Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Music as Crime-Prevention Tool?

From Australia: "Elevator-style music, including artists such as Barry Manilow and Barry White, would be played in crime riddled laneways, under a proposal from Adelaide city councillor Anne Moran to reduce crime." Read the whole story here.

This actually worked in Dallas too, as the notoriously gang-infested downtown McDonald's on Commerce St. experienced a notable dropoff in crime after they started pumping Mozart and Beethoven through the outdoor speakers. I guess that if you can use some music to soothe the savage beast, you can use other kinds to repel said beast.

Speaking of crimefighters, I'm off to see Spidey tonight after I'm done teaching. Should be great...

(UPDATE: I was curious as to what a "laneway" was, so I asked someone who actually lives in Australia. It turns out that it's basically our equivalent of a narrow, poorly-lit, rubbish-strewn alley. Thanks to James of the Daily Prawn for the info.)

Monday, June 28, 2004

A Monday Cornucopia

A bit of this 'n' that...

EFF: A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing. An innovative answer to the dilemma of file-sharers being sued by the Machine. Would you pay $5 a month for a file-sharing license if it meant you could use your same P2P software without the risk of being sued? The folks at the Electronic Freedom Foundation have come up with what seems to be a good, workable plan...but would the Machine buy into it?

Bobblekev Night at the Ballpark? I could be a bobblehead! You could too, as The WOW Report notes today.

(Thanks to UNEASY silence for the link.)

My little po(r)ny? "She has flowing hair, smooth skin, languid eyes, and she's completely naked. Are we discussing here a star of one of the approximately four hundred thousand single-, double-, and triple-X-rated films out there, or one of the approximately four hundred thousand different "My Little Ponies" they flooded toy stores with in the Eighties?" Take the quiz here to find out.

(Thanks to Dave Barry's Blog for the link.)

No more Sonic updates? I've been meaning to mention this for a while, but the Famous Sonic Sign has been somewhat taken over by the Home Office; the entire message board is covered with ready-made signs that were created at the corporate level. They're appearing in some form at all the area drive-ins, and of course no more locally-assembled letter boards means no more amusing misspellings. Oh well, I never would've thought when I first saw the ad for the melts that were UMM, DELICIOUS that I would get as much material out of that as I did. (For a clearinghouse of Sonic sign info, go here.)

The halves vs. the halve-nots: Yesterday, Halfling and I got to jam for a really long time after we got back from the Rangers game. By the time we were done, we realized our total hang had lasted for over twelve hours. That meant, I then remarked, that I'd spent "a half-day with the Halfling," and the first thing we both thought of title. So we'll write that one, umm, eventually (our collective compositional pace has been glacial so far, but should pick up once the combo gets rolling). We're not sure what style the tune will be in yet, but we do know that, with a title of that nature, the progressions will move in mostly (what else?) half-steps.

(UPDATE: Speaking of the Rangers, the one-run loss to the Astros in the game we went to yesterday was just a momentary setback, as they rebounded tonight to take another game from Seattle, on the road even. The kids are still alright...)

Saturday, June 26, 2004

When It's Steepy Time Down South

Last night was the Branford Marsalis concert on the lawn of the DMA. We were almost late in getting there, but it was a bit more structured this time, as they actually had ushers to help us find our little patch of lawn. As a party of five (Halfling, Angie, Dingus, Cassi and myself), we felt fortunate to get as big a spot as we did.

Branford has spent a lot of his career in the shadow of his younger brother Wynton, who's garnered a lot more attention and recorded much more prolifically (though Branford did get a lot of face time on network TV during his two years as Kevin Eubanks' predecessor on the Tonight Show). It might be easy to forget that Branford is also a very fine player in his own right, but tonight proved the point beautifully. He may not have the immediately-recognizable sound of a Michael Brecker or a Joshua Redman, but it's a great sound nonetheless, and he does what he does extremely well.

Rounding out the quartet were Joey Calderazzo on piano (whom I've seen several times with Brecker), Eric Revis on bass and the always explosive Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums. (Incidentally, if there are any percussionists in attendance who can tell me what that weird asterisk-shaped cymbal was on his kit, please chime in.) Branford's talkback mic wasn't quite juiced enough, so I missed the titles of several of the tunes (it was also somewhat hard to hear Branford himself at times, as he moves about a lot when he plays and would have been better served by having a clip-on mic rather than a stationary one). I did catch that the opener was called "Mr. J.J." and the next-to-last tune was "Eternal" (which, yeah, did last a long time), and they closed with "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." They also played a few things from the group's recent CD done in tribute to the artist Romare Bearden, whose work was on display inside. Several of the tunes were of the modal variety (I instructed Halfling to steal as many licks as possible, since that's what we're working on at the moment), and, while Branford, and the group in general, played with a controlled burn most of the evening, they did cut loose near the end on a tune that featured a duel with a dreadlocked tenor player whose name never quite made it our way from the aforementioned mic. Tain got his big moment near the end as well, and his solo brimmed with both taste and energy.

It was great to see this group, even if perhaps this wasn't the ideal setting for hearing jazz from a serious listener's standpoint. I went to many of the free Thursday concerts that used to be held during the "Jazz Under the Stars" series, and it was exactly the same vibe. There's always a little too much of the "wine and cheese" crowd out there (we were laughing at the preponderance of lawn chairs and wine bottles and people who were way overdressed for an outdoor summer evening event). By that, I'm referring to people who were there more for the atmosphere than for the music itself. There was a lot of talking, though it didn't really drown out the music where we were. But I think Halfling nailed the concept when he said that it wasn't so much that people were talking, it's that they weren't listening. I totally agree. (Chris was there too last night, and he noted as I was writing this post that in the NYC jazz clubs, nobody talks. Ever. Amazing...)

Straight-ahead jazz does demand a lot of the listener; it almost dares you to make it background music (yes, this dovetails nicely with the discussion o' the week about music snobbery, and I have a feeling that the post that Dingus is working on right now will spawn another one from me, unless he steals all my ideas first). However, that being said, if people can derive a high level of enjoyment from it even without relating to it on its deeper level, then it's still all good. The DMA does a lot for local jazz by hosting live music in its atrium on a weekly basis, and their patrons generally have a strong financial base, part of which can (and obviously does) go towards the purchases of jazz CD's and tickets to live performances. If the wine-and-cheese crowd can enjoy the music, even as background music (so long as they don't interrupt those who are listening more deeply), and support it financially in ways that musicians often can't, then I don't begrudge them their place next to me on the lawn.

As I've said before, there really isn't an ideal venue for live jazz in the Metroplex at the moment. In fact, Halfling and I have seriously discussed opening a venue of our own someday, when we have the resources to do so. We'd have people on board with enough business sense to keep it from losing money, but it would be primarily musician-run, most definitely an all-ages club (a soapbox issue of mine, as you may know), and all about the music. This is probably waaay down the road, as we'll need some capital behind us first. (That being said, if you're reading this site and have a few extra hundred thousand bucks to throw around towards helping me and my best friend realize one of our dreams, gimme a shout and I'll give you my PayPal address. Heh heh.)

Oh, there was a slight downside to the evening in that a really drunk guy a few blankets away saw everyone's UNT shirts (yes, everyone but me, the one guy with a degree from there, was wearing one) and seized on the moment to strike up an interminable conversation. It's chronicled in Dingus's post about last night, so I'll direct you there rather than being the Department of Redundancy Department.

At any rate, I think Branford occasionally gets lost in the wake of some of the flashier players out there; tonight reminded me how enjoyable and important he is. My collection of his stuff has some big gaps in it which need to be filled soon. Maybe next time I can again hear him in a place that's all about the music, but this was a great way to spend a nice summer evening.

(Incidentally, the obscure title of this post comes from the fact that Branford's longtime nickname is Steepy; his newest CD is a compilation called The Steep Anthology.)

Marsalis on music: Branford was interviewed in yesterday's paper, and he happened to mention how, if you're performing in the South, people always talk when you play. Read the whole story here.

Debating dingosity: Dingus weighs in on the music snobbery issue.

(UPDATE: I just read the review of the concert in the paper today, and in the accompanying picture, you can see us! The big sculpture, the tall standing usher guy and the unique Murchison design on the back of Halfling's College of Music shirt are all readily visible. Maybe I'll circle us in red Sharpie and scan the thing and post it up here eventually.)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Music Snobbery Debate

The "Nickelback vs. Nickelback" mp3 that was the subject of yesterday's post seems to have generated a lot of controversy on the blogosphere (not from my posting, of course, since only four people read this site besides those listed on the sidebar). The original posting on (which I linked to because it allowed the quickest access to the mp3 itself) actually went up in April, but the controversy started after Ryan of Dead Parrot Society posted his commentary over the weekend. This generated a strong response from Chris of Signifying Nothing, who took Ryan to task for being pretentious. Other bloggers chimed in from various sides, and it got to be a pretty deep discussion of art vs. commerce. I won't even attempt to comment on every issue of this debate right now; I just wanted to post some of the links in case you're interested.

However, one thing I read did prompt me to speak up: Will of Crescat Sententia noted that "(t)he mix sounds (to my ear, and apparently others) quite good, and better than either song individually. This is supposed to prove that Nickelback sucks, and that their music is "all the same". Of course what it actually proves is that two particular Nickelback songs have some interesting harmonies, and don't sound dissonant or unpleasant when they overlap."

Yeah, but there's more to it than that. I listened to this thing over and over again through my trained musician's ears (since they're the only ears I have...and by this I'm simply stating my background and not implying that my being a trained musician makes my opinion any more vaild than someone else's), and it's more than just harmonies that overlap really is the same freaking song. If it were only the chord progressions that were the same, it might be a different story; there are, after all, entire blues CD's on which all the tunes employ the standard blues progression (which, come to think of it, is why I have difficulty sitting through an entire blues concert...but I digress). The songs in the mp3 mix are alike in nearly every way: they build and relax tension at the same time, the vocals in each speaker provide nice--even beautifully contrapuntal at times--background vocals for the ones in the other; the little breaks after the chorus happen simultaneously; everything aligns so perfectly, it's just scary. It's like the two songs are onetime Siamese twins who became reattached (don't think too hard about that in the literal sense, OK?). I'm sorry, but to me, that just shows a severe lack of creativity on the band's part.

I'll let Ryan from Dead Parrots have the last words on this: "Formulaic is just fine if it's done well, and if it at least tries to be interesting. Part of the beauty is, even when you know what to expect at most every turn, there are little bits of the unexpected to enjoy, little flourishes.
But when you're an artist who doesn't even try to do something different than you did the last time around, that's lame...(a)nd one of the things I don't like is when a band puts out a "new" song that's so similar to their last single that you can play them at the same time and everything -- timing, tone, music, everything -- blends perfectly. I don't think it's pretentious to point that out."

Of course, considering the nature of the Machine, it's possible that the band's recording label actually told them to make the same song twice...

I'm betting there will be more on this subject, from me and others; I'll post the links to the better stuff as I run across it.

Blow out the candles: Happy birthday Zack! Hope you have a great one; the burrito's on me at some point. I haven't forgotten about that awesome surprise last Christmas either, so there'll be a cool "birthdaychristmas" (Christday? Birthmas?) present in your near future.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

This is hilarious...

Longtime readers know that I've been ranting against the machine of Big Music for quite some time now (trust me, I'd talk about this a lot more on here if I weren't so tired at the end of the day). The subject came up again tonight when Ben and I were discussing this tune he's trying to arrange for big band. When he told me the title, I said I'd never heard it, and his response was "it's all over the radio." I reminded him that since commercial radio in our area is really awful (which means it's awful everywhere, because the same three companies own most of the broadcast outlets in this country, making it all homogenized beyond belief), I usually listen to CD's in my car instead.

And then, hot on the heels of this discussion, my almost-nightly trip through the blogosphere led me to this site, where you can access something that's truly hilarious and quite sad at the same time: an mp3 where two Nickelback songs have been mixed together (one coming out of the left speaker, the other out of the right), and the result meshes together almost perfectly! While you almost have to marvel at the "skills" of a band that can make money off the same song twice, this sure does highlight the cut-and-paste nature of today's hit factories.

It's funny, but I feel energized now, despite being tired all night. I don't think that this blog had gotten too fluffy or journalesque or anything, but tonight's discovery reminds me that I need to be topical every now and then, and the bastardization of my beloved art of music by talentless corporate hacks is sure a good topic to keep up with, isn't it? The Musings may have gotten a bit of its edge back tonight...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I felt it was my duty to share this song in order to spread the word on how horrible music is today, and I hope you all do the same. Oddly enough, this song incest sounds better than anything Nickelback will ever actually play."--Brandon of, the site where you can access the mp3.

(UPDATE: Someone did the exact same thing to Linkin Park.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Office Party

It's been a longstanding joke at the college about how I don't have an office. Before our syllabi got all standardized and formal, I used to put that my office was the Food Court, and that was in fact where I held office hours when needed. But I do have business cards, and I'm always dropping them in fishbowls at various restaurants in an effort to win free food (sometimes I think I those cards may have won me more food than they have gotten me students or gigs). I've won the "party platter" from Subway and a few individual burritos, but I always had my eyes on the prize: the Chipotle office party.

Last week, I got a message on my answering machine from a girl who sounded cute (deferring for the moment the debate on how someone can "sound" cute and how often that aligns with me, she did), telling me that I had won the office party for the Frisco location. This was especially cool because it meant that the winning card was the one I'd dropped in there during my birthday Trifecta. It also meant that I could recreate that birthday celebration with Halfling and Dingus there this time, and they could experience their first Trifecta in the process.

After figuring out how many people constituted my "office" (up to ten) and could our "free lunch" take place at dinnertime (indeed it could), we decided to hold it tonight during our usual post-big band burrito hour.

Along with Halfling and Dingus, all of my birthday Trifectologists were in place (Coop, Zack, Jazzy G, Micah, Chris). The latter two met us there, Dingus rode in the G-Box, and the rest piled in the newly-repaired Kevmobile 1.2. It was really cool to just go up to the front, say "hey, we're the office party," and get free food. There wasn't a table that would hold us, so we dominated the "bar" area. The burritos were uniformly good, probably in no small part because we didn't even have to get our wallets out (Chris did anyway for a second, on general principle). Of course, I dropped another card in the fishbowl, and we all pondered how excellent it would be if I won again.

As always, we completed the other two-thirds of the Trifecta back-to-back, taking the Krispy Kreme donuts to Starbucks, where this time we took up three tables, mostly due to Zack bringing his laptop to test out the Wi-Fi in there. The Starbucking lasted for over an hour, as Halfling and Coop regaled us with stories from their lifeguard gig, and most of us started talking details for the upcoming Branford Marsalis concert on the lawn of the DMA later in the week. We were also lucky to see a poster on the way out of Starbucks (they're a sponsor) telling us that the concert is in fact on Friday night, as we'd all had it in our heads that it would be on Thursday, the day when the free concerts had previously been held.

So that's three Trifectas for the summer so far. Halfling and I need to start playing racquetball again so that I can counteract the calories from these tasty evenings. We also proved tonight that sometimes, there is such a thing as a free lunch dinner, and you don't have to have a physical office to have a good time with your "co-workers."

(UPDATE: Dingus posted a list of the positions that last night's participants might hold in the office of a theoretical Kev Inc.; it's not only funny but pretty accurate.)

Sunday, June 20, 2004

A Bit of Dad's Day Trivia

I had several people ask if I called Dad today for Father's Day. These would of course be people who didn't know that he and Mom are still in China. Since calling would be out of the question (I have the numbers for where they'll be each day, but the combination of cost, lack of precise knowledge of the time difference between here and there, and language barrier kept that from happening this time), I sent a nice little e-card, though I realized way too late that I should have sent it yesterday. Ehh, it's the thought that counts; who knows if they'll be able to find a "smoky little Internet cafe" today anyway, like they did a few days ago.

Anyway, here's the trivia: A survey was completed a few years ago by a major telecommunications company (I think it's AT&T, but don't hold me to it), and they unearthed a few "fun facts":

Q: On what day are the most long-distance calls placed?
A: Believe it or not, it's not Christmas--it's Mother's Day.

Q: On what day are the most collect long-distance calls placed?
A: Yup, you probably guessed this one--Father's Day.

I sure wouldn't do that to Dad in China this year. I would be so cut out of the will...

Candles and greetings: Happy birthday to Stout, the current time-record holder in the 2BC; also, welcome back Fizban (he signed onto AIM and promptly put up an away message reading "sleep," and after a week and a half in Brazil, who'd blame him?).

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Wallpaper Hangin'

(For the benefit of the four people outside my circle of friends who read this blog regularly, I try to make this site a little bit more than just a personal journal. Every once in a while, I'll rant--or rave--on certain issues of the day, and sometimes, I'll do a post that gives the non-musician reader a little insight on what it's like to be a working musician. This is one of those posts...)

I played a "wallpaper" gig last night. For the uninitiated, that means a performance that really isn't intended to be listened to per se, but instead serves as the unobtrusive soundtrack for some other event, such as a party, banquet, wedding reception, etc. This one had a Latin theme, so we were instructed to play as many bossas as possible (no problem). It was scheduled to go from 7:30-11 p.m. (that means three sets, with breaks--about right). We were told to wear slacks and ties, and that we would be playing in the backyard by the pool (wait a minute--those two things don't go very well together). Last week's pig roast gig was hot enough; this had the potential to be much, much worse.

The thing that's always interesting about doing a "society" gig like this is that you have no idea how you'll be treated by everyone. In some cases, you're actually part of the party (like the pig roast, where we have a friendly relationship with the "pig team" and have the run of the whole food line; they even make sure to save dessert for us). Sometimes, you're treated cordially enough, but you don't get invited to eat and pretty much stay out of the way of the party (I refer to this as being a "prop"). On rare occasion, you're treated with downright hostility, such as at the wedding reception I once played where the band was explicitly instructed not to talk to the guests (my guess is that the bride here was a younger daughter, and someone must have been hit on by a bandmember at the older daughter's wedding). We also had to take our breaks in the service hallways in the bowels of the building during that gig. Miles came up with the best phrase to describe the musicians in that situation: "human debris."

I had the longest drive of anyone in the band (a small one: guitar, bass, drums and me on tenor), so I was the last one to get there at setup time. We were playing at a model home in a brand-new neighborhood, so there was plenty of street parking that wasn't in front of anyone's house. Miles was afraid that this would be a human-debris gig, because, on his way through the front of the house with his rather large amp, a lady just looked at him and motioned him away, saying, "Back! Back!" (meaning we were supposed to go directly around back and not through the main part of the house; every musician has stories about playing hotels and what-not and having to enter through the kitchen). However, I was greeted by a much nicer lady who even offered to carry some of my stuff (an offer which I, being a true gentleman--and having only a tenor, a Real Book and a Manhasset stand to carry--of course gracefully declined); she showed me a more direct way to the backyard.

Despite the hot temperature of the day, the gig actually turned out fine, save for the fact that we were set up in the grass and the drumset kept sinking. The house in question cost $1.2 million, and a house of that price (and size) provides a remarkable amount of shade to an east-side backyard, so we were never in direct sunlight. We were wondering how we were going to see after it got dark, but the floodlights on the corner of the house did the trick. We also wondered about playing after 10 p.m. (imagining that we might be running afoul of the local noise ordinance), but it turns out that the residents of the few occupied houses on the block were given free tickets to the party.

The one experience during setup notwithstanding, the ladies running the event were all extremely nice to us; one of them even was surprised that we were not requesting "anything harder" to drink than the water she brought us. Besides the general no-drinking-on-gigs ethic that many players adopt at functions like this, the fact was, we hadn't been invited to eat, and I wasn't forward enough to mention that none of us wanted to drink on an empty stomach. (It's always best when the parameters for this are specified in advance--do we get to eat or not?--because otherwise, it's just awkward, and we end up staring longingly at the food spread during our breaks.)

So we were pretty much "props" all night, though one guy did come up and ask us a bunch of questions, like how much it would cost to book a group like this and so on. He seemed amazed when we told him that the four of us had never played together as a group before tonight (though each of us had played with at least one of the others before, and I had played with all three of them), and even more amazed to find out that he could hire anything from a trio all the way up to a full big band. He didn't have any specific function in mind, but I gave him a business card for good measure.

And no, despite all evidence to the contrary, this wasn't a "people roast" after all. The weather may have said it was 80 degrees when I got in my car, but, between the shade of the massive house, the water and electric fans they gave us, and the nice breeze that blew in all night, I didn't even so much as roll my sleeves up. We even got to stop half an hour early. God was smiling on us last night.

Oh yeah, and you'd be surprised how many standard swing tunes can be successfully turned into bossas. Since nobody was really listening to us, we pretty much played for us, and we had a good time doing so.

I also found out yesterday that I have a really cool gig in late July; I'll keep it under wraps for now and post about it when it gets closer.

I got my baby back, baby back, baby back: Kevmobile 1.2 is back. I got her from the shop at lunchtime today, right smack in the middle of the time estimate I had been given the other day. With her freshly-painted coat shining in the noonday sun, she looked even newer than when I bought her in October of '02. It really wasn't all that weird to drive a stick after a week and a half, and I loved going through the TollTag-only lane on the George Bush again. I hope I can find someone with a digital camera to take a picture before the next rain.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: (overheard while waiting to return my rental car at the service place)
LITTLE KID (playing with a toy car in the waiting area): Vrrroom, vrrroom.
CUSTOMER LADY: Are you driving?
LITTLE KID: Mmm hmm.
CUSTOMER LADY: Well, I'm glad you're getting started at an early age. My daughter drove my car into my house; that's why I'm here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Marathon Wednesday

Today, I may have set a length record for teaching on a summer day. I went from 9:30 until 11:30, and then again nonstop from 1:30 until 8. While Wednesdays are long during the year as well (the subject of an earlier post), it seems even more so in the summer because all the lessons are back-to-back-to-back, without even the seven minutes between classes that happen during the school year. Even though I'm scheduled for this long time every week, at least one person is usually on vacation every week. Today, everyone was here.

I figured I'd be toast when the day was over, but I wasn't. Not at all. Perhaps it's easier to just go without stopping, to keep the momentum up. Maybe it was the piece of Dingus Cake I had during a two-minute break while someone was putting their horn together (I've always wondered about the blood-sugar drop during those long teaching sessions). At any rate, it felt great, which is good to know, seeing as how this is my busiest summer of teaching ever and there'll be more days like today. does that work? Evidently, the Internet went out at the college today. They notified everyone of this problem by...sending them an email? Yup, that's exactly what happened. I can't wait until they try to call everyone to tell them that the phones have gone out...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "So then, I just need to lower my liver a little bit?"--A student who was trying to get her low notes to come out better. The word she actually meant to say was "lungs."

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Dingus Quiz II

Dingus took another quiz and passed the site along to me. The results varied...

How to make a Kev

3 parts jealousy

5 parts brilliance

1 part leadership
Combine in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Serve with a slice of sadness and a pinch of salt. Yum!

Jealousy? Sadness? No way. And I hate salt...

Then later, I tried it in lowercase:

How to make a kev

5 parts friendliness

5 parts humour

1 part instinct
Combine in a tall glass half filled with crushed ice. Add fitness to taste! Do not overindulge!

Much for the formal name:

How to make a Kevin

3 parts friendliness

1 part courage

5 parts ego
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add curiosity to taste! Do not overindulge!

This is mostly OK, but...five parts ego?? You gotta be kidding. Incidentally, entering "kevin" with a small K yielded five parts pride, one part "humour" and one part instinct.


Personality cocktail

Dingus's turned out way better than mine did, though we all had a laugh over the heavy concentration of "beauty" used in the making of a Dingus. I think I'll come back and try again in a few days, since they seem to change after a while.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Bad Traffic, Even Worse Baseball and Cheap Bowling

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but yesterday was a flurry of activities for me. It started out as most Sundays do, on the way to church, except this time I wasn't playing, since I was meeting most of the DFWAAA for an early lunch before the 1:00 Rangers game. That meant I was only able to attend the early contemporary service. I got off to a late start, but I anticipated being able to get there well before the sermon.

A few exits before the High Five, traffic slowed to a crawl. Surely there wasn't construction on a Sunday....I turned on the traffic report and found out that there had been an earlier wreck in the construction area, which brought out a fire truck...which itself got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. It appeared that I could still get on westbound LBJ, so I didn't bail from the freeway or anything.

To make a long story short, I was stuck in this mess for 45 minutes! It turned out that yet another link in this chain-reaction had blocked the LBJ ramp as well. Had I gone to church, it would have been about 2/3 of the way through the sermon. Sure, there are some weeks I don't get to play, but man, I hate missing it completely when I'm in town. I had also missed my coffee (expecting to get some at church), so I made a quick stop at the Starbucks in West Village (only one I could think of between where I was and Arlington).

After arriving at the parking area, I did a quick U-turn, as I found out that my favorite $5 lot for weekday games is a $10 lot on the weekends. The tiny little lot before that was $5 still, so I went for that (though I noticed on the long walk to the ballpark that there was a much closer lot for six bucks...but ehh, exercise is good.

There was a major change in the restaurant in right field, as Friday's didn't renew its contract over the off-season; taking over was something called the Rawlings All-American Grille. Not much changed inside; it's still a monster sports bar, basically, even if the menu is a bit different. Service for my part of the table was slooooow, but hopefully they'll get the kinks out before long.

We got to our seats in the third row of the upper Home Run Porch, and something was definitely amiss: one seat was totally covered in bird crap, and the one next to it was...wet? It wasn't raining; what was the deal? It was later explained to us that condensation from a cooling unit for the giant scoreboard on the roof must have been dripping into a leaky gutter; they offered to reseat our whole group, but we liked our location, so we dealt with it.

The DFWAAA game always seems to be a curse on the Rangers, and this year was no exception: they lost 13-2 to the Cardinals. It was 12-0 after three innings. Not a great outing, although it was a great hang, especially once people started to leave and the remaining members of our group could all sit together in the shade and away from the Chinese water torture coming off the roof.

Last night started the new summer Sunday tradition of Cheap Bowling Night. Jazzy G drove out from Lake Corinth Creek to join Dingus, Coop and myself at Starbucks first, then on to Bowl-A-Rama for the dollar game night. It was totally packed (next week, we're there at 9:00 on the dot, no excessive Starbucking allowed), but we did manage to get two games in before closing. Once I own my own shoes (soon?), it'll be cheap beyond belief.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Use your inside voice."--A sign in the West Village parking area, reminding late-night clubgoers that people actually live in those lofts up there.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Roastin' the Pig (Part V)

Last night was another edition of the famous Pig Roast, where a small jazz combo from the college played and, in the process, got to chow down on some delectable pig. In case you missed this story last year, the format was the same as always: the roast is purchased at an auction, with the proceeds going to a worthy cause; the Pig Team comes to the winner's house with their portable roaster, starting the pig sometimes as much as a day in advance; the team prepares all the rest of the food (including the amazing 27-bean casserole and the righteous cobbler topped with cinnamon ice cream from a local place called Henry's), and all the auction-winners have to do is invite their friends over for an awesome party. I don't know how much the winning bid usually goes for, but the house is always huge and usually surrounded by more just like it. The jazz combo serves as the musical entertainment for the party, and the Pig Team kicks in some scholarship/travel money to the college for doing so.

After a few issues with the driving directions, which Jazzy G expounds upon in her recent post, we arrived and started to set up. It was a bit on the sunny side (of the street?) when we got there, so most of the guests were sitting around on the other side of the pool for our first set. If nothing else, the Pig Team enjoyed what we did at that point. It's always interesting having Kris on piano; it's not his primary axe, of course, and my hat's off to him for that alone, but he did a great job of playing off the soloists, throwing in creative substitutions, etc. Between sets, we munched on the traditional spicy pretzels (gotta get that recipe...and yes, it's rare when I say that) and some Fritos that a guy (yes, that was his name, Guy) brought us. The Fritos ended up having a slug in them, which G picked out herself, but I'm sure it got in there from the vines along the fence and was not part of the original presentation.

Once the pig was served, we played some more, then we got our own turn at the table (trough?) while they made some announcements and told at least one really bad joke. We did the shortest of all closing sets (two tunes) until it got too dark to read our music anymore.

The pig roast is always a great gig. It's not a strenuous night of playing, the food is amazing, and we always get showered with compliments from nearly everyone. They've had six of them, all told; this is the fifth one I've been involved with, and I'm really looking forward to the next one.

The Asians still have it right: The only thing close to a downside about tonight was that I had to wear shoes for five solid hours, the longest time since graduation day two weeks ago. In the time since then, I've usually been either in my house, where I'm always unshod, or wearing my new Old Navy Leather Flip-Flops almost everywhere else. My feet were killing me by the end of the gig; I was happy to have brought said flip-flops in the car with me for the ride home. Gotta love summer...

And I couldn't let this go unsaid: Welcome back Halfling!

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Here's the backstory: My lawn had been in need of mowing for a long time. Fizban was supposed to do it quite a while ago, but stuff kept getting in the way. Eventually, Dingus said he'd take over the job, but we had to wait for it to stop raining for three solid days before he could come over and do so. It was starting to look like a jungle, since Fizban hadn't weed-eated (-eaten?) the previous time; he didn't feel comfortable using my electric trimmer, and his own device had run out of some special mixture of fuel that his dad had to make (Papa Fizban's Magic Trimmer Potion: three parts gasoline, two parts oil, one part eye of newt). Dingus said that, with the grass and weeds so tall, my house looked like it belonged to an old lady who had 37 cats. (Sorry, Tasha is plenty, thanks.)

So anyway, my lawn finally got mowed yesterday. And today, with pure government efficiency, I got a violation notice from the city's code enforcement bureau saying that my grass was too high. It was dated yesterday, probably mere hours before Dingus came over and made me not in violation anymore.

The timing of this bugged me for several reasons, the main one being that we had just gotten finished with three freaking days of rain in a row. You would think that someone who works for the city actually was in the area to know that and would thus give Joe Citizen at least a full rain-free day to cut the grass before pouncing on him.

(In case you're wondering why I didn't just do this my own dang self when Fizban got busy, there's a good reason--I'm allergic to grass. If I can hire out a college student to do it for Chipotle burritos or free bowling or whatever, I'll most likely do so. However, it had gotten so bad this week that I would have just doubled up on allergy medicine and done it myself, but again, it rained for three freaking days. They didn't really expect me to go out there in a driving rainstorm and cut my grass, did they?)

So even though the problem is solved, I'm trying to decide whether I should call the phone number at the bottom of the letter on Monday. I would start out by telling the guy that the problem was solved, but it'd be hard to avoid the temptation to chew him out for being excessively overzealous at his job and wasting the city's money (and my tax money by extension) for sending out a notice for a violation that was resolved before the letter even hit my mailbox.

[rant] I know I'm not an anarchist (though I have libertarian leanings in some areas), but I'm not too fond of government most of the time. With the exception of the big things, like defending our shores and the proverbial "making the trains run on time," there aren't too many things that government can do that the private sector can't do better and cheaper. I really hate giving them so much of my money in the form of taxes when I know how much of it ends up being wasted.

I'm trying to figure out why I have such a low opinion of the government (especially the local variety) in so many areas. I think it has to do with the nature of how the thing is set up. I've never been a fan of big bureaucracies; most of them are inherently corrupt--not necessarily corrupt as in crooked (though there are plenty of those--can you say Enron?), but corrupt as in a corrupted file on a computer. After a while, there are so many layers of crap in a bureaucracy that the entire thing ceases to function efficiently, if at all. There are plenty of examples of this in our society, but government is one of the most obvious ones.

Part of me says that I shouldn't chew out the person who sent me the violation notice, because it's not his fault; he's not being paid to think, just to do what he's told. But many times, the people in these jobs don't help the process at all. It's nearly impossible to punish someone in a government job, and even more impossible to fire them, so I think many of them end up with a certain feeling of entitlement. Because of this, they have absolutely no incentive to do their jobs well, and many of them don't. This sense of entitlement also encourages some of them to be extremely bossy with the people they are supposed to be serving, which, granted, must be one of the few perks of the job, along with the aforementioned Teflon coating that keeps them from getting fired.

Ultimately, the problem is that the mindset of many government workers dictates that rules are more important than people, and this is totally backwards. If you just mete out citations and punishments blindly, in the name of "following the rules," then you're using a one-size-fits-all approach with a group of people of many sizes, and it just doesn't work. Granted, actually tailoring your response to the specific needs of the "customers" (who in this case don't have the option of patronizing the competition) requires thinking--creative thinking, even--and perhaps creative people just aren't attracted to government jobs. I don't pretend to be representative of the entire creative community, but I know that the mere thought of working in any bureaucracy just about makes me break out in hives. (It's a good thing that I work for myself and go to a nondenominational church--that means that two big potential bureaucracies aren't a part of my life.)

So to those in such a position, I would say one thing: Behind each problem is a person. Deal with it in that manner, and you're likely to be more successful and have a much nicer day at the office. Treat everyone like a number, and you shouldn't be surprised when people call up and bite your head off from time to time. [/rant]

As for me, I feel much better now after writing this; maybe I won't make that phone call on Monday after all.

Is there anybody out there? Dingus has touched on this in his latest post, but I'm chiming in as well: This is the slowest weekend of the summer, in a way, because the volume of my good friends who are elsewhere at the moment has hit its apex. Here's the rundown:

Halfling: Orlando (gets back tomorrow...yay)
Fizban: Brazil, till the 20th
Demon Matt: Smelling the money in Greeley for about two weeks
Zack: Houston for the weekend

Of the locals, that pretty much leaves me, Dingus and Coop, and Dingus is playing in a concert tonight. Fortunately, this weekend won't be as dull as it might seem, as I'm playing with some college folks for the famous "pig roast" tonight and going to a Rangers game with the DFWAAA tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, June 11, 2004

The Movable Party

I had a good celebration yesterday, spread out over different parts of the day and many different locations.

Even though I had to get up way too early to teach (first lesson was at 8:30), it was a good birthday. I met Dingus for lunch at Chili's, since he was going to miss the Trifecta later on. During the day, Halfling called from Orlando, Mom and Dad emailed from China, and my sister called from Austin. Micah came over and chilled for a bit while we were waiting for Coop to come home from Marimba Madness. Once he did, Coop and I went to get Zack, Micah went to get a friend of his, and we all headed out for Frisco and the Trifecta.

I drove because I had the biggest car, but being without my TollTag definitely took its...toll. I had been hoarding quarters all week, but going through the Coit toll plaza on the George Bush was definitely a fiasco on this trip. It rejected some of my money (huh?), I missed the basket on a few occasions, and then, even though the toll plazas allegedly don't take pennies, the little window told me I still owed it 13 cents. The girls in the car behind us were laughing (which was too bad, as they were rather hot), but the embarrassment was minimized by me not being in my own car.

We ended up having quite a good-sized group for the Trifecta; Chris from 15th Street Jazz met us up there, as did Jazzy G eventually. They all sang Happy Birthday to me in Chipotle (yeah, they sang like true instrumentalists, but at least they harmonized the ending) and I was appropriately embarrassed. After that, we got the donuts from Krispy Kreme and took them to Starbucks, just like always, and we chilled there for quite a long time.

Afterwards, we headed back to my house to drop off Coop and Zack and head out to Bowl-a-Rama to meet up with Dingus and Demon Matt (G rode with us since it was easier than having her follow us). Despite G's pronouncement that she would "kick my butt" on the lanes, she was having issues with both her ball and her shoes, so the night was mine, as I completely regained the form I thought I'd lost a few weeks ago. Thankfully, a few of their off-duty employees were bowling late, as it was way past closing time when we finished our second game.

The jam session we hoped to have didn't materialize after that, as I still needed to take G back to Frisco, but there'll be plenty of those later on, and way more celebrations once Halfling gets back, and again next month when my parents are back. All in all, it was great to be able to spend "my special day" with nearly everyone close to me who was in the general vicinity.

My Birthday Horoscope

Incredible self-confidence bursts forth this year, partially having to do with all the hard work you've put in recently. August is a big money month. Take on new employment, even if you keep your other job, too. By the new year, you'll be able to invest as you want to. A passionate Leo or Cancer makes love a joyful, easygoing experience.

--Joyce Jillson

I don't actually believe in this stuff, but it is entertaining. The "taking on new employment" could be as simple as having some gigs, and I'm all about that. I'd be even more all about August being a "big money month" too...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's just after midnight, so I guess I can go into my annual brush with narcissism and wish myself a happy birthday on this site. It's been a great year, and I have a feeling that this next one will be even better. As I've already mentioned, a lot of close friends and family are elsewhere today, so the celebrations will not be limited to this day alone. Just like a year ago, my birthday will be brought to you by the letter B: in addtion to the birthday itself, there will be burritos (a Trifecta, even), bowling (duhh) and bebop (a jam session is sure to ensue at day's end). Before that is a decent-sized day of teaching, so I'll keep this post short for now.

Bon Voyage, Part III: This time it's Fizban, who's off to Brazil on a mission trip. Maybe I'll go back and translate "bon voyage" into Portuguese on the Babelfish, but I'm too lazy now (heh).

Mmm, donuts: Speaking of the Trifecta, one of its elements is coming closer to home: a Krispy Kreme is being built in Plano! It'll be on Central right next to the new Red Lobster. You could technically do a Plano Trifecta after that, except you'd lose the within-walking-distance part, which is half the fun (and all of the making up for such gastronomic excess). You'd have to walk from the 15th St. Chipotle to the 15th St. Starbucks (very doable) to the new Krispy Kreme (ack). Now watch, someone will be crazy enough to do it...naah, I think we're all too lazy for that.

(Wow, I've talked about being lazy twice in this can tell it's summer around here.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Enter the kPod

Today, after way too much time, I finally put Kevmobile 1.2 in the shop to fix the damage from my wreck back in March. They say it'll take "ten working days" to fix, but I'm hoping they're just being pessimistic on purpose, like some restaurants do when they tell you a fifteen-minute wait will take thirty minutes.

Needless to say, I'm in a rental vehicle while this all goes down. The rental place that's attached to the service center was totally out of cars, so I had to go with what was left at their other location, which was something I'd never heard of before today: a Daewoo Lanos. It's so....small. It looks like one of those pods that they launch from a spaceship in a sci-fi movie. In fact, that's my nickname for it: the kPod. I just wish the kPod had an iPod; a cassette player ain't doin' it for me. Also, the trunk doesn't open from inside, and the driver's side door doesn't lock from the inside either, and it's just so...small (yeah, I know I already said that; here's a picture to prove it). It's nothing like Kevmobile 1.2 in any way,'s the exact same color. Weird. When I drove up in it to Chipotle after big band, Dingus said, "That just looks so awkward." Oh, and it also has an expired inspection sticker (it was raining like crazy when I got it this afternoon, so I didn't notice till I got home tonight), which means maybe I can "upgrade" in a day or so.

(UPDATE: I did indeed get to upgrade the next day; after yet another car with an expired sticker, I finally got in a "legal" one--a Chevy Malibu, which is almost Dingus-sized compared to what I'm used to, but at least it has a CD player.)

IT'S HERE!: The faculty CD from Jazz Camp arrived today. It sounds great; I have to remind myself that I'm actually in this band. It's on an actual label, Sea Breeze Jazz, and it already has its own page on their site. Check out Track #9 for a solo from a certain unnamed bari player (heh heh).

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "According to my reading of the Americans with Disabilities Act, trombones are not required to tune."--The new bass bone guy in big band, as the Bb was passed around. It's gonna be a fun summer in there.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Close Call

This morning, I did one of the stupidest things I've done in years...but thankfully, the repercussions were few.

About half an hour before my first lesson, I went to get coffee and make some copies of music. I locked the inside part of my front door, closed it, reached into my pocket to get the keys to lock the deadbolt, and HOOOOOOOLY CRAP!!!!

My keys were not in my pocket.

Evidently, when I switched things from the pockets of yesterday's pants to today's (yes, I'm lazy that way), I had neglected the pocket with the keys. This proved to be quite a dilemma, as there are only three other working keys to Casa de Kev. They are in the possession of the following people:

--Halfling. If you've been following this blog, you'll recall that he's at Disney World at the moment.
--Mom and Dad. Again, if you've paid attention, you know they're in China (plus they live 300 miles away even when they're at home).
--Zack. He lives maybe two minutes away, but at 9:30 a.m., I'm thinking he's at work already.

So my only option was to call Zack and hope for the best (OK, besides the unappealing options of throwing down cash for a locksmith or crawling through my unlit, unfloored attic from the garage). I figured I was probably either waking him up or he was long gone, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Thankfully Zack was not at work yet, and, while not fully awake when I called, he said he needed to be anyway, so over he came in his trusty RSX, saving the day. I had only locked myself out of something two previous times: the car in high school, and the car/apartment (keys were actually in the car, thus locking me out of both) when I first lived in Garland. With any luck, I won't be this careless again anytime soon.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Kev's Backyard Pet Orphanage?

The other day, somebody pointed out that there was a kitten on my back porch. A few days later, there was another one also, plus a bigger cat. No way was I going to feed them, even though I obviously have cat food, because then they'd never leave. However, tonight I noticed that perhaps I wouldn't have to do that, as one of the kittens was chowing down on a bird! The bird wasn't much smaller than the kitten itself.

I wonder if they'll leave once the lawn gets mowed (by Fizban if he can get to it before his mission trip, or by me otherwise), and I wonder how badly Tasha would freak out if she ever saw an entire cat family out the window in the back door. Knowing her, she'd probably knock herself out trying to get through the glass.

SPAM OF THE WEEK: I get some interesting spams every once and a while--ones that rise above the usual GENERIC VIAGRA ONLINE and what-not. Here's my favorite one of the past week:

Subject: How would you like to be called REVEREND?

Become a legally ordained minister within 48 hours

As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church!

Perform Weddings, Funerals, Perform Baptisms, Forgiveness of Sins
Visit Correctional Facilities

Want to start your own church?

Press here to find out how

And no, I'm not actually keeping the link in there; who knows where that would lead. The funny thing is, a few years ago I got something in the mail addressed to "Rev. Kevin McNerney." Kev the Rev? Has a nice ring to it...

QUOTE OF THE (OTHER) DAY: "It's a crazy little world in my closet."--Woody, the other night on AIM during her recent round of spring cleaning.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Freaky but Cool

Stuff like this has happened before, but this one was really wild.

I went to the DPS yesterday morning to get my driver's license renewed in advance of next week's birthday; I'd been lazy the past two times and renewed by mail, with the result being that the picture (taken back when I weighed more and was goatee-less), looks nothing like me now. I decided that, in the post-9/11 world of flying, it would behoove me to have a more updated picture, so I decided to brave the crowds and get one done for this renewal. (I've always liked that word "behoove," which sounds more like an unspeakably cruel thing to do to a cow or horse than what it actually means.)

Anyway, my route to the DPS takes me right past Halfling's neighborhood, which has a stoplight at its entrance. As I approached that intersection (at which I had a green light), a thought entered my mind: "How funny would it be if Halfling were sitting in the first car at the intersection?" As I passed through, I found out that was exactly what was happening. Freaky.

(Keep in mind that there's a parking lot blocking the view of that street until you get right up on the intersection, so I really couldn't see the car beforehand. There was no reason for me to think that Halfling would be sitting there...except that he was.)

He didn't see me, and by the time I confirmed (by license plate number) that it was indeed him, it was too late to honk, but I called his cell so he could share in the amazement. He eventually caught up to me and we had a little car-to-car conversation at a couple of red lights.

And that afternoon, I wished him bon voyage, as he and his family left town on a Disney vacation. That means he'll miss my birthday next week, but there will be plenty more celebrations afterwards. Fizban will be on his mission trip by then as well, and my parents will still be in China, so hey...I'll celebrate mulitiple times, no problem.

Friday, June 04, 2004

It Takes Me Back...

I've been kickin' it old school music-wise, twice in as many days.

The first time came about yesterday (OK, Wednesday, which technically isn't yesterday anymore, but I call the current day "today" until I go to bed), during a day of what Dingus would call "class-A hanging" with Halfling, when we went to the CD Warehouse behind Chipotle after dinner (almost any class-A hang would of course include the large burrito). Looking in the "new arrivals" jazz section, I happened upon something by the "Michael Brecker Band." I'm not sure he's ever actually called a group by that name, but it was also on a tiny little label (Jazz Line) that I'd never heard of before.

I've often spoken of the legendary bootleg tape that one of my friends made when we saw Brecker at Caravan of Dreams during my college days. I haven't busted it out in a long time, because most of my listening is done in the car, and nobody's car has a tape player anymore. So I was quite psyched to find out that this CD came from the exact same tour (in fact, it could have even been recorded at Caravan, as no recording location is listed). It only has three tunes on it, but one of them is the very-much-extended version of Original Rays, which was worth the price of the CD all by itself.

Original Rays, from Brecker's first solo CD, was already a nine-minute epic in the studio, but the live version was expanded to magnum-opus proportions. Most of that was done by Brecker alone on the EWI, a wind-driven synthesizer with saxophone fingerings. The studio intro included some cool stuff, such as the technique that Frank Mantooth called "parallel planing" (the use of a single line that's harmonized exactly at several set intervals), but it was fleshed out to around ten minutes on the tour. He would "tease" the melody every once in a while and then go into everything from Mozart quotes to full orchestral swells. In the middle, he kicked a switch on a box on the floor which provided a rhythmic accompaniment to his solo, which at that point sounded like an electric guitar (that rhythmic thing was a major influence on the riff that I came up with for the Foosball cadenza that Halfling and I did).

It was great to hear this version again after so many years (we even drove around the block so we could listen to the EWI portion uninterruptedly). Suddenly, in my mind, I was there again at Caravan, at the front table (close enough to get spit dropped on us from Brecker's bell, I always joked) with my college buds, experiencing a most amazing concert. I told Halfling that I wished we could find a time machine so that he could go back with me and hear this live too, though there would have been some weirdness if now-me had run into then-me while we were there. I'll have to email my friend who made the bootleg and tell him about this one.

The other take-me-back moment was on the way to The Day After Tomorrow tonight (don't think about that too hard), when Micah brought his Earth, Wind & Fire mix along for the ride. Dingus had never heard EWF before (he really dug it), and I was having flashbacks to almost every college marching band party I ever attended. They're coming to town in a few weeks; Micah's going, and I may join him. No matter what, I'm definitely putting the "I Am" CD in the car tomorrow.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Careful, don't bust any stitches now."--Me, to Micah, who recently underwent hernia surgery, when he matched the screaming high notes of EWF vocalist Philip Bailey.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Kev Takes The Dingus Quiz

OK, I entered my name into that little acronym-generator that Dingus posted on his site the other day, and this was how it came out:


I'd have to say I agree with that.

For me, entering my unabbreviated name didn't turn out nearly so well--sort of the opposite of how it worked for Dingus:


I have a few issues with that one. Exhausted, I'd agree with, most of the time, but I don't think that people get worn out by having me around. And anyone who's seen Casa de Kev or Kevmobile 1.2 most of the time will know that "neat" is not one of my attributes, unless maybe they're meaning that in a '60's-'70's kind of way, as in "what a neat guy." (Come to think of it, Dingus had a problem with the N in his given name too; his was "neglected." Guess there just aren't too many positive things, apart from "nice," that start with N.)

Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

(UPDATE: I found out that the results may change from day to day; I entered my nickname again two days later, and it came out as Keen, Explosive and Valiant, while my full name came out as Kinky, Earthy, Vigorous, Intelligent and Noisy, which sounds like five of the seven dwarfs in a porno remake of Snow White. Intelligent would, of course, be the nerdy one who never got any action.)

I need Zack to translate this headline too: Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad, who made it to Tokyo just fine and will spend today at Mt. Fuji...except that today might be tomorrow already; I don't totally have a handle on the time-change thing when it crosses the international date line.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

OK, I'm Gonna Get a Lot Done Today, Starting with...zzzzzzzzzzzz

I can tell that summer is in full swing now, though I'll have to get back on a normal sleep schedule by next week, when teaching fully kicks in. The past 24 hours went like this: Stayed up way too late last night, got up way too early this morning (had a friend staying over who needed a ride somewhere), then chilled out to read the paper and, in the process, took an accidental four-hour nap this afternoon. That's gonna mess me up later tonight...

It's very unusual to be home on a Tuesday night. Big band starts back up in a week and continues through the summer, so I may not find myself in this situation for months upon months. Considering how stormy the weather has been tonight, that's not completely bad. Besides, if I start to get cabin fever in here, the 15th Street Starbucks is open till midnight on weekdays now...yay.

Funny story of the day: Senior citizens in small town confuse bolt on speed-limit sign with decimal point and drive 1.5 mph. Read about it here.

(Thanks to UNEASYsilence for the tip.)