Los Tres Amigos Restaurant

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I saw this new chain yesterday when I was at the local farmers market. I didn’t feel like cooking lunch today so I went to see what they have to offer. They brought tortilla chips with salsa to the table when I sat down. The salsa had the right amount of heat for me although I am sure it was not fresh.

20130929-171244.jpgI ordered the combination plate of a taco, burrito and enchilada. Although they mentioned that the customer may need to be patient for some things cooked to order, this was not cooked to order. The taco was a hard shell with very little filling. Neither the enchilada nor the burrito were worth remembering. In fact, I can only hope I don’t.

20130929-171725.jpgAfter eating most of this dinner which will supply my body with fuel for a few hours, I went for a palate cleanser. I ordered the flan. It had been cooked too fast so the texture was not as smooth as it should have been. The flavor was good. I do not think I will go back.

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The Daily Doggy Massage

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Each and every day, my fourteen year old Silky Terrier, Bonnie, presents herself for her daily doggy massages. I massage her back, hips, shoulders and neck. The are sometimes when she just collapses into a heap on the bed. It has become a routine more and more in demand as she gets older.

She has brought me so much by just being there. She greets me with wild abandon still even as she gets older. Although, now she squints at before greeting me. Now, she has a little trouble going down steps. She cannot jump as high, Or run as long.

I am happy to give her something she wants since she has given me so much.

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The Milton Show on Monday Night

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On Monday night I went out to The Milton Show at the Harbor House. I went late so it was easy parking and headed into the place and heard the music had already started. It was the house band with Milton Hale on drums, Phillip Hale on keys, Chris Branch on sax and Greg Cook on bass.

20130924-222657.jpgLeft to Right: Greg Cook, Chris Branch, Milton Hale( behind Chris) and Phil Hale. As I walked in, I saw the tables in the front were taken and then saw Mecca (sax) sitting at a booth and she waves so I went over to sit with her. She had her sax out and was ready to join the music when the spirit moved her. Just then, John Douglas walked in and Mecca got more serious about playing. John began to warm up his trumpet.

20130924-225253.jpgAt the time, the band was playing “Little Sunflower” which is a Freddie Hubbard tune. It was a good number since both trumpet players, John Douglas and James O’Donnell, played solos on this one. The sax players, Mecca and Chris Branch also played some solos. I got to lean back in my booth and enjoy the music. Usually the sound where I sit is too loud. sitting back a little softened the sound. The first set is usually all instrumental with a lots of musicians taking long solos. Songs can last over a half an hour.

During the break I wandered around land talked to people. I talked to Scott Reiter(sax) and he introduced me to a vocalist named Nicky Pierce(I think). This was a more social evening than usual probably since I was talking with Mecca in a booth.

After the break, they played “So What”. Since I had heard this one just last week, I was doing a mental comparison in my mind. Last Friday was really extraordinary so this version was just a little more laid back. One of the reasons I like jazz is hearing how many different ways one song can be played. For me, it stays fresh that way. Everyone played and there were quite a few solos. I also like to hear how each musician interprets what a “good” solo is for a song. For me a “good” solo is one where I am not waiting for it to end. During the second set there were several vocalists. I’m not even sure what song Tosha Owens sang but she really had a good stage presence and managed to not get pushed into the background like some of the other vocalists. I enjoyed hearing her. The other vocalist is like was Nicky. she sang “Caravan”, a song I really like. I am partial to an instrumental version. She did it well and for once I didn’t mind the song with lyrics.

It was a nice evening and I left feeling happy and relaxed.

The Breakfast Club for Breakfast

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This morning I went out for breakfast to The Breakfast Club. I had an omelet called Kelly’s Favorite for $8.50. I was spinach, smokehouse bacon and gruyere cheese served with hash browns and fruit. I was good but a little bland. The bacon and cheese taste came through but the spinach somehow got lost. The service was great. And the ending adds a little extra.

20130924-130524.jpgThe ending.

Fractured

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Earlier this year, I decided to leave the church I had belonged to for over ten years. Blogging has been a way for me to grieve for the loss and begin to move on.

There are always two sides to every story so, I won’t bother with any details. It is like a divorce and this is not the place to ask any one to take sides. I can say that some people I thought I knew did something I thought lacked integrity and was unethical. I just couldn’t stay. People told me before I left that since the friendship was based upon being in the same organization that I would not have their friendship. Were they ever my friends? How conditional is friendship? If I have to fit into what they want me to do against my conscience as a condition, how do I live with myself? Continually compromising myself, doing things I don’t believe in would end up damaging me.

So I am living in the world of superficialities of acquaintances. I’m not sure it was ever any different. I am back to looking for someone that I can talk to more openly.

Friday at Bert’s Motown Room

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Left to Right: Phil Hale(keys), John Douglas (tpt), Greg Cook(bass), James Carter( flute), Mark Lipson( drums) and Dwight Adams(tpt)

Last night was a magical, musical night that almost didn’t happen for me. I left the house in a torrential rain that just didn’t ease up. The rain was coming down fast and hard. I tried to stay in the center lane since both sides had areas of huge puddles that plumed high in the air when cars did go through them. It was dark and some sections of the freeway did not have working lights. At times on the way to Bert’s in the Eastern Market of Detroit, I thought about turning back. I didn’t turn back and arrived in time for the second set.

The house band for the evening was John Douglas, Phil Hale, Butter Hawkins(drums) and Greg Cook. However, the second set started with Mark Lipson on drums. They started with “Lazy Bird”. It started slowly and this one was not the kicked the energy surge in the room. At the beginning of the second song, the musicians in the room began to open their musical cases. There were saxes and trumpets being put together. I began to hear the quiet sounds of different musicians all around me checking their instruments. and getting them ready to play. The first to play that evening was James Carter. I’m not really sure when he began to play since for this evening I had put away my analytical tendencies and was feeling the music. He started with a piccolo.

20130921-183817.jpg This picture was taken before the picture at the top. James Carter also had a baritone sax with him that evening. It was so wonderful to hear his range from the highest audible notes to the lowest in his unique captivating style.

The music morphed into “So What” without a pause and the synergistic energy of musicians playing so well and pushing each other to play better started to flow through the room. When one musician was on the stage doing a solo, I could hear other musicians playing around me playing softly building the music into an unusual depth. It was no longer a quartet, it was a large ensemble of musicians playing as one. One of the particular things I liked about the evenings was how the solos of Dwight Adams went straight to my brain and just made me wonder how sound could cause such an emotional reaction. And then, another musician would solo and it just kept on for me through John Douglas, Phil Hale, James Carter, Mike Jellick and Larry Smith.

20130921-185639.jpgLarry Smith on alto sax

20130921-185743.jpgDavid Greene on trumpet

20130921-185855.jpgRafael Statin on tenor sax

20130921-190337.jpgMike Jellick on keys, S├ębastien Levanneur on bass, Dwight Adams on trumpet and Darryl Pierce on drums

Larry Smith started “Body and Soul” and the music went on. As the place closed a little after 3 a.m. the band played Red Top which is the favorite song of Bert. It was a slight detour into blues but with this group playing, it was a complex and exciting piece of music.

This kind of music eases my mind and puts me in a place where I am happy. I have not smiled so much in quite a while or been so engrossed in the music.