22 Nov 2011 @ 6:36 PM 

Our¬†dog, Gilligan, just had surgery this past weekend. Nothing major he just had a cyst removed from his leg. However, he has to wear this cone so he won’t pull out his stitches. As you can see he doesn’t like it.

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 23 Nov 2011 @ 12:58 PM

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 21 Nov 2011 @ 3:23 AM 

Here is my pedalboard as it appears today.

After using it for awhile I have discovered a design flaw; the pedals in the back are difficult to reach with my foot without disturbing the settings on the pedals in the front. I’m working on a fix right now and will keep you updated.

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 21 Nov 2011 @ 03:28 AM

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 16 Nov 2011 @ 4:19 AM 

I know, I don’t maintain this website as I should. Well, I’ve been busy! Anyway, here is another post for the 2 or 3 of you that might accidently read this.

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is I’ve started school at the beginning of the year. I decided that if I was to go forward with my career I needed to back up my experience with a degree. School takes up a great deal of time. So much so, that I have not been able to play my guitar as much as I would like. However, I have been able to buy more equipment.

My Rig

If only I knew how to play this stuff. Nah, I know how to play them a little. According to my wife, Judy, I am getting better. I only wish I could hear that. ūüôā

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 16 Nov 2011 @ 04:19 AM

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 13 Sep 2010 @ 2:56 AM 

As I’ve eluded to in previous posts I have taken up the guitar again.¬† A long time ago I was a bass player in a backyard band and I still play the bass but I’ve always wanted to play the guitar with¬†more proficiency.¬† I also enjoy the accessories for the guitar like the effects pedals.¬† Effects pedals can become messy with all the wires and the fact they’re all over the floor sliding around.¬† The best way to correct this is to organize them on a pedal board.¬† Now to buy a decent pedal board can cost $100 to $200 dollars and you have to deal what they offer.¬† The other option is to build your own if you have the tools and know-how to do so.¬† I have the tools (thanks dad) and I have some know-how (thanks again dad) but I’m far from being an expert.¬† I also found an article on-line showing how to make a pedal board from an inexpensive shelf sold at Ikea.¬† So after a trip to Ikea and then to Lowes I was ready to begin.¬† Below is a photo of my raw materials.

The shelf sold at Ikea is a Gorm shelf.¬† It is sold in a variety of sizes but the best size for pedal boards is either the 19 5/8″ x 12 1/4″ or the 30 3/8″ x 12 1/4″.¬† The smaller one costs $3 and the larger one is $5.¬† Since I didn’t know which size I wanted to make I bought both.¬† I also bought the post extensions to make the riser on one end of the board.¬† This gives better access to the back pedals and a place to mount the power supply.¬† The riser costs $4 for a pair.

The first thing I did was cut the risers to the width of the shelves.¬† I bought some 1 1/2″ x 5/8″ molding to add to the front to give the board a “finished” look.¬† Then I gave the shelves and the risers a quick sanding and then I painted them.¬† I painted them yellow to which I will add black later because I’m a Steeler fan.

After I finished painting them I tried to paint a name for my board but I didn’t come out right so I had to sand and repaint one of them.¬† This took a whole day to correct.¬† Once the paint had dried I drilled holes in the risers and attached the risers to the shelves.

I did add one thing to the design… a border.¬† I bought some small 1/4 round molding to go around the outer edge.

I cut them to size with a miter saw making a frame for the board.

Before I attached them I painted them black.¬† To attach them I had to drill holes in the molding so the nails wouldn’t crack them.

Once the holes were drilled I attached the molding with Gorilla glue and nails.  I used finishing nails and to set the nails in place I had to finish nailing them using a punch.

Here’s the board with the attached molding.

The reason I attached the molding was to add lights.  I used rope lights that I bought at Lowes.

The lights came with little plastic brackets to attach them so I had to drill more holes for the screws.¬† These will be under the lights so I’m not worried about them showing.

As you can see the lights don’t go all the way around the board.¬† The next length up for the lights would have been too long and that would have looked worse.¬† So, I centered the lights leaving the space on the bottom of the board.¬† The lights will go further around the smaller board.

Now I wanted to add the board’s name that I screwed up earlier.¬† To do this I used my wife’s Cricut that she bought a couple of weeks earlier.

I cut out each name and used transfer tape (a Cricut thing) and applied the name to the front of the board.¬† Then I added the power supply using plastic wire straps and staples. I added industrial strength Velcro to the board.¬† I did just as the website said and attached the rough side of the Velcro and the soft side to the pedals.¬† This is so your pedals don’t scratch tables or anything else if you use them anywhere else.¬† I also put one strip of Velcro on the bottom side of the board so I can secure the cables and wires.

I found self-adhesive non-skid rubber strips to use as feet.  I just cut them in half and stuck them to the underside of the board.  They prevent the board from slipping without adding any extra height.  You can see them in the above photo.

Once everything was ready I started attaching pedals and routing the cables and wires.  Below are photos of the completed board with my pedals.

I focused my attention on the larger board.¬† I plan on finishing the smaller board and when I do I’ll post a photo.

Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions.

D²

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 13 Sep 2010 @ 02:56 AM

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 25 Jul 2010 @ 1:41 AM 

calendarI know, it has been a while since my last post but I’ve been busy.¬† My work schedule was changed shortly after my last post and it threw me all off.¬† Anyway I’m back.¬†

11506-2007-BMW-328i

Let’s see what has happened in the last 10 months (yeah, I know, 10 months), my wife and I bought a new car.¬† Well its new to us.¬† We bought a 2007 BMW 328i.¬† It only had 18000 miles when we bought it and a lot of the BMW bells and whistles.¬† We traded in my Sebring may it rest in peace.¬† It was a good car and saved my life and a friends life¬†once when I got t-boned several years ago but as with all things its time had come.

I got back into playing guitar.¬† Actually I was more of a bassist and not a very good one.¬† But I enfoy it and I may get better.¬† I’m also getting into working on the hardware as well.¬† I have a couple of guitars I want to redesign and I’m working to get an individual sound by adjusting the guitar, pedals and amps.¬† I don’t plan to play anywhere I just enjoy it.¬† My wife Judy bought me a beautiful guitfiddle (that’s a guitar) for Christmas.¬†

527854

Judy¬†and I went to Hawaii for a vacation.¬† We spent 3 days on Oahu and 4 on Maui.¬† We had a great time and I’ll devote an entire page to it soon.

I’m sure other things have happened but I can’t think of them now but as I do I’ll write them down.

Later,

D²

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 25 Jul 2010 @ 01:41 AM

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 16 Sep 2009 @ 9:59 AM 

Not too many people are aware that Benjamin Franklin wrote down 13 personal values in a little black book that he carried with him.¬† Also within this little black book he kept his goals and ideas.¬† But it is to these 13 values or virtues that Ben Franklin evaluated his life.¬† He believed them to be essential for day to day living and for growing as a human being.¬† He had a page dedicated to each value and he would evaluate his himself daily to these values.¬† He would also focus on one of them each week.¬† I should also mention that he wasn’t always successful.¬† Occasionally he would fall short.¬† But then again… he was only human.

Remember, if you think this is a good idea, that these are his values.  Yours may be different but they could be the same.  After all, he did pick some tasty values:

Benjamin Franklin

 

Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Moderation: Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2009 @ 09:59 AM

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 11 Sep 2009 @ 8:30 AM 

We must always look forward…

blog_9_11_wtc_flag_raising

But we must never forget lest we make the same mistakes…

911twintowers

The price of freedom is vigilance.  Never forget how you felt that day and consider that more people were killed in this terrorist attack than at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 

Honor those who died and were injured only because they were Americans.

american-flag-2a

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 11 Sep 2009 @ 08:31 AM

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 27 Aug 2009 @ 9:43 AM 

american-flag-2a

I usually don’t talk about politics.¬† Talking about that and religion are the quickest ways of turning friends into distant acquaintances, acquaintances into enemies and family into… well, they’re still family, but family get-togethers turn into battlefields.¬† That’s because we’re passionate about our opinions and our opinions are usually shackled to our egos and to refute our opinion is a direct attack upon who we are.¬† And that just rubs us the wrong way.¬† Our opinions are also based on our direct life experiences and upbringing.¬† So, everybody’s opinion will be slightly different from everyone else’s.¬† If you are blessed enough to be a self-aware person then you don’t view a difference of opinion as a personal attack.¬† You just assume that the person who differs from you is misguided and in need your prayers and help.¬† Well, here I go with my opinion.¬† Please feel free to pray for me.¬† That will be help enough.

 

I’ve been watching the news and all I hear is how President Obama is pushing to get this legislation or that legislation passed as quickly as possible.¬† What I don’t get is why the rush?¬† When he was campaigning he promised (maybe that’s the problem, it was a politician’s promise) that his administration would be transparent.¬† Now, I’m not a genius, a rocket scientist or an Ivy School grad but I know to be transparent with information is to allow people enough time to take in and understand that information.¬† Otherwise it’s the same as keeping it a secret.¬† So what’s the real reason for the rush? ¬†In my experience when someone tries to rush a decision it’s usually for personal reasons and their arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny or debate.¬† A confident person allows their ideas to be debated, investigated and run through the ringer.¬† A person that has the well being of others as his motive wants to know if the idea, plan or legislation is sound.¬† An unconfident person with ulterior motives will push an idea, plan or legislation quickly through the approval process to avoid scrutiny, criticism and suggestions for improvement.¬† Which one sounds like President Obama and his supporters in Washington?

 

What also doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy is when President Obama says “Let me be clear” and he isn’t.¬† I’m left thinking what did he say or what did he mean?¬† Also, I would have more respect and trust in him if he would have real news conferences.¬† Not the staged ones with the questions handed out in advance for which he has a well prepared response on the teleprompter.¬† If he believes his ideas are good, worthwhile and would truly help the country than he would be excited to present them and be intimately aware of their details and impact.¬† He wouldn’t need to say, “Let me be clear” because he would be.¬† He could provide examples of the legislations impact at many different levels.¬† He would also be able to interpret the affect on a situation presented to him. I understand that to be an effective and engaging leader you don’t need to be an expert on everything, but you better know where to get the answers.¬† That being said I would even like it if he would defer to an expert on his team that explained the impact on the example given.¬† If he was presented a problem or issue the current legislation couldn’t or didn’t address he could do wonders for the country if he would set the example for perseverance by addressing that issue.¬† So many people try, fail and then quit.¬† He could show them how to try, try, and try again.¬† Also, when President Obama is preaching bipartisanship don’t accuse everybody who disagrees with you as being partisan.¬† President Obama and the democrats have enough votes to pass basically anything they want.¬† They need to open themselves up to scrutiny and criticism from others to show they are honest and have everyone’s interest at heart.¬† Then if another idea comes to light that is acceptable and beneficial; embrace it and give the appropriate credit.¬† Remember, all legislation is to benefit all Americans not just a few.

 Abraham Lincoln

All elected officials need to remember that we’re a government of the people, by the people and for the people as the great President Lincoln said so eloquently in his Gettysburg Address.¬† In this modern age it isn’t difficult to find out what we think and what we want.¬† And never assume that we don’t know these things or that you know better.¬† Government should always take to heart and perform the will of the governed.¬† Remember it was due to the initial will of the governed that gave you your job.¬† And remember what the Declaration of Independence says regarding the peoples’ rights and duties, trumbull-large1“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”¬† Failure to remember these wise words will lead President Obama and other politicians into an early career of book writing and speaking engagements.

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 08 Sep 2009 @ 08:50 AM

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 17 Aug 2009 @ 11:28 AM 

accountability1

A lot has been tossed around lately regarding this word.¬† For me it has been used at my work and in my government.¬† But, do any of these people actually know the meaning of this word.¬† The Webster definition is, “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”.¬† It’s a bit ironic that the example Webster‚Äôs gives is, “public officials lacking accountability”.¬† But first the misuse of this word at work‚Ķ

At work they talk a good game saying how we need to hold each other accountable for our performance or lack of performance.¬† But I’ve learned that to truly hold someone accountable you need a certain amount of authority over them.¬† As with the public officials, if they’re lacking accountability we vote them out of office or if it’s real bad they can be recalled or impeached.¬† At work you can hold your peers accountable only with the support of their direct manager.¬† The issue comes in (as with my work) when that manager lacks the courage to address the lack of accountability.¬† Then you are unable to hold your peer accountable due to¬†your lack of authority over them.¬† Where I work when someone isn’t doing what they’re supposed to do upper management just takes that accountability away from them and gives it to someone else.¬† That person is left to pick up the pieces or just do nothing and wait until it is taken away from them and given to another.¬† Eventually the task lands on someone with a good job ethic that does¬†the task¬†because their core being won’t let them do otherwise.

The same is true in politics except bad leaders depend on the apathy of the ones being led.¬† We think, “That‚Äôs not right but who am I to complain.¬† I’m only one voice belonging to a faceless person in the crowd”.¬† They lack accountability because we lack the initiative to join together and hold them accountable.¬† The voices of many faceless people can be an overpowering force with authority to hold the highest politician accountable.

We, as a people and individuals, need to be held accountable as well.¬† While we can blame all the country’s problems on the politicians we are the ones who elected them, we are the ones that got into debt and then don’t like it, we are the ones that don’t stand up against injustice, we are the ones that bought homes we couldn’t afford and so on and so on.¬†

In the end true accountability resides within each one of us.¬† If we hold ourselves accountable for our actions things wouldn’t be as bad as they are.¬† People wouldn’t live above their means, they would be honest with their situation and not get discouraged but determined to change it for the better and we would be nicer to each other.¬† After all, when all is said and done, we are accountable only to God.¬† And He will ask for that account.

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 17 Aug 2009 @ 11:28 AM

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 28 Jul 2009 @ 10:46 AM 

chrysler-sebring-convertableI don’t know why it wasn’t running in the first place.¬† Like I said in an earlier post when I would try to start it a 20 amp fuse would pop.¬† So, frustrated, I let my car sit there collecting dirt to the point it was beginning to look like a natural rock formation.¬† Well, sheer embarrassment drove me (forgive the pun) to take another look at it.¬†¬†If¬†for any reason than¬†to move it so I can wash it.¬† I bought some new fuses and tried one and the silly thing started.¬† I pulled it into the driveway figuring I got lucky and the next time I tried to start it that poor fuse would be sacrificed to the demons¬†possessing my car.¬† Well, the silly thing started again!¬† Once again, I don’t know what’s wrong with it.¬† Maybe it’s just temperamental or just a brat.¬† Anyway, I have a small warehouse of fuses in the glove compartment just in case and since it’s been running again the fuse has only gone out once.¬† Go figure…

Posted By: David
Last Edit: 27 Jul 2009 @ 09:46 AM

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