Chris Mitchell Music

20th Class Reunion

talented
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been out of High School for 20 years. My class decided to have our 20th class reunion on October 5th (which happens to be my 39th birthday). When I think about it in those terms, it’s a quick reminder that I’ve been out of school for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s more than half of my life ago and it truly feels like a lifetime ago. It’s gotten easier to keep up with my fellow classmates through Facebook and I already know what many of them have been up to. So instead of saying “What are you doing these days?”. I can say, “How do you like your job at the bank?”. This is certainly our first “post Facebook” reunion so thank God I won’t be shocked when I see everybody. Read More...
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Playing my butt off

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Gigs

What a busy week! I did four gigs this week and still managed to work my normal teaching schedule. Just thought I’d drop a quick blog together about the week.

Thursday: Ashlee and I played acoustic at the bank for Business After Hours.

Friday: Ashlee and I played for Celebrate Recovery at Mill Creek

Saturday: 1st Gig - Matt, Ashlee and I played an acoustic gig at Hunter Cattle.
2nd Gig - CMB played at Gnat’s landing.

I slept until 11:00 the next day. I don’t remember the last time I did that. So when you see me sitting in this picture, it’s because it’s my second gig that day…
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The Whirlwind That I Call Life

meanjean
It’s been a while since I posted a blog. And for good reason.

I’ve been busier than I ever have been in my life. I told you guys I would write more when I had time and finally I’ve got some ambition to write. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write in a while. It’s just that I haven’t had a ton of time. Over the past year, we’ve launched Devilcat Amplifiers, Developed our guitars, and managed to grow our Band and Orchestra Division at Pladd Dot beyond our expectations. Nonetheless, inspiration comes in different forms and my inspiration to blog again came with the website re-design. I felt like it was about time for a re-design of the site and when I found the right color palate and theme, I just went with it. As usual, I’ll be tweaking the design for a while but I’m pretty happy with where it is right now. I wasn’t really trying to go for a “flat” design and I’m certainly not against skeuomorphism. I just felt like with the new album on the way, it was time for a different look and feel. Speaking of which, the album is designed to look like something it’s not, while hiding another look. I’ll give you bonus points to the first person who can tell me what it is. : ) Read More...
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Off the Beaten Path

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I love going to places off the beaten path. I also love eating at food joints that in no way resemble corporate chains. Yesterday on my trip to Randy Wood’s guitar shop, I stopped by this place called Mac’s. It’s attached to the stage area of his place and it’s fantastic. I had an awesome pastrami sandwich. I like the little touches of the decor (like how they put the BBQ sauces in a crush bottle carrier. Very cool indeed.

I’m not really into twitter and I only tweet a very little. I am digging instagram, however. Photos with sweet filters and text. What else do you need? So instead of telling you more…. Here’s this week’s instagram pics. If you want to follow me, just look up pladddot on instagram and see what I post.




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Epiphany

epiphany2
Most people don’t know that the end of the Christmas season is actually the Epiphany. It ends generally around January 6th and it celebrates the time in which the Wise Men made it to see Jesus. I like it for several reasons. First, it allows me to celebrate Christmas (and my decorating) for two weeks after Christmas.

The sad part, however, is when the decorations come down.

In other words, yesterday was the saddest day of the year.

I bought a few extra decorations this year (and got great deals I might add) and this year I really look forward to adding more. That’s right! Christmas decorating is only 10 months away! WOO HOO!!!

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Christmas 1980

kindergarten1980
I ran across this picture tonight on Facebook. One of my classmates posted it online and I haven’t seen it in a couple of years. I remember exactly how the school looked, how it smelled (especially on soup and peanut butter sandwich day), and how much I loved Christmas even as a kindergartner!

God, I think I’m going to have to make those paper countdown links again! From what I can tell by counting the links, this was around 9:00AM on December 15th, 1980. I know it’s 9:00 (because of the clock), I know it’s 1980 (because that’s when I was in Kindergarten). And I’m pretty sure it’s close to 10 links on the shortest chain. I’m assuming some kids chains were longer than others because of absences, etc..

It’s odd for me to think that I’m older than both Mrs Lynn (to the left) and Mrs. Todd (to the right) now than they were at the time of this picture.

Anyway, to all my Classmates–Merry Christmas!
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Merry Christmas!

christmas75
Merry Christmas everybody! I just wanted to take a little time out of the day to sit and blog a little about my favorite holiday.

The picture is from Christmas 1976. I was two years old in those Hee Haw Overalls. That’s my Grandmother Margaret (hence the guitar’s name), my sister Melissa, and my brother, Mark. As you can tell, I don’t need instagram to have vintage photos. I lived in a few of them!

First, I’ve been blessed beyond belief. I have an amazing family, an awesome job, and the greatest wife that anyone could ever ask for! She is the love of my life and she makes every single day a special one. Second, it’s Christmas–my favorite time of the year! I love the smells, the decorations, the family gatherings, the music…. honestly, I love EVERYTHING about Christmas! Each year I read A Christmas Carol and watch as many Holiday movies that I can fit into my schedule. I’m not done yet.
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The Diet

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Most of you know that Ashlee and I went on a diet in June. By the time september rolled around, I had lost 43 pounds. I honestly didn’t realize that I had gotten that big until I saw these pictures back to back.

Wow. What an eye opener!

People’s number one questions is “How did you do it?”

It’s simple and here’s how we did it:





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Happy Thanksgiving!

dsw
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! I’m back to my blogging self so I just thought I’d share a little web comic and wish you all a happy holiday! Everybody that knows me knows that I’m a huge Star Wars fan. People have asked me if I’m happy about the Disney / Star Wars acquisition and I’m honestly very happy about it. Lucas gave the world an amazing franchise (that I spent MANY hours daydreaming about as a kid) and he’s also done an awesome job at being a true philanthropist. It will be very nice to see different directors and writers lend their hands and talents at telling their version of an amazing story. Read More...
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Being Me

amberashleesmall2
2012 has been a busy year for me. In this one year, we’ve launched our guitars, amps, and our B&O repair facility. This means that we’ve started a factory to build the guitars, amplifiers, and our repair facility. Just working through the design process is challenging enough. Then moving the equipment, buying the new equipment needed to build, and working through all of the kinks in materials, build style, and EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE has been a challenge. Read More...
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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everybody! Everybody knows that it’s my favorite time of year and I’ve been especially busy this year. I was a old western sherif this year and it was a pretty authentic costume. I’ll have to upload some pictures soon. Ashlee was a cowgirl and two of my students in our recital were cowboys and cowgirls. It was a pretty popular theme this year. Next year I’m going as Cobra Commander and I’m already looking for the costume.

Yes. I love Halloween.

One thing you can expect to come as a change on the website is better photos. I haven’t had a good digital camera until now. I’ve been saving up for the Canon T3i and now it’s here. Actually, I started saving up for the T2i but they released the T3i as an upgrade. Sweet.








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I've been Busy

Sorry about the long delay folks… but honestly, I’ve been busy.

I know I say that a lot but it’s true now more than ever. I’ve engulfed myself in my work to the point of obsession. It’s something I just have to do in order to do what I do. We’re very close to releasing the Jimmy and our CNC machine is cutting guitar bodies!

I’m really stoked about all of the new changes and challenges that Pladd Dot has in front of it. We’re about to purchase a new distribution warehouse, we’ve recently purchased a CNC machine to do the heavy guitar work, we’re about to expand our publishing division, and our new amplifier line is almost here! The new American guitar line is also only one month away! These products have been in development in some shape form or fashion for three years and will consume my future at Pladd Dot. I’m very pleased that our amplifier line (and American guitar line) is made in the USA.

Look out world, here comes Chris Mitchell Guitars and Mitchell Amplifiers!!!

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What's Wrong with the Music Industry

I found this picture online last night and it reminded me of exactly what's wrong with the music industry. Normally, I don't think about the current state of the industry. After all, I'm doing what I want to do everyday making music so why should I care? And let me first say that I don't... not really. And instead of sounding old and saying something like "they just don't write them like they used to" or "back in my day, music was different", let me remind you that it wasn't. It's actually been this way for a long, long time.


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Dad June 8th, 1939 - July 4th 2011

Dad passed away on Monday, July 4th, 2011. Dad lived an interesting life. Although he suffered from bi-polar disorder, he managed to overcome many of the obstacles that plagued him. My sister once made the observation that the term "Manic Depression" was a much better description of the illness. I have to agree with her. For those of you who have faced the illness first hand, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I could write of countless stories about what it was like being the youngest son of Jimmie Mitchell, but instead I'll just let you read the lyrics to the song "Twin Sons" that I wrote about him. Read More...
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Hip Hop Hooray!

I love observing how companies go through transitions. It's funny to see how they try to change their identity and focus. Even before I owned a brick and mortar business, sold retail goods, or even before I became incorporated, I liked to watch companies try to change with the rolling tide. Mainly Video game companies, computer companies, guitar companies, and car companies. I find it interesting how the same companies that make good decisions and wind up with a killer product can turn right around and make an idiotic move for the worse.

In the last ten years, I've seen Microsoft loose millions on an investment in Rare (which I predicted back on October 4th, 2002). Luckily for Microsoft (and the Xbox) they invested in another small Apple software developer called Bungie. I mean hey... Halo made me eat my words and I even bought an Xbox. In this decade I've seen GM lose their shirt and rebound, and recently I've seen Washburn Guitars go from a thriving company to a guitar company that's bleeding money with absolutely no identity. It's a shame. The second oldest guitar company in the United States doesn't know who they are. Nor do they make a single Washburn guitar in the USA.
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A Day Off

Finally. A day off. I haven't had a day off since March. Seriously. Either I've had gigs every weekend, cleaned the garage, or gigs every weekend. Sometimes I've even played gigs on the weekend. I've played 18 gigs since May.

Don't get me wrong. I love what I do. That's why I do it.

But a day off is freakin' awesome right now. Today we even went in to Savannah to do a little shopping. We were ready to go home about the time we got there. Savannah doesn't really blow my skirt up like it did when I was younger. For one thing, Statesboro is becoming more self sufficient as of late and Savannah is really a pain in the butt. The "big trip" doesn't impress me nearly as much as it did when I was a kid.
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On the Road Again

I'm writing this blog from the road. We're heading up I-16 on the way to Atlanta for Ashlee's Teacher of the Year Banquet. The last blog I wrote from the road was the Christmas blog written the way back from Wisconsin.

Anyway, we're on the way to Atlanta to find out the outcome of Ashlee's great honor. Honestly, I personally (and selfishly) hope she doesn't get it. I know that sounds horrible but I don't want to loose my wife for a year. Not only would I be loosing my wife for a year, but I'll also be loosing my accountant. Ashlee's dad said that he'd take over the accounting dept. but I'd still be loosing my wife for a year... and that sucks.

Think about it... I'll be without a wife, Pladd Dot will be without our star accountant, and Sebastian will be without a mom. Say what you will about the other two, but that woman would miss her cat more than anything.
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Toys and Art

This blog is about my obsession with toys. No–let me more rephrase that and say toys that happen to be high art. I realize that many people might disagree with me on that point but I plan to change your mind in this article.

Most of you know that I'm a huge toy collector. I've always loved toys. Even as a child, I didn't want every toy on the market, but rather the ones that I thought were aesthetically pleasing. I would pass over a toy that was popular because it just didn't look cool to me. My GI JOE army was a strange amalgam of good guys, bad guys, and toys that I took apart to re-assemble in a fashion that I thought was best. Certain heads just didn't look right on certain bodies and some arms and torsos worked better on a different set of legs. By the time I got done compiling my forces, they pretty much all worked for a unified "Army of the Cool" and usually fought against a potpourri of the worst figures I'd get as a gift (the ones I didn't pick out for myself).

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Travels

Friday Ashlee and I rode to Macon for her Teacher of the Year interview. She had to go to the Bibb County Board of Education office and give an in-person interview to judges and the former Teacher of the Year. It was pretty cold in Macon Friday. It was odd, Saturday warmed up like it was a beautiful Spring day. Nonetheless, she said that everything went well in the interview and I know she did great. She has to give one more speech on April 1st to Georgia Power in Atlanta and she won't know anything until May.

Speaking of my beautiful bride, I just updated her website: www.ashleemitchell.com Check it out! Read More...
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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody! I hope this holiday finds you healthy and wise. Sorry it's been a month since an update, I've been busy at Pladd Dot with all of the Christmas adventures that go along with owning a retail shop. Pladd Dot is open until 7:00 on Christmas Eve and I'm currently writing this from Detroit. Brian wanted to work today since he didn't have family plans until tomorrow. You know you've got a good working environment (and your employees love their job) when they'll volunteer to work on Christmas Eve!!! I'm traveling to visit Ashlee's family this Christmas and as I write this, there is snow on the ground. I'm having a white Christmas this year.

December 28th:

Not only has it been white, it's been C-C-C-COLD!!! Last night we went out for Chinese and when we got back in the car, I swear my Jeans were frozen. Wisconsin is covered in a blanket of white and it's beautiful. Leave it to me to go away for Christmas only to leave Georgia snow. What's up with that?

As always, it's been a good Christmas. Pladd Dot was able to donate a good bit of toys again this year for Toys for Tots. After dinner, the store employees packed up to Wal-Mart and we bought a bunch of toys to give to Toys for Tots. We weren't able to buy the same truckload that we were able to buy last year. Last year was pretty unique because one of our toy vendors had an amazing sale and I was able to really stock up. The cool thing is this year we balanced out the toy giving in the girl's favor. Last year we had a truckload of boy's toys.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope that this holiday finds everyone safe, happy, and thankful for the many blessings. Sorry that I haven't written a blog in a while but Pladd Dot's been wearing me out lately. We've been really busy and I just haven't had time to write a blog. Trust me... I'm VERY THANKFUL for that! Nonetheless, it's a great day of rest and I thought I'd take some time to get caught up with the blog. Things are starting to shape up with the duties of our e-bay store, the warehouse, the shop, and the band instrument program so I'm hoping to have a little more organized schedule this year. We'll see.
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Halloween Begins

It's that time of year again. The zombies are rising from the grave... the goblins are hiding in the shadows... the werewolves are on the prowl... It's almost Halloween!!! This year I've got a lot of things planned. As you may have read in my last blog entry, I'm doing 9 days of Halloween activities this year. I actually changed it to ten days. It may actually be a little more... I added decorating the Pladd Dot windows (an annual tradition that I LOVE!!!) and I added Hagan's Haunted Forest and Haunted House. That makes 11 I think... I don't care, the more days the better!

Anyway, this year I bought extra decorations (as I always do) and decided to see what I could get on the cheap. Most of the places I went had some pretty good stuff. Some of my favorite new pieces are resin skulls I found at Big Lots. They looked great and were pretty cheap. I got them for about nine bucks each. I also like the cut off hands and feet I found at K-Mart. The mould is shockingly good and the paint job is pretty nice too. They look a little pale but it adds to the "not receiving blood from the heart" kinda look... Read More...
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It's About Time

Back in July I wrote about my affinity with electric cars and being free from the burden of foreign oil. For two years now I've been following an electric car company out of California aptly called Tesla Motors. After visiting the website today I discovered this Gem; the Tesla "S" series. It's designed as a luxury car and it's completely electric. Of course, I would be missing a major point if I didn't say that it's sexy and fast. The "S" series goes 300 miles on a single charge. It's got a spacious interior large enough to seat 7, it goes 125mph, and it gets a full charge for five bucks. Did you read that oil barons? FIVE BUCKS! The other cool thing about this car is that it's a LUXURY car for about $49,000. If you compare it to the BMW M6 coupe in the same class, it's 50,000 less. That's not too shabby. Now before you nay-sayers get all bent out of shape and write some ridiculous comment... remember that this is designed as a LUXURY car and not designed to compete in the same market as the Nissan Leaf. Tesla Motors plans to release a more affordable electric car in the near future. Read More...
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Coming Attractions

Well, I've got some news for all of the folks out there that have been eagerly anticipating the new guitars. THEY'RE LOOKING SWEEEEEET!!! I got some pictures from the factory a couple of weeks ago and now it's time to share them with the world. I'm very pleased with the new color options that we're offering. The one pictured here is Caramel Satin. BEAUTIFUL!!! The guitar's satin finish makes it look like a well preserved vintage instrument without all the scratches and dents!

Another new color I'm excited about seeing is Georgia Honey. It's a new color in our palate and I think every guitarist is going to love it! More to come on that very soon!

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Going Greener

It's no secret that I'm a big proponent of alternative energy. Last year I went greener with my truck and started burning Ethanol. It made me about 85% less dependent on oil. The cool thing about my truck's source of Ethanol is that it's completely renewable. It doesn't come from a food source (like corn for food). Currently, scientists are even working on ways to use prairie grass, corn husks, and even cellulose. All plants make cellulose so it would offer a completely renewable source of energy to make ethanol. Henry Ford believed that the Ethanol was the fuel of the future.

That being said, Ashlee has been going greener with her car as well. Last year she got a Smart car and it gets about 40 mpg in town and 50 mpg hwy miles. That was a big step. Compared to the Accord, that's a 30% increase in fuel efficiency. This means that she'll use 30% less fuel this year than she did last year. That's like gas costing $1.73 a gallon. Not bad.
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An Update

Sorry about the month delay for an update. I've been pretty busy with the guitars, stands, shipping, blah blah blah...

Anyway, I just thought I'd take a while to post some pictures of test shots I've taken with the Digital Elph and the light tent I bought. As you can see, it does an amazing job diffusing light. The Indy shot was pretty dark because I didn't put an extra light on it. Still, not bad for a point and shoot. The whole purpose of the tent and toy photos was of course to help take photos for the new
pladdtoys.com website. It's up and running and we're getting toys in now. If you know anybody that wants to get really cool toys for Christmas AND help the community, shop with us!
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Grandma 1918 - 2010

I wrote a eulogy for my grandmother this week. I had to deliver it on Thursday. Here's how it went.

Grandma

How do you sum up a person's life in such a short amount of time? I can assure you that no matter what I say to you today (or Brother John), we will not even scratch the surface of my grandmother's awesome life. Even this week I've learned a few things about grandma that I never knew–and I've known her for 35 years. For example, I learned that Grandma never made it past the 7th grade. Aunt Jan told me this on Tuesday. She said that Grandma felt like her clothes weren't as nice as some of the other kids and she didn't want to go back to school. So after 7th grade, her mom allowed her quit school. I grew up around grandma's house all my life. There were many nights where me and my cousins spent the night over there. Yet I still didn't know that until this week. I assure you that had I known it, I would've thought of a lot more creative ways to try to skip school the next day. I would've pointed out to Grandma that I was just trying to skip one day–not my entire high school career. Read More...
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Logos Part I

After reading my friend Justin Samples' Blog about the blatant misuse of the Papyrus font, I can't help to blog about something that's been on my mind for a while–logos. Most people that know me know that I do graphic design from time to time. It's a hobby that I picked up in college. I'm sure it spawned from a drawing obsession in Middle and High School because I used to draw all of the time. All of that led me to really enjoy graphic design and ultimately making a little money at it. I'm not the greatest graphic designer in the world but I know when I've done something right (and wrong).

Logos are one of those things that I love. I've always found it fascinating how a company or brand will summarize their entire existence with one image. Think about the Nike "swoosh", the ubiquitous Coca Cola script, or Apple's "apple". All of them are examples of great logos. They're easily recognized and can't be mistaken for anything else. They're also very classy and memorable. That's what goes into making a great logo. Read More...
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A Proud Methodist

It's been a long time since I've been proud to be a methodist. Over the last ten years, I've either called myself a "Bad Methodist" or a Christian Exestentialist. Either way, I don't always fit the rank and file march of anyone's religious norm (especially in this neck of the woods). I realize that statement is somewhat ironic considering I've lived here all of my life. I'm not going to get too political here but I will say that I'm happy about the passage of the healthcare bill and I'm glad that the United Methodist Church supported the bill. Many of you know that Ashlee is a brain cancer survivor. I never really thought much about healthcare until I started dating a cancer survivor and until my mom was diagnosed with leukemia (they both happened at the same time). All I can tell you is my experiences and here they are: Read More...
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Sebastian's 10!!!

It's really hard for me to believe that my little guy's ten years old! It really doesn't feel like it was that long ago when I brought him home. I read an article in the newspaper and went and picked one out of the litter. Needless to say, he was the feistiest one of the bunch! Ten years later... He still is. His determination to get what he wants goes far beyond anything that I've ever seen before in a cat. He lets you know what he wants, he speaks his mind, he plays, and he does a good bit of napping... What else do you expect from a cat?

Anyway, today is his tenth birthday and I thought I should give him a shout out for being the coolest cat ever! Happy birthday, little buddy! Read More...
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The New Website

Okay... I'm a tinkerer... Yes. I've been delaying the blogs for a couple of months now. Sorry about that to all of you out there that have been reading. Actually, the cool part is that the site will be much better now that I'm using RapidWeaver (the company's logo is to the left). First of all, you can now post your comments on my blog. I like that. I didn't have that feature with iWeb. Sure, it's offered to MobileMe (Apple's web server), but MobileMe is so slow that I couldn't stand the download times. Read More...
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