Category Archives: Uncategorized

Testing, Twirling

Not sure if this will work everyone. . .  I’m trying to learn some new technology: the animated gif:

This is my cousin’s little girl and she is adorable.  Along with all the other traveling we did, I also went up to Iowa for a nice celebration with my Gram for her 80th.  Happy Birthday Gram!  Little Miss Tutu will also be 3 on the first of July as well, so here’s to many years of joyfully spinning in a tutu!

Traveling

I had an opportunity last week I’m not sure I might ever have again, y’all.  I was whisked away from St. Louis to Chicago via a private jet for a one-day (work-related) whirlwind.  A private jet taking off from a private hangar is pretty sweet.  I can see why those jet-setters do it.  

Since I was up there for a lot of work (non) fun, I kept those pictures in the work folder.  However, I did take a quick picture of the glorious view from one of the 10th floor furniture showrooms I was visiting in the Merchandise Mart.

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It was perfect weather and we had a long lunch at Fulton’s.  Not sure if that is a tourist trap or not. Not sure if I care.  But, if you ever have the opportunity to fly on a private jet (8 seater!), do it.  It will be worth your jet-setting while.

In other traveling related news, JT and I also took a recent mini-vacation down to Memphis and Clarksdale, Mississippi.  Memphis is a fairly quick 5 hour drive from St. Louis, down Highway 55.  The we traveled another hour and a half past down to Clarksdale, home of the crossroads (junction of old Highway 61 and Highway 49).  It is now also home to a Church’s Chicken, a furniture store and Al’s Barbeque.  

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The neatest part about Clarksdale was not necessarily the crossroads, but the place we stayed for the night, The Shack Up Inn.  It is like adult summer camp and a junker’s paradise combined into one.  Situated on the old Hopson Plantation, the owner’s have relocated various old cotton sharecroppers shacks into a compound of sorts.  The heart of the compound is the old cotton gin where they have live music on the weekends.

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It’s also where you go to get your beer — at Shack Up, B&B stands for bed and beer.

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It was pretty amazing.  I took too many pictures.  I’ll try to speed it up here . . . We stayed in Electric Blue.  

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We saved a big sliver of paint that was hanging out on the porch floor and lo and behold, when we got home it was almost a match to the blue we painted the front door.  Maybe Living Analog should be renamed Electric Blue?  Maybe not.  But we had an awesome time there, would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone and can’t wait to go back.

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After our glorious and restful time at Shack Up had ended, we headed back up Highway 61 towards Memphis.  But not without a pit stop at Tunica first . . . .

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Luckily we walked out of Tunica with our hats (and actually a little ahead, if you count $10 as a little ahead).   Back in Memphis we did all the things a music tourist would do: Sun Studios (2nd visit, had to pry JT out), Stax Records, Gibson Guitar Factory tour (had to really pry JT out, he was about to work for free) and the Rock n’ Soul Museum.  We have already been to Graceland and didn’t want to shell out the $$$ for another Elvis visit so we skipped that this trip.

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(I noticed when I went through these pictures later that the only ones I got of Stax have unflattering views of the man changing out the marquee.  Sorry dude.)

We also walked across the skybridge to Mud Island, saw some live music and lots of motorcycles on Beale Street and happened onto the Peabody ducks (we stayed at the Holiday Inn across from the Peabody and had “ducked” in to the shops around the lobby to bide some time during a quick rainstorm.) All in all an amazing and much to short vacation . . . now that we’re back at the grind we need to schedule another so we have something to look forward to.  I’m campaigning hard for New York in the fall . . . 

 

1966 Gibson LG-0

Threw the wife and dogs into the car one night after work for a trip to Gerald, MO to pick up this one. For those of you who are not aware, as I was not, Gerald is about 60 miles this side of Jefferson City. Long drive up some dark, curvy roads. Ended up having to meet the dude in the middle of town. Fine little town. Quiet.

The wood on this guitar was dry as a damn bone. Acoustic guitars, just like anything made from wood, require oil and the right balance of humidity. Acoustics especially, will almost always crack right down the middle. Not fatal- in fact I have a 68 Gibson B-25 N which I play out many times a month that has a repaired crack. Still a wonderful guitar, can barely tell the damage:

The LG-0 had no such cracks. Plenty of finish checking, and the top was Johnny Marred pretty good, but no cracks. Applying the oil was a bizarre experience. The wood literally drank the moisture, so much that it drastically changed the appearance. Look at the contrast with the pick guard removed:

For a period in the mid-late 60’s, Gibson experimented with plastic bridges. Most of them were trashed in favor of a wood bridge, however this one was still in great shape. Long story short, I had found an all-original, perfectly working model that just needed cleaning up. Worth the drive. Up for grabs on Ebay- see it here!

Italia Mondial Classic Electric Guitar

Pretty good looking bastard. Bought this off a friendly hippie in Illinois.

Modeled after the old Kay and Airline models, this is really a beautiful work of art. The design of it is just perfect, but in a flashy sort of way.  I want to do weird things with it, like make it little hats and cook it dinner.

The strings were probably 10 years old, and rusted through. There was also an extreme gap in action all the way down the neck. Cut the old strings off and popped the neck off for a quick shim at the neck heel. That set the angle of the neck almost perfectly parallel to the strings.

The neck had this bizarre 2-screw system that actually works very efficiently.

Even with the beautiful finish, there was a lot of sweat and dirt to get rid of.

Next step was cleaning up the chrome on the pickups and tailpiece. An amazing little trick is to rub it with aluminum foil. Just check out the job it did for this pickup-

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The sound has a typical humbucker range on the normal settings, but when you fire up the piezeo pickup, it really shimmers with the res-o-glass construction. lots of fun to play.

Up for grabs on Ebay! See it here!

Memorial Day

The things Wikipedia has taught me may be to vast to enumerate here.  What I learned today is that Memorial Day is a United State federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May to commemorate those who have died while in military service to the United States.   Thanks Wikipedia.  That may have been something I should have already known . . .

No foreign enemy killed my grandfather during his service in the Navy.  He was killed by an enemy much closer to home, Parkinson’s Disease long after his military service was over.  But still this Memorial Day, I salute him.  I also salute my cousin Blair who is currently serving in the Navy and is right now stationed in Italy.

John Glover Springer

My grandfather was already pretty far into his Parkinson’s world by the time I was old enough to have much memories of him.  I wish I could have met the dapper man in the photograph!

One of my 11 resolutions for 2011 was to scan and archive all the family photos I have so they can be shared with cousins, aunts and uncles.  This was my first scan, lets see how long it takes to get all two bins done . . . 2012?