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Just another yellow beach umbrella
Todays 5.8 earthquake in So. Cali was about 10 - 15 miles away from where I live and was one of the strongest I've ever felt. It lasted about 15 - 20 seconds and a DVD box I had standing on edge atop the dresser, fell to the floor. The TV doesn't report any damage in the area, but the rides at Disneyland have been shut down.
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It's noon and the temperature is 109-degrees outside. But, that's okay since it's only 79 inside. At least there wasn't any snow to contend with this past winter.
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I thought some might like to see a closeup of the banjo peghead. Not only does this have abalone and mother of pearl inlays, but the inlays are also engraved. It was a bit overcast, so the myriad of colors reflected from the inlays are not apparent, but imagine the colors seen in an abalone shell.
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Finally took some photos of my gear.

From left to right:
Electric Instruments
Fender Squire Stratocaster
Gretsch White Falcon
Fender Precision Bass

Electric-Acoustic Instruments
Mitchell 12-string, Black
Breedlove Bass
Takamine EC-132C

5-String Banjos
Epiphone MB-250, bluegrass banjo
OME Gold Magician (Zen artist model), clawhammer banjo
ODE Model 43 Grade 1, folk banjo

Martin Dreadnaught guitars
Martin HD-28V
Martin D-28CW, Clarence White Commemorative Edition

Note the Clarence White edition doesn't have any fingerboard inlays, the frets extend beyond the sound hole and the sound hole is enlarged. I replaced the tunning gears on both with Grover Tuners model 106 that have string locking mechanisms built into the peg shaft.
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A friend sent me the following in an e-mail.

Sometimes.....you just have to tell the facts!!
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked
> by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example
> of 'empire building' by George Bush.
> He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent
> many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
> beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in
> return is enough to bury those that did not return.'
> It became very quiet in the room.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Then there was a conference in France where a number of international
> engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break
> one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard
> the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to
> Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb
> them?' A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly:
> 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several
> hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency
> electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the
> capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several
> thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry
> half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to
> and from their flight deck..
> We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?'
> Once again, dead silence.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included
> Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.
> At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of
> officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone
> was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French
> admiral suddenly complained that, 'whereas Europeans learn many languages,
> Americans learn only English.' He then asked, 'Why is it that we always
> have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?
> Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied
> 'Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans
> arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German.'
> You could have heard a pin drop......
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a
> tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by
> plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in
> his carry on. 'You have been to France before, monsieur?' the customs
> officer asked sarcastically.
> Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
> 'Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.' The
> American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it.'
> 'Impossible! Americans always have to show your passports on
> arrival in France!' The American senior gave the Frenchman a long
> hard look. Then he quietly explained. 'Well, when I came ashore at Omaha
> Beach on D-Day in '44 to help liberate this country,
> I couldn't find any Frenchmen to show it to.'
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I've decided that success and happiness in life is as simple as pushing the right buttons. The difficulty is in finding that right button to push.

I got two HDTVs last week along with a high definition service. The service only provides a HD connection to one TV at a time. My problem was having HD in the bedroom and wanting it in the living room. I spent a couple of days reading the manuals and trying different wiring combinations without success. Eventually, it was only a matter of selecting the 1080i resolution from a TV submenu.
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Blame nobody, aim high but expect little and be grateful as hell for whatever you get!I

-- Steve Edwards, host of Fox TV's Good Day LA
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I saw in today's news, a project taking place in Antarctica to highlight the awareness of global warning has been canceled due to the cold.
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The quiz show, Jeopardy had a question regarding an ESPN documentary proposing fighter Cassius Clay, later changing his name to Muhammad Ali, was the first rap artist in the 1960s. I definitely recall the first song I heard that could be termed rap (spoken rhyming words for the verses and singing the chorus) was Pink Shoe Laces by Dotie Stevens in the very early 60s and maybe even the late 50s, prior to Cassius Clay.

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I have three different outdoor thermometers telling me it's 113-degrees in the shade.

It will be an interesting NASCAR weekend with these temperatures as they race at California Speedway. If it weren't for the hills, I'd likely be able to see the track that's about 15 miles away.
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