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Emergency Sale

Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 03:00 PM
katlaughing 25 Jun 11 - 03:15 PM
Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 03:21 PM
katlaughing 25 Jun 11 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Amber 25 Jun 11 - 03:45 PM
Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Amber 25 Jun 11 - 05:36 PM
Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 06:30 PM
Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 06:47 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jun 11 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Big Ballad Singer 25 Jun 11 - 11:47 PM
Andy Jackson 26 Jun 11 - 12:56 PM
Big Ballad Singer 27 Jun 11 - 09:47 AM
wysiwyg 27 Jun 11 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,Big Ballad Singer 27 Jun 11 - 08:08 PM
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Subject: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 03:00 PM

I've got some "stuff", musical odds and ends that I need to sell within the week in order to keep some utilities from getting turned off.

You'd think a guy with physical disabilities would be able to get a little hand from his Uncle Sam, right? Wrong.

Anyway, here's the latest few things. Let me know if you're interested and we can work out a deal.

1) DBX 166XL compressor/limiter/gate. Rack unit, scratched from use but fully functional. $125 or best offer. They retail for about $200 here in the States.

2) NON-WORKING (I believe it's just a bad input jack) Behringer Thunderbird BX108 bass amplifier. 10" speaker, actually works well as an amplifier for electric or acoustic guitar also. I have also used one of these as a harmonica amp. The simple circuit and basic tone controls mean these are good for getting louder without overly coloring the tone of your instrument. As-is, $50. These are solid-state amps and the circuits are dead easy to fix, so the repair on this shouldn't cost much at all. I just can't afford to keep it, let alone fix it. Cash is king.

3) A unique, custom-built cookie-tin resonator instrument. Four strings, removable frets (frets can be placed in various positions to create different scales). Piezo pickup, can be played with a slide or strummed or fingerpicked. This is an instrument with a tone much like a banjo or a small-bodied resonator guitar. $100 or best offer.

If you pay my asking price on any of these, I will include shipping in the continental US. International 'Catters, please contact me with your mailing address so I can determine the most cost-effective way to ship to you.

I will sell all these pieces for $200, shipping included, if someone (or a group of someones) want(s) to add one of the following:

a parlor-size guitar (like a Stella, Harmony, Kalamazoo or similar) in good playing condition with low action and a stable top.

AND/OR

an autoharp, need not be a high-end model, so long as the top is not warped and all its parts are there.

I know I'm reaching a bit, but I have no other choice these days... I'm taking bloody awful music gigs and selling (almost) everything I don't drive, eat, wear or sleep on, just so I can keep us above water financially. Been out of work for nearly 18 months now, give or take, and am at the end of my rope on many levels.

There are some people here who have been SO MUCH MORE than kind and generous with their displays of friendship in the past... thanks, 'Catters.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 03:15 PM

Just sent you a PM about an autoharp.:-)

Good luck!

kat


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 03:21 PM

Thanks, Kat.

I wish I didn't have such a mean case of writer's block these days... there's GOT to be a song in the ether about these struggles I've had!


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 03:27 PM

It'll come to you and it'll be grand, I am sure!

Email sent, thanks!


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: GUEST,Amber
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 03:45 PM

I am so sorry that you're having a difficult time. Have you phoned the companies up and tried to arrange some sort of payment plan? Would they put a meter in if the worst came to the worst? That's what they do here in the UK and it's not ideal, but better than having no services at all. I hope that things get better for you and good luck.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 04:39 PM

Hi Amber,

No, this company doesn't allow payment plans. In fact, their so-called "customer service" personnel are really just around to tell you what their computerized system says. If you're more than 28 days late, you're delinquent. More than 56 days, you get turned off some time very soon after day 56. There are no options to pay some now, some later, or any other plan unless it ultimately means all their money by their date.

Thanks for your kind words. We are going to be looking into some cheaper options, like ditching the phone service and just using Internet and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) for phone service, or perhaps just going with a cell phone service. Who knows... I am just trying to keep from being totally behind while we still need these services. I can't even begin to imagine how I would look for a local job or gig these days without the Internet... our local papers don't have much of an advert section for work anymore, and EVERYONE is offering their jobs and gigs online.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: GUEST,Amber
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 05:36 PM

Then their 'customer service' really stinks. Most companies over here WILL arrange a plan of some sorts if you are struggling - ie half this month, half next, or as I said, a meter as a last resort. It's incredible that you can't get some sort of disability benefit, but I don't really know how Social Security works in the USA.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 06:30 PM

Amber, I have three abdominal hernias (the by-product of surgery for an exploded appendix some years ago). It's very hard for me to walk more than, say, a quarter of a mile without the hernias giving me issues. Standing OR sitting for too long a stretch also makes things difficult. I also have a cataract in one eye (and state-sponsored insurance that won't cover surgery until I am practically blind).

Basically, Social Security told me that I need to just "go get" some other job, because the jobs I used to do (security and bus driving, both of which, in my areas, require lifting of dead weight and of course sharp eyesight) I just can no longer do.

Sure... in our economy, I can just "GO GET" a job that doesn't exist, like, in their words, a "sitting down security guard".

Really. That's what they actually said in a letter to me denying my claim.

Obviously, since the people handling my case have no practical or empirical knowledge of the fields I worked in, they can't possibly speak to whether I am able to do these jobs or not, or whether some "modified work conditions" in those jobs are even possible.

On top of it all, you have to be able to FIND a ruddy job before you can be offered modified conditions. There's the real rub: I walk in, they see my hernias (which are obvious), and/or I have to tell them about the condition (because one job had to fire/re-hire me under the Americans with Disabilities Act), and then they freak and the job offers suddenly dry up and disappear.

Hence, the fire sale and the scrabbling for gigs, guitar students, whatever I can find.

Several people have very kindly offered their help and encouragement in various ways, and for that, I am grateful to my core.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 06:47 PM

Oh, and the cookie-tin-banjo-guitar-thing has been spoken for.

Still have the DBX 166XL and the Behringer amp for sale.

Also, harmonica lessons... $10 per 30 minutes or $15 per hour.

I live in New Jersey, USA. I suppose we could also do the lessons online, like over Skype or something, but I've never tried Skype before. I'm rather a dinosaur when it comes to Internet technology these days.

Anyhow, I can also provide a used/vintage gear search in my area for anyone looking for an instrument... there are several stores in my region that have no Web presence and keep some weird hours, but they have some hidden treasures from time to time. Let me know if I can help you find what you seek!


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 08:11 PM

BBS-

Good luck on this.

Are they really hernias or adhesions? Not that it makes a whole lot of difference in terms of their impact of the elementary canal but do you really have good medical folks?

How close are you in age for Medicare?

Charley Noble, over the hill but doing fine


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: GUEST,Big Ballad Singer
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 11:47 PM

My heart is glad for friends who have been kind, but heavy because it comes to this.

I'm 37 and on Medicare because we have children under 18 and we are well below the poverty level in terms of income. We average about $100 a month, usually less, in income. My wife occasionally gets to babysit and I sell secondhand stuff at yard sales or flea markets or the local independent music store where the owner is a nice guy.

I have hernias and they cannot be operated on because I am too heavy (and pear-shaped, the worst kind of overweight when you have abdominal hernias). I have to be on a supervised weight-loss plan for at least six months before any gastric procedures would be approved, and then I would have to maintain a goal weight for at least another six months before the hernias could be repaired. All this is direct from my insurance provider.

I do not qualify for cash assistance because we home-school our children. Both my wife and I would be required to either work or attend a day-labor program in order to receive cash benefits. Since we BOTH cannot attend, as my wife is the primary teacher and we share daily teaching duties, we cannot be approved for those benefits.

If it were not for my parents paying the mortgage on our home and my mother-in-law providing car insurance and repairs, we would be homeless and have no vehicle. Quite simply, the generosity of others is THE thing keeping us from the streets. I have been unemployed for over 18 months now, and I am simply unable to do the work I used to do. What I CAN do is teach guitar and harmonica and perform. Gigs, of course, are hard to come by anyway, and guitar or harmonica lessons are a luxury that not a lot of people around me are spending very much on. Of course, in order to teach or perform, I also have to have gas money to get to all these places. See? It's a vicious cycle.

Anyway, thanks, Charley, for the kind words and concern.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 12:56 PM

I have no answers and no practical help to offer. But I hope that a few words of support from a total stranger will help you bear your burden.
Andy (UK)


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 09:47 AM

Andy, such words of support are always appreciated. Words of sincere kindness are very much a form of "practical help", so don't sell yourself short. I have family members around (and others who should also know better) who don't make the effort you are making to encourage me.

Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern, support and good wishes. You have all made a very stressful time in my life much easier to bear.


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 07:18 PM

Local churches and towns' ministeriums often help with these costs. Also in our area we have a thing called Trehab, if you want to Google that and see if your area has an equivalent. Finally, your state rep's office (not federal) might know some strings to pull gently. Not the rep but their office peeps. Also United Way office might know of a program.

Best of luck.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Emergency Sale
From: GUEST,Big Ballad Singer
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 08:08 PM

Hi Susan,

The REALLY sad thing (after having worked for a church as a staff pastor) is that our area doesn't HAVE a ministerium. The local preachers don't even SPEAK to one another. Makes for some very isolated and xenophobic church experiences, to be sure.

Anyway, I will look into Trehab, but I can tell you from experience that the only utilities in my area that are handled by any organizations providing assistance are utilities that we already have taken care of by some family members.

Basically, our phone/net provider has an ironclad monopoly on service in our immediate area, so it's their way or the highway, so to speak.

Anyway, little by little, the practical logistics of how to get everything taken care of are working out. The encouragement and support we have been given and the generosity of even some total strangers have made this time a learning and blessing process, where before, these situations were nerve-wracking and stressful to the extreme.

Thanks for your suggestions!


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