Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Atwoodfest 2019

Dancin' in the Street!
Last weekend was Atwoodfest, the largest of Madison's near east side festivals.  My wife and I spent about 4 hours wandering the streets, watching bands, eating foods and perusing the merchant's wares (and I got my 2019 Atwoodfest shirt!).  We got there relatively early in the afternoon, about 2 pm, and watched as the place soon became more crowded.  The weather forecast during the week called for Saturday to be in the mid-90's with scattered thunderstorms, thankfully that had changed by Saturday to partly cloudy and mid 80's.  Still plenty warm but not as hot as past years, though a cooling shower would have been welcomed a few times.

Believe it or not, I didn't take a whole ton of pictures like last year when I took way too many.  But I did get many interesting sights at the festival and along the way.  The bike path was repaved earlier this year, Goodman Community Center's newly refurbished Brassworks building is completed, Goodman's cow (by the Ironworks building - both locally historic) has been re-painted with an interesting design (my wife laughed at where the raccoons are), there were beautiful wildflowers and community gardens along the path, and that bike display that was new last year in someones front yard was still there, now with a basket of flowers and night lights.

Follow along with the pictures after the break as we walk to the festival and back.  It happens on the last weekend in July every year - make your travel plans now!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Planes, Trains and... Cicadas?

Earlier tonight I had a fire for the first time in a month, since June 29.  It was around 80ºF, which was the lowest temperature and/or driest opportunity on a weekend night since then.  We've been mostly very warm and humid this month, but for the last several days which we enjoyed open windows again.  And the next couple days will be very warm and humid with scattered storms again.  I won't complain, I hear the UK just had record-setting temps around 100ºF yesterday.  Anyway, though I was tired I built a fire and sat by it watching the Brewers game on my phone for a couple hours tonight.  Always enjoyable, but I did have to shower off the lovely combination of sweat, bug spray and smoke when I came in for the night.

While I was out there the opportunity arose for a short video featuring a plane and train, and the automobiles are in the background din even if you can't tell with the other two - circling back to a prior post. There's also a fourth noise here as the cicadas have been out in force lately.  The train tracks are a few blocks south and east.  We don't seem to get lots of trains, but I may just be used to them now.   And freight, not passenger, usually with lumber or coal or box cars with who knows what else.  Short video below.

An then there's the back fence.  Tell me, does it look terrible?

I've been trying to get some estimates lately on replacing it.  I researched online and found 4 places I wanted to get an estimate from.  I have two similar estimates in hand, one supposed to be emailed soon, and one place that I left a message and they never called back.  So far the two estimates are very similar at over $2000 to replace what we have with the same but new.  It's only 40 feet of fence, that's over 50 bucks a foot, is it worth it to replace it yet?  Affording it isn't the issue, I just thought that seemed a lot for only 40 feet, even for cedar.  Yes, right now the tops are dry rotting and it being a squirrel highway erodes them more and more every year now, but can we get a couple more years out of it or does it look that bad now?  Replacement would have to be in early spring or late fall as to not destroy the hostas, so I guess it comes down to how long do we want to wait to replace it.

A few more after the break.  And this weekend is Atwoodfest!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Latest LIVE Listening Pleasure 35 - Alice Cooper

It's hard to say why I've not seen Alice Cooper live before now.  He does tour a lot, so perhaps I always thought there would be a next time.  In fact, there almost wasn't a this time.  Alice Cooper played Wednesday night at The Sylvee here in Madison, but I had tickets for a show I especially wanted to see on Friday, two days later.  That show was cancelled a few weeks ago so I decided this was the time to see Alice Cooper.  After all, he is 71 years old now, how many more tours can there be?

Not wanting to stand and jockey for a good view I bought one of the seats that surrounds the balcony, giving me an unhindered view of the night's show.  More expensive, but at my age I can afford these comforts when available.  I wound up on stage right, front row, second from the end farthest from the stage.  I still had a bit of taller rail in front of me since I was by the end and the stairs, but the rail that separates the seats from a forty foot fall seemed so low, and there is nothing but a short cable tray that runs below it to stop anyone from falling.  Me, being tall and clumsy, definitely made a note of that for future.

There was no opening band and the show started a little after 8, so I knew it wasn't going to be a terribly late night but I still took off the next day from work.  The stage was impressive with a castle-like structure that was used to its utmost.  The songs were mostly all classics with 14 of the 20 songs being from the 1970's, many of the hits.  The band, featuring three guitarists including the acclaimed Nita Strauss, was tight and entertaining.  And the special effects were limited to lights and fog, but there were several fun props used during the show including a giant Frankenstein, a giant baby and, of course, the guillotine.  He does a dramatic show with these little playlets that make things lighthearted and fun to go with the music, as you will see in the video below.

I'm disappointed that my original plans this week were cancelled, but I am very glad I went to see Alice Cooper.  Now to see what's next!

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
LLP 32 - Scum Of The Earth
LLP 33 - Marty Friedman LIVE
LLP 34 - Buckethead LIVE
LLP 35 - Alice Cooper LIVE

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sunday on the Lake

On Sunday we got out on the lake for the first time this year (thanks Terry!).  It's always nice to be out there on the water.  It was a tiny bit cooler Sunday than it had been all scorching week prior, still with the sun shining hazy but bright I got more color than intended - well done but not quite extra crispy!

It was a lot of fun, but I took lots of pics and some video - more than I intended - but at least three quarters of the shots are no good due to the movement of the boat and not being able to really see what I'm shooting because of the brightness of the sun.  Still, I got some good pics but next time I think I'll leave the camera in my pocket a lot more and spend more time having fun with the people I'm with.  We don't get as many opportunities to get out on the lake as I'd like so I guess I get enamored with trying to get the perfect picture, which is practically impossible on a moving boat anyway.

The lake levels are still higher than they should be, for any time of year.  Technically not flooded like I showed in this post last year, yet currently at or above the Summer maximum set by the local authorities (screenshot taken from here) and all it would take is another rainstorm like we had last year and we'd be in the same, um, boat.  Why do we not learn from past mistakes?  Because boating is big business and it would cost people money to extend their piers if the lakes were a few feet lower.  Baloney.  These overly inflated lake levels aren't worth the risk.  Set the lake levels where they should be and make the rich snobs in the fancy houses adapt, I say.

After the break is lots more pics and a (n unlisted) YouTube video of boat cruising for a few minutes, just to give you a feel for it, I guess.  Never mind the background banter!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July 2019

Happy 4 day weekend 4th of July!

Everyone has a 4th of July, but it's Independence Day here in America.  A day for grill fires, explosions and missing digits.  We don't plan on going out for fireworks tonight, but we do plan on grilling out later today.  Mostly a day for chores and errands, though.  I hope to get a bit further with the cat box project, make a run to the hardware store, and get the chain saw out and cut the wood I've had by the garage since last year.  It's supposed to be very warm and very humid with scattered afternoon thunderstorms today so hopefully all will get done and we'll still have time for relaxing.  Tomorrow night we're going to have a couple people over for a fire in the evening, otherwise no specific plans made for the rest of the weekend yet - but I always have a list that I can work on.

Be happy, be safe, and enjoy the holiday, everyone!