Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Reptile Palace Orchestra at MotherFool's

I'll be playing at MotherFool's Coffeehouse (1101 Williamson Street, Madison, WI) this Saturday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m. with The Reptile Palace Orchestra. Cover charge is $7. Since it's a small room, we'll be attempting to keep it pretty quiet. I'll be playing some tambura as well as bass. They say they are going to move furniture to make room for dancing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Sh*t's F#cked Up

I injured my back about 3&1/2 weeks ago - a bulging disc, or so I'm told. It's taking its time getting better. I'm not accustomed to being this helpless and it's making me crazy, it's making Ms. Geranium crazy, and it isn't helping with the feelings of despair and worthlessness that accompany a fruitless job search. In addition, the constant pain is totally draining. I've had to have band mates move my gear for me, family members have done virtually all of the snow shoveling, the list is rather long. Then Ms. Geranium brought this book home from the library and it reminded me of the song Warren Zevon wrote after he found out he was dying. Things could be worse. Nonetheless, the shit that used to work won't work now. Most of us take good health for granted until we're forced to face some unpleasant circumstances. Fortunately for me, it looks like this will heal, but I'll need to get in the habit of some regular stretching and mindfulness regarding the things I do. Enjoy the cheerful video.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Driving for Playtime

As parents of children involved in Playtime Productions (theater for and by children), Ms Geranium and I have done an awful lot of driving kids to and from rehearsals and performances. Today, while driving my daughter and another child to rehearsal, I began to wonder how much driving that has been. By the end of this season's play (The Princess and the Pea, which opens sometime in March), taking into consideration that we usually have had a carpool made up of families in the neighborhood, I concluded that, over the course of the thirteen plays in which our kids have been involved (so far), we will have made an estimated 455 trips to the Monona Public Library where rehearsals are held. At ten miles round trip, that comes out to 4,550 miles driving kids to rehearsals and back. And I estimated on the low side for the number of trips taken. Nor did I include the miles driven from the library to performances. They do performances all over the county and each family is asked to drive a carload of kids to a performance three times during the run of each play and many parents, us included, go to more than three. Uff da!

Yesterday, on the way to picking up after rehearsal, the sun was setting over the Lake Monona (for anyone not familiar with Madison, some would say it is nestled between two lakes, Monona and Mendota. I tend to think of it as mashed between two lakes.) Downtown Madison was visible across the lake. I hopped out of the car and, thanks to the miracle of the camera phone, snapped this picture.

Then, today, on the way home from drop off, I stopped at the same spot and got a daylight shot. Some ice fishing shanties are barely visible - a familiar sight in Wisconsin winters.

I've also noticed an interesting theme on the drive there and back: bait. Unfortunately, the sign is unreadable in this photo, but here is the Monona Ice Cream and Bait shop (would you like leeches on your sundae?) It's closed for the season, which I find puzzling, since it's right across the street from a park on the lake and ice fishing is quite popular in the area, although I've never tried it myself.

Not far away, we find Harley's Liquor and Bait Shop. Harley's is not closed for the season. This time of year, it's quite normal to see men dressed in serious winter garb (often their outfits are camouflaged - I wonder if that makes it harder for the fish to see them through the ice) stopping in to pick up some worms, leeches and blackberry brandy on their way out to do some fish huntin'.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes, I know it's a little late to be posting this, but Ye Olde Motore Primitivef will be playing a Valiumtimes Day™ party at Dobhan's Restaurant (2110 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704) on Thursday, February 14, 2008. Yes, tomorrow. No cover charge. Party starts at 10:00 p.m. Stop in for dinner and stay for the party. Or whatever.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Neil Innes: Godfrey Daniel

In case you're not familiar with him, Neil Innes is probably best known as one of the geniuses behind the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Rutles. Curiously, our family recently watched a bunch of W.C. Fields movies and "Godfrey Daniel" was an exclamation frequently used by Mr. Fields. Now here we find Neil Innes singing "Godfrey Daniel." Coincidence?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow Day!

We're in the midst of a great winter storm. Schools are closed, government offices are closed, the buses are stopped - even the malls are closed! I took the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the snow. You can click on any of the following photos if you wish to enbiggen them. I used a real camera instead of my camera phone, so they actually look pretty clear when they're enbiggenned.

The plow hit our street once today, but we've gotten so much since then that the street is pretty much unnavigable right now. The plow got stuck on one of our neighboring streets, so it left a big pile of snow in the middle of the street and drove off. I dread shoveling the car out after they plow again.

I love the way, when we get enough snow to shut everything down, everyone in the neighborhood is home and it's sort of like a big party; everyone is out shoveling (except me - more on that in a moment), chatting, walking around - it's really quite wonderful.

Here is our neighbor Kenny:

Kenny, who does not have kids of his own, seems rather aloof and one could easily interpret this as unfriendliness, although I think he's just shy, but he spends a lot of time with these two kids who wouldn't move to allow him to shovel out his driveway, so he shoveled around them.

Next-door neighbors Terri and Cricket. You decided who is whom. Terri and her wife Rachel are two of the best neighbors one could ask for.

Ms. Geranium (aka Luminiferous Ether) and Rona (next-door neighbor on our other side) out shoveling. Rona just got back from Hawaii yesterday, which was fortunate for us, since we were the designated shovelers while she was gone. Rather an extreme switch from 70˚ in Hawaii to Wisconsin winter.

Rona and another neighbor, Alicia, chatting about Hawaii in the snow.

And, of course, we have the lovely and talented, aforementioned and aforepictured Ms. Geranium. I injured my back a little over two weeks ago and it's still giving me a pain in the, well, back, so I can't really shovel. Ms. Geranium did all our shoveling today. What a gal! Don't you just love those leopard spots, too? Roowwrr!

Our recently adopted dog, Molly, who doesn't mind snow as long as it's not falling out of the sky.

While walking around the neighborhood, I saw through the bushes what looked like a pickup truck buried in snow.

I decided to check it out from the other side of the bushes. It clearly hadn't moved for quite some time and the person who plows the parking lot in which it is parked had plowed all the snow from the lot over the truck. The front end is completely buried.

In this next one, I climbed on top of the mound to get a look. Once on top, I sank up to my crotch in the snow, so I took this shot and went back down rather than go any further.

This neighbor's sports-car is going nowhere fast .

Some other scenes from around the neighborhood:

Molly needs a lot of excercise, so I take her to the bark park pretty much every day. Since I really enjoy driving in snow, I thought we would go today. I decided I would take a drive around the neighborhood to see how the roads were prior to venturing very far from home. I concluded that it wasn't a good idea. Here's the car before I cleared it off to drive around. The snow makes it look like a mini-van, but it's not.

Back inside, a view out the front window.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunset at the Bark Park

This was a couple of days ago. It looked better in real life - more red in the clouds. The camera phone takes such grainy looking photos and you can't control the exposure at all. Oh, well.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Animal Quiz

I've always been fond of bats.

You're a Bat!

From a young age, you've been obsessed with vampires, though now
you sort of wish the association would go away. People seem to expect you to
attack them, or at least nibble on their neck a bit, and you're really not
interested. You can see a lot better than other people think, as well. It
seems folks are just full of misconceptions about you, so it's no wonder you
choose to hide away in enclosed areas late at night. You've always put your
trust in a person named Robin.

Take the Animal Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

The Country Quiz, eh?

That seems about right. I like Canada.

You're Canada!

People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've
got a much better life than they do. In fact, they're probably just jealous.
You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not
dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and
others. If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be
the perfect person.

Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid