The Woodworking Project: A Semi-Hollow Body Gibson ES-335 Replica Guitar

As I mentioned in the post about VLC, I’ve been deciding on a new project to take up.  That new project is a hollow bodied electric guitar with hand carved top and bottom; the one I’m planning to build is going to look a lot like this, a Gibson ES-335.  I have a lot of oak so I want to make use of it extensively in the guitar even though it is a rather unconventional wood for guitars.  Unfortunately, this time I’m not going to use the oak; perhaps for the next instrument :).  As far as the other specs go, I’m wanting to use dual humbuckers, dual volume and tone controls with the ability to coil tap the humbuckers.  Of course, you’ve gotta go with the Bigsby B7 vibrato, 22 frets and a few custom touches.

Here it is a little more broken down (and where I intend to get the electronics and such from)

  1. Electronics
    1. Two Humbuckers (Wolfetone Pickups)
    2. Two Volume pots (long stem, 500k)
    3. Two Tone pots (long stem, 500k, push/push)
    4. Bigsby B7 Vibrato
  2. Woods
    1. Maple top and bottom and center block
    2. Mahogany sides and neck
    3. Ebony fretboard

Of course, there is so much more to get, like the wood for all the molds that will need to be made along with some tools that I am lacking in order to make it.  I could do it without some of these tools, but really, where is the fun in doing something without a new tool to play with :).  When I finally gather all the parts and start actually working on the project, I’ll be sure to update the website to keep y’all informed of my problems and successes and other such ramblings.

College sports investigations, sanctions, and other fun things we all know happen but don’t talk about since this is all amateur athletics and they don’t get paid for their performances

Looking at the college athletics landscape you can see multiple colleges in trouble with the NCAA and facing sanctions and investigations: USC’s basketball and football teams, University of Memphis’ basketball team, University of Tennessee’s football, and the list goes on.  The problem is, these sanctions never really solve the problem.  In many cases the breaking of the rules leads back to the head coach.  So why punish the school?  The coach can leave before the sanctions and fines hit and go away scot-free to the next school (for example, John Calipari and Lane Kiffin come to mind).

So an idea I discussed with my brother and father is to have some of the sanctions follow the coach (where appropriate).  The coach can either continue coaching at the same level through the sanction or sit out from coaching until the sanctions have run their course.  What do you, dear reader think?  Is this idea good, bad, or just plain stupid?  If so, what could be changed?

Why is a new year always the marker for life resolutions?

It has always struck me as odd that people wait until the start of a new year to have resolutions to try and change something about their life or lifestyle.  Why don’t they start right away?  It seems like a form of procrastination to me. Like, someone saying, “I’d really like to get into X, but I’ll wait until the new year to start X.”  I say, what is stopping you from doing X now?  Get out and do it, you don’t need to wait until January 1st to start, do it right now.

Now that I’ve said all that, I want to wish all three people reading my blog a happy new year and I hope that you succeed in all your resolutions (freakin’ procrastinators 🙂 )!

Is technology really making our world better and what is knowledge?

Recently I was at the racetrack dropping off my new helmet to get the HANS anchors installed and be wired for radio communications when I struck up a conversation with another person there.  At first we were talking about schooling and the work it takes to become a PhD and what becoming a PhD entails for work in the future and how the responsibilities grow and become more abstract.  For instance, as an undergraduate you are given a piece of a project to complete; as a Master’s student you are given a problem and must define the project and complete it; as a PhD student you must seek out a problem, define it, and solve it; then, once you’ve obtained a PhD you then look at larger issues with multiple problems, determine the path to take, determine and define the problems along the way to completion, and truly decide if the issue is worth tackling.

This discussion soon led to technology and has it really made our world a better place?  His example was how the US has changed from the 1950s and 1960s to now.  In the 50’s and 60’s the US had numerous social movements and discussion that worked and brought about change, the nuclear family (wife raised the children and took care of the house, men worked and played with the kids at night and the weekend, etc), the work week was 40 hours and some would even say, everything was ideal.  Now, take a look at today, there really is no nuclear family anymore, both parents work, 40 hour work weeks are a dream for most people, we’re constantly connected to our work, there are social issues that are not being tackled; they are ignored and there is bickering between everyone – no one is problem solving.  Could we as a nation be able to have something as radical as civil rights happen today and not tear the nation apart?  What is the reason for the changes in our lives in the past 40 years?  You can look at technology as a major fact: TV, cell phones, computers, the Internet.  From a capitalistic stand-point the US more productive and profitable than ever, but from a human standpoint you could argue we’re backsliding.

From discussing technology, came the discussion of knowledge and what good is knowledge and information.  In a broad sense you can view knowledge as truth; however, that isn’t specifically correct.  Truth is in the execution of knowledge.  Truth is constantly being refined through knowledge, but knowledge by itself does nothing, it is the quality of the knowledge.  The Internet is full of knowledge — some of it terrible, some of it good, and some of it excellent — the problem becomes, how does one know what the knowledge is?  Is it good, bad, great?  The information overload has various effects: everyone has access to the right information, but how do they know it is the correct information?  And looking at all this from a scientific or even knowledge seeking perspective, how can one use all of this knowledge (good, bad, indifferent) to help in the search for truth?

Criticker

I love watching movies and I will watch just about any movie.  So what do you do when you don’t know what movie to watch or want to get suggestions on what to watch?  Well, when I was browsing through my Google Reader I saw a post about this site, Criticker.  It is a movie recommendation site that suggests movies based upon movies you have seen and rated.  The more movies you rate the better it is at suggesting movies you could like.  I spent some time playing around with the site and rating movies I had seen, so far I have rated 360+ films and it appears that Criticker is doing a very good job of suggesting films I might enjoy.  It has suggested films that I have seen but haven’t rated yet and even comes up with an estimated score.  If you do decide to join up, make sure to add me as a friend because I’m curious to see how other people’s rankings who you consider a friend affect the movies that it suggests to you.