Backyard Race Car Track & …Dinosaur Garden? 🚚🦕


Well.  Damn, you Pinterest.  Ha ha.  We made more progress on the Back Yard Race Car Track.  It may now also be a construction zone, gravel pit, monster truck arena, and dinosaur garden.  Molly even asked about building a volcano.  I do have an extra bag of concrete.

#BackyardRaceCarTrack, #DinosaurGarden, & #MonsterTruckArena! #DadStuff

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Check out the latest photos.  We added a gravel pit, some large rocks for edging-work to try to contain the gravel, and dug out the grass so we have a dirt pit.  Not sure if I should plant grass and leave a dirt track, or make it all a dirt pit.  I may try to buy some river rock to make the outside edges look a little neater, and mix some more extra sloppy concrete to smooth it over, and fill in the edges smooth.

I bet it will evolve greatly over time.

I’m anxious to see photos of other projects like this.  Show me what you’ve got in the comments!

 

 

🚧 🚧 🚧 👷 👷‍♀️ 🚚 🦕 🚗 🏁 🧚 🌱 🚧 🚧 🚧

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Caption This! Butterscotch in the Christmas Tree. 🐱🎄


My wife got a great shot of our cat Butterscotch in the Christmas tree.  I know some amusing people.  Let’s have a caption contest in the comments!

Butterscotch in the Christmas Tree

Caption this in the comments!

I got some funny ones too, but Bethany‘s shot takes the cake:

#JingleTails?

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>^.^<

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It's actually a pretty good seat. #CatsOfInstagram

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Do you see it? #CatsOfInstagram

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We might have to leave the tree up all year, just for #Butterscotch. 🎄

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#Scutterbotch.

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We finally hung the sign on our #BeanHouse. 🌱


Did you read about our #BeanHouse?

I was able to get some matte clear-coat spray this week and hit the sign a few times, although this stuff seemed to soak up the paint like a sponge.  We just used some particleboard from an old dresser drawer.  It was the perfect size.  I did the marker & colored the beans, the rest was all Molly.

Molly also got a tomato plant  from her Grandma BB, so we planted it right out front.  We tried the fork trick there too to deter bunnies, but if I remember right they’re not huge fans of tomatoes.  You never know what else is out & around either.

We also put out some organic bloodmeal to provide nutrients and hopefully deter critters.   Molly reminded me to put down grass clippings because they hold moisture.

I was thinking about putting out some cinnamon to keep the rabbits away too.  I just saw that coffee grounds keep away snails.  Do you have any other tips & tricks that seem to have worked for you in the past?  We did use garlic clips last year.  They seemed to work, but we did have a few incidents of snacking on our peppers.

No beans sprouting yet, but our Spanish onions just popped from seeds we planted a while ago.

Merry Christmas 2013!


So, I haven’t blogged much over the last year or so.  The new job has me out & around… not near a desk with time on my hands to save a draft & come back to it later.  I also have less time to monkey around on the internet as it’s mostly taken up by our sweet little girl once I am home.  Speaking of home, that’s new too.  We finally bought a house and are no longer renters!

Check out our little sweet pea in an album on Facebook if you’re interested.  This was the day after moving, and 2 days after Molly turned six months old.  Photos by Kristina Serafini.  This was the one we chose for the Christmas card this year:

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Hopefully I can adapt how I blog, maybe use the android app… to get my thoughts out there. Maybe it’ll be shorter less link-filled stuff. Maybe not. Maybe I can do drafts with the phone and edit/post/link/add media later.

The house is taking some time to get set up, but eventually I’ll have all my toys in a room that will make blogging and computer time easier.  I also have a nice workbench now so I should be able to monkey with my guitars more often.  I have some ideas to put into play.

This has been a crazy year.  New job, new baby, new house.  What’s next?

How have things been for everyone out there in WordPress land?

In the spirit of Christmas, check out this post, and join in:

SHOW REVIEW: Dethlehem / The Bloody Seamen / The Approach and the Execution


08/11/2011 @ Howler's

How cool is this flyer?

So, last night I broke my normal “school night” routine of hanging out at home (or at least getting home by a decent time) to check out a local show that I could not resist.  If you’ve read the blog, I’m obviously a Dethlehem fan.  In addition to those medieval fantasy knuckleheads, the Pirates that “crashed” their CD release party were on the bill; The Bloody Seamen (apparently known in some circles as The Flying Dutchmen).  I’ve been wanting to check those cats out for a while, so this alone was a no-brainer.  The other band was The Approach & The Execution.  They’re out on tour from Cleveland, OH… but we won’t hold that against them.  The place was Howler’s, and I know it well.  Bengt is a hell of a sound-guy.  I haven’t exercised my photography muscles in a while.  All of  the right ingredients added up to getting my lazy old musician behind out to a week-night show.

☠ The Approach & The Execution ☠

The Approach & The Execution

These guys were up first, and they just ripped it all apart right out of the gate.  I’m pretty sure there were 5,692 guitars on stage and their lead cat went through all of them… even knocking one from the stage to the floor at one point.  There was screaming, there was “woah-ing”, there was shredding, there was thunderous drumming, there was harmonizing vocals, there was dueling leads, there was even muscle flexing choreography.  The one highlight of the set for me is when the one dude on vocals & guitar was playing a show soulful lead… and the dude next to him was shredding circles around it.  It was later in the set, and I hope that song’s on the CD that I picked up, The Blood March.  These guys were incredibly tight, & played really well off of each other.  Apparently they had some setbacks in the way of van trouble and had to have AAA & some friends bail ’em out.  They had a vehicle-less trailer out front.  Hopefully they make it to their next destination tonight, so they can melt the faces of the next group of new fans!  (Interestingly, I popped the CD in on the way to work this morning… and heard keyboards & a chick vocalist… neither of which were at the live show.  I’m only 3 songs in so far, but I wonder what’s up there?)

☠ The Bloody Seamen ☠

The Bloody Seamen

These dudes are hardcore.  They show up in full pirate regalia, and don’t break character easily.  I even got a “business scroll” from Captaine Blackguts when inquiring about obtaining some recorded material!  For all I know, these cats really are pirates, and have a ship docked somewhere on the Allegheny river.  (Although, the one guitar player Cheswick looks a lot like the guy from Deathmobile/The It’s Alive Show…)  This is a band of buccaneers that knows how to work a room, and work it they did.  They definitely put a gleaming sharp metal edge on some really catchy drinking songs, with fighting, fornicating, plundering, and treasure thrown in for good measure.  They seemed to cross musical genres with some straight up rock and some more funky/groovy stuff.  Any band with a guy named “pipes” that plays the accordion, what  think was a fife or some kind of small flute, and the bagpipes alongside screaming guitars is cool in my book.  These guys know what they’re doing.  I bought a T-shirt because no CD’s exist yet.  I had sort of hoped they’d bust into “Friggin’ in the Riggin’” or “Whiskey in the Jar“, but alas… they were more original than that.  I will definitely be at more of these guys’ shows.  I just hope they weren’t distracting us with awesome swashbuckling metal as the rest of their crew picked our pockets and stole our women.

Dethlehem ☠

Dethlehem

Have I told you how much I hate these guys?  I mean, they have people that come out to their shows in costume.  How cool is that?  That’s fan dedication!  Bovice and Hildor make seemingly effortless movements across the fret-board that put me under a musical spell.  I wish I could unlock the secret to that power… or had the patience to practice like a madman.  Davidicus is indeed a wizard with the low-end, weaving together the ridiculous guitars and Brom’s pulverizing rhythms while managing to still have a voice of his own.  Lord Bonecrush commands your attention as he’s belting out tales of their conquests.  He even let a guest get up to help belt out “Blood Forest”.  Slaying orcs and harnessing dragons is hard work, but these guys have the time to do it, then to tell you about it.  They follow a rich oral tradition as old as the first hunter coming back and telling how he captured his prey to provide dinner for all, and you’d better appreciate it.  These warriors are going places.  I expect a cartoon series, live action movie, a graphic novel that transitions into a monthly series, and some damn stickers, patches, and pins soon.  I believe a side-quest with the Bloody Seamen is inevitable.  I vote that it gets put out on vinyl as well as digital download.

As stated above, I got some photos from the show.  I have them up on Photobucket and will probably eventually have them all on Facebook too.

Photobucket:
Grid View | Slideshow

Facebook Photos:
The Approach & The Execution | The Bloody Seamen | Dethlehem

Here are some Photobucket highlights:

Guitarz 2012 Calendar!


Some people who read this blog may, like myself, have an appreciation for guitars.  I like the weird, the odd, the strange, & the rare.

Not Enough Batman
Not Enough Batman

Guitarz is putting together a 2012 calendar of such guitars.

These guys put together a great blog, and I’m looking forward to their calendar.  I might take an artful photo of one of my weird axes, but with only 12 months in the year mine won’t be a slam-dunk… and sadly aren’t the weirdest/rarest out there.

Take some photos of your weird/rare/beautiful guitars and send them in!

They probably won’t take this photo.  So, get your axe in gear!  (Get it?)  Submit a photo of your rare/weird/cool guitar, or take a photo of a friend’s to submit.

So, how do I make money at this art thing?


I’m a lazy artist.  I always have been.  I generally make art for fun, and give it away.  I made a ton of cool stuff in art class in high school and even in my time at WCCC, now I only have a fraction of it.  I’ve never had an interest in making money from any of it, perhaps because I felt it wasn’t perfect or even “good enough” to sell.  Perhaps it was because I’d feel “dirty” making money from art.  I’m also lazy in that I have a lot of ideas that don’t make it to fruition.  (You should see the AiXeLsyD and Gasoline Dion “almost” song piles… and that Yup-punk band idea…)

I also went through a phase of drawing a bunch of comic book stuff… and it was always my understanding that Marvel didn’t want me selling my Wolverine art, and DC didn’t want me to sell my Batman art.  Somehow the Airbrush guy at the mall makes money on pretty much any popular character out there.  (Exactly who’s buying white T-shirts with airbrushed Mickey Mouse and Garfield on them at a mall kiosk in 2011 is a subject of another blog.)  Is that guy bootlegging?  Is he paying royalty fees?

With the advent of sites like Etsy (and more so Regretsy), I can see now that my art is certainly acceptable for sale.  I’d like to think it’s a few grades above what’s considered acceptable for sale.  The question remains on copyrights though… I see all kinds of people selling Superman, Batman and Spider-Man stuff with images clearly ripped from elsewhere.  Not that I want to sell comic book-art, but I never know what mood will strike me.  My flyer art is mainly bastardization of existing images… so I’m sure I can’t sell any of that kind of stuff.  Again, I think I’m veering toward the subject matter of an entirely different blog.  Back to the insanity at hand…

I’ve been drawing mazes for what seems like forever.  I started them when I was a kid & was in the hospital for a while.  I remember my pediatrician saying I ought to look into getting them published.  I obviously never have.  I have through twitter found another cat on the internet who draws mazes… he sells them online & at art shows and has used LuLu to publish some books.  Is that a good avenue to explore?

I have an idea for what I think would be an amusing photo book… but how does one go into execution of such an idea?  Do I even have time for something like this?

Would I use something like deviantART to set up shop?  How do I get prints made from original artwork?  Should I settle for a Cafe Press or Zazzle store?  Ha ha.  I’d like to put photography in the mix too, eventually.  Every once in a while I capture some stuff that would look great on someone’s wall.  How do I sell the stuff online without the seller site making most of the money, or without breaking the bank in setting up a site & paying any maintenance fees while not selling anything… therefore eventually losing money?

People have also told me that I ought to get paid to write.  I must confess, I would most likely be an editor’s nightmare.  I jump tenses like hopscotch, and my grammar & typing can be quite poor… even though I can differentiate between you’re and your and the apparently difficult they’re/there/their.  (Is it just me, or do they all sound totally different if you’re pronouncing them correctly?)  If you would like to pay me to write, I will certainly take your money.

I don’t think I do well with deadlines or commissions though.  I don’t work well with others’ ideas.  I’d like to make my own mazes, drawings, paintings, photos, etc. at my own pace.  Although, I aim to be productive with art, & maybe buy some more camera accessories, or a new amp, guitar, or some other new goofy instrument or piece of equipment.  (Because I apparently can’t make any money as a musician unless I join/form a human jukebox band – and let’s face it; I’m a poor guitarist.  Ha ha.)

As you can see, I’m all over the place.  I need focus/direction.  I guess I’m just looking for advice beyond the “you should publish a book” or “you should sell your photos” or the “you should write for someone” point.  I get that, and accept that… but how?  I’m looking for specifics here.  I’d like to hear “I use such & such & it’s fantastic, and works like…” and not “I think my cousin’s uncle’s mother’s neighbor uses blah blah blah, …I think.”  Are you an artist?  How do you sell your work?  Hit me with your wisdom!