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Category Archives: Postcards From The Road

And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

So you may have noticed that there was no new song this week. Perhaps you shook your fist and said “That fiend! He promised us songs every week and now he’s broken our hearts!” (although to be fair that seems rather unlikely.) But here’s the reason why:
Right now I’m in St Andrews, New Brunswick, and the hard drive with my songs on is in Toronto, which is not really that near. So, dear readers/listeners, we’ll have to wait until next week for your next song! My apologies. Let this be a lesson in Why We Should Schedule Posts…

OK, let me preface this by saying that I have never been a female secret agent (unless I was so secret I didn’t know about it?). But why is it that female secret agents on TV (I’m looking at you, Dollhouse and Covert Affairs) always wear 4″ spike heels, even when they know that their jobs will require them to run frequently? I mean, I’ve never tried to run in 4″ heels (and despite Canada’s excellent medical care, I’m not inclined to try), but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be as easy as they make it look.
Anybody here do any running in spike heels, and care to comment?

Five Miles (ten as the dog trots)

Went out for a walk this morning before breakfast. This is not my usual MO – I generally prefer breakfast and coffee before anything else. But I figured the day would get warm enough that I didn’t want to muck about in the heat.

As I was heading out into the morning haze, the neighbour’s dog decided to join me. I couldn’t remember his name, and he’s a bit pudgy, so I named him Pot Roast. We walked for about 5 miles, which was quite pleasant. At one point I thought we were in trouble – in rural Arkansas, when someone comes out their door shouting “Excuse me!” it generally means they’re going to be carrying a gun… this time it turned out it was someone who wanted to know if I was a dog trainer, because I was able to walk the dog without a leash. Apparently she was having trouble with her new rescue Alsatian. Wish I could have helped, but I just like dogs (and speak dog reasonably well), I don’t really have any experience in training or that sort of thing. But I wished her well, because adopting rescue dogs is one of those Good Things.

And now to get things organized for the day. Overdubs, maybe a little mixing, and possibly a trip to the thrift shop! How exciting 🙂 Oh and listening to crickets, I still like that bit.

Back in the Sawwwwwwth

Have spent the last few days in Dallas staying with friends & playing at FenCon – which was awesome – and meeting new folks – which was awesome, even if too many people make me want to hide under a rock.  And it’s been so damn hot (by my standards) that it’s only after dark that I can go outside. But hey.

Now I’m in Arkansas with Sooj and Ryan, which is so awesome. The crickets are loud enough to drown out conversations. The spiders are big enough to eat people. And apparently there are water moccasins and cottonmouths! The only downside is that Our Drummer John isn’t here with us, so our ordinary Designated Victim isn’t here… guess I’ll have to keep an eye out myself.

Wish I’d brought my good camera. There was an orb weaver the size of my thumb earlier!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get Sooj’s bass and vocal parts for the solo project done. And walking. And playing with dogs. And napping…

We have a week off from tour! A week at home! This is almost unprecedented. And the beautiful part is, we flew home via Porter Airlines, and left our equipment in Chicago (we’re resuming the tour from there next week) – so we didn’t have to muck about with Pearson Airport (who builds an airport with no subway or train service?) or bringing instruments home on the plane. So now I’m sitting on my porch, contemplating a wander down to the lakeshore, and wondering whether a third cup of coffee is in order. These are the good days 🙂

Just yesterday I discovered a new-to-me learning website called Memrise (www.memrise.com). I’m enjoying it hugely! Lots of interesting language courses; seems to be slightly better curated than Quizlet; and has quite a pleasant mobile app as well.

So today I’m sitting on the front porch of our hosts’ house, learning even more Russian vocab and listening to the birds sing. It’s not such a bad life some days 🙂

My first day's work on Memrise.com :)

My first day’s work on Memrise.com 🙂

We’ve had a great visit to Nashville – some good friends, good conversation, and most importantly a DAY OFF where we weren’t expected to speak at all.  And a couple of delightful dogs, one of whom is paralyzed in his hind legs and hasn’t slowed down one bit as a result. Well, ok, he’s not moving too quickly in the picture, but that’s because he’s a dog and why should he move?

Now to drive to… hm. Somewhere 6 hrs east of here. I’m very familiar with this run. Uuuuuuuuup the hill… dooooooooown the hill. Uuuuuuuup the hill… dooooooooown the hill. Yay for turbo diesel!

Little Dude!

Little Dude!

The Slow Process Of Problem Solving

I tend to work on a bunch of projects & problems simultaneously over the course of months or years, letting my subconscious churn away at things, coming up with new ideas gradually, researching things piecemeal. This means that sometimes I forget I was working on something, and don’t realize that I’ve found the solution to the problem when I’ve found it.

I was working on making the e-reader experience more pleasant for myself – poorly formatted ebooks drive me around the bend – and I just realized that I now have all the tools & knowledge assembled to do what I want to do with ebooks. 

Now I have to remember just what it was that I wanted to do… I think it had to do with fixing spelling errors, chapter divisions, and unnecessary hyphenation. I’m sure if I can just make a list of the things I wanted to knock off, I can script them all in a few minutes…

I think I’ve worked out that my happiness and productivity are inversely proportional to the amount of the day I spend on Facebook.  For some reason I don’t find Google+ to be anywhere near as offensive. I don’t post there every day – but then, I don’t post anywhere every day if I can help it! But if you’d like to visit me there, I’m at plus.google.com/u/0/106593738960040105066. And with that, I’m going to auto-post this to Facebook 🙂