Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Rock-n-Roller Coaster

Last week saw thing 3 in a fight at school to the next day scoring 5th grade plus on a math assessment (he's in 2nd). Death of a pet to thing 2 setting his PR in long jump and his leg of the 4x200 and 4x400 and then getting a call that he was awarded another scholarship. Shelly on the verge of a meltdown because of work and being overly busy at home too, to picking up a sweet cherry red Epiphone Dot Studio. Or at least it is sweet now. The the week ended with word that one of our soccer families, people we have know since we were kids, lost their youngest daughter to suicide. She was only 12. Our hearts ache for them.

Life is hard. Plans never seem to go as planned. We are over worked. We are over stressed. We are under slept.  How do we deal with it? How do we change it? Everything expects everything of us and in the end there is often nothing left for ourselves and closest loved ones. I don't know the answers. We try to make the best of what we can. I may feel helpless but not hopeless.

I was a jumper in high school. Both the long jump and high jump resulted in a good deal of success. School record in the high jump and just a few inches shy of the long jump record. Ethan started jumping this year. Without much coaching or specific training he was jumping pretty well, in the 17' range. Last week I got to a meet to see him jump (the usually start the jumps before I can get away from work, so I had not made it yet). A couple things jumped out at me as I watched him take his first jump. Gave him some advice which he turned in to a TVC 5th place and PR jump beating his old PR by a full foot!

I have been watching for a guitar with humbuckers for a while. I love to play my Telecaster, but I would never describe it as a warm sound. I wasn't sure I wanted a Les Paul though, they are so heavy and I am not exactly a shredder. I love the looks and the feel of the PRS guitars I have held, but that is big money and seem to rarely show up used. A few weeks ago I saw a posting for an Epiphone Dot Studio. This is the less expensive version of the Dot which is the less expensive version of the ES335. The fret board does not have any inlays, no pick guard, and a single pot for volume and one for tone rather than one for each pickup. These are made in Asia to keep the price down and have less expensive pickups (open coil Alnico classic humbuckers).

I email the person and did not hear anything back. Oh well, must have sold it.

Two weeks later I got an email saying that he just found my message. The supposed story is that the guitar was won in a song writing contest by a friend of his who played and even gigged with it until this person bought it. It then sat in the case for a couple years.

Condition: dirty. The fret board, fret wires, bridge were green. The neck pickup was missing the springs to set the pickup in position and the trim ring was a mess. The first owner had put tape on it (I would assume to hold it in place since the springs were missing). But aside form a couple scratches/nicks the finish was in great condition, the neck straight.

A couple hours with some mineral spirits, 00 steel wool, cleaning rags, and elbow grease got the guitar in pretty decent shape. I had to sand the trim rings smooth and then spray with a clear enamel since the seller tried to clean the tape off with acetone. PSA: never use acetone on a plastic part. It will soften the plastic!

I noticed when I checked it out that the pickups did not seem to be original. The good news is that they had been swapped out with a set of Gibson '57 Classics! A trip over to StewMac for some pickup springs and I was back in business. A good, careful setup of the neck, bridge, pickups made for a really sweet, warm sounding guitar.

Finished out he weekend working the State Road Race Championships p/b Team Athens out at Lake Hope. I have worked this event for years (even raced it a couple times). Largest field of women and junior ever! Great to see. I am tired of hanging out with a bunch of up tight, well-off, 30 year old white guys. (I know that includes me, except I hope I am not up-tight and I am certainly not in my 30's anymore). Diversity is good for the sport. (Sorry, no photos from me as I worked registration. Didn't get to see any of the races).

Hope you can get outside and love others. Rock on.
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