Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year’s Eve gig – brunch tomorrow . . . . .


Just finished printing the set list for tonight’s gig.  Hoping for a lot of people.  It’s a small venue, so even 30 people makes the place look fairly packed.  I’ve already started packing the car with my musical equipment. I’ll leave for the gig in another hour.  ■  Holly got me a camera for my pc.  I’m going to have to try Skype and see how it works.  ■  Got to run.    

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It all revolves around food . . . . .

123009_001Food seems to be an integral part of the holidays.  This new year’s day we’re hosting the 5th annual Bullfrog Family & Friends brunch.  And the food is always good – as are the friends.  That’s the menu to the left.  ■  My shoulder impingement is really bothering me.  The fall I took while shoveling snow (I landed on that shoulder) didn’t help.  Certain movements are painful.  It’s even painful sleeping.  Lying on my back seems to bring the pain on.  Turning and sleeping on that shoulder (my right shoulder) alleviates the pain.  Strange – you’d think that would be more painful.  ■  Tomorrow night we have a gig at “The Dirty Hog Saloon.”  It’s a biker bar and hopefully it’ll be jumpin’.  ■ 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I’ll say it again – it’s winter!


I love this photo of our neighborhood.  Actually it’s 5 photos stitched together – that’s why you get the bending of the roads.  I’m tempted to try and draw it.  We’ll see.  ■  Just got a phone call from my boss – I don’t have to go in today.  That’s nice as I can use the time for drawing.  ■  More later . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

End of the weekend . . . . .


It is the end of the weekend.  Since, and before, we’ve been busy.  But that’s what the holidays are for . . . . . ■  We did have snow.  Too much snow . . . but, I guess, that’s what winters are for.  ■  I took Aaron to the airport this morning; then we had band practice; then Holly and I went to Sam’s Club to pick up a few things; and then we smoked ribs and chicken and watched football. I must say that the ribs and chicken were delicious.  I love cooking on the grill.  ■  What’s ahead this week?  A gig; smoking more food; and more friends .  ..  oh, and a new year’s day brunch! . . . . time for bed . . . . . . .

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It is winter now . . . . .


We’ve had snow – too much of it today.  I did get out and tried to shovel – until I slipped and fell on my face.  Actually my right shoulder took the brunt of the fall.  It’s the same shoulder that has 122609_003the shoulder impingement.  I can feel the soreness.  Aaron came out after that and shoveled the driveway.  ■  We did steak on the grill tonight.  You can see the flames from the fire as I’m getting ready to grill.  And the steak was, as usual, delicious.  It was accompanied by onions and mushrooms and hashbrown casserole and a broccoli casserole.  Mmmm . . . . . ■  Tomorrow I have to get Aaron to O'Hare by 9:00 am – maybe sooner as the check-in procedures are going to be more stringent since the terrorist incident this week.  ■  Bedtime.




The day after Christmas . . .


. . . and it’s snowing.  The weather site I looked at this morning said we are/were supposed to get 2 – 4 inches.  I think we surpassed that long ago.  Our plans for hitting a number of stores for grocery items has fizzled – I think we’re down to just Jewel in Cary.  ■   My next door neighbor shoveled for me this morning.  I need to get out there and do it again.  It’s just not stopping.  ■  I think I’d better get outside and start shoveling!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!


It’s an overcast day.  Even had a few snowflakes, but it’s too warm for the snow to stick.  ■  Went to see the movie “Avatar” last night.  The theatre offered drinks and dinner and lounge chairs for seating.  I had a couple of Guinness beers and a burger – actually 2 small burgers.  They were very good.  And the movie was fun and in 3D!  Really cool.  I think the 3D thing is the future for movies.  It adds quite a bit.  ■  The four pen and ink drawings of houses above you were all done for Christmas gifts.  It was fun drawing all of them.  Two of them had to be started over from scratch as I’d made mistakes – and that ol’ ink is totally unforgiving.  ■  We’re off to our friend’s home for some holiday celebration and food.  Maybe a post, or two from the festivities laster via my iphone.  ■ 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all . . . . .


. . . . . and to all a good night.

Thursday . . . only ‘cause it’s late/early? .. . .








So many photo opportunities . . . . The first one is our Bear.  I know it’s hard to tell that it’s a bear, but trust me on this one.  The Bear is decorated with lights.  It’ our Christmas Bear.  I know that you’re supposed to have a pine tree, but we’ve replace the tree with a bear.  I think we’re the only people in the world with a Christmas Bear and not a tree.  ■  I told you  that I’d post a picture of my new guitar (thanks to having GAS).  Not a great picture, but it’ll have to do for now.  I think that I have to take a picture of all of my guitars – with better lighting, of course.  ■  Tomorrow I work from 1:00 pm ‘till 4:00 pm.  I sure hope I can sell some guitars.  Wish me selling power!  ■  And, yes, it’s time for bed.  ‘Night.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where, oh where do my visitors reside . . . .


I occasionally check my web stats just to see where my blog visitors reside.  It’s interesting to see what states they’re in and what countries are represented.  We’ve got people from Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Australia, France, Argentina, Guam, Dubai, Portugal, England, Israel, Malaysia, . . . . and on and on. . . . ■  I have to wrap some gifts before I go to work.  ■ More later on . . . .

Taking her “treat” out to eat in the snow . . . .


That’s our Mollie – half husky and half golden retriever – taking her rawhide treat out in the comfortable snow to eat.  She does love the cold and snow.  In the daytime she’ll look for a shady place in which to lie.  ■  Watched “Home Alone” tonight.  It is one of the classics.  Love the scene where the kid uses the BB gun to disable the burglar.  ■  Brought home the guitar I bought yesterday.  It needs a little work – nut lowered just a little bit; a little fret work; and the intonation set correctly.  For $199 it’s a great guitar.  ■  I’ve got to matte and frame one of my Christmas gifts tomorrow.  I can’t wait until the last minute.  ■  Time for bed.  Picture of the new guitar tomorrow. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The view from/in Holly’s office . . . .


This is the view from Holly’s office window.  (Click on the picture for a larger image)  And it’s snowing again.  Or, perhaps it never stopped from last night.  Looking at the amount of snow on my grill, it looks like we’ve received a couple of inches so far.  ■  I’m working on, I think, my last pen and ink before Christmas.  I’ve done two in the last couple of days.  I’ll post them here later so you can see what they look like.  ■  Back to work. . . . . .

It’s snowing . . . again . . . . .


Before I went upstairs for the night I turned off all the lights and happened to look out our kitchen window - a little more snow on the ground.  I hadn’t realized that it was snowing.  At least I got home before it started.  ■  Bought a guitar today.  Yeah, I know, it’s not like I needed another guitar . . . but I do have G.A.S.  What’s G.A.S. (or GAS for short)?  It stands for Guitar/Gear Acquisition Syndrome.  It’s an illness that strikes almost every dedicated guitar player – especially those who work in guitar stores.  We all have many guitars – never too many – just many.  There are a plethora of sayings:  “Too many guitars, too little time”, or “Too many guitars, too little money”, or “He who dies with the most toys wins.”  And while I do have a few guitars, I have very few compared with others with GAS.  ■ 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A bevy of photos . . . . . 9 to be exact!


Sunday night.  It’s been a quiet weekend.  Picked up Aaron at O’Hare airport on Friday night.  It sure is good to see him again.  Saturday was quiet.  I don’t think I even left the house – except to do a turkey breast on the grill.  Do I even have to say it?  Delicious.  Today, Sunday, was a nice quiet day.  I started and mostly finished a drawing – that’s the start of it in the bottom right corner of the “bevy of photos!”  (click on the photo in the post and it’ll be displayed as a larger version.)  ■  This afternoon Aaron, Holly and I went to our friend’s home for a little seasonal party.  Lots of goooood food and friends.  ■  We’re back home now.  Holly and Aaron are watching Sunday night football.  Work tomorrow.  I’m ready for bed. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What a nice neighborhood . . . . .


It snowed yesterday.  Kind of a bad drive to O’Hare to pickup Aaron, but then again, not too bad.  ■  Did a turkey breast on the grill tonight.  Delicious.  Holly’s going to make soup out of it and, I think, turkey enchiladas.  Both will be great!  ■  Took the picture above of part of our neighborhood.  It’s actually 4 pictures stitched together.  Tomorrow I think I’m going to try a 360º picture.  I wonder how it’ll turn out.  ■  I checked out one of my Teles today.  The neck needs a little adjustment.  I think I’ll check all my guitars before the next gig on new year’s eve.  ■  More pictures tomorrow.  It’ll be a picture fest!  ■

And he’s home for Christmas . . . . .


I picked up our son from the airport last night.  His flights were long and included a 85 minute delay in Houston.  ■  The dogs are happy to see Aaron.  That’s Mollie lying on the floor outside of his bedroom.  She slept in his room last night and will continue to do so until he goes back to San Diego.  ■  Got a little snow yesterday – only about an inch, or so.  ■  Lots of drawing to do for Christmas gifts.  I better get busy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pencil drawings . . . . .

Had an email today that asked if I would do a pencil drawing of a home.  I’ve done pencil sketches – very quickly – but haven’t tried a tried-and-true pencil drawing of a home.  I think it would be much easier than pen & ink – and I have pencils to do it with – just have never tried one from start to finish.  I will have to do at least one drawing with nothing, but pencil.  ■  Got lots of errands done today.  Pictures taken that I needed, and gifts “mailed” off via UPS.  Stick with me . . . . more to come. . . . . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Post title: Can’t think of anything.

The “boot” on my left foot is 6” longer than my right shoe.  That extra length sometimes causes me to not judge distance – via my stride and extra “shoe” length when walking.  This afternoon I jammed my left foot into a wall.  Than in turn jammed my bone spur and my foot hurt like h$&*.  I think I threw my recovery back by a couple of days.  ■  And we’re all wondering when the holiday season is coming.  Sales are dismal.  No jobs – no buying – no recovery.  ■ 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another shot for pain . . . . .


With a new pain in another area of my left foot, I went to the doctor.  I had stood too long yesterday and in favoring the spot of my original pain I created a new one.  So in goes a shot of cortisone.  So now my feet are feeling alright – or at least better.  ■  After getting home from work I had a little dinner while sitting on the couch and scanning the tv channels.  (And yes, I freely admit it – I’m a typical male – the remote never stops for long.  No wonder I haven’t seen many full episodes of anything!)  Anyway in getting up from the couch my back kind-of-went-out.  It’s not completely out, but when I turn certain ways it lets me know it.  ■  Holly starts back at work tomorrow morning.  She won’t be physically at Allstate, but is working from home.  ■  Oh, and the picture in this blog post?  I wish I could make it into an actual jigsaw puzzle that you could work, but that’s not to be.  If you want to see the original picture it’s on the website.  ■ 

Monday, December 14, 2009

My feet are tired . . . . . and aching . . . . . .


After working for 6 hours on my feet, they’re aching.  I think they need to lay down – not just me. ■  That’s a picture of Zoe – my sometimes faithful companion – as long as there’s no food elsewhere in the house.  I’ve never seen a dog that loved food that much.  ■  I’ve got some websites to update – and one for our Bullfrog Family & Friends brunch on new years day.  ■  I also have some pen and ink drawings for gifts that I need to get done.  Too much to do!

X-rays today, doctor tomorrow . . . .

Got over to the hospital and had x-rays taken of my left foot.  Tomorrow I see the podiatrist again.  ■  My mother called and said that she saw her doctor and that Wednesday she’ll have to go in for an angioplasty.  From what she told me it’s a same-day procedure.  In in the morning and out in the afternoon.  I know it’s a common procedure, but it still worries me.  ■  Off to work in a few minutes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A quiet Sunday . . . . .


I have to matte and frame this drawing tomorrow.  Then on to the next one.  ■  Today we sat back – Holly made some chocolate chip cookies and I made up a batch of chili.  I must say it’s one of the worst batches I’ve made.  Sort of tasteless.  I had used up all of my regular chili powder and bought a brand I’d never used before.  Not good.  ■  Tomorrow I need to get an x-ray of my left foot.  Tuesday I see the podiatrist again.  ■  It’s early to bed tonight for both of us.  ‘Night!  ■

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Too much walking . . . .


Too much walking today.  Holly and I had to get out to the grocery store (turns out stores) to get food.  We thought that we could get everything at Jewel, but it turns out we also had to go to Joseph’s.  That was enough walking for both of us, but then I needed to get a couple of new pens for drawing, so I paid a quick visit to Hobby Lobby.  Unfortunately the artist supplies are way in the back of the store.  Just too much walking.  ■  Had a good gig last night.  We had a harp player, Randy Edwards, sit in with us.  I think he had fun and I thought it sounded pretty good.  ■  Going to make chili tomorrow.  Got the makings for it today.  The last batch I made was very good.  This one will be different as it’ll be only burger.  ■  The picture in this post is of a quick pencil sketch I did for a customer.  I’m waiting to see if she wants the pen and ink done of it.  ■ 

Friday, December 11, 2009

The set list for tonight.


Starting off with “Call Me The Breeze”.  It was made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd, but who was it written by?  ■  And we may have a harp player sit it with us tonight.  That could be a lot of fun.  ■  The Boot:  It’s 3 pounds of “I’ve-got-to-be-careful-of-where-I-place-my-foot” before I take a step.  And stairs are particularly daunting.  I’ve got to make sure I’m placing my foot sideways on the stair ‘cause it won’t fit straight-on.  ■  Got to start loading up the car for the gig.  ■  

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My new “boot.”

121009_001  That’s my new “boot” on the left.  Nice, huh?  I have an inflamed tendon which has been giving me pain since mid October.  The “boot” and I will be friends probably ‘till the end of the year.  Holly has a “boot” on her left foot also.  We’re like twins. It’s somewhat difficult walking, getting into and out of a car, and going up and down steps.  ■  The drawing below is the first scan of a home I’m drawing in NY.  It looks like a lovely home.  I hope I can do it justice.  ■  I’m getting to bed early tonight – for a change.  It’s been a rough day – foot pain, using 2 canes in order to get around, albeit slowly.  And121009_002 walking slowly in these temps is no fun.  ■  Tomorrow night we have a gig at Jimmy D’s.  I hope the cold temps don’t keep people from going out to have a good time.  ■ 

To the doctors I go, the doctors I go, . . . . .

Hi, ho, the dario . . . to the doctors I go.   I’ve already been to see my neurologist this morning.  Everything seems normal, but I’ll have another MRI of my brain this spring.  He’s got to check on the tumor.  ■  Last night when I went to bed my left foot was throbbing.  And it throbbed all night long.  When I got up this morning I found that I had to use 2 canes to get around.  Bad news.  I don’t know if this is another gout attack, or maybe it’s arthritis, or . . . . at any rate I’m going to see my podiatrist this afternoon.  Maybe she has the answers.  ■ 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday . . . x-rays and stitches out . . . . .


Not me, for once.  Holly had x-rays taken of her foot at the hospital – that’s the waiting area in the picture.  Then it was on to the doctor’s office to have her stitches removed.  In a few more days the bandages can come off.  I think she’ll still have to wear her boot for support for awhile.  ■  I’ve been working on a drawing of a house.  Actually almost completed it, but it just didn’t look right to me  . . . so I started over.  I’ll post a scan of it tomorrow.  ■ 

Too late . . . . is it ever . . . . . ..


I wanted to do another book for this Christmas, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.  Perhaps after Christmas.  I’m just too busy with “stuff”.  ■  A nice day today, if you don’t count the 3” of snow we received.  Got to get to bed.  More tomorrow. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow . . . . .


It snowed overnight and now it’s started up again.  Holly said the snowplows woke her up this morning – I didn’t hear thing. A sound sleeper, I am.  ■  I’m trying to finish up a drawing I started on sometime ago. And looking at it, I may need to start it over.   ■  I also need to update a couple of websites.  Geez, where does the time go?  ■ 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The weekend’s over . . . . . .


. . . . and the week starts anew tomorrow.  Had a nice quiet weekend.  Watched some football, did a little grocery shopping, a little wash, and today helped with the store’s Rock-U concert.  That was fun.  The pictures above (yes, it’s really 2 pictures) shows the view out back of the Clearwater Theatre and the other shows one of the bands as they rock the house.  ■  I'm behind on some things:  I’ve got to update the Kalo Foundation website ( and also the band website (  It’s time for bed.  Goodnight.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The snow has stuck . . . . .


The snow has stuck to the ground.  No melting yet.  And it’s cold.  Too cold for me.  ■  I still have to return my neighbor’s grill.  I didn’t realize that I still had it until I viewed this photo.  ■  Tomorrow I’ve got some shopping to do.  And then we may go to a friend’s open house thing, or go out to the Kelsey Road House to hear my bosses acoustic duo play.  Decisions, decisions . . . . . .  ■  No gigs until next weekend.  Relaxation time.  ■ 

First snowfall . . . . .


This is what we awoke to this morning.  At least it’s only a covering.  I don’t think I even have to shovel.  ■ 

Snow . . . . . more expected this winter . . . . .


Yup, it snowed today.  It didn’t stick, but it did come down prettily steadily (is that correct English??) today.  The picture in this post was taken from one of the windows at the Clip Joynt.  Holly had to get her bangs cut.  ■  No gigs this weekend.  That’s good and bad.  Good ‘cause we have no plans, but bad ‘cause there’s no money to be made.  ■  Made email contact with an old colleague from SBCC.  A great guy, he’s got a PH. D. in philosophy.  Smart.  And a nice guy.  It’s good to get and keep in contact with old friends.  ■ 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jumpin’ With The Frog . . . . .


. . . . on New Year’s Eve.  We’re playing at the “Dirty Hog Saloon.”   It used to be J.R.’s Broken Inn, but has now changed owners.  I’ve got to get these posters run off tomorrow.  ■  Tonight I did a pork roast on the grill.  Delicious.  ■  Tomorrow Holly has a doctor’s appointment to check on her progress on her foot.  I think she’s doing well, but I also think she’s walked on it too much.  ■  The weather:  it’s been misting tonight.  Very lightly, but steadily.  The temp right now (12:30 am) is 36º, so it’s not turning into snow – right now.  I’m not looking forward to snow.  Burrrr . . . . . give me warm weather.  ■

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Celtic Woman and the neighborhood . . . . .


What does one have to do with the other?  Nothing.  Celtic Woman is an Irish group that sings – and sings beautifully.  They’ll bring tears to your eyes – seriously.  You can see some of their music on YouTube.  I was channel-hopping tonight and found them on channel 11.  Well worth watching/listening to.  ■  The picture is one from of the view from one of our front windows.  I need to take a few more before the snow flies and everything turns white and cold.  Burrrr . . . . winter is coming.  ■  And it’s late – 12:40am here.  I know it’s an old saw, but it’s time for bed.  ■ 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It’s getting cold . . . . .


. . . but it’s warm inside.  Ok, I’ve got the heat upstairs set to 62º, so it’s not that warm upstairs, but it is cozy.  ■  Watched the Saints and Patriots game tonight.  Good football.  Something we haven’t seen here in Chicago in awhile.  Well, spring training starts in another couple of months . . . . ■  No gig this weekend.  It will give me a chance to try a different guitar with the Laney amp I used this past Saturday at our gig.  I just don’t think that my reliced tele matches up well with the amp.  ■  Need to get blood tests done tomorrow.  I’m apparently past due.  ■  Time for bed.  ‘Night.  ■