Camouflage Praying Mantis

I am shaking off my sorrow and getting myself back into the world. One way I can do that is to look for all of the little miracles that surround me every day.

That is easy to say, but putting that idea into action . . . well, that is hard.

I got the push I needed today from a little visitor to my back steps. I have seen a praying mantis before, but this one was decked out in camouflage!

I ran and got my camera. After I took a few pictures I thanked it for the visit and the creative kick in the pants. 

camouflage  mantis
camouflage  mantis
camouflage mantis

The Work

Dear Old Dad can tell you that once in a while the pain I deal with on an everyday basis gets to me. If it isn’t that then it’s the nightmarish amount of technical stuff I have to handle with on equipment that will stop working if I look at it the wrong way. Add in nonsense from angry people at random intervals and there are moments when I throw my hands up in the air and wonder why I do this job.

I was having one of those moments a few days ago when I ran across an email John in New York sent us in 2008:

Dear Pat and DoD,

I just got married last weekend and although I’ve only been playing
for about 6 months, I belted out a version of “The Wild Rover” at my
big fat Irish wedding.  This was my first performance in public.  It
was one of the scariest things I have ever done (and I’ve jumped out
of airplanes).  The worst happened: I forgot some lyrics and was about
60% as good as I am in private on the banjo.  Guess what?  No one
cared.  The crowd was so into it that they filled in what I forgot and
helped me along.  This was by far one of the highlights of an awesome
reception.  I want to thank you guys for all the services you have
provided that enabled me to do this (and put that look of sheer joy on
my new wife’s face).

Letters like this – pictures like this – moments like these are why I fight through my hearing and seizures and strokes and everything else that gets thrown in my way.

I have a lot of emails, cards and letters like Johns. Stories of men and women who took up the banjo to sing to, for and about the people that they love.

I love my job.



The new gear has arrived, and now I am waiting for the stuff I forgot to include in the original order.

I am making use of the downtime learning to use the new equipment and getting back to writing. 

Yesterday a request came in for a frailing banjo workshop on The Grateful Dead’s Ripple. It works better on the banjo than I expected. I love it when a song surprises me like that. 

Videos will be rolling soon. I can’t wait to show you what we have been working on. We have some really cool stuff in the works!

God bless,

The Daily Frail 9/26/2018

Today for The Daily Frail we have an exercise that blends the basic frailing strum, rests, harmonics and a major scale run.

We also run through the string band classic, Gypsy Girl and by request we take a quick look at The Ballad Of Jed Clampett.

Tab for today’s main exercise is available in graphic, PDF and braille-friendly formats for our Patreon sponsors: