Don’t ask me how I know this, but Oprah has a show called: “my favorite things.” During this show, she showcases her new favorite devices and gadgets and articles of clothing or decor that make her life better and endorses them. I think that my wife has spent some money because of these shows in the past.
Being a church planter that does not have much or any disposable income, I really don’t have the means to buy whatever I want. But, I decided recently that I really want to be able to buy a thing or two on occasion. So I have started a new pattern. I will sell old stuff that I no longer am using to pay for a new thing here and there. I actually made a deal with myself that I would reward myself for losing weight and for working hard.
Here was the deal. I wanted a new phone. Actually more accurately, I wanted a new phone service. I had AT&T and was dropping every call. I learned that T-Mobile had great service and makes calls over wifi wherever you are. Coolio. But I could not afford to drop AT&T and buy into a new contract. But when I found out how much my iphone was worth, I was thrilled that I could get a decent phone. The one that I wanted was the google nexus one. So I offered to trade my iphone for a nexus one.
And we did it…
Let me be clear. I don’t think that the apps are as great as the iphone experience. But this phone and the service are FAR superior. I can use this phone and never drop a call. I can call over my wifi. I can replace the battery. I will have a flash enabled browser next month. The google voice app is great. The Android marketplace has more free apps than the itunes store. It plays all kinds of music and video files. The browser is faster. The processor is faster. You can multi-task apps. It is great.
I seemlessly take calls on the church phone number and on my own personal number. I can call on either number too. I am so much happier with this phone than I was with the iphone.
So that is thing number one.
I was watching Brandon get more and more into the guitar. He bought a super cool Vox amp that sounds amazing, especially a shimmering clean tone. He also bought a Fender Tele guitar. Very cool stuff. It got me thinking more and more than I wanted to get back into the guitar. When I had sold my old guitars I had retained my acoustic which is great sounding and I had bought a poorly set up electric that was a really great looking ibanez. What I needed was an electric that sounds good, is well set up and easy to play so that I can play it at no volume while people are sleeping or working in the next room. I was not going to use my acoustic for this purpose, so I wanted an electric that was well set up. I knew that my ibanez would never be a good learning guitar, so I started looking around.
I did not have the $600 to buy a used Ty Tabor signature Yamaha which I have always wanted. But I had seen that he had switched to a different Yamaha recently and a custom hand made guitar. He had switched to a Yamaha AES920 which looks like a les paul but he says that it sounds better with the construction and pickups. None of these are available. The ones that I could find were all in the $800-900 range. Too much. But Yamaha made several other AES models. the 720 is for metal heads with dimarzio pickups and is ugly. The 420 is the cheap one with lame pickups and bolt on hardware. The 820 was discontinued after half a year and had no available reviews. But the 620 was getting great reviews. It was the editors choice in a couple of magazines when it came out and sounds amazing. All of the youtube reviews are saying that there is no epiphone les paul that touches its tone, and more importantly for me, is supremely playable. It is an amazingly beautiful guitar. Ty Tabor plays one on occasion, which is a selling point for me. I loved it. So I looked for one online. Found some used ones on ebay with a reserve price of $400 which was rich for my blood. So I googled “used yamaha aes620.” Several came up. Quite a few in Canada. A couple in cali, and a couple on the east coast. Most of them were too expensive, but the one in Roanoke VA was only priced $200. I emailed the guy and ha agreed to ship it for $200. It just arrived and is in perfect shape.
Now I have an incredible guitar. It sounds amazing. I will post a review of it later.
So now I needed an amp. I sold some other junk so that I could afford a $300 ish amp. I started looking on craigslist for a great deal. I typed in Mesa Boogie and Bogner just to see what I could find. What I found was a Blackheart Handsome Devil. I had never heard of it. But after listening to the reviews on youtube Brandon and I were blown away by the sound. Blown away. But I could not find one locally to play. So I bought it without playing it. Awesome, awesome. I will post a review later. But know now. this amp is one of my new favorite things.