Saturday, June 24, 2017

Of Music, Men, and Chipmunks

It was and still is a rainy day. All day. "So what kind of tasks should I take on?" I asked myself. I started a book that I downloaded to my Kindle a few weeks ago and got well into it by the time the ladies were up and functional. I haven't been reading much lately and it felt good to see a new plot unfold.

Then I went out to the garage and to the stall I take over for the summer as my seasonal "man cave" and wondered what I should do there besides just grab a guitar, sit down, and start playing. Then I looked at the overstuffed, orange folder with many copies of music and lyrics to an amazingly eclectic bunch of song. Everything from Clapton to Hoagy Carmichael to Ry Cooder, The Band, Cyndi Lauper, The Rankins, etc. I borrowed a paper punch from the Cooker and a three ring binder I had salvaged from work and went to organizing. There were pages upside down, single songs in several places as I had dropped the folder previously and just stuck everything back in it.

I got it all punched and just about alphabetized when I got distracted by one of my guitars. It is very difficult to have some nearby and not want to play something. I picked up my little Martin and after playing it I remembered that I wanted to put a strap button on it to make it more comfortable to play while standing.

I also remembered that I didn't have a strap button and that I would probably have to order one. They are only a few bucks, but I was looking at a few days and would probably put it off again. Then I remembered my friend Dave the Luthier (also co-owner of Hungry Jack Outfitters) and since it was after 9 a.m. I decided to call him. I like a man who answers his own phone and I asked him if he had any strap buttons. He said maybe a hundred or so. I imagined he had these and a lot more.
The question was did I want to drive up the Gunflint Trail for about 30 miles for a three dollar part? Dave said he was coming to town in a few days and could drop it off where I work. I said okay to that, but this still put me in procrastination mode. I went back to putzing around the garage and house for a bit and a little while later the phone rang. It was Dave and he said that he had to make a run to town for a plumbing fixture and could stop by with a strap button.

While I waited i did an online search to see if there were any installation tips I could find. Here were some options.
I chose position 5 as I have my 12 string set up that way. Dave showed up with the button and one of his commissioned guitars for me to check out. I asked for his thoughts on installation and felt at ease with my decisions.

BUT the guitar he brought was gorgeous and 99% finished. It had a contoured body with the soundhole(s) on the upper side where the player would hear it as much as any audience.
This isn't Dave's as I wasn't smart enough to get a photo, but it is somewhat similar. I was too busy enjoying the feel and sound of it to go get a camera. The finish was exquisite and Dave checked to make sure my fingernails weren't too long. Had they been I would have immediately cut them to the quick if need be. His creation was unique, comfortable, and sounded wonderful. I may have to start a separate savings account.

Alas, all fun things end too soon, but as we stood in the driveway in a very light rain we were entertained by a couple of chipmunks who were scurrying past us slightly overloaded with sunflower seeds. We wondered how the excess weight in their cheeks didn't cause them to fall forward.
They seemed to defy the laws of physics. How they can run with their center of gravity that far forward defies logic.

Hopefully, I'll finish today's projects tomorrow. Except for the strap button. I got that done.


  1. I didn't even know what a strap button was.

    As you can guess, music is not one of my accomplishments.

  2. That sounds like a truly wonderful day.
    Snickering at the chipmunk's centre of gravity being in their cheeks. It is in mine too - but different cheeks.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Jono--When you can check something off your "to do" list because it's done, that's cause for celebrating.

    At least a little celebration.

  5. Hoagy Carmichael. I think you should play one of his tunes first after the guitar is strapped.

  6. I second the elephant! :)

    it's the little things in life that make it sweet.

  7. Wonderful thought process delineated!

  8. This is my kind of day too, plodding from thought to project and one day there will be results.
    Of corse there would be/will be kaffe!

  9. Some days are just like that, aren't they, wandering from one thing to another as we please. It's nice to have the freedom to do that when so many days are structured.

    I've never seen a guitar with a soundhole at the top. I don't know much about guitars, clearly. Nice that you were able to enjoy your friend's efforts.

    Why are chipmunks cuter than squirrels? I like them both, but chipmunks are just so cute, the darn things.

  10. No idea what a strap button was until you showed them. Sounds like a good day, lots of puttering around.
    Have a good week.

  11. talking about center of gravity: I have seen some very fat people riding motorcycles???
    the Ol'Buzzard

  12. Bill, You know your way around a mandibular second molar better than most of us know our way around homes. That's nothing to sneeze at.

    Ms. Moon, I got 'em!

    Debra, Thanks! I was pretty pleased with the results.

    Elephant's Child, Yes, but a lower center of gravity is generally a stabilizing force. That's a good thing.

    Sioux, Absolutely! Any job completed is nearly a miracle at times.

    Gorilla B., Georgia on My Mind is the one I have, but Stardust, Heart and Soul, Ole Buttermilk Sky, Lazy Bones, Up a Lazy River, etc. and many others I might need to learn.

    anne marie, I think gravity is lowering all of us mercilessly. And yes, It is the little delights that make us smile.

    magiceye, Never thought of it that way, but that is what happened. Always love your captures of places I would never otherwise see.

    JACKIESUE, It's just chillin' with myself. Nice, actually.

    Onevikinggirl, It is usually the method that eventually gets things done. It just takes a while to show. Kaffe just adds to my anticipation.

    jenny_o, I don't get days like that often enough, but they are certainly enjoyable. I got some moments to get some music in the binder today.
    Maybe it's the stripes and the fact that it is easier to get them to eat out of your hand.

    Cat Lover, It's a good way to use a rainy day.

    Ol'Buzzard, Well, some of those bikes sit pretty low and are quite easy to get on.

  13. Never too much music, or too many musical instruments. :)

  14. Making music and laughing at chipmunks sounds pretty close to a perfect day! Glad you got your strap button sorted out, and I'm still hoping you'll post a video of yourself playing the guitar someday. :-)

  15. Shoshanah, Those are words to live by!

    Diane, When I feel like giving everyone a huge laugh I will post something like that.
    In my mind I sing like a dying bullfrog and play like a bunch of tumbleweeds blowing into a barbed wire fence. Maybe someday, I'm shy.

  16. My Saturday involved beer.
    I hope I didn't embarrass myself.

  17. Doncha just love a Saturday like that? Congratulations on thinking about the strap button, acquiring the strap button, and actually installing the strap button all on the same day, now that's an enviable achievement.
    Chipmunks? Yes very cute but they seem to be living in my wall, just where the siding meets the concrete near the ground, there's a bit of a cavity and they thought they would move in without asking me first. So rude!

  18. It sounds like you got a lot done. Sometimes I putz around like that all day long, and have nothing to show for it.

    Love the chipmunk!