Roger That

Finally, after two years of missed connections, I was able to see a Wilco concert tonight. In the past whenever they’ve been in town I’ve been out of town or already had plans. Last night I found out they were in town… at an outdoor venue within walking distance no less. After a quick last minute unsuccessful round-up of local music-afficionado friends, I bought a single ticket for myself. They must have opened up a few rows yesterday and today because I was able to score a seat in Row K fairly close to the center aisle. The guy next to me had bought his ticket today as well. I was about as close to the stage as the bases are on a baseball diamond. Nice.The concert was really good. They played quite a bit of both old and new material, including some country-esque tunes that I didn’t recognize but I presume were from Jeff Tweedy’s Uncle Tupelo days. I don’t have the latest album and therefore haven’t heard much of it with the exception of what WDET plays off and on, but it was perhaps the first concert that I really enjoyed the songs that I was unfamiliar with. Some of the songs that I did recognize: War on War, Kamera, Hummingbird, Handshake Drugs, I’m a Wheel, Misunderstood, I’m Trying to Break Your Heart, Spiders (Kidsmoke), Heavy Metal Drummer, Jesus Etc., and I’m the Man Who Loves You. They played for about two hours with two 5-minute intermissions. All in all, it was a great show and I recommend seeing them if they come around to a venue near you.

A Case for Clip-ons

Ever since I got a new pair of eyeglasses last summer, I’ve been looking for a small, thin hard case for the magnetic clip-on sunglasses that came with them. A thin sleeve for the clip-ons came with the case for the eyeglasses but it is meant to be used in conjunction with that case. It is much too bulky for everyday use and is overkill considering I’m usually wearing the glasses and have no need for the case.Ideally the case for the clip-ons would be small and slim enough that it wouldn’t cause a noticable bulge in a pocket. It would need to be rigid rather than just a sleeve to protect the frame from bending (I’ve already had to straighten it out once). And of course the interior shouldn’t scratch the lenses.Surprisingly enough I’ve had a heck of a time trying to find anything close to this. Given the selection of eyeglasses that came with clip-on sunglasses that I was able to choose from, I would think that such cases would be fairly common. Most cases I’ve come across have been much to bulky, too small (i.e. for reading glasses) or not rigid. The cases at the bottom of this page from McCray Optical and for these Shade Control clip-ons are perhaps the closest I’ve come but I haven’t found a place that sells them and I’m reluctant to purchase anything without testing it out with my clip-ons first. I also just came across this case but it seems unnecessarily thick and deep.If you happen to come across a thin, rigid metal case for clip-on sunglasses, please let me know! The interior dimensions should be about 5″ x 1.25″ x 0.3″.

Another Peer Will Be Missed

I guess it’s bound to happen more frequently the older a person gets. I found out last night that a friend of mine from high school Nate Blackburn passed away earlier this week. I was not terribly close with Nate, in fact I probably hadn’t seen or spoken with him since he graduated from high school about 14 years ago, but we hung out with the same group of people from band class. I’ll always have something to remember him by, though. At a common friend’s graduation open house, we all started goofing off by the pool and soon people were getting thrown in fully clothed. Nate started to go after me but I didn’t want to have any part of it. So I took off running and he followed. Now you have to understand he was into gymnastics so he was quite muscular and in much better shape than I. Knowing this, I ran just as fast as I my legs could carry me. He chased me through a neighbor’s yard where my clumsiness got the best of me and I lost my balance while zig-zagging to try to shake him. I tumbled forward, landed on my shoulder and broke my collar bone. In hindsight, I guess it would have been better to have just jumped in the pool. :PThat was about the last time I saw him until tonight at the viewing at a local funeral home. The funeral is scheduled for Friday morning. I was quite impressed by how many people were at the viewing to express their sympathy for Nate’s family. A few high school friends who still live in the area (Andy Ciupak, Matt Pulliam, Bruce Spike) were there as was Jennifer Herbst who flew in from Pennsylvania. We went to a nearby pub afterward to catch up since most of us haven’t seen each other in quite some time. Though admittedly under very unfortunate circumstances, it was really good to see them all again. High school reunions are focused on graduating classes, whereas my band friends covered the 3 years before and after my own graduating class. I don’t know if I would have ever met back up with Andy or Matt if not for tonight.A few years ago, most of my friends were getting married. Now many of them are having babies (11 couples we know are having a kid this year). Until this past October the only funerals I had attended were for grandparents and great grandparents. I certainly hope this trend doesn’t continue until I’m much older. It does make me think long and hard about my own life. I often take for granted just how good I have it. It’s events like these that make me realize that there are no guarantees in life. Life is not always peaches and cream, there’s no promise that it’ll be long, and when something bad happens it will rarely seem fair. Carpe diem.

June Kaija Update

*sigh* I haven’t been very good about posting recently, have I? No excuses. Just haven’t been thinking about posting much recently.Kaija is growing by leaps and bounds. She understands quite a bit of what we say to her, though her vocabulary is still limited. Some of the things she can say now are: beans, peas, cheese, yes (“yesh”), no, ice (“eyesh”), hot (cold is “brrrrr”), mama, dada and beep. That last one we taught her while pulling her in her wagon… whenever we would back up, we would say “beep beep beep beep…” and she started saying it, too. Much to our chagrin, about a week before Memorial Day she decided she liked the word “no”, knew exactly what it meant, and used it with authority. It was very trying for about two weeks. She has gotten a bit better since then.We weened her from nursing about two months ago. We quickly found that she’s allergic to cow’s milk (though cheese and yogurt seem to be okay) so until that goes away we’ve been giving her fortified rice milk. That was a pretty difficult transition for both Jennifer and Kaija but it didn’t take more than a few days. Jennifer had been in the habit of nursing Kaija after Kaija woke up in the morning so now she brings her a sippy cup full of rice milk.Kaija has become quite adept at climbing and decending the stairs. We still make sure that we’re around when she’s going up and down and we gate-off the stairwell most of the time. But she can go up and down without crawling or sliding if she holds onto the hand rail.We’ve been taking her to Gymboree music class once a week for the past few months. She really enjoys playing with the instruments. She also enjoys being the instructor’s little helper by helping to put the instruments away and straightening out any floor mats that may have gotten out of alignment.