Sub Zero Adventures

20140108-122328.jpgThis is the latest picture of my back deck. The snow has compacted so it was higher when it was new. I t has been cold last few days. Yesterday did not above 0Degrees F or -18c. It has been a long time since we have had a cold spell like this.

I went to work on Monday for a few hours. With the thermostat on 90 F, the office was still cold. At below zero temp, the roads get plowed but it is too cold for any salting to work. So, driving is over plowed roads with a layer of ice some of the time. You can feel it on the road suddenly when y hit some ice . The car is basically out of control if you are on a freeway.

I left work and decided to take the freeway. As is was entering the freeway, there was an accident in front of me and a car to my right was trying to avoid the accident and was heading for my car. I headed for the snow bank and landed deep in the snow. It was clear there was no damage to me. I was in the snow bank between the freeway entrance and the service road. I had my cellphone and put in a call to AAA. The are a road assistance service. The recorded message informed me of extreme conditions and said I would have a 20 minute wait. So I sat, blinkers blinking and car running so I was a least not freezing. Several stopped by to offer assistance. I was still on hold and said I’m o.k..

At 45 minutes on hold my resolve was fading. A Good Samaritan stopped and asked if he could help. As he was trying to help, two guys stopped to help. I have a small car and he had an SUV so the bumpers were such a mismatch, he couldn’t push me from the front. They did some digging. And they decided they could push from the back and he could push me out that way, it didn’t work. I was in deeper. I had dropped my phone and lost the call.

One of the guys came up with a new plan. He called the local police. They stayed with me while waiting for the police. I was on my second hold call. Then I saw the flashing lights behind me after fifteen minutes. I have never been so happy to see a cop car with flashing lights behind me in my life. He decided it was a “hazard” to be stuck where I was stuck. My helpers left. He called a tow truck. He blocked traffic with his car until the until the tow truck came. The truck came after another 10 minutes. The driver had me sit in the car while he towed me out. We checked to make sure nothing was wrong with the car. And I was free. It is good to know there are so many willing to help in a pinch.

Coyote on the Prowl

20140105-170318.jpg

There are coyotes in this area usually on the wooded areas. This picture was taken by a friend last week. When I moved here I was cautioned to keep my small dog safe. This year we are having a winter like we have not seen in well over a decade. We have had two snow storms within the last week. The upside is that the outside looks pristine and white. The downside was the 35 active accidents at one time on about 3 Miles of freeway last week. We will have low temperature of -11F or -24C on Monday with more possible snow.

The deer in our local parks have trouble moving and foraging. And the coyotes are easier to see in the snow and also have trouble getting their normal prey.

Some Friday Night Music

20140105-151702.jpg
I started the evening at Motor City Wine where trio Nomadian was playing. They are usually a good show. When I got there, there were so many people in the place that there was no place to sit. Since I arrived at the end of a set, I hoped that some of the crowd would clear out so I could both hear the music and sit down. While waiting, I chatted with a few people I know and some oven brought me my drink.

20140105-152332.jpgLeft to Right: Demetrius Nabors (keys), Kris Johnson(tpt), Damon Warmack(elec. bass) and Nate Winn (drums).

The first sone of the second set was “Mind the Gap” composed by Damon Warmack. It is one of the songs I like and I was happy. But then, some women joined the birthday party going in full swing going on in the center of the room. While half the table was talking loudly so they could be heard, others were checking their phones to make sure they were not missing anything. My view of the music area was blocked by two guys standing in front of me. They did step aside long enough so I could take a picture. As you may have guessed, the place was not conducive to listening to music so I left after one song.

It was cold and the parking lot was cleared. There were still areas where the snow was not clear so getting to the back of the lot without getting snowy feet was a challenge. I took I the drive to Bert’s where James Carter was having his 45th birthday party. The parking lot showed it was a large party. Once again, I walked in as the last notes of the first set were sounded.

It was the John Douglas Quartet amplified. James Carter is a well known national and international saxophone player. He lives in New York but spends a great deal of time in Detroit which is where he grew up. I have seen him frequently late at night when he Ian’s walks in to jam at Bert’s. Last Friday at Bert’s, their were so many musicians in the place that night all wanting to play. And play they did. I stayed from midnight to 3:15a.m. and left in the middle of the last song. There was even a birthday cake.

20140105-155427.jpgLeft to Right: John Douglas(tpt), Mike Malis(keys) and T Pablo Lowman(percussion).

John Douglas did a great job of organizing and making sure things ran smoothly. They did “God Bless the Child”, “Giant Steps”, “Georgia on My Mind” and Moanin'”.

20140105-161242.jpgSax Player: James Carter

The birthday guest stepped in on almost all the numbers. Between sets he did an impromptu duet with Michele Ramos ( adapted guitar) which was really nice. James Carter is such an exceptional player that it is hard to listen to the other players so it took some time for me to relax and listen to the gestalt of the piece. It added depth and a complexity to the pieces.

When the second set started, the base group was John Douglas(tpt), Ibrihim Jones(bass), T Pablo Lowman(percussion), Gsylynn McKinney(drums), Mike Malis(keys), Reichlan Small(guitar) Joan Belgrave(vox)and James Carter(sax). As y end. you can see the everyone was doing their best to make this a party to remember.

I can say I got up to leave several times and the music drew me back until almost the end. There were many other musicians who got up to play and I have listed them in tags. They all added to the fantastic night of music that I am so glad I didn’t miss.

A Happy New Year

20140101-225008.jpg

Bonnie photo bombed my first selfie

Today is the first day of the new year and I have made no resolutions for the year. I can say I do have some ideas about how I want things to do some things differently the coming year.

This last week, Bonnie, my silky terrier, had her fourteenth birthday. I gave her a bit of leftover Christmas turkey and she was happy. The picture below was a taken on her birthday when we got a bit more snow. She was out on the deck and it was a bit warmer that day. She likes to bury her face in the snow and eat the snow. She spent a bit of time trying to catch snowballs.

20140101-225805.jpg

It has turned colder again with more snow. Tomorrow, I will shovel her a path to the yard. In the meantime, she manages to look absolutely miserable at the door if she waits more than thirty seconds.

20140101-230052.jpg