Pee Wee’s New Adventure

Barn across from Schutts Cider Mill on Plank Road in Webster, New York
Barn across from Schutts Cider Mill on Plank Road in Webster, New York

This morning’s paper said a mix of panic and nonchalance was greeting Hurricane Sandy. I’m firmly in the nonchalance category. Peggi left for Wegmans well over an hour ago and hasn’t returned. The storm may provide us with the perfect opportunity to burn the twenty four inch pink candles we bought at a garage sale about ten years ago. And we’re considering parking our car in the garage for the first time ever to protect it against the winds off the lake. We’ll see how nonchalant I am when the internet connection goes down.

We ate dinner at Casey’s new joint on the west side of the river. Tap & Table is a notch upscale from Tab & Mallet but the beer is just as plentiful. I had a pint of Ithaca’s Outdoor Harvest Pale Ale. The name struck me as little odd so took it out on the server by asking him if they offered an Indoor Harvest. We sat in the window looking out over a rainy river that appeared to be flowing south. Duke Galaxy and the Pipliners and T-Rex were on on the sound system. The Mary Jamison tour boat was parked at the dock next door and they had lights on like they were preparing for an evening cruise. We split an green olive salad with poached egg, a smoked trout appetizer and and a roasted pork entree. All fantastic.

Pee Wee (not his real name) mixed the live sound for New Math when I played with the band. Howard Thompson mixed the studio project but he used the name “Howard la Canard.” Pee Wee worked at Sound Source and repaired Peggi’s Farfisa countless times. We used to see him at the record shows scouring the bins for fifties 45s and then we lost touch with him for decades. We into him again and he told us he was changing his name because it was hard for a guy to find a job with the first name of Hillary especially since the former first lady. He has a new musical project under yet another name. We helped him with the packaging and we love what we heard but he asked us not to talk about it.

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New Polymath

Pale Swallow-Wort, invasive species plant in New York State
Pale Swallow-Wort, invasive species plant in New York State

I hate this stinking weed, an invasive species, called Pale Swallow-Wort, that pops up everywhere. It’s really tough to pull out because in most cases you don’t get the roots when it snaps off just above the ground level but the dry conditions we have now make it the perfect time to rid your yard of this sucker. You can see in the photo above that I was able to get most of the roots. I use two the hand technique and pull straight up with focused concentration.

We have a recording of Hildegard Von Bingen’s music that we play quite a bit but we didn’t realize she was such a polymath. The movie we watched last night about her life, a thousand years ago, hardly touched on her monophonic vocal works. Instead it portrayed her as a dark ages religious mystic struggling with a Catholic church hierarchy that unfortunately still exists today.

Polymath would have been a better name than “New Math”, which was already retro when we called ourselves that back in the late seventies, but anything with the word “math” in there sounds too progressive or soulless which isn’t quite fair too mathematics but . . . I played in the band when we recorded the first single with Howard Thompson behind the glass wall of PCI Studios.

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