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Archive for June, 2007

I Feel Famous

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Deb Robson/ The Independent Stitch/ Nomad Press went to Alaska. (I have mentioned Deb before… she is the Award-winning Independent Publisher, and both published and co-authored with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts the second edition of Knitting in the Old Way, a wonderful book.)

Deb took along socks she’s knitting in my Flammegarn sock yarn. So on her blog, she takes photos of Alaska… and after those, she shows a photo of socks on the needles made from my yarn. I feel famous.

Even if you don’t care too much for photos of unfinished socks, her other photos are worth the peek. Maybe you would like to go visit Deb’s Post.

More Chicago…

Friday, June 29th, 2007

I’m off to teach Needlefelted Embellishments at Threadbear in a few minutes, but here are a few more photos from Chicago to keep you going…

chicagoukensing.jpgThe main stage had been scheduled for outside and workshops inside (outside was bigger) but it rained in the evening and early morning. Main stage went inside and since we were on that stage we missed a lot of the open mic acts and workshops outside until later in the event. Uke Bros (Rod and Randy from Lansing) were outside first thing but then they did a second set late in the day. I put their photo in my June 27 post if you want another peek.

Also playing were our Detroit-area friends called Uke ‘n Sing (photo above). Here they are. I got one single photo of them before my camera lost battery so I hope they like the shot!!! Great supporters, good folks to jam with, always enthusiastic and a good time. I was glad to hear part of their set.

chicagoalec.jpgOur friend Alec from Canada (known as Alectrovoice) also played the open mic. He just gets better and better. He plays uke and harmonica, croons, whistles, eefs and does a mouth trumpet. One guy but a one-man band, very entertaining, and he chooses excellent material. We hadn’t seen him since the day we jammed in the park in New York City, late April. It was good to reconnect.

The end of the day was very moving. A group of musicians played both old and new-ish Hawaiian music. (I don’t know the bass player at right, I think he is from Hawaii or maybe California. The guy at left is Gerald Ross from Ann Arbor, MI on Hawaiian Lap Steel. Center is Kimo Hussey, I think from Hawaii, on ukulele.)

It was quite impromptu but first the hula teacher, Lanialoha, later joined by her students, did several hulas along with the musical performance… while the crowd sang a Hawaiian song in words I could not possibly understand. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It brought me to tears, sobs. When you can be in the presence of such beauty you need not be a king, it’s all the wealth anyone needs.

chicagohulakimo.jpgThat night we had to break up and say some goodbyes which was hard. BruddaMark and Jeff (Smith?) of SanDiego were the main organizers and they really pulled together a remarkable show from long distance. Thank goodness some of us reconnected after we let out.

Gerald Ross, Brian and I went to Thai dinner (very nice) and then jammed a while on a bench in the downtown Oak Park area near their hotel. It got chilly so then we moved to a bench just outside the Hotel doors. We were joined by Fred Fallin and Neal (still not remembering his last name) and we enjoyed having passers by sing with us at times. Finally when the restaurants were closing inside, the manager asked us if we could stop for the night… in a very gentle way. We said our goodbyes and happily hit the pillows soon thereafter. And dreamed of an adventure in Chicago on the way out of Illinois…

We interrupt this travelogue…

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

I have a lot going on in the next several days and now is the time to say something here. I have more pictures of Chicago to post but I’m taking a little short interruption here.

Hat Class

Thursday/today (June 28 already) at 6:30 (I’ll be there sooner) I teach Basic Baby Hats at Rae’s Yarn Boutique. Choose from my Button, Button, Who’s Got the Hat? rolled-brim pattern (button on top instead of a pompom or whatever), or the brilliant Fruit Cap from Ann Norling. Both have rolled brims, the second has just maybe 7 rows of two-color knitting and looks like a little raspberry or blueberry with a green stem.

Very very cute. Especially with the fruit hats, my friends’ babies wear them until they grow out of them, and then said friends sometimes ask for a replacement. The button hat is simpler, though, for those new to circular knitting or those who need straightforward this time of year. I’m OK with either choice, have knit hands-full of both. (The picture shows them with a variation on my Fast Florida Footies. This was a very well-received gift.)

Sock Class

Friday I am teaching a one-day workshop on “Design Your Own Turkish Socks” similar to the one I just taught in Dallas. That class is at Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan. Their website was down yesterday but either email me, call Lindsay at 517/ 541-9323 or just show up (since I know the class is definitely a “go”) at 111 W. Lawrence across from the old courthouse. It’s 30 minutes from my house in Lansing, and a pleasant drive.

For the record, students knit a small sock so that they can get through all the unique parts they need to practice. They go home with handouts/pattern to make full-sized socks when they have more time.

Here are two photos of student works in different lengths of this class. At right are fingering-weight socklets by Dallas students last April, we had one day/six hours. Below are more projects by students at Allegan/Michigan Fiber Festival last August. We had a day and a half so they could knit at night, and several folks got a good way into a second sock.

Music News

singingfest12byregina.jpgAlso in Charlotte, musical news for Saturday! Here’s what I just emailed to our musical friends list:

We love the charming small city of Charlotte, Michigan. You can still get home-baked pies at the cafe/diner downtown, there is a lovely little yarn shop where I sometimes teach, and the library a few blocks away hosts great concerts.

We have attended several of these concerts during chilly weather, and now we are slated to play this Saturday in the park nearby, as part of the Library series of events. Interested?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Fabulous Heftones in the Park…
Moon, June Spoon
Oak Park, Charlotte, Michigan

  • (30 minutes from Lansing, take I-69 toward the southwest, take a right at the bottom of the exit and head a few miles to downtown).
  • The park is southwest of the library (which is southwest of the downtown light near the old courthouse). Go to the light, turn left until you find Seminary a few blocks down, turn right and go a handful of blocks. easy.
  • It is surrounded on the north by W. Lovett, the south by W. Seminary, the east, S. Clinton; and the west, Pearl St.
  • There is no entrance fee to this show. There will, however, be a donation basket passed to help re-roof the library.
  • You may wish to bring your own chair. Typically there are simple refreshments at these events. (Cookies and drinks are standard.)

PS… I just noticed this was my 1000th knitting-related post (since November 28, 2002). Time flies when you’re having fun!

More Chicago Ukulele Jamfest Photos

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007


Chicago was a whirlwind, we got there midpoint in the Friday night concert and jammed right there at the cafe’ after the concert. We ended up with a small circile of folks… Gerald Ross from Ann Arbor, Fred Fallin of Chicago (photo below left, of Fred during his Saturday-afternoon show), Neal (drat, his last name escapes me), plus Brian and myself and I think at least one more person.

Fred loves much of the music we also play… it was funny, he sort of led the song-choosing that night but he picked 3 songs from the playlist we had put together for our Saturday show. Even though we once played a two-person jam session for three hours (at Wheatland festival) without repeating a single song. Great fun, indeed.

chicagofredfallin.jpgWe heard that some folks might be jamming in Oak Park after the cafe’ closed up. We decided that we had better rest ourselves and our voices, and go back to the hotel room and just sleep. I’m glad we listened to our inner adults, it made the next day work out much better.

Saturday was exciting. They started with a traditional Hawaiian hula, just a gourd and voice(s) for rhythm/music, and traditional dress including leaves on the head and wrists. It was just plain incredible. I’ve seen this type of dance before but never performed as beautifully as by these dancers.

Somewhere after that, Steven P. Slivka and the Boar’s Head Orchestra was before us so I did not get photos, but they are our cup of tea… Hobbit, if you are reading this, go check out this group!

chicagoukebros.jpgBrian got a good breakfast from the cafe (I brought food I knew would agree with me) and we listened to Steven and buddies while getting ready. We changed into our stage gear (a tux or silk dress is not a day-long jam session costume, but it’s perfect for our act while on stage). We got up there and finished the sound check in no time so they let us start playing early. We got to play about 2-3 more numbers than we’d planned, which was great. It’s handy that our songs almost all weigh in at under 3 minutes!

We missed the opening act for open mic at the outdoor tent, our friends the Uke Bros from Lansing. We did get to hear them very late in the day, though, and this picture at right is of Randy and Rod smiling at something off stage, I think right after they had finished playing one song.

After us was a great lineup of folks. One group included commenter Jima (front row far left), a group of uke players taught by the same teacher as the hula dancers. Her name is Lanialoha (hidden behind hula dancers in first photo, and right front in group uke shot below left) and I can not say enough good about her The dancers were so beautiful I literally broke down and cried. She has a big heart and it is reflected through the work of her students. Meeting her and those who study with/love her, was the best thing all weekend.

chicagojamesuke.jpgI have at least three more photos to share with you. Because I’m still moving myself to the new laptop, I’m slow with positively everything else. If you sent me email, I probably got it and have not had time to write back yet. Today I even remembered to move over my fonts (very important when you do publicity for three businesses, you can not afford to lose a signature font as I discovered many years ago when my laptop was stolen).

I can live with the new palm device setup though it’s not ideal. I can live with fussing with printing (it will work if I open a file on the other laptop and print through the network, OR if I plug the printer into this new machine directly without a network, but if I use new computer through network I either get black and white or it prints an inch too low and to the right). As long as I know what fussing to do before I print things like ***patterns***, then i can deal with it.

So that is to say that I will post at least three more photos, but I can not get that done before I have to leave for dance rehearsal. Life is full of compromises, you know? At least we are fully into summer right now, and for me this is a wonderful thing. Summer loves me and I love it. It’s convenient we had rain to bring the temps down before rehearsal, though…

Catch you later with a few more photos… and then a travelogue of a one-day Chicago food/sightseeing adventure.

30’s Jazz and Tap Dance

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Thanks to sis-in-love Diana/Otterwise, I bring you this entertaining Youtube video from the mid-30s.

The band’s name is “Ina Ray Hutton & Her Melodears.” The bandleader is beautiful, and she sings and tap dances as her all-female band plays a hot number. It takes only two and a half minutes, and you’ll be smiling before it’s done.


First Chicago Photo

Monday, June 25th, 2007

fabheftoneschicago25.jpgOur friends from the Detroit-area ukulele club (I am pretty sure they are called Uke’n Sing) always, always, always support us in the most useful and loving ways… including taking photos of us while we are on stage. It’s sort of impossible to do that for ourselves, you know??? I don’t know who took which photos but thanks to you all, we love you back.

Monday has been a day of picking up the car from the shop, printing patterns, filling orders, catching up on emails not handled this weekend. There was a little sleep in there, too. I do have photos of our downtown Chicago experience from Sunday afternoon, as well… but for now I have ten minutes before I have to leave for work and my patterns are still coming out of that printer. It’s a high-class problem to have work, I assure you, but I do overwhelm easily. Today is beautiful and I will refuse to be overwhelmed for one day at least, but I can’t start writing a travelogue with ten minutes as my deadline.

For now, a photo of us during our set at the Chicagoland Ukulele Jamfest. My, what fun it was.


Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Saturday’s Ukulele Jamfest was much fun. We played our show, watched others, listened to folks give workshops, listened to open mic, made friends and more. After the show we found some Thai food and jammed until late. All in all, it was what we might have hoped.

Sunday will be an explore Chicago day. Indian food if nothing else. I’ll take photos and show and tell when I’m back in Lansing.

Uking In Chicago!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

chicagoukefest1kimoandvictoria.jpgBrian and I (and our instruments and my new laptop) are in the Chicago area for the weekend. It is Chicagoland Ukulele Jamfest, and we enjoyed the first night.

Victoria Vox did the opening concert, with opening performers and friends playing with her on stage. If you don’t know this fine young talent, you may wish to get to know her now. Her voice is clear and melodic, sweet yet smart. She tours about 300 days a year, so she is expert at keeping an audience’s attention.

She is lovely to look at, as well as a very solid songwriter, just a together woman. Victoria has an active myspace page as well as some fun videos on Youtube… my favorite of which is Uking at the Wheel/Running from the Law.

The photo here shows Victoria accompanied by Kimo Hussey, a soft-spoken/incredible uke player. We met him a few years ago in Indianapolis for Midwest Ukefest. Wonderful.

Tomorrow morning at 11:15 or so, Brian and I play our set. We’re not first, maybe second, and I think the scheduled acts go through dinnertime (and there are also some workshops going on).

After that, no doubt there will be much jamming until as late as possible. I am looking forward to that. Tonight we decided to be some kind of sane and rest our voices by going to the hotel and not jamming much. Tonight after the concert we jammed a bit with Fred Fallin and Gerald Ross for the most part, until it started sprinkling rain.

For those knitters who loyally follow this blog… I am finishing the heels on a pair of afterthought-heel socks for Brian right now, they are maybe 40 stitches from being done, plus some working in of ends. The Raven Frog yarn I showed you a few days ago has been transformed into a sock minus an afterthought heel, and about 3/4 of another like the first. I could easily finish these on the trip.

I brought along some yarn I wanted to use for a new felted bag design idea I have, but in the haste of leaving I did not bring any needles appropriate to the yarn/project. This may need to wait for another day.

I will be glad when the new computer does not feel so new, when I can concentrate on my “real work” rather than the administrative task of switching laptops (and learning about Windows Vista) . It has taken over my life, my time and my brainspace for a week and I’m not done yet. For the weekend I did bring the new machine but it’s not quite set up so that it can be my only machine yet. Slow is the way to go, one day at a time, yadda yadda…

I am sure to have more photos tomorrow (assuming I can get more batteries for my new camera). There will be much of interest, I’m sure. For now it is time to sleep.

Inching Again…

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

applewoodgarden.jpgI am doing the progress-crawl again today, but gaining a little ground. My palm device is synchronizing to-do lists (which I’ve not used before but may try now) and the very nice Calendar feature. It is not synchronizing address book (the calendar program doesn’t have a contact/address feature but I was hoping the palm would synch to the palm desktop addresses… no luck yet there).

I have sent an email to the calendar producer and also looked up my palmtalk yahoo group where I’ll post questions as well. I don’t edit address data often, so for now i can put changes on my to-do list and then manually update when I get home. It’s a hassle but I think it will work for my low frequency of use.

I also installed good old OpenOffice suite on the new laptop. It can handle MS Office (Word/Excel) files until I decide what to do with the MS Office version conflict. I have a perfectly good paid for version and will no doubt use that in the end, but I figure I’ll play with the new one for the 30 days I have.

I teach people who have all sorts of computer setups at home and the more I know about all these things, the better I can help with questions. Since I am something of a power user in MS Word I just can’t see letting go of it yet, but I have two or three knitting patterns that had so many photos that Word would corrupt during edits. I converted those to Open Office just so I could function and print.

I am used to many tiny little features that Open Office doesn’t seem to offer, and I am heavily into using keyboard shortcuts rather than my mouse for commands… either Open Office doesn’t have the shortcuts I expect or I can not find them. Still, OpenOffice is free and full of features, and it doesn’t corrupt my work. I love it for that!

I also finally got Adobe PhotoShop (version 5.5 upgrade from 3, purchased in ’99 and still just what I need) loaded on the new machine and it works just great. I tested it with this photo of Applewood Gardens in Flint, Michigan, which I took about a year ago the day Brian and I performed there. It’s a beautiful place that is open to the public about once a month, with lovely old-fashioned gardens. I got a lot of good photos that day and never had a chance to share them all with you.

In a way I have a lot in the air right now. In another way, a lot is settling down. Not only do I have a new laptop and new palm device, my car is at the shop as well.

They will work on my bug Friday while Brian and I are out of town in Chicago. It has about 124,000 miles and it needs a new ignition because I always have a too-heavy keychain and the car is a ’98 (which I got May 99). The car is in great shape and looks almost new, runs like a top, but needs care occasionally. These things are something to be expected and I’m glad I can work it out to get things done when I’m out of town for the most part.

My life is a few hours here and a few hours there, every day contains multiple locations. Being without a car in Lansing would mean not doing my normal routine. I am liking this new car shop so far, we’ll see how they do this time. I miss “German Automotive,” they were just my style but the owner retired and that was the end. Those guys drove old VW Rabbits, they understood that I loved my old car, too. I soo miss that place. Life changes sometimes… car repair shops and laptops and other things as well. Time to roll with it all, to find gratitude in the newness.

I may actually be set to take the new laptop on the road this trip. My Eudora (email program) mailboxes are still stored on the old laptop but I can check Gmail while I travel (which is safer for backup purposes, anyway). I can definitely blog as long as I can access a connection, which theoretically should work in a suburb of Chicago. We’ll see how it goes in real life.

Big city, here I come! (I’m anticipating the good food already…)

Inching Along

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Thanks to Brian the Wonder-Husband, I am much further along now (with my new laptop etc.) at midnight Wednesday than i was at 4am only 20 hours ago. My old Handspring PDA/Lotus Organizer data on the old XP/SONY laptop is now miraculously on the new Palm Z22 PDA/Calendarscope on my new Vista/Toshiba laptop. I am still testing whether the data is synchronizing back and forth when I make changes or additions. So far, it’s OK. Not perfect but OK.

I do miss the “planner” feature that Lotus Organizer had. It had a graph like a year-long wall calendar, and I could put in music events and holidays and vacations, weekends where I taught out of town/state, and see them at a glance. The information is preserved and displays at the top of the seven-day spread but there is no one screen I can find where a whole year displays.

The new calendar, however, looks great and has a simple pull-down menu for filtering out categories. For example, I can have it show me just music appointments or just those flagged “business.” There is a category feature on the Palm but I have to choose one or the other, and I only have filtered things on my laptop in the past.

I guess if I can get my mail program to work on the new laptop then all I need to do is copy data/email folders over and I’ll be close to done. The laptop came with the new MS Word 2007 and it is vastly different than what I’m quite expert using, never mind different than what I teach in Community Education on Mondays.

I figure I will play with it for the 30 days or so I have and then let it expire, uninstall it and put my legally-purchased older free-standing MS Office disks on it for long term. Then I will put Adobe PhotoShop on it. I’ve learned through experience that PhotoShop wants to be the last thing installed, after Microsoft anything.

In other news, the weather is lovely. It’s not too hot or humid, it’s sunny. The only complaint is that flowers need watering… not much to complain about (though I complain anyway, it’s a bad habit). I sat in the hammock after dance rehearsal, around 9pm. The sun was still out and the light through the trees across the street was beautiful. From that vantage point it looks like we live in a park.

Thursday I have lunch with my friend Altu. We like to go out for sushi on Thursdays when we can (she has help in the kitchen at the restaurant on Thursday afternoons). I will enjoy that change of pace. She’s such a passionate and interesting person, I always enjoy our time together.

More updates as I have time to type them… back to one more synchronization between laptop and palm device, and then to bed. It’s my turn to sleep tonight!

Chicagoland Ukulele JamFest Information

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

There is a web page about the Jamfest including hotels and the works. The event is 10 miles west of Chicago in Mayfield, IL. I heard from one person, I’d love to hear from more of you!!!

I’m Here…

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

I haven’t forgotten you. I started a post on our great day in Grand Rapids Saturday. However, most of my time at home this week has been trying to get the new laptop so that I can function again. I had to buy a new palm device/PDA and all the reports say it will work with the new machine. I want to synchronize the new palm with the old machine first, so that I don’t lose my calendar system that is my brain when I’m not at my desk. So far, no luck. It’s almost 4am so I’ll give it up for now.

I have copied a lot of documents and photographs to the new machine. When I tried to copy using the network (which should be faster) I had eternal complaints from Vista that I didn’t have permission to share the documents any time they were in a subfolder (or at least a subfolder with a name that wasn’t DOS compliant, go figure). I had to keep going back to the old laptop and share and share and share and share, since I have a lot of subfolders. I would be good on a kindergarten playground with all that sharing!

So finally I got this USB connector/program, which seems to understand that I can copy from one machine to another without contortions every two minutes. It means I can copy a huge folder with gigabytes of data/photos in it, and walk away and go to work or go to sleep, and come back and find it done. This is good but it’s a slower copy. The program that comes with the cable (PC-Linq) is a bit archaic but I’ll take it at this point. It works, and I’m all about that feature.

The new palm is freezing at the point where I try to synchronize it with the old settings/calendar. It knows I had a username of LynnH and I try to select that but when I hit Next it doesn’t do a thing. I uninstalled and reinstalled and the same thing happens. Pooh.

So then I tried to export the old calendar from Lotus Organizer (yes it’s old but it does what I want, at least until today). And it exports to a file but the new calendar program (Calendarscope which I think looks very good) does not recognize its format for an import. Pooh. I’ll ask Brian if he has any good advice when he’s awake. Meanwhile, I should sleep myself.

The good news is that I’m knitting anyway. I mostly knit when I’m not at home but there’s been a lot of that. I’m partway through the second sock on a pair from the skein I showed you last post.

I also am ready to finish the second heel on a pair of afterthought-heel socks for Brian. I have some sewing to do on a water bottle holder in Noro Kureyon from my Bags to Go! pattern, and I’m working on the tank top for the class I’m teaching at Rae’s. It’s a lot of little stuff, none of it done, but progress at any rate. I need progress at SOMETHING right now.

Music News and More Travel

Oh, and if anyone is in reach of Chicago this weekend, Brian and I are singing late morning on Saturday in a suburb, at the Chicagoland Ukulele Jamfest. Chicago is friendly, creative and has some of the most excellent food I know. I’ll be sure to get to Devon Avenue for some Indian food before we come home on Sunday. We drive down Friday. If anyone wants to meet up, please write or comment and I’ll do what I can to connect.

Knitting and Geeking

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

arlyngiftyarn.jpgI’m spending lots of my at-home time these days, switching over (far too slowly) to my new laptop which has Windows Vista. Slowly, things are coming along.

Often it takes patient and calm help from Brian the wonder-husband who can fix anything without one worry line in his brow. Me, I can worry about nothing. Brian is much more stable than I am. I hope we balance one another out well, sometimes I think I’m far too much pepper for his salt but he doesn’t seem to mind.

He especially helped me with getting the system to print. Right now I can get it to look right if I connect the printer and laptop directly. Hopefully we will figure out how to make it work even when we are connected through network wires. If anyone out there knows anything I don’t, I would very much appreciate constructive advice.

I tried three different ways of transferring files between machines (fortunately I still had two more up my sleeve but I didn’t have to use them). I ended up with a linking cable that has a USB connector on both ends. I had to install a program and a driver on both machines, but then I got a screen that looked very comfortable… like an old FTP program or the old Windows 3.1 File Manager. I drag and drop from one machine to the other.

This all works, of course, when it works. If a file gets stuck transferring I have to cancel, reboot sometimes, and then figure out what copied and what did not. I have approximately 23 Gigabytes of photographs alone. That just plain takes time to move, no matter what method is used!

Thank goodness that through it all I have done some knitting to keep me happy and occupied. I have been working on a tank top which may become a tee, for a class I’m teaching. That’s all caught up and ready for next week’s session. I knit a bit more on Brian’s Birthday Socks (his birthday was in May), which only really need an inch or two of ribbing and then an afterthought heel. These things need time to compare the current sock to the first one I knit (long enough ago that I don’t remember what exactly I did on that first heel).

And the photo here? Yarn that my dance friend Arlyn/Maahtaab got for me when she visited Alaska recently. The yarn dyer is “Raven Frog Fiber Arts” and the yarn shop was Changing Threads, in Skagway, Alaska. Not only did Arlyn find a yarn shop (she’s a very skilled crocheter) but she found yarn I’d love, made sure there was enough for a pair of socks, and brought this skein home to me.

It’s washable wool in what appears to be DK weight. I started the toe Saturday night and by Sunday dinnertime I had put in a placeholder for a heel and was a few inches into the cuff on the first sock. I’m 1/3 of the way through the pair in one day! I can’t keep up that pace but much of it was knit on a 50-minute walk I took near my home. Maybe I need to take knitting along on walks more often. I sure am willing to walk longer when I have some wool in my hands!

The yarn is very beautiful, even more intense in person than it shows here. The blue positively glows like cobalt glass. It’s a perfect example of what “jewel tones” can really become. Gorgeous. It is a nice treat to knit for myself without any expectations, deadlines, patterns to write or the rest. I am appreciative of the very thoughtful gift. I love yarn that is this weight (both for knitting and for wearing), and will wear these socks over and over again!

Summer Makes Me Happy

Friday, June 15th, 2007

summersunset.jpgIt’s summery today. The sun is hot, there is a slight breeze and a few clouds. I started the day too early after a very late night trying to transfer files over to the new laptop.

I didn’t sleep much at all because I met some Habibi Dancers for a rehearsal at 11am. Well, just after 11. I don’t dance really well that early, but it was good to start the day that way.

The transferring is going slow but no corruption so far or anything. The only program hiccup so far is the palm device synchronizing software. I think I need a new Palm Device/PDA. I can not find ANYONE in my local scene who has used a palm and Vista. Jan in PA, you’re the only one I know with experience… I’ll be writing you soon for more details!

It has felt like I lived a whirlwind here this week: a million errands, a million stores, yesterday a new key for the car hoping to avoid replacing the ignition. Today groceries at three stores including the vast asian market on the very east side of East Lansing. Picked fresh rhubarb at Mom’s house, too. Will try a few new foods this coming week, which will be pleasant.

We (Brian and I/The Fabulous Heftones) go to Chicago next weekend for the Ukulele Jamfest, after a few weekends at home. Fortunately this will probably be only one overnight.

Next weekend is also the first outdoor music festival of our year. Charlotte, MI has a bluegrass festival each year and it brings folks from all over the US and Canada at least. I’m not really big on outdoor anything (other than my porch) but the music and the people bring me back every year.

Maybe we will go jam at Charlotte on a weeknight… Brian plays very good banjo. I’m pretty terrible at trying to jam with bluegrass (or old time fiddle music for that matter). He likes it when I go with him although I feel like a fish out of (musical) water. The people are friendly and welcoming, it’s just that I feel pretty clueless trying to play along with songs/tunes I don’t know and which have different chord progressions than I usually play.

Anyway I’m trying to get into the polymer clay studio here and I guess I just avoided it for ten minutes as I typed away…

The photo is our side street behind the house, just as the summer sun set a few days ago. Look at that light filtering through the trees. At times like this the country invades my city neighborhood and I have the best of all worlds.