Monthly Archives: September 2009

One of the Finest Guitar Makers in the USA

I did some poking around online, and found the Jon Kammerer guitar site.

All I can say is: Wow!

Check out some of these guitars:
1
2
3
4

One of these done in a EVH Frankenstrat pattern (with reddish wood, whitish wood, and blackish wood) would be totally awesome!

But right now, I’m thinking I might get an acoustic, because I already have plenty of premium USA-made electrics…

The cutaway is really drawing me, except for that flame pattern. Once I get the cash together (reward myself for a trip to Iraq, eh?), I may see if I can get something else there instead of flames.

I have no affiliation with the company or the website, btw.

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Filed under guitar, Link of Admiration, Me

Depth Chart Changes as of 22 Sep 09

As of 22 September, it has:
– Page back at starting FS…this is the right move
– DJ at #2 LILB…working his way back up, I think the motivation is working
– Gilberry backing up both DE spots…I’m surprised Magee is #3, because he had done so well in the early part of camp…
Savage is now the #2 RB, Charles drops to #3…this is the right move, I think.  Savage looked really good against the Raiders, really made a huge difference in slowing down the pass rush and making it difficult for the Raiders to crash the inside gaps to stop the run
– Wade is now the starting leftside/#2 WR, bumping Bradley down to the 2nd string…Bradley did fine against the Ravens, really, just a few mistakes…but Wade looked like a legitimate #2 WR, and I think we are better with him starting than with Bradley starting
– Lawrence is now the second string “rightside” WR, bumping Copper down to 3rd string…my only question: why did it take so long? Scratch that, another question: why is Copper not cut outrigth yet?
– Brad Cottam drops to 3rd string TE…I thought he did a decent job last year at both pass catching and blocking.  He must really have a stubborn attitude to still be demoted like this; or maybe he is simply incapable of elevating his game?
– Savage is now the KR, Wade is now the PR…no opinion, it just makes sense that Charles can’t be a KR if he is inactive, and he probably will remain inactive as long as Savage is above him on the chart.  In any case, this is a situation where the depth chart lagged behind what happened on the field, as Wade already took all the punts last game.
Interesting point: have you ever seen a depth chart where they bothered to list who was the 4th string punt returner???

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Bing Sucks

I don’t like Google running the world any more than you do.  But I have to admit that to this point, Google seems to be putting out superior products on just about everything they try.

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I Think Thigpen Might Get Traded

Delhomme may be washed up.

They just put their #2 QB and signed A.J. Feely.

Feeley’s career stats:

Comp  Att    Pct   Yds 	  Avg  	 TD    Int    Sck    SckY  Rate  Rush Att  Yds  	Avg  	TD  	FUM  	Lost
372    665  55.9  4,070   6.1    27    29     34     204    69.6   34      45      1.3     1     14     7
best year:
86      154  55.8 1,011  6.6     6     5       7      48    75.4   12      6       0.5     0      2      1
(3rd string) Moore's career stats:
69      122  56.6  793   6.5     3     6       7      50     64.0   3      5       1.7     0      2       0

Thigpen's career stats:
232     426 54.5  2,649  6.2     18   13      27      171   74.7   63    388       6.2     3      6      2

Delhomme may turn it back around. If he doesn’t, Thigpen is clearly better than any of the Panther’s current roster. Thigpen’s abilities are clearly better, and those superior numbers also include the 3 games Thigpen played and struggled before they put in more shotgun formations.

With the Panther’s defense, they could protect the leads Thigpen tends to get in the first half. We have a really good QB roster right now, now that Croyle has proven he can stay on the field this year. Thigpen may be the 3rd best choice for our current system with Thigpen’s current state of transition to pocket passer and Haley’s standards of performance, but he wouldn’t the 3rd best choice for many other NFL teams.

I’d say a 4th from the Panthers would seal the deal, unless Pioli thinks he can get a 3rd. What other QBs are out there right now that are better than Feeley? None. And Thigpen is clearly better than Feeley.

1 more bad game from Delhomme, and the Panthers offer a 4th. 2 more bad games from Delhomme, and they offer a 3rd.

So what if the Panthers decide Thigpen’s shotgun abilities don’t fit their drop-back passing style, and Thigpen can’t make the transition in time to be worth it?

Well, there are plenty of other teams with starting or backup QB problems…

I expect the Chiefs will end up with just 3 QBs within the next 10 days.  I expect Thigpen will go for a low 3rd or high 4th.  If the Chiefs don’t get that high of an offer, I expect them to cut Gutierrez (who is still too raw to help a team yet) and get him to the practice squad.

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Missing the ACORN for the Trees

So the Past Tense Media finally got around to covering the ACORN scandal.  As Hugh Hewitt says:

One of the most fascinating aspects of the unfolding ACORN scandal is how mainstream media has covered the daily release of videos, or in most cases, how they’ve completely ignored it, instead bringing you the latest tangent on the week-old Joe Wilson ‘you lie’ story, which has saturated airwaves and newspapers ad nauseum.

After the fourth video release in four consecutive business days, the New York Times has actually run a bona fide story on the ACORN affair.

But “covering” isn’t the same as “investigating.”  This is an interesting story, right?  A young man and young women pretend to be seeking advice on how to carry out clearly illegal and starkly immoral acts to their best benefit, not just how to not get caught.  ACORN workers at 4 different offices on both coasts don’t bat an eyelash, and start giving advice on how to pull it off, and how to make the “business” more effective and profitable.

Isn’t this worth investigating, not just covering?  Wouldn’t it be useful to know how often this sort of event occurs?  Wouldn’t it be worthwhile to know what training the ACORN workers get, what the organization’s policy is regarding the reporting of illegal acts?

At the fourth office, on the fourth released tape, an ACORN worker claims to have shot and killed her ex-husband.

Shockingly, this is where the traditional journalism media decides to investigate.  They quickly determine that at least one ex-husband of the ACORN worker is still alive.

Ignore, for now, that merely finding one ex-husband alive does not rule out the possibility of other husbands shot dead, because that’s just a distraction.

The real point is how journalists are using investigation (or not using, as the case may be) in support of liberal goals and organizations.

This is very similar to when the traditional journalist news media dispatched dozens of investigative journalists to Alaska to search out everything they could about Gov. Sarah Palin, a vice-presidential candidate, but couldn’t be bothered to do any investigation at all into presidential candidate Barack Obama’s connections to a self-avowed terrorist, his college record, his college grades, how he was able to attend a prestigious university, etc, etc.  We knew very little about Barack Obama before he became President, helping him preserve the blank canvas that made him unobjectionable and easy for moderates to vote for, but they cast in the worst light possible every bit of information found about Sarah Palin, lest her popularity buoy John McCain’s presidential campaign.

And it barely worked.

Why would the news media, ostensibly objective, do this?  What else are they not telling us?

Well, here’s a list, and an explanation, from a non-partisan.

Thank goodness that person who voted for President Obama is more honest than the traditional news media.

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Filed under leadership/parenting, Link of Admiration, Politics, Social Issues, Two Kinds of People...

Teh Good, Teh Bad, Teh Ugly, Teh Water Cooler Topics, 13 Sep 09

Hello, Chiefs fans!

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly has returned for the 2009 season!  The format has changed slightly, and we hope you find the changes to be a good thing.  One thing to remember: the date in the title is for the game, not for the post publish date.

Teh Good

–          Tied the game at 24 with just over 5 minutes left in the game.

–          DJ not only didn’t drop the INT as he often did in the past, he set up an easy TD with an excellent return.

–          Tamba Hali’s early sack of Flacco makes a strong argument that his transition to OLB was successful.

–          As bad as the O-line looked in preseason, they only gave up 1 sack through more than 3 and a half quarters.

–          No turnovers committed by the Chiefs.

–          Extremely low penalties (3 for 15 yards) committed by the Chiefs.

–          It looks like the Chiefs PK is a keeper.

Teh Bad

–          The Chiefs couldn’t get much pressure.  Hali got the Chiefs’ only sack, and Flacco didn’t get hit much.

–          When the Chiefs did keep the WRs covered well, the Chiefs never got a coverage sack as Flacco scrambled 5 times for positive yardage.

–          Two sacks allowed late in the game inside the Chiefs’ own 20 when down by a TD and needing to score: not good.

–          After an excellent pre-season Corey Mays was almost completely a non-factor.

–          Allowed the Ravens to convert on 58% of their third downs.

–          Achieved only 20% conversions on third down.

–          Allowed 4.8 yards/carry.

–          Allowed the Ravens 100% TDs once they reached the Red Zone.

–          Not enough turnovers caused by the Chiefs.

Teh Ugly

–          The Chiefs’ offense couldn’t sustain drives, and we held the ball for only 20 minutes.  It is nearly impossible to win when your opponent is able to hold the ball twice as long and can run 85 plays to your 44.

–          15 carries for 28 yards in the running game.  Ugh.

–          Allowed the Ravens to amass 32 first downs.

–          Achieved only 11 first downs.

–          Allowed 3 TDs in the fourth quarter, more points than in the previous 3 quarters combined.

–          The good news is the Chiefs didn’t miss many tackles.  The bad news is those tackles were all past the line of scrimmage.

Teh Discussion points:

–          There is no such thing as a moral victory when you get a mark in the “loss” column, but you certainly feel better about eventually losing after being tied at 24 with 8 minutes left in the game than you are being down by 17 in the first quarter on the way to being blown out or shut-out.  Most pundits had the Chiefs losing in a laugher, and the fact that we pushed them that late in the game counts for something.

–          I understand that if you don’t want a team to run up the score, you should stop them from doing it.  I understand that if the Ravens failed to punch it in from the 1, the Chiefs would have to drive 99 yards to tie/win, as opposed to having to drive only 88 or so yards if the Ravens somehow missed a FG on 4th and 1 from the 1.  But I still think it was poor sportsmanship for the Ravens to go for the TD at that point.  A FG would have put them up by 10, and a FG from the 1 is much higher percentage than a rush from the same location.

–          21 points allowed in the fourth quarter, 14 allowed with less than 4 minutes to go.  Wasn’t the conditioning supposed to prevent this?

–          Okay, one TD was off of a blocked punt.  A second TD came on a fairly easy score following a long INT return.  But no matter how it happened, the Ravens walked off the field with 24 points on their opponent’s scoreboard.  Only 3 opponents hung at least 24 on the Ravens last year.  Only 4 scored more than 13.  Baltimore held fully half of their 2008 opponents to 10 points or less.  That the Chiefs were able to score so many points against a traditionally-stout Ravens defense.  This reinforces the idea that the preseason doesn’t mean much: the first regular season game was the opposite of the preseason, where the Chiefs looked inept on offense and were able to stop the run and prevent scoring.

–          Despite the previous two points, one shouldn’t make trend assumptions off of just one game, because developments within that game don’t carry over.   With as much as our defense was on the field, it may be that a less-well-conditioned defense would have collapsed long before the final 3 minutes.  With our starting QB in, we might have been able to convert a few more third downs.  With our best CB Brandon Flowers not out with an injury, we might have prevented some third down conversions through the air.  Or we might not have done so.  The point is, at this point, we don’t know.  We’ll know more after next week.

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Missing My Guitars: The Imports

I talked about missing my premium (USA made) guitars here.

clickable thumbnails of the stable here.

Now it is time to talk about the imports.  They aren’t really the B team, because there are two guitars I love to death and can’t imagine selling, and two guitars that I like for specific reasons, even if I don’t love them.  Yet.  Because I love guitars, and I love each of their individual idiosyncrasies.

Hamer XT Amberburst SATF
This is a wonderful, beautiful guitar. It has nice tiger striping and
an excellently-done burst paint job.

A little digression, if I may: Those who have been reading this blog for
a while know how I found Hamer. A Korean-made Hamer Stellar 1 (from the
era when the import Hamers could be identified by a headstock with only
“Hamer” on it…no “USA” or “Slammer Series” in smaller letters) stood
out in a pawn shop, I bought it for $200, and fell in love with its
appearance and sound. That led to me buying a number of other import
Hamer guitars, because they looked nice and at that time I couldn’t talk
myself into paying $600-1000 for any guitar to keep, no matter how good.
I did buy a Hamer USA Studio and a Hamer USA Artist for the purpose of
re-selling them for a profit…I made about $300 between the two. Among
the guitars I sold were the first Korean import Hamer Stellar 1, a
Slammer by Hamer import Centaura, and a Hamer XT SATF in tobacco burst.

This SATF (Sunburst Arch Top Flame) may not have wood as high quality as
a Hamer USA Studio. It may not have pickups as expensive/high quality
as a Hamer USA Studio. But it sounds and feels and looks so good that I
couldn’t justify even to myself keeping the Stellar 1 for nostalgic
reasons. It sounded just that little bit better, looked just that
little bit nicer. And it is so good that I have had zero GAS
(guitar/gear acquisition syndrome, also known as “guitar lust”) for a
Hamer USA Studio at all.

It has the warm, full, fat humbucker sound that you expect when you
think of ZZ Top, Santana, Neal Schon rather than the raspy, edgy
humbucker sound you get from shredder/metal guitars. Yeah, yeah, I know
those different sounds can be achieved with the same pickups in the same
guitar if you use the right settings…but there is a difference in my
mind, at least, and this guitar just feels like a blues-rock
guitar rather than metal guitar. Well worth the $180 I spent for it,
since it is 80-90% as good as a Studio, but less than 25% the price.

I can’t see myself ever selling this guitar.

Hamer Slammer Series Transparent Red Californian
This is an amazing guitar. This was the first guitar I’ve ever owned
with a trem that stays in tune (all of the trems on the premium guitars
in the earlier post stay in tune). When I pulled it out of the shipping
box, I couldn’t believe the quality was so high. The fretboard edge is
so smooth. The finish is so rich- and deep-looking. It has a really
nice sound, probably closer to the ZZ Top growl than the 80s rock rasp,
which could make for interesting uses. I haven’t played it much because
the first time I played it, the high E string broke, and I’ve never
changed strings on a locking trem before. And I know if you switch
string gauges you have to re-set up/intonate the guitar. So I’ll have to
be careful to use the same gauge strings, I guess. If so, it seems
straightforward enough to change the strings, the only annoyance being
cutting off the ball-end of the strings. It’s a really light guitar.
After buying the Hamer USA Diablo (with the same color finish, by the
way), I was struck by how similar the guitars are. The main differences
are that the Californian has the slanted fretboard edge giving you as
many as 27 frets, and its neck pickup is a single coil. The Diablo has
a regular 24-fret fretboard, a double coil in the neck position, and the
pickups are higher quality, of course. I haven’t played them right
after each other to determine how close the import Californian comes to
the Diablo in sound quality. I can’t imagine selling this guitar,
either. It is really awesome, and worth the $300 I paid for it.

Hamer (Korean) Black Californian Deluxe
Although I had the Slammer Series Californian, and even though this
import Hamer is generally lower quality than the Slammer Series imports,
I couldn’t resist getting this guitar because it has the special
boomerang inlays (“boomers”). I want a Hamer USA Californian, but I am
not willing to spend the $1800 that is probably required to buy one.
One with the “boomers” would be even more expensive. And Hamer USA
Centauras and Diablos with “boomers” are also more expensive than those
without, and rare/expensive enough that I haven’t had a chance at
winning the bid for one on eBay. So when I saw this one for a fairly
cheap price (I got it for less than $180) on eBay, I couldn’t resist.
It is in good shape. It has a bound fretboard, which I’ve never really
been a big fan of, but it didn’t stop me, either. Plain black is kind
of “blah.” The action seems fine/low, the sound is good, and the trem
seems to stay in tune. I haven’t played it enough to fall in love with
it yet. If it turns out to be significantly less fun to play than the
Slammer Series Cali, I could see myself selling it and resigning myself
to not having a Hamer w/ boomers.

Hamer XT Series Red Californian CX2
I bought this guitar because it was a guitar, an amp, and shipping
included for just $100. How can you pass that up? It has a blah red
finish, and a fairly big chunk of wood/paint taken out of it. On the
other hand, it has a great sound, is one of only 2 guitars with a maple
fretboard (which I’m slowly deciding I like better than rosewood), has
impressive sound (like the XT SATF), and perhaps most importantly, it is
my only fixed bridge 24-fret guitar. I like shredders….no, scratch
that: I love shredder guitars, but I have to admit that having played
for 18+ years without decent trems mean that I don’t really know how to
use them effectively. It’s a really good guitar, especially for the
price, but I did buy it to sell it. Since after I get back from this
deployment I’m considering getting a Jon Kammerer guitar with a fixed
bridge and a slanted/extended fretboard similar to the Californian, this
guitar may end up getting sold at some point. I like it, but it hasn’t
fully captured my heart yet. On the other hand, the Jon Kammerer guitar
has 3 single coils, and I’m a double-coil guy for the most part, so I
will keep this guitar as long as it continues to occupy a unique spot in
my stable.

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