August 20th, 2008

Creature of Habit

Normally, when I get ready for lunch, I take the ten minute walk to the Buona Beef across the street, order a burger, fries, and drink: total cost $7.14 after our recent sales tax increase. I'm annoyingly predictable.

Today, however, I'm still waiting for Godot to deliver the file that I need to do some testing. And since I'm expecting to have a relatively light dinner this evening when daisy_knotwise and I bundle the kids up and head down to Bensenville for the free concert by the Buckinghams (one of the better of Chicago's 1960s rock groups), I figured that what I really wanted was the pizza buffet up at Perry's in Park Ridge.

So that's where I went. I had a nice salad from the buffet with their excellent creamy garlic dressing (which I had to ask the waitress for, since there aren't enough slots on the buffet for all the types of dressing), then some sausage and pepperoni pizza.

My favorite of Perry's pizzas is the barbeque pizza: sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and onions on barbeque sauce. They haven't had it on the lunch buffet lately, I'm assuming because business has been relatively light and they'd just as soon not put it out to go mostly untouched. But there were a lot of people hitting the buffet today, so the pizza was frequently running out. I heard someone ask when more pizza would be up and the owner told them that there'd be a half-sausage, half-pepperoni and a barbeque pizza up shortly.

Cool! I could wait for that. So I watched the horde descend on and demolish the half-and-half when it came out, waiting for the barbeque pizza. The pizza cook put it in the window, I stood up to head for the buffet, the owner picked up the pizza --

And the cardboard circle it was on folded in half, dumping the pizza on the floor.

I sat back down. The owner said, "Put another barbeque on."

Cool. I could wait for that. And I did, as I read my newspaper. :)

It was a rather long and slightly more expensive lunch than usual, not counting the thirty mile round trip on the expressway.

But the pizza was good!

Things I Didn't Need To Know: #642

One of the dangers of being a guitarist with a recording studio in the basement is that you're always looking for new and interesting ways to make sounds without having to learn an entirely new instrument. This occasionally leads to severe cases of keyboardist envy, given the ways that modern synthesizers can do a pretty good to excellent job of mimicing other instruments in the hands of the well-trained keyboard player.

In pursuit of this, I acquired my Godin Multiac Jazz and Roland guitar synthesizer, having been alerted to this combination by that amazingly talented victim of GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome), min0taur. I haven't yet had a chance to spend a lot of time exploring the beast, because of the birth of Katie and the subsequent death of two of the ligaments in my knee. I did get to spend enough time playing it to determine that the combination was cool and that when I played this guitar -- as opposed to the Les Paul that I'd traded for it -- the notes that came out actually sounded like me, instead of someone who was completely clueless trying to figure out what to do with an electric guitar. ;)

In similar fashion, Barry's experiments with a pieced-together acoustic baritone guitar led me to have Frankenbass, the electric baritone, assembled from a Fender Telecaster body and a fine Warmoth baritone guitar neck. This turned out to be an eminently successful experiment that even made its way onto catalana's recent album.

Yesterday, though, I tripped over a new instrument that I had never seen before. Perhaps Barry has, but -- if not! -- I'm happy to return the favor to him.

Behold! The six-string banjo.

Fitted with a guitar neck, strung like a guitar, tuned like a guitar, played (more or less) like a guitar. Sounds (more or less) like a banjo.

I really didn't need to know this. :)