Last night I drove to Mount Vernon, Texas, where I met my sister and her husband to pick up my 15 year old and 11 year old nephews, who are staying with us this weekend. When I returned home, I got some touching sympathy cards, a very touching plant, and a kind e mail. The e mail was from the fellow who does the musical "band" Him and the Drinks, about which I enthused in last Sunday's journal. I had dropped him a line to tell him how much I loved his CD "The Cooling Cake", and he was kind enough to drop me a witty and fun e mail in return.
This morning I arose at 6:30, woke my nephews, and loaded them in the car for a fishing trip. We drove first to Wal-Mart, as my "spare" rods had bitten the dust. We bought cheap but fun little Shakespeare rod and reel sets, unsuitable for marlin but perfect for pond bream. Then we stopped by Shipley's Doughnuts, which pastries are things of beauty and joys forever. We stopped by The Cove: Minnows for worms, bobbers, lead shot sinkers and number 8 hooks.
We drovet the hour and fifteen minutes to the Park Hill Prairie, and began to fish on a cloudy, still high-40-degrees weather morning. My first cast landed a good sized bream. All told, we caught and released 44 fish in 2 hours and 5 minutes. My own count was 11 bream, 2 bass.
As we drove on the gravel road from the park, I saw a roadrunner running. They are so artistic looking to me. Then I drove my nephews up to the Oklahoma border--we even crossed the Red River so that they could "be in" Oklahoma for an instant. We passed many places raising goats along the way, and I marveled at the phrase "Spanish Meat Goats" on one of the signs.
We went to Cowboy's BBQ, right below the border. It had a rustic log cabin look. Inside, it had pictures of rodeo stars and shocking amounts of well-done but odd taxidermological exhibition. It was a kind of curious museum of stuffed things. The bobcat looked positively startled, as if surprised in an embarrassing faux pas. The bison was, well, a dour bison.
The cafe did food better than decor. They brought us a "half order" of onion rings like no other onion rings I have ever had. Fresh onions, hand=sliced. Deep fried in a beer batter. They tasted better than any fast food I have ever had. A "half order" was roughly 2 orders at the usual cafe. They also served wonderful bbq. I tried not to stare at the stuffed flying geese.
As we drove back to Allen, we saw shorthorn cows in profusion, looking very confident in their shorthornedness. At home, I napped for an hour,and then we went to the natatorium. We had a great time, even if the Lazy River was so crowded that I sometimes felt like a pinball bumper.
My wife was home when we returned home. We all went to Campisi's for pizza. The original Campisi's opened in 1946 as Dallas' first pizza place. The original Campisi's took over a space from a place called The Egyptian Bar. The new owners did not want to change the sign, and hence "Campisi's Egyptian" was born. We visited the branch in Plano, which has the trademark very thin crust cookie sheet pizza. It was great!
We then went to the IMAX theater for James Camerson's "Aliens in the Deep" in 3-D. The 3-D glasses were hip, and the movie was wonderful. I love ocean exploration stuff, and the footage of life in the geothermal regions, told by Ph.Ds aged 28 with
so much genius, made me wish I were a scientist, or a deep sea squid, one or the other. I loved that film, and the good thing about IMAX is that once it's over, it's done, so that directors never mind showing short films.
We came home, where I learned that my song "Mind the Gap" has climbed to number 18 on the Soundclick Electronica: Noise sub-chart (out of many thousands) and my song "Trinity Trail" has climbed to number 30 on "Electronica:Mellow" charts (out of many more thousands of entries). Something I did dramatically increased the listening population to it. But I have an old problem of science--I did 2 things!
I put up a "blatant self-promotion" post in the soundclick message boards (met some nice and talented folks that way) and I ran a brief ad for one song. So I am not sure what worked, but my audience dramatically increased. I will have to try just another ad, to test empirically what worked.
Meanwhile, the Musedit software writer sent me an e mail telling me how to do more with this MIDI generation than I do. Further, I realized that if I can make my electric kazoo MIDI compatible, I can play it directly into the music notation software, get it notated into sheet music, and then have it set to be replayed by a chorus of ocarinas. This excites me.
Tomorrow the kids go home. I am grateful tonight for family and friends and for kindnesses I received. I am a bit worried about a LiveJournal friend who got bad news lately of an odd kind, about which I will not elaborate due to friends list privacy, but which I note for my own notation and to permit that friend the benefit of knowing my concern and best wishes.
I thought this afternoon about how I would usually tell my mother in our next weekly call about the fun I had with my nephews, but now I never will.