Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Looking west from Shasta dam road 7/14/08
There was not much burning near Shasta Dam on Monday because there wasn't much left to burn. The hazy smoke lay upon the hills in all directions. It was 104° and somewhat calm when this picture was taken.

Looking towards Shasta Dam 7/14/08
The burned area to the left of the dam is from backfires that were set to protect the dam and power plant. There are boats on the lake, but they are too small to see in this picture. To remedy that, I drove to a spot closer to the lake where a couple of houseboats were pulled up to the shore.

Party on the lake 7/14/08
It's clear to see that life goes on at Lake Shasta where people are relaxing after 2 weeks of wildfires.
With the temperature still hovering close to 105°, I took a break and went inside the Shasta Dam visitor center.

From visitor center theater

Tuesday July 15, 2008
I went out to Keswick Dam Road around 1 O'clock today and noticed there were still some stubborn spots in what is called the "Motion" fire. It is named for it's point of origin near the Motion mine.

Looking west from Keswick Dam Road 7/15/08
It didn't seem like there would be much fuel left for the fire, but there it was still burning.


Helicopter flies past fire 7/15/08
During the time I spent taking pictures, there were 3 helicopters that flew by with buckets of water. They were getting water at Lake Shasta and taking it to a fire I couldn't see from where I was. My guess is that there was nothing around these fires that wasn't already burned, so the attention was being directed to one of the other fires that still rage on.

Yours truly 7/15/08
When I first arrived, the temperature was a comfortable 98°, but when it reached 100, I was glad I had my hat for shade.

Guitar nuts are a piece of bone, metal or plastic, from which the strings are suspended over the fretboard, across the sound hole and finally touchdown on the bridge.

The nut is the white thing.

It all started when a friend called and asked if I would string and tune his guitar for him. I said sure, and stopped at the music store to pick up some strings. On my way to the store I got to thinking about new strings for my guitar, too. Over the last few years I have been disappointed in the sound and feel of the strings I had been using, so I figured I would try a higher quality string and hope for good results. I got there and looked at what was available and decided to try D'Addario EXP coated phosphor strings. The best brand of strings I generally use are made by D'Addario, so I figured their premium string might be satisfactory. $27.00 + tax and I was out the door with 2 set's for the price of one.

When I was removing the old strings from his black Fender acoustic, I noticed how dirty it was and asked for some polish and a rag. We talked about quantum physics and modern medicine while I polished and re-strung his guitar with the EXP strings. They seated, tuned with remarkable precision, and sounded great on his guitar. With the polishing and new strings it was like a brand new instrument.

Oh how I was looking forward to hearing a set of these strings on my Takamine, as I drove home. If they only sound half as good on my guitar, they will have been worth the price, I thought.

I kept finding other things to do at home, so it took me three days to finally get the old strings off. Once they were off, I looked at my guitar and saw how dirty it was. I got a rag and some Martin guitar polish and began to make my white maple guitar look good. Then I turned to the neck. With the body and the head so clean, the neck looked filthy! It was a difficult decision I had to make. Does 30 years of blood, sweat and tears add to the character of my sound or will it sound and play better if it were clean? It took awhile, but with Pledge and Polish I managed to remove the caked on remnants of years gone by. It was then that I noticed the nut.

The front edge of the nut looks like chipped teeth.

Would you look at the time! Well I'm pretty sure I'll do something about that nut and put the new strings on tomorrow.

Life is good and I am truly blessed.

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