Sunday, June 26, 2005

Jazz Alley

Carol and I both like Jazz Alley:, which is listed as one of the planets top 100 Clubs. They always have high quality performers, and the Club is well run, serves good food, and there isn't a bad seat in the house.

Last night we went to see Dianne Schuur with The Carribean Jazz Project. She is a two-time Grammy award winning vocalist and they are a Grammy award winning band. Together they make for a pretty dynamic performance. She has this amazing voice, with a three octave range, and although she only did one number on the piano, she plays a mean jazz piano. Scat singing has never been my favorite part of Jazz, because everyone who thinks the are a jazz singer attempts it even though they aren't worth a damn. But when it is done right with the right band by the right artist, it is something else. Dianne Schuur is one of the few who really do it right. At times when she is scattin' you can't tell whether it is a musical instrument or her voice, but what the hell, her voice IS a musical instrument.

"Deedles", as she is known, was in fine voice, and the band was hitting all the right notes. It was a lot of fun. And a good dinner and a couple of T N' T's didn't hurt the situation at all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Father's Day

I know, I am delinquent again. Father's Day was Sunday, and this is Tuesday, but since my dad passed away a few years ago, I guess he isn't waiting for this.

Dad was born and raised in New Mexico, up around the Four Corners country. His usual mode of transportation was horseback, up until the time he could afford a motocycle. In his years growing up he worked part time as a genuine old fashioned Cowboy, helping drift a herd of mixed stuff to summer pasture. His first job was working in a Trading Post on the Reservation. Since he spoke Navaho and Ute as well as Spanish and English, he often would translate letters for the locals into English to send off to whatever Bureau needed whatever. The very first thing he bought with his wages was a turquois ring, which I have. It's a little small for me, but I can get it on my little finger. Every once in a while when I am thinking of him I will get it out and wear it.

Seeing as he had worked as a cowboy, he adopted that taciturn strong silent type mentality represented so well in the movies. It was the one thing about him that always irked the heck out of me, that he wouldn't tell stories about himself. What we learned, we learned from others. I have a copy of a picture of him at 19 dressed in black, astride a Harly Davidson, black hair slicked back and one leg drapend oh so casually over the gas tank. There had to be some hell raising going on, but us kids never got to hear about it.

I didn't always get along with him. He was a staunch Catholic, and I got to where I didn't like the church. I still don't, but dad's faith was unshakable. I guess that divesting yourself of your parents is a part of growing up. The idea is to have it as painless as possible. It wasn't too dificult for me. Uncle Sam decided he needed me over on the other side of the world, but that is another story.

There were seven of us kids, every one independent, opinionated and intelligent. I do have to say that my folks must have done something right, as there is not a one of my sibligs that I don't consider a sucess in their own way.

After I got out of the Service, I got together with dad for a guys night. He came over and spent the night, and we got a gallon of wine. By the time we got through with it he had forgiven me for every wrong I had done, and I had forgiven him for every slight, real and imagined. We were never best buddies, but we got along and understood each other. Sometimes I really miss his plain down to earth common sense and dry sense of humor.

Here's to you dad, wherever you are. I was proud of you all the way to the end and beyond.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

New flooring in the spare bedroom Posted by Hello

The cabinets on the other side Posted by Hello

Here are the cabinets with the new veneer, and new smoke hood Posted by Hello

Just another day

I haven't recorded anything here lately. Pat of it is just procrastination, but I have also been busy with other things. Last time I made an entry, I was stalled out remodeling the kitchen, which, thankfully is pretty much done now except for putting the final finish on the cabinets. Man, will I ever be glad to be done. I started in December.

My baby (the 1977 Datsun 280) has been dead in the driveway with an electrical problem. Finally after a couple of months of frustration I managed to find a broken fusible link. It wasn't fried, just had an internal break in the wire, which wasn't even visible. I only found it by running the fusible link through my circuit tester, and I could see the meter needle fluctuating.

I also have put the floor in the spare bedroom. I only have to put in a filler strip around the edge and put in new molding, then start moving in furniture.

As soon as that is done I need to start planning what I am going to do with the deck off of the living room. The whole deck needs to be torn down and replaced. I have never cared for the design of the current deck, so here is a chance to completely remodel it. I want to expand it enough so it can also be a carport as well as a deck. I need to figure out the dimensions so I can run some numbers for the cost.