it’s not the heat that gets ya…it’s the….

now playing: kathleen edwards, “mercury”

wow….power outage.

i was over sitting at one of the desks in purchasing and the whole plant went black. all the servers were on UPS units, but a lot of users in our UNIX system lost data when their PC’s went dark.

doesn’t do much good to have a server on a UPS if the terminals attached to it are going to conk when the lights go out.

anyway, water under the bridge there.

i’ve taken on a pretty huge photo editing project of late…i’m trying to finish my website, and one of the things i want to include is a photo album of my instrument collection. i finally finished taking the pictures last weekend (took three separate sessions, due to battery issues), and now i’m pulling all of them up in photoshop and editing them for the site.

through this process, i’ve become painfully aware of the mistakes i made while taking the pictures.

for one thing, i now understand the use of black backdrops in photography studios in a way i didn’t before…i was originally going to photograph the guitars against a white wall, sitting on a bureau covered with a white dropcloth. i thought this looked neutral enough, and would be consistent for all the instruments…but after editing some of the photos, i decided instead to use the software to remove the guitars from their backgrounds entirely. this decision notwithstanding, i also noticed that in a number of the pictures, i could clearly see the reflection of the white tabletop area in the finish of the guitars at the bottom of the instruments. it appeared at first as a “ghost” shadow across the bottom of the instruments that i thought was a quirk of the camera…but then it became a little too consistent across the board – i was seeing it in a large number of the pics (especially the newer instruments with a lot of life left in the finishes, and in the black guitars especially).

instead of reshooting, i’ve been editing out the shadows during the cropping and light adjustment process…and it’s been interesting. i can’t believe how long it’s taking. when i’m sitting here, using the airbrush or clone stamp tool to clean up the pixelization that ultimately happens along the length of the necks of the instruments, it seems like every guitar i own is a 65″ scale length with a 48 fret neck (that’s abnormally long, for the non-guitarists among my 4.6 loyal readers). the other problem that i’ve found is that i can’t rely on using the “wand” tool to remove the backgrounds from the pictures…because i used a white background, i’m finding that the wand sees the binding on the necks and bodies of the guitars as being part of the background in certain instances, and it removes the binding from the instruments at the same time it allows me to “paint over” the wall and the bureau as i’m editing the pics.


in over a week of doing this on a somewhat sporadic basis, i’ve managed to finish less than half of my collection. i haven’t really been able to commit huge chunks of time to it, but there are just volumes and volumes of pics…my collection is approaching 70 instruments if it isn’t there already.

i don’t know if i can recall a time in my life when i was ever as psyched about the end of school as i am this year.

and yeah, that does include my own academic career.

dylans’ trials and tribulations have been pretty front and center this year, and i’ve been more involved in his academic life than i ever have this year. it’s been project after project all year long, and they’re finishing with a bang. as we speak, he’s reciting a Maya Angelou poem from memory in front of his class…he had a project called “webquest” that he had to finish earlier in the week, and he stayed up on tuesday night until almost midnight working on it…then i woke him up at 5:45am the next morning to finish it so he could turn it in on time. he has one other project involving a series of drawings that he has to finish as well, and there’s also the “junk jam session” project.

this one involves making a musical instrument from at least three recyclable materials. it has to be functional and playable, and he has to describe how it works…


we decided to make a lap steel guitar from a two-by-four, a milk jug and a piece of aluminum foil. (and, of course, some various and sundry guitar parts..)

we’ve been down to keith’s shop a few times to partake of his generosity in allowing us to use some of his tools to assemble the instrument, and it’s gonna kick some serious ass. it’s not gonna be pretty, but it’ll work. (it is made from trash, after all)

we gotta finish it tonight, though…it’s due tomorrow. we’re gonna call it the “sly-D” guitar (note the clever juxtaposition of the spelling of the name with what the guitar is for…i kill me).

i’m gonna take everyone out to dinner when this is over to celebrate the reprieve from project and homework hell for a few months. good riddance.

summer is here…obviously.

i was thinking last night as i went to bed with the fan humming away on the nightstand next to me…how did i ever survive as a kid?

growing up, we had no air conditioners in our rooms…maybe a fan, if that. we played outside most of the time…and i used to complain now and then about the heat and such, but i don’t remember ever being as miserable as a result of the weather then as i am now.

summer, for me, is bullshit. it’s one long sweatfest full of uncomfortable moments, grumpiness, and just general misery as a result of the relentless, sweltering humidityfest that is summer here. i hate it.

i never thought i’d say that, but i’m realizing it’s true. i fuckin’ hate summer.

i spend the majority of it indoors, with either a fan or the AC on, and i don’t really go outside unless i have to for whatever reason. i seldom do anything routinely recreational during the summer unless it’s a sport or something that would create a sweaty environment regardless…i don’t find anything recreational about perspiration soaking through my clothes and running down cracks and crevices that we won’t mention by name here just to poke through a flea market or hang out at penns’ landing or anything of that ilk.

i just can’t be bothered. not feelin’ it. sorry.

part of this, for me, is rooted in the recent extinction of spring and autumn.

they just don’t exist anymore. we go straight from “don’t leave the house without your jacket” to “don’t go out there without your sunscreen” in roughly 36 hours or so. it’s freezing, and then it rains a few days, and then it’s miserably friggin’ hot…in the space of about a week or so.

i played a gig with stone road this past weekend in a club with no air conditioning. at all. just a fan pointed towards the back room.

i brought a change of clothes and a towel, because i knew. i knew what the deal was gonna be.

and i sure did sweat my ass off…

but it’s ok…everything is fine. just drop those styrofoam peanuts at the curb with the trash and hop in your SUV and go about your business. after all, we didn’t have anything to do with this….

did i mention it’s friggin’ hot outside?

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