7.15.2014

Summer Fun in the Sun (or Lack Thereof)

It has been a few days since I wrote a post, and that is probably mostly attributed to the GUPPY EFFECT rock-n-roll show last Friday night, to which I had been giving considerable attention. My dedication to honing my rock skills paid off, because the show exceeded my expectations and wowed our small but appreciative audience.

Even though we got paid about the hourly wage of a Chinese sweat shop worker, once you factor in all our weekly rehearsals leading up to the gig and the four hour gig itself, the end result was priceless. It was a great time and there is even a video sample of it somewhere, but I need to get that up on YouTube for all to see.

So getting ready for the gig took up a large chunk of last week. On Saturday morning, my friend Sherry and I biked down to the Madison Farmer’s Market, my first one as a new resident of Madison WI, while my cleaning woman was beautifying my new house. We met another friend, Jessica down there, and I even saw an old acquaintance, Stephanie, there too. I scored some ground emu meat, in keeping with my penchant for eating a hunter-gatherer diet (80% compliant).

In the afternoon, I fell victim to a power nap, because I did not get much sleep between the end of the rock show and the farmer’s market. In the evening, I met my friend Shawn downtown. He was in Madison (from North Carolina) for a scientific conference and we had some catching up to do. We stumbled upon the Fete de Marquette street party and hung out there for a while before getting dinner at the Weary Traveler (an establishment that makes a fine tofu curry dish). Then we bar hopped along Willy Street and Shawn had his first PBR ever. We both agreed that as we age, quality microbrewed beers in smaller quantities have displaced larger quantities of cheap beer. In college, we used to drink fair amounts of a cheap beer called Huber, which is a cheap beer in good beer’s inexpensive clothing.

Shawn had an early Sunday morning flight, so I dropped him off on the UW campus, near the dorm he was staying in, and went home to get a good night’s sleep.

On Sunday morning, my friend Wendy came over and we did yard work together. She lives in a condo and was eager to take me up on my offer to do yard work and mowing, since she enjoys it but can’t indulge it in her current living arrangement. I paid her for the assistance, of course. We talked about planting some late season crops in my small garden. She did some research and determined that beets and broccoli can be planted as late as August and still yield veggies before the end of the growing season. So after RAGBRAI, we might get a few veggies going.

In the early afternoon on Sunday, I went to Home Depot with the $100 gift card from my realtor, and bought some essentials for some small home improvement tasks I want to pursue. I got some handles for the closets in my new house, which the prior owner I guess never got around to doing. I put those one as well as some extensions on my gutter downspouts, and I put protective covers over the basement window wells too. I also got two towel racks for the bathroom and some hooks to place around the house, although I have not had time to install these yet. I might get to that Wednesday or Thursday night, but if I don’t, it will have to wait until after RAGBRAI.

Tonight is DRIVEWAY THRIFTDWELLERS (country band) practice at my drummer Jon’s house. They are training a sub bass player for a gig on July 24 that I cannot play because I will be on RAGBRAI. I don’t technically need to go to the practice tonight, but I will for a couple of reasons. One, I like the music. And two, I want to record the jams so the other bass player has some guidance on the arrangements of songs. The gig is just over a week away and I am not sure he has been woodshedding the songs as hard as he should to be ready for the gig. I shouldn’t care, but I feel some responsibility for the bass player role, even when I am not playing it. It is a reputation kind of thing. So I want to do all I can to make his performance stellar.

I’ll be packing for RAGBRAI on Wednesday night and probably Thursday night as well. Friday morning I will take Buddy to the kennel and then on Friday after work, Sherry and I will drive up to Todd’s in Oshkosh to unload the “Boston Terrors,” consisting of my Boston terrier, Foster, and her two Boston terriers, Bella and Curella. He’ll dog sit them for us while we are on RAGBRAI.

We’ll stay over in Oshkosh Friday night and then drive to central Iowa early on Saturday, where we will meet up with our cycling team, TEAM CRAZY BIRD, and make our way to the start of RAGBRAI for a week of “off the grid” bicycling and camping. It is such a great time, getting away from it all, with no TV or depressing “news.” Only friends, bikes, beer, brats, corn, sun, debauchery, and fun (although this summer visit by the so-called “polar vortex” has the whole sun thing in question…it feels like mid-fall in Wisconsin this week). We’ll return to civilization as positively changed people some time on Sunday 7/27, retrieve the Bostons from Oshkosh and ease back into reality. If I am feeling rested enough (the ride ends on Saturday, so I might get a good night’s sleep that night), I will try to make it to the Funk’s Open Jam on Sunday night. No guarantees. It is going to be a long arsed day as it is.

Well, that’s my week. I didn’t talk much about my job, but it’s fine. Same old same old. I am still enjoying it and it is a laid back and flexible work environment. The nice thing about being a contractor is I can take a week of vacation, with my boss’s approval, albeit unpaid. My boss was totally cool about RAGBRAI.

Well, I gotta skedaddle off to DWTD band practice. I might take some video samples of the jams and post them to my FACEBOOK or live stream them HERE. So if you want to check them out, cool.

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