Saturday, April 29, 2006

Summerfest! Wheeeee....

    Ahhh...  Now I can rest easily, sleep happily, and know in my heart that summer is soon to arrive. 
    A short time ago, I received an email from the good folks at Summerfest.  And, as of writing this entry, the "World's Largest Music Festival" is only 60 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes and 30.28 seconds away and counting.
    I swear, I am like a five-year old at Christmas when this fest rolls around.  I can't wait, and I get all happy and twitchy with the thought of wandering in the summer sun, drinking cold beer and taking in the phenomenal number of live bands along Milwaukee's lakefront. 
    Currently, they are only announcing the headliners, and it looks like a pretty good line-up with Tom Petty and Pearl Jam opening the first two evenings (apparently, they're going to take turns opening for each other.  Way cool, and I might just find myself going to both shows).  Then, Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus, Kenny Chesney, Steeley Dan with Michael McDonald, Nickleback, Counting Crows, Elvin bishop, Alice Cooper, Elvis Costello, and Gaaaaaahhhh!!!!  There's still a load of open dates, and more than several-thousand other bands not yet announced?!?! 
    Yup.  My summer doesn't begin until this bash kicks off, and it's pretty much the only thing that makes the Wisconsin winters tolerable. 

Weekend Assignment

    Gadzooks!  After reading some of the responses John has gotten for this assignment, it's become painfully clear to me that I definitely need to do some shopping. 
    John is desperately curious to know what albums (CD's) we've purchased recently, and though my collection lately has been about as active as a tank full of dead fish, I have managed to add some new things and replace a few that mysteriously disappeared when a girlfriend and I broke up (She can keep the Manilow, dammit!).
    Anyway, here's my list:
    Stand Up & Weekend on the Rocks by The Dave Matthews Band.  Now, I'm not one of those die-hard DMB fans who started squawking about how terrible it was to see this band turn in a new direction.  I like the new road this group's taking down the musical landscape.  Plus, the CD's also come with DVD's, and both are fun to watch. 
    Waiting for Columbus by Little Feat.  A million years ago, this was one of the first CD's I ever bought.  I think this is the third time I've had to replace it as a result of the beating it takes going from house to car to party, and God knows where else. 
    High Wire Live by Willy Porter.  He's a local Milwaukee fingerstyle guitarist, and he's one of the nicest guys on the planet.  Check out his website, download some MP3's, see his calendar and take in one of his shows.  He's an incredible talent. 
    Now, to answer the extra-credit portion of the assignment, I hate to tell you this, but I've never even visited iTunes.  I prefer CD's and LP's. 

Friday, April 28, 2006


    I have a huge skunk waddling around my yard in the afternoon sun.  I think that's kind of an odd thing for a skunk to be out doing at this time of day, but, wouldn't you know it, that smelly creature is just somewhat adorable --so long as I'm not outside. 

    I know what you're all thinking.  "Dan?  Your cat kind of looks like a skunk, ya know?" 

     Believe me, I know.  Trust me, it's unbelievably easy to get those two animals mixed up at, say...  Three o'clock, Sunday morning when I am navigating my way down the alley.  It goes something like this:

    "Cat-dog!" I say when I see him, and I hold my arms out and stumble after the black and white furry mass.  "Here kitty, kitty, kitty."   

     Fortunately, the animal scuttles off into the night, and I lumber my besotted way toward the house.  When I open the door, I notice the cat sitting there looking exceptionally angry for being trapped inside, and the only thing my challenged mind can come up with is, "How'd you get a key?" 


Thursday, April 27, 2006

If Only He Could Get Rid of Hairballs Like This...

    Sure, I could have gotten a dog.  I probably would have had a lot of fun with a normal labrador or border collie.  But why?  Why should a guy like me have normal pets in his world? 

    As it stands, I have one cat that is completely deaf, somewhat blind, and when she chases squirrels across the yard, her back-end moves a little faster than her front-end.  This usually ends with her winding up in a twisted, furry wreck of seriously confused cat. 

    As for this other semi-cat, he seems to be more dog than cat.  He'll eat anything that hits the floor --scraps of food, raw potatoes, fingers, anything.  I say "Go out now?"  And he throws himself at the door, chattering like mad and wagging his tail to the point of knocking me off my feet.  Everyday, I give him a nice, big bowl of fresh water, and he turns his nose up at it and runs straight to the bathroom to drink from the "eternal fountain." 

    Even worse, now that spring has finally sprung here in Wisconsin, Dog-Cat practically wets himself with the notion of going outside.  And, once he's released into the world, he bounds down the front steps, leaps into the air, extends his claws and pastes himself to the streetside telephone-pole like some sort of bizarre, gravity-defying, velcro pet. 

    Then, after having spent his energy on that little display of animal acrobatics, he then climbs up and sleeps on top of my Jeep.  Not bad, right?  Wrong.

     Cat-Dog has a tendency of sleeping flat on his back with all four legs sticking up in the air.  So, now it looks like I hit a cat while driving, and I am too stupid to realize that rather than roll under the car, the unfortunate beast had rolled up and came to rest on the roof where kitty-rigormortis had set in.

    I should have gotten a fish.  A normal fish.  Heck!  The salesman at the pet shop could even tell me, "This here fish once shot a man a Reno, just to watch him die," and it might still bring a much-needed sense of normalcy to my world.      


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Old-School Bloggin'

    Okay...  Now, it may not be as wicked as the picture suggests, but it's not far off.  I mean, do you have any idea how tough it is to post blog entries which were written by an arthritic old hand on a legal pad?   I tried everything.  I took the phone off the hook, called one of the AOL dial up numbers, and rubbed the pages over the receiver to no avail.  Apparently, that whole AOL-by-Phone thing has some limits (I suppose I should bring this up with Editor Joe, eh?).

    Once that failed, I turned to my voodoo friend Louey.  We put the pile of pages in the center of the room, chanted, tossed out some chicken bones, and sipped some Jagermeister because technology just works better that way, and though some comments did trickle in, I'm not sure if it worked completely.  But, if any of you did find yourselves laughing for absolutely no reason, there's a chance that either you got my posts across the supernatural ether, or you're just plain barking mad.  Either way, it's nice to know you were smiling.

    It's interesting.  I got my laptop home from the shop, hooked it up, and I found myself somewhat leery to turn it on.  "What if I break it again?" I found myself thinking.  "What if it explodes?  And, just how much porn did those grubby knuckled techno-monkeys download onto this thing?" 

    Fortunately, all is well and shiny in the world, and this puppy fired up without a hitch.  Well...  almost.  The light that indicates my caps-lock key is on doesn't seem to work anymore, but I can settle for that.  I don't really need a light to notice that I am typing in capital letters.  i'M NOT ONE OF those WEIRD PEOPLE. 

    Anyway, it's good to be back, but right now, I must scamper into the woods to forage for my Atkins'-friendly dinner of grubs and berries. 




    Finally!  Thanks to the good, capable folks at Milwaukee PC, I can now put on my happy-face and dance around like I've got no bones.  Trust me.  That's a very good thing after a month spent hunched over a keyboard pecking like Quasimodo at a cathedral cockroach.   
    I've missed the tiny letters of my laptop screen.  They always made me feel like a giant.  It's like grabbing a little bottle of gin from a hotel mini-bar and wondering for a moment if the world had suddenly shrunk, or if I somehow turned into a giant.  Everything just looks so small.   
    In other news, it's nice to see that The Adventures of the Flat Scalzi are now menacing our good neighbors to the North as he's up in Canada.  Let's hope that after all is said and done, the planet's longest peaceful border remains (let's all hope that Paul's predicament is temporary and that he regains his spacial relevance soon, huh?).   
    Nonetheless, it's clear I've got lots of catching-up to do (right after my much-needed trip to the chiropractor). 

Friday, April 7, 2006

Done. For a loooong while, methinks.


    Well, it seems that in replacing the power jack, the brilliant computer wizards at the aforementioned Computer Repair Specialists have now fried out the mother board on my $2,000 Sony Vaio laptop.  Wonderful!  I have no idea how it went from replacing a power jack to a complete and total annihilation of my entire machine.

    Oh well, eh?  What can ya do?  I mean, at least they could have sent flowers after screwing the living hell out of me. 

    So, for now, this is the end of this blog.  I hope you've all enjoyed my ramblings, and I hope to find my way back here before too long.  But, thank you all for stopping by, and I can't thank you enough for the many wonderful comments and great feedback you've given me. 

     As for this scribbler, it's time to put pen to paper and re-spool the battered old Smith Corona with a fresh ribbon.  Buy stock in White-Out. 

See ya,