Norm

By day, I’m a Financial Systems Analyst and by night/weekends, I’m a husband to a beautiful/wonderful wife and dad to two cute/terrific girls.  I also play some music on the side, dabble in the latest geeky tech stuff, and explore foodie establishments (the latest in food trucks/restaurants).

I have a jumbo iPhone 6 Plus =)

I shoot pictures with my touchscreen Nikon D5500 dSLR

…usually with a Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight Flash mounted (for bounce flash with diffuser)…

…and one of two lenses (AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom lens or AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G fixed/prime lens) attached.

Nikon

I also learned my lesson the hard way by accidentally dropping the camera, flash, and zoom lens trying to shoot a family picture.  This required me to purchase a replacement for the zoom lens and a tripod sturdy enough to hold this entire setup.  For a tripod, I use the JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X (holds up to 11 lbs.).  I position it in the regular three-footed triangular position or can wrap it around anything sturdy.

Source: Engadget.com

I carry all of this in a LowePro SlingShot 102 AW sling camera bag.

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Rambling about music gear, I usually play my acoustic at church: a 2003 Taylor 714ce-LTD Summer Strummer.  317 of these were made.  I use this in a band situation when I primarily strum and occasionally flatpick.

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  • 14-fret long (regular)-scale Grand Auditorium body
  • Premium Cocobolo 3-Piece Back and Sides with Flamed Maple Center Wedge
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Abalone Purfling and Soundhole
  • Flamed Maple Binding
  • Snowflake Inlays
  • Expression System 2 Electronics with TaylorSense
  • Upgraded Bob Colosi West African Hard Ivory Nut & Saddle
  • Upgraded Antique Gold Gotoh 1:21 Ratio Tuners

For songs using mostly fingerpicking/flatpicking (or playing outdoors or at camps/retreats), I acquired a RainSong Shorty SG-FLE (Forum Limited Edition).  Only 35 of these were made.  It’s my secondary guitar and also Joyce’s guitar.


  • 12-fret OM (short-scale Orchestra Model) body
  • Carbon Fiber/Glass Hybrid Body
  • All-graphite unidirectional carbon soundboard crafted using Projection Tuned Layering technique
  • Abalone Soundhole
  • Abalone Bridge Pins
  • Abalone Shark Inlays
  • Fishman Prefix Plus + T Electronics
  • Custom TKL Limited Edition Hardshell Case (fitted specifically for a RainSong Shorty)

I also play a lovely little blues box when I’m playing acoustically: Martin 00-15SM Custom.  This was ordered from LA Guitar Sales (the same place I got the RainSong).  Ted supposedly only ordered 4 of these.

  • 12-fret, short-scale 00 (Grand Concert) body
  • Satin Finish
  • Solid Genuine Mahogany (top, back, and sides – all hog)
  • Full Tortoise Binding
  • Diamond & Squares – Short Pattern Inlay
  • Bone Nut and Saddle
  • Slotted Headstock with 3-on-a-plate nickel open-geared tuners with ivoroid Butterbean knobs
  • K&K Pure Mini passive acoustic pickup installed; used in conjunction with LR Baggs Venue DI
  • Upgraded 500 series Geib-style Hardshell Case

I have a Taylor GS Mini Holden Village (limited to less than 2000).  There’s an interesting story about the limited edition guitar here.

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  • 14-fret, short-scale GS Mini body
  • Satin Finish
  • 250 year-old Engelmann Spruce Top/Laminated Fiddleback Maple Back and Sides
  • Holden Village Mountains Inlay
  • Bone Nut
  • Ebony Bridge Pins with Abalone
  • K&K Pure Mini passive acoustic pickup installed; used in conjunction with LR Baggs Venue DI
  • GS Mini Hardshell Soft Case

I play the four acoustic guitars above (although not at the same time) through a Fishman Loudbox Mini acoustic amplifier.

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I also have a discontinued Baby Taylor Rosewood for dinkering around with at home with the kids.  It’s currently high-strung in Nashville Tuning with a set of D’Addario EJ38H Phosphor Bronze (.010-.027) made specifically for Nashville Tuning.

If I feel like visiting Hawaii (that’s almost all the time), I spend some time playing my Kamaka HF-3 Tenor ukulele.

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  • Solid Hawaiian Koa Top, Sides, and Back
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
  • Kamaka Ukulele Brand Tenor-Size Hardshell Case
  • Fitted with a Fishman AG-Series Ukulele Passive Undersaddle Pickup

When I go electric, I play this sunburst Fender Classic Series ’72 Telecaster Custom.

My Pedaltrain PT-2 with ATA Hardcase (powered by Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2) looks like this:

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DAISY CHAIN ORDER:

  1. Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
  2. Diamond Compressor in Custom White/Chrome
  3. Electro-Harmonix Micro POG
  4. Fulltone Custom Shop Fulldrive 3 – 20th Anniversary Edition
  5. Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
  6. Ernie Ball 6166 Mono Volume Pedal
  7. Strymon Timeline
  8. Boss RV-5 Digital Reverb

It’s backed by a Fender Princeton Reverb tube amp, upgraded with a Celestion Gold speaker.

 

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I also play one of the best passive jazz basses out there: Lakland Skyline DJ4 (upgraded with Chi-Sonic pickups).

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It’s backed by a Mesa Boogie Walkabout Scout 1×12 Combo tube bass amp.

When playing in a band setting using keys, I use a Roland JUNO-Di synthesizer.  It’s great because it can go mobile by running on batteries.

It’s backed by a 50-watt Roland CUBE Street EX amp (mini PA) that can also be battery-powered.

If I’m really short on space, I use a mini synthesizer/vocoder: the KORG microKORG XL.

And finally, on the percussion side of the house, I have an electronic-layered Roland El Cajon that can layer in different percussion and SFX sounds and also be battery-powered.

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