Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

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Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The banjo saga begins

Several weeks ago the idea popped in my head about playing the banjo, maybe after watching some 9 yr. old kid play it like it was simple and easy.  Whatever the reason the flames of banjo frenzy were fanned when Sheila Rae, a motorcycle rider who took up the banjo on her own, posted a photo on Facebook holding a banjo of all things.  We traded one message after another about how to learn and what is involved on a banjo and then at my birthday party she brought some finger picks for me.  Now that I had the picks why not get a real banjo so I started looking. 

Hunting for things on E-Bay and Craigslist are big time hobbies, so with YouTube help it did not take too long to figure out which make of banjo would be best for a beginner and it turned out to be by a company in San Diego called Deering and especially the Good Time II model as a good bet to start on.  Scanning the offerings and after a few days there it was on e-Bay a Deering  Good Time II model brand new for sale with no reserve at around $300 so I bid, got outbid, and then posted a max amount of $425 which put me in the lead.  This model sells on-line for $550 so it could be a good deal.  After posting the bid, went on Craigslist just to see if anything new had been posted and to my major surprise was a new listing for a Deering Good Time Classic II model for sale by private party and asking $500 including a hard case and Deering strap. Oh my gosh, this is an upgraded version, lists for $990 and priced on Amazon at $750 plus about $100 for the hard case.  Only problem to deal with now is the auction on e-Bay where I am top bidder and can’t cancel. I had to wait until the very last minute of the auction to see if I might be sniped out of the top spot by another buyer and sure enough within the last 50 seconds I was out bid by two guys who were trying for it and the price hit $440 within the last few seconds ending my connection with E-Bay. 

I was now free to contact the seller of the Craigslist ad and see what he had.  Turns out it is as advertised in virtually new condition, with a very nice hard case, strap and some picks, all I need is an electronic tuner and some talent and I’m good to go.  At least that is how it was on day one after buying it for $475.  Once I tried to actually tune it and play a chord it suddenly became a reality, I have no idea how to play the darn thing.   Using YouTube video plus buying an electronic tuner I am able to tune and adjust it to what sounds like the proper tuning.   Sadly you can't buy talent so I am out of luck there.  After I meet with a teacher scheduled for Monday it should start me on the path of practicing and learning what I need in order to eventually play something.  Could this mean less time for the blog or even motorcycling?  It might take some time away from the blog and writing but hopefully the motorcycle will not be neglected.

 Will keep you posted as, or if, I make any progress in learning how to actually play it in a meaningful way.

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