20 March, 2017

Update on the van

How about an update on the van to rv project?

This is a smallish one and it’s all about making a butcher-block counter top.
We went to Lowes and got a nice piece of Aspen and then I put food grade Butcher Block oil on it. In the video you will see that I have six layers of it on the wood. It’s a very pretty wood and with the oil on it I think you’ll agree it’s brilliant.

Have a great day. 

13 March, 2017

Van to RV Plans

     With Summer not to far off it’s a good time to start planning where and what you’re going to be doing. My wife and I will probably be camping a lot this year which brings up my van to rv conversion project. I live in Minnesota and the van is much to large to get into my garage so any work that I’ve been doing has been outside and in the snow. Yes, you’re right that does mean that it’s been going slower than usual even for me. If we go back in time to my other entries you’ll notice over and over one common denominator. I have very little experience with construction. Which means that this whole project is a big challenge for me and something I am very excited to learn about.
Today, let’s talk about the counter top, flooring, and the water situation.

Countertop, sink, and the junk that holds it all in place.
    
    We’ve decided on the counter top and the type of wood it’s going to be. We’ve also decided on the height, length, and depth of it as well. The counter top is going to be Aspen with a butcher block oil all over it to protect it. The height will be between 33 and 43 inches, the length around 5 feet, and the width/depth (I get those confused all the time) about 18 inches.
Counter top
 Aspen, as you can see in the picture is a light wood and sort of reminds me of Pine a little bit. The height was completely dictated by the window it’s going to be sitting in front of, the length will be five feet because that’s all the space we've got on that side of the van.
    “What’s going to hold it up”, you ask? Well, that’s the part I’m excited about. If all goes well it’s going to be a light skeleton frame tall enough to fit two or three of these plastic drawers under and strong enough to hold the counter in place. 
Storage under the sink.
      As far as an outside covering I think we’re going to use anything we can find for the sides but leave the front open. When I say open what I mean is we’re going to have some kind of draw string curtain covering. Now this is just an idea and it can change. The reason we’re leaving the front open is weight. We’re trying to keep the weight down. Weight and gas mileage don’t play well together and as it is we get between 12 - 18 miles per gallon. Imagine with all this wood.

Under the sink
The Sink
The cute drain plug
     The sink is made out of a big red plastic rectangle thing we found at Goodwill. I’ve drilled a hole large enough to put a drain in and after I get the counter top oiled up I’ll cut a space in it. Of course it’s one thing to say something like this and quite another to actually do it. When that happens I’ll be sure to get photo’s and we’ll have fun watching it.

Water

    We’re still deciding on the containers, but have decided on where and how it’s going to work. There will be two containers located right underneath the sink. One will be fresh water and the other will be gray water. That’s it. Chances are they’ll both be bungee corded in place.

Flooring

     We were looking for the perfect flooring for our little camper van thingy. That's a technical term by the way. 'Thingy'. We checked out Menards, Lowes, and any other place that we thought might sell that sort of thing. Eventually we found an open box item. It was way cheaper and although it’s not our favorite color we’re good with it. You can see it’s darker, but that’s okay with us. We did get this at Lowes, and we figure one box will cover the floor in our little van. 
      As you can see the plan is finally at a place where we can really start putting it all together. Now all we do is hope for some sunny days. When that happens I’ll be sure to take more photos.

Keep it tuned here for more updates.
Thanks for taking the time to read and hang out here. You're awesome!!


-Trevor Marty




06 March, 2017

Date Night

Today’s entry is a night out on the town.
Elissa and I went for a long walk on a date night earlier this Winter. We have several favorite places to eat where we live and one of them is our very own Food Coop.
Follow along as we go for a nice little walk to the coop, but stay tuned because in the end you get to hear all about how good it was.

We hope only joy for you.

Trevor


27 February, 2017

That Sacred Bean

Today’s blog is all about coffee, and it has a video to accompany it.

Ring ring. Ring ring. It’s coffee calling, and it’s wondering why you haven’t come over an hung out recently.
According to Wikipedia coffee can trace it’s origins as far back as the 10th century, and most think it started in Ethiopia later spreading to the Middle-East and then the world.
My favorite is an Italian roast. It’s just so rich in color and flavor. However I have at times settled for a blend. My food coop has a nifty little blend it calls breakfast blend and it is well thought of.

How about a momentary bit of a digression? Once upon a time I had a gig at a smallish coffee joint in the Twin Cities area. It was a small place near the border of Minneapolis and St. Paul a sort of no man's land. Part of the payment was a pound of coffee and they had this lovely blend called...are you ready for this? It was called, ‘Obama Blend’. It was a mix of Hawaiian Kona with a lovely Kenyan. It was the best!!! It was also expensive so it was good that it was part of the gig payment.

I have a French Press at home which I use with religious vigor every morning. Did you know it was patented in 1929 by an Italian fellow named, Attilio Calimani? Pretty cool huh?
The sound of the grinder buzzing away accompanying the musical sound of the tea pot bringing the water to a boil really perks me up.

In this video though I am using a Bialetti six cup cappuccino maker. It cooks on the stove top and is super. You really must get one.
Here it is the video where you get to watch me making cappuccino. Ah sort of. 

20 February, 2017

Thunder Bay


Thunder Bay
The video which accompanies this blog post was performed at the same place as the last blog post. Which is Kinney Creek Brewery in Rochester, Mn. My friend Dedrick Benz was playing with me, and unfortunately I had a bad camera angle, so you don’t really get to see him.

This is a song I wrote thirty or forty thousand years ago...eh give or take. If I remember right the humans were just starting the agrarian journey. The song is all about escapism. I think we are all escapist of one variety and density or other. By that I mean to say we each have our own thing that we do to get through the day, week, month, bad times. For some it’s drugs, booze, sex, eating, buying stuff and I’m not making a judgement call on any of them or the people who do them. I’m just saying we each have our own thing that we do and to deny it is to not really know yourself. For me it’s the road. The road for me represent hope, new beginnings, transformations, regeneration. It’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. What new journey lies ahead?
So for myself my escapist tendency is to regenerate and start again.
This is a song about that.

16 February, 2017

Couple of great gigs this weekend.

Albeit a tad late here it is. Monday’s blog.

    This weekend I had a couple of gigs One which was expected and one which was not expected. Each one had it’s wonders and happiness. I have included a brief video which has stuff from the first gig at Kinney Creek. Next week there will be another video.  My pal Dedrick Benz from birder fame played with me on the first one but wasn’t able to for the second one because of previous obligations.
    The first one was at a place we play at quite a bit called, Kinney Creek Brewery. **LINK** While physically intimate in size it is large in character and spirit. They make all of there own beer and some pack quite a punch at around 4.5 % to around 8%. They also have two life size Jenga games, a life size Connect Four, and a game called Hammer Schlagen which you really should try. It’s great fun. This happened on Friday from 7-10.

    The next day I played the same hours but at a joint called, ‘Five West’ **LINK** Five West is located almost outside of town by the county road which circumvents our city. Olmsted County 22 if you’re interested. It’s in a new building which is made to look sort of like a garage you might bring the car in for a tune up at. By that I mean to say the walls on one side are all garage doors which in the summer (presumably) they go up and you can eat and drink outside. A larger place than the previous gig they have 13 televisions on sports channels and a large full bar. Now don’t confuse this with a sports bar although it does have high ceilings and can get loud too. It is a place you will want to dress up a bit to go to. The food is among the best in the city, and so are the drinks. They have a daily happy hour, a late night happy hour, and they serve breakfast. I have tried the shrimp tacos and loved them.
    It’s a little hard to do sound here because they pack quite a crowd and it can get a little noisy. All of that aside though. I had a brilliant time, and the little children who were there did too. I had a few of them dancing to the music. I just love when that happens. I think I should take some cues from the Okee Dokee Brothers, and Jack and Kitty Norton and learn some children’s songs not to mention writing a few. I got quite a few compliments at this place but didn’t get any video from the gig itself but I did get some photo’s. Which will be included in this post. 

My set up at Five West
video


Well, here’s to you. I wish you all the best in everything you do. Lets not forget to mention happiness and groovitude as well.
Here is the first of the two videos I’ve worked out. Both are from the Kinney Creek Gig. This one is a song called, “I’m not laughing now” by the great Cam Waters.



Next weeks will be a video of a tune I wrote about a billion years ago when the dinosaurs were still roaming around.
Both of these videos were recorded at a bar with a full crowd, so it is intimate, warm, and does have some crowd sounds.
Trevor Marty

06 February, 2017

Tax Season, and not Politics.

     What am I going to write about this Monday? I’m not to sure, but I can tell you what it’s not going to be about. It won’t be about politics. Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I do. It just means that I am sick of it all and want to begin focusing on others things too.

    Well, it’s tax season and I could be writing about taxes. I could do a tutorial about how to do it yourself, but I won’t. How about I just say what I do and well leave it at that.
It’s not the most exciting of topics, but it’s necessary.
Taxes well. Here’s how I do it. I keep the receipts for everything that I’ve bought for music and/or house and car fixing. The house and car because I drive to the gigs so that counts and I have a separate room where I do music stuff.
Music:
  • strings,
  • office stuff,
  • instruments,
  • instrument repair, that sort of thing.
Office:
  • paper for the printer,
  • printer ink,
  • envelopes,
  • stamps,
  • staples,
  • folders.
    Anything that can be used for the office part of the music business. What’s that you ask? Clothes? Yes, if you use the cloths for your shows and the shows only. Sure. If not then no. Gas or mileage? For what I do I have to choose and it’s still better for me to write off the mileage. That means every time you go to the store to buy staples or strings. Every time you go to a gig, or go to get gas, or go to a place that has music and you want to investigate playing there. Yes, all of those things are included. I am terrible at this. Terrible with a capital T.
Then you want to collect and keep track of all your profits.
This includes:
  • Tips
  • Fees
  • Sales as in cd sales, dvds, ect. Don’t forget the sales tax
    If you keep track of all of these things you’ll be fine. Now let's say you’ve got a gig that you play at a lot and you’ve earned $600 dollars or more from this joint over that calendar year. They will need to send you a little paper which states that they paid you whatever it was they paid you for the year. It’s called a 1099. You see they probably haven’t taken any taxes out and if that’s true then you’re going to be responsible for paying taxes on that income. That is unless you can offset it with all of the things you’ve bought for the business and can count the whole year as a loss. Hey don’t worry if you’ve made a profit that only means that you’re a success. Groovy. Congratulations. I am officially jealous.

    All of these things go into a nice little folder/bag/shoe box/sewn up underwear type of thing plus any W2’s you might have from standard jobs which you have worked that year. It all goes to a tax person. I bring mine to a very nice lady whom we lovingly call, ‘The Great Omnipotent Tax Mama’. As we go into her office we bow on our knees for exactly 5 minutes while offering candied bacon to her majesty. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

    Now this is by no means a complete list of things you should do. It’s just one musicians slant on what happens at this time of year.
Do your homework, and check around for good accountant. It doesn’t have to be a crazy stressful time. Especially if you have candied bacon.
See you next week