if you’re ever in guelph, and hungry, do your taste buds a favour and check out a place called with the grain. huge thanks to the guys at folkway music for suggesting it…that place is a bit like taloola on steroids. i didn’t try their coffee, but there’s a similar all-organic aesthetic at work, and the food is mind-boggling. they have something called a “bath” sandwich that hopefully stays on the menu for quite some time, with bacon, avocado, havarti cheese and other things that shouldn’t make any sense together. i’ve eaten an absurd amount of different sandwiches over the years, but this one is possibly the best i’ve ever had. eating the fruit side dish was like a cigarette after sex, or at least what i imagine such a thing feels like, if you can mentally transpose that sensation to the general area of your stomach. it also doesn’t hurt that there are some people working there who are very easy on the eyes. i mean, nothing…
this isn’t a restaurant/cafe review corner, though. or is it? see, that’s the fun of it all. why steal one department store mannequin when you can get yourself a whole flock of them? whatever that means.
it’s taken a little longer than anticipated, but the new cd should be release-ready in about a week. i just got this thing called a dymo discpainter that will ensure i never have to pay a media broker to design or duplicate cds for me again. it’s hilarious how quick and easy it is to create a cd design and print it. the results look better than anything i ever paid someone else to put together for me, and now it’ll be much easier to copy and print cds on an as-needed basis.
it’s funny; i read some mixed reviews about this particular cd printer. the general consensus seemed to be that it was good for making mix cds look cool, but not something that would yield results good enough for the discriminating sausage-sniffer. i thought it was worth a shot, given the laughably reasonable price, and without even using the highest print quality settings i’ve already printed two test designs that look far better than any of the thermal ink print jobs i paid for back in the day.
i don’t know why inkjet cd printing gets such a bad reputation. maybe silkscreening looks better if you put the cd under a microscope and it’ll probably withstand more abuse over the years, but i don’t think it’s worth spending thousands of dollars on just a printer—not for my purposes, anyway. the important thing is that there are now only two things i ever need to depend on anyone else for: printing up cd inserts or making digipak-type cd cases (which minuteman press always does a good job on) and cover art. i won’t ever have to sit on a new cd for more than a week or two after i’ve finished mixing and sequencing it. it’s a nice feeling.
in other news, i now have a ukulele that isn’t a toy and doesn’t have intonation issues. don’t get me wrong…the toy ukulele is a lot of fun, and after using it a bit on the new cd i’m sure it’ll pop up some more in the future. but it’s also nice to have a uke that’s a real instrument (with a maple neck and grover tuners, no less), and to be able to play more than three or four frets up the neck without everything sounding out-of-tune. the choice was between a flea and a fluke, both cool ukuleles that offer a lot of real ukulele for not a lot of money, and it was a flea that won out in the end. it’s a fun little thing, and this is what it looks like:
there are a few more new additions to the family of instruments as well…i know i’ve got more than enough things to play around here already, but when you come across stuff like this that’s so cheap-but-ridiculously-good, sometimes you just can’t say no. i mean, i found a really cool old parlour guitar for the same price as the teisco electric that’s all over the new cd. and that’s really, really cheap as guitars go. if i spent the same amount of money around here, the best i’d be able to do is maybe a squier strat, or something similarly scary. though i have to admit the squier hello kitty strat is kind of neat-looking.
it’s pretty strange to visit a place where, for roughly the amount of money it would take to get one really good new guitar, you can get several instruments that have been around for several decades and have a mojo that no new guitar can ever come close to, no matter how well-made it is. i like sexy new guitars as much as the next guy, but i’m starting to develop an affinity for quirky old ones that have a lot of character. also, according to richard at folkway, i seem to be drawn to instruments that don’t have serial numbers.
one word of advice: don’t ever lick your thumb (or one of your fingertips, if you play guitar the proper way, which you probably do if you’re not me) after playing countless stringed instruments that are several decades older than you are. it isn’t pleasant. i found that out the hard way yesterday. not that i’m normally in the habit of licking my fingers, but you know how it is…sometimes things just happen. one minute you’re singing a lullaby to a sparrow, and the next minute you’re naked from the waist down and surrounded by angry-looking crocodiles. or maybe that’s just me.