Saturday, January 31, 2009

Frozen wood chips . . . . . oh, yeah!

From the blog post title I guess you can tell that it's my wood-chip bucket for smoking. It's been outside and it's frozen. I'm in the process thawing it so I can use the chips for smoking . . . . . . yup - salmon. I need to smoke some salmon for the superbowl party we're going to on Sunday. ■ And scattered thoughts (there's always time for scattered thougts!) - Mollie is slowing down. It's getting harder for her to get up from lying down; she had trouble with stairs, but she never complains and she's as sweet as sugar. Someone email me and remind me to call the vet for her annual appointment. I keep forgetting. ■ It's way past time for bed. Goodnight. ■

Friday, January 30, 2009

My dinner date

Didn't disagree with a thing I said! But perhaps a bit under dressed
for the occasion...

Guitars . . . boy would I like one of these!

I guess my head must be tougher than I thought. No damage from the slip on the ice last night. ■ A local luthier (a maker of stringed instruments) came to the store a couple of days ago. His name is Leonardo Salinas and from his website ( the instruments he makes are just beautiful. I've got to see some of his guitars in person. ■ Holly and her sister are still on their cruise, but the ship is making it's way back to Miami from St. Maarten. They'll have one more day at sea and then pull into Miami Saturday morning - and then it's back to the frozen north for both of 'em. They've been enjoying 80º temperatures while we've been having temps in the single digits. ■

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our nightly rock 'n' roll party

This band was great! Played some (really old) classics - got lots of
twisting in. Cherie thinks they were the best singers and I agree!

Where Elvis was last seen

On the Lido deck! Actually, this guy was really good and very funny.
Plus you could watch the world walk by...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A slippery situation . . . . . . . . .

I just went out to dump some of the wastebaskets into the garbage container in the garage and thought I'd get the mail in. Mind you, I haven't slipped on ice in years, but I did a few minutes ago. Slipped and landed on my head and back. Right now everything feels ok - I just feel like a "fool" for slipping. We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning. And I still have to take the garbage out tonight.

Ice storms and eye exams . . . . .

Our daughter lives in Louisville, KY. This is what they're going through today - an ice storm and the resulting destruction - broken trees, downed powerlines, etc. ■ Had my eye exam this morning. It took almost 2 hours. The result: my eyes are fine. I asked about not being able to see as well at night and he explained something about being near-sighted and the difference we perceive between day time and night time. He game me a prescription for the slight correction that I could use if needed. I guess I'll check into getting a pair for driving. I wonder what glasses cost these days. ■

My mojito

In St. Maarten

Must be St. Maarten

We're at the Green House Cafe, waiting for mojitos & nachos. This
port area has changed so much! There's a new boardwalk & beach, just
a water taxi away. Also had a great morning at the beach

A pirate's chest? Yo, ho, ho . . . . . .

Since my wife and her sister are on a cruise, I thought I'd give the title of this post a little, perhaps, Caribbean flavor! The chest is not a pirate's chest and it's not from the Caribbean. My brother gave Holly and I this trunk (a synonym for chest - just not as romantic as a pirate's chest) as a wedding gift. And that was 37 years ago. It contains a treasure trove of old Jeopardy, Monopoly, Risk and other games. We should get rid of the games - who'd know the answer to "Name 5 current Supreme Court justices?" - when the answer is 30+ years old? ■ The chest has seen many, many parties, Chili Fests, holidays and simple "everydays" over that time. In fact this was the chest I lifted that gave me the stress fracture that I have in my back. Actually it wasn't the lifting, but the setting down that gave me the fracture. ■ I'll sit on that chest to watch tv, play guitar, and use it as a table on which to put my food. Mollie, when she was younger, would get up on it to "get closer to people." It's a piece of furniture that we'll never get rid of. ■ I've got an eye doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. Got to get some sleep and ask him why I'm not seeing as well as I used to at night. Ah, aging . . . . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


In our way to Magen's Bay! Will post as soon as we have service

Where's Cherie?

Can you find her in our chairs talking to the woman she met on our

Beautiful Charlotte Amalie

Wish you could see it and feel the warmth! We're going to Magen's Bay
around noon, after a quick deck walk and a little shopping...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Piling out of San juan

Towel art

This fine art is not dead!

The dress shop

Oh yes - how could I neglect a photo of the corset fittng?

Waiting for cervesa

Out of the rain which you can see took a toll on the hairdo - ah well.
Little disappointed that la Princesa wasn't open. Have to catch it
next time. Who's coming with me?

Local color

Hey cruisers, remember this funky tree? Oh oh - starting to rain

Old San Juan

Here we are, hoping cafe la Princesa opens soon - off to shop a bit

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Text, O'Hare,

I received a text message from Holly. She said, "Can't blog - I'm bummed! Let me know if you get this." This is a text message from somewhere in the Caribbean between Miami and San Juan, PR. I wonder what this will cost. I told her to blog from San Juan. Unfortunately they don't get into San Juan until 5:00 pm tomorrow evening. So standby for blog entries from PR. ■ I don't know if I've ever posted the picture you see here. It's a painting of the Scott farm from probably the late 1800's, or early 1900's. The Scott farm was located on what is now O'Hare airport. We have this painting of the farm and my brother has a table that was made from the wood of a tree on that farm. Maybe I should do a pen and ink of the Scott farm . . . . . ■

Dang it's cold!

1:15 am - The weather via my iphone shows that it's -1º out. The car thermometer displayed -7º on the way home from the gig tonight/this morning. It is cold out! ■ The gig went well tonight. It was a short one - played from 8:00 pm to about 11:15, or so. We were supposed to play 'till 11:00, but the crowd kept asking for more. At any rate we were all packed up and out of there by about midnight. ■ My eyes have been bothering me tonight. I guess it's a good thing I've got an eye doctor appointment this week. It seems like my night vision has deterioted some. We'll see what the doc has to say. ■ Holly and her sister are out at sea right now on their way to San Juan, PR. I think they arrive there on Monday. ■

Saturday, January 24, 2009

People are havin' fun

We've finished the first set.

At the gig

Getting ready to go on.

Mr. Piano Man

Big music and a bucket of beers - fun 1st night!

Bye-bye Miami!

Here we go, sail aweigh!

Warm in Miami . . . still cold up here . . . . . brrrrr . . . .

While Holly is having a good time on a cruise in the Caribbean, we're (me and the girls) up here in the frozen north - and it is cold. I was 2º here this morning and has now warmed up to 12º. At least I have the fireplace to keep me warm. ■ Mollie is really slowing down. She's having a hard time with steps and would rather not negotiate them if possible. She's been getting a little slower each day. Mollie does love the cold and snow outside. She's out in the backyard right now laying in the snow surveying her domain. ■ Bullfrog has a gig tonight. It'll be cold loading in and out. Brrrr. ■

On board and ready to sail!

The weather is beautiful & these chairs are rockers - having an
amazing time already! Wish you were here...

Friday, January 23, 2009

South Beach!

The vacation begins after very easy travel - we're already having fun
(see Massive Margarita pic to come...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Still cold, snow-covered, and getting colder . . .

Yup, it's supposed to be cold this weekend. And here my wife and her sister are off tomorrow on a Caribbean cruise. I'm jealous. But standby, 'cause she's going to be a guest blogger on my blog. ■ Got to get up in a very few hours to take them to the airport, so that means it's time for me to hit the sack. Goodnight. ■

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gout, gout, . . . shout it all out, . . these

. . . are the things I'm talking about . . . . ■ Ok, those are made-up different words to a song by "Tears For Fears." I wonder what ever happened to that band. ■ The pictures on the left - well the top 2 are quick sketches of a home I'm drawing next. The bottom 2 pictures are of my backyard neighbor's home. I drew it as a "fall/winter" scene - no leaves, and it's bugged me ever since. The drawing had no "life." I took it back (I hate to tell you how long ago) to make it more of a "summer/spring scene." Winter is so "dead." ■ Back to my lyrics . . . I started another gout attack on my left foot late Monday night. Tuesday morning it wasn't too bad, but rapidly got worse. I went to my doctor before I went to work and he prescribed the same med that I used before. I couldn't pick it up before work, so I went to work on 2 canes. Holly picked up the meds on her way home and I took them that night. I'm much better today. Still limping a little bit, but some of it is sciata running down my right leg. ■ Holly and her sister leave on Friday morning for a seven day cruise. Holly will be my guest blogger. Stand by for her posts!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Under the covers . . . . . .

Kind of a poor picture, but that's Zoe's head poking out from underneath the covers. I think that dog spends more time in our bed than we do. ■ Had 2 gigs this past weekend. The one on Friday night was fun, but not many people there. I think it was the cold temps that kept people in on Friday. Saturday night's gig was a lot of fun. The bar was packed with people (and the temperatures were up quite a bit). ■ Sunday Holly and I stayed inside and watched some football. For dinner I grilled both steak and salmon and sauteed some onions and mushrooms. What a delicious meal. I'm making myself hungry just thinking about it. ■

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New post . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Soon there will be a new post. . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold . . . . . I'm freezing . . . . . . .

This is a photo from within the store - looking out. The little humidity we have has frozen on the inside of the windows. It is cold. -14º. What it is with the windchill factor is -26º or so. Ok, I'm ready to move to Florida. ■ Someone told me that between 4:00 am and 9:00 am tomorrow it would be -40º with the wind-chill factor. I'm not going out in that. It does make me wish/want a remote start for my car. ■ Time for bed - yup, again. Night.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It may not look cold . . . but you'd be wrong!

It's still cold . . . and it's supposed to be colder tomorrow. I think I need a little Caribbean . . . a little Florida Keys . . . . . a little Cancun . . . . someplace warm! ■ I've been using Holly's car - the one with the remote starter - and boy has that been a pleasure. I think that maybe I should get one for my car. I wonder how much they cost and where I'd go to get one installed. ■ One of our guitar teachers had his guitar stolen out of his car a couple of nights ago. It was his only electric guitar. The chances of getting it back are pretty poor. Bummer. ■ As I was closing the store tonight a Bullfrog fan came in. He and his mother had seen us play a few months ago at a local restaurant/bar and wanted to see us again. Actually his mother really wanted to see us again. Maybe we'll see them at one of our gigs this weekend. ■ Time to slide off to bed. Night.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It just looks cold - doesn't it?

. . . and it is! When I checked earlier tonight it was -4º. It's now "warmed-up" to +2º. What a heat wave! In Green Bay it's -20º. Glad I'm not up there. ■ I did get some Ugg boots today. Cost me a small fortune - but they're warm and comfortable, and at my age I won't outgrow them. Actually I hope I can wear them out over the next 20 years, or so. Let me rephrase that - I really don't want to live in this cold climate for the next 20 years - . . . . . . it's already getting too cold for me to live here. ■

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm dreaming of warm weather . . . . . .

I know it's a dream 'cause the temps are dropping and we're getting more snow. The picture is what I wished it looked like outside. ■ And speaking of snow, cold temps, warmth, etc., - I need to get something warmer and drier for my feet than the tennis shoes I'm apt to wear these days. David at work has some Ugg boots. They look warm and dry (my right foot was wet from stepping into a snowbank tonight Wet and cold!). I think tomorrow I'm off in search of maybe Ugg boots. ■ The band has 2 gigs this coming weekend. Both are pretty local, which is good. It saves both time and money. ■ Time for bed and dreaming about warm, waterproof boots . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stumbling on old photos . . . . . .

Just looking at some old photos on my pc and stumbled across this one of a valentine's day card I made for my wife a couple of years ago. It's one that had a pop-up when you opened it. Kind of creative. I don't know what ever happened to it. ■ We stayed in all day. Holly's had a cold for the past few days and it was too cold to venture out, except for grilling some chicken tonight. Delicious. ■ I've been doing some test pencil sketches for the next pen and ink. It's an interesting project and will take some time to get it right. ■ It's supposed to get very cold this week. Burrrr . . . . . the cold really gets to my old bones. ■

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So many pictures . . . . . the top 2 are from tonight - yes, we've had lots of snow. Mollie, on the left, is a picture that Holly took today with her iphone. The one to the right is a pen and ink that I've deemed "not ready for prime-time", the bottom left - my cousin's wife's aunt and uncle's home, and the bottom right - Mollie (and Maizy) at a much younger age. ■ Holly and I watched the last Indiana Jones movie. It jumped the shark. ■ The gout has kicked back in. I think I'm doomed to have gout attacks for the remainder of my life. There are worse things. I can live with that. ■ Cook books -- I've always wanted to do a cook book - but one with a special flair. More on that in the next few posts. ■ Time for bed.

Friday, January 9, 2009


10:00 am --- Yes, we got more snow. That's the scene from my office window. ■ The gout is almost gone now. My left ankle is a little sore - probably from awkwardly walking/limping due to the gout. ■

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My first day back at work after the gout attack. I'm still limping as I still have some gout remaining in my left foot and some in my right big toe. A couple of more days and I think I'll be fine. ■ I think I'm about 98% done with the drawing I've been working on for the past few days. Now it'll just have some sitting time and then I'll send it out on Monday, or Tuesday. ■ My next drawing will be very interesting. It's being done working off of 5 different photos of the home. Unfortunately none of the photos show the entire house and were taken over some expanse of years. To recreate this home in ink will take a combination of common sense and artistic ability. Oh, and the quick sketch you see on the left is not of that home. ■ It's cold out and I think we're due for some snow. At least Mollie loves the snow. She'll sit out in the cold and snow for hours and hours - and in the shade. ■ Oh, and now our daughter has joined the iphone club. She got the phone tonight and is loving it. ■

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Drawings, gout . . . . .

The current drawing is coming along just fine. It's almost done - just needs some "sitting" time. ■ My bout with gout is not yet done. I still have some of it left in my left foot. I still needed 2 canes to get around this morning. Tomorrow's another day - hopefully gout-free! ■ And I have another drawing to start on. Can't wait to get busy on it. ■

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gout, age, medicine, dogs, snow, . . . . . . . . .

This gout attack was much worse than the previous one. I've been on 2 canes for 3 days. Tonight I was able to do without the canes. Just going up and downstairs was the worst. It's over for now - or at least until the next attack. ■ I've made appointments with 2 of the 3 docs I need to see. Geeze, getting older is fun. ■ It snowed this afternoon. Not much - not even really enough to shovel, but it's covered the ground and streets again. ■ The picture on the left is of my cousin's wife's aunt and uncle's home - did I write that correctly??? I've got at least 2 more days of drawing on that 'till I'm done. ■ Time for bed. Goodnight. ■

Monday, January 5, 2009


Yes, I've got it again. It started Friday. I figured that I had missed one dose of the med that helps prevent the gout attacks. Saturday it was a bit worse, but not too bad. Yesterday it kicked in full-throttle and today it's kickin' my xxxx. My left foot is swollen, throbbing, and feels broken. It feels like someone backed a large truck over my left foot and broke every bone in there. ■ 9:05 pm --- The foot still hurts. This gout attack was much worse than the first one. My doctor now wants me to see a rheumatologist. Now I need to add another doctor to my growing list. ■

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six . . . . . . .

The pictures below were taken at our cribbage Christmas dinner. That's the group on top (minus me 'cause I'm taking the picture) - and the one below is to prove to everyone that we're not the only ones with a bear in their home! ■ This dang gout won't go away. It's in my left foot and just seems to be there taunting me. I had missed one dose of the med they prescribed for it and it came back and bit me. I thought that it would go away after a day or so after taking the med again. I guess I'm wrong. And yesterday I started getting sciatica - running down my right leg. That's gone away after a night's rest. With gout in my left foot and sciatica down my right leg I didn't know which way to limp yesterday! ■ Working on a drawing for a gift. Go to get back to it. . . . . . .

Saturday, January 3, 2009

And the new year starts . . . . . . . . .

We had our annual Bullfrog Family & Friends brunch on new year's day. Fun and relaxing. I had to leave for awhile to take our son to O'Hare airport for his flight back to San Diego. We miss him already. ■ The brunch was a lot of fun. And as you can see the new frog made it's appearance. It is large! ■ I worked yesterday. Sold a few sets of strings, but nothing big. I sure wish the economy would pick up. ■ Tonight we have cribbage. Today I have another drawing to start. I'd better get busy on that. ■ And I have another slight attack of gout. What a pain in the left foot this time. ■

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

A happy new year to one and all. The gig was a lot of fun last
night. I need to get a good picture of that frog that joined the band
last night.

The salmon is on the grill smoking away. Next goes 2 hams.