Adventures in Painting

Last night I dropped a whole gallon of white paint on the step on our front porch. I was carrying two cans and, needing one hand free to open the screen door, I slyly lodged one can on my knee against the outside wall. Don’t do this. Opening the screen the can tumbled off my knee and burst open on the step. Luckily the can landed on its lid and much of the paint oozed out slowly (which is still quite alarming!) rather than splattering all over my shoes, leg and everything else. Kathleen handles emergencies so gracefully it amazes me. Without getting a drop of paint on her clothes she manages to quickly hand scoop 95% of the paint back into the can while I scurry in a circle cursing myself. We were also lucky the paint was acrylic because it pretty much wiped and hosed clean off everything. As Kathleen says, any dirt that got in the paint will be “texture”.

We’re starting with the two bedrooms next to ours, giving them a few coats of the cheap paint, ripping the carpet out (nice terrazzo underneath) and then moving on to the rest of the house. We’re still deciding on colors. I have trouble envisioning colors on such large areas so I’m gonna take some room pics into Fireworks and color the walls their to try out some of our ideas.


Dear friends,
You might’ve received a frantic call from Kathleen or me regarding helping us move an incredibly heavy piano that I purchased at Salvation Army. The item has been successfully transplanted to its new home in our office where it will await repair and tuning for decades. What does this mean to you? You can begin answering our calls again.

Steve & Kathleen

Steve with piano

Camden Park

Camden Park illustration
One of these days a West Virginia trip is in order and some of my favorite memories are from Camden Park. Originally opened in 1903, it still apparently has its original wooden coasters from the end of the 50’s. Check out the awesome train cars on the Big Dipper (1958). From the skyliner you can probably see what a dump the place is now compared to its heyday, but you can still ride the old chain pulled Haunted House. I loved riding the Spider all lit up at night. Nice overview pics.


A few hours after I called in sick on Friday, Kathleen came home, too, with a problem with her tonsils. We were pretty useless all day; she slept, I mostly sneezed uncontrollably, but I managed to install the new CPU in my recording computer and find it defective. I took what I thought was 12-hr medicine, but it turned out to be 4-hr, so the last half of the day I felt particularly terrible thinking that I had to wait to take more. Before bed I did the generic version of Thera-flu, which had no perceivable impact. I woke up dehydrated probably a half-dozen times. Before breakfast Kathleen gave me an Advil Cold & Sinus and fnially something seems to be working. She’s been super patient with me, I dunno how she does it.

What’s Hot? Pt. II

Our House

Friday Kathleen and I noticed that our AC had stopped blowing cool air. Further investigation revealed that the compressor motor was just making a racket without actually turning the fan blades. We tried reseting the breakers with no luck, now the motor won’t even come on. Chief suspects include burned out motor, low freon level (I think either could trip some kind of safety-shutdown-enrage-occupants mechanism) and Mister Green with the revolver. We’ve opened up all the windows and have already taken our first drive-around-in-the-cool-van, ostensibly to find Paul’s new place…accomplished! Now we wait till Monday to call some guy who’ll probably charge $80 to come out and confirm our fears of needing a new compressor motor.

New home

Kathleen lives here now and things couldn’t be better. All the great stuff she brought fits wonderfully…including eveydog! though she still sometimes gives me this “ok, this is fun, but when are we going home?” look, or the “I like you, but when does she get home?”. Maybe it’s just me; I haven’t had a pet since I was in the single digits, so it’s kind of a new experience but she’s been great.

Anyway, our new “shacking up” todo list keeps growing and the house keeps looking better.

Last night and thoughts lately

Last night was, at least instrumentally, one of our best..I think. As for vocals, I must apologize to the five people who bothered to stay in the room because the Soft Targets, who played before us, packed up their vocal monitor after they played. They let Josh borrow a drum throne so they had to stick around, but they couldn’t leave the monitor so we could have decent vocals? For those who don’t have to sing 3 feet in front of a loud guitar amp and drums, the vocal monitor is essential. As Nathan Arizona might say, “speakers and monitors you got a PA set, no monitors you got dick.” It was at least nice that all the music of the night was pretty good, Soft Targets included, and the Shamrock was comfortable (no smoking inside).

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be “lead singing” (or generally the center of attention) in a live band setting. I’m not enthusiastic, an extrovert, an amazingly good singer or guitarist (esp. doing both at the same time), and I’m not physically attractive enough to make that stuff matter less. All I can do live is play a song semi-competently and I can live with that, but why make an audience watch someone be awkward and uncomfortable on stage while a band tries to do with three members what really needs five or six? Even if the recordings do the music justice, the current French Horns live show isn’t going to send people to them, nor is it going to encourage any like-minded musicians to join us, which is what we need more than anything. Unless we can be sure we’ll be in front of people who really appreciate the songs enough to hear them through our badness, playing more shows in Gainesville is a waste of time.

There are a few things we could do to help. We have zero aesthetic appeal so anything would help, projectors, props, anything! It might also just come to us playing to a tape. Since it’ll be nearly impossible for us to sync a recording up to us live (and really hard to play along to for a drummer) we’re just gonna have to have recorded drums and have Josh play something else. At least for some songs this could really be nice, and for others, it would mean we could actually even play them…