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At last you can get your Jazzed Desserts!

After much fumbling about and a truly hideous number of hours editing, I’ve finally put together a show based on an idea I got from Fran Snyder of ConcertsInYourHome.com.

They’re essentially a “mini house concert.” A brief gathering of friends for food, conversation and live music in an intimate and approachable setting. They’re easy and inexpensive to host. They’re strictly acoustic so you won’t upset the neighbors. (But you should invite them, they’re a great way to strengthen existing friendships and forge new ones.)

I’m available solo for these shows and with my duo, Hobbit & Hare. Currently we’re limiting this to the greater Seattle area, but we could be convinced to roam a bit farther in the future.

Find out all the details here.

I Went From 7″ To 8″

The Overview
As recently reported, I had finally gotten the software on my tablet (a 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab3 Lite) more or less playing well together, and suddenly I’m faced with a hardware problem. That problem being it had died. Deader than Elvis.

Aarrrrgh!

So the tl;dr version is that I was able to upgrade to an 8″ Samsung Galaxy Tab A.

What’s that?

Of course that is what the title is all about! What did you think I meant?

And anyway, if you’re a tl;dr kind of person, what in the world are you doing following me?

So here’s the rest of the story, complete with extra bonus goodness.

The Rest Of The Story
I came home Monday night after dropping my sweetie off at the airport and fired up my tablet. I checked my email, played a couple rounds of a silly game I like, and then noticed I had 2 software updates available. I installed the first one and started installing the second (that silly game I just mentioned). It got to 100% downloaded and hung there.

I wasn’t immediately concerned as the tablet is a bit long in the tooth and would often take a few moments to think before starting the install process. But when I checked it several minutes later it was still stuck there. It wouldn’t respond to any input. I ended up doing a hard shutdown. At which point it completely bricked. It not only wouldn’t start back up, it wouldn’t even recognize that it was plugged into a charger.

I had some money set aside (for other purposes) and didn’t want to dip into it, but I do almost all of my computer work on the tablet nowadays and didn’t want to go without my mobility (on things like this sort of post, for instance). I am actually getting nearly regular about such stuff and wanted to keep the trend going. But I wasn’t going to just go out and grab the first tablet that I had the cash for. I set up some minimums. It had to…

  • have an 8″ screen. My eyes are getting no better.
  • not be some sort of off-brand.
  • be at least one step up in its Android version.
  • have more on device storage.
  • not cost too much more than I spent on the bricked one a couple years ago.

I had some other errands to run so I added three local places that carry tablets to do some price checking. The first one I visited had a tablet that fit all those parameters. It had all the features I required and, while the bricked tablet cost $159 plus tax, this one was on sale for only $10 more. I told the guy helping me, “sold!” and he said (whilst checking his little hand terminal) “let me go back and make sure we have that in stock.”

A few minutes later he’s back with a boxed unit, explaining to me how someone had raided it for its recharge cord, but he’s sure he can arrange a discount (from the already on sale price) if I still wanted it. A brief conversation with the manager later, and I’ve got 20% more taken off the price. The upshot being I spent just under $150 after tax.

But wait! That’s only the first bonus.

The Bonus Goodness

  • two apps that used to take way longer to launch than they should have are now firing right up.
  • the WordPress app is finally showing me my markup (bold, italic, etc.) in its preview screen.
  • the previous bonuses give me hope that the problems I was experiencing with the video app I’ve downloaded (which I blogged about here) might have been due to the android version and not the app itself. Testing that is on today’s agenda. I haven’t checked it out yet from a combination of being too busy and, of course, fear. I really want the app to not disappoint me.

In any event, I’m back up and flying with my portable internet. This gives me a happy!

What I Did During The Blackout (pt 3)

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Clock sign in the Aegis Pike Place Market Room

On April 28th Hobbit & Hare played two sets at Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer, one of a chain of senior living facilities specializing in folks with dementia and other memory affecting issues. It was a monthly catered dinner/business get together with folks from other facilities, including some that aren’t under Aegis’s aegis.*

Interestingly enough, after decades of checking the yes box on my Pike Place Market busker permit application where they ask if I’m good with them passing on my contact info when the PDA** gets a call asking for musician referrals, this is the first time I can recall actually getting a gig via that route.

Now the reason that’s so interesting is the gig was in a large room in their basement that they’ve tricked out like a faux Pike Place Market. Seriously. I’ve been busking at the market for the previously mentioned decades and Sketch and very I have been regulars there for several years now. It promised to be like stepping into the Twilight Zone. Here’s a little gallery of pics I took.

The faux market also includes a working barber shop, beautician, gift shop, and a small theater with a huge flatscreen and 10 or so very comfortable looking club chairs.

The folks were nice, the food was good, and the load in and load out was a breeze. I’d do it again.

footnotes:
* yes, you’re right. I loved writing that sentence.
** PDA = Preservation and Development Authority, the folks in charge of Pike Place Market. Don’t get me started.

Snakez History

Here’s a little blast from the past.

I finally got around to cleaning up the mess that my song charts (and other assorted paperwork) had become. The situation isn’t perfect yet, but they’re at least mostly in one file box now and easier to deal with.

In the process I discovered an envelope with not one, but two copies of the Snake Suspenderz first promo pic and one-sheet.

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As you can see, we were still just a duo at the time. The pic was taken in the lobby of my former apartment building in Belltown, with a cheap digital camera (wielded by the apartment manager), in 2004 or thereabouts. Thaddeus did the layout work to make it look like a promo pic.

What a difference a decade or so makes. I mean, who is that kid with the ukulele?

Good Busking Day

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Hobbit & Hare busked at the market today and the Memorial Day crowd was excellent. “How excellent?” you may ask…

  • We were gathering crowds (plural!), rather than getting tips mostly from passers-by.
  • Occasionally the crowds were blocking access to the craftspeople’s tables. When I would encourage them to step in a bit, they did! (Usually that prompts a scattering much reminiscent of roaches when the light comes on.)
  • The money was good. No records were shattered (except maybe “most $5 awards in a single set”), but the worst of our two sets was pretty damn good.
  • We sold four of the $5 CDs and two of the $10 ones.
  • We got many nice remarks. (I love how the age range was too. I seem to have stumbled onto something that defies standard demographics.)
  • The weather was as close to perfect as one could hope for.

You’d almost believe it was summer already.

Hope all my U.S. friends had a great holiday too! And for my friends elsewhere, just drop the “holi” part, the sentiment is the same.

What I Did During The Blackout (pt 2)

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Continuing my efforts to prove that I wasn’t simply curled into a fetal ball in a dimly lit room during my recent media blackout, I present a quick tale of the events on April 7th, 2016.

Hobbit & Hare played a private dinner party for a Seattle law firm, hosted at The Ruins, a private dining club on Queen Anne hill. Since the internet insists “pics or it didn’t happen,” I’m only posting the stuff where I got at least one photo. I’ve put a little gallery up of their main dining room. The building belongs to one of Seattle’s early lumber baron families. Much of the decor and furnishings came from the family mansion.

Sketch and I did our first run with a “small” sound system we’d put together from stuff we already owned and it worked like a champ. We’ll be using it again soon.

As an added bonus, the event was arranged by Acquisition Event Management Inc., and among the attendees was a couple who’s wedding we played at. The wedding was also hosted by Acquisition.

I loves me some return customers!