Monday, November 14, 2016

Marshall Strikes Again

For once, it's not what you think.
I found myself, certainly not by accident, at the Philly Guitar Show. The amplifier company known as Marshall, named after my dog, Marshall, put out a cute little series of amps called Code. They were being demoed at a booth at the show. It was an adorable little thing (models from 25 watts up) and I haven't bought anything in I can't remember how long. The 1958 lefty Stratocaster I saw last week was $60,000, so I figured it might have to wait a little while. I saw other Interesting Stuff at the show, which I will detail in another post (I know you're waiting anxiously).

The salesguy's main point was that this little guy could be controlled by your phone, using BlueTooth. Yes, instead of turning the knobs on your amplifier, you could turn them on your phone (android and the other one - I checked). While this might be nice for someone who has mobility issues, I can turn a knob with the best of them.   One of the things Marshall forgot to advertise was that the box is so sharp that it will give you a Cardboard Cut. So I bled for a bit, which is never a good thing. Passing out while driving is not encouraged, except for some places in Philadelphia.

I don't know if this is part of getting older or one of my many deficiencies but I don't get nearly as excited as I used to when I was younger. It took me a nap and a few hours to get around to trying it out. I opened the box, without urge to take pictures or video of the box and posting it on YouTube for everyone to see. This is actually a thing: you take video of the box and opening it. They call it 'unboxing'. There is usually no actual information or tryout of the item in question - just physically taking it out of the box, plus a few shots of the device itself. We're a weird bunch, we are.

Setting something up in my house is a unique challenge, requiring lots of cursing and being assaulted by cables, grabbing and twisting themselves around you like a cat who's in the way and demanding attention. Or a constricting, venomous snake. Putting aside a very jealous Fender Mustang amp, the last next-to-couch amplifier venture, I fired the bugger up. It has that cute Marshall white script logo. One day I'll take a picture of it with Marshall the cocker next to it and send it to Marshall Amps. It's got all sorts of blinky lights, which should keep the current generation of Faceyspaces players interested. I declined to play with the BlueTooth feature, exercising my rights to turn knobs. Since I have the attention span of a pregnant gnat, I chose to go through the outrageous presets to get an idea of what it could do (unfortunately it could not vacuum, but at least I wasn't expecting it, hence very little disappointment).

The little beast is actually pretty cool. It came up rather rapidly, as it has no tubes in it. It makes some fun noises, from old clean to high-powered stacks of LOUD amplifiers. It will be fun and hold my limited attention for a while. No, it's not quite my large Marshall, but it's not supposed to be. And Jeebus, this bit was certainly much larger than I had intended.

  • Watch the skies for the Supermoon. You will be able to identify it by its humongous size and its red or blue cape, depending on time of year and temperature coefficient.

Samsung is buying Harman International, provider of sound systems and components for cars, in a push toward smart devices. And apparently exploding cars.

  • Reince Preibus: why? When vetting him, they should have tried to figure out where his name came from. Or what planet.

Here's a little ditty called "So You Think You Can Be A Morning Person" Seriously? I know they're supposed to exist but they're very rare in the wild.

  • Ok, let's call a timeout in the War on Elections. The left needs to stop damaging stuff (and people). The right needs to stop gloating and deifying the president-elect (as the left would if their candidate got in). It's time to get on with things. (Libertarians, you can keep crying quietly)
  • And while we're on the topic, I've seen a LOT of foreign commentary and concern around the election. It's odd to see foreigners more wound up than some of the locals. One day I hope to be so frustrating that I cause demonstrations and riots in foreign countries. I'm a simple man, with simple desires.
  • I can't forget this: VP-elect Mike Pence is seriously anti-abortion. In a move that could only happen in 2016, people are making donations to Planned Parenthood in his name. For each donation, notice is sent to him. Laughter is the greatest form of protest. Or something.
  • About these protests: I harken back to when Obama was elected (both times)... remember all the fun we had, rioting in the streets, peeing on or own shoes and setting babies on fire? Good times.

Yet another NFL Sports Dude has sat out the national anthem before a game, over the 'joke' election.  Now I'd sit out the national anthem to protest the national anthem being played, but we're getting a little silly here. South Park suggested they invite everyone to sit or stand for the anthem, which would thwart some of this nonsense. If the players are seriously upset, I encourage them to not show up for games for a year and donate their salaries to an appropriate charity, like the Kneeling Sisters of Beryl, or some other deserving group. That should bring the entire brouhaha to a screeching halt.

  • I hope my New Zealand readers are ok after their serious earthquake. Two people lost their lives, which is probably two people more than read this blog from New Zealand.

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