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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 168 ‘ AMA Sunday session.’

So here’s an idea put to me by a fellow blogger — the AMA Sunday session.
AKA Ask Me Anything 🙂 I’m doing an eye squint as this one, it has merit, but frankly I’m not that interesting. Before anyone feels they need to provide comfort to my self-deprecation, keep in mind, I kind of like it that way:-). But I am interested in a more interactive dynamic than just me having a yak. It doesn’t have to be a question to or about me personally, just something you’d like to throw out into the ether for a general chit chat. So here it is, ask away. This one stays open until next Sunday, but I’ll be partaking in any questions through the week. The best question (determined by likes and interaction) wins a free T-shirt.

Ask me anything………………..but make it a gooden! )

Until tomorrow! Thanks for being here.

Stevie x

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Day 167 ‘ Saturday Sounds.’

My second guitar came into my life at the tender age of ten. I was only three months into learning to play when my classmate decided to use my first guitar as a hammer! My then music teacher, (after advising me that my fists were not the best way to seek justice) presented me with his guitar. He’d had it for some years and had always taken great care of it. I’ve forever treasured it and kept it under glass somewhat. Many years later, he came to see me at a show and presented me with pictures of my broken guitar (patched up) hanging above his mantlepiece. He claims a good trade, but I reckon I got the better end of the deal. I’ve had it out recently to do some recording with, and I’m pretty chuffed with the results. It’ll be nice to present him with a CD when completed. For interested guitar buffs, it’s a very decent instrument. Martin D18 copy. (One of the lawsuit guitars Martin V Takamine.) Takamine conceded, and the case never went to court. A little bit of trivia for your Saturday 🙂 (Pardon the puppy photobomber)

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 166 ‘ Second Wind.’

An unusual case of ‘grumpysaditis’ (courtesy Paigepedia) beset me yesterday. It’s tough not to let the mindset of others impact you. I’m mostly pretty resilient, but occasionally one gets through. Happy to report all systems are now functioning normally and your regular services shall recommence forthwith.
Here’s your Friday funny for those wondering what to have for lunch/dinner today. 🙂

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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Day 165 ‘ Not ready to tell this story.’

A wonderful man once told me, write what you know. He was talking about music, but it translates to most anything creative I believe. Imagination is all very well, but truth has an authenticity to it that makes it relatable. I started down the short story path and decided for my comfort to write from the perspective of a character, mostly because I didn’t want to be in it. It’s quite tricky to manufacturer a fictional world around an event that happened. I’ve realised I’m not quite ready to tell this story, and when I am, it has to be what I experienced. Apologies to anyone that was reading, I will come back to it, but for now, I’m just going to put it in the freezer and will revisit at a later time. Thanks for the indulgence and opportunity to experiment. Every day brings a little lesson does it not 🙂

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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Day 164 ‘ Short Story Tales-Part Two.’ (Part One Previous Blog Post)

The door was so heavy, almost pushing back as Rinty ventured her face through the opening. Slithering light escaped past the curtain gaps and danced with the dust particles created by the door draft. A thick air of ‘old’ greeted her as she stepped into the room. “Oh, for heaven’s sake” came the impatient voice, “come in and sit down.” Rinty dithered, as Bru pushed past her with the confidence of a lion. Pulling up a chair like she owned the place, Bru turned to Rinty. “You heard what he said, for crying out loud hurry up and sit down.” Principal Thornley’s face looked sickly pale in the dimly lit room. Large brown eyes set against a round face, wild eyebrows, dark lips, and white koala tufts of hair upon his head. His business suit seemed heisted from another man’s body. As Rinty visually dressed him in long red robes and matching staff to boot, he disrupted her flow by firmly asking, ” Is there something you want to say young Rinty?” Burning cheeks for the second time in a day, Rinty mumbled into her chest, “no sir.” “Oh, yes, you do!” exclaimed Bru. “Go on tell him. You’re a wizard Harr……Mr. Thornley.” Guffaws of laughter expelled from Bru’s lungs, clearly much amused with herself. Thornley, unperturbed by the outburst, remained focused on Rinty. An unusual name isn’t it? ” Rinty bristled in defence. Without pausing, he continued, “but you’re an unusual person, aren’t you? “No, sir!” Rinty sharply spoke, “I am not anything of the sort.” Quickly checking her abrupt response, she continued more softly, “I’m just average everything, sir.” Cocking his bushy right brow ever so slightly, Thornley assessed the teenager in front of him. Average height and build. Short cropped curly hair, muddy red, with skin that looked like it had never seen the sun. “Indeed,” he said. “That is how you present yourself.” Rinty shifted uncomfortably in her chair. “Am I in trouble, sir?” Thornley pushed back in his chair, clasping his hands in front of him as he leaned upon the leather armrests. “I believe you are, but not with me.” Rinty shot a look at Bru, who had become like stone, not a flinch not a sound. Narrowing her eyes back at Thornley, she said with some disdain, “I’d like to go now.” Quietly making tracks back towards the classroom, Rinty paused as Bru languished behind. The black skies above were sending down large droplets of rain upon angry swirls of wind. “He knows,” came the cold and matter of fact statement from Bru. Rinty’s feet tapped nervously on the ground as she pulled up the jacket hood to cover her face. Darkness sitting wearily on her chest, she shut her eyes tightly against the oncoming storm….. (to be continued)

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Day 163 ‘ Short Story Tales-Part one.’

The following is fictional. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is entirely, absolutely, probably coincidental.

Rinty noticeably flinched, as the heavy leather-bound textbook crashed down upon her desk. The old- style timber table creaked and groaned in protest, as its fellow tool of learning seemed to explode on impact. Abruptly ejected from her conversation, Rinty locked eyes with the livid face behind the book. A sallow angular face with scowl lines etched deeply into the skin, loomed over her like death itself. “How many times must we do this?” seethed Ms. Deven, each word accompanied by cracking slaps from the abused pages. Teacher’s fury was always simmering just below the surface, a warning to all to dance lightly upon eggshells or face the terrible consequences. Ms. Deven wore her formidable presence like a badge of honour, any perceived resistance quickly smothered by her mania.
Shocked and red-faced, Rinty stared helplessly into the face of hate, unable to formulate a response. Watching her teacher’s lips move in contorted furious righteousness, the flurry of insults became a rush of white noise, crushing Rinty into humiliated pieces. “Well!” her teacher shrieked, “what do you have to say for yourself?” Rinty slowly turned to her companion, who had remained quiet during the barrage. “What do I do?” “You know,'” her companion calmly replied. Rinty placed the palms of her hands flat on the desk in front of her and pushed herself upright. Caught between fear and the resentment of being publicly shamed, Rinty took a deep breath and answered in what she felt was a fair and appropriate manner. “You’re a bully Miss.” An audible gasp moved around the room, as her classmates lowered their heads and braced for impact. Completely caught off guard at this act of defiance, Ms. Deven’s rampage hung in mid-air as if suspended. Like the eye of the storm, everything became momentarily eerily still, as the tantrum reset itself to maximum dominance. Rinty felt a tug on her jumper and glanced downwards at her companion. “We need to move.” Heeding the warning, Rinty hastily stepped backward as the desk became a casualty of Deven’s temper. “Get out! Get out of my classroom and report to the principal’s office now!” Hurriedly scooping up the scattered and broken pieces of belongings from the floor, Rinty felt more relief than punishment at being banished to the principal’s wastelands. Leaving the icy gaze of Deven’s death stare, Rinty shrank against the cold winter winds as she dragged herself slowly towards the office. Turning to her companion, Rinty remarked, “You didn’t have to come with me. I can handle this on my own.” Bru studied Rinty for a moment, then laughed. “We both know that isn’t true. You’re a soft pile of cow dung, and he’s going to walk all over your weak spine if I’m not there.” With a heavy sigh of resignation, Rinty replied quietly. “I hate you.” Bru smiled with indulgence as she put her arm around Rinty’s shoulders. “Yeah, sometimes you do, but you’d miss me if I weren’t here, you know you would.” Pausing at the bottom of the steep staircase, Rinty hesitated at the sight of the large oak door. A door, that was never to be knocked upon unless the business was vital and urgent. I am neither vital nor urgent, Rinty thought to herself. “Oh, come on already,” Bru prompted, as she gave Rinty a good shove in the back. “I’m going to enjoy this.” “Then, you go!” Rinty snapped. “I’m not like you, I want some peace, and to be left alone.” “But you’re not alone, are you,” Bru whispered back wickedly. “I’m here to look after you as I have always done, now move it.” Despite the tentative steps upon the stairs, each movement clanged loudly inside Rinty’s head. Surely even the dead would be alerted by now, so she waited outside the door with the expectation it would just magically open. Tapping her foot in irritation, Bru screwed up her face in exasperation. “Your mousey ways are incredibly disappointing to me Rinty. Here, let me do it.” Brushing the hapless Rinty aside, Bru landed both of her fists on the stoic timber, confidently announcing their arrival to authority’s den. The door moaned with all the charm and grace of a vampire’s tomb as it inched open just a crack. “You may enter,” bellowed the voice from beyond. “Still want to go in alone?” Bru smugly offered. Rinty squinted into the dark beyond the door, then anxiously looked back at Bru. “No.” “Good,” Bru excitedly replied. “Then let’s get to it!” ……(to be continued :-))

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 162 ‘ Sunday should always be :-).’

Until tomorrow!
Stevie. x

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s Monday (public holiday). I knew that! But look at you lot!

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MY BLOG: Every day for a year.

Day 161 ‘ I am not an island.’

The feedback on yesterday’s post has been really cool and very helpful.
Mostly I’ve always taken the ‘don’t worry, I will work it out,’ kind of approach rather than intrude on people by asking. On the upside, it makes me puzzle things out, and is most satisfying when reaching that ‘ah haaaa’ moment. On the downside, I miss out on new info and perspective from other people. Knowledge outside the vacuum is how we all grow. Bit of a lesson to me to open the door sometimes 🙂

Until tomorrow!
Thanks for listening.
Stevie x

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Day 160 ‘ Danger Will Robinson’

Okay, incoming nerd alert…….You have been warned 🙂
Since purchasing my new Fender Strat, I’ve become aware of something called the ‘treble bleed system.’ For years I’ve always run my electric guitars flat out and used pedals to assist with volume boost during solos. A frustrating thing, given I prefer to control everything with my hands. The best exponent I’ve ever seen of knob dialing/twiddling has to be Geoff Achison, but I’ve always found even the smallest shift of a pot to reduce the volume on my guitar would also result in a top end loss. The Strat has the treble bleed system built into it, which came as a complete surprise to me the ‘no loss of tone’ when I turned down. So the gist is this. As you turn the volume down on your guitar the relationship between resistance and capacitance changes between the pickups and the pot, basically blocking some of the high frequencies to go through. The solution is to add a hi-pass filter to allow some of the treble to “bleed” past the pot. Because Humbuckers and Single Coil pickups typically use different circuits for each. A little research and whaddayaknow! It’s an add on readily available and an incredibly cheap fix. ( If you have a Chris -) ) My six other electrics have been converted, and I look forward to becoming an aficionado of the ‘knobtwiddlier’ kind. It’s a word! Just check out Paigepedia for confirmation 🙂 I never mass tag guitarists, or anyone for that matter. But on this occasion (with some names off the top of my head) I am curious to know the opinions of other gunslingers out there. Here endeth the ‘geek out’ session! Jimi Hocking, Jeff Lang, Lloyd Rob, Kevin Buckingham, David Brimacombe, Fiona Boyes, Greg Dodd, Greg TheBeard Montfroy, Matthew Frederick, Rhiannon Simpson, Shane Pacey, Rob Ellig, Mike Elrington, Robert Little, Robyn Youlten, Phil Manning, Phil Ceberano, Phil Para, Bo Jenkins, Mark Richardson, Dave Keller, Damien Young, Jonno Zilber, Jesse Valach, Jessey Jackson, Sam Teskey, Jimmy Appudurai-chua, Grant McDonough,Doc White, Derek Lark, Michael Pollitt, John Smith, Rob Papp, Simon Kinny-Lewis.
As always,
Thanks for listening!
Stevie x

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Day 158 ‘ —-‘