Sunday, February 16, 2020

Do it again...


Back to Mark and Cindy's again today.  Mark and I were recording; Cindy and Joan were hard at it on their guitar quilt projects.

The quilting projects become planning ahead with layers.  Each time they are together, you can see how the image progresses...


Each addition they make creates more of a dimension.  It has been fun to watch it progress.

The recording is a different process: we start by considering a song.  When we make a selection, it then becomes endless options: tempo, style, instruments, vocal styles.  Our choice today ran the gamut from bluesy to hip-hop.  We make a couple scratch tracks, then talk about what would work best with each.  Then: tempo, style, and another scratch track.  From there, it becomes an assembly project, deciding how to lay down each track.  Typically, we'll do a bass and drum track... today, we recorded both at the same time.  Mark on bass, me on hand drums.



More instruments and layers added.  Today, it was a piano and organ track for Mark, and acoustic guitar track for me...


The vocal and solo instrument tracks will wait for another day.  After having Earl and Alice set in with us a few days ago, Mark is going to do a synth flute track.  I'm looking forward to it.

It was time for us to head for home; Rufus was in need of his supper and a walk before dark.  He was happy to see us when we opened the door.


Saturday, February 15, 2020

Double Date...


We spent most of the day with a fun young couple.  OK, it was our kid and son-in-law.  We went to a movie (yes, we are making up for a long time with not going to the show) - the Gentlemen, starring Mathew McConaughey.  I would call it a bit of a comedy/action/crime/suspense movie.

All four of us gave it two thumbs up... so, 8 thumbs up, I guess.  Plenty of good plot twists and turns, and an excellent cast.  Some might say, "Oh, another McConoughey movie about drugs," but it is a lot more than that.  I especially appreciated Hugh Grant's performance.  Guy Ritchie co-wrote, produced, and directed it... with great flare.



Lunch out at Abuelo's - good Mexican dishes.  Some shopping (Dan and I got to have some guy time while the ladies shopped).  Ice creme.  A good day with the youngun's.

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And, a couple new photos of Rufus, because... Rufus:




Friday, February 14, 2020

Nice day...


69 before heading out on the scoots.  The temperature: it was 69º.  A fine day for a ride...



This canopy of trees used to extend all along this stretch - less of it these days...


There are still fields being farmed in the west Valley...


This sign makes me chuckle every time we pass it...


A man and a bicycle levitating above a horse and rider ahead.  That's pretty specific.

To get to the road around the White Tank Mountains, we have to ride north to Bell Rd.  Even on the side streets, there is plenty of traffic...


Where Bell Rd is about to turn into Sun Valley Parkway...



That is the northern part of the White Tank Mountains.  And before long, saguaros...



The mountains are now south of us...


The traffic falls of quickly...


Just to break up the highway riding, we rode through Sun City Festival...


Another Del Webb 55+ development - it seems to be growing fast.  Nice homes; it is a pretty planned community, sitting well west of the greater Phoenix area.  The way the area is growing again, town may soon grow out to meet them.  A glance to the side as we passed a golf course there...


Back onto the highway, looking towards the mountains...


We stopped for a bit to re-hydrate...


We were seeing an occasional bicyclist on the bike lane beside the highway.  More than enough for it to be happenstance.  We saw this sign...


Joan said, "I bet it's a bike race."  Sure enough...





Good place for a bike race, since we seldom see traffic on this 4-lane divided parkway.  Nice day for it, too, with the afternoon temps just reaching 70º.  Still, I'd rather be on my scoot.  ;-)

At the end of this road, we turned east on Interstate 10.  This is something we used to avoid with the PCXes - these scoots handle it with no drama...


We turned off the Interstate at Buckeye.  I don't know if it is because of it being the Friday before a holiday weekend, but there was a lot of traffic on the main drag through the newer part of Buckeye.  We picked a pleasant 50mph road to take back to our RV park.  A look at the construction that is now right at the front entrance of the park...


The longest we've ridden since we've been here.  And a fine day for it.


V-Day B-Day...


Not to be confused with VD-Day, 'cause nobody wants that.

It is Valentines Day.  When you tell your special someone how much they mean to you.  In our house, it is also Rufus's birthday.  More on that in a bit.

We had a nice morning in.  Then, out for breakfast.  Nothing fancy, we narrowed it down to Denny's or Cracker Barrel.  We didn't have to cross traffic to pull into Denny's, so that made the decision.  We obviously weren't the only ones with this idea - we had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table.  Life in the big city.  Once we got seated, the service and food was great.

From there, it was off for grocery restocking at Fry's.  This nearby Fry's is really nice, with a good selection.  You can tell they were geared up for Valentines Day: roses and balloons right at the entrance...



We got the things on our list, and then a few more.  And waited in line to get checked out.  Life in the big city.

Back home, it was walking time for Rufus...


We don't know his actual birthday.  We adopted him February 9th two years ago.  The vet wants to know a birth date, so we picked Valentines Day.  He got an e-mail birthday greeting today from Dr. Julie.  After his breakfast, he got his snuggle time in with Joan.  When she gets up, he comes out to sit with me.  Some quiet time while Joan and I were out, then out for a walk before lunch.  Dr. Julie said he needs to get more exercise, so we are all doing our part.

Joan and I are looking forward to some scooter time today - it's a crisp sunny day, with a forecast high of 72º.  Should be good.  We have an outing planned with Steph and Dan this evening.  Even on a "day off," our days are busy.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Cruising. Again.


There is quite a diversity in the ability to grasp some physics concepts with the kids in Steph's classes, in regards to them "getting" the making of a Gravity Cruiser.  If it was up to me, and it isn't, I'd start with some basic principles of how a lever works; how the balance is affected by the weight and the fulcrum.  (On edit: I found out they did this.  Seems some of them didn't bring that understanding to the project.  ;-)  )

Not that there is anything to be learned if everyone builds the same design... but it takes a while to overcome a bad design.  Like: having the weight on the lever way outside the length of the chassis.  That car is just going to tip over... it ain't gonna go.




No, I am not showing any of the obvious "no-go" designs.

The time is already getting short - two more weeks and they are into their grade level competition.  It is crunch time for testing their designs.  At the pace some of them are going, they are not going to have a completed and tested design in time.  I did let Steph know that I'd do an extra day per week if she wants, to move the kids along with their testing.

Some of the teams have tested and are making great runs.  It is the ones who are not to that point that I am concerned about.  I guess I still have some of that competitive spirit in me.  ;-)


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Security...


I have mentioned that Rufus is protective.  Here he is, providing security for Joan while she was getting ready this morning...


Well, he was still kinda working for me - that is Joan's pants he's laying on.  ;-)


Monday, February 10, 2020

Guest appearance...


We got together again with Mark and Cindy today.  Meeting us at their house were friends of mine, Earl and Alice.  Earl is a guitar forum friend.  There are in the Phoenix area visiting Alice's mother.  It was very gracious of Mark and Cindy to offer to host a get together.

We were at Mark's place early and Mark was just heading out for a walk - I offered to walk with him... if he didn't make the pace too fast.  ;-)  It was nice to visit while we walked.

Back at their house, I recorded a vocal track while Mark cleaned up.  When he came into his studio, he got his turn, with an organ and vocal track...


I was just finishing a drum track when Earl and Alice arrived.  After introductions and some getting to know each other time, Earl and Alice joined us in Mark's studio while Joan and Cindy continued with their quilting project.  It is looking good - a lot of work.


We got Earl and Alice settled in and started making some music...




That is a bass flute that Alice is playing.  I was not familiar with that, but she played it nicely.  We took turns picking songs.  You may notice in the photos that Mark was playing bass... he did eventually switch to keyboard, but being a good host, he didn't want to have his back to everyone.

They flat wore me out... my fingers and vocal chords were feeling it by the end of the day.  I do believe a good time was had by all, though.