The tryout for Better Than Nothing went very well. I wasn’t nervous, and I played pretty well. We went through the five songs that they had asked me to learn, then jammed through several more on their song list before going back to the original five. I won’t know anything for a while about whether I’m in the band, but even if I don’t get the gig, it was a positive experience and a confidence builder. When I know about it, I’ll post the news here, and if it’s good news, I’ll post it on the main page of this site.

I did work on the poem inspired by the death of the little girl on I-25 on Father’s Day. It doesn’t feel like it’s done yet; there’s something missing or something misdirected in it, but I haven’t figured out yet what it is. I feel a responsibility to the memory of this little girl. I want to make sure the poem says exactly what I want it to say before I release it.

The Monster was the culprit

The jack on the Stratocaster was causing the shorting problem. I can only surmise that my favorite Monster cable spread the contacts over the years, and basically wore out the jack. At any rate, after a whirlwind trip to Guitar Center and some quick soldering, the guitar is working perfectly with all my standard cords. The Monster cable has been relegated to the gig bag as a spare. It was a great cable, but I’m not sure I want to continue using cables that actually wear out my equipment.

Monster problems

I did practice guitar some today in preparation for Tuesday night. I tweaked my amp sounds to get the Megadeth metal sound down a little better. I also started on the critique that I owe the Stories for All Seasons person; I should be able to finish that tomorrow or Tuesday at lunch and get it to her.

I also discovered that I’m having jack trouble on my Strat. 🙁 I first noticed it Friday night, and thought it was a cord problem. But after trying multiple cords, the problem remains. The only cord I have that doesn’t short out or crackle in the jack is my Monster guitar cord. I haven’t figured out why it is that the Monster cable works well and the standard cables don’t, but it must relate to how they sit differently in the jack. I hope the Monster cable hasn’t spread the jack in some way, making other cables fit incorrectly.

Minority Report Report

I’m going apartment hunting with Ryan today, and I’m not sure how much time will be left over for creative activity. Perhaps tonight I can rehearse “Johnny B. Goode” and “Symphony of Destruction” for my band tryout Tuesday night.


The apartment hunting was basically a success, and Kim and I went to see Minority Report after dinner. Good movie, though there were a couple of action movie scenes that kind of cheapened it for me. During the chase scene through the car factory in particular, I was bothered by the fact that there were no safety features in place to shut down the production line when foreign objects (namely Anderton’s body parts) were in the way of the automated lasers and stampers. After all, this is 2054, and I’m sure OSHA is still around.

However, parts of the movie were particularly enjoyable and well written. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, so I won’t say anything beyond this: The last fourth of the movie was the part that I enjoyed the most, and just when I thought I knew what was happening, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it ran much deeper than I knew.

Good Days

Last night’s writing group was excellent. Only two people showed up, which was monetarily unfortunate for Melanie, but very fortunate for Michael and me. We discussed a short-short that Michael had written, the responsibilities of an artist in recording true-life events, and they both offered wonderful feedback on my “Saint and Cynic” story. After incorporating some of those suggestions, I’m going to cut this one off and start circulating it.

Melanie also wondered if I had done anything with my “Fear Sphere” stories since the last one. I haven’t, other than thinking about them. She encouraged me to write more of them and collect them together. I hope I can get some of these projects rolling when Ryan moves out. Having that spare room for working in the early morning will be a blessing, as long as I take advantage of it.

Tonight, John, Brad and I donned our collective instruments to become Flat Rabbit, and we had a very good night. We covered a lot of material and added a few songs to the list. We played “Sweet Child o’ Mine” better than we ever have, I think, and even went over a bunch of old originals that Brad and John wrote years ago. All in all, it was a fun night, and I was reluctant to break down my equipment.

I did have one problem, though. My Strat started squealing, and I traced it down to what seems to be a jack problem. I took the jack plate off to check the insides but it seemed fine, with no loose wires. It worries me a bit, since I will be trying out for Better Than Nothing on Tuesday night. Later in the night, the Strat played fine, so I may have put off the problem for a little while, but I need to recreate it at home and figure out what’s wrong.