I've been looking for an acoustic guitar for quite some time. The old acoustic I used was my wife's and went with her, so I don't have one around anymore. This is fine, but it's hard to write music in a quiet apartment when there isn't a no-nonsense acoustic around to use at moments of melodic inspiration.
The fact is, however, that I'm really, really picky about acoustic guitars. I hate the "dreadnought" design and avoid most crisp-sounding instruments. I like old, plunky, parlour-sized styled acoustics, and those seem to be getting harder to come by. Also, I've started looking for an acoustic with on-board electronics so I can easily plug in for live shows. So I'm more picky than usual.
There are plenty of acoustics I'm interested in. I tried out a few here:
And what I liked the most was this Gretsch archtop... that isn't really much of an acoustic in the first place. Go figure.
I broke down a few days ago and bought a cheap guitar of off of Craigslist. I bought it for $40, but already regret it. It's a dreadnought, so it's way too big. And it doesn't sound a thing like I want an acoustic to sound like. Because it's just plain a terrible guitar overall.
Here's my first half-assed attempt at making it sound respectable.
Its action was way too high. But that's not what the guitar is for.
But I still hate it.
So today, after a meeting, I went out and got it some new strings. And I almost tuned it and tried again:
So I did it. I have an acoustic guitar to try to write again.
But all it makes me want to do is get a better acoustic so I can actually enjoy it. Today, it was this one, which sounds almost exactly like the guitar I picked for my wife:
But really I want this not-quite-an-acoustic that is much more my style, but a little too delicate for my to use at school or for campfires. This one:
And I'm super-duper interested in this one, despite its lack of on-board electronics.
This past weekend, I drove up to Smithers, BC, to visit my kids. They're living up there and I had a 3½ day weekend, so I went up to visit them. It was good to see them and I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with them. It was also a little heartbreaking, considering the length of the drive and the typical things adults need to deal with in regards to today's kids: namely, screens.
My kids do not suffer from obesity, but I find it difficult to pry them away from screens. I feel like this is a common Western parent battle, though; practically every screen-laden household needs to deal with this sort of thing. And we all have double-standards about how much screen time is too much, and when it's appropriate to use screens.
I need to regularly remind myself of how much television I watched at their age, even when "nothing was on" and I barely enjoyed it. I did this too.
But I can see how these screens mess with sleeping patterns, with relationships, with perception of the world. Because I deal with it too. Even now.
So who am I to say, "Get off the screen and pay attention to me..." when my own hand is also reaching in my pocket for my own personal screen? I may cast the first stone, but I do so as a hypocrite.
In my continuing battle against screens and digitization, I've been re-engaging more with film photography. Here are a few recent film photos from the trip to Smithers... and I digitized them in order to post them to the Internet.
These are all photos taken on a Pentax K1000 that I borrowed from the school. Black and White Kodak C-41 film was already loaded in the camera.
I've been having a lot of trouble thinking about things I could write about. It seems like things are going crazy in politics, in society, in various social movements, but I have nothing to add to the conversation, nothing that somebody else can't say more effectively.
How did I once have so many things to write about?
So here are some pictures I've taken recently.
At Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, August 2017.
At Pride in Vancouver, August 2017
At the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge a couple nights ago
I wonder how long it will take before I have something to say again?
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas