So, this is kind of neat…


My Batman logo guitar made it to #1 on a list of geeky guitars at Nerdist.  Not even the guys at the Guitarz blog could really dig up any info about these cheap-ass prize guitars, but all Batman fans know the power of such a sweet axe.

All the work was done by the humble Aaron Hutzel at Lawerence Music.  He works on all of my crap guitars and makes them sexy playable rock weapons.

It’s kind of cool, and I’m getting some hits to this old blog post.

Nerdist | Top 10 Geeky Guitars That We Must Own Now

Nerdist | Top 10 Geeky Guitars That We Must Own Now

So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

21 Super Cool Nerdy Guitars | FUNKY PICKENS


Check it out! My Batman logo axe made the cut…

21 Super Cool Nerdy Guitars | FUNKY PICKENS.

 

Digital Media vs.Physical Media.


The other day I posted a Facebook status, and wanted to expand upon it here.  This is what I said:

I get that digital & cloud media are the next step. I get that ALMOST everything is available for streaming as part of a service. Anyone else weirded out by it? Some stuff… obscure or whatever just isn’t available for streaming. What happens when the companies close or the cloud’s redundant services fail? What happens if someone buys the rights to streaming movies, just to keep them from the public? What if censorship goes out of control and some committee decided certain movies are no longer available? Will they all be lost forever because no one will have physical copies? Don’t say it can’t happen… it has in the past with books.

It sparked a discussion.  Not too long after I posted that, Amazon posted this:

Announcing AutoRip from Amazon MP3: Buy an AutoRip CD and instantly get the MP3 version for FREE. Learn more: http://amzn.to/VMhFaJ

I of course shared it, and it sparked a tiny bit more discussion.

English: Photograph of Roku XDS player with re...

Photograph of Roku XDS player with remote. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of digital music & cloud storage.  I just purchased a 3TB drive, and in addition to other uses, hope to eventually rip all of my CD’s & put them on there so I can set it up to listen to all of my stuff from any browser anywhere.  Well, after I make a few decisions.

I like the idea of Digital movies & TV shows…  I love having Netflix‘s library available in an instant.  I love being able to watch a movie from Netflix or rent a digital movie from Amazon through the Blu-ray player.

I like the idea of Pandora or Google Play where there’s streaming music there in an instant.  Pandora just disappoints because of the variety of music I listen to… a lot of smaller bands that I really dig just have a minimal or even no presence there.  Google Play at least lets you upload your own mp3’s in addition to purchasing new ones.  Amazon holds your stuff in the cloud too.  I just wish all the music that I wanted was all in one place.

I have had an older external hard drive crash.  It’s not good.  I still need to get it fixed without breaking the bank.  Anything physical can be destroyed…  CD’s & Records can melt or scratch, and not too many people have 8-Trak or even cassette players any more.

My original question is as much about content control & ownership as much as anything else.  Say you purchase a ton of music that’s in the cloud… and that company shuts down.  How do you hold on to that music?  Were you just renting it?  What happens if the parent company gets into a disagreement with the management of your favorite band and their catalog is removed from your clous storage?

Cover of "Idiocracy"

“…a time when people cared about who’s ass it was, and why it was farting!”

What if you bought the movie Idiocracy and it becomes so true to life that it’s banned?  Don’t sit back comfortably and think it can’t happen.  Books are banned all the time by different groups.  No one comes & takes all of your books… yet.  What if the banned book could be deleted from your Kindle or Nook?  All In The Family would never fly on TV now, but what if it was no longer available because of its abrasive humor?

I just feel uneasy about it.

That being said, I absolutely hate cash money.  I hardly ever have it on me.  I like swiping my card for everything.  If I could use it in parking meters and pop machines, I would.  There’s a swing back towards cash though, as credit card company fees are crushing small businesses, especially if you’re making a purchase with a low dollar amount.  Is it odd that I have no problem with my money being intangible,  but when I use to to purchase an album or a movie… I need that to be tangible?

I’d like to get a good discussion going in the comments.

Dear Chick-fil-A, I have an idea for you…


I plan to send this to Chick-fil-A, and we’ll see where it goes.  I just realized, I’ve written about Chick-fil-A several times here before.

Dear Chick-fil-A,

I have an idea for you.  I realize that as a giant corporation you probably don’t accept unsolicited ideas, but please don’t let that stop you from considering this idea.  I don’t expect monetary payment, maybe just free Chick-fil-A for life?  (Maybe a limit to once a week?)  Well, I guess I should present my idea before we start talking payment or barter.

This past Saturday I went to the Chick-fil-A in South Hills to grab some of those ridiculously delicious Chick-n-Minis™ for breakfast.  I went into the store to order take-out so I could grab some mayo packets, ketchup, straws, & napkins at the little condiment station.  I got two drinks because I was taking breakfast home to share with the wife.  I opted for your highly addictive sweet tea, and the wife had a Hi-C Fruit Punch.  The always courteous employees offered me a drink carrier, and I accepted.  I thought it would make life easier on the ride home.  I saw wrong.

I set the drink carrier on the floor of the passenger’s side of my truck.  As I backed out of the space, it fell over on to the long side.  Your drink lids are thankfully quite tight, but sadly not entirely waterproof.  I leaned over and placed the carrier & drinks upright again, this time turning the drink holder 90 degrees the other way thinking I had outsmarted the laws of physics and that it would stay put.  I could not have been more mistaken.  As I turned up a hill to go out the back of the parking lot, it fell again.  I believe I uttered something using vocabulary that you may not approve.  At the stop sign, I had to pick up the cups and give up by putting them in the truck’s drink holders.

As I drove home trying not to think about the drops of Hi-C & iced tea soaking into my floor mats, I wondered if there was a better way.  I certainly like your drink carriers much better than the egg-crate 4 space things that just let cups lean over all willy-nilly.  I came to think that your drink carriers just need feet.  I thought the feet may take some extra cardboard, and wondered i something could be done with the existing design.

At home, my thoughts were fueled by poultry protein.  I pulled out my pocket knife and started cutting as my wife looked at me like I was a crazy person (as she does quite often).  I explained what I was doing and why and she actually also thought it was a good idea.

You already have some nice sturdy cardboard.  Two well-placed quarter-circle cuts & maybe even a fold mark in the middle of the carrier would create some nice sturdy feet or “wings” or your drink carrier box without the need for a complete redesign or any additional material.  I tested it by trying to rock the mostly empty drinks back & forth on the kitchen table.  We had no spills.  I am willing to try some field tests if you’d like to move forward with this idea.  My truck’s floor mats can handle it.  Perhaps I can even use water instead of red & brown sugary liquids.

I’m sure we could talk to your box people & find out if this is doable for a reasonable price.  I think it will be as important & innovative as the new Heinz® Dip & Squeeze® packets!  I have some photos attached that I’m sure you will agree are quite illustrative of my design ideas.  Sadly, my pocket knife is a cheap dull one, so the cut looks more like a rip.  I believe you’ll see my intent though.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and am excited at the opportunity that lays before us.  It would be my pleasure to help make this dream a reality!

Eat Mor Chikin!
-Eric

And the attached photos:

So, there we have it.  I mean, most of my letters are plain goofy, and this has a goofy tone, but really… don’t you think this would work? Now, we wait for a response.

 

Changing Pickups – How-to’s I found interesting and helpful:


Tone Fiend (Joe Gore) rules.

I need to get back to work on my NY Pro.

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 SPOILERSRead 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?

Superman.


You all know I’m a Batman fan.  You might not know that I’m not really a Superman fan.  In this instance, I am indeed a Superman fan.  I’m not sure if this is real, in fact the only part that makes me doubt it is the fact that it says it’s a true story.  I’m generally not so sappy or philosophical here, but this just hit me for some reason, & I thought I’d share.

I’m not sure why it was on Lamebook, & not sure if it’s even real.  Even if it’s not real, we can all get a little inspiration from it (I hope). Please pardon my blogging equivalent of email forwards.  I hope this isn’t like the Fred Rogers was a Navy Seal rumor.

I get a few things from it that I’ll share afterwards:

Superman - Secret Identity - Lamebook.com

Superman (lamebook.com)

Superman

Superman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, this is what I got from it:

  • Someone’s always watching you.  You’re setting an example for people around you even if you don’t know it.
  • You can get an inspirational or emotional lift from someone when you least expect it.  It can be form someone you wouldn’t expect, or even some one you’ve never met.
  • Don’t be afraid of those who are different than you.
  • While it’s great to be humble, it’s OK to be someone’s hero every once in a while.

What did you get from it?

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.

May the 4ᵗʰ be with you! ( °)


Happy Star Wars Day once again!  Well, one of them anyway.  I’d like to share some neat Star Wars stuff, & point you to some of my other Star Wars related blog posts.

( °)

Anakin Facemelter: Powah Chord | by ~hupao (deviantart.net)

Anakin Facemelter: Powah Chord | by ~hupao (deviantart.net)

You can check out my Star Wars board on Pinterest!

Also… here’s part of last year’s post:

|-o-| [-o-] |-o-|

So, happy Star Wars Day!  Be sure to check out my old Star Wars related posts for some goodies.  Maybe click on a picture or two and you’ll get a surprise.  (Check out the Star Wars Mix Tape or Dark Lord of the 5th Day posts if you’re in a YouTube mood… and last year’s post.)

If you need other ways to celebrate the day, check out “10 Easy Ways You Can Celebrate Star Wars Day” from Death Star PR.