Friday, February 27, 2009

Hot Springs and Crumbling RVs

Soaking at Indian Springs No. 1
After three days of driving and this brutal Wisconsin Winter, this was the sign pointing to bliss.

Martye's little adobe house.
Soaking in the mineral water baths in TorC rocks my cranky middle aged many times broken boned body. In a good way.
We soaked every day we were there but for the last, and Indian Springs was my favorite. It's a run down old hotel with the springs on the same property, housed in a bare bones metal roofed shack.
The pools are concrete, with pebble lined bottoms.
Because it's a natural flowing hot spring, there's no chlorine smell in the water, and it averages somewhere between 101 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is very salty water. The first few days I felt like a seal or a whale coming up for air, because whenever I took a deep breath, I'd rise up like a balloon, then fall back into the water when I exhaled.
I thought it was from one too many bean burritos this winter, carrying around an extra 30 pounds of my own human lard.
But a few days later we soaked at another hot spring across the street and the owner told me it was the salt content.
One more week in those hot springs and I'd have had dreadlocks.
Some days we'd walk down the hill to soak, others we drove, because walking home after a hot soak is like trying to move around with warm rubber appendages.
T or C is a strange town, filled with closed buildings, old crumbling hotels and beat up RV parks.
Every other yard seems to have an RV in it, too, most of them in terrible shape.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Mexico, day three

The sign in Martye's yard
Truth or Consequences, from the south side at night, looking towards the hot springs district.

The second and third days of the trip out were pretty flat, filled with tumbleweeds that kept rolling into the car and vast stretches of scruffy looking over grazed land.
We rolled through Dodge City, Elkart, and a bunch of towns that mostly consisted of big grain silos surrounded by run down houses and a few gas stations and beat up grocery stores. The two lane highways we drove on were mostly empty.
We stayed the night in in a cheap hotel near Dodge City,
In the morning we walked across the dark parking lot , the sun just starting to show in the east, the biggest full moon I've seen in years going down and went into a little breakfast joint and had an unexceptional breakfast.
You could tell that the Mexican influence was there in the food, but watered down like the coffee.
And nobody uses real half and half out west, it's all non dairy creamer.
The joint was filled with late middle aged guys in cowboy hats with pot bellies, the parking lot filled with big beat up trucks.
On the long drive west did pass a few huge wind farms, but the cold hard wind and a need to get somewhere left us rolling along, so we didn't stop for pictures.
We hit the interstate near Las Vegas, New Mexico and set the cruise control on 75 and pushed on to Truth Or Consequences, not stopping at Santa Fe, Los Alamos or Socoro.
Seeing the beauty salon sign that told us we were in front of Martye's house sure felt good. We unloaded and headed down to the hot springs district, and bought a soak at Indian Springs Waterhole No.1.
One thing I did find funny was how small the Rio Grande was. It's not much of a river at that point of it's run.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My New Favorite song: Colin Hay Beautiful World

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like swimming in the sea
I like to go out beyond the white breakers
Where a man can still be free (or a woman if you are one)
I like swimming in the sea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like drinking Irish tea
With a little bit of lapsang souchong
I like making my own tea.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like driving in my car
Roll the top down sometimes I travel quite far
Drive to the ocean stare up at the stars
I like driving in my car

All around is anger automatic guns
It’s death in large numbers no respect for women or our little ones
I tried talking to Jesus but He just put me on hold
Said He’d been swamped by calls this week
And He couldn’t shake His cold

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

My my my it’s a beautiful world
I like sleeping with Marie
She is one sexy girl full of mystery
She says she doesn’t love me but she likes my company
For now that’s good enough for me

Big Sky, Flat Land, the first day of the trip

We got a slow start, rolling out mid day after making three days worth of sandwiches, roasted pork on good Italian bread with cheese and horseradish sauce and lots of lettuce. About the only way I can stay awake on long drives is to spend them gnawing on something every once and a while, dragging along a cooler full of food.
We drove the first day on mostly two lane roads from home across Iowa, through Dubuque, around Des Moines, stopping at a ratty little Super 8 motel between nowwhere I wanted to be and nowhere anybody seemed to care about.
All day long the land got flatter as we rolled west, the vast flat broken only by the big grain storage silos that poked up out of the landscape, looking like lonely skyscrapers or steamboats coming over the curve of the ocean.
Interstate highways sure homogenize and suck the joy and diversity out of the drive west. It's all chain restaurants and big box stores punctuated by miles of corn stubble and trailer homes and beat up farms.
And WalMarts. Way to many Walmarts and too many rotted and empty downtowns where you do get off the interstates.
We stumbled into the hotel, burned down some herb and I spent the rest of the evening either snoring or cleaning our .45 and watching TV preachers or The Weather Channel. The next morning we hit the road early, knowing the long boring drive across Kansas would take most of the day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back From the Desert

Two weeks in New Mexico gone. We're back, but fried. Photos and sick observations to come soon.....

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Blur Guitar, Shot by Kori

Kori takes almost our band photos. She also comes to almost all our gigs, built my amp, wired most of my guitars, bakes killer bread, writes some powerful computer code, invents and writes whole worlds with her writing, and is beyond a shadow of a doubt the best pal/sweetheart/co-pilot/cellmate/sentient creature I ever fell in love with.
She's my rock star heroine.
And in case you didn't know, if you click on a photo on my blog, it opens a link to a bigger version.

Mr. M.F. the Seventh

Everybody thinks the MF in our band name is short for a crude expression involving having sex with your mother.
It's really because Mikey is the 7th Fairchild boy to carry that name.
While I am glad they're consistent, it shows a serious lack of imagination to keep using the same damn name over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
And then they named their little girl Luna instead of Michelle.
Go figure.
Here is his bad MF7-ness self going all rock star hero from Saturday's gig.
I like playing with him. He never phones it in, or takes prisoners when he's playing music.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

No Wonder they're going broke

NEW YORK – General Motors Corp. will offer buyouts to all of its hourly employees, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday, as the troubled automaker continues to slash costs.
GM spokesman Tony Sapienza said the buyouts will mainly target GM's 22,000 retirement-eligible hourly employees, though any union employee can take the offer.
News of the buyouts first broke on Monday. A union official told The Associated Press then that GM would offer $20,000 in cash and a $25,000 car voucher for workers who retire early and those who simply leave the company.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because workers were not yet notified of the packages.
Sapienza confirmed that the offer will consist of a car voucher and a one-time cash payment, though declined to offer more details, saying that employees will be informed of the specifics of the offer on Friday. However, he said the latest offer would be less generous than previous buyouts.

Huh, must be nice to have somebody give you more than a few month's health insurance and a few week's pay when they hand you your walking papers. That's all I got last time I worked somewhere for ten years.
And I can see why the big auto companies are going broke by being generous, although I suspect that the folks taking the buyout will be in the street soon enough after the government takes it's share. It's all taxable income, and more than likely taxed higher than usual paychecks.
Sometimes it really helps to have a Union behind you. I suspect those days are numbered, because of the way people love to hate unions for past abuses.
Cars are part of the reason we're a fucked up bunch of creeps in this country.
They're useful tools, but too often they are giant rolling cocoons that isolate us from the rest of the world and feed our paranoia when it comes to mingling with other people.
Mass transit done right has a real grounding and equality inducing element to it.
Cars just breed more sprawl, more aggressive behavior and a huge sense of entitlement that extracts far more cost and damage than most people realize.
Add up the costs of suburban development, the lack of walkable neighborhoods, the cost of road building and all the runoff problems and green house gasses and particulate matter that wind up in every body's lungs and the whole picture shifts.
But most people's creepy sense of entitlement about their cars makes them turn a deaf ear. They're too busy bitching about the taxes they're paying for those bums to ride the crappy bus service most places have.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Luna, Future Drama Queen

I suspect she will not lack for a sense of dramatic projection when she becomes an adult. She's already a show off for cameras.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

From Last Night's Show

We had a rockin' good time
Michael sang in rhyme
Jonathon pounded the skins
at just the right time
and C. Scott Fry was
spinning his bass with a grin on his face
and I was bashing out notes
all over the place
the joint was rockin' and the beer was flowing
and for once it actually stopped fucking snowing

They liked us again. Gave us an extra fifty bucks and booked us for March 21st. And I got to watch Ellyn and her horribly cool monkey brained sister dance with Dimitry. A fine night.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson