Of Bikes and Tights and Tiger Balm

Tiger-BalmI’ve been seeing mentions here and there recently about Embrocation (as it relates to cold weather bicycle riding) and thought I’d do a little experiment this morning. I ride pretty much year-round and my average speeds, while usually slow, have been absolutely abysmal since it turned cold. I’ve tried to avoid thinking about the whole average speed thing since it leads to unnecessarily depressing thoughts. At this time of year I’m really just trying to rack up as many miles as possible before the New Year anyway, or so I keep telling myself.

I didn’t have anything fancy around to work with at home this morning so it came down to a choice between Bengay and Tiger Balm. Tiger Balm won out. I can’t stand the smell of Bengay.

(so get to the point already robert…..).

Anyway a quick rubdown on my legs before putting on my bike tights this morning and my average speed was up by 2 mph over my 8.5 mile ride. Not bad. Not a very scientific test and an extremely small data sampling, but I’m excited to pursue this further (as if you cared) Well maybe a few people care about such things.


Cut to the next day……

From the folks who make Chamois Butt'r

From the folks who make Chamois Butt’r

This just arrived. It comes in Warm and Hot. I just rubbed some of the hot on and I’m not feeling much heat, but I’ll give it a try next time I go out on the bike and will report back here.

Happy Straturday

Happy Straturday from rweeks on Vimeo.

Just a little sumthin' I threw together. Hope you enjoy it.

1980s MiJ Fender Stratocaster with Texas Specials pickups, Mojotone wiring, brass replacement tremelo block. Strymon BigSky reverb, Grey Skies preset, TC Ditto Looper, TC Flashback, Fulltone OCD, Mojotone Tweed Deluxe clone amp. Saint Johnny Cash Prayer Candles from Etsy.

J Mascis Jazzmaster & Mojotone Tweed Deluxe Demo

J mascis jazzmaster demo on Vimeo

j mascis jazzmaster demo

I’ve been meaning to make a short video demo video of the Mojotone Tweed Deluxe kit Clay and I built, but before I got around to doing that I ended up buying a Fender Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster which I really, really like a lot. So why not make a video demo using both? Better yet, why not make it after a sleepless night at the end of a really hard week when I’m feeling totally fried?

Just for fun I’ve also setup the Tweed Champ amp we built on an ABY switch with the Deluxe. I’m playing the Jazzmaster through a Strymon BigSky for reverb. During the demo I also use a Fulltone OCD and a tc electronic flashback. Video shot with my Samsung Galaxy 4, rubber-banded to a mike stand. No post processing on the audio. That’s one of my Beagles barking in the background at the end, and yes, those are LL Bean flannel boxers if you must know.

Hope you enjoy.



Fender Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster Review / First Impressions

20141014_131108So this all started when Satellite Amps posted a picture on instagram saying this was the best guitar Fender had come out with in years. I had been hearing similar reviews from a lot of other people but the Satellite Amps post really got me thinking that this might be something to check out. I had just sold off a Danelectro and an ESP Strat so I figured I’d take the plunge. After watching a bunch of video demos on YouTube I thought it might be best if I try to play one in a store before forking out $400, but since there were none to be found locally, I ordered one online and waited eagerly for it to arrive.

Mojotone Tweed Deluxe Amplifier Build

Time to play...

Time to play…

Some pictures from our Mojotone Tweed Deluxe amplifier build. This turned out to be a great sounding amp, probably my favorite at the moment. I plan on doing a more in-depth write up about the process and the things I learned building this amp and the Champ when I get a little free time, but for now here are the pictures.

Tweed Champ Clone

Short demo of the Mojotone Champ 5F1 clone that I built with my son. I’m playing a 1990 Gibson ES-335 through a Strymon BigSky Reverb pedal. I swapped out the stock JJ 6V6 power tube for a TAD 6V6.

Shot on my Galaxy S5 cell phone. Edited with iMovie. No ProTools or other post production on the audio track. What you hear is what the phone recorded. The slight hum at the beginning is the noise of the overhead ceiling fan. And yes, I should probably vacuum the carpet next time.


Drizzle was a band I played in, in NYC back in the early 1990s. Here are the complete studio recordings as well as video from the Knitting Factory.



Halloween 100 Premiums

Me in the rainOn my ride home tonight I was trying to think of what I could do to encourage more people to donate. Since we’ve been in the middle of a week long pledge drive on WUNC, I was thinking about how they give premiums and have matching donors and I came up with these offers:

For every additional $100 that we raise between now and 5:00 Friday night (tomorrow), I will volunteer to do one – two hour shift volunteering to work at Habitat’s Hope Crossing “green” community. Habitat is looking to finish 9 homes in this community by December 31. I’ll match every additional $100 with 2 hours of volunteering so your donation goes even further.