Thursday, September 27, 2012

Latest Listening Pleasure... Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird at Overture Hall, Madison WI 9/26/12 - A short review

Last night Andrew Bird and his band kicked off his fall tour in Madison.  We went to see him at the same place almost exactly three years ago and it was a show that I enjoyed very much.  He layered his sounds very well and connected with the very respectful audience.  Back then flash photography was not tolerated and you saw very few cell phone lights during the show.  Last night seemed a bit more disjointed, both on stage and in the crowd.  There seemed to be fewer people this time and more photos, cell phones and shouts to the stage.

He is an artist and his music evolves over time, with the albums showing a snapshot, so you don't always hear what you expect.  Last night, his layering of sounds sounded more haphazard to me as well, oftentimes I would lose any semblance of beat or rhythm while trying to tap my toe.  Now, I did enjoy the evening, but I do think he was better in 2009.  My wife and I had good seats, mezzanine - front row center, though she found the height a bit dizzying.  Overall, with dinner and a short trip down State Street, it was a very nice evening.

When it comes right down to it, I enjoy his music very much.  I have enjoyed listening to him often recently in anticipation of this show, and that is why Andrew Bird is my Latest Listening Pleasure.    Enjoy.

Andrew Bird - Eyeoneye

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Naughty Kitties

As much as they act like they love us, it seems they just can't wait to escape!
20120924 cats plan escape

Actually the screen door is locked, they are learning what handles are for even if they can't operate them - yet.  The biggest escape attempts have been at the back door.  They only go to the bottom of the stairs and don't run from us, but they are too young to be trusted outside without their harness and leash.

Monday, September 24, 2012

In-Law Cabin Fever

20120923 012We spent the weekend at a cabin on Castle Rock Lake, north of the Dells, this weekend with my wife's family.  It was a nice cabin and had a nice view of the lake and the sunsets over it.  Overall, it was a pretty good time.  We played games, had a camp fire, and talked quite a bit (there was no TV, just dvds).  I actually found myself talking more at times than I think I have with this group.  After being married for over 11 years, like it or not, they are becoming family to me, too.

20120923 020I was able to escape to a place called Boomer's Pub to watch the Badgers play on Saturday.  I sat in the bar with only Boomer, talking and watching the game for the first half.  Then a couple more people showed up, especially a very nice, funny, older couple (60's) that I enjoyed very much.  We had a great time, the Badgers won, then I went back to the cabin and took a nap!  Cheers to Boomer, Mark and Linda!  If I'm ever in the neighborhood again...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not Business.. Busy-ness

Life seems to have been rather busied lately.  I work hard at my job all day because I can and I enjoy it.  I'm still learning and improving some aspects, but that will come with experience.  Now, when I get home it's not like I'm busy working until bedtime, I still take my needed down time, but that time has shrunk much lately.  I need to air some things and organize my thoughts:
  • I have no project at the moment.  The compost bin was a good one, and I still have a bunch of lumber in the garage so I have been thinking of things that I could build for us.  I have a few ideas of what I could do pretty easily... if I can find the time these days.
  • Football season is here.  Many years ago I used to go out for the games, but as I've gotten older I enjoy sitting in my easy chair, watching my TV and rooting for my favorite teams.  So far it has been 'off' a bit this season.  First, all the weeknight preseason games were a pain.  Football should be played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, in my opinion.  That is what they have ingrained in us over the years and because of that, that is my ideal watching time.  Also, friends want to come by for the game more often than in the past.  I like my friends, but especially Sunday afternoons, I would kind of rather be alone with my game before I have to go to bed early for Monday morning.  It's just what I like now.
  • I finally called the newspaper to stop my daily delivery.  I have read it daily for most of my adult life, but an earlier starting time at work has me leaving before the paper arrives and when I get home, well, I have other things I want or need to do.  I'm not going cold turkey, though, I will still get their Wednesday and Sunday package deal.  It will be different, but there's just not enough hours in the day.
  • The cats have been energetic to put it best, little hellions otherwise.  Oh, they could be worse and, thankfully, they aren't as bad as they could be, but they can sure be a handful sometimes.  Still, they are very young (about 5 months) despite their ever-increasing size, and I'm sure they will calm in time - even if it is a few years!  Care for them is ongoing and can't be skipped - they won't allow it.  I give them soft food every morning and when I get home every evening, the litter box is done while they are eating so I can clean it in peace.  Then there's the occasional claw clippings, baths and walks.  The problems really come from trying to modify their behavior.  Keeping them off the table, out of the dishwasher (and oven!) and not destroy our blinds or anything else.  And then they get the crazies....
  • My drive home from work has been doubled to about half an hour due to road construction.  It wasn't really that bad until school started back up recently, now there is more traffic and big, slow buses when I am trying to get home.  I want a transporter like they had in Star Trek, is that too much?
  • I had a recent post about an odd letter I received.  I did email him and sent him a link to my post.  He did respond after a couple of weeks, now it has been longer since I have responded back.  I will, though, but I would rather be relaxed and thoughtful about it than just hammer out an email to someone I haven't otherwise talked to in almost 35 years.
  • Unfortunately, I know what will have to go to make time.  I do not watch TV usually unless there is a game on or I am almost or in bed.  I use the internet as my entertainment.  I have a list of blogs and sites that I check daily, as well as podcasts to listen to if I don't find the time at work to play them.  I love the internet, but I may have to cut back.  I can be on it anywhere from 2 to 4 hours on a weekday, so just trying to be on it less every night would be good, but I'm thinking more of an internet-free couple of nights a week.  I don't know if I could stand it, but it is worth considering.
And there are the other daily chores and duties, dinner with people here, a birthday party there, and more coming up soon that I'm saving for another couple of posts.  How long ago was my vacation?  I think I want another one.

There, I feel better.  Now maybe I can relax for a bit before doing it all over tomorrow.  Thanks for listening.  PTFO

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy 9-11 To Me

9-11 01
I turned 45 today.  Thank you to those who emailed and sent cards or gifts.  I have taken today and tomorrow off, a luxury that I haven't been afforded in quite a while.  A Tuesday sucks anyway, but I also have this 9-11 stuff to look forward to every year now.  Well, it could be worse, I know.

Just what I need, another reason to drink...

Really, though, I slept in today, and then napped for quite some time in the afternoon and it felt really, really, really good.  Earlier this evening my wife and I made a very rare mid-week outing to our favorite local bar and grill for dinner and drinks.  I have tomorrow off and I may just surf the net, catch up on my newspapers and maybe tie up some loose ends here and there.

My next planned vacation day comes later this month, the day after the Andrew Bird show at the Overture Center.  We went the last time he was here, back in 2009.  This post from 3 years ago today shows how I am looking forward to it.  Last time I got pretty good tickets in the back of the main floor, this time I got tickets in the front row of the first level up and almost dead center.  I'm looking at this as a nice occasion to show my wife that I have some class and treat her to a fancy night out.  You know, dress up a little bit, have a nice dinner and then off to the show.  This is no heavy metal concert, and I may be one of the older ones in this audience, but all I know is that I like what I happen to like.  Thankfully, this is one performer that my lovely wife can appreciate enough to do this with me.
Or at least she humors me well....

Andrew Bird - The Happy Birthday Song. 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kittens Are Becoming Cats

The kittens are listed as being born on April 20, so they're not even 5 months old yet, but the size difference since we got them on June 9 is amazing to us, and they're not nearly done growing.  I was looking back through our photos and I tried to find a couple that have something in them for perspective (a chair and my lap, in this case) to demonstrate how they have grown.  The pics on the left are dated June 25 and the pics on the right were taken yesterday and today.  They look pretty cute here, but they are very mischievous cats, indeed.

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20120908 002

20120625 037

20120908 016

68% evil, my ass.  Oh, my wife is only 50% evil, somehow I find that more believable. ;-)

I am 68% Evil

You Are 68% Evil
You are very evil. And you're too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.
Well, how did you do?  Tell me in the comments.  Thanx Joanne!