Email Specials from November 2003

Sat 11/8/2003


Hey, I'm sorry there hasn't been an email special for the last two weeks. I was completely tied up preparing for last Saturday's "Night Of The Singing Dead" Halloween show...

The show, by the way, was a great success on several levels. The audience loved it and we made a lot of people happy. That's always a good thing. Also, it was a chance to get together and play music with my friends... and that's really good. As I was playing drums I let all of the day-to-day trials and tribulations of running a business fade away... and sat back and enjoyed watching some talented people sing and play around me. (What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.)

And, I loved playing a variety of different songs, even disco! (Phat Man Dee was wonderful as Vicki Sue Robinson singing "Turn The Beat Around." And Arthur Stewart as Barry White... you just had to be there...) Of course, I completely understand that the only way to make big money in the music biz is to do your own material. But it's also fun to play other folk's hits. Our Halloween show was all covers, and it was a blast.

To celebrate the fun of playing someone else's music, this week's email special will be Half-Off any of our Sheet Music books. Green Day, Elvis, Hendrix, Creed, Indigo Girls, U2, The Beatles, Weezer, Tom Petty.... come in and buy a book, take it home and play the songs with your friends. It'll be good for ya.

See you soon,


PS: This is on a totally different topic, but I'm so annoyed that I wanted to complain. I was watching the Country Music Awards on Wednesday night, and right in the middle of the show my cable went out. (It was a good show, by the way. Even if you're not a country music fan it was great to see all of the cool guitar playing going on. Vince Gill was using an early `50s Tele. George Strait had a Guild D-55. Some new guy was using a very nice Martin D-45. Jimmy Buffett was using the new Martin Jimmy Buffett model. And there were lots of Gibson J-200s...) Anyway, I went outside to see if the wires were still hooked up. I jiggled all of the cables behind the TV, I unplugged TiVo, etc, etc... Still nothing. So I gave up and waited until last night (Thursday) to see if it came back. It didn't. After checking with my brother Jerry, who still had cable, he suggested I call 1-888-Comcast. I did... and had to listen to 10 minutes of recordings before I found my way to a human. And you know what she said? She said, "Some of our cable boxes are outdated and we want to replace them, so rather than send a letter we decided to just shut off folks' cable until they call us. Then we can schedule an appointment to change the box. " I said, "What??!??" She said, "Yeah, we figured that was the best way to get peoples attention. When can we change your box?" I said, "Tuesday." She said, "OK, I'll turn the cable back on." And she pushed some buttons somewhere, and I had a picture again. Isn't that unbelievable? Cable is ridiculously expensive, yet their approach to customer relations is to, without warning, shut off services in the middle of prime time, just to force you to call the service department!! No wonder so many people hate the cable companies....

PPS: Thanks for listening to the above rambling.... I feel better now.

PPPS: Customer web site:
James Obrien

Sat 11/15/2003


Did you happen to see this week's TV Special, "Return To Mayberry"? It was a tribute to the old Andy Griffith Show, with Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts and Jim Nabors reminiscing about the series. (I know what you're thinking: Are those guys all still alive???) The Andy Griffith Show was a wonderful show, and it was fun to see them play some old clips. They had a great time making those episodes and it shows.

It's interesting that Andy was originally supposed to be the comedic force. After all, he got his start doing "hillbilly" style humor. (In fact one of his most successful movies, "No Time For Sergeants" featured him in a role very similar to the one Jim Nabors later used in the "Gomer Pyle" series.) But after the first episode of The Andy Griffith Show, it was obvious that Don Knotts, as Barney Fife, should do the wacky stuff... so Andy became the solid, sedate, father-figure type. That suited him well, because that's actually his personality. And you know why he's so calm and easy going? He plays a Martin D-18.

Even on the TV show it wasn't unusual to see him sitting on the front porch strumming his guitar. Life is always just a little more peaceful when you have a front porch, a rocking chair, and a guitar.

Now down in Mayberry, one thing that Andy never had to worry about was our dry, winter weather. When we crank up our furnaces here in Pittsburgh, the air in our homes gets very dry. You'll know it's happening when you go to kiss your significant other and you get a static electricity shock on your lips. Or if your hair starts sticking up like Barney Fife's did in episode #103. Static electricity is a sign that your air is too dry, and this is bad for your guitar. (And for your kissing plans.) In harsh winter months, like now, you need a humidifier to keep your guitar healthy. This week's email special is guitar humidifiers.


See you soon,

PS: Customer web site:
Mr. Roboto Project

PPS: There are some people with a little extra time on their hands. Here's a web site with a maps of Mayberry.

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