Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Birthday...


Happy Birthday Rose and Juan. Both born on the same day just in different years.  This photo of them all spiffy looking is from the Mary/Miguel wedding.  

Also happy birthday to Cathy's brother John. This photo is from a beach fishing trip a couple of years ago. John still looks the same. He is aging well. The shark who was CPRed (caught, photo, released) has probably changed. 

Granny Wallace was born on this day in 1902 and how about a shout out to Deacon Gary. It's his birthday too. 

And of course there is the thing that ties all this together. I asked Cathy to marry me on this day in 1988.     Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Featuring Fiddle Players...






I guess for you daily readers it seems as if it was a musical weekend where ever I went. Last few blog posts are about some kind of music and here is more featuring fiddle players seen at the Texas Renaissance Festival. 

First group is Circa Paleo. Nice combination of tribal drums and a Hofner Beatle Bass. Fiddle player was really tearing it up. 

Second group is the Gypsy Dance Theater. Great music and great belly dancing. I'll have more belly dance photos later. 

All musicians were paid for these performances. I either threw money in the tip jar or bought their cd. When you go see music do the same. You don't have to throw money in a tip jar at an Eagles or Stones concert. Approaching the stage with something clutched in your fist might bring security. Don't ask how I know this. Just be sure to help guys like these. They piece it together with gigs like this, dance and music lessons, making instruments and what ever else. It's good music. Support it.   Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sold a Tin Box Guitar...


I sold the Little Tom cigar tin guitar yesterday. I had it hanging in Sound Techs, the local music store Where it was spotted by Mark of the band, The Saw MIll Vagrants.  I met him at the music store and brought my newest builds. We sat around played and talked music as he went back and forth trying the different guitars. He like the goose guitar also but the Little Tom guitar was the first one he saw and he chose it. 

If you remember previous blog posts this is a four stringer made from a 1920s Little Tom cigar tin I bought junk shopping in Hearne Tx. It has a nice banjo sound and a dirty bluesy electric sound through an amp. 

You can probably see this guitar in action this weekend at the Kennard, Tx Old Mill Music Festival where the Sawmill Vagrants and other bands are playing. They also have a facebook page and it looks like a good event with performances, music workshops, vendors and camping. I would like to go but got to return to my day job. Maybe next year I can have a vendor booth. 

Currently I have the Holy Bible Guitar, the goose guitar, French Quarter Red, the Peanut warmer guitar and the El Dia De Los Muertoes amp in the music store. Staff says they are attracting a lot of attention. Thanks for looking. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Dance LSSLC...



Have not had too much Strat Kat news lately. We are still playing the Lufkin State Supported Living Center Dance every month. We do have a bit of a different crew appearing at gigs for the past few months. These photos are from Friday night's Halloween Party. Left to right, Mike, Danny, Dan, Mudbelly and Steve. 

The residents had some great costumes for the party and I took my Renaissance Festival Costume for a trial run at this gig.  It was kind of scary if you strap on a black strat to go with it. I found this robe at a thrift store in Pasadena, Tx. Pasadena has a great strip, Spenser Highway that has a wonderful bunch of thrift and resale stores and I was able to pick this garment up for $18 bucks. The tag in the back says South West Robe Company. Click on the link to check their wares. I don't mind giving a shout out to companies whose products deliver as advertised. I would guess after browsing the site that this was a custom order. 

It was a fine time had by all. Bat girl and batman took 3rd and 4th in the costume contest and a cross dresser was 1st if you are in need of tips as to what is popular this Halloween. 

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Renaissance Characters...





There is always a Renaissance of some sort in the wind but yesterday we took the show on the road and all met up with Mary, Miguel and Morgan at the Texas Renaissance Festival for a little fun with costumes. Here's Mary, Miguel and Cathy. 

Mary and Cathy. Mary is a forest creature of some kind.  

Miguel endured more than a few jokes about his horns. 

Cathy is the black to my white. 

Mr. Horny and Man servant Morgan consult on the new middle ages.

Took a lot of photos of the performers at the fest and I'll be posting them the next few days.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 25, 2013

Build #15 is French Quarter Red...




I'm calling this guitar French Quarter Red. It's a one string diddly bow. Acoustic sound is limited as seems to be the case with the coffee can guitars but electrically it's clean and clear. Piezo pick up is located under the bridge as opposed to the sound board surface on the box guitars and I may try to use that method more often. Lots of tricks to try with pickup placement all yielding different sorts of sounds.  

The songs that fall from this guitar are the old "Cotton Fields," and the "You Get a Line I'll get a Pole, Let's go down to the Crawfish Hole" but in your hands something different might be born. 

This guitar is for sale. I'll take $25.   Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just in Time for the Christmas Rush...




Here is a pile of the last few box guitars I have mad. They all play real well both electric and acoustically. The latest project has been a 12 days of Christmas project that I am sure will enhance any Christmas carol sing a long around the old nog bowl. 












Merry Christmas!






Collectible Milky Way Commemorative tin. Of course it's an electric instrument. Most of the tin guitars have a banjo like acoustic sound and a dirty blues electric sound but this guitars electric sound is sweeter. It sounds especially good throught the red Fender Frontman solid state am Pop gave me. Not to say it does not sound good when you take the clothes off some tubes but there are a lot of little SS amps out there, Micro Cubes, Vox modeling and so on that would be great companions to these guitars. 



Here's a work in progress. A Prince Albert tin Morgan found in his storage building. A piece of an old door and not pictured an old lock with out a key from the Chicago lock company as the nut. It's a one string non tune-able diddley bow. I have not got all it's problems solved yet but it will be one for the true believer amonger you primitive instrument buffs. 

All are for sale. I'll take $55 for a three stringer and $25 for two strings or less. Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update on my String Ray Injury...

If you are a follower here you know I was stung by a sting ray a little more than 9 weeks ago. I think I am well. Here's a photo of my foot and for the first time since the sting happened there is no sign of drainage. 

The dressing you see is a fexzan foam dressing. It's peeling up a bit but that's because I have had it on for 24 hours. In the past weeks I have sometimes kept the dressing on for 3-5 days as long as it remained intact. The hole it covered was about the depth and width of a cotton q-tip head and that's in all directions. It was a pretty fluffy and wide q-tip. The wound is basically all filled in from the bottom of the wound bed with only a slight indentation in the outer layer of skin which might grow back thick enough to leave no scar. 

Flexzan is a dressing described on their web sight as "sterile, ultra-thin, highly conformable, semi-occlusive polyurethane foam adhesive dressing that protects wounds from exogenous contamination and trauma while maintaining a moist wound healing environment.
Flexzan® is constructed of an open cell foam with a closed cell outer surface. Excess wound moisture is absorbed into the cells of the foam and allowed to evaporate through the outer surface, helping prevent fluid accumulation under the dressing.
Flexzan® should not be used on third degree burns or on wounds showing clinical signs of infection."

I used no medicine of any kind on this wound other than the standard antibiotics for a string ray sting. The flexzan lets the wound environment stay optimal so the body heals it's self. You can buy this stuff on the internet but I don't recommend you try this at home. It's not a one size fits all treatment and may not be as suitable for your wound as it was for mine. The main tenet of wound care is if what you do don't work, something else is needed. I do recommend you go to your doctor for help as wounds are complex and don't always heal and if I needed hospitalization I'd  go to Woodland Heights Medical Center. When I worked there I had some great mentors that perform the wound care for that facility and the things they taught me have been invaluable. 

Some one called my wife this week and asked how my foot was. She told them "It's fine, he's already on to the next thing," meaning crashing into a deer as I did last Saturday night. It's heck getting old and not getting out of the way as fast as you used to when danger presents.     Posted by Picasa

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Killed My First Deer...

I know it seems kind of remiss for this born and raised East Texan to never have accomplished such a feat but I managed to open deer season last night using my trusty Toyoda Scion to bring down the most sought after of Texas game animals. 

I was outside Groveton on my way back from the Stonewall Studio October Jam Fest which is a benefit with proceeds going for purchase of Thanksgiving Dinner for MD Anderson Children's Cancer Center when I notice the approaching car slowing down. I slowed and saw what must have been one of several deer crossing in front of that car. As we almost passed a final deer dashed between us and I did a number on him. Lucky I slowed. It was still unlucky for the deer. From the photo you can note the splatters on my car.

At this point damage seems minimal. A small dent at the edge of the hood. I think I can straighten it.  A quick internet search shows that I can get an unpainted grill for about $40 plus shipping. 

I stopped at the first car wash I saw when I entered Lufkin. I regret I was not able to patronize my favorite wash owned by my friend GW in Garrison, Tx. In a shameless plug for the local business man, even if I could not Stop at The Dog Gone Car wash, you still can.      Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hauled This to the Dump Last Week...

I hauled this little lawn mower trailer overflowing with old Taekwondo trophies to the dump last week. They were things me, my wife, Morgan and Mary had won at competitions dating back as far as 1999. It's about half of the amount I have thrown away and there are still odds and ends such a pendant medals and a few trophies tucked here and there around the house. 

Some of the trophies won at world TKD tournaments stood waist high to me. That was from the good old days when school owners tried to one up each other with their trophy size. Most were not savable and had rotting particle board bases. Now a days medals are mostly pendants. They are easy to store and display and the student looks like he has won the Olympics. 

These trophies represent a lot of hard work, travel and perseverance in many various forms. I miss it a bit and remember how much time I spent to bring my skills to a presentable level. I remember the pride I felt when my wife and kids did well. I missed it a bit this weekend when me and Morgan visited a local school owner in Bryan/College Station and looked around his school. I am thankful for the training I got at Master Olford's school here in Lufkin. 

Things move on. I have kept busy. Sorry everyone for this big carbon footprint.     Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Weekend Fishing Photos...




It's back to work today for me so I'll post a few more carefree weekend fishing photos. 

Kind of care free I guess. The price of fishing included a little work to level the dock that had settled to a crooked angle over the summer. It's better after some work but if you sit on it and fish don't knock your drink container over. 
Grandma gives Warren a few casting tips. 

Morgan returns a bass to fight another day. 





A hawk watches and makes sure we put all his fish back.   Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Couple of Instruments Say Goodbye...

Ok, you say, "Mudbelly," and I mean there are a lot of people who say ok, Mudbelly, "you making guitars and stuff all the time you must have a lot of things just sitting around. Yes I do and I got rid of a couple of them. Here's a snare drum and a trumpet that in response to a notice in the church bulletin I donated to St. Patrick's Catholic School. 

The trumpet is a student model and I can't even recall the brand now. It was bought in a pawn shop for very cheap because it did not have a mouthpiece. A cornet mouth piece did not fit it well and I promptly got a bugle mouthpiece stuck in the horn where it stayed for years. Face it, I am a low brass guy. I play the tuba and have recently become addicted to the baritone horn. I am never going to hit the high notes so I am not going to miss the trumpet. I bought a mouthpiece puller, got the bugle mouthpiece out, a nice red lexan mouth piece, and a soft case and dropped the whole lot by the school. I won't even need the mouth piece puller again because I like the mouth piece stuck in my tuba. Keeps me from losing it. 

The snare drum was bought when Morgan began band in the 6th grade. I can't recall now if it was new or used but I do remember it I got it cheaper than the price Tatum music, which supplies most band instruments to the East Texas area wanted for their student model. In fact I own a drum set, currently in use at our country band rehearsal area and  the veteran of many gigs that did not cost much more than the snares Tatum had. This is the snare that turned Morgan and Mary into fine drummers. It's played many gigs in the beginner bands and with the previously mentioned drum set at church, the VFW, jam sessions and parties. It's replacement is a piccolo snare that Pop bought at a garage sale. It's a better drum and our country band drummer always wants to buy it. So I don't need both snares and it's goodbye to this faithful jammer, may many more kids development their music talent beating on you like my kids did.  

So there they go. I don't know what course the school music program may take. I have heard they may do a fife and drum corps. Maybe I'll get to go to a concert and hear these instruments play. Maybe if they need tuba they will call me and I'll get to play. Either way, after all this, there is still more.   Posted by Picasa

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

More Box Guitars...



Here's Guitar builds number 14 ad 15. The chamber pot is not a musicl instrument but you never know when a drummer may stop by. 

The can guitar is from a French Market can. It plays on the lap and is tuned to a root - five tuning. Has a good acoustic sound a raspy in a nice way electric sound, especially when connected to my 1968 Bandmaster amp. Most instruments tend to sound good with this amp. For what sounds like a can guitar check out the new North Mississippi All Stars Cd. 









Square guitar is a cigar tin. It has a nice banjo sound and then gets real gnarly electrically. I think I prefer the tin guitars if I am going to have to amp them. It's a three string. I like the 1-3-5 tuning of the scale. This guitar low to high is an A chord, e-c#-a. Seems a lot of builders like the 1-5-1 tuning but I like the happy major chord sound.  

But it's your pick, what tuning to use. What song to play. Just be sure you don't play it like anyone else does. 

These guitars are for sale.    Posted by Picasa

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