Motorcycling

Motorcycling

If you want to teach, here’s a great example

I recently decided to take up guitar again. I used to play back in the 90’s and gave it up when I traded my guitar rig (Epiphone Les Paul and Line 6 POD) for a laptop around 2003 or 2004. I messed around with bass guitar for about a year and had some fun with that, but I wasn’t playing it often enough to continue so I sold my bass.

Recently I bought another Les Paul and a Digitech multi-effects pedal and decided to try my hand at electric guitar once again. I was never very good at it, but I always enjoyed it.

Training videos didn’t exist the last time I had an electric guitar. My, how times have changed! With the advent of YouTube, you can practically watch videos explaining how to perform brain surgery in the comfort of your own home (where is Gary Larson when you need him?)

The first thing I searched for were charts of scales and chords. Those are easy enough to find and print out. The next thing I searched for were YouTube videos produced by guitar teachers. I found the best there is:

JustinGuitar.com

Justin has been teaching guitar for most of his career and is a natural. There are those who are great at something but can’t teach it effectively. There are those who are great teachers but not that great at the skill itself. Justin is both. After watching some of his videos and reviewing his web site (I’m now a member), it’s obvious he’s both a very hard worker and a genuinely nice chap.

Membership to JustinGuitar.com is free, although donations are happily accepted. His videos are freely available on YouTube, although I strongly suggest those that are interested in learning guitar sign up for a free membership and make a donation. Its cheaper than in-person lessons and you can watch them in any order you wish, as often as you wish, or watch the same ones multiple times.

One of the biggest advantages of setting up an account at JustinGuitar.com is the lesson plans. Justin maps out lesson courses based on your skill level and goals. Following the lesson plans are easy and you can check each lesson off as you complete them.

Justin’s teaching style is very approachable and he has an affable personality that makes the beginner feel very comfortable and at ease.

One of the things I’m impressed about the most, though, is Justin’s approach to teaching in general. It is thorough yet approachable, it is complete yet easy to follow, and it is encouraging throughout the entire experience. Justin not only has a knack for teaching, but he has an organized approach and method that I think would be a valuable lesson to anyone seeking to teach others.

Justin, good on ya!

My motorcycling blog

Until I get all my content moved over, you can view my motorcycling blog at its current location:

https://twowheeledastronaut.blogspot.com/

Too much snow

Ripplebrook Ranger Station, 1,500 ft. elevation

It has been a snowy winter in the Western states, and I’m not looking forward to the late melt-off on my favorite mountain roads. This past weekend proved my fears to be correct: there is a lot of snow remaining.

I rode my 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650 up highway 224 to Ripplebrook Ranger Station and discovered just how bad the situation is. The ranger station is at approximately 1,500 feet above sea level, and there is still at least a foot of snow in the trees, and more in less sheltered areas.

At Ripplebrook, highway 224 ends and NF 46 begins, heading south toward Detroit. The highway department maintains the road for winter travel on highway 224 but not beyond that. This means we may have to wait until June before the snow finally melts and allows through-traffic to Detroit.

This is frustrating for people like me who enjoy NF 46. The highway department would need only a single truck to push through and plow 46 once there is no more chance of snowfall, say in April sometime. This would open the road. What often happens is a 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile section remains snowed over, with bare pavement on either side. Four-wheel drive trucks will sometimes push through, but they sometimes get stuck, and the ruts they create are too deep or narrow for motorcycles to get by.

A snowplow could come in and get rid of it in a matter of an hour. Done.