Friday, June 27, 2014

Guitars in Texas

This Fourth of July there will be a rally in Texas that's a bit different from the usual holiday rally.
 There will be an open carry guitar rally held as a bit of fun and frolic from folks who remember not to take themselves too seriously. They will be armed with Telecasters, Les Pauls, PRS, but advise against Deans as they could put an eye out with one of those. All instruments are welcome. Even accordions.Dean Guitars

So let's have a little fun for the holiday since many will have a three day weekend in which to celebrate our Glorious Revolution against those uppity British lords and ladies. It's amazing we get along so well now, since most of the colonists were British citizens and therefore traitors to the crown. 

In honor of our well regulated militia I give you this gem from Youtube.

Let the good times roll!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cool cars and guitar(s)

Summer is the season of classic and  custom cars rolling down the highways of the Midwest. The people that build and restore these mechanical beauties are as varied as the cars themselves. The salute to the past, distant and not so distant, is a thing of beauty. Even on a rainy day these automobiles still exude a lot of class, as opposed to a Kardashian who just oozes a lot of something much less classy.

 A lot of these classics and customs are sentimental for lots of reasons. Sometimes it takes us back to memories of when we were kids and life was simpler and we had few responsibilities. Sometimes there is a more poignant memory as seen here.

Of course, where would we be without the requisite fuzzy dice.
So they closed off the main street in our fair city and left plenty of room for everyone, but the rain limited the number of entrants and spectators. They were just getting things started when I took this.

 Rainy day, rain all day
Ain't no use in gettin' uptight
Just let it groove its own way
Let it drain your worries away
Lay back and groove on a rainy day
Lay back and dream on a rainy day.
- Jimi Hendrix

We have had enough rain in Minnesota this month to have our motto changed from "Land of 10,000 Lakes" to the "Land of 20,000 Lakes".  I think that soon it might be called "Land of 10,000 Islands" if it doesn't stop. At the lumber yard I have been asked to get timbers for some ark projects, but when I ask questions about the construction methods and requirements I often get the same response as Bill Cosby did when he asked god about it. "What's a cubit?"
(Previous paragraph is almost true).
Just to show you that it doesn't always rain here is a picture from the city campground a few days ago. You always know people in a small town because we wave at each other a lot. Sometimes we wave when we are not swatting mosquitoes.

We always can count on the local wildlife for entertainment. When the Cooker and I got home from sailing (garage sailing) yesterday we found that the plastic egg we had on the deck was broken into by either a squirrel or chipmunk. I would have loved to see the look on its face when it realized that there was nothing inside of this one.

Meanwhile, back in the garage, I have set up my garage band. I do this because I do not want to disturb the peaceful kingdom that is our house. I only do this in the summer and play mostly acoustic in the winter so as not to offend and ears (fish, frogs, cats, dogs, and even humans). I finally finished up my American Standard partscaster. Now I can sound like Clapton, Hendrix, Gilmour, SRV, when I am in my own garage world. At least I believe I sound like them. So far no one has coming knocking on the door with a big fat recording contract.

Maybe when I play the Les Paul and sound just like Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, Peter Frampton, Billy Gibbons, Jeff Beck, or Neil Young, then they'll come running looking for their next meal ticket. As long as I keep believing that anything is possible I'll wait for the knock on the door. I believe in the Tooth Fairy, too. Here is my little corner of  the garage.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Birds, bacon, and Roseanne

It's been three weeks since our last snowfall. The two weeks following that must have been spring because last week summer started. Everything is green now and most of the snow and ice is gone. It just can't last with temperatures in the 70's. The hummingbirds have returned, still humming the same tunes as they have for eons which reminds me of a Gregorian chant, only higher pitched and with a lot more physical activity. I'm pretty sure they don't hum because they don't know the words, either. We did have another errant visitor, though. We have seen them before, but only once in a while. They are an open country bird and we don't have open country in Superior National Forest. I present the yellow headed blackbird.

Another of our regular visitors is the rose breasted grosbeak. They stay around for the summer and add to the colorful mix.

I can't forget the goldfinches. We never saw these when we lived thirty miles inland from the lake, but they are abundant near the shore.

That was shot in the rain so not as bright as normal.

Speaking of shot, you may remember the 400 pound pink monster that invaded the mares' pasture a few weeks back. The pig formerly know as "Bacon Monster" is no more. With a small informal gathering of men with knives, block and tackle, and one handgun, she met her fate with calm and dignity doing what she did best. Eating. She will now supply several families with high quality, organically raised, free range pork. Reality is harsh, but some things must die so that others will live and knowing exactly where your food comes from is a good thing.

Work has turned from a leisurely paced affair to one of frantic activity. The ground has thawed enough for many of the road weight restrictions to be lifted and the construction season is starting like a racehorse out of the gate. It is an intense season that usually ends in November when the ground starts to freeze again and the weather becomes a major factor in the daily activities.

Here on the farm the grass is greening and the horses are grazing. In that respect it's summertime and the livin' is easy. As the day job lightens up in winter the farm work gets increasingly more difficult. In the summer it is the opposite. So, as Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner)  always says, "Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another." It's been twenty five years since her death and she still makes me giggle.