Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This wire sculpture depicting a coffee cup and the words "Espresso Metropolitan" hangs over the cash register at the coffeehouse.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A customer today was getting her piano tuned because it was placed up against this wall when a drunken teenager drove his car through it. The piano was slightly scratched but was in remarkably good tune.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I have a customer in Davis who organizes concerts in his home for a few selected friends. Sometimes he gets fairly big names. This time he got Jackie Terrasson, a famous jazz pianist.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New fashion concept at Target: matching ball caps and T-shirts bundled together. Next: matching 1. socks/underwear, 2. toothbrush/toothbrush holder, 3. cereal/milk, 4. iPod skin/jacket, 4. sunglasses/shoes, 5. iPod sock/dog sweater, 6. rosebush/garden hose, 7. faucet/dish soap, 8. automobile tires/cologne, 9. bug light/bug repellent, 10. perfume/nose hair clippers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Opposites that are the same

Could care less/couldn't care less
Wack/out of whack

We're on autopilot!

"Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them."— Alfred North Whitehead
A papier-mâché reindeer on a balcony in midtown.
I showed up at a customer's house. She didn't answer the doorbell or her phone. I decided to wait in my car. I nodded off listening to the podcast of This American Life. It was a story about a guy who won a lot of money on the Irish version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After it was over, I looked at the clock and saw that 45 minutes had passed. I started to drive home when my cell phone rang. It was my customer: she had been napping in the garage, the only quiet part of the house apparantly, and didn't hear the doorbell or phone. Then she saw my car outside and realized that she'd forgotten about the tuning appointment.
I parked next to another black Prius at the post office. Perhaps there's some wireless communication going on...

Pineapple problem?

Yesterday I bought a pineapple at Taylor's Market. The checker couldn't remember the code for pineapple. The bagger, who was older, said, "Look out the window. See that billboard that says 'gambling problem?' At the lower right hand corner is a number. That's the code for pineapple."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

This is an early bit of consumer gadgetry from the sixties. It's a player piano — still the old kind that plays a paper roll and runs on an air pump — but the controls are electric and mounted to the left of the keyboard. Atomic!

From PostSecret

For more go to the PostSecret site.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The marquee of the Bob Hope Theatre.
I tuned this piano at the Bob Hope/Fox Theatre in Stockton. Duffy, the contractor, told me that Little Richard danced on it.
He also said that at the top of the concert, Richard said, "Don't take any pictures of me. If you take a picture of me, you are stealing and I will make you leave the theatre." At that point, some people got up and left.
Later on, he was hearing something bad in the monitor, and said, "Give it up for my crew. I pay them a lot of money, and they give me this shit. Give it up!"

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My customer has this bizarre ball (some obsolete propane tank) in his front yard.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I was going through old albums and sketchbooks trying to put together my PowerPoint for Peace Corps Day and found this old drawing of Billy Aronson circa 1978.
Billy got commissioned to do one of his plays at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco so it'll be a great opportunity to catch up and see one of his plays (which I have never done unless you count Rent which he wrote some of the lyrics for).

Monday, February 12, 2007

I did this painting (enamel house paint on glass) while I was in the Peace Corps in Montserrat. I took this picture to contribute to an electronic exhibition for Peace Corps Day (early March).

I've had shaved ice, but I'd never actually seen ice shaved until yesterday, at Gunther's (celebrating its 67th year!) They have a flavor of syrup called "Tiger's Blood." Yum.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Article in the Economist about pensions for musicians

AUSTIN, the capital of Texas, proclaims itself the “Live Music Capital of the World”. Bands blast cowboy and blues songs each evening along Sixth Street, the town's answer to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. As morning dawns, musicians stumble home to financial drear. Many live below the poverty line. Few have health insurance. Some still hope they will die before they get old. For the rest, pensions are mostly a dream. read full article


“I saw this gay couple and I was happy. That's right happy; but not for the reasons you think. I saw this couple and all I could think about was that I was going to get a star-bucks in my neighborhood.”
—from Kwaku's Errant Pixel blog

Saturday, February 10, 2007

On our way out of the house this morning we saw our neighbor, actor Greg Alexander, walking his dog in his bathrobe. He reminded us that he is appearing in the show What the Butler Saw at the B Street Theatre, so when we got home we got tickets for next Sunday.

Perry blows out his candles

We went to a surprise birthday party today at Cafe Bernardo's. Elaine put Perry's candles on separate brownies spelling "BIRTHDAY". It made blowing out the candles much more challenging.
see album..
On the way to last night's job at the Town Lounge, Brady McKay's car broke down on Del Paso avenue. While she was pacing on the sidewalk, waiting for the tow truck, a man mistook her for a prostitute.

Friday, February 09, 2007

For lunch I wanted to get a Diet Pepsi with a shot of cherry syrup. They were out of cherry, so I ordered lemon instead. That reminded me of sixth grade, when after school we'd stop at Havaline Pharmacy on Manoa Road and get lemon cokes. The rich kids would often buy cokes for the other kids.
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Last night I played at Zigato's with the Ron Davis Big Band. Really good and really loud. Jennifer, Alison and Paul came. Jennifer thought Ron was hilarious in a deadpan way, and I told him: "Jennifer thinks you're hilarious. The band sucks, but you're hilarious."
At the Junkyard Burlesque rehearsal, this is Joey who in a previous post told the story of how he got his bass drum back.
All the furniture in this guy's house is old, classic, and beat-up, (including the piano) like this mysterious cabinet. His kids colored on the top with crayon.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dissing my lifestyle

From the San Francisco Chronicle today:

Rules of Engagement: Comedy. 9:30 p.m. Mondays, CBS.

It's a curious thing what CBS does to comedies. Instead of reinventing a tired genre or suffusing it with fresh genius, the network seems content to work up the kind of chemistry that produces something good, not great -- a work of safety, of above-average ambition, but one without any sharp corners or dangerous ideas.

In some circles, that's akin to taking a Prius and giving it an iPod and some flashy rims. It's better but not exactly something from Porsche and many people simply won't take the ride.

read full article

I was tuning in the house of a rich person. The room with the piano was done with a hunting theme. There were prints of fox hunts on the wall, and furniture (packing trunks, etc.) that evoked the old British Empire. In this picture you see a beat-up leather suitcase that was placed thematically under the piano.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Manga picture of Jennifer.
I found an old photo of Rachel dressed as a fairy (for Halloween?) and thought it would make a nice source for a manga-style drawing.
Roses named after famous people

We dug up an old rose and replaced it with an Ingrid Bergman. I took pictures of other roses named after famous people.
I don't like bumper stickers on my car, but I admire them in others.
Yesterday I thought I was going to a surprise party, but when I got to the house, no one was home. Earlier that day, I was tempted to call to try to confirm the time and place, but I didn't, fearing that I would ruin the surprise.
Update on the rib cook-off: the teriyaki ribs won.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I tuned for a two-piano concert at the Sac State recital hall today. The performers are two brothers from Iran.
There was a rib cook-off at the Riverside Athletic Club this morning. On the left, teriyaki; on the right, barbecue. After eating one of each, you were supposed to vote for the rib you preferred.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Because of tuning, computer mousing, piano playing, tennis, etc., my right hand and forearm are getting very tired. I've been trying to do as much as possible with my left hand. Soon, I'm hoping that both hands will hurt equally.

I took my Prius to the Toyota dealer for my first oil change. I've never taken any car to the dealer for service before. It was much nicer than I feared. Free popcorn!
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Here's a collage from probably around 1980 that's been on my wall forever.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Very funny episode of thisisaknife from BBC 4

This has a bizarre idea for a reality show plus a truly amazing beatbox/cooking show.
This burned-out building has been like this for weeks, in the middle of a busy commercial district.
This is an electric scooter. The owner is B., who works in the music department at Cosumnes River College. She and her husband had one each, until one was stolen. "Whoever stole it didn't have the key to start it, or the converter to charge it up," she said.