Lost Vlog 3 – How I Spent My 4th Of July In 2009

If you can’t see the video, click here

Be sure to visit my newest band project, Chrome Sparks’ MySpace!

After having this vlog sit on my hard drive collecting e-dust since the 4th of July, I’ve decided to do something with all this free time and finally got around to editing it.

In this vlog, I’m out in the middle of nowhere on the 4th of July talking about my epic bike ride, how I’m saving up for a new Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 24 in Whale Blue as well as a Peavey Vypyr (which has been put on hold until I save up for a new place), Michael Jackson’s death (which was very recent at the time), a new guitar book that I bought, then-new music projects like Chrome Sparks as well as possibly new singing videos, and upgrading my Kay Les Paul copy. Can you say run-on sentence? Good.

As always, comments are encouraged and I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves. Wish me luck in finding a new place!

TheAndySan

Non-Working Class Hero: Is It Something To Be?

Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan here.

When I was working at Wal-Mart the other day, I had to restrain myself from walking out. I have had enough of working for someone else, much less working for Wal-Mart. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Wal-Mart; I feel that I’m at a stage in life where I need to really make something of myself. I also don’t want to end up like my parents who work and work and work just to keep everything afloat. Whenever I go behind the register, my inner integrity’s screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?!! YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN MAN AND WORK FOR YOURSELF!!!” I totally agree with my integrity.

That’s one of the reasons I started TheAndySan.com; I need to generate income by working for myself instead of selling out my time to be someone else’s slave. Starting a blog is one of the smallest investments anyone can make. It costs me a little over $100 a year for TheAndySan.com (space and domain) and hell, I’ve used free blogs since 2004 starting with GeoShitties. The only thing more cost-effective than free is if the blog pays you to blog. Oh wait, it does! The only limit to what you can make on a blog is what you put on yourself, and even then you could still make more by using content-generators like forums.

While working at Wal-Mart, I calculated how much I’d need to make in order to cover my expenses. My expenses in a business month (30 days) add up to $410. That’s $102.50 a week, $14.55 a day, or $0.60 an hour. Roughly guesstimating from my AdSense clicks, that’s about 3-4 clicks an hour on average. In other words, I could have ALL of my monthly expenses paid for by my visitors clicking 3-4 ads an hour on any of my sites. That’s nuckin’ futz!

After the whole Kontera & AdSense fiasco, I took it upon myself to completely reevaluate how I blog. I found out that a lot of people don’t like it when you change topics in a blog. Hell, I change topics in every post! I told myself, “This is how I write. I’ll listen to what other people are telling me, but I’m not gonna bend to their will. If I did, then this blog would be no better than Wal-Mart or any other job for that matter.”

Then, I decided to make another blog, this one being better on topic than TheAndySan.com. My idea for SpicyMelon.com is for it to be a free online cookbook of offbeat, cost-effective, and/or simple recipes that users can submit as well as ones that I submit. I plan on incorporating a forum into it in the future so keep an eye out for that. If I get enough recipes, I might make it a book and sell the book with all the available free recipes as well as a lot of recipes exclusive to the book.

You might have noticed that I switched out the Chikita ads with different ads. I’m using ads from AdBrite, but I’m still using Chikita’s Linx. You can sign up for AdBrite by clicking on the AdBrite button in the sidebar.

Last night, Eriopolis and I hung out with Cody at his apartment. We played some Magic: The Gathering, ordered another killer pepperoni and Jalapeno pepper pizza from Domino’s, and we watched all of an anime called Kiddy Grade. I didn’t sleep at Cody’s and got home around 8 in the morning and tried to sleep, but those damn debt collectors kept calling and waking me up!! NYAHH!!!1

In other news, I’ve decided not to get the Yamaha CG-170SA with a hardshell case for $360 at the music store. I looked up on Musician’s Friend to see if I could do better, and I can. Check this baby out: Luna Muse Series Folk Cutaway Nylon-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar. Luna Guitars is owned by Dean Guitars so I already know that this guitar’s gonna be excellent. Here’s a link of the guitar with moAr pics on the Luna Guitars website: Luna Muse Series Folk Cutaway Nylon-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar.

I’m also once again in the market for a new amp. This time, I’m debating between the Line 6 Spider III 2×12 combo and the Line 6 Spider Valve 2×12 combo. I’m gonna save up around $300 and try to find a deal on eBay and if I can’t, then I’ll save up moAr and get something from either eBay or Musician’s Friend.

Well, I’m gonna take a shower before I get ready for work (grr, work). Take care!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 36 days since www.theandysan.com has been up and 8 days since www.spicymelon.com (Happy Belated First Week Anniversary!) has been up. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon,
Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff via the Share This! expanding button to your site of choice.

Today's Episode: "Where's The Wal-Mart Spirit? Not At Wal-Mart!" Or "A Creative Promotional Experiment"

Good evening everybody, it’s TheAndySan hurr to discuss an ever-growing issue at Wal-Mart.

Today, I was talking to a cashier while I was doing pay station AGAIN, and a customer just started using the self-checkout. One of the managers yelled something at me and then I heard “yeah, that’s right!” in a real snotty way similar to how you’d say “yeah, you better run!” Grrrrrr… That pissed me off right there!! After that, I didn’t feel like working anymore and was half-tempted to just walk out. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a customer checking out, but I did have a close eye on him and if another customer was checking out and/or the girl I was talking to got a customer, I would have gone back to pay station with no problem.

Anyway, after that settled down, I asked the girl I was talking to before. “Where’s the Wal-Mart spirit? It seems that everyone is their own island, but yet there are little cliques still around.” It felt kinda similar to high school, but different.

The way I see things, as long as you’re doing your job in a satisfactory manner, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you feel like doing, provided you abide by the rules and regulations of your workplace. For example, if you work at a restaurant, you probably shouldn’t eat a burger while you’re on the job. It’s been done a lot from what I’ve seen what I worked at restaurants, and even I’ve been guilty of some food sniping. According to my morals and beliefs, I don’t feel one bit guilty reading a magazine if I have nothing to do and no customers around. I love to read! It helps me keep up-to-date on whatever it is I’m reading about AND it presents new ideas and topics. Now if a customer needed help or something while I’m working at pay station, of course I should put down the magazine and help the customer out. That’s obvious! But I believe that you should be doing something to occupy your mind when you have nothing to do.

In conclusion, as a cashier, I feel that I’m very distant from my co-workers and I don’t feel that teamwork spirit that I did when I worked at a restaurant. Despite all my hang-ups with McDonald’s, when the rush was on and we had our best crew in the back, no other fast-food restaurant was faster. 8 double-cheeseburgers? Done! 4 double-quarter pounder meals? Here ya go! 50 chicken nuggets? Fuggeduboudit!!

Ok, is time for topic end, no more will I speak. I want you all to experience big-bang! Lol, Elektronik Supersonik reference!!

I’ve been thinking of various ways to promote my site and I’ve come up with a good idea. I will write the URL of my site on all of the paper money that I have. When I spend my money, it’ll be like giving someone my business card…kinda. I will number each of the bills and if any of you guys run across one, leave me a comment with the number of the bill so I can see who received it. I will begin Operation: AndyCash tomorrow.

Well, I’m gonna hit the sack so I’ll see you lil’ cupcakes later! Nighty-night!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 1,506 days since I had a website.

It's A New Look…You Like?

Ohayo, it’s TheAndySan here with some really obvious news.

As you can tell, unless you’re blind (sorry to my blind viewers), I’ve redone the look of theandysan.com. It’s a little Web 1.0 I know, but I’ve always strived to keep things simple so it works in that sense.

I’ve also asked a couple of my friends, Eriopolis, Ben, and Cody, what they thought of my site. Eriopolis wanted me to switch things around in the navigation bar, so I did. Both Ben & Cody thought that my site was too plain so I took out the boring grays and went all-black with blue links, red titles, and white text. Hurray for patriotism! And for listening to my friends and loyal viewers! Double-win!! What do you guys think of the redesign? Leave me a comment below!

Yesterday, I took my external hard drive to my friend Dusty to see if he could fix it. It turns out that the needle inside the hard drive wasn’t reading everything. What he’s gonna do is send away for a new needle, install it (he’s 95% sure it’ll work again with all my data intact), and I’ll pay him $25 if it doesn’t work or $75 if it does. I think it sounds pretty reasonable since I could get a new 160 GB external hard drive for about $100 AND I get all my data back!! Seriously, you can’t put a price on that!

If anyone out there has computer problems, I highly recommend going through Dusty since he does things at reasonable prices, he’s flexible with payment options, and you’ll be supporting a small business too! If you would like to contact him, you can reach Dusty at dgunderson1985@yahoo.com.

In other news, because it took Dusty a bit longer than expected to find out what was wrong with my hard drive, I went to my guitar lesson with Rich without my guitar and book. It was cool though since we just borrowed a guitar and book for the lesson. I didn’t have time to warm up so I was a bit sloppy. Fortunately, the guitar I was using, an Epiphone Les Paul Junior Special, had a very similar feel to my Silvertone Apocalypse as far as the neck goes. The action was lower, and that helped too. I learned how to play Hells Bells yesterday so it was all good despite my unpreparedness.

I also hung out with Eriopolis, Ben, and Cody last night after my guitar lesson. We played Magic: The Gathering pretty much the whole time. E totally souped-up my blue deck. Although I wanted a blue/black deck, Eriopolis hooked me up the fat with a blue/black deck that only has blue mana. The spells that have black in them are blue-or-black spells so I don’t need black mana to play them. N33t, huh?

Well, I’m gonna take a shower and get something to eat so I’ll see you guys later. TheAndySan loves you! Good-Bye! Lol, Ken Tanaka reference!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 1,505 days since I had a website.

Who Are My Inspirations To Play Guitar?

Hey there, it’s TheAndySan here to answer a question that I ask myself everyday: who inspires me to pick up a guitar and play?

Believe it or not, some of my inspiration comes from people who’ve never touched a guitar in their life. People like my mom. Okay, so maybe she’s played a thing or two on guitar, but that’s beside the point. The point is, that I’m inspired by her sticking to her guns when times get tough. She also has a sense of self-worth that was passed onto me. I remember when we were on welfare wayyy back in the day, and although she could have stayed at home and collected the check, she worked her ass off to pay for everything and she managed to go to cosmotology school on top of that! Even though we didn’t have the nicest clothes or the trendiest toys, we never felt beneath other people. We had a strong sense of self-worth and knew that although times were tough, we would get through them and things would get better. And they did.

Of course, I am also inspired by actual guitar players. The most inspirational guitar players from 1-3 are my dad, Paul McCartney, and Marty Friedman. My dad was the reason I got back into playing guitar in the first place. I was always into music in some form or another. I got two Yamaha keyboards from my dad that I always tinkered on. I had guitar lessons when I was 7 and living in Michigan. I began to lose interest because we were playing babyish stuff like Mary Had a Little Lamb and the like. I wanted to play the flute in 5th grade, but I couldn’t afford one so they let me play violin. I was pretty bad at it so it didn’t last very long. In 8th grade music class, I played The Terminator theme for a project. Although the teacher told me to scrap it because I didn’t follow the directions, some of the classmates loved it! I didn’t get back into music again until my dad passed away about 2 months after I graduated high school. In another turn of events, Dimebag Darrell passed away that same year on December 8th (the day after my birthday), the birthday of Marty Friedman and Jim Morrison. At the funeral, one of Dad’s close friends, Rick Barr, asks me if I was in a band and if I’ve inherited any of my dad’s talent and good ears. I honestly couldn’t answer him about the latter, and it planted the seed that maybe I should pick up the guitar again to find out. A couple months later, I learn that one of the new workers at McDonald’s, Travis, plays guitar. After playing his guitar for awhile, he helped me get my own guitar in January of 2005 (I didn’t have my very first guitar at that point so that’s why I needed another one). It was a beat-up Squire Strat with a cable, gigbag, and a small amp for $100.

Paul McCartney has been such a big influence on my dad that Paul’s voice has become familiar and comforting. In a weird sort of way, Paul McCartney has been like a second dad to me. Sure we’ve never met, but when he sings and talks, it feels like he’s singing and talking to me and only me. Paul’s been getting a lot of slag about his albums being mediocre. I think that people expect too much from him. If you’re putting on a Paul McCartney album and expecting it to be Revolver or The White Album, you’ll be let down. That’s not to say his music’s no good. It’s just that you need to lower your expectations a bit to enjoy it. I grew up on albums like Flowers In The Dirt and the double-live album Tripping The Live Fantastic. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I first heard any Beatles songs. Of course I thought they were great, but I didn’t see much different between that and what Paul was doing. Then again, I wasn’t around when The Beatles came to America so I know I would be eating my words if I were around back then.

Marty Friedman, the former guitarist from Megadeth and Cacophony, has been my main inspiration as a player because he plays things that are normally not associated at all with guitar and they sound a-mazing! If you have the time, I highly recommend the following videos:

Marty in Rock Fujiyama Episode #12 (I based a riff around this):

Marty In Rock Fujiyama Episode #23:

Marty in Rock Fujiyama Episode #15:

Marty and Paul Gilbert in Rock Fujiyama Episode #47:

Marty in Rock Fujiyama Episode #22:

Marty in Rock Fujiyama Episode #7:

Marty in Rock Fujiyama episode #4 (I copied what he did to create part of a song called Heavy Metal Waltz):

Wow! I’d better stop posting Marty Friedman videos…for now. Anyway, there are a gazillion other players out there that inspire me. Players like Vince Gill, Gary Moore, Robbie McIntosh (the guitarist for Paul McCartney circa Flowers In The Dirt through Off The Ground), Paul Gilbert, Les Paul (the guy and the guitar), and loads more.

Well, I believe that this post has become redunk-yo-mama-liss long so I’m gonna go eat something before I go to work. Laterz!

TheAndySan