So for those of you who enjoy indie music and live in the Seattle area (or listen online) the last few days have been pretty dismal. KEXP 90.3, literally the only radio station that plays at least 40% quality music, is doing its yearly (or is it monthly? Geez) pledge drive, in which for every 1 song they play, we get to listen to 20 or 40 minutes of smarmy DJs asking, teasing, cajoling, begging, and guilt-tripping you into donating money.
KEXP is a "commercial free" radio station, their slogan is "Where the Music Matters", etc, so it's a little jarring to listen to them switch gears from the above-it-all DIY anti-corporate crusaders of radio to this sniveling talk-show of relentless, unabashed money-grasping. It just goes on and on. It's exactly like that homeless guy who overhears you and your friends talking about a bar or restaurant you're trying to get to and then inserts himself, gives you dubious directions on how to get there, and then just follows you around, giving you tourist facts you don't need and demanding money for the service. I can't listen to the station when they're doing this drive. It starts to make me physically ill.

Having said all that, I do understand that a non-commercial station needs donations to survive. If I had money to burn and if I cared enough about radio stations and if KEXP would stop playing their useless specialty shows of rockabilly and world music during my prime radio-listening hours, I would probably donate.

But wait--no I wouldn't. Because John Richards, the lead DJ and the one with probably the most annoying on-air chatter and worst taste in music, gets paid $90,000 a year.

Yes, that's correct. Paid entirely off public generosity, money from the pockets of thrift-store clerks, baristas, and broke musicians, this DJ is probably driving to work at his little independant radio station every day in a shiny new Mercedes.

I don't know what any of the rest of the staff there makes, and I hate to bite the station that just had my band live in-studio, but this seems way out of whack to me, and as I listen to the shameless pleading that's been going on for the last 4 days, I begin to get very irritated.

Why would you expect the poor to donate money to the rich? If KEXP doesn't meet their "Pledge Goal", what happens? Does the station shut down because John Richards can only be paid a paltry 80,000 this year? Maybe a public station that claims to be "where the music matters" should reduce their expenses to a reasonable level and stop guilt-tripping me for not donating towards John Richards' new home theater.

[End Rant]

Snow and Stock Cars

Our 3 day drive to florida turned into a 5 day adventure due to the great Valentine's day blizzard. We left Monday afternoon and drove to Binghampton in an endeavor to avoid the worst of the storm on I88. We awoke to about a foot of snow on the ground and fairly heavy snow falling. We only made it as far as Wilkes-Barre, Pa. when the conditions deteriotated to the point that I could not see the road. We followed a white truck to a Hilton Garden Inn. All but one restaurant was closed and we were able to obtain the last meal they served before closing. The next morning, after cheking TV, Internet, Hotel Desk, and the Department of Transportation; all of whom assurred me that I81 was moving, we headed south. We were able to travel 2 miles before the traffic cam to a stop. There we sat for the next two hours. That day we traveled about 160 miles in 12 hours. Jack-knifed trucks and rough ice covered road all the way. We departed from Winchester, Virginia on Friday morning and drove to Savannah where we spent the night. On Saturday we were able to conclude our trip, arriving around 4pm. Our Florida Villa is everything we expected. It is very secluded sitting on over 6 wooded acres.
Sunday morning at 3:30 am, John and I got up and headed for the Daytona 500. We were the 35th car in the parking lot on the Superstretch. It was a very windy and cold day but we witnessed a terrific race. While waiting for the race to begin we took the tram to the front side of the track where we went to Daytona USA and experienced the new movie, Dale, about Dale Earnhardt. It was a terrific film and kept us warm for a couple of hours.
On Shrove Tuesday we attended the Mardi Gras celebration at the Villages. It was great fun with music, food, costumed folks, and even clowns. Last night we attended Ash Wednesday services at St. John's Lutheran Church in Sunset Harbor. Tonight we will be attending the Orange Blossom Opry.


Allegations have been made that I am a miserable person. Apparently, reading my thoughts gives people the impression that I'm depressed. Sad. Never happy. Etc. This is not true. This is false. I am happy a good 40% of my life.

Things That Delight Me On a Regular Basis

Going through a car-wash.

Breakfast cereal.

Wearing the same clothes for several days.

Cocoa Puffs as late night dessert.

When I exchange lanes with another car on the freeway, swapping simultaneously, like car ballet.

The way my turn signal light and the one on the car in front of me sync up perfectly for a few precious seconds before gradually drifting apart.

When two Sea Gulls squawk simultaneously, at different pitches, making a perfect harmony.

Asian girls' hair.

My piano, Beatrix.

The feeling of my surreal semi-conscious morning state being charged with energy from a Starbucks Doubleshot can.

Watching someone run desperately down a crowded city sidewalk to catch a bus.

A sneeze that builds and builds and explodes orgasmically.

Dropping unwanted items out my apartment window, then watching people snatch them up like goldfish gobbling cracker bits.

My sawed, mutilated, spray-painted, glued, rubber-banded, duct-taped guitar.

Good, thick-cut bacon.

When it's sunny out and it rains anyway, like the sunlight was so thick that it condensated into bright gold drops.

A really quality bowel movement.

Retirement: day 1

I was showered this weekend with well wishes, gifts, affection, and prayers as this new adventure begins. My thoughts keep returning to the quote I shared at the party on friday evening. These words are spoken by the title character, Jayber Crow, in the book by Wendell Berry. Jayber is reflecting on his life as a barber in a small Kentucky town.
I am a man who has hoped, in time, that his life, when poured out at the end would say,
"Good-good-good-good" like a gallon jug of the prime local spirit.
I am a man of losses, regrets, and griefs.
I am an old man full of love,
I am a man of faith.


According to the info sheet for the new visitation case I'm starting, here's what I have to look forward to at work tomorrow:

Mother is mentally ill, easily agitated, and not medicated.
May be under the influence.
Erratic and agitated behavior.
Irrational thinking and paranoia.
Drug induced behavior.

At first I was kind of nervous about starting this case, but then I realized...this pretty much describes the majority of my friends.