Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 03



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This Sunday truly is a leftover kind of day, as I am sure you have three day old Turkey and stuffing begging to be turning into a nice sandwich. While you are thinking about what to do with your leftovers, you can read about mine: this week we will discuss bass amps, Black Friday, I will show you a monster recipe that you just need to read for yourself and so much more. Let's do this...

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: Gottfried Heinwein


CREDIT: The Chairs - Charlotte Pipe

[Bass Amp - Part 2]

A few weeks ago, I told you about my experience buying a bass amp that was a total failure. Not to be discouraged (and having great friends who have been looking out for me), I bought a new amp on eBay this week. I never really got into eBay because I got burned in it's early years (more a problem with shipping damage and the headaches that go with it). But many of my musician friends have found great success with it, so I said, what the hell...


My buddy Jack has been scouring the net for me looking for a good deal and turned up on this Hartke 115-C. The reviews all seemed positive, so I threw caution to the wind and put in a bid. This amp retails for $540-600 and my budget was more in the $400.00 range. Jack found this amp for $380.00 (used, but only 3 months old). I ended up paying $420.00 shipped.

Since I got such a good price, I was expecting some issues. Musicians are a crazy lot and get upset over scratches and dings on the amps (guitars I can see getting upset about), so my hope was that the amp was just scratched and dinged. When I got it (in it's original box I might add), I didn't see any damage. Once I got it in my music space, I noticed the pre-amp was loose and needed to be screwed in - took care of that - and then I plugged in... buzz city.

I looked around and noticed the amp was coming apart at the seam at the bottom, this most definitely could be the issue; Jack to the rescue. Jack came over to inspect the amp and deemed the split to be a legit problem (I was thinking it might be superficial). My thoughts turned to returning this thing and flashbacks to 1998 were overwhelming me; Jack knew where my head was at and agreed that at the price point and overall condition of the amp, repair should be the plan of attack. Two wood clamps and some gorilla glue later - the seam is back to it's original position and the buzz seems to be gone.

Assuming no other issues, I am very pleased with my purchase, the fun repair job, and while there were issue with the amp, overall it was a good deal, thus restoring my faith in "eBaying".

[Black Friday]

In the summer, I had decided I was going to start my Christmas shopping early; attempt to find meaningful gifts for the people I was buying for. As the months passed, my imagination faltered and my attention went on to other things. By October, I had little shopping done. It was then that I started reading the Black Friday blogs looking for a killer deal to make up for my lack of imagination. The problem was I didn't see anything outstanding. As the information became more concrete, nothing lept out at me saying "this is a great deal".

By the Wednesday before Black Friday, I was still planning on going out. There were a couple of door busters at Target that would make good gifts if I could get them. I mentioned this thought to my friend who I met out for a drink on Wednesday afternoon, and he warned me - "they probably have 10 of those good items, and they will sell out in 10 minutes". I went home and crunched some numbers - similar items of a better brand - they were maybe 20% more but that was with free shipping and no tax (and probably better quality). I decided to stay home on Friday and clean my garage and see some family.

I got home from my visits at 9 PM and decided to stop in Target to see what was left over. Not much. When I asked the kid who worked in the electronics section how long it took for the item I was interested in to sell out, he said - "15 minutes, and the people were camped out at the door". So glad I stayed home.

[Recipe of the Week: Bacon Cheeseburger Stromboli]

INGREDIENTS

Dough
1 5lb bag of flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
5 teaspoons yeast
10 cups of water

2 big mixing bowls

Cheeseburger
3 lbs grated cheddar cheese
3.5 lbs ground beef (80/20 or leaner)
1 lb bacon
2 large chopped onions (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Dough (need to do this first)



1. In a large bowl, dry mix 4 lbs of flour and the 2 tablespoons of salt. (Keep 1 lb of flour in reserve)
2. In another large bowl or small pot, put in 10 cups of tepid water (not too cold, not too hot, but leaning on the warm side). Mix in 5 teaspoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar until it is dissolved.
3. Start to mix the yeast/water mixture into the dry mix. Use your hand to mix it all around (clean them first!) - TIP: Put flour on your hands before mixing to prevent sticky fingers.
4. Mix dough until it mixes well. If the mixture is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too dry, add a little more water (better to be dry).
5. Leave the dough for 2 hours to rise. (Keep the room on the warm side).
6. After 2 hours, separate dough into smaller balls (this mixture should yield 8-10 1 lb balls of dough). Allow the dough to rest for another hour.

Meat

1. Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan and start to cook the bacon (make sure you place the bacon on paper towels to absorb excess grease). As the grease accumulates, put in in a large pot set at medium-low heat.

2. When you have about a half-cup of grease, add the chopped onions. Stir and cover. As you get more grease, add (about 1 cup total).
3. When the onions looks translucent, add the ground beef. Cover the pot. Increase to medium-high heat.

4. When the beef is cooked (about 15-20 minutes), crumble the bacon and add in pot. Drop heat to simmer and allow to blend for 5-10 minutes. Mix well.

5. Grab a dough ball and flour a large clean flat surface. Start to spread out the dough. Momz Lombardi said you don't need a roller, but I used one. When the dough is nice and flat, splash some olive oil and cover the whole dough surface.
6. Throw down the cheese and meat mixture all over. Roll the stromboli. Splash a little more olive oil on the top. Repeat for as many as you are making.

7. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large flat pizza pan.
8. Add the stromboli to the oven and allow to cook for 40 minutes (Until the top has a nice golden brown color).



[DIY of the Week: Wine Bottle Light]

As you know, any time I see a DIY with wine bottles, I always take note because of my in-laws wine shop (they always have extra bottles floating around). This is really cool for the holidays.

See the whole project at Wit & Whistle.


(image credit: Wit & Whistle)

What you need:
1. an empty wine bottle
2. a drill
3. safety glasses and gloves (just in case the bottle breaks)
4. 1/2″ glass drill bit
5. masking tape
6. short strand of Christmas lights (with a plug only on one end)

Directions:
1. Rinse out your wine bottle and remove the labels (if desired).
2. Place a piece of masking tape on the bottle where you want to drill the hole for the cord. The tape keeps the drill bit from slipping.
3. Put on your gloves and goggles and start drilling. (The Wit & Whistle site gives more hints)
4. Once your hole is drilled rinse the glass shavings out of your bottle, and let the bottle dry.
5. Carefully feed the strand of Christmas lights into the hole you drilled.

[Video of the Week]

Ummm... Wow....



[Conclusion]

Are you stuffed yet? I am stuffed, stiff, stifled, and stupefied (yeah, it is time to end this). If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge