Monday, September 29, 2008

Our doctor is the second-best in town...

...according to the News & Review. We will be dumping him and switching to Dr. Asaikar.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I did this illustration of a gyro for this week's Foodstuffs piece in the News & Review. Very Pop  and I love it!

During the song "Disco Inferno"...

...the fire alarm went off. Burn, baby, burn! It was not a real fire; during Homecoming (happening next door), somebody had their barbecue too close to the smoke detector. About half the audience left during the evacuation.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Note cards

I played at an event for CSEA at the Hilton. They dressed up the stage with these little foam-core cards.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Davis is Biketown

I found out what the Davis Bike Church is... it's a co-op located near the Fuller domes (of course) where you can get your bike repaired, get parts, and learn how to take better care of your bike. Davis, especially the UC campus, is biketown. Still, despite all the bicycle love, theft is rampant. You should of course lock your bike. But any lock can be broken, so several people have told me you should make your bike as ugly as possible so no one will want it. 
You should in fact make all your possessions ugly.
I should mention here that I have not ridden a bike in perhaps as much as a year. 

First recording medium

This customer has very high-end stereo components but also an Edison wax cylinder player. (It records, too: the settings are TALK and HEAR.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Culture, then

My friend John, who teaches music to grade schoolers, has a lot of old songbooks. This one, from 1948, has this picture of a Native American scalping a white man.

Pirate English on Facebook

Facebook has always been available in many languages, but they recently added English (Pirate) to the menu. Hilarious.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Coordinated tacky

The streaky hair really works with the tiger striped dress.

Today's gift of snacks at Best of Broadway

During intermission someone (maybe me) kicked a cable and I couldn't hear my right-hand parts all through the second act. Apparently you could hear it in the house, just not in the band monitor. Very annoying. I played all the parts — I just couldn't hear them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This foosball table bolted to the floor reminds me of Bob, the best foosball player I know. When he was in college, he and his frat brothers played all night until they were out of dimes. Then they turned the game upside down and shook out all the dimes so they could play more.

Don't put pencils on the piano...

...they always end up inside, like this piano at UC Davis.

Every piano has a story...

...but most of them are not glued to the side. Click on the image to read this story of a piano in a dorm lounge at UC Davis.


This speaker is held on to the railing with gaffer's tape. It only fell off once, and didn't hit anyone important.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

“Oz” was already taken

When I was in college in Philly, we called an ounce of weed a "z." I hear that around here the kids now call it an "o."

An old friend

It used to be a tradition for piano tuners to leave their name and the date of tuning inside the piano. This signature belonged to Arend Wheeler, a fine old gentleman who died about five years ago. Besides tuning, he also played the trombone.  We played together once at my house.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The corner of doom

This corner at Freeport and Sutterville has been the site of many failed businesses. The last building on the corner stood empty for several years. Then a developer came along to level it and put up this mall. But for the last six months it's been empty except for a lone Kinko's.

This espresso machine is a RASILI...

... but it used to be a BRASILIA.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I was tuning for an awards ceremony... the Fairfield Center for the Creative Arts. The stage manager told me that a woman from the Bay Area named Kelly was playing drums for the show. I guessed that it was the same Kelly that I played with for two shows by William Michal in Sacramento. I left a note for her on the drums. (You can actually see the note in the photo, on the floor tom.)

If I don't answer the phone...'s because I'm playing Spore, the new masterpiece from Will Wright, the creator of the Sims (the best-selling computer game of all time). It covers the career of a species, from tide pool to space travel, but the notable part of it is the Creature (between Tide Pool and Village). section. Strangely, it takes no sides in the intelligent design/evolution argument: you are the god who designs the creature, but you are constrained by the rules of evolution. 

Best of Broadway loft

Climbing up in the dark is a little scary.

Following my friends

I tuned the piano at the Fairfield Center for the Creative Arts on Sunday. The Baldwin is a fine one, and it still contains the service record cards from the previous tuners. The first was one of my teachers, and the second was a good friend who lives in Dixon.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Telescopes... an office at Folsom Lake College, where I will be tuning pianos next week.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The blanket

There is a a great scene in I Heart Huckabees where Dustin Hoffman's character explains, using a blanket as a metaphor, that everything is connected.

“Say this blanket represents all the matter and energy in the universe, okay? This is me, this is you, And over here, this is the Eiffel Tower, right, it's Paris!...When you get the blanket thing you can relax because everything you could ever want or be you already have and are.”

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

To the cubist barricades!

This is the set for the Les Mis section of Best of Broadway. I don't know if it's appropriate, but it's beautiful.

No más

Luis's Mexican Food was popular and a hangout for the powerful when Jerry Brown was governor. After that, the quality fell down. Still, it's where we had our pre-wedding lunch, and so I was sad to see today that it was boarded up. I was still sadder when my friend Steve pointed out that it's been that way for years. How did I miss it?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Eric Kunze...

...played Che in Evita. (I just found this photo after three weeks.) He, like Rachel, was in theatre at UC Irvine. He was at UCI's semester-in-New-York program, auditioned for Les Mis, got cast, and never looked back.

Chalk It Up! 2008

Chalk It Up! 2008

Click on the photo to see all my pictures from Sacramento's annual sidewalk drawing show, Chalk It Up!

The stage door at Luther Burbank

This is the stage door at Luther Burbank. With luck, this will be our last year at this auditorium. People don't like coming to this neighborhood at night. For some reason, though, the local car dealerships really like having the show here and have been contributing large sums for us to do it here.
We had a lot of success last year doing two weekends at a school in suburban Rocklin. There are lots of upper-middle-class kids there who love theatre.

Best of Broadway loft

Instead of a pit, the Best of Broadway band has a loft. This is the second year for our marvelous sound guy Mike... he has a great monitoring system. For the first thirteen years I did this show, I wore headphones. Instead, Mike has arranged a monitor for each musician. The two keyboardists even get an additional monitor which is just for vocals. Between the keyboards is a mixer where Dan and I can adjust the mix (Key 1, Key 2, bass, guitar) in our monitors. This is actually a much better system than at Music Circus — though comparable to what you have in the larger churches.
Notice that both keyboardists have office chairs which I have previously noted is the best kind of piano bench.
For more pictures, see the Best of Broadway album.