Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year 2019

Similar to the last few years, we will be ringing in the new year at home with just a couple friends, Terry and Becky, as long as the roads don't get too slippery.  My wife is going to cook a late dinner of beef tenderloin with those fancy little potatoes.  We'll play some games, have some special drinks and pop the champagne at midnight.  If we do manage to make it all the way to midnight that will be pretty much it, and I'll have to get a nap in just to help me make it that late.

Back on Christmas weekend we were going to drive to Mom and Dan's in Dubuque but Kate came down with the bug I had the week before.  Now we'll have to see about getting the presents to the nieces and nephews soon.  I may have to ship them to my sister and her kids, but it's a good excuse to finally drive down and see my brother's family and the house they built.  On Christmas Day Kate was feeling a bit better, well enough to not cancel her family coming over for some great food, presents and holiday cheer, so we did get one family gathering in for the holiday.

Happy New Year to you all.  The ones I read, the ones I love, all my friends and all of you who take the time to read me.  Whether you comment or not, I can see you're there.  Thank you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018*

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I've never been a card person so consider this your holiday greeting.  I hope you're all enjoying whatever you're doing.  Cheers!

*Edit, 9 a.m.
I scheduled the above last night to post early this morning.  When I finally arose today and opened the curtains this is the sight I saw - a layer of snow on the ground!  So it seems I lied earlier - we have a White Christmas after all!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Solstice Fire Pit

Just because I could, I relaxed with a fire for a bit this afternoon.  It was a few degrees below freezing - so maybe not the brightest* thing to do coming off the flu - but it was nice.  Happy Winter Solstice, everyone.

*Pun intended.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December This-And-Thats

December is slipping away, the holidays are almost upon us and I've hardly posted a thing lately.  There's not been much to post about, really.  Well, I'm sure I can come up with a few things so time to start typing again and see what fills the page.
  • Somehow we seem to have had December weather in November and vice-versa.  There was only a trace of snow on the ground in spots yesterday and that's probably erased by the rain today, and with the expected temperatures we will not be having a white Christmas this year.  Lake Mendota officially froze over five days ago, on the 15th.  About normal, but that date can vary greatly year to year.  Lake levels are looking better, but still not down to where they should be.  I haven't heard anything on that debate lately but, like any other year, the further from the event the less people think about it.
  • I've been sick all this week, probably a flu bug but I didn't go to the doctor.  Sunday evening I remember being especially tired, then Monday and Tuesday were absolutely miserable for me but I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again.  Today I worked a full shift for the first time this week and I am exhausted.  At least my boss is letting me slide on the required overtime this week and we have no overtime for the next two short holiday weeks.
  • I have all my holiday shopping done and finished wrapping this afternoon.  This was a tough year to buy something for my wife.  I thought about jewelry again but she doesn't really wear any regularly.  She did mention wanting to get her ears re-pierced but she won't let me do it so I came up with a few other gifts that will have to do.  She has a birthday coming up in a month so I guess I'll have to make up for it then.
  • Sadly, the pictures on my garden blog from August 13, 2012, to May 14, 2017, have been deleted.  It was a shame and I am not happy about it, but I had almost 1400 pictures on Flickr and starting soon they will only allow 1000 for free accounts.  Most importantly, I didn't want to lose anything from this site, so I sacrificed those pictures rather than pay a monthly fee forever to keep them.  You can read more of what I wrote about that here and here.  As for the future of that garden blog?  I just don't know yet.  
  • I've been scanning the local venues' websites for upcoming shows that I'd like to see, and still there's only one on my radar.  On February 10, Marty Friedman plays at the High Noon Saloon.  He used to be a guitarist in the band Megadeth and then spent the last 15 years in Japan.  Other than that, there's a few things that slightly interest me and you never know when a new show will be announced.  In fact, it was just announced that Neil Young is coming soon to Madison on a very short solo tour.  Unfortunately it's on a weeknight and the tickets seem to be outrageously priced and may already be sold out. (Luckily, I've seen him before - but that was over 20 years ago!)
That's all I can think of that I want to share for now.  I'm sure I'll post a holiday greeting soon and I don't think we have any plans for New Year's Eve yet, so there will be more to come before 2019.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Latest LIVE Listening Pleasure 31 - Steel Panther

For some time now I've been lamenting the lack of shows coming to Madison that interest me.  I see tour announcements often, and I rarely see Madison on the list of dates (yet Grand Rapids, Michigan, a smaller city, seems to get a lot of shows).  Maybe that will change with another good Madison venue, The Sylvee, that just opened this fall.  Months ago I was scanning the upcoming shows and saw this show coming up.  Surprisingly, my wife agreed to go with me so as tickets were relatively cheap we went out to see Steel Panther and check out The Sylvee on Friday night.

Steel Panther, if you haven't heard of them before, is a band that spoofs 80's hair metal.  They perform classic metal songs and their own music, all the while performing satire of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Definitely not safe for work, nothing seems to be off limits and being in on the joke is much of the fun.  It does surprise me, however, that so many women like the band in this #meetoo time we live in, considering how they objectify and make fun of them in their songs and banter.  But it's all in good fun and in the name of heavy metal.

I posted this holiday song when it was new a few years ago, here it is live - The Stocking Song:

It was cold that night - in the mid teens (ºF) - but a new parking ramp just opened up right next door to the venue so that was very convenient.  As usual, I bought a shirt first, probably the only one for sale that I could actually wear to work as the others had innuendo that someone would take exception to, I'm sure.  We walked around the crowd a bit but took a spot in the balcony.  The balcony has a couple rows of seats around the front but the rest is all general admission.  When a band comes that I really want to see I think I'd spring for the seats.  The first band, Wilson, was forgettable.  Steel Panther ran through their set like a well oiled machine, despite having a fill-in bassist for this stretch of dates.  We left before they came out for the encore, so we missed a song or two but I'm okay with that.  We beat the crowd and were home and warm minutes later.

Steel Panther performing a cover of a Motley Crue song, Shout At The Devil, with some fun at the beginning:

My third video, Poontang Boomerang, can be seen on my channel here.

I hadn't seen Steel Panther before even though they've played Madison several times over the last decade or so, and if I had been to a good show recently I may not have gone this time, but I'm glad we got to check out The Sylvee and the band was pretty entertaining.  If I sound a little underwhelmed, well, I guess I am.  I'll keep my eye on the upcoming shows and maybe something will come up that will get me a bit more excited.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley
LLP 25 - Darkc3ll
LLP 26 - Dementia
LLP 27 - Rammstein
LLP 28 - Marilyn Manson LIVE
LLP 29 - The Harp Twins LIVE
LLP 30 - Diamante
LLP 31 - Steel Panther LIVE