Monday, March 30, 2009

Looking out my office window . . . . . .

It's a sunny day today. The temps are in the high 30's and should go to up to 43ยบ. The snow we received this weekend is melting. It should be gone in another day, or two. ■ I've been working on drawings. I have one done I have to ship today. I've got to check the basement for a suitable box for it and get it on its way. ■ And I need to straighten-up my office - again. It gets messy so fast. What I probably need is a shredder. Anyone have any recommendations for one? ■

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Six hour snowman . . . . . .

My across-the_street neighbor and his son built this snowman today. Jac even came over to get some charcoal for the eyes and mouth (I have a charcoal grill). Mr. Snowman has now collapsed with the melting snow. I'm glad I snapped this picture before that happened. ■

Snow . . . . . and it's heavy!

It started snowing last night and we woke up to find 7 inches of it on the ground. It was still snowing when I got up at 5 am to feed the dogs. And the snow is heavy. There a lot of branches down and even some trees. I grabbed the pictures that my across-the-street neighbor Jac took of his downed tree. Jac, if you need some help give me a call. ■ Bullfrog's gig for this afternoon has been canceled due to the snow. We'll be rebooked in there in April. ■ I cleared enough snow to get to the grill and put a ham on. It should be done in about an hour. ■

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the stillness of the night . . . blogging . . . . .

It seems that most of my posts have been at night - late at night - heck, too late at night. I should be sleeping - not blogging. I had snapped this picture with my iphone the other night. I think I was trying out a night/low light iphone photo app and took it just to see how it worked. I took that same photo and ran it though another iphone photo app and the result is the blue-tinged photo. It may be the environment that you picture me blogging in. (Is that even a correct sentence? Don't answer.) ■ Our drummer got laid-off today; his car doesn't work; another friend has some sort of turmor-like thing inside his neck, so he's getting that looked at; I have to work tomorrow - thus I have to cancel my student's lesson; and it's raining outside. Sort of the kind of end you might expect to a less than perfect day. But, knock on wood, we still have our health. And do you remember that tv commercial from years ago where they said "If you've got your health, you've got everything." How true. ■ Off to bed. ■

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A few photos that didn't make it . . . . . .

I tried to send these last night, but for some reason they didn't make it to the blog. ■ A good gig last night. I was happy with my tone until my distortion pedal bit the dust. It apparently has a bad input jack. At any rate it cut out a couple of times and I took it out of my tone equation for the night. ■ The bar we played at is kind of horrendous for sound: it's got a metal ceiling and the front wall is all window. Thus the sound bounces around. ■ And in this bar is a machine (picture at far left) that's one of those - put-in-your-money---grab-a-stuffed-animal-machines. I've never seen one in a bar before. Weird. ■ It looks like a fairly nice day out. I think I'll get out and do a little yard work. ■

Friday, March 20, 2009

The collage of life?

The collage to the left is of some of the scans I've done of recent drawings. They cover various parts of the country from New Jersey and New York, to North Carolina, various towns in Illinois. ■ Bullfrog has a gig this weekend - finally! It's been about 4 weeks since our last gig. Now we'll have gigs 4 weekends in a row. What do they say - feast, or famine . . . it'll be good to feast again. We've been getting rusty. ■ Just got a call that said we can simply exchange our broken camera for a new one. That's good news, but what happens when the new camera (same model) has the same problem? ■ And what brought tears to my eyes. When I read about the death of Natasha Richardson I found out that she was the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave who starred in one of my old favorite movies - Camelot. For some reason thinking of the movie and the sadness of losing someone, well it made my eyes tear-up. Silly, maybe, but I guess that's all part of our own collages of life. ■ It's time for me to dash off to work. Bye.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Camelot . . . . . . . . .

"No, it never rains 'till after sundown . . . . . " One of my favorite movies. I do have tears in my eyes. Why? You'll have to wait 'till tomorrow. ■

My mind wanders . . . again . . . . .

St. Patrick's Day. It's not really a holiday. "Really" a holiday. No, not even "really" a holiday. But we do like to celebrate it. If fact Holly and I had a Smithwick's beer to celebrate the day. ■ I posted a picture of the walking stick that my good friend Terry carved for me. And while he's of Irish descent, the stick he carved is of in the style of northwest primitive. It's a real piece of art. The picture in this blog post is not large, but I think you can make out the head and wings of an eagle at the top. Each symbol he carved has a special meaning and tells a story. I asked him to write it down, which he did. and I do have it here someplace - and if I can find it I'll post more pictures of it along with the story it tells. It's a fasinating piece of carving and I love it. ■ Sticks: There are lots of sticks in our yard that have fallen from the trees. Sticks and DS (dog stuff.) In fact I picked up some DS over the last couple of days. Still lots to go - as well as sticks. ■ What else? Oh, yeah, both our children want us to send the recipes. Maybe a cookbook is in order. Hmmm . . . . anyone got some good recipes? ■ Being out in the yard over the past couple of days tells me that I've got some yard work to do. I think I'll take some pictures of it, ask for suggestions on what to do, and take some pictures of the progress. And man, I need suggestions. ■ Time for bed. Good night.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The neighborhood is alive!

Not that our neighborhood is not alive, but the temperature was up and people were out and about. People were walking their dogs and the kids were playing outside. It's great to hear all of those sounds again. Sort of the "sounds of summer." ■ The grass hasn't started to "green-up" but it's going to start soon. And I finally got out and started to pickup the D.S. - you know - the "dog stuff." Still a lot to go, but if I pick up the stuff 10 minutes at a time my back won't go totally out. ■ I still haven't started on my guitar project. Too much other stuff to do before I get to it. Stand by for progress reports as I'm determined to get going on it. ■ Went to Sam's Club to get some essentials - which included salt blocks, dog food, and salmon. Salmon - we asked our next-door-neighbors over for a salmon dinner. Delicious. Enough said on the salmon. ■ All for right now. Got to get to bed. 'Night. ■

Fun time, good friends, good music . . . . .

We had planned on going out to see a friend's band on Friday night, but were just too tired. However, tonight we did make it out. Went to the home of our friends Terry and Ellyn and had pizza. From there we went to a bar to see Terry & Ellyn's niece's band. They were very good. That's a quick picture of the bar. As you can tell it's pretty skinny! Not very much room for a band to set up. The bass player had to stand right next to the door. ■ Updated the Kalo Foundation website today. That took quite a bit of time. I had multiple pages to change. I still have to do some checking to make sure that I've made all the changes needed. It's so easy to miss something! ■ Tomorrow we have band practice. We're working on putting some new material into our sets. Plus I think we have to go over some of the stuff we haven't played in awhile. ■ And I need to start on my guitar project! ■

Friday, March 13, 2009

The couch - I'll bet it's soft, but I never get to sit on it.

It'll start with Mollie on the middle of the couch - taking up as much room as she can . . . then Zoe will go by the couch, sit on the floor and stare at Mollie - trying to get her to vacate the couch so she can have it (a battle of wills) . . . then Zoe finally gets up on the couch - with Mollie - stakes her spot and lies down. Now everyone is comfy. And they say dogs have no personality, or emotions. Bull. And when do I get to sit on the couch? I can only sit there if I pet the dogs while I'm sitting there. ■ Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my neurologist. Nothing to really discuss except how the headache med is going. We'll see what he says. ■ I bought an amp yesterday. It's a Laney AOR Pro Tube 30 watt with a 12" speaker. I already have one of these, but I've deemed it too fragile to gig with. And that's mostly because the handle is a little loose and I think that it's the best sounding amp I have - and I don't want to expose it to the hard life of a gigging amp and lose it to wear and tear. This "new" amp is in a little better shape. They were both made in the mid 80's, so they're 20+ years old. Beautiful sounding tube amps. Love 'em. And it makes a wonderful addition to my little amp farm. ■ I think we're going out to see a friend's band tomorrow night. This place has $2 burgers - and they're good. Maybe I'll post some pics from that. ■ Upcoming topics (someone remind me of these!) - recipes and recording. ■

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fun night!

Holly and I went out on a "date" tonight. We went to see Billy Galaxy - the other guitar player in our band. Billy does solo acoustic gigs during the week. Bullfrog normally only plays on weekends. He sounded great. Those are pictures of him playing tonight on the left. ■ We're thinking of going out to see a friend's band on Friday night - and another band on Saturday night. This will be one music-filled weekend - capping it off with band practice on Sunday! ■ I've got to quit writing these posts so late at night/early in the morning. It's 12:10 am and I'm tired . . . . .

Almost finished with the drawing

Yup, almost finished with the drawing. It's an 8x10 and you just can't get the detail in that size drawing that you can in the 11x14. And to think that I used to do 5x7's. Ok, I can still do 5x7's, but I'd prefer not to. ■ The wind is blowing like crazy outside. I should be asleep and not listening to the wind. It's almost 1:00 am! ■ Got to run a couple of errands tomorrow. Out to Office Max to pickup some note card stock and printer ink and to the bank to deposit a check. ■ Oh, and tomorrow night Holly and I are going to out to listen to Billy Galaxy at one of his acoustic gigs. ■

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Drawing . . . rain . . . . . iphone . . . . . .

I enjoy pen and ink drawing. Always something new to draw and always new techniques to try. The drawing to the left is currently on my board. I should finish that in the next couple of days and then it's onto a drawing project that will be very challenging - an old home in Alabama - done from 4 or 5 different pictures - none of which show the whole house. It'll be a challenge. ■ It's been raining for the past few days. No snow, which is good, but too much rain for the rivers. I know some parts of the Chicago area have been flooding. Thank goodness our home is way above the Fox River that runs along the east and south boarder of Cary. ■ And continuing with rain - our daughter was home this past weekend. She came home to see her best friend's new baby (congratulations Carrie and Scott on your new baby!) When she left Sunday she got to just north of Lafayette, Indiana and hit pouring rain - like driving through a car wash she said. At any rate she pulled over to the side of the road along with other drivers to wait it out. During this wait she called me. I was able to look at the weather radar, grab a screen shot of it, and email that picture to her so that she could see what the upcoming weather would look like during her drive back to Louisville. It was great that she could view that screen shot on her iphone. ■ Tomorrow I'm going to try and split my time between drawing and getting a start on that guitar relicing project. ■ All for right now. Got to get to bed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


That's our pup - Mollie. She's 12 or 13 years old, but still my everlasting "puppy." In this picture she's "nunking" on a stuffed bear. What's "nunking?" Sort of "mouthing" one of the stuffed bear's legs. Like a kid sucking his/her thumb. Weird, but cute. Trust me on this one. ■ I thought my sciatica was gone today. Nope. I still have it. How lucky can you get? ■ Bedtime.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Calisthenics . . . . . . . .

Ya, right. Calisthenics. You got to be kidding me. That's me doing pushups in the picture/drawing on the right. Na, I don't think so. ■ How many of you exercise? I don't and I should. Part of my problem for the past couple (I should have said "few", but who'd believe me?) months has been a combination of gout and sciatica. You can't exercise when you've got gout in your feet and it's painful to walk (at least for me) with sciatica. ■ Our daughter is home this weekend. She arrived a couple of hours ago and she and Holly are downstairs gabbing away. It's great to see her. ■ Hopefully I'll get to work on my telecaster this weekend. Pictures if I do! ■ Goodnight! ■

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

An expensive watch?

Finally got a new watch today. The old one still worked, but the band was shot. So, I plunked down $9 for a new one. The old one (same model) cost me $8 a couple of years ago. The price keeps rising. Pretty soon I won't be able to afford a new one. Oh, that's sort of a picture of it on the left. ■ My office is a mess once again. Too much clutter - and it accumulates so fast! I've got to spend a little time tomorrow on organizing it - again. What I probably need to get is a taboret to store my art supplies in. Hard to organize without proper places in which to place things. ■

Monday, March 2, 2009

Girl Scout cookies . . . . . . mmmm . . . . . . . . .

I see it's been a few days since I last posted. In fact it's been too long. I'll try and do better in the future. ■ Girl Scout Cookies: I bought 4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies at work. Holly made me give her 2 of them to take to her mother this past weekend - which left me with 2 - which I easily polished off. The thing with Girl Scout cookies is that you eat them by "the row." There's no such thing as opening a box and having 1 or 2 cookies. Heck, no. You eat a whole row. And then a half hour later you eat the other row. Boom - you're done! I love 'em with a cold glass of milk. Mmmm . . . . . can't wait 'till next year. Does anyone else eat Girl Scout cookies any differently? Let me know. ■ It was my mother's birthday today. I called her this morning to wish her a happy birthday. What a good son. She told me that she had 7 or 8 inches of snow laying on the ground - and that's in Richmond, Virginia. ■ And speaking of snow - we had some today - and speaking of cold - when's it going to get warm around here. It's March and I'm ready for some warmer weather. ■ The picture in this post is of a couple of sketches and the mostly final rendering of the house of my daughter's best friend and husband. ■ Time for bed. Goodnight.