Failure. The lesson is never try.

Trying is the first step towards failure

by Dave McAwesome

Failure. It comes in many forms. The form I like best is when it doesn't apply to me. When my brother decided to throw out a bunch of old crap, I immediately grabbed my camera.

Item 1: The Unofficial Teach Yourself Guide to Lockpicking
Greg printed this out during the early days of the interweb when we thought it might disappear at any moment. I personally printed out a huge stack of guitar tabs of Zeppelin songs. I never looked at it and eventually tossed the pile in the trash. Sorry about that, rainforest fans. How did I know the interweb wasn't a fad?

In all fairness, I was convinced we'd be able to make lockpicking tools ourselves out of hacksaw blades. I have no idea how I intended to machine the blades into the proper shapes, but there you go. Moreover, we never had a target lock that we wanted to pick. We just thought it'd be cool to have the tools.

Item 2: The Poisoner's Handbook
I can only infer that my brother had several hated enemies while growing up to warrant the clandestine purchase of this handy little tome. The fact that he never actually poisoned anyone, however, makes him an utter failure.

Item 3: Midi adapters
I once tried to set up a midi-capable home recording system on my woefully underpowered computer. In order to achieve this, I opted to buy the cheapest, most second-hand, barely functioning equipment available. It didn't work. Not convinced that outdated equipment would be unable to function as a world class recording studio, Greg took over. His first order of duty was to collect several midi chords and adapters and assemble them into a pile. Mission accomplished.

Step two was trickier: buy more midi cables and keep them in factory mint condition by never removing them from the packaging. Again, mission accomplished. Had there not been the farther reaching goal of actually recording a single note, this would not be such an unabashed failure.

Item 4: A quote, unquote "microphone"
This is the microphone Greg and I planned to use in order to incorporate acoustic wonderment with digital music brilliance. It's ability to convey sound is almost comparable to a pair of cans connected by string.

Item 5: "Fire Eating" book
I was laughing so hard when I saw this, I couldn't keep my camera steady. This, it need not be said, was a failure.

Item 6: Homemade guitar
Not satisfied with the many fine and expertly crafted musical instruments one finds in stores, Greg endeavored to build his own guitar. Fortunately, he had a wide array of guitar-making tools used by professional luthiers around the world: hammer, screwdriver (which doubled as a chisel) and another hammer. His big score was finding a used and gutted guitar body in a shop for like five bucks. Never mind for a moment that this takes away a significant portion of the "homemade" part of a "homemade guitar." We McAwesomes aren't exactly known for our woodcarving or canoe-building abilities anyway. Let's take some close up pictures and see how he fared with the rest of the instrument, shall we?

That's the bridge of the guitar. Fine bit of woodworking. The Splinter Master 5000, I call it. See that huge outwardly jutting screw? (How could you not, really.) Greg not only stripped the screw head, but ruined the screwdriver in the process. In case you're counting at home, that reduced the number of tools he had to two: a hammer and another hammer.

Here's a side view of the bridge. The strings have been carefully positioned high above the fretboard to make playing the instrument as difficult as possible. The knob, nearly flush with the surface of the guitar body, gives the user a range of sounds from "not working" to "argh, it's still not working."

This is the guitar nut. That blue stuff is fun-tac, a kind of putty used mostly for hanging wall posters of Jimi Hendrix and Jenna Jameson. Here, it's being used in place of glue, which would have made much more sense. That green stuff there may be algae; I have no idea.

The life lesson here, folks, is never let me photograph your crap. Now go print out this page before the Internet disappears...forever!

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