April updates

 Website changes

I have been busy with this and that. You may have noticed a different look to this website. I messed up the old website tinkering around with the code in WordPress. At the Luthier’s open mic, a great local photographer, Julian Parker-Burns shot me performing. That was a good excuse to change the look of it a little. I liked the ‘theme’ on my Lehndorff Design website and decided to switch.

I planned on making some changes anyway. A few months ago I took a mini-course at the Club Passim (Cambridge MA) music school on self-promotion. It was a workshop with Matt Smith on moving from playing at open mics to professional performing.

One suggestion was to make the job of the person booking the venue easier. They get hundreds of emails a week. My info was on a bunch of different pages. The biography was in three places and was written in the first person. My songs were on or three pages. There are too many songs on the music page. And too many videos on the video page.

My press kit needs work. I’ll keep tinkering with it.


Marty

I flew back from my sister’s memorial on Monday, April 3. A long layover in Las Vegas was due to some sort of weather problem. I managed to read all of my work emails and did some work surrounded by slot machines.

Tuesday I went to pick up Marty at Camelot Kennel. He was all cleaned up and really glad to see me. They said he really didn’t eat all that well. But he seemed happy, looked good and smelled good. I had a lot of graphic work to do even though Marty wanted my attention. As it turned out about a week later he started coughing – like he was gagging. I tried to ignore it but it didn’t seem to go away.

I called the vet clinic.

The first thing they asked:
“Has he been to a kennel in the last few weeks?”
Crap. Kennel cough.

We had to go to the vet when they were closing up, so he wouldn’t infect the other dogs. He was up to date on his vaccinations. But they said the Bordetella vaccine is like our flu vaccine. It doesn’t prevent him from getting it. It helps him recover sooner. Between the blood work, antibiotics and extra fluids, it totaled over $300. He got better within a few days. They wanted him to come back for a follow-up. But I said he was fine 🙂


Shrub, hub-bub

I have many half-finished projects. I wanted to cut back some of the Forsythia and lilacs that surround the Lehndorff acre. It had reached the point where I had so much privacy I couldn’t see out of some of the windows. I couldn’t tell if anyone was waiting for me in the driveway.

Some of the lilacs from a year or so ago. They will grow back.

The internet suggested that I cut the oldest branches this year. Do another batch next year. And cut more the year after that. Then I thought I would just try to cut a third of them down to the ground. And leave the rest.

Once I got out there I said, “What the hell. They’ll grow back.”

So, sometime in November, I think, I whacked them all down. I felt bad about it but it was therapeutic. I piled them up the branches in the middle of the yard and planned to burn them during open the burn season. Burning season came and went. But the huge pile of brush was sitting in the yard. There are staffing problems at the Hampden Volunteer Fire Department (they all have day jobs). So I decided to play it safe and hire someone to chip the stuff and haul it away. To save money I had to move the pile down to my parking area. It was a big job but once it was cleared out it looked a little better. Everything is growing back. I thought about installing a fence but the plants will be in before I get around to doing anything.

After scalping the shrubs. My house is the green one on the tight.

The Maher Huntington’s benefit

On April 29th I went to the Fred Maher Family Journey Benefit Dinner. This was the 12th annual dinner held to raise money to cure Huntington’s Disease. All of the proceeds have been going to the Huntington’s Program at UConn.  It is really a labor of love for the Maher family of Sherman CT and their many friends. It is good to experience different fundraising events since that is my goal with my music.

I shared a table with two families that had Huntington’s. The guy next to me was in the early to mid stages. But he could still get his own food and get soft drinks for others at the table. His wife said he was having a good night. The woman next to me was a former caregiver. Her husband had passed away from it and she was there with her new partner or friend. So it was good to see life going on.

I bought a few raffle tickets for some of the prizes. I didn’t win any of them. But then…. I won the “door prize.” It was a “bouquet” of several Connecticut Lottery tickets. It probably cost a lot. I scratched them all the next day and won a grand total of $2.

With my bouquet of scratch tickets

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