Vattuvarg's

...and some stuff needed for a journey.

A woman on the net asked me to design a bass guitar for her. It all started with a mistake, really.

photo of the sketch

The secret is out anyway so I might as well tell you too that I'm designing a bass for myself. The beginning of it all was learning that some bass guitars actually have guitar pickups. Squire Broncos do and others too.

One of the classic bass guitars that got modded with guitar pickups was the original Fender Precision, before the split pickup, that is. So the search was on for a cheap bass that could supply the minimalistic instrument of my dreams.

During that search I found a pickup that didn't care about the number of strings. It would work equally well in a bass although it was designed for a guitar. And it was cleverly engineered too.

What would it be mounted into? It would need to be light-weight and just the right size. A short scale bass like the mustang would be perfect except for the short scale. A long scale unit would probably be heavier and possibly even too long.

A kit, maybe?

Yes, there is a place where you can buy a kit mustang. That place also makes it possible to replace the 30 inch short scale neck with longer ones. I already knew about the 34 inch option but there was yet another one that was new to me. A medium scale bass is 32 inches... Nice.

I brought out pencil and paper and started drawing. A mustang body with a medium scale neck. So far so good. But with a normal Fender headstock it would neck-dive. How light could the headstock be?

Placing the tuning machines in a line on one side of the headstock wasn't the answer. Maybe three plus one as on the MusicMan Stingray? I did several attempts but all made the lonely tuning machine look... well ...lonely. So it had to be a two plus two configuration.

After downloading true-to-scale drawings from an online shop I finally had something that had all the properties I was trying to include. The headstock was getting smaller and the strings were short enough to eliminate the need for a string tree.

After getting all the parts drawn I scaled the bits down on a photocopier to half size. Now the design would fit on two A3 sheets. A couple of hours later I had the entire design in front of me. ...and the proportions weren't too bad considering the changes I had made.

The original mustang has 19 frets. My fretboard would be longer so it could have more frets. Why not aim for a full two octaves (24 frets)? Making the cutaways deeper was difficult. I really wanted the body to be a modernized mustang and doodling for a looong time actually resulted in something useful, much to my surprise.

The sketch was supposed to be uploaded to my private “homework” blog, but somehow it ended up elsewhere, more public. I must have been really tired.

So someone saw something they weren't supposed to see. ...and liked what they saw.

A woman got in touch with me through the fediverse and asked me if I could design a bass guitar for her too.

“Do you listen to Khruangbin?”, she asked and I truthfully answered that I didn't know what she was talking about. “It's an american band playing stuff influenced by music from all over the globe.”

“Why do I have to know about them?”

“Laura Lee, the bassist, made me play the bass.”

“Oh.”

“But my Squire jazz is just too heavy and long. My shoulder is killing me. I want something that could replace Laura Lee's backup (a Höfner knockoff with a geisha sticker) but still look a bit like her main bass.”

It took a while to figure out what she meant by that. ...but during that process I got to listen to some wonderful tunes.

Manically musical

Was a musician once and I've been away from it for too long it seems. Something in me fidgets along with the music in my bluetooth headset. It drums on the boxes i pack at work. Gnashes my jaws at night. Hums aimlessly while walking home. Vibrates my soul and wants out. Shows up in the search history, in the junk mail and among downloaded software.

A rhythm and something else to replace my broken voice.

Earphones are not good enough for me

The speakers have left the building and found new work with their real owner in her new home. My own speakers are not fully assembled so I use earphones.

sigh I need to complete my own speakers soon...

#devices

Why I am leaving Facebook behind

Recently people have asked me about why I am minimizing my presence at Facebook. I wish I could give them a simple answer.

Most things I do is based on something in my head that I simply call the machine. I throw all kinds of stuff into it and after a while it pops out an answer or solution. It's a handy mechanism even though I only know fractions about how it works. It works, that's the main thing, and it works well.

So the short answer could now be that the machine came up with that solution.

But even in my conscious mind the thoughts have gathered around the influence of social media on our society, both locally and globally. It seems like the actors of commercial social media isn't neutral, and that their bias probably is dangerous for our planet.

I will let you come to your own conclusions but as far as I can see the only real option is to stop using commercial social media and that is the process I have decided to begin.

This blog software – Writefreely – is part of an open and federated alternative called the Fediverse. You will find links to my other federated media sites in later posts.

...and this topic will be revisited again too, I promise.

#fediverse #thoughts

Thank you

Yes, a sincere thank you for remembering me on my birthday! For those of you that don't know (or can't calculate/remember) this was my 54th.

The birthday itself wasn't too spectacular but that was only fitting. Turning 54 isn't special like 50 or 60, and I'm quite the introvert so lavish celebrations would be a bit strange anyway.

The week where the applications for holiday vacation were supposed to be handed in coincided with an autumn vacation so I started the day by working as usual. Nowadays my employer is a subcontractor to IKEA, if you didn't know that already.

The rest of the family was waiting in the car when I stepped out into the parking lot at the factory. After a quick change from work uniform to something less casual (including shirt and neck tie) we headed for the restaurant.

We ordered five sets of Chinese buffet while waiting for my older brother and his family. We are just four in our little family so I must have had a big question mark tattooed on my face until a dear friend showed up, secretly invited by my fiancee. A wonderful surprise that put a golden edge to everything in the buffet.

My brother brought a big helping of politics to the table and we all suffered valiantly through it all. The dinner would have been less of a feast without it, though. The tastebuds require all tastes, including bitter.

Back at home we sat down to see a Japanese animated movie. “A letter to Momo” was strange but funny and fuel for further thought. A recommendation by another dear friend that lives abroad, by the way.

And while the evening was quite young the children disappeared into their room so the older generation was free to fall asleep in each-others' embrace.

The day couldn't have been better so whether I saw you in real life or on social media – Big Hugs and Thank You!

— Pasi

New [Sibling] on the Block

The other computer arrived today. In mere seconds the tiny Raspberry Pi Zero W sat there on my kitchen table. Assembled and ready for the microSD card. It is up and running now.

The pi will stay at home and be my server while the xa2 and the pbp will travel with me. All three computers dependent on eachother. All very effective and low power. ...and all running linux.

I have waited a long time for this day and I'm happy.

#devices

Nice type

The transparence of PINE64 is quite remarkable. They notified me that the brand new Pinebook Pro that I received recently has a problem with the keyboard/mouse firmware. They suggested that I update it, which I did after getting home from work. The process was quick and worked like a charm. The keyboard is very nice indeed. ...and yes, a tad better than yesterday.

But informing customers about things the company has goofed up is rare nowadays. So PINE64 should have credit for still doing it.

#devices

Happiness lingers

Found somewhere on the net:

Happiness only lasts for a short time but the effect of it lingers.

The apartment is quiet and I'm typing away on my own. The rest of the family is outside chasing pocket monsters. I love having all of them around me but this way there's time to do some typing without tying them up while doing it. In other words I'm having me-time. But not for long. The rest of the family will be back soon and I really want them to be back.

They'll be here for a few days more and then I'm betting on happiness lingering.

#family

Happy New Decade Everyone

We went down to the bride across the river that flows through our little city to watch the fireworks there. ...and they were magnificent!

So we've entered a new decade. Let's make this a good one, OK?

Sometimes So Surprised

Pinebook Pro keyboard

I gave myself two presents for christmas. Both of those were computers and both had to be ordered from online companies abroad.

So today my father called me and said that the postal service had left a package to him but that it was addressed to me. I assumed that it would be a tiny envelope with the Raspberry Pi Zero W that had less of a journey getting here. The small device will be used to teach basic linux administration and will be connected through wifi so finding a place for it will not be a problem.

But the postage bag was quite a bit bigger.

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