Thursday, December 03, 2020

Assuming the Correctness of the Simulation Hypothesis and the Truth of the Bible ...


... that there YHVH is one heck of a programmer. Six days to code an entire open-world game, complete with either astonishingly complex non-player characters, or one heck of a pair of autonomously self-reproducing-by-pairing AIs, or both.


Always with the Masks, These Guys ...


"On the first day I’m inaugurated, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask -- not forever, just 100 days." -- Joe Biden

How many days of mask-wearing, in how many places, have we had? I've yet to see (and I've ASKED, and looked at people's answers) a published, peer-reviewed study that finds a significant reduction in transmission of COVID-19 or any other virus from masking. One study in St. Louis asserted a reduction in case numbers versus nearby cities after a mask mandate, but it didn't seem to control for other measures or spread factors in either St. Louis or those other cities.

Yes, I wear a mask because it feels like "common sense," because I don't want to discomfit the people around me, and because some businesses require it (theoretically my county does, but some businesses make it very clear that it's not their job to enforce county orders), but I don't see any reason to believe that it does much beyond what Dr. Anthony Fauci said in March: Make some people feel better.


Spending My Inheritance


I recently received a check for a few hundred dollars -- my share of what was left in my mom's bank account after she died and the bills were settled. Instead of just blowing it or paying bills with it, I wanted to purchase something durable to remember her by with it.

When I purchase something durable for leisure or sentimental purposes, the word "guitar" is usually involved. In this particular case, I deem that even more appropriate: Mom didn't play, but she did love music. And my inheritance from my dad was his guitar -- an Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II in cherry sunburst.

I had something somewhat similar, but not identical, in mind. And something that could be modified/personalized. I thought about building a cigar box guitar, but frankly I'm just not that great at it. I thought about having a cigar box guitar custom-built, but that didn't seem right either since I'm kind of matching it with the Epiphone.

After a lot of deliberation, I settled on an Ibanez Artcore AS53 (a nice "vintage look" riff  on the old Gibson ES-335), in flat tobacco finish:


My plan is to select an old black and white photo or two from mom's side of the family and reproduce them as "dry transfers" that can be rubbed onto the body of the guitar.

Unfortunately, the guitar was on back order at my preferred vendor (Musician's Friend), and at Sweetwater (I've never bought from them but have heard great things about them) as well.

I found one at at New Jersey music store via Reverb (that's a referral link -- $10 off your first purchase, and when you've spent $50 or more I get $10). I also ordered a hard-shell case for it from Musician's Friend -- for most of my guitars a soft "gig bag" is sufficient, but for Dad's and "Mom's" I want good storage/protection.

On the way, total cost under $400 (Probably another $20 or so for the graphics I have in mind). Which is a lot more than I usually spend on a guitar, but this is special and didn't break the inheritance "bank."


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