Monday (to-be-Saturday) Roundup

I read a few things last week. I think they’re important, but at the time of reading, I was limited to 140 characters. Though Twitter’s character limit is summarizing practice, I am going to use extra characters below to expand on my original executive summary.

In the future I intend to publish this on Saturday. Remember to comment below to let me know what you think about the articles, my writing style, or anything else you think is relevant!


Smart Canada will be offering parking discounts to owners in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and discounted rates at Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I like the second part: I am used to driving Smart cars thanks to my time at Three Point Motors and their size makes sense as a rental car. Hello, Montreal!

Oh, and I feel silly for mentioning municipalities. Yes, they should offer parking discounts for Smart cars, but they do not need to give us cheap rental rates.

More Maligning Target

Target is tapping Pinterest designers to create “party-planning” collections. Sure. Why not. I like this partnership on premise – leverage existing relationships forged online in an attempt to attract a younger customer base.

Will be successful? Recent evidence says that its shipping and stocking operations will not keep up with marketing. I will enjoy watching (and perhaps laughing).

Dog Food & Business

This short article by Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite CEO, posits that a start-up’s owners/operators are better off to eat their own dog food, which is to say that the toolmaker uses his own tools. I like it. If you wouldn’t use your own products, then what is the likelihood that anyone else will?

Wireless riffage

Acoustic Stream is a wireless acoustic pickup system that streams to mobile devices. I am not 100% tied to my phone yet. I think this device would turn me into the guy who is constantly on his phone, though I would always have one of these too.

Over to You…

So did I get it right? Do you agree (or not)? Are there 50 grammatical errors in this blog? Leave a comment with your thoughts, suggestions and questions.

Sunday Guitar Adventures

Free-Guitar-Body-PreUpgradeI acquired a free guitar earlier this month, so I spent a few hours pulling it apart yesterday. It is a Squier II Stratocaster, which is a licensed-by-Fender clone made in Korea.

Its body shape is different from a standard Stratocaster. I don’t know if that is normal for Squier II’s. The end of the body (left side of the picture) is angled toward the top bout, the top bout itself seems to be a centimeter or two closer to the headstock, and the rear bout is about as far away from the headstock. The whole thing looks 1% sleeker than a regular Strat. It is also covered in stickers.

I like to breathe new life into free instruments, so these images are the beginning of a longer project. First, I want to get rid of the stickers and replace them with something painted (I accept proposals: Tweet me and we’ll arrange something). Second, I intend to replace the pickups with one Seymour Duncan Custom Custom that needs to be used. Finally, I will replace the bridge and tuning pegs; with what I am not certain.

The first step of that process is opening it up and see what the guts are like. What I found is well-arranged, though I cannot be certain of the component quality. See below:

Does that mean I will reuse the guts? Possible. The Volume potentiometer is so easy to turn that it does not stay at full volume, though the Tone pots are stiff enough to stay still. One of them may become Volume pot.

The neck is clean and ready to re-use. I am not sold on its profile (thick for my hands) but there is no immediate need for replacement. The bridge is floating – meaning that it does not touch the guitar’s body until the strings are relieved of tension – and I do not like floating bridges. Whether I will simply block the existing bridge or replace it is open to debate.

I’ll leave you with the last two relevant pictures: the back of its body and its neck. Look forward to more photos of this project as I tear it down and then build it back up!

Back of guitar, bridge cavity open
A clean neck
A clean neck