Catch Russ Desomer on the #Piratebroadcast
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Links and Websites:
Linkedin website linkedin.com/in/russdesomerboxobliterator
Find Russ Desomer @ instagram.com/rustysummercustomguitars/
Russ Johns 0:01
Welcome to the #piratebroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings where you can expand your connections, your community.# Kindnessiscool and #smilesarfree. Let's get this party started.
The two Russ', Russ, how are you this morning
Russ Desomer 0:24
Russ squared? I'm fan freakin tastic
Russ Johns 0:27
Oh, that is awesome. I am I am equally excited and enthusiastic about this conversation because we're gonna be talking a little bit about outside the box thinking and also gratitude, you have the daily gratitude journal challenge happening. We'll be talking a little bit about that. First of all, for those that do not know, you, give us a little snapshot of who Russ is and why you happen to be here today.
Russ Desomer 0:57
Well, that is a long story. I'll do The Reader's Digest version for you here. I grew up in a pretty typical family, dysfunctional family, like, like most people do. Mom or Dad hated each other. It, wasn't fun. I was the oldest of three. So they had me. Then they had two more, but I just kind of was left to fend for myself.
Russ Johns 1:26
Russ Desomer 1:27
So I lived my life. Pretty much the way I wanted it. I went out when I wanted to, I came back in fact, I had teenagers crave guidance, right?
Russ Johns 1:40
Russ Desomer 1:40
And structure. The only rules I had were, let us know where you are, and keep your pants zipped. That's it. That's the only rules I had growing up. I also had a raging case of undiagnosed ADHD. The only thing that saved My life growing up wasn't above average intelligence, and just the general desire in a desire to do good, and to help other people. If it hadn't been for that I would have been a menace to society. No, no question in my mind.
Russ Johns 2:17
Yeah. Wrecking havoc in society.
Russ Desomer 2:23
Yes. Yeah. So served a two year mission for my church, which I'm glad I did. Because of that lack of structure. It wasn't nearly as effective as it probably could have been.
Russ Johns 2:38
Russ Desomer 2:38
I didn't have any work ethic. I didn't have any drive. I messed around more than I should have. I didn't I didn't serve God's purpose, the way I would like to have. I say that not to self deprecated to beat myself up, but just kind of an illustration of me then.
Russ Johns 2:59
Russ Desomer 3:00
Got home met my beautiful wife. We got married. Now we've been married for just over 28 years.
Russ Johns 3:09
Oh, wow Congrats.
Russ Desomer 3:10
Thank you. It's been a major journey. Well, as you can imagine, having no structure, and now living with somebody was really really, really difficult.
Russ Johns 3:23
It was pretty night and day, in a lot of respects.
Russ Desomer 3:27
Well, it was but I didn't see it. I just continued to live my life the way I always did. Doing pretty much what I wanted to do, not taking into into consideration what she wanted or needed. I wanted children and so we have we have six kids from 27. My oldest just got married in our backyard last week.
Russ Johns 3:51
I saw the pictures.
Russ Desomer 3:51
Yeah, down to 11 years old.
Russ Johns 3:54
Russ Desomer 3:54
Thank you. She's very happy. She's got back from our honeymoon Sunday. Things that were things were rough actually, for the first 27 years, up and down, up and down, up and down. I always because I knew I had that desire to do good in my heart all the time. I thought I was looking out for the best interests of my family.
Russ Johns 4:22
Russ Desomer 4:23
It took almost being divorced multiple times, separations. Just going through all kinds of stuff. Then finally, we got into some good marriage counseling, which was a catalyst but it didn't actually do the trick. I went into my wife calls it going down the rabbit hole or spiraling or whatever. I was having another one of those situations where I wasn't happy with anybody in my life. Everybody was out to get me and I had, as a side hustle ideal blackjack and poker for a casino company. We do the non gambling games out here in Utah. I do that on the side, and it's pretty fun. It's the most fun you'll ever make as a side hustle. I had a gig that night. My son was also going to counseling and so we had the marriage counseling, and then I left right after that. When they were done, my wife and my son went to a restaurant to get dinner. They started comparing notes, which they'd never done. They came up with some really, really interesting things. When I would go downhill when I would go into my spiral down the rabbit hole, whatever pun you want to use.
Russ Johns 5:49
Russ Desomer 5:50
It was always because I had some big epic thing that I was working on or trying to do. I mean, one of them was it I think the one at that time was I found this house in down in central Utah. It was an old chapel. I wanted to convert this into like some sort of music hall slash, place and all this, all these things are good. I had these big plans where I wanted to bring in some big names and do concerts and do a charity benefit. When my family didn't get on board, I felt offended by it. Which
Russ Johns 6:30
Come on, follow me and what are you doing Dad?
Russ Desomer 6:36
Which as I say, it now sounds completely absurd and silly. Every time they wouldn't get on board with my big grand ideas, I felt like they were holding holding me back.
Russ Johns 6:47
Your wife and your son had a conversation that kind of pulled this thread of consistency together.
Russ Desomer 6:55
Russ Johns 6:56
Interesting. What was the outcome of that conversation. When it came back to you.
Russ Desomer 7:02
She thought I was going to be super mad when she told me what they had discovered.
Russ Johns 7:07
Russ Desomer 7:09
I can't tell you what a kick in the teeth it is to realize that after almost half a century of life.
Russ Johns 7:16
Russ Desomer 7:16
When you realize that the problems that you are facing in just about everything are 98% your fault.
Russ Johns 7:26
I don't know that you're unique in that situation. I think a lot of people are the ones that generate their own challenges because it all starts in our imagination and our perception of what is going on around us. Right. From that, it sounds like you're in a place you're in a pretty good place where you're actually developing things, you've got some good things happen in your life. Music is a thread that you've brought to the table on a regular basis. It sounds like the family is coming together and things are doing well. Is that the case?
Russ Desomer 8:11
Is it. Is it.
Russ Johns 8:13
Is there more work to be done?
Russ Desomer 8:14
Oh, there's always more work to be done. That's it's never ending. It takes a daily dose of Okay, every time I go into an action, I have to think okay, is this going to lead me down the rabbit hole?
Russ Johns 8:29
Russ Desomer 8:29
Is this something that is going to be good for me and my family and family has to always come first period. I've made some choices that I have to live with the consequences of those. Because of those, there are certain things that my wife has a really hard time trusting.
Russ Johns 8:47
Russ Desomer 8:47
Perfect example is I've been really active on LinkedIn for about six weeks now. Because of all the things that we just talked about, I have some I'm not a classic narcissist, but I have a lot of the The tendencies of narcissism. One of those is I am addicted to the accolades. I want those pats on the back and the attaboys. They feel good, because I never got that. I think it's stems from not getting that as a kid.
Russ Johns 9:14
Sure. Seeking, seeking the appreciation,
Russ Desomer 9:20
Russ Johns 9:21
That you've not received in the past. Yeah.
Russ Desomer 9:23
My wife, the LinkedIn thing has her a little bit concerned.
Russ Johns 9:28
Russ Desomer 9:29
We went away this weekend, and we actually had a really good conversation that almost sent the vacation in a different direction. Because we were communicating, which we never used to do, I would just hold on to things and I didn't want to get into a fight. We wouldn't talk but we're actually communicating now, which is a pretty new thing within the last year. She voiced her concerns. I was upset.
Russ Johns 9:54
You were upset because you didn't feel heard or understood or You didn't feel like she was on board with what you're accomplishing?
Russ Desomer 10:03
I felt upset because I didn't. I want her to understand that this is different. This is different than every other time I've had these grand schemes because where my focus lies,
Russ Johns 10:15
Russ Desomer 10:15
I joined a men's group A few years ago, because I was craving connections.
Russ Johns 10:20
Russ Desomer 10:21
I wrote an article a few weeks ago about how I love how LinkedIn uses the term connection. Instead of friends or whatever. I need those connections. I'm an extreme extrovert. I joined this men's organization, which was really really bad for me. The organization itself in and of itself probably isn't bad. Because I went in there, and I became an instant rock star just because I'm so outgoing, and I have my music. I have all these different things going for me. I got those attaboys all the time. I started preventing about my wife who didn't understand me and all this stuff, and I started taking my my children with me, which was horrible. I didn't even see it. I didn't even recognize that that's what was happening. Now that every time I get into one of these situations, she's nervous.
Russ Johns 11:16
Russ Desomer 11:18
I was really excited because I had a post that hit 1000 views in under two hours.
Russ Johns 11:26
And I was excited about that. What I'm helping trying to help her understand is it's not about the number of views. My good friend Sherry, Luke, she taught me that 1000 is that magic number, the thousand of us is where you want and that helps you know that it's being engaging. What I'm really looking for is people to engage and interact, because I want to spread those blessings. This is actually a perfect segue into the the daily gratitude journal challenge.
Yeah, talking about that because What is it the, now that you understand and appreciate you have this tendency, right? You're communicating with your wife. As a community, right as a connection, we can actually maybe assist you in this journey in some ways or kind of guard you against havoc and mayhem. I don't know, it's one of those things that we have to, I think is really important for us as humanity. The social fabric is to help each other out. I got a friend of mine that runs Eric Tivers who runs ADHD rewired and it's a community around ADHD and some of the things the challenges that we have is all of these distractions that society bring to the table sometimes. I think it's great to have a cause and a focus. It really allows us to have something that we can hold on to. I think it's nice to have a positive outcome. Talk to us about what the purpose and the goal is with the daily gratitude journal challenge.
Russ Desomer 13:20
Yes, I know that's a real mouthful to say, did my first live video on Saturday and I flubbed? That's the only word. It's perfect. I flubbed that. That phrase. The purpose behind it is I've tried to for some time, to every night write down three things I'm grateful for.
Russ Johns 13:41
Russ Desomer 13:41
It's kind of reframe my life. I posted that. My friend Sherry said, try doing it in the morning and watch your life change. That was really profound for me.
Russ Johns 13:54
Russ Desomer 13:55
Because I was trying to I was looking for things to post about. I was looking for content. I decided to kind of do a two for one. I started doing my challenge online. I every morning I get up and one of the first things I do is I write a little post about what I'm thinking about. Then I do my three things I'm grateful for.
Russ Johns 14:19
Russ Desomer 14:19
I haven't done today's because I'm going to be linking this, because I'm grateful for this opportunity to talk with you and to kind of share my message a little bit.
Russ Johns 14:28
Guess who else is on the show today?
Russ Desomer 14:30
Russ Johns 14:31
Gabriel. So you're going to be on Gabriel, you're going to be talking to Gabriel tonight too, as well.
Russ Desomer 14:36
I will. I'm really excited for that.
Russ Johns 14:39
Couple of things to be grateful for right.
Russ Desomer 14:42
Absolutely. Even when I'm go away with my wife for the weekend. We have an understanding, I don't touch LinkedIn. Other than I get up, I do my quick journal entry, which on the weekend doesn't include tagging anyone Or an article, it's just, these are the three things I'm grateful for.
Russ Johns 15:05
Russ Desomer 15:06
That I can spend my time with her. I can focus on her. I don't get nearly the traction, but I keep the momentum for me and the
Russ Johns 15:16
Presence to be present. And and I don't know, for myself, I've been doing this a while. It's less. I don't get the numbers that I could if I were chasing numbers. However, I know that continuing to put good stuff out there and highlighting people like yourself that are doing good things.
Russ Desomer 15:39
That's a great point. That's what I'm after. I know, thousands of views is fine, but I want people to engage. I want people to tell me what they're grateful for. Because the more positivity that we put out there, the more we change the world.
Tell me what you're grateful for. Follow. Daily gratitude journal challenge, you know, daily with me. I've had two people that do have split off and start doing their own challenges, which makes me feel really good. Because that's my goal. That's what I'm after.
Russ Johns 16:12
I wake up every morning and I have an app installed in my computer it's called momentum dash it I think it's dash Yeah, momentum dash. Anyway, it gives me a nice image in it allows me to type in something that I'm. it's typically used for my checklist my to do list, only I type in gratitude and I then I reflect on gratitude every morning. That's every day is it's a constant that and I know that it's changed my life. I've been doing it for years, but it's really makes a difference. It does make a difference. When you start thinking about what you have, rather than what you desire and you Focus on the day in the moment and what you are appreciating then at that time, life shifts a lot.
I think we're going through this, this whole pandemic thing in isolation and someone like yourself that's very outgoing and likes the connection in the conversation. It's more challenging to be able to isolate yourself and distance yourself and from society in going out and doing other things. It's a challenge. Hats off to the challenge that you're putting out there. If you're not connected with Russ, go connect with Russ, tell him Russ Sent you. Start the challenge. Let's all have a little more gratitude and so much, go out there and do this. Thank you so much, Russ. For starting The challenge in and let's get some people on board and help people out. Hopefully you'll talk about it with Gabriel tonight as well in his on his show. I want to talk a little bit about before we, as we go through this process, I know one of the things that you've done is build cigar box guitars,
Russ Desomer 18:25
That is correct.
Russ Johns 18:25
Being in Utah I have I have, I've played in bands and I've been a musician for years and I played in Utah. It's really fascinating to me this cigar boxes, so I want to want to share that with the audience and get them involved in in understanding what that is and what that actually means and what it looks like. So, talk a little bit about that Russ and tell us a little bit about that.
Russ Desomer 18:54
So the way this started was a few years ago, my wife wanted to do something different for Christmas, where it was less commercial. It wasn't about just collecting more junk.
Russ Johns 19:03
Russ Desomer 19:03
I'd always kind of had this idea I wanted to build a cigar box guitar. So I suggested it. I said, babe, why don't I build cigar box guitars for everybody, or for all the kids know, we can play music together and we can make memories.
Russ Johns 19:17
Russ Desomer 19:18
She said, No, I don't think you'll have time. Well, I learned later that the translation for that and wife speak was no Russ. They're going to be dumb.
Russ Johns 19:32
That sounds like a dumb idea.
Russ Desomer 19:34
Yes. I decided to do anyway, I found on our local classifieds. I found a lady that had like five different cigar boxes for $20. I picked those up. I started with a very simple challenge. I wanted to build a guitar in an hour, and it was quite late if you go to my Instagram, Rusty summer. I think it's rusty summer. You've got it linked in the description. I think It shows that very first guitar, and it is literally a rectangular box with a stick through it. You play it with a slide and it's super fun. I did I built it in an hour. From there, okay, so no proof of concept was there. Then I built a regular, more traditional looking guitar and made tons of mistakes on it. I did that on purpose, so that I could learn from the experience before I started into making the one or the instruments for my kids. Now that I've got this all down and mind you this is before I moved my house here, I've got in this house here I've got a full shop in my garage. It's a wonderful place to work. This was I had a two car garage that was half full of crap, and I had no place to do it. Most of it was done with battery powered tools from the back of my car but I wound up
Russ Johns 21:00
Russ Desomer 21:01
I had to, I had no choice. I made my daughter was going to be learning ukulele in school. She's the one that she's about to turn 15. So I made her a ukelele. Actually a friend at work, who plays the ukulele said, it plays like a $500 ukulele.
Russ Johns 21:20
Russ Desomer 21:21
It was it turned out really well. I made for my son, I made a 22 inch scale dulcimer. It's a diatonic-ally threaded so that you can never play a wrong note. It's always in the key, whatever key it's in, which is I think it's tuned to D. Then for my youngest, I made a little one string, another one string diddly bow. I think I was blessed. I'm a very spiritual person. I think that have my heavenly father does things and he puts people in your lives and he helps you and sometimes he lets you Do better than you should. I those initial instruments turned out better than probably three or four of them of my next instruments.
Russ Johns 22:11
Russ Desomer 22:12
I think that was necessary for me to be able to carry the momentum to do what I'm doing now.
Russ Johns 22:18
Build the enthusiasm.
Russ Desomer 22:19
Russ Johns 22:22
That's fascinating. You had a Happy Christmas,
Russ Desomer 22:25
We had a Happy Christmas and we pulled the whole Christmas story where I couldn't hide it because, I didn't have any place to really do them. They knew it was coming. I hit them out in the garage, and we finished Christmas. And everything's over and they're a little bit deflated because they knew they were getting these. We cleaned up all the wrapping paper and did all those things. Then I said, I think we got one more so I went out and got them and then my wife was actually blown away. That's when she told me what the translation was right there. She was really, really surprised. I was surprised. I didn't know what I was going to be able to do.
Russ Johns 23:09
Yeah, but you've never done it before.
Russ Desomer 23:12
Russ Johns 23:12
It's one ofthose things that all of a sudden, you're saying, I want to do this, and I'm gonna do this. That's the beauty of experimentation in being able to start from scratch and it's just like instruments, we practice these things and get on video and start a journal and all of these things. Until we do it. It's hard until you start doing it, right.
Russ Desomer 23:39
Yep. So they've morphed,
Russ Johns 23:43
Russ Desomer 23:45
I want to do a shout out to somebody you introduced me to Chantel Soomis?
Russ Johns 23:49
Russ Desomer 23:50
I'm actually in the process of building three instruments for her. She's doing a fundraiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Yes.
Russ Johns 23:58
Russ Desomer 23:59
I'm under the gun. Now I thought I had till middle end of June. I've got to ship these in a little over two weeks. I have a good friend. When I started building these, I would take them into work and show people. This was this is before I realized my addiction to accolades. I did it because I wanted all the attaboys and he was like all Russ that's so cool. Because I craved that. Well, one of my co workers absolutely loved them. He was a musician, as well. He was one of the engineers. He was fighting a battle with with lymphoma. We don't have time for the whole story. I'll actually put that in a post. So everybody, if you want to hear the story, you got to follow me.
Russ Johns 24:42
Russ Desomer 24:43
you got to come
Russ Johns 24:43
Russ Desomer 24:45
Anyway, his team, the condensed version in his team. They commissioned me to build an instrument for him. I put so much love into that instrument and it turned out gorgeous. This was still pretty early in my guitar making life. While it was beautiful, there are lots of things that I've learned since then that are going to make it beautiful. In a tribute to him, I'm recreating that guitar with I found the exact same cigar box. I'm recreating recreating that guitar in honor of him for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Russ Johns 25:28
Russ Desomer 25:29
It's gonna go for a silent auction for Chantel the other one I'm doing is isn't hers ukuleles that people can do. I've got these three instruments I've got to get built in the next two weeks. That's actually another perfect segue into how this translates into blowing up the box and learning. A traditional cigar box guitar and actually have chosen, I can show you this one. I'm going to show you that This is called. I call this a hick stick.
Russ Johns 26:04
Russ Desomer 26:04
I actually designed this as a design of my own. Because I wanted something that was portable that I could take up into the mountains and travel. The whole thing comes apart and you can actually put iton.
Russ Johns 26:16
Russ Desomer 26:18
My favorite thing is to get like a FedEx box and double sided tape and it sounds like a full size acoustic guitar. It's incredible. But if you can, most people make them with just one by two lumber.
Russ Johns 26:32
Russ Desomer 26:32
Okay, and that's a traditional way to make them and it works.
Russ Johns 26:38
Russ Desomer 26:38
The problem is anybody who works with wood knows that wood bows and its very temperamental. I got tired of after a while my guitars just flexing and doing weird stuff. Being the blowing up the box thinker I am. I thought, How can I change it? How can I fix this problem?
Russ Johns 27:00
Russ Desomer 27:01
I decided to do something different and this is my latest guitar and it's all these are on my Instagram so you can check those out.
Russ Johns 27:11
Russ Desomer 27:11
It's beautiful but if you look at that headstock that's beautiful headstock so notice the direction the woods going.
Russ Johns 27:18
Russ Desomer 27:19
That is three pieces of half inch poplar that have been
Russ Johns 27:24
Did we lose you
Did we lose you Russ? it'll go on Well, I'm not sure if Russ can hear us. I'm not sure if you can see us. Russ was talking about his cigar box guitars. Right now we're going through a phase where the the challenge we have is that we have the the looks like he lost his connection. So, unfortunately, we're gonna have to have us back on another show and talk about what we're doing here. Everything else. We lost Russ. We lost Russ. Yeah. Dare I think we lost Russ. I'm so sorry. Anyway, I will bring Russ back on we'll talk about his guitars. I should probably introduce him. Mel. Do you think we should introduce him to Nick kotak since they're both in Utah anyway Will we'll be back. We'll be back. Never fear. We're going to go ahead and we're going to, we're going to wrap this episode up. I'll follow up with Ross. He'll be on. He'll be on Gabriel show tonight. Go check out Gabriel, follow Gabriel. He's online and start from scratch podcasts. He's, he's out there. He's doing the show. It's really a matter of being able to find out what you're doing, why you're doing it, and everything that goes along with it. With that #kindnessesiscool, s#milesarefree. Oh, he came back. Let's get him back. We lost you.
Russ Desomer 29:45
Yeah, I like I've got two internet connections here at home. I forgot to check to make sure I was on the closest one. We went all that time and we dropped.
Russ Johns 29:58
We're just closing out the show and I said, Well have to have rust back on since we lost him so however let's and we'll do that Russ We'll bring it back on we'll talk a little bit more details. I was telling everybody that I have a good friend that's built band banjos he's done in lays, he's built guitars, he's rebuilt guitars. He's a master craftsman and all this it would be great, because he's up in Ogden.
Russ Desomer 30:25
Russ Johns 30:26
I'm not sure where you live.
Russ Desomer 30:31
My new son in law is from Ogden. Okay, so and I'm about go 25 or so miles south of Ogden.
Russ Johns 30:41
Okay, all right. You're up. Yeah, I'll hook you up. Nick kotak. He's an amazing individual. That is just, I think you'd get along and and he would talk you're up so it'd be fun. He's not online. He doesn't get online. He doesn't do computers anymore. A wonderful individual that I've had friends for years, so it'd be great. He loves to talk about the craftsmanship of, building things like what you're doing. It would be fun, also. So you're building a guitar for Chantel in the fundraiser, and so people can find you on Instagram as well. What's your RAM handle?
Russ Desomer 31:27
I believe it's rusty summer. You linked it,
Russ Johns 31:33
We'll, put it in the show notes and put it in RussJohnes.com/piratebroadcast. You can find the updates in this episode. We'll be there. Sometime later today. I'll share it with you Russ as well and we could put that out there and everything else so join Russ on his daily gratitude journal challenge. Let's have a little gratitude for what's going on. Anything that you want to share with the community before we sign off for us,
Russ Desomer 32:06
Just thank you guys all for joining. Let's make the world a better place. Let's show empathy and compassion and love. This whole COVID-19 thing has been the reset that we've all needed. Those of us who have been kind of into ourselves, have had an opportunity to maybe focus on others a little bit more and think about what it is that we have and we really have in life.
Russ Johns 32:32
Russ Desomer 32:34
I'll tell you what, toilet paper doesn't solve all the world's world's problems. Compassion and love and empathy do.
Russ Johns 32:41
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. are you connected with Jill Solomon?
Russ Desomer 32:45
I don't think so. I will be after today.
Russ Johns 32:47
She's up in Heber city. She's an awesome individual that does a lot of good She's. She's part of the Blue Angels and she's really has a lot of I just have a lot of good things to say about Jill. She's gonna have her on the other day was she on your broadcast and on the show, I've invited her on the show Jill it just hasn't worked out for the timing. So she's a chef, she works in, she helps people with their meals and their food and everything else that goes along with it. In fact, I've met a lot of great, amazing individuals through Jill and she's someone that you should meet as well. Lots of connections, we'll get you connected.
Russ Desomer 33:36
Let's do this again. We'll do the show all about my guitars.
Russ Johns 33:39
Alright. #kindnessiscool. #smilesarefree. Please, you #enjoytheday. Take care Russ.
Russ Desomer 33:50
Russ Johns 33:54
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