Sunday, March 17, 2019

Shred in peace

My guitar teacher gave me a tab of some of this man's work. Some of it is technique, but so much is tone and feel. My wife did recognize what I was trying to do though.

Dick Dale was a true Influencer in guitar playing and manufacturing. The man was still going at the end, colostomy bag and all. He said he had to pay medical bills, but I think he also loved playing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Watching your difficult decision play out

Two weeks ago, I posted this about putting my son on an anti-psychotic medication.

Wow, that's a sentence you never want to write as a parent.

There are differences in him, mainly that he sleeps, a lot. With me at least, he mumbles what few words he does use. He used to speak to me a with more clarity. At school, this is not much of an issue. He has had at least one incident of self harm at his mother's, but it has been easier for her to help get him dressed in the morning.

I think he's in a safer place, maybe because he's so doped up he does not have the energy to act out.

I do not know. I do not miss the screaming, but the noticeable loss of energy is heartbreaking.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Delayed research with responses

It's been sitting there, unused, in the kitchen since we bought the house. During the inspection we saw that no water was going into it when it was turned on. Eventually, we'd get it fixed.

Fifteen months later, the dishwasher is still in the kitchen. It still was not working.

Granted, like the fireplace, the dishwasher was nice but we've never really used one before. Its presence was not why we bought the house. Unlike the fireplace though, I suspect it would not take several thousand dollars to get the dishwasher functioning.

Yesterday, tired of looking at it, I got the model number and went to the Internet to see what what was up. On YouTube I found a site that showed me what the problems of the dishwasher are. One main problem is that the float inside is jammed so no water can go in. Like the video suggested I got a wooden spoon and banged on the top of the float, to supposedly loosen whatever was blocking water flow.

I then did a dry run, as it were, and started the dishwasher up. It came to life, it made sounds like there was actual water flow. The basin was filling. The dishwasher had come to its destiny as a household appliance!

Then my wife looked at the toilet.

The bowl was kind of bubbling, like a tiny spring. It seems the toilet and dishwasher share the same inflow pipe. There was nothing wrong with the toilet, it was not filling up at it's normal rate when the dishwasher was working. A good fact to know.

This is a manageable situation, much easier than the old place when you could not do laundry and take a shower, or flush the toilet while doing the dishes.

Then we noticed one of our sinks.

There are side by side sinks in the kitchen. One of them has a non-functioning garbage disposal unit, which is fine, neither of us have ever had a working one and they seem to cause more problems than their worth - like right now.

All the spent water from the dishwasher had flowed upward into the sink where the garbage disposal unit is. It was a bit more than half full of warm water.

My response was to get out the plunger and plunge through the blockage of the disposal sink, and that seems to have solved that problem at the moment as the dishwasher finished its cycle with no further issues.

I have never bought soap for a dishwasher before so there will be an adventure at the grocery later. Not sure when we'll do our first real dishwasher session, but boy 2019 is going to be a fascinating year. Or one day in late February.

Best thing about all of this excitement is there were no tears, no cursing and best of all, no flooding.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The hard parental choices

The problems began in October. My son did not want to get dressed at his Mother's house to get ready for school. This escalated into a much bigger problem for her, and for him.

Being a non-verbal teenager has to be one frustrating way to go through life, it's really hard to watch and live with. His behavior changed due to, what? Hormones, another illness, something happening to him we do not know about because he cannot speak. In any case, he was not safe due to his self harming behaviors.

We did, eventually, get him to a doctor and she heard us and saw him at his best and worst. Blood was drawn (it took four people to hold him down and one to do the draw), and we found out his strep levels were elevated. From here we learned of a condition called PANDAS in which people display very aggressive and obsessive/compulsive behaviors when they have strep. He was given antibiotics in liquid form, and his behaviors did not really diminish much.

A return to the doctor resulted in us receiving a prescription for a rather powerful drug, which we give him in pill form. It's a fast dissolving tablet that he is allowing us to give to him with no real difficulty. He initially was supposed to get an X dose, but his mother and I suggested a lower dose to start, because we've never seen the effects of the drug. She agreed.

The drug tired him out, we think he slept more, some of the behaviors diminished but he's still not allowing his mother to dress him in the morning. Last week we went to the dose the doctor suggested and it's knocked him on his ass. It's really odd to see him so lethargic. I'm used to the noise out of him, and it's vanished. He's also not screaming, or doing the dangerous behaviors.

I have to accept this trade off, for now. It's difficult and sad to witness. I understand the drug takes time to take full effect. Oddly enough the drug's main side effect is weight gain, which is in the irony of life is desirable.

He's in there, and for whatever reasons he is not happy. I do not know what his being on this drug will help with his feelings, his anxieties. It's making him safe from his own hands though, and that going away has been worth the risk. I did not ask to have to make this choice, but I have to help protect him.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Fine dining is not dead

“Are you a musician?” The server asked me. “You look like someone I’ve seen before but I can’t place you.” After quizzing each other with various people and places we may have met, it turned out in the nineties we both worked at local wine shops and may have crossed paths at industry tastings. Maybe I’d recognize him clearer if he shaved his beard, but probably not.

It was the first time I’d been in The Refectory, one of the finest restaurants in the city, in my entire time here, and the moment I entered the main dining room I regretted missing out on those lost decades. It’s a beautiful space in an old church. The decor was fresh, there was nothing tired about the place.

And we were there now. Finally met the sommelier after following him on social media for a few years. He poured us a couple of amuse bouche samples of obscure Italian wines to start the show.

We had very good wine. She had antelope, I had the four course chef’s menu. The sous vide beef shoulder was outstanding. Nothing was rushed. The staff on the floor were all working together with a learned precision that was not pretentious, but natural. Our dinner a few years back at the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow was outstanding in quality and service, but last night went past that. The Refectory is a skilled team from front of house to back.

There was no way I could afford to go in there until now. Even when I was in the wine business in the nineties it could not be done.

As we ate I was thought about a quote a local chef recently said in an article about her. She said that fine dining was dead. This is the same chef who passively/aggressively insulted my wife in front of a dining room full of people. The same chef who partnered with a local brewery owner who is now accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Fine dining is not dead, it’s the lazy, uncreative and harmful attitudes of those who control the narrative that should be. On our way out we walked past one of the former food critics from the Dispatch, who had just finished his dinner. I was never fond of his writing style, it turned into a template the last few years of his reign. Yet when a place gets outstanding reviews for over thirty years, innovates with the times to provide a superior dining experience, you keep going back. As will we, sooner than later. It’s worth it.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

When the hunt eats you

Went to my off the beaten patch record store today to do some digging. And dig I did. For a change, I went in with a list of four records and ended up finding three of them. Purchased two since one of them was not in decent condition.

I’ve written about and told others about Memory Lane Records before and how it is so quirky. The owner is a fair man who today was in the rum and cokes. We were talking about a singer/songwriter who neither of us knew or could find out any information about. He somehow scored a single side of a five disc collection on VJ Records. It could have been a misspelling on the label, because I found a Wikipedia entry about this dude, Bobby Jameson. But the cataloger in me cannot find a true connection between the songs on the record and the songs he wrote. So be it.

Found five records to buy, and here is where the fun lies in this place - none of the records are priced. One of the records was a copy of Los Bravos’ Black Is Black in very good condition.

“Where did you find this?” Al asked as he marveled at its condition while turning the pages of his price book.

It had a book value of $75, he was going to charge me $50 and I passed on that. Al said he was probably going to take it home with him. He did play a couple of songs from it and may be still. It’s a very good record in excellent condition. I would have been thrilled to own it.

When I left I thanked him and said I was glad I could find that record for him. I’ll be back, but damn.