Alesis Drums. Part 1, The Selection.

Since, as a child, I was going to need braces, my musical instrument selection was limited.  My parents knew this so they decided that I needed to play the drums. So, I have been playing drums since the 5th grade.

Unfortunately, drums work well in auditoriums or large barns. They do not work well in living rooms. Plus, they are not something that you play while sitting around a campfire. So, my drum playing was pretty much confined. And, as time went on, as a married adult, I sold my drums for the betterment of society and my household.

Then, one day, I was in a music store that had a set of electronic drum all set up and ready to demo. So, I gave them a try. And I was impressed.

While, electronic drums have been out for awhile, earlier versions were uninspiring. But, these played like the real thing and the sound was fantastic. And the best part was that they could be played using only headphones!

Fearing that I had fallen for something way out of my price range, I flipped over the price tag. Wow! Not only were they not expensive, they were something that I could afford.

Having been misled in the past by low prices, I asked the clerk just what all was included. He said that with the exception of the stool and the bass petal, everything else was included. Wow again!

I suspected that a set of electronic drum may be on my horizon.

1962 Ford Pickup Truck?

Last weekend, Grand Rapids hosted a hot rod and classic car exhibition. And, in a effort to cover the event, a local TV sent a news team out to the show.

Unfortunately, the news reporter was not familiar with cars. So, instead of showing some of the rare and beautiful classic cars, he focused on a 1962 Ford pickup truck.

Now, in 1962, the Ford pickup truck was considered ugly. But after almost 50 years, ……it is still considered ugly.

There were a lot of really great looking cars at the event, it is too bad the local news team didn’t cover them.

Rowing Lessons.

I see signs posted around the town for rowing lessons. I assume that this must be for competitive rowing. Maybe it is for the crew team.

I can’t imagine too many fishermen needing lessons on how to row their boat.

Video Demo…NOT!

When I was in my bank the other day, I noticed that they had replaced their old VoIP (voice over IP) telephone system with a different brand. While I had heard of the brand before, I knew very little about it. So, I decided to check it out on line.

When I visited their web site, they provided a lot of pretty pictures and a lot of technical specifications. But, the one thing that caught my attention was their 10 minute video intended to showcase their product.

When I clicked on the link, the standard media player popped up on my screen. I waited for a few seconds but nothing happened. Then the window gave me three options: subscribe, replay or share.

Suspecting that they wanted my email address, I chose the subscribe option. After I supplied the requested information, I waited for the video to begin.

But instead of playing, the screen now gave me the choices of: UNsubscribe, replay or share. When I hit unsubscribe, the icon toggled to subscribe.

After toggling between subscribe and unsubscribe, I decided to try some other options. But, no matter what option I chose, the video would not start.

I think that their website adequately demonstrated the soundness of their product. I won’t waste my time on the product.

Here Kitty Kitty.

A fourteen year old girl in Ionia heard what she thought was her cat outside in the yard. When she went out to investigate, she realized that it was not her cat. Instead, it was a bobcat.

When she approached the animal, it bit her and ran off. Since bobcats are not normally found in town and rarely close to humans, it is believed that the animal is sick. So, while the girl suffered only minor injuries, she will need to undergo rabies shots.

Go Topless

Last Sunday was Go Topless day. It seems that there is a group of women who feel that they are being discriminated against because men can go topless in public and they can’t. And, as a result, they have formed an organization to fight for the right to go topless in public.

Well, on Sunday, women from all over the US gathered in public places to go topless in protest of the law. Likewise, men, who supported the cause, appeared at these rallies wearing bikini tops.

Now, personally, I don’t care. If women want to go topless, let them go topless.

Of course, did I mention that the organization was founded in California by a couple from outer space?

Parking Restrictions.

The City of Lansing has a lot of on street parking. Most of it is around the state office buildings and is serviced by parking meters. And, in a effort to control parking, there are daytime restriction as to how long you can park.

This morning, one in particular caught my attention. The sign said that parking is limited to 10 hours between 8AM and 6PM.

Now, if my math serves me correctly, the time duration between 8AM and 6PM is…. 10 hours. So, if a person parks in a spot at 7AM and stays until 9PM, they would not be in violation of the parking regulation since they only parked for 10 hours between 8AM and 6PM. In fact, if a person parked for a year in that spot, they would not be in violation.

So, what is the point of the sign? I don’t know and I doubt that the city knows either but the meter maids check the area regularly for violators. I guess it is job security.

Diminishing Art.

Another famous painting was stolen.  A Van Gogh was cut from its frame and removed from the museum.

It seems that cutting the picture from it’s frame is the mode of operation for art thieves.  And, while I realize that cutting the picture from the frame is easier that trying to hide the picture with the frame, it also reduces the amount of the painting.

Mounting a painting on a frames requires at least a half inch of canvas all the way around.  This means that every time a painting is stolen, the painting is reduced.  So, if a paint is stolen enough times, there won’t be much left of it.  Eventually, the art thieves will only be stealing fragments of the original.

I suppose if a painting is famous enough, the museum can display the canvas fragment next to a replica of the original.  But, more importantly, the rare works need to be better protected than what they are.

The Tattoo, Part 2.

The next step in getting a tattoo, was finding a place to have it done. When my wife had her eyebrows tattooed on, she went to dermatologist. They had valet parking and Latte’s. It was expensive. Some how, I didn’t think that my tattoo parlor would offer Latte’s and valet parking. And I was right.

One of my co-workers referred me to the place where she got her tattoos. I arrived at 1:59. They opened at 2, so I waited. At 2:15, the place was still dark, so I decided to move on to plan B, a place near MSU.

They opened at 1 pm and seemed to be quite busy. No valet parking, no lattes.

When I arrived, there were 6 people in the waiting room. The man behind the counter asked if he could help me. I told him that I was interested in tattoo. ( No duh! If I had been interested in a wedding cake, I would have gone to the bakery.)

Seeing all of the people in the waiting room, I wondered how long it would be. The counter man reassured me that there were only 2 people ahead of me and that I would only have to wait 15 minutes. Apparently, the rest were spectators. Fine.

The first group consisted of three 50ish women. One was apparently the recipient of the tattoo and the other two were guests. Then, there was the 20ish woman who was there by her self. The other two were guys who would like to get a tattoo if only they could afford it. So much for them.

After 15 minutes, James, my tattooist, appeared. He had never done Hebrew before. He looked over what I wanted and decided to look for a better font on line. After about 30 minutes, we agreed on a script.

He made a reverse image of the text. And after shaving the area and applying some disinfectant, he then applied it to my forearm. This provided a template for the text. Just like on Miami Ink.

Next, was the ink gun. I imagine it was just like it was back in the 50s. The actual needle and such were packaged in a sterile bag. The gun consisted of 2 coils which were designed to move the needle in and out at a rapid rate.

James dipped the needle into the ink and began coloring in the template. He would color a little and then wipe the area. He repeated the process until he was done. It took about 10 minutes and was exactly what I wanted.

Of course, my wife thinks that I am going to run off and join the circus now. But, she will get over it.

The Tattoo, Part 1.

Over the years, I have looked at tattoos with interest but I have never seen a tattoo that I was interested in having on my body. I have a niece that has several tattoos from her Olympic contests and my youngest daughter recently got one. And while they are nice, they are not something that I am interested in.

Then, I saw a music video from a Christian band, and I noted that they all had tattoos in Hebrew on their forearms. The Hebrew spelled out the various names of God as found in the Old Testament.

How cool! When I saw it, I knew that I had finally found the one thing that I would like to have tattooed on my body, one of the names for God in Hebrew.

I selected one from the more than 2 dozen names for God which are found in the Old Testament; El Shaddai. Since I belong to God, it seemed only natural to have His name tattooed on my body. Plus, it gives me an opportunity to witness to others about God.