The (non-) shit monsoon

There’s some water up there this morning, and by this afternoon it may be down here.

Following the news lately reminds me of John Prine’s intro to “Dear Abby,” from his “Sweet Revenge” album.

Talking about reading a small English-language newspaper in Italy, he observed: “Every time you turned a page something just jumped right out at you.”

The deer didn’t get this one.

The old fight-or-flight reflex can only handle so much of that. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath, close the laptop, and walk away.

Lace up the shoes and go for a trail run. Log some Miles. Enjoy a frosty beverage. Watch the hummingbirds battle.

Stop and smell the roses.

Read something that doesn’t make you insane.

Listen to something that makes you want to dance. Then play a little something yourself.

Go for a nice long bike ride. Make sure it has fenders. Like the fella says, it never rains, but sometimes it pours.


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19 Responses to “The (non-) shit monsoon”

  1. gary burnette Says:

    “…Get down a washboard and play a guitar chord and do a little do-it-yourself…” – John Sebastian/Lovin’ Spoonful. Dat’s right – walk away from that noise. Aaaaahhhh… much better…

  2. Carl Duellman Says:

    do you ever listen to jason isbell? he might be to country for you but he is one of the best songwriters i’ve ever heard.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to the Drive-By Truckers. I’m gonna give Mr. Isbell a listen.

      I got some oddball country-hippie-Southern music on the ol’ playlist, which covers a lot of waterfront. Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, The Allman Brothers, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jonathan Edwards, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and what have you.

      There’s some Merle Haggard in there too.

      Meanwhile, I missed an anniversary: “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis was released on Aug. 17, 1959. I was 5 and listening to a lot of Glenn Miller.

      • Carl Duellman Says:

        i didn’t care much for the drive by truckers although that song ‘danko manuel’ was amazing. jason isbell by himself is the shit.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Even think about an arch top guitar?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man. Their guitar player knows his way around the instrument, doesn’t he? Those Godin 5th Avenues are pretty, and not insanely expensive.

      I’m still looking at a Taylor GS Mini and an Art & Lutherie Roadhouse. I like the parlor size. But the Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo I already have may be all the guitar my mad skillz actually require at the moment.

      Now, Yamaha makes an acceptable digital piano.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Yea, my Ovation is all the guitar I will probably ever need. A pro played it a few weeks ago, and told me it has a great action and tone. Plus, I have a Traynor AM-50T acoustic amp to go with it. So, I am good for guitars for now. Bikes, however, are a different kettle of fish.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I took mine down to Guitar Center for new strings and the tech dude lowered the action a tad while he was at it. He pronounced himself very impressed with the instrument, and played it much better than I do.

        Interestingly, the tech wasn’t as big a fan of the GS Mini as the sales dudes were. Still, the folks at Avenue Guitars in Bibleburg say they sell a ton of them, and recommended the Mini over the Art & Lutherie Roadhouse (which in fact seems to me to be an attempt to compete with the popular Taylor model).

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          That Roadhouse sounds good! But, you got to watch those demos with the pro playing the guitar. Those guys could make a Baby Taylor sound great. I had a Baby Taylor, it is a great value, but the tone was tinny and thin. But, I do like how Taylor bolts the neck to the body. Bolt on necks make neck adjustments and repairs much easier than glued on necks without any risk of damage to the body.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Yeah, I get the distinct impression that I’m gonna sound a little less, um, polished than the gent on the A&L site.

          I like the sound of the GS Mini, which I’ve actually gotten to play (both the mahogany and walnut versions). The Avenue Guitars dudes say the Mini has “a little bit bigger tone” and “a fuller sound” due to its slightly larger body, and has a neck that’s easier to navigate.

          That said, if everybody and his grandma is playing a Taylor GS Mini, well, that just naturally inclines me toward the A&L Roadhouse.

        • Pat O'Brien Says:

          That’s part of the allure of an Ovation and Traynor amps. Maybe I need a Canadian made guitar to go with the Canadian made amp, heh you hoser?

  4. SteveP Says:

    You are what you are, and you ain’t what you ain’t

  5. Hurben Says:

    Love that Craftmanship website, that is a find, thank you. Sort of reminds me of one of my favourite books, Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good stuff there, hey, Hurben? This is one of the great things about the Innertubes. Matt Wiebe and I were chatting the other day about stories we’d like to read and we wandered off onto a “where are they now?” tangent.

      Naturally Ross Shafer’s name came up. I met Ross waaaaaaay back in the day, when he was still running Salsa out of this little shop in Petaluma.

      I knew he had been making guitars for a while, but my colleague said he’d started building pedal steels. So we did a little Googling around and hey presto! Stumbled across Craftsmanship.

      That was a really well-done story. Nice to see there are still people (and publications) who care about telling a tale properly.

    • larryatcycleitalia Says:

      One of my favorite books as well. I stirred up a s–tstorm soon after it came out by suggesting the wife read it and offer it to the college prof book club. They read ’em (we assume) and then get together over a nice dinner to talk about ’em. The s–tstorm that resulted (What? Not every kid needs to to go to college? NFW!!!) caused the whole program to be revised to exclude controversial titles like these so the profs wouldn’t get worked up and spill their merlot.
      You can’t imagine how happy I am to be getting the hell away from here!!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Are you back in Ioway, Larry? Have you been treated for culture shock?

      • larryatcycleitalia Says:

        Geez, don’t get me started. Culture shock’s not the right phrase. It really hit me hard the other day at the supermarket when I had to step around a shopping cart filled with a stack of cheapo frozen pizza, huge jars of various already-made pasta sauces, boxes of the cheapest dried pasta there is along with massive plastic bags of shredded “Eye-talian” cheese. I get a stomach-ache just thinking about what kind of ghastly meal would be the end result.

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