Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hooray for Jon Dee...he's NPR's song of the day today.
go here!

Monday, April 24, 2006

you always want to see more pictures, so here you go:

from friday:

If you've read the recap, you know that we first celebrated Misti's birthday. Then, Mark, Misti, Rene and I went to Shady Grove to see Eliza Gilkyson. We talked with Mike Hardwick after the show, and he invited us to go to the famed Broken Spoke to check out the other band he was playing with.

So, we did.

First thing you should know about the Spoke. It's a honky tonk. People go there to dance.

And they're dancing to a live band. In this case, chaparral.
it's a pretty big stage, so I couldn't get the whole band and Mike in the shot without walking onto the dance floor. Which is a sin at the spoke. the floor is for dancing, not standing.

It was fun watching mike play pedal steel. But we had more fun when he came and hung out between sets. I love this picture of Mark and Mike. It really captures the fun we were having.
And here's one of the birthday girl, with some old lady.

wow, i go away for a weekend, and spring explodes!

as you can tell, i didn't trim those azaleas last year. Or maybe even the year before. They'll all get cut back soon.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Very odd this morning, using the computer at ronda's, and all the blogger pages (and most of google)are coming up in french! Mony will find that amusing, i'm sure.

A great trip so delayed things a bit, but i got in before "rush hour." It was misti's birthday celebration, which meant half price appetizers during happy hour at ztejas. We then met up with my friend mark, and went out to shady grove to see the last half of Eliza gilkyson's free show. Mike Hardwick was there on guitar(s), and invited us out to the broken spoke, where he'd be playing with another band. So, we did headed on over, and spent a great couple of hours there.

Huge storm last night, thunder shook the house, and lightning turned the night sky into daylight.

the only bummer came this morning,when i logged on to find that apple had sent my computer not two day as ordered, but ground. Meaning it will arrive smack in the middle of my merlefest trip. Too late to get it changed, but i convinced them to give me a 75 dollar credit for my troubles. that pays for the taxes on the purchase, and a nice lunch.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

it's a busy few to austin for a birthday, a festival, and a cd release....then down to wilkesboro next week for merlefest.

work is paying for the latter, ff miles for the former.

good thing, because i'm busted this month.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

finally bought an adapter for bob's computer, and it's just not working right. Airport can't find my signal, the battery isn't holding a charge.

A great idea, but it just didn't work.

So, I purchased a refurbished ibook.
Apple Certified Refurbished iBook G4
- 1.42GHz PowerPC G4
- 512K L2 cache @1.42GHz
- 512MB memory (DDR333 SDRAM)
- 14.1-inch TFT Display
- 1024x768 resolution
- ATI Mobility Radeon 9550
- 32MB DDR video memory
- 60GB Ultra ATA hard drive
- SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
- Built-in AirPort Extreme
- Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
- Scrolling Trackpad
- Sudden Motion Sensor

i'm saving 180 dollars over a new one. Same one year warranty. I splurged 27 bucks for next day fed ex, in the hopes that it would arrive before i head to north carolina next wednesday or thursday.

cross your fingers.

from the "easy come, easy go" department.

got my state tax refund yesterday---815 dollars.

I have to drive through the hills to north carolina next week for Merlefest, so I took my car to community auto today to have them make sure everything was fine. Just got the call from Kerry, total bill, about 825. I might have saved a little by going to the dealer as it was brakes, and there might have been a coupon, but hey....

damning thing was I was planning to use that for my hotel in CA.

I used to always joke that I never got my car out of that place for less than 700 bucks, but then I had a few times that it only cost 150, so I guess was i was "due."

But then, it is my brakes. As I told Kerry, "what am I going to do, say no, don't do them?
And they told me last time that I was going to need new brakes by the next service. I'm mid service, so they're right.

but still......

Saturday, April 15, 2006

why i love nordstrom, part two million:

you may remember that I purchased several dresses while I was in Austin. Each was altered. One was altered badly. Today, I went to my local nordstrom, saw them, and with no questions asked they gave me a full refund.
Some stores might refuse a return because it was altered. Not nordies.

got any flies you need swatted? Just call me. I'm on a roll today, four swipes, two down.

I had three big, buzzy flies in my house. who knows where they came from. I let one out the door yesterday, but still seemed to have three flying around

So, my purchases at the hardware store also included a flyswatter. For a dollar-nine, it's well worth the purchase price.

i went out to get the paper this morning, and saw the lawn adorned with many dandelions. NO way I can dig up all those, my yard would look like a WW2 minefield!

I hate to resort to chemicals, but fear I must.

Friday, April 14, 2006

hmm...water in the oil time. bob's old powerbook doesn't have a superdrive (allows dvd burning), just the combo, which reads dvds, but burns only to cd.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

As expected, the lizards show was fantastic. Glad i went, glad to see the guys, and glad i drank two Harp.

but then today....our latest entry from the "it's always something" department.

I'd noticed that my beloved 12" powerbook g4 was running a bit hotter than usual, and the fan sounded loud. SO, I decided to take it in for a check up. But first: i must go downstairs, and transfer a few things from the powerbook to the external drive. I carefully unplug the power brick, walk downstairs, and...for some reason, can not replug the brick once I'm there. That's right, walking down the stairs killed my power port.

I go to the apple store tonight, where they inform me that this won't be coverd under warranty because my powerbook (2.5 year old) has a few dents in the case. Small things, that probably have been not affecting things for two years now.

But...for a mere 600 bucks, they can replace the powerport, and give me a new external case...which will mean my warranty is back in service. But since it's only for the first 3 years of life, it's almost dead, anyway.

I call then call the apple repair shop here, and find out they'll replace the powerport for 400 bucks. That's powerport only.

For lack of any other plan, I call bob at cal tech. He tells me that his old powerbook started failing right before the 3 year mark, and he ended up having much of it rebuilt. He offers to sell it to me for 400 bucks...100 bucks off the price he'd sell it to one of his students.

So...what to do, what to do.... I like my little powerbook, but then I can get a 15 inch screen, likely with a larger hard drive, for the same price as repairing mine. And it's already been fixed up with a new display, motherboard, and something else.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A case of bad concert timing:

tonight, the austin lounge lizards are playing at Wolftrap. Most years, it's a no brainer sell out. Not this year. Passover.

Then, Sunday, it's Patty Griffin at the Birchmere. Sunday was slow to sell...Easter. An extra pair of tickets materialized....but it's very hard to find someone who can come. Reasons I've been given include:
my wife would kill me, it's easter.
I'm going fishing all weekend.
We're going to his parents for easter.
We're going to her parents for easter.
I can't get a sitter, it's easter.
Sunday? Night? You know I like to get into the office at 7.

This post is especially for my friends who are rushing around in prep for a seder tonight.

Stop everything, and adopt this new haggadah.

Everyone else: go here and read wonderful satire.

Both links take you to the same place.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I love the Guardian. And I really like Neil Diamond's new record. So, I was very happy to read this profile.

here's taste, in case you can't decide if you really want to follow the link.

"Diamond has always been an oddly grave kind of a singer, his songs as serious as algebra (and, sometimes, as tricky to grasp), but the strings and keyboards foaming around them like jasmine on an old wall tended to distract from this. Rubin, however, has pared the whole thing down, made him, for the first time in almost 40 years, play his own guitar and to hell with all that soapy orchestration. Thus, the songs' solemnity is revealed - and their great beauty. 'The best work he has done in 30 years,' says Newsweek

So which Diamond will I get today? Sexy or sombre? Sequinned or unplugged? As it turns out, there is really only one Neil Diamond and this man has about him an endearing earnestness. He can be wry but, mostly, he is agonised. Sitting opposite him in this plastic hotel room, the last thing that you feel inclined to do is to fall at his feet in panting adoration (and if you did, he would doubtless die of embarrassment)."

I say, follow the link. It's worth it.

BTW, you can click on any of those photos and see a larger version. Just don't use 'em without permission.

a few more pictures from this past weekend.

The whole house concert scene is a wonderful thing. Rue and Mark had about sixty people at their home Friday night to see jon dee graham. They paid a small fee, and got a very up-close-and-personal show by an amazing talent.
Jon Dee invited Mark up on stage for the encore, a lovely version of "Big Sweet Life."

I think everyone was happy with the outcome.

As for Sasha, Lee and Dan weren't fibbing when they wrote about her cleaning skills!

This was totally unprompted! She finished with her food, asked for the sponge, and got it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Twas a busy weekend, I'm almost glad to be back at the desk.

Friday: a visit with Jon Dee Graham.

JDG was in town for a private party in Chevy Chase, and took the time to come in for a visit. Once work was done, we drove around a bit, and then headed to the "venue," Mark and Rue's lovely home. It's always nice to make new friends!

It was a great show, he sold a bunch of CDs, though not as many as I'd estimated.

Saturday, I braved the rains to visit Lee and Dan and Sasha.

The queen seemed to approve of my visit. Perhaps Mr. Hedgehog sealed the deal, perhaps it was just my natural charm. Who knows? I know it was my first visit with the queen, but certainly not the last!

If you are not familiar with how the Aronow and Lin family came to be three, email me and I'll send you a link to their fantastic blog.

Sunday? Not really a day of rest, because it was time for a birthday party! Stevie Levine is now 1. No pictures from that one, but a good time was had by all.

Friday, April 07, 2006

in her comments about the baseball post earlier this week, Mony gave a link to the planned new mets stadium. Here's how it might look.

the entire story is here.
you might have to log in, but then you should have a New York Times account anyway.

I like these new old stadiums (oops, don't start going down that path again). The first was Baltimore. The next, i think, dallas. At least that's the second I saw, and I felt like i was in camden yards the whole time. That baltimore feeling stayed with me during a visit to Cleveland, too.

I do like them, but I also like the old old-style ones, too. The relics. Fenway and Wrigley, warts and all.

I had a fine time at the little nashville stadium this summer, but i was there for a concert, not a game. Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and the Greencards. We drank champagne in the home dressing room.

my commute this morning was via car.

i don't usually drive in, but jon dee graham is coming by, and I figured it might be useful.

spring break must still be on. That, or folks are telecommuting today. Despite the rain, it only took me 45 minutes (or perhaps a bit less) to get in, and there were no backups at places that I often find them.

btw, that picture was taken with the camera on my new phone, the motorola v360. That's right, I dumped the crackberry.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

i am not one of those people who sit around and capture pictures of their TV screens, but i saw something yesterday that made me laugh so much I almost fell off the treadmill.

My PBS station was promoing their broadcast of the 2005 Mark Twain Prize celebrating Steve Martin. And as the announcer read the VO, there was a little PBS logo with an arrow going through its head.
you know, this one

but with an arrow.

i loved it because that's still what I think of when I think of Steve Martin. That arrow though his head, during his show in Boston in 1977. And the fact that all of us in the audience had one, too.

as any j-school grad can tell you, a good obit is a work of art. That was the first thing we learned, conventional wisdom (at the time), being if you could interest someone in the life (and death) of a person they knew nothing about, you were a good writer...and could therefore write anything.

I was never a huge gene pitney fan, but after reading this, I want to dig out some moldy 45s or lps.

I love the fact I reserve books from my public library over the internet.

I commute via subway. In the morning, I read most of the Washington Post. Most days, I get through everything but the front section. On slow days, I can read the entire paper on the ride in. My ride is about 35 minutes.

I walk across the Mall on the way home, directly to the Judiciary Square stop. This gives me a chance to brush off the cobwebs, and get a seat on the redline directly home---no transfers. The ride is a bit shorter, only 25 minutes, or so.

(these times are very approximate. Lately, the trains have been breaking down and my trip is about 10 minutes longer. But no cheaper...)

Anyway, that gives me about 20 minutes to read a book on the way home. I finish the paper, then pick up the book.

Right now I have 13 books on hold. I'm number one on the list for Vikram Seth's "Two Lives," and for Anthony Bourdain's yet-to-be-published "Dirty Bits." Oops, it's " Nasty Bits." Wishful thinking on my part.

I come in third in wait for Wendy Wasserstein's last book of essays, and 74 people beat me to sign up for the new Anne Tyler (yet to be released, too). I'm 81 in line for the next Jennifer Crusie bit of fluff, but only 3 when it comes to the upcoming Roger Angell.

And there are 42 in front of me for Doris Kearns Goodwin's epic on Abe Lincoln.

We've got a 7 day book section (lets you take the book for 7 days, no renewals), and I saw the Lincoln book there---but there's no way I'm getting through that one in a week. So I let it sit. I'm a fast reader, but really....

So, what's on your waiting list??????

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a blogger pal of mine asked over the weekend if I had a favorite post. The answer is a resounding NO. However, I do have one that makes me laugh uncontrollably each time I stumble across it (which isn't often, I am not one to re-read my sainted prose). Why do I like it? because it is so very, very stupid. But the picture adds enough to counteract most of the stupidity.
Not all, but most. Below is the first paragraph.

From Feb 8th

say hello to captain jack hotness...I mean harkness, aka John Barrowman. He was spotted in episode ten (i think) of the old new doctor who. The one that will soon air in the USA, but has been seen already all over the world. so we'll call it the old new who, as opposed to the new new who, since the star of the show (the new doctor) quit soon after the first season had been filmed, but before all the episodes aired last year in the UK. So, he's been replaced by a newer who, which means the new doctor who soon to appear in the US is really the old, well, let's just stop this right now.

(btw, I saw John Barrowman as the male lead in Sunset Boulevard a few years ago. Fantastic voice, a real broadway kinda voice. You may have also seen him in the Cole Porter bioflick "Delovely," or as the lead nazi in the new film of the musical version of "The Producers."

and one more thing this morning....about katie couric anchoring the CBS evening news.

It's been years since I worked in a real newsroom, but reading this in the Washington Post caused me to start itching. The hives will probably come out in a few minutes.

"Couric, who attracted enormous publicity while weighing her options, is said by those who know her to be brimming with ideas about how to adapt the evening newscast to her skills and personality."

"brimming with ideas." Three words little words strike such fear in my heart, especially when uttered by a megalomaniac talent. As opposed to me, the talent who should have more ego.

i am really digging this new yogurt I found.

( oh god, did i really write that? How pathetic am I????)

Anyway, the brand is Liberte, it's a canadian company, but this yogurt seems to be made with Vermont milk. (another sign that I've got to get in touch with gene???)

They make a weird-ish one that has some grain in it, but a wonderful plain with fruit. Not overly sweet, but high fat. However, one carton makes a perfect breakfast, and will keep you going through lunch.

They have it at our local Wegman's, and I know it's available in NYC. Visit their website, and see if you can find it near you. liberte yogurt

i am very happy to see mony writing such pithy comments. welcome, and post away.

Very strange day here (and it's only 8:50, so plenty of time for more weirdness). I checked the wx (old newsroom shorthand for weather) before leaving the house, and it said today would be sunny, with highs about 53. Sky was that steely grey-blue color, but i thought nothing of it.

I get to the subway without incident, but while I was waiting on the platform a sudden downpour started. And then little hailstones.

By the time I got downtown, no rain, but the streets were wet.

Luckily, my lazy ass didn't get any plants in over the weekend.

It's been very windy the past few days, so those beautiful cherry blossoms I photographed last week are just a memory. But more will come, the second batch of trees will be peaking later this week. Or so it appears.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

stopped at the library tonight to pick up something i had on hold, and guess what i found on the 7 day new book shelf?

here's a hint: "Insofar as Ramses was concerned, the sooner they left for Luxor, the better."

i have just been told the painted door is a b and b in burlington VT.

I'm going to take this as a sign that I need to email gene, who lives in burlington.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB via PR Web Direct) April 4, 2006 -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced it has requested two gates at Washington Dulles International Airport for service the carrier intends to start in the fall of 2006.

hmm. interesting. Southwest to Dulles. might we actually see some fares fall???

i just edited an earlier post about the nashville trip, as i FINALLY remembered where Mona and I had lunch. It was at The Painted Door. No it wasn't. It was at the yellow porch. Where's the painted door? Santa Fe perhaps????

And how could I forget about seeing Mike's new office on Music Row????

Tomorrow morning, at two minutes and three seconds after 1 O'Clock, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.