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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Shortly after finishing up the gravel base for the outdoor cab stand a colony of Uinta ground squirrels claimed the bottom section.





Most people up here shoot them, but I like them. I don't really see what's cool about shooting innocent squirrels. There's nothing really macho about that. I'm not a vegan, or a vegatarian, or involved in any organized animal rights, but I'm old fashioned in the sense that I believe unwarranted violence against animals should be rewarded by having the corpse of the animal hung around your neck as a token of damnation and then followed with a bizarre journey that involves most of the crew of your ship dying after playing games of chance with traditional cultural psychopomps so that the tale can later be turned into a famous epic poem, and even later a 14 minute Iron Maiden song.

Besides, they are clever and tenacious and they have advanced sentry behavior and weird undulating calls and whenever the cab platform is currently making noise they stand up like meercats to listen.



So I let the squirrels have the bottom section as long as they didn't venture up top and shit or chew on the cab platform. I figured it would be a Lord of the Rings type deal. Every great wizard has an animal species that serves as their spies. Saruman has crows. I figured I would just go with the squirrels. Sometimes I feed them oatmeal.

Then last week I heard a commotion around the cab platform at like 5-6 in the morning and opened the door to yell at the squirrels, and there was a huge bear there staring at me.



It did not attack me because presumably it approved of the cab platform. Now it is the cab platforms guardian. Supposedly you aren't supposed to look bears in the eye, because they will interpret that as a challenge, and you aren't really supposed to take close range pictures of them at 5-6 in the morning, but whatever. Shit worked out fine.

The top section is still not done. But the spiritual connection between my cab and a large murderous bear and the development of a new sub breed of squirrels who do not fear high volume riffs was an unexpected development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, if you need a cab cover for a cab that is made by a company that is defunct, or a company that doesn't make matching covers, the Orange ones are decent, and are a pretty good fit. A tiny, tiny bit short for my cab, but close enough.

The Marshall 412 covers are shit. Thin vinyl pieces of shit. The Orange ones are the same material as Mesas. Cordura or whatever. $60 on Amazon. The sides are heavier duty than the Mesa 412 covers in the sense that rather than just have cut outs for the side handles there are additional bits of cover that cover them as well as allow for accress.
 

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:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The bear is actually way less ferocious than the squirrels. That's sort of the dichotomy of bears, they aren't particularly mean or vicious or fearsome predators and they look kind of cuddley, but they do have massive claws. I was happy the cabstand withstood its inspection, they can rip up like, massive swathes of ground and railroad ties and shit with their claws.

The squirrels will actually stand up on their hind legs if they like the noises the cab is making and I was like, "I wonder if I can get the bear to do that, no way.....that would never work."



It actually did work.



They both only do it for specific tones or playing or whatever. I haven't figured out yet exactly what makes the bear stand on its hind legs. And its mostly nocturnal, so I can never really get good pictures at 4-6 in the morning. Bears are actually bigger than you think when they stand up on their hind legs.

Animals have way better hearing than humans though, more expansive frequency wise, so it's possible they can hear tonal nuances I can't. The frequency ranges aren't known for every animal, but dogs can hear way above 20k, hence all the "dog whistle" talk. So I imagine bears and squirrels are somewhat comparable.
 

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Hunting animals for sport should actually be a sport. You get a pocket knife, and the animal gets what it's got. Weight for weight; two of you versus one bear, or 200 squirrels versus one you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hunting animals for sport should actually be a sport. You get a pocket knife, and the animal gets what it's got. Weight for weight; two of you versus one bear, or 200 squirrels versus one you.
Size is no indication of worth or power. I'm pretty sure that's the moral of a lot of stories. The Emperor Strikes back section on Dagobah, The Bible, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, etc. etc.

How you treat small animals, or people in the service industry, or small animals who also happen to be in the service industry is definitely a test of character.

If you go around being a dick to things just because you can, you shouldn't be surprised when bad shit happens to you. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind and all that.

I mean, yes, it was mainly due to my amazing cab stand that the bear didn't attack me, but a part of it is also because I don't go around killing squirrels just because I have the power to. The bears around here definitely do murder the shit out of hunters and stuff, but they are always cool to me like, "oh, that's the guy with the cool cab stand who wasn't a dick to squirrels just because he thought he could get away with it and probably holds doors open for old ladies and shit, I shouldn't disembowel that guy and eat his entrails".

There are a bunch of great stories that start with some dick being like, "come on guys, it was just an albatross/squirrel/etc. etc." and then several chapters later shit hits the fan and they are like, "oops, how could I not have seen this coming".
 

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Look, just let me put one (just one) sport hunter in a cage match against 200 squirrels, OK?

(we are pretty much in violent agreement on sport hunting lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Look, just let me put one (just one) sport hunter in a cage match against 200 squirrels, OK?

(we are pretty much in violent agreement on sport hunting lol)
I don't think you would need 200. :lol: Smaller animals are usually more ruthless. Sometimes that's recognized, like with Wolverines and Badgers and shit, who will ruin a bears day, but usually people fall for the trap of thinking the bigger things are meaner predators.

The most vicious predator in the world is a tiny innocent looking little bird.



The badass looking Shrike character covered in spikes and razor wire and shit from the Hyperion novels is named after said innocent looking cute bird.





Because, said innocent looking little bird fucking loves to impale things.





That's seriously all they do, pick up animals and impale them on sharp objects.

Wolves, in comparison, who have a reputation as badass predators that is 100% a hollywood invention, are actually scavengers that only cull sick and dying animals from herds and eat carrion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's actually a good general rule that the more ridiculous an animal is, the more dangerous it is.

That's why hippos kill like, 100 times the amount of people lions do yearly. Hippos aren't even carnivores. They just do it as a hobby.

The whole "Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey instead of an eagle" thing isn't quite true, but the legendary letter in which he points out that people just assume eagles are badass but a bunch of more ridiculous birds are more badass is 100% historical fact.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts...ins-turkey-and-the-presidential-seal-6623414/



Benjamin "An Eagle wouldn't fuck up some British dude's day, but a Turkey totally would" Motherfucking Franklin
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The bear is luring you into a false sense of comfort! He's undoubtedly seeking retribution for you hanging his brethren by chains!
It actually signed off on the skull. :lol: I thinks that what attracted it. Spent a couple minutes staring directly at the skull. It was weird as fuck. That's an older skull, so I doubt it still has a scent the bear could track, so I thought it was a bit weird. I relocated the skull after knocking it off the chain with a guitar headstock and breaking it some more to the base of the cab platform.



I don't know if animals can recognize their own skeletal structure or not. Whether an animal can recognize it's own reflection or not is usually used as an indicator of intelligence, and they can obviously recognize the fresh carcasses of their species, but I don't know if they can recognize skeletal fragments or not.

That skull is pretty busted right now, since it wasn't in great shape originally and I knocked it off the chain and broke it some more, but the bear was definitely investigating it. Wonder if it was like a relative or something.



I thought it might be pissed or something too, but I guess it understood I didn't kill that bear. It was dawn, so pictures all sucked on account of no light. I was like, "Hey, I didn't kill it buddy, I'm honoring your bear friend/family's memory" and it seemed cool with it. I'm not sure about any new age-y stuff about animals understanding what you are saying, but they can definitely infer stuff from tones of voice and the cadence of what you are saying. Large Predator 101 is pretty much the first thing you want to do to avoid getting your shit fucked up is talk to it in a calming voice.

It's actually a youngish bear by my estimation, probably like three years old. Wouldn't be surprised if it was orphaned. Bears get euthanized or relocated a lot.

 

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:lol: sounds like you guys have it settled then. I saw the skull in the first pic, didn't realize it was that one. I agree though, now that it's enshrined, the bear is giving you a nod. That squirrel bear combo is lending a vast amount of street cred, I'm envious!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:lol: sounds like you guys have it settled then. I saw the skull in the first pic, didn't realize it was that one. I agree though, now that it's enshrined, the bear is giving you a nod. That squirrel bear combo is lending a vast amount of street cred, I'm envious!
Yeah, I definitely spoke too soon when I said, "I will definitely remember there is a fragile skull hanging from the ceiling and not accidentally knock it down taking off a guitar".

The bear definitely recognized it though, even in its mega busted state. :lol: Weird as fuck. I had other skulls and spines there it didn't give a fuck about. I doubt it could smell it, since the skull was buried for fucking ever and I washed it, so I guess it just recognized it as a busted bear skull piece.

Maybe that was what convinced it to not put a giant hole in one of my speakers.
 

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I looked it up, and typical squirrels weigh about a pound. Figure we'd use typical boxing rules and run with weight classes, so, for a 200# sport hunter (NOT hunting because he's hungry), I think I'd like to see what an equivalent weight of squirrels can do.

That bird can be the referee!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I looked it up, and typical squirrels weigh about a pound. Figure we'd use typical boxing rules and run with weight classes, so, for a 200# sport hunter (NOT hunting because he's hungry), I think I'd like to see what an equivalent weight of squirrels can do.

That bird can be the referee!
They are way scrappier and cleverer than people give them credit for. :lol: I've learned to not underestimate them.

They figured out literally within 20 minutes of me finishing the main part of the cab deck and putting the cab on top and trying it out that it was not only the perfect squirrel citadel physically, the massive raging cab on top that scares away their main predators is also like, the squirrel equivalent of an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile system.

Because it's 50/50 on the animals. Some like it or don't mind it, but some animals are easily spooked. Crows and magpies don't mind it at all, and have a reputation for being clever as fuck, but it scares off hawks and kestrals and shit that circle above waiting to swoop down and slaughter squirrels. Horses and shit like that will obviously freak out over noises like that as well.

So the squirrels are super loyal and affectionate to me and have some weird wookie life debt like concept because a bunch of predatory birds have fucked off when I crank it and they can run around. They come up to get like, scratched behind the ears and stuff, they follow basic instructions like, "don't fuck with the cab or the mics or the cables or I will get really mad". There's a bunch of little baby squirrels running around that obviously wouldn't be alive right now if they hadn't claimed the bottom portion as a citadel.

They are actually known for stuff like crawling up in cars and chewing wiring and being a general nuisance, so I am impressed by the respect they have shown for the cab and the mics and the cables and shit.

The crows don't give a shit. They'll perch on the mic stand, I'm lucky that mic stand isn't bird shit central already.
 

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I knew squirrels didn't give a fuck when I saw one eating a cheeseburger one night in college. There he was. Little guy with what was like half a quarter pounder in both little hands. Looking up at me. Screaming like he had the original idea for Painkiller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I knew squirrels didn't give a fuck when I saw one eating a cheeseburger one night in college. There he was. Little guy with what was like half a quarter pounder in both little hands. Looking up at me. Screaming like he had the original idea for Painkiller.
Their trills are insanely fucking loud. :lol: They also look like they are exploding when they do it. It's loud for an animal of any size, I have no clue how they do it. Their language is actually pretty extensively studied and documented https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2551&context=etd. Since all colony animals have advanced languages and Uinta ground squirrels are like the meercats of America, they have different calls for airborne and ground dwelling predator warning signals. They actually go out as teams and always have sentries watching for predators.

They actually respond to any trem noises in the upper register like it was another squirrel. I have no clue what they are saying, but whenever I do a 24 fret dive bomb or something they will trill back.



Hitting open string harmonics and then doing trem stuff is close enough to their language they converse back.
 
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