Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Anyone who knows me knows about my passion for Jotto. My Dad played with his Dad and then I played with my Dad, and maybe someday I'll play Jotto with a friend's kid. I got my girlfriend to play too. Once. For some reason years ago I tore out this score sheet and saved it. Am I glad I did- now I can reprint it any time I want to play a game with anyone who is willing! After a while we didn't use the score sheets anymore. We just used pieces of scratch paper.

My Beadwork

When Joel and I worked together in the summer 1999 in Alaska we spent a lot of time on various rocky coast lines. Sometimes it's hard to find a place to go to the bathroom. This bead design I created aboard the Tongass Ranger one evening after being inspired by something I saw on the beach that day. Sadly, I never actually made the pattern with beads but it was a pleasant surprise to stumble on the pattern while unpacking a box.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hey Aram

post surgery December 1988
photo by: my Dad

Hey Aram! Glad to 'hear' that your brain tumor doesn't 'sound' like it will be 'silencing' you anytime soon! When I was 15 I was diagnosed with a congenital cholesteatoma after 6 months of misdiagnoses. After two surgeries I've had near complete hearing loss in my left ear. Since I was 15. Get used to the 'what?' jokes! I've heard them so many times I have probably said 'I've never heard that before' 10,000 times! The first year or two of hearing loss was tough- anytime there is any background noise you could pretty much rule out any conversation- it really is every third or so word I would hear. Plus, being a kid I was afraid to just come out and say 'would you mind standing on my right? I can't hear out of my left ear.' An early experience was walking through the woods near my house and hearing what sounded like an owl. I eventually spun a complete 360 because every time it would hoot it was on my right!

On two occasions my hearing issues may have cost me some action- once walking on the beach with a girl who was my brother's girlfriends friend. Just the two of us... a stunning sunset....a beach to ourselves... and her on the ocean side. Waves pounding. Me walking there wishing I could here anything she was saying, nodding blankly, but only hearing the pounding of November waves and her mumbling noises. What deep secrets did I miss? Confessions of love? Hints of romance?

The second time I was working the slime line in Alaska when I was put beside the hotty of the cannery. This Canadian beauty we all talked about around lunch and later during beers- for some reason, of which I'll never know, had taken a mild interest in me. My disbelief in this precluded any chance of witty comebacks or confident facial expressions. Instead I would respond with three word answers and eager wide eyed stares at the cement floor to her jokes and questions. This would inspire actual sincere anger in my best friend at the time whom I worked with and would witness my bumbling. One day at work the boss put me beside her on the line. I walked over and her eyes lit up and she smiled big and said "Hi Seth!" The slime line is very close quarters and we were even bumping shoulders on occasion as we cut into the salmon. She began chatting up a storm and to my terror I could maybe pick up every fifth word. She's standing on my left- in front of me is a trough of loud running water and on my right is a large and loud machine called a guillotine which makes a non-stop racket. I didn't stand a chance. She was trying to tell me about her college life in Bellingham and her family and friends. I was curious like crazy but couldn't even hear enough to formulate some sort of follow up questions to express interest. A few weeks later she left AK and I never saw her again. The memories are vivid though!

I think I've gotten better with 22 years of practice- I still say 'what's that?' all the time but maybe a combination of reading lips and being more forward with my hearing loss has helped. But back then forget it- I was helpless!


for 73!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


While camping at Lost Lake (the Santiam Pass Lost Lake- not the Mt Hood one) last weekend I noticed there was hobknoblers everywhere. There was these monster hobknoblers as big as my hand and there was also smaller hobknoblers. Here are some beautiful pictures of the hobknoblers I took.

So proud.

Magnificent beasts of the wild.

These monstrous huge hobknoblers only came out at night. I tried to see where they hid during the day but couldn't find one anywhere. Then dusk would fall and all of a sudden one was walking through camp. One tried to attack me kind of by the lakes edge so I poured really cold PBR on it's head and it jumped in the lake to escape. A friend told me they have really porous skin so he was probably swimming around all wasted.

The big hobknoblers seemed to be disinterested in humans. I could put the camera right next to them and then shine a flashlight around them and they didn't care a whole lot. We must not be their natural enemy. They probably come out at night to avoid all the hungry birds in the area.

This one looks like it might be king of the lake.

As well as the softball sized hobknoblers there was also little teeny ones that seemed to only be by the lake and not up on higher ground. They were more weary of humans and would hop away as we approached. It made capturing a good picture difficult because they were always on the move. The hobknobler above is enjoying a nice view of his home.

There were hundreds of these small hobknoblers. You had to watch where you step!
What a beautiful day for a swim.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This Week in Music

It has been very busy week with some mind numbing shows! First is iconic juggernaut Weird Al.

Notice the puppet fan in the front row. The puppet lip synced to every song and Weird Al shook his hand after the encore.

Wow! I thought Weird Al would be good but he blew the Roseland! The WeirdAlHeads in the front had to be calmed by the security guards! Me and my fellow attendees made a pact to never miss another Weird Al show. It was fucking stunning.

Up next was a drive south to Albany to my childhood haunt Monteith Riverpark to see my favorite jam band The Mother Hips!

Even though their newer songs seem to be influenced by more domestic lifestyles (hence our witty jokes The Mother Hip Replacements and The Grandmother Hips haha) they still rock a solid show. Good times drinking beer in the grass!

Tonight begins the highlight of the year for live shows. Two nights in a row of Joanna Newsom at the Aladdin. I'm actually getting a bit nervous. That's ridiculous. Better have a morning beer to calm the nerves. Hope I don't get too tipsy and make an ass of myself tonight. Oh well shit happens.

More later!

Front row seat! Joanna's harp!

3rd row seat! There's Joanna's harp night number two!!!!

Update: 8/10/10

So- we enjoyed two nights of Robin Pecknold and Joanna Newsom. I'm not sure that there's a way I can describe this experience. Using words like epic, overwhelming, emotional, perfect, can't do it justice! It's like that time you have really high expectations and it's still 63 times better than that. It was intimate and beautiful. It came to life very nicely live.

PEACH PLUM PEAR <----- She closed with a rocking version of Peach Plum Pear which kicked ass like crazy.
Here is Eric before the show expressing how we both felt.

Here I am standing next to the secret way into the theater. First in line! When the guy opened the door I scared him.

In the audience.

This is the best pic I got. I tried to do a little video recording but the security guys were like hawks. What a night!

Below is a video I was able to get of opener Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes. It almost doesn't seem real that Robin would be playing with Joanna Newsom. The two best bands on the planet right now. Damn! Because this is a quicktime video I was unable to edit it- the music starts at 2:18.

I must have been going through a pretty hard core Joanna phase back in February 2008 because I made this funny video. She rocks in it! but her style has become somewhat more refined over the years.

And finally- here's a picture of Joanna holding a painting of me and of my pet cow. Wow!

Here's a picture Eric drew of me at the show. Very appropriate I would say!