Monday, May 15, 2006

Warning... camera malfunction

I regret to announce that my not-so-trusty camera, the un-named wonder, has gone kaput! The unfortunate day was Sunday ,May 14, yesterday. It was Mother's Day, the first without mom. It was sad, and a bit difficult, but many thanks to Anishka and her Mama Melinda for letting me come with them to Mt. Lemmon for a mother's day drive and sunset hike. It was a beautiful day in Tucson, 102 degrees, but by the time we reached the summit of Mt. Lemmon, it was 70 degrees. Wonderful!

The drive from Tucson to Summerhaven, the tiny resort/ski area/town/national forest area is only about 25 miles, and 5000 ft. The drive took us about an hour, but we stopped about 4 times to take in 'scenic vistas' and the visitor center along the Catalina Highway The drive can be done in about 45 minutes. 40 miles total from downtown Tucson.

When we reached the top, the parked at the ski area, and Anishka and I explored. We decided not to ride the ski lift, not only because it was nine dollars a person, but because it was a 45 round trip, and the lift was only running for another hour. That didn't';t allow for much exploration at the ski park summit, so we decided to sample Orange Cream fudge instead. Mmmmmmmm.

Next, we went into Summerhaven to sample the world famous pies... (actual photo of the pie, courtesy of ten safe frogs' photostream on flickr.) There we ran into one of Anishka's former students, Andrew (I won't say anything else about him... ) and we invited him to sit with us. We arrived at the restaurant around 4:00, and it closes at 5:00, so our choices were limited. We all had to settle for our second choice. I ordered Blueberry instead of Peach, Anishka had Sour Cherry in stead of Boysenberry, and Melinda had raspberry. I guess that was her first choice. Andrew had Chili and cornbread, and coffee. I guess he was eating dinner.

Anyway, the pie was amazing. Eat it, no ifs ands or buts, just do it.

After devouring the pie, and chatting for an hour about politics, California, the Midwest, music and what we were all doing this summer, we parted ways. Anishka, Melinda and I head out of town and down a dirtroad to a trailhead. We were about to embark on our sunset hike, through the fire charred forest on a ridge in the Catalina Mountains. The trail was fairly easy, except for the blackened trees that had fallen over the trail. The tress were destroyed in the 2004 fire.

The light was magnificent, truly amazing. We were fortunate to have some clouds, so the diffused light was intensified. It was enthralling, the bright green clumps of grass, the blackened tress, the purple wildflowers, the brown and dead grass from last season. I have never seen anything like it. All at 8,000 ft, an hour from my house.

We returned that evening, and I immediately went to bed. I started my three week pre-session today, Music 672, class four days a week, four hours a day. It should be a great class. I don't care to give the details, and you are probably not so interested to know them.

Well, I'm sorry for the random pictures. To make a long story short, my camera stopped working, so I hope that my writing was sufficient. The pics posted have no relation to the recollection of the Sunday's activities.

I hope to retrieve whatever photos from my camera, and post them at a later date.

Byt he way, sammie came along to, you can see photos of her here, and here and here.

have a great day, night, or ... time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

mp3 blog

(Yoda paid me a visit!)

Ok, so I don't have an mp3 blog! Oh the pressure that would create in my life. I admire those that have less of a life then I do and spend time each day researching music and posting select musical numbers on there blog. I sound condescending, but really, I appreciate the wealth of music on the web that the mp3 bloggers provide. (My favorites are Said the Gramophone, Tofu Hut and i (heart) music for great Canadian Music.

Now, I don't intended to report these mp3's to the aggregators, (Hype Machine and

OK here we go. I would like to display my poor engineering skills today. First of all, here are two Reclimb tracks (Joel Krueger, Chad Karyand Greg Beno) recorded at UW-Oshkosh in 1996 or 1997. The boys were in their senior year of High School and came down to Oshberg several times to make these recordings, we did 6 songs, and these are two that made the cut for a Practicum project.

Reclimb New One
Reclimb Wonder Why

So, there you go, nothing like 17 year olds rocking out!

Moving on to post Oshkosh work, here is a track that I recorded and co-mixed at Renwood Messenger Studios in Kenosha during my internship. God subject warning.

Dave Moore Praise the World

The bass is so heavy, I don't know how that slipped past everyone, oh well.
enough about me!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I'm happy to report that we all had a successful day planting out at Canelo Hills Vineyard in Sonoita. We successfully planted 1000 vines, consisting of two different varities of Cabernet Sauvignon. The weather cooperated, and the entire day was pleasent and productive. I began the day with a visit to my adopted plant from last year, which was still going strong (dispite the drought and the deer!). This year I adopted a nice vine that I planted early in the day. Thanks everyone for a great day.

Enjoy the photos! (More photos in my Kodak gallery, post a comment if you want to be invited to see more, or shoot me off an email.)

Judy and Tiffany hard at work!
Casey and Kat hardly working!
Watch out! Nishi has the tractor!
Taking a break from the sun, playing with Sammie and Cas
Ahhh, the sweet rewards of hard work!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Political Action

Ok fellow bloggers, help keep our lines of communication open and running smoothly. Support us in the fight against this bill!


Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an iPod? Everything we do online will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law next week that gives giant corporations more control over what we do and see on the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutralitythe Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. Currently doesn't have to outbid Amazon for the right to work properly on your computer.

If Net Neutrality is gutted, almost every popular sitefrom Google to eBay to iTunesmust either pay protection money to Internet companies like AT&T or risk having their websites process slowly. That why these high-tech pioneers and others are opposing Congress' effort to gut Internet freedom.

Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.

If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites ranging from Google to eBay to iTunes either pay protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly on your computer. We can't let the Internetthis incredible medium which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic participation, economic innovation, and free speechbecome captive to large corporations.

You can do your part today. Can you sign this petition from telling your member of Congress to preserve Internet freedom? Click here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nate finally gets a night out!

It was great to get out of the house, and no worries about homework or papers! So, Anishka and I hit the 'ol Club Congress for some high grade Canadian Indie Rock.

The show opened up with Cadence Weapon, a 19 year old rapper from Edmonton. He was good, but more importatnly, he had a good sense of humor. The songs were all rapped over a pre-recorded track, which made it a little less-interesting to observe, but it he got bonus points for have synth heavy tracks, nothing that sounded like polished main-stream rap, and that's a good thing. He was basicly rapping for a bunch of 20-something indie kids, and although I think people dug it, not one soul was getting down. He did manage to get the crowd clapping, and then proceeded to label Tucson a good, "clapping town." Now I can die proud.

The second band was Why?, a three piece from Oakland (According to Nishi, they were way bay area). They were very interesting, and the drummer was particulary impressive. Let's just say he was quite busy (they all were reallyy.) He would play his kit, the glockenspiel and sing at the same time! It was poppy and psyhchodelic at the same time, and the performance gave me Pavement flaschbacks. Very Entertaining.

Islands... they took forever to make it to the stage (I'm now old, and wasn't doing enough dancing or drinking to pass the time and take a load off) and when they did, they were all dressed in white, and they were 20! Well, probably older, but I was surprised by the numbers and the white. But they brought it. 2 of the members acted as multi-instrumentalists, focusing on keys and strings, while one of the guitar players turned out to be a bass clarinet player, and played it most of the show. (gave me TMBG flashbacks ). It was a pretty good show, they pulled off most of the songs with a fairly high level of success. This is no small feat, when the studio album involves some many different levels of instrumentation. I have to admitt, the bass clarinet with the violins did give me a few DMB flashbacks.

Here's what a flashback looks like:

What brought the band down a little for me was the attitude of the lead singer (I know that makes me sound like a 2nd grade teacher). He was drunk, and did stupid things:

1. Insult Us (although he did give nishi and I props when we danced, he hated the fact that no one was dancing)
2. Light a smoke bomb and throw it into the crowd
3. abuse the microphone
4. He took the band of stage and then almost didn't come back, and this was about an hour before the bar was suppose and they hadn't played the hit songs

However, they did come back out and play the hits, and feather Cadence Weapon, The lead singer of Why? and the guitar Tech as rappers on "Where there's a will there's a whalebone" cool.

For $9 and two buck well Vodka drinks, it was a good show. Enjoy a video of the show: It's 'Rough Gems" performed by Islands here in Tucson, filmed by me! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why? Islands. Cadence Weapon.

That's why!

Wow, so the long day has passed, and now can look forward to a few days to prepare for opera auditions, finals, my recital and going to rock shows! I haven't been out on the town since January, when I snuck out before the semester started and went to Plush to see Marie Frank.

It's going to be a real reward, a reward for all of the work I put into this semester, both at school and working with my first graders in the OMA project. Tonight was the big night for the kids at Sewell elementary. Our first graders, performed their two operas, "The Gingerbread Man vs. the Fairy" and "The Adventures of Sir Codery," and were a smashing success. I was so proud, and tired, and relieved. The trio (myself, Kathryn and Thomas) began work on the operas in January. The kids developed the characters, setting, plot and then wrote the dialogue and song lyrics. They even made their own costumes. Tonight they performed the operas for their parents and their entire school on the big stage! Here's a photo that I took of the kids singing in the concert that followed the operas. Sorry for the bad quality!

So to my reward: The Rock Show! Because Thursday is dead day at the UA, I can stay out late on a Wednesday night (oh, by the way, I still have to be at Sewell elementary to teach at 8:15am! I'll sleep after that!), and I'm heading out to Club Congress to seeIslands. The opening acts sound interesting too: (Why? and Cadence Weapon). I night of Hip hop, indie-hip-hop-rock and pop!

By the way, Joel and Chris, check out Cadence Weapon's track 'Sharks,' in the lyrics, his raps, "I'll take you down to the lake and see if you are water soluble." What? All I know is that Joel thinks he is smarter then us music kids: a quote,
"On 5/2/06, Krueger, Joel wrote:
I'm just leaving work, but I have to say, wood is not soluble as you say Chris. I believe it decomposes via bacteria or something like that. Soluble implies that the solid breaks down into elemental components that can be rejoined when the water is boiled off. I don't think that if you boil a lake, you'll be left will a bunch of wood. It would be more basic forms of carbon, plus I'd guess that a lot of the carbon in the wood that is decaying is released as CO2. I'm just making this up, so I could be wrong, but I probably know more than you musician kids. So there."

Cocky SOB! Luv ya bro!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Last Week of Depression

12:30 pm:
Well, not really, I wish I could make such a promise. Instead it is the last week of classes here at The University of Arizona, and the whole campus is a buzz with, students. Well what's new, sure, they are always here, right? Yes. But it's a hell of a lot hotter, and there are more people in the library.

Please mail my noble prize for observation to my home address, on the moon!
2:30 pm:
Ok, now I'm at home and the above looks ridiculous! Oh well, now I have 18 hours to finish four projects, and then I can be done!!! Hooray!

here we go....

2:36am: Opps, 14 hours have past since I began this post. and I have been home working for 12 hours: But all the work is done! F%#$ YES!

Anyway. Sorry y'all couldn't have been a bigger part.

peace: Pic of the Day:

The New Rap Duo from Italy: Il primi intelligente uomi