Saturday, March 26, 2016

ZZ Top

This past Wednesday we saw ZZ Top in concert at the Centre in the Square, with opening guests Tim Montana and the Shrednecks. Normally we like seeing shows in this venue because the sound is so good but this time the balance was off. It was as if the instrument volume was at 11 and the vocals volume was at 6 so we couldn't really hear the vocals. Although they modified the vocals volume to about 8, the sound still wasn't balanced.

Adding to the balance issues is that ZZ Top's voices are a bit rough. They've been together for 46 years so it would be surprising if their voices weren't rough but it would have been nice to hear them a little better. Of course the main reason to see ZZ Top is the bass and guitar playing, which was awesome. Their voices may not be what they used to be, but their playing hasn't deteriorated at all.

They played all of their hits as well as a few new songs. It was neat to see some of their synchronized moves when they were playing, too, because that's part of what I expect to see from them. They did bring out the fuzzy guitars but they didn't spin them.

The opening act was pretty good except that we couldn't hear the vocals. They were pretty entertaining to watch and I did like their cover of Lose yourself because their music has a country sound to it.

It turns out that we're old fuddy-duddies now because we brought and wore earplugs during the show. We'd found the music during the Heart concert to be really loud and hurt our ears so we decided that avoiding ear damage was a good thing. The earplugs actually helped us hear the vocals as well because they blocked out some of the other sounds and made it possible to hear some of the nuances in the guitar playing. Wearing earplugs was definitely the right choice for us even if we did look a little silly.

Overall, the show was ok. If the sound had been balanced it would have been great but with those problems it wasn't as good as it could be. It's still early in their tour, though, so hopefully they'll get the sound issues worked out for their next stops. If you like ZZ Top and they're playing near you, I'd recommend seeing them. And if you want to wear earplugs, that's ok too.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Can I have some cheese to go with my whine?

Getting cavities filled has never been one of my favourite activities. I know it has to be done so I do it, but I don't love it. I bring this up because I had a cavity filled on Wednesday. The process of putting the filling in was fairly uneventful but the freezing experience was a bit different.

My dentist is nice about providing a topical anaesthetic before injecting the novocaine and injecting the novocaine slowly so the novocaine doesn't hurt quite so much. What was odd was that the freezing lasted a really long time. I was injected at 1pm and the filling was done by 2pm, and the dentist said that I would be numb for 1.5 to 3 hours. I was actually numb until 8pm (!) which is a crazy long time.

Also, here we are two days later and the injection point is tender and sore. It feels kind of like it's bruised, which is something that's never happened to me before. A quick search showed that bruising is a rare but possible complication of novocaine injections. Who knew?

I know I'm whining a bit but I'm also quite tired. Ian's been away this week and I'm looking after Gozer on my own which is a lot of work. Also, since she was groomed last Friday she's been growling and barking at night. She's barked very early (7am, 5:30am, 6am) the last three mornings because she really really needed to go pee - after growling at different times through the night. I have no idea why she's so disturbed but it's leaving me exhausted. At least the bits of sleep I'm getting on the new bed are restful... I just need more of it.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wildlife and bed update

Living within a kilometer or so from the river it isn't so unlikely that we'd have some wildlife in our neighbourhood. We have lots of birds, of course, including the wild turkeys, as well as skunks, raccoons, black/grey squirrels, little red squirrels, and chipmunks. Oh, and bunnies. Lots and lots of bunnies. Apparently they're very fond of the raspberry canes in the winter; they chewed ours down and left bunny poo through the entire raspberry bush area. There's so much there that Gozer doesn't even try to eat it.

We've also got coyotes. There was an article in the paper recently about a woman in our area whose dog was taken and killed by coyotes. It turns out that the dog in a house behind us and over three houses was also taken (and later released, mostly unharmed) by a coyote.

Our neighbour saw the coyote walking along the fence and the dog owner heard her dog squealing. Gozer isn't really small enough to be thought of as prey but I wouldn't want to see her get into a fight with a coyote. We always take her out on a leash in the dark (the paper said that coyotes won't attack dogs near humans) but she sometimes goes out in the daytime on her own.

Our neighbour also told me that there had been a deer in our yard about three weeks ago! The other neighbour saw it on our street and then saw it jump our side gate. It's only a chain-link fence and it's 3 or 4 feet high but it never occurred to me that deer could or would jump fences like that. I wish we'd seen it.

Oh, and a bed update: we've had the bed now for a few nights and we like it. It is very tall as the platform gives the same height as a boxspring would. Add to that the giant euro pillow top thing that makes it so soft and it's so tall I can't rest my butt on it while also keeping my feet on the floor.

My lower back and hips are very happy sleeping on the bed although my upper back has been a bit stiff as it gets used to the new bed. That's good, because I'd noticed my shoulders stooping forward a bit and I think it was making me look older than I am. I can feel my shoulders straightening up and I expect the stiffness to go away.

What we really love are the sheets. They're rayon from bamboo in a sateen weave and they're super-soft but also have this weight so that they lay closely on us. They're quite wonderful, and I'm really happy we bought them. The only downside is that they wrinkle like crazy, as rayon (especially woven rayon) tends to do, but if I cared about that I wouldn't let them sit in the dryer. Or I'd iron them.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

A new bed

I thought about doing a red carpet post but I've been having trouble with my right wrist; the tendonitis I had in 1999 appears to be flaring up again. Typing isn't the easiest thing in the world, unfortunately. If the dresses were especially interesting I might have made more of an effort ... but in a way, as designers have more control over what award show attendees wear and as people are more afraid of what people on the internet might say about them, what people wear on the red carpet is so much less interesting than it used to be.

Anyways. Today - finally! - we went shopping for a new bed. We bought our last mattress over a decade ago and it's been on an ikea queen-size 3-part metal futon frame that whole time. The mattress has sagged and every time Ian rolls over at night (which is often), the whole bed sways from side to side. It's like being at sea (or what I imagine being at sea is like, since I've never actually been) but much less regular.

We went to Sleep Country, where we tried different softnesses. We (meaning I) strongly preferred the softest bed, and we both had a slight preference for pocket coils over memory foam. We also discovered that we wanted the mattress on a platform instead of a boxspring because the platform causes the bed to move so, so, so much less when either person moves around. Oh, and we decided on a king size bed, and it'll be delivered on Wednesday.

Of course size we changed mattress sizes, we needed all new sheets and a new duvet. We ended up buying them there because there won't be time to go and buy all of it at a cheaper price somewhere else before the mattress is delivered. All of that - including pillows and mattress and pillow covers - ended up costing about 40% of the total price. We think they may make a lot of money on all of that.

Above I said we'd finally gone shopping for a bed because we've needed one for a very long time. My back and hips are bad and our bed makes it worse. Add to that the aforementioned swaying and I haven't slept well in our bed in ages. I'm very much looking forward to the new bed, even though there's so much work to do to prepare.