Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Fourth of July holiday weekend, Independence Day. But not for me. I'm enslaved to the house renovation project, weekend after weekend until its done. And then another project next summer, and then another after that. If only I were a Pharaoh, to be entombed in the monument of my making, the structure I was slaving away 20 years to build. Or maybe death is my path to liberation, free from the shackles of my own making.

The siding project continues. The old cedar siding is ripped off and the wall prepared for the construction of a doorway and replacement of 3 out of 4 windows. Live wiring must be rerouted. The window frame turned into a door frame, enlarged by removing a wall stud to allow the door to fit in. Construction of a sheet metal clad sill and other metal work to prevent water from getting beneath the roof shingles below the door. Then the slow process of installing the door and then three windows: shimming, leveling and nailing. A slow process to make sure it is done correctly.

The door I installed will eventually have a deck built out over the adjoining roof. That will be a project for next summer because I want to do something that is not of a traditional style. It will cost money I presently don't have. This deck is where I will smoke my Sunday evening cigars at sunset, sparing me the trouble of having to climb a few feet higher to the crest of the roof where I now retreat to at the close of each summer weekend.

My daughter's in New Jersey on the shore with a friend's family. The wife and son go to the fireworks display in Parker Saturday night, me being to tired to make the effort. Sunday evening it began to down pour, continuing all night long. Fortunately I had the outside wall covered with the white Tyvek paper to shed the rain. Monday was a beautiful clear day that allowed me to work uninterrupted. A precious three day weekend slips by.

Saturday night found me out on the prairie again, truck stereo blasting into the cool night air. Air bursts of fireworks above Denver's brightly lit skyline. First up for the evening was John Hiatt, Alive at Budokan. He's a great guitarist, great singer and great song writer.

Wikipedia describes him as:

"John Hiatt (born August 20, 1952, Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American rock guitarist, pianist, singer, and songwriter. He has played a variety of musical styles on his albums, including New Wave, blues and country. Hiatt has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards and has been awarded a variety of other distinctions in the music industry."

This is first live album, recorded during a 1994 winter-spring tour of the U.S. (the title is a joke, a parody of both Peter Frampton's Framptoin Comes Alive! and the At Budokan albums released by numerous artists) and finds the singer/songwriter backed by the Guilty Dogs, a guitar-bass-drums trio. He doesn't need any more ammunition than that, not when he's got a set of 15 songs drawn from his last four critically acclaimed albums, including "Thing Called Love" and "Tennessee Plates."

I really enjoyed the performance, something new and refreshing!

Feel the stars above
Watching with glowering eyes
Seeing nothing new

Fireworks in the air
Claim their earned independence
Handcuffs for the blind

For act two I pulled out another show I had been saving for some time, Echo & The Bunnymen's live performance at The Fillmore in San Francisco on December 5, 2005, another in their Instant Live: House of Blues series they released in 2006. Ian and Will set sail into the turquoise lights of San Francisco's Fillmore that Monday in support of their most recent release, "Siberia". The show has a feel identical to the live shows I've gone to see this and last year, right down to the sequence of songs played. It sounds so familiar that as I listen with eyes closed and conjuring images in my head I can predict what song comes next.

The fireworks had long ceased by the time it was all over. Back home and in bed by 1 AM.

Shackled by their narrow views
Illusion of right

Speeches every day
How it will all be better
I used to believe

Our psychology
Driven by small emotions
No hands on the wheel

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