Saturday, December 27, 2008

When I Grow Up

It was November 1992 when Chris and I were driving to Killington in his Jeep for some early-season skiing. The Lemonheads “It’s a Shame about Ray” had become a hit that fall with their cover of “Mrs Robinson”. On the way home, after a few beers; Chris, in his warm, Texas drawl started singing “there’s still some of the same stuff we got yesterday…” over Evan and Juliana. And so it was through Chris’ atonal mashup of “My Drug Buddy” that I discovered Juliana Hatfield.

I quickly discovered the Blake Babies– I had probably heard them on WFNX in the late 80s. And with “Hey Babe” and “Become What You Are” I was hooked. Juliana’s music would be the soundtrack to many 90s summer weeks on Hunter Cove in Rangeley. Well Juliana, PJ Harvey, and The Golden Palominos. Through the 90’s I made it to perhaps six JH gigs. Most memorable: 1995 at Avalon with Jeff Buckley opening.

For well over a decade Juliana’s music has been a catalyst for reaching my emotions. Sometimes pleasantly painful, like listening to her early 90’s work when I’m just pissed at Chris for being dead. Sometimes deep, like the riff at the end of “Ten Foot Pole”, which to me, is the quintessential, instantly-identifiable JH guitar vibe. Sometimes pissed-off – why didn’t Gods Foot get released? And how do I fix that?

Juliana’s memoir “When I Grow Up” was an enjoyable, illuminating read. The cadence of the book is not unlike a Beckett play; especially if you have some suspicions on how things might turn out… or not. Keep going!

Juliana (Manchester, NH - May 12, 2000)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

We went with Ed and Claudia to Pesce Blue in Portsmouth for the traditional "Seven Fishes Feast" on Christmas Eve. Yummy. Then a mellow, mild, day with no stress at all - and the dogs happy to get out of the house.

Spring Conditions (Mine Hill Christmas, 2008)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blue Skies Up Ahead

My emotions are amplified this time of year. What is it about the "holiday spirit"? For children, this should be a magical time - indeed, what isn't magical in your youth? And why does that fade for some? The news of Tery this year, like other tragedies that have worked to align with the stars, makes me even more in awe of this life's great arc. Good and bad.

Pig-Pen Party: Maureen, Tery, Andy, Kathy, Mike, Rick, Shep (1977)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Missing Tery

I remember Tery carrying around that Pink Floyd album with the Hipgnosis cover. Shit, that's ambiguous. The one with the man shaking hands on fire. Wish you were here.

Tery (1975)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ice Storm of 2008

After four days "off the grid", power, landline phone, and broadband found their way back to us. We are fortunate that we are off of a state highway that has been well maintained. It was still an ordeal. More pics on the click-through.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

An Attractive Nuisance

About the year we moved into Manitou House, the Town of Olive had cleared trees and established a roadbed for what would become Hillside Drive in West Shokan. When the snow fell that December, the fat and gullible city kid would be one of the first to challenge it on sled. Of course, I went right past Rick's driveway and into the creek.

I garnered a small amount of `cred, in that I could actually hurt myself. A year or two later, "the pit", became the focal point for much mini-bike activity. I don't think I ever damaged myself too bad, although the possibility surely was there. And in time perfected my cross up.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Vinyl-Only Evening

We stayed close to home this Thanksgiving. Ed and Claudia cooked an amazing dinner. I got to see Zoe and David. And Susan and I had a "vinyl-only" evening. I think the vinyl-only bit is vital. Three decades later, my early 1980's Technics SP10 still works fine. The LP of the evening... the original Utopia album from 1974. Frog included. Very cool.

Griff and Geo abhor daylight (Bearsville 1979)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I spoke with George today: my dear friend from "The Bearsville Era" is on the mend. It seems like only yesterday Carol, Geo, and Eddie had their digs in Mt Tremper. That was thirty years ago. Frick!

George in 'B' control at the Ted Rothstein-modded Quad-8 desk

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Super Freak

Dee called and said "Halloween Party" and so we were up for it. Susan was much more into her 70's revival than my 80's rock guy move.

Rick James

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Great Depression

Perhaps because I was viewing it through the rosy gloom of youth, that last recession in the 1970s didn't seem so bad.

The Bushkill Boys (1974)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hint of Fall

Team Nautique, Malibu, and Mastercraft each took a one-third share in a boat lift for the pond. We reason that this is a productivity tool; making it easier and quicker for us to get on and off the water. I'm missing the ROI analysis; but the idea seems sound. Water now in the 50s; the ski set days are numbered, maybe one or two.

Monday, September 01, 2008

More Dog Days

This summer, like many before it, seems to have slipped away. This isn't such a bad thing. Without question, fall is my favorite season. I find it hard to find any fault will fall. Even the raw, cold, rainy days. Yet strangely, I'm missing this summer already. These past twelve weeks have been uncomfortable at best. Plans to visit friends and family unfairly disrupted by the uncertain economics. But life is good - and the water is still warm. Well warmish.

Leona all better

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dog Days

Leona became sick after after a prey-drive toad encounter, so I regrettably sat out today's event. Brian provides some play-by-play. Scott's pics are here.
Good to hear Leona is doing better. Record books are probably not going to change dramatically, but it was a truly great day. The pond was kind to most, and I know a couple of personal bests were set or equaled. Team mastercraft and nautique both performed flawlessly. Dave had a strong 38 showing. Brooke ran 30 consistently, and got well into 32 when I was in the boat. Unfortunately I missed her second round, so I'm not 100% on the whole day. I skied marginal, mid 32's, couple mistakes cost me big. Anxious to get some skiing this week...
Julie Hommel- definitely most improved over June
Jim Degnan- 2 @ 35
Skip, Pat, Paul, and Bruce all saw 38
Justin Peterson- 1 @ 35
Dan Warner- 4 @ 35

All I can remember.... It was a great weather day and lots of fun. Ski soon, Bd

No Toads Here - Leona on a toad-free day (2008)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I have purposely forced my way into paying a dinner tab by saying something like "I'm doing OK, when you are doing better, you can pick it up." I had used that line some time ago, and perhaps more than once, with Heidi. So this time around, despite being all camped out on her couch and all, she used the same logic right back at me: I was treated to a fabulous meal at Terzo. Highly recommended in a city where the food is better than the superlatives.

Remembering the 1980s up on Alpine

Monday, August 18, 2008

Whipple Ave.

27 years ago I flew JFK/SFO on a DC-10 for my interview with Ampex Corp in Redwood City. I remember my doe-eyed stare out the left side of the plane; my first adult view of the peninsula. Although I had never gone through that sequence of events, everything seemed natural: the plane flight, renting the car, driving for my first time southbound on 101, the warm evening air blowing in the windows, drowning me with excitement, like a fly in “absinthe classic”. My destination was an orange-roofed Howard Johnsons (is there any other kind?) on Whipple Ave where I would stay the night before the interview.

I repeated a similar but different sequence of events this morning: a BOS/SFO flight I’ve flown countless (80?) times, renting the car, and then a strange thing. I’m driving south again on 101 to have coffee with some friends when I exit on Whipple Ave and drive past that (still) orange-roofed Howard Johnsons. A warm feeling comes over me. The actions portend something good, I believe, just as it did back in 1981. I hop back on the 101 to meet my friends, just off Willow, not Whipple Ave.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Terrific Weekend

A too-short visit with Ron and Faith up on the coast of Maine. No drama. A birthday for Ron. Lobsters. Beach. Sun. And just down the street - so to speak. Nice!

The Gang

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Team Mastercraft

Brian took up the slack (literally, but not so well at his -35 one ball) this week as I've been anxious about my upcoming travels. It was nice to get in drama-free daily sets, even if I've slipped back a few buoys. I'll blame it on the cooler, more-dense, roller-y water, even though I know it is in my head.
"The ski doesn't know if you are having a bad day."

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Terrific Weekend

The flight back was a mess. Eighteen hours to go LAX/BOS on what was supposed to be a five hour non-stop: Two planes, one with a stubborn rudder.  Three mechanical incidents and one medical incident. Everyone OK, life goes on. ... My "LA Weekend", however, was bliss, and the photo below captures the feel...

The Arts and Crafts Vibe of West Hollywood (2008)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Relentless Blue Sky

A stinging, omnipresent blue radiates from the southern California sky. Well in the day anyhow. No doubt this is considered a virtue by some. I'd prefer some variation, but for now - no complaints. Today (so far) we've had all sorts of activities, not all unique to la-la land. An F250 pickup truck moves back less than a foot and disfigures my friend's pristine E63. Bummer. The cats go to the vet and move closer to town. Cats aren't so pleased. Sushi (at Sushi Roku) for lunch. Much better. And for dinner we plan to meetup with an old college pal. Things are looking up for that blue sky.

BLD Restaurant

Dinner at BLD was nice - the conversation was better. Cindy, Tamara, Kurt and I yap it up.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Walking in LA

Hearing Dweezil cover some of his dad's material from the Missing Person's era got me thinking about, well, the Missing Person's era. So I'm here in West Hollywood and will take a stroll up Melrose with my camera and see what turns up. In theory, as I take each photo, it is tagged with the GPS data in the EXIF field and placed here on the map at the bottom of my SmugMug page. While I work the bugs out of this, another approach is to hit my TravelSmugShots gallery, select any picture, then click the "map this" button in near the top right of the page.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Zappa Plays Zappa

What a terrific show! And a watershed of ideas for things I hope to write about. There is no doubt this music speaks to me... I remember Mike Mondor at the Woodstock Youth Center, the older one (~1972) down by Tannery Brook, not the new one (~1974) up on Rock City Road, playing "Willie The Pimp". Then there are countless adolescent moments that had FZ as a soundtrack. And finally, my mind drifts back to the summer of 1977 where my Joyous Lake gig had many great moments. In any event, Dweezil is amazing. He's his own man, but he is also his dad's son. And this band doesn't suck either!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

State of Mine

Exasperation is OK! Breathe. Exhale. These are things you can forget to do when you are wrapped up in all that life is dishing out. I stumbled upon this old photo and thought "this is how I wish to feel". Like Beckett's Hamm (from Endgame) exclaiming violently "Use your head, can't you, use your head, you're on earth, there's no cure for that!" And then there was Juliana's recent blog about "No Answer", as I split open and melt to the outro..."da-doo-doo do-da-dooh". It's all OK, says my Estragonic half - my yelp validated, if not complete.

My state of Mine

Saturday, August 02, 2008

ACME, hold the OJ

ACME and OJ are two rival manufacturers of propellers for tournament ski boats. The OJ prop was the OEM spec on our very special 1997 Nautique. The ACME prop is used on contemporary Nautiques. The opportunity presented itself, so instead of hunting for vintage OJ, or worse, rolling the dice on the hydrodynamics of a rebuild, I acquired a new ACME prop. Craig, Gina, and Fred at NECC took care of me, and we were back on the water in no time.

Fred spins on the castle nut

Drama-free smiles!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

40mm across, 25mm deep

While I was on the dock stretching, our perfectly-balanced OJ prop was essentially destroyed by the 3-ball magnet. The leading edge of one blade lost 2-3 mm at the tip; but the trailing edge lost perhaps a full square inch of surface-area in a gouge running 40mm across and 25mm deep. To repair this prop and restore balance requires removing an equal mass from the other three blades; an action that would irrevocably alter the prop's hydrodynamics. No way for our vintage `97 Nautique, otherwise in excellent condition with less than 500 hours. New OEM OJ prop on the way.
Trailing Edge Damage

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stentorian Tone

“It’s OK to do that in this genre”, I said to my wife about STS9’s gratuitous use of female vocal samples in their live performance. I guess the taper behind me heard it too. Surprising, as I thought that my head, about 1m away and 45 degrees off-axis from his stereo pair, would be attenuating the acoustic output from my mouth directed into Susan’s ear. His remark had me whispering the rest of the show. Later when Umphree’s got up, a couple carried on this elaborate chitty-chat right in front of the mics, making me far less concerned about my stentorian tone.

STS9 at BoA Pavilion Boston (July 2008)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lean Like This

One pleasant side-effect of my summer hiatus has been my water skiing. This evening, a big smile for sure, as I get into -28 for the first time this year. And I won't be writing about how my knee feels! Boo-yah!

Cindy at -32

The Early 1990s

Lori likes Chris

Nice Cell Phone, Steve!

Rangeley Days

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An 80's Wedding

Another batch of negatives scanned, and with some surprise, I notice that styles really haven't changed that much in two decades. Taken from medium format film, the images are crispy-sharp. Check out the originals on your high-res display. Many more after the jumps...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camp Bisco Seven

Punctuation of this slow, hot summer was provided by Camp Bisco this past weekend. It was an unexpected pleasure to hear Lotus. And an expected pleasure to hear The New Deal. ... The future: Camp Bisco Nine.

Jeff Inverted

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Knee, One Year After

Here I am about a year after at least doubling the number of bone segments that comprise my patella. The funny thing is that although I had very little pain with my telemark fun last winter; I have chronic pain following two or more waterski sets. It is interesting in that the pain seems to lag the activity by two to four hours. Inflammation where the bone is damaged? Maybe, but I'm no doctor. "Everything in Moderation", is my plan - and so only one set for me at times. Still having a blast and skiing well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I like the way memories of the past shimmer. It is the uncertainty or "noise" which sets them apart and makes them sparkle.

Shawn and Debby, Post Lake, Wisconsin, July 4, 1975

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Missing Smith Mountain

Friends called from SML to say "hi" while I cope with juggling kittens. I've always wanted to juggle kittens, like Steve Martin; so I suppose all is well. A few strong t-storms blew through. A weak bolt nailed a unwitting sacrificial while pine fifty feet from the house. Poor Mr. Pine.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Camp Meadowlark

We took the "silver bullet" on a weekend journey up to Camp Meadowlark on Maidstone Lake. Pics and vids are here. Beyond the friends and fun, a little forestry...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dube's Pond Slalom Festival 2008

It has been three years since I skied DPSF; three years at Bonnaroo will do that. But we had a splendid day today, sunny and warm, and the occasional breeze to keep Dave on his toes. Videos and pics if you click through or go here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lean, don't Pull

Brooke takes instruction from Dave.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just Run Some Buoys

Brian is just going to run some buoys. Smile!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On the Water

Dave removes an obstacle from the course.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Eight Bells Folly

Uggh. I hate horse racing. Went out for drinks to watch a the carnage at the Kentucky track. Like-named Mardsen Hartly memorial to Hart Crane below.

Dos de Mayo 2008

A party for Patti's birthday, and the gang comes out to celebrate.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring in April

A (water) ski day, a dinner party, and then a warm lazy sunday to embrace the spring vibe.

Dubes 2008

Only nine days after ice-out, and Brian, Brooke, and I took the water.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Stanford is a nice school. I've been there a couple of times recently for conferences. I suspect I'll be back.

Shep and Helia

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ice Out 2008

Yesterday's wind led to the demise of the ice cap atop Massabesic. April 10 is about average; so more snowfall doesn't always mean a later ice out. Still some drift remnants on the hill. Must venture up to Dubes soon. New NOAA product looks to be just the thing for forecasting waterski winds.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Dogs of Spring

Winter hasn't given up yet; but the sun came out and we so took the dogs on culvert survey.

Linus and Liona

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring on the Calendar

Spring is here and the snow is melting. There remain drifts several feet deep, but there is also evidence of the season cycle turning.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Waterville Appreciation Day

Morning ski at Loon today reminded us how much we appreciate Waterville. Had hoped to hook up with Tina; but it was not to be.

Monday, March 17, 2008

On Guard

Now that she's aware there are deer outside, Leona keeps a vigilant watch over her domain.