Guitar Town

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Waukesha is called (unofficially) Guitar Town.  Now…we do have several music-themed shops in the downtown area (teaching, repairing, selling instruments, and a brisk trade in old vinyl).  We also have Friday Night Live every week from Memorial day to Labor day in the downtown area, live concerts on Tuesday nights by the library, and bars offering bands the opportunity to play live throughout the year – this would suggest music town more than guitar town.

So why are we Guitar Town?

Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul.  The guy who, according to his Wiki page, was one of the ‘architects of the modern solid-body electric guitar.’

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This is the guy who made Gibson…GIBSON

We, the denizens of this little town, celebrate Les Paul in a lot of ways.  We’ve the Les Paul highway, the Les Paul school.

We’ve got murals painted all over town celebrating his life:

20170516_171211We’ve also got guitar sculptures scattered all across the town…

 

And, yes…we’ve got his final resting place.

 

I wandered through the cemetery on the walk home tonight – after all, it’s right across the street from work…and found where he’s laid down.  I’m not the only one to do so…several musicians had been there before me, leaving tribute in the only way guitar players can:

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Those are guitar picks on his grave.

Proudly Seeing Faces

Humans have a gift…we perceive familiar patterns where none exist.  The ‘learned’ amongst us call this phenomenon Pareidolia, and go on with a long and even more boring dissertation on the hows, the whys, and the psychology of said same.  The rest of us say:  “Look – I see a dragon eating a castle in the clouds.”

 

I looked this term up this afternoon – and found something that royally irritated me for a second.  An article, who’s headline read:  “Do you see faces everywhere?  That’s because you’re a neurotic mess.”

Ex…..CUUUUUUSE me?????

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

 

I’ve always been proud to be able to see the drunken octopus… put-your-dukes-octopus-door-hook-demotivational-posters-1376398793

 

Or the shocked faces in a wall outlet…

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And I’ve seen some pretty freaky stuff in clouds…

 

But to say this is the result of a diseased mind?  It’s called having an imagination, which (I suppose) in today’s regimented, group-mind-think culture may be considered an affliction unless you’re seeing the Holy Virgin-Mother Mary in a piece of toast (now with more whole-grain miracles!) …but still.

Ignorant, judgmental, terrified boneheads…

I’ve captured a few oddball things on my walks about town.  There are a couple of pretty funky trees in Bethesda Park – one looks like it’s bowing, and the other like a diva in full high-note on stage.

And I found this stone in front of the Waukesha County Historical Museum where someone molded a face.

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Rest assured, I’ll be browsing my little town all throughout the summer for more examples of my ‘neurotic mess’ of a mind.

And speaking of neurotic messes of the mind – ever read one of them articles on organizing your workload?   The one I remember from long ago (and I do use this mental trick) was:  instead of focusing on the entire task from start to finish, which can seem insurmountable and WAAAAAY too much work – if you mentally break it out into several more manageable ‘chunks,’ and then only focusing on the chunk at hand, you can trick your mind into getting it done more effectively.

So, I’ve officially broken out my walk to work into three distinct and smaller legs.  I’ve the city leg, the parks leg, and the industrial leg.  I realized I’d been doing this this morning, so I figured I’d celebrate with a blog post.

So here’s a few shots from that qualify for the City Leg:

 

 

And from the Park Leg:

 

And…lastly – the Industrial Leg.  I even get some color on this segment of the journey, because on one side there’s industry, and the other, a huge cemetery with plenty of flowering trees:

I’m Walking Around! – or – Alright…who conjured a demon?

 

It’s interesting how life things just…happen.  I had started out today’s posting by putting words on the screen Saturday.  I knew it was gonna be about the first, triumphant walk to work…and I wanted bragging rights.

Then Sunday night happened – an unfortunate incident involving a pan of freshly hard-boiled eggs and my sock – and I started a second post for today growling about the vicissitudes of fate and rapid disrobing techniques.

Hence – the double title for today’s post.  I wasn’t sure until this morning which one was gonna go up…I couldn’t pick a favorite, so they both did.

 

First – I believe Spring has finally gotten Mother Nature firmly back on her meds and moderating her off-the-wall mood swings…we had a beautiful day here in Wisconsin on Saturday.

I got to take a walk, and solidify my work route.  According to the map – I got in 1.8 miles for the round trip.  The route to work is only 1.5 miles, so I’ve proven to myself that I CAN walk the distance.

Today – I got that nice morning.  It was in the high 50’s at 7am – a bit of a breeze and overcast, and a slight chance of rain for the walk home.

I took to the streets.

Downtown Summer 2016

 

First, there was the march through the downtown district – pavement, pavement, pavement…but our buildings are pretty cool, so I’m OK with that.  If I didn’t like all the paving, I wouldn’t have moved to the center of downtown in the first place.

 

 

I got to the Fox River…this is where the pavement shrinks and the green starts.

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Who doesn’t love a walk in the park?  Especially when there’s moving water involved?  The green and growing and the flowing water generate a very in-tune-with-the-Natural vibe that’s evident even just off the center of the bustling downtown district.  It’s one of the reasons I focus so well in downtown Waukesha – the river winds through it and tamps down the oppressive “Buy more shit now” energy generated by humans caught in the throes of capitalism.

So…the 2nd leg of my walk is through Bethesda Park, following the Fox River.  Right now, the trees are still bare, but the grass is greening up so it shouldn’t be long before we have buds springing from those sharp branches.

Beetle Bridge

 

This will forever after be called (in my mind, at least) the Beetle Bridge.  What I love about this is, even through there is other tagging work on it – nobody has bothered to molest the faces.  Under this bridge, there’s additional artwork which has also remained clean of hostile influences.

 

Directly after the bridge – there’s a home with an overabundance of little purple flowers in the front lawn, and I can see the iris plants poking their green blades up from the leftover fall leaves.  Spring is aggressively on its way here.
a IMG_3861 clean grass

 

And here we go for the third and final leg of the trip – up to say hello to my greenspace, and continue up the street to land at work.

 

1.6 miles – before coffee – DONE.

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But…this trip very nearly got delayed again…because sometimes…eggs happen.

Personally, I think the remnants of my fat cells have gone out and summoned a demon in protest.  They’re sick of the ever-shrinking living accommodations my butt is providing, and have taken it into their own hands (or a reasonable facsimile thereof…) to right the wrongs of this ‘damnable Keto diet thing.’

We’re a household of hard-boiled egg eaters.  I have egg salad from time to time, S likes her HB Eggs with a shot of mustard, B takes three to work each morning, and D will grab one on occasion – even though he worries about the cholesterol content.  Eggs are perfect for keto, ideal for gluten-free, and a low-sodium, very low-cost complete protein source.  Every Sunday night…I put a dozen & a half to the pot.

Well…last night, while transferring the pot of freshly boiled eggs from the stove to the sink to shock them cold, those fat-summoned demons caught the bottom of the pot on the counter.  It did this crazy jiggle – which a vessel filled with water likes to do – and I ended up slopping boiling water down my front to soak happily into my shirt, pants, and left sock.

I swear – I heard the demonic little fat cells cheer over the successful completion of their evil plan.

Well…while saying a few -less than polite- words, I did my own crazy little jiggle I like to call the ‘hot pants dance.’  It’s amazing how quickly the clothing comes off when pain is involved.

I think I got off lucky.  The last time I ended up with near-boiling water in my lap, I was 5 – and had 2nd degree burn blisters all up and down my legs.  This time, I have some bright red and puffy spots on my stomach and top of the left foot, but no blisters.

So what’s a freshly-boiled girl to do?

I slathered the burns with coconut oil.  A nice, thick layer over my belly and foot.  And I went to sleep.

This morning – nothing short of fabulous…the foot barely hurts at all, and is only slightly red along the top.  The belly is still just a bit twitchy, but the redness and puffiness diminished markedly from the night before.

I’ll continue to oil up for the next couple of days, but…I’ve defeated the demons and I FINALLY got to walk to work!

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TAKE THAT, FAT CELLS!

 

 

 

Foot Loose

 

I just HAVE  to put this little tidbit of info up for the world & sundry to see…because if you don’t check with the internet in when doing something fitness-related, it doesn’t count…right?

This weekend, I took advantage of an INSANE weather pattern which settled over my patch of Waukesha.  Our temperature monitoring devices registered over 60 degrees.

 

**glances at the calendar & map**

It’s FEBRUARY.  In WISCONSIN.

So I did what any sane/slightly winter-sick person would do under the circumstances.  I gave the heavy winter garb the finger…walked out of the house in a sleeveless shirt & flip flops, plugged the earbuds into the iPod, and took a jaunty little stroll.

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I.  Wore.  Flip Flops.  In February.  In Wisconsin.

 

 

 

I walked 1.5 miles.  It took me 30 minutes.  I didn’t have to stop with my feet cramping up, my heart threatening to jump outta my chest, or my lungs laboring to convert enough O2 to fuel the continuing mechanization of my muscles.

 
By an amazing coincidence…I live 1.5 miles from my employer.  I drive to work because, up until this point, I’ve been fat and flabby and the only shape I’ve been in is geometric.


In Shape

 

When the weather turns nice for good this spring – I’m leaving the car at home.  I’m walking to work.