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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.

A Series of Flattering Events

I often feel like I spend too much time grumping so every now and again I like to mention some of the cool bits.

In the past month I’ve gotten two gigs, one of which was a repeat hire of my band, Snake Suspenderz. Repeat gigs are way up on the high forms of flattery list.

The second one is a new Hobbit & Hare gig, and the fella who’s producing it told me that several of the other musicians he works with had mentioned me and that I “came highly recommended.” Whoa! How to win friends and influence Hobbits in one easy lesson. I could hear that sort of thing pretty often without getting tired of it!

This last one is the best. I haven’t had a sale of my first CD, Buskers Bonus, in quite some time. I don’t even make physical copies anymore, it’s strictly available by download. Last Sunday, out of the proverbial blue sky I got the ka-ching! letter from Bandcamp. Someone sent me $5 for the digital download. Much as I’m happy about free money from the cloud, that was not the best part.

The next day I got a notification from Facebook that someone had tagged me in a comment. I checked it out and it was a nice response to Buskers Bonus that  – and here comes the best part – someone else had posted the link for.

That’s how the guy who bought the CD found out about it!

Sharing is caring kids! The best thing you can do for an artist (of whatever type) is sharing about them. If you see something I’ve posted that you like, pass it on. It doesn’t necessarily need to be strictly music related or even about me. The more folks get curious about the old geek with the funny mustache, the more chances I have for folk to discover my oddball tunes, possibly even like them, and then maybe I get more of those ka-ching! letters.

It’s kind of a numbers game folks. Please help me grow those numbers.


Damn Weather Guessers

I carefully and repeatedly checked the weather forecast all day yesterday. It was saying “rainy in the morning, clearing in the afternoon.” So I…

  1. Sent an email last night to Sketch outlining a (certainly doable but) different and somewhat more complex logistics plan to maximize busking and minimize expense. and…
  2. Did not send an email to Carey  (who plays marvelous trumpet solos while still keeping the beat going on a snare drum) because the logistics would have been one or two  layers deeper in the complexity department.

And what happens when I check the forecast this morning? The ~40% chance of early rain drops to 3%, and the clearing up bit moves earlier in the day.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing with Sketch. It’s that it’s moving into prime busking season here in the Pacific Northwet and it’s more fun to play with a larger group. And can be more profitable too. Trios and quartets will attract more attention than solos or duos.

Ah well. You pays your money, you takes your chances. The last couple days Sketch and I have busked have been pretty good. No good reason it has to be different today.

Busking And Hugs

Yesterday Hobbit & Hare once again took our usual place on the bridge in the Pike Place Market and, despite the heat and humidity, managed to churn out 3 sets of music. The first two were fine, both crossing our minimum threshold for a “good hat”, but the third one just busted out all over.

For one thing, a nice lady was returning to Australia and took a video of us for her son-in-law, assuring us that he was a musician and would just love us. She left a $20 bill in the tip jar. Yeah! But before that

We had a good crowd hanging around that included a young couple (early to mid-twenties I’d say), and a small group of little old ladies, all dressed up for their big day on the town. They all stayed around for several tunes, tipped, and also decided to leave at about the same time. The young gal stopped in front of us and said some very complimentary things (bless her little cotton socks!). She then asked if she could hug me.

I said, “if you don’t mind hugging sweaty old men, sure!” She laughed and hugged me. Meanwhile…

One of the little old ladies apparently overheard this and she turns around and says, “oh, me too, please!” So she hugs me and gives me a kiss on the cheek. She thought I was just the cutest thing. No, I’m not a mind reader, she said so.

I would have been just as happy without the muggy heat, but I’ll take lots more days with fat hats, hugs and smoochies.

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.


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)


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.

* 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.