Saturday, August 26, 2017

Check Out This Pussy!

Ladies in gentlemen, or vice versa... whichever comes first; we interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this here animated gif image; composed of multiple pictures (two of them, to be exact...!) featuring our frisky neighborhood stray of a cat licking itself on the neighbor's roof! Enjoy!

And just think; this is possibly the last bit of wholesome family entertainment you'll ever manage to get out of me at nearly three o' clock in the morning... God help me, for I can feel my brain cells slowly dying!

This has been the infamous P.S. Elliott (or the scandalous Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting... (no, just filling in as I've got no news to report!) for the disassociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Customer Disservice, Part IV

Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast of the usual shit that manages to piss me off on a day-to-day basis to bring you the latest installment of what I previously assumed would be just a conclusion to an impromptu trilogy of grievances to bring you yet another chapter in my world of personal eBay customer dissatisfaction. The names of the participants and the parties involved, have changed; however... it's still the same exact cautionary tale of seller beware, folks! Mind, this piece has been sitting in draft mode for well over a year now. As a matter of fact, I have no idea when this occurred exactly since all these email exchanges were deleted from my eBay messages and judging by the Trump joke, this occurred way before the election. Also, if you're a right wing nut that thinks our current president is some sort of infallible god, then do me a favor and go fuck yourself! I'm only exercising my last shred of freedom of speech before the big name cable companies decide to censor it all in the form of slow internet lanes just to make a profit through their corporate lobbyists! My only reason for writing this is to find some sort of therapy through expression. Anyways... here's the rant, as it was originally intended to appear, minus some in hindsight commentary that needed a little brushing up...

So it all began about a week ago when I received an offer for $100 with a message that stated my offer is for $100 including shipping... which seemed a little bit odd to me, but I figured the buyer must have meant $100 plus the shipping fee, which was just a measly $13.95 for USPS priority shipping (as the rates have gone up) for a flat rate medium box and out of that amount there would have been an extra few bucks to cover the insurance which I would have had to add out of pocket because the estimated value of this package was beyond the $50 amount, or better put... the minimum $60 required by the post office to deem a package "insurable." So I thought nothing of this rather odd note attached to the best offer agreed to the buyer's offer, feeling pretty sure that this sale would go off without a hitch, but then I slowly but surely found myself on the receiving end of an idiotic argument that went nowhere. What follows is a transcript of what ensued between me and this eBay user, whom I shall refer to as MB, which stands for Mr. Balsac (which is meant to sound purposely a lot like ball sack); since well... he must have had a pretty swollen pair of them on during the execution of this deal that went nowhere and wound up being yet another in the long line of deadbeat payer instances that I've had to put up with on eBay. So, as per usual, here goes...! And also, keep an eye out for the play-by-play commentary in parentheses.

This was the message that proceeded my accepting of his $100 offer. Mind you, the product I'm selling was worth more than that, but I figured it would be a while before I came across a decent offer such as this one, so I went with it.

MB: My offer was and is $100.00 including shipping. I think that was misunderstood. I will still pay that for this item if you want to sell it for that. Thaynk You (Notice how these bastards can't type worth a shit, folks... but they sure make decisions to fuck up other people in less than a hummingbird's heartbeat).

PS: So now you're not going to pay because of the shipping rate which wasn't free to begin with? Why didn't you just make an offer for less than a hundred which would have added up to $100 even?!? (Of course, it dawned on me at this point that I was dealing with yet another usual eBay deadbeat; you know... the kind that don't like to respond to your emails right away? Which explains my next message.)

PS: Hey... are you still there? Or are you going to start playing the ignore the eBay messages game with me?

MB: I did, the first offer if you recheck it has a message that my offer includes shipping, obviously the message part of the first offer was not read.

PS: Right... exactly the same way that you missed the fact that I was not offering free shipping for this item, correct?

MB: There is only one reason I am even answering any of this ridiculousness,its because you are selling something that I thought I wanted. I changed my mind. I am not buying anything from a seller that has the time to waste on stupid comments , instead of what it takes to make a deal! (What? Is this fucker a game show host all of a sudden? The deal has been finalized... he's obligated to pay in case anybody's wondering. At this point, I reported the buyer using )

PS: Well, excuse me if I can't understand the vagueness in such a comment as that's $100 including shipping... which can be interpreted as $100 plus shipping, which isn't free, as I clearly stated in my item description. You could have offered me $86.05, which together with the $13.95 that I asked for would have come out to $100. But you know this already, and I see no reason in repeating myself... So stop playing games. People like you are what's wrong with eBay nowadays. You think you can go around taking a proverbial crap on all the rules and do whatever it is you feel like. Well, I've got news for you buddy... I'm not putting up with this anymore! Time and time again I keep running into eBayers like you that like to bid on or buy my stuff and then turn into instant deadbeats, because a) they're like the Donald Trumps of the world that like to give the illusion that they're millionaires, when in fact they can't even afford a pot to piss in or b) they're performance artists that dropped out of mime college and think they can get away with the silent treatment via email. My only hope is that eBay suspends your account... they'd be doing the rest of us a favor!

(And I just couldn't resist adding this picture of Dr. House (see below) as an attachment to this message, simply because I couldn't manage to find a Doctor Who meme with Peter Calpaldi stating: Are You an Idiot?)

MB: we'll see who ebay wants to suspend. You sound a little cranky like maybe your overdue for a diaper change,because everything about you and your bs sales approach,sure makes you sound like a whining baby.Frankly, I could give a shit what your tired of, I am tired too, of getting messages that exemplify your idiocy.Vague Statement, I am making an offer for your auction of $100 including shipping. That doesn't sound to vague, but you sure sound like an asshole (This message, by the way strayed from the other series of back and forth since it wasn't a direct reply... I'm only including it here for continuity purposes only. Of course, I immediately reported this buyer at this point for his lack of respect)

MB: Did you miss the fact that there was never any offer accepted, as you chose to not read the original offer in it's entirety. So, this entire immature rude dialogue that you chose to create in your mind will now be deleted, as will you from ebay. Your message regarding "Donald Trump" and "Mime College" and "pot to Piss IN" will be used after you are deleted from ebay as the what to do if your that immature, far to immature too sell anything on ebay any longer. (Never any offer accepted? Now I know for a fact that this guy hails from the same Bizarro World where Donald, or Scrooge McFuck is actually a President!)

(Author's postscript: And little did I know, that I'd actually find myself living in that alternate universe!!!)

PS: You're... not your. (I just couldn't resist missing the opportunity to play a game of Grammar Nazi with this dumb fuck at this point).

PS: And furthermore... you also got both instances of the word to and too confused with one another. Also... never any offer accepted? Hello? What planet are you living on? When you make an offer and I accept... that's a done deal. You're now obliged to pay the total amount for the offer you sent me plus the shipping fees, which I've clearly stated time and time again you overlooked. I do not offer free shipping. If you wanted to make this work, you should have sent me an offer of $86.05, which together with the $13.95 shipping fee that was clearly stated in the description, that would have come out to $100 exactly and we wouldn't be having this long winded back and forth discussion, which is as pointless as your argument and assumption that there wasn't any offer accepted. You know there's a Murphy's Law out there that I find very fitting to this situation. It goes something like this: "Never argue with a fool, people will notice..." Of course, if you want to keep playing the fool, by all meas (Damn it! I just realized I made a typo... I meant to write means here of course)... please continue!

MB: Ebay appreciates you adding another paragraph of BS, to add to the other one's you sent on their "what to do to get suspended from Ebay" Blog.

PS: Are you going to pay the $113.95 you owe me or not? (At this point, I just wanted to get him to admit to the fact that he wasn't going to pay up just so that it would wind up in writing and on eBay's record... even if the unpaid buyer case was opened and all)

MB: You are so stupid and ignorant, I wont mention your other personality flaws, these messages you sent me being posted in a public format will end up costing you and your attitude more money and by letting the world know how much of an ahole you demonstrated yourself to be,you will be paying for a long time when you keep having to relist auctions that do not get bidding, or offers any longer. Time will tell, unfortunately for you, HIV doesn't allow you to live long enough to get the entire payback you deserve you sc bag!

PS: Right, you go ahead and post those in a public forum, and I'll sue you for liable. (And there's another typo that I realized shortly after the fact!) How's that sound? It's not my fault that you don't know how to purchase items via best offers on eBay accordingly. In the future, here's a tip; send a message first to a seller before you decide to insult them with your proposed final offer price before actually submitting the best offer itself, which you're obligated to pay plus shipping. You know, like what we've just gone through here... the very same one you gladly overlooked and then got all pissy about just to get all parties involved in a long winded back and forth equivalent to a social experiment gone wrong for no apparent reason whatsoever. There's just no point to this discussion really... since you want to play by your own set of rules; which are utterly wrong to begin with. Some people are convinced that the color of the sky is green and there's no telling them otherwise. So do yourself a favor here and stop being a cry baby and move on. It's not my fault that you took it upon yourself to basically earn an unpaid item dispute against your profile is it? Matter of fact, I'm done with you... all I hope is that you come across an eBay buyer who has behaved as childishly and as annoying as you have here with me, just so you know what it feels like. You know, it's bad enough that I'm unemployed and living off of this worldwide online garage sale just so that I can earn enough to get by whilst attending to near and dear family member that's undergoing (this part has been intentionally omitted by the author, whom just realized that this blog piece rant has gotten just a wee bit too personal and very real); but no... I actually have to subject myself to be putting up with a barrage of insults coming from a sadly misinformed eBay buyer (for lack of a better word) that believes that sending someone a message beforehand as to what they're going to pay is the same as sending them a best offer price with a shipping rate applied. I mean, what planet are you living on? There are rules here. Abide by them. That's why they're there in the first place!

I believe I received one more nasty little message from this human split end of a pubic hair after the fact, which just consisted of the usual whining calling me an idiot and blah, blah, blah... frankly, I'm not even concerned about it anymore, but at least I've managed to complete this draft and the rest is history. Now it's just a matter of time before the powers that be decide to censor this post, to which I say... bring it on, bitches!

This has been Dr. Gonzo XXVII (or P.S. Elliott, for short...) reporting for the disassociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Axe Wives' Club - Molly

Way back in the day, (a wee bit farther back than I can remember, that is) I happened to come across a pretty affordable bass on eBay and figured I couldn't pass up the deal... mainly because it was a full scale bass with 24 frets and looked like an eligible candidate for a few good upgrades. As a rule of thumb, I never keep anything stock and always prefer to mod instruments (cheap ones in general, so as to not lose any intrinsic value) just as a way of making them my own. What can I say? It's my signature hobby, which I've decided to file under the category of The Axe Wives' Club, for memory's sake.

Stock Image Courtesy of the World Wide Web

At the time, I believe that these particular basses came in two different finishes, either black or this cherry walnut type of finish, which is the model I had. It had a satin finish on it, so the bass was very prone to dings rather than finish cracks if you weren't careful with it. Then again, I'm just your average clumsy would be musician, so things that like would eventually happen. This bass, however, I never really got the time to really get into (before I got out of it, that is!) and so it was sold faster than I had it in my possession to actually even miss ever owning it! While some wood lovers out there might appreciate the walnut finish on this instrument, I just didn't find anything remotely attractive about it.

Sure, I had a Worn Brown Epiphone SG later on, and that guitar was quite the beauty compared to this bass; for it sported a rather nasty looking reddish wood stain on it, which was; as they say... an acquired taste. The least the manufacturer could have done to make it better was to make it a fixed neck with a matching stain, however, they decided to go a different route and make it a 24 fret (yes, that's right... 24 fret!) bolt on neck with a raw satin finished neck... which in hindsight was a rather comfortable neck to play, however, I knew neck to nothing about fret leveling at the time, so the fret rattling against the frets made this bass even more of a turn off for me to play.

I was under the mistaken impression that the fret rattle was being caused by my decision to upgrade the bridge by swapping out the already seemingly upgraded bass bridge, which appeared to have a little more meat on it than your average four string bass chrome stock bridge. Little did I know that things like these are pretty much commonplace when it comes down to playing an instrument straight out of the box, regardless of whatever upgrade you do make to it in the long run. At any rate, it would be a few more years (from what I can recall) before I started investing more money into getting just the right amount of luthier tools to ensure a better playing instrument.

Around this time, I was beginning to get into fixing up guitars (and/or basses for that matter) on my own. I had already been burnt a few times by a guitar tech that would take liberties with my time and money. It seemed like every other mod job I took to him would come out wrong somehow, while at other times, everything worked perfectly. It wasn't 'til I learned how to do these kind of things on my own, that I realized just how wrong his work really was. One of these instances involved the set of Seymour Duncan JB2's that I had decided to upgrade (or swap out the stock pickups with). The specific pickup was the divided P bass pickup, which I regret no longer having a picture of... for it's one of those things that make you wonder just what the hell was this tech thinking or what really happened at his shop to bring this on?

Apparently my tech somehow managed to screw up the lower half (or maybe it was the upper half--- I can't remember) of the pickup (which is my best guesstimate... in short of just simply making off with half a pickup, that is!) and spliced the top half together with the bottom half of a regular stock pickup. To the untrained eye, one might have suspected that it was just the cover that had been misplaced, and the tech decided to improvise by using a cover that he had lying around... however, the pickup that he decided to fuse together with the Seymour Duncan had a much blockier looking appearance on it, and it appears as though the cover had been affixed to it and didn't actually have a removable type of cover on it! So it was bad enough that I wound up with half a pickup and no clue as to the whereabouts of the rest of it, but I didn't even have a semblance of a matching Tetris block looking pickup as a whole! It wasn't the first time this guy fucked me over on jobs like these, but it was certainly getting to be the last, I thought! It was bad enough that his shop was located in bum fucked Egypt, but my vehicle of choice at the time wasn't quite up to par with reliability, as it had a pretty touchy engine (i.e. touch and go, or drive and break down; take your pick!) as well as a leaky window that would flood the dashboard whenever it rained!

Anyways, before I get sidetracked into reminiscing about my old defunct rides and whatnot, let's get back to my old Red Walnut Arbor Bass; as it was the first instrument that I actually ever took the plunge into the wonderful world of soldering with. Did I learn a thing or two about soldering? Well... not exactly! What I did learn was that I was a lot better off saving up to buy a soldering station than resorting to working with a cheap 60 watt soldering iron. And what was worse was that the long shaft pots I decided to install on the bass were the type of pots that have opened case enclosures at the base of the pot (the ones in the picture here are the same exact pots in question, by the way, in case anyone's wondering), which makes the soldering process just a wee bit more difficult; since the ability of the flowing solder to adhere to the metal depends on just how scuffed up the surface is (which was yet another urban myth in and of itself as well). And because these are open back pots, the surface is pretty narrow and you always run the risk of accidentally flowing the solder onto the base of the shaft, which has this plastic looking wafer on it that's visible if you're looking right at the bottom of the pot.

One thing I learned here was to never, ever use these type of pots again... for they are quite the proverbial bitch to work with! The other mods that I made to this bass were very minimal, to say the least. A thumb rest was added to the flat top just above the P bass pickup (which I wound up having to replace since the fraken-pickup that my tech worked on was pretty FUBAR just to look at... the damn wires didn't even match for crying out loud! The only other hardware upgrade made to this bass (outside of the electronics, that is) consisted of a set of Waverly die cast tuners. It wasn't much of an improvement over the original stock tuning gears, mind you... since they weren't anything special, like say a locking set of tuning gears or perhaps even the EZ-LOKing style tuners which feature a pair of string holes for quicker tuning. As far as I can tell, the only difference between this set and the one that came stock on it was the etched W (Waverly) logo on the back of the gears themselves. I also suspected that there must have been some sort of repair job done to the neck just a little passed the point where the titled headstock ends and the straight part of the back of the neck begins. It was either very poor factory craftsmanship or perhaps a glue repair job that one could easily feel with their hands when thumping the bass at the lower registers.

Another thing that wasn't exactly up to scratch with my noodling around with circuitry in the early days was the whole copper shielding process. While I did understand that copper tape was needed to be basically upholstered (or affixed, if you want to get technical) onto each and every cavity, the one important thing that I overlooked was grounding the cavities together in order to ensure a strong continuity. Perhaps the funnest part when it comes to shielding involves placing strips of copper tape directly underneath the bridge plate and either placing the main ground wire in its original dugged out trench on the body, after shielding this area of course, or simply soldering a portion of the wire to this shielded area and simply letting the metal of the bridge make contact with it all in order to create a proper Faraday Cage for the circuit.

And speaking of circuits, here is the wiring diagram that was used for the upgrades to this bass, courtesy of Seymour Duncan. While a far stretch for the more complex mods that I would eventually get the knack for putting together, this Standard PJ Bass Wiring Diagram was a good starting steps, in other words. Click on the image below for a direct link to the online PDF file from the online Seymour Duncan Wiring Diagram Support section.

And mind you, I didn't exactly manage to complete the wiring on my own, until several months later... that was, after realizing that using a cheap soldering iron just wasn't cutting it, and swapping out the open back pots for a pair of regular closed back long shaft 500K ones. Yes, that's right... if you want to get something done right, you have to do it yourself! And this particular bass was no exception. I believe I wound up striping the bass of its pickups and sold it as a project body, if memory serves. Either way, it's history, and part of my history as a modder... for if I never got the hang of soldering at this point, I might not have continued tinkering around with guitar electronics, and this web blog might have never even come to be. This has been the highly reminiscent Dr. Gonzo XXVII (or the sometimes effervescent P.S. Elliott) reporting for the disassociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

And Now, A Word from Our Sponsors...