28 September 2007

I Got a Squeezebox, Nobody Sleeps at Night

Today, after much searching, I stumbled upon an accordion in a rare and delicious moment of serendipity. Xavi and I had traveled to the nearby town of Hendersonville, on the prowl for a PA System (pics of that tomorrow) that we thought we might find at the town's local music store.

Wandering through the aisles of the store, I looked around me with a vague and slight interest until I noticed two old accordions sitting on the floor. I picked one up immediately, strapped it on, and sounded out a few sour notes and chords. My love for the instrument was as immediate and intense as I expected it to be. This was, you see, the first time that I had even held one.

I have been looking for an accordion for some time now, peering at want ad magazines and posting notices on Craigslist.com. I have asked friends and family, and I have searched on e-Bay. There is, to be sure, no shortage of old accordions out there, but they are invariably quite expensive or quite rotten looking.

What has been so truly maddening about my search is that I am convinced that the attics of this world are packed full of accordions that nobody plays. It is just a matter of finding the right attic and the person with access to that attic. (Which, by the way, if you are that person, I know now that no man can have too many accordions, and I would be quite happy to free up that space in your attic.)

Today, as per usual, the accordion that I played was way too expensive, even in light of my love. 'Twas my luck, however, to discover that a guy working at the store had another accordion for sale. He went to the back of the store and came back with a beautiful (somewhat worn and tired-looking, but beautiful all the same) instrument. Just as I hoped, it came packed inside a 1920's looking case with velvet lining, making me think immediately of Ellis Island, cool three piece suits, and Polish beauties. I knew that I had to have the thing.

I played it and once again fell in love, proving that I am a complete and utter accordion slut. I bought it without a second thought, for the very reasonable price of 120 dollars (I got him down from $150), and walked out the door, struggling to contain a sudden and inexplicable urge to eat cabbage.

More soon, with pictures of the new PA.

26 September 2007

Sirius.B at the Brewery

Sirius.B played a show the other day at the French Broad Brewery, a local Asheville brewery just down the road. The venue was tiny, and the time was strange for us (they have shows nearly every day from 6-8 pm), but everything went really well.

We'll be playing this weekend at an event called something like Extravaversablogapalooza, or something of the sort, which is meant to be a gathering of liberal bloggers from the area. Somehow the event's name makes me wonder if the politically minded tend to be somewhat less creatively inclined. This remains to be seen.

Xavi and I, along with others, are also continuing to play street music, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite evening activities. We plan to go back out on the streets on Friday, from around 6 to 10. Hopefully nobody will have taken our prime spot.

More soon, with pictures.

(UPDATE): Apparently this blog event is not merely political in nature, but rather a gathering of Asheville-based bloggers from all fields of the blogosphere. In addition, there may be people from the event reading this blog. If this happens to be the case, I revise my derision of the other day and say that the event's name is refreshing and exciting.

23 September 2007

Peanut Butter Bumpers

Good lord, man. It had been a long time, but I am now once again enjoying Mother's Peanut Butter Bumpers as part of a nutritious breakfast, and I could not be happier. This has got to be the most delicious cereal ever. When coupled with chocolate soy milk, I am inspired to drop everything and dedicate the rest of my life to eating Bumpers. I can't imagine anything more amazing.

Now, with that out of the way, a bit more about recent events. Xavi and I have taken to engaging in a bit of busking (street-performing) here in Asheville. It is a difficult trade to ply, and one wrought with potential pitfalls and tantalizing windfalls. It is a fickle business, to be sure, as we realized yesterday. After two hours or more of playing in what turned out to be terrible places, we moved on, carefully packing up our five dollars and change.

We moved a few hundred yards down the road and took shelter in an empty storefront's entryway. The shape of the area afforded us some nice reverb, and greatly enhanced the power of Xavi's small battery-powered amplifier. There, within the same number of hours, we made approximately ten times as much money as in the two hours before.

Now, we of course spent everything that we made on dinner and a few beers soon after, but this is rather beside the point. We aren't playing for the money (though we are playing for money). As far as hourly wages go, busking has so far for us turned out not to be the most lucrative of employments.

But, as I say, it isn't about the money. The pocket full of bills is nice, but even nicer is the fact that we are playing on the street, making music, and that people are really enjoying it. Enjoying it, in fact, enough to pay us money in appreciation for what we are doing. Someone, in fact, appreciated us so much that they dropped a folded-up twenty in our tip jar. I certainly appreciated their appreciation.

I think that we'll make this a fairly regular affair, and next time head out with a slightly larger group, bringing along Imhotep with his drum and perhaps some violin accompaniment. I'll make sure and take pictures of that.

Well, that's it for now. For anyone in the Asheville area, Sirius.B will be performing at the French Broad Brewerey on Tuesday. Come on out and enjoy.

More soon.

22 September 2007

Timber Framing Completed

No time to write much about it at the moment, but I wanted to put up a copule of photos of the completed frame. There is obviously much more to be done, though I am no longer involved in the process. Heading off now for some busking on the streets of A-ville.


16 September 2007

Timber Framing Continues

I've spent the last few days waking up early and helping out my mountain-dwelling friends with the construction of their timber frame house. We're a small crew and the timbers are heavy (some around 650 pounds), so the days can be exhausting. It is, however, truly an amazing process.

Basically, the house that we are constructing is made up of three "bents". A bent is, if you can imagine it, like a movie set facade left naked--pure timbers making the skeleton of the front (or rear, or middle) of the house. See an example of a nearly completed bent (this is the back of the house) below. Unfortunately, the frame is so large that it was impossible for me to take a photo of the whole thing, but one gets the point:

Now, after constructing this bent (again, the one you see above is the frame for the back of the house) using only timbers (connected by joints and wooden pegs), we moved on to the next bent--that which will be in the middle of the house. We constructed this bent directly on top of the first one, and then moved on to the front bent, also constructed directly on top of the others.

As you can imagine, by the time we were done with the three bents, it was an interesting process moving around the "deck" (what will eventually be the floor of the house). In order to do so, we had to leap high timbers and avoid tightly pulled "come-alongs" (a hand winch).

It has been a good time--days of hammer swinging and heavy lifting, drilling and pegging, malleting and pulling. It has also been a time of laughter, cussing, and grunting in a very manly fashion. For the other guys, it was a time of well-deserved smoke breaks (I did not treat myself to this particular part of the experience) between hours of hard work.

Tomorrow the crane will arrive at 7:30 am, at which point the truly crowd-pleasing part of the process will begin to take place. Using the crane, we will lift up each of the bents, one-by-one, and place them in pre-carved slots in the deck. They will be anchored with straps, come-alongs and cables. At this point, the house will look like three skeleton facades lined up in a row.

At some point after all of this, some people (I don't know yet if I am one of the chosen few) will ascend with harnesses to continue in the construction process, this time from very, very high in the air. It should be interesting.

More soon, with more pictures.

12 September 2007

Timber Frame Style

Tomorrow morning, very early, I will leave to head Northeast to the bustling metropolis of Bakersville, NC. Upon arriving, around seven o' clock, after an hour's drive, I will begin day one (of four or five or six) of assisting in the raising of a timber frame house.

I don't know much about the process, though it apparently involves cranes, heavy lifting, hammering, and other such things. Below, you can see a picture of what I believe is a somewhat typical timber frame home.

What is quite interesting about these structures is that they use (apparently) no nails, but are rather held together using wooden pegs and a variety of joints.

I'll try and regularly update with pictures of the process, though considering the twelve-hour days ahead of me, this may be more difficult than I think.

More soon.

Guadalupe and I

It has been a busy few days with Guadalupe the dog on the scene.

In addition, the day after acquiring this lovely dog, I quit smoking.

Needless to say, the last few days have been quite interesting.

Amazingly, quitting smoking has gone quite easy so far. Luckily, I've had the help of those around me and my incredible dog.
Oh, and a nicotine patch and some special drugs and some stuff called Lobelia (alternate names--Pukeweed, Vomitwort), which seems to help as well.

Still, considering the fact that I am fighting against ten years of using a highly addictive drug, I'd say that I am doing quite well. Hopefully all will continue in the same vein, though I'm not sure that I'll be as quick to share any failure as I am to now share my current success.

And so, to fill my smokeless days, I have been taking Lupe out for long, long walks. We've headed out to Bent Creek, a local wilderness area, for some nice hikes. We've also gone downtown, passing the occasional drug addict and prostitute on our way. I've been bringing her everywhere with me, and it has been amazing. She has ended up exhausted every day, falling into a chilled out stupor on the rug in our front room.

And that is pretty much all that there is to report from here at the moment. The posts will improve soon, I promise, but for the moment, quitting smoking and walking my dog are pretty much full-time jobs on their own.

More (and vastly improved and exciting) soon.

Don't go away, we'll be right back.

11 September 2007

New Sirius.B Website

Sirius.B has a new website! It is still under construction, but there are a bunch of songs up there already...

Check it out at www.siriusbmusic.com


08 September 2007


I have been gone from this blogosphere for quite some time, and won't much right now, as I have a show to play and much to do. I must, however, share with all those who read this blog my very exciting news.

I have a dog named Guadalupe. I adopted her today, and she is a Rotweiler-mix somewhere between 1 and 2 years of age. She is super well-behaved, beautiful and extremely calm. Treat yourself to some ocular enjoyment below.