Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

o boy o boy!

Finally got rid of the intransigent printer and bought a scanner/printer/copier thing. Yay! I have a lot of cool old film pictures I've wanted to show off. I also got a new flickr account to show them off IN!
Thunderstorm cloud in Arizona

Monday, October 22, 2007

can't even think of a title

Again, the fires in Southern California. I don't understand why it's such a big friggin surprise. It's a shame, but it should never be a surprise, and of course it's "worse than ever" now, because all those places the fires used to sweep through unhindered are covered with housing. So the houses must be saved.

My grandparents had a place in a mobile home park in the 70s and 80s, in Agoura, and there was nothing around them but the freeway, Wizzun's and the Rock Store. When there were fires out there, which, actually, was about every other year, there was almost no property damage or life lost, because there was no property to damage! Now the place is unrecognizable. A veritable sea of beige stucco and terracotta rooftops.

It shouldn't be a surprise because this is a weather pattern that rolls in EVERY YEAR! At the same time! Sometimes it's windier than others, but it's clockwork. There's a big fire somewhere every year down there. Well, i suppose one day they'll have all the open, fire-prone spaces covered in beige and terracotta, and there will be nothing left for the fires to start in. And then California's wildfire problems will be solved.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

..and another thing

one of the other many reasons i hate the place i played on Friday...

I ordered a BLT with fries to eat before the gig. Ate the BLT, started on the fries. First thing i noticed is that the fries *looked* raw. And they felt raw. And, yes, they tasted raw. But I had to go play so i had to wait until the end of the first set to ask for some more. Done. Just as we're about to go back up for set 2, here come my fries. Damn... So, end of set 2, i went to eat them. They shouldn't have been too cold, right? Again, they looked raw. Felt raw. They were a little warm, but when i bit into one, surprise! The center was ice cold.

This place makes you pay for the food and drink you order, on top of giving you a pathetic wage for playing. There was no way in hell I was paying for the effin fries. Luckily, the bartender was a nice, understanding kind of dude and just charged me for the BLT.

And some time ago, the smart half and i went up there to have lunch. We paid with a card, and left a decent tip in cash on the table. when our statement came, and extra couple of dollars had been added to our bill. I hadn't been back there since that happened, and still won't go there unless it's for work or whatever. Fuck that place and the asshole Christian that runs it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

a night at the truck stop

Friday night I filled in for another bass player and played up at the truck stop. They have a lounge and a restaurant in there. And a little general store thing.

I actually really actively dislike this place. It was big hair and big hats, drunk regulars, generally too much yee-haw for me. I like some yee-haw, but there's such a thing as too much.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I really like fall here. The weather is wonderful, like spring. Not miserable hot of summer or bone-chilling cold of winter. I like how the trees are bright red, bright yellow, bright orange and have backdrops of evergreen. I like how the air feels.

I have enjoyed, this year, seeing the cycle of agriculture a little closer than i have in the past. With the driving to Tulelake and the Siskiyou route, i go through a lot of farmland. It's harvest time right now for potatoes, onions, and garlic. Last month was mint. The pole buildings are all full of hay and livestock have been moved into different pastures than where they spent the summer. There are strange looking vehicles cruising slowly down the right side of the road. Cows and horses are looking a weeee bit shaggier.

There's a piece of property I pass on the 97 south of town, where they have a bunch of sheep and goats. I always see one goat in particular being sneakier than the rest of his crowd. He has figured out ways to get to the good stuff that his peers haven't. Yesterday, he was mowing a path out the fence toward to highway. That strip is where the good, tall, green grass and green rabbitbrowse are thriving. Smart little goat.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

dark at noon

Well, not totally dark. Dark enough that at noon I was thinking, "Gee, it's pretty late, have I been working that long?!". But no, we have high winds today, and they've brought us all the topsoil from surrounding farms and ranches. Winds are right on the heels of the mint and tater harvest.

Storms seem to take awhile to blow into KF. In Booze Bay, while the weather guy was saying "It'll be windy this afternoon", pieces of our fences were blowing down the road.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

ha ha fooled ya

Man, the music got one over on me when I thought I was getting it. I posted earlier about how the rambler and I had thought we'd figured something out, theory-wise, when I played a song in A minor that he played an E minor pentatonic lead over, that also had a bass line in E minor.

Well, dip me in batter and call me corn pone, but this is the kind of thing about theory that leaves me stuttering.

There's a little trick in jamming, in playing music in general (except for classical, but I'm not sure), in that if you aren't sure what key you're playing in, the first note/chord or the last note/chord is the key. F'rinstance, if the first note/chord of a song is A minor, you could reasonably assume you will be playing in the key of A minor. Which is what we were doing, and assuming, because I'm still shaky on what notes are in what keys.

But this is where the theory monster jumped on us and ate our brains. The song we were playing was actually in G. But the first note/chord is A minor, and the last note/chord is D.

Well, of course, it's a Garcia/Hunter song, so it's all weird anyway. I should have known.

What song? "Loser". Although I don't have the Dead version, I have the Cracker version, and I love it, and have been teaching it to some people so we can play it. I love the recording of it. It's just the guys in Cracker sitting around, with the singer (whos name always escapes me) showing the rest of the band how it goes, and they all kind of jump in and DAMN it's just a fantastic example of a jam.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

plan for next spring

I have heard a lot of whining from people about what kind of venues KBS plays at and about the music and about the age thing and, of course, none of the whiners have any kind of suggestions for changing anything, and it's not like we haven't tried this stuff and gotten zilch for turnout- Look! the whiners aren't here! Imagine that!

So starting next spring we will regularly give them an opportunity to shut the fuck up, all summer long. Oh, sure, this could be put more mildly, but this is my thingie and my personal opinions and i'm not representing anyone but my own irritated self here.

Anyway, the idea is on Sundays, either every Sunday, every other Sunday, Second Sunday, or whatever, we just hold a guitar picnic at one of the local parks. It'll be in the paper, and we'll send out the stuff in the newsletter. We ask only that folks bring an acoustic instrument (bass, guitar, harmonica, horn, hand drum, fiddle, dobro, mandolin, whatever) and a picnic lunch and enjoy some hours in the sunshine, strumming, picking, wailing, shredding, or whatever they do. Take some time to learn a new riff or teach someone a favorite. Jam with friends, jam with strangers, all informal, and no stage to squabble over. Open to all ages, all levels, all styles, and basically anyone who plays something that doesn't have to be plugged in, and even people who DON'T play, that want to just come down and check it out. We can't do electric stuff because we have to bow and scrape to the city to plug in. My idea, my big picture, is hopefully to start bringing musicians of all types together, not just the ones who do the blues thing. But also, like I said, to mellow the complaints. We can't make everyone happy. We can try to give everyone something to look forward to, though. More on this, hopefully, as we pull it together.

I have tried in my head over and over to think of ways to make our jams more inclusive to anyone. The issue is that we play at a bar, and the young'ns can't always get in unless we wrangle with the owners and the young'ns do certain things (one of which is that we ask they carry a copy of the ORS statute about underage performers on them while they are in jamming). Wednesdays are my long drive days, and I have nothing to do while driving except think of things. I've learned songs in my head on Wednesdays... better than thinking up ways to get into trouble, probably... Not just the bar issue, we have people who complain about anything else you can think of, from who they get to play with to how the sound is run.. you name it, someone bitches.


was just outside getting the paper. It's snowing! Weee! The thermometer we have outside that sends the temp to the clock is saying its 38. I have to move the sensor, apparently.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

can't remember

I had something else I wanted to share with the world. I can't remember it, though. I've been chewing on the news about Steve since yesterday afternoon.

Another man done gone

I was terribly sad to hear that Scuba Steve was killed in Iraq.
I didn't know about it until yesterday, when I was talking to Djeef, and he asked if I remembered the kid that used to come and watch us practice. I knew him before we were in the band, he was friends with The Hoov's kids, and he was sometimes over there hanging out. The Kook told him, and he just told me.

So, let me tell you a little about him. I didn't know him all that well, first of all. But every time I saw him, he greeted me by name and shook my hand. You could sit right down and hold a conversation with him. That's what really stood out about him, to me. He was a smart, smart kid. He was easy to talk to, and I believe he had a gentle soul. I would sometimes stop into the dive shop at the mall to see if he was working, just to say hi. He had that kind of effect, at least on me. He was someone I looked forward to seeing. It was great when he showed up to watch us practice. He loved the music. He loved being a part of it, even if it was just standing at the door to the practice room and hollering and hooting for us, or cackling at our mistakes. He was too young to get into the bars to see us, but if we were playing an outdoor gig or somewhere he was allowed to go in, he was right up there in front.

So long, Lance Corporal Steven A. Stacy. 'Cooba Teeb. I've missed you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

great big "Wha?"

I still don't understand why guitar hero and guitar hero 2 are popular. I mean, I really don't understand. I've never "gotten" karaoke, either.