Category Archives: Other Blogs

I haven’t forgotten about blogging.


I haven’t forgotten about blogging.  There’s just been a bunch going on lately.  The band had a few gigs back-to-back, & we’ve been trying to come up with new stuff.  The real job has been rather taxing of late, the workload and hours have increased.  The wife & I seem to have some sort of scheduled social or family function every weekend lately.  Our week at Living Waters is coming up & I’ve been preparing for that.  I started to work on my New York Pro guitar & chronicle that, but got to a stopping point & haven’t had time to get back to it.  I’ve been trying to pull together some mazes, new old, some unfinished… I want to get a bunch ready to go, then look at my best publishing options.  I’ve also been battling a nasty stuffy nose coupled with a summer cold & fatigue.

I’m certainly not complaining, there’s just a bunch of stuff going on.  I felt the need to explain the lack of posts.  I even have some drafts written on what I feel to be some entertaining subjects…  I just need the time to sit, make the graphics & write the posts that go along with them.

If you need some blog feed, check out:

Move Along, Move Along...

Move Along, Move Along…

Everything Changes but Guitars? I disagree.


I saw this graphic online through Guitar Fail the other day, & again through Guitar Squid:

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

At first, it made me laugh and think “humph, yeah…” in agreement.  The more I thought about it though… it’s wrong. How is it wrong?

Well as far as concept cars go, it’s a whole different world from everyday-use practical cars.  Nothing has gone all that far from 4 wheels, 2 headlights, gasoline powered.  (Yes, there are hybrids and flex-fuel all over the market… but arguably people don’t like them unless they look like “normal” cars.)  But, this blog isn’t about cars.  I’m sure you knew I was going to talk guitars, because that’s what I do.

There are a ridiculous amounts of varying styles of guitars & guitar innovations out there.  Some of them may not be “reinventing the wheel” exactly, but there is always some great stuff happening, and there has been since the inception of the stringed instrument.  How do you think we got so many varieties?

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

I agree that too many axe-slingers fall into the Stratocaster or Les Paul shape trap.  For years I held a disdain for both shapes… but I come back to them.  Why?  Perhaps they’re good designs.  Perhaps they’re iconic.  Perhaps they sound incredible.  Perhaps they work.  There are many other options out there.  If you find yourself chuckling to and agreeing with this graphic, I challenge you to help me to add to my list of innovative guitars.

Any fans of the Guitarz Blog, Tone Fiend, Guitar WTF?, or gUitarREN should be into this.  (Any cool guitar blogs I’m missing?)

Let’s talk about how the guitar is ever-evolving… Shape, materials, string count, innovation, & general insanity.

Indy Custom - Flycaster (Tele-V) Telecaster Flying V Hybrid

Indy Custom Flycaster (or Tele-V?)

There are lots of shapes out there past the Stratocaster or Les Paul, whether it’s somewhat normal or custom insanity.  There’s the SG, the Telecaster, V’s (Flying, Jackson & more), hollowbodies like the Artcore or Gretsch models, the Explorer, the Ravelle, all the crazy B.C. Rich shapes, the Airline, even the Flycaster.  Are there really not enough guitar design shapes out there to satisfy you?  The Stratocaster doesn’t need to change shape, because there are plenty of other options out there!  I’m barely hitting the tip of the iceberg here.  I didn’t even touch on my B.B. Stone, FlipOut, or Batman axes.  How many distinct guitar shapes can you name in the comments?  (Actual produced shapes, not one-offs!)  Bonus for posting or linking to photos.

There’s also material.  Certainly guitars are mostly made of all types of wood, but there’s also plastic, graphite, Res-O-Glass (fiberglass), the Lucite / plexiglass / acrylic transparent guitars, aluminum necks, and so much more.

Once we get past the plethora of guitar makes, models, & shapes available… there are so many other innovations.  Some are great, some not-so great.  Just off the top of my head I can think of:  Synthesizer & MIDI Guitars, Fretlights, 7/8/12 strings, double neck guitars, the chord buddy, the Coral Sitar, built-in-wireless, the robot guitar, 3D printed guitars, Evertune… but none of them have really busted the mold (yet).  They’re all niche stuff.  This doesn’t even get into the many styles of bridges, tuners, tremolos, locks, and other parts that have been refined… or wiring.  You can get CRAZY with wiring.

World's Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

World’s Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh, PA (Photo Credit: Kara / @ohidontthinkso)

The traveling guitar exhibit is at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh right now.  I can’t wait to check it out.  It’s got the world’s largest playable guitar.  I was lucky enough to get a preview the other day via Twitter.  Tell me that’s not an innovation?  It will no doubt inspire many to pick up the guitar, or dust off the one they already have.  The entire exhibit displays guitars, how they work, their history, & all kinds of fun interaction.

So, next time you think that the guitar has become stagnant, I ask you to go get your hands one one of the many non Strat options above… or even a non-standard Strat option… like a Fat Strat, hot-rodded wiring, or a backwards one.  There are plenty of different, innovative, and goofy guitars out there.  Rock out on something original!

Great Movie Villains List! (via Branded in the 80s)


You know I like to post about movies.  You know I like 80’s movies.  There’s a great list over at Branded in the 80s:

New League assignment, my Top Ten favorite movie villains…

SWEEP THE LEG!I’ve seen almost all those movies.  I agree with all of the choices that I recognize.  [LIST SPOILERS - Read the other one 1st:] Man, I hated Johnny & The Cobra Kai.  Sensei John Creese was the incarnation of evil.  I dig this list because it’s not full of the obvious choices.  There’s no Darth Vader, no Joker, no Xenomorph.

I’d include (in no particular order):

Walter Peck

Dr. Peter Venkman: “This man has no dick.”

Walter Peck – He wasn’t the main villain in Ghostbusters, but he sure was more evil than Gozer or Zuul.

Monster Squad - Dracula

“Mr. Alucard Called…”

Count DraculaThe one from The Monster Squad was just scary.  He was pure evil.  He took control of all the other not-quite Universal Monsters.  He had vampire wenches.  He was a badass.

Skesis

A dying race, ruled by a dying Emperor, imprisoned within themselves in a dying land.

The Skeksis – From The Dark Crystal.  They were ridiculously creepy.  They still creep me out.  Jim Henson was a weird, wild, dark, & scary dude.  Frank Oz only served to drive the madness.

Greg - Just one of the guys

“Isn’t he great, muscles and a sense of humor. Well, let’s thank Greg for the lunch time thrills and spills he’s given us. OK, EVERYBODY GET UP! GRAB AN END OF YOUR TABLE!”

Greg Tolan – From Just One of the Guys.  Was this guy a preppy a-hole in every movie?  He had the market cornered on it in the 80’s.  And the girl did look like Daniel from the Karate Kid

Then there’s Ted McGinley‘s character Stan from Revenge of the Nerds, Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story, The dude that wasn’t quite William Zabka from One Crazy Summer, and so many more.  What’s on your not-so-obvious villains list?

Ya Jagoff!!! Parking Tickets


This Week It’s 2 “Prependicular” Peter Parkers!

This Week It’s 2 “Prependicular” Peter Parkers!

This is genius.  Tired of being able to do nothing when you see someone parked like a Jagoff?  Now you can do something about it.  Check out these perpendicular Peter Parkers as an example, and check out the printable parking “tickets”!

Just don’t damage anyone’s car (especially stickered or flagged ones), and don’t get caught and/or shot in the process.

One of these days I need to capture the people that park on the yellow-lined triangle int he middle of the lot at the Kuhn’s on Banksville.  They usually stop there to disrupt traffic when going to the ATM or Starbucks.

Printable Parking Notes | Ya Jagoff!!!

YaJagoff.com | Printable Parking Notes: Do NOT ruin anyone’s vehicle!!

Snap a photo, place the ticket, and they can watch for themselves online. I only wish there was a way to call out the Peter Parkers who can’t Parallel Park on the street in front of my house.

I might need to make a custom one that says something like this:

Hey Jagoff New People That Just Moved Here,

Why has the number of cars on our street doubled since you’ve moved in?  Please note that there’s an alley behind your house where you can park two (or at least one) of those cars.  I don’t have an alley behind my apartment, so that’s not an option for me.  Help make the neighborhood an easier place to park by not being a Jagoff.

Respectfully,
Your Grumpy Jagoff Neighbor

Or this:

Hey Jagoff That Visits Someone Here A Few Nights A Week,

Your truck is as long as a school bus, and is probably as wide.  I appreciate that your solution is to sometimes park with a tire on the sidewalk, but that’s not really cool.  It’s also not cool to take up 3 spaces by parking a half car-length (or quarter truck-length) away from the vehicle in front of and or behind you.  I appreciate that you probably can’t see from your seat that’s 2 stories high… so maybe you should just park in the lot at the bottom of the hill & walk to wherever you need to go.

Thanks,
A Jagoff that actually lives in this neighborhood

Or even this:

Dear Jagoff Neighbors,

How is it possible that you have a picnic, birthday party, barbecue, bonfire, or gathering for a sporting event every weekend?  Why is the gathering place for your entire extended family at your house?  Don’t you ever go to their houses?  Why is it that I can’t make a trip to CVS or anywhere else close by on a weekend without my space getting filled before I return?  Do you have a lookout on the porch doing some sort of jagoff valet where you move all of your cars closer?  Do you like to watch me carry 20 bags of groceries for 2 blocks?  There is a parking lot at the bottom of the hill for your family.  We occasionally like to entertain on the weekends too.  We tell people to park in the lot.

Thanks,
A Jagoff Neighbor

Okay, I need to go do something to calm down.

Zombie Apocalypse Playlist?


So Ultimate Classic Rock came up with a Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist (in “honor” of the face-eater in Florida).  Great idea.  OK list.  Granted, the name of the site is Ultimate Classic Rock, but let’s add some more zombie songs.

Their list?

Tom Petty, ‘Zombie Zoo
Alice Cooper, ‘Zombie Dance‘ and ‘I Love the Dead
The Ramones, ‘Pet Sematary
The Zombies, ‘Time of the Season
Jonathan Coulton, ‘Re: Your Brains
Rob Zombie, ‘Living Dead Girl
U2, ‘Wake Up Dead Man
The Hooters, ‘All You Zombies
Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller

Let’s expand our list to cannibalism, face-eating, and general insanity or gore.

I’m sure there are many many more.  Help me list ‘em?

Shaun of the Dead Zombies

Ultimate Classic Rock | Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist

The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster gets national attention?


Well, sort of.  The buzz around town on the news & radio lately has been about a survey by a GPS data company called INRIX that calls the sweet spot from Greentree to the Fort Pitt tunnels on the Parkway West here in the ‘Burgh the worst traffic outside of New York or Los Angeles.  Read the Post-Gazette article for all the juicy details.  Here’s an excerpt…

According to INRIX, it takes an average of 13 minutes — nine more than it should — to traverse that stretch. That doesn’t count the time it takes to get there, as morning backups now routinely spill well down the back side of Green Tree Hill and sometimes past Carnegie.

At a delay of nine minutes a day, for a regular commuter that works out to about 36 hours a year down the rat hole, just for the morning rush. According to INRIX, drivers on the 10 worst U.S. corridors may squander up to 60 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Those who while away their mornings in the daily tangle might be inclined to dream of a wider Parkway West or new tunnels drilled through Mount Washington, but financial and topographic realities make that a bit like yearning for world peace.

105.9 WXDX-FM

105.9 WXDX-FM

The guys on the X were talking about it yesterday morning, so I sent Bob a link to my Tunnel Monster blog.  Bob posted it on their morning show blog & I’ve been getting mad hits today because if it.  Ha ha.  Thanks guys!

I do have to say though that the Steely McBeam tunnel monster image isn’t mine.  Someone named Angry Mongo posted it first.

I have one more “artist rendering” from Eric Yano (I’d still like to see more!):

Flying Tunnel Monster

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano / Valley of Steel)

And here was the letter to MythBusters & Dirty Jobs, that didn’t get a reply from anyone…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 27, 2012
Subject: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster (Mythbusters & Dirty Jobs team-up?)
To: jamie@m5industries.com, mythbusters@m5industries.com, adam@adamsavage.com, info@mikeroweworks.com, torybelleci@gmail.com, swift@buchwald.com
Cc: info@beyondaction.com.au

Dear Duke of Dirt and Sultans of Science (or Emperors of Explosions?),

I’m a big fan of both of your shows, I believe that I have been watching since the first season of each, and have seen almost all (if not all) of the collective episodes.  My wife & I enjoy the Saturday morning/afternoon marathon runs of each, sometimes they prevent us for doing anything productive (except learning while being entertained of course) for most of the day.  My favorite Dirty Jobs moment has to be an early one… where Mike was at the charcoal factory & asking the guy how you can burn it after it has already been burned and the guy either didn’t know the answer or comprehend the question and started to get irate.  It set the tone for the rest of the series!  Of course I love all the dirty gross stuff like expressing the anal glands during pet grooming… who knew?  Having worked an assembly line myself, I really appreciate that you manage to shed light on jobs that most people never even think about (or know existed).  With Mythbusters, I don’t know how to pick a favorite… I loved the ninja & pirate myths, the ancient mirror laser thing, all of the movie scene recreations (or attempted recreations), the many abuses of Buster, and for some odd reason… the car filled entirely with A/B foam.

If I’m not watching the Discovery Network, I’m over on the History Channel.  My wife likes to remind me that we have about 200 other channels.  I don’t need them, really.

I first attempted this (intentionally humorous) pitch to the people over at history with MonsterQuest or MysteryQuest in my sights.  I had assumed I’d receive some sort of “Yeah, whatever goofball” type of reply.  Sadly I have not received any reply at all.

The more I thought about it, I feel that this is a serious subject.  It would work for Mythbusters… not sure how you could word the myth… but basically your task would be to get to the bottom of seemingly inexplicable tunnel traffic/congestion.  You could look at how people slow down when approaching, how throwing a roadside distraction (like a car accident) in there would effect things?

As for Mr. Rowe, I’m sure that working in a tunnel is a dirty job.  There are nightly cleanings/work in the Liberty tubes some times… and someone sets out traffic cones every day for the changing of a lane’s direction when going into/coming out of the tunnel.  I’m also guessing that being a Mythbuster (or one of their crew) is a dirty job.  Pittsburgh is a little Hollywood lately, why not capitalize on it by coming to check out our little town?  I know Grant & Tori were at the Zabmelli firework factory in New Castle once!

Did you see the incredibly forced Pawn Stars/American Pickers/American Restoration crossover?  You guys could do way better than that, and it would be unscripted.

Here’s the meat of my original email…

I believe that we have a monster in the Pittsburgh area that you may want to check out.  It’s affectionately referred to as the Tunnel Monster.  People in the southwestern Pennsylvania area live in a great fear of the Tunnel Monster.  Many yinzer drivers slow down as they approach any area tunnel… but most especially the Fort Pitt Tunnels, Liberty “Tubes”, and the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.  I’ve heard theories that the tunnel monster also perhaps takes shelter in one or all of the three rivers when not lurking in the tunnel.

Fear seems to increase in times of rain, snow, and (perhaps strangely) before sporting events, holiday festivities, and large concerts.  I believe we have weekday tunnel anxiety between 7:00am & 9:00am, and again from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at all tunnels.  I’ve never heard a first-hand account of an actual sighting, but it’s clear that there is something strange happening at these locations.  There are also spikes of Tunnel Monster fear when traffic accidents happen nearby.  Perhaps the tunnel monster feeds on broken down cars, flat tires, or the corpses left in the wake of fatal accidents?  Rubberneckers seem to be ripe for the picking also.

I have personally seen 18-wheelers get to the entrance of a tunnel and turn completely around, most likely out of fear of the tunnel monster perhaps lurking within the yellow-hued florescent-lit man made caverns.  Some people go through the entire length of a tunnel holding their breath so the tunnel monster doesn’t steal it, or honking their horn the entire way to scare it off.  I’ve seen motorcycles and ambulances go right down the center line at accelerated speeds, no doubt trying to avoid a tragic end.  I’ve even heard of people tapping the roof of their car when spotting a Padiddle to ward off the evil tunnel monster.  The theory perhaps being that the tunnel monster is on the hood of the other car, and its webbed fin (a paddle or “padiddle”) is blocking one headlight.

I have seen strange markings on the inside of they Liberty Tunnels, but they have since been covered-over.  They were strange numbers and hieroglyphic-like symbols that appeared right before a construction project.  Do you think the crews working in the tunnel are in any danger?  Perhaps it’s a conspiracy?  Are they in there hunting for the tunnel monster under the guise of construction efforts while they cover up the monster’s cave paintings?  Could the monster be some sort of Neanderthal, or perhaps a supernatural being, or some sort of demon?

There are countless videos on YouTube documenting fearless drives through the Fort Pitt Tunnels, but I don’t believe that any concrete video evidence has been recorded.  I have attached some artist renderings of the Tunnel Monster that I have found on the internet.  Perhaps you would like your experts to interview the area residents and come up with your own?

I really would like someone to get to the bottom of this Tunnel Monster thing, and I believe that Monster Quest is perfectly suited for the job!  Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon!

So, now you know where my thought process has gone, & how it has developed.  I’d love your consideration for this idea.  Please don’t make me turn to TV shows that I don’t watch like Billy the Exterminator or Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you!

Not afraid of the Tunnel Monster,
-Waldo Lunar

I tried message boards, email addresses, all kinds of outlets… all to no avail.  Party poopers.

Maybe this will get a reply:

Should I try PennDOT or the city of Pittburgh next?

Fort Pitt Tunnel

The Monster’s Lair | Fort Pitt Tunnel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HOW TO WRITE GOOD


As a blogger, I guess I should heed some of these rules?  I found this where Ramy dropped it.

How to Write Good

How to Write Good

This reminds me of one of the best movies ever.

Aside

Check out Omawarisan’s tales… Continue reading

Fun with virtual guitar builders…


This is why I don't design guitars.

This is why I don’t design guitars.

Screenshot of the 1986 IBM PC versionThis is my new Tetris (Thankfully I’ve never had a phone cool enough to play Angry Birds.)  Online guitar builders are popping up like mad, and now there’s a contest for making the ugliest one over at Joe Gore’s Tone Fiend blog:

Go try your luck at making the worst!  There is some serious competition over there.  Sadly, I like some of the “bad” color schemes.  I guess I do like goofy guitars after all.  (You may remember the mutant beauty pageant.)

I even used one of the guitar builders to help plan out my Turner’s Iced Tea guitar idea.

Poorly Thrown Together Iced Tea Guitars

Poorly Thrown Together Iced Tea Guitars

Matt at Guitar WTF has also posted a great list of virtual guitar builders in the past.  Some are great, some are not so great.  They all seem to have some bugs as well as some great qualities.

I’ll list the ones I know about:

Are there any glaring omissions?

I’m fully expecting one of these to pop upon the Guitarz blog one day.  None are as crazy as the Tom Bingham stuff or Bertram’s, though.

NES Guitar 15

I still haven’t seen a virtual guitar builder that can do this though. I did a Google image search for ‘Tetris Guitar’ and came up short. This was the next best thing. It would be cool if it still worked to play video games.  Really though, $190 is a very reasonable price.  If I had $200 to spare, I’d get one of these.

Dormont-Brookline Patch


Dormont-Brookline Patch LogoSo, I’ve been a reader of the Dormont-Brookline Patch for a while now.  It’s sort of like an online local paper.  I’ve even commented on quite a few things.  There’s all kinds of stuff going on in these two neighborhoods, as well as the surrounding areas.  It’s a great way to stay informed, and it’s one of the first things I added to Google Reader.

AiXeLsyD13I recently became a blogger on the patch, and you’ll be able to follow my rantings & misadventures here: AiXeLsyD13 on Patch

It will most likely be short blurbs pointing to the general chaos here, but every once in a while I may be inspired to give it some exclusive content.  Maybe I’ll blog about local events, places, etc., or maybe even some personal stuff like food allergies.

Check out my introductory post:

I’m new here.

Have any thoughts/advice?  Think it’s a good introduction?  What should I blog about there?  Should it focus on the area?