I use the camera app “Instagram” so much that I don’t get to go too in depth about why I took the picture. So from here on out, I’m going to start blogging why I took the picture and everything about it. Sounds fair? Yes. Stay tuned.
February 2nd, 2014 · the Daily Steez
Since November, I’ve officially moved here to Menifee, California. I’d say, it’s about ~80 miles South East from where I once lived (Carson). As I arrived today (Sunday 1/27) from my extended weekend stay in the South Bay area, my life was starting to slow down again. Don’t get me wrong, this “solitary” compared to the one I had living in the LA area isn’t bad, it’s just a bit “slow” for me. It has it’s perks like… reflecting to yourself without that city noise or just plain ol’ hanging out. By yourself. Granted, I do have company here (my mom) but majority of the day, she watches her Tagalog shows. I would, per say, hang out with her, but I don’t even know what they’re saying (so what’s the point?). My point is that she’s doing her own thing (watching TV) if not doing miscellaneous chores if not gardening outside.
I, on the otherhand, do have a lot more time on my hands. I spend my time surfing the net and eye shopping for instruments I wish I can own and jamming out on guitar, bass, and/or drums. That however, has its limits still. As long as mom doesn’t yell to lower down the volume, her and I are in good terms. Also got a job to occupy myself a bit more, although it is part-time/on-call so it only helps to a certain extent…
Long story short, this lifestyle isn’t for me (right now at least). I feel like although LA might be a city of opportunity, it also has it’s trade-off of competition. Much more. But, at least you know it’s out there. I still would like to be a session player for some studio work or a band. Or intern for Dave Hampton again.
Life is just different out there… *sigh* You just gotta come here and find out yourself. lol As you see, I miss living out there…
Until next time.
→ No CommentsTags:
January 2nd, 2014 · the FC
Happy new year! I’d like to greet y’all a happy new year, for it is finally 2014. Been hanging out with a bunch of family and waiting for my background check for my new job to clear… and living life out here in Menifee.
Anywho, in today’s world, almost every person practices photography with their very own smart phone. I myself, is guilt of such and when you take too many useless (not really) pictures of moments you want to capture, you sacrifice at lot of storage space on your computer when download ‘em. And because of that, my MacBook is pretty much maxed out in storage. Solution? Time to archive. How? Totally forgot about it, but I’m shamelessly storing them via Photobucket. lol
Yes, the one place where folks store their photos. And at this very moment, I’m trying to archive stuff from August 2012 to December 2013. Yup, got a LONG way to go…
→ No CommentsTags:
December 4th, 2013 · Music
One of MJ’s singles from his album “Off The Wall”, I present you the chords to “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.
B – A/B – B
B – D/E – E/F# – G#m7 – G#m7 – A – B (x3)
B – D/E – E/F# – G#m7 – B
November 27th, 2013 · Music
The definition of early 2000′s alternative rock, Lenny Kravitz’ single “Again” charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 as #2. I remember listening to this song long ago and recently heard it once eating alone in Taco Bell. Sad yet powerful song, Kravitz’ lyrics is self explanatory between him and a loved one if he were to ever meet his “love” one more time. And since I recently edited one of my older Lenny Kravitz posts “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over”, I thought posting another song by him would be relevant of this evening’s activities.
Asus2 – Asus2/F# – E – Dsus2
D – E – F#
Bridge: (changes key to A minor; acapella)
Am – G
Then epic overdrive solo + delay over the chorus.
November 19th, 2013 · RX's, the Daily Steez
With the haircut done, it was on to continue the adventure we had that day. Next stop was AAA’s Autoclub Speedway, where Sevenstock was held. A track located right in the heart of the Inland Empire of Los Angeles, the SoCal RX Club decided to host this 2013′s Sevenstock 16 right at Fontana. By the time I was done with the haircut, it was a bit late already. Unfortunately, it was already 4 PM by the time we got there.
As soon as we entered the premises, I pass by a white 1st generation Mazda Miata parked on the side that I’ve seen before… it was actually Sarah, a good friend of mine! I pulled to the side of the driveway of the entrance and give her a quick call to confirm if it was her, and indeed it was. lol Got out the car real quick, traded introductions between my sister and heather and her, and said my hi, and carried on back inside into the track general parking lot.
On my way walking into the track itself (had about 1 hour before the sun was gonna set lol), I called/texted some friends that I initially was gonna meet up with but half of them already left. The thing is the event started at 8 AM, but people meet up around their local areas to caravan to Sevenstock. And when you’re there all day since the morning, you get drained from walking around and standing on your feet all day, the reason why I barely ran into my fellow rotary friends. Luckily, I did however run into some that I haven’t said hi to in a while.
First two was Mr. Grandmighty himself, Eric, and tagging along him with him was Addison. We exchanged our greetings and moved on further into the event area. I ran into the Mac brothers (Johnson, William, and Louis) as well while they cleaned up their portion of the garage because William decided to track his FC. Tried to check out what other booths were open and said hi to a couple more friends that were roaming around and made sure I said hi to at least one of the original SoCal RX Club members that organized this awesome event, which I thankfully did (Andy and Gary). Thanks guys, your hard work and time is greatly appreciated!
Before we knew it, the sun was about to set, and I didn’t take too many pictures if not at all. Underexposure was inevitable for any picture I was going to take but decided I to just take a few select of what caught my attention.
Before we finally left, we saw one last demo run of the ISMA RX-7 GTO and the white 787B drive the track. I gotta say, it was the most beautiful “brap-ness” I’ve ever heard, especially when being redlined like that. lol Made me miss my RX-7. Overall, Sevenstock was cool, just bummed that we got there late but it was a choice I made. It had its awesome cars that showed, along with Mazda race cars, but that chapter of that evening had to end. From there, we left to grab some dinner at Bakers…
PS: I did made this hat just for Sevenstock… lol
→ No CommentsTags:
November 18th, 2013 · the Daily Steez
It’s been about a week since Sevenstock 16 passed (a rotary dedicated meet/track day for rotary enthusiasts) and I have yet to blog about it. lol Didn’t spend too much time out there, but it was more of a road trip to Fontana. The event actually started at 8 AM but I had no intentions going that early. I had other plans stored for that day’s festivities. This all was done with company as well. Took my sister and the lovely Heather along with me.
Started off with hitting up Luv’d Ones Barbershop in Fontana. Why so far for a haircut you’re probably asking yourself. There was much more to a haircut at that barbershop: it was a celebrity sighting. Yes, you read that right, a celebrity indeed: “Skydiddy“, from Sony Playstation’s reality show, The Tester, Season 3. The link I linked within Skydiddy’s name was his old biography from the show.
Here’s an example of what kind of person he is. And if that doesn’t do it for you, he’s nothing more than a comic/video game fanatic who’s always down for a good time (as seen here. lol). It’s his character that attracted Heather and I to become his fans when we watched the show. And now that we had reasons to go to Fontana to make our trip worthwhile, visiting Mr. Skydiddy was a must!
Took us a bit to drive out to the Inland Empire from the South Bay but we eventually got there I time. As soon as I parked, I was really starting to get nervous. I really had never tried making an effort to try meeting someone that I know that I was a fan of. Got out the car, slowly walked to the double doors of the barber shop, and let my sister and Heather enter first (sucker move? ladies first!). When they made their way through, I finally went entered and right away, I saw him cutting someone’s hair already. The week prior to that day, I made an appointment messaging him through Facebook to get a haircut so as soon as we made contact, he knew that was me. We exchanged hi’s and took our seats until it was time for me to get my hair cut.
I got my temple fade when it was my turn but my sister decided to get cleaned up on the side of her head so she got her hair worked on as well. lol Heather was actually thinking of getting the bottom back of her head shaved but she decided next time. After the haircut was done, we finally took our fan pictures we always wished for.
In the end, it was an honor to finally meet the great Skydiddy, let alone get my hair cut by him. And I didn’t doubt his master barber skills one bit. He executed a clean cut for two new satisfied customers. Just like the videos, he was exactly the same in person. Funny dude, I gotta say. We even had a cool minute talking about which super movie hero movies were bad or just plain sucked. lol It was definitely an experience that I won’t forget, and will most likely come back for a haircut in due time. Just won’t go as often as I want because Fontana is a good distance where I am. But it will be nice to say hi to a friend every once in a while.
Until next time for Part II…
September 25th, 2013 · Music
The city of angels, one of the most populated cities in Southern California, Los Angeles. Here in this city, every once in a while in a year, LA hosts the Beat Swap, a place where vinyl heads, DJ’s, hip-hop heads, break dancers, and anything within that scene come together and trade and sell music through an analog form of medium. Yes, record players, not iPods, is what these folks use to listen to music.
Anyway, 2 weeks ago Sunday, it was my first time attending this event, and I have to admit, I’ve never seen such a community that would come together just for this stuff. You’d be surprised that folks actually prefer such a “warm” medium form of music than the low quality of MP3 music. My job along with some friends was to help out the Reftone booth that I was working for Dave Hampton that day. I’ll save another post about Reftone speakers…
So Lainard and I were taking a break from manning the booth so we decided to take a stroll around Beat Swap. There were plenty of booths selling used and new vinyls for sure, while others were selling merchandise like shirts and stickers. On top of that, every corner of the whole even had a DJ spinning for a section of the place. While walking around though, I saw somebody that was familiar looking from long ago – my old substitute teacher, Mr. Luster.
He was hanging around and talking to some folks when I passed by him, even told Lainard that there’s a possibility that it was him. I know my memory can be quite hazy at times, but my gut told me it was him, but I was too timid to even try asking him, let alone be embarrassed if I failed to identify him. lol To avoid that, I proceeded to walk past him.
After some time of walking around for maybe 20 minutes or so, Lainard and I heard a DJ that was bumping music and having someone rap over that so we decided to check out what the commotion was about at that section of the Beat Swap. Low and behold, it was the supposed “Mr. Luster” I saw earlier, spitting his verses over the music. While listening, he said the key phrase he mentioned in his lyrics that gave it away that verified it WAS him – “L. Scatterbrain.” THEN, I knew it was him for sure. I do remember back in middle school that he wore his own shirt and logo that said “L. Scatterbrain” one day substituting for my class. That’s how you know you as a muscian/producer/anything in the music industry that branding and having your own name works! Take note music heads!
http://instagram.com/p/eTIipOC97o/# <— here’s a sample video of Mr. Luster doing his thing.
If you listen to the video, you hear Lainard’s reaction after I told him that it was him, and apparently, he too knows of him through his music rapping about his Datsun 240Z.
In the end, Mr. Luster is L. Scatterbrain, an emcee/rapper based out of LA. Little did I know that his dress style of a Adidas track jacket, a Kangol hat, classic Addidas shoes, and his L. Scatterbrain shirt would be a dead giveaway that he is one of LA’s finest underground hip-hop artists.
LAME JOKE ALRET!
I guess you can say he put the “hip” in “hip-hop”. *cue exaggerated SITCOM audience laughter here*
On top of that, him being such a cool/chill substitute when he taught was a hint that he was a different breed of teachers. >__>
Eventually L. Scatterbrain finished his session and thanked the crowd for watching him which followed up with an impromptu photo shoot with Lainard, him, and I.
It was a nice surprise to run into him and to see him doing what he does best on top of teaching students at schools. Never did I ever expect such a thing from him and to even see him again many years later from middle school. Truly a blessing to see that he’s doing well. We had a small conversation after the picture and he does remember substituting at Caroldale Learning Community where I went to middle school. Following that, we exchanged our goodbyes and parted ways because he had yet to take care of his duties at Beat Swap, being one of the main contributors to the event with his own booth/store.
For more info about him, here’s a small bio from his Souncloud page:
L. Scatterbrain is deeply rooted in L.A. underground Hip Hop. Building his skills since youth at open mic workshops like the Foundation Funkollective and Project Blowed. Professionally recording and releasing music on vinyl since 2002, L. Scatter continues to make his mark. Working with J.U.I.C.E. as an MC facilitator and the Universal Zulu Nation Los Angeles to reach the youth through Hip Hop.
If you wish to support him and his cause and music, feel free to check him out on a couple of his social media sites! Support good music/hip-hop from LA!
All in all, it was a treat to run into an old acquaintance/memorable substitute teacher. I hope one day I’ll collaborate with him now that I’m a fellow musician or being one working with music in Los Angeles. Until next time…
September 13th, 2013 · Music
I lied to myself when I said the guitar was done. Well, everything else would be aesthetic mods because the guitar itself worked fine as is. I thought I’d give it a try to put on a pickguard. It’ll match the black trimming around the binding along with the other black accents around the guitar. And it did initially have a pickguard once, but was removed from the small kink of chipped paint on top of the body.
Bought the pickguard expecting it was going to be a direct drop-in, but wasn’t. The pickup rings didn’t match the cut-outs on the pickguard itself. I figured relocating the pickguard a little bit lower and some sanding would do the job. At least the mounting hole on the side of the guitar still works.
After working on the guitar with limited tools, I made it work. Couldn’t be any more happier and can almost be fooled that the guitar is a “legit” Les Paul. Definitely complements the guitar.
For reference purposes, here’s the guitar from the front. Looks good right? I also did replace the neck pickup knobs as well just to match the peeled gray/nickel colored tailpiece. Why be like the rest of the world and have all matching knobs? “Live a little!”
September 13th, 2013 · Music
(Blog post originally started on 12/23/12)
For some of you who know, I have this Ventura Les Paul copy guitar I’ve acquired in my teenage years, which I did blog about earlier this year back in Spring (last year lol). Well, like I’ve mentioned in the original blog post I’ve made, it has gone through some sort of transformation, one may say. But the time has come just recently, where I’ve decided to commit, bite the bullet, and ride this ride of “investment” into the Ventura.
Thanks to something called a “job” (that I did have), I’ve been stashing cash on the side to save for whatever, in this case, it was for the guitar.
Since Nancy Luca, my teacher from school addressed a couple issues with my guitar, the strings not lining of up to the magnets of the humbucker pickups. And the reason for that may be because of a worn nut (the bridge on the top of the neck), and the bridge itself on the bottom. Along with that, the frets are low according to Luca, either from being worn or being a guitar design fad back in the 80′s. With all of these issues addressed, I resorted to some online shopping through Stewart-MacDonald, also known as “Stew-Mac“.
Got myself a TUSQ XL Nut (1 7/16″ string spacing, stuck with factory measurement after measuring it), a Gotoh Tune-O-Matic bridge (kind of like the original one on the Ventura, except not faded), and 6 feet worth of medium/wide fret wire.
Saved up some more money and decided to get some pickups too. Reason being was that I really enjoy the tone of single coil pickups. Really raw sounding, this, and utmost different. How often do you run into a Les Paul guitar with pickups that aren’t humbuckers? I’d say, it’s almost the norm for any Les Paul out there (not hating, just saying, I’d like to get one myself). Did some brief researching and settled purchasing some pickups on Sweetwater, them being the Gibson P-94′s.
The original P-90 single-coil pickups were originally either mounted within the body of the guitar or on top of archtop-like guitars with “dog-ears”.
But since I wanted to avoid any route that required modifying the guitar from what it already is (mind you, the plan was to get as close to “plug-n-play” status where everything fit), the Gibson P-94′s seemed more suiting. Direct drop-in pickups into humbucker mounting space and case.
After receiving both neck and bridge pickup, I was pretty stoked to get this project started.
I brought the guitar to Steve Soest, a very well known guitar luthier based out in the OC, in which Luca suggested to me, as well as my fellow guitarist friend, Erwin, did as well. From the reviews I heard, this guy works wonders on your guitar and makes it feel like you’re playing on butter. Never have I ever done serious work on the guitar but this will definitely be the last time I’ll be doing anything to it… hopefully.
He took a quick look at the guitar and we went over the issues that the guitar had, which he already saw. He did compliment how not bad of a guitar is as a whole, but it was still obvious that because it’s a copy, it had its flaws, not being an authentic Les Paul guitar.
The guitar took a couple weeks to get worked on but eventually, the time waiting was paid off. The fret job was the most tedious because of the amount of physical work that’s needed to remove the old frets, measure and put the new fret wire in, and sand it down to get the wire just as wide as the neck. As for the bridge, it was a simple drop-in part. Not so much for the nut on top of the neck. That had to be slotted enough for the strings to sit on from the opposite side of the bridge, but wasn’t too much of a job for Steve. It was actually a good thing it was a fresh nut with the string slots not sanded in all the way so that he can sand them down accordingly for string thickness.
As for the pickups, that job was rather straight forward other than discovering something about the wiring. He called me before the guitar was ready for pick up that the LP had some 250K potentiometers that were wired up to the old pickups. That being said, that was the reason why I wasn’t getting the whole frequency range that the humbucker pickups were supposed to pick up, hence the “muddy” tone it had when I used to play with it. I knew something was wrong with the way the guitar was wired up before when I had it repaired a while back. It literally didn’t sound “right”. With that issue addressed, the only solution was to have the pots (potentiometers) replaced with 500K, to get a wider frequency range for the pickups. And THAT was what topped off the whole guitar.
I eventually picked up the Ventura from Steve and paid for the repairs and the work he did on the guitar (was ~$400 O__O) but it was all worth it. If you have the skill behind something that you love doing to back it up, then I’d say go for it, you pay for what you get, and it’s worth every cent. I gave it a demo play at his shop before leaving and it sounded beautiful. Never would I ever thought this old Les Paul copy guitar from Japan that had so many flaws would feel so damn good (sorry for the language). The guitar just made itself more sentimental value than it once did before. I have to admit, I never felt so happy about receiving an instrument for a long time. This was the moment where I knew this guitar for sure, was officially my first guitar. I knew after this, I had to invest even more time playing guitar to hone my skills.
Above is a picture of the guitar when I picked it up that day. With the Ventura finally being complete, that was the end of the guitar came to be… or is it? Either way, this guitar is finally where I wanted it to be. Feels good man.