Tuesday, December 31, 2013

More From the Money Compliments and Publicity Department...

I was on the news last night. Click here for the link. Thanks to reporter Caleb Beames for the story and to Sound Techs Music for letting me hang my guitars for sale in their store.  


Saturday, December 28, 2013

From the Money, Compliments and Publicity Department...

You have all met my celebrity primitive guitar endorser Bill Cooney. Go ahead google image Bill Cooney banjo and see what you get. You will see how lucky I am to be able to have his endorsement and blessings.

You see, he's a busy guy. Here in this photo he endorses a coffee cup with the handle made out of a little guy with his butt sticking out. Just as my guitars started selling when I got his endorsement I bet everyone will want one of these and probably want to stick their butt out . 

Thanks to brother in law Kevin we once again had the Christmas oysters. Here you see Bill endorsing some of them. Like the Robert Earl Keen Christmas song said "because we all want some!" 

In fact everyone should get in the act of endorsing something. In this photo Cathy endorses beards.   Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 27, 2013

I'm So Glad...

 My Christmas has 12 days in it!
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas...

 ...From the Wallace/Zamora/Ramirez/Tulloch family!
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve Man...

Warren and Coraline visited the greatest Santa in a fast food place in Pasadena a couple of weeks ago. Mrs. Santa was with him blowing balloon animals.  '
I hope you can slide down Pop-Pop's Chimney. He can't slide down it himself. 
 Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

They Tell Me Guitars Sell Better...

When you have a pretty girl hold them. Well not only is Coraline holding the latest cigar box creation she held build it by pressing in tuners and bushings. This is cigar box #22. 

It's made from a resonant wood bottom box. Great acoustic sound and has a disc piezo pickup. Tuning is G major g-d-b. It's for sale and I will take $75. Posted by Picasa


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Some People Had So Much Fun for Christmas....

 They had to take a nap. We all know that Christmas is a tough time of the year. A sure way to beat the holiday blues is get plenty of rest.

This holiday survival tip brought to you by your friends at The Older You Will Get...
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Pretty Easy To Get in on the Santa Act...

It's pretty easy to get in on the Santa thing around here. There's hats, there's suits, there's tubas and more. 

Yesterday me and Mary did the drum and tuba Christmas at the nursing home (surprise, I do have a day job) where I work. I played the tuba and uke and Mary played the bedpan/suitcase drum set. As you know we have a lot going on this year but maybe next year we will try to take this little show on the road. We have about 30 minutes worth of material and I figure we flesh that out with a few Eagles covers, I dance around a little more than I am already doing and charge $39,000 we will be good to go. 

Yesterday after the gig we came home and cut a recording of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. This tune dates to 1833 and the author is unknown.  It's a favorite Christmas song of mine for a couple of reasons. It lends itself very well to a drum break. Then there are of course there is the message. I particularly like the imagery brought forth by the line "to save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray." And astray we go. I have received the call "ship to shore, Mudbelly we can't see you anymore" a few times myself. Now most of us don't go so far a astray under Satan's power that we kill or rob some one but we do commit the small sins. I am thinking about the small ones where we say bad things about other people or maybe another kind of people or that when we say these things we assume that everyone believes the same and is going to go along with us.  

So that brings us to the  last line of this old Christmas carol "tidings of comfort and joy." Pray for sinners. Hope for conversion. I think we will all be surprised when we enter that place of comfort and joy.   Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Where is Bob Dylan...

Miguel Sr. is better. While his condition after a stroke is still serious there are encouraging signs. He now opens his eyes, squeezes your hand, nods or blinks yes or no and he can find Bob Dylan. That means his sense of humor for a family joke is intact.

Somehow Miguel Jr. came to call his sister Selena Bob Dylan. Don't you call her Bob Dylan. She hates it. For that matter don't call me Bob Dylan either. I would hate it. Yesterday with the family around the hospital bed some one asked Miguel Sr. the family joke, "Where's Bob Dylan?" and he turned and looked right at Selena. 

Things are a bit better. Thanks for the prayers. They are working. 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sold Another Guitar and Almost Got Another Ready...

Went down to Sound Techs, the local music store because I sold the Big Ben guitar and was pleasantly surprised that the Rocky Patel guitar had sold. That's two this week. Thanks again to Sound Techs for letting me hang my stuff up for sale. Might be getting close to breaking even on parts.

I hung the Punch Guitar up for sale at $75. It's a good one, a very gigable instrument and am very tempted to keep it myself. The person who buys that will be ready to do some jamming.

Here's a photo of the next one on the work bench. Might actually be hard to keep up with demand because two guitars that I have up for sale are Christmas tins and might not be desirable once the season passed.

Speaking of temptation there is a real nice Fender Mandocaster hanging in Sound Techs. It's a good price and hard to resist taking my profits and putting that bad boy on layaway.   Posted by Picasa


Monday, December 16, 2013

I Am Always Making Stuff...

In fact sometimes I make stuff I have made before and I do that just because I like it. Here's some of my Christmas decorations. 

The statues of Mary, Joe and Jesus stay up all year long. Each Christmas I take out an old piece of copper tubing, run a string of Christmas lights around it and call it good. 

Now you might say "well Mudbelly, you just going over the same old ground I seen that photo before." That's a great thing about modern times. With a fast enough internet connection you don't have to look at a picture you have seen before for very long. Hurry up, get on to the next thing. 

Well I will let you in on a secret. That same old ground has been pretty fertile. Something new always springs up if I keep looking, keep planting, keep tilling. Then I start writing on this old blog or playing on my old tuba and I get my little news out best I can. That's how it happened for Mary and Joe so long ago. And they had big news. It's news that stayed big for all these long years. That's why I light it up each year.    Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cigar Box #20...

Cigar Box #20 is from a "Punch" cigar box. On their web site Punch calls their cigar a "go to brand." Same could be said for this guitar. It may be my best build yet.

Sounds sweet in an open G tuning. It's electric with a disc piezo pickup but the acoustic sound is very banjo like and may be the loudest guitar acoustically yet. I played it in a bright sounding room with 10 people listening and had no problems being buried by the surface noise. 

I sold the Big Ben can guitar and due to the extra bling on this one such as the box corners I have it for sale at $75. I'll hang it in the music store sometime next week on my days off.    Posted by Picasa


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Christmas Possum and Other Stories...

Miguel Sr. is still in the hospital. He might look a little better today after his surgery yesterday but things are still very serious. Please pray for him. Even though he is sick and lies unknowing in a hospital bed for the time being life goes on around us. 

This morning I plunge through the door at 6am headed to work. On my door step doing it's best baby Jesus imitation is a possum in a wire cage.Instead of wrapped in swaddling clothes it's wrapped in a Dallas Cowboys blanket. It has this note:
Seems in the middle of the night at the Zamora home a very large possum in the attic crosses the pull down steps and the steps sink down to the the lower level, the people part of the house and expose possum to people. An hour long chase ensues, possum ends up wearing Mary's boots but Miguel nets possum like a Greek fisherman nets squid in the Aegean Sea. Possum ends up at my house. I am in a hurry, work awaits and I am busy there. No time for possum so I release him right there in the garage. Possum runs in flower bed and hides. Here's what hiding possum looks like:
Shortly we will be gathering for Christmas. We will draw names to see who brings the Christmas possum next year. 

As I mentioned I am busy at work. I will see patients at two different facilities both days this weekend.  Some one told me I would be bored with nursing home work. I'm not. There are plenty of challenges. Cathy is also working a 7 on 7 off at night and we have been passing each other in the doorway lately. That's ok. Work is a good thing. 

On the guitar making front I sold another guitar. It was the Big Ben can guitar. Use the blog search feature and you can find it. I have another very sweet one that I think is the best I have made. Pictures to come soon. 

Tomorrow is Selena, Miguel's sister's 14th birthday. Friend her on facebook. Maybe you will get invited to the big Quiencera to be held when she turns 15 next year. We will be playing the music for the Mass. 

So there you have it. All this uproar almost has me night screaming and I did not even relate the dream I had last night. It was a pretty good dream but a little strange and I'll save that for later. 

As I say, life goes on. I know this is mostly the stuff about me but I know it goes on around you also. 

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Days You Never Want Them to End...

Then there are some days you are glad they ended. Here's a photo of Miguel Sr. with daughters Ashley and Selena from a beach trip we made a couple of years ago. It was a day that you would not ever want to end. 

Today is not so great. Miguel is in ICU after a third stroke and a surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. He is stable and we pray for the best. 

One thing that is the same today as the day we gathered at the beach is that family and friends are together. It's not been fun in the sun but that same love and hope for good things is what we share in our prayers for Miguel to heal and smile with us again.    Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prayers for Miguel...

Our friend Miguel Zamora, Mary's father in law, has had a second stroke. It has left him weaker than the first stoke but at the last news I had he is alert and recognizes people. He seems to be doing fair considering the seriousness of the situation.

Here's a photo from a 2012 beach trip of Miguel, his wife Alejandra, Cathy and their daughter Selena. 

Please keep this family in your prayers.  Posted by Picasa


Monday, December 09, 2013

Greens From the Garden...

Some guy out on Ford Chapel Road plants this little patch of greens each year and when they are ready he puts up this sign. Sometimes if they are not ready he puts of a sign that says "Not Ready Yet."

I usually run a photo each green growing season when the guy puts up the sign. It might lead some to think we live off the land down here in the south just laying about and gathering food as we need. It does bring to mind what a friend in L.A. remarked to me one time as I described catching large amounts of catfish at the lake a few miles from my home. It seemed to him that I was able to just live off the land  and he thought it might become a necessity for him since some one he did not like had just been elected President of the United States.

Little did he know that it takes the carbon footprint of a Yamaha outboard motor and a Ford pickup to haul those cats to the fryer. It usually takes making a little carbon footprint for me to get some greens since I pass this sign but I don't stop, pick and prepare. Instead I drive over to Dean's which is a blue plate lunch bar kind of place in Huntington Texas. I eat my greens there.  

So as it goes no one who was not living off the land already has had to start. I don't really know much about carbon footprints but I do know that gas is cheaper than it has been in a while and it's due to government investments made 30 years ago in the science of drilling. I do know that there are nice people in the world who give away free greens and that the blues singer Corey Harris has a wonderful cd release called "Greens From the Garden."     Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Ali Dances the Nutcracker...

Went down and Watched Ali perform in a Christmas dance show the "Fuzed Nutcracker." It a new version of an old classic as the say. It was performed by her dance school. She was great in her parts as you can see from the photos.

Best of all is we got to hang with her after the show which as you well know means that we are so funky and cool that we can't hardly bear ourselves.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Look What's Under the Tree...

Look what I had under or leaning on a little ceder tree in the yard this morning. It's my latest build, #19 from a Christmas tin. It's got a ceder neck. It's tuned low to high G, B, D for a nice happy major chord sound. Perfect for playing some Christmas songs. Make sure you got some type of slide because these fret-less three stringers are all about scrapping metal on wire and a reverberating tin box miked by a shrill screaming piezo pickup.  

I priced it at $45 and it's hanging in the local music store Sound Techs with several other builds and am grateful for the wall space the guys have donated to me to display my wares. Andy who makes King Bee Guitars was in the store this morning and looked over my stuff. I handed out some of my new business cards. 

I think people are liking these guitars but as folks look them over I get a few suggestions like "how about you make all the headstocks the same?" or "how would you go about radiusing one of these necks." Remember it's about the music in you and having something different from everyone else and I loosely paraphrase Papa Mali "We are not going your way we are searching for a place to go.. We have to find our own way and it's going to be different." 

Last photo is the instruments I have on display at the music store. They are hung upside down because they fit the guitar hangers better that way. They are kind of different you know.    Posted by Picasa


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