Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To the West!

I just missed the end of a Friendly Fire concert yesterday, but was able to join in the after-gig chat with them, Joce, Tracy and Jenda. The main topic of conversation was the costume party at TNW later that night. We danced for a while, and gave each other help/advice finalizing our costumes. We were done well before the party was to start but we decided to head over there anyway.

DJ Farr was of course ready for early arrivals and already had the music rolling. Others started showing up soon after us, a parade of ghosts, goblins, ghouls and other beasties. As we're nearing the end of the Halloween season people were bringing out their best costumes. Some were changing costumes throughout the night, each one better than the last. It was even better than the usual sights there on Tuesday nights!

I had a great time juggling conversations with Tracy and Isobela. Iso and I have been making a semi-serious study of factors affecting one's chances in winning costume contests. A factor I've been studying is how much to tip the dancers to generate their goodwill and hopefully votes without spending more than the eventual prize. I believe I've found the sweet spot. The actual dollar amount is classified, though. Iso has studied this factor also, with significantly different results. We both agree the differences in effectiveness are gender-related. If we can keep at it a few more months, and show statistically-significant winning results, we may be able to sell our research for the big bucks!

Tracy and I had a much longer conversation that the night before at Wheelies. We talked about different clubs we had been to and the good points about them, SPAM, different people's costumes at the party and all sorts of stuff. She even got me - I had made a ridiculous comment but she took it to the next level and it flew right over my head. It's very nice getting to know her.

I stayed home from work today and had a whole list of things I wanted to do. Not on the list was partying at 9am, but when Jocelyn sent out a notice she was at BEARinthe Morning's and they were rocking I just had to go. I put on an Indian costume I hadn't worn yet, and when I showed up I found Jocelyn dressed as a Cowgirl! My friend Tracy couldn't make it then, but I snapped a pic of Joce and I and sent it to her.

After an hour or so I was able to tear myself away and get my bare minimum of chores done. We have a new puppy, and I had forgotten the joy a cleaning the lawnmower after mowing a lawn full of puppy-poop. So a shower, back into Indian costume and off to where Joce is now DJing at BEAR's place. They are streaming her show live across the entire planet and even into near-earth orbit, as well they should. Tracy is here and we're reliving the best parts of the party at TNW last night and laughing about the funny things people say. She has to leave for work in a bit, and I'll probably take a break. I need to rest up for all the trick-or-treaters that will be visiting tonight. I hope to be able to make the party at Wheelies with DJ Nattalya later, but I just have no idea how things will go tonight. Sure would be nice to see everybody I saw there on Monday night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wheelies Rolls, and Rocks!

There was a live performer playing at the Rotterdam so I went to see if Alaska was there; nope. DJ Colette has just started spinning Celtic at the Blarney Stone so I went there hoping to find Ajay; nope. I settled onto a stool at the bar to sip a few, listen to the tunes and watch the girls dance.

I chatted with a nice young lady named Leigha for a while. Robt came in for a bit, then went off to get that nut Anutte and they both came back to dance and play kissy-face. Mack stopped by in this superb getup; it was like a Cat-woman costume had been shredded by a disgruntled werewolf and Mack was wearing the tattered remains of it. Ham came by, and rocking DJ Jocelyn also. I stepped away for a second, and when I came back Joce and Mack were gone. I called Mack to apologize for not saying goodbye, and she explained that Joce had rushed her off to a girls night out. Then she asked if I wanted to join them. Well I didn't want to be a third wheel, so I was a little reluctant. Mack was trying to explain something, but we lost our connection; something on my end.

When I got back there were no pending messages from her, so I figured they were off doing their girly thing. Leigha had talked about an 80's bar she liked, so when Colette was done I decided to go check it out. It's called Blackhearts: Crimson and Clover. DJ Kace was there playing Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party as I walked in. I like that group and I like that song so I thought: this is a good sign. The people were cool, but I wasn't really dressed for the place; it's probably not a good idea to keep wearing my favorite beach sandals there. I saw some decent engineer boots in a store yesterday; I'll have to go pick them up.

I tipped the DJ and was scanning the crowd when my friend! Jocelyn calls. She said that everyone was at Wheelies dancing and listening to DJ Nattalya and asked if I wanted to join them. This must have been what Mack was trying to explain. I was there instantaneously. Well, as close to instantaneous as you can get without the theoretical physicists becoming too perturbed with you. Don't want that.

I had heard of Wheelies before but for some reason thought it was a dance-floor associated with a Hot-Wheels themed race track. I never got off of the dance floor, but I did notice a stairway leading down, so maybe there's more to the place than just the club. The club rocks. DJ Nattalya was playing nothing but the best for us and the place was packed. Jocelyn, Tracy, Case and Mack, Robt and Anutte, Isobela, the Banger Sisters entourage and many, many others were there. To quote Joce: "this is the who's who of SL."

I hung near Joce and rocked the night away. Friendly Fire and the Bangers kept the group chat rolling. I had a short, deep conversation with Jenda about people's fears, gave Mack some French/Cajun language lessons and chatted with Joce a bit about her web site. Turns out Jocelyn is a writer, too; a new facet to an amazing person. I also had a short chat with Tracy. She seems maybe a little shy. I'm very shy. I'll have to make more of an effort to find things to talk about the next time I see her.

I didn't catch up with my friends Ajay or Alaska like I had hoped. I could of course just call them but if I did they'd be in the middle of something else. I know many of their haunts; I'll find them sooner or later.

Dancing last night at Wheelies was one of the best times I've had in this place. I really owe Jocelyn for inviting me; I guess I'll forgive her for not believing I won that TNW contest a few weeks ago. Mack gets kudos for trying to invite me, too. At one point a guy showed up and most everyone called out hello to him. Instead of replying to each individually he just said "Hello family." I felt that family too. It's nice.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Found It!

MiaSnow's Zombie Graveyard party featuring Friendly Fire was way cool, lots of wild costumes; my pumpkin-head was just an acknowledgement of the season. We took some group pictures afterwards. I need to track them down, people have told me I'm in some of the published ones. Or at least my big pumpkin-head is.

I worked on my one-arm tattoo some more. The problem I expected didn't occur, but two others did. I fixed one and another popped up. I understand more about what is going on with it now, and for me the challenge is more an intellectual one. Once I understand the theory behind things they tend to lose my interest. I may have one more go at it, but then again it may just join the pile of half-completed projects cluttering up my basement.

Sunday afternoon Friendly Fire was having a gathering in Mack's store, playing cover songs, trying to generate some foot traffic to the place. While there I thanked Case for the Certificate of Attendance he sent me for having made all three Friendly Fire shows the day before; it's displayed proudly in my home. Afterwards I hung around and chatted with Case, Mac, Alter and Sugar. At one point we talked about some of the weekend's football games, so Alter and I put on our team jersies. Mack had expressed a desire in having a Reggie Bush Saint's jersey, and asked me where I bought my Deuce McAlister one. I fibbed a little and said I didn't remember, and ran out and got a Bush jersey for her as soon as the group broke up. It was nice giving something to her after all the things she's given me; shirts, gestures, massive quantities of beer, pumpkin pie, hot cocoa and such (the candy apple I stole for myself).

Sunday evening I went to the Discover Ireland Weekend in Dublin. I really need to keep up with the news more; I didn't know it was missing! The DJ was Jocelyn and Padula was the hostess with the mostess. I chatted with Elwe, Iso and Brooke. I apologized to Elwe for missing her weekly Zurich concert yet again, but she understood. Brooke's expanding her store. She gave me a tray of cocoa and potpourri; it'll go perfect on the new bar I put in my living room. Iso and I chatted on all manner of things. Friendly Fire, Tracy, the Spookster, Smitty, Gussie, Raven, Ivy, DJ John and BEARinthe Morning were all there along with many other regulars, plus the scattering of new people that always wander by. I didn't see Ajay or Alaska, I've been missing them lately, and the only reason I saw Iso was a jump she did while dancing took her flaming red crown over the top of the crowd. I recognized it even under a World Champion Red Sox cap!

There was another party at TNW after Joce shut down, but I was too tired to go. Tuesday night there's a Halloween party there that I need to get ready for. Pumpkin-head has been worn too much, I need to come up with something else. VAT-man? Scary, but hard to dress for. I guess I'll go though my closets and see what I can come up with.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I saw a Linden!

Well I've finished my certification exams and volunteer work, at least for a while. I'm looking forward to spending more time checking out all the amazing people and places around here. When I got in and finished reading my mail today I sat down and began to think about where I should start. As often happens Mack and Case came to the rescue - they were about to start playing. They were opening for Dark Aeons at Sublime Goddess. I headed over and the place was packed, with most people in costume. I had on black jeans and an orange-ish shirt, so I didn't stick out too much.

Friendly Fire was their usual excellent selves, and after a few songs I noticed this little robot-guy near the front of the crowd. I checked out his name: Cogsworth Linden! His tagline was Live Music Listener. Mack noticed him too, and pointed him out. There was widespread speculation that he was here to shut down the show at first, but he was really just there to listen to awesome music. The Friendly Fire shall not go out!

Dark Aeons followed Friendly Fire. I listened for a bit but he wasn't my cup of tea, so I went back to the house to re-arrange things. I didn't get much done before getting another notice from Friendly Fire that they were playing for Maximos and Shelby's wedding. I dressed up in my favorite Halloween tux and joined the reception. I was a little worried about being a crasher, but there were so many of us crashers one more didn't matter. Isobella showed up and we danced the Tango for most of the show. DJ Jocelyn was going to follow Friendly Fire at the reception, but both Isobela and I had to go and were heartbroken over missing Joce. I finished my errands and was able to make the end of Joce's show; fantastic as usual. I hadn't realized the subtle differences in DJing at a bar and DJing at a wedding reception. Of course Jocelyn, a professional DJ, does; it was very educational to see how she handled things. There's always something new to learn around here.

There's another Friendly Fire performance later tonight; at MiaSnow's Zombie Graveyard. Three Friendly Fire shows in one day - woo hoo! Should be some pretty wild costumes there. Guess I'll jam a pumpkin on my head and go find out!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Curses! Foiled Again!

I thought I had a pretty good outfit for the TNW Jungle theme party last night, a tiger-print suit open across the chest, tan cowboy hat and sandals. I even had a whip I could crack to keep the wild animals at bay. In the end I lost to a guy that wore a leafy bikini. It was a good idea a guy wearing a bikini - I wish I'd thought of it. A number of people told me that they thought my costume was better, but C'est la vie. I had a really nice conversation with that Wild Irish Woman Isobela while I was there; we talked about everything from computer problems to catty comments about others at the club. That made the night well worth it.

Earlier I had been working on a tattoo for my left arm. All of the tattoo artists I've talked to around here refuse to put a design on one arm without placing a matching design on the other. Very strange. I've made a successful proof-of-concept, but need to decide on a pattern and try it on to see if it turns out well. I'm tossing around "USMC", an Eagle, Globe and Anchor, or a Bulldog pattern. I'll probably try the letters first since they wold be the easiest. Iso's good with all this artistic-type stuff so she may be able to help me if I get stuck.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The pause that refreshes

The newly redecorated Blarney Stone is open, and they have a bathroom in it! The old one may have had a bathroom, but I could never find it; in the new place it's in the back on the left. Hopefully the alley behind Fibber's won't stink so badly now.

They've added a second floor to the Blarney Stone so many more people can see the performers. The stage was moved to the right corner. Large speakers are attached high on the walls, and they're large enough that crazed fanatics can perch on them to watch the shows.

The pajama party at Fibber's went well. (Of course it did Tycho, Jocelyn was DJing there!) The ladies all got to show off their fuzzy bunny slippers, and I found a pair of yellow smiley-face boxers to wear. The smile was kind of lopsided, with a tongue hanging out, turning the smile into more of a leer. I loved it!

I thought I had a good costume for the 'Night of the Living Dead' theme party at TNW, but was outclassed by almost everyone there. One guy even had dozens of nails driven into his face. People around here are scary sometimes. I did have a real nice chat with my friend Isobela though, turns out she is Seamstress to the Stars!

I've been shopping around for a hot tub to put on the deck at my place. I've found a good one, but it's not exactly what I want and rather expensive, so I'm holding off for now. I found a place where you could win a free one and was hanging out there when my friend from the old country called. We chatted for a while, and then I won one of the hot tubs so she met me at my place to help install it and then try it out. It's nice, especially for free, but I'm still looking for the perfect one.

While we were soaking I heard that Heath was having another piano concert in Nantucket, so I invited her to go. I just dried off, changed clothes and zipped over there but of course it took her significantly longer; having to decide what to wear, do her hair and whatever. She did make it in time for the start of the concert, so I guess I shouldn't pick on her too much. Heath put on a good, lively performance. Long-time listeners could tell the stress of finishing his thesis was off of his shoulders. My friend really liked it, but had to leave before it was over. She was able to stay long enough to hear my favorite Heath song: Scarborough Fair so jazzed-up you can hardly recognize it. It's nice to take new people to events like this.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Congratulations Duke Speedy and Lady Collette!

I was finally able to check my mail today and found an invitation to the Royal Wedding of Duke Speedy and Lady Collette. I wasn't able to make it because of previous commitments, and that's a real bummer. I've never been to a Royal Wedding in a castle; I'm sure it was awesome. I even missed the bachelor party! I bet Royal bachelor parties knock your socks off!

When I got in today there was a notice about a Friendly Fire gig starting in a few minutes, so I hurried over to Selene Castle. They were their usual fantastic selves; it's kinda weird but listening to them was almost relaxing after the hectic weekend I've had. Iso and Jocelyn stopped by to listen, and I noticed Jocelyn wearing like pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers. I asked if she was in so much of a hurry to hear Case and Mack that she couldn't change, and she said there was a Pajama party at Fibbers later and she was getting ready for it. Just then I received a notice of a 'Night of the Living Dead' theme party at TNW later in the evening. I guess I know what I'm doing tonight!

I have a good Zombie costume for the TNW party, but I don't own any pajamas; don't wear them. Joce suggested shorts and a t-shirt, but that's not really pajamas. She said that boxers would be acceptable, and I figure I ought to wear a white t-shirt too; don't want to drive the ladies too crazy. Now I gotta go find out if I own any underwear...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Vana Nore

Vana Nore means Beautiful People. It is the tag-line for the DJ Elwe fan group. It is an invitation-only group and I was lucky enough to score an invite to a month or so ago. I've listened to Elwe many times at Fibbers, but by far my most enjoyable listening experiences are her weekly Sunday afternoon gigs at Ligeia's Emporium in Zurich. Ligeia's Emporium is a "Vintage Decor Designs" place that features an open courtyard in the middle that make a perfect place for Elwe to set up her equipment and the rest of us to rock. I have two of Ligeia's chairs at my place; she makes some real nice stuff.

What's so special about Elwe when she plays in Zurich is the wildly eclectic playlist. She'll go from playing my current favorite song to my favorite song from 25 years ago to a song that I've never heard before that becomes my new favorite song. It's truly amazing. The crowd never gets too big there, and sometimes there's language barriers to group chit-chat, but everyone is very nice an we all have a good time. A couple of weeks ago a young lady there taught me a new dance called Lime Jelly that I've since taught to a few others.

What's brought this up is that I missed her show last weekend, and I'm going to miss it tomorrow too. I made too many obligations for volunteer work. Next year I'll have to tell them that I'll just be working one day for the Fair, not six. My knees and back will thank me, as will my ears!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ya think ya know someone, and then they drain your blood...

Actually Dea Mama asked for volunteers, and I was quick enough to be first in line. I was in The Mist for a vampire-themed costume party, at least I think it was just a costume party. Many of the people there seemed to fit right in with the theme. Especially the Queen. We even had the Queen of a neighboring kingdom visit us with her staff. The other Queen - a natural vampire too. I sure hope I have at least a little neck left when Halloween is over!

After the party I changed and went over to Fibber's and had a grand old time. Mack had called me earlier to let me know it was rocking. Daddie was the DJ, that nut Anutte hostess, Friendly Fire was in the house, Brooke, Featherfoot and a cast of thousands. I wore a black outfit with red trim, and Isobela was similarly attired. We danced together most of the night and would have looked like twins if only I had remembered to dye my hair.

Daddie spun for an extra half-hour and by then it was pretty late. I have a very busy weekend ahead of me so I may not be around here much until Monday. It was good to get some fun in and get a good night's sleep. Off to don my chef's hat.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm Famous!

I found out last night that I'm read from coast to coast! From the sunny beaches of Florida to the sunny beaches of California. One comment was that my writing style seemed to be that of a 1930's radio show. I think this was meant as a compliment, or at least it wasn't derogatory. I'm not sure, I wasn't around in the 1930s. I'll just have to take Alaska's word on that. :)

I saw one of those Support Our Troops ribbons at the O'Club and wanted one for my place. I tried asking around about where they got it, but no one knew, so I just made my own. I'm very pleased with how it came out, it's much better than their store-bought one. I put it out next to my front door and made it so that anyone wandering by could take a copy of it if they wanted.

I heard of a shop having a treasure hunt so I went by to see what I could find. There was a nice men's shirt hidden out back behind some trees, but before I could search much more an old friend stopped by. We hadn't seen each other for a while and started chatting. I received a notice that a Friendly Fire show was about to start, so I matter-of-factly asked my friend if she wanted to go listen to some music, knowing she would likely drool over them. She agreed, and I headed over but she had to go change clothes and mess with her hair and do girly stuff first.

When I got there Case called out "Sir Tycho" and I knew I was in trouble; he must have found this blog. Mack chimed in about hiding the candy apples claiming it was all an innocent misunderstanding. My friend eventually showed up about the time Alaska calls to see what I'm up to. I was very busy juggling conversations for a while, but once the show started things settled down and we did some serious bogeying.

DJ Daddie, DJ John and Brooke showed up. The place was filled and really rocking. As expected my friend loved it, especially the signature song that Friendly Fire always close their shows with. After the show we hung around to chat a bit. Brooke chided Mack about hiding the candy apples from me and Mack denied everything.

I invited my friend to go to Belfast with me. I wanted her to see the Rotterdam bar and hopefully meet Alaska, who often works and hangs out there. The place was deserted, though. Alaska must have been off in one of those Blues dives she likes so much. We hung out on the bridge for a while chatting then headed off.

Tuesday night I went to the party at TNW. The theme was Bling. I was worried that there would be so much bling that I might be blinded, but it wasn't bad at all. I wore a flashy watch and ring, and also had on the POW/MIA bracelet that I had picked up earlier in the day. I wasn't too blingy at all, but I guess it was enough because I won their contest again! Joce wasn't around to dispute it this time. Steverino wasn't there either; he's usually a lock to win these things. It's nice winning, but I hope he's OK. I don't want to just win by default, I'd rather earn it by going up against a master.

A dear friend has been going through a very hard time lately. I made a small gift for her, a t-shirt, and gave it to her yesterday. In chatting about it I was able to get that magical, four-letter word out of her: rofl. It was bothering me that I couldn't do much to help her; making her laugh made me feel better. Life is worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkin Pie!

I had wandered by Mack's Gestures yesterday afternoon. Mack was there with a couple of customers, Case showed up then another guy. Most of us were wearing our Friendly Fire t-shirts so Mack insisted on a group photo. Afterwards she served us a delicious Pumpkin Pie that Brooke had baked earlier. There was also Apple Pie and Candy Apples; I grabbed an apple for later.

I stopped by Brooke's store to thank her for the pie, but she wasn't there. I went back to the house to do some odd jobs for a while, then got a notice that Heath was playing in Nantucket. I got dressed up and headed over there. Heath hasn't been around much, he was defending his thesis and it went well. Hopefully he'll be around more now, though with his degree he's looking at getting a real job. He played some songs from his upcoming Christmas album - very nice. I'm sure I'll get it when it comes out.

After the concert I talked with some people about interesting places they had found. I have the directions to a few new surfing, hang-gliding and other places I'll check out later. I stopped by Brooke's again and she was there so I thanked her for the Pumpkin Pie. She asked if I had a Candy Apple also, and I said that even though Mack tried to hide them so she could have them all for herself that yes, I did get one.

All in all a very pleasant day; listening to music, chatting with old friends and meeting new ones.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Who Dat?

We Won! 28-17! What an awesome game; we're playing like the Saints of last year. If we can keep it up we still have a chance at the playoffs. Special teams scored a touchdown, the offense had many long, sustained drives and the defense played good enough and closed it for us at the end. Woo Hoo!

I found the Tavern in the Mist on Friday. I realized that I would have enough time to go there for their event and make it to TNW for their's. Mist was having a costume party with a Cowboys and Indians theme, I bought a new Lone Star shirt for it. The people there are very friendly, but they know each other very well and it was kinda hard for me to figure out who was who and what was going on. I just need to keep going back and figure things out. Saturday night was a Superheroes and Villains theme, and I ended up in a three-way tie for first place! As a villain, of course.

The Friday night party at TNW with DJ Jocelyn was a blast as usual. The theme was dress up so I wore my new tux with the red bow tie and vest. Steverino was there and dressed to the hilt as always, tails and a top hat. He had to leave early though, so when we had the voting for the contest at the end of the evening I won! Joce missed the announcement, and after the ladies' winners were announced (another 3-way tie) she asked who won for the guys. Everybody said "Tycho won" but she didn't believe them; she was like "No, really; who won for the guys?" That's another one I owe her.

Jocelyn said she was DJing for Starr's birthday party Saturday afternoon, and I made most of that. It was at a newly-redecorated club that had a good design - round and open with little wasted space. There was also a large dance area outside of the club with some Stonehenge-type stuff around the edge; pretty cool. Saw Joce again on Sunday night as she DJ'd for a Dublin street party.

The street parties had been going on all weekend. It looks like they may be redecorating the Blarney Stone, which is good. The place was a little cramped, as is Fibber's. The good thing is that they're cramped because they're wildly popular. They're victims of their own success. Dublin rocks. So does Joce.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finding The Mist

I knocked together a rough draft of my sauna yesterday. It was easier than I though to get the walls and roof the right sizes and connect them together, but haven't tried to hang the door yet. I was able to get the two levels of seating in it along the back wall, and when I sat on the top level for a test I realized that the thing was pretty huge; I was almost lost in it. May have to re-think turning the whole kitchen into a sauna. In the meantime I created a box to hold the heating element I didn't have and started going through old notebooks because I remember seeing a mention of where to find such a thing. I came across some directions I couldn't recall, with a strange acronym as a mnemonic, and decided to follow them and see where I ended up.

Well it turns out it was a clothing store. A mostly women's clothing store, but they had some things for guys too and I picked up some clearance stuff I might use some day. I stepped out the front door to take a better look around and found myself in a wonderfully quaint village. I took the road to the next building up on the right and stepped into a larger building that had a couple of young ladies chatting in the middle of it and some items for sale along the side wall. I didn't want to disturb the ladies conversation so I just walked over to check out the display cases. They had some nice stuff, but nothing I was immediately interested in, so I was about to leave when one of the ladies said hello to me. Of course I said hello back, then exchanged pleasantries with the other young lady as well.

I explained that I was just looking around and was about to be on my way when one of them called me friend and we started chatting. I talked about finding the mysterious directions to the clothing store and my quest for fire, well OK steam actually. The Lady happened to have a steam engine for heating a hot tub and kindly offered it to me. I haven't looked at it closely yet but should be able to adapt it for my needs. I asked about the village and she explained they were a Medieval-themed area with shops and houses and such - and that she was the Queen. I looked at the signpost of where I was - Kidd Island, and at her name tag - Queen Kidd, and suffered a major D'Oh moment. We had been chatting this whole time and I didn't realize that I had been in the presence of royalty! I probably should have been down on one knee the whole time or something. Thankfully she is a gracious and kind ruler and let me keep my head. I gotta start reading name-tags sooner.

When I stepped outside I saw behind the clothing store this massive castle taking up like half the island, obviously the Queen's home. D'Oh number two. I did a quick tour of the place; most of the shops were occupied which is nice to see, their small 'rental castle' was occupied but a nice seaside chalet was available at a reasonable price. A small schooner was in the harbor past the shops. There was a jousting field near the castle but oddly enough I didn't see a quintain. I bet that would be fun to make. Hmmmm.

Later at home I did some research on "The Mist - Kidd Island," which is the places formal name, I think. Seems that they have activities planned there most days in the Tavern and occasional ballroom dances. They also host weddings and receptions and other events in the castle. I don't explicitly remember seeing a place called "Tavern" there, but as noted above sometimes I'm not the most observant person in the world. I'll bet it's the place I met the Queen; there was stuff for sale along one wall but most of the building seemed empty. Maybe they were there redecorating, or it's all one big dance floor? In any case, I plan to find out. Tonight Jocelyn is DJing at TNW, but weekends are usually slow for me so I'll be heading out there then. It's a kick to be called Sir Tycho!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hot in the Kitchen

I never cook in my kitchen of my rental house. I'm not often at home, and there are so many good places to eat and junk-food vendors and bars with munchies, etc. that there really isn't a need to cook. It bothers me that one-third of my house is essentially wasted space, so I've come up with a typical Tycho cockamamie scheme: I'll wall-in the front of the kitchen and turn the whole room into a sauna!

I've spent part of this morning researching wood. I'll need to create wooden walls, a roof and floor for my sauna. I'm thinking of Mahogany, Butternut or maybe a nice Rosewood. Cocobolo would be ideal, but I'm not sure of it's availability. I see an L-shaped, two-level bench inside. Most of the saunas I've seen around here have single-level benches, and I'm not sure if I'll have room for two, but it'll sure be fun finding out.

I'll make a smoky-glass door with a large window next to it. I'll still need some sort of light fixture inside and of course something for making stream. It would be neat to come up with some sort of variable / High-Medium-Low steam setting; all of the sauna's I've seen have just on or off. Some saunas also have towel racks inside, but I think that's rather silly.

I'll still have some room at the front of the kitchen I could do something with. I'll likely end up putting a couple of potted plants there; this sauna will be taking a good bite out of my budget.

I wonder what the house's owners will think of all this?

Still a Perfect Record!

Yep, the Saints are a perfect, winless, 0 and 4. This weekend we have another prime-time spot on Sunday night. I wonder how bad we'll embarrass ourselves this time?

Monday was Columbus Day and I had off from work. I spent the day in a sports extravaganza; I went surfing, mountain-biking, roller and ice-skating and snow skiing. The skiing was my favorite. A few weeks back I had found a place in the mountains that sold the skates I was looking for. I went back to skate there, noticed a ski-lift up the mountain and decided to try skiing too. I met a very nice young lady outside of the lodge who gave me an old pair of skis she wasn't using any more. I had trouble skiing at first so I went back to the lodge, talked to some people, and they helped me out. After that it was a blast.

The lady who gave me her skis also mentioned a place in the Alps that was popular with skiers. On the way there I picked up another pair of skis, the kind that come with instructions :). The Alpine place was awesome; it not only had a slalom run that you could time yourself on but also an Olympic-style ski jump. I did the slalom run a few times and found my new skis were much faster than the old ones, but also much more difficult to control. I had to go very slow if I wasn't to miss any of the gates. That got boring so I made a high-speed run, missing every gate except the first, and crashing into a storefront at the bottom of the hill. It was great!

Next up was the ski jump. It has a seat at the top for you to sit down and put your skis on, with a ramp in front of you with guard-rails on the sides. The bottom of the ramp curved up a bit to give you a boost to go sailing through the air. At least that was the theory. With my control problems the first few times I found myself falling over the guard-rails before I was even halfway down the ramp! That was fun, but wasn't what I wanted, so I tried going very slowly down the ramp. I didn't go over the rails, but at the end of the ramp I was going so slow I sort of just teetered over the edge, falling 40 feet onto my face. Good thing the snow was deep there!

I'm definitely going back someday to tame the ski-jump beast, but last night at a Friendly Fire gig I overheard some people talking about a beach with the longest surfing runs in the Metaverse. Steel Pier Beach here I come!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Real Place

I've been bouncing back and forth between Dublin and Belfast nowdays; good thing the travel time is so short. I've also been catching Friendly Fire performances whenever I can. I've gotten t-shirt making thing down pretty well, and have been playing with scripting a bit. But the big news is that I finally have my own place! I rented a house at TNW West Residences. It's small, and the neighbors are close by, but they are hardly ever home so it's almost like I have the whole island to myself. There's a living room and kitchen downstairs, and a bedroom and patio upstairs. I'll probably be spending most of my time on the patio; the view over the water is just breathtaking - especially at sunrise and sunset. I've put a couple of chairs, a hammock and a keg of beer up there for now. I have a couple of living room sets, I set one up but think I will try the other to see how they compare. I lucked into a nice flat-screen TV a few weeks ago, and it's set up in the living room, but I have to wait for the cable guy to hook it up. No kitchen furniture yet, but I have my eye on some. In the meantime I have a large aquarium set up there.

I bought some wood-slat blinds for the place. They're radio-controlled or something because I can hit the switch once and all of the blinds on both floors of the house go up or down at the same time. Pretty cool. The front of the development has a small store with all sorts of snack food and drinks, and free bikes and roller skates for residents and visitors to cruise around the island with - one more thing on my to-do list. Right after I started moving in Lex the manager stopped by to say hi and helped me with a bunch of questions I had, this being my first rental place. He's a great guy, I have been to his TNW club many times - it's just across the bridge and past the gas station from the house.