Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Faith in humanity

I've been selling a few things on Gumtree -- the Australian analogue of Craigslist.

I do a "reverse eBay" approach:  I post the item at a somewhat optimistic price, and then on Monday or Tuesday of each week I lower the price a little bit.  At some point, the market value  intersects with my listed price.

The pictured guitar was now down to $30 (it has a few quirks, such as a repaired headstock), and although I'd had a few time-wasting inquiries, no one had shown any serious interest.  But then!  Someone messaged me (through the Gumtree site), and said he'd take it today, for $35 (i.e. a five dollar bonus), if I was willing to deliver it to him -- about a 15 minute drive away.

Now, the norm is for buyers to come to the seller.  But I'd had the guitar listed for a few months already, so I figured, "Eh; sure."  But the whole drive there, I was having reservations:  the guy's messaging had been a little stand-off-ish, and the potential buyer had no real investment or commitment to buying it.

I completely understand that a person would not want to commit to buying a musical instrument that she/he had not examined in person -- but I had visions of the guy going "(Strum, strum...) Nah -- I don't want it after all."

So, I get there, text the guy that I'm there, get to the front door -- and this smiling young guy (high-school?) answers the door.  He says that he just moved here, and that he left his guitar behind and wanted a guitar to play.  He speaks with a tiny bit of an accent, and when a middle-aged woman of a different race comes to the door as well, I infer that he's perhaps an exchange student (or possibly a boarder).  And:  because December is summer in Australia, it's around the start of a new school year...

Anyhow:  he liked the guitar, and paid me the money.  I asked if he had any guitar picks, and he said he didn't so I offered him a choice of the two I carry with me in my coin purse. 

So:  happiness all around.  An my faith in humanity was restored.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snare drum tidying

This YouTube video started off by seeing whether a US$39 snare drum from was worthwhile.  But it ended up being tips for tidying up and improving snare drums.

I learned a lot.

Although:  he ends up improving the sound by upgrading the top head, bottom head, and the snare wires -- which would substantially add to the "$39" initial cost (he says $55 total; that's way cheaper than what I could find heads for in Australia...).

He acknowledges this -- and points out that (much like guitar strings!), heads and snares are consumables, so you'd have to swap them out eventually anyhow.

Fair enough.

That said:  I couldn't determine a strong difference between the sound around 2:00, and the post-tidying sound around 8:45.  Maybe it's just my cheap PC speakers.

And at the very end, when he compares the "straight out of the box", "with tuning", and "tidied up" -- I actually prefer the "with tuning, but not yet 'tidied up'" sound.


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Inside look at sleeper cabs

I've always been intrigued by sleeper cabs on semitrucks.  I've tried doing Google image searches, with limited success.

Last night I realized:  Hey!  Try a YouTube search.  Yep.

This one is a traditional style one:  a bunk, some cupboards, and room for a mini-fridge and a microwave.  As an aside, the guy seems like a good guy.   

In contrast, this one is a reallly nice one.  And the owner seems likeable.    Well-spoken.  A good t.v. host.


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A cool old trap-style drum kit

Lots of neat-o bits and pieces, in this old-timey drum kit.

Pretty neat.  I don't think I'd have a use for it, though.

Niiiice snare drum, though:  very steampunk.



Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Becoming a better guitarist

The following is pretty obvious -- but it took me a while to figure it out:

-Buying additional effects pedals won't make me a better guitarist.

-Buying a fancy amp won't make me a better guitarist.

-Buying a fancy guitar won't make me a better guitarist.

-The only way to become a better guitarist... is to become a better guitarist.

That is:  spend more time playing the guitar; try out new and innovative things.  The more time I spend playing, the better I'll become.

That's all there is.  There is no other way.


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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Easy parking

Usually I intentionally park a few blocks away from the train station -- just for the extra walk.  But it's also because by the time I drop the kids off at school, the early risers have taken all the parking spaces at the train station parking lot.

In Australia -- unlike in the U.S. or Canada -- December is also summer... and therefore school vacation.  This means that it's the main time for families to take a vacation together:  Christmas and New Years around this time; the weather is warm; and the kids are out of school.  Construction basically shuts down during December -- and the offices are half empty during December and the first few weeks of January.

So:  this is what the train station parking lot -- usually full by this time -- looks like on January 2nd, at 8:54am on a weekday.


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