Discovering Old flicks

While I’ve been struggling a lot with anxiety and depression this year (due to crypto troubles + breaking up with gf), the doctor prescribed me antidepressants for me, and although they’ve helped me sleep easier, one side effect is that they make me quite tired every day. As a result when I finish work everyday, I just go home, lie on the bed and watch a few movies until I drift to sleep. I’m tired almost the whole day.

So I’ve been watching a lot of old time American movies these days from the 40s and 50s. I love these old classics, they take me back to a different time when everyone wore suits and dresses and behaved so classy. Some of the movies I’ve watched recently are The Big Sleep (1946) with Humphrey Bogart, Notorious (1946) with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, A Place in the Sun (1951) with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, Rear Window (1954) with Grace Kelly and James Stewart, Sabrina (1954) with Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Humphrey Bogart, On the Waterfront (1954) with Marlon Brando, Gentlemen prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, East of Eden (1955) with James Dean and Julie Harris, High Society (1956) with Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, North by Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant, The Man who shot Liberty Valance (1962) with James Stewart and John Wayne and Breakfast at Tiffanys (1961) with Audrey Hepburn.

A lot of these are classics, and I’m glad I rediscovered a lot of these golden age American cinema classics while I am basically bed ridden these days after work.

Let’s talk about guitar pedals

I’m a gadget freak, everyone knows that. And my love of gadgets extends to guitar pedals.

I go over my setup here, although now my rig has changed slightly. To the non-guitar person, a pedalboard probably looks pretty alien to them: a bunch of contraptions made to set off bombs maybe? All those switches and dials and knobs. But every pedal has a function. Here’s my current setup.

The Boss TU3W tuner is the first pedal in my chain, because 1) I need a good stable tuner and 2) I need a buffered pedal as the first pedal, because if you have a long pedal chain, having ALL true bypass will suck out some of the highs. That’s why the first pedal needs to be buffered. The rest of my pedalboard is true bypass to retain the signal clarity.

My Wah pedal is the BBE Wah. It is a nice simple vintage style wah with a simple Q control, that is it. I didn’t need anything too fancy. I also considered the Vox V847 and the Dunlop Crybaby Clyde McCoy and the Teese Picture Wah.

The Dunlop Echoplex EP101 is my main preamp/booster pedal. I previously had an Xotic EP Booster here, but I stuck with the EP101 because the coloring was not as strong.

I love overdrives. There’s so many overdrives types out there. The Ibanez Tubescreamer style, the Klon Centaur style, the Chandler Tube Driver style, the Fulltone OCD Style, the “Dumble” / Hermida Zendrive style, the Boss Blues Driver style, the Marshall Bluesbreaker style, the Boss SD-1 style, the Marshall Plexi style etc the list goes on and on.

I needed a versatile OD pedal that can do many of these styles. I chose the Keeley Oxblood Germanium for getting the TubeScreamer / Klon Centaur type tones. I also considered the Seymour Duncan 805, Wampler Clarksdale, MXR Sugar Drive, the Fender Santa Ana Overdrive and the Wampler Tumnus Deluxe as they all had 3 band EQ shaping but found that I was keen on just using the pedal’s built in EQ anyways and chose the Keeley.

The second OD pedal I have is the Wampler Euphoria for getting the Dumble / OCD / Tube Driver type of tones. I also considered the Maxon TBO9, MXR Shin-juku Drive, MXR IL Diavolo Drive, MXR FET Driver, Hermida Zendrive, Fulltone Fulldrive 2, Analogman King of Tone and LovePedals Dover Drive but the Euphoria proved the most versatile for my setup.

I have a distortion / OD pedal as well, the RambleFX Marvel Drive which serves me my Marshall Plexi Tones. I also considered the Wampler Plexi Drive, LovePedals Purple Plexi and Xotic SL Drive but liked the RambleFX the best.

I don’t use any Fuzz (Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi, Sola Tone Bender are the main fuzz types) as my OD/Dist can often hit Fuzz territory.

I use an analog delay as my main modulation effect. I don’t use any phasers, flangers or chorus effects. The Boss DM2W serves me well here. I also considered the Keeley Magnetic Echo, Maxon AD9, Way Huge Aqua Puss, Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail, Fender Mirror Image Delay, MXR Carbon Copy Bright, Dunlop Echoplex EP103 and Catalinbread BelleEpoch but the Boss won here.

For compressors, I have the nice and compact Xotic SP Compressor. I also considered the Keeley Compressor but I found the Xotic doing just fine.

For reverbs, I have the Keeley Omni Reverb. I like Spring Reverbs the most and I tried the Hermida Reverb and the Catalinbread Topanga before, which are much better spring reverbs, but stuck with the Omni because of the additional versatility, great room + plate settings.

The Boss RC30 rounds out my pedals as a dual track looper pedal. I also considered the Electro Harmonix Memory Man and Digitech Jamman but stuck with the Boss.

And that’s all my pedals I’m using now! I’m running them all into this amp:

The Milkman Amps 1W+. Previously I used a Swart Atomic Jr. I also looked into the Dr Z Maz Mini, Tone King Falcon, VVT Amps Ventura and Victoria Amps 5118 but I like the Milkman just fine.

Things are not looking good so far

On Jan 1, 2018 it was hard to imagine things turning out the way that it has these days. At the beginning of the year, I had made over $50k on the crypto market, and I had the opportunity to make an additional 40% ($20k) by transferring it to my Korean gf’s crypto account that she made for me and selling it in Korea, since Korea was trading crypto at a 40% premium at the time. I was on pace to having the best financial year of my life, and I had a beautiful, sweet, loving Korean gf who was waiting for me in Korea. All I had to do was transfer it to Korea, sell everything, quit my job, move to Korea, and I was set.

Easy right? Well not so much. I was reluctant to sell my crypto assets because I was too greedy. All my friends had made more money in crypto and I was envious. I wanted to make more. I didn’t trust my gf fully enough because we had only dated for a few months at that time and I felt uneasy transferring such a large amount to her bank account. I wanted to make just a little bit more on the arbitrage before transferring it. I wanted to get a loan so I could dump more in it and take advantage of the arbitrage. I called my bank and they were unwilling to offer me anything. I tried another bank and they declined as well. Frustrated, I began looking online for anybody that would give me a loan. As luck would have it, I found three lenders, who were willing to lend me $85k in loans but the problem is – the loans came in too late. By the time the loans arrived, the South Korean justice minister announced a crackdown in crypto, slashing the premiums down by half. I was devastated. I decided to put the loans into crypto anyways, since the market was dipping, and wait for the premiums to go back up.

It never did. I watched in horror as the crypto market slide 30%, then 40%, then 50%, then all way down 70% – taking down more than $150k worth of my savings+loans with it. That’s where I am right now. I had the opportunity to be up $60k but now I’m down $150k. That’s a $210k swing. Crazy right? To make matters worse, the Chanel bag I bought for my gf, she didn’t like it so I sold it on eBay instead. I didn’t know mailing options that well – I chose first class instead of priority shipping. What I didn’t know was that first class mail does not offer tracking in Canada. So the bag inevitably became lost, the buyer asked for their money back and now I’m down a further $2300 because of my stupid mistakes. What’s more – because of the crypto downmarket and the loss of all this money, I had to work longer in the USA. I originally had planned to be out of the USA and back to Korea by April. The crypto downturn set me back 2 years worth of salary. But obviously I cannot work another 2 years, so I settled on working another 2 and a half months instead.

The tension of the long distance relationship got to my gf and she threatened to break up with me several times. Even now, our relationship is all but certain to fail. In addition she closed our crypto account in Korea. Even if the premium goes back up, I cannot take advantage of it anymore. Also alot of my money is now stuck in ICOs – because I took even more risk, all that money is basically tied up and lost at this point.

So I went from having potentially $230k in savings (yes my savings are only worth $20k now + the $210k I would have gotten), the opportunity to live in Korea without working and living with the girl that I loved – to having next to no savings anymore, no crypto account in Korea, no way to get funds to Korea, and an imminent breakup with my gf. How much can change in just 3 months right? Depressed doesn’t begin to describe me anymore.. it was my fault, lesson learned, don’t be too greedy, don’t take too much risk.