The Square Guitar | My Galveston B.B. Stone


The square guitar.  People have gone out of their way to tell me how ugly it is at shows.  People have exclaimed their approval and asked where I got such a crazy instrument.  People have just shaken their heads in wonderment or disapproval, sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which.

Galveston B.B. Stone

ERiC AiXeLsyD's Galveston B.B. Stone

Many years ago now (2000 if the date on the photo below from the day I bought it is accurate), I saw it hanging on the wall in a venue where my old band used to play that also doubled as a music store.  I had to have it.  I don’t know why.  It was just absolutely goofy.  I had certainly never seen another one.  Would I again?  Probably not.  It had to be mine.  I ended up trading in a nice “Cimar by Ibanez” Fat-Strat style guitar that I had recently purchased from Music Go Round in Monroeville just to buy the thing.  I paid $75 for the Fat-Strat, and somehow got $125 off of the price of the square guitar in dealing for it.

Galveston - The day I bought it...

Girl? No, guitar! - 12/23/2000 - The Day I bought the Square guitar.

At first, I didn’t know anything about it other than it was a Galveston and it had a “Made in Korea” sticker on the back.  It took me a while to track down that it was a B.B. Stone model, and that there are only about 8 or 12 of the Galveston brand in the US.  B.B. Stone is apparently a Korean blues artist and guitar-builder, and he designed the guitar with Jerker Antoni of Sweden’s Eagle Instruments.  There are 24 pieces worldwide, the ones around the world are branded with the  groovy Eagle headstock.

I did have to replace the original pickups, as it didn’t quite have enough punch.  My friend and musical gear advisor (most likely to his dismay) Dave suggested & helped install some killer GFS pickups.  Now the sound is a little better, and it gives an aural kick in the ears to match the obvious kick in the eyes.

Dancing E.Sure, there are other square guitars… like Bo Diddley’s iconic square guitar, or the George Barris-designed Dragula by Hallmark.  This one is pretty simple though, and for better or worse, it’s become part of my rock n’ roll identity.

I have come across other owners, almost bought a black one a few years back, but didn’t have any extra cash at the time.  There are a few reviews up at Harmony Central.  I’d love to get a hold of the 23 or so other owners out there and get their thoughts on them.

Aviary Photos


Bethany & I went to the National Aviary on Sunday, & I had the opportunity to photograph some really beautiful colorful birds.  We also walked through the park afterward, and found a squirrel who apparently had aspirations of a career in modeling.

You can check out all the photos at Photobucket as a grid or slide show, or you can see them all here:

Turner Dairy products at Giant Eagle stores?


Turner'sGiant Eagle

I’m sure you remember my last post about Turner’s with the pretty picture.  I decided to ask Giant Eagle why all of their stores don’t carry Turner’s products…

From: Eric Carroll [mailto:me@my.email.address]
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 1:46 PM
Subject: Turner’s Dairy | Charie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk

Hello Friends at the Big Bird,

I’m writing to you today to request that all of your Giant Eagle and Market District Stores carry products from Turner Dairy Farms, Inc.  I know that some locations do already carry Turner’s products, because I’ve written to them trying to track down some of Charlie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk… and they clued me in to the Giant Eagle in Brentwood.  I know that the Giant Eagle in Murrysville also carries Turner’s Iced Tea.

I’d love it if the Cochran Road, Bridgeville, and Parkway Center locations had Turner’s buttermilk, chip dip, and tea varieties readily available.  I’d add them to my order virtually every time we shop there… much like I do now with the tea when I find myself in Rite Aid on Banksville Road.

I also find it hard to believe that with the myriad of products and name brands available at the new Market District in Robinson… Turner’s is nowhere to be found!  Have you tried the chip dip?  It’s incredible.  It puts the Kraft and B L brands to shame.

You’ll find in the attached photo all of the Turner’s bounty that my wife & I picked up this weekend while just passing by the Brentwood Giant Eagle.  I can assure you, these products would be on every grocery order if available at the Giant Eagle locations where we typically do most of our shopping.  Not only these products, but the raspberry & lime tea… and just about everything that Turner’s offers!  (Sorry, I don’t do diet drinks.)

Thank you for taking the time to read my email, and I hope that you give Turner’s products serious consideration for inclusion in your fine establishments.

Sincerely,
-Eric
me@my.email.address

And, they responded…

From: “Frey, Brian” Brian.Frey@gianteagle.com
To: “me@my.email.address” me@my.email.address
Sent: Tue, February 2, 2010 10:39:21 AM
Subject: RE: Turner’s Dairy | Charie’s Old Fashioned Buttermilk

Eric,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding Turner Dairy Farms and some of the items that you obviously like as detailed below.

I can understand your frustration related to these items that you feel passionately about not being readily available and convenient to purchase.  However, I must honestly inform you that we don’t have any upcoming plans to carry additional Turner Dairy Farms items at any of our corporately owned Giant Eagle and Market District locations.

We get contacted by customers on a daily/weekly basis requesting us to carry a variety of items from local dairies, and we just cannot support all of these local dairy item requests in our limited dairy cooler space in our stores.  To manage the limited space we have in stores, we try to partner with dairies and vendors that can provide us item programs that accommodate the needs of the majority of our customers.  If we were to carry a representative sample of all the local dairy items that we get contacted about, we would have to eliminate a large portion of our current item mix that a significantly larger customer base demands us to carry and also asks us daily/weekly to expand upon but we cannot as a result of the same limited space challenge.

Sorry I could not give you better news here.  There are a lot of items that I am personally fond of that I have decided to not carry as well due to our limited space and need to satisfy the largest amount of our customers.  In the meantime, some of our independently owned and operated stores such as Brentwood are allowed to carry the Turners Dairy Farms items as you note below.  We allow those owners to have some flexibility in their item mix, and some stores have elected to carry Turners items based on customer demand or geographic proximity to the dairy.

Sincerely,
Brian Frey

Category Buyer
Giant Eagle, Inc.
101 Kappa Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
412.963.2592
Fax: 412.968.1706
E-mail: brian.frey@gianteagle.com

D’oh!  Well, it doesn’t hurt to try, does it?  Apparently Giant Eagle has no intentions of widely carrying Turner’s products, but at least they’re honest about it.  It’s just annoying that I can’t do all of my grocery shopping in one store (or even at one chain), especially with the vicious circle of fuelperks and foodperks and whatever other kind of perks they come up with next.

Interestingly enough, I just sent an email to all those with whom I’ve shared communication with in the past at Giant Eagle, but the “To” address was cut out of the original inline reply… so I have no idea which one actually got through.

I’m assuming they’d have to have an onslaught of messages in order to even consider carrying the Turner’s products.  If you’re so inclined, you can…

Not that many of you are that adamant about the Turner’s brand… but if you are, or you know someone who is… please feel free to direct them here.

Beer Chips, Yuengling Lager Sauce, & La Choy Teriyaki Sauce.


Don’t worry, it’s not a recipe.

This is for my wife. Why? Because usually, she hears this rant every time I have to make a trip to the grocery store. Perhaps, in writing it here (and to Giant Eagle), I’ll refrain from telling her my feelings for the 4,397th time.

Submitted today, via contact submission form on the Giant Eagle website:

Hello,

I’d like to request that you carry the following products…

Beer Chips, Yuengling Barbecue Sauce, & La Choy Teriyaki Sauce.

More specifically, I’d like to see them at the Giant Eagle on Cochran Road in Greentree/Mt. Lebanon/Scott Township or whatever the neighborhood is over there.

I drive right by this location on my way home from work, & do the majority of my shopping there.

I first discovered Beer Chips on an end-cap in the Robinson Giant Eagle, and the only other place I’ve seen them is at the Aldi up there… but that place is never reliable as far as expecting a brand name to be there.

Previously, the Cochran Road location did carry Beer Chips in the chip aisle, but I haven’t seen them for weeks. Will they ever return to your tightly packed shelves?

Cochran Road also carried Yuengling Lager Sauce for a short while, but had more of the “hot wing” sauce than the normal stuff, and they hid it on the bottom shelf inches above the floor. How is anyone supposed to find/try the stuff if you do that? I can tell you, it’s excellent, and shouldn’t be relegated to sitting at shoelace level.

Why is the sauce not available at this location any more? If the answer is “it didn’t sell well”, please see my previous references to placement relative to eye level/awareness.

Lastly… we come to the great mystery which is La Choy Teriyaki sauce. I literally go out of my way to get this stuff. As stated previously, I do most of my shopping at the Giant Eagle on Cochran Road. I also find myself occasionally in the Giant Eagle locations in Parkway Center, Bridgeville, or Robinson… or even out in Murrysville, Monroeville, or Squirrel Hill. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that you have a chain-wide ban of La Choy Teriyaki going on. I can never find it it any of your stores. This puzzles me… because you do indeed carry La Choy products… the Soy Sauce and one other sauce which escapes me now… but I NEVER see the Teriyaki sauce in a Giant Eagle.

You may remember that I have written about this before… but I’ve never received an answer… No “we’ll consider carrying that”, no “we’ll get that in our next order to La Choy”, not even a “we don’t carry it because…”

What’s the deal? I feel that if you taste it side by side with the Kikkoman brand, or the Ken’s Steak House Teriyaki Marinade, you’ll have no choice but to agree that it’s clearly the superior product.

Even if not… you sell both Coke & Pepsi, right? Why exclude the La Choy Teriyaki from your fine selection of groceries?

I actually make special trips to the Shop ‘N Save by WAL★MART in Heidelberg or I actually set foot in Kunh’s Market on Banksville Road to get the La Choy Teriyaki Sauce. Have you BEEN to the Kunh’s on Banksville Road? I’ve gotten moldy peppers from that place, as well as ‘turned’ sour cream, …and melted ice cream. I don’t want to go in there. But, I do. Why? To get the La Choy Teriyaki sauce, my friends. It’s THAT GOOD.

I’d love to be able to do all of my grocery shopping with you, and to rack up fuelperks, foodperks, and whatever other kind of perks you come up with in the future.

I look forward to your thoughts on these matters, have a good weekend!

Inquisitively,
-Eric

Yeah.

If you want to know what I’m talking about, check out…