elloree (elloree) wrote,

Looking For The Balance

It’s a job to work on a Fender Strat with a floating bridge. I don’t use a floating bridge on the ones I build, but I will work on them. People just love that whammy bar. Personally, I think it’s hard on the wood, and you always gotta be tuning that thing. It’s just too much of a bother for me. I’d rather have a tremolo pedal. But you ought to see how that bridge actually works. It has strings pulling on it on the top and springs pulling on it on the back. The trick is to get a balance on the spring and string tension so the bridge sits level. Too much string tension and that old bridge rides high. Too much spring tension and the bridge is flat down welded to the top and it doesn’t want to move.

And the balance has to be set on each guitar. You know there are different size strings for acoustic guitars. Well, the same is true for electrics. You got extra lights, lights, mediums, and truth be told, the ones on my personal electrics are bigger than mediums. So one size doesn’t fit all when you start making adjustments. The string tension determines how much spring tension you need. The bridge and spring claw are both made to accommodate up to 5 springs. Sometimes it’s easy. I might put on 3 springs and gosh dog! It’s just right. But sometimes it takes 4. I had one just recently that kept kicking my butt. Three wasn’t enough, but 4 were too many. I ended up taking the fourth spring and stretching it out some so it would give less tension, and that gave us what we needed.

The older I get, the more I wish everything were black & white. There are some easy things I don’t have a problem with. We’ve all figured out by now that there’s nothing healthy about a cigarette. So smoking is something I never need to do. I’ll never get anything good out of snorting cocaine, so I’ll never start. Some things are just easy. I always need to keep up with the maintenance on my truck, always need to be reading the Bible and praying, and being faithful to my wife, and working an honest job, and treating folks kindly. If everything were this easy, my life would be simple.

While I work in my shop I listen to the radio. That’s what I do. Back before Christmas, I started thinking that my life has too much clutter in it – especially my mind. I was starting to see the need to think and pray more, and having the radio going was getting in the way. So I turned it off. To either have it on and let it keep my mind occupied, or to turn it off and clear my mind, are both easy things to do. The hard part, for me, is trying to figure out the balance. Can I listen to it some, and know when to turn it off? Can I get some good out of it without being spiritually sidetracked by it?

I’m about to turn 55. Last year I decided to do something. I thought I might like to see what beer is like. I’ve had too many friends who have either ruined their lives, or lost their lives because of alcohol. So it has been my practice to avoid beer. That was easy to do. Paul Harvey used to tell about the good that was in beer, or wine, if used in the right amount. You’d never know it by looking at me, but I have never been drunk or high. My entire life has been stone cold sober. But I get offered a lot of alcohol and weed, because I look like a guy who often partakes thereof. Since I’ve never been drunk and I’m about to turn 55, I tend to think I’m too old to be picking up what I see to be a bad habit.

But I’m curious enough about the subject of beer that I have started checking it out. There’s more I don’t know than there is that I do know, but I have figured this much out. I like beer the way I like coffee. I like it strong. I always felt like there was no point in weak coffee. Either take it like a man or go home. Some beer just tastes wimpy. And I don’t see the point in the fruity beer. But here’s where I draw the line. I can see that one bottle of beer doesn’t get me impaired. Two might not, but I’m not going to find out. One bottle in a day’s time is all I will drink. That seems like a good balance. If I ever think I can’t hold to that balance then it’s time to go back to leaving it off all together.

Do or don’t! That’s easy. But using liberty and looking for the balance - well, that’s where it gets difficult. When it comes to work, the balance is hard to find. The short story about me is that I feel guilty when I relax. So I work. The biblical command is to work 6 days and rest 1. I don’t have a problem with working 6 days. Then there’s some folks I know who sit on their dead ass and the most work they do is walking to the mailbox at the first of the month to get the check. We are both out there in need of finding the balance. And it seems like most of life is like a tight rope. It’s easy to go off to the left or right. Walking the rope is hard, but it’s where we need to be.

Makin’ sawdust & Diggin’ the music
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