Thursday, July 31, 2008

Talkin' 'bout my girl . . . . .

. . . . . my girl! . . . . . I've got so much sunshine . . . . . An old Temptations' song, but here it applies to my girl Mollie. What a sweet dog. ■ Did steak on the grill with corn on the cob tonight. Delicious. ■ Bought a new smoker today, which I'll use to smoke the salmon on Saturday. Can't wait to try smoking again on a regular smoker. I'll let you know how it turns out. ■ Once again it's late - almost 10:30 pm. I've got to stop staying up this late. ■ Oh, some good news. The doc too me off of one of my meds. My blood sugar count (A1C) has gone down to a normal range. I'm sure he still considers me to be diabetic, but at least it's one med I don't have to take - at least for now. And hopefully my vision won't decline. That's one of the things I worried about most. Hard for an artist to draw if he can't see. ■

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And Jupiter aligns with Mars . . . . . .

11:05 pm - Another late post. I've got to get to bed earlier! ■ So the pictures on the left. What are they? Or, better yet, who are they of? (Is that correct English??? I think not!) Top left - Pat, Heide, & Jac - the father. Top right - Pat's girl friend (sorry, I can't remember her name. Beautiful girl.) Bottom left - My wife - beautiful girl too. Bottom right - Jupiter - taken through Jac's telescope with my iPhone. We were invited over to our across-the-street-neighbor's house for a couple of cold ones during the Cubs game. - Hey, Cubs won! Had a great time talking. ■ Jac has this very nice telescope that he set up to view Jupiter. I thought it would be Venus 'cause you can see Venus on most nights - it's the brightest "star" that you can see. But this was Jupiter. Jac said you can see the rings and the moons through the 'scope. My eyes apparently aren't that good anymore 'cause I couldn't see 'em. ■ Ran to Sam's Club today to pick up some stuff - including some salmon that I've got to smoke for a party on Saturday. There's a going-away party for one of my other "daughters" on Saturday. She's moving to Arizona. We're going to miss her. ■ Speaking of smoked salmon - I've to to pick up a new smoker tomorrow. I've invited my neighbor Jac to come over and help me put it together as I've put 2 Weber grills together backward! Why can't I see how things go together? ■ Time for bed. ■ Oh, they poured my sidewalk today. I'll have to take a picture tomorrow. I know you're really interested. ■

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The wire's still in one piece!

The village is replacing one slab of sidewalk in front of our home. They tore it out this morning and the wire that is the "invisible" dog fence appears to be ok - no breaks. I'll go out and test it later
after giving a guitar lesson. And where is my student? Not here yet. ■ My student did arrive and had a good lesson. He's really doing well. ■ The "invisible" fence still works. I tested it with Mollie's collar. ■ Cubs won. ■ Time for bed. It's almost 11:00 pm. Why do I stay up so late?■

Monday, July 28, 2008

Went for a walk . . . . .

Went for a walk for a little exercise. I'm in a little better shape since I started gigging with the band again, but I need to get in much better shape. I'm determined to start walking everyday - heck maybe multiple times a day. Oh, the picture is of our home taken at the end of my walk. That's our open garage door. ■ More later. I've got a couple of things to get done. ■

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Late nights, chicken, berries, and smokers . . . . .

The picture on the right is one of the band performing last night at Lumpy's Bar in Wisconsin. It's also one of the few times the band actually lets me sing! ■ It was a late gig - played from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am and Holly and I didn't get home until way after 3:00 am. Needless to say, I'm tired. Didn't get much sleep and I'm ready for bed. ■ Today was a beautiful day. Sunny, about 82º and the humidity wasn't too bad. I mowed my yard and 2 of my neighbor's yards. Not a bad day's work for someone as tired as I am. ■ What else? I did chicken on the grill tonight and I must say I did another fantastic job. Delicious. And my wife made some short bread and put fresh blueberrys and raspberries on it along with a little whipped cream. Mmmm . . . boy that was goooood! ■ I stopped and looked at a Brinkman smoker today. Only $40. I had one for 16 years that was given to me by our great friends Cheryl and Bill on my 40th birthday. The water pan for that rusted out - only because I'd dropped it a few years ago and chipped off some of the enamel. The water pan finally rusted out and I disposed of the smoker earlier this year. I'm thinking of getting another one as people keep requesting my smoked salmon - which I smoke on my Weber grill. But the salmon would be much better smoked on a smoker. I've got to smoke salmon for this Saturday and again in another 2 weeks. Hmmm . . . . . ■ All for now. I'm off to bed.

Four hours starting @ 10:00pm

It's 3:40 am. It was a good gig. More tomorrow. ■

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Part of the family is here

Still 45 minutes to go before we go on.

Lumpy's - we're here!

I'm unloaded and we're waiting for the slowpokes.

A little pre-practice before the gig . . .

It's a beautiful day out. Sunny, about 78º degrees and the humidity isn't too bad. ■ We're going up to the gig early tonight and eat dinner. We don't actually start playing until 10:00 pm. That's later than I'd like, but ya got to do what ya got to do. ■ Last night's gig was a lot of fun. Jimmy D's is a nice bar/restaurant. Good people. In fact we booked 3 more gigs there for the remainder of this year. I like that 'cause it's close to home and it's a nice place. ■ I'll do a few blog postings from Lumpy's - that's where we're playing tonight. Should be fun! Now if I can only remember the chord progressions to all of the new songs! ■

Done and home.

A fun gig. We finished playing at 1:00 am, packed up and drove home. We've got another gig tomorrow night. That one is in Wisconsin. This one took about 20 minutes to drive to, but tomorrow's will take us about an hour. ■ When we arrived home tonight we found that Zoe had raided the garbage. Oh, Zoe. Bad girl. ■

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bullfrog family & friends

Some of our Bullfrog family at the gig.

All set up and having a beer.

We go on in about 45 minutes.

Gigs and trees . . . . .

I was just looking over the band's schedule and we have a bunch of gigs coming up. (You can click on the picture of the schedule for a larger version.) This weekend we've got 2 gigs - 1 tonight at a bar/restaurant that's close to home and 1 tomorrow night at a bar up in Wisconsin. I need to check my strings and the neck of my guitar to see if anything needs adjusting. With the humidity we have in summer the necks on guitars need adjustment fairly often. ■ I've been working on finishing up a drawing of a home for the past couple of days. I'm not satisfied with the trees in the drawing. They still need some work. ■ Back to work. Look for some more posts tonight from the gig. ■

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dental work . . . and a new job

Went to my dentist this morning to get a cap put on a tooth. I've been wearing a temporary cap for a couple of weeks and was supposed to go in last Tuesday for the permanent cap, but ended up on jury duty. ■ The new job: I happened to walk into my favorite guitar store the other day and they asked me if I wanted a job! Yes, I do. It's a part-time job, but at least I'll be bringing in some money. I don't start until the middle of August. The only downside of this is that I have to work Wednesday nights, which has been band practice night. We'll have to figure something out with the practice situation. ■ 11:16 pm - Man, another late night. I've got to stop these. ■ Thanks to all those who have congratulated me on the new upcoming job. I appreciate the congrats. ■ Bullfrog booked a couple of new gigs today. And they're close - Crystal Lake. That saves on time and gas. ■ There was something else I was gonna tell you, but I can't remember it. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow - probably. Really, I'll probably remember it after I've climbed in bed. Age???? ■ Oh, and my new crown feels good. I like my dentist. ■

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Songs to learn . . . A job . . .

The band will be here in a few minutes to practice. I've been working on learning a bunch of new songs. A couple of gigs and I'll have 'em all down. ■ It's been a beautiful day today. Mid 70s and not too humid. I wish the weather were like this all summer! ■ The guys are here. Time to practice. More later . . . ■ 11:35 pm - yeah, I know, it's late. I was going to go to bed earlier, but I spilled a glass of water on my mouse and keyboard. The keyboard appears to be ok, but the mouse has a problem with the scroll wheel. I've got a feeling that I'll be going out tomorrow to get a new mouse. Not what I had in mind. ■ Band practice went just fine. We went over the songs that are new to me and started messing around with a new song. We also picked out a few country songs to work on. ■ And the job. Well, I think I'll tackle that subject tomorrow. ■

Monday, July 21, 2008

Flowers in the yard

The flowers are in full bloom. They look beautiful. ■ Lots to do today. I've got to run off note cards for the Kalo Foundation. I better see if I have some in stock. ■ Billy Galaxy (our other guitar player) and I are going to get together this afternoon for an hour or two and work on some of the songs I need to know. ■ Then a Kalo Foundation meeting tonight. I better get busy!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Done, Rain, home, & I'm tired!

It was a fun gig last night. We played for 5 hours. That's a long time. My back held out, but just barely. Today I'm tired and sore. ■ More later. ■■■■■ Sorry it's been so long since I posted. It's been a long/short weekend. What the heck does that mean? It was short 'cause it was only 2 days, but it was long because my wife and I were apart. She went up to see her sister in Wisconsin and I stayed here with the dogs. Only 2 days, but it felt like a week. ■ Old news, but the gig was fun. We played for 5 hours instead of the 4 we usually play. And I could feel it this morning. Heck, I can feel it now. I've got to start exercising. I need to lose weight and get in shape for not only playing, but just to get in better shape. ■ Oh, the rain in the title is there because it rained just after we stopped playing and started taking down. It rained all the way driving home. In fact the dogs didn't want to go outside after I got home. It took some coaxing to get them out. ■ Tomorrow's another day and I've got a lot to get done this week. And we've got 2 gigs this weekend. I better get on the treadmill . . . . . ■

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The crowd

Everyone is enjoying themselves. Just finished the 1st set. Time for
a cold brew.

Setting up

It's hot - especially when you're moving equipment around.

Loading up for the gig tonight . .

I've loaded the equipment in the car for the gig tonight. I'll be
leaving for the gig shortly. More posts later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our scales of justice

I'm back after 3 days of jury duty. I did end up on a jury for a criminal trial. It was a very interesting experience and gave all of us as jurors a peek into our court system. Was it like the tv show Law & Order? Yes. There were opening statements. The attorneys called their witnesses; there were cross examinations and recrosses; objections - overruled and sustained; each side resting their case and finally the attorneys closing statements. As jurors we were given instructions and sent to a jury room to deliberate. It was an interesting and valuable experience. ■ I didn't get home last night until 10:15 pm. The jury was kept at the courthouse until 9:30 pm. As such I need to get out and cut some grass, but first I've got to get some gas for the mower - and the price of gas keeps going up and up and up. Who'd have thought that we'd have to start budgeting for gas to mow our lawns?! ■ More later . . . . . ■■■ Ok, I mowed the lawns. Did steak on the grill tonight. Not bad, but not great steak. ■ I think I may mow the backyards tomorrow. It's supposed to rain this weekend and maybe thru Monday. I don't want to let the lawn go that long without cutting it. ■ The band has a gig this Saturday. Can't wait to play, but wish we could have practiced last night. Jury delibirations kept me/us from that. ■

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jury duty continues

Jury duty continued today and tomorrow as well. ■ Did get the back yard mowed tonight after I got home. I need to cut the front yards and my across the street neighbor's yard, but I need to get gas for the mower. ■

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jury duty

I've got jury duty this morning/week. The last time I had jury duty I wasn't selected for a jury and was sent home and told to call each night to see if I were needed the next day. We'll see what happens this time. ■ 9:55 pm - Back from jury duty. I'm a juror and I can't tell you more than that. Period. ■ I need to start cutting the lawns again. I'm adding Jac & Sue's lawn to my weekly list. ■ Time for bed. ■

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A great weekend . . . and it's not over yet!

It's been a busy weekend. A gig on Friday night and then a neighbor's party yesterday. Both were a lot of fun. ■ It's a georgous day out today. 72º, sunny and no humidity. We've got the air conditioning off and are enjoying the day. ■ The salmon I smoked yesterday is fabulous. I think this is the best I've done so far. I do want to try some other types of fish for smoking. Maybe some catfish. Hmmm . . . might be great. ■ We're trying to get my wife an iphone, but they're all sold out right now. We'll have to keep trying this week. ■ Outside I go to enjoy the weather. More later . . . . . ■

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Hosts!

Jac & Sue - the hosts of the party - and it was a great party. The food was fantastic - grill baskets - one with chicken, peppers, onions, water chestnuts, etc. and the other with beef. Both were marintated. Delicious. And the slowly grilled chicken breasts . . . mmmm . . . it was all fantastic. We had a great time! Maybe more pics tomorrow. ■

A fun night! And more fun today!

(People at the gig last night.)

My body is a little sore as are my hands from playing the gig last night. I haven't done that in a couple of years. We've got 3 more gigs coming up this month, so that'll ease me back into being able to stand for 4 hours with a guitar on my shoulders. And I'll get used to lifting all the equipment again - which reminds me that I still have to unload my car! ■ I actually used the picture above in a posting last night, but the photo was so dark. My iphone doesn't have a flash on it, so all pictures are done with available lighting. This morning, however, I downloaded a picture enhancer from the App Store on iTunes. It basically allows one to adjust the brightness and contrast on existing photos on my iphone. ■ We're going to our across-the-street neighbor's '60s party this afternoon and I've got some salmon to smoke for it. I started brining the salmon last night, so it should be very tasty - mmm . . . . . ■

That's Charlie

He's our drummer. A great drummer and friend.

Friday, July 11, 2008

People at the gig

Getting ready for the gig, etc.

I'm getting ready for the gig. Learning words to songs I have to sing; reviewing chord changes in new songs; and making sure I all the equipment ready. In fact I've got to run out and pick up some batteries. ■ I'd better get going and run the few errands I have before it gets too late. ■ And I've got to remember that I've got jury duty this coming Monday morning. Can't forget that. ■ More later - and posts tonight from the gig. ■ "Makin' a living the old hard way . . . takin' and givin' day by day . . . I dig snow and rain and bright sunshine . . . . . . . . ■ Ok, what's the last line? ■

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Picture? Where is it?

What! No picture? No picture today. I have written very few blog posts without a picture. I think it adds interest and helps to illustrate the post. ■ The band practice went well last night. It's good to be back in the band. I did miss it. I've got lyrics to learn before the gig tomorrow night. Hope I can do that and not mess up on any of the songs! ■

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It's a late, late post tonight. Another 25 minutes and it'll be tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, but it's been a busy day. And actually - I really should be posting in the morning. ■ I did get the music studio somewhat cleaned up. Well, at least cleaned up well enough for band practice tonight. Still some to go, but that'll take time going through a lot of music stuff that I have and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. (I don't think one is supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. Tough.) More on the band practice tomorrow. ■ And speaking of tomorrow I've got errands to run and grass to cut. ■ Time for bed. ■

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The studio - what a mess . . .

This is a quick pic of my music studio. What a mess. My band, Bullfrog, used to practice in it, but when I retired from the band 2 years ago it fell into chaos. I was recently asked to come back into the band - so now the studio has to be cleaned up and organized. And fast! We're having practice here tomorrow night. More pics as I get it cleaned up. ■ I started cleaning, but a lot more to go. Maybe some more pics tomorrow. ■ Did some small steaks on the grill tonight. I ended up slicing up a couple and making fajitas with them. It was very good. ■ Lots of new songs to learn for Bullfrog. Some I've never heard of. Thank goodness for youtube. ■ Time for bed. Oh, Cubs won tonight. ■

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hot 'n humid

It's too hot and humid to sit out. More later . . . ■ It feels like it's finally summer. Prior to today it's been nice - rather cool with low humidity. We rarely needed the air conditioning on. Today that ended. ■ I did lots of catching-up-from-vacation things today. More to do tomorrow. ■

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The big 2400 mile loop . . . . .

We covered 2398 miles on our vacation. You can see our route in the picture on the left. (Click on the picture and you can see the car trace our route.) Saw a lot of people, but also missed some. Sort of a big loop. We paid under $4 per gallon for gas (but not by much!) We stayed with relatives and friends, so our lodging costs were minimal (thanks friends and relatives!) ■ It's a beautiful day out today. Lots of sunshine. I still have some gutters to clean and a few other chores to do. I'd better get to it. More later . . . ■

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Would you look at all those places!

Every once in awhile I look to see where people are from that visit my blog. They're from all over the world. Most I think stumble onto the blog, read it briefly, and then flee. Some, I think, do stick around for awhile and read a few posts. ■ It's been a day of trying to get some things done around the house. Being gone for a week puts you behind. I needed to cut the grass and my next door neighbor had cut it on Wednesday. I'm sure it'll need to be cut in another couple of days. I also cleaned out one of the gutters where we had a small forest growing. I should have taken a picture of it before I cleaned it out. Robin Hood and his merry men could have hidden in it. ■ I also got around to putting gig pictures up form the last couple of Bullfrog gigs. I wasn't home when Terry, the band photographer, sent them to me. ■ BBQ chicken on the grill tonight. And I do believe we're short on beer, so I'd better make a quick run for that. ■

Friday, July 4, 2008

Home, sweet, home . . .

It was a busy vacation and we're glad to be back home. We both did some catching-up today with emails, laundry, etc. I still have more to do, but that'll come tomorrow. ■ Our next door neighbors invited us over for dinner on their deck this afternoon. A great meal, I must say. ■ Tomorrow I've got to put gig pictures up from Bullfrog's last couple of gigs; mow the lawn; clean gutters - we have small trees growing out of some of them. I did clean them once this spring, but didn't get a chance to clean them again before we left for vacation. I also have some sort of javascript conflict with at least one of my Firefox extensions. I wish it would tell me where the conflict is! ■ On to bed now. ■ Oh, happy 4th of July! ■

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We're home, the flowers are blooming and the dogs are happy to see
us. I'm parked on the patio with a cold beer and have no desire to
drive anywhere for the next few days.

Raining hard in Indy

So hard you can hardly see. Hope this ends soon.

The friendliest waitress

Yup, that's her.


We've stopped for breakfast. It's our last chance to put on some
weight before we get home! We're just 50 or so miles south of
Indianapolis. Can't wait to see our dogs.

Just about on our way

We're just about to leave Louisville for home. It should take us
about 6 hours - a short driving day! That's Dude the cat laying in my

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A long, long drive . . .

It was a long drive today - over 600 miles and 11 hours. We finally
pulled into Louisville sometime after 8:00pm. After a cooling beer we
all went to dinner at The Frankfort Beer Depot. Delicious BBQ.
That's their smoker in the picture. Tomorrow - home. Where are my
ruby slippers? I'm tired of driving, Dorothy.

From 80 to stopped!

We're now sitting in a traffic jam. Don't know the reason yet.

Headin' downhill @ 80mph

It's hilly here in Virginia. Beautiful country. Holly's driving and
I'm blogging. South Gap, VA coming up in 1 mile.

Mt. Pilot?

That might be Mt. Pilot from The Andy Griffith Show.

On the road to Louisville

A long way to go. Just east of Winston-Salem.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


No, not TN, but NC. That's me, Johnna & Tim. What a great meal they
cooked. Wish we could stay longer.

In Nashville, at last!

We're here in Johnna's studio sipping a beer.

Lunch for the travelers . . .

We've stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch. It's the meatloaf for me
and catfish for Holly.


We just stopped for a short tour of The Eastern Front and Battery 5.
On to Nashville, NC.


The 3 posts I did yesterday didn't make it. Even the one I resent
didn't include the picture.

Yesterday we visited Petersburg, VA. Saw the Blandford church with
its 15 georgeous Tiffany windows. Blandford church is also includes a
cemetery with its earliest gravestone marked 1702. We also toured the
Seige Museum - depicting the 10 month seige of Petersburg during the
Civil War.

Back to Petersburg today on our way to Nashville, NC.

Looking' out the front door . . .

I sent 3 blog posts yesterday with pictures. None of those have shown
up yet! Let's see if this one makes it.