There was an article today in The Florida Times-Union about playing a real guitar and playing “Guitar Hero”. If you’re not familiar with the game, go look it up. I’ve played Guitar Hero, and I’ve played guitar. The latter is far more challenging and far more rewarding … at least to me.
When I was playing GH, on it’s easiest level, I was kinda klunking around on it and my 20-year-old nephew, who plays GH, remarked that I was kinda stinking up the arena. That was true, but I just looked at him and said “Let’s go get one with some actual strings on it and see how we do”.
See, the GH guitar has 5 colored buttons on it, and you have to whack the controller and push the colored button as it goes by on the screen. It can be challenging, but it’s far more like being a percussionist than a guitarist. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fun game, but that’s all it is … a game.
The thrill of being on stage strapped into an electric or acoustic guitar with a real audience … it’s something special.
Now, I’m no great guitarist. I probably could have been, but I never had the discipline to practice enough to really get good at it. I don’t think I have the innate talent of a Hendrix or Page … certainly not that of a Roy Clark or Les Paul … but I played well enough to have fun, entertain myself and my friends, and occasionally play in a band. So for all you budding Guitar Heroes out there, enjoy it. But maybe take what you’d spend on your next game and get a real one with strings, and a chord book, and see what you can do. You might be surprised.
Dad got me started on the guitar. Actually, my first stringed instrument was a baritone ukulele, which I started playing when I was about 6. It tunes like the upper 4 strings of a guitar, and the neck was just the right size for my small hands. I was playing actual songs in about a week, I think, and I’ve been playing them ever since. 44 years now. I can still pick out “Shanty Town”, “Tea for Two”, and “Ain’t She Sweet”. It’s always been a joy.
Meanwhile, there was a serious industrial fire today up on the north side that claimed the lives of 4 workers and sent this huge plume of smoke into the air over the city. It was visible from miles away. I shot this from across the street from Jacksonville Municipal Station. It was apparently a very intense explosion and fire. It was the second major industrial accident in December. In the other, a garage under construction at a new high-rise condo building collapsed, killing one of the workers. It’s not been a good month for accidents.
The moon was out this afternoon, high in the afternoon sky. It looks nearly translucent at that time of the day, and I just really needed to have a picture.
And finally … Fred Taylor was robbed not being selected to play in the Pro Bowl this year. He’s had an amazing year on a good team and racked up serious stats. All it says is that the balloting for the Pro Bowl is a joke.
Sort of like the BCS or Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change. It certainly doesn’t send the best players to the game … just the ones with the best name recognition. It’s ridiculous to have 8 players from San Diego going and NONE from Jacksonville. I just hope Fred stays healthy and plays another year for the Jaguars and has another chance to go to Hawaii. Hell, the way they’re playing this year, they’ve got a chance at the Super Bowl … which, of course, would be better.
More pics, btw, on Flickr.
Mayor Peyton is on the show Friday, then it’s a week and a half that I don’t have to go to work. Jenni’ll be here and I’m really, really looking forward to that. Blogging may be a little thin, but I’m sure I’ll catch up after the first of the year. We’ll see how it goes.
Oh, and 2807 miles on the bike after tonights’ ride.