Charlie’s had me working on Deep River Blues for a few lessons now. It’s a fun song to play–definitely more challenging for me than a straight Travis pattern or arpeggio picking pattern with standard chords like what I’ve been playing up to this point. (If you want to hear me play it, there’s a link to an mp3 at the end of this post.)

The Delmore Brothers wrote and recorded this song as Big River Blues,  and Doc Watson played this version (from YouTube):

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Apparently, guitar players are a lot like golfers.

First, there’s the whole equipment thing. Golfers need golf clubs, balls, tees, shoes, ball markers, towels–the list of things you can buy for your golfing habit is nearly endless.

Guitar players need guitars, straps, picks, music, humidifiers, tuners, metronomes–the list of things you can buy for your guitar-playing habit is also nearly endless.

Second, guitar players and golfers are both quick to believe that better equipment will make them better players. As a budding guitar player and occasional golfer, I know this to be true. Despite the fact that I golf only once or twice a year, I will admit to buying an oversized driver in hopes that it’d help my game. And, to a degree, it did.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

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A comment that I receive frequently about my Digital Setting Circles project concerns the fact that it uses a serial port rather than a USB port. I guess manufacturers don’t typically include serial ports on notebook computers or PDAs anymore. In my own defense, USB was just coming into common use when I designed this circuit about ten years ago, and USB is more complicated and expensive to implement.

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The vast majority of my business transactions, over the web or otherwise, are carried out with no major problems. I’ve found that almost everyone I deal with is honest and up-front about their goods or services.

I recently came across an exception, though, when I decided to pay to re-cell my two notebook computer batteries. It seemed like a decent deal–I could get both batteries re-celled with brand-new Li ion batteries for about a hundred bucks. That’s much less than a couple of replacement batteries would have cost. And they promised a turnaround of seven to ten business days, not including shipping times.

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We recently purchased a ’97 Pontiac Sunfire for one of the boys to drive, since their previous car (a ’91 Camry) met with its demise. This was definitely an upgrade–the Sunfire was in immaculate condition, while the Camry was a rolling bucket o’ bolts.

This was a good thing, since I’m the one who ended up driving it. The boy has yet to master the stick shift, so he’s driving my car (a newer, nicer car) while I’m driving the stick around town. Something’s wrong with this picture, but that’s a post for another day.

The Sunfire came with an aftermarket CD player installed–a Sony CDX-M630. I thought this was going to be a good thing, too–until I actually tried to use it.

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I have finally seen the day when my oldest child has left the nest and gone out in the world in search of his fortune.

Okay, he’s a high school teacher, so fortune might be a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, he’s earning his own paycheck, paying his own bills, and putting his own food on the table. One of his parting gifts from me was the title to my 1994 Ford Escort. He’d been driving it around at college for the past four years anyway, so I certainly wasn’t going to miss it, and it had been a good car.

Of course, one of the first things to eat out of his initial paychecks was–you guessed it–car repairs. His front brakes needed to be done, and he needed new tires.

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My previous post triumphantly announced that my Linksys WUSB54G (v4) wireless USB adapter worked out-of-the-box with Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and WPA encryption. Since then, I’ve been able to test my other Linksys adapters (WUSB54G v1 and WPC54G v2) to see if they, too, will work without any effort. The short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is that they both continue to work using ndiswrapper (see my previous posts for making the WUSB54G and WPC54G work using ndiswrapper).

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ARRL Presents New Membership Benefit”

That was the title of a news item appearing yesterday on the ARRL web page. At first glance, I figured it was just some kind of new equipment or identity-theft insurance.


Then I read the announcement. Boy, was I wrong!

The ARRL has placed all QST articles from 1915 to 2004 online, with free access for ARRL members.

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