, but you can always get a job at a gas station or well, a lot of places, "Look, I'm a pure white right-thinking guy" and go along, go to the torchlight rallies after work, play some numbers by Prussian Blue.

    In my own case things are not so easy. I have been looking into my background - and I assume that with the onward march of technology and a fair amount of political motive everyone's going to be "mapped out" in 10 years - and it appears that I may be eligible for Israeli citizenship. Given that Israel is an actual first-world country as opposed to the US which only pretends to be one, unconvincingly, this is not at all a bad thing in my book. But, more importantly, if I can find out within the next couple of years what the government will know in 10, it gives me time to be a jump ahead. For instance, one way to make Social Security better funded is to simply make the benefits whites-only. I'd expect the old Nuremburg laws, with modern technological backing, to be the new standard for whiteness and although I look mostly white, I'd not qualify. The same could apply to housing, jobs, etc. Remember Trump and his followers want to make the US a "white ethno-state".

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  4. Getting back to those old church ladies ... where I grew up in Hawaii, voting was by racial bloc. If you were white you voted for a white - they'd never win but you voted for 'em - and if you were Japanese, Chinese, etc. Frank Fasi, an Italian (or Sicilian) - American was the white guy and even hearing he'd gotten in trouble for beating his wife didn't keep me from voting for him.

    Whites are a small part of the population there. 17% or something but the population is largely retirees and military. When you count whites in the work force, it's a few per cent. I still consider getting out of there my greatest achievement.

    But where I am now ... again whites are really only a few per cent of the day-to-day population you're going to run into routinely. We're a powerful group here and I don't get rocks thrown at me or the bus refusing to stop for me, so that's nice, but maybe this is why we even had a lot of trump voters here in the bay area.

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