Thursday, November 10, 2011


 iTyped with my iThumbs

Monday, September 5, 2011

Found Objects

When I was about seven or eight I found a bank of clay near the stream that runs out behind the elementary school. I got the idea to make a clay tablet like I was always hearing about in Sunday school. I went back to the house and found a small scrap of plywood in the garage and some chunks of two by four and got to knocking it together.

In all the years that have passed this memory sometimes surfaces when I walk near that stream. Usually I just remember that none of my friends were at all interested in the idea and I never got around to making that tablet.I never think much about the box though.

Today I found it on my living room floor with stuff piled in it to go out to the trash. Somehow this thing survived through the intervening decades and made its way up the street from my parents' house to where I live now. I just spent a couple minutes reliving the experience while looking at it.

At first I just dumped the contents in the trash and took it out to the wood pile by the fire pit. I hadn't recognized it. But as I chucked it on the pile I started to notice certain things about it. The plywood was of a certain age, something subtle about it that made it look different from what you see today. The mill stamps on the two by fours seemed different two, not as crisp as what they're using now.

Then my carpenter's brain started to decode the building process. First I spotted a corner with only one nail in it, not the hallmark of experienced carpenters like my father and I. Next I spotted a couple finish nails, half driven and bent over by the hand of an eight year old swinging a sixteen ounce Stanley that was too much for him. Then I saw where a couple had been pulled and re-started. That was the point at which Dad found me and lent a hand. I expect he grabbed the old Rockwell circular saw from his van and did a little trimming. Then he was obviously the one who sank about two dozen evenly spaced eight penny sinkers to hold the bottom on.

My next thought was, "Well, I can't burn that with all those nails in it, the kids will step on them". Which makes me proud as a recovering pack rat. So with just a hint of sentimentality I stuck it in the garage, somewhat lovingly as I looked over the nails my father helped me sink twenty seven years ago. I'll likely toss it in a dumpster next time we clean out the garage. But not before giving it one more good look to cement those memories firmly in place.


Friday, February 18, 2011

My Wife Is Trying To Kill You

My Missus knew what she was getting into when she married a sound guy. The first thing I did after we got back from our honeymoon was go out on tour for three months. More than once we've had to make plans to fit delivering a baby into my production schedule. She's even got a clever scheme to pacify the Short People when they get upset that I'll be gone to yet another gig... "We like to eat kids. Say bye bye to Daddy". But she has her ways of exacting her revenge. One way really, and it's this:

Opening night of a theatrical run she feeds me beans.

It started a few years ago when we were particularly poor and eating rather a lot of beans to keep the grocery bills down. I went off to mix a musical one night after downing a hearty dish of red beans and rice and, well... to put it politely the last ten rows of house right seats didn't have such a good time of it that night. I remarked on it to her at which point we both had a good laugh.

The thing is, she keeps doing it! And I never catch on till it's too late. I've never been able to get the drop on her. The last theatrical run I mixed it hit me as I was pushing my chair back. Ugh. Maybe someday I'll catch on before I sit down to eat and say that I'm running late and I'll just grab a burger on the way to the venue. Somehow I doubt it though.

She informs me that it is always going to happen and it is always going to be funny. True and truer. So now you know. If you're buying advance tickets for opening night of a musical in Genesee county it would serve you well to find out where the sound guy is mixing from and stay at least ten rows away.


Monday, January 10, 2011

You'll Just Have To Wait

I keep getting responsibility heaped on me at work. Possibly quite a bit more than I ever bargained for. I've been trying to up my game recently to figure out how I can do my best to keep everybody happy, including me.

One of the biggest problems is that I'm involved with so many different projects that it's almost impossible to sit and work on something for ten minutes without having to answer a phone call, a call on the radio, or turn to deal with someone poking their head in. Likewise walking down the hall, it's tough to make it twenty feet without getting stopped. Sometimes a group forms around me.

One thing that really helped was some advice from my boss to ignore my phone and radio during meetings. Easily done, just silence that little bugger and unless the same person calls three times in two minutes don't answer it. Something that made me kind of a power user was setting up Google Voice on my work phone. (I'm receiving no compensation for saying this). People call the same number, but if it goes to voicemail a transcript is taken and forwarded to my e-mail and I also get it as a text (most of the time).

Another thing is just to tell people no. I can't really put my boss off, he's going to give me assignments no matter what and he realizes that I/we have to prioritize because there's just so much going on. Making other people realize this isn't too tough though. When the fire alarm guys showed up on Friday and need assistance, I asked them to grab a seat while I finished the drawing I was working on. They were glad to wait and everything got taken care of in a timely fashion. The world didn't end or anything!

So that's it. Just one more tiny step in the constant battle to have it all make sense.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Makin' It Up As I Go

I had a gig last night which was a jolly good time but It meant that I didn't hit the sheets until after four this morning. My lovin' Missus let me sleep and took the Short People to church despite having a migraine. I awoke just after lunch to find the baby sleeping, the big kids visiting Grama and Mama all whacked out on head meds knitting on the couch.

Wha followed was a pleasant afternoon drinking coffee and watching the baby be cute. As dinner time rolled around the children started trickling back in and my wife was still crocked so I decided to take on dinner. She had jambalaya in mind so I did a quick search on the iPod and got to work. And now begins my tentative first efforts as a food blogger.

Having not quite everything on the list I decided to muster up my courage and just fake it. I'm a recipe follower but when it's just a big pot full o' stuff I'm not so scared. We had venison sausage and ham left over so that would do for sausage and well, ham.

I got started with the drip of olive oil we had left and made up the rest with the drippings from the venison. In went the dehydrated onions because we had no real ones, celery and green pepper. We only had one can of tomato paste so I caramelized that with the veggies to make up for some o the missing goodness Faced with adding two cups of stock I faked it with water and bullion and added the meat. Canned tomatoes from the cellar took the place of real ones and the juice made up for some of the stock we didn't have.

In went four cups of brown rice because that's all we had and in lieu of Cajun seasoning I used black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano. A little more water and salt to taste and let 'er simmer.

It took forever for the brown rice to cook but once finally dished up it met with good reviews. It was a tad too spicy for some so the plan is to add kidney beans for the second go-round tomorrow.

Till next time may your soup pot be filled with savory goodness.

iTyped with my iThumbs

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wii Expect To Have A Good Year

Tonight at The Missus' family Christmas party my children received the unexpected gift of a Wii. It was actually in the form of a couple checks from an auntie and Far-Away Grama. So as the Short People were putting away the toys they had gotten out at the party we told them to hurry up and do a good job so we could tell them the very very good news. They did and I had my iPod out to video the reaction, but it wasn't exactly what I expected.

Only one of them actually jumped up and down. The baby shouted yeah because he's in the monkey-see monkey-do phase. Another one burst into tears when we told him that it wasn't an actual Wii and that I would have to go buy one after work tomorrow. And last but not least, the ever practical older sister sat there looking puzzled and finally let loose with, "But there's not enough room for a Wii where we have the TV. I stopped recording at that point and we got down to the explaning.

I had hoped to wait a little while longer before introducing console gaming to the household but The Missus seemed pretty interested in it. Maybe it will finally give her some leverage with those guys about school work and house keeping duties. It'll also be a decent way to get some activity in while we're in the midst of cabin fever season too. So wish us luck, we're about to venture off into the land of Wii. (Which apparently is so two years ago according to my friends who console game, but what the heck, you can't be an early adopter on everything.)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thanks For Not Caring

I just wanted to dash off a quick thank you note to... um. Well here's the thing. I find that I'm glad the shine has worn off sending mass holiday txt messages to everyone in your contact list. The last few Christmases and New Years have been a non-stop barrage of generic holiday wishes. And while it's nice to think that people are thinking of you, when you get interrupted watching the kids opening presents fifty-five times because somebody thumbed "Merry X-Mas" and hit SEND ALL it seems like it's something we could really do without.

So to everybody who didn't bother to send me one thanks. And also to the few people who did send me messages (that were obviously one-offs, mentioning my family by name) thanks for tastefully spreading some holiday cheer.