Merry (early) Christmas to me... times three.

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Ho ho ho! Merry - hey. Hold on. Let's settle down a bit, ok? There are still like 26 days before Christmas, right?

So, what's up 'witchyall? Me? I'm fine, thanksferaskin', if not busy with work and the whatnot. But, just because I've been busy busting my hump for the man doesn't mean that I haven't had time to enjoy the view for a bit. Let's see what I've been up to over the past month or so, shall we?

I took a little trip down south to visit Amy, the animals, old friends, and the house down in Northwest Arkansas. It was really nice to get away for a bit and even nicer to hang out with Amy, the critters, and my peeps from down south.

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Poor 'ole Mrs. Squid (Monica) - she's getting to be so old. Her back legs are super wobbly and unstable; it's difficult to watch her try to walk around because she stumbles a fair amount and drags her back feet as she tries to maneuver about. She spends most of her time sleeping and/or lounging around the house. Poor girl... I realize she's nearly 12 years old, but it's still hard to see such a magnificent creature degrade like she is.

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The cats were as goofy as ever... Sulley and Kramer provided plenty of laughs as they "did battle" with one another. Kramer is such a geek and Sulley loves to pick on him. Ernie provided comic relief by bounding through the living room, hurdling the ottoman and leaping in his vertical/sideways fashion. Kosmo sniped us from afar, while grunting little "meows."

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Riley and Regis were as good as ever - Regis is such a beast. Strong, solid, and that blockhead of his... Riley still looks like a little tick and craves attention moreso than ever. It was really good to see them.

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Amy's doing well; the animal shelter is as busy as ever. She got a call one night stating that the police had dropped-off a chihuahua in an outside pen; she dutifully got-up and drove to the shelter so the little guy didn't have to sit outside in the cold night air. She also woke-up extra early one morning (like 4:00am early) so that she could meet a transport group and send some dogs to better homes. I don't know how she does it.

I worked on the house for a bit; replaced a leaky wax ring seal on one of the toilet drains, cleaned the roof and gutters, cleaned the yard of fallen leaves, sprayed for weeds, treated for bugs, and did a few other odds-n-ends.

I also got to ride my bike for a bit as the weather was truly excellent. Day time temperatures were typically in the 60s and low 70s, although a few days did dip down into the 50s.

We ate dinner with friends nearly every night, which means my belly is bigger than ever... I must - MUST - get back onto a plan here, because my pants are seriously in dire shape.

After a week spent south of the Mason/Dixon line, I loaded-up the car and headed north, my trusty co-pilot resting comfortably (for her) the entire way home.

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Upon returning to home base here in WI, I decided to revisit my musical side. I had been contemplating another guitar purchase for quite some time... I knew that I wanted an American-made, solid wood, electric guitar, but I didn't want a Fender. So, I started researching and decided that a Gibson Les Paul might fit the bill.

I searched high-and-low online at places like Craigslist, eBay, and countless retailers before deciding to visit the local Guitar Center. After a few hours of shopping, I left with a beautiful Gibson Les Paul Studio, in faded cherry finish.

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The thing is silky smooth and an absolute joy to play. I was surprised by how well I remembered my old chords, riffs, and songs. I was back to pickin' the likes of Queensryche, Metallica, and White Lion songs in no-time, although they were a little choppy.

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The body features a solid build; the thing is heavy and very substantial. The neck is silky smooth; the action is perfect. If only my fingers felt the same - calluses are an important "must-have" when playing the gee-tar... it feels like I've been pinch-rolling razor blades all day!

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I did discover the world of online guitar classes. Holy cow are there some great classes out there! I spent a solid 2-hours last night online, following along with a teacher and really picking-up on things. I spent another hour tonight taking additional classes. And they're cheap!! Just $15 per month gets you unlimited class time and countless options.

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Huge thanks to the fine folks at the local Guitar Center for the smokin' deal on this new set-up and for their patience and help as I pondered my options, tested various guitars, and asked countless questions.

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You just can't beat that good 'ole Made in the USA stamp... Thank you, Gibson for crafting such a fine piece of machinery!


And finally, I got to attend another Yelp elite event earlier tonight. It was sponsored by a new local restaurant called "DLux" and it featured 6 - count 'em, six - new and intriguing burger offerings, tasty appetizers, extravagant french fries (truffle oil, bleu cheese, bacon, and parmesan, just to name a few options), and complimentary beverages. And, like all of the other Yelp events, this one was completely free-of-charge.

The staff at DLux went all out - they even drafted "Yelpy" greetings on various food dishes... here's their Alsum Farm Spicy Sweet Corn dip, adorned with a Yelp signature. It was served with Frito's Scoops, and was simply divine.

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Great event, great food, fun people, and free. What more could a guy ask for?!

And with that, I'm off to play on the guitar for a bit before I head to bed. Take it easy, everyone!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on November 29, 2012 9:56 PM.

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