Friday, March 30, 2007

Rachel posing for a cartoon, playing the part of a chain-smoker. At dinner, she was amused that I (pulling a word from my deep past) called Marlboros "Marbs". Her friends call them "Reds" or "Lights" depending on the variety.
Joan, the owner of Espresso Metro, was dressed for a Renaissance Fair day at her kids' school. She was wearing chain mail that someone fashioned by hand from baling wire. It must have taken weeks, if not months, to do.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

This client's kids go to St. Francis School. For Easter they are doing some kind of sidewalk art involving colored sawdust. Each family has to dye and sun-dry a pile of pine sawdust.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Saloon doors in the restroom

I did this illustration of a See's chocolate cream egg for the News & Review. I hope they print it in color.
I'm going to play piano for a show at Franklin High. Lisa Sandoval, right, is the drama teacher. She is extremely not burned out. They are a brand new school and have great facilities. A bonus is that my old friend and tennis partner Hal (left) teaches there too. After meeting with the theatre people I dropped into the computer lab where he advises the school paper.
The guy directing this show is out of central casting. He looks to be an old Jew; I can imagine him playing Hamlet 40 years ago. He said to the cast: "When I look at you, I don't want to see a fifteen-year old kid. I want to see a stage actor."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

The novelty store Wishing Well has a huge selection of rubber duckies. Here is a Cinco de Mayo variation.
I found this on top of a piano in a church. Looks like a thumbnail.

My customer Mary Lane has live coral in a saltwater tank. Much more colorful than the coral we went thousands of miles to see in Australia!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Seen on the side of a car in the Hollywood Hardware parking lot.

Lunch notes

Lunch notes

When I made Rachel's lunch in grade school I would sometimes put notes in the bag. Today, Jennifer found some that she had saved. I made them into a web album.
John Skinner St. Patrick's Day

I played with John Skinner at a Catholic church hall in Auburn last night. I'd never been to a full-out St. Patrick's Day celebration before.
Melissa, a red-haired barista at Espresso Metro, told me about one of her St. Patrick's Day traditions: a drink called the Carbomb. It's 3/4 glass of Guiness plus a shot of whiskey and a shot of Baileys Irish Cream. "I drink about six of them. It tastes just like a root beer float."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Video on TV at Habibi

Last night our Peace Corps group ate at a Lebanese restaurant called Habibi. I shot this video off the TV in the bar.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Amy invited me to her 50th birthday party; we're not going to go, but we're encouraging Rachel to go; she could meet people that would help her career and might even have a good time!
Here's a drawing I did almost 30 years ago, based on a paintball catapult that I made in 1979. I found it and cut it up to use in another piece I was working on today. Unfortunately, I ended up not using any of it. But the piece turned out great!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This A & W burned down a couple of months ago. It must have been that tasty, tasty grease.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

At the Farmer's Market on Fairfax in LA, there is a store that just sells hot sauce. Also one that just sells stickers.
This Prius was in the parking lot of the Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits. The vanity plate says ARTISH.
Shelly Denny's mom had a music store in Chico where she had this statue of the RCA dog ("His Master's Voice") on display. Shelly is my tuning customer; I have also played with him in John Skinner's band, Music Circus, and on casuals.
This piano belongs to a customer of mine. When the movers put it in a back bedroom, they had to put the piano on its end to get it through the doorway. Just before I tuned this, we moved the piano from the bedroom to where it is now... on a wall right next to the front door. Naturally I had to help them put the piano on its end again. Hilarity ensued.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rachel's bio at the Chance Theatre

Rachel Stivers (Costume Designer)

Rachel is in her third year at University of California Irvine , where she is studying costume design. She recently completed her fifth season at California Music Circus. She has also designed for California Musical Theater and Garbo's Dinner Theater in Sacramento. This is her second show at The Chance. Last season she designed Hot 'N' Throbbing. She would like to thank the staff at The Chance for being so wonderfully helpful, and also her friends and family for their love and support.

There isn't a whole lot I love about LA, but one thing is the Farmer's Market on Fairfax. This robot dog is there.
We flew to LA to see Inventing Van Gogh at the Chance Theatre in Anaheim, which Rachel had designed the costumes for. Here is her head shot on the wall.

Friday, March 09, 2007

You can drive a car with your mind

Well, not quite. But you can open a car door with your cell phone. If you happen to lock yourself out of your car, and someone else has a door opener for your car, you can call them up and have them activate the opener near their handset, and the sound played over your cell phone will open the car door. It sounds unbelievable, but Jennifer and I tried it today with her Honda.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My customer (Chinese) folded up all these paper stars one year for his daughter's birthday. The paper on each says HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
Last night I played with the Ron Davis Big Band at Zigato's. Melissa Collard (above) sat in with us for four songs.
I last played with Melissa in January 2006 with the late great bass player Erik Kleven. I said to Melissa that I think of him often (I do.)
After the job, when my stuff was in my car, I walked back into the restaurant to say goodbye to Ron. It was like a domestic disturbance: the guy he was talking to said, "...and don't ever come back here again!" If that was the owner, I guess we won't be playing there again.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I had a customer, former physics/astronomy professor at Sac State, who once wrote a textbook on acoustics (the cover of which hangs framed on the wall). I took the opportunity to ask him some questions about harmonics.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Why the British outclass us in acting

for the Philadelphia Inquirer

Helen Mirren's much-deserved Oscar win last week prompted an interesting discussion around the office: Who are the greatest American movie actors?

Your list might differ around the margins, but there are a few names that go down in ink. Spencer Tracy. Robert De Niro. Jimmy Stewart. Jack Nicholson. Bogart. Those five are locks. I'd probably include James Cagney and Morgan Freeman, too. We can argue about the rest.

Now make a list of the great British movie actors... read more

Sunday, March 04, 2007

This building, which used to be Melarkey's (where Jennifer did improv comedy in the early 80s), and then the Land Park Grill, and which has been a vacant eyesore lately, is re-opening as a sushi place. I look forward to the day when Sacramento's streets will be lined with alternating Starbuck's and sushi joints.
Russ Solomon, founder of Tower Records, is opening a new store, possibly called Resurrection Records, at the site of the first Tower Records store. Someone put a sign that says "Welcome Back Russ" in the window.
I hear they use every part of the monkey.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A customer of mine told me she was going to New York with her husband to see Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia, which is about Russian intellectuals in the 19th century. She actually has seen the play before — it led her to read books by the real-life characters in the play, including My Past and Thoughts by Alexander Herzen. I'm reading it now and it's probably the best memoir I've ever read.
At Fry's Electronics I saw a new version of Monopoly. The game pieces include such cultural icons as McDonald's fries, a laptop, a cup of Starbuck's coffee... and a Prius!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The late Tommy Mingo (second from left) had a music store in downtown Sacramento and also played accordion in a popular trio. Today I tuned his sister's piano and she showed me this photo. You can see the trio with three famous men: Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, and Max Baer.
Yesterday I talked to a couple of classes at Del Paso Manor Middle School about Peace Corps. We had a snack table set up in the art room. Looking into to the adjoining room where they keep all the art supplies, you can see that it used to be a communal shower.