Friday, July 11, 2003

More bass

I made a trip into the offices of Very Large Corporation today, a rare thing for me since I've been officing out of the house for some time now. I was lured by two things: the last time I was there, I left my spare laptop power supply; also, my co-worker Dolby brought in some home-made mango ice cream. Tasty!

On my way to the office, I stopped by The Custom Shop and talked to Keith about my bass plans. He was very forthright and honest. He said the modifications needed to fit the bridge pickup into my bass were a bit risky and, in the long run, wouldn't add any real value to my bass. He did say that he'd be more than happy to help with getting it fit in, but that I'd probably be better off just buying a bass that has the sound I want.

So, probably no mods to the current bass, other than maybe a new pickguard to change the look up a little bit. On my way home from the office, I stopped at just about every guitar store in town. Most of them didn't have the pickguard I wanted, and the ones who did were way overpriced. The places who didn't have it said they could order it ... but then again, I can do that myself on the Internet and save about 20 bucks.

I did get to play a Fender Geddy Lee Signature Jazz model at Guitar Center, where I also played a very nice used Fender American Standard. It was blonde with a maple fingerboard, and had a nice tone. The salesman was ready to cut me a deal right then and there -- I walked out before laying down the cash, though. It's enough money that the Mrs. would have definite veto power, and spending it without her approval would put me in the doghouse for a very, very, very long time.

Gonna have to wait until I save the cash. Must play more gigs ...

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Depends on what the meaning of "knew" is ...

More news on the bogus Bushism delivered in the 2003 State of the Union Address:

CIA officials warned members of the President’s National Security Council staff the intelligence was not good enough to make the flat statement Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa.

The White House officials responded that a paper issued by the British government contained the unequivocal assertion: “Iraq has ... sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” As long as the statement was attributed to British Intelligence, the White House officials argued, it would be factually accurate. The CIA officials dropped their objections and that’s how it was delivered.

Clever, huh? There is no out and out lie to pin on Bush ... Karl Rove is, after all, an *evil* genius, but a genius nonetheless. He's not going to let his puppet be caught in an obvious lie, as the story above proves. But even Einstein got some things wrong.

What the apologists for the increasingly corrupt Bush regime are doing here is called "dissembling." They want us to believe that the President didn't know that the British report was false. But more and more evidence is coming to light that shows the corrupt occupant of the Whitehouse and his handlers knew exactly that ... the British report was bogus.

Just what did Bush know and when did he know it? The only way to clear W's "good name" is to launch an investigation. But don't hold your breath -- the Imperial Resident and his simpering minions value secrecy above all else. They're already stonewalling an investigation into administration and intelligence failures pre 9/11/2001. They've fought long and hard to shield Cheney's corrupt dealings. They'll do everything they can to prevent the real story of their motives for the Iraqi invasion from seeing the light of day.

More and more it seems that the right wing believes that Republican presidents aren't first among equals, they're divinely instated kings to be followed unquestioningly. As long as there's a profit to be made, damn the consequences.

To those of you following along, it should be clear -- for soulless neo-conservatives, misrepresenting facts and shading the truth is okay -- after all, it's not their kids who are dying in the hot Iraqi sun, is it?

Redistricting Follies

The folks over at the Burnt Orange Report are doing a good job keeping up with the reporting and editorilizing on the shennanigans going on down at the Capitol.

So far, it hasn't been the slamdunk that many liberals feared. Heck, even the Senate Republicans are balking at the crap coming out of the House. I guess we can hope that this whole fiasco generates a groundswell of support for an independent commission that would handle this task. I won't hold my breath, though.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Depends on what the meaning of "signficant quantities" is, huh?

The Bushies have been flushed out into the open regarding Dear Weader's statements that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa.

The president's statement in the State of the Union was incorrect because it was based on forged documents from the African nation of Niger, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Monday.

Hmm. His statement was "incorrect." Why can't Ari just come out and say it: "We lied"?

Now, according to my dictionary here, a lie is "to make a statement that one knows is false, esp. with intent to deceive." So the question becomes, "what did George know?"

From the same story above, it's clear that at least a few in the administration knew the Niger uranium story didn't have any substance:

"The question was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice president. The office of the vice president, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked, and that response was based upon my trip out there," Wilson said.

Here's how Plausible Deniability '03 goes: the president was given misinformation; he didn't know it was false, therefore he didn't lie.

OK. But someone did, someone apparently as high as the office of VP. There are enough questions here to warrant a wider investigation.

We spent millions of dollars trying to determine whether or not the previous president lied about getting a blowjob. Why do I not have any faith that we'll see a similar investigation of the current administration for statements with far greater consequences?

Monday, July 07, 2003

More Noodles

I made the noodles, though the recipe required a little creative adjustment. I can't decide whether that was what made the noodles a little al dente or if I just over/undercooked them. More experimentation is in order.

I Can't Decide

Here are my current options:

1. Mod my '98 Fender Jazz (made in Mexico) with a couple of Fender 60's Custom Shop pickups and a new tortiseshell pickguard. That would give me a new look and a better sound. But I'm concerned about the pickup size differential in the MIMs -- from what I've read, the bridge pickup slot needs a slight bit o' routing. I'm pretty sure I could do it -- my brother has an awesome set of tools -- but I'd sure hate to mung up my baby.

2. Hold off on any new purchases and continue to save my pennies to invest in a Geddy Lee signature Jazz (made in Japan). I'd probably put a new pickguard on, just so it wouldn't look so much like my current MIM. Better electronics than what I've got in my current bass. Thinner neck than the MIM, but the same bridge (I replaced the bridge on my '98 last year with a Leo Quan Badass II. Note: Geddy Lee was my first big inspiration as a bass player; I used to own a Rickenbacker bass that looked just like his -- I wish I'd never sold it. He's less of an influence on me these days, but the man has got tone.)

3. Hold off even longer and save even more pennies and invest in an American Jazz. Two-color sunburst with a maple fretboard. Tortiseshell pickguard, of course. (Are we sensing a theme here?). This would give me a bass with better electronics and, theoretically, better long-term value.

So, spend a relatively small amount of money for changes *now*, or delay my gratification and get an even better instrument.

I just don't know.