Those two shots of espresso that I just made have not yet done their magic. Things are still a bit cloudy at the moment. Oddly enough my Oura ring has reported the highest rating I have ever received for last night’s sleep at 94 out of 100. This is the 5th day I have had the Oura ring based on what I see in the data at a quick glance. The battery is down to 30% and they suggest that you charge it before it gets to zero. So far my Oura ring has worked out well enough the only thing I did not consider about it was how it was going to factor into my guitar playing. So far I have left it on during the course of playing guitar, but I think going forward it may be better to remove it and set it on my desk during my guitar playing extravaganzas. The edge of the frets will probably scratch it over time and that seems problematic.
Last night it snowed a bit here in Denver, Colorado. It’s March so I was hoping that would slow down a bit as we start to approach summer at some point. We have not reached the point in the program where all the snow in the front yard has even melted away yet for the season. It’s like we have a couple of yard contained icebergs at this point. Last night I had meant to spend the evening working on a bit of content and research, but I faded quickly and ended up not getting much of anything done.
It’s about time for me to take a good look at my five year writing plan by putting it up on my whiteboard. Some of the things that are on it are pretty specific and other things are concepts or areas of interest. Sometimes giving that trajectory a good review can help me identify other items that could be included. It is also important as a reflective practitioner to acknowledge that sometimes it is easier to engage in that planning and review than other times. We put on different hats and work on different levels of things from time to time. Really being ready to review something complex and forward looking requires the right focus and energy. It is something that is worth investing the best possible effort into as it drives things over such a long period of time.
We are now at the start of the 4th paragraph of writing for the day and I can now finally confirm that I’m all the way awake. It took about 20 minutes to get to this point of direct confrontation with the keyboard and the screen. I’m ready to go and nothing is going to slow me down for the next hour as I work on the things that most need attention. Getting to that point of being able to push things forward toward that perfect possible future is not trivial. That is essentially the point of this whole writing routine and exercise. I remember getting put out on a balcony during a vacation at one point to focus on finishing my dissertation. At that time, I was not able to get myself into an effective writing posture. It was forced and it made the writing process much harder to achieve.
Getting things done is really about managing the things that most need attention. That is where my daily writing routine kicks off during the week and my academic interests come into focus on the weekend. As of right now that writing pattern is holding true and I’m 113 consecutive weeks of content creation into that overall effort. Churning out a chapter of content a week is something that apparently can be sustained. It may be harder to achieve this year than last year based on other commitments that might eat up my time. Nothing really should stop me from being able to put in the time at the keyboard to make it happen. Based on my current writing routine it is about waking up early and getting to work during a block of time where no distractions occur.
Way back in 1994 or 1995, I purchased a Gibson guitar in Kansas City. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact year. That is something I can look up. I guess the pattern is YDDDYRRR. My serial number is 93055698. Based on that it is for sure a 1995 and not a 1994 built guitar. Apparently it was stamped on the 305th day of the year or November 1, 1995. I always wanted it to be a different, more custom shop guitar. At the time, I did not really know any better. However, now that I am armed with a bunch of life experiences I have a better idea of how I want the guitar to be configured. To that end, my Les Paul studio guitar project has been completed this summer.
Pickups were swapped out from the stock Gibson variety to a set of Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbuckers. Those pickups have 4 wires and support more advanced configurations. To utilize that more advanced wiring a Free-Way “Pickup Switch” with a 6 way control was added. That gives me a couple of out of phase options for the pickups. The rest of the guitar updates were more or less just aesthetic choices including a new black TUSQ XL nut, a black nickel Graph Tech PS-8863-BN ResoMax NV2 6mm Tune-o-matic bridge with string saver saddles, and a black chrome Gibson accessories stop bar tailpiece with studs and inserts. I had previously changed out the tuners to upgrade them to a set of black Grover ones. Between the string setup changes and the new pickups it sounds like a totally different guitar.
Yesterday I spent some time looking at the Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent guitar. How exactly that ended up happening is a bit of a mystery, but a bit of online window shopping did occur. It looks like a pretty fun guitar. You all might know that guitar buying season happens during the end of quarter one of the year and is strictly reserved that window. I’m also trying really hard to only buy one guitar a year given that the size of my guitar collection only seems to grow.
During the course of my day off yesterday I spent some time pondering trajectory statements and exactly what that could entail. The general premise was to write a statement that could be read at the start of the day every day to frame up where things need to go. For the most part I tend to sit down in front of the computer and allow my mind to wander wherever my thoughts might take me in a type of string of conconsiness type of writing effort. The only continuity to this is that the writer is always the same, but the direction could go anywhere at any time. This would be a wholesale departure from that approach and a move to really focus on something every day at the very start of the day. It is something that I might consider picking up for a week or so to see what happens.
My writing schedule for the most part involves writing the weekly Substack post for The Lindahl Letter every Saturday morning. Revisions and edits are made during my Sunday morning writing session. That means that my weekend morning writing sessions are pretty much devoted to that effort and whatever else gets going at that time. Working on that content is planned out pretty far in advance based on weekly topics. Getting into the flow of doing that work does not require any type of trajectory statement as that work is well planned and understood. It simply has to be done and requires time and focus to complete. Maybe it is the weekday focus in the morning where I really let my mind wander that should become a more targeted writing enterprise.
For some reason over the last couple of weeks I have not really wanted to write on a daily basis. My daily writing routine has been disrupted. I had a pretty good writing streak going and then it fell apart. Right now I’m listening to the Colorado Avalanche hockey game on the radio. Earlier today I was struggling with my Pro Tools First recording setup. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Gen 3) runs via USB Type-C and pretty much just has to be plugged into the computer. That part of the setup seems to be working fine. Every once in a while the input level needs to be adjusted a little bit up or down, but for the most part it requires very little interaction to work. Exporting audio from Pro Tools First seems to work, but the file takes up storage space and has no volume to it at all. It is super frustrating to try to figure out. I’m probably going to un-install the software entirely and try to set it up again.
Getting warmed up to do some writing today is happening at a much slower pace than it should. Yesterday I spent some time learning how to play the intro from the song Universal Mind by John Petrucci. That effort took me about 45 minutes of learning to very slowly play 30 seconds of the song. It was worth it. Today I’m probably going to listen to the Liquid Tension Experiment album.
My Google Chrome browser build is now up to date at Version 76.0.3809.87 (Official Build) (64-bit). People seem to be really excited about this build. This morning I spent some time watching TWIG (This Week in Google) and really enjoying the depth of discussions that happens on these shows. Sadly it reminded me that news organizations at large end up being all breadth and no depth. I know that the medium drives the content presentation style. That does not mean that it actually informs people to any real degree based on presenting a degree of content depth.
Well today just might be the day that I made a decision about all my extra guitar pedals. You may have guessed from the title that I have decided to sell all my extra guitar pedals on eBay. Today the first one was listed and then removed a few minutes later. I’m thinking it might be more fun to just list all of the pedals as a lot and see what happens. Sure the alternative here is to list each one and sell them individually on eBay. That path involves a lot more packing and shipping along the way vs. just selling them in one block hoping for the best return possible and being done with the whole process.
Used Mooer Noise Killer guitar pedal
Used DOD YJM308 Yngwie Malmsteen preamp overdrive guitar pedal
Used DOD FX57 Hard Rock Distortion guitar pedal
Used DigiTech Grunge guitar pedal
Used Boss Metal Zone MT-2 guitar pedal
Used DOD FX86B Metal Distortion guitar pedal
Update: My plan worked. It worked in under two hours. My extra guitar pedals have now been sold. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this having happened so quickly. Honestly, every time I use eBay my general assumption is that my auction items will go unsold. Strangely, that has never really happened.
Today I spent some time looking at EarthQuaker Devices Fuzz Master General guitar pedals on eBay. I even went as far as submitting an offered for one today. My offer was declined within a matter of hours. Getting a new guitar pedal is probably not the top of the things I should be spending my time on today. For some inexplicable reason, I tend to focus in on guitar or computer technology and sort of look at it, research it, watch YouTube videos about it, and spend time wondering about when it will actually be mine. This type of effort is not entirely useful. It does occupy my time and keep me focused on something. Sure, I could just sit around and watch old episodes of The West Wing on YouTube. If you were wondering where my last round of binge watching The West Wing episodes left me, then you might be interested in finding out that it was around season 4 episode 10. That is really a time in the series where the density of writing per scene has hit a place where things are happening and you just feel like you are immersed in the political adventure. I have a lot more thoughts on that and a few thoughts on why a Northern Exposure crossover episode with The West Wing could have forever changed politics in America. Seriously, that last sentence was not meant as satire or to be ironic.
Anyway, back to the topic it hand. Getting some type of fuzz effect guitar pedal is probably going to happen. The real decision on that front is related to buying an actual physical guitar effect pedal or taking the plunge into some type of computer processed experience. Over the years, I have avoided taking the plunge into digital effects. My entire guitar rig including guitar, pedals, and an amplifier are all analog. That is the way it seemed to need to be. My efforts to play guitar are purely for my own entertainment and based on that never needed to be streamed to my computer. The epic sounds of my guitar are really mine and mine alone to behold. That is probably the way it should be as having a hobby is really about the art of it and not the end product. I’m not entirely sure that last sentence stands out the way I had intended for it in terms of really bringing home my point. Maybe later when I am feeling a bit more creative something better will appear on the screen during my next writing session.