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It's the little things that piss me off
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Tim's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
10:07 pm
Well, I haven't been on LJ in quite a while. I'm not sure who is still around here, but I know that in the past, there were a number of you who were regular GenCon attendees. I've attended the past two years, mainly because I got a free pass to help promote the local ren faire.

If any of you are still around here, and are going this year, I need to pimp my band. The Saturday evening of GenCon, Red Rum will be doing a show at 7 PM, in one of the rooms in the Crown Plaza. Six bucks gets you into two hours of pirate-themed music and comedy. I'll be there with mandola, fiddle, and maybe a guitar. The other two members will be playing 12-string guitar and autoharp, plus we pass a bodhran around. Traditional, parodies and at least one original. Check out our CD and hopefully our shot glasses will be ready by then, too.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
8:37 pm
Hello LJ friends,

I don't post here much these days, but I do still come through and read the things my friends say. Today, I spent much time deep in thought, about three people that I know, who were all EMTs, responders at Ground Zero. How they ended up in Indiana is beyond me. I was going to put this on my Facebook, but Facebook isn't really fitted for long reflective posts.
Today I was thinking of three people, all Ground Zero responders whom I know personally. Two of them, I don't really know their stories. I knew they had been EMTs, although I knew them as actors, plus he was also a sound engineer and she was costumer. I recall being at their house and seeing a cloth uniform patch in one corner of a bulletin board. I nearly missed it; it wasn't blatantly on display. I felt like I was prying, so I didn't mention it. Maybe someday, I'll know their stories, if they choose to tell me. I hope they do.

The third person did tell me her story. A tale so short a dog can't wag it. She was off duty that day. She felt the thump, saw the smoke, and said, "This is a big one." Then she went straight toward it.

You rock, Trish.
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
7:17 pm
Half a century
So, fifty times around the sun. Although I resisted it at first, we had a party today. I invited musicians, mostly, and we played music for a few hours. Home now, tired, but it was good day.
Sunday, January 16th, 2011
9:39 pm
Dinner at the new Burmese place (food p0rn)
We decided that tonight was a good time to go for an early birthday dinner, as the day of my birthday is going to be pretty busy. I was clueless as to where to pick for dinner, when my wife suggested a new Asian place that we knew was going in next to the Cajun place. Well, I'd been curious about the place, and knew little about it. Signs in the windows mentioned sushi and also pho, so it already seemed like an odd combination.

Now, a little background: On my end of town, there have recently been a huge influx of Chin immigrants. They're fleeing Burma, where they are apparently undesirables, and Burma is a place where being undesirable can be fatal. Anyway, for some reason, many of them chose to settle on the south side of Indianapols, enough that you can actually view the Perry Township Schools web site in Chin. Their presence bothers some, but not me. From what I've seen, they're good, honest people, trying make a living.

Recently, I've said several times that I wished some Chin family would decide to open a restaurant. They have, and I just ate there. What I had was there house special soup, which was a pho, so strictly speaking was Vietnamese rather than Chin. Couldn't help it; when I read the description, I knew what I was having. A big-ass bowl of rice noodles, with beef brisket, thin slices of eye of round thrown in raw and cooked by the heat of the broth, beef tendon, tripe (yes, I like tripe, and tendon, also), bean sprouts, lemongrass, little lime wedges...I could only eat about half. I'll have to go back and try one of the curries, though, because I do like curry.

I wished the waitress and her family much success in their business venture.
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
6:42 pm
Happy New Year
I've got a corned beef brisket cooking, with cabbage and potatoes, rice and black-eyed peas for Hoppin' John, and some green beans. The house is redolent with the smells.
Sunday, November 14th, 2010
12:12 am
an afternoon of recreational violence
I went to a seminar today on Filipino and Indonesian martial arts. An old guro of mine was teaching it. Turns out only two people attended. Good in some ways, because I got more time with the maha guro, bad in that because there were just two people to teach, he taught a lot of complicated stuff. A bigger crowd would have necessitated simpler material. I got four hours of stick, double stick, stick and knife, and my favorite, flexible weapons. We spent nearly half the time on sarong fighting. Leave it to the Indonesians to figure out a way to turn clothing into weapons. From the sarong work, I have fabric burns, swelling and deep tissue pain in my right elbow and both forearms, and a fabric burn on my neck (Guro Bruce got me in a choke hold). Oh, I took a few stick hits across the knuckles too.

Now, some six hours later: Oww. Just owww! That is all.
Sunday, October 31st, 2010
8:33 pm
This morning, as I do every Halloween, I played Tam Lin. It's the only trad song I know that mentions Halloween, plus it's pretty damn spooky. Now I admit that I play a strange version of it. I sing it and play banjo. Think Fairport Convention get really drunk at Dock Boggs' house (not unreasonable; I believe Dock Boogs was a bootlegger at one point in his life). I use a weird tuning on the banjo -- I took on e of Dock Boggs' tunings, and dropped the thumb string's F# a half-step. Dock would have left that major third drone in the minor tune, but then he didn't hit that thumb string very much. anyway, it's more or less the Fairport arrangement, forced onto a century-plus-old banjo in a weird tuning. I do this every year.

This evening, I walked The Boy around the neighborhood as he extorted candy. The girlchild went with some friends. And look, whoever it is that designs girls' Halloween costumes, I'm looking for you and you are dead meat when I find you. A 13 year old girl should not wear tops that low-cut or skirts that short. Honestly, I nearly had a seizure!
Saturday, October 16th, 2010
8:09 pm
Most parents would have hired a clown
I just got home from one of the stranger gigs I've done. I played at a little kid's birthday party, in full fig Ren garb. They tracked me down via the local Ren Faire. At first, I thought it was an adult's birthday, and they just liked this sort of music. Then I found out it was for a kid. I don't do any children's music per se, although my act is family friendly. I was assured not to worry. I quoted a price and they took it.

So I went there today, got lost, first thing. She had neglected to tell me that it was a gated community, and that gatehouse looked someone's house, plus there was no street sign, so I drove past a few times before I saw the (smallish) sign. Then I had to actually get in. I went to the house with all the cars in front. Turns out it was a knights and princesses theme. There was a pony ride, a castle bounce house, foam swords and chain-mail tshirts for the boys, and tiaras and necklaces for the girls. Some of the girls had foam swords as well. So I played background music for 2 hours, fiddle for the outdoor part, and octave mandolin indoors during dinner.

It was a pretty easy gig, but I still think they should have hired a clown. Too bad I can't juggle.
Friday, September 10th, 2010
7:33 am
Blood on the fiddle
I think it's a title waiting to be used; now I just have to figure out for what.

It started with a quick Facebook entry where I used the phrase. Sunday, I had a(nother) little kitchen mishap. All I can say is the Cutco makes really good knives; lately I've gotten several minor cuts, and my son has even needed sutures thanks to these blades. Then again, if someone ever breaks into my house while I'm in the kitchen, there will nothing left of them but scarlet shreds. Anyway, I got cut this time on my left index, alongside the nail. I've been playing fiddle a lot lately. Now, admittedly, my fiddle playing is no great shakes, but I have the local ren faire coming up, and I always end up playing a fair amount of fiddle at that. So I need the practice. Well, this cut keeps breaking opening when I do. Result: Blood on the Fiddle.

I'd call it a sacrifice to the fiddle spirits if I thought that improve my playing.

I think the name needs to be put to use, though. A tune? Contra dance? Your thoughts on that, friends?
Monday, July 26th, 2010
9:56 pm
Coming off of a strange weekend
Friday night, I caught a performance by Canconier, as part of summer's Early Music series. The program was titled "Music From The Time of Vlad Dracula." How often do you get a chance to hear something like that? Early music, Balkan tunes, and a couple of dynamic readings by Tim Rayborn from some German guy's contemporary accounts of Vlad. Apparently, it's now believed that the impaling stories and related were actually propaganda by Vlad's enemies, but that he still was not a nice guy.

Saturday, we were going to Lafayette to my cousin's wedding. As we neared town, interstate traffic stopped. A big wreck had blocked northbound 65, and all of the traffic was diverted. There was a lot of traffic to divert. It took us over an hour to reach the exit. We talked my sister on her cell, and heard the piper playing the pre-ceremony music. No time to check in at the hotel and get dressed. We drove straight to the hall, and I changed in the parking lot. This is acceptable behavior at Ren Faires, which where I got the idea. In a city's historic district, well, I'm just glad that no one called the police. I did catch the tail end of the ceremony.
Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
10:20 pm
I've been in southwest Florida for the past few days, mostly visiting my sister, who lives in Naples these days. Long story. Anyway, we drove into the Everglades today. The rest of the family wasn't so excited, but I love the Everglades. Next time we come down, I insist on a day in the Everglades BY MYSELF. It's not been the best vacation, and I'd really like to twist my daughter's neck shut. She's on the downhill side of twelve, and become difficult to live with, and damn near impossible to travel with.

But the Everglades. I had a great time gator spotting today. I'll walk up to within six feet of the canal banks and photograph them, while my family cowers in the rentacar. Wrong time of year for manatees, and the elusive Florida panther is nocturnal. Too bad, because I'd like to see a panther, and also a wild hog. Oh yeah, and the (probably fictional) Skunk Ape, too.
Thursday, May 13th, 2010
9:57 pm
I'm not a very good Livejournaler, I guess. I have no motivation to post anything, I guess, or just don't think that things are interesting enough to merit posting.

Well, tonight was 6th Grade awards. I knew that the girlchild was getting something, and wasn't surprised at the academic achievement certificate. I was expecting the Outstanding Band Student award. I mean, I knew she was good (who do you think enforces practice time, on theose occasions when it needs enforced?). Then afterward, the band teacher told us that she was the best flute player he's had come through there in about 15 years. Again, I knew she was good, but... The cool thing about this is that she's excited too. She knows it means she's likely reached her goal of being in concert band next year. That may not sound like much, but she's talked about it all year.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
3:13 pm
Gold prospecting = epic fail
It's Spring Break. The Boy is in Terre Haute with my folks, the Spouse is working, and the Girlchild is 12 and sullen. Today, we tried something anyway, she and I. We went panning for gold. Yes, you can pan for gold in Indiana. I'd heard about this from another scout leader, and have been wanting try it. No gold pans; we took plates. We drove south to a state forest, got permits at the office and set out. While we waited for our permits, a woman who was also waiting started talking to us. She pointed out a road where her family usually had success. "There's lots of black sand in that creek," she said, "The black sand has the gold. They both sink to the bottom of your pan. The gold there is flour gold -- little, tiny pieces." I thanked her. We got our permits and drove to the road. We saw the woman and her husband parking. They waved. We kept going. I didn't want to use the same spot. I don't know how gold panners are, but knowing how secretive people can be about their favorite fishing or morel hunting spots, I decided not to intrude. Speaking of morels, I kept my eyes open for those, too.

We parked, and walked/fell down a steep grade to a small creek. Emily quickly got bored. I panned for and hour and a half, maybe two hours. Nothing. I never even saw any of this black sand the lady was talking about. I got tired of listening to my daughter complain, and my knees had had enough crouching, so we packed up. Then came the ascent. Aching knees and aching lungs. We went home, no flour gold, and no morels, either.

I want to get a real gold pan, and go by myself.
2:53 pm
Is this thing on?
I see it's been over a year since I've posted anything here. Too busy playing on Facebook, I suppose. I like Facebook, but it doesn't seem conducive to long posts. I've occasionally come back and browsed on LJ, and in rare instances commented on a post, but not posted anything myself.

So, short version. Still working, though I know many who aren't. Still playing music, at least in spurts. Survived a year as a cub scout den leader, and now demanding that someone else take over. Yeah, my life isn't what you'd call exciting. Let's see: I recently took up poi spinning, and a little bit of staff spinning, too. Don't be in any hurry to book me for your kid's birthday party. I'm pretty bad. What else? Did I have my second degree black belt before I stopped posting. I guess I could look on the certificate and see, but I don't know where that is.

That's about it, except today's adventure, which should be a separate post.
Sunday, February 8th, 2009
7:35 pm
Learning to adjust
I started some classes last week for newly diagnosed diabetics. I've been to two of five; one more this coming week, and two the week after. I've learned how to use the finger-sticker and now check my sugars twice daily, although I'm still kind of vague on the numbers and what I'm supposed to do. I've been placed on a 1900 calorie diet. So I'm hungry (I used to eat a LOT, apparently a symptom of diabetes), even though I'm pretty sure I'm exceeding my allotted intake. All the same, it's been five days, and I've lost five pounds already. I had also stepped up my activity; mostly lightish weights -- I got these Powerblock dumbells for Christmas, adjustable 5-50 pounds each -- but also I've been using Indian clubs and occasionally there's that Walk Away The Pounds video. I see a specialist in a couple of weeks, the day of the last class, as it worked out. I'm hoping I can reduce my medications, and maybe eventually stop them completely.

My outlook fluctuates almost hourly, but at this moment, I'm feeling positive. I'll stop now, before it changes.
Monday, January 26th, 2009
8:04 pm
I guess it's a married people thing
What's up with this? She asks me to replace a headlight in her car. She doesn't know how. Yet she has to stand over me as I do, to make sure I do it right.
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
4:31 pm
Falling apart, I guess
I went to the doctor the other day. My annual please renew my meds visits. I had run out, and really needed the Nexium because I reflux heavily. I also take a statin because I have a lipid profile that would kill a rhino. He renewed my meds, plus sent me home with some other scrips and referrals that I ignored, as always. He's decided that this cough I always have is asthma*. He also sent along a finger stick blood sugar checker. Whatever. Today, I came home to find a voice message from the doctor, please call us. Lipids are higher than ever, and he's putting me on a different, presumably stronger statin, and admonished me to take 3 fish oil capsules dailey, plus something about ground flax seed. Also he's called in orders for metformin and something else; apparently I'm diabetic. Shit. I want to ask, what next? only I'm afraid I'll find out.

When did all this happen?

*I can't hear the word asthma without think of Ralph from Lord of the Flies, who called it ass-mar. "Sucks to your ass-mar!"

Current Mood: stunned
Friday, January 9th, 2009
6:13 pm
Yes, I really did say this
I was at work today, and I got handed an approval for some days off in late March/early April. Spring break for the kids, I guess it is. I don't remember requesting those days, but it is my handwriting. WE've made arrangements for the kids to stay with my parents that week, so I don't need those days off. Who knew it would be such a struggle to not take a week off.

I have witnesses that I said, "I don't want to waste 40 hours of PTO on a vacation."
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
10:52 pm
Sometimes, you just gotta shake the sillies out
I had a contradance gig tonight. Actually, I'd forgotten; well, the whole band had forgotten, but for some readson, the guitar player happened to look at the dance group's web site, and sent us all a reminder. We got there, and the dance had been bumped from the usual room to a much smaller room. So we played without amplification (except for Fred's keyboard). Phil and I had straps in our cases, so we stood up to play, letting us stand close to the dancers. This led to us moving in and out of the figures as we played, plus at one point, I was laying flat on my back and playing. Too much fun. I love to cut up, especially when playing music.

Now I'm home, sipping limoncello.
Monday, December 1st, 2008
8:35 am
The Glorious Ninth! Yee Haw!
So yesterday, I decided I wanted to play some banjo. I haven't picked one up in over a year, because I was working on another project which seems to have fizzled. I tried three before I found the one I wanted. But I was playing this one, in the double C tuning I tend to favor, just noodling, and I heard the first phrase of Beethoven's Ode To Joy. Now it's a simple melody, and it only took a few minutes to bang out a hilljack version of this excerpt of the Ninth Symphony.

And, you know, I think it has enough beats to contra dance to.
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