Photos of Christmas Tree posted

•December 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Click here to see photos and a couple animations of this year’s tree.

Baby Robin Photographs

•May 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I was fortunate to be able to observe and photograph the development of two baby robins.  Click on the picture below to view the photos…

Beatrice the Mallard Returns!

•October 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Beatrice came back today!  Click here to read about it and see a super-short video clip.

Toad photos

•October 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of a huge toad my parents found, which I released afterward.  I also photographed my pet toads, Right Hand Man and Don.  Click on the first photo to see the big toad and Right Hand Man, and the second photo to see Don.

Hines Maple Tree Photos

•October 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my favorite maple for the 3rd year in a row.  Sadly, it appears that it is diseased this year.

Deer Mice Released Into Wild

•September 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I caught a pair of deer mice that got into my basement.  I released them today into the wild.  Click on the picture of them to read their story and see more pictures.

Double Rainbow on September 11th

•September 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

These are the best rainbow photographs I have taken to date.  Click on the picture below to see the rest.

Strange Fungus

•August 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have never seen a fungus quite like this.  Click on the picture below to see more close-ups.

Female Platycryptus Photographs

•August 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I found a nice female platy.  I photographed and released her, but still gave her the name, Runa.  Click on her picture below to see a few other photographs.

White Leaf-hopper

•August 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My dad found this neat leaf-hopper.  Click on the picture below for many more photos of it.

Photos of Interesting Moth

•August 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I found one of these in Ohio in 2006, but this is the first one I’ve seen here in Michigan.  This one was on the front storm door.  It has some crazy-looking stuff on it’s head and thorax—check out the close-ups by clicking on the picture below.

Gorgeous July Skies

•July 30, 2011 • 3 Comments

Some interesting things happened in the skies this July—beautiful clouds and sunsets, moon photos at dusk, an incredible red sky (pictured below), and a double rainbow!  Click the picture below to see all the photos.

New Rabbits Page

•July 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I started a new Rabbits Page.  It currently only has a baby cottontail on it, but I have several photo shoots of it as it is growing up.

Woody the Woodpecker

•July 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I tried to help a badly injured woodpecker, but was unsuccessful.  Click here to read his story.  I have no photos, only the video below.

Leucistic (Piebald) Grackle

•July 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is the neatest grackle I’ve ever seen.  Click on its picture below for many more photos of this special bird.

Photos of Unusual Orb-weaving Spider

•July 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’ve never seen a spider like this one before.  Click on it’s picture below to see a few more photos.


Salt Marsh Moth Larva Photographs

•July 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At least, I think that is what this caterpillar is.  Click on it’s picture below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Anise Swallowtail Butterfly — closeup photos

•July 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My parents once again found me an anise swallowtail larva/chrysalis.  When it emerged into a butterfly, I took some photos.  This time, I got some closeups of the wings like never before.  One can see all the individual scales making up the colors.  Click on the picture below to see the rest of the photos.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

•July 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My friend Robin was in from St. Louis.  We visited the Matthaei Botanical Gardens today.  Click on the picture below to see the photos from the gardens.

Polyphemus Moth

•June 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t seen one of these moths in 7 years (and the one I saw before was the first one ever, and was actually mailed to me by a friend as a cocoon).  Click the photo of this moth below to see its photos.  Then you may want to scroll up to see my first moth if you have never visited this page before…

Beatrice the Mallard is set free!

•June 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This mallard duck nearly died the day after Christmas, 2010.  Luckily she healed and was able to be released.  Click on her photo below to read her whole story and see videos and pictures.

Raccoon photos

•June 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The babies have started to come out to play…

5-spotted Hawk Moth Emerges!

•June 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The pupa that overwintered in some soil in my garage emerged today!

Hoppy the Grackle

•June 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This poor grackle fought so hard, going around on one leg for a few weeks until I never saw him again…

Ant Lion Emergence

•April 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The ant lion I found last fall emerged as an adult insect today.  Sadly, it’s wings were deformed and it was unable to fly.

Supermoon photographs 3-19-11

•March 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was what is called a “supermoon” because it was especially close to the earth.  Click on the photo below to see more shots…

The story of Blackears the Opossum

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This guy came to my doorstep and ended up dying in my home.  Click on his picture to read his whole story and see more pictures of him…

Sunset photographed on 1-1-11

•January 1, 2011 • 1 Comment

Click on the picture below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

New Tjaps Page

•December 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tjaps are beautiful, handmade copper stamps for making batiks.  They are commonly made in Indonesia.  Over the past few years, I have collected 10, so I figured they were worthy of a page so everyone can enjoy seeing this interesting form of artwork.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to try them out to create any batiks, so you will just have to enjoy the stamps themselves.

Lunar Eclipse Photos

•December 22, 2010 • 1 Comment

I attempted to take photos of the rare lunar eclipse on December 21st, the winter solstice, also Frank Zappa’s birthday.  Unfortunately, the clouds blocked the moon out at the peak time, but I did get some photos.

Christmas Tree

•November 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Click on the photo below to see more pictures and animations of my Christmas tree this year.

New Baby Platycrypti Page

•October 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Renita and Rakim, two Platycryptus undatus spiders of mine, had babies.  I started a new Baby Platycryptus Page.  Click on the photo below to visit.

Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park Fall Foliage

•October 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Again, I photographed this beautiful tree…

New Opossum and Groundhog Pages

•October 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

I started two new pages to document the visitors to my backyard.  One of the neatest things is that the opossums eat with the raccoons!  Click on the photos below to go to each page.

Unusual Jumping Spider

•September 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I found a type of jumping spider I’ve never seen before.  I found it about a month ago when it was just a tiny baby.  I made a new Miscellaneous Jumping Spiders page to display her photos on.

Tomato Hornworm Photography

•August 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have always loved tomato hornworms, but this is only the second one I’ve ever seen in real life.  I got some great macro photos of it as a larva and pupa.  The pupa is shown below.  It will turn into a 5-spotted hawk moth if I’m lucky.

Pair of Orchard Spiders

•August 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

While I was removing diseased leaves from my boysenberry, I found both male and female orchard spiders.  Click on the photo below to see them.

Land Snail Photography

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Brian found some more of those huge land snails while weeding the backyard.  Click on the picture below of the snail on a quarter to see the rest of the photographs of these awesome snails.

Invasion of the Tiger Mosquitoes!

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this humongous mosquito in my kitchen, trying repeatedly to bite me.  Click on its photo to learn what I discovered about it.


Updates to Tom Gaskins and Toy Pages, New Stuffed Animals and Dolls Pages

•July 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I took some new photos of my Tom Gaskins cypress knees.  I also added some new toys to my Toys page, and created two new pages:   Stuffed Animals and Dolls.  Click on the photos below to visit each page.

Rakim the Platycryptus Undatus

•July 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I found this beautiful male Platycryptus undatus. Click on his photo below to see more pictures from his photo shoot and to read about his courtship with Renita, a female I’ve had for a while.

Cicada nymph photographed

•July 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I think this is one of the oldest nymphs I have ever photographed.  It had green wings and dark eyes, as if it was almost ready to break from its skin and become an adult cicada.  Click on its photo below to see all the photos from the photo shoot.  I took these in my moss garden.

Ricki the Raccoon

•June 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I started a page to display raccoon photos and video as I now have several regular visitors.  Their story is explained in detail on their page.  Just click on Ricki’s photo below to visit…

Baby orb-weaver spiders and Rhys the Platycryptus

•June 19, 2010 • 1 Comment

I photographed some baby orb-weavers after they recently hatched.  I also took some more photos of one of my favorite spiders ever, Rhys, the Platycryptus undatus.  Click on the photos below to link to the photo shoots.

Whitefish passed on

•January 14, 2010 • 1 Comment

One of my favorite goldfish died today.  Click on the photo below to read about Whitefish.

Project Object Winter Tour

•January 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I was so happy to end my winter break with 3 Project Object shows—one in East Lansing at Mac’s Bar and two in Chicago at Martyr’s.  I also finally got to meet Ray White!  Click on the photo of me, Ike Willis, and Ray White to see more photos and to watch youtube  videos from the shows…

New Jumping Spider Care Page

•December 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

Since there is at least one person a month writing me and asking how to care for the cute little jumping spider they just found, I figured I should make up a care sheet for jumping spiders.  If you would like to know how to successfully care for a jumping spider, click here to read my guide.

Christmas Tree Photos and Animations

•December 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I took photos of my Christmas tree in the day and night and made a couple of animations too.  Click on the one below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Ugly Radio Rebellion Show

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ugly Radio Rebellion put on a great show tonight to celebrate Frank Zappa’s Birthday.  It was at the Black Lotus Brewery in Clawson, MI.  Ike Willis was a special guest—our picture is below…

New Bird Page, Baby Spiders Page and other new photos.

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have been very behind in my uploads because I have had no free time. Now that I am on winter break, I am getting caught up on things. I created a new Bird Page. Click on the woodpecker to go there. I also made a new Baby Spiders Page since I have been raising some special babies since last June. I figured all the baby spiders should be on one page. Click on the first spider photo to visit the Baby Spiders Page. I also have photos of a millipede, two new adult spiders (only one pictured below), and Rhys, my pet Platycryptus undatus (the one with the orange moustache).

Dad as Santa Claus (for Halloween) and Fish Photos

•November 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

Click on the photo below to see my dad dressed as Santa for Halloween (something he’s done many times before).  I also took some photos of my new calico goldfish and rubber-lipped plecostomus as well as my old white comet goldfish.  Click on the calico’s picture to see them.

More maple tree photos and Rhys the Platycryptus undatus (jumping spider).

•October 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I took another set of photos of that special maple tree in Hines Park again today.  It has lost nearly all its leaves now.  I also took some photos of my current favorite pet jumping spider, Rhys, on some gourds.  Click on the pictures below to see the rest of the photo shoots.

More fall maple tree pictures

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed that same maple tree in Hines Park, five days after the first photo shoot.  It was losing a lot of leaves.  This time, the ground was almost completely covered.  Click the photo below to see the rest of the pictures.

Photos of fall maple tree, sunset and frog.

•October 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed a huge maple tree in Hines Park displaying its fall foliage.  That night I also captured a colorful sunset in the backyard.  A few days before, I photographed a wild frog that Brian found in the backyard.  Click on the photos below to see more of each.

New Honeybee Page, Awesome Orb-weavers, and Twista the Twisting, Turning Frog Video.

•September 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I started a Honeybee Page. In all this time of owning a digital camera, I have never been able to photograph a honey bee. Click on the photo below for lots more pictures of honeybees on stone crop flowers (which I just discovered they are very much attracted to). A few really neat orb-weavers are living around the outside of my house. Click on the photo below to see many more of this spider and the others.

Twista has always been a very unique frog with motions unlike any normal African Clawed Frog. I captured her in action while feeding with her siblings and dad. Make sure to watch to the end (or at least fast-forward to about a minute before it ends) for some real craziness.

New Meadow Katydid, Red-Banded Leafhopper and Spider Photos

•September 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Click on the photos below to see the insects and spider listed in the headline. I am especially excited about finding the leafhopper. It has been many years since I have found one of this species. The spider is a pretty incredible guy too—he is the largest Platycryptus undatus I have ever found.

Photographs of Hoya Flowers and Baby Jumping Spiders

•September 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my parents’ hoya plant, which is currently flowering.  I have also been raising some baby jumping spiders since they were in the egg sac.  Click on the pictures below to see the photographs.

New Watercolor Painting

•August 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here is my latest watercolor. Click on the picture of it to see a larger view and close-ups of different sections.

My Uncle Bob’s Song

•August 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Yeah, I’m so happy—I just found my uncle’s song on youtube.  Their Michigan garage band, called Silver Hawk, only made one 45 record.  My uncle, Bob Rose, played the drums on it.  Now other people can finally hear this great song (it’s actually a George Harrison cover, but I just love their version)! Click here for more info on Silver Hawk.

Ike the Spadefoot Passed On.

•August 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, now three of my four spadefoots have all died from the same horrific disease.  Ike fought this for over a year.  It was very sad to see him suffer for so long, that I am actually happy for him that he is suffering no longer and is free of all his pain.  I buried him underneath my newly planted mulberry tree, where Napi, one of the other spadefoots is also buried.  To see photos of him when he was doing well, click on his picture below.

Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As always, I took the Music Machine to the Woodward Dream Cruise.  Click on the car below to see the photos from the cruise.

Hold On! Another new watercolor…

•August 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Click on the picture below to see a larger view and close-ups of different areas.

Chickenfoot Concert!

•August 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, at the Detroit Fillmore (formerly the State Theater), was definitely a concert of a lifetime—Joe Satriani on guitar, Sammy Hagar singing and a bit of guitar, bassist Michael Anthony (founding member of Van Halen) and Chad Smith on drums (from Red Hot Chili Peppers).  What an unbelievable line-up! The main draw for me was of course, Joe.  It was very cool to see him just jamming up there as part of a band and not having to feel the pressure of being front and center for once.  He looked like he was really having fun up there, as did the rest of them.  Since I was familiar with the Chickenfoot album, I could totally rock out and dance to all the songs.  They even played one of the songs they wrote together that didn’t make it on the album, so that was a special treat.  The encore was one of my all-time favorite classic rock songs, “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, one of my favorite driving songs—it reminded me of my new Fiero that has restored my love of driving once again.  I have never seen so many drum sticks go flying at a show in my life—during “Highway Star”, Chad would reach into this girl’s shirt (where she was inserting drum sticks), get a stick, play for a little bit, then toss it out to the crowd.  He must have thrown at least 30 sticks!  It was definitely a night to remember.

Ugly Radio Rebellion in Kalamazoo

•July 31, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I drove the Music Machine to Kalamazoo to see Ugly Radio Rebellion perform the music of Frank Zappa at Bell’s Brewery.  It was a great show!  I was going to take some video, but it was outside in the dark (they didn’t have all the bulbs lit for some reason) and they would have turned out pitch black.  Brian took a couple of photos of them playing that I was able to enhance in Photoshop.  Click here to see the pictures.

Another new watercolor finished!

•July 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I created another watercolor.  This one is completely different from my others, that are usually planned and sketched out before any painting is done.  This one doesn’t have a single pencil mark on it and was completely spontaneous and unplanned.  For this reason, there are parts I like and parts that I don’t.  It is not one of my favorites, but it was definitely good practice and enjoyable to make.  Click on the picture of it below to see a larger view and close-ups of the different areas.

Snapping Turtle and Leech Photographs

•July 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

On July 26th, a large snapping turtle was headed for Hines Drive as I was passing by in my truck.  I photographed it and relocated it to a safer area.  It had two leeches attached to its shell, which I removed and photographed, then released in an area separate from where the turtle was released.  Click on the pictures below to see more photography of these creatures.

Rufus the Platycryptus undatus

•July 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I finally found a male of the same species as Radinka, my pet Platycryptus undatus.  However, 5 days after his introduction into her cage, she died.  I had already kept her as a pet for a year, so she was older than that—the oldest spider I have ever had to this date.  It’s too bad I couldn’t find her a mate sooner.  Click on the animation below to see more photos of Rufus.

Transient Unity, a new watercolor—the first in 2 1/2 years!!!

•July 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Finally I have had a chance to paint again.  With moving into the new house and everything, I have had no time and no good work place.  Now for the first time ever, I have a dedicated studio area where I can keep all of my supplies set up.  Before, I had to work on my kitchen counter and try to finish a painting rather quickly so that it could be cleaned up and life restored to normal again.  Having this studio will be life-changing.  It means that I can do a little bit on a painting every now and then instead of having to have a large block of time available.

This painting was mostly finished on July 15th, except for one small decision, which was made early this morning.  Click on the picture of the painting below to see a larger view, as well as close-ups of different areas.

Adrian Belew and the Power Trio Concert

•July 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Adrian Belew and the Power Trio (Eric and Julie Slick) for the second time.  This show was at the Ark in Ann Arbor.  While it was nicer to see them play in a more intimate setting, one thing I’ve never liked about the Ark is that there really isn’t anywhere to dance, and I would have wanted to dance to some of this music.  After the show, we all went out for drinks and something to eat.  It was definitely a very memorable evening and I can’t wait until they come back again.

Click here to see a couple of photos and watch a 20-minute video from the show (it was too long for youtube so I had to host it from my website instead).

New Frog, Turtle and Swallowtail Butterfly Pages. Cicada Nymph, Bee and Jumping Spider Photos.

•July 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  I wanted to be sure that Darwin, my border collie companion of 15 years,  got some quality time up on the main page and that my regular visitors could find out of his passing.

I have started three new pages, one of frogs, one of turtles and one of a swallowtail butterfly that I had the pleasure of watching the metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult.

There are also new photos (and a few animations) of a cicada nymph and carpenter bees at the Henry Ford Estate.

The Jumping Spiders 2 Page has some recent additions as well.

As usual, click on the desired creature for more photos…

Project Object Summer Tour

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I drove the Music Machine out to see them in Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA and Annapolis, MD on July 5-8, 2009.  This time, the Zappa alumni were Don Preston and Ike Willis.  I had such an amazing time.  Click on the photo of me with the band to see the rest of the photos (and a couple videos) from the tour.

Darwin has passed on and will be missed forever.

•May 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Darwin died with both me and Brian by his side comforting him last night at 2:07 am and I drove him to be cremated.  He will come home again in a few days and will be kept in a beautiful urn that is in a room I am in every day.  I am so thankful that I did not have to make the decision to euthanize him.   His loss to me is more unbearable than the loss of any human I have ever known.  You can read more about his final days by clicking on the photo of us below.

Saying Goodbye to my Best Friend

•May 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

For nearly 15 years, I have had my companion, Darwin the Amazing Border Collie.  He was there the day I first had to sleep alone in my first house.  He was the greatest watchdog—I always felt safe with him around.  In fact, I never even saw him sleep until he was 10 years old.  If I was awake, he was awake, participating in whatever I was doing.  He never wanted to miss a thing.

Lately, he has been on the decline, and has needed more and more care.  He is no longer happy with his quality of life.  For all of my 33 years here, I have always had a dog.  There has always been an overlap—not even one day without one.  When two of my other dogs were old and in pain, me and my mom always passed it on to my dad to take them to be euthanized.  We just couldn’t do it.  But now, I have to make that decision, which has been one of the hardest.  I really wanted him to die naturally, but he just has too strong of a spirit.  He wants to continue pleasing me no matter what.  So I will have to decide for him that he has done enough for me and deserves some peace.   Tomorrow morning, someone will be coming out to perform home euthanasia and my buddy will be in pain no more.  I was so glad to have taken some photos of him outside on this sunny afternoon.

My own webcams!!!

•April 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I was so inspired watching all those other bird cams that I decided to have one of my own.  I bought some bird feeders and a camera.  When I am home on the weekends, I will try to consistently set it up for all to enjoy.  Currently, I usually focus the camera on the thistle feeder so that you can see the American Goldfinches.  There are 6 that seem to regularly visit the feeder—3 males and 3 females.

Click here to see my wild bird cam.

Also, at night, I sometimes have been broadcasting my African Clawed Frogs.  They aren’t super-exciting most of the time, but when I feed them, they go pretty crazy.
Click here to see my African Clawed Frog cam.

Taking birdwatching to a ‘whole nutha level’

•March 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently discovered that there are some really neat bird nesting webcams out there.  I embedded them all into one page on my website for easy viewing.

Click here to go to my Favorite Webcams Page.

Project Object with Ed Mann, Don Preston and Ike Willis

•February 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Wow what a line-up for this Project Object tour—these three amazing musicians on the same stage for the first time in history playing the music of Frank Zappa!!!  Click on the photo of me and Ed Mann to see some photos (mostly of me and the band members) and videos from the two Michigan shows.

Napi passed away, new Family Art page

•December 25, 2008 • 1 Comment

Just before midnight on Christmas Day, Napi, my spadefoot toad finally died from his disease I have been trying to cure for nearly 8 months.  While I am sad he is no longer with me, I am glad he is no longer suffering, as it was a horrifying flesh-eating type disease.

On a happier note, I created a new Family Art Page to display some of the artwork my family members have created.  So far, it only has two of my great uncle’s paintings.  Click on his painting below to visit the page.

Vintage Tape Measures and Chevy Perfume Pages

•December 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I created two new pages of my collections. Click on the tape measure or perfume to view the collection of your choice.

Frank Zappa’s Birthday with Ugly Radio Rebellion, Cool Frost Pictures

•December 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was an awesome night with Ugly Radio Rebellion at Club Bart’s in Ferndale, MI.  It was originally supposed to be held at a much larger venue, the Magic Bag, but Gail of course put a stop to that, threatening to sue the venue, and they caved.  Luckily, Club Bart’s held the celebration instead.  Ugly Radio Rebellion was accompanied by Ike Willis, who seemed to be in great spirits and put on an excellent performance.  One of the best Zappa birthday celebrations ever.

Before I went to the show, I noticed some interesting frost on the storm door, so I took a few photos of it.  Click on the photo below to see them.

Christmas Tree Photos and Animations

•December 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I took some photos of this year’s tree with different camera settings and turned a couple sets of photographs into animations.  Click on the one below to see the rest of the photo shoot.

New Spider Photos

•December 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I finally had a chance to photograph a few spiders I’ve had since the summer.  Click on the animation below to see them.

Joe Satriani Concert

•October 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight was my 9th time seeing Joe Satriani rock out on guitar.  I was surprised when I looked up the last Satriani blog entry to find that I haven’t seen him play in 2 1/2 years—I hadn’t realized it had been that long.  This time, he played at the Royal Oak Music Theater and there were no seats set up (which is a good thing).  I ended up hanging out more towards the back by the bar area where there was a ton of room to freely dance, which is what I want to do most at a Satriani show, and often am not able to when there are seats.  I don’t remember hearing him ever play anything off the Time Machine album before, but tonight, he played the song “Time Machine” and it was awesome!!!  He opened with “I Just Wanna Rock”, which I commented just before the show started that I knew he would be playing that one.  This was the first concert I’ve ever attended that had an entire movie-sized screen composed of hundreds of LED lights that flashed different colors and produced different patterns.  I have seen smaller versions of those before as side stage accents, but never as a huge backdrop.  Really very neat.  The only thing that would have been better is if it were a little less crowded and not as loud, so that I could have been up near the front of the stage to have a chance at getting a guitar pick and Joe could have actually seen me going crazy to his music (since no one else was dancing).  Definitely a night to remember though!

In case you’ve never heard of Joe Satriani, or just want to see a good live video, check out this one of him playing one of my favorite songs, “Flying in a Blue Dream”.

African Clawed Frog Development Complete

•September 21, 2008 • 3 Comments

Over the summer, I raised african clawed frogs from the eggs my pet adult frogs laid and fertilized.  The story has finally come to a close as I am now finding homes for the baby frogs.  They are going to my students, which seem quite delighted to have them.  I am so happy that they will go to people who will be informed of how to properly care for them, so that they can live long and comfortable lives and possibly live to be 30 years old (I read about one at a college that lived this long.  My oldest was 24 years old when he died.).

If you haven’t yet seen the page that shows the whole development from egg to frog, click here.

Here is a video of the babies at 87 days old before they head off to new homes…

Grasshopper photos

•September 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I finally had a chance to upload these photos of a huge grasshopper I found earlier in September.  Click on the animation of her to see the rest of the photo shoot.

Carpenter Bee Photographs

•September 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I am very behind in uploading my photography since school started.   I forced myself to make time to process some today.  These photos are actually from August 23, 2008 and were taken at my parents’ house.  They have many more flowers than I do and there were more bees on them than I think I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Click on the photo below to see more bee pictures.

Chieli Minucci Concert

•September 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have been a fan of Chieli Minucci for 13 years, but have never seen him live until today. Click on the picture of us below to read about the show and see a few videos.

Ratdog and Allman Brothers Concert

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, my last day before having to go to work again was a great one, spent at DTE.  I saw a show shared half and half by two of my favorite bands, Ratdog and the Allman Brothers.  Both bands put on an excellent show.  Derek Trucks played with the Allman Brothers, which was a nice treat (I hadn’t known he was going to be there).  Definitely an awesome way to end my summer vacation.

Woodward Dream Cruise

•August 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Click on the car below to take you to my Woodward Dream Cruise photos.

Steely Dan Concert

•August 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Steely Dan for the third time tonight at DTE. It was my second time seeing them play at this venue. I spent the time up on the top deck, where things sounded good without my ear protection. I also had tons of room to dance up there as most people were sitting on the lawn or in the pavilion. For the encore, first they played “Don’t Take Me Alive.” Then finally, the long-awaited “Kid Charlemagne”, which of course, I danced like crazy for. It was a beautiful night for a concert (unlike last year’s rainy show) and I would definitely rank it up there with one of the best of this summer.

Photos of a Beautiful Orb-Weaver

•August 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

This is the most unusual orb-weaver I have ever found. Click on the photo below to see many more angles of this unique spider.

Photos of Praying Mantis and Jumping Spider

•August 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The juvenile mantises are running about. I thought I might as well photograph one of them. The jumping spider is a Platycryptus undatus. I haven’t seen one of these in over two years, so I was quite happy. Click on the animations below to see more of each creature.

Peter Frampton Concert

•July 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

As part of my mission to see all my favorite 70’s musicians at least once, I sure couldn’t miss Peter Frampton, whom I’ve never seen before. He played at DTE tonight.  It was an awesome show, although I didn’t end up sitting in my assigned seats. I had row P, a little left of center, but it was way too loud, even with my ear protection, so we ended up sitting in row SS, which was a more comfortable volume and cooler (there was no ventilation near the stage and it was hot from all the people and stage lights). So much for getting good seats anymore. I wish there weren’t such vast discrepancies between volume levels at concerts. Anyhow, the highlights of the show for me were when he played an instrumental version of the Soundgarden classic “Black Hole Sun” and of course, the famous “Do You Feel Like We Do,” which surprisingly was not the encore song. I thought it should have been because everyone was waiting for that one and it just didn’t seem right to play anything else after the climax of the show. Oh well, can’t ever complain about getting more music, but it did seem unusual to me.

First Michigan Avenue Cruise

•July 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Today was the first ever Michigan Avenue Cruise, so I took the Music Machine out for a ride. Click on the photo below to see some of the other cars we saw.

New Photos of Ike the Spadefoot, a Wolf Spider, and a Moth

•July 8, 2008 • 1 Comment

Unfortunately, Ike has the same disease as Napi—his leg is all swollen up. I figured I better take some photos of him since he could die without notice like Terry did when this happened to him. I also put up a few photos of a wolf spider and a moth. Click on the photos below to see them.


wolf spider


George Clinton Concert

•July 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw George Clinton perform at the Detroit City Fest, or should I say, heard him play.  It was too crowded to get anywhere near the stage.  Click here to read about it and see a few pictures.

Made a friend, lost a friend

•June 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I almost had a baby duckling for a friend, but it wasn’t meant to be. Click here to read the story.

Here is one of the videos of “Little Wing”, as Brian named it.

Tadpoles Have Arrived!

•June 29, 2008 • 2 Comments

If I counted correctly, 91 tadpoles hatched from the eggs. That left hundreds unhatched, but that’s fine with me—this is still a lot of frogs to raise. In the six days I’ve had them, not one tadpole has died, but that is unusual.  I am going to photograph their entire development with my macro lens.  Click on the photo below to see more.


New Pet African Clawed Frog!

•June 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Since one of my two frogs passed away about 3 weeks ago, the other one seemed very lonely.  I decided to get him a female companion.  He loves her!  You can see from the photo below.  She laid a whole bunch of eggs yesterday too.  Click on their picture to go to my new Xenopus Page.frogs

Yellow Jacket with Larvae and Jumping Spider Photographs

•June 20, 2008 • 2 Comments

I photographed a queen yellow jacket and her larvae (something I’ve never seen before). I also finally photographed the mother of the baby spiders that recently emerged. Click on the preview photos below to see more of the wasps or spider.

LOTS of new macro photos!

•June 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There are photos of a large ant (on the new Ants Page), some baby jumping spiders (ones from two spiders I mated), a junebug, ladybug, chickweed geometer moth, green lacewing, my pet african clawed frog, firefly, woodlouse spider, and crab spider.

Tufts Passed Away

•June 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Today, I found one of my very favorite jumping spiders, “Tufts”, on her back, dead in her cage.  I had her for nearly a year.  I knew she was getting old, but I had hoped to get more photos of her with my new camera (I only got one picture).  I had just made the new Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs Page a few weeks ago too, figuring there would be more photo shoots of her this summer.

New camera, new macro photos.

•June 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I bought a Canon EOS 40D to do all of my macro shots from now on. I just couldn’t resist the automatic sensor cleaning (which really helps when you are in the process of taking pictures and notice there’s a speck of dust in a crucial area of the photograph and can do nothing about it since manual cleaning requires about 20 minutes and should be done indoors). I’ll be using my EOS 30D for all the regular shots (even got a new 28-135 image-stabilized zoom lens with the package deal with my 40D).

I uploaded lots of new photos taken from this camera. I think the upgraded sensor also adds to the brilliance of the colors. I photographed a mayfly, cucumber beetle, jumping spider, and my spider friends “Tufts” and “Mr. Greenfangs.” Just click on the photos below to see more of that of insect or spider.

My 24-year old African Clawed Frog Passed Away

•May 31, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I woke up today to find that my pet of 13 years had died. The weather had gotten warmer, but it wasn’t any more than 83 in my house, so I can’t attribute it to the heat, like the last frog I lost. I don’t know why he died. He was 11 when I got him and he was my favorite frog. I have heard that they sometimes live to be 30 or more, but I guess 24 is a pretty long life for him. Still, it’s sad, mostly because now I only have one left and he has to live all by himself now. I am thinking about getting him a female friend.

Also sad, we discovered that upon returning from Kids in the Hall last night in the pouring rain, the car ran over a mature male toad (could tell by its shape). Wasn’t one that I have in my catalog of local toads, but still very sad. We buried him today too.

Kids in the Hall at the Royal Oak Music Theater

•May 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Some people may remember the Kids in the Hall, a sketch comedy group from Canada that had a show on CBC from 1988-1994. I have seen nearly all the episodes. Also saw them for their 2000 North American Tour, but haven’t really seen much of them for 8 years. Apparently, they performed at a “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival in Quebec, from which they drew most of their material for tonight’s show. The show was great and I laughed a lot. Although I couldn’t even sit in my second row seats because the venue chose to put a huge speaker right in front of them and blast theme music so loud it was unbearable, not to mention the fact that the actors’ voices were also blasting super-loud through them. There was no reason to have stage-level speakers—the overheads would have been plenty. Anyhow, I had to leave my seat and view it from the bar area (which ended up being a better view anyhow). Didn’t realize I’d need earplugs for a sketch comedy routine. Oh well, still a good time overall.

Flowering Crab Tree and Detailed Moon Photos

•May 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I just uploaded some photos of the moon that I took with my macro lens (acting as a telephoto). Also, on my Flowers Page are some new photos of the flowering crab tree in front of my house. Click on the preview photos below to take you to more of that subject.

Photographs of House Centipede and Jumping Spiders

•May 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I photographed “Tufts” and “Mr. Greenfangs” on my orchid that just bloomed. Also, for the first time, I photographed a house centipede. These are usually too fast to capture in a photo, but this one was rather old and slow-moving. Click on the photos below to see more of each insect/spider.

Santana Concert

•April 18, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Carlos Santana at the Palace of Auburn Hills. This was my 5th time seeing him play. The first four times were at DTE (Pine Knob) and were pretty hard to beat (since I love outdoor shows and the performances themselves were so incredible—he always brings an excellent group of musicians with him). The last time I saw him was June 25, 2005, so it’s been almost 3 years. I was amazed to be able to get main floor seats (12th row, but on the far left two seats from the aisle), something I can rarely accomplish for any of the bands I want to see at that venue, even if I am on Ticketmaster the second they go on sale. I actually got there on time to see opening act, which was The Derek Trucks Band (which I’ve seen once before, so I didn’t want to miss them). Most people weren’t too into them though and were sitting down the whole time, so although I wanted to dance, I didn’t want to obstruct people’s view. Also, with everyone sitting, and a lot of people not even in their seats yet, I had a great view of the whole stage (which wasn’t the case when Santana came on and everyone stood up). Just when Santana started the first song, “Jingo”, the couple who belonged in the seats next to me appeared. The main floor seating was quite cramped, not like the regular seats there. After a few songs, the people next to me were nice enough to switch with us and I stayed in the aisle. It worked out well for all of us because it gave them an extra seat’s space. Then I had room to dance and I felt so much better. He played many of my favorites, a lot of the older material that I love, “Everybody’s Everything”, “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Como Va”, and “No One to Depend On.” He also played several songs from the more recent album “Supernatural”, like “Smooth”, “Maria” and “Corazon Espinado.” Near the end of the show, Derek Trucks came out and played with them. They did some awesome versions of Bob Marley’s “Exodus” and Marvin Gaye’s “Right On”, with a long jam in between. It was one unforgettable night of music, along with Carlos’s inspirational words about achieving peace and harmony in our lifetime, something he always tries to speak of at his shows, but not something that a lot of people seem to care about. It saddened me that during the intro, when he started with a movie, instead of listening to his words, when people saw his face on the screen, they just started whistling and screaming, and I could barely make out what he was saying. If they truly had any respect, they would have been quiet. Oh well, can’t say I was surprised—I deal with much worse during my daily life at the workplace (public high school). The encore song was “Soul Sacrifice” and the show ended very abruptly, lights on, no time for anyone to cheer or anything. Everyone just left. The “hair test” proved it was a good show—at the end, my braid was soaked to the bottom (meaning I really was gettin’ down). One woman told me that I was the best dancer…ever. And another woman said “Thank-you”—never gotten that one before—guess she enjoyed what I added to the experience. Most definitely an unforgettable night.

Robin Trower Concert

•March 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Robin Trower for the second time.  This concert was at the Royal Oak Music Theater like last time.  It was sold out.  I actually had to hang out in the lobby this time, because there were so many smokers, and so little ventilation, that I could barely breathe.  Out in the lobby, I could at least take a full breath.  Couldn’t see him play, but at least I could hear without my earplugs and dance freely without breathing cigarette smoke—never seen it this bad before.  Oh well, I still had fun—he sounded great.

New Paternal Relatives Page!

•March 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

After spending a nice afternoon with my family at my grandma’s house (my dad’s mom), my grandma gave me some old photos of my relatives. I really want to preserve these things, so I scanned them in and created a new Paternal Relatives Page since there were so many. There are still more to come (my dad has more albums) and I would like to do a Maternal Relatives Page too one of these days. Click on the photo of my grandfather on the family farm to see the rest of the photos.

Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs Photo Shoot and new Jumping Spiders 2 Page

•March 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I photographed my favorite two spiders—Tufts and Mr. Greenfangs. I decided to start a new Jumping Spiders 2 page for my 2008 spiders since the other page has gotten so full (it had numerous photos of 31 different jumping spiders!). I made two animations from photos of Tufts. Click on the animation below to see the rest of the photos of Tufts. Click here to see the photos of Mr. Greenfangs.

Eric Sardinas Concert

•March 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Eric Sardinas, an incredible slide guitarist, at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Click on the photo of me and Eric below to read more.

The Music Machine at the Detroit Autorama 2008

•March 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The Music Machine, my airbrushed art car dedicated to Frank Zappa, was accepted to display at this year’s Autorama. Click on the photo below to read and see more pictures from the show (other cars too).

Adrian Belew Concert

•March 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I saw Adrian Belew at the Magic Bag tonight. I also got to meet him and hang out with the rest of the trio after the show. Click on the picture of us for more info and another pic of me with Adrian.

Icicle Photographs and Stop-motion Animation

•March 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I really had fun with the last icicle photo shoot I did on January 26th and I was very happy to have the chance to do another one.  It’s really great when the icicles are melting because by modifying a few settings on the camera, one can produce amazingly different images from the same scene.  This time, the sky was bluer and there were some clouds drifting by.  It gave me the idea to do a stop-motion animation from some of the photographs.  I made three movies.  One is below.  Click on it to see the rest of the photographs and movies from this shoot.

My First Snowman in 7 Years!

•February 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t built a snowman for over 7 years. I made one today. Click on the photo below to see more pictures of him.

Icicle Photographs

•January 26, 2008 • 2 Comments

I took photographs of two icicles on my porch under different settings.  Click on the photo below to see the rest.

Winter Scenes in Hines Park

•January 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It was one of the first days in quite a while where the sun peeked through the clouds on occasion. I felt motivated to go out and capture some of the beauty of the winter storm we recently had. The snow was still in the trees, making them look like a fantasy-land. I drove down Hines Drive from Ann Arbor Trail to Northville Road and stopped at a few places along the way. Click on the picture below to see the rest of my photographs.

Tapes don’t suck as much as I thought, but some CDR’s do.

•December 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Ok, so I burned some CDR’s of some cheap brand called Dynex.  I put one in my truck’s factory CD changer (it’s a 1995 Ranger) and it played until about track 8, when it suddenly started skipping, then turned off, and the display said “no cd”.  Then I smelled an electrical burning smell.  It completely fried my CD changer!  I strongly suggest if you have any older CD players, you don’t use this brand of CDR in them.  I’m not going to use them in anything else I own, new or not.  So then, I was freaking out because I didn’t know what I was going to listen to anymore in my truck (and I hate the radio (especially talk radio in the morning on the way to work) and can’t stand silence while I’m driving).

So I dug out my old tapes.  Luckily, I had some that I actually didn’t mind listening to.  The funniest thing was that after a few days of listening to some of the tapes that I was listening to on CD, I realized that the low bass was sounding better on the tapes.  I always wondered why some of my rap cd’s never sounded as good as back in the day when I played them on tapes, but always attributed it to a new car, new stereo, etc.  I never realized it was actually the media!  So now I find myself wondering if I should buy some of my favorite rap albums on tape!?!?

So this could only last so long of course—I had to get CD capability back in my truck.  It was going to cost a lot of money to buy a new changer, which might also require a new head unit to operate it.  So I researched it and discovered that there are basically only two types of changers that were installed in Ford cars and trucks—one with a gray eject button and one with an orange button.  I had the orange button one, which used a 12-pin connector.  On one forum I was on, some guy said any 12-pin changer will work in any Ford car/truck.  Hoping he was right, I bought one on E-bay from someone who had it in a 2000 Ford, so it was 5 years newer and a different model number.  Installed it in about 5 minutes yesterday and it works great—it actually sounds better than my old one!

So what could have been a bad experience turned out well in two ways—I now have a better changer (although it cost be about $100 after shipping) and I discovered the benefits of tapes.

New homepage collage finished!

•December 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I thought it was about time to do a new collage for the homepage. I like to use my own artwork as the background, but I don’t do too many paintings with landscapes—the last one used the Vegetanimal in Outer Space watercolor as a background. This one uses the Toads of the Short Forest painting. I have been working on it off and on for a few weeks. It takes a long time to select and cut out the different collage items. Some, like one of the elements from the Elusive Sleep watercolor, took about an hour to cut out!

Click here to visit my homepage to see it and take a mystery tour around the site.

St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast

•December 23, 2007 • 2 Comments

Well, I attended my first St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast (I sure hope there will be more, but if Gail gets her way, they will probably all be canceled like she tried to do to all the Zappa birthday celebrations across the country this year—hmmm, what a pleasant way to spend your husband’s birthday—trying to ruin everyone else’s celebrations of all the happiness and inspiration Frank has brought to us). There were way more people there than I expected—King’s Brewery in Pontiac, MI was packed full of Zappa fans enjoying pancakes, sausages, coffee and beer, all while enjoying an awesome set by Ugly Radio Rebellion with special guest, Ike Willis. A great time was had by all—the best Zappa birthday celebration ever (usually I just celebrate at home—make a cake, light a few candles, watch Baby Snakes or some other favorite FZ DVD, and listen to his music).

Eddie the Parrotfish has passed away.

•December 20, 2007 • Leave a Comment

One of my favorite fish ever died this morning, Eddie the Parrotfish.  I’ve had him since 2001.  He lived with another one, Flo, that I bought at the same time and they were best friends.  That is the saddest thing about this—that poor Flo will be all alone now.

All Spadefoots Photographed!

•December 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Finally, I have photographed all four of my pet spadefoots.  Click on the photo below to visit my Spadefoots Page to see the rest of the photos.

New Jumping Spider Photos including Mr. Greenfangs

•November 23, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I took photos of three jumping spiders today. Click on the first photo to see more of Mr. Greenfangs. Click on either of the other two photos to see the other spiders.

Spadefoot Pictures

•November 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Since Frank the Spadefoot died in February, I purchased more spadefoots in May, but never photographed them.  I finally took some pictures of two of them.  They are on the new Spadefoots Page.  Just click the photo below to see them.

Van Halen at the Palace

•October 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Van Halen for the second time.  The first time was right after the Van Halen 3 album, with singer Gary Cherone.  This time, David Lee Roth sang.  He is one energetic guy—he was doing all these crazy kicks the whole night.  They played for about 2 1/2 hours.  During the end of the second song, I was thinking how much I wanted to hear “Runnin’ With the Devil”, and about 10 seconds later, they played it!  Eddie did a special solo and he was doing things to the guitar from the back (he actually had the plate off the back).  I’ve never seen anyone do that before.  The encore was absolutely spectacular—it started out with a huge disco ball.  Then a blimp came out and floated around the crowd.  There were lasers and other light displays.  Then Roth carried out a huge blow-up microphone.  Then the best thing happened—all this confetti came out from the ceiling and was blown around by fans.  With the lights the way they were shining and the way the confetti pieces flipped and twirled, it was so magical-looking.  I’ve never seen such a beautiful confetti display.  I didn’t think any of the pieces would reach us, but just when the lights came on, one lone piece came twirling towards us and Brian caught it.  It was one of the most expensive shows I went to this summer (about $100 for a crappy seat on the side in the second level), but definitely well worth it.

Pandora Sphinx Moth and Wild Cucumbers

•October 16, 2007 • 5 Comments

A student brought in a Pandora Sphinx Moth and I took it home to photograph.  I had to put them on a brand new page because I took so many photographs.  Click on the photo below to see them.

I also photographed these unusual wild cucumbers.  I grew a plant from seeds my dad found last fall.  Click on the photo to read about it and see the pictures.

New Insect and Spider Photography

•September 26, 2007 • 2 Comments

I finally had a chance to process and upload some pictures from the summer. There are photos of a leafhopper, katydid, and jumping spider. Just click on each photo below to link to more photos of that creature.

Steve Vai Concert

•September 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Steve Vai tonight at the Royal Oak Music Theatre for his Sound Theories tour.  Apparently, many people did not realize that he was going to make many of his compositions into more classical-sounding pieces by using two violinists—I say this because they were one of the most lame audiences I’ve ever seen—no one was moving at all.  I guess they expected Steve to rock out more like he usually does.  It would have been nice, but I still enjoyed myself and was able to dance quite a bit, but nothing like George Clinton last week.  As he has done many times before, he ended with my all-time favorite song, “For the Love of God”.

George Clinton Concert

•September 16, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw George Clinton at the Royal Oak Music Theatre tonight.  This was my first time seeing anything P-Funk-related.  I had such a great time—there’s nothing better than funky music to dance to.  By the end of the night, my braid was soaked all the way to the bottom from dancing so hard.  I was also quite thrilled that they even threw in a little Zappa and played the beginning of “I’m the Slime”!  Definitely a great time—I hope they come back again soon.

Jack and Jim Show

•September 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw the Jack and Jim Show, which was Jimmy Carl Black on percussion (from the Mothers of Invention) and Eugene Chadbourne on stringed instruments (guitar and banjo mostly). They also had a keyboardist, bassist (who played the huge bass), and another musician who played some crazy instrument that had strings and a horn—he used a bow on it like a violin. It was one weird thing. The keyboardist had some device hooked up that acted like a theramin—you could make different hand motions and it would change the pitches and effects. I saw Jimmy play back in 2000 with the Grandmothers (many former members that played Zappa’s music). I wished they would have played a Zappa song or two, but it was Captain Beefheart night. I don’t really know much Captain Beefheart and what I have heard, I didn’t care for too much. The show was held in an unusual venue—a place called the Bohemian National Home. It was advertised on Jimmy’s myspace as being the Bohemian Ballroom, which caused some confusion when I tried to find the place—I didn’t think they could possibly be the same thing. I mean, what is a “national home” anyhow? The show wasn’t advertised much and the venue didn’t hold that many people. I think there were only about 40 seats or so in the place and they were pretty much filled, with a few people standing, so it was quite an intimate setting. After the show, Jimmy came out to see the Music Machine, but unfortunately, it was very dark and the lighting was poor. Even with the lantern I brought, it was difficult to see. Tried to get a picture, but of course the hood didn’t turn out.  Click on the photo below to go to the page where you can see a larger view.

Stevie Wonder Concert

•September 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Stevie Wonder tonight at Meadowbrook.  It was the most crowded show I’ve ever been to at that venue.  I was hoping to dance by my favorite tree (that’s the one thing I love about Meadowbrook—most lawns don’t have trees), but there was no way that was happening.  I was lucky to get a spot by the aisleway just barely on the grass.  It was awesome—he played all my favorite songs, or at least parts of them.  I thought he did a little too much talking (and I can’t always make out spoken words at concerts).  He could have fit in another song or two if he hadn’t said so much, but overall, I was definitely glad I got to see him.

Rush Concert

•August 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw Rush tonight at DTE.  It was a really packed show.  They played a lot of songs from their new album, Snakes and Arrows, which I guess just weren’t quite my style.  I expected to have more upbeat songs, but these were just a little too slow and melodramatic.  I just couldn’t get into them (maybe I’m just not that big of a Rush fan).  They had really cool lasers and other visual effects during the show, so at least there was something to look at during the show.  I know I wasn’t the only person who didn’t get all excited about the show—when I was leaving, the first comment I heard from someone was, “man, was that boring!”.  I didn’t stay for the encore, which might have very well been the best part, but I couldn’t afford to be stuck in traffic for an hour and then another 40 minutes to get home.  I had to get up for work the next morning.

Biglegs Passed Away

•August 13, 2007 • 2 Comments

This morning was a sad one.  When I went to check on Biglegs the jumping spider, he was on his back, dead.  I think it’s possible that Speedy attacked him, but I can’t be certain.  I had him for almost a year—he was the best spider ever.  I will really miss him.  If you haven’t seen his pictures and read his story, click on his picture below…

311 Concert

•August 9, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My friend Myla got some free lawn seats to the 311 show tonight at DTE. I saw them quite a few years ago, so this was my second time. I was glad that they played some of their older songs from the era when I enjoyed them most, back in the mid-90’s. Matisyahu opened for them and put on a great performance.

Zappa Plays Zappa 2007

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

I went to see Zappa Plays Zappa today. It was at the same place as last year’s show—Meadowbrook in Auburn Hills, MI. This time, the special guest was Ray White, whom I have never seen before. I took some photos and two video clips. Click on the photo below to take you to my ZPZ 2007 Page.

New Insect and Spider Photos

•July 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

I finally had a chance to add some of the photos I’ve taken recently. There are two spiders—a jumping spider and an orb-weaver. As far as the insects go, there is a katydid, a stag beetle and a grapevine beetle. Click on each photo below to take you to the photos of that insect or spider.

The Police Reunion Tour

•July 17, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I saw the Police tonight at the Palace of Auburn Hills, MI.  I have liked this band for about 24 years—I don’t think I’ve listened to any other band for that many years without seeing them on tour at some point.  They opened with Message in a Bottle, and then played my favorite song, Synchronicity II.  It would have been an enjoyable show, but unfortunately, the people behind me were extremely disruptive and drunk and wanted to sing (yell out of tune) every song!  It was absolutely horrible and made it very hard to hear Sting’s voice and the accompanying music.  Worse still, during the instrumental parts, they talked as if they were half-deaf—it was so distracting.  I think I would have enjoyed the show more if it weren’t for them, although there was a lot of time alloted for audience participation—and that can be pretty bad if the people behind you can’t sing worth a crap.  Also, it was not mixed to my preference—I could barely hear the guitar, because I think Sting wanted the audience to hear him playing his bass.  My favorite guitar parts seemed to be far off in the distance.  Also, if you’re planning on hearing your favorite tunes the way they sound on the album, forget it—Sting changes the notes around so much that you can hardly recognize the song if it weren’t for the lyrics—not that it was bad, just different.  I would have had a better time without the people behind me, but I still wouldn’t rate it as the best concert of the year.

A Sad Birthday

•July 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Today was my birthday, but it wasn’t too happy. My central air died and it reached 90.3 degrees in my house according to my digital thermometer. It never went below 87 for over 36 hours. I didn’t think to check on my african clawed frogs because, hey, aren’t they from Africa? But one of them died. And the other two were a very pale green—just like a stressed fish tends to whiten. I immediately changed them into cooler water and moved them to my den where I hooked up a small window AC. They turned green again after a few hours and will most likely be fine. But I am sad about the other one, who has been my pet for about 15 years. I am thinking that because they were most likely lab-bred frogs, they probably have weaker genetics and can’t handle the heat like a wild-type frog. I guess I learned my lesson and will never let that happen to my other two frogs. These guys are known to live for up to 30 years, so they should have a lot of life left in them.

Also, one of my favorite spiders died. His name was Midnight Pouncer—he had the most beautiful chelicerae ever—they were blue! I think the reason he died was also because of the heat, although I was giving him water. Click here to see previous photos of Midnight Pouncer. I moved all of my other pets into the den today. It’s quite crowded, but it’s the only safe place for them.

Insect and Spider Photography

•June 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I just posted a bunch of new photography. My favorite insects were the weevil and nymph. My favorite spiders were the striped jumping spider and the mother with spiderlings all over her back. Just click on a preview picture below to take you to the rest of the photos of that insect or spider.

Steely Dan Concert

•June 4, 2007 • 1 Comment

I saw Steely Dan in concert for the second time today.  The first time was at DTE in Auburn Hills, MI.  This time, they played at the Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, MI.  I had lawn seats and rain was predicted.  For about the first 45 minutes, it was a great night as far as the weather goes.  Then it started raining.  I was surprised that once it rained, this venue allowed everyone to fill in the empty seats in the pavilion.   This gave me a large cement area behind the pavilion to dance in with an unobstructed view—I was so happy!  They played so many of the classics—it was an awesome show!

Biglegs is a Daddy!

•June 2, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Speedy’s babies (fathered by Biglegs) emerged from their egg sac on May 25, 2007. I’ve never seen baby jumping spiders before! They’re so cute! I just added pictures of them. Click the photo below to see them.

Jean-Luc Ponty Concert

•June 1, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight I saw Jean Luc Ponty at the Detroit Music Hall, the same place where I recently saw George Duke. This time, I hadn’t found out about the concert until much later, so I was unable to get as good of seats. I had front row of the balcony. The sound quality was excellent, even up there. I really like that place as far as acoustics go. He put on an awesome show and brought along some great musicians. There were two drummers, a bassist and keyboardist accompanying him.  Check out the encore below…

New Spider and Flower Photographs

•May 19, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I finally had some time this weekend to process some photos I took a while ago. There are photos of a jumping spider with BLUE chelicerae, a crab spider, and a tiny jumping spider. There are also photos of the flowering crab tree in the front of my yard which was in full bloom on April 30, 2007. Just click on the preview photos below to see more of that subject.

Heaven and Hell Tour

•May 12, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Tonight, I went to the Heaven and Hell Tour at Cobo Arena, featuring Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio.  Although I would have rather heard some of the songs that Ozzy sang on, I still had a great time.  Machinehead and Megadeth opened for them.  I missed Machinehead’s performance, which was only about 25 minutes.  Megadeth was awesome—this was my second time seeing them play.  I met them a while back too when their CD, “Risk” came out and they held a signing.  It would have been a great overall time except for what happened close to the end.  It didn’t say anywhere on the ticket or in the venue that there was no recording or photos, so people all over the place had their cameras out, me included.  Then, shortly before the encore, two of the ushers came by and told me to give up my camera.  I refused, stating that no where did it say I couldn’t have it.  Then they said I’d have to come with them.  While I was explaining to Brian what was going on, they walked off and left me alone.  Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures or video from the best part of the show, which was pretty disappointing.  I don’t understand why they weren’t harassing the numerous others with cameras out, especially those on the main floor getting way better pics and video than I ever could from my crappy side seats!  When I have time, I will post the few pics and videos that I took.

Fishbone Concert

•May 8, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I’ve liked the band Fishbone since 1991, when a friend of mine introduced me to their music. They have played in Detroit on several occasions, but for one reason or another, I was never able to attend. Finally, I made it to one of their shows. This one was at the Magic Stick in Detroit.  I was really happy that they played two of my favorite songs off the “Truth and Soul” album, one of their older albums. They did “Ma and Pa” and “Freddie’s Dead”. It was so much fun dancing to those songs live! There were several guys skankin’ and that’s something I don’t usually see at the shows I go to—wish I could learn some of those moves!

George Duke Concert

•April 27, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I went to see George Duke at the Detroit Music Hall. Click on the photo of me and George below to link to my new George Duke page. There, you can see photos from the show and watch some video clips.

Here’s one of his solos…

Emma the Jumping Spider

•April 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I found Biglegs a new girlfriend.  Her name is Emma.  Click on her photo below to see more pictures of her.

Biglegs Junior the Jumping Spider

•April 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My dad gave me a spider that looks almost like Biglegs! Click the photo of him below to see the rest of the pictures.

Speedy is Expecting…

•April 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

My jumping spider, Speedy was recently introduced to my other buddy, Biglegs.  After a few weeks, Speedy allowed Biglegs into her resting sac and mated with him.  You can read all about the couple on the Biglegs and Speedy Page.  I just added some new pictures of Speedy, showing her huge abdomen.  Click the photo below to shortcut to the most recent photo shoot.

Glassblowing Class

•April 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I recently completed an introductory glassblowing class.  I just finished adding the photos of the pieces I created.  Click on the heart paperweights below to shortcut to the photos and a description of my experience.