I’m Tired of Quarantine

I’m sick and tired of this whole quarantine thing. It can go suck an egg.

That does not mean I’m going to start ignoring all of the Covid-19 safety precautions, I am still 100% on board. I’m just sick of it.

I miss playing in a band. I miss being on stage, seeing Jen in the crowd with a huge smile on her face. That is a great feeling. I’m missing that feeling.

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Nerd Projects

When I was in college I took a circuit design course and had to solder together a circuit board. That was in 2003, I think. Maybe 2002. A long time ago. I haven’t done anything remotely similar to that since.

For a while now I’ve had this secret desire to buy a build your own amplifier kit and build the whole thing myself. I want to build a clone of a tweed Fender Deluxe. It’s supposed to be a simple build and it is a legendary amp.

I’d like to do this, but the idea of actually wiring it together is terrifying to me. The solution, of course, is to find a smaller scale project and do that first. Like, practice, you dig? There’s also the small matter of not having any of the tools required.

Today is one of those days where I feel myself getting close to pulling the trigger on a wiring project. Build Your Own Clone is a company that sells kits for all sorts of guitar gear. Their stuff is supposed to be excellent. I was surfing around their website today looking for something simple to use as a first project. Some kind of fuzz pedal maybe? How about a treble booster, those are supposed to be dead simple.

Then I saw they have a Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal clone. I don’t know if it’s an easy build or not (the reviews say it is, but are those people first timers? Who knows) but I’ve been thinking about picking up a Bluesbreaker style pedal anyway. Wampler makes one. Keeley used to make one. Analogman makes the mother of all Bluesbreaker style pedals, the King of Tone and I’ve been on the waiting list for one for over two years. Maybe I could build one to hold me over until I bubble up to the top of the list.

Also, amazon has all sorts of inexpensive soldering kits that include everything I remember using in that circuit design class so many ages ago.

I do not want to spend money on any of this stuff… but I’m thinking about it. Thinking about it pretty hard. Who knows, build a pedal or two, then build a tweed Deluxe… then what? I bet I could find a 4×10 tweed Fender Bassman clone somewhere. Maybe even the amplifier the Bluesbreaker pedal is supposed to simulate, the Marshall 1962 aka The Bluesbreaker (so named because Eric Clapton used one on the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album in 1966).

Fantasizing about guitar gear… that’s a new high of nerdness for me, I think.

10 Years Ago Today

10 years ago today we bought a house. September 29, 2010 was closing and moving day. Right smack dab in the middle of the biggest economic down turn since The Great Depression we did our part to help our nation recover by sinking great big gobs of money into our home. With the exception of our wedding day, it was the biggest thing I’ve ever been a part of.

10 years ago today, this place was a house. Today it’s a home. Thanks to the friggin coronavirus, it’s also two offices and a couple of classrooms, but mostly it’s a home. Our home. I love it.

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Done

Allow me to officially declare the 2020 50/90 challenge complete. I finish with 51 songs written and recorded in 88 (I think?) days. Note that the challenge doesn’t include recording songs, it just asks you to write them. Whatever.

I know the playlist I’m including here isn’t going to work but what the hell. You can get the official, legal (hehe) copy here.

I was also trying to make sure I kept my personal little album in a month during quarantine challenge alive for the three months 50/90 covered and I did. 11 songs were written and recorded entirely in July, 12 entirely in August, and 14 entirely in September. The remaining 14 were started in one month and finished in another,

So what next? I’ve actually already started working on the first song for Quarantine Tunes Vol. 2. I’ll try to write more in October too, but I’m not really pushing for 10 new songs the way I did every month since February. I don’t want to stop playing and recording, but I think my song writing brain might need some time off. National Solo Album Month is coming in November, of course.

When I left off last night I had three songs left to work on. They all needed lead guitar parts. Today I decided to nerd it up like a mad man. I used all three of my Gibson guitars, one on each of the three songs. The Les Paul and the ES-335 both have fresh strings but the SG hasn’t been changed since… January? I haven’t played it since at least May… I think. Maybe it was June, but I’m pretty sure it was May. The strings were dead, but I pulled it off.

Here’s to my second ever complete 50/90 challenge. I need a nap.

Intermittent Fasting Update

So hey, how’s the intermittent fasting thing going, he asked because he’s kinda feeling lazy when he knows he still has three songs to finish and the dishes need to be done and the dehumidifier in the cellar needs to be emptied and yadda yadda yadda?

It’s still going, if that helps. I still have a tad more than three hours to go in fast #20. I haven’t missed a day since I started this whole screwy thing. I had to mess with it a bit the other day. We had a lunch date with Harry booked for noon on Sunday. My fast period is supposed to end at 1:00. I adjusted things by ending the off period an hour early the night before so that fast was 8:00pm to noon instead of 9:00pm to 1:00pm. No problem. Lunch was eaten on time and all was right with the world. Of course, in order to get back onto the preferred schedule I had to make the next day’s fast 8:00pm to 1:00pm, meaning I had my first official 17 hour fasting period. I did it. It went okay.

Last night I actually didn’t eat anything after dinner. Not because I was being a good boy, but because dinner was HUGE and I never recovered. I think unofficially my current fast probably started before 7:00pm, but that’s okay. I’ll make it. As the clock strikes 10:00am though, I am already fantasizing about lunch. Mmmm, lunch.

It’s Tuesday today, and Tuesday is my self imposed weigh in day. The Zero app, which tracks intermittent fasting (it’s really just a timer with some statistics saved off) has a tie in to the iOS Health app and it allows me to track my weight. It has nice graphs and everything. My first week had a huge weight loss. My second had a very small weight loss. This is the third week and it fell happily in between.

I haven’t set any weight goals yet. Well, other than the lose 250 pounds or so (which is, sadly, not an exaggeration. Robbie is a fatty). I haven’t even started mucking with diet yet. I’m starting this little Autumn-Quarantine experiment with just the intermittent fasting and a little bit of regular exercise. I’ll add diet changes later, but for now chocolate is still on the menu. Let’s see how long that lasts.

In a moment of nerd glory, I setup a Google Spreadsheet with my weigh ins, including a column that tracks weekly changes and a column that tracks total changes, and a line graph… you know, like you do.

Two hours and 56 minutes until it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch time, babie!

NHL Playoffs Predictions Wrap Up

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you hockey gods. Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup giving me one final correct prediction and making my full post season record a tiny bit better than flipping a coin.

Whew!

Here are my win/loss records per round:
First round: 6-2
Second round: 1-3
Third round: 1-1
Final round: 1-0

That gives me a record of 9-6. That looks like a 60% success rate to me. Much better than the 53% it would have been if Dallas had won. So even though I hate the Tampa Bay Lightning with a passion because they beat my Bruins in the second round, I have to tip my cap to them, congratulate them on their second(?) franchise championship, and thank them for making me look good in the end.

What Was That?

I think that’s the first time it’s ever happened. At least since 2012. WordPress.com was just down! I couldn’t post and I couldn’t access my page. It was terrible! I started sweating and shaking and seeing little blue men with no feet who were pointing and laughing at me and Tracey Morgan yelled out, “Blue Man, where your feet at!” It was awful!

Anyway, I wanted to make a 50/90 update. I only have three songs left. I did so much work today I actually lost track of it all. Tomorrow I will add lead guitars to the final three songs and then I’ll mix ’em down and then I’ll be done and need to figure out what I want to do in October.

This song is the clear winner for the whole project, even if the guitar is a smidge out of tune: