What happens when musicians break the rules?

I’ve been doing piss-poor time management.

It was looking good.

I wrote you a giant article – one of my longest yet.

While I was intoxicated.

I’m still intoxicated.

I’m not editing that today. Nope.

So, you’re not getting a good article today. That block of time was drunkenly squandered. It’s an occupational hazard. Someone should fucking call OSHA.

What that is, is me breaking my own rules.

No, really…

That’s what happens when you break my rules for performing musicians.

You horribly mismanage your time, get shitfaced at a hotel room, and don’t actually do what you should be doing. What I should be doing is editing that article.

Ain’t doing it.

I broke my rules, got injured shitfaced on the job, and am unable to perform my daily duties.

I already told you, it’s an occupational hazard.

The best solution is to have a “safety meeting.” Maybe while we’re at that “safety meeting,” we’ll learn how to prevent these horrible occupational hazards!

Seriously, those rules are there for good reason!

I’m not really kidding about drug and alcohol use being an occupational hazard. That’s not entirely humor. It’s a real hazard and it comes with the job.

Which is why I advocate, if you’re handling drugs – know what the fuck you’re doing. Seriously, read a fucking book. If you’re gonna take drugs, know what they are and what they do. You should also know why they do what they do – and what the physiological ramifications are.

That way, you can do your drugs safely!

It’s an acquired skill, often requiring a period of apprenticeship and with very high tuition costs!

If you’re not going to read a book, at least ask an old junkie. If the junkie got old, chances are they practiced ‘harm reduction’ (knowingly or not).

As a musician, you’re going to be exposed to drugs. Statistics tells me that you’re gonna put some of ’em into your body. Some of you may end up being exposed to lots of drugs and put hitherto-unknown-to-science concoctions into your body.

It’s just math!

Really, getting shitfaced is an occupational hazard. If you’re not careful, you’ll start bumping into cones and other assorted objects! We should probably be forced to wear hard hats – or at least high vis vests. I’m calling OSHA.

Shit, I’ve seen musicians who needed a bib as PPE and hotel rooms that would have been a field-day for a forensics unit. It can happen to the best of ’em.

The best solution, so far, has been to not let drugs or alcohol impact your life to the point where it fucks up your ability to manage your time. If you do, you have broken a rule. It’s highly likely to incur a penalty and the severity of that penalty can be quite harsh. (Wear your safety goggles at all times!)

It is in the interest of that, that I go right ahead and say that you should practice “harm reduction,” if you’re going to use. It’ll help you manage your time better. It’ll still keep you productive – and probably also have the benefit of keeping you alive longer.

To think, I have been paid to perform in high schools during the Nancy Reagan era – doing the “Just Say No” thing! Yup, I’m pretty sure those were federal dollars that paid the band I was in. It’s one of the most absurd times in my life. In hindsight, it seems a bit surreal.

Anyhow…

I’m not sure what you want to take from this – if anything.

It’s not like I’m going to tell you don’t do drugs. This is me. I’m saying do them responsibly – and know what you’re putting into you, and how much you’re putting into you. Practice harm reduction.

If you’re going to inject, learn safe injection methods. You can buy your rigs at the pharmacy, or even get them exchanged for free. They’re single use devices. If you’re going to shoot pills, that’s fucking stupid. If you’re going to do it, at least invest in a real micron-level filter.

Know what you’re snorting, whatever. People put drugs into themselves in a whole host of ways and insufflation is a pretty common method. They’ll stick drugs in their ass, their eyeball, wherever. Know what you’re putting in and how much.

Anyhow, that’s all the article you’re getting today.

It’s pretty much some warped PSA. We need to get OSHA involved! It’s a damned occupational hazard – not entirely different to black lung for miners!

In my imagination, I’m picturing a United Brotherhood of Cover Bands. This amuses me. However, that’s your box of crayons and you can color that picture any way you want! I’m not typing it out.

Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

(Or not. I will not play guitar again until tomorrow. I will not even practice. Take a day off and watch August Rush, maybe?)

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By the time you read this…

By the time you read this, I will have written some 200,000 words for this site. All but like 0.5% have been in the last four months. I know this, ’cause I found a plugin that’ll tell me!

I’m taking today off – but I’m writing this early.

I did want to use it as an excuse to share a few things.

You’re all too kind, pretty much

I appreciate the encouragement and the people who visit and comment. I appreciate all the emails, private messages, and even the people who argue with me.

Wikipedia tells me that a novel is 40,000 words long. I’ve written five novels worth of words – in four months. I’m taking today off!

Someone recently threatened me with this site being what people remember me by.

I’m pretty sure they thought it was a compliment and I responded inappropriately.

No…

No, I really don’t think this site should be my legacy. Frankly, you deserve better than that! I’ve written 200,000 words – and none of them are very meaningful or important.

Today, when I wrote this, I told you about bells and how much I wanted to play a giant pipe organ, preferably without pants.

Yeah… I don’t really want this to be how people remember me. When they post my epitaph in a local paper – I really hope it doesn’t have a mention of this site – not even as a side note.

I smash a keyboard, largely for my own amusement and because I’ve got shit to say and nobody else seems to be saying it. If they would, that’d save me some time and effort.

Shit, the other day I went out and bugged someone just to learn about harp guitars. I’m pretty positive that’s about the least productive thing I could have done. The appeal of harp guitars is really limited.

Call it a hunch, but I’m pretty sure the information in that harp guitar article was actually valuable to two people – total. Total – in the entire world.

I smashed the keyboard and told you about it anyhow.

I ain’t even sorry for that. Nope… That was probably my favorite article so far! Hells yeah, it’s a harp guitar!

And, yet you’re all usually pretty patient with me and seem to like my keyboard smashing. I enjoy it, and giggle way too frequently while I smash the keyboard and hope that words come out of it.

Y’all even tolerated me through my bout of existentialism – where I had to decide if this was going to be work or fun. I pretty much decided on the latter – and now I sometimes tell you about shit like bells, through the eyes one of the least mature people on the planet.

So, thank you for reading some 200,000 words of absurdity. Quite a few of you don’t actually play guitar, and I’m glad that you visit. The site is mostly about guitar, but it’s also very much about learning and passion.

Yup… 200,000 words and not a damned one of ’em useful.

No, I’m not kidding. I’m taking today mostly off. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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Son of a bitch! They fixed it.

For those that didn’t notice, the site was down. Some disk filled up, at least the partition did.

This made me pretty fucking happy!

I was pretty pleased with this. I was like, “Hells yeah. I’m not telling anyone to fix the site. I’m taking today off! Labor Day weekend? Count me in!”

Some jackass, probably another hosting customer as it’s shared hosting, went and notified the fucking admins and they fucking fixed it.

That’s not okay. I was kinda hoping it’d be broken until Tuesday, and then I’d have an excuse to just laze around and maybe make something on the grill.

Bastards! Now, nearly 5 hours later, the damned thing is up and running again. I’m going to submit a support ticket asking them to kick the complaining client off the servers! This is horrible.

It’s no longer the best day ever!

So, I’m going to go find something to do that fixes that. I am still pretty much taking the day off.

The worst part about the server coming back online is that it came back after I’d decided that the site being down was a pretty sweet thing! It came back while I was typing out my text submission.

Like I said, “Bastards!”

Son of a bitch. No, it’s like 15:00 Eastern – and I don’t see me writing a damned thing.

Hmm… Fuck it… I’ll bang out a “Things Look Different From The Stage” article. Son of a bitch… I just can’t give up on my consecutive articles streak. Damn it all to hell.
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Behold, I have made an image!

You’re not getting a good article today.

I’ll give you something to read, but it’s not going to be good – or educational. It’s not even going to have anything to do with music – probably.

Do you see that image on the left?

It took me three hours to do that. Including trying to figure out a way to embed the image so that text flowed around it.

Obviously, I failed at that.

Even after figuring out how it was supposed to be done, it wraps exactly one line of text and then jumps to the bottom – meaning you get one single line of text next to the image.

But, that’s actually the end of a long story – and I’m just gonna tell you why you’re not getting a good article today.

First…

I searched and searched for a way to make actual public domain images using an web interface. I then tried to find one that already had a template for a seal of approval – what I really wanted.

There are no seal of approval generators that are any good. The one that I can figure out how to use, waited until I got to the end and told me I had to give them money.

It did let me get as far as saving them – and closing the tab. Being functionally retarded, I closed the tab – and didn’t actually check the saved images. I uploaded it by FTP and decided I’d better check the URL in my browser.

It had saved watermarks on it – lines right through the middle.

I went back and recreated it and it again offered me the chance to give them money and they’d have sold me a bunch of packages of images, including 3D images, that I didn’t actually want. I didn’t pay them.

I wish I had. That would have saved some time.

Eventually, I gave up trying to actually make a graphic. Surely, someone had made what I wanted and stuck it into the public domain.

Not really, no… No, it looks like nobody as quite done that. I was so tempted to just steal an image at this point.

I did eventually find an SVG that’d do – and it was in the public domain! Thank you, open source people – once again! However, it’s a stamp of approval and not a seal of approval. Beggars cant’ be choosers, so I was okay with this – sort of.

Except, I don’t actually know what to do with an SVG file. I know what an SVG is and I have a viewer. I know that I should know how to edit them – but fucked if I know what specific (Linux) apps can do this.

It’s SVG and there’s a tons of editors. Tons…

Not gonna learn that. Nope. We can scratch that right off the list of things I’m willing to invest time in.

I’ll just open it up and export it with my handy dandy SVG viewer app. It’s fucking Linux, I can do that.

They all changed the background black. I have no idea why.

Fuck… There went another forty five minutes as I tried all the viewer apps and debated installing something like InkScape.

Nope… Not installing InkScape – or GIMP. They’re too complicated for me and I’m not going to learn to use them.

I got the bright idea that there’s an online SVG editor. Surely, that has to exist! Off I run to Google…

Yes! They exist!

The first two, after finding them and waiting for them to load and jump through the very different mechanisms to upload my file, I discovered they’d not actually upload my precious SVG file.

By now, I’m getting pretty pissed at this process.

I tried one more. It took me forever to figure out their stupid fucking interface and then the fucking thing wouldn’t export as anything – no matter how many times I needlessly tried it again with slightly different settings.

Finally, I said fuck it – and I sure as shit said fuck it to actually caring that it had things like a transparent background.

I opened that SVG back up in my handy dandy image viewer – and took a screenshot.

I resized that and exported that bitch as a JPG! Fuck image creation.

I was then two and a half hours deep into the process already and I figured that’d actually been good progress – for me. I don’t do image generation. We’ve already figured that out, certainly by way of demonstration!

So, I was particularly pleased with myself – having finally reached the point where I just said fuck it. It was a pretty satisfying fuck it to say, actually.

I then figured I’d embed it in WordPress and wrap text around it.

It couldn’t be that hard, after all!

Lies! It’s horrible!

By the time I figured out the abstract lingo was not actually align to the left – but was actually to align with none… I then realized the fucking thing will only display one line of text as it “wraps” around it.

I could change CSS and fix it – but my CSS skills are just a wee bit worse than my image generation skills! Learning CSS is also something that’s just not likely to happen.

So, I spent like a half hour on that, before deciding I’d just set it as the “featured image” and call it good. To do it properly, they fucking want me to learn to do it in a special “child theme” that appears to be damned specific to WordPress.

I am not gonna figure that out. I’m sure as shit not going to figure out how to do that today. I already spent 2.5 hours.

And that’s why you’re not getting a good article!
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Reader Question Answered: About Writing.

I got a question! I like questions! They give me excuses to write stuff that I’d otherwise maybe not think of.

In the process of sharing the links elsewhere, I do encounter a lot of people and I get a lot of questions from them. They’re quite frequently about music and, more specifically, the guitar – but not always.

Today’s questions, plural, are actually paraphrased from bits of many conversations. It also don’t have a damned thing to do with either guitar or music.

As it has nothing to do with either of those two subjects, you’re probably wondering why I’m going to include it. The answer is, “I do what I want, bitches!”

No, the real reason is ’cause it was interesting and I thought you might like to have these answers. My answers seemed to satisfy them, so maybe you will enjoy them?
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TheBuddha Writes a Stoned Essay on Music…

Look, I’m going to tell you right up front that this is just me writing a stoned essay. I told you, my creativity bone is broken.

That translates into some joy has been taken out of this – and this is not your fault. The fault is entirely my own and it’s because I’ve obligated myself to write something new for you, every single day.

And, because I just don’t have that creativity binge, I am not sitting there and writing these all on the weekends. I also don’t have that many large blocks of time. (Something I refer to often, blocks of time.)

It has become a chore. Trust me, the ads don’t even come close to making it worth it. Nope…

But, it’s me who obligated myself to this and you didn’t do it. Err… Nothing personal, but I don’t give you permission to obligate me to anything.

No, I do it because I want to. I do it because I feel I need to do it. I do it because I’ve been fucking lazy and not done it before. I should have done this maybe 10 years ago.

So, I want to enjoy it. There are things I want to write and this is one of them. Will you learn anything? Possibly. I can’t say. All I can do is share my experiences.

I am going to try to answer some questions, perhaps some generalities that people may have asked in the past, hinted at, or just seemed to assume. Wish me luck! I’ll see you on the other side.
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All about you…

I know, I’m late again! I told you, my creativity bone is broken. I just don’t feel like writing the things I have been writing and I’m not sure what I want to write about.

So, today, I figured I’d tell you about you.

Yes, I know a bit about you. This happens when you send headers to the server. It’s kind of important that the server’s know what packets to send and where to send them. To do that, we have to know a bit about each other.

Well, this article is about you…
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This is the 100th article for the site! Thanks to you folks for tolerating it!

That’s right. 100 articles!

Hells yeah! I’ve been pounding this stupid keyboard for a while now. There’s some 100 articles! (Technically, there are 101 – but that’s ’cause I still have my “holy balls, I’m out of time” article in the queue.) So, this is the 100th published article.

When I first started this, I figured I’d write three entries and then forget about it. Hell, I figured this subject was one of my favorite subjects – so I might even make five articles.

But, you crazy bastards kept coming back and encouraging me. The truth is, I’m still kinda baffled that my gibberish amuses you this much.

I’m grateful that it does. See, these are things I’ve wanted to put down in text, for a long time. It’s your commentary, questions, and interest that has motivated me to do this.

Granted, I never thought it’d look like this. I always kind of pictured me spending my last years of life writing a few scholarly articles on the subject, destined for academia. Fuck ’em. I like this style better.

I have pondered turning this into a book and just giving it away or taking donations and giving the donations to a worthy cause. Meh… We’ll figure that out when we get that far.

Oh, I forgot to tell you…

Seeing as the site has reached 100 articles, I’m being pure selfish today. I know, it’s you that motivates me – but I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and my creative bone is still broken. So, you are getting this today.

Without further ado…
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About the site – some mushy shit.

Alright, you assholes. Pay attention. This is not even remotely important.

I want to write about the site. Specifically, this site. Basically, I want to thank you for your participation.

For those that aren’t aware, being a musician was a primary source of income and then a secondary source of income. Eventually, I didn’t need the money anymore, but I just kept playing. Then, I retired.

I retired because I sold my business. What was my business?

My business was math. As such, I have an affinity for numbers. I also worked on large data sets. So, I like a lot of numbers. I fucking love numbers. I love rational, irrational, imaginary, theoretical, etc! I love ’em in sets and… Yeah, y’all don’t really want to read about that…

What I have done is watched. I’ve watched the numbers climb. I’ve watched the folks contribute. I can see how you travel the site, to some extent. Don’t worry, I don’t know who you are and don’t care. If you ID yourself, I don’t much care. I don’t share that data with anyone. (I still need to write a privacy policy page – I’m open to help.)

What I have seen is the numbers increase fairly steadily.

Also, the stats that WordPress reports are horrible, horrible lies. I have the raw server logs. WordPress LIES to me!

I serve about 1,000 pages per day. Of course, some of those are just bots scanning and checking things out, indexing, or trying to find damned exploits. (I see you knocking, you know… I opened the site to Goats, don’t think for a minute that I didn’t secure it first. Well, as much as one can secure WordPress.)

Nearly 400 of you (unique visitors and excluding bots) visit. I imagine some of those are IP address changes but I believe there’s other metrics involved to determine who’s unique – I’m not actually sure. So, toss out 1/3 of ’em and that’s still a bunch of people who read the articles.

Shit, someone even came from a search engine. Just one, mind you. I should probably use the robots.txt and block search engines or go the other route and optimize the site for regular people to visit. (I’m not sure if that means I’d have to fix my fucking language and stop saying fuck so often? Fuck it…)

Anyhow, this makes me happy. It’s an honor to serve you. It’s an honor to write things that you enjoy and take as something quasi-authoritative.

I’d love some help. Want to edit? Want to write? Let me know… I’d love to have the help and the site would love the content. Either way, I’m impressed. I’m impressed that y’all are still reading this.

I try to give you frequent content, but my time is limited. So, I’ll do what I can and I’ll keep it up as long as I can.

Side note: I may throw some ads up and use that money to buy a new guitar and give it away to some lucky winner. I’m not entirely sure what that’d look like, but it’s an idea that’s been stuck in my craw for a little while. I’d just give one away, but it seems better if the site actually earns it.

So, feedback and any help is welcome. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

Thanks,
TheBuddha

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And so it begins…

I suppose, I should probably make some testing posts and make sure that things are working properly. I’ve quite a few things installed and this looks like I’ll be mostly happy with this server.

I hope I needn’t remind folks that they’re to be on their best, most civil, behavior. This is meant to be a pretty helpful site and we can’t keep it running (we, ’cause I want you to be involved) if we’re not well behaved. The hosting company has standards and we don’t really meet them, but I’m hoping we can fake it well enough.

So, what goes here? Well, we’re going to learn about the guitar in an organized fashion. Ha! I lied…. There’s nothing organized about this.

I’ll get a forum installed in a little while, but this is about all I’m up for doing today. This isn’t going to be a high volume site, unless you pitch in and help make it a high volume site. So, what you get out of here is what you put into here. Otherwise, you just get what I put into here and I’m a pretty busy fella.

Thanks for your cooperation,
TheBuddha

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