{:title "Life Updates" :layout :post :tags "Miscellaneous" }

Life Updates - Bass Guitar - New Violin

Hey all, it's been a long time(Almost a year!) since I've updated my blog here. Sorry about that to the few people that kept up with it. Life's been the busiest it's been for me these last few months! I've been working full time, with some weeks working 2-4 hours of overtime, and then with doing school full time it's been hard to find a moment to write a post, but I'm still alive and kicking!

Cisco Certified Network Associate

Since my last post I was able to get CCNA certified, but not without hiccups. I failed my first attempt, but then I studied the portions that I missed(I did terrible on Network Access my first attempt) and then I passed it two weeks later! In total, it took me around 2.5 months of studying 1-2 hours a day on a weekday and then 3-4 hours on weekends. It's for sure the hardest certification test I've taken, with it taking me 2x as long as both the Security+ and A+ exams combined, but it was super satisfying to learn about a lot of the topics as I was pretty uneducated on Networking before but I think it's critical to know these skills. Make sure you learn subnetting, OSPF, and STP :D


After that I took a break from grinding certifications, but I got back into it a few weeks ago. Currently I've been studying for the CysA+, so I can get credit for a course and skip it. Hopefully I can get everything down in a good time frame and take the test in a month or two.

Bass Guitar

Besides that, I picked up Bass Guitar in September and I've been having a lot of fun with the instrument. It's extremely hard to balance time with that and the Violin, as both require a lot of practice, and both are fun for different things. It's also hard to prioritize both instruments equally, but it's sorta working lol. Currently I've been learning a lot of improvisation and Jazz concepts on the Bass, and it's sweet coming up with things on the fly, even if it's pretty simple rhythms and chord progressions. I've been going through the Real Book and playing a few of the songs I really like, one of my favourites being "How Insensitive" by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Here's a picture of my Bass(and cat): BassManchita Bass
It's a Yamaha TRB1004, which I got used off Facebook Marketplace for about 700 dollars. It's modded a bit, with it using Gotoh tuners instead of the default tuners that it came with, but I like the silver tuners a lot more to the black tuners personally. Other than that, it's the stock setup. I also switched out the strings for Elixir strings, which are extremely nice and well worth the price. It's also a 35-inch scale bass, which was an adjustment as the one I was using was 34-inch scale bass, but now that I've used it for a few months I can't go back to my old one, I also have long fingers so it just feels more comfortable for me. I'm eventually planning on buying a 5 string in the future too, and those are generally 35 inch scale too, so it hopefully won't be too big of an adjustment.

Why Bass instead of Guitar?

I've been asked a few times why I decided on Bass over something like the Guitar, as it's seen as a boring instrument, but I honestly disagree with that common sentiment. I think Bass is just as engaging depending on the music that you play on it, and in many genres like Jazz it's a huge component of why the music sounds good and how you're able to distinguish it as a certain genre. Sure, some American Rock bands make super generic Bass lines where they only play roots, 3rds, and 5ths for whole measures, or songs where you can't really tell where the Bass is at because they lowered the volume on the Bass. However,that's just American Rock and some modern pop. Funk, some Jazz subgenres, Japanese Rock, Progressive Rock/Metal, and Latin Rock are all genres that I can think of where I see the Bass shining, so give those a listen if you want some good bass lines :D I guess another reason too is that I played Bass Clarinet and Upright Bass when I was younger, so I generally just prefer those warmer sounds and being in the background more too.

Violin Upgrade

On the otherhand, I also upgraded my Violin for the first time in 7 years as well! I bought myself a Ming Jiang Zhu 905 Violin, and it's so much better than my old Violin. It came with Dominant strings which I'm not a fan of(I just don't like the sound, prefer warmer tones personally, I thought I was receiving Infields lol), but once I've worn them out after a few months I'll swap them out to Obligatos. Here's a picture of my Violin: Violin

New Tech

For the tech that I'm using, I upgraded to a Thinkpad T14 as well. I got it for an extremely cheap price for the hardware installed, and it's in near mint conditon. I'll be doing a review on that soon as I love it more than my old x270. I'll also be doing a review on the Audeze LCD-3s, as I took the plunge on those but I haven't received them yet. Eventually I'll be making a homelab soon with a Proxmox hypervisor installed on an old OptiPlex computer from work. I'm planning on putting a SIEM, a DNS sinkhole, a samba file server, and maybe Jellyfin + a home VPN using WireGuard. I'll make sure to write about that here in the next few months.

Closing words

Thanks to whoever is reading about me rambling on about music and random computer stuff, really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my posts!