Friday, May 25, 2018

Tiki Torches Work

SHERYL WENT OUT the other night and bought some Tiki torches and bug spray for our backyard. For some reason mosquitoes and other flying insects like her sweet blood, making working in the garden and being outside virtually impossible. So we have the torches and spray and hope it will make it somewhat tolerable.

We stuck four of the torches around our patio and fire pit. Guess what? They work! I was out there last night and flicked off a skeeter or two, but was pretty much left alone.

I just took a brief stroll outside of the store, where Gus Macker preparations are under way, and it's really buggy in Washington Park. That doesn't include the Outside People (they seemed quite thick this week too). If you are coming down here for the hoopfest, take my advice and bring some bug spray.

What if we just got a massive Tiki torch and planted it in the middle of the park? Wish it was that easy.

It's going to be in the 90s and humid and there's a good chance of rain tomorrow. In other words, it's Memorial Day Weekend in the Q-Town, bugs and all. We are ready to rock and roll!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Move out and move on, deadbeat son

THIS STORY HAS been making national news, and it falls under the You Can't Make It Up category.

A 30-year-old man living with his parents is being evicted. The parents want him out. He doesn't want to leave. So they went to court, and what he told the judge and the media after the hearing defies belief. You can read more here.

We know more than a few people like this - we get a few in the store, to be honest. I guess it's just a hard thing to relate to - man, I couldn't wait to get out of the house when I was, uh .... 18? Sheryl was the same way, leaving for college the day AFTER she graduated from high school. I had to live at home my first year of college and I hated it.

Same goes for Emily. She went to Western Illinois for college and thoroughly enjoyed moving out, even though it was in a dorm. She's very independent and thrived when getting out of the house.

This guy in New York is so blatantly oblivious that it's almost as sad as it is ludicrous and laughable. He simply has no clue or moral compass for being responsible. I could go on about how this seems to be a national trend and starts from the top, but I'll be quiet and stick to the task at hand.

Then again, I know a woman who lives at home who is about my age. She is very close to her family, particularly her mother. She'd rather be around them and they like it when she's around. She is happy, they are happy, so it all works out.

Of course she has a very good job and is a really good person, two huge advantages over the deadbeat son from New York. You really have to wonder how he'd fare out on his own, but by now I think the parents are beyond caring and simply want to get on with their lives - the empty nest thing rocks, you know.

So here's to moving out and being independent, and to parents who lay down the law .... even if they have to go to court.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Macker Weekend sale

IT MIGHT BE a challenge to get to the store this weekend with Gus Macker in town, so we are having a Gus Macker Weekend sale to make it worth your while.

Starting today and ending Sunday afternoon, all Ibanez, Dean, Alvarez and half-size guitars are 15 percent off. 15%. That could save you a lot of dough if you are interested in an awesome new guitar.

We will be open our regular 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours on Saturday, and we'll also be open Sunday. "Our hours Sunday will depend when Sheryl gets up and when Sheryl wants to go home," Sheryl says.

The sale ends Sunday. We will also be open our regular hours (10-6) on Monday, Memorial Day, because I have a full day of lessons. Come out and enjoy some basketball Saturday and Sunday - we are here!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gnats are ga-ross

THE GNATS AND flying bugs are really thick this spring in Q-Town. We've had a lot of rain and warm weather lately, perfect conditions for gnashing of teeth when fighting off gnats.

It's pretty gnarly when you can't open your mouth when you go outside, lest you ingest a bunch of bugs. I had to smoke a huge gastogie Sunday just so the bugs would leave.

Ggo away!
Sheryl had been trying to get out and weed the ga-garden, but the bugs are too thick. They like her sweet blood and swarm around her when she tries to work outside. It's pretty gross, when she comes in covered in dead gnats and mosquito gabites.

You would think putting gnomes in the ga-garden would keep gnats away. But the gnats are still gnarly and there isn't gamuch you can gado about it.

This weekend is Ggus Macker and I hope the bugs won't be too gabad. Maybe we can get the city to gaspray the park so the bugs aren't so gathick.

And I will end this blog now before I spell too many ga-words with a hard G, even though they don't have a hard G. My spelling isn't ggreat anyway.

Ggo away, bugs!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Macker weekend and getting to the store

IT'S ONE OF our favorite weekends of the year, when the Gus Macker basketball tournament comes to downtown Quincy. I am not going to be fair and biased about this - I am employed by Gus Macker in the summers, and for this tournament I'm the event chairman. Basically I keep a lot of the behind the scenes stuff running and make sure the staff (mostly from Michigan) gets it done. They always work hard and they are a blast to be around. It's not that hard, but you have to move and juggle a bunch of stuff at once, and realize you can't make everybody happy.

There are businesses down here that don't like Gus Macker, and I can understand it. The streets around Washington Park, and Maine between Fifth and Sixth, are closed from Friday night to Sunday night. It makes access an issue, and not everybody who comes down here behaves. One good thing this year is that we are not putting any courts by Fifth and Jersey, so it's just around Washington Park and up to Sixth Street on Maine.

But, unlike other events that used to be here, Macker tries its best to clean up and to address troublesome issues. The Quincy Exchange Club runs the tournament from the local level and they do a fantastic job. The Quincy Notre Dame football team provides manpower and helps set up, tear down and clean up. A big welcome to new coach Jack Cornell, who will lead the charge this weekend.

We will be open Saturday and even Sunday for a while, but we know we probably won't do a lot of business. It does bring people down here and we've actually had a lot of people discover that we are at Fifth and Maine, which is a good thing. Memorial Day Weekend probably wouldn't be big saleswise anyway.

If you are looking for stuff this weekend, our advice is to either get here Friday, or if you do come down, just be prepared to deal with a lot of people and park a few blocks away.

Meanwhile, we are ready for Gus, and hopefully we have good weather and a good tournament.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Projects done, more projects await

IF LIFE IS about projects, we seem to take a step forward, only to realize there are a ton of steps still waiting.

In a short time, we've gotten our second-floor roof finished at the store. We have a new AC unit up there, too. Our friend Nick is in town from Colorado and will finish off some plumbing issues this week - he pronounced the hot water heater in our second-floor bathroom sink dead, so he's putting in a new one. So checklist items at the store are getting checked.

At home, Sheryl's garden is going crazy and I have to mow every two days. She also finished a three-year fence project, panel by panel, in our backyard. She even got our solar-powered garage door opener to work, mostly.

Of course she still needs to caulk our leaky upstairs shower, both the front and back porches are in desperate need of paint jobs, and Sheryl wants to yank out the tub in our downstairs bathroom and replace it with a walk-in shower.
We can't even remember why this roof needed done.

Our hardwood floors still need to be restored and re-finished, and there's the kitchen ceiling, which hasn't been fixed since we had it torn off three years ago to find the upstairs leaks. Wait, we also need to tile the bathrooms and the kitchen. It. Never. Ends. Sheryl has a long list of projects and she never quite seems to get ahead of them. Too bad I can't really help, except when she needs a tall person to hold or get something....

I worked my last night shift on the sports desk at The Whig for this sports season, so it will be nice to properly enjoy Friday Happy Hour(s) at the store for the next few months.

Then there's the whole matter of getting better at playing shifting pentatonic scales in different keys, but I'm working at that every day and slowly getting better.

It's just like getting stuff done, project by project. Like Sheryl says, slow and steady wins the race. I will happily watch as she slowly gets things done. Wait - Sheryl needs to fix my internet and clean the computer today. Busy busy busy!