About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2011 Kia Sedona van big engine oil leak

It is 240 miles from my home in Chaumont, NY to Niagara Falls, NY. I was driving there this past Sunday in my 2011 Kia Sedona van. I stopped at McDonald's in Central Square and noticed oil drops in the parking lot trailing the path of the van. Hmmm? I checked the oil level and it looked ok. By the time I reached Batavia the oil light started blinking. I became alarmed, pulled off at next exit and checked the oil. There was NONE showing on the dip stick. I didn't know what was happening, but, long story short I bought some oil and topped it off. I saw a steady drip of oil under the van. I made it to Niagara Falls and bought 20 more quarts of oil. For the drive home I stopped every 30 miles or so and topped off the oil. In the end I went through 24 quarts of oil to get it safely home. The alternative would have been a tow truck bill of probably 2 or 300 bucks.
My 2011 Kia Sedona van that leaked oil from the engine oil pressure switch

A google search told me the problem was the engine oil pressure switch. That was confirmed at FX Caprara Kia dealership. I had them repair it. The part was $15.00 and 4 hours of labor for a bill of $370.00 including tax and more oil. I cannot tell you the stress that failure caused me. By the way, the van has 73,000 miles on it.

My 2011 Kia Sedona van that leaked oil from the engine oil pressure switch

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Small church in Croghan NY and snow in the North Country

It snowed in the North Country today, drove through some in Carthage, Ny, but much more fell and stayed on the ground in Central NY. I was driving through Croghan NY today on RT 812 when I came upon this small church where 812 meets Texas Rd.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn Maple leaf with rain drops

This is a photo I snapped with the iPhone 5 of a maple leaf with rain drops. It was on the back steps of my Clay St., Watertown NY rental property.
Maple leaf in Autumn, Cly St., Watertown, NY  iPhone photo by Gary Walts

Friday, October 16, 2015

Popcorn husk or crumb stuck in my tonsil / throat for a week

Actually, for more than a week I have had a piece of popcorn husk lodged in my throat or tonsil. It was driving me insane. I did also sorts of stuff to try and dislodge it. I read on the internet somewhere to eat granola bars or other coarse food that might scrape it free. Didn't work. Another suggested gargling with olive oil. I was driving on my job and stopped at a store and bought a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. I pulled into a parking lot and began gargling. The oil started to create a mild burning sensation. I spit it out (hope no one was watching)  and the crumb was still in place. I tried getting back there with a tooth brus, with my finger. Nothing worked. I went to bed at night and woke up to strange, disrurbing thoughts about what the consequence could be. An infection? A visit to the doctors that might lead to surgery and another infection and maybe even DEATH! Just crazy thoughts that seem to occur at 3 or 4 AM.

Anyhow, I started to think perhaps the popcorn scratched my throat and that was what I was feeling. But at last, this afternoon on day 8 I was walking across a parking lot at Syracuse University and it felt different. I coughed lightly and the thing came free, caught it in my hand. What a relief.

This little piece of popcorn was lodged in my throat for 8 days before it suddenly came free and I spit it out. It drove me insane for all those day. I will never eat popcorn again.

Years ago I quit eating popcorn because it would frequently catch in my throat or tonsils. I finally swore off the food. But than, I began to eat it again, taking precaution not to eat the crumbs. But after this episode I will NEVER eat it again. That's it. Done. No more popcorn.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cleaned Wood stove today

We have had great, warm weather through out  the month of September here in Chaumont, NY this year. But October first it suddenly got cooler. Yesterday I turned the oil furnace on. Today I cleaned the chimney for the wood stove as well as the indoor flu pipe and this evening started the first wood fire of the season. Things get cozy fast when that gets lit.
My Regency wood stove in my home in Chaumont, NY

Friday, October 2, 2015

kremona ng-1 classical/flamenco acoustic guitar pickup

The Kremona ng-1 classical guitar pick up tied to the bridge of my 1984 Guild Mark V classical guitar

I recently used the kremona ng-1 classical/flamenco acoustic guitar pickup at a gig. It was a couple nights ago.  I played guitar at the Jefferson County Historical Society's Paddock Mansion in Watertown, NY. It was a reception for the organization's new director. The event went well. I used my Guild Mark V guitar with a Kremona pick up that is tied to the guitar bridge by the guitar strings. That was plugged into my Fishman SoloAmp 220 sound system. Oh, I also used an LR Baggs pre-amp. It is a great combination. The pick up is very responsive and with the pre amp one can get tremendous volume. The music went well,

The Kremona ng-1 classical guitar pick up tied to the bridge of my 1984 Guild Mark V classical guitar. This is the 1/8th inch jack input. The other end of the cable is a standard size 1/4 inch input. 
The Kremona ng-1 classical guitar pick up ready to be tied to the bridge of my 1984 Guild Mark V classical guitar

I bought this pick up from Sweetwater music store's online store, sweetwater.com I think I paid $69.00 which included free shipping via the US Post Office. It arrived quickly, within about 3 days. The people at Sweetwater called me up and let me know the item was shipped. When I opened the package there was a bag of candy in there as well as the Kremona! Cool! I give Sweetwater at least a 4 star rating. I encourage anyone out there to visit them online and place your order.
The pick up itself is outstanding. It does not interfere with your guitars tuning or intonation either. I would say it's akin to an under the saddle type of pick up. Th great beauty of it is that you need not drill any holes in your instrument or modify it in any way.