Dummies Set Up For Java

You’ve downloaded the java SDK. Now what?

You need to:

  1. set path=C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_05\bin. Here you are just setting the file path to the location of java. A good starting point is C:\Program Files\Java, and then find the version of the jdk you have. Now when you run the commands javac and java, Windows will know where to find them.
  2. cd = C:\Users\yourname\Documents\java. Change the directory to the location of your source files. Here, I created a folder called “java” in My Documents. Now when you run the commands javac and java, Windows will know where to find your source files and classes.
  3. javac HelloWorld.java. javac is the command to compile your source files.
  4. java HelloWorld. java is the command to “run” your class.

Lunchtime Guitar Jam

I want to play my guitar as much as possible (practice makes perfect) and I have a whole hour free at lunchtime. Put those two facts together and what have you got? That’s right kids: an hour long lunchtime guitar jam session.

What you will need for this recipe is:

  • A car with a back seat big enough to sit on with a guitar
  • A cd player in the car
  • A cd with jam tracks on it

The Car

I’ve tried sitting in the front seat with the seat back as far as it will go but there just isn’t enough space to be comfortable. Sitting on the back seat allows me to site right in the middle (can’t do that in the front) to get more room.

On the days I play my guitar (every day!) I park right at the end of the car park so that I don’t have work colleagues passing my car and gawping at me.

The Jam Tracks

You need something to jam along to man. If you had a looper and an amp you could do it all yourself. This is quite a bit of equipment for a sneaky backseat jam, so I’ll keep things simple and suggest you make your own jam track.

Go to Youtube and search for things like:

  • jam track
  • a minor blues backing track
  • guitar backing track
  • etc

The different searches will yield different videos, so mix and match things like guitar, blues, backing track, minor blues etc.

Find a free Youtube downloader and download all your backing tracks to your computer. Convert them to mp3 (the Youtube downloader I found could do that). Burn those mp3s to a CD and you are good to go.

Youtube Guitar Jam Tracks

Here are my current favourites:

Smooth Lighthearted Jazz, Man


Moody Pink Floydesque

A Bit Of Rock

Jazzy Blues, Or Was It Bluesy Jazz

Ballad Backing Track In Dm – Get Serious Dude

Fix A Loose Epiphone Les Paul Strap Button

I love my epiphone Les Paul. It plays like a dream. However, within a very short time of buying it, the front (neck end) strap button started coming loose. The very first time I didn’t notice until it came clean out while I was stood up playing it! I had my wits about me so I was able to catch it with my cobra fast reactions, before it smashed to the floor.

I tightened the button with a phillips screwdriver and thought that was the end of it. But no, this was a recurring problem.

Cocktail Stick Fix

Introducing: a handful of cocktail sticks and some glue. That’s all you need to fix a loose strap button. I know, because this is what I did and it worked.

First of all, take your strap button out. Shouldn’t be too hard because the damn thing is loose, after all. See how many cocktail sticks you can comfortably fit into the hole. Remember, this is where you will be screwing the strap button in later, so the more cocktail sticks, the tighter he fit. Cover your selected number of cocktail sticks with glue (I didn’t even bother using wood glue, I just found some generic glue lying around the house) and insert them back into the hole. Leave to dry.

Once the glue has set, you will need to get rid of the surplus cocktail sticks jutting out of the hole. They’re in the way. If you choose my method of sawing them off – be careful. I scratched the surface of my guitar because I was so clumsy. Don’t you do that. I used a hacksaw to saw off the extra bit of cocktail sticks, leaving the strap button hole filled very neatly. All that is required is a bit of filler that the strap button can bite into when you screw it in – and those cocktail sticks certainly do that.

Bench Press Shoulder Pain

I’ve had shoulder pain, usually only in one shoulder, when I benchpress for as long as I can remember. It’s never been a nagging injury, but it’s been a sharp pain maybe 30% – 40% of the time that I bench. Because it’s never been what I considered an injury, I just put up with it.

But it’s gone now, hopefully for good.

What’s my secret? Ain’t no secret! It’s rotator cuff exercises. Jeez, rotator cuff exercises are a dime a dozen on Youtube. The following is what I have done during the last two months, and what I am continuing to do to avoid rotator cuff injuries. The added benefit of taking care of myself in this way is that I no longer have shoulder pain when I bench.

Rotator Cuff Exercises

My method is simple. Pick one rotator cuff exercise and do that for a couple of weeks, then pick a different rotator cuff exercise and do that for the next two weeks. Keep repeating. The idea with these exercises is not to go for massive weight; it’s more a low weight high rep kind of thing. I’ve been keeping the reps at 20 and having only a short breather between sets. I do 4 sets.

At the moment I’m doing Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Boring But Big and I’m benching twice a week. I’m doing the rotator cuff exercises on the benching days, seeing as my shoulders are nice and loose from the bench and overhead press (that I also do on those days).

To be honest, these exercises take no more than 5 minutes in total so it’s pretty easy to fit them in at the end of my routine.

I can’t believe that I put up with this pain for so long without doing anything about it. Never occurred to me there was something I could do.