Woofy Wednesday

And a bit of a cheeky NSFW one:

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Beautiful Sunday

The weather was absolutely gorgeous in Iowa on Sunday (when I was visiting Dad).

Here’s a video of me feeding his koi. Enjoy the moment of zen:

Here’s a picture from our walk through his neighborhood on Sunday morning. There was exactly ONE cloud in the sky. 

And this is from my drive home:

It was a nice visit. 

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Last Days of Summer

I kind of hate this time of year.

The last grains of summer are trickling through the hourglass, the days are getting noticeably shorter, the weather turns a bit cooler, and school is imminent.

It doesn’t help matters that my birthday falls at the end of August.

Having a birthday at the end of summer kind of sucks. Many years it was during the first week of school. And during college, all my friends were already dispersed to their various universities.

Celebrating your 21st alone with a frozen pizza and a beer doesn’t make for a fun party.

As I approach 50 (it’s still a few years away), the birthdays are getting harder and harder.  50 feels like a definite line in the sand, a rubicon.  If I don’t have certain things in place in my life by then– it’ll be too late.  And I’m getting closer and closer to that line.

This year I’m really sort of dreading my birthday for some reason. It’s making me cranky.

I guess I’m starting to feel old. I’m noticing more aches and pains and joints thst don’t quite work the way they used to.  And then you add in the waning summer….

Bah. Humbug.


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Woofy Wednesday

Are the Olympics done yet?

And a very NSFW image below:

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Design Team

So, I agreed to help out on the design team of one of the local area high school’s winter indoor drum line. 

Yes, winter indoor competitive percussion is a thing. 

Basically it’s like a mini Marching band show (with just percussion) and they march on tarps in gymnasiums. The tarps go from plain to printed with highly decorative designs. And sometimes there are props. 

Anyway, the percussionist who teaches this particular group asked me to be on his design team. And after a few beers, I said yes. 

We had our first meeting last night.

We had already talked about the overall show concept, but we threw out some other ideas and potential effects points. Talked about music a bit, and musical thematic ideas. 

It was actually fun!  I love the beginning part– coming up with ideas and concepts and music and themes and visual cues and pop cultural tie ins and program pacing…. All cool stuff.

This is something that I’ve wanted to get into- especially on a drum corps (or even high school marching band) scale. 

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes from the conceptual to the physical. 

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All’s Well

That ends well. 

The drum and bugle corps championships were this past weekend, and the Bluecoats took the crown. It was their first ever championship in over 40 years of existence. 

And it was so well deserved. 

Here’s a video of their encore performance.  Their show is called “Down Side Up”.  

They use these curves walls on the field as slides and also they run up and down them. It’s ridiculous!

Also on a good note, my Cavaliers took 5th with their show “Propaganda”.

What’s cool is that when I saw early season renditions of both of these shows, I predicted both placements. 

Anyway, I hope you can watch the video. If you don’t have 13 minutes, just scrub to the last 2 minutes to get a flavor. 

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Olympics and Drum Corps

I really was contemplating not watching any Olympics this year. I’d heard nothing about our athletes and only negative stuff about Rio.  But since nothing else is on TV….

My thoughts:

Michael Phelps may be the greatest Olympic athlete of all time, but he’s kind of a dick. 

Our women’s gymnasts are just on a completely different level than other countries. 

The male gymnasts for the US are hot, but hot doesn’t win medals.

There doesn’t seem to be any coverage of any non-hallmark sporting events. And NBC’s coverage in genera is pretty shitty. 

I don’t think I can stand another week of this. 

And now for Drum Corps:

The DCI world championships are this weekend.  Prelims were last night and I’m happy that the Bluecoats are in first. They absolutely deserve to win.

My beloved Cavaliers are sitting in 6th by 0.2 point. I’m hoping they can sneak into 5th– their show deserves it.

And for a fun clip of the Bluecoats, go here:

Wink and a smile, baby. 

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Woofy Wednesday

Non-Olympic edition. I mean, the athletes are hot– but generally like 20 and hairless. Not really my thing. 

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New Art

Okay, this is the last art I buy this year, I swear!

The piece is called “Star Buck”.

It’s archival ink on white pine, all done by hand with a 0.5mm pen. Well, several pens, actually. (I believe the artist called them Ultraliners or some such).

It’s actually a circular piece, in a hand-made circular frame. Here’s what it looks like on my wall:

The artist (Erin Curry) was showing at the Uptown Art Fair (which Kyle dragged me to).  She was fascinating, with a mind that works a mile a minute. She did stuff like my piece, also other skeletal animal drawings with mixed media collage work, and also some 3-D drawing/cutout stuff in shadow boxes. All very cool. 

This piece struck me though. There’s an energy to it, and a cleanness. I was drawn to it instantly. Then she told me the story of it. 

Some sort of bizarre dream that involved this buck but also the “cow jumped over the moon” rhyme. She was on the road and showing at different art fairs, so she started and finished the piece in her booth. While going through multiple pens (like 8 of ’em).

Erin has a touch of madness to her– like most good artists do. On the back of the piece she had also scrawled a random Charlotte’s Web quote for some reason. It just struck her late on night, so it was added.

Oh, and she’s a self taught artist. She started as a kid when her mom gave her pen and paper and told her to “stop fidgeting”.  She didn’t even know that what she was doing was called “stippling” until a fellow artist enlightened her. 

I think I was drawn to Star Buck, because it reminds me so much of Rockwell Kent. Google him. I mentioned this to her and she went ape because I recognized that because he’s a huge influence on her. (I smiled at this.)

I think Star Buck found the right home. 

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Evidently I hit a max speed of 38mph on my bike ride this weekend. Who knew I rode that fast?

And quite a few spikes above 34. The sharp drops along the way are my water breaks.

I guess I knew I rode at “car speed” sometimes, as I would be keeping pace with some traffic by the lakes (or passing them).

This is where I rode. I circled each lake twice (except Cedar). And this doesn’t include the 1.25 mile bike to my gym and back afterward.

So– all in all a fairly decent ride.

P.S.  I’m pretty sure there’s an error in the speed or calculation in the Map My Ride app.

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