Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I love Thea's smile

It reminds me so much of my mother's smile. She passed away back in 2003, just before Thea was born. Oddly, or maybe aptly, their birthdays are only one day apart.

Liam's red microphone

He performed some wonderful seasonal songs at our friends Aaron and Meghan's house tonight. We had a great time with some actual adult conversation thanks to their two kids Graham and Keaton being such good hosts in their basement playroom. There was no fussing or drama. And Kelly got to enjoy some wine with our dinner, both of which were fabulous.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My pal Bob

I've been playing music with Bob since we met in June, 1983. My drums, which i bought from him in 1990, make their home at his house. He uses them in his band Conduit. I jammed with them at the holiday party for DC-SOAR (Society of Art Rock).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Planes & Trains

The kids had fun playing at the College Park Aviation Museum today. They had a special exhibition of O-scale trains including a Thomas Island of Sodor one (thankfully Sir Topham Hat was not present) and a Coors Silver Bullet one (What? 3 to 6 year old kids drink beer, right?)

Liam's daycare classmate Ginger is obscured by Thea in the picture; her dad John is helping her make a paper souvenier.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Namesake in Music

Todd Rundgren, 60 years on and still rockin the house! His band at Alexandria, Virginia's Birchmere club last night included drummer Prairie Prince from The Tubes, bassist Rachel Haden from That Dog, and longtime Rundgren associate keyboardist/guitarist Kasim Sulton. The show was loud and wonderful. They played some Todd hits and a complete performance of his newest album called Arena.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Great Falls, Md

This is looking over to Virginia and upstream. Great Falls is
really...uh....well, great!

Geology class field trip

Last Saturday we climbed some rocks and learned about some other rocks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Holy Smokes!

Saw this while in line for voting. I'm guessing Paint Branch Elementary doesn't have a "real" Alexander Calder.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yard play

Thea and Liam had a blast diggin' in the dirt yesterday. Liam refused
a photo op, though.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monsters are sweet

Kelly's monster cupcakes were a hit at our pumpkin carving/coloring
party last night. Other highlights in food include Akio's bar-b-que
ribs, E's lamb meatballs, Tiffany's caramel coconut rice krispie
treats, and Hankie's yummy brownies and cookies.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Some good Scottish war music.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ready for Halloween

Liam might be a lizard (dinosaur) or a "dalmeemashun" (pictured). Thea
will probably be a cheetah.

David Byrne @ Lyric in Baltimore

It's the best photo I could manage....more like David Blur-n.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Learning about Geology

In the neighborhood stream (Paint Branch).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Typical morning TV breakfast faces

Maya & Miguel is an interesting and entertaining show, apparently.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Motels

@the State Theater in Falls Church, VA

Another of my music heros

Martha Davis rockin the late oughts!

The Motels were a favorite of mine in the mid-eighties. Their new album This is actually as good if not better than anything they did back in the day. So right on to Martha for coming back with great songs. Her career in music started in 1971, so she's been at it for a long time.

Monday, August 18, 2008

There's this weird bog near my house

The cement "coffin" must be some kind of utility or something. But I imagine it to be the tomb of some resident from the past: someone who wanted to be immortalised. I have dubbed this bog Quercus Weld after a story my friend Doug wrote when we were teenagers. I don't know for sure if those are Oak trees in the picture, but it's likely as our subdivision is called Oak Springs. Also a weld is a meadow, so again it doesn't quite....but i digress. Doug, ever fond of puns, would probably suggest i call the bog Pete.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thea's Doodle-Pro Art

I think my lil girl is gonna be an artist. Check out this family portrait in which she begins by using the Doodle-Pro shape magnets to make the heads of all of us, humans with a circular magnet and dogs with a triangular magnet. Brilliant! And her representation of us all happy and smiling makes my heart so glad.

I'm so proud of you, Thea!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stumpjumper Gas Cruncher

In the gas crunch of the late oughts this has been getting a lot of workout (finally). My brother Chris built this bike for me and gave it to me for a Christmas present back in the early 90s. Over the many years since I have ridden it far less than I would have liked. I just never made a lifestyle for myself that gave priority to riding (or very much exersize of any kind really).

Now I ride my bike almost every day. It's my main source of transportation to and from school at the University of Maryland, and will be for the next 3 years or so....in good weather. I'm not as "burly" as my older bro, who lived in Flagstaff, AZ for many years, and for whom biking was his main transportation. Snow, blizzards, rain, or just plain cold, windy days didn't stop him from his appointed rounds.

Thanks again for the wonderful gift Chris.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

First Bikes

It was a nice day at the park, with ice cream afterwards from "Old MacDonald's" as my boy calls it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th Mixing Session

I'm no flag waver, but here's a small blog tribute to the freedom to mix!
.....and good work Bob and Nick, it was fun. I can't wait to hear the Phoresis album when it's finally done.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Mall (at UMD)

I feel a pride at being at UMD now that i never felt at ASU when i was younger. Maybe part of it is feeling blessed by a family that supports my return to school after a youth spent doing exactly what i wanted to do. Thanks Kelly...and kids.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's been keeping me away from blogging?

Hitting the books, that's what. I'm back in school, full time. Last time I did that was 1989-1991. For this summer, I'm doing just Math trying to get to Calculus level by the fall semester when I'll (hopefully) be enrolled in Calculus 140, Chemistry 131/132, and Environmental Geology with a lab.

It's pretty weird being in school at my age surrounded by late teeners and early tweeners, but I have met a few nice students, and a couple of nice Teaching Assistants. The work load is heavy, but it'll only get worse in the Fall, so i have to pace myself and get used to it.

I may not blog again for months...we'll see.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quote Meme

I was tagged by Kellygo for this meme: share a favorite quote and dedicate it to three other bloggers.

"It is impossible to achieve the aim without suffering".

It's from philosopher J.G. Bennett, who was a student of G.I. Gurdjieff . I came by Bennett, and thus the quote, via Robert Fripp, who was a student of Bennett. Fripp frequently used recorded snippets of Bennett's speeches on his late 70's albums, the quote here being from the song "Exposure" on the album of the same name.

I like the fundamental truth underlying the quote. It has connections with Buddhist thought among other things.

I'm tagging Aaronish, Heather and Daniel. Hope this one hasn't got to you already. I'd hate to be a double tagger.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Is In The Air

I don't know when Spring actually started (or starts?) but today seemed like the first day of 2008 that i could reasonably let the kids go and play in the yard for a bit before dark. The Magnolia tree is in bloom and Thea picked generously from it to have flowers for the whole family, even Tina and hank (the dogs).

They had a blast, and I think it really helped to get them to sleep, too. Not that they sacked in early or anything but Thea put herself to bed totally with no fuss and all i had to do was check on her after I got Liam to sleep (with very little fuss).

Kel had to work late tonight, and actually isn't even home yet as of this writing. She hates working late as much as I do, and I know she must be stressed. And she also hates missing out on kids time and family time. This post is for you Kel, as Thea would say, "The bestest Mommy in the World!"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

I haven't stepped inside a church for an actual service since i was a teenager. But we thought we'd check out one since Thea has been picking up some talk of God and Jesus from daycare, both from other kids as well as from the teachers. Kel thought (rightly) that the kids will be hearing things about religion as they become more and more social, so she suggested that we may want to have a little more than a passive role in their spiritual education. To that end we planned to attend the Easter Service at All Souls Church. Thea was excited when we told her that we were doing this. And although Liam is too young to be very enthused about it, he was on board.

All Souls is a very cool Unitarian Universalist church in Northwest DC. It actually is across 16th Street from where we used to live in Adams Morgan "back in the day". I found the whole experience to be refreshingly inspiring. I heard mention of the application of a "reasoning approach" to religious faith within the first few minutes of the service. And All Souls is known for being a liberal institution with a focus on social justice. The congregation is made up of people from a wide variety of different faiths, including even agnostics and atheists.

We may attend once a month or so, possibly more, toward the goal of giving the kids a childhood experience of religion that is also appealing to us as parents; one that has a foundation of values that we can solidly get behind.

Oh yeah, and they also have a killer church organ

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lunch at Chipotle

The kids love cheese. And they love eating "burritos" from Chipotle. Actually, we get them three soft tacos, but they call them burritos. Thea gets just black beans and rice with cheese on the side, and Liam gets carnitas, black beans and rice with guacamole and cheese on the side. The glaze in his eyes and the glee in hers tells it all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby - Got you on my mind!

Kellygo and I have been married for twelve years today. We got married at the DC Courthouse on Leap Day 1996. It was sort of on a whim...we weren't terribly convinced of the "sanctity" of marriage in general. We had already been together for quite some time and saw our commitment to each other as being more important than any legal recognition of it.

The same night we saw Yoko Ono play at the 9:30 Club in NW DC. As she sang her lengthy piece called Rising we felt like she was just so speaking to us. The next morning we headed for the Poconos. Upon arrival, I locked the keys in the car before we even unloaded our baggage in to our overpriced, wall-paper-pealing-off-the-walls, hot-water-only-works-for-about-a-minute cabin. That night we ate Totinos Pizzas from the restaurant (sic) across the street from the resort (sic again).

Yeah our love is strong!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Six Quirks

My lovely better half tagged me for a meme: six random habits or quirks about me.

1. Since having kids my rate of bathing and grooming has gone to Hell (in a handbasket, no less).

2. I have to lie down to have shots or have blood taken. I'm a fainter.

3. My favorite thing to eat for dinner is breakfast.

4. Related to the last one, my favorite drink to have with pancakes is Pepsi (well, it's Diet Pepsi now).

5. I'm still in love with Hayley Mills. It's ok, she's a celebrity, so she's not real.

6. I've only ever had sex with one person (and no, it's not Hayley Mills).

Tag yer it:
Metal Dad
Christmas Letter

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dubious moment at the birthday party

She's probably only looking dubious because i was taking a picture of her. When she feels it she can eat up the camera, but when she wants to portray a different kind of mood, my daughter can score a look in micro-seconds. I really hope this talent in front of a camera doesn't lead to a career in modelling in years to come.

The birthday party she attended was at a Gymnastic Center and the kids were able to get acquainted with the various features like the trampoline, the obstacle course, balance beams (low to the ground), and a giant rope (for them swung on instead of climbed). And the finale was a short romp in the giant pit of foam. Needless to say it was a blast for all the kids.

Then they had pizza, a Princess Castle pinata full of candy, cake, and all was rounded out by a nice goody bag. The birthday girl, Thalia, just turned 4 and goes to Thea's daycare. Also present were friends Sakeena, Jaela, and Sachi among others.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mixing session with Bob and Nick

Phoresis is almost done....a 5 plus year recording Odyssey.....It has not been without problems. Like tonight when Nick's automated digital mixing board decided it couldn't save all the mixing info unless we wanted to sacrifice some previous mixes. The 0's and 1's are harsh taskmasters...it's their way or the highway.

Hank - the new addition to the family

Kristen Hersh is my kindred spirit

Kristen's new online project is CASH, which stands for Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders....read about it here. and here's what she recently posted on a MySpace bulletin:

My latest song from "Speedbath" is here. It's called "Around Dusk" and I hope it treats you well.

Now that CASH is a viable entity and not just an amorphous blob floating around in our heads, those of us who work here are becoming increasingly aware of its quieter gifts. I knew this construct was necessary in order for us all to share interesting music, but intangibles like political implications are now sneaking into my world view. I've always believed that what I do has more in common with the field of research than the field of entertainment. Of course, from the beginning, I knew that in order to reach people with sound, I had to make records and play clubs. Sounds simple, gets ugly.

In order for someone like me, (The Artist) to reach out and grab the Music Business Experts who in turn, reach out and grab someone like you (The Audience), they ask you in not-so-subtle ways to play by the "rules" of the entertainment industry. These rules are not mysterious, nor are they difficult to follow. In fact, there's only one real rule: be attractive. If you work in the recording industry, you must play attractive music, you must be an attractive human. If you work in the film industry, you must make attractive movies, you must be an attractive human, etc. The definition of attractive is where we all fall down.

Healthy people view it as a melange of sensory, intellectual and emotional input. Healthy people are attracted to music and film -- and humans -- that move us. The wildly unhealthy entertainment industry views attraction as: easy. That's it. Just like high school! This is how bimbos happen and I don't just mean the Barbie doll kind. Male bimbos, female bimbos, musical and filmic bimbos...a bimbo is anything one-dimensional enough to be taken at face value with no potential for insight or growth on the part of the consumer (oooh...scary...insight!). Every time Nothing is wrapped in Fashion and sold to the Public, a bimbo is born. Bimbos always make someone money. They're e-e-e-e-easy.

I've watched musicians I loved buy into this insidious phenomenon. The idea that to bring their music to more people they'd need to dumb it down. Whether they believed in their own success or their own failure didn't matter, the end result was the same: something imaginary killed their art. The "experts" ask, are you a bimbo? If your answer is no, then you flunk the music business and eventually you disappear. If your answer is well...I could be...here's a picture of me 'looking cool'...here's a flimsy song... then you're allowed to share your music with the public. But what music? You dumbed it down! Why bother?

For twenty years I lived with this quandary. Thank you, CASH people, for removing me from that ugly world, for taking our amorphous blob and running with it. I make records, I play clubs, I'm in the music business, but I no longer have to answer to some vague idea of a "market" or demographic. I no longer have to play by the crap rules of the entertainment industry, I only have to answer to my stake-holders. Now my job is to throw myself, body and soul, into my research and share it with you.

Love, Kristin

Note: As of this writing, Kristin's CASH subscribers come from 12 different countries on 5 different continents.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Heaventree Records - first release

More or Less by Wavestar Motion Fabric Dudes was released January 1, 2008 and can be purchased at CDBaby. Stop in, check it out, listen to some tracks, and read up on the story of the Dudes.

The clever packaging of the CD includes a clear cover which shows through to the disc. It's awful purty.

The Heaventree Records website will be coming soon, as will be more releases. The next scheduled release is An Old School Single Helping by Unola. It's a single disc sampler of tracks from Unola 2000, the band's 10 CD Box Set released in February 2006.

Heaventree started out to be my own vanity label, but my friend Bob Crain and my wife Kelly have both joined to make us a team.

Sunday, January 6, 2008