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Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect

It’s available on Gog and Steam. I played it and took the only path my conscience would allow. Get Chelsee. I (as Tex Murphy) did. The ending was beautiful, and Mr. Emotional was really crying.

The game has rough spots and some logic problems that will leave you awake nights wondering what you missed, but it was fun. I guess that is just part of trying to create multiple ways to get to different endings. I think I would need a warehouse with a tall wall to build a mammoth flow chart just to ensure it all makes sense. The good people at Big Finish Games are still working out the bugs reported by the faithful members of The Mutant League. There’s a fellow there named Steve who has been as helpful as he could be with technical issues I’ve faced. The problem is that between Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 OS (DON’T get me started), Toshiba, and Intel, it was a battle to get one machine to even run the game. Perseverance, or is it masochism? An ancient machine newly rebuilt with 32-bit XP and two gig of RAM has been the best machine I’ve tried so far. That’s the one where I played the complete game. Crazy. I think it was easier to get a DOS game running in 640 kb RAM. One megabyte of RAM helped, but you had to know the deep dark secrets of “load high” in config.sys and autoexec.bat. You could learn those secrets, ummm, EVERYWHERE you looked. Sigh!

There is always this unconquerable urge to compare. “Which is best?” Well, I have been struggling with that question for a few weeks.
The nominees are (in alphabetical order):
Overseer, The
Pandora Directive, The
Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect
Under A Killing Moon

And the winner is:
Tex Murphy and the Killing Pandora Effect!

Or is it: Tex Murphy Moons Pandora with Effect.

NO, NO, NO!

Really, despite the crazy difficult puzzles that MANDATED a lot of cheating with hints and internet searching, “The Pandora Directive” wins.
I wish I could say it was “Tesla Effect,” but the numerous logic flaws left me scratching my head and wondering what did I miss. Pandora Directive was a solid story with great acting from some of the best names in the acting business. Whichever path you took to whatever ending, it made sense.

Don’t get me wrong, Tesla Effect is certainly worth playing. Unlike a certain DOS game of long ago about an island, the puzzles were mostly solvable without having extraterrestrial intelligence. A few of the “puzzles” required cheating because, I suspect, of the restrictive programming nature of something called the “Unity Engine.” Wasn’t that something EVIL in the Star Trek series? But, as I mentioned above, if you have a logical brain, you may be scratching your head frequently and asking yourself, for example: “How the hell did she know where I was? I don’t even know where I am!”

Having said all that, I WANT MORE TEX MURPHY!

A Trip Down Memory Lane… For The Nth Time

Hmmm. I think that The Tesla Effect will really actually be available tomorrow, May 7th. Then, the swag deliveries begin. Or else! I want my fedora!

Just kidding. But I am definitely impatient after nearly two years. I read on the private backer’s blog that only 13 people (software types) were producing this project. That is way cool. That does not include the film guys, the gaffers, the goofers, the drivers, painters and carpenters; I suspect that the computer guys were all of those and more before they were allowed to be computer guys. Actors, microphone holders, clapper loaders, and loader clappers, and third assistant to the fourth assistant of the second unit director’s third cousin’s brother-in-law’s sister’s fourth boyfriend who showed up at the studio unannounced one day. Oh, wait! That’s Hollywood now, where the credits are longer than the movie because of union contracts. He said, “Huh?” when the security guard tossed him over the fence, and his agent showed up with a two-mile long contract for a speaking role.

The Tesla Effect, NOW (I think… hope) on GOG and Steam! Huh! What’s a Steam?

I miss Computer City and CompUSA. Ah, the halcyon days of build-your-own computer. Racks and racks of electronic crap and rows of games for DOS machines. I imagine it was like the 9-teens and 20s, when geeks from long ago were building their own radios and wireless transmitters; diodes, resisters, and the smell of melting solder as the gateway to the electronic world took shape. Then, it came time to power up your creation and listen to the radio man from the Titanic call for help. Or perhaps you were listening on a frequency, or harmonic equivalent thereof, when Amelia Earhardt was calling for help. And NO one believed you.

And then, the euphoria of being different evaporated as everyone could buy a factory-made radio from the Sears catalog for the modern-day equivalent of $200, which to us now is a buck-99. I bought “Under A Killing Moon” at the CompUSA in Lynwood way back when, and probably “The Pandora Directive” as well as “The Overseer.” I watched parts of “Jurassic Park” on an early day big screen TV at Computer City in, when was that – pre-cambrain era?, where the star of the show was a Unix computer. A what? Yeah, Microsoft’s Windows was, like, Titanic-era, and the computer to have was a helium-cooled Cray super computer. The Cray could almost do motion picture stuff… if you could afford to wait three or four years for the machine to generate sufficient pixels. Or maybe wait for an Intel Pentium 3 in a commodity computer box. That’s the bass-master memory blender in effect. Anyway, buy a DVD of “The Last Starfighter” and listen to the computer guy talking in the extended comments portion about how long it took a Cray to create the equivalent of movie finger-painting. It was a movie years of ahead of its time. That reminds me of the Tonight Show skit with Johnny Carson spoofing a wine commercial…. “It’s time!” I wish I could find an on-line video of that, but you will probably have to buy a Time-Life video/dvd of the best of the Tonight Show to see it.

I was going somewhere with this post, but those darn squirrels keep distracting me.

SQUIRREL!

Stupid cigarettes. 1982. I think I was freezing my butt off in the “high desert” of California in April (Fort Irwin – Operation Gallant Eagle) when that song came out. Or maybe it was after I landed in the Federal Republic of Germany. I loved this song. Was that really Bertie’s wife? That’s the type of woman I wanted to marry. I never found her.

I think it was while I was attending the University of Montana that I saw “Key Largo.” I was taking a class on movie criticism. It was a great class. One of the few I remember… “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” and that “Rosebud” movie, were among the 16mm films I watched. It really sucks when you remember the punch line and nothing else. Oh, duh, right… “Citizen Kane.”

Key Largo… Humphry Bogart, Lauren Bacall… Find it… Watch it.

One more from days gone by. The Seekers. You’re older than I am if you knew they were from Australia. Or, maybe, given the number of people who are searching my blog for things related to Papua New Guinea, you were way ahead of us in the northern hemisphere.

This is the black-and-white version that is available today without annoying commercials and interference.

This is a color version that will torture you with annoying commercials and nonsense. See if you can mute the sound and then click the Skip Ad button in 3 nanoseconds or less.
I’ll Never Find Another You

Judith Durham (lead vocals), Keith Potger (12-string), Bruce Woodley (six-string), and Athol Guy (bass). I’m torn… do I learn Keith’s guitar intro first, or Athol’s bass line. I like the guitar stuff, but there are too many strings on a guitar. I seem to be a bass player, so Athol wins.

I was less than 10 years old when I heard Judith singing this song and I can’t say that I’ve ever forgotten it.

And Roger rambles on…

And then Roger edits this post the next day because he stayed up way too late writing and words escaped that should not have. Sorry.

Countdown Delayed

I was going to make a snarky post, but it got relegated to the private looney bin.

The Tesla Effect launch has been delayed until May 7.  I’m okay with that. Get it right first. Don’t say OOOOOPs later.

Stay tuned.

The Countdown Has Started!

And I’m late to the game. Six days… or is it five?

The good folks at Big Finish Games have made a short demo version of “The Tesla Effect” available here.

If, after playing the demo (and you’d better hurry), you want more, you can pre-order the game from that page for $17.99, save a couple bucks, and get a FREE copy of the greatest Tex Murphy adventure ever, “The Pandora Directive.” If you snooze, you lose. (Note: I can spell lose correctly. Mrs. Richardson taught me that in the sixth grade. Everybody else was sleeping and still thinks it’s spelled “loose.” WRONG!)

I discovered Tex in a game demo for “Under A Killing Moon” on a CD from a long-dead magazine a LONG time ago, and I’m hooked. I had my first computer then. I had an Intel 486-33 processor with an astounding 4 megabytes of RAM. Wahoo! It was a pain to use because I cheap-charlied the hard drive and bought only 255 megabytes. But then again, they didn’t make a hard drive that could hold all the programs I wanted to install. I still have that computer, by the way, and it does work when I have a fit of nostalgia.

I also paid a LOT more than $17.99 for “The Pandora Directive,” not to mention “Under A Killing Moon”, and they were worth it. Now you can get two games for Cheap! If you act now! BUT, read the fine print before you act.

Your mileage may vary. You may not like Tex. I do. You get that, right!

Note: This breathless hyper-partisan Tex Murphy fan reserves the right to downgrade “The Pandora Directive” from the status of “greatest Tex Murphy adventure ever” after he finishes playing the Tesla Effect at least three times. I am hopeful that the Tesla Effect will become “the greatest ever.”

Very big important note: You have to have a computer with a real video card in it. Computers with video on the motherboard DON’T CUT IT. I know; I tried six of them, including a brand new Dell Optiplex 9020 with umpty bigabytes of memory, and a bazillion-core processor, but on-motherboard video. Please note the ridiculous exaggeration. Perhaps the issue is that the beta-test segment did not include the trilobytes of crap that Microsoft requires for each program that runs on their computers. We’ll see.

Anyway, 32-bit Windows XP, 2 gigabytes of RAM and at least a dual-core processor will work. Meaning a computer built some time in the past 5 years, but ya gotta have a REAL video card! I put a Diamond Radeon HD6450 into an ancient Dell Optiplex 330 running 32-bit XP with 2 gb RAM and 400,000 or so XP updates, and it worked. Pay attention, not all PCI-Express cards are alike. They screwed with the “standard.” Newer PCI-Express cards will not fit into older cases because they really take up TWO slots. That was a $90 lesson for me. I bought a PCI-Express 2.0 compliant card and it would NOT fit into the case that was PCI-Express 1.0 compliant. The slot was fine; the card was HUMONGOUS and bashed into other parts inside the case. I’d have to use a saw to cut a chunk out of the motherboard to get that card in the case. Anyway, for those of you who are not in the habit of hanging on to perfectly functional and useful electronic equipment that software manufacturers don’t want you to use anymore because you won’t deplete your bank account buying new software you neither need nor want, you shouldn’t have a problem.

That’s a lot better than games in the mid-90s when you needed a custom-built computer that was less than four weeks old with more RAM than NASA used in the entire Mercury/Gemini/Apollo space programs combined. It would have taken a Cray helium-cooled supercomputer in 1995 to run the Tesla Effect today.

To the people at Big Finish Game… THANK YOU!

Oh, by the way. I saw a Tesla electric car plugged into a charging station by the Jack in the Box restaurant today, and it wasn’t on fire. Those sparky cars scare me.

Someday we’ll all be driving a Speeder like Tex. Perhaps I should say “you’ll.” I’ll be dead by then.

Tex Lives! Soon!

I finally got the beta test version of the Tesla Effect (aka The Fedora Project) running on a computer. I do hope they get that issue solved before the game is released on April 22nd. Fantastic. Based on what I’ve seen in the short test version, it has been worth the wait.

Check out the latest teaser at Big Finish Games

Crazy, Where Did 2013 Go?

Tex Murphy is about to come out of his long coma according to his alter-ego Chris Jones, and those of us who dropped crazy amounts of cash on this Kickstarter project will soon be immersed in exploring the beta version of the Tesla Effect. Well, if it works on ancient computer hardware/software, that is. It had better! All I have is ancient crap.

2014 is the last model year for the Toyota FJ Cruiser, so I had to get mine while it was still 2013. Huh? Right! 2014 vehicles are built in 2013. When I bought my 1998 Pontiac (RIP) Grand Am in early 1998, they were hard to find. Pontiac wasn’t making 1998 cars in 1998, they were… not making anything because the union workers needed a long unpaid vacation, not to mention the fact they were trying to figure out how to build 1999 model cars that were different from the 1998 models, and that was in 1998. I had my choice of white or black. Yuck! I chose white. Like choosing vanilla instead of chocolate; maybe I should have chosen chocolate.

Somewhere around 2006 or 2007, I was on my way from Quincy, Illinois, to Barry, and I saw this marvelous machine near the Sonic restaurant, and I thought, that’s one cool machine. I want one! Well, finances said forget it, and my Grand Am was in great shape so time funs when you’re having flies. Flash forward to the GREAT GLOBAL WARMING DISASTER OF DISASTER FOREVER AND EVER AMEN WHERE ALL HUMANS DROWN AND DUCKS RULE, so I thought I’d better get a four-wheel drive machine before those boiling hot glaciers came screaming down the valley at 900 miles an hour. I sure didn’t want to be boiled alive in a glacier, so I’d better be able to outrun them. Idiots scream about global warming, and I’m freezing my ass off. It ain’t warming if you’re FREEZING!

“It’s snowing.” Run for your lives, it’s global warming!
“It’s 104 degrees.” Run for your lives, it’s global warming!
“It’s normal.” HORROR OF HORRORS! WE’RE DOOMED! IT’S GLOBAL WARMING! We’ll all die in 5 years. No, wait, 10 years. Hold on, maybe it’s 20 years. Was it last year? Oh guru of the Cult of Global Warming, what is the current talking point? I’m confused! When is the GREAT GLOBAL WARMING DISASTER OF DISASTERS going to kill all of us overnight? Oh! Tuesday? You’re sure about that? Really?

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! GLOBAL WARMING WILL KILL ALL OF US ON TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Which of you reading this now remember in the 1970s when the SAME PEOPLE now screaming about global warming were screaming about the next ice age starting before the year 2000? I do. Bah! It’s all about getting stupid politicians to give them millions of dollars to study the catastrophe du jour. When the bucks run out, it’s time to create a new life-ending disaster to keep the dollars flowing. Otherwise they’d have to get a job at Wal-Mart as a greeter, or work at McDonalds cleaning tables. Remember this everytime you see a poll: Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. Thank you, Richard Helm for that piece of wisdom.

For example: Cancer is caused by saccharine. We know this conclusively because we ran over a mouse with a dump truck loaded with 10 tons of saccharine and after testing the squished mouse we saw it had CANCER! HORRORS! Give us 10 bajillion dollars to study this conclusively demonstrated, inarguable link between saccharine and cancer. Oh, by the way, we have a 4 week seminar planned for the Bahamas this fall. WINK WINK, WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN US?

We now resume our irregularly scheduled ramblings…

So, after 15 wonderful years of driving the best car I have ever owned, I got my 2014 FJ Cruiser in 2013 while they were still available. I had my choice of Puke Orange, Army Green, Sand, Puke Orange, Army Green, Army Green, or Army Green, not to mention Army Green. Well, Mr. Salesman, I want Cement like this brochure, or even Papa Smurf Blue. Sorry, that was Sooooo last year; how about Army Green?

I chose Army Green.

Why abandon my beloved Grand Am? Well, at 137,000 miles and 15 years, it has entered the nickel and dime stage of car life (or is it hundreds and thousands stage?). And then there is the fact that I have gotten older, and it is getting harder to fold, spindle, and mutilate myself getting into a vehicle where my ass is dragging on the pavement. That goes hand in hand with all the folks who are driving vehicles about 9 feet higher than a Grand Am. I couldn’t see anything in front of me anymore. Even my 91-year-old father liked the FJ over the Grand Am because of its hand-hold so he could hoist himself into the seat. Gotta love that. When I was a kid, I wanted a hot-rod Dodge Challenger/Charger (you choose) and a Jeep CJ5. So I’ve had the Challenger substitute in the Grand Am, and now it’s time for the CJ5 substitute in the FJ Cruiser. The FJ is a much better choice, I must say.

I understand why Toyota dropped thew FJ Cruiser since the last year’s sales records showed a total of 13,000 or so sold. In its short life span, I think there are less than 250,000 on the roads today. I am happy I have mine.

The point of all that is that since I will be paying for this new vehicle for the next lifetime or so, I won’t be able to take the cruise to Gardner Island in the summer of 2015.  But, if you have a loose 10 grand or so looking for a place to park, that is not in Obama’s bank account, check out this site: Betchart Expedition cruise to Gardner Island

No, you won’t find Amelia’s bones; they were found long ago. But what a great journey. I’ll have to win a lottery if I expect to be on it. And the fantasies go on and….

That’s why I call it my ramblings. I never know where I’m going but I enjoy the ride. I hope you do too.’

Maybe I should add some music. Here’s a song by a JJ Cale and improved by Brother Phelps. Anyway The Wind Blows. I am NOT responsible for Google’s annoying advertisements. I don’t like them either. I wish they had a timer that would show the nanoseconds it takes for victims to click the Skip Ad button.

Hard To Keep Up

Blogs are like children, I think, since I don’t have any children, but they have to be constantly fed. This blog is malnourished at best.

I have been keeping up with Project Fedora, the code name for the next Tex Murphy adventure. It has a real name now, “Tesla Effect.” I confess, I did not like the name at first because I couldn’t imagine why they would be making a game about electric cars. Then I looked up the name Tesla. Interesting stuff. Nikola Tesla would probably be suing the car company for stealing his name and ruining his reputation, if he were still alive, that is. The good folks at Big Finish Games recently showed a trailer of the game at the Salt Lake City ComiCon (or is it Comic Con), and I now see the name as stroke of semi-genius. Look up Nikola Tesla, then watch the trailer at http://www.texmurphy.com/

The game will be in a far more serious mood than I prefer, but I am really looking forward to the experience of playing it.

From Chicago to Amarillo

I have a personal private blog I use for free-form therapeutic thinking. On rare occasions, I write things that will not offend the rest of my fellow citizens of the known or unknown universes.

“Really,” you say. “Then those posts must be really bad compared to all the garbage I’ve read on your blog so far.”

You are so right. But here’s something that I cleaned up and is rated G.

And then Peter Cetera said, “…sometimes you dressed goofy, looked weird, and did stupid things that you’re embarrassed about, and yeah…*”

Well, Pete old boy, you didn’t have to be a rock star to dress goofy, look weird, and do stupid things. That completely sums up my childhood. As for those stupid things… I tried to patent them, but they were invented 42 million years ago and are in the public domain. The patent office will give a patent for the color brown, but they won’t patent wearing high-water green jeans in grade school.

“Are you ready,” he said?

She smiles a becoming smile, nods, and Peter sings…

and I cry, and I feel… old and young at the same time.

That was Sasha Cohen and Brian Boitano in 2008.

The album Chicago 16 was released in June 1982. I was leaving Bravo Battery, 4th Battalion, 1st ADA, of the 11th ADA Brigade (Fort Bliss) for the 59th Military Police Company in Germany. I was only peripherally aware of music at the time, although I did see Susan Raye sing at the Caravan East, and heard Terry Stafford sing his original song “Amarillo by Morning” on KHEY. I later heard “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” in the movie, “Summer Lovers.” The movie is NOT rated G. It was rated R, but that was under the seriously relaxed criteria for R movies of the time. I think the MPAA would rate it PG today.

For those of you born yesterday, Peter Cetera was the bass player and singer for the group “Chicago” from 1969 to 1985. Since then he has charted his own path through the private and musical worlds. He has only improved with time.

*Okay! The quote is from this interview. It’s 27 minutes long.

If I Could Ask One Question of…

Roy Clark, it would be…

Rats. I’d need two, but here’s the one I discarded: “Roy, how did you get your fingers to move so fast on that guitar fretboard?”

Don’t answer that. That’s not it. I suspect all you great guitar players figured out how to wire the strings to zap you with electric shocks if you didn’t keep up with the tempo.

No. Here’s the real question.

“Roy, did you ever sell all 50,000 copies of your “third” album from the trunk of your blue Nash in that Las Vegas parking lot?”

I mean, really, it’s been bugging me since I heard your album “Roy Clark Live.” It’s interesting that my 33 1/3 LP lasted longer than the hotel where the album was recorded: The Landmark. It was a famous Hollywood star in its day, from a cameo in “Diamonds Are Forever*” (at age two) to that piece of crap one-line joke (on its death bed and burial) that took two hours to get there… “Mars Attacks.” Okay, so the movie was only 106 minutes; that was 100 minutes and $5.50 too much. Even though I liked Roger Whitaker, I did enjoy the one-liner at the end. Reminds me of the joke about the moth…

Hmm, maybe I should pre-empt some violence. After taking you on a long buggy ride, the punch line is, “Have you ever seen a moth ball.” Of course, the person flirting with death meant… “moth bawl.” They should have blown up the movie instead of the hotel. It wouldn’t even have made good ukulele picks.

Well, at least I have learned “Streets of Bakersfield” on my bass (it’s all quarter notes). Now all I need is a band with which to play it. Give me a couple months and I’ll have “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” down pat. If I can only figure out how to stop the strings from making noise when they aren’t supposed to make noise.

I think Roy lives in Tulsa these days. I’ll be there later this year, maybe I should look him up. He’s 10 years younger than my father, who is seriously P.O.ed that he can’t build houses and run marathons at 90, but is otherwise doing okay.

*It was the exterior elevator scene, which cut to a sound stage somewhere in England.

Is It Springtime Yet?

Wow, months go by, and one day I wonder where they all went…

The Fedora Project is proceeding quite well from what I read on the exclusive backer’s blog. I submitted my photo for the game a long time ago, and I’m getting anxious to see where they put it. Will I be a mutant? Nah! Everybody’s thought that about me from birth; me too. They keep asking me what planet I came from, but I’m not sure. My folks didn’t tell me. I really hope it’s not on an “evil Tex” path because I’ll never find it that way. The next challenge is to figure out which photo I want to be used for the poster with Tex Murphy. I have some ideas about that, but it will have to be a secret for now.

As a high level backer, I’ve downloaded and played through the two Rita James episodes from Big Finish Games, (BFG) “Escape From Thunder Island,” and “The Race To Shangri-La.” I highly recommend them. Each game took three or four evenings in two or three hour shots, or, perhaps more, it’s easy to lose track of time playing these games. (Note to people who can’t spell: lose means it’s lost – gone – you can’t find it;  loose means it’s running free or it’s rattling around in the scuppers making noise you don’t want to hear. For example: Did you lose them? Yes, I lost my marbles, and I don’t know where they are. Is it loose? Yes, it’s rolling around in the scuppers making a terrible noise.) This grammatical interlude is brought to you by the memory of Bob McGiffert, former/late UM professor of Journalism. Also note: Journalism is the ancient and long dead art of reporting the news in an impartial manner. The last known commission of an act of journalism was some time in the 1950s, although this is only a rumor. The occupation of Journalism has been replaced by “social justice” and “social engineering.” See also: local newspaper, network “news.” I know: I have a university degree in “journalism.”  During my years at J-school there were two token journalists and umpty-something social engineers.

And now back to our irregularly scheduled ramblings.

Of course, you can spread these games out over more evenings if you want to, but I found the stories compelling enough to keep at them long after I should have gone to bed. The crazy thing is I’m not sure where anyone can get them. The Big Finish Games web site doesn’t seem to have a way to buy them. Hmmmm. This place may have “Race To Shangri-La.” 10 bucks.

I also played the BFG Jess Silloway game, entitled “3 Cards to Midnight.” I truly regret that I cannot recommend this game. The Tex Murphy and Rita James story lines are fun. Rita James certainly is fun; I love that dimwit: Tex is fun if you are, but that’s up to you. Jess Silloway is not even close to fun or satisfying. I was definitely uncomfortable with its occult basis. As a Christian, I found it unsettling and unsatisfying. I played the easy wimp route, and that was more than I should have. We  have enough trouble in this world without trying to pretend that Satan is the good guy. Satan is why bombs blow up in Boston. Satan is why the World Trade Center is a hole in the ground. “He who has ears, let him hear.”

Give me a minute on the reference; my bookshelf is a mess. I can’t find my King James version, only the New International Version that I read in Papua New Guinea.

Okay, got it; in many places. It seems it was one of Jesus’ favorite exhortations to people who refused to listen to truth. Start with Matthew 11:15. I think the point is that the truth is not always what you want to hear. Satan is always trying to bypass your brain to tell you that what is undeniably true is a lie. Perhaps that is why Jesus said it so often.

… and then you readers wonder, “why did I read this?”  Because I Just Come Here For The Music. Ahh, the lovely Allison Krause.

And now that I have you in my clutches, BWHAHHH HAHHHH HAHHHH, Why don’t we Imagine That. Don’t walk, RUN out to your local music store and buy Don Williams’ latest album, “And So It Goes.”

For those inclined to torture themselves with my ramblings, stay tuned for me playing the bass to Dwight Yoakam’s and Buck Owens’ version of “Streets of Bakersfield.” Oh wow, that means setting up a goober tube channel and buying a decent vidcam doojingle, but I think I have to do it. You will regret it, but remind yourself that it could be much worse; I could try to play the mandolin intro to “Streets of Bakersfield.” I can’t even play the mandolin part of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” but that would probably be sweet music compared to “Streets of Bakersfield.” Better get that Fender MandoStrat soon.

Mandolins, Stratocasters, Telecasters, Bassmasters, etc. My fingers rebel. Don’t do this to us, they say. We are old and slow, and the Irish Washerwoman is but a pleasant memory of our youth. Yet my super duper el cheapo Metallic Blue Squier Precision Bass sings Siren songs to me… “come play me… I’ll make you a star…” To which I reply….[deleted] and I did too. But I’m catching on to old Mr. Root Fifth with his chordal notes. I’ll have him nailed in a week or so.

My coworker says I have to name my musical instruments. I am not sure why; Eric Clapton has something to do with it. Anyway, the bass is “Wump” because it sits on its wump most of the time. The Fender Stratocaster (Midnight Wine with Rosewood fretboard) is “Sleeping Beauty” because it is beautiful and spends most of its time sleeping. The Metallic Blue Squier Telecaster (it’s super-duper cheap, but it sounds great) is named Mug; you get the picture. Third note or whatever: The metallic blue on the Indonesian-made bass is not the same as the metallic blue on the Chinese-made Telecaster. They’re close, but noticeably different. Dear Mr. Squier Fender Corporation, take a lesson from the folks at Gatorade. Send your people around the world to make sure the colors match; it’s important. I mean, really, would you give Buck Owens and the Buckaroos instruments that didn’t match? That’s like Marty Robbins singing “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean” in a Hawaiian shirt, short pants, and deck shoes. The last time I was was in Indonesia, the exchange rate was somewhere near 1750 rupiah to the dollar. Now I think it’s somewhere in the range of 247 googleplex rupiah to the penny. They were using aluminum for coins of less than 100 rupiah; I have some in my collection.

Still with me? Now you know why I call this Roger’s Ramblings.

I haven’t come up with a name for the mandolin. It is simply “my mandolin.” It’s lovely, so I should call it Olivia, after my first and only true love whom I never met and who doesn’t know me from whale poop in the Marianas Trench. The problem is that Olivia is from Manchester, England, by way of Australia, and my mandolin is from China by way of steam ship, diesel, row boat, cargo container on a canoe, whatever. Definitely not as romantic. But Olivia it is from here everafter.

Have a nice day, and a better tomorrow. That’s not the correct name of the song, but I did say RUN to get Don Williams latest album.

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