Local Flavor: Thanksgiving Break, Self-Reflection?

Dear everyone, the shop is closed for a much-needed short break. We're closed today, Wednesday, as well as Thursday and Friday. That's the 24th through the 26th. We'll be open regular hours on Saturday the 27th and then regular hours all the next week and beyond as usual. I won't be shipping anything not already in transit until this Saturday. Sorry for the delay.

I don't know about all of you, but I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

Business-wise, I have more work than I can ever possibly finish -- a good thing but sometimes a stressful one for me and my customers. Believe me when I say I've been rushing-around like an insane headless chicken for most of the year and pulling long nights just to get out what I've been getting out. If you're not around the shop, you probably don't know that what's on the blog is only about 1/3 of my output in repairs. It's hopping around here all year long.

Still, I've been disappointing people on timelines, for sure, and I apologize for that. I've even been worse this year, too, about communication with everyone. I'm trying to correct for that by tabling new repair customers until farther out in the future but I'm on a 6-7 month delay from where I thought I'd be this time of year and I often get phonecalls on top of phonecalls much of my work day. A local customer actually drove up the other day just to make sure I hadn't croaked! I realized that he'd had the unlucky coincidence of getting "declined calls" multiple times that I forgot about returning while I was already on the horn with someone else. Business! Life!

I'm also thankful for everyone's continued support of the blog and this wild life I live via donations and gifted instruments and all the other wonderful stuff people have done for me. I really appreciate it and I'm made happy every day when someone tells me that this resource has been useful for them. That's the life-work side of this business. I'm completely contented with what I do for a job as my job because it's constantly interesting and entertaining (if sometimes murderously frustrating depending on the instrument) but it's nice to see information bleeding-out and being useful to people now and then, too.

Life-wise, because things have been so hectic the past two years, I've had stupidly little time for self-reflection at all. It's been treadmill all day, conked-out at night, treadmill all day again, and at least a few times a week treadmill at night, too.

I realized just the other day that I haven't really recorded anything since our holiday break last year. I used to be a two-album-a-year kind of guy, whether they were garbage albums or not. I just had the compulsion. It's hard to have the compulsion but not the energy. Getting a little older sucks the fun out of 2 or 3 AM recording sessions -- you can't keep your eyes open for them anymore, coffee or not!

Still, compared to the average fella out there in the wilds of American Capitalism, I've got to say I'm having a decent time of it. My customers are great and many have become good friends and guit-comrades. My family is a lot of fun and they're all sharp as tacks -- if not just as quirky as myself. The two cats give us a lot of humor and are absolute critter-slayers around the building. We've got the wild outdoors. I even get to play music now and then!

It's a good life.


Brandon McCoy said…
I can tell you for certain that we really appreciate all that you do both as a repairman and as a friend, Jake. You're one of the few good ones and I'm so very glad that I stumbled into my first purchase from you a few years ago. Look at all the stuff we've done together since then! (It is a disturbingly long list, haha). I hope y'all have a great Thanksgiving, buddy.
Christian Hahn said…
Hey Jake. I moved out to the Sonoran desert in Tucson for LOTS of self-reflection among the sagauro cacti. Working on my music in a gutted 1977 Airstream. It's a new beginning and I'll be giving thanks for that this year! I miss your set-ups. Be well.

Christian Hahn
Elasticman said…
I could cut and paste Brandon's post and it applies to me as well. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Jake!
Reese said…
Thirding Brandon and Mr. Elastic, above: more music, a little slower pace — no Karoshi for you, please.
7LiveFree7 said…
I'm so glad you got a few days to spend with your family, Jake. And also, I'm very thankful for making your acquaintance early on in my mandolin life. I've learned so much already from you and your blog/museum and gained a valuable appreciation for older instruments. Never mind finding a good home for some of my old SF favorites. All the best!!
Unknown said…
Always good to read your personal stories as well as your repair writings, Jake. You know my opinion of you and the work you're doing, so let me just say, stay well and sane, and I'll look forward to my next trip up your way for a quart of maple and a bit of horse trading.

Jake Wildwood said…
Ohhh you guys are all too great, thanks! :)