Friday, June 19, 2020

Tapes On Planes

Not too long ago this picture of a man applying tape to a jet engine caused quite a sensation on the internet. 

Passenger Airplane Getting Repaired Using Duct Tape - Naibuzz

The original post questioned whether or not the plane was safe to fly considering they were fixing it with duct tape. The short answer is "YES!!" the plane is safe to fly on.  The long answer is that it isn't duct tape but rather a specially designed tape called "speed tape" that is specifically designed for applications like this.  It will stay in place at speeds in excess of 600 MPH and under all kinds of environmental conditions.The tape is covering a small gap that opened up to prevent air from leaking out of the engine.  It isn't holding the engine in place.

Most people are very surprised to learn that modern aircraft use many different tapes in manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul.  These product are very highly engineered and they meet FAA and military specifications for use on aircraft. All of them are flame retardant to reduce any fire hazard and they are designed to deal with the rigors of flying.  In fact no commercial aircraft has never crashed as a result of adhesive tape failure.  At least none that we know of.

Some of the more common applications include:

  • Holding down carpets
  • Protecting structural elements from corrosion
  • Installing windows
  • Repairing small openings in the fuselage (see picture above)
  • Protecting the leading edges of wings, propellers and rotors
  • Repairing engine electrical systems
TAPE-RITE is a leading supplier to airlines and maintenance yards around the world.  We maintain a large inventory of products for immediate shipment. We ship overnight to meet your time critical (AOG) situations.

If you are involved in aircraft maintenance give us a try.  Contact our Aerospace department at You will love the results.

Happy flying!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Tape Your Way, Custom Sizes and Shapes

When most people think of tape they imagine tape in a roll form.  Like duct tape. This is a very common way for tape to be sold. But there is lots of tape that is sold as pre-cut pieces.  Using these pieces helps speed assembly and maintain consistency of the finished goods.  In this column I will be discussing the options that are available for rolls in custom widths or lengths as well as pre-cut pieces.

Many types of tape are pre-cut to the finished width at the factory.  Like duct tape, masking tape, and electrical tape.  Most people are OK with the limited sizes that are available this way.  But a lot of people are not.  They may need extra narrow or extra wide rolls for their project.  They may also want extra short length rolls for kits or retail sale or extra long length rolls for application by automatic machinery.

In other instances people need the tape cut into a specific shape.  Sometimes a simple shape like a circle or a square, other times more complex shapes to fit on a special part. These parts are made from a high temperature polyester for masking off parts that are being powder painted.

TAPE-RITE has the equipment and expertise to do all of this for you. Over the years we have worked with hundreds of different types of tape and we understand how to convert them quickly and cleanly.

So if you need to speed up your production with custom width rolls or die-cut shapes give us a call.  We can solve your sticky problems.

Until next time this is Doctor Tape saying stay safe amidst the madness.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

High Temperature Masking Tapes for Baked and Powder Paint Finishes

One of the most popular ways to finish metals is to use paint. Traditional automotive paints and newer powder paints (powder coating) require baking to achieve the correct finished look. In this post I will be discussing the options that are available for each.

A big limiting factor is that automotive paints and silicone don't mix. Any contamination by silicone prevents the paint from drying correctly. This is a bummer because silicone adhesive is capable of withstanding much higher temperatures for longer periods of time than acrylic or rubber adhesives.

Because of this I can only recommend a high temperature crepe paper masking tape.  This is like regular masking tape except it has a much higher temperature range.  These tapes can generally withstand 325ºF (163ºC) to 350ºF (177ºC) for between 30 minutes and 1 hour.  You should always check the manufacturer's spec sheet to make sure of the parameters.  After the bake cycle these tapes will remove cleanly, generally in 1 piece. If you bake the tape at a lower temperature you can get a longer exposure to the heat.  If you drop down to 230ºF (110ºC) you can go from a bake cycle of 30 minutes to 1 hour. These tapes are generally used in roll form but die-cut shapes are available. Even if you aren't baking, I recommend using the high temperature masking tape because it will remove easily without leaving residue.

Another automotive tape that has high temperature application is fine line masking tape.  Fine line masking tape is much thinner in cross-section that standard masking tape so there is a smaller ridge of paint build up along the masking line.  These tapes are often used in pin striping and other detail work. They can usually go to 250ºF (120ºC) for up to 30 minutes.

Powder coating is a process where dry paint (powder paint) is sprayed onto the item to be painted.  The item is then placed in an oven and baked at temperatures up to 400०F (190ºC). The powder melts and flows together creating a durable, seamless finish. This requires the use of silicone adhesives that can withstand up to 500ºF (245ºC) for an hour or more.

There are two tapes that are used for the majority of masking in powder painting; polyimide
and polyester. The polyimide is a sort of bronze/brown color and the polyester is usually green. Both of these tape are available with silicone adhesive. The big difference between the two is that the polyimide backing can go up to 500०F (245ºC) while the polyester backing can only go up to 400ºF (190ºC).

Many parts that are powder coated have surfaces that need to remain free of paint for a variety of reasons.  In some instances you can use standard rolls of tape but many times the pieces need to be die-cut into a special shape. Thankfully this is easy to do.

The last type of tape for powder coating is self-fusing silicone tape.  It is used on tubes or rods where you are wrapping the tape completely around it. This tape has no adhesive on it so it can't leave residue.  To use it simply overlap it slightly and it will bond to itself.  To remove just cut it off.

If you have any questions or if you need samples of these tapes please feel free to get in touch at 1-800-882-7348 or

Happy Taping!!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Acrylic Foam Tapes

Just over 40 years ago 3M shocked the tape world (as they often do) with a new product group called VHB (Very High Bond) tapes.  These tapes featured a very dense foam core paired with ultra high performance acrylic adhesive that creates a very permanent bond on most non-porous surfaces.  The combination created tapes that offered unbelievable performance when used correctly. When these tapes first came out there were only a limited number of varieties for fairly straightforward applications.  Today there are dozens of different products for almost any application you can think of. Industries that use these types of tape include aerospace, automotive, appliances, signs, and displays.

These tapes have properties that make them superior to mechanical fasteners (rivets, screws, nuts and bolts, even welding).  Because the foam core of the tape expands and contracts with the ambient temperature they can eliminate stress fractures on exterior signage.  Their ability to absorb vibration makes them perfect for machinery and motor vehicle applications. Last but not least they are fast, clean and easy to use saving significant time and money over mechanical fasteners.

For many years (decades) 3M enjoyed a virtual monopoly on these type of tapes because no other company could make anything that had close to the same level of performance.  This lead to the two biggest issues with them: they were extremely expensive and they had limited distribution. Well all that has recently changed.

Today there is a competitor to the VHB line from the upstart company AFTC.  AFTC was started in Europe and today it is a global organization that offers acrylic foam tapes that offer the same or better performance than VHB products yet they are 35% to 50% less expensive. They are marketed under the Silver Tape brand and I can say that they do everything they promise.

The key to getting a permanent bond is to choose the right tape and then prepare the surface correctly. Then you have to apply it correctly to insure a perfect bond. If you do these things you will have great results and happy customers. Let's talk about the tapes first.

One of the most popular styles are the clear foams.  They aren't really foam but rather solid clear urethane that acts like a foam.  These tapes are perfect for acrylics and glass.  They work really well on metals and painted surfaces as well. Because they are clear they aren't as visible in the finished product.  They are very popular in signs and displays where seeing the tape would detract from the finished product.

There are also standard tapes that are white or light gray in color.  They are designed for use on metals (bare or painted), some plastics and painted or varnished wood.  They can also be used on brick and finished concrete with very good results. They are widely used where the use of mechanical fasteners is impractical from an installation or appearance standpoint. Recently a cold temperature version has been developed that can be applied at temps as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another newcomer is tape designed to stick to powder coated metals.  Powder coating has become very popular in recent years because it produces a very durable finish.  The downside is that you can't really bond to it effectively because one of the components of the powder is wax.  The wax allows the powder to flow together when it melts and create that durable finish.  This same tape can also be used on low surface energy plastics like polypropylene and ABS.

Next is proper surface preparation.  These tapes can be extremely finicky and they won't give you maximum performance if you skip this.  The key to success is to make sure the surface is clean and dry.  If you use a standard cleaner like Fantastik or Formula 409 you should get a nice clean surface.  Some surface require a little more than this. If you are sticking to glass you should use a silane treatment to prepare the glass for adhesive.  The silane treatment fills in any imperfections in the surface of the glass.  Here is a link to a 3M technical bulletin on the subject:

Another surface that needs prep is aluminum.  When aluminum is extruded into bars or angles it is covered with a lubricant to help the process.  This lubricant can get into the surface imperfections of the aluminum and it will prevent a strong bond.  It is recommended that in addition to cleaning you should use an abrasive pad (Scotch Brite or similar) to rough up the surface to help get a clean surface. Do this before you use the cleaner.

I also want to talk about acrylic sheet.  One of the components that go into making acrylic sheet is acrylic oil.  If the acrylic isn't cured correctly there could be significant amounts of acrylic oil left in the acrylic.  You can tell if this is the case by touching the acrylic.  If it feel greasy then you have a problem.  It will be very difficult to achieve a strong bond.

Finally comes the actual application of the tape.  One of the worst things you can do is touch the adhesive with your fingers.  The oil in your skin will contaminate the adhesive and reduce the ultimate bond strength.  It could cause the tape to fail in the field.  Handle the tape by the edges of the roll.  If you do have to touch the adhesive to start the roll try not to use the end where you touched it.  Cut it off and throw it away. Once the tape is applied rub it down with a squeegee or roller to obtain maximum contact of the adhesive.

One of the interesting properties of these tapes is that the adhesive bond gets stronger over the course of 72 hours (3 days).  If you can, try to avoid maximum stress on the tape for that period.

If you have questions regarding the use of acrylic foam tapes please feel free to get in touch at or give us a call at 1-800-882-7348.

Happy Taping!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tempus Fugit, Part Uno

Greetings avid readers.  Since my last post I have discovered I have at least 2.  Woo Hoo!!

Once again I have been negligent in my devotion to the blogosphere.  Plenty has happened since my last post and I have many subjects to write about.  The common theme among them is that time has been zipping by at a much higher rate of speed than I thought possible. But then I don't really think about time very much so to have it disappear is nothing new to me.

I recently had my 40th high school reunion.  In reality it has been 41 years since my graduation but it seems nobody could get it together to hold a reunion last year. I went to my 10th and 20th but I was in the midst of my divorce for the 30th so it's been 21 years since I have seen the vast majority of my fellow HS alumni. 

When I found out about this one I was determined to go.  For the sake of privacy I am not going to name the school or give out my classmates last names but I think I can get the gist of my experience across without those bothersome details.

My experience with high school was different than most folks.  My parents uprooted us and we moved to a new town when I was in the middle of 10th grade. It was a real jolt to leave behind all of my old friends and have to relearn the social niceties of making new ones.  Not that I am introverted or anything but I had my comfort zone and now I was being dragged out of it. 

The new school I went to was a much smaller one than the one I left and most of these people had known each other for most of their lives.  It took awhile but I got involved in activities and soon I was an accepted part of the social structure.  Not a bad group of folks but I had no really deep connections.

The one guy from my graduating class that I connected with was Glen. We were involved in band (we both played trumpet) and he was my doubles partner on the tennis team. He lives in northern California but he comes to New York every couple of months and we get together for a few drinks and dinner when he does.  He was a Major in the USAF, navigating B-52's. He has business cards that say "Specialized in air delivered thermonuclear explosions up to 1.1 megatons '. Pretty cool.  I always thought of that line from "Piano Man" when he entered my brain.  Except Davy was in the Navy.  And Glen retired.  But I digress.

Glen told me about the reunion and I was excited to hear about it.  It turns out it was being held at the restaurant we always went to for our "dates".  I got in touch with Rich K. who was organizing the party and made sure to send in my check to reserve my spot.  In a moment of nostalgic reflection I also donated $100.00 to a scholarship fund that our graduating class had created.  Now I was committed to the event and my excitement started to grow like a fungus. Who would be there?  What were they doing? Where were they living? Would they give a damn about my showing up? Tell me man, I'se gots to know (bonus points if you know what movie that's from).

On the appointed date there was a deluge of biblical proportion.  At least where I live.  On a good day it was 45 minutes to the restaurant but it took almost 90 minutes to get there because of the rain.  I was bummed because the reunion was only going to be 3 hours long.  I got there, parked and ran inside, excited by the possibility of reconnecting with my youth.

When I got inside the first person I saw was Annie. By coincidence she was one of the first girls I introduced myself to when I started at the school.  I also asked her to senior prom and she was very kind and gentle in her rejection. Ah, the story of my youth. She looked great and gave me a big hug. She had a huge smile in HS and she still had it at the reunion. What a start. 

I got my name tag and started to mingle. Of course Glen was there in his flight jacket. He was talking to Mary Ann. Mary Ann always had a very elegant sense of style and this night was no different.  She looked great in her blue dress. Hello, hello.  There was Peter, who was our class president, and Bill B. the AV department Alpha Geek. The three of us were in Spanish together senior year.  It was quite the good class. Our teacher was very hot (en fuego baby!) and not too heavy on discipline. Peter was once caught blatantly cheating on a test and she still gave him a passing grade. We also managed to learn some Spanish. (Me llamo es Andres. Como esta usted?).

Then the familiar faces came fast and furious. Bill L, Rich M, Steve D, Chris C (but not his brother), Steve M, Joe S, Bill G, and so many more.  Old memories came back as if they were from yesterday. Jim G. reminded me that I had reminded him that we were the only two 3 letter athletes our senior year.  Yes, Dr. Tape was quite the athlete in those days.  Hard to believe it to look at me now.

It was great finding out what was going on in everyone's lives.  It was also nice flirting with the ladies, some of whom looked better than they ever did. I found out that one girl had a huge crush on me back in the day.  How I wish I had known!! However it was still quite the ego boost.

After a bit I started to realize how many people didn't show up. I graduated from a small school by Long Island standards.  We only had 245 kids in the grade so every no-show was obvious. Why didn't they come? I really wanted to see them too.

Among the missing were many that I had great interaction with.  Ron and Mike from the wrestling team, Louie who played trumpet with Glen and me. Susan and Jane, the two prettiest girls in my homeroom, who along with Mary Ann once accompanied me to a Met game. Lee and Mary who also went to Sun Tan U (I mean Miami). Jim and John from the tennis team and Pierre, my physics lab partner.

But what really struck home were the names of my classmates who couldn't come because they are no longer with us.  I had known that a few had passed on but it turns out that 18 have died.  It is still hard for me to wrap my head around it. I mean, we aren't old.  Not that old anyway. We are supposed to be living la vida loca. I was surprised at the number and shocked at the names.  Mike who was captain of the track team, Steve from acting and tennis, Ginnie the feminist, Jody the cheerleader who I thought was soooo pretty,  Most died of disease. Brain cancer seemed to be unusually prevalent.  Maybe there was something in the water. But Joey became depressed after his mom died and took his own. They all struck me very hard. But the one that is the hardest is David who I knew had died.

David and I went to Miami together and we often flew on the same flights to and from school. We drove back to NY in my car once. You learn quite a bit about someone when you are stuck in a car with them for a day-and-a-half. We saw each other around campus quite a bit and we ate lunch with each other every once in a while. He almost got us thrown off a plane for rolling a joint on his seat tray while we were taxiing on the runway.  But that's another story.

I had always thought David was gay and he came out at Miami.  Coming out changed him in many positive ways. He was able to be himself. He found acceptance and happiness, things that had been missing for him. He dyed his hair a weird blond shade and he started dressing better. It was quite the shock when I found out at a Miami Alumni function that he had died of AIDS.  AIDS wasn't very well known or understood at that time and I guess it was the price many paid at the beginning.

During the reunion Rich K. focused on how that at our next reunion in 10 years (or 9) we will be in our late 60's and the list of departed classmates will be even longer. It kind of reminds me of Yom Kippur when Jews pray to be allowed to live another year. Who will be inscribed in the book of life?  Who will make it and who won't? As I age (not very gracefully either) I find this issue on my mind more often. Maybe I have to take the time to think about it.

"Don't need a watch to waste your time, oh no, oh no" -- John Lennon

Monday, January 20, 2014

Magnificent Magnolia Fest

For those of you who read my blog (thanks AnnMarie!) you are familiar with my friend Dr. Michael Binder.  For the rest of you go back and read the post titled Not Very Diplomatic.

Anyway, Mike is no longer the world champion of Diplomacy but he is still very highly ranked.  But this isn't about that.  It's about music.  Mike and I have similar yet different musical tastes and we are always introducing each other to interesting acts to follow. I trust his judgment in music and he tolerates mine.

For many years now he has been asking (begging?) me to attend a major annual music festival in north central Florida called Magnolia Fest.  Magnolia Fest is a celebration of the broad range of styles that make up country music.  I have never been big on country but I recently went to see Steve Martin (the comedian) play bluegrass with the Steep Canyon Rangers.  Steve plays a mean banjo and the Rangers are a very good group.  Together they were the Bluegrass act of the year for 2011, I believe. I enjoyed it tremendously and when Mike called asking me to come I said yes.

Now Magnolia Fest is held in mid October and its now the middle of January so some of the details are getting fuzzy but I think I can get it together.  I decided to drive down and do some sightseeing and visit some customers on the way.  And eat barbeque.  An obscenely large amount of barbeque. I love to drive and I had never been on the Blue Ridge Parkway so I decided I would take a week and drive on that and see what all the fuss is about.

I happened to arrive at the Blue Ridge on the day of the Federal Government shutdown.  The road was still open but all of the amenities (like bathrooms) were closed. More on that later.  It was also very foggy and there was very little to see for the first hour or so.  But by 10AM the sky cleared up and it was just amazing.  The vistas were fabulous.  I was stopping every 10 minutes or so to take pictures.

Along the way I met a number of people from around the world. Scotland, Japan, Canada, Italy and New Jersey.  For those of you who have never been to New Jersey it qualifies as a foreign country.  Especially if you are from Brooklyn. It's a Jersey thing. It was wonderful to stop and speak to them all and gain their perspective.  We all agreed that this drive was a fabulous way to spend the day.  Or several days.

Many of the foreign visitors were amazed at how calmly we US citizens were taking the closure of the Federal Government.  No riots, no massive strikes by transit workers and no radical speeches by dissident students demanding free massages during finals week. I explained that it was no big deal.  Until I had to go to the bathroom.

There are services like rest areas and restaurants on the Blue Ridge and they are spaced out at regular intervals for the convenience of all.  Having them closed caused a terrible situation because there are very few exits on the road and there are no signs telling you what lies off the exits.  What this translates to is that when nature calls one must be at one with nature. This is the one area where being male has distinct advantages over the fairer sex.  Unless one has to go number 2. Without toilet paper.

I will spare you the gory details but I had to summon my best boy scout/camping/field geology experiences and try to remember what poison ivy looks like.  While I was successful it wasn't my idea of fun. Luckily a nice couple from California had anticipated the situation and had a list of all the restaurants and gas stations off the Parkway. Because of these folks I found BBQ nirvana.

I don't remember the exit but the mile marker was under 100.  About a mile off the road (on another road) was a gas station with a restaurant attached. And a biker group.  Turns out it was Bike Week in Daytona and they were making their annual pilgrimage from the Land of Cleve.  We started talking and they invited me to join them for lunch.  And what a lunch.  Ribs, fried chicken, homemade beans, collards and sweet potato mash.  If they had a motel attached to the gas station I may have spent 3 days there. They said that this was a regular stop for them.  I will have to undergo hypnosis to remember where it is for next time.

I drove for a few more hours just soaking it all in.  I decided to spend the night in Asheville, NC.  I was lead to believe that Asheville was an artsy fartsy kind of place and I can be an artsy fartsy kind of guy.  I went to the visitor's center and met a very nice guy named George who showed me where to go.  I set out on my tour and let's just say I was underwhelmed.  Very few galleries downtown (although I didn't make it to the River District) and limited crafts.  But lots of homeless folks in the small park downtown.

However there was a cooperative gallery and I saw a piece by Floyd Kemp.  He was a professor at Black Mountain College which is a famous art school about 20 miles east of Asheville.  Floyd was retiring and he and his wife (Laura I believe) were moving to Ohio to live with their daughter. The piece on display was too small for my space but the woman working at the gallery said Floyd might have larger stuff.  She gave me his number. I called him and he sent me some photos. A few emails later and  I bought a piece called Purple Sky. It's perfect for the space.

Then I figured I would check out the Asheville Art Museum.  That would give me a good handle on the situation.  Well I had to fend off several panhandlers (using my best NY technique) and paid a rather high entrance fee.  Let's just say I was underwhelmed again.  But there was a single bright spot in all of the disappointment.  There was a photograph by an amazing artist named Xavier Nuez (

He had donated a piece to the museum called Motor City.  It is an urban ruin in Detroit that reminds me of the subway that runs above Queens Blvd near the Queensboro Bridge.  I contacted him and found out that the piece was available in a variety of sizes and mounting options.  I took the plunge and bought one.  Unfortunately the one I bought was a little smaller that I realized and I feel as though I cheated myself.  The solution?  I will buy a bigger one soon.  And maybe a few others.

Then it was off to eat lunch.  What should I get? Why BBQ of course!! I did some research and I discovered that there was a very highly rated BBQ place near the Biltmore Mansion.  It was called Moe's. I set out to find it and I discovered that the area near the Biltmore was where all the action is.  I didn't have time to check it out but I will have to return and see it.

As I was looking for Moe's BBQ I saw Moe's Mexican. I thought it funny that there was more than one Moe's within walking distance of each other.  I was almost expecting Moe's from The Simpson's to show up. I made it to Moe's BBQ and I was dismayed to discover it was empty.  This was not a good thing.  Good restaurants are usually jammed so empty is a bad omen.  I didn't need to worry.  Within seconds of my placing an order the place had a line out the door.  I guess timing is everything. I wound up getting the pulled pork sammy with spicy pickles, slaw, fries and sweet tea. My mouth had an orgasm.

I had to make some business calls in Tennessee the next day and I won't go into the details but I did stop for BBQ just south of Sweetwater on my way out of town. This was far and away the WORST BBQ I have had in a very long time.  Overdone ribs, slimy beans and limp fries. A cloud of disappointment hovered over me for several hours as I drove south.  The only cure?  More BBQ.

I stopped for gas in Georgia and asked if there was good BBQ nearby.  The guy told me he had a smoker out back and he would fix me a plate.  It was heaven. Sliced pork, smoked turkey and home made sausage.  Also excellent smoky beans. We got to talking and he said that he only did it for some friends and family but he was feeling generous that day.  Then he realized I was from NY and he laughed and said if he had known he never would have offered.  I don't know if he was joking but I am glad I got the food.

I made it down to Live Oak, FL that night.  That is where they hold Magnolia Fest (along with several other Fests) right on the banks of the famous Suwanee River.  They even have a sign telling you that you are crossing over it.  The sign says it is World Famous so I guess it must be. I checked into my hotel and the next day I discovered that the music wouldn't start until 4pm that day.  That meant I had about 6 hours to kill.  What to do?  Why more BBQ of course!!

There are 3 or 4 BBQ places in Live Oak but everyone said I had to go to Ken's.  They were right.  It was great.  I had a combo plate with ribs and pulled pork, collards, slaw and beans.  A great value and very tasty. Traditional style ribs and pulled pork with good sides (collards with onion and spicy beans). But then I realized I still had 4 hours to kill.  I went back to the hotel and asked if there was a poker room nearby.  Incredibly there was.  About 8 miles away in a Jai Alai fronton.

Off I went and soon I was walking in to a sad looking place with a single table going.  What the heck.  I bought in for $150.00 and started playing.  And winning.  In a short time I was up $400.00 without very much effort.  In poker parlance this is called a soft room. I love soft rooms.  I soon discovered that the money was secondary to most of the regulars.  It was just their way of socializing.  Whatever but I felt I had to come back before I went home.

Then it was off to the Fest.  I pulled in and I had to pick up my wristband and parking permit. They gave them to me and pointed me off to the music.  The Fest was held at the Spirit of the Suwanee music park and campground right on the banks of the world famous Suwanee River.  Oh wait I already wrote that.  The grounds had several different venues for the music but they were only using the Amphitheater that evening. I made my way over there and realized that I should have brought a camp chair.  It turns out that you can sit in any empty seat until the rightful owner reappears but I still felt uncomfortable.  I vowed to go to Wal-Mart the next day and buy a chair. More on that later.

Now I wasn't familiar with many of the acts but I was blown away by several of them. The first group I saw was Col. Bruce Hampton and Friends.  Now I don't know if Bruce is really a colonel but he plays great keyboards with a blues beat.  Very tight and clean with a lot of range.  Next up was Grandpa's Cough Medicine.  They are a traditional bluegrass band with great interplay on the melody. Very easy to listen to. Then came the last band of the day, Railroad Earth.  They are kind of like a newer version of the Grateful Dead.  Which is appropriate because the whole place had the feel of a Grateful Dead concert including the tie dye shirts and poor artwork for sale. All that was missing was a hit of 4 way and it would have been perfect.

Railroad Earth was great although I can't point to any particular song because I was engaged in conversation with Joan who was there with her family to see Nikki Talley perform the next day. Nikki is Joan's niece and she convinced me to come to the show instead of playing more poker.

Mike and his wife Amy were showing up later the next day and the music started early. There was a Wal-Mart next to the hotel and I went to buy a folding camp chair. Now I don't know if any of you have seen the pictures depicting the people of Wal-Mart (or Walmartians) but I have always laughed and said they can't be true.  Well they are.  It was all I could do to keep from staring continuously at the freak show that was parading around me. It was better than I could have imagined.  I particularly liked the various styles of multi-colored mullets and the ultra tight clothing.

Armed with my new chair I went to see the Corbitt Brothers at the Meadow Stage (the largest venue) and then Nikki Talley at the Porch Stage (looks like an old time saloon porch).  Nice traditional country acts that had a very wide range. Mike and Amy showed up and we got into the music. Grandpa's Cough Medicine played at the Meadow and the Travelling McCoury's at the Music Hall. The Travelling McCoury's are the son's of Del McCoury who is a true country music legend.  They play standard modern bluegrass with great vocals and harmony.  Very good indeed.  And then came a real eye opener.

They were Beebs and Her Moneymakers.  They were dressed as if they were Japanese Anime characters and they bopped to a solid ska beat that was very easy to get into.  They had an eclectic mix of instruments that produced a very full, solid sound.  I vowed to listen to more of their stuff in the future. After Beebs came the Travelling McCourys yet again.  This time with Keller Williams.  Great interplay between them. They really seemed to enjoy playing together and the crowd let them know it.

The last act of the evening (for me anyway) was Kris Kristofferson. Now I love Me and Bobbi McGee (or Bobby McGee depending on who was singing it) and I really wanted to hear Kris sing it.  It was not what I was expecting.  Kris seemed to have limited interest in being there. I commented about this out loud and several people said that this was as good as he has been in a long time. If this is as good as it gets then I was very disappointed. I guess its just his style. I was so exhausted that I didn't stay for John Prine or Stephen Marley.

The next day was going to be my last.  It was Saturday and I had to get back to the office so I planned on getting there Monday morning so that meant Sunday was a driving day. This also meant that I had to check out the other BBQ place in town, Big Daddy's.  I pulled in as they were opening and it was already busy.  I asked the waitress what the best thing on the menu was and she said, "Deep fried ribs".  Deep fried?  I was intrigued.  I ordered them and watched some college football while I was waiting.

They appeared soon enough accompanied by some beans and mac and cheese.  The ribs had some breading on them and they looked and smelled delicious.  One bite confirmed they were delicious.  In fact I ordered a second plate they were so good. I will have to pry the recipe out of them. Maybe I can trade them duct tape for it.  And remember, for all of your tape needs give us a call at TAPE-RITE, 1-800-882-7348.

I decided that I would play poker for a bit before I went to see the music.  I got there at 1 and the one table was going.  I bought in for $150.00 and sat down.  There was a guy in the 7 seat (I was in the 3) who kept straddling.  I have never been a big fan of the straddle and I felt he was just using it to bully people.  I called him down on it twice and he had air.  After that he slowed down a little bit.  I was up $100.00 or so and I was going to be the button so I told everyone that I was leaving after I was the button.

I had J-7 off and Mr. Straddle made it $25.00 to go.  Now since everyone knew he probably had nothing the whole table called except the small blind.  The flop was Jd, 7d and 10c.  2 pair. The big blind checked to Mr. Straddle who went all in for $40.00 more.  Everyone in front called the $40.00 so I jammed for $225.00 or so more.  I expected some respect but everyone else went all in except the 2 seat who had me covered.  He just called.  I figure there was $1500.00 on the table.  In a 1-2 game.

I told the dealer to wait a second before we all showed our hands.  I said that everyone else had a draw, that I was the only one that paired up.  I was right (well Mr. Straddle had a pair of 10's).  There were 5 straight draws and 2 flush draws.  I faded the turn but 2 seat made Broadway on the river.  Phooey. I was still up and not too unhappy so I said good-bye but I will be back next year.  How can I not ?This room was a blast to play. Then it was off to the music.

Mike and Amy had gotten there earlier and were camped out in the front row of the Amphitheatre.  I found them and set-up my chair. I got there in time to see the Honey Island Swamp Band.  Great Southern sound with good picking and nice rhythms. We had some time before the next act at the Amphitheater so we went to the Meadow and saw Jason Lamar & The Big Damn band.  They are actually only a trio but they really rocked it.  They were kind of like heavy metal country.  Very good indeed. Then back to our seats to see the Duhks (pronounced ducks).  They are a Canadian band (from Manitoba) and they were fronted by two nice Jewish kids named Leonard Podolak and Jessee Havey.  They played a very broad range including samba, zydeco, traditional country and more.  Very good all around.  I bought one of their CD's and it is good listening.

Then we had a dilemma.  The next band at the Amphitheater was Donna the Buffalo. I had never heard of them (herd of them?) before but they have rabidly passionate fans who started swarming in and removing people's chairs so they could get as close to the stage as possible.  We had wanted to see Mavis Staples but we didn't want to lose our spots so we stayed put.  We were like an island of serenity in a sea of madness.

The Buffalo (Buffaloes?) came on stage and started playing.  Each song was like a classic Grateful Dead jam lasting 10 minutes or so.  Very good rhythm but no real beginning or end. But since we had good seats it was not so bad.  The crowd respected our position and let us sit while they were bopping non-stop.  Just like a Dead concert.

The last act of the night (for me anyway) was Willie Nelson and Family.  I have seen Willie a bunch of times and he is OK but I just wasn't into it.  Around midnight I had had enough and I said my good nights and goodbyes to Mike and Amy.  I had a great time and I told them I would come back next year.  Which I will for the poker and BBQ too.

 On the way home I stopped in Savnnah, GA to see an old friend who had just gone through a messy divorce.  She was happy to see me and told me it was her son's 18th birthday.  We all went out for a seafood boil to celebrate (my treat) and then back into the car.  I would like to report that I made it home Monday morning but the morass that is Washington, DC caught me in its web.

Now I have been driving from Florida to New York for a long time and I am usually pretty good at navigating around DC.  Until now.  I am not quite sure what happened but it must have taken a monumental rift in the force to cause this traffic.  Or maybe not.  Washington can get stupid.  I mean, just look who we send there.

I did make it back Monday afternoon.  Exhausted, happy and grateful (but not dead) that I had gone.  Til next year.

I need a miracle, everyday -- Bob Weir

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Dear House

I have been lax in my commitment to the blog.  I have been meaning to write but I was waylaid by other stuff.  Like obsessing over the paint scheme for the entry. Actually it wasn't so much the paint scheme as the thought of taping off all of the molding.  Now that it's done its schweeet and I am motivated to finish the living room.  I am done with the prep, always the hardest part. Priming is scheduled for this weekend. Now I just have to obsess over the color scheme for it.

The last time I wrote about the house I was waiting for my kitchen cabinet situation to be straightened out.  It has been fixed and my kitchen is gorgeous.  Sometimes I stand and stare at it in amazed wonder that it really looks as good as I had planned. Here is a picture. 

You may look at it and sneer because of the small size but it packs a lot of oomph into a very small space. I included many design features that I had lusted after for many years. Notice the under cabinet lighting in the photo.  It's actually pretty cool and useful. I also included one of those pull out spice cabinets.  Not as utilitarian as I had hoped but it is good for holding pasta and canned stuff. If I did it over I don't think I would go this route. I would have made the drawers wider instead,
My favorite appliance is the dishwasher.  I haven't had one in 8 years and it is a joy to have one again.  Not having a dishwasher limited what I would cook.  I didn't want to spend more time cleaning than cooking.  Now I don't have to.  It will also allow me to take advantage of my new gas range. I love it too but not quite as much as the dishwasher. I had a poker game a month back and it did a great job of heating the appetizers.  It also cooks a mean French toast with sausage. 

It struck me as I was preparing to obsess over the living room that I bought this place almost a year ago. A lot has happened since then and I am very pleased with the results.  Both with the house and with life in general.  Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.  But I can't dismiss the connection. My decisions have been paying dividends and my disposition is much better.  I have also been eating more fiber so that may have something to do with it too.

That's all for now about the house but there is so much that has happened I am going to be posting again soon.

I was in the house when the house burned down -- Warren Zevon