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Blog Archive 2015 Dec

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Tue Dec 1 = I lay in the sun at solar noon. This afternoon I contacted Terry via FaceBook of the One Love SurfShack down in the Dominican Republic about doing comedy this winter. I had stopped by and spoken with him when I was down there in July. He got back to me within a few minutes with, Hi Lou, Unfortunately, we will not be going forward with this idea this season. Best of luck to you! One Love. I also sent an email to the Barceló Hotel in Puerto Plata, where I did five minutes of comedy for their evening show.
- Comedy did not go quite as planned this evening at Dos Gringos. I was doing my mop-bucket/safety routine, having planted a mop bucket, mop and Wet Floor signs around the room. When it came time for the bucket it was no where to be found. A well-meaning employee had put it away, and I had several bits about the bucket that I couldn't do... next time...

I sold my first Arizona Lou Comedy T-Shirt this evening. Patrick Chandler, who also helped me with the mop and signs, bought my only 4X-Large shirt. I was surprised how well it fit him. As promised, all profit go to
The organization I support and through which I take non-driving seniors shopping and to their doctors' appointments
- I was surprised that I made it through my set OK with my sore throat, although by the time I got home I had a pretty significant sinus headache (left side mostly).

Wed Dec 2 = This morning I ordered eight more of my Comedy T-Shirts from T-Chip. That will give me 13 on hand with a variety of sizes. I also developed professional-looking size labels for the T-shirts with my Dymo 280 label maker. The cool thing is people will be able to see exactly which sizes and logo colors are available without even taking the shirts out of my clear vinyl bag.
- About 3:00 this afternoon I saw something in passing on TV that could be life-changing, but highly unlikely. America's Got Talent is having their first auditions in Phoenix... tomorrow. I looked at my schedule and spent the rest of the day and evening doing the online registration, organizing tomorrow, fixing meals for breakfast and dinner tomorrow and getting to bed early.
- Somehow I squeezed in a trip to Bashes for grapes on sale with an added 10% senior discount, dropping some by Denise's and putting up my Christmas Lights - the little blue LED ones around the eaves.

Thu Dec 3 = NBC'S America's Got Talent day! I set my SleepBot to wake me up at 5:50 this morning and headed toward downtown at 6:20 (10 minutes ahead of my schedule) toward the Phoenix Convention Center in some slow-n-go traffic, eating breakfast on the way and hoping I would be able to do the audition with my still-sore throat. I would guess there were about a thousand people in line for the 8:00 show-up time. We had pretty-much all pre-registered online. You can tell that AGT had done this before, by the way they had everything organized. Lots of cameras, lights, media... and waiting.
- I got away from the convention center about 1:00pm, after having the allotted 90 seconds in front of a producer. She called us in by groups with similar talents, so I went into the audition room with the only other comedian (from Tucson) in our waiting group of about 60. He did excellent impressions, including some presidents and sports figures. I did an abbreviated version of my Old Man/Roman Numerals/GPS routine. At the last minute I decided to leave out some other stuff so I could end with my Voice Surgery bit. I think that was a good decision. I think the producer liked what I did because she laughed at least ten times during my 82 seconds. I was glad I didn't go over our 90 second limit, although I don't think she would have minded much.
One of the waiting areas for America's Got Talent, Phoenix edition.       Photo by Louis Self w Galaxy Cell Phone
America's Got Talent
This statue didn't stay in the same place!       Photo by Louis Self w Phone
Waiting; Practicing; Networking; Socializing; Going on camera.       Photo by Louis Self w Galaxy S2 Cell Phone
The Crowd

- Chris Zuiker created this neat poster for Saturday night.
The Crowd
Come out to Mesa and see me an the other comedians for a fun show.

Fri Dec 4 = Today I started my Christmas letter, started the repair sequence for my Olympus VN-7200 voice recorder, as the STOP button doesn't work very well. Of course I worked on comedy ideas for tomorrow night.
- I have been working up to it for several days. The tough part was putting it on and fastening the clip with my bad right hand. I successfully accomplished that after loosening the straps a little. So... I put my HARNES ON FOR THE FIRST TIME and did my first harnes hang, to toughen up for my next kiteboarding tyrip.

Sat Dec 5 = Some Christmas gifts arrived. This evening I drove down to Queen's Pizzeria for comedy, stopping by an LA Fitness on the way for a quick, light workout. My 10-minute comedy set at Queens went well, but I could have relaxed and had more fun doing it. I've gotta remember to have fun. Ah, well, there's always tomorrow... This is the first time that I was not sure I was going to make it through my set with my sore throat on top of my weak voice. But I did, with a lot of cough drops.

younger brother who lives in Mesa with his wife
- I have no working printer now, so am looking at an Epson Work Force WF-100. It is pricy, not cheap to operate, but IS portable, which I need on my trips. It is also small and produces pretty good pages.
- Got a little sun at noon while I sprayed the weeds out back with Round-Up.

Catalina Comedy Poster
- This was mostly a comedy day, getting ready for the Catalina Sports Bar & Grill. It was my first time there and a fun show with eight-minute sets, produced by two of my comedian friends Glendon McGee and Derek McFarland. Good going, guys. Glad you started up this new show.

Mon Dec 7 = This morning I took blind Arlene to eye doctor under the auspices of
The organization I support and through which I take non-driving seniors shopping and to their doctors' appointments
. While I was gone, at 12:06, pm,
younger brother who lives in Mesa with his wife
's Christmas gift was left at my FRONT door (not the BACK as stated in the address - Fedex can't read!). Also I received my blood test results in the mail. Everything is pretty much normal. It is always interesting to go over the results.
- Got a little sun this early afternoon while I sprayed the weeds in front with Round-Up.
- This evening I finally got my first 3-D printing project (way back on November 11th) up on my Technology web page:
3-D Printed Padlock Spring pin pulls the latch pin Makerbot
The project was this 120% size (2") padlock to use in my Comedy-n-Safety show, done with the MakerBot (right) at Gangplank in Chandler, AZ. To make the lock functional I had to notch the latch pin and to shorten and taper the spring pin (see detail).

Tue Dec 8 = Feel-Good day started off by my shaving, exercycling and going through my comedy routine for Sunday, all BEFORE breakfast. I spent quite a bit of time purging messages from my Olympus VN-7200 voice recorder so I can send it in for repair. I'm sure they'll replace it and all my voice files will be lost.
- I came up with the bright idea of trying to get my Canon iP4820 printer going again by buying two new ink tanks for $37 at Office Max to complement the three unopened ones I already have on hand. After a little fussing, comparing the weight of my dried-out cartridges with that of the new ones and realigning the print heads, I now have a like-new printer and I'm a happy camper.
- Icing on the cake is that my new Epson WF-100 portable printer arrived from Best Buy today, less than 24 hours after I ordered it yesterday morning at 1am - and the shipping was free. Didn't have time to open the box, though. I DID take time to order two additional maintenance boxes for the printer from Adorama.
- My sore throat is mostly gone now, exactly two weeks after it started. There is still a little bit of a hack cough left over.

Wed Dec 9 = When I opened the shipping box for my new Epson WF-100 portable printer, I found the inside printer box was crunched on one end and dented on the side. I'll have to think about returning it as possibly damaged.
- The biggest project today was to finish processing and deleting the about 50 remaining messages on my Olympus VN-720 voice recorder, packing it up, going to a post office to ship it to CT for repair. Before heading home, I went to LA Fitness for my first heavy (actually medium) legs workout in weeks, after working up to it with lighter workouts.

Thu Dec 10 = I unpacked my new Epson WF-100 portable printer this morning, hoping it will be OK in spite of the damaged box in which it came. I spent most of the day learning about it and getting it to work. Although it is expensive to operate, it is small, wireless and can print from anywhere in the world. I even was able to print from my cell phone.
- I got an email from Tee-Chip, the people who do my T-shirts, that my order has been delayed. I looked online and found hundreds of reviews about how horrible they are, so I'll count myself lucky if I ever receive the eight shirts I have ordered with them - and the profit to pass on to Duet from the 11 shirts they have made so far.

Thu Dec 10 = I never did get my new Epson WF-100 portable printer to connect by Wi-Fi Direct. This is something that will be necessary to get straightened out before I can use it effectively on my road trips, the first being to San Diego in late January.
- Since I'm giving up on TeeChip for my comedy shirts, I ordered eight shirts, sizes XL to 6XL from Design-A-Shirt, which has good reviews... and is located here in Tempe. I also paid off the three credit cards on which I had charges

Fri Dec 11 = Today I phoned my friend, Alex Soto, who runs Kite Life at Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. He said there is good wind in February, so I'm thinkin' 'bout it for February.
- This afternoon I moon juiced my myoporum and dripped for an additional hour to water it in.
- I phoned far and wide, trying to find a mop, bucket and Wet Floor signs to borrow for Sunday's comedy show. Finally I got a tentative OK from Racquell at the Mountainview Marketplace Safeway store. Good people there.

Sat Dec 12 = Instead of going through tomorrow evening's comedy routine before breakfast, I decided to type it out completely first. I ended up going through the routine a couple of times, but never officially. I spent the day working on the it, tweaking it, creating a Trigger outline for it, figuring how to convert my old Dos 6.0 check book files to the XLS format using my old eeePc 900 computer, doing a slow, heavy torso workout at YouFit, going to the weekly Hamfeast at Gyro House at 32nd St & Shea, buying a couple of things at Bashas at the same intersection, driving a mile north to 32nd street to Cactus to look around and buy nothing at the Goodwill there (half price Saturday), buying gasoline from ARCO at the same intersection and then heading back home to work on this blog.
- Back home, I did a little calculation that today was probably the best time to book a February flight to the Dominican Republic for kiteboarding, being about 57 days out and a Saturday. I stayed up until 4:00 am doing all the necessary checking, comparing and scheduling. I got the round trip booked for about $630 on American Airlines with a single stop in Miami, FL each way.

Sun Dec 13 = This morning, when I turned my computer on, it was a mess. Thank you, Microsoft. There was a big message on the screen, Hi. We've updated your PC. All your files are exactly where you left them. We've got some new features to get excited about. A number of my file associations were changed to Microsoft products and none of my printers work, including Bullzip PDF Printer.
- Today's trip started about 4:20pm and included a stop by a Safeway to borrow a mop, mop bucket and wet floor signs to use in my Comedy-n-Safety routine at the Third=Street Theater. The show went well. My part was not so much stand-up comedy as it was entertainment.
- This evening I ordered a new high-tech soft heat electric blanket. It operates on low voltage (24 V I think), has extremely fine heating wires for a more even heat and a digital controller that shuts off automatically after 10 hours.

Mon Dec 14 = TeeChip finally got my profit for the eleven shirts they sold deposited into my PayPal account. Thanks, TeeChip. I just hope the deliver the T shirts now.
- According to Google Analytics, 226 people from 40 countries and 29 US states visited 1,121 pages on my website in 506 sessions during the past 30 days. The biggest age group was 25-34 years old.

Tue Dec 15 = This morning's shopping trip with Denise under the auspices of
The organization I support and through which I take non-driving seniors shopping and to their doctors' appointments
was an on-again, off-again affair because she was waiting for a repairman was coming to fix her furnace, she having spent the night at her sister's where she could be warm. We finally made it to both buy a bunch of groceries at Winco.
- It HAS been cold. In my back yard last night it was down to 31° F and today only got up to 53° F. Folks, that's COLD!
- I am working up some brand new comedy material for Thursday at Chop and Wok in Scottsdale.

Wed Dec 16 = Paul Clark, a realtor who farms the area around my land NW of Phoenix, phoned, asking if I was interested in buying an adjacent property. I wasn't, but it was good to find a good contact in the area.
- This evening at the Moon Valley LA Fitness, I met Repo Lakey - a Black comedian, who lives at 8th St & Bell. It was neat to get acquainted with another comedian who is also a gym rat.

Thu Dec 17 = Today I worked on my routine for this evening and sunned a little. This evening I drove over and picked up Repo. We stopped by an LA Fitness near Chop and Wok, where we both did comedy. It was a good and fun show. I did a new routine I concocted, outlined and typed out in two days, about my appreciation of restrooms, poor background in history and a quirky GPS receiver. I got lots of laughs and some positive feedback. After the show, Repo said I am likeable on stage, and Josh, the producer and host, said it was a good set and to keep it. This gave me more confidence in my comic writing. Thanks, Josh!

Fri Dec 18 = Since none of my printers are working (Thanks, Microsoft), I was forced to take a new approach to my comedy-set notes. Instead of using a multi-colored pen for marking the audience's responses to various bits in my routine I developed the following plan for doing it on my computer within the .doc files. It will take a while to get used to doing it this way but, eventually, will probably be better. (later I abandoned this scheme): - Eight Comedy T-shirts arrived today from Design-a-Shirt. I now have a dozen shirts with every size from small to 6x Large. I could almost use that one for a tent. I got them all sized, labelled, and ten of them folded and packed in a clear vinyl shirt bag.
- Kevin, the drummer from the Infuse Open Mic at the Third Street Theater phoned and we discussed comedy and possibly the use of some of his drums next time (Jan 10th, his 28th birthday). My take-away was to be a little more impromptu with the audience and to relate my comedy more to the younger members of the audience (of course EVERYONE is younger than me!).
- This evening I checked out some T-Shirt companies. Design-a-Shirt that I used for this last order is a little pricy, but their quality is good and they gave good service.

Sat Dec 19 = Today I got some things cleared off my kitchen island, a constant clutter battle area, as is my desk area.
- for supper I had an apple then drove down to the Arcadia Chicago Hamburger Company to finish supper off with a grilled chicken salad. On the way home I stopped by the 20 st. & Camelback LA Fitness for a brief, but heavy arms workout.
- I was home and in for the night, or so I thought. I got a call from a friend who was out of town and unexpectedly out of cash, so I did my first Western Union money wire. My late-night project was to check lots of hotels in Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. I have settled on Hotel Playa Caribe, which is a little cheaper, has larger rooms, kitchens, Wi-Fi in the rooms, a roof-top observation deck and is closer to the kiteboarding spot than Casa Nina, where I stayed in July. It does not have a pool, which is OK with me. Instead of booking through such as Kayak.com I plan to wait until morning and book with them directly. I may be able to save a little money... if I can get someone on the phone who speaks English.
- Just before going to bed a little after midnight, I put in a load of white laundry. My stock of clean white socks etc. from my previous white load lasted me two months.

Sun Dec 20 = I got up a little early today, started the washing machine and phoned Hotel Playa Caribe in Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic for reservations for my three weeks there. I spoke with Jeffrey Duran, who asked me to phone back after 4pm AST for a special rate that he may be able to arrange with the owner. Thanks, Jeff. I called the hotel at about 5:30 AST. Jeff said the owner was away and that he would phone me tomorrow morning.
- This evening I went to Fedex Office and got 12 of my Comedy Anouncement sheets printed out, since my printers are not working. Thanks, Microsoft! Then I went to McDonalds for a slad (vegetables for my supper) and to meet with Repo, my new comedy buddy. We exchanged helpful critiques and ideas.
- Back home, I adjusted some of my comedy routines according to the feedback I got from Repo, tweaked my
Electronic Press Kit for my stand-up comedy
and discovered that I can make PDF print-outs of things like my Past Comedy Appearances, in spite of the fact that Microsoft broke all my printers, including the Bullzip PDF printer. I do it with Open Office by exporting the file to a PDF. Simple, Dimple.
- I got to bed late, spending about an hour reorganizing the icons on my
Sony Vaio Duo 11 computer with 11.6" touch screen, Windows 10, 8gb memory and 256gb SSD
's desktop because they were all messed up and spread out, many off the screen. Thanks Microsoft! I used icon Restorer to save the layout, which will hopefully preclude my having to do it all over again very soon.

Mon Dec 21 = I woke up to pee about an hour before my alarm, so I cleaned up a big mess - one I made by carelessly spilling 20 oz of water all over the kitchen counter after deciding I'd drink some water and start my oatmeal soaking before going back to bed for the last hour. It could have been worse: milk or juice.
- I used my crescendo alarm clock in order to leave my phone on to take a call from Jeff at Hotel Playa Caribe between 9 and 9:30 AST, which is between 6 and 6:30am here in Phoenix. Well no one ever called. In fact when I called he hotel around supper time, the lady said Jeff was not there and that I should phone back tomorrow between 8:30 and 3:00 AST (5:30 and noon phoenix time). This morning I DID get a call from Rich Hehmann, my friend in St Louis, wishing me a Merry Christmas. He's the guy that encourages me to keep up with my blog.
- I spent most of the afternoon locating and phoning FedEx, UPS and Bashas' about launching my CORPORATE SAFETY PROJECT with them.
- Deliveries today: My new replacement Olympus digital voice recorder arrived. It works correctly, like a dream. It's 2GB memory would hold over a week of continuous, round-the-clock, recording on the Standard Play setting that I use. On Long Play it would record continuously, round-the-clock, for almost 56 days. My new Soft Heat electric blanket also arrived.
- I spent the first part of tonight researching and buying trip insurance to the tune of $95 for my DR trip. Then I spread out my new electric blanket. I hope I like it.

Tue Dec 22 = During last night I only got up once to pee, pretty rare. I found that my new electric blanket was a little too warm set at #5, and also #3. By morning I had it set on #Lo. It is also nice to take off some covers by turning a dial - actually two dials, since all queen-sized electric blanket have dual controls.
- By phone I reserved a room at Hotel Playa Caribe in Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic with Jeff. He was able to give me a pretty good price.
- About 4:00 this afternoon I picked up Repo. We went to Winco Foods, Fry's Food Store, both nearby, and then headed down to South Tempe for LA Fitness workouts and then, about a block further south, to Dos Gringos where we both did comedy. I was the first on the bill after the host and Repo followed me. There were seven of us comedians.
- In the package delivery department, the two maintenance boxes for my new Epson printer from Adorama arrived today while I was gone.
- I hit the hay a little after midnight with my electric blanket set on Lo.

Wed Dec 23 = One of the best night's sleep that I can remember. I was never too warm nor too cool and only got up to pee once in a little over nine hours. This may be the best winter combination: My Sleep Number bed set on 45, my new Perfect Fit Soft Heat electric blanket set on Lo, the house thermostat set on 68° F and a bedroom temperature of 67° F.
- About supper time Repo and I met at McDonalds for another comedy buddy session. We came up with a couple of good ideas for me and, hopefully, some good ideas for him. The McDonalds side salad is relatively inexpensive and nutritious with spinach, kale, other greens, grape tomatoes and Romaine lettuce... if you do not load it up with dressing.
- On the way home I stopped by LA Fitness for a light, fast legs workout, Walmart for Levi Strauss memory foam house slippers (because my old ones developed a hole in the heal of the sole), then, at home, made a batch of six of my Protein Frosties, caught up on this blog and organized some recent pictures of my right hand.

Thu Dec 24 = The eight T-shirts I ordered the second of December finally arrived from T-Chip today. I have started setting up Google Voice as what hopefully will be my Arizona Lou Comedy call-in number.

Fri Dec 25 = MERRY CHRISTMAS! I spent the whole day over in Mesa at
George & Cindy
younger brother and his wife who live in Mesa, Arizona
's. It started with our traditional Breakfast Pizza with Bill (George's friend from church),
Stanley, my older brother who is a machinist for Eaton Corporation in Hutchinson, KS
, Stacie (George's youngest) and Dave and my cute, intelligent, newest grand nephew, Rocco. Later we did a lot of visiting, read some May, 1936 love letters from our dad to our mother-to-be, played some Catch-Phrase and ate a late lunch after Kimmie, Andy and their family came over.

Sat Dec 26 = Today lead up to this evening and the Self Family Christmas at Shane's (
younger brother who lives in Mesa with his wife
's son) in east Mesa. What a crowd; what fun! There were probably about 30 there. I had prepared my Christmas Prayer, but didn't have an opportunity to pray. I figure God has a good sense of humor.

Sun Dec 27 = I tried to work on comedy more today, but ran out of time, typing only the preliminary version of my Christmas Prayer.
- I organized, collected and tested the audio connectors and cables I plan to use during Tuesday's show at Dos Gringos in South Tempe.
- Late, I resolved my check book. It took 23 minutes. I don't know if that is a record, but it's close. I had already downloaded my statement.
- Just before I went to bed I started backing up my
Sony Vaio Duo 11 computer with 11.6" touch screen, Windows 10, 8gb memory and 256gb SSD
to an external hard drive.

Mon Dec 28 = Doing research for a comedy bit about an old gruff customer at Albertsons who did not like to laugh and apparently hated me for laughing, I found this enlightening article on the nature of Jehovah's Witnesses. It appears there is no love, just controlling of their followers.

Tue Dec 29 = Around noon I drove out to Fountain Hills to meet
George & Cindy
younger brother and his wife who live in Mesa, Arizona
to shuffle
Stanley, my older brother who is a machinist for Eaton Corporation in Hutchinson, KS
from them to me.
- This evening Stan and I drove way down to Dos Gringos in South Tempe where I did a little comedy. Stan stayed for just enough of the comedy show to get disgusted and then went to another part of the restaurant to work on his new cell phone and stuff - before my turn on stage.
- Attempting to get good sound, I recorded the audio from three sources: 1) the earphone monitor jack of the Dos Gringos audio system for the comedian's microphone output (monaural, left channel only - I should have used my mono-to-stereo adapter), 2) the stereo audio from the camera, 3) Stereo audience recording using my C Crane Witness and Sony stereo mic. Now I have to figure how to put the whole thing together, maybe using PluralEyes, software from Australia.
- After the show Bryan Ricci spent some time with me. He seemed to think I was pretty funny. I hope he wasn't just trying to make me feel good. He gave me some good suggestions for my COMEDY and EPK web pages.

Wed Dec 30 = This evening
Stanley, my older brother who is a machinist for Eaton Corporation in Hutchinson, KS
and I drove down to Chandler to GangPlank. I wanted to show him their 3-D printer in operation by making a 133% latch pin for my previously printed padlock and a Jeep grill key chain for him. Andrea, there, tried to help get the items printed, but neither one of us (her with her Apple computer and me with my
Sony Vaio Duo 11 computer with 11.6" touch screen, Windows 10, 8gb memory and 256gb SSD
, could figure how to convert our stl and 3mf formatted files to x3g format, which the Makerbot required for printing directly from the Makerbot's SD card. The attached computer, which I had used previously, was not working.
- As soon as I got home, about 10pm, I realized that I had forgotten the power supply for my Vaio. Bummer, since the power supply is an odd-ball, 10.5 volts, and the only one that I have.

Thu Dec 31 = The middle of the morning Stan and I headed back down to Gangplank to pick up my
Sony Vaio Duo 11 computer with 11.6" touch screen, Windows 10, 8gb memory and 256gb SSD
's power supply. Eighty miles of stupidity driving due to my forgetfulness. Since it was new year's eve I celebrated with an exciting tradition I started seven years ago: incrementing my website's copyright date.

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