My son who is now 5 has epidermal naevus on the left side of his body. Since birth my wife and I have painstakingly tried everything to treat it. It all started with creams which either did nothing or burned so bad that we couldn’t continue using. As my son got older it became apparent that is was not going to go away, we decided to do laser treatment on his leg as a test. Having your son put under anethesia then having to deal with the treating this giant burned area was very difficult. Laser surgery did not have any positive results and the next option was to have is surgically removed. Hesitant we decided to wait. We waited until maybe something better came along or a miracle….
Here is what we did on a daily basis. First we began making custom bandages. This involved cutting 8 strips of not stick bandage in all different shapes and sizes. Then a layer of saran wrap so 100% of the medicine would saturate the skin and the bandage would not stick to the wound. Next I’d sneak in his room and taping them to his body without waking him up. This lasted years and nearly every day, sometimes id slack off and take a few days off. During those times off I started to notice that the redness would start going away. So I decided to see what would happen if we just let it go. As we found out, if you let it go then it would grow tall enough to be knocked off by normal physical activities and thus bleeding and pain.
So where were we? Not far. The Epidermal Naevus grows outward and never heals. The only treatments available are Creams and Surgery. If you put creme on it, it only softens the skin and it makes it red and susceptible to infection. We live in an area with really good doctors and NONE of them helped, some of them were so rude Id never want to return. And thats what we did, never went back to the doctors for it because they were of no help.
Summertime! The pools and the sun seemed to have a big impact on his skin. The chlorine helped clean his wounds while the sun seemed to dry it up quite a bit and this is where I started making a breakthrough. The naevus became brittle from the Sun and Chlorine. One night before putting on bandages I snuck under his sheets with a flashlight and cuticle snips and I started snipping at the easily accessible bits. It started busting off and I could tell that It did not hurt him and there were NO nerves in the Naevus it was just dead hard skin. The surface area I had to cover was quite large and there are spots where I was not sure if there were nerves so the cuticle snips were not going to work. I next started with a big nail file and then I started making good progress but it took soooooooo long and it would wake my son up.
I was getting pretty frustrated because after filing for an hour and putting bandages on we still were not beating it. It grows quite fast. At this point in time we were also giving him bleach baths for chlorine, every other night I’d put a 1/4 cup of bleach in the bath and used the nail file on some of his faster growing parts like his thumb. This method just wasn’t really working and the amount of work involved was too much for such little results. I needed something more abrasive yet quiet and I needed to convice my wife to let me use a power tool on our son. This was no easy feat, I tried for probably 6 months of reasoning with her about how safe using a DREMEL would be. She Denied me… Rightfully so I guess, it does seem crazy to use a wood shaping tool on his body. But I knew that with my skills with tools that I could be gentle. So one day I bought a brand new dremel and all kinds of sanding cylinders. I took Foam beer can insulator and put the dremel inside of it and wrapped the whole thing with a towel and snuck in his room and went to town. Astonishing results, I sanded down nearly all of his naevus in about 3 min! I couldn’t breathe because I was under the covers and the tool threw plumes of skin-air into the air. After sanding it all down I put Cereve on it and kept what I did to myself. The next day my son and wife were really really amazed at how good his leg looked. That night I did the rest of his body with the same results. His skin was smooth and you could tell my son appreciated it. The sanding last a couple weeks then you have to do it again. The Dremel however did not last as I burned it out pretty quickly with the foam insulation and towel. I let my son play with the Dremel as he wanted to do it himself. Obviously under extreme supervision and I only let him do a very easy part.
We prepare sanding by using bleach baths and we use creme only after we sand. Max willingly lets me do it as we let him play Minion Rush or Mario and we are finally managing it!
Being a good customer can be a lot of work, but in the end hard work pays. Good customers are the bread and butter that keep our bellies full. We’ve kept our family business running for a good 3 weeks and man its hard work. Since opening I have learned a handful of things and the most important fact learned is “How to spot a good customer.”
Myth: A good customer always asks questions. False, Never ever ask your service man any questions. Not only will you loose your own self respect, you’ll lose your good customer reputation.
If your feeling like you may have backslid and your hanging on the verge of converting then here are a few tips to keep your Good Customer reputation.
1. When your service man approaches you about your repair, never look at him. Stare directly at his feet and hand him your wallet and say as follows.
“Thank you for even gracing me with your presence, here is my item that needs fixed and here is all the cash I have. Take as much time as you need and money is not an option. May you have a blessed day, king.”
Now kiss his hand and be gone.
2. Never call. Ever find yourself asking this question, “Hi, I was just wondering if you had a chance to?…. Wrong: Never call, only desperate lonely bastards call. So if your a desperate lonely bastard, do it.
3. This is the Big One: When receiving your bill, never look your service man in the eyes. It’s a sign that you think your inferior. He’s inferior, never forget it. All you do is take out the Crowbar in your trunk and “Crack that fucking wallet open wide!”
If King decides to give you a little tap on the ass before you leave, he appreciates all your hard work!
Freedom on the Fret Board
Music is just another form of me. Its constant pull evokes feelings to build everyday. This comes to me as a blessing because even on the rare occasions I’m not be playing or practicing, it’s always inside me creating. Without these feelings of angst there would be no need to continue studying. I’d like you to know that people have different musical goals and you could spend a lot of time learning things you may just forget. If you learn anything, try to understand what drives you about music and find the most appropriate path getting you there. If you want a foundation on which to build then please read on.
During my years at music school and self study I found many assignments, licks, practice repertoire, solos, songs etc.… that I learned at one point but merely weeks later finding myself baffled how I forgotten them. Except this, the ability to spit out the notes of almost any chord and use this as a creative tool. I’ve always called myself an odd guitarist because my path of learning is somewhat backwards in the fact that never did I learn many covers, studied guitar players note for note, learned all the obvious solos. I studied music theory and practiced writing my own songs. Now that most of the work is done, I’m confident in learning from guitar greats and incorporating it in my own playing so Ill never forget it.
My guitar life all started making sense after 1 lesson with Greg Howe. He showed me that I needed to see the fretboard in an easy to understand map using 3 basic arpeggio patterns that outline the Chord Scale. From these patterns we can then build. This lesson is a culmination of all my studying and from this method creative possibilities are endless.
First I want to strongly urge you to understand C major. From this all other keys, chords, arpeggios, positions and modes are much easier to translate. I can’t possibly cover every aspect to what I’m talking about and if you really want to learn this, you’re going to have to do a little extra credit. Feel free to ask me any question you might have. Let’s begin!
Ex.1 When someone says C major to me I instantly think “CEGB”, that not only stands for the notes in a Cmaj7 chord it’s also a pattern of root note chords that sound beautiful over Cmaj.
LOOK AT THIS CHART
NOTES: C D E F G A B C
Chords: Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj Amin Bdim
Chord Tones: CEG DFA EGB FAC GBD ACE BDF
When I look at one chord in its simplest form, it says a lot. Take Cmaj “CEG” I see that if I want to write a lead over it and want it to sound unique then I should probably not play “CEG” primarily. It needs some other tension, so where can I find it? Lets make a Cmaj Super Chord.
We have C=1st, E=3rd, G=5th, B=7th, D=9th, F=11th, A=13th, C=Root. Notice anything? How about now, CEGBDFAC or the same notes ordered CDEFGABC. That’s 1 chord using every scale tone! The point is that every scale tone has a unique quality against the root. BY NO MEANS ARE YOU ABLE TO REMEMBER THIS WHILE YOU ARE PLAYING, SO WE NEED A SYSTEM.
Chords are built via stacked Major and Minor 3rds. A Major 3rd has a distance of 5 steps. A Minor 3rd has a distance of 4 steps. So in Cmaj: C to E = Maj3rd, E to G = min3rd
If you take the 3rd fret on the A string you have C. Go up a Maj 3rd to E, another Min 3rd to G, another Maj 3rd to B, another Min 3rd to D, Min 3rd to F, Maj 3rd to A and finally Min 3rd to C.
As complicated as it sounds, it’s really simple once you sit down and play it. It is an easy pattern that you must learn. You need to know what chord is ahead and behind you and beyond. To help aid this memorization, learning Root 5 arpeggios gives a clear map of the fret board. Once you learn the Chord Scale Arpeggios then we get creative.
Lets write a lead melody over a Cmaj7 chord, the notes are C E G B. I already know that Emin, G and Bdim are closely related to Cmaj7. That’s three separate Chords/arpeggios/ positions in which to start with. Take a Emin7 EGBD arpeggio, the B and D notes are going to add a lot of tension to resolve to C, so maybe take an Root 5 Emin7 arpeggio and start picking the notes out over C. You will find some of those notes have a special quality. Best of all that quality will never change, so remember where in the arpeggio gives that sound. You’ll be able to come back to it later as your improvising. Another way is to start with a lead that you already know and then move to the Emin7 arpeggio then back to the original lick. So with this thought process Cmaj7 just got cracked wide open. You can play any chord over Cmaj, but you have to be careful because you need to still keep Cmaj as home. As you practice your arpeggios, start adding the root note of the chord your playing over. Basically you want to add tension and resolve it, tension, resolve, tension, tension, and tension, resolve. Adding the chord tones of the chord your soloing over gives a relieving quality.
Example: If you play a Emin over Cmaj you’re accentuating the 3rd 5th and 7th of Cmaj. Gmaj over C your accentuating 5th, 7th, 9th of C. “bdim” over C and your playing 7th, 9th, 11th. If you play Dmin over C you’re accentuating the 9th, 11th, 13th. Fmaj over C: 11th, 13th, 1st. Amin over C: 13th, 1st, 3rd.
Ok so you theoretically can play any note over any chord but here are some basic rules to get started.
- Do not mud up the bass frequencies, Ex. Playing a C and a D in the bass will sound unclear and a mixed tonality. If you are going to use those tones in the bass try to make them quick passing tones or play them an octave up.
- Do not stay out of key too long. If your soloing over Cmaj and your heavy handed in Bdim then get back to home bass before the listener has no idea where your are. Think about driving to the store “your comfort zone” and you suddenly hit a roadblock “New learned lick” eventually your going to get to the store and then back home. The point is you’re never on a detour most of the trip.
- 3. This is most important, take these concepts and make them your own. Play them the way it seems right to you. Learn a pattern and add rhythm, add feeling, stomp your feet and play it, nod your head, play harder and make a mean face, play with your fingers and melt away.
- 4. If you’re soloing over say a progression Cmaj, Amin, Gmaj, Cmaj. Your notes will change C=CEG A=ACE G=GBD and if you don’t change with the chords the listener will not understand the changes. Try hitting just one of the notes when the chord changes, as you gain confidence it will become natural.
Any Questions or Comments please contact me!
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully something to walk away from and try. If there is interest shown on the topics I’m talking about then I will definitely start making video to correspond with the writing.
I’m always looking for musicians to make music with. I’m fluent with recording in my house and exchanging files and open to playing any genre.
Take it easy and keep making music!
Me that’s who. Embracing this years holiday traditions, were gonna proudly display our Christmas tree right in front of our living room window. It’s ember light glowing through the window shades are really gonna make a splash this year. Our tree will be so intimidating that our neighbors shorts are gonna be hanging pretty low after discovering our glowing tree. “Whoa, honey have you seen the Henderson’s tree? It’s glowing so fiercely my abdomen just fell out of my stomach!”
The very first thing I need to do to set the end of the year off right is mount a stuffed reindeer to the front of my truck. That way people passing by are gonna know that I’m in the Christmas spirit and you better not get between me and my tree. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna get the best damn Douglas Fir money can buy. It’s gonna have perfect needle spread and it had better be 7’4″ tall or I’m gonna chop that sucker down like a coke head in the Rusty Dory bathroom.
The key to a getting the right tree is gaining the trust from your tree guy. A good tree guy will quickly identify the type of tree you need just by looking at your posture and hygiene. He or she formulates opinions such as ceiling height, tv position and it’s minimum glare angle, star size and then overall best position for the tree. After he finds you the right tree now would be the best time to ask him questions he can’t wait to answer. Such as, where does this tree come from? What types of drinks do trees like other than water? Will it grow through my ceiling or fill my room? If it should talk shit, what is the appropriate action? What if your tree wont stop crying? Is there such a thing as shaken needle syndrome? These questions are very important and remember to be thorough as nobody else needs Christmas trees this year. Finally, never ever tip the tree guy as it’s offensive and preposterous. No one needs to suck ass with tree guy it only slows him down. Grab your tree and get home as fast as you can!
After your purchase make sure you let the tree guy know that you came prepared and that your ready to attach the tree to your vehicle by yourself. After searching “attaching Xmas tree to car,” your ready for the big time. It’s time to show everyone you got what it takes to slap that tree down right the first time. You did not just come with yarn, you came with ratchet straps. The kind of ratchet straps that will never work properly, especially if you have no idea what your doing. Well if you like me, you carry a tree stand everywhere you go, especially when you get a tree. Slap that puppy down in that stand and plant it upright on the roof of you car. This is the most stable way to transport a tree. Hold the tree stand down with twine and attach twine to the top of the tree. From your driver and passenger window you can hold the twine and stabilize your tree. Works like a charm, especially in high traffic, low clearance and high wind situations. On the way home make sure your waving a Terrible Towel and continuously blowing your horn. You need to confirm your dedication to this years holiday spirit.
Now the fun part, decorating. I prefer to cover my tree with It’s Miller Time Holiday beer cans. For added texture I may just squeeze a couple right in the center. How do you light the tree you ask? Lights are no big deal in our house. We don’t buy expensive LED or Flux Capacitor light bulbs. I use two 500 watt portable work lights and aim them at a 45 degree angle to maximize “glow zone.” Not only do these lights blast off my Xmas tree, but they also light my whole downstairs. As long as you don’t look directly at the tree you will have no difficulty seeing. Warning, these lights are very bright and get smoking hot. They should be kept at a minimum of 3 feet from any human, animal or tree.
Make sure you invite all of your family over just to appreciate your masterpiece. Trust me your contact list is dying to get the invitation. They can’t wait to share your gift to the community and they are very proud to be included in the celebrations. Remember to have fun this holiday season and remember to drink, smoke, eat and shit as often as possible. Don’t worry about resolutions yet, just be good to your tree and your tree will be good to you.
Gobble gobble gobble
Turkey legs are now the reason
I’d put my foot in your ass
If I hadn’t had a reason
Stuffing is on the table
Stuffing is also in season
Stuffing can be dangerous
Especially without the season
People gathered round the table
Plastered in their chairs
Their bellies full and round
Metabolism needs repair
Life is simple and sometimes savory
Sometimes it’s nasty
Without the scent of gravy
People force food
Especially when they want it
People ram it in their bellies
And throw up from their stomachs
I’ve been sent to break the silence
Of people eating in the quiet
Thanksgiving has no budget
Not a single has a diet
I’m not talking about the lonely
I’ll never mention how much it hurt
But I will pay back my enemy
The turkey’s neck like a store clerk
Thanksgiving is a time of year we can reflect on the things that we may take for granted throughout the year. I remember a time when most of the whole family would pack around grandma’s dinner table, living room and everywhere else the house would allow. Kids would be jumping in leaves, playing in grandpa’s basement and hiding in the attic. Most likely you would find me on the roof with my other daredevil cousins. There was nothing I enjoyed more than hanging out with my cousins, plotting the next big move. That would most likely mean a sneaky trip to the river, making nun-chucks, collecting pig irons for our home made sling shots and finding some money for the mini-mart. As a child I grew up with a great bunch of boys, being the youngest I was driven to be the center of attention. Anyways grandma’s house was always warm and cozy with the smell of pies, turkey, stuffing and typical old fashioned gobble gobble day food. It was one of the best times of the year. It was a time where everyone put their differences aside, came together and grew as a family.
The times they are a changing and in my world it’s changing for the best. As I miss my Grandma and the fondest memories I share with my family, I can now appreciate the memories I make everyday with my beautiful family. I am blessed to have a beautiful wife and the wonder of a little boy beside me through times of trouble and times of joy. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and food at our table. In the United States we the people are spoiled rotten and most of us never understand the hardships of others in other countries. During war, during times when people have no liberties or freedom we are getting hammered and stuffing our faces like gluttonous pigs never ever realizing the reality of life. Life can be abrupt and time takes us all, let the people in your life understand how you feel about them and let peace be with you this holiday season.
Do you feel like this after you eat?
Next time your at the grocery store, take a good look at what’s in your neighbors cart. It may surprise you to find that most people eat processed unnatural unhealthy plastic ass food. Why? Well it starts with the biggest crutch of all Giant Eagle or from Rachael’s point of view Giant Bastard. When I first seen that she wrote about Giant Bastard, not only did I find it hilarious but it really got me thinking about it. Then walking through the store I started to notice people with cart’s filled sky high with creme soda and junk food. That is really really nasty. By no means am I stating that you have to buy grass fed proteins and high end produce to eat right, I’m simply stating that people do not cook anymore. However there is a huge difference in quality if the meat has been treated properly before slaughter. Nowadays if people do cook they throw it in the microwave and call it cuisine. Bull Shit!
You may as well be eating this shit.
I have a few problems with Giant Bastard. There is no real butcher and the meat behind the counter is extremely processed or it’s covered with nasty ass rubs and spices to hide the shitty ass quality meat of the mistreated and ill fed animals they slaughter. The Market District brand food is the most expensive and all the other brands they carry are so over commercialized. Such as the radio station WDVE. Are The Clarks still on the radio, seriously? Fucking Ridiculous!
Truthfully I was a bit skeptical myself and I decided to challenge my wife in a pizza cooking competition. I bet her that I could make a very similar tasting pizza with low end ingredients. It was pretty obvious before I even began cooking that the food I had bought was nasty. I bought whole canned tomatoes and mozzarella as cheap as possible. The tomatoes tasted like canned processed shit and the mozzarella was a huge hard ball that tasted exactly like string cheese. POINT! Even if you buy ingredients to make food you have to know what your actually buying. Most of the shit at Giant Bastard is nasty unless you buy their most expensive brands. People need to see that cooking is fun and cooking with real ingredients is the way to go. Whole Foods is great, it’s in a busy part of town but it’s worth the trip. Everything is good wholesome food and it’s fresh.