Ben

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About Ben

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  1. Your other hobby(or profession)?

    here's a picture of what I carry in my pockets everyday (that's another hobby, seeing how much crap I can stuff in there). Keys on top (way too many of those). From left to right in the middle: Surefire G2 (with upgraded P61 lamp, puts out 120 lumens), LG VX4500 phone, wallet with Victorinox Soldier (people friendly knife). On the bottom, my heavy use Camillus Heat assisted opener with a 3.75 inch, scary sharp blade. This thing opens faster than any switchblade I've ever owned, it pushes the limits of legal in terms of speed, but is completely 100% legal (in most places in America... at least we still have decent knife laws, unlike the UK).
  2. Your other hobby(or profession)?

    Quote: Hi! Absolutely agree about pencil and paper. I started play D&D when it was still Arduin - played ALOT for many years, but then in the 90's couldn't find decent people to play with - most had no clue what "role-playing" meant. Right. But it's understandable really. There's so much to keep track of in D&D, so when a computer can do it for you... then to most it's much better. As good as Neverwinter Nights and some graphical D&D games are, nothing beats the real thing. It's an expensive game to play though (I recently decided to 'upgrade' my collection to the version 3.5 of the core rules... so far I've got the player's handbook and DM guide, still have version 2 of the monster manual).
  3. Violin Dropouts?

    People change, interests change... With so many children in your family playing and quitting, seems to me that it may not have been the kid's ideas to play. You can't force someone to play if they don't want to. Are you the same person you were 20 years ago? 10 years ago? EVen one year ago? No, of course not. My story? Well, it's hard to play after a catastrophic elbow injury results in reconstructive surgery. In the resulting months in a cast not being able to play I realized how unhappy I was with the world of classical music and how stagnant it is. MUsic is about creativity and playing Opus X movement Y just didn't appeal to me anymore.
  4. Your other hobby(or profession)?

    Quote: I also play wargames like Epic and Mechwarrior,role-playing computer games I like Empires. It's so much fun to be Germany in WW2 and just destroy everything in my path. I've learned that the French aren't good at much other than running away. What kind of RPGs do you like? I'm a big Neverwinter Nights fan. Also Final Fantasy, though I've lost faith in that. Played the first Final Fantasy when it came out back in '87 or '88... been hooked ever since, but I hated FF10, ugh. But as far as role playing games go, I'm a D&D fan for life. Nothing beats a good old pencil and paper RPG. I've been on ebay lately buying up all the old adventure modules I can get my hands on... especially anything concerning the Drow (Drizzt is so badass!).
  5. Your other hobby(or profession)?

    heh. I've been thinking about getting some good kitchen knives lately. I'm a good enough cook to deserve some nice knives and the set Alton Brown designed for Kershaw are very good lookin'. There's a few of my toys. From top to bottom: 4 D-cell Maglite (for size reference, the light is 14 inches long), Ontario RTAK (the BEST, and I mean best, $100 I've ever spent on a hunk of steel), USMC issue Ka-Bar, and a pre-2004 military issue Camillus pilot survival knife (the military has switched to Ontario's new ASEK, basically the same knife but made with more advanced materials... I like mine better). EDIT: This kinda touches on another one of my hobbies that I didn't mention. I'm very interested in military (pre-first Iraq war) history, especially their gear and tactics. I love weapons and how they evolved. Even the way the gear is carried is a fascination of mine. I ponder over Blackhawk and Brigade Quatermasters catalogues and piece together the perfect MOLLE rig for my outdoor activities. Researching military tactics is a lot of fun. I like to read battle descriptions and map out the movements and try to understand why things went wrong.
  6. Random thoughts on mastering violin

    Quote: 5)For some parents who swear by Sony Playstations (almost to the exclusion of everything else), violin, piano etc rule over silly video games for developing left-right and eye-hand coordination Hey now... I grew up playing Atari 2600 and 20+ years later can catch anything that comes my way no matter what.
  7. Your other hobby(or profession)?

    By day and night (I work odd hours) I'm an office supervisor and DSD receiver at a grocery store. When I'm not working (and when I am) I'm a professional demon-child. And I guess, as much as I hate to say it, I'm a professional student. This fall I'll start my third year of graduate work in professional writing (I want to make the literary world unsafe and interesting). My hobbies tend to be a bit on the destructive side, but it's therapy through destruction. The way I see it, hacking things up or shooting stuff keeps me from doing what the voices in my head my head tell me to do (when I'm bored my mind tends to wander towards blowing things up). Knives are a big hobby, and contrary to popular belief, they're not weapons. My knives range from Swiss Army knives, to Ka-Bars and bigger. I read about knives, research steel.. anything. I've owned and carried knives since I was 6, it's a part of me. There are about 10 knives within arm's reach right now. I like the outdoors. I'm one of the few people I know that understand how to read a map and that a compass can tell you other things than which way is north. Reading is another hobby, and collecting books. The pride of my collection is a first edition of The Grapes of Wrath. I read fantasy, fiction, creative non-fiction, occult, etc. I'm trying to get my hands on a first edition of LaVey's Satanic Bible... not an easy task. I like to be enigmatic and confusing, but I don't know if that's a hobby or some sort of psychosis.
  8. FIRST FOREVER FRETLESS TEACHERS WORKSHOP

    what's wrong with frets?
  9. What drugs can overcome Stage Fright?

    I played under the influence of all kinds of things and drugs will surely calm you down... but sometimes too much. I auditioned for the local youth symphony after packing and smoking at least four bowls all by my little self... made second chair, but I'm sure everyone could tell I was high as a kite. I've played many concerts drunk... my violin has some battle scars to proove it. I've practiced Bach on acid... that wasn't fun. But everything I've done... I don't think it helped. Made things a little more fun maybe, but didn't help my playing. But that was a long time ago... the only thing I do these days is have a glass of whiskey or a few beers and wail away on my guitar. Go at it with nothing. You need a little stage fright... the adrenaline rush will get you through it. Ben
  10. Practicing following an injury?

    well... you need to let it heal until there is no more pain at all, no matter what movement you make. Playing through the pain will only make it worse. My injury story is a little worse than yours and I'm sure people around here remember. Three years ago today, actually, I was leaving for class... I was late so I was running. I tripped and fell ass over tea kettle down two steps. Not a long fall, but I happened to land straight down on the palm of my left hand with my elbow hyper-extended. The result was a dislocated and shattered left elbow. I was in a cast for three months. When I got out of the cast I decided to play. It hurt like all holy hell. But I tried and tried and finally the pain was too much. To this day, the pain from playing more than ten minutes is unbearable. As a result, I haven't played violin in nearly three years. I miss it like hell, but that position, with the elbow bent and the wrist turned to an unnatural position hurts way too much. My solution... I picked up guitar. Much more natural hand position and no pain. The violin was a big part of my life for 15 years... but, as much as I miss it, it's not worth risking further injury. Ben
  11. auditions and bananas

    hmmm whiskey works for me. No, I'm not being a smartass, it really does calm my nerves... just one shot and I'm good to go. Ben
  12. alternate tunings okay?

    But.. what about using longer strings... like those for a five string electric? Then you'd be using an actual E and A. I think they'd be long enough, in which case, the tension wouldn't be much of an issue... there's enough tension on them as it is on the top plate without failure, a little more won't hurt. BEn
  13. Why we play

    I play for myself. I don't care about the audience's reaction or whether or not I inspire them... they're just there.
  14. Putting Tape on the Violin

    use pinstriping tape from an auto parts place.
  15. The Infernal Shoulder Rest.

    wow... interesting to see this absolutely useless debate brought back to the first page. I remember this one well... this one was on par with some of the inane debates of years ago before this place changed so much. I miss those days... ADean and OOOooooooooo and I had some nice arguments back then... around '96 or so... maybe 1997. Ben