Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This was the long awaited weekend with the biggest residing project planned. The last big wall to be replaced was the one with all the electrical panels and poles attached to the side of the house. They turned the power off Friday at noon and I almost immediately began ripping the two service panels, the meter box and power pole off the house. I had to label everything meticulously if I had any chance of putting it all together again in the same exact way.

Saturday was spent ripping off the siding, measuring locations of every stud and then covering the wall with a protective, waterproof Tyvek sheeting. Sunday saw me reside the entire wall. I had a scare of as darkness was descending, believing I may have accidentely shot a nail into a wire bundle buried in the wall. Fortunately all was well. Monday was spent reassembling all the service panels, the meter box and power pole. A very heavy rain struck in the afternoon, bringing it all to a temporary halt, fearing I would run out of time. Tuesday I stuck around to watch the power company come out and turn the electricity back on, crossing my fingers there were no problems. Everything worked perfectly in the house! I was essentially done with the residing for the summer, the painting could wait another month while I now went out to play. Concert season is approaching!

96 hours without electricity and water. By Monday night I was filthy and exhausted. It was a pleasure to take a shower after four days of crawling behind a large hedge and working under a burning sun. The daily afternoon thunder showers stopped all work, but it was an opportunity to lay down and rest with eyes closed, waiting to resume work after the rain had passed by late afternoon.

Hands craft something new
In unknown territory
Hoping for the best

After ripping all the electrical off the wall by Friday night, I was feeling relieved that this long dreaded project had begun. So I was feeling relatively good and wanted to celebrate with music in the usual way: loud, with a cigar and tequila.

David Bowie started off the set with his July 13, 1983 show in Montreal, Canada. A flawless soundboard recording from finish to end. With 10 band members supporting him, David's sound was rich and well orchestrated. This show was performed 3 months after his Let's Dance studio album came out. Wikipedia correctly notes that it was during this time period that Bowie went from superstar to megastar. It goes on to note:

"Bowie scored his first truly commercial blockbuster with Let's Dance in 1983, a slick dance album co-produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers. The title track went to #1 in the United States and United Kingdom. The album also featured the singles "Modern Love" and "China Girl", the latter causing something of a stir due to its suggestive promotional video."

A long double CD got me dancing under the beautiful moonlight.

Looks down from the stars
Distant street once familiar
Peers into the past

The bellowing cows
Massed herd slowly moves as one
To the slaughter house

Hail the tank man!
Lonely act of defiance
Stares down the giant

Download it here:

Ever since day one
Always race against the clock
To the finish line

As is the usual pattern, next up was Echo & The Bunnymen's March 30, 1984 live show in Boston, MA. Another excellent recording and performance. One of the best Bunnymen shows I've listened to. I was really grooving to the beat by this point in the evening, having to make a trip back into the blackened house by flashlight in order to take an extra swig from the bottle (the Bowie show was really long!). A superb performance by all the band to an enthusiastic crowd shouting out their favorite songs they hope will be played next. I don't know what it is but the lull in the song Thorn of Crowns always seems to elicit some laughter in the crowd.

A beautiful, cool evening under the moon. I could not help but be drawn back to the house, waiting to get on with the task of finishing it as quickly as possible. Although I went to sleep late that night, I was up by 6:30 AM, had a quick breakfast and had the generator roaring by 7. I'm sure the neighbors loved that pattern for the next 3 days.

Chaos on the ground
Oblivious to it all
Moon rides its slow arc

Counting life's decades
Trees standing for centuries
Light shone for billions

Sees with his eyes closed
Its light shines later each night
Circles endlessly

Songs that elevate
His heart and soul are flying
Sees the gates of heaven

Carried far away
Holds onto something solid
Finding reality

Something precious lost
Deep emptiness in the soul
Life of loneliness

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