Musical Instruments For Everyone

One of the fun aspects of living close to Nashville is that we really are “Music City.” The entire area for 100 miles in each direction is home to people involved in the music industry. We live among songwriters, musicians, singers, managers and booking agents. There are dozens of related supporting professions, as well. Such as lighting technicians, guitar repair shops, hair stylists, tour bus drivers and deejays.

Of course, one of the most important things that the musicians need are the actual musical instruments. The professionals know where to shop for the best equipment and the best deals. The handful of very successful musicians can afford to buy things custom made. But for the rest of us who are struggling and waiting for our big break, we have to be smart with our money and shop for the best deals.

My first place to look is always the Internet. The Internet is fast, convenient and it lets me be very specific in my search. Saving money is easy if you do your research, take your time and be patient. You can usually find some pretty decent guitars (like this sweet looking Gibson Les Paul Tradtional Pro II) at Musicians Friend, which is a site that I find myself going back to more and more to see what is new and fun with the various musical instruments that are available on today’s market.

gigging musician's tool box with '50s slim-tapered neck

The Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II ’50s Neck Electric Guitar

Last year I bought an electronic keyboard with tons of features for under $100 so that I can pound out some of the tunes that pop into my head in the middle of night. When I’m not using it, I can pack it up and stick it in the closet, out of the way but ready for my next inspiration.

Fix It or Dump It?

It has been years since I have had to deal with the hassle of a car payment. I don’t like paying bills every month, especially when my income is so variable based on commissions. So paying cash for a car has always worked out best for me. Of course, thy are not brand new cars from a dealership – they are used cars that I find and decide to take a chance on and buy.

The problem with buying a used car is that you don’t know it’s history and you take a chance that there will be no serious repairs needed right away. After all the cars I’ve owned, I can say that none of them have been lemons but none of them have run trouble free forever, either.

Part of owning a car is deciding when the maintenance and repairs get to be too expensive to warrant keeping the car. I’m trying to make that decision right now on my Mazda. I just spent $2,000 on a rebuilt engine in January and don’t feel that I’ve gotten my money out of that yet. But now the brakes are acting up and the muffler is starting to rattle. So, I’m looking for repair estimates and trying to decide if I should get rid of the Mazda now or spend more money on it d try to make it last another year or two?

Shoe Shopping

The local CBS channel has rotated a succession of third rate shows in the very late night slot. Because we are in the Central time zone, our late night news comes on at 10:00 pm. This alone was a tough adjustment for me, being from the East Coast and accustomed to the news coming on at 11:00. It affects your whole body clock having the news, and therefore, bedtime come an hour earlier. After the news is the Letterman show, followed by Craig Ferguson, and then what? For a long time we could watch episodes of the Alias series. Then there was Miami CSI reruns. Now we have the Tyra Banks show.

Personally, I cannot stand Tyra Banks, much less watch a show with her running things. But the little woman loves Tyra Banks, and therefore, we watch Tyra Banks. I try to think of this as a learning experience. A chance to absorb female opinions on fashion, footwear, accessories, hair, etc.

For example, there was a recent discussion about women’s shoes. I had no idea that the average fashion model wears a size 11 shoe. Evidently, that is a big problem for these women, as buying shoes in larger sizes is very difficult. Tyra suggested that anyone looking for larger women’s shoes check out the internet and check out shoes from other countries were they may have a wider variety of sizes to offer. The web sites likeĀ have vouchers, codes and all types of decent promotions for the newest styles and have larger sizes for women, as well as a lot of offer products and services that you might find interesting and are having difficulty finding anywhere locally. The Internet has opened so many doors for online shoppers that it boggles the mind to think about how we ever managed to live and survive without it.

Top 10 Cat Names

Also according to, the top 10 names for cats in 2015:

  1. Lucy
  2. Smokey
  3. Midnight
  4. Bella
  5. Molly
  6. Daisy
  7. Oreo
  8. Shadow
  9. Charlie
  10. Angel

As a reflection of the huge hit movies and books about vampires, the” Twilight” series, “Bella” made the top 10 list for both cats and dogs – a first for that name.

Top 10 Names for Dogs

According to’s annual survey, for the third year in a row, the Number 1 and Number 2 most popular names for dogs in 2015 are “Buddy” and “Max.” Here is this year’s Top 10 Dog Names:

  1. Buddy
  2. Max
  3. Daisy
  4. Lucy
  5. Charlie
  6. Bella
  7. Molly
  8. Jack
  9. Sadie
  10. Lady