Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some Things I've Learned!

  • That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
  • That just one person saying to me, 'You've made my day!', makes my day!
  • That having a child fall to sleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world!
  • That being kind is more important than being right!
  • That you should never say no to a gift from a child!
  • That I can always pray for someone, when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way!
  • That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with!
  • That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand!
  • That simple walks with my grandfather around the block on summer nights when I was a kid did wonders for me as an adult!
  • That we should be glad that God doesn't give us everything we ask for!
  • That money doesn't buy class, character or credibility!
  • That it's those small daily happenings that make life spectacular!
  • That under every one's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved!
  • That to ignore the facts does not change the facts!
  • That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you!
  • That love, not time, heals all wounds!
  • That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am!
  • That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile!
  • That life is tough, but I'm tougher!
  • That opportunities are never lost, someone will take the ones you miss!
  • That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere!
  • That I wish I would have told my mom that I love her before she passed away!
  • That one should keep his words soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them!
  • That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks!
  • That when your newly born grandchild holds your finger in her little fist, that you're hooked for life!
  • That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it! And, besides it's lonely at the top, and just room for one.
  • That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done!
I only hope I can use and demonstrate effectively what I've learned!

New Project

I've been busy lately working on the design for a guitar which is a tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt.  So, the absence of posts here on the blog.

The guitar is an electric ordered by my old friend Bruce (yes, I do mean old, like in elderly, grizzled, vintage, time-worn, run down and worn out), who has developed a Nascar fetish . . . this has replaced the foot fetish he had years ago.  He says he plans to auction it to support a Nascar fantacy league he runs, but I think he will keep it for himself.

Without giving away too many secret details, before the job is finished, delivered, and photos posted here, it is a six-string built using a Tatuaje cigar box as the body (thanks to Jennifer in Houston for supplying the box), a Fender Strat neck via a guy in Georgia, and various parts from Toronto.  It is coming along nicely, and a lot of fun to create, even though the design has been a pain in the ass.  But, you should be seeing photos in a couple weeks.

Ya Can't Stay Grumpy, When Ya Read This!

How do crazy people go through the forest?   They take the psychopath!

How do you get Holy water?   You boil hell out of it!

What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?   A stick!

What do you call Santa's helpers?   Subordinate Clauses!

What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?   Anyone can roast beef!

Why do gorillas have big nostrils?   Because they have big fingers!

Why don't blind people sky dive?   Because it scares the dog!

How are a Texas tornado and a Tennessee divorce the same?   Somebody's gonna lose a trailer!

Do you know the difference between a Harley and a Hoover?

It's the location of the dirt bag! 

Now, admit it, at least one of these made you smile!


Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recent builds

'The Baron' is one of three guitars I managed to create in the past couple weeks.   It's named for the overall character and simplicity of design.  One thing I've discovered is that when I like a design element, I'm going to stick with it whenever possible.  Thus the headstock, it works for both 3- and 4-string instruments.  The body of The Baron is an Arturo Fuente Opus X, which is really a nice box.  It's clean and stylish and offers just the right amount of spice to make the design comfortable.  It's one of my favorites, and it plays very well.  Super tone coming out of the Spanish cedar, and a lot of sustain.

The 'Delta Boogie' is a resonator created from a rugged Kristoff cigar box, a 6-inch pot pie tin I found in an antique store for the resonator, an oak neck, poplar fingerboard, nickle frets, a stainless steel door stike for a tailpiece, the bridge bisquet is handmade from cedar and balsa and includes a transducer pickup like all the other guitars, and a little Blackfoot injunuity.  It has a gutteral sound and it's awesome when played with a slide, although it can be picked and sounds very good as well . . . but, the slide makes it come alive with the blues.

The 'Pantie Dropper' is a sister to the 'Orion', same box and style with the exception of a couple small items, and that it is a 3-string.  I don't quite know what it is about this box, but it has an awesome sustain, and it booms when it's played acoustically.  It sounds so good, it'll make a girl dance right out'a her jeans.  And, when it is lighted up through the amp, it rocks.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Exercise For Guitar Players

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side . . . pretend your on stage at the Apollo.

With a 5-pound potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold that position as long as you can.  Try to reach one full minute, then relax your arms to your side.

Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.  After a couple weeks, move up to 10-pound potato bags.

Then try 50-pound potato bags, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato bag in each hand, and hold your arms straight out to the side for more than a full minute.

After you feel comfortable at this level, put a potato in each bag.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Perfect Gift -- Art and Function All In One

Three String Cigar Box Guitar
Combination Acoustic & Electric
Made by me, Jess Allred -- TotalRojo Guitars
  • I will create a custom, handmade, cigar box guitar similar to the one shown.
  • Choose a style from the creations seen on this blog, or develop your own theme for me.
  • Please allow two weeks for the completion of your guitar.
  • Share your thoughts or questions with me (jallred489@gmail.com).
The instrument shown above is a genuine three-string cigar box guitar.  It is fretted and set up with open tuning and can be played with either slide or in the traditional strum/pick manner.  It is built for playing Delta Blues, Folk, Rock, or whatever, acoustically or through an amp via a Piezo transducer pickup.  Either way it sounds great, and it's unique and gnarly sound is perfect for ripping the blues on a slide.

There are numerous design possibilities, so I am not limited in creation. 

Features Include:
  • A genuine cigar box
  • Hand cut sound holes -- open, covered, or screen-backed, and styles vary
  • Hand shaped oak neck -- set neck or through-box design
  • Poplar fretboard
  • Hand finished stainless steel medium size frets
  • Geared tuning machines -- open or closed design
  • Custom handmade nut -- in a variety of styles and materials
  • Custom handmade bridge and saddle -- in variety of styles and materials
  • Custom designed tailpiece to fit the style of the guitar
  • 25-inch scale on most designs, but that can be altered to fit the design/style
  • Steel strings on all guitars
  • Commercial pickups -- either Piezo transducer; single coil; or Humbucker style
  • Graphic enhancements when desired or required
Each instrument is handmade by me, and intended to be played, and each guitar has a unique look and sound, no two are alike, and each is numbered and signed for authentication.

Prices vary depending on design and style, however they range from $135.00 for the simpler straight-forward designs to $300+ for the more complex and refined guitars.  Includes a set of extra strings -- $9 value.  Shipping is additional.  (Write me for a quote on your design or selection).

All the instruments are playable one-of-a-kind creations ready to meet your musical demand.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Gold Guitar

A fella was sitting on deserted railroad tracks somewhere down south playing his beat up old cigar box guitar and thinking about how his life was turning out, when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, God said, "Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."

The ol' boy looked up and said, "Build me a gold-plated guitar to replace this beat up old thing, so that I can entertain the masses, and feel better about myself."

God replied, "Your request is quite materialistic, and I do not see how such an instrument is necessary in the effort to entertain others, and I cannot understand how it can serve to change your feelings about yourself. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things.  Take a little more time to think of something that could possibly help mankind."

The ol' guy thought about it for a long time.  Finally, he said, "God, I wish that I, and all men, could understand women.  I want to know how she feels inside; what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment; why she cries; what she means when she says nothing's wrong; why she snaps and complains when I try to help; and how I can make her truly happy."

God said, "You want a six- or twelve-string?"

Rural Montana Traffic Control

Only folks in my home state of Montana can conceive of methods to present their wishes, and in this case demands, in a manner which can be easily understood, without a lot of bureaucratic intervention.  (Thanks to my friend John for sharing.)