Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This is the second time. The good news is I believe THIS TIME we have a trustworthy, skillful, knowledgeable plumber. I say THIS TIME because the man cited three reasons why we will have to replace the wooden floor in the powder room AGAIN, i.e.: it wasn't repaired correctly the first time.

I won't detail the issues since I don't know the names of the parts involved. Just know that every flush was sending a spurt of water through a hole into the floor.

If you've never seen YOUR wooden floors ripped up due to water damage, let me tell you it's quite the deal - although when done properly, there's no permanent damage - just to your wallet!

First you have the toilet removed.
Then the floor removed.
Then you be sure it's bone dry.
Then the floor guy puts in a new floor.
Then the plumber reinstalls the toilet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It sounds like a whirling, louder than ever. I think it's the fan, or worse, the hard drive. The fan has been cleaned relatively recently. The hard drive is not the original one, but a replacement somewhere along the lifeline of the box, as the original one became corrupt like a politician. At least it issued no denials.

If you are a friend and you lose track of me for a few days or weeks, the box did die and the replacement will bring with it many issues to resolve. I THINK I have saved on an outboard drive my email addresses but I can't be sure they will import into a new box when and if.

The other day my computer just shut DOWN in the middle of my typing... odd thing is that locally someone cut through a cable which took down all phone and internet for a while. And Terri's computer also died at work, another 'never before' thing.

Viruses are constantly checked on my computer... so I doubt that's an issue.

Just - stay in touch if I go away... I'll be back.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Great name, huh? The place is a secluded recording facility outside of Wimberly, Texas, about 35 miles down the road from our house.

As a past attendee at one of their in-house concerts, I was invited to their 4th birthday party.

The day included performances (which are also recorded and shot on HD video, with feeds around the house. Ranch. Sorry.

Ruth Moody

Natalia Zuckerman

The Legendary Rupert Neve
Virtually every artist has recorded through his equipment which is in great studios all over the world!

The piano room (setup to record ensembles and groups)

The recording part of it all.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I don't remember having a coon-skin hat as a kid. But I had the 45rpm record... "Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee... Kilt him a ba'ar when he was only three..." I probably thought I was Davy once in a while, roaming the wilds of the neighborhood which weren't wild at all - you had to go into the 'woods' (no relation) to find 'wilderness.' The woods were really the grounds of Haverford College, which had trees of many species all through its square-mile campus, just two blocks from my house.

I didn't realize how much I missed Davy, until I saw the news story last night which included some clips from way back then, as they stirred some soul-memory long forgotten. That was a time of clear right versus clear wrong. Things were fresh, probably due to my age and the innocence of inexperience. And simpler. I remember that right always won.

Last night they showed Fess Parker - Davy - and also later, Daniel - at 85. He had done real well. Bought land and had an award winning winery on 2200 acres. Even at that age he looked like a real man and a guy who'd treat you right.

He starred in Old Yeller, the first movie I cried at. Didn't expect to, either. Just LOST it.

Whatever reality is, when I looked at Davy, or Fess, I saw a purity (real or imagined) which is long gone in the days of Tiger, Jesse James, John Edwards, partisanship, Enron, Madoff, steroided athletes.

Rest in Peace, King Of The Wild Frontier.

Who would quailfy as a Real Man today?

Friday, March 12, 2010


This is a BIG deal - SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST - coming to town in various incarnations - Film, Interactive, Music. The city will be full of gigs (last year over 1000 bands showed up from all over the world!) and parties. Celebs say this town is a cool place to be - that the folks don't rush to get an autograph or picture. That's a good thing. Likely true.

From SXSW.com: "The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 registrants. As Austin has grown and diversified, film companies and high-tech companies have played a major role in the Austin and the Texas economies. In 1994, SXSW added a film and interactive component to accommodate these growth industries. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events attract approximately 17,000 registrants to Austin every March.

SXSW's original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. That continues to be the goal today whether it is music, film or the internet. And Austin continues to be the perfect location."

The Goody Bag thing:

One of the neat things about Austin is the shared pride people have ABOUT Austin - sure, some oldtimers complain about what was lost while the city expanded, but the cool vibe is still here.

A friend who was recently on a job interview in Dallas commented about how much more cosmopolitan Dallas is, compared to Austin. So true.

Austin is friendly, accepting, and music-centric.

For us, the perfect choice!

Monday, March 08, 2010


I didn't care who won. Watched because it's more or less a tradition. Wondered if they could ever get the show into a format worth watching. Spoiler alert: NO!

HOWEVER, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were VERY VERY funny - or their lines were and they delivered most of them wonderfully. Something like this: Alec: "...a writer, musician, author, a Grammy and Oscar winner... STEVE MARTIN." Steve: (after applause, "And Alec Baldwin." Banter which was Best I Can Remember.

But the rest of the 'show' and the pacing were HORRIBLE.

They'd bring a group of people on stage then shoot them from a distant side angle. Huh? Rehearsals? In fact, immediately after a needless N.P. Harris song and dance that fizzle-opened, there were a few moments where the production seemed to go off the rails entirely, as the cameras didn't seem to know where to go or what to do and there was a major pause - this while you might be trying to snag 'sampling' viewers. Rehearsals?

THANK GOD for TiVo, although we kept catching up to real time via bypassing the dancing and many many boring awards and speeches from people who we don't care to see. What an ordeal!

I could go on and on but you get the idea. MOSTLY boring. Steve and Alec great.

Addendum: Just read local paper review. He came down hard on Alec and Steve. I don't agree. At all. Isn't that what makes horserace betting?

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Last night Terri and I watched the start of disc two of season 5 (episodes 8 and 9, I think.) After each one, we gave each other a look of "was that as good as I think it was?" It WAS.

Certainly this show will offend some conservatives. Yes it will. It's sometimes racy - language is real but also blue. This ain't no basic cable. And there's weed - smoking! And sales. And 'adult-situations' like sex and talk of sex. Actually a lot of that, though not graphic. Some nudity.

Again, the writing is great, the situations mostly great, the acting outstanding. It's funny, touching, sweet, tart, all at once. And Mary Louise Parker is incredible.

Friday, March 05, 2010


Terri has pretty much checked out of LOST. I am hanging in hopefully, but so far, I feel unrewarded.

Watched the first LENO back at 10:35. I don't like him but he was obviously humping hard and it served him well to show that much energy and crispness.

I am WAY into THE GOOD WIFE. Again, Terri's not raving, but it is a terrific drama with good writing, great acting - maybe the classiest show on TV.

Returning some interest into Grey's Anatomy which surprises me. I could become numb at any time, but not so far.

The new show with Timothy Olyphant, looks GREAT and as soon as TiVo decides we are close enough, I will instruct the recorder to grab it for me.

DAMAGES is still fun, but I miss Danson - he was a great Villain. And HEY - there was Tony Soprano's uncle!!!

We have been binging on (the show) WEEDS and continue to be entranced by Mary Louise Parker. I strongly believe no other actress could hold that role!

HOUSE had some of it's best-ever episodes before the break. I hope they come back at that level.

FRINGE should decide what it wants to be. Bring on the Matrix stuff then. Enough worms-for-arms freaks. Zero chemistry from the two leads, though...

unlike CASTLE which brings forth a charm school run by Nathan Fillion. The banter reminds me of Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd on Moonlighting, back in the days of innocence and incense.

Checked out CBS and ABC news under Katy C and Diane Sawyer. I tend to watch NBC and prefer it and its team. But both CBS and ABC seemed good too, and the anchors pro.

Olympics - several of the announce staff seem long in the tooth and the NBC side seemed to lack - what - spirit? NICE produced pieces, though. Work to be proud of.

Loved the arena announcer at the large venue. Great voice. Great "read" and perfect for PA system - ie: great midrange - very clear - and enthusiastic! He had great personality without ever saying anything other than names.

Almost forgot IDOL. Weak. They have enough goodness for finals though. The 'panel' has been giving conflicting advice: "change a song and make it your way" - "just sing a song simply..." I don't think Ellen is adding the spark they hoped for - she COULD but must feel held back. Kara is trying hard to do the touchy-feely stuff with Simon, who I have to say I pretty much agree with so far. Randy should come back as a dawg. He'll lick you if he likes ya, but he won't go far if he doesn't. In other words - the panel o' judges need more personality other than that of the Next-year-I'm-GONE Simon C.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


We've had a rainy winter. And cool. This is because some people off the coast of San Diego swim around in circles, which causes weather here.

It's actually hot in the sun today, so that will tell out-of-towners what it's doing here. I think our last cool day is gone as the sun is hot and the breeze, even when cool, has a hard time keeping things mild.

Weeds have birthed a week or weeks ahead of the grass. I read about the green way to kill weeds, vinegar and liquid soap, Dutifully I bought a new sprayer, lots of Aunt-Sally's-Vinegar-By-The-Gallon, and went to war.

Trouble is, the weeds have a big army. On an acre and a half that's a LOT of vinegar! I am pretty sure that zombie versions of the original kills are rising from their tombs, sewing seed, shooting runners, and wreaking havoc otherwise.

Even the rabbits cannot keep up. Nor the deer. We have an acre of rabbit and deer poop for sale (see the sign down by the road - bring your own container) but all those hungry tick carriers can't keep up with the damn dandelions!

I've tried pulling them. I tried, one year, the wholly holistic way, spreading compost all over everything ("a healthy lawn will take care of itself" "weeds signal something is wrong and you need to buy something.")

Bottom line: nothing works. As Terri says, at least they're green.