Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I am all about the lead up to, looking ahead. I got this wee little living Christmas tree, about the size of my boot, and there is talk of decorating it tonight. I know, seems a bit early, but with an early Thanksgiving, a person is a trifle ahead. We had a little living spruce 2 years ago and I swear it was the luckiest little tree. It thrived at our place for Christmas, and we had the most magical winter then, we really did, and it nearly died in the spring in my parents' house, but we planted it outside at my parents' farm, and by God it is thriving.
So, tree up and decorated early, and then I take it down on Dec. 26.
BTW-yikes! Less than a month till Christmas. Dec. 24th will be me and the missus 15th wedding anniversary!
Eddie Vedder is getting a lot of air play on the radio here for 'Big hard sun' which seems to have gone onto the sound track for Jon Krakauer's rather excellent biography 'Into the wild', recently made into a movie. Better day tomorrow, eh folks?
(btw-I had a great day! Thanks for asking.)
The house is full of pottery orders, finished and not finished. Deborah, I think I will ship two of yours today, Diane, yours goes out too. Remember: I am not LL Bean, so don't expect perfect service.
I have a craft fair Saturday. Etna, NY's first ever craft fair, around the corner from my house, in the combined post office and community center we have here. I have done hundreds of fairs in the past, and I wonder if this will be the smallest? I am slightly angry that I just got notice of a very promising looking fair the week following, but will have to wait until next year to participate (grrrrrr).
Monday, November 26, 2007
a tumor. At his age, though, treatment options are limited, therefore, since he remains cheerful and chasing his ball, we shall do nothing but spoil him until he seems very distressed at some later date.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I write for beer blog from time to time. I am the master of the regular guy beer tasting.
From time to time, free beers show up to be reviewed. Usually this is a good thing. Read on.
For beerblog by beerblog correspondant Gary Rith
2 brews by Flying Dog, pictured with Penny the Beagle who will eat or drink anything
Mr. UPS showed up on the step with a box of free beers (lucky me!) and me and the missus tried two this evening. We could sum this whole thing up by saying 'happy beer number one and disgusting bilgewater number 2'.
Flying Dog K-9 cruiser winter ale. http://www.flyingdogales.com/beer-k9.asp
A lovely beer. Pours a dark carmel color in the glass with a load of foam. Nice porterish looking beer, with that distinct porter look and taste. Excellent malt flavor. In sum, happy beer number one tastes like a dark brown beer, otherwise known as a porter. The wife said 'mild but really good!'. Put this guy on your Santa wish list.
Opened beer two, Wild dog Barrel-aged horn dog. http://www.flyingdogales.com/beer-horn-dog.asp
Poured dark and opaque and cloudy, barely any bubbles, no head. It smelled strange. It tasted thoroughly disgusting (I want my money back!). My belly, I kid you not, rumbled menacingly, and I poured it down the sink. The wife said something about medicinal overtones. It is possible that beer snobs or the guy who runs this blog, Alan, would sneer at me for not appreciating this beer, but it is, as they said in Monty Python, to be lain down and avoided.
by Maude Rith in Tompkins Weekly
idea for a song without his thumbs
moving, then his hands twitch and
he’s there, playing bass, experimenting
with chords, seeing how pieces go
together. He’ll take the basic rhythm
to practice and everyone gets to give
it their twist. Rob Reis, the drummer,
writes down the changes. Mike
Flacco, vocalist, throws in lyrics that
jibe with the rhythm, then everyone
comes back and nails down the
From the basic structure, it’s practice
and experimentation with
chords and tempo until everyone is
satisfied. While five perfectionists
might seem like they couldn’t get
anything done, Lost Dayz, which has
two solid sets of material, is ready to
rock Ithaca with its original sound.
This is musicianship at its best—
everyone contributes material for
new songs, everyone has a say and no
one is above experimenting, adding,
Metal, like Judas Priest, is an obvious
influence in the band’s music,
but so are Stevie Ray Vaughn, James
Brown, Stone Sour and Slipknot. One
thing they insist on is that the songs
are their own. Not hard to do when
you wake up playing air guitar and
ideas keep coming. After that, however,
Lost Dayz is impossible to
pigeonhole. “We’re not typical for the
Haunt,” guitarist Alan Richards
says. “We’re a mix of everything.” So
the labels hard rock, power metal
and classic rock can all apply, but
only to an extent.
Not worried about their description,
Lost Dayz just keeps working.
“Once we get the basic structure,”
says Richards, a song can “go really
fast when we start to get it right.”
There is a certain chemistry to practices
and everything fits together.
They work on one song, evolving its
style, sometimes over a period of
Even then the band plays around
with it. One night they decided to
play their song “Tweaked” “ridiculously
fast,” according to McGraw,
who explains, “You didn’t know
whether to dance or break stuff.”
Guitarist Josh Banks concedes that
the tempo “took the flavor out; the
song lost it’s taste.” But in pushing
their compositions, the bandmates
know them intimately. McGraw can
tell if one note is off. Richards says,
“If a piece is missing, it doesn’t
work.” In working together they listen
to what each song needs, and add
here and there.
One way the band filled out its
sound was to add a second guitarist.
Banks, the newest member, listens to
the styles and scales of Richards’ guitar,
and adds transitions. He’s excited
to stretch his playing and combine
the 9,835 notes possible from a sixstring
guitar. Their working together
is almost like a conversation.
Richards will play and make a suggestion,
then Banks picks up on it to
see how it sounds They take it from
there. It’s an exciting blend of experience
and fresh energy.
Although everyone in the band has
known at least one other member for
a number of years, Lost Dayz started
a year ago last July. Richards and
McGraw had known each other for
more than a decade, but when
Richards proposed starting a band,
McGraw had been back in the area
for less than a week. Flacco, who had
been singing in central New York,
put up one flyer in Cortland and Reis
got his number. Richards ran into
Banks, whom he’d known for years,
at breakfast one morning around the
time he had been looking for a guitarist.
Banks, too, had only been back
in town one week. “Everything happens
for a reason,” McGraw says.
The accidental nature of the
band’s formation belies the cohesion,
professionalism and seriousness of
Lost Dayz. They’ve worked, played
and polished to such an extent that
when they began recording in a studio,
they nailed the instrumentals
and half the vocals in two days. Now
they have a CD to shop around and
enough material to record again. As
good as a studio recording can be,
however, it’s no match for hearing
their sound live. The force of the
drums combined with the energy of
the guitars and raw vocals is not to be
missed. Plus, “Clean up Isle Three” is
just plain funny.
Another characteristic that these
band members share is their devotion
to making and playing music.
“Rob will say, ‘I’m whipped,’ and then
play for another hour,” McGraw says.
“There’s something about the band
that feeds everyone. I don’t know
what I’d do without it.” Richards
agrees, remembering the time he
considered giving up playing. Just
the thought was akin to “being taken
apart,” he says, “and throwing pieces
of me on the floor.” Luckily for everyone,
including listeners, Lost Dayz
came together and is now adding the
last piece to their work — an audience.
Don’t come expecting therapy,
however, this lively union will rock
your socks off, even if they are hard
to classify. What listeners can expect
is good playing, straight from the
heart, no gimmicks.
Catch the band at The Haunt, 702
Willow Ave. in Ithaca, this Saturday,
Nov 24. The doors open at 6 p.m. with
the Berettas opening and Lost Dayz
starting at 8:30 p.m. Their second
area show is at Castaways on Friday,
Dec. 2, at 9:30 p.m. Find out more
about Lost Dayz at
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
(pots by Gary Rith, Spike and Penny next to a warm heater)
OK, so 24 overnight and SNOW. A bit wintry today.
Made a bunch of things yesterday and unloaded a good glaze firing. All these spoon holders look esp. good, including the custom work for Deborah, what she called 'little hot dog dog spoon rest'. I helped myself to a piggy spoon rest, so that my stove top will also be glop free.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
You can see how that went. Spike ends up in the throne. Our dogs and cats tend to move from one comfy sleep spot to another.
This is the odd little lounge chair we found on the street the other day. It is a somewhat delightful little chair. The legs are meant to be this size, and I saw in a homes magazine the other day adult chairs 8 inches off the ground. I don't know whose bright idea it is, BUT I imagine using this chair in an international photoshoot. Here's me in the chair at Niagara, here's the missus in the chair at the statue of liberty....
Yes, I am working on some interesting things in the studio, pics later!