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comment by AnSionnachRua
AnSionnachRua  ·  279 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 13, 2017

Hola granola!

The Music is Dead

I pulled my ancient, creaking mandolin out of its case the other day to see if I could extract a few tunes. I could never really play it, but it's something I'd like to get back into. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble tuning it. One of the strings keeps popping out of the bridge, and if I shift the bridge so this doesn't happen anymore, I can't tune it properly. I might tune an open string to E, but it'll get further away from E down the frets... Is this an omen? Or do I try to see if there's a luthier... somewhere? It's hard to invest a little cash in something you're not sure you'll sustain (I've had the mandolin for 7 years and can't play it), but impossible to invest time in learning something with dysfunctional equipment.

Electrical Dollars

So after reading veen's nice little guide to Ethereum I decided to finally throw a small bit of cash into it, and purchased an extravagant... 1 ETH! It cost me about €260; I was going in line with several Hubskiers' suggestions not to spend more than you're willing to lose. If ETH even goes up by 50%, I'm happy out. If it becomes worthless, at least it's only a couple of hundred quid. I might not have much money now, but that money isn't something I'll be crying about for years to come.

I bought it on Coinbase because it seemed convenient; not sure if that was a good idea or not. Is it safe to just leave it on Coinbase?

Life in Short: Life is Short

Feeling generally low and demotivated over the past while, probably stemming from not really doing anything with my life. I can probably go back to a Pubski six months ago that mentions I need to move out of this town and get full-time work and everything else so I won't repeat it here. I will survive the winter, and when the snows have cleared I will better know the path that I must take. Or something.

A Book about a Stroll

I wrote a few hundred words this morning. My productivity has reached dizzying heights! It was the first thing I did today, to prevent me from putting it off all day. I'm taking the tortoise fable a bit too much to heart, perhaps.

The Weekend Beckons

I'm going out to Clare Island for a birthday party this weekend! My friend Donal just turned 30; I met him in university, and sadly seldom since, but he remains one of my favourite friends. The island is very small and has a tiny population - I think about 100 people total. I'm looking forward to having a few beers and not working on a Saturday night, and catching up with an old friend.

I'll stick around the following day to watch the match on TV. My county team - Mayo - are playing Dublin in the All-Ireland gaelic football final. This is pretty big; Mayo hasn't won since 1951, but has reached the finals or semifinals very consistently over the last decade, only to lose at the last moment (in last year's final, they had a draw with Dublin, then lost the replay by a single point). The hype in Mayo is electric right now.

Romantic Misadventures Vol. 2

My ex messaged me on FB a while back. Kind of the one that got away, I guess. I ended up going to see her last week and spent the night at her place - nothing like that; I slept on the spare futon. Anyway this brought back a ton of old feelings; we exchanged a few messages during the week, but she thinks that if there are still feelings - which she implied were sort of mutual - that we probably shouldn't meet again. I was a bit heartbroken last week, but doing better now. C'est la vie, baby. I did request a meeting just to talk things over, which she hasn't responded to, so that might be the end of that story.

Oh and there's this

I made it into the book and there's even a photo! That's pretty cool I would say. It's a shame I'm described as a primary teacher - I think this probably comes from one of the newspaper articles in which I'm erroneously described so, though it was TEFL I was doing at the time.

goobster  ·  279 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know stringed instruments very well, and my opinion is that your mandolin needs to be cut loose and sent on to another home.

Basically, the neck is bent. Yes, there is a truss rod that can be adjusted that will take some of/most of the warp out of the neck, but the nut and tuners are still going to be a problem. An enthusiastic player could put the work into restoring it and getting it working properly again (at which point something else will break), but you won't.

What you need is a "player" instrument. Something that just works, and lets you plink away at it any time you want. Doesn't need to be pretty or fancy in any way at all. Just something you can hold in your hands, stays in tune, and has a reasonable amount of sound output.

Because you aren't a "player" yet, you need something you can just twiddle on whenever the feeling strikes you. Pick it up, pluck a few notes, see if you want to pluck a few more.

If every time you pick it up you need to adjust the tuning, or the nut, or you know you can't play in tune above the 6th fret, then you won't get any pleasure out of twiddling, and therefore your twiddling won't become playing, and playing won't become a passion.

And, one last thing: When you replace this mando, store the next one you get properly. Don't hang it up in a sunny window, or lay it on a shelf in a damp basement. Put it in a stand or a wall hanger, where it is out of direct sunlight, but easy to reach, and in a room where the temperature don't vary crazily. (Don't hang it over the fireplace.) Wood flexes with moisture and temperature. When stringed instruments flex, they crack, warp, go out of tune, etc. And don't leave it in the case. Cases are for traveling, not for storage, and they prevent you from picking the instrument up on a whim and widdling away at the strings whenever the passion strikes you.

Good luck!

AnSionnachRua  ·  278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you're probably right, goobs. Both my mandolins are basically unplayable at the moment, both of them are apparently about eighty years old, and neither of them even has a truss rod. I'm gonna keep an eye out for a cheapish one to start fiddling about with and see where things go from there.

I also think your points about storage is spot on - way more likely to pluck away if it's in a stand or on a hook.

goobster  ·  277 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    ... way more likely to pluck away if it's in a stand or on a hook...

You have no idea how many times I have seen someone dig a case out from behind/under something, open it, smile, and pull out the instrument inside with a big smile on their face. They then kinda "go away somewhere" and plink away on the instrument... in a happy place, remembering maybe the last time they played it, or who they played with, or whatever...

... and then they put it sadly back in the case.

Cases are where instruments go to die.

Put that thing out in the open, where you can always reach it... and you will reach for it.

You aren't going to go under your bed to dig out a case and twiddle for a few minutes.

kleinbl00  ·  279 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I bought it on Coinbase because it seemed convenient; not sure if that was a good idea or not. Is it safe to just leave it on Coinbase?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are like banks, if banks had no fiduciary responsibility, were started by trust fund kids that sort-of know how to code, off-shored all their hard work to people they've never met, hired no security and came up with their own arbitrary ideas as to how to make "locks."

No, it's not safe. Go to myetherwallet, generate a wallet, print it out on paper, copy-paste the address, and send that money directly out of coinbase and to your wallet. If you want to make sure it works, send like .01ETH or whatever to make sure you understand the process.

Here is a list of targets. Now imagine several tens of thousands of bored hackers and social engineers. When your money is in an exchange, your money is on that list.

AnSionnachRua  ·  278 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for the advice kb, that's going right on the to-do list. No point leaving money where it might be taken.

steve  ·  279 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I decided to finally throw a small bit of cash into it

it's a good time - it's as low as it has been in days... maybe weeks.

    I wrote a few hundred words this morning.

every journey has a beginning... yada yada yada

    I will better know the path that I must take.

only you will.