Sunday, November 20, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's a nice fall squirrel from the archives.  He's actually Mr. November on the 2017 calendar.  He was quite chubby.  I went by Denny Park today and it's just as in-progress as it was a month ago.  I ran into a squirrel, but he found better things to do before I could get out the camera.  Oh well, someday they'll be finished.  

Not a Bakery

This store opened in my building this weekend.  It's called Cookies, but it doesn't look like a bakery.  I googled it and it's supposed to be a clothing store.  I just figured it was an extension of the weed shop next door and they were giving out free stuff, hence the line.  I'll investigate to see what this place is about and whether they charge $40 for a lousy tshirt.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's the calendar's cover squirrel.  I took this photo last summer.  It looks like he's pointing to the caption, doesn't it?  That's impossible because squirrels can't read.

Halloween 2016

I carved this barfing pumpkin.  I made one very much like it a few years ago.  I carved four more, including another barfing pumpkin and a pumpkin getting barfed on.  All in all, it was a great Halloween out in Edmonds.  The house scared away more children than it brought in.  That's what I call success.

Across the Street...

...there's Max Headroom.  Remember him?  I don't.  He wasn't on for very long and I was out of the country.  The place across the street (which is going to be an arcade of sorts, honest) is playing him constantly to keep the homeless from camping out.  So far, it's been very successful.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's the guy from last week.  He's almost in focus!  Almost!  I'm going to undertake the fabulous 2017 calendar next weekend, so wish me luck.  This photo won't be in it.  Seriously, I have dozens and dozens of tough choices to make.

Zoo Day

I went to the zoo today for the Pumpkin Bash.  I was able to answer the burning question: what on earth do tigers do with pumpkins? Answer: they carry them around in their mouths.  For once, we got a decent spot for the hippos, who are by far the most entertaining:
They both did a lot of chomping.
The river otters got their pumpkins yesterday, but they're always amusing.  They like to run around and swim and then run around some more.  They appear to be probably the happiest animals anywhere.  I guess the key is running around and swimming.
There was also a giraffe..
And some penguins:
And that was my trip to the zoo.  

A New (Future) Place!

On Blanchard, between 2nd and 3rd, there used to be a pet store.  They closed over six months ago (maybe more) and I just figured the space would remain empty forever, but no.  It's going to be a poke place.  As long as it's affordable, I'm totally for it.  It looks like it could possibly be yummy.  I hope it opens soon, but things always seem to take longer in this bleak sector of this godforsaken town.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Meanwhile, in Snohomish...

...deer!  These guys, a doe and two fawns, hang out at my parents' house.  They were OK with me looking at them, but they really didn't dig me on the tractor.

Your Sunday Squirrel

I swung by Denny Park today on the off-chance of catch sight of something squirrel-like.  The result was genuine squirrel.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

If you have my calendar...
...this is your squirrel for October.

And there's also this guy from last week:
I didn't make it to the park this week, but I'm sure I'll get there soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Squirrels are curious animals.  They don't let anything like a big fence stop them.  There were quite a few out yesterday.  The fellow above was just hanging out by the fence and I managed to get him to my side.  I won't use the phrase "out-of-focus" to describe this photo.  It's more like "soft focus" - like in the Golden Age of Hollywood.
I went across the street and this guy was hanging out around the field.  It always makes me a little nervous when I see squirrels there, because it means they have to cross the street to get back to their trees.  And we all know that they're lousy in traffic.  Well, I'll just have to believe that he made it back safely. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Yeah, Denny Park is still very much closed, but I cannot be stopped!  Look at that:
Yep, that's a real Denny Park squirrel right there.  OK, so if you want a good shot we'll have to dive into the archives.  Here you go:

Shooting in a Tattoo Parlor!

Speaking of movies, it looks like they were shooting something right across the street in Under the Needle earlier this week.  I didn't ask anybody what it was.  All I know is that it was a very quick shoot.  They were there in the morning and gone by lunchtime.  I don't even know whether it was a film or a commercial or whatnot.  Anybody know?  Anybody??

The Cinerama's 70mm Fest

A few times a year during lulls between blockbuster seasons, the Cinerama presents a bunch of old films that generally look fantastic on the big screen.  The current installment was no exception.  I saw Apocalypse Now, Pink Floyd's The Wall and Life Force.  Previously, I'd only seen Apocalypse Now on the small screen, but what a difference seeing it in the theater can make.  It was like watching a completely different film.  Yeah, it was pretty tremendous.  I highly recommend it.  I saw The Wall for the first time.  It was a bit odd and very difficult to describe.  In some scenes, the action goes with the music; in others, it totally doesn't.  There's a strange repetition to it that makes you feel like you're in a time loop, but the story does move forward.  Of course, the best thing about it is the music.  After paying little to no attention to Pink Floyd for years, I realized that I like them quite a bit.  I know that Roger Waters has his Wall roadshow.  It was one of the top-grossing live acts a few years ago.  Next time he comes through town (if he ever does again), I think I'll catch it.  Finally, there was Life Force.   It's nobody's favorite sci-fi horror film starring nobody's favorite actor, Steve Railsback.  You might recall him from The Stunt Man and nothing else.  I'd seen it previously and totally forgot that the actress who plays the main alien spends most of the film naked.  So that was a selling point.  All I remembered about it is that London gets trashed by a bunch of zombie vampires and the story doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  But hey, it was on the big screen and the special effects were good for the time.  Anyhow, the really surprising thing was that a lot of these screenings were sold out.  Aliens, 2001, Apocalypse Now, Lawrence of Arabia were all sold out.  I hope that means this will continue indefinitely.  I really enjoyed the films, but they did charge $15 per show.  If I wasn't broke, I wouldn't mind, but in retrospect, the experience was really worth it.            

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

Well, until I find a way into Denny Park, I'll have to utilize the archives.  This guy is from about a week and a half ago.  Now that we're rounding into September, I'm getting pretty excited for the calendar.  This fellow is a distinct contender.  What month should this be?  I'd say...May or June.  It's sunny, but not too sunny.  There are so many nice shots, it's gonna be hard to decide.

Denny Park Is Closed...

I went on Friday and it looked like this:
And I'm thinking, yeah, I can still work with this, if it's the most closed they get.  It wasn't.
Nope, by Saturday, it was completely shut down.  And it's gonna stay that way till December, which means that they'll probably be done in February.  Remember how long Bell Street Park took, sweet people?  Yeah, so the squirrels are getting a lot of privacy and the bums will have to find some other place to flop and yell at each other.  I'll miss you, Denny Park.  Come back soon.

So August Happened...

Well, it was an eventful month of summer-ness.  I recorded two albums at Studio Litho, which was a lot of fun.  I played drums on both efforts and the results are pretty solid.  The set above is the house Rogers kit, which I absolutely loved.  It had some fantastic sound and a wonderful feel to it.  The good news is that I like both albums very much.  The bad news is that I'm now broke.  The worse news is that I'm working on another three (possibly four) albums for next year.  It's a pretty well-known fact that nobody listens to my music, so there isn't much chance of I can finance these with sales.  And it's also pretty widely known that I don't play live.  I have a choice of where to spend my money: either on recording or on hiring and rehearsing a band to play live.  I always choose recording.  Sure I could form a band via Craigslist and start that way, but after working with some of the finest musicians in town over the course of nine albums, I'm afraid that would be a step back.  I write a lot of music, so it's important for me to record and then move on.  Somebody might like it someday.  That's pretty much all we can hope for.

Anyhow, the first album will be out early next month, while the second one won't be released till late January.  By that time, I'll probably be ready to record another pair of albums.  The next two will be electronic, because that's the best course of action for a broke person like myself.  And no, I don't ever consider Kickstarter.  There's something completely creepy about asking strangers for money, especially for songs that are so, y'know, gleefully misanthropic.      

Sunday, July 31, 2016

At Last!

The building across the street used to be a gem-sorting concern, but it closed down around three years ago.  I think the owners retired.  They were looking kind of old and creaky.  Following that, it became a graffiti magnet, as is what often happens.  But then shortly after that, there was all kinds of activity going on inside.  I heard that it was going to be renovated into a music venue with rehearsal rooms.  The work went on for a very long time and then abruptly stopped.  It became pretty obvious that the project was dead.  And that was really too bad.  It would have been nice to have had a place across the street.  So it went back to being a graffiti magnet and way-station for homelesses and various sketchy types.  But suddenly, there are signs of life again.  They're painting and repairing the facade.  I went over there and talked to some of the guys doing the work and it's going to be an arcade and cafe.  Well, that sounds fine.  I hope it's a nice place to hang out.  I'm not much of a player but I do like Galaga.  So it looks like Shorty's is getting some competition.  Game on!

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's a guy from last weekend.  He was quite friendly.

Torchlight Parade

I was there.  It was enjoyable.  The weather was pleasant and the spectators weren't too drunk.
Anna Faris and her husband, Andy Dwyer.  He's a Seahawks fan for realz.
A furry on roller skates!
Ed Murray and - I'm guessing - his husband.
Who doesn't love cops playing bagpipes?  Not me!  OK, what I'm trying to say is that I like it when cops play bagpipes.  That's all!

The pickle float.  For some reason, there was a lot of impressive break dancing going on.
The Alaska balloon.  There was also a Holland America balloon, but that was boring.

So I stayed about an hour and a half and left before the dragon showed up.  In the past, that's been my traditional point of departure.  But I left early.  One thing's still for sure: drill teams make me sad.  Very sad.

Once More, Friends

This week I'm venturing into the studio once again to record two albums back-to-back.  Why?  It's a sickness.  That's the only explanation I have.  So I might be a little lighter than usual with the squirrel shots.  Anyhow, that's the drum kit I'll be using on the second album.  It's a fine old Rogers.  For Album 7, I used their heavy-duty Drums West set, which was also fine.  And very blue.  But this is sparkly and everybody knows that sparkly sounds better.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

These guys are all from this week.  I wish the light had been better.  It was overcast both times I went to Denny Park, so you get the same squirrel looking different from shot to shot.  I'm reading a book called The Portable Veblen at the moment.  It's the story of the relationship between an ethically-challenged researcher and a woman who believes that she understands what squirrels are saying.  She's not crazy, just hopeful.  You know, I've never thought squirrels were trying to communicate anything to me.  These Eastern Grays don't chitter very much - or at all.  Sure, they chirp, bark and growl, but they're not overly vocal.  The book takes place in Palo Alto, CA, so maybe they have more vocal varieties down there.  OK, so I don't think squirrels are trying to talk to me, but I do think that they keep track of me.  After all, I'm a guy with food who doesn't try to kill them.  These are two positive things.  I feel that they've alerted each other that I'm a reliable food source and they should only be moderately afraid of me.  They did a study on prairie dogs and found that not only did they have a warning signal system, but they were also able to describe the threat in rudimentary ways, like coyote or human or fat human and so forth.  Though not quite as social as prairie dogs, I'm sure that squirrels can describe both good and bad things.  I'm pretty sure that's why they have no problem running up to me.  Or maybe I'm completely mistaken and squirrels are all erratic morons.   

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Your Sunday Squirrel

This guy was pretty bossy and not very nice to his fellow squirrels, but he was also photogenic.  Hey, it's nature.  Nature is cruel.  That's just natural showbiz.  I had a much better picture of him, but for some reason, it didn't make it to my photo pholder.  Anyhow, this fellow is still at Denny Park, so if you go there, you can give him a peanut.  Squirrels like that.  

This Is What I've Been Doing Lately

This is the middle-of-the-line drum kit I've been hitting lately.  Last album, I played drums on five tunes.  I was a semi-nervous wreck about the whole thing.  I even brought in a real drummer for brush work, since my in-apartment electro set didn't allow for that. By the way, he sounded great.  But now I'm drumming 24 tracks between two albums.  So far, things are going well.  There are a few problem children, but nothing that can't be shoved into place by tracking time - which is early August.  In addition to the drumming, I'll also be playing saxophone and, of course, singing.  I've been temping steadily since recording my last album, but I'm taking time off to get these tunes down.  It's funny, I had this delusion that I would have everything down cold by the first part of June.  As of today, I'm still trying to get tunes to scan; I'm changing lyrics left and right and altering beats.  Funny how that works.  One of the things that made drumming those five tunes difficult last album was that I had contracted a wicked case of tennis elbow.  It was pretty terrible.  Every time I flexed my right arm was like being moderately electrocuted.  And I had to flex my right arm a lot.  After getting the job done - amid a lot of grumbling from my engineer - I took some time off and started weight training for all the muscles around the problem area.  You know what?  It worked!  These days I practice for hours and everything's fine.  Sure, I sweat buckets, but that's normal.  Everything feels good.  I mean, I went in this morning and Anthony (one of many people I sure this room with) was there, drumming and also sweating profusely.  He's better than me, as well.  Everybody is.  But it gives me a chance to get out of Belltown.  The room is right in between Fremont and Ballard.  It's actually in a fairly desolate area, which appeals to me.  I'm really not liking Belltown right now - due in part to my lunatic neighbor, Devil-Talking Lady.  More on that later.  For now, I'll be doing this drumming-thing a lot.  Every day.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Pride Parade

It was last week.  I went.  This is the only photo I took.

Your Sunday Squirrel

I finally ran into some squirrels at Denny Park yesterday.  Well, hooray.  There were three of them and I managed some good shots.  This is one of them.

I Went to the Zoo on Friday...

and this is what I saw:
Otters and butterflies.  And nothing else.

Oh, I also went to the Case/Lang/Viers concert on Thursday.  My sound engineer was playing guitar with them.  Everybody sounded good.