Sunday, May 2, 2010

Updates on mundane crap

I haven't blogged in a while - I didn't check what the last thing I wrote was. Well, I am working and chilling at home without any drama happening at all. So I will update the two people who read my blog as a replacement for sheep-counting on recent details.

I started the Chocolate Society last month, so people like me can meet together to talk about chocolate. I have gotten a lot of people into chocolate over the last year and a half. I am frankly a little tired of introducing people to the good stuff and answering the same questions and half-heartedly grinning at little jokes about Hershey's. I want to supplement that with some snobbily in-depth conversation about the finer nuances of chocolate. So I started a society for people like me to do exactly that.

Also, I have been growing my beard for about 2 months - maybe 2 1/2, and it is getting pretty grizzly. I have trimmed it, but it is still pretty scraggly. It is funny because I can see people looking at me like I might be crazy, so strangers often act carefully. People I barely know complement my beard all the time. I have gotten the strongest compliments from co-workers including my boss's boss's boss. And now I plan to shave it. Carrie hates it with some burning kind of passion. But I want to keep growing my hair out.

I have gotten a couple new guitar amps this year. I got a cute little Vox 4 Watt tube amp that sounds really good, but is feature-lite. It has a volume knob, and "tone" knob (that doesn't have all that much effect considering it is the only tone control I have) and a 3-position rotary selection switch to allow full power, 1 Watt, or 1/10 Watt so I can get full tubey sound at a volume suitable for sleeping children. It is very cool.

Shortly after getting that amp, I got an Epiphone Blues Custom 30 that can switch between 30W Class A/B or 15W Class A. I did a lot of reading to find out the difference between Class A and Class A/B, and the difference in sound is subtle. The lower power setting mostly is just quieter - but not by as much as you'd think. Both of the amps look really retro which is in keeping with their rather old-school design and sound. The Epi is crazy loud, and I got to jam with it the day after I got it. I look forward to getting to jam with some guys at work soon. Our musical styles are disparate in a lot of ways, but we have a lot in common as well. I just really don't want to sound like another indie extension of the late 60's. When I play electric, I tend to have a funky and/or heavy style. I like weird rhythms that are somewhat difficult to bob your head to, though they do feel very groovy. We'll see how that goes. I would like to record some just for kicks.

I have been getting into vinyl lately - that's right - records. I got a bunch of "classical" records for free last year when BYU's library was just giving it away. I got some Baroque, but mostly Romantic and Modern stuff from several of my favorite composers including Rachmaninoff and Saint-Saens. But the turning point for actually buying a record player was when I went to a local music store and saw a copy of The Company Band's first full-length. TCB has the singer from Clutch (my favorite band), the drummer from CKY, and others. I bought the record without either a record player or having heard the songs at all. It felt so old-school. I later got a cheap little record player, and I have been plugging it into my Epi guitar amp (and only getting the left channel). Between the analog record and tube amplifier and decent (though not properly-voiced for the application) speakers, it sounds awesome. I have had two friends who both said they don't hear the difference between different quality soundsystems or different guitars or amps and the like say that it sounds amazing. It has so much more detail and dimension - it is incredible. I plan on buying a kit to make an actual stereo tube amp for audio, and then I may make my own speaker boxes, too. I have bought a few records since then, and I hope to have a decent record collection before too long. But I have a lot of important and more useful things to pay for in the meantime.

I decided recently that I am an adrenaline enthusiast. I would say that I am an adrenaline junkie - but that is far more extreme than where I actually am. I have also figured that I have been having an insane lack of adrenaline in my life lately, and it is wearying me. It seems a little backwards that a lack of excitement would tire me out, but I need a balance. And without a fast car or bike or other forms of adrenalizing, I feel the lack. I don't know what to do about it. I am hoping that jamming with people and making a lot of noise will help.

Oddly, we are planning to get a minivan soon, and I am excited about that. I like getting a new vehicle, and I think minivans are the pinnacle of practicality. With baby number 3 on the way, we will need to have a place to put the child during transport. I would much rather have a minivan than some big, stupid SUV we won't use for anything beyond minivan use. That said, part of me would like an off-road vehicle of some sort. Like a rock-crawler. Or a pre-runner truck. Or a mildly-rally-prepped car. Or a dual-sport adventure bike.

Yesterday, I test-rode a Triumph Speed Triple, and it was a lot of fun. I expected it to scare me, but I think my size reigns in the acceleration a little too much for real drama. I was kind of expecting it to take my breath away upon accelerating. It didn't. But it was still really fast, comfortable, and sporty. It was easy to ride, though I haven't really ridden in a year. It was really comfortable below about 80 mph, and then it just got loud and windy above that which is no surprise as it has no wind protection at all. Last May, after riding my friends Ninja for a month, I think my perspective has changed dramatically about speed. The bike I rode yesterday had similar power, and I am actually sorta used to acceleration like that. But it was still exhilarating, and I felt really cheerful and content for several hours afterward. Though I was painfully aware later of really slow people blocking my progress.

Naomi was punched in the mouth by a doll she was holding recently, and it knocked her tooth loose. She is 5 1/2 and she got her teeth really early, so it may just be time to start losing teeth. We were worried, and the dentist took an X-ray and said that there is still a root holding on, but don't be alarmed if it falls out or not. She got beat up by a doll she was holding! It would have been funny if her mouth hadn't been bleeding.

Well, that is some of the most pointless mindless drivel I have written in recent memory, so enjoy that. Anyway, that's it.


Chanda said...

Hey, have a very Happy Birthday tomorrow--cinco de mayo. Eat some Cafe Rio for me.

Martin Andrews said...

I know Criag and I both look for thrills. Try getting some warrants and then see how long you can go without getting arrested. There's nothing like passing a cop with a warrant or 5 warrants in Craig's case. I've resorted back to physical activity and I'm finally getting back into descent shape. Its a great feeling to dominate again. The warrants just became too cost prohibitive...

Brian said...

You are a bit of a psychopath. I'd personally like to avoid warrants if I can. The whole thing with the speeding ticket was bad enough. I want to go fast or rock loud.