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27 March 2010 @ 09:29 am
Greetings All!!!

Well, after being together for over three years, Ithiriel and I are now officially married (Yay!!!) All the hard work and planning came together, some of it at the last minute, in true fannish style. The ceremony and reception were wonderful. We want to thank all our good friends and family for attending and for all your help. We couldn't have done it without you.

Our two week honeymoon in Hawaii was wonderful, far beyond anything I could have imagined. Now that we're back, we are starting to make some progress on dealing with the mess-disaster we left behind and on getting our lives back to something like normal. We are currently working on collecting and organizing wedding and honeymoon pictures and video. Since we didn't hire any professional photographers, we would really appreciate it if people who took pictures at the wedding could provide us with copies. Please contact us if you have photos, or know someone who does.

Thanks also to all the folks who gave us gifts. We will be getting Thank You cards in the mail in the next week or so. Thanks again to everyone.


Art and Cynthia Warneke
19 August 2008 @ 08:45 am
I am currently trying to recover from yet another spectacular weekend spent at Milwaukee Irishfest. It was so warm and sunny over the weekend that my forearms and the back of my neck got significantly sunburned.
 got toasted a little also.  Once again, this year, my friends and I attended the festival Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Since
managed to avoid double-booking herself for Irishfest weekend as she did last year, she was able to join us again as usual this year. Our friends Bill, the fiddle player from St. Louis, Lisa from Evanston, and
  joined us again this year giving us a maximum number of 6 people in our party.
  was interested in joining us this year, but unfortunately, she had a family commitment this weekend and couldn't make it. Maybe next year! Our house isn't that big, so finding accommodations  for everyone was a bit of a challenge, but we managed it. Lisa came up from Evanstion the Sunday before the festival and spent the week with us so she could attend educational classes offered by Irishfest during the week leading up to the festival. She took classes in bodhran (irish drum) and set dancing.
 got into town too late to attend the Festival Friday night but Bill did make it early enough and met us on the grounds.

The music on Friday night was incredible. It started at 4:00 PM with Blarney, a local 3 man Irish pub band that does typical Irish folk music similar to the Irish Rovers, with good harmony vocals and great stage presence. Next was Solas, one of my all time favorite Celtic bands. They have a wonderfully sophisticated take on Celtic music, doing a kind of celtic fusion with elements of pop and/or jazz thrown in. This was the first time they've been at Irishfest since I started going, so it was a great treat for me to see them. For me, they were the musical highlight of the weekend. After that was Eileen Ivers and her band, Immigrant Soul. She used to be the fiddle player with Riverdance. She is one of the hottest, most high energy fiddlers I've ever seen, in the same class as Liz Carroll and Donell Leahy. Her band didn't have any new material from the last time I saw them a few years ago and their performance was not quite as "high energy" as the last time I saw them, but it was still very good. After that was a new Scottish basnd called Lau who were OK followed by another new Scottish band called Bodega who we very good. Bill liked them well enough to get one of their CDs. Lau was playing on the Tiperary stage near the Tiperary tea room so I was able to get my traditional slice of McFest cream cheesecake (made with Bailey's Irish Cream)  and cup of hot tea while listening to them.

Saturday started out with Atlantic Wave, a decent local band that does Cape Breton style Celtic music. After that, there was a bit of a hole in our schedule in which there weren't any bands that we especially  wanted to see, so we spent the time checking out the numerous merchants selling anything and everything Celtic. I managed to restrain myself and only got 4 CDs this year.
ithiriel got some very nice Celtic themed jewelery and t-shirts. Everybody found things they liked and probably spent more money than they should. It's hard not to when you find so many wonderful things you can't find anywhere else all in one place and the quality of the items offered is so high. The find I'm most pleased with was at Waltons, a major music supply store from Ireland that always has a huge display of songbooks and instruments for sale at Irishfest. They usually mostly have bodhrans for sale, along with some cool percussion toys, but this year, they had a fantastic selection of penny whistles in an amazing range of keys. They had some smaller whistles at 3 for $10.00 and larger, better made, all aluminum whistles for $15.00 each. I got 6 whistles in total. When I went back to Walton's on Sunday, wanting to pick out one or two more whistles, they only had 3 of the nice aluminum whistles left out of 3 boxfulls. I spent the evening on the North end of the grounds checking out the Leinie's Rock stage. First up was Seven Nations, a fairly hard Celtic rock group I've heard before. They are a favorite of my friend Joe, who is an awesome drummer, who helped me out a few years ago by performing with me when I did a concert at Windycon. As I expected, I saw Joe at the concert and introduced him to
ithiriel.  She is interested in learning to play bodhran. so we can do music together.  He had his bodhran with him so afterwards, he was able to give her some tips. After that was the "Screaming Orphans" an amazing all girl Celtic Pop-Rock group who put on a wonderful show. They did covers of songs by the Violent Femmes (as a tip of the hat to Milwaukee) and Guns and Roses, as well as rock versions of several traditional Celtic tunes and a handful of their own original songs, which were quite good. In addition, they had excellent stage presence and had a lot of fun bantering with the audience. The music wasn't excessively loud or harsh and so was quite enjoyable. I would recommend people check them out. The last act of the night on the rock stage was the "Peat Bog Fairies", an amazingly diverse and eclectic 8 man all instrumental Celtic rock band. Their line-up included keyboards/synthesizer, electric guitar and bass, fiddle, drum kit, bagpipes, trumpet, and alto saxophone. I got 2 of their CDs.

Sunday, our little group started to break up. Lisa, tigertoy and birder2 all left after breakfast, leaving Bill, ithiriel and myself  to head down to the festival together. Bill drove himself so he could leave directly from the festival. We got to the grounds in time to catch some of  Baal Tinne, a traditional Celtic band from the Chicago area. We ran into a couple of friends from our local Filk group at Baal Tinne, and encountered a couple more over the course of the day. After that, we caught the Barra MacNeils, one of my favorites and the Fuchsia Band later in the afternoon. After that ithiriel and I enjoyed a performance by the Trinity Irish Dancers and then caught a little bit of the Saw Doctors  before heading over to the Miller Lite Stage at 6:30 PM to see Solas again. I didn't really enjoy the Saw Doctors. They are a straight up hard rock band from Galway who incorporate a number of cultural references to their hometown into their lyrics that were quite lost on me. They played so loud that it was right on the edge of being seriously painful and the lead guitarist appeared to be more impressed with himself than Bono. They seem to have quite a following but I can't recommend them. The last act we say was another rock band called Furrey Village. They were ok, if somewhat uninspired and very eclectic in their selections. They did rock versions of several traditional Celtic tunes    with a few licks of Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water and a rock version of the John Denver song "Grandma's Feather Bed" thrown in for good measure. There were 10 people in the band so my theory is that there is a village in county Galwayy somewhere called Furrey and the band incorporates the entire population of the vilage.  After that was "the scattering", a jam session with over a hundred musicians on stage from some of the bands that performed at the fest that ended with a wonderful fireworks display. Joannie Madden from Chrish the Ladies led the final jam session. Apparently she came to enjoy the festival without the rest of her band, which was pretty cool. We got Bill onto the freeway and on his way home about 11:30 PM and then headed home to crash ourselves. Am starting to feel lest tired now but will feel better by the weekend. That's all for now. Hopefully the weather will co-operate next year as it did this year and we will all get together again and have another wonderful time.
24 July 2008 @ 07:44 am
It has been a busy Summer again as usual. The on going, eternal job of combining households and housecleaning continues. When we are not spending our weekends working around the house, we have pool parties, monthly dinners and housefilks,  anime and gaming nights to attend. We have also managed to take in several movies, including 10,000 BC, Iron Man and The Dark Knight.  ithiriel has been working again for a couple of months now at a different temp agency and things seem to be going well so far. She has also weeded out about  a quarter of my flower beds and has had fun planting a vegetable garden. We have already harvested radishes and are looking forward to beans, peppers, squash,  and eggplant. Duckcon in June was good as usual. Got to see a lot of good friends, enjoy some good music, and generally get away for the hassles of everyday life. Speaking of Duckon, I just got a care package of 13 completed filk DVDs in the mail to janmagic last Saturday afternoon. Hopefully she received them in time to take them along on her trip to Confluence.

Over the July 4th holiday weekend, we attended Summerfest here in Milwaukee twice and saw a number of bands, including Phil Lesh and Friends, Mountain, The Zombies, and Cheap Trick.  In the "good news category", we finally managed to get ithiriel's 18 foot aluminum canoe that she inherited from her folks repaired. On the recommendation of our friend who has a Summer home in Princeton WI on the Fox River near Lake Puckaway, we dropped the canoe off at a welding shop in Milwaukee to have a foot long gash in the bow repaired last year. Apparently the guy didn't really want the job but didn't want to turn down work either. After waiting a year (yes, a YEAR!!! At least we got free storage out of the deal) for this guy to find time to do the job, we retrieved the canoe around the end of June and took it out to a different guy who specializes in boat repairs. He got the job done in less than a week, in time for the July 4th holiday.  On Sunday of the July 4th weekend, we  took the canoe up to Princeton to our friend's place where we actually got it in the water and did some paddling. It was my first time in a canoe and it was a lot of fun. Although it was more stable than I expected, I didn't try to move around in the boat so I managed to avoid falling into the drink.  This is a good thing because I don't really swim well. There was a little bit of leakage from some of the other patches on the canoe but nothing serious. We were out for about an hour and only collected about a gallon of water in the bottom of the boat. Next time we go up there, I will use some JB Stick Weld epoxy paste to try to deal with the remaining leaks.

Next on the agenda this weekend is Mooncon, (stands for "Middle Of Outer Nowhere") a very small startup con in the Madison WI Area. After that is the Wisconsin State Fair (I MUST have my cream puffs!!!) and after that is Milwaukee Irishfest. tigertoy and birder2  will be joining us as usual for Irishfest, as well as ithiriel 's friend Lisa from Evanston. Some other friends have expressed interest in joining us this year but we have not heard anything definite from them yet. God willing, the house should be fit for company by then.

That's about it for now. I'm going to do a little more work in the attic now before I have to leave for work this morning. Hope everyone is having a great Summer!!!
20 April 2008 @ 08:46 am
As it just  so happened this year, Odyssey Con, a small  con in Madison Wisconsin (relatively local for me) was held on the same weekend as FilkOntario.ithiriel and I  were already pre-reged for Oddcon but were not pre-reged for FKO. Life has been expensive for me so far this year. My car decided to eat it's serpentine belt ($320.00) , a cable gave out on the overhead garage door ($125.00),  and heating (over $100.00/month more than last year) and gasoline costs have been outrageous!!! It also doesn't help thatithiriel is currently between jobs. After taking stock of the situation,  we reluctantly decided that discretion was the better part of fiscal responsibility and  so ended up attending Odysseycon instead of FilkOntario.  Hopefully we can make it to FKO next year.

Oddcon was a good time. There are some very nice restaurants within a two or three block walk of the hotel including a very nice Thai restaurant called Sai Bai Thong that we usually visit. George R.R. Martin was the Author GoH. I sat in on a panel he was on about "shared universes" in which many authors contribute to the same story line.  ithiriel has a number of books in the  "Wild Cards" series that Mr. Martin edits. His description of the way the various contractual arrangements work in his "writing consortium" was quite interesting. He also talked about Bob Aspirin's "Theive's World" universe which was one of the first such shared universes and the problems that arose between the various contributing authors.  The most memorable quote he had on the subject was that in Theive's World, the contributing author writes the first story for the money and the rest for revenge (based on what other authors do to their characters)! The con suite was great as usual with a never ending supply of frozen pizza, hot dogs, and various other munchies and beverages. They even had Sprecher's root beer on tap! There usually is a lot of gaming at Oddcon. I was hoping to get in a game of Munchkin Cthulhu but ended up mostly playing chess instead. There is usually a fair amount of MTG and a lot of other collectable card and war games played.

The art show was moderate in size with some nice fantasy pieces. Fortunately for my wallet, I didn't find anything there I couldn't live without. There were also some nice items in the dealer's room ( I picked up 2 Naruto Boxed DVD sets for $25.00 each) but  the nicest of all were from an older lady named Sybille. She and her husband are needing to move to a smaller apartment and so she was selling off some of her old art work.  Large framed pieces went for $10.00, smaller framed pieces for $5.00, and unframed pieces for $2.00.  I got about 10 pieces from her, including a number of very nice framed Robert Daniels pieces. The majority of the pieces I got were space scenes. Almost everything you see at art shows now is fantasy and I really like and prefere the space scenes so I was delighted. I was even more delighted when I got home and took a closer look at the stuff I bought. I hadn't looked closely at the one unframed piece I bought, other than to note that although the piece itself was an originial work and quite nice, the matting was very badly done.  When I started working on removing the mat from the piece, I turned it over and noticed a couple of name plates giving the title of the piece and the artist's name. Imagine my shock when I read that the title of the piece was "Nebulosity II, Still Life With Space Ship" and the Artist was Mary Jean Holmes!!!!! For those of you not up on older filk, she wrote the song "Everyman" which is an all time filk classic!!!  I'm told she used to be part of the Milwaukee filk scene years ago. Anyway, I took the piece across the street to my favorite framing shop and spent a little over $100.00 to have it properly framed. I just got it back from the framers yesterday and it looks fantastic!!!  Although wall space is at a primium at my place, I will definitely find an appropriate place to display it. After looking more carefully at the other pieces I bought, I noticed that another larger piece with a spaceship on it also had the same signature. So, I am now the proud owner of two pieces of art work by Mary Jean Holmes.

So, that was about it for the con. We bugged out Sunday afternoon and had a relaxing time the rest of the day. This weekend so far, I managed to clean up and assemble a set of plastic shelves I picked off the curb last fall which has now replaced a decomposing particle board cabinet that  used to live in a particularly messy corner of my garage. It is a major improvement  over the previous situation in many ways.  Today, I'm hoping to get more cleaning up done around the house and we are planning to go out and see the movie 10,000 BC tonight.  That's all for now.
24 February 2008 @ 09:36 am
Last night, ithiriel and I hosted the February Milwaukee house filk. calendar is FKO. Hopefully we'll be able to get a bit more work done around the house reorganizing things before then.
21 February 2008 @ 08:01 am
Got back from Capricon last Sunday afternoon. Stayed over at janmagic's place as I have the last few years and had a great time visiting with her as usual. On the way home, we stopped by  chaoticgoodchic's house to drop off her birthday card. Didn't see her at the con, so I guess she's busy with work right now. I was feeling subdued and generally lacking in energy for most of the con. I filked Friday night but got dragged off to room parties Saturday night and didn't get  back to the filk until half an hour before everything shut down. I haven't had much chance to practice lately so I didn't have any new songs worked up. I wanted to get to some of the hard science panels but never managed it.  However, I did manage to pick up some of the NASA handouts that were available. Also got a very nice framed space-scape from the art show  that I thought was one of the two or three best pieces in the show for two dollars over the minimum bid! Sometimes you just get lucky! Probably my favorite thing about this year's Capricon were the conversations and socializing with interesting, intelligent people, and good friends.

My friend Todd took me out in his SUV last night to watch the Lunar eclipse. Although the weather was very cold, the skies were  clear and cloudless, giving perfect viewing conditions. The color of the Moon at totality was quite eerie, kind of a dull yellow-orange. After totality, the edge of the Earth's shadow was clearly visible on the Moon.  All in all, a show very well worth a little discomfort.

  ithiriel and I are supposed to host a house filk at our place this Saturday, Feb. 23rd but since she's not feeling that good right now, I'm wondering how we are going to be ready in time. We'll manage it somehow. On top of that, it's colder than a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg and there is a not so small glacier running down my back alley past my garage. We have gotten more snow this season than I can remember in quite a few years. I am going to be SO glad when this winter is over!!!
Current Mood: coldcold
05 February 2008 @ 08:30 am
This morning, while we were eating breakfast, we noticed a lot of very loud bird calls obviously nearby. ithiriel asked if we were hearing geese or crows and asked me to take a look outside. After listening for a while, I said I was sure we were hearing crows and offhandedly remarked that crows have been know to mob hawks.  When I opened the front door, stepped outside and looked up, I immediately saw a large redtailed hawk perched high up in a tall maple tree right next to my house with 8 to 10 crows perched on various branches well above him. I called ithiriel out and we watched the scene for a few minutes before the hawk became annoyed at all the racket and took off, swooping low over the roof of my house and over my head before disappearing with several crows in pursuit. All things considered, quite an exciting start to the day.

This last week has been eventful and a lot of fun. Last week , ithiriel and I  attended a prospective new members meeting at my church. She is United Methodist and I am ELCA  Lutheran. She has been attending services there with me lately and had already joined the choir, but was unsure about joining the church itself.  Although there are some differences in philosophy between our denominations, they do not appear to be major.  I was a little surprised but quite pleased after she got home from choir practice last thursday when she informed me that she had filled out and handed in the application to join. I have not been very active in my church in the 10 years since my Mom died of cancer. Now that I have someone to share and enjoy the experience with, it's looking like I will be getting back to attending church more often.

On Friday of  last week, ithiriel and I attended a concert by the rock group Kansas here in Milwaukee at the Pabst theater. We had excellent seats in the 1st balcony, center, 3rd row. She won the tickets by answering trivia questions on the website for a local radio station. On Saturday, we drove out to Orchid Quest 2008, an orchid show and sale at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. It was as beautiful as always. I managed to limit myself to only buying 5 plants. We managed to get a little work done around the house before watching the Super Bowl on Sunday with friend. Last night I had my usual Monday night music practice with wilddandelion and things went reasonably well. At least I didn't fall asleep in my chair until most of the session was over! Tonight I have Anime night with friends where we will start catching up on what's going on with Naruto Shippuden. One of the bad guys Naruto's team is fighting is about to get what's coming to him. It should be interesting.

Have to put salt on the front sidewalk, hang up laundry and get out  the door to work withing the next 20 minutes. That's all for now.
Well, here it is, late on New Year's Day, our company has packed up and headed home and I find myself with a little time to burn, so here is an update on recent events in my  social life in the Milwaukee SF and filk scenes.

Current Location: Milwaukee
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Ritchie Blackmore's Night - "The Storm"
28 November 2007 @ 08:23 am
Well, this is my first attempt at a post on LJ. I still have a lot to figure out about it, but I guess I'll be learning as I go. First off, I'd like to thank everyone who friended me. I hope reading my little scribbles will be worth your time.

OVFF was great again as usual.  Janmagic, Chaoticgoodchic,  my fiance Ithiriel and I all shared the ride. Being outnumbered 3 to 1, I took more than my fair share of ribing in the "gender wars", but it  was fun traveling and sharing the experience with good friends. I didn't play much at OVFF as I was having more fun listening to everybody else. The Pegasus Awards concert was cool again as usual!  It was also cool that Lois McMaster Bujold was at OVFF this year. She was in Columbus to recieve an award and was able to get away from her other commitment to spend time with the filk community.

Windycon this year was the convention from Hell for me.  In addition to my dissatisfaction with the layout of the hotel and the fact that I came down with a serious case of food poisoning Saturday night, I was a victim of the "great pants robbery" early Saturday morning.  Someone broke into the hotel room where I and a number of other friends were staying and stole 3 pairs of pants(one of them mine) and a laptop computer  while we were all asleep!!!!! My  pants pockets were filled with my wallet, checkbook, keys, cell phone and watch. Ithiriel had a spare copy of my car key on her keychain and they didn't get her stuff so we were pretty much OK. If she hadn't insisted I bring a spare pair of good pants I would have been in worse trouble! Apparently 5 to 7 other rooms were also hit. According to a rumor I heard, one of the hotel maids apparently let some of her friends into the hotel rooms and they supposedly commited the robberies. After the fact, I heard that the hotel has been having problems with guests being robbed for some time and that some of the hotel room doors apparently don't  close properly. Thank goodness Windy is going to a new hotel next year. Hopefully it will be a much better experience. My friends insisted on carrying on with holding their party Saturday night and did a no pants theme. Lynn attached a note to her con badge saying "these aren't the pants you're looking for". I wasn't  exactly in a mood to appreciate the humor.

Chambanacon was small but a lot of fun. Some of the folks I saw at the open filk included Bill and Gretchen Roper, Erica Neely, Bill Rintz, Juanita Coulson,  Jan DiMasi, and Michael Longcor.  That's  a strong enough lineup to make any filk circle worthwhile and very enjoyable.
The Historic Lincoln hotel was  very interesting and full of old world charm with a definite Germanic feel to the decor and construction. One of the coolest things about it was that there were two suits of armor in the lobby flanking an exit that lead to a covered shopping mall. Passing through the exit  gave me the feeling of taking one of the secret passages at Hogwarts castle. I hope they can get this hotel for the con next year and that more people show up.  Now that it's back in Champaign-Urbana, hopefully it can be built back up to a level where it can regain the prominence it once had. I stayed over at Helen Parker's place so there was no possibility of my pants going missing this time!

In personal news, Ithiriel and I will be hosting a house filk  at our place in Milwaukee on Saturday December 15th that will also be a combined birthday party for us. Her B-day is December 16th and mine is December 23rd.  If anyone is interested, I can send you more details by e-mail. Now that fall convention season is over, it's time to get back to work on the house cleaning.  Hopefully my plantar fascitis won't interfere with that too much. It's now time for me to get going to work. Hope this note finds you all well. Untill next time.

Current Mood: Recovering