I've felt all this past week as if I should be blogging, but I've been too busy and too distracted. The Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara has occupied much of my attention. The fire not only devastated the foothills, but threatened the town itself. The neighborhood where I grew up was within a mile or or of the fire's perimeter and was under mandatory evacuation for a while; some friends of mine were also prepared to evacuate. I am saddened by the damage to the Botanical Garden, which was one of my favorite places; but it wasn't completely destroyed and I hope the damaged areas will be rebuilt and replanted. The fire is still in progress and is less than 50% contained, but the threat now seems to have lessened and the fire has moved north and west rather than south towards the town and suburbs, so things are looking up.
The in-laws paid us a visit on Friday and Saturday. I'm always happy to see them, and this brief visit was in part to deliver a car we bought from them for our son to use at college next year. We had a couple of nice dinners, some good conversation, and some excellent games with Joan. Although I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and wished the visit could have come either last weekend or next, it all worked out. I even found time to practice.
Why practice? Because on Monday and Tuesday, I'll be recording with Ted Shafer's Jelly Roll Jazz Band. For most of the group, this is a "ho-hum, another recording" event, but for me it's a very big deal. I have recorded before, but never in such professional surroundings; and I have only rarely been privileged to play with such a fine group of musicians. I definitely feel like the junior member of the group (my actual age notwithstanding) and am mostly hoping not to embarrass myself. Fortunately for all concerned I'll be playing second cornet, and for good or ill my efforts won't be too prominent. This, along with the fire, has been the main thing on my mind all week. I've been working hard on it, both at rehearsals and at home.
On the game design front there is little news. I now have two designs in the hands of publishers, and I'm back in the "hurry up and wait" mode. I have nearly completed the Spatial Delivery prototype (still have to paint the spaceships) that I'm building just to have handy, and I finally got off the dime and sent Seth his promised copy of Hammer and Spike. I'm looking forward to his group's feedback on that one.
And that's all for now. I gotta go practice!