Wednesday, May 9, 2012


where was this guy before the deer crossed the road? Shooting this one in the butt, apparently. Wait a minute-is that a girl? Can't tell. Androgyny in camo gear. OK.

I've often noted that many of the wild animals in America have absolutely no regard for private property, human life, or rules of the road. My standard operating procedure is to take that fact into account when driving, experiencing the temptation to pet and cuddle bears, raccoons and the like, and when sleeping in the woods.

I'm the kind of guy who avoids rabbits, and even coyotes, when I'm driving, not to mention children and bicyclists. But, as luck would have it, I was unable to avoid Bambi. Maybe it was Bambi's mother.

The scene of the execution was not far from home, on the winding road from Alpine. Tonight I was in the mood to just slow poke, driving 35 and 40 mph on a 55 mph road, because there was no traffic. It had been dark for a short time.

So, as I rounded a curve I saw an animal start to enter the road ahead from the right. I began to slow but I was already close to the creature. It ran across, so I thought it was history, then it ran back across and I thought my dodge to the left had cleared it, then it did a 180 and dove into the front of the passenger side fender doing significant damage.

All the above took less than half a second. Bam! was the sound. And since the thing was to the side, it wasn't run over and didn't jar the car enough to set off airbags. I'm wondering if this rude animal wasn't depressed and intentionally entering into a fatal relationship with my vehicle. Fatal attraction.

After all, I thwarted its first two attempts. In the end BAMbi won.

My car seems drivable but maybe a little edgy. I'm lucky it pushed things in and not down onto the tire.

I'm also lucky there was no need to deal with El Cajon Highway patrol people. Now I have to get the car into an ElCajon body shop early to meet the insurance guy and pick up a rental. The first $500 of the repair is on me.

Once again I discover the hazards of California. There are times you just can't do anything. That is one of the reasons I chill on that road. But in all the time I've lived here that is only the second deer I've seen on that highway between Alpine and Descanso. Dusk and shortly after are the worst times for animal abuse. Animals abusing people and their property.

The worst part is that it is going to take forever to empty the car. I hope I find money in the process. The good thing is that I am lucky enough to have a means of getting it fixed, and I am unscathed. Too bad I'm not a carnivore. That was a big animal.

Oh Geez, while I am posting

With all the war, the debt, the gangs in the streets, trial by sensational media reports, etc., how did marriage become such a topic?

I am not sure I totally get gay marriage, as it seems a little different than my Ward and June Cleaver image of happy family bliss. But it really is not my business. Not in the political sense, because I don't even think government needs to be in that business. Were it not for tax structure and a few things, who would care?

If it is not defined or banned already, I'd vote against any definition or ban. I vote against anything that adds ink to the rules except for term limits.

Somehow I am now a mail-in only voter in CA. As near as I can tell, everyone out on my mountain is mail-in by default. I guess if you live more than five miles from a voting place they do that. I was able to vote to reduce the term limits of some state offices from 14 to 12 years. I guess 6 two year terms is plenty. I'd reduce it to three given the chance.

Here you can vote for anyone in the primaries for senate but not president. I was stuck with only the libertarian choices for president. I could have voted for a republican, democrat, or whatever on the senate one. I voted for the democrat I thought had the best chance of defeating Diane Feinstein. The woman is a crook and a menace.

For the last three years I've been surrounded by people opposed, vehemently, to the Sunrise Power Link project. According to Diane, there has been no opposition at all. I guess she missed the dozens of lawsuits, and thousands of letters she and others received. She and Arnold were on the same page on this--a bipartisan bit of corruption.

I doubt I'd vote for that person I thought would have a chance against Diane in the primaries, in the major election, should she win the nomination, because the only people close to my philosophy are not to be found in the democratic party. Libertarians won't win, although I think Ron Paul could have come close in the republican boondoggle had he not been ignored and shut out by the press as much as he was. I vote the philosophy, not the man. He's the only one with a clear philosophy.

For judges I voted for anyone who was not in the prosecutor's office. And for schoolboard and the like, anyone whose brief bio did not list being a public employee or official. So, the freelance writer got my vote for school board.

Being a scrooge I vote no on bond issues. If schools were managed and run as I see fit, then I could see putting money into my plans. More of the same? Nope.

I also voted no on raising tax on cigarettes. If they decide to tax beef under guise of heart disease research I'll vote no on that. The two things are analogous, and show how people think a thing won't get them, but miss the basic principle involved. Just wait, it will come around to bite those who think ripping off others, of whom they disapprove, is perfectly right.

Harmonica Endeavors and Semi-Reviews

Blablablablabla...evidently, I am driven to prolific midnight posting.

So, as I listened to the tunes I need to learn, it became evident that either he recalled the wrong keys, or else something made the prescribed key unfit. I do not believe the recording and playback somehow slowed or increased in speed because the one tune that I had been exposed to, so I knew what key was right, worked as it should.

I was able to find the key for most of the songs. On one I found I could use the chromatic with the button in. Is that C#? In other words Db? One was oddly in B, or B was all that would work.

So, I figured it was time to update the harp collection. No matter where I go, Lee Oskar harps, and most other suitable instruments are a lot of money. It turns out that has the best prices and selection for my purpose.

I've dealt with them in the past and they are reliable and honest. They also sell a little known brand called Bushman. It is a German made brand which doesn't outsource to odd countries, and they make a good harp which lends itself to overblows--the technique which allows you to bend a note up in pitch. Usual bending on harmonica is only down.

The price on these is pretty good and you can replace reed plates like on a Lee Oskar, so I got a few in major keys like Ab, Db, F#, and something else. I also go a Gminor in a Lee Oskar.

They have some cheapo harps that are a bargain but I didn't get them. A set of 12 in a durable case for $40. They send a lot of those overseas to military people, so if you know someone over in the thick of this stuff, let them know and they'll probably send them a cool set of harps.

It sounds like good practice harps. Sometimes a harp that plays but won't quite do what expensive ones do is good for working your ability to coax things so it is a piece of cake when you go to the hotshot harmonica.

I saved nearly $10 each by not getting the Lee Oskars, but I hope I don't regret it. I've had some Bushmans for a long time with good result. The trick is to get the one called Soul's Voice and not the Delta Frost. I've owned both, and the SV is more durable and cleaner sound. The cost is about the same.

For overblows people have been paying over 2 or 3 hundred dollars for customized marine bands and Golden Melody Hohners, and now companies are building them in a similar fashion to custom harps but they are still over $100 for one diatonic harp. Supposedly they overblow well so you can play them chromatically for the most part. Of course you are stuck with that particular key's sound characteristics, but it adds versatility.

Suzuki has come out with one I'd like to try someday. Like the customizers, they use a rosewood comb. I guess they have reeds of the right size and such which do well with the overblow bends, and they claim to be set up out of the box for it. That has to do with how reeds are offset, and zzzzzzz. Sorry, I was putting myself to sleep.

Anyway, I figure I better have the tools since I think the people I'm hooking up with are for real, and it could result in recording more than just for them. I'll know things are good when playing nets out in the black financially. So far it has cost me more to play than I've made. That is generally the case, however, I am beginning to think I may have more worth than that.

What I play is a limited thing, but it is a niche which few people fill, so, in reality, I have a better chance making it pay than most guitar players would, because there are so many of them, and usually they are the frontman. If they need what I do, they very rarely can lay down that track themselves. I'll try at any rate. It seems good female singers, who can sing back up or lead, may also fit a similar demand--but possibly moreso.

One thing for sure, this stuff is becoming highly challenging.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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