‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

curtis-ne-2007-dan-kalalthe ghost train ran through curtis last night– or the railroad crossing lights could have been malfunctioning. either way, i was out walking with my brother-in-law steve in my wife’s hometown last night when we heard the familiar sounds that go off at a train intersection. when we got closer to the tracks, we saw the red crossing lights flashing in time with the warning bells. “there hasn’t been a train come through town in years,” steve said. so we walked up to the sheriff’s office to make sure they knew what was going on. as we walked in steve said, “you might already know about this but–” and the officer on duty said, “the train lights? yeah we know.” as we stood there laughing & making small talk the officer’s phone started ringing (quacking, actually), and it was somebody else calling about the railroad lights. later i asked steve if this incident would be reported in the local newspaper. he nodded & said “yeah probably!”

It’s The Simple Things

chloeandpaintingthis cool painting by joe dimino was under the register when chloé & i worked our morning shift at homer’s today. people leave stuff at the shop sometimes. we didn’t think anything about it until we read the note on the back:chloenoteonbackchloé looked up his website & said “hey! this guy is for real! i’m taking this home with me!” how awesome is that???

What Might Have Been

Beatles-Attempted-Lord-of-the-Rings-Beatles-1968what if the beatles had gone into middle earth instead of a yellow submarine? according to Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson & The Making of Middle-Earth, author ian nathan writes that the beatles actually DID attempt  lord of the rings as a musical adaptation. i read the story on retroist.com, and while it doesn’t reveal why the project didn’t happen, it does remind fans that j.r.r. tolkien was still alive in 1968, and held the film rights to lord of the rings.

John Boyage!

johnboyageat homer’s we’ve developed some code names to let each other know when we have to go to the bathroom. there are usually two co-workers on a shift. if one of us has to (ahem!) “do business,” it’s good to let the other one know so he/she can keep an eye on the register. the code is the same for customers that disappear after ordering: guys are john boy, girls are loo lou. on last tuesday’s shift, i told abigail (my co-worker) “i’m john boy,” and i headed for the men’s room. she said, “ok… john boyage!” when she goes “loo lou” next week, i’ll say “tootle loo!” — if i can remember.

Crazy Like A Scrabble Champ

TUSHY2this post was originally titled Wordy McWorderson, but if you take the band names in the first sign & rearrange them to form the band names in the second sign, you get the deranged genius of brad williams. i was messing with the LIVE MUSIC sign at homer’s a couple of weeks ago & posting it on instagram & facebook. brad is a friend on facebook who co-hosts my favorite 80′s podcast. after i made a couple of anagrams, he joined in & things just got silly. today i found out that a civet is “a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal.”

War Poppies

davepoppyit all started when christy texted & called me about the poppies at the liberty memorial. ironically i was at mickey’s surplus (an army surplus store) when she told me about this visually stunning tribute to veterans. last night jenny & i were part of a crowd that watched poppies part like a curtain as a short film about the first world war projected on the north side of the liberty memorial. it felt like we were watching someone else’s memories.

The Uno Synth

ARPit slices! it dices! it can make an E minor chord sound like a space invasion! say hello to the UNO synth! it’s not just a word you say when you’re holding one card, it’s a monophonic synthesizer that has adjustable scales, multiple controls, and an arpeggiator!!! this is something i recorded right before jenny came home from work. the four note sequence on the UNO is E G B C. once that got going at 78 beats per minute i just started playing some chords on the guitar.

Mile Marker 1,000

1000posts“breaker breaker one nine, we got an oil spill out on mile marker 1,000!” these are the kind of things i’ve been writing over the last seven years. yesterday’s blog post rolled the odometer to 1,000. can you believe it? since 2011 i’ve created and destroyed multiple electronic devices, told stories of love and loss, and basically chronicled life in the midwest. here are some blog entry titles coming up on the horizon:
The UNO Synth
My Favorite Life Detective
Wordy McWorderson

Not The Pumpkin!

01ukrainepumpkinin ukraine it’s still not good to “get a pumpkin.” why? centuries ago if a woman wanted to reject a marriage proposal, she would hand her suitor a pumpkin– at least that’s how they handled courtship in ukraine. parents of attractive girls often had to grow a large pumpkin patch. i recently found out about this old tradition on everything is alive, the podcast that interviews inanimate objects. the last guest in october was annie the jack o’lantern.


846-02795081fast people run like the wind. gassy people break like the wind. i can do both, but most of the time i walk like the wind (or a gentle breeze)– especially if there’s a sense of urgency. jenny asked me to check something on the computer while we were eating breakfast yesterday. when she wanted me to hurry, i slowly stood up, raised a finger to the ceiling, and said “i will walk like the wind!”