Monday, April 28, 2008

Interesting theory

Every now and again, I'm exposed to someone stating that putting convicted criminals in prison does nothing to reduce crime.

Oh really, chief?

How's that work exactly? Is your theory that whenever someone does a crime and gets put in prison, some citizen without any criminal record or history will go on a crime spree to keep up the average?

Are you saying that crime is a thermodynamic equilibrium process?

I thought not.

Now scram.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Answers - guitarquiz 20

And here it is - the final songs of the m-factor guitarquiz:
  • Song 96: Def Leppard - Hysteria. For whatever reason, not a single one of youse recognized this song, despite it being one of the biggest hits of the 80's. Oh well - Def Leppard ain't yall's bag, apparently. Not really mine either - despite having played Hysteria and several other of their tunes in pubs and small venues for years, I never actually purchased a Def Leppard album until 1998 or 1999 after having been persuaded by Torbjørn.
  • Song 97: Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love. Classic, classic VH with Diamond Dave himself on vocals. You better believe this tune was a standby.
  • Song 98: Dio - Rainbow In The Dark. Look Out! It's Dio in the classic setting with Vivian Campbell (later to become the second guitarist of Def Leppard after Steve Clark left this world by way of alcoholism and drug abuse) on lead guitar. And just about the only tune they had where the keyboardist got to be on stage instead of behind the curtains, "waitin' for 'Rainbow, dude".
  • Song 99: Berlin - Take My Breath Away. From the Top Gun soundtrack, y'all better believe.
  • Song 100: Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens - Top Gun Anthem. It's really as good as all Steve Stevens when it comes to the composer here, though. Who is Steve Stevens? Well; beside having written this classic instrumental, which has haunted many a pub while the singer/second guitarist went to do whatever backstage in mid-gig, he used to play with the Vince Neil Band. And before that, he was the guitar player with Billy Idol, where he co-wrote White Wedding, Dancing With Myself, Rebel Yell and several other classics. Respect!
..this brings us to the Score for round 20:
  1. Anders/Pigeon/Sondre (tied at 6/10)
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. Cathy (4/10)
Consequently, we've got the Total Score looking like this:
  1. Sondre - 134 points
  2. Pigeon - 118 points
  3. Anders - 111 points
  4. Cathy - 110 points
  5. Torbjørn - 6 points
Congrats to Sondre
who won this rather convincingly, and who'll receive an alcoholic beverage for his trouble.

We'll start up with Guitarquiz 2 - The Revenge shortly.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What'll become of the guitarquiz

The present quiz concludes the hundred songs, and so the battle is over come Saturday. Which begs the question: Then what? Specifically:
  • Is there enough interest to warrant a new set of songs?
  • If so, what simple steps can I take to improve the concept and format?
  • ..etc
Any comments or suggestions?

How'd that happen?

Today I was really left holding the bag. My day started with an interdepartmental meeting about education, the result of which was that I'll be teaching approximately 25% of a new course to be offered in buzzword-heavy science. Ah; but additional teaching duties surely means a reduction in the remaining course load or some other form of compensation? Yeah; right. But surely it looks good on papyrus, like on a resume? I guess, but seeing as how nobody who's in charge of tallying and ranking academic staff actually care about how they perform pedagogically, it might get me some good karma but little of tangible value. I vividly recall how the instructors of my mandatory pedagogic course would speak of a bright new day coming now where making an effort pedagogically would matter a damn with respect to promotion and ranking. I'm not holding my breath... We'll all have flying cars or at least yellow jumpsuits before that ever comes to fruition.

And to top off this fine day, I was appointed coordinator for a PhD committee. Cool enough, you might say - surely that's an honor? Yeah well; if not for the fact that the duties fall exactly within the upcoming grant application and grading of exam season........

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Firewind - The Premonition

Got the new Firewind album yesterday, and just finished the first round of listening on our way back from work today. It's even better than their 2006 effort "Allegiance", so we're really looking forward to the concert next Saturday. Guitarwise, Gus G has returned to the harmonic minor runs, sweeped arpeggios and other Yngwie-isms from the debut album (Between Heaven And Hell - but y'all knew that, right?), the tunes are smack dab within the "true metal/melodic metal" category, and Firewind actually sounds like a band now. The first three releases were cool and had some really memorable songs (especially "I Am The Anger", "Steal Them Blind", "Between Heaven And Hell", "Tyranny", "Hate World Hero" and "Tomorrow Can Wait"), but after this lineup came to be, everything appears to gel, and it sounds like one unit rather than Gus G plus a couple of friends.

It's too bad that Firewind is relegated to opening act whenever they tour - they're more than good enough to warrant a headliner status. Of course; this time 'round they're on the same bill as Kamelot, so it kind of makes sense, but I'd be perfectly content to buy tickets for a show headlined by Gus, his merry men and Mark Cross the surly former Helloween drummer who insisted on doing a drum solo when they opened for Dragonforce.......

After this tour with Kamelot, they're going stateside to tour with Dark Tranquility, and June 10th they'll be in good ol' Raleigh, NC at the Lincoln Theater. I'll be sure to holla' at my metal-oriented NC friends - they shouldn't miss this.

The best laid plans....

It happened again. A study which originally was planned to result in a short article has now morphed into a 10,000+ word fiesta. But then we got some interesting results and decided to investigate some additional effects, etc., and before we knew it, the data set was too large to be contained within the original scope. Luckily we're only weeks away from submitting it to one of the better journals within or close to my discipline, but it's been a far longer journey than what I anticipated.

"Yeah; we'll just do this short study over summer and get it into the journal quickly, bro"....yeah right. I'm on the verge of accepting that I've got close to zero possibility of predicting within three months (or worse) how long a particular study is going to take from start of execution to finished manuscript.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dave Mustaine on VH1 Rock'N'Roll Jeopardy

..Dave owns...check it out. Dave would've owned all of y'all on Elton John lyrics, that's for sure

Monday, April 21, 2008

..speaking of Shyboy

...Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan kickin' it with Shyboy at the Astoria:

...even though I've got his signature guitar and tried to emulate his sound on Quiz 19, it doesn't do Vai justice, I'm afraid..

Proposal Denied

Prince has laid the smacketh downeth and threatened to pursue legal action if Christer Falck goes through with his plan of releasing a "tribute album" with 81 Norwegian artists. Falck claims to have worked on this project for a long time, and had plans to release the "tribute" as a 5-cd box set to commemorate the occasion of Prince's 50th birthday in June. To Dagbladet, Falck states that he's feeling miffed, and doesn't understand why Prince would veto this project. falck also speculates that Prince maybe hasn't realized that this is a tribute......

I think there's a much simpler solution; Prince, or at least someone in his organization, has aquainted himself with the music usually released by Christer Falck. 'Cause at the end of the day, Falck is the transitional douchebag who takes "glamour models", shoves a mike between their plastic tits, tells them to sing along with some karaoke version of a famous song and releases it. Remember that awful version of "Survivor"? Yup; that's Falck all the way. What about the cover version of Sabrina's "Boys Boys Boys"? Sure was. Add to that the recent launching of Lene Alexandra as a "pop sensation", and you've got the picture. Sure; there might be the odd fifth place Idol "star" mixed in, but that doesn't change much.

Having falck release a trubute album to Prince would be an honor for the short purple dude in the same way as having the guy who writes "for a good time call this number" on the walls of public bathroom stalls do a tribute collection to Leonardo DaVinci. I leave you with two examples of the craftsmanship obvious from releases from Christer Falck artists:

Answers - guitarquiz 19

Difficult round, it appears. The songs were:

  • Song 91: David Lee Roth - Shyboy. "I've got to keep things movin' 'till my personality starts improving" - awesome tune, which was actually written by bass player extraordinaire Billy Sheehan and used in his old band Talas. In the DLR band version, it's got Steve Vai on guitar. The song clocks in at ~260 bpm, so it's movin' alright. I've never played with a bassist capable of doing this song, so I've never performed it live. Oh well.
  • Song 92: ZZ Top - Cheap Sunglasses. Really kewl song which - together with Eminem's Drug Ballad ranks as the two best Hangover Songs ever in my opinion. I have to admit that my recording does not do the song justice at all, as it's sloppy and kinda' off the beat here and there. My apologies to Pearly...
  • Song 93: Belinda Carlisle - Heaven Is A Place On Earth. None of y'all got this one, which surprised me until I realized that the guitar recorded here is quite a bit more overdriven and prominent than in the original...
  • Song 94: Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour. Absolute classic, and there's really no excuse for not knowing this tune...
  • Song 95: Def Leppard - Love Bites. For whatever reason, I didn't listen to this song in my gigging days. If I had, I would have insisted on playing this rather than the infernal "Wonderful Tonight" or "Sweet Child Of Mine". This is a MUCH better power ballad from a guitar player's perspective (like; stuff actually happens guitarwise besides inane strumming)

This means that we have a clear winner of round 19:

  1. Cathy (6/10)
  2. Pigeon (5/10)
  3. Anders/Sondre (tied at 4/10)

And consequently, the Total Score looks like this before the final round:

  1. Sondre (128 points)
  2. Pigeon (112 points)
  3. Cathy (106 points)
  4. Anders (105 points)
  5. Torbjørn (6 points)

Congrats to Comeback Kid Cathy and to Sondre. Good luck with the final round...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The m-factor guitarquiz 20

..Last round of the inaugural m-factor guitarquiz...100 songs ain't bad when you think about it

Submit your answers to mfactorquiz (at) by the end of Friday 042508. Each song holds the potential of two points - one point for artist and one point for the song. Answers will be posted on Saturday 042908.

Song number 96:

Song number 97:

Song number 98:

Song number 99:

Song number 100:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend funny stuff

Ok, a LOT of crap from me lately on this blog, but I had to post this last one. Trick or treat prank gone bad...

Friday, April 18, 2008

The dog ate my Deca

Professional athletes use performance-enhancing supplements. Sure; whether 100% of them do is up for debate, but a really large fraction of them does. Even professional dart players and bowlers have been caught using illegal performance-enhancing supplements. Golfers? Yup. Pretty much every sport has a portion of it's athletes all drugged up, but that's not really what's interesting. The interesting part comes when some athlete gets caught with a positive test and tries to explain how he or she got, say, an T/E ratio rivalling that of Dorian Yates ca. 1993. It's never their fault, of course, or the fact is somehow time-dependent, like if they deny it until they've retired and can write a tell-all book about it. Considering the medical expertise professional athletes have at their disposal and the fact that most sports only do a primary test using urine samples (due to the high cost of testing blood), it's frankly quite baffling that anyone gets caught at all, but there's always someone who decided that chewing D-bol two days before a competition was a good idea. But that's another story altogether - some of the time-tested excuses include:

  • They're only vitamin B12 shots.. This one's been around since the 50s.... Fail!
  • I take extra concentrated amino acids. This one's actually been used by Sylvester Stallone. Fail!
  • I drank three cups of coffee for breakfast. One female Norwegian bicycle athlete tried to pull this one off after testing positive for ridiculous amounts of caffeine in the bloodstream. Fail!
  • I didn't know my boyfriend was using stereoids and he must have slipped me some without me knowing. Hello, Marion Jones..............and there was also the whole Balco thing... Fail!
  • I must've eaten some chicken that's been fed on growth hormone and anabolic stereoids. Yeah right. 'Cause the chicken was just injected with a reservoir of GH and you ate it immediately after without processing it with, say, heat. Fail!
  • I've never done stereoids in my life, but I've eaten some protein powder...those damn supplement companies must've laced their product with Winny tablets so that it appears more effective. Hmm....lemme think....cost of milk products like casein and whey versus cost of at least vet grade Winny or D-bol........nope; your ignorant ass must've inhaled those AAS on your own merit. Fail!
  • I never did no doctor/physical therapist/interior decorator/feng shui-guy must've injected me with them without me knowing. Yup; because you'd never know it if someone gave you shots with three different sized needles twice a day in various body parts...... Fail!

Jackson and Charvel guitars

Since Wilhelm has given me hints about my guitars and their quality level and looks, I'm seriously looking into other guitars. I know Jakcson is a hit for W-meister (couldn't find the Action-Jackson model, though), but a couple of other custom shop models. And since I so obviously doesn't know what makes a good guitar, I'm hoping for some help here.
As I understand it, a guitar can't be pointy enough. Here is a brilliant way of adding more spikes on a V-shaped guitar:

Off course, the above color shceme may not screem "METAL!", but hang on, Jackson are famous for their many color options:

I think knob-dude in the Jackson custom shop was inspired by Hounddog Taylor's guitar, and got a little carried away. But each of the knobs unleashes hell to a different degree. Metal!

But of course, for the political correct musican, there is always possible to add a pornstar to your guitar:

Or if pornstar is a bit too tacky, there is always the more tasteful swimsuit images:

So, which one should I choose? And I'm ending with a short video with an endorser (is this what they call shredding, Wilhelm?):

Have a nice weekend, y'all!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dr. Phil on relic'ed guitars

Well, since relic’ing has been up on this blog before, and since Wilhelm being a big fan of guitars and Dr. Phil (a “dialogue-driven talk show with an academic edge” as he calls it), I thought I should post Dr. Phil’s view on relic’ing of guitars:

(dang, what happened to that sycophantic Yes-man I once was?)

Sales pitch of the year...

Well, I don't know if this is suitable here, but I just had to post the link for this eBay auction. Somebody should learn a few things about marketing; I really don't know how large fraction of his potential buyers he managed to insult. And being racist and sexist is always a great way of attacting buyers. Bet you couldn't find a Bohus commercial even close to the sexist/ stereotyping of this ad, Wilhelm...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As if Guitar Hero isn't enough... comes something even worse, believe it or not. And even with a real cheesy commercial to boot (nerds unite!):

I need to buy a couple of those and start jamming on elevator music...

Here is what the manufacturer says about it:
The beamz™ unleashes the musical creativity that's harbored in every soul.

* Extraordinary invention fuses the interaction of your hands with laser beams to create the sounds of hundreds of different instruments.

* Breaking the laser beams with your hands automatically generates pre-authored pulses, streams, riffs or loops of musical notes or sounds from a variety of instruments — all kinds of strings, keyboards, winds, percussion. Sophisticated high-fidelity sounds seem to pour off your fingertips like magic!

* Choose a complementary rhythm track from 30 original songs in 19 music genres, including jazz, bluegrass, classical, hip-hop, reggae, heavy metal and more.

* The beamz system has a "W" shape, with six laser beams spanning the two sections; connect via USB to your PC or laptop, then hook up some speakers and you're ready to perform great-sounding music.

* Includes software CDs and USB cable for connecting directly to USB port of your PC or laptop.

Peanuts again...

A good one!
You still claim that Peanuts are never any good, Wilhelm?

...welcome to the Jungle

I wish I'd thought of this...brilliant......not that I could get away with doing it, but still..

Answers - guitarquiz 18

Quite the simple quiz apparently, as it was lost or won based on one song and artist. The songs were:

  • Song 86: Scorpions - Still Loving You. A power ballad so recognizable and sentimental that to this day, I think you can safely include this in any pub gig. Provided you're a rock band, that is........if you call yourselves The Bluegrass Brothers you might get in trouble for doing a tune like this, and if you're gigging at the Inferno festival, you might get your ass kicked by anemic, skinny nerds with studded leather jackets, jet-black hair, black t-shirts with an illegigible band name and a graphic of a demon doing some evil shit, and an inverted cross bracelet they either got from their mom or bought for their welfare check.
  • Song 87: Megadeth - Angry Again. One of my favorite Megadeth tunes. And not to be that guy, but if you compare my recording to the original, I was surprised at how close I got in terms of guitar tone AND technique, including the "Hick bend". Not bad for an impromptu single-take based on memory - check out teh lyrics too:

...and on to the next three songs:
  • Song 88: Lenny Kravitz - It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over. Simple, Hendrix-y tune, like the rest of Kravitz'
  • Song 89: A-ha - Take On Me. This guitar tone was the closest I got to the keyboard sound..........
  • Song 90: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama. The runner-up redneck Anthem of All Time. In my opinion, the best version of this song is from the 8 Mile soundtrack........

The Score after round 18 looks a li'l something like this:

  1. Cathy (10/10)
  2. Pigeon (9/10)
  3. Anders/Sondre (tied at 8/10)

...and the Big Kahuna, The Daddy of them All - the Total Score is now:

  1. Sondre (124 points)
  2. Pigeon (107 points)
  3. Anders (101 points)
  4. Cathy (100 points)
  5. Torbjørn (6 points)

Congrats to Cathy and Sondre and good luck with Quiz 19!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Speaking of WB cartoons...

Checketh out this Tom&Jerry episode - "Solid Serenade". The best cartoon song ever, says I.

The m-factor guitarquiz 19

..I might add that Song 91 is from a prominent solo artist who used to be the singer for a very famous heavy metal band....said heavy metal band has had a total of three singers, and now tours with it's original singer...

Submit your answers to mfactorquiz (at) by the end of Sunday 042008. Each song holds the potential of two points - one point for artist and one point for the song. Answers will be posted on Monday 042108.

Song number 91:

Song number 92:

Song number 93:

Song number 94:

Song number 95:

Monday, April 14, 2008


..caught fifteen or so minutes of Penn&Teller's show last week, regarding diets and organically grown food.

I was heavily reminded of why I think magicians are losers who rely on two mirrors and three semi-nekkid girls in addition to their supposed skills.

At first when I saw the show, I thought "Hey; since when did Michael Moore get a suit, some more updated glasses than those "Bad guy from Clint Eastwood movie ca. 1974" ones, lose the cap in favor of a slick black ponytail, trim that scraggy beard and add what's probably termed a "mute vertically challenged person" to his crappy concept?".

...but then I noticed that P&T's show deviate from that of MM not by quality, but by the more frequent inclusion of cusswords and the charming catchphrase STFU.

That's PC thuggin' at its' best right there.

Beyond the event horizon: Approaching normalcy

Finally, we've moved into our new house, and finalized all transactions pertaining to the old. Ever since ~Easter, we've been living in some weird transitional state, where our days have been occupied with painting, packing, hauling and working. For the last two weeks, we haven't even had time to go to the gym, which sucks particularly hard for someone like me. Still; having been hit hard by a chest/head-cold combination - not really recommended to combine with moving by the way - I probably couldn't have operated with the same workload and intensity as usual, so maybe it didn't matter that much.

Some of the things I look forward to do in the near future are:
  • Going back to proper nutrition. During the moving process, it's difficult to eat well. Going back to 5-6 meals of a known composition is going to be wonderful.
  • Gettin' back to the gym and gettin' my numbers back up
  • Being able to locate an object based on its designated location...
  • Having my amp and recording rig up so I can play geetar
  • Hanging out and enjoying the location during weekends

It'll be good......

Friday, April 11, 2008

The m-factor guitarquiz 18

..probably a simple one....

Submit your answers to mfactorquiz (at) by the end of Tuesday 041508. Each song holds the potential of two points - one point for artist and one point for the song. Answers will be posted on Wednesday 041608.

Song number 86:

Song number 87:

Song number 88:

Song number 89:

Song number 90:

Answers - guitarquiz 17

...while I probably can't top Anders' spoof off of my ramblings to each songs - here's what I recorded (with teh Ibanez Jem, btw):
  • Song 81: Tommy Tutone - 8675309/Jenny. None of y'all got this song, although two of you had some suggestions I kind of consider to be close: Anders suggested "Run To You" by Bryan Adams - an artist Anders knows well - and Cathy suggested "Radio Nowhere" by Bruce Springsteen. Close but no cigar. Pointwise, not even a cigarette butt - sorry. Tommy Tutone embodies what the term "one-hit wonder" is all about, but this song was hyooge.
  • Song 82: The Offspring - Why Don't You get A Job. I don't like punk rock and I can't stand Obla-Di Obla-Da by the Beatles, so count on me not liking this song. Neext..
  • Song 83: Ac/Dc - You Shook Me All Night Long. Like Anders correctly stated, you better believe this one rocked the house back in my gigging days. Ever seen anyone try to dance to this song? It's quite the sad sight......
  • Song 84: Iron Maiden - The Trooper. Awesome song - what else is there to say. And yeah; we played it live a lot whenever the second guitar player was sober enough to manage to play the harmony part.
  • Song 85: Bon Jovi - Living On A Prayer. yet again, Anders pre-empted my filler, so I'll just add that the effect this song is known for - the vocoder "talk box" is one of the most useless guitar effects ever.

This means that the Score for round 17 looks like this:

  1. Cathy/Pigeon/Sondre (tied at 8/10)
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. Anders (5/10)

The Total Score however, looks like this:

  1. Sondre (116 points)
  2. Pigeon (98 points)
  3. Anders (93 points)
  4. Cathy (90 points)
  5. Torbjørn (6 points)

Congrats to the winners and good luck with Quiz 18!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hot Rod

.....semi-kewl movie from 2007. There's not much of a storyline, but what's there resembles a lot of similar movies.

...not my finest moment endorsement-wise...let me try again:

Rod Kimble REALLY wants to be a motorcycle daredevil like Evel Knievel, only he lacks....what's the term......skills. Frankly, he sucks as a stuntman, and he hasn't performed a single stunt he didn't walk away injured from. Yet when his stepdad needs a fifty thousand dollar surgical procedure, he decides to jump 15 school buses, the primary motivation being that if his stepdad dies, he can't beat the everloving crap out of him. And in the process of doing this he also meets a nice girl, etc. and so on.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Answers - guitarquiz 16

Quite the narrow field this time 'round. Without further ado, the songs were:
  • Song 76: Stevie Ray Vaughan - Love Struck Baby. Apparently this tune is often mistaken for Johnny B. Goode. That doesn't sound very obvious to my ears, but what teh hell do I know. Crazy kewl tune, actually, like several of those coming from the guitar of SRV. Probably doesn't sound the same when played on .08 strings, though.
  • Song 77: Guns'N Roses - Don't Cry. Man; this sure was a perennial live favorite. Still; I rank the solo here among the five best Slash has ever done.
  • Song 78: Van Halen - Hot For Teacher. Only one of y'all guessed Van Halen, but none of y'all got the song, which is off of the 1984 album. By far my favorite Van Halen song, because of the tapped intro, of course. This version was recorded off the top of my head and is how we used to play it live, but when comparing it to the original, there are some minuscule variations. First of all, the original motif goes through the A and D arpeggios without stopping, whereas I pause briefly between the two for effect. But I make up for it by adding some notes to the descending pattern. This intro sounds way more impressive and difficult than it is, which in my opinion holds true for many a Van Halen song. It's got some wide stretches for the initial taps, and you need to control the hammer-on and pull-offs to get an even volume while keeping string noise to a minimum, but otherwise, all you have to do is learn one pattern and move it across the strings. Actually, what I find to be most difficult about this song is the transition from the descending tapped lick to the palm-muted, hybrid-picked riff.
  • Song 79: ABBA - Gimme Gimme Gimme. Yngwie Malmsteen himself has done a cover of this tune, and it's teh awesome!
  • Song 80: The Kinks - You Really Got Me. I would have accepted Van Halen as artists as well, seeing as how their version is at least as famous. The descending harmonic minor lick doesn't belong to either version though.......just some Yngwie-isms shining through.

Pretty even Scores for round 16:

  1. Anders (9/10)
  2. Cathy/Sondre/Pigeon (tied at 6/10)

Which means that it's getting tighter in the Essence of it all, the Total Score:

  1. Sondre (108 points)
  2. Pigeon (90 points)
  3. Anders (88 points)
  4. Cathy (82 points)
  5. Torbjørn (6 points)

Congrats to Anders and Sondre, and good luck with quiz 17.

El Gitarre Del Muerto: Restoration of a mid 60's Supro Dual-Tone - Part Dos

So, in a previous post ages ago, I showed the pickup change of my Supro Dual-Tone. The original guitar is shown to the right. This time around, I replaced all the internal electronics; potentiometers, capacitors and wires. I left the output jack and three way switch intact.

My thought behind this was that I know nada about guitar electronics, so it is really difficult for me to search out exactly the part that's bad and replace it. Chances are that I might actually damage the guitar in some way when doing that. But, if I remove almost the complete internal electronics and wiring, it would be easy of a skilled repair man to restore it (in worst case scenario).

Opening up the guitar.
This guitar is made of "reso-glass", a glass fiber of sort. So it actually is hollow inside, and looks something like this when it's opened:

The round things are the pots, on the upper part there are two pairs of volume and tone pots, one for each pickup. The left one is volume. On the lower side, you can see a major volume pot, three way switch and output jack. The black wires that come out of the wood beam in the middle are from the pickups. Below is a close-up for the volume and tone pot for the neck pickup. The cylinder is the cap for the tone pot.

New parts
So, since I don't know the reading on the caps and pots, I just took a plunge at some of the ones from RS guitarworks, since they had good reading. Took out what is normal pots for single coils, and ended up with 280K Ohm for volume, 250 Ohm for tone and two 0.015 microF (where are the Greek letters in here when you need them?) caps.

Anyway, below is a picture of the guitar with all the old electronics removed and three new pots in place.

And the all the new parts installed look something like this:

And a close-up of my soldering skills:

Doesn't look as pretty as the original, but it works and it's hidden inside the guitar anyway.

So, here is the guitar reassembled again. Doesn't look much different, only visible are the washers on the pots, hidden under the knobs and are only visible if you tilt the guitar. Could have used the old washers for that vintage look, but that's the kind of details only I and my therapist find interesting.

I have a really good first impression of my repair. The volume and tone controls work. I might tweak the pickup height again and experiment with different values of the caps. But that is a project for later, 'cause I think I will be happy with this guitar as it is now. Won't even bother to find vintage replacement parts.

Friday, April 4, 2008


There's something I've been wondering about for a while: It seems like one is never more than three links away from some web page run by "sceptics" - people who make it their life's mission to crap all over alternative medicine, extraterrestrial life, conspiracies, psychics and other aspects perceived by the "sceptics" to pull the wool over people's eyes.

Now; I'm not going to contest their findings. Nor am I going to speculate about the fact that surprisingly few of the sceptics I've seen are even remotely connected to hard science. Sure; some very prominent members of these societies are scientists from branches that used to belong to the seven liberal arts, but this point ain't about that. The fact that this for some might conjure up images of Ozzy Osbourne referring to Michael Jackson as a weirdo, ain't what this post is about either.

Rather, I'd like to point out that the sceptics are asleep at the wheel - I've never seen them go after the cosmetic industry - a branch which continuously pushes out commercials packed with more lies in the 15 or so seconds they're on air than was uttered during the entire OJ trial. How come they don't go after any company claiming to have made a cream which eliminates wrinkles, makes your lips fuller AND increases eyelash volume by 275%?

....'cause commercials work, and when the paid model endorsing an anti-aging whatever is 17 years old, removing wrinkles ain't that impressive. Neither is it impressive when the model is someone like Andie McDowell, someone who's had so much cosmetic surgery that should she - higher powers/God/Reptilians from Planet Niburu forbid - get hit by a bus tomorrow, her body would have to be recycled in three separate bins. When the models used by the company aren't even biodegradable, one sort of loses faith in the product, whether or not she states "parce-que je le vaux bien" or whatever.

Why do these people go unscathed by the onslaught of online "sceptics"?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Phrenology revisited

Checketh it out; teachers at Steinerskolen devote quite a bit of time on evaluating the student's body shape, and how that according to them is strongly tied to their personalities. Apparently, we can all be separated into four personalities by observing the bodyshape.

So; does it mean that a bodybuilder is going to change personality as he or she grows, or that the personality is dependent on whether it's off- or on-season (discarding any personality trait-altering effects one might have if one chooses to use illegal performance enhancers like androgenic anabolic stereoids, diuretics, growth hormones or what for all practical purposes is speed)?

Do they think that going on a diet will affect their personality? This might actually make sense - at least I'd be pretty upset if I bought into the Atkins diet hype and figured out that after eating nothing but bacon and butter for six months, the kilos I lost started piling back on again when I tried eating a normal diet ('cause the metabolism is shot to hell), and I'm two potato chips away from cardiac arrest, with kidney failure being imminent. I can also imagine that someone might be upset if they bought the Fedon Lindberg package before they saw a picture of the originator and thus the supposed paragon of health.

Do teachers at Steinerskolen believe that you can alter your personality by undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures? Or that by consciously changing your posture for one day you could essentially become a different person?

85% of these schools are funded by the government, meaning that my tax money goes into some pop psychology version of phrenology. Fortunately, the minister of education didn't react too well to this either, so hopefully things might change.

By the way; this is the type of school that our Prime Minister went to, and just about the only type of private school he approves of.

..but what can you expect from people who learn the alphabet by dancing each letter.........

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Clerks - Berserker

Checketh out Silent Bob's cousin from Russia and his band's awesome metal tune "Berserker":

Sad thing is; a lot of lyrics from metal bands emanating from non-English speaking countries sound exactly like this.......sad but true. I actually wrote some riffs to go with these profound lyrics, hopefully to be included on the upcoming Angry Academic metal album.

And bonus: How Jay & Silent Bob deal with people talking mad shit about them on teh internet - Classic. This alone makes the otherwise dodgy movie "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back" worth watching:

The m-factor guitarquiz 17

..less guitarfreak stuff here, and possibly more recognizable tunes.

Submit your answers to mfactorquiz (at) by the end of Tuesday 040808. Each song holds the potential of two points - one point for artist and one point for the song. Answers will be posted on Wednesday 040908.

Song number 81:

Song number 82:

Song number 83:

Song number 84:

Song number 85:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

...lamest excuse of the year

Dagbladet has a story about Vårt Land covering a tribute concert to the Christian rocker Larry Norman (He's dead, Wilhelm). The cool thing about this is that Vårt Land quotes Elvira Nikolaisen on saying "I'm really digging Larry too". The problem is that even if Elvira was scheduled to appear on the concert, she missed her train and hence never made it to on the concert.

To his defense, the journalist claims that "he actually went to the concert, but didn't discover that Elvira never was there before it was too late and the paper was in print".

I say: How 'bout not making up interviews, regardless of where people are?

The Eurovison trophee is for us this year

Even better than last year (a wonderful song by Les Fatals Picards), the song selected to represent France at the Eurovision this year is just amazing.
If we don't finish first with that ....

To Catch A Predator

MSNBC Dateline\To Catch A Predator is totally must-see TV. Essentially, losers who chat with and proposition underage kids online are intercepted by undercover cops and a TV crew. Some of these losers travel for 6 hours in hopes of having sex with a 13 year old girl, only to be confronted by a reporter with a transcript of their chat and then with the five-o.

To me, this is the best example of journalism, law enforcement and entertainment actually existing in the same space.

Epic ownings: