Saturday, April 02, 2011

Is this thing on?

With all the social network stuff and maintaining a couple other sites I pretty much forgot all about this blog.  Looking over past posts reminded me of things I hadn't thought about in a while.  Facebook, Twitter, etc. are great for you to leave a trail of streams of consciousness but they aren't particularly effective at capturing content other than photos.

A lot has happened since my last post nearly five years ago:
  • My father passed away in 2009
  • I've gotten old.  At least I feel old.  The weight has got to go.  Sometimes I wonder if quitting smoking was such a good idea - I was a lot thinner then.
  • I need to wear glasses for certain things.  So far I haven't gone to see an eye doctor - I just get those drug store reading glasses.
  • I'm in a different band - Laughing Through Your Fingers - - I'm really fortunate to be playing with these folks.  They are dear friends and way better musicians than I am.
  • Our dog Bonsai passed away in 2009
  • I play guitar a lot these days.  When the band isn't gigging, I sit in with folks when I can and play at local open mics, jams, etc.
  • New car, guitars, etc.
  • Somehow I ended up singing backup vocals - who thought that was a good idea?  I can't play or sing very well so doing them at the same time brings the fail.
  • People have pretty much stopped buying CDs.  In fact, they try not to pay for music at all.
  • I've switched teams at work - I was working on Visual Studio but a couple years ago I switched to working on our mobile OS which became Windows Phone 7
  • We finally got rid of Bush.  But we got Obama.  I suppose that's a trade up and definitely better than McCain but it's depressing to think this is the best we can do.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mopping Janet

That's my band's name. I'll post the story behind the name one of these days. Suffice it to say it involved alcohol and a blonde.

For the past few months Chefdino and I have been putting together a band. The primary goal is to create original music. We went through Craig's list here in Raleigh to put it together.

I hadn't really started a band from scratch in years. What an ordeal...

My wife turned 40

I suppose I shouldn't post a woman's age. Whoops. I did it anyhow. Heh.

She turned 40 last Thursday. I wanted this birthday to be memorable in a fun way. So no serious gifts! That's not to say she didn't get some cool stuff, just no jewelry or appliances or anything that is overly typical for a birthday. I mostly went with a theme of getting her stuff she enjoyed growing up. So here's a run down of the goodies:

  • The kids each painted her a picture and I framed them - Nicholas did the family and Danny did a beach scene - very cool stuff!
  • Then the kids painted her a wooden stool - basically a really nice barstool type chair - she can use this in her own crafts work area. It's very colorful. Our kids rock!
  • Melissa was really into the pogo stick as a kid. She'd bounce up and down the stairs and all around the neighborhood. So I got her the FLYBAR 1200! This thing is a serious piece of hardware. It can go up to six feet in the air! Oh hell yes, this thing is cool!
  • She also really got into the hula hoop. In fact, she one the hula hoop contest at a large family affair a couple years ago. She smoked everyone. So naturally I got her several hula hoops. As it turns out I should have bought those online because they were sold out everywhere around here - I had to go to 8 stores to find them.
  • I got her a talking ALF doll. If you don't remember the show ALF then this will mean nothing to you. If you remember the show, you are probably already giggling. It's pretty funny. Our smaller dog wants to tear ALF to shreds. I think he gets pissed that ALF is always saying "here, kitty, kitty".
  • Then there were a bunch of things like a paddle ball set, kaleidoscope, etc.

The day before her birthday the kids were so excited about the gifts that we gave them to her a day early - LOL.

We had a party on Saturday. It was a great crowd and a great time. It's really kickass to be surrounded by great people.

Oh, in keeping with the theme of things I had bought a ton of candy from our childhood era. You can get anything on the Internet. Stuff like wax lips, pixie stix, Zotz, Charms, bottle caps, those wax bottles with colored sugar water in them, etc. All the kids at the party went nuts with this stuff. It started off as a pretty big box full of candy. I couldn't believe how much those little monsters ate! I was lucky to get some Zotz!

Melissa had treater herself to a new outfit for the party. She looked great. Really great.

She had a blast. We had friends and family from out of town as well as some of the excellent folks we've come to know since we've moved to NC.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


My wife and I drove down to Myrtle Beach on Sunday to catch Queensryche at the House of Blues. It was an "evening with" so no opening band - that was a good thing in this case because Queensryche kicked ass. Geoff Tate brought it. He sounded even better than last year (which I thought was great too). The band was really tight. The guitars sounded great. They played both Mindcrime albums (I think in there entirety). And they topped the night off with a nice encore of several of their other classic tunes. All told they played for about 2.5 hrs or so. Very impressive show.

The House of Blues is not that big of a venue but it was PACKED. The crowd reaction sounded like an arena - the crowd was LOUD. There were a couple drunk a**holes near us that kept spilling drinks and bumping into us - so I farted. Oh, and after the last tune Scott Rockenfield tossed a couple sticks out and of course people went diving for them and came up throwing punches - Scott just shook his head in disbelief and walked out. What kind of moron throws down for a pair of drum sticks?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

We had a full house today. My wife Melissa of course, our sons, my mom, Kat, Dino and their daughter Kayla, and Melissa's high school friend Karen with her daughter Laura. Everyone came over for lunch. I was popular with the ladies because I got them all flowers and cookies. My wife made a huge pot of my favorite soup and we broke some fresh french bread. Mom showed up with her killer orange pound cake.

Melissa spent a lot of time making the soup - a delicious ham and bean soup with her own personal touches. I love it.

After she got the beans soaking last night, started the stock, and everyone else went to bed (Karen and Laura were here for the weekend), Melissa came down and helped me untangle cables in the jam room. There were a LOT of cables and she was really helpful. It made a pretty tedious task fun because we got to just enjoy each other's company.

This morning Melissa got the soup going and it cooked for hours. Yum. It was GOOD. Real GOOD.

Ideally I would have been more helpful but I kept fading out today - I've had severe throat problems for a couple days and it really kicked my butt today.

The kids made some very cool cards/drawings for Melissa and were pretty darn good today.

It was a great day for me - Melissa I hope it was for you too.

HippieSound Inaugural Jam

No fanfare. No hype. We just kicked around some ideas for tunes today.

Dino was over today with his wife and daughter celebrating Mother's Day (hope y'all had a good one by the way). We snuck off down to the basement for a while and just fooled around with some bits and pieces of stuff for some songs. We're both a bit rusty but who cares - it was fun!

I just plugged my nylon string Godin guitar into the PA and started noodling song ideas. Later I busted out the Taylor T5 and noodled some more. Given a lull of any kind I tend to just move on to something else so we were all over the map.

It's been funny to discover that despite a lot of common musical ground and our close ages that we really don't know many songs in common. It's just as well, I want to do original music anyhow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Floyd Rose V24 Arrow Arrives!

As I mentioned back in January, I ordered a Floyd Rose V24 Arrow. I opted for a Korina one so I had to wait. The first one came soon but the wood grain looked like someone soiled a bed. I'm not kidding. Brian at Chuck Levin's basically said "dude, you don't want this - let me get you a different one". It was bad so I waited. Well it arrived about a week ago. It's smokin'! The guitar plays and sounds fantastic and just looks amazing.

More pics are available here.

HippieSound Studios Done!

Ok, the construction has been done a while. I've just been a slacker and haven't posted to my blog in a while. The construction was wrapped up around April 12th. Since then I've done some additional painting and touchups and have slowly been moving gear into the rooms. Anyhow, here are some pics of the completed room back on the 12th or so. A lot more pics are available here:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Man Who Sold The World

YouTube has everything. This is my favorite performance on any of the music contest shows ever. Heck, this is one of my favorite performances by anyone ever. I am very much looking forward to Jordis Unga's CD later this year. Enjoy! If you go to her web site you can hear a short clip of a song from her new disc. It sounds great!