Goofydawg here and back from a rather longish hiatus of having a total hip replacement. My goodness! It is an incredible feeling to walk with a normal gait and at speed that I haven’t been able to walk at for almost a couple of years! Yeah, yeah… People always ask why I didn’t do it earlier, but the cold hard fact was that I had to deal with getting my cardiac and pulmonary systems in order first so I wouldn’t die on the table. So after many many months of Lipitor and two different types of blood pressure meds, I got my system back into balance enough to have the surgery. And just two-and-a-half weeks past my surgery, I’m operating without any assistive devices (walker, cane) whatsoever, and not only that, I’ve been able to wean myself of all my pain meds except for one that I use for sudden pain! Nice!
Okay, that out of the way… One of my other life-long passions other than guitar is fine wine, in particular fine Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels. I don’t drink a lot of wine (though I do a lot of tastings over the year), so I usually have no more than two cases in my possession at any time (though I have stash in my nice, cool, dark walk-in closet where I hold the ones I won’t drink for years). With that passion of course, I subscribe to various periodicals and newsletters that I keep around the house. In particular, I keep my K & L Wines newsletter in my bathroom for nice bathroom reading.
This morning while I was perusing my latest copy of the K & L newsletter, I read a column on the 2010 Burgundy’s that are just now hitting the market. It was the word “Burgundy” that sparked the idea of this article.
Over the years, Burgundy has held several connotations for me. Some thirty years ago, when I first started getting into wine and had no idea about different varietals and regions, whatever, the word “Burgundy” equated to cheap, jug wine that parents would provide at parties. My first taste of red wine was actually a sip of that kind of “Burgundy” when I was 16 years old. I remember thinking to myself, “People actually like this shit?” Little did I know that it was cheap imitation, which in later years couldn’t be termed that because of legal restrictions. Of course, fast-forward to today, and thinking about true Burgundy, made in the Burgundy region of France from the noble Pinot Noir grape, gives me the equivalent giddy, butterflies-in-the-stomach reaction to GAS.
The point of all this is that over time or with education, what a name or term may connote changes. For instance, I used to equate the Yamaha brand with cheap Japanese stuff. But now, Yamaha acoustics are my preferred brand; yup, over other venerable labels such as Martin or Taylor. Why? Simply because Yamaha electronics are second-to-none in my experience. They sound the most natural to me plugged in. Their raw, natural acoustics may not be quite as rich as those others, but since I primarily play amplified, I’ll take a Yamaha over any one of those any day!
Why is any of this important? I bring it up simply because it’s very easy to get locked into a certain way of thinking about different things based upon our current perceptions. Think about all the gear out there. We all have our brand preferences, such as my preference for Yamaha acoustics on stage. But I didn’t develop that preference in a static way. I had to do painstaking research when choosing my stage acoustic. I shared this before; I literally spent months evaluating guitars, and while I had the money to spend on a guitar five times its price, I chose my trusty APX900 much to even my surprise.
I do realize that some things, no matter how much I might try to keep an open mind, remain just cheap or bad (no, for the sake of keeping to my policy of playing nice, I won’t name names). But one thing I’ve learned in the years I’ve been writing this blog is that my perceptions on many things have changed because I became personally informed about them.
Challenge your perceptions sometime. You may be surprised by what happens!