March 16th, 2013

Cooking with G.A.S.

As I said the other day, I am not in the market for a guitar.

On the other hand, I got an e-mail from The Guitar Works advertising their upcoming closed door sale. And I haven't been over there to say hi in a very long time, because the store that used to be just up the street from where I lived when I first moved to Chicago is a lot farther away now. So I asked daisy_knotwise if it was ok if I went over there and poked around.

She said, "Sure! And take my old child-size steel-string guitar and see if they can make it playable, because we have two girls and one working child-size guitar right now."

Terry's been pretty good about turning cheese slicers into much more functional guitars for me over the years -- usually not my guitar, but a guitar belonging to a friend, so this seemed like a good idea. I headed in and found him in the shop, we compared notes on our kids (his oldest is graduating from college this year), and he filed down the nut and restrung the guitar so that it's much more playable.

And I headed over to look at the guitars on the wall.

And it struck me that I might actually be able to use a new guitar to take when I'm flying somewhere, because I would feel really bad if something happened to my old Guild six-string. So I pulled a 110ce down to look at it.

And then I went to the desk and bought some picks so I could tell what the fool thing sounded like.

Ok, that's a little thin. Of course, I'm used to playing a 710 of one stripe or another, so that wasn't really a surprise. The 210 seemed a little thin too. The 310 was better, but now we were starting to get into more serious money.

And there was this dinged up Taylor hanging on the wall -- old enough that the headstock looked different from the other Taylors. I pulled it down and played it. Ok, dinged up, some belt buckle rash on the back, but it sounded just fine. I might want to get a pickup installed in it if I were to buy it, because that would be handy. Oh, wait. Someone has installed a pickup already on the top inside edge of the sound hole. Hmm.

I find Terry and ask him if he can tell me about the guitar. It turns out that it had belonged until recently to the owner of one of my old favorite restaurants in Evanston. He decided he wanted something newer with more accessible controls, so he'd traded this beastie in.

And I called Gretchen, who the girls had been making crazy. And I told her about the guitar.

"If you want it, buy it. I should make someone happy today."

(As I said, the girls had been making her crazy.)

So it followed me home.

And I now have a 1983 Taylor 710.

Of course, it's a 710. I apparently have remarkably consistent taste...

Watch Out for Falling Banks

Via Instapundit, it appears that the stupid is in full swing over in the European Union. The EU has gone to bail out the banks in Cyprus. And it turns out that the deposit insurance is worth less than you might have thought. 6.75% less, to be exact. If you had insured deposits in the Bank of Cyprus, they are going to take 6.75% of your account away from you. If you had uninsured money, they're going to take 9.9% of the balance.

Now for the uninsured money, that's certainly better than losing, say, all of it. But for the insured money, it appears that this is some new meaning of insurance, more akin to the fellow who is looking for the protection money from the small businesses.

And since interest rates have been hanging near nominal zero for a long time, this means that money in your mattress was worth 6.75% more than money in the bank.

As several different commenters have noticed, that's the recipe for triggering a lot of runs on weak banks.

And runs on weak banks are exactly what you want if you're the European Union, right?