Friday, September 25, 2009

Why leaving a camera at home is a bad idea


If you’ve got a blog, there is absolutely no excuse for not carrying a camera around with you because you’ll never know when you need it.


For example, I was driving past the Hummer lot here in Benton the other day. Now, the Hummer lot is a very sad thing in town. It’s not that old, of course, as the Hummer fad ended as abruptly as it started and that left a lot of similar lots with a bunch of vehicles and few people wanting to buy them.

The Hummer lot in town used to be brimming with activity – you had people roaming around all the time looking at a large lot full of vehicles that I still think resemble oversized Hot Wheels cars. Most of those vehicles are gone now and the lot just reeks of a place that’s about to be abandoned.

The lot is located right next to a Chevrolet lot. I saw a bunch of fuel efficient Chevrolets clustered around the Hummer sign and thought that would make a great photo. I didn’t have my camera, but I figured I’d just drive by with it later in the day, take a picture and post the photo here for everyone’s amusement.

By the time I got back to the Hummer lot, the Chevrolets had been moved. That’s a shame. I doubt I’ll run across such an opportunity again. That photo would have lined up both the future of the automotive industry and its past, but I blew the chance to capture that picture.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

“Y” City by Wade Rivers


While shopping at the Harps here in scenic Benton the other day, we met a fellow Arkansan who is an author.

His name is Wade Rivers and he is a Realtor over in the west Arkansas town of Mena. He’s a heck of a nice guy and his novel is “Y” City, a thriller set in the small Arkansas town of (you guessed it!) “Y” City.

Rivers said his book relies on plot, action and such like rather than a bunch of crude language and suggestive situations to move along the story. My wife and I picked up a couple of copies (one as a gift) and Rivers was kind enough to sign them.

What was he doing at Harps Foods? The CEO of that Arkansas-based outfit said he wanted to carry Rivers’ books in all of his stores. Hastings Entertainment here in Arkansas has picked up his book, too.

I’ll have to admit I haven’t gotten through the novel yet (my wife has decided that she will read it first, see?) but I have read the prologue and the first chapter. Good stuff so far.

If you’d like to take a look at that first chapter, head on over to and read, read, read. If the book appears to be something you’d like, order a copy while you’re at Rivers’ site.

I’m mentioning all this, of course, because Rivers is a nice guy and I always like to see nice guys do well (particularly if they are from Arkansas).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yay for The Boy!


My son has been pestering me for a guitar for years.

He’s 12-years-old and is in the school band, so I figure maybe he’s old enough and has the musical inclination to learn how to play guitar. We went to a local guitar shop, looked around at what they had to offer and he settled on an Affinity Telecaster by Fender.

Folks, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got an American Deluxe Stratocaster but I’ve always missed the Japanese Fender Standard Telecaster I had through college, law school and through my years of practicing law (I finally had to sell it to pay rent – that just about killed me).

That little Telecaster my son likes looks exactly like the one pictured at the top of the article. The neck feels great, the thing looks great and the guitar sounds a lot like my standard Telecaster did (well, before I changed out the pickups, at least).

It did my heart good to see the kid get so excited when I plugged in the Telecaster and banged out a few chords on it. The kids got good taste and he seems to prefer that vintage, single-coil vibe to a guitar that’s set up to scream like a banshee. Good for him.

The trick to picking out a starter guitar for a child has to do with balance. If you get a guitar that’s too cheap, the kid will lose interest in playing. If you buy one that’s too expensive, you’ll hate yourself if the kid loses interest.

The Telecaster my son picked out seems to be the perfect guitar for a kid in my son’s situation. It’s a nice little guitar that sounds and feels great and – at a mere $180 or so – it’s not one that will break the bank. If the kid does get good at playing guitar, he can run that one through just about any amp and it will sound good. He can change out the pickups if he wants a “better” sound or he could graduate to a full-blown American Standard Telecaster (or whatever else he wants) one day.

So, he’s got his Christmas present picked out and that’s a great thing. I reminded him that he won’t get it if Santa thinks he hasn’t been a good boy – it might wind up with me instead.

Or, I could just buy my own Telecaster and customize it so it sounds exactly like the one I pawned off years ago. There’s an idea…

Music Monday – Surf Punks!

Ah, yes. The good old Surf Punks. It seemed all they cared about was surfing, running off outsiders who were trying to surf on their waves, simply soaking a bass guitar with treble and generally being a hoot.

Oh, and the drummer is Dennis Dragon – brother of the famed Daryl Dragon (the “Captain” in the Captain and Tennille). Enjoy the video!

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