Friday, October 30, 2015

Republican Debate and Lobster Boil

The boating season is officially over for Travalon and me – he took our boat out of the water on Wednesday, with the help of a friendly and knowledgeable neighbor. The boat place nearby said they would charge $25 to let him use their launch, but they ended up not charging him anything, so that was cool of them. Our boat is so small that Richard Bonomo had proposed just lifting it out of the water and carrying it off of the dock, but our dock is very long so it would have been kind of difficult. It was a lot easier to just use a boat launch.

Wednesday evening Travalon and I watched the Republican debate. He likes Rubio the best, and I have a soft spot for Christie, since he is so blunt. On the Democratic side, we both liked O’Malley the best, but that debate was a lot less entertaining. The Republican candidates noticed, too, because they made comments about how the moderators were a lot nicer to the Democrats than to them. I have to agree – the moderators this time really asked irrelevant questions about things like fantasy football. When you’re trying to pick the next leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world, what difference does his stand on fantasy football make? I personally played one season; my team name was Our Lady of Annihilation, and I beat all the guys at work, so they never asked me to play again. This was years ago, in the private sector. I mostly work with women and a gay guy now, and none of them has ever shown the least bit of interest in fantasy football.

Last night Travalon and I went to Mariner’s Inn for their lobster boil. It is a very fun but messy proposition: they give you a whole boiled lobster, a shell cracker, and a bib, and you have to do all the work. Tiffy always said she likes to eat lobster and crab because you feel like you earned your dinner. They sat us at long tables, so we ended up chatting with the congenial people on either side of us. Lobster is so delicious, and it looks like a giant bug, so you would think maybe small bugs would also be delicious. However, the three times I accidentally ate bugs (once in sprouts, once at Rich’s house, and once in some flax seed powder from Rich’s house), they really tasted quite terrible, and I wondered what was going on until realizing there were bugs in what I was eating. Tiffy once had deep-fried maggots in Mexico, and she said they were tasty, “but then anything deep-fried tastes good,” she allowed. I am not sure even deep frying could have made the bugs I ingested taste good.

Famous Hat

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Man Hits Maple

During my lunch break, I take a walk in the neighborhood around my place of work while praying the rosary. Today I was just finishing up when a very large truck drove down the narrow street, and I heard a loud crack. I looked up, and he had broken the branch off of a maple tree by the side of the road. He just drove off, and I wasn’t sure what to do, since the branch fell into the street but was too large for me to move. Fortunately two men had seen the accident and came over to remove the branch. I was surprised the man driving the truck didn’t stop – how could he not notice what he’d done? If he had hit a person, or a car, he would have had to stop, but I don’t know if there’s any law against damaging a tree. It does seem sad, and I hope the tree will be okay, since it lost a very large branch just as it was going dormant for the winter. It is very pretty at the moment, with yellow and orange leaves, but soon it will be bare. I just hope, when it grows leaves again next spring, that it has enough left to survive.

Famous Hat 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Project LUAU: Lending Us All Ukuleles

The Madison Area Ukulele Initiative (MAUI) wants to do something for the community, and I think this is kind of cool: Project LUAU (Lending Us All Ukuleles). They are trying to raise money to buy and maintain a collection of ukuleles for people to borrow from the library. This sounds like a great way to give people exposure to this happy little instrument that is so easy to play. Maybe kids that can’t afford a violin or piano could go to the library, check out a ukulele, and learn to play some songs, and that would be their first exposure to a musical instrument. The budget includes books for learning to play the ukulele, so you could check those out too. Hopefully nobody would steal the ukuleles, but that is always the risk with books too, and the library model has worked for a very long time with those. The ukuleles would be at three branches of the library in lower income neighborhoods. If you are interested in this project, visit this webpage: Project LUAU. I hope MAUI can make this vision a reality!

Famous Hat

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Miscellaneous Post

Here are a collection of random things I keep meaning to blog about:

When Jilly Moose got her new car, a chartreuse Kia Soul, we were tossing around names for it. Travalon suggested “Chartreuse Moose,” but Jilly Moose and I both heard “Chartreuse Bruce,” and we both thought that was a great name. Now the car is “Chartreuse Bruce full of Moose.”

Friday night at Kathbert’s birthday party, Cecil Markovitch brought along the festive black-and-white party hats he had previously brought to the Single B-Boy’s birthday party. We each put one on, and Rich wondered why it is traditional to wear conical hats for birthday parties, since they look like dunce caps. At some point in the evening, Cecil put two hats on so it looked like he had horns. While he wasn’t watching, Travalon took a photo of him which is hilarious, but I promised I would not post it anywhere online, so you will just have to imagine Cecil with two big black-and-white horns.

The other day I took a music test online. I tend to think of myself as somewhat musical, so imagine my surprise when the test said I am just a little above average in identifying a tune and, worse, a little below average in identifying the beat. Apparently I am just average in my musical abilities and have been able to compensate all this time because of my extensive musical training. It reminds me of whenever my OTHER choir director would transpose a piece we were working on and not tell us; I thought the rest of the choir was so much more adept than I was because they could transpose it in their heads, while I was completely thrown. After talking to my OTHER choir director, I found out what was actually going on is that most of them just sang whatever starting note he gave them, and they weren’t aware they were singing an F while looking at a G, which is what was driving me crazy. He said that means I’m more musically adept than they are, not less. Perhaps the lesson here is that online tests are wildly inaccurate, since I have gotten all kinds of IQ scores on tests available online. Some even said I was a genius, which I find highly suspect. I personally am more impressed with my musical abilities than my intellectual ones.

Famous Hat

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kathbert's Birthday and the Corn Maze

Did my 5.6 regular readers enjoy this lovely autumn weekend? Friday night Travalon and I went to Rich’s house for Kathbert’s birthday party, joining Cecil Markovitch, Prairie Man, the Single B-Boy, and my OTHER choir director. Since it was Friday, we had vegetarian pasta, but Kathbert didn’t mind, since she tends to eat a more vegetarian diet anyway. We also had Black Magic cake that Rich made and red wine and green beans that Cecil brought.

Saturday Tiffy came to visit, and she, Richard Bonomo, Travalon, and I went to the corn maze, which was the fox and the sour grapes from Aesop's Fables this year. It was cold and muddy, which meant walking was more hazardous, but then the crowds weren’t as bad, and the colors on the hills behind the maze were gorgeous. We found enough secret punches to be Maze Masters, and Travalon found two of them just by wandering down the right paths. Tiffy always says I “think like a Treinen” and can figure out where the Treinen family may have hidden their secret punches. There were ten total in the maze, but you only had to find eight (or one per section) to win valuable prizes, which were maze pens. They have an actual maze inside of them with a tiny ball you can roll around the maze. Afterwards Rich was off to a friend’s bonfire far south of town, but we decided to stay in town and joined Jilly Moose for dinner at La Taguara, a Venezuelan restaurant.

Yesterday Tiffy and I went on a five-mile hike in the Arboretum with Rich, who set a brisk pace. We did stop to take pictures in a part of the forest that was golden, so we were calling it Lothlorian. I keep wondering if Tolkien had been to Wisconsin in October when he wrote about the golden forest in Lord of the Rings. Travalon was spending some daddy-doggy time with Rodney. When I got home, he and I went on a long boat ride out into the marsh, past sunset and moonrise, and then he fished from the boat on the river, under the nearly full moon. He didn’t even get a nibble, but at least this way he can say he has fished from the boat. I keep saying that this was our final ride of the season, but lots of our neighbors still have boats on the water, like one called “Aqua-holic.” I guess we all are reluctant to bid adieu to the boating season.

Famous Hat

Friday, October 23, 2015

Moonlight Boat Ride

In my last blog post, I completely failed to mention the moonlight boat ride Travalon and I took on Wednesday night. We had tried to start the boat last weekend, but it had been so cold that the motor wouldn’t start at all. Travalon thought after the warm days we had earlier this week, it might start without a problem, so I suggested we try on Wednesday. It was cold and rainy when we got done with lunch, so we headed out on our road trip instead of trying the boat. By the time we got home, it was around eight, but it was a beautiful night so I said let’s try the boat. It started on the first try, and so we went down the river, but not into the marsh – it would have been too dark back there, even with a half moon shining above. There is a strange house in our neighborhood that I always speculated nobody lived in, and maybe it’s just one of those fake houses that is actually a well, because we never saw lights on in it, and there is no driveway. However, Wednesday night we could clearly see someone was watching TV in the mysterious house, so obviously someone lives there. Then we went out into the lake far enough to see the lights of downtown Madison, although we couldn’t see the Capitol Building. This may have been our last boat ride of the year, and it was a good one!

Famous Hat

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Single B-Boy's Birthday Party and Two Lakes (Crystal and Devil's)

Sorry for my silence the last few days. Tuesday evening I was very busy because right after Irish class I had to run to the Old Fashioned to reserve a table for the Single B-Boy’s birthday party. (His birthday was actually yesterday, and so was Kathbert’s.) The place was so crowded that I couldn’t even sit at the bar, so I ended up waiting outside at a nearby bus stop. At least it was a lovely evening. Travalon arrived soon after me, so we hung around outside together until Cecil Markovitch and the B-Boy arrived, then we all went into the Old Fashioned and tried to stay out of the waiters’ way until Richard Bonomo and Prairie Man arrived, and just then our table was finally ready. Cecil brought birthday hats in festive black and white and those things you blow on that unfold like a frog’s tongue, but these didn’t make any noise. Isn’t that half the fun?? The table next to us was also celebrating a birthday, so Cecil gave them some hats too. Anyway, that’s why I didn’t blog on Tuesday.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off of work and went with Travalon to Banzo, a Mideastern restaurant not far from our house. It was very cute inside, and the food was delicious. Then we drove around Crystal Lake in Lodi, and I was curious about the campground on a peninsula in the lake, so we drove into it and discovered a charming little tavern with friendly people in it. One regular gave us a bit of a tour, then we hit the road and drove to Devil’s Lake. The road into the park made us feel like we were driving through Tolkein’s mythical forest Lothlorian, being under all those golden trees slowly raining golden leaves down on us. The park is always beautiful, but in October it is especially lovely, with the billion-year-old purplish Baraboo quartzite contrasting so gorgeously with the golden and vermillion leaves on the trees and the deep blue water of the lake. We took Rodney for a walk along the low path, and although I said to Travalon that I wanted to hike up in the bluffs, afterwards I was quite tired so it’s probably best we didn’t actually do that. On the way home we took the Merrimac Ferry and got quite a lovely view of the sunset. I took lots of photos, which I will try to post soon. We ended the evening sharing a pizza at a little pizzeria near our house… and that is why I didn’t blog yesterday.

Famous Hat

Monday, October 19, 2015

Blue Mound State Park and Fisher King Winery

I hope my readers had a good weekend. Friday evening Travalon went to a high school football game, so I hung out with Rich and Kathbert, and they helped me get the photos from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro "Boethius," so I was able to put them on my previous post. Saturday morning Travalon had to work, so I met with the other Rosary Ladies (Luxuli, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap) at La Baguette for some coffee and breakfast. Luxuli noted that we were having a “French month,” since we had gone to Chez Nanou the weekend before. Then she and OK Cap went to the corn maze that I will be going to with Tiffy next weekend, Jilly Moose went to a tailgate party, and I went hiking with Travalon and Rodney at Blue Mound State Park. According to my iPhone, we went up the equivalent of six flights of stairs, which isn’t bad for an afternoon hike but is nothing like last Wednesday. Afterwards we went to Fisher King Winery in downtown Mount Horeb and tried a flight of their wine. We liked the port so much we bought a bottle of it. I would encourage all my readers to check this place out – it is very charming, and the wine is wonderful. We ended the evening at David’s Jamaican, the restaurant that catered our wedding, and then went home and watched the Cubs lose to the Mets.

Yesterday Travalon and I took Rodney for a hike in a “state natural area,” which was a strip of land between two farms. We had hoped it would lead us down to the Yahara River, but it was a really wild hike (“I feel like we’re bushwhacking,” said Travalon), and then the trail – or what there was of one – ended completely, and before us was marsh. We turned around and headed back, then we drove to Cherokee Park, from which you can get a wonderful view of the river. I remember hiking with Rich and Kathbert on a boardwalk in the marsh, but we couldn’t find that part of the park before we had to head home to watch the Packers just barely beat the Chargers in the last couple seconds of the game. Whew! The Pack is still undefeated this year, but unfortunately the Cubbies are losing their series so far in the playoffs. Not that my cousin out east is disappointed – she posted a thing on MyFace that said: “Keep calm and GO METS!” But that’s the other side of the family – I’m genetically a Cubs fan on Ma Hat’s side. Travalon had been intrigued by my description of Chez Nanou as a cozy little French bistro, so we went there for a very romantic dinner and had an extremely personable waiter. It was a wonderful end to another delightful weekend.

Famous Hat

Friday, October 16, 2015

Photos from the State Park Road Trip

As promised, here are some photos from the road trip Travalon and I took on Wednesday. First are some photos from Roche-a-Cri State Park.

Petroglyphs (covered by modern graffiti)

view from halfway up the rock

These next photos are from Timm's Hill, the highest point in the state of Wisconsin. The first one Travalon took from the top of the observation tower; I was too scared up there to pull out my iPhone and take photos. The second photo is of Timm's Lake.

And finally, a shot of Wausau at night from Rib Mountain.

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Light Bright's Baby Plans

Last night Light Bright and I got together for dinner, like we try to do once a month, and then afterwards we went to the chocolate shop for pumpkin pie chocolates and hot chocolate. It was the perfect thing to do on a cool autumn night! Light Bright’s baby is due on November 10, and she says when she finally has to go back to work and her mother-in-law can’t stay any longer, they are going to put him in bilingual day care. She says she wants him to have an intellectual advantage, since she is very dyslexic and she figures he may be too. I said I carry a gene for dyslexia, per the genetic test I took a couple of years ago, but that would be the least of my worries at my age. She already knows her baby doesn’t have any weird chromosomal abnormalities, or even a cleft lip, and if he were born today, he’d be big enough to survive. That has got to be a relief! The other thing Light Bright is going to do for his intellectual development – big surprise – is have him learn a musical instrument as early as possible. After all, she plays the banjo and guitar herself. I approve both of teaching the little guy Spanish and teaching him an instrument, the two things that have been shown to raise children’s IQs appreciably. I did both as a child… so imagine where I’d be without those advantages! My blog would be even less intellectual…

I hope to bring Boethius my computer to Rich’s house tonight, so that he can show me a simple way to get the photos off of my iPhone and onto Boethius, and then hopefully onto this blog. Emailing them to myself is not the most efficient way to do this, and two Apple products have got to be compatible with each other, right? So look for the photos from my wonderful road trip on Wednesday either later tonight or tomorrow.

Famous Hat

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Roche-a-Cri and Timm's Hill

Yesterday I took the day off of work and drove with Travalon to Roche-a-Cri State Park, a small but beautiful park featuring a magnificent giant rock. (I took photos that I hope to post tomorrow.) We had Rodney with us, and we hiked around the rock and discovered a stairway all the way up to the top. Travalon carried Rodney up the stairs, but we only made it to the lookout point halfway up, which still afforded a wonderful view. There are also petroglyphs on the rock, but they are unfortunately mostly obscured by modern graffiti. Aren’t people wonderful? We stopped at a nearby gas station afterwards to get some Gatorade, since my phone claimed we had gone up twelve flights of stairs and so we were very thirsty, and when we got back in the car, we heard Travalon’s goofy phone counting down like it does when it takes a picture. Then it snapped a picture of the inside of his pocket! He emailed it to me:

 Our actual destination was Timm’s Hill, the highest point in Wisconsin. When Travalon had suggested it for our day trip, I hadn’t realized how far north it actually is. It is kind of off the beaten path, so we drove on a “rustic road” and then onto the one-way narrow road along the side of the hill. The leaves on the trees we drove under were golden, so I said I felt like we were driving through Lothlorian, the golden forest from The Lord of the Rings, and Travalon said I had to blog about that. Timm’s Hill is a county park that includes three lakes, so after we hiked up to the top of the hill and climbed the observation tower, we followed the path down to Timm’s Lake. One of the other lakes has a café on it, but it was closed by the time we got there.

We then headed back east to hit Highway 51, and then we went south. Just as dark was falling, we reached Wausau and one of my very favorite state parks, Rib Mountain. (I was wearing a Rib Mountain hoodie.) I suggested we try to go to the top of the mountain to see the lights of Wausau below us, and tons of other people had the same idea. It was so beautiful! After all that hiking up hills and staircases, my iPhone claimed we had gone up the equivalent of 26 flights of stairs. No wonder we were so tired! We had dinner at the Hu-Hot in Wausau and then headed home. What a delightful day off! And the weather was so lovely. I wish I could get that much exercise and fresh air every day…

Famous Hat

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Summer Is Really Over

It’s so hard to say goodbye to summer, but today Travalon noted that “Midnight Splash,” the huge houseboat docked at a marina near our house, is out of the water. It does not have as original a name as some of the boats in our neighborhood – my personal favorites are “Wine Down” and “Just Add Water” – but it was the most impressive boat after the Betty Lou Cruise yachts. It has two levels and even a slide from the top level into the water. It’s just a matter of time before we have to take little “Megan Jaye” out of the water, but at least she is a small boat and can hang out in our garage all winter, so we don’t have to pay for winter storage. Of course, this means both Noelle my Honda Civic and Travalon’s Lexus Pasquinel (named after the character from Centennial) have to stay outside all winter. Oh well, at least that way it’s fair, if we both have to leave our vehicles outside in the cold and snow.

Famous Hat

Monday, October 12, 2015

Irish Language Weekend

This weekend I was very busy with the Irish Language Weekend. Rich and I grabbed a quick bite of dinner before my classes began Friday evening. I was in Level Two this year but had the same energetic teacher from Connemara as last year. Afterwards my regular Irish teacher convinced me to stay for the games in Irish, which were a lot of fun, but then I got home kind of late.

Saturday morning things started up at nine, and then we got a break for lunch so I went up to the Square with one of the other people from my weekly Irish class, the guy teaching the beginning level class, and his mother, who were both from Ireland. The first place we went, Cooper’s Tavern, had an hour wait, as we were told by the Irish maître d’, and he couldn’t even help out a couple of his paisanos. We went to Brocach, which the Irish people thought was great because the name apparently means “filthy” in Irish, so they were taking pictures of the sign. They did concede that the food was good and the interior was very authentic-looking for an Irish pub. We rushed back to class and continued until four, then I met Travalon at St. Patrick’s for evening Mass. A whole bunch of African people in brightly-colored clothes filled the basement, and I found out they were there for a memorial service. I hope people wear brightly-colored clothes to my funeral! Black is awfully depressing for those of us who believe there is something after this life. Travalon had a steak night with the guys that night, so I met OK Cap and Luxuli at Chez Nanou, a French bistro on Willy Street. Afterwards OK Cap and I rushed over to the Baroque concert we planned to attend, but the parking lot was full and we couldn’t find any parking within a mile radius, so we just headed home and prayed a rosary. Luxuli joined us over the phone. I completely forgot about the Irish music concert that was part of our Irish Language Weekend, since I'd been planning to skip it for the Baroque concert.

Sunday morning Irish class again began at nine. Our teacher was great: she had us fill out our evaluations forms, and THEN she gave us chocolate! No bribing from her! Class got done at 11:30, so I hurried home to catch the Packer game. It was beautiful the way they stopped the Rams. Since it was such a gorgeous day, Travalon and I took a boat ride (our last for the season?) back into the marsh, then we went to a park in Windsor and took a long walk on a boardwalk beside the Yahara River, where it is barely more than a babbling brook. It was very beautiful, and I told Rich that I’d love to go there some time with him and Kathbert. We still have about a mile more of trail to explore, since the sun was going down so we didn’t want to get stuck on the trail with no light. Then we watched – you guessed it – more episodes of Soap. We must be nearly done with Season One by now.

Famous Hat

Friday, October 9, 2015

Watching Soap

Travalon wanted me to blog about this, so I will attempt to stretch it into an entire post: I said earlier this week that I was curious about that classic sitcom Soap, which I had never seen, and of course Travalon owns like the first four seasons on DVD. We have been watching maybe three episodes a day for the last few days, and I have to say this show is hilarious. It is from the mid-70’s but oddly doesn’t feel that dated, although I do love some of the outfits people wear. However, the way the people act and the problems they come up against are so over the top that it really feels like it could be happening now. How to describe what the show is about? It is a spoof of soap operas, so the main characters are always having problems like the mother and daughter having an affair with the same guy, or a guy who will be killed by the Mob if he doesn’t kill his own stepfather first, or his brother who wants to have a sex-change operation to marry his gay lover, but changes his mind when the guy leaves him for an actual woman. Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away so you’ll just have to watch it yourselves.

The only other thing I have to say is that when we went to the Fox and Hounds restaurant and I had to use the restroom, I was dismayed by their cutesy labeling. I’ve seen nautical restaurants that label the restrooms “buoys” and “gulls,” but most native speakers of English can figure that out. When Tiffy and I went to a Thai restaurant this past Saturday, the restrooms were helpfully labeled in English, Thai, and with pictures of a man and a woman, in case you didn’t know either language. But at the Fox and Hounds, the restrooms were labeled – you guessed it – “foxes” and “hounds.” I stood there for a moment, thinking that women are often referred to as foxes, while there is nothing feminine implied in the word “hound,” but then both foxes and hounds come in male and female. I did brave the room labeled “foxes” and appeared to have guessed right, judging by the lack of male facilities contained therein. Still, it was a lot more stressful than it needed to be. At least put a sexy fox with long eyelashes on the door to give us something of a hint! 

Famous Hat

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Go Have Fun

The thing about keeping a blog regularly is that sometimes you just have no inspiration. Yesterday I had pictures to post, but more pictures of the same stuff would just get tiresome. I looked back through some of my older posts from 2010 and 2011, when I thought I’d been more creative, but most of them seemed to be complaining about my job. Interestingly, I had more people comment on the blog then, so maybe they liked to commiserate but now have no interest in my life when I am much happier. The only thing I can think of to blog about is when Handy Woman and I were talking earlier today about vaccinations, and how we both might be due soon for the tetanus shot. She recalled that she had last had one about nine years ago, when she sliced her hand using an X-acto knife to cut a carrot. I said that was about the same time I got one, when I sliced my thumb on the edge of a can of food I had just opened. I told her that I was a super genius and asked for the tetanus shot in my left arm, since I’m right-handed, without stopping to think that the injury had been to my right hand. Of course this meant I effectively had no good hand for several days, while the shot arm was stiff and the wounded hand was sore. It was so bad that I even had to stay home from work the first day. The kicker? I was at home making dinner instead of going out to eat with friends to “save some money,” but the $60 I was charged for the emergency room visit would have paid for not only my dinner but two of my friends’ as well. I guess the lesson in all this is you might as well go have fun, because being virtuous might come back to bite you.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Some Photos from My Wonderful Summer

Here are some photos from this summer. Sorry they are in such random order, but when my computer downloaded them, it did it in some sort of shuffled order instead of in the order I took them in. First a couple of shots of the Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University.

Next are a couple of shots of Cave Point County Park in Door County.

Here is a photo of the crinkly egg I got from a coworker with its normal buddies:

This is the interior of the Silver Dome Ballroom in Neilsville.

Here is a cool license plate we saw in Dubuque.

This is the Octagon House in Watertown:

This is the wonderful hill behind the pond in Mill Bluff State Park.

Finally, the interiors of two churches. I believe the first one is St. Martin of Tours in Martinsville, and the second one is St. Jerome in Chicago, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Famous Hat

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cybercriminals Strike Again!

These online cybercriminals are just getting worse and worse. This weekend I was saying to Tiffy that if they devoted this much energy to worthy pursuits, they could find the cure for cancer: “After all, if they can find their way around encryption software, they should be able to find their way around the immune system!” Timely words indeed, because I just got notice of another database hack. As you may remember, my identity was stolen this spring, then my credit card number was stolen this summer, and Travalon’s was too, just a few weeks later. Luckily, in both our cases, the fraudulent charges were denied, probably because they were outside our usual spending habits. Then just today I was notified that the online stock trading company I have an account with had been hacked. Fortunately they believe the only information stolen was contact information, like our addresses and phone numbers, and that they couldn’t get at our passwords. That is good, because my pathetic little collection of electric company stock should be safe, and if these people want to write a letter to me, they can be my guest. The breach supposedly happened in 2013, but the company wasn’t allowed to tell us until the Feds were done with their investigation, which means the only address these people would have for me is my old condo, and the forwarding address from that is long since expired. I am hoping nothing dire comes of this, but it does scare me, because these criminals are getting too clever. This is why I keep my old flip phone, because smart phones can be hacked, and then if that is the phone number I have for verification and they get my bank account password too, they could access my money. But nobody can hack a flip phone, as far as I know, so if they don’t have the phone in their possession, they can’t receive the verification code to get into my account. So there, cybercriminals. Old Skool technology will stop you guys cold.

Famous Hat

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Highly Musical Weekend

This was a very musical weekend for me. Friday night Travalon and I went to see the Afro-Cuban All Stars play salsa. What a great show! They had everyone up and dancing. Then Saturday, after meeting OK Cap for coffee, I picked up Hardingfele and we drove down to Eplegaarden to play with our band. At first we were set up in a shaded shelter, but it was very cold there, so we moved out into the sunshine, and then it wasn’t so bad. This gig is always fun because we get paid in produce, so afterwards I loaded up on apples, cider, and squash. In the evening Tiffy and I went to a Baroque music concert that we enjoyed a great deal, especially when they performed the Bach Violin Concerto in A Minor. They also did, among other things, a Biber piece called “Battaglia” that actually sounded like a war. It had movements depicting topics like the soldiers getting drunk before the war, the war itself, and the mourning afterwards. From the backyard of the church where the concert was held, Tiffy and I could see the strange lights across Lake Monona that I had tried to find before when Travalon and I discovered the East Side Club, so we drove around the lake trying to find what they actually are but did not succeed. It remains a mystery.

Sunday I did not attend or perform in any concerts. Travalon, Tiffy, and I joined some of the choir members at brunch, then she went off to her nephew’s birthday lunch while Travalon and I hiked along the Yahara River with Rodney before the Packer game. What an excellent game! The Forty-Niners are worthy opponents, but this time the Pack beat them on their own turf. Also, the Saints (my second-favorite team) beat the Cowboys (and I can’t stand them) in overtime, so that was exciting. After the game, Travalon and I joined Jilly Moose at Rich’s house, since I had promised to drop off some more pawpaws for Kathbert and Rich’s neighbor to try, and then the four of us walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner. The one right by Rich’s house had just closed for the evening, so we went to another one in easy walking distance, and was that an interesting experience. A DJ was blasting music, so we had to ask them to turn it down, and then only Jilly Moose got exactly what she had ordered. I would have thought it was a language miscommunication, except I had ordered mine in Spanish, so who knows what went wrong? Perhaps my Spanish accent is just that bad, although what seems to have happened is they mixed up part of my order with part of Travalon’s, so we each got the right sauce on our enchiladas but the wrong meat inside. Anyway, the food was okay but nothing fantastic. I was more intrigued to hear that they have karaoke there every evening. You know me – I’m always up for karaoke! But it hadn’t started yet by the time we left, so who knows how late they do it? Just think, if I’d gotten to sing, it would have been a musical weekend from start to finish!

Famous Hat

Friday, October 2, 2015

Holy Hill

Sorry for my silence the last few days. On Wednesday we all got to leave work a little early to go see our boss’s boss on Jeopardy! He came in third out of three, but just getting on the show is huge. He won a grand, but he says California takes a lot of taxes out of it, so he imagines his check will just be for a few hundred dollars when he finally gets it. Plus he had to pay his own way out there. Afterwards Travalon and I met for dinner at Brasserie V, and then I went to choir practice for the first time in ages. I did get asked to sing soprano on some songs I only know the alto part to, so it wasn’t all stuff I’ve sung for almost two decades.

Yesterday I took the day off of work, and in the morning Travalon and I ran errands and then went on a walk along a path by the Yahara River. We saw lots of wooly bear caterpillars along the way, and they all seem to be predicting an average winter, so that’s a relief. Then Rich came with us to take Travalon’s mother to Holy Hill. If you have never been there, it is a beautiful shrine in the middle of nowhere, up on a hill so you can see it for miles as you approach. Travalon’s mom likes to go there once a year and pray for the soul of his dad, and she ran into someone she knows in the chapel. We also ran into someone we know outside the beautiful main church. We hit the gift shop as well, and I’m sure my regular readers will be shocked to learn that I added to my rosary collection. Rich climbed the bell tower, which I did years ago, and he said it was really windy up there, just as I’d remembered it. Afterwards we went to a nearby restaurant called Fox and Hounds, which had two-for-one Surf and Turf on Thursday evenings. The place was beautiful, very rustic inside, and the food was good but there was no way I could eat all of it. We got a lobster tail, a steak, tons of vegetables, soup, potatoes, and bread. I brought some home and will eat it tonight, since today my coworkers and I went to lunch today to celebrate Handy Woman’s promotion.   

Famous Hat