Hallowe'en Report

After the rainy, blustery weekend, Hallowe'en rose bright and warm. After school, Taylor and friend Kevin transformed into Darth Vader and pro wrestler Rey Mysterio in preparation for demand for treats from the helpless population of Sound Beach:


Accompanied by a Coyote and a certain Collie (dressed as TV star Lassie), Darth Kevin and Taylor Mysterio flee a particularly spooky haunted house:


A little later the sky erupted in an appropriate display of orange and black. Thanks to the relentless tugging of A Certain Collie, all I have as proof is this semi-abstract composition:


Now, three days later, a gallon-sized plastic bag remains full with Nestle Crunch Bars, Reese's Pieces, Snickers, Kit Kats, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey Take 5 bars (a personal favorite), M&M's, and countless other treats to rot the tooth, fatten the soft belly and acidify the stomach.

Last night at the studio I spent an hour-plus exploring the Digitech Expression Factory, a pedal the size of a wah-wah or volume with seven different tone/modulation effects (two wahs, one preset from Digitech's legendary Space Station, Whammy, Uni-Vibe, simulated Leslie, and A/DA Flanger) and seven different distortions (Jeez! I can't remember them all, but they include a TS-9, a ProCo Rat, an excellent Big Muff, a couple of Metal models, and more). Any of the seven tone/mod FX can be paired with any of the seven distortions and called up as a preset, or the seven tone/mod FX can be called up alone, sans distortions. It's also possible to set the tone/mod FX to neutral settings to hear the distortions alone. So much firepower demanded that I chart and list all kinds of stuff so that I can recall how to use the damn thing the next time I crack it out. Great fun to use.

Also at the studio, I dealt with the Never-Ending Headache of Replacing Tuners. The short form goes like this: Original tuners on Epiphone J-45 were big and clunky, so I installed vintage-style Grovers with butterbean keys. After a year or so with these, as I was changing strings on the J-45, one of the tuners began to slip repeatedly. Unacceptable. Rather than go through the rigmarole of complaining and getting a replacement, I decide to just order different tuners (Gotoh's near-identical design) and complain afterwards. So the Gotohs arrived yesterday (along with Lou Caronia's locking vintage-style tuners for his Les Paul after having them on back-order, waiting for a month and never hearing from Allparts, causing me to re-order them, but that's another story...). I begin to install the Gotohs, and AFTER I've installed two or three, discover that one of the keys is mismatched - it's a plain oval key, not a butterbean. So I take the Gotohs off, re-examine the broken Grover tuner, find it easily repairable, and put the Grovers BACK ON the J-45. So now I have three things to waste my time complaining about:
1) The crappy Grover tuners.
2) The mismatched Gotoh tuners.
3) The lack of followup on the back-ordered locking tuners.
If the locking tuners weren't for Lou, who is An Angel Who Makes Miracles Happen and A Nice Guy Besides With Patience to Match His Saintliness, and if the Grover and Gotoh tuners weren't for my own guitar, my repair business would have the Stink of Unreliability in the air.

Okay, enough bitching and moaning. Time to do the weekly floor-cleaning chores.

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