Saturday, July 5, 2008

Getting out of town is great. Coming back is ok, too. The town does a Fourth of July festival at the lake. Most of it can be missed without missing much. There are a couple of things, though, that get me to slog through the muggy, sweaty crowd....the greasy smells of the mid-way.... red beans and rice and some Zydeco.
For some reason, and I truly don't care to think about it much, part of the festival is a Cajun music stage with bands like the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the Creole Cowboys.....with some decent little food stands to grab a bowl gumbo or crayfish etoufee or some boudin sausage. The music breaks me up. Music in a tent, with squeeze box and washboard and a little fiddle. It might not be something to listen to on your morning commute, but on a hot July afternoon with a little beer, it can't be beat.

I had to catch another funky neat local band....Dr. Kickbutt and his Orchestra of Death.....

(Ok I haven't figgered out how to add a cool video yet. live with it)
The great part about Dr. Kickbutt is you never exactly know who is going to be in the band. It could be anywhere from five people to 23. The music is described on a website as

'Dr. Kickbutts's Orchestra of DEATH. is 30's vaudeville, hint of jazz a splash of ragtime and load of cornball rolled into a fart joke your uncle once told you by the campfire.'

All the musicians are local. Aaron runs the New Moon coffee shop and his brother operates the family pizza joint. They are folks you run into on the street or sit next to in a bar while you watch the Packer game on TV. Most of the gigs they play are in small bars, or at the coffee house .....and some times, the local farmer's market. (which reminds me I gotta go down there and pick up some lettuce and cilantro.....and some eggrolls.) No, it isn't high brow, is not Carnegie Hall, but there is a clarity in people doing something .....not for money, or fame.....just straight up......they are doing it because they enjoy it and it spreads the fun. Hmmmmmmm....sounds like blogging without the computer.

I'm headed down to the lake. Someone told me that there is a small stand selling cheese on a stick. I like cheese on crackers.....gotta check out what cheese on a stick tastes like. Wowsers

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

see ya.....Bubba takes off

Ok, the kid has been telling me for a couple of weeks that he was going to a rock concert in Michigan. Well yesterday he fills me in with details..

my first reaction .... shit... take me with you!!!

and then I settled down... and remembered three four days without a shower.....rock&roll and non-stop,beer&babes and really grungy hangovers. I took him shopping instead.

I tried to remember thirty years back. It was a hazy ride. Take an extra tarp, garbage bag rain coats, lotta granola, clothes you don't care about.....forget packing wipes for a quick clean up....lotta water....

the deal is, and it is a funny boy have always been pretty tight....but in the last year....he went from

Dad doesnt know shit.........

to Dad, ' I wish you could come with me.....we would have a good time hanging out.'

He split at midnight last night.
I'm leaving now.
"I'll call you when I get back, Old Man. Have a good bike ride. Love you."

Love you too, Bub, call me when you get back.

Arte y Pico Redux II&stuff

Ok. Fairlane and Randal and Scarlet have all been really wowsers&cool and given me an award. Now, awards and jimm are usually not close associates. Or even distant relatives. I feel like the new kid who isn't sure about the neighborhood...... but keeps running into the most marvelous, wonderful, cool&shit great people in the neighborhood. I gotta be honest. I would love to pass this award to someone new, to make an introduction, to keep expanding the network.... but I think with the exception of DAD'ART everyone knows everyone else and has read their blogs. (and if you check out Dad, try to use the translator -unless your French is good).... Anyways....... my skill at blogging is still being developed and the only people I can think of to pass the award on TO are the people that have passed it to ME...or who have had it passed to THEM already! Sheesh! It is a game of tag! I feel like the befuddled new kid! So I am tagging you guys RIGHT BACK! HA!

...the criteria......"Arte y Pico” is part of a tag initiative that is passed along to compliment other bloggers.Now, here are the rules and regulations, as well as my nominees for the next five deserving winners of the Arte y Pico Award:

1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community,

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here Arte y Pico.

distributorcap NY - read 'em his writes!
Jonestown (ANYBODY that writes at Jonestown! but a very heigh-ho silver to Mr. Fair Lane)
L'ennui mélodieux - a hockey game could break out at anytime!
DAD'ART - words cannot describe his art. I need a translator.
PoliTits - a whole family of blogs within a blogs worth of family

The Invisible Woman - breaks me up.

What I would REALLY like to do is add Anita, and Susan, and AnaJo, and FOT, and DivaJood,and LibbyAlity, and FOT,and ME,& others from the Jonestown Pages& get some cheese&crackers ....&stuff and buy them all a beer. It would be interesting.

I have to finish stuff up at the office...see if I can leave some stupid comments around the blogs. Tonight I have to pack and get ready to get out of town for a couple of days.

Thanks for welcoming the new kid. &stuff. Wowsers, huh?

Ice Water

Morning is the Long Way Home

I heard your voice at midnight
By the river shore
I saw your child sleeping
Behind an open door
The moon was in the river
Shining up from the floor
And the fish swam like moonlight
Through your child's closing door
And morning is the long way home
The fisherman was drowning
By his broken heel
His screams were tiny bubbles
And his tongue made of steel
When he died his teeth made stones
For your lonely child to feel
And his eyes like prayers were quiet
When you heard his tongues of steel
And morning is the long way home

The ghost of ghosts was passing
And the grasses waved like hair
I Knew I'd die forgotten
I'm the whisper of your care
The water would surround me
And my body would despair
But my heart would understand
The door that's closing there
And morning is the long way home

Leo Kottke

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dark and Dangerous

OK. I like riding bikes. Not in a silly tight shorts and jersey and gloves and $40 water bottle kinda way but in the sense it allows me to go the wrong way down one way streets and cut through construction zones and across grass and park anywhere. I have an aversion to parking meters.

Anyways...I have a biking story from a buncha years ago. Back when some folks thought I looked sorta 'dark&dangerous'. Ya, right, figger that one out!

So, the deal is I have a talent for breaking, cutting, smashing and otherwise mangling various body parts either by crashing said parts into unmovable thingees like trees, houses, cars or by having hard moving objects like 2x4's, hammers, forklifts and running backs crash into me. Pick 'em. Some folks collect stamps or coins. I collect stitches and scars. Really ain't no deal.

My first collection started when I was a teenager and some friends and I rode a red, two-door '64 Chevy BelAir off a bluff around the Mississippi. A beer infused event. Now, everything healed ok and my girlfriend of the time said that the scars rather made me look dark and dangerous. Being described as dark and dangerous when one is eighteen can seem sorta sexy and romantic. I liked the notion. I would encourage her to explore how dark and dangerous I was. Frequently. Often. As often as she would like. Worked for me!

The next really neato crash was the 4th of July a few years later when I was in college. It was a very hot saturday afternoon and a very hot Blues concert in the park by the lake. Blue Tayle Fly, Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows...buncha bands and bunches of cold beer. Very cold. Hot music and cold beer is still a good combination, if you ask me. But all things come to an end and it was time to get on my bike and head out.

Now it was a new bike. Sleek, sweet French model. I had just been camping and touring up north the week before and had screwed up the derailer a bit so I thought the thing to do was to go as fast as I could and try to lift that sucker into the last gear. I was going fast and looking back down to see if the derailer was lifting. I looked up just in time to see the parked car I was soon to smash into.
Flew over the handle bars and kissed the rear window. Real GOOD. I remember laying on the trunk, bleeding profusely and thinking, "aw, shit." I probed with my tongue. One tooth was missing and the right side of my upper lip was split through. I remember thinking, 'where are my fucking glasses.'

The owner of the car I kissed was a volunteer fireman from some little town in Illinois. He was visiting his brother.....4th of July picnic, backyard barbeque kinda deal. It was certainly an audible crash. The Fireman and the Brother came out on the street to investigate the noise.
"Damn," the Fireman said, "He sure looks pretty bad."
"Shit," the Brother said, "he looks worse than bad, he looks fucking terrible!"

The Fireman checked his car. "Car is ok." Looked at his brother, "I think he broke his nose. Get some ice for his nose." Brother went to get some ice and the Fireman checked me out. My glasses had flown off. They were ok. He gave them back to me. And handed me my tooth.

"Here's your tooth, too." Actually it was just the cap I had knocked off. I remember feeling relieved that it was not one of the real teeth. He was checking me out. "Look, this might hurt, but I think I can pop your nose back into place." He did. It hurt. "Damn, kid, this is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen! You ok?" I didn't feel ok.
Brother came back with an armful of beer cans.

"The ice is all melted. But the beer is still real cold." He put a Budweiser on each side of my nose.

" hank ou," I said. The nose was starting to swell.

"He looks goddam awful," the Fireman said. He opened a can of beer and took a big drink.

"He really looks like shit, is what, " Brother said. He opened a can of beer for himself. " I think we should take him to the hospital." Fireman went to get the keys.

"tnk ou ery uch," I said. My lip was starting to swell. I thought one beer can on the nose was enough. I opened the second and took a big drink.

Well, they took me to the hospital and sat outside drinking beer while I got stitched up. I had no money and no insurance. I gave the hospital my roommates name and said I would call in the insurance information in the morning. I lied. The Fireman and Brother took me back to the picnic and the three of us stayed up late drinking and discussing how to put out fires and the dangers of bicycling while drunk. I still think fondly of those guys.

A week later I had to have the stitches taken out. Now it is no big deal to take them out, but hard to see what you are doing when they are on your nose. My roommate said I should call a friend of his girlfriend, Kathy; that she was a nursing student and had once mentioned to his girlfriend that she thought I was kind of dark and dangerous. I called her. She said she would, but I should bring her a couple bottles of wine to repay the favor. I did.

She took out the stitches and we drank the wine. She commented that the new scars made me look rather 'wounded & vulnerable'. We made love most of the night so she could determine whether I was 'dark&dangerous' or 'wounded and vulnerable'. I think I was vulnerable two or three times. She was a good nurse. Later, she broke my heart, but was kind enough to stitch it back together. For the next twenty years, or so, she would re-emerge in my life to check the condition of my heart, break it again, stitch it again. After the last time I just used duct tape.

I gave up on dark and dangerous. It never was a good fit. Wounded and vulnerable doesn't work so well, either. I settled on OK.

Gees, I liked that bike.


Monday, June 30, 2008

ok. Fairlane, the esteemed Commodore of the Good Ship Jonestown, the criteria......
"Arte y Pico” is part of a tag initiative that is passed along to compliment other bloggers.
Now, here are the rules and regulations, as well as my nominees for the next five deserving winners of the Arte y Pico Award:
1) Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community,
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award which is here Arte y Pico.
This has flabbergasted me to no end, primarily because I have had a blog for a total of two weeks, (hey, I took off my shoes just to make sure I was counting correctly) though I have dropped comments around blogs like a pigeon drops droppings around a picnic in the park. Now that is a whole different deal that HAVING a blog.... and doing all the neato- stuff like adding music and videos and such.

I am really complimented, at at the same time confused. In the former sense because I have an extreme amount of respect and admiration for the Esteemed Mr. Lane (or the Emperor....or Dark Lord, or King of All Things Keen&Peachy....pick'em) and his abilities and the talent at the craft of WordSmitheryism&Stuff. &all the other posters, commentators, pundits and trolls that hang in said aforementioned environs&Shit.

The confusion is that, to follow the rules, I need to know what I am doing.
I don't.

  1. owns a four year old laptop, recently purchased.
  2. does not have a home internet connection
  3. hits the blogs mostly at work(where no one gives a shit)
  4. at Oblios(where they love me)

I will certainly pass along the award, but I gotta beg a little indulgence. It's just gonna take a little bit. I really do not know what I am doing. Now that may work for "Life Experiences" (or not work, as I have discovered) but putting together a blog and making it as cool as Politits, or Lennui Melodieux, or DCap or Anita's or Freida's or FOT or D'ad Art.......ya, you get the drift. There are so many people who are doing such incredible things.....that I am really still a little bit in awe of this vast landscape of communication. I truly am.

And if I may wax eloquent, it is this elemental and deeply sincere level of communication that still gives me hope about the future of America...

The mass media has let us down,,,,,,,,, religion has let us down.....politicians have let us down.....society has let us down...... and yet kind, thoughtful minds, giving souls, and wishful hearts seem to always find a way to reach out and find the other hands reaching out. It is what the 'We' in 'Us' does. Really Good Stuff..

I'll be back. I'm getting weepy. I need to blow my nose....and geta beer.

Last Day of June

The last day of June. The rains we have had have washed away quite a bit of what I wanted to do in the Spring and capriciously whimsical winds have altered other plans.

July is getting rather filled, the weekends, and it suddenly dawned on me that if I wanted to do the Tunnel Trail this season, I should just take off and do it before anything else happens. I'm taking holiday on thursday (business sucks before a major holiday) and will just pack up and take off.

The trail is only two hour drive; I can take my time and still be there by noon, find a camp ground, get in a leisurely ride up to tunnel #3 and have plenty of time to sit at a campfire thursday night before doing the whole trail on friday, driving back friday night.

It is on an old railroad cut in the western part o the state dating from 1873. The last train ran in 1964 and soon after that it was converted to a biking/hiking trail. It runs 32 miles on hard packed crushed limestone in the heart of rural Wisconsin, through three large tunnels and across 34 small bridges spanning the creeks. It has been a favorite trail of mine for quite some time, especially the stretch through tunnel #3.

It is the longest tunnel, almost a mile long. There is a creek on the top of the hill the tunnel transverses and the water that permeates through makes the deep interior of the tunnel seem as if it is raining. It also produces a dense condensation fog, so that when you are in the middle, you cannot see a light on either end, or, frankly, the hand in front of your nose. A flashlight is mandatory and, even on the warmest of days, a sweatshirt or jacket as well. There is no chance of riding through; it is very pitted and you cannot see any other hikers or bikers.

The pay-off is coming out. After a mile walk through pitch black, through a path that can trip you in a second, coming out into the sunshine is fantastic, rejuvenating, clean, clear.

Maybe I think of it as a metaphor for life. Or just a bike ride.

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