Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Xmas Post

Christmas came and went and we got some snow. That was cool. The kids were very excited and happy with their hauls. That was cool. I almost made Marci cry with the coolness of the gifts I got her. That was cool. I got Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. That was cool. After playing SMG, I got a tasty bout of nausea.

That was not cool.

Other than that, it was a good day. I had a nice haul, including:
  • a tan Spyder jacket. I've been looking for a new jacket. I love my Eddie Bauer Windcutter, but it's black and it's boring. The tan is sleek and suave. Plus, there's a freaky spider logo in the middle of the back.
  • the aforementioned, nausea-inducing, Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii.
  • a Nyko charging kit for my wireless Xbox 360 controller.
  • a few shirts.
  • The Ice Limit book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Since my favorite author, Michael Connelly, is in-between books now, and I've read all his Harry Bosch books, I needed some new authors to get me through. I tried reading some Lee Child/Jack Reacher books last year, and they were entertaining, but too much of the same (loner vs. cast of thousands). The Preston/Child books started poorly (IMO), with Relic, but really picked it up with Thunderhead. I just finished Riptide a week or so ago and loved that. So far, The Ice Limit seems pretty cool. If you like your fiction with a dash of archeology/science, you should check out some of their books.
  • an espresso tamper and a beverage thermometer.
  • a pair of flaming lounge pants. With flames. And fire.
  • Some cash.
All in all, not bad. The geek in me wanted some more games, but perhaps I should take my own advice to my kids and FINISH WHAT I HAVE FIRST.

Until next Xmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Super Duper Friday Night Update

I AM BORED RIGHT NOW. A little hungry too. And my eyes hurt, my nose is a little stuffy and my in-laws are here. Actually, they're downstairs in my geek room. Sleeping.

What does that mean for me? Well, no geek toys, that's for sure. No 360. No Tivo with my personalized Tivo'ed programs. So, at 10:48pm, consider me bored.

One thing I would go do is read. But, the book I'm reading is business related and I am really not in the mood for business related reading. I've been holding out for Xmas before buying anything that might be considered Xmas gift material (re: games, books, movies, etc).

I am such a geek.

Last weekend we bought a car. Leased, actually. And not really a car, but a, dare I say, SUV? We traded in the Jetta (goodbye, sweet prince) and leased an 08 Honda Pilot. We just got tired of going to Costco and having to put a pallet of avocados on the kids' laps on the way home. Or stuffing my mom between two car seats if she needed a ride with us somewhere.

So we rearranged some funds (canceled our yard guys) and put it towards the payment for the Pilot. Having the in-laws here for 3 weeks kind of helped also. Now we can pack everyone in one hoopty, instead of borrowing my dad's Q7, or driving two cars everywhere we went. We went with the Cherry Pearl, with the non-leather seats. So far so good, except for the fact that Riley fell asleep in the car today and peed all over everything. Superb!

I am off work for 4 days now. Taking the long weekend. None of our customers will be working Monday. Plus, it's been so dead anyway that if I went in, I'd be just as bored as I am now, I suppose.

The Sonics looked great tonight. Dunks, killer passing, timely shooting, it was all there. KD looked great, knifing through the lane, or fading away for his pretty jumper. Now, why can't they play this good every night?

I think I'm getting old, too. I've been freezing my arse off the past few days. I have a space heater at work and I'm practically sitting on it, I've been so cold. Sucks.

Time for a late night snack. I'm hungry.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lund Bros. at the Skylark

It is completely DEAD at work, so I'll try recapping the show from Friday at the Skylark.

I showed up there about 8:00 or so and saw some of the guys from one of the other bands playing that night, the Small Change. Greg, Nick, Jason, the drummer (who I haven't met yet), and Scott from Llama and Doll Test, among others, all sat around a table in their indie sportcoats and fancy scarves, sipping beers. All they were missing were pipes.

Thankfully, though, the guys are all very welcoming and even let boring ol' me sit with them. We shot the shoot for a bit before I had to get ready for sound check, etc. I had my standard setup, the amp rig and the SB-2. Chris and Sean set up and we did an old song, I'll Remember for the check. For a song that we hadn't played in about 3 months, it went pretty well. Then again, it was a sound check.

Anyway, we started our set of All New Material with one of Sean's songs, Empty Rooms. I've been playing this song since July or so, but for a second, I almost forgot the whole thing. I couldn't quite remember how it went. But then I stopped worrying like a little girl and it went off without a hitch. We did a few of Chris' new rockers next and, all in all, it went pretty well.

I'd say that people seemed to enjoy our songs. I was able to play them pretty well, and I felt comfortable on stage after such a long hiatus. To me, it seemed that there was a lull after Chris' song Headhunter. That's about as heavy as we get and we followed it with Sean's song Only You, which has a really mellow beginning. We may need to separate those two songs in the future.

We were kind enough to get the "One more song" chant, so we obliged with Enjoy the Fire, from the Loser record. That one I really brain farted on. I could not remember how it went, but once I figured it out, once again, we were fine.

Next up was a four-piece band, the Guards of Metropolis. They were a trendy looking band, with black on black threads, hailing from Norway and Oregon (weird). There were two girls, one fronting the band, one on bass, and two guys, one on guitar and one on drums. They did this rock that wasn't typical rock and roll, but it wasn't prog. Kind of hard to describe, I suppose. I'd say they were quite powerful, in that the band was tight from their live shows. Musically it wasn't necessarily something I'd purchase, but I did enjoy watching them.

The singer was probably 6', with black ponytails in her hair. She was very energetic and spoke with a Norwegian accent. She kind of had a Bjork thing about her, with her screechy vocals and stage presence. To her right was the bassist, and I think I had a bit of a crush on her that night. She played a 5 string Schecter, through an Ashdown rig, complete with a mini 18 and a mini 10 on top. Her tone was great and I do believe when my beloved TE blows up, it's Ashdown time for me.

Anyway, watching this chick play bass (apparently her name is Silver) was fantastic. She wasn't intimidated by it. She didn't look awkward playing it. She owned it and she looked great doing so.

After the GoM came the Small Change. These guys are a great pop band, with guitar, bass, drums and Hammond organ. Greg fronts and he is a ball of energy. He has this great White Man's Afro and he puts a ton of passion into his performances. Their bassist, Jason, has HUGE hands. I noticed that his fingers were like sausages and said to Sean that he was simply born to play bass. He had a nice Rickenbacker and it sounded great. Nick played keys, and, I'm sorry to say, I couldn't hear his keys too much in the mix. Of course, I sat right next to the stage so that's probably what caused it. Plus, he looked asleep during the set. Not sure if he felt well or not.

The drummer was fantastic. I wish I got his name; I suppose I could look him up. Anyway, he played barefoot and he was all over the place in a good way. I figured he got his workout for the night the way he played. Very energetic and fun to listen to.

Overall it was a good night at the Skylark. We all got paid and got to see some old and new friends. Now it's time to book some more shows and get the ball rolling again.

Next up: TBD

Crocodile Cafe RIP

Apparently, the big music news in Seattle today is that the legendary Crocodile Cafe is closing. Not that I was a huge attendee at the Croc, but whenever I played there in bands (few and far between) and/or saw shows (also few and far between), I always enjoyed it. Not sure what will happen with that space, but hopefully a live club rises from its ashes and soldiers on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rush tour 2008

Wow. Rush is coming to Seattle again next year! Go here for the deets: CLICK.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ethyl, RIP

A few years ago, before Lund Bros., and before Starchief, I was in a band called Ethyl. I have been on a bit of an Ethyl kick lately so I spent a few minutes creating a Myspace site it Ethyl's memory. I uploaded some songs and hacked out a little bio. You can take a look here, if you so desire: CLICK.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Practice tonight

I was beat tonight. I haven't been wearing my CPAP all night these past few nights for some reason. I go to bed with it on, but somehow I end up removing it. I guess I'm used to having it on because I have been TIRED due to the lack of quality CPAP time.

I drove about 120 miles today. Did about 40 miles of driving for work, then the Tacoma round trip tonight.

We had a decent rehearsal. Not as great as last week, but not a trainwreck like weeks previous. We'll be fine for this Friday. Hopefully we have a good turn out. Apparently Sean has a bunch of people who have committed to come. Me? I have people who have told me they'll be out of town. Lame.

I will have to do some woodshedding this week. My fingers are woefully out of shape and they are sore right now. Maybe I'll work on some moves as well...

Time for bed. Early tonight! Woo hoo!

May 22, 2008 will ROCK MY WORLD

May it rock yours as well.

I remember seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark as a boy. I saw it with my dad and my bros and that's about all I remember. I was 9 or 10 at the time and though I can't say if I fell in love with Indiana Jones then, I can tell you now that my man love for the good Dr. knows no bounds.

I remember being psyched out for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It had secret passageways, sacrifices, tons of action, and Willie Scott's cleavage. I vaguely remember being a little nervous that it was rated PG-13 (the first movie rated as such, if I remember correctly) and wondered if I'd be able to see it (I was 12). I can't remember if I peeked through my fingers during the heart sequence.

I remember seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at the good ol' John Danz theater in Bellevue long before it became a Good Guys (which is now a furniture store). I stood in line with some friends on opening night and simply had a grand time. Sadly, I remember nothing from that show, either.

However, as little as I might remember about the actual theater going experiences, the movies all hold a soft spot in my heart. Some guys are Star Wars geeks. I am an Indiana Jones geek.

The first time I tried styling my hair? Instead of letting the bowl cut win out? Try 7th grade or so, modeling my hair (or at least trying to) after the good Dr. Jones.

I had Indiana Jones comic books, both of the movies and with original storylines. I have the Temple of Doom script book. Of course I have the DVDs. I have a Raiders poster somewhere, never mounted. I'm waiting til I can put it in a proper home theater (someday). I have the Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark book. I don't have a fedora or a bullwhip, though I did see that you can get an official Indiana Jones fedora through some mail order catalog. I don't know if that's super cool or simply lame.

If it wasn't so late already, I might bust out Raiders for some good times, but I am whipped, so I'll dust it off another time, I suppose.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I am back, Jack, but just barely

Blogs have been few and far between simply because I've been lazy. That, and I've been out of town for a week. But, I had internet access and accessed the internet frequently while I was out, so I guess you could say that, really, I've been lazy.

So what's new? We went to SoCal for the Thanksgiving holiday. Left on Monday, returned on Monday. Down where we stayed, in little ol' San Clemente, we were about a mile from the ocean. We were up and down the coast, spending time in Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Irvine, and a few other similar places. We saw an animal shelter where the animals being sheltered were sea lions. Sea lions! I saw two orange Lamborghini Murcielagos within minutes of each other. All the pretty women in Washington who disappear in the winter? I think they all end up in California. Seriously. Am I rambling enough yet?

We stayed with Marci's sister, Alison, her husband, Todd, and their two daughters, Chandler and Ella. Both Ali and Todd are very fit, very athletic and really good at unknowingly making me feel inadequate and inferior. Not because of anything they say or do, mind you. Oh no. It's all me and my brain. I think it's kind of like the young impressionable girl thumbing through any magazine where there are beautiful, thin and perfect women in it. I am a dude of average build, a little chubby in places, but when I stand next to Todd, I may as well be the Michelin Man. It's sad, but I have a tough time getting over it.

Anyway, Todd wanted to go kayaking one day. In the ocean. With me.

I am not an ocean guy. I'm not much of a lake guy. I prefer the calm, serene waters of my local pool, and even then, only in the summer, when it's warm. So, offering to take me kayaking on November 26th was pretty much out of the question.

Except, Haley wanted to go. And Todd wanted to go. And Todd is very persuasive. (I told him he should be in sales. He's a teacher in real life).

So we went.

We got to the beach and, unlike the day before where it was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AND SUNNY, it was gray and breezy. Still warm enough for shorts at the house, but at the ocean, a little chilly. Todd had life jackets for the kids, Haley and Chandler. Me? Not even floaties for my arms.

We walked to the edge of the water and had Haley sit in the kayak. The waves weren't huge, but they were pretty strong, and for a n00b like me, they might as well have been tidal. We waited for a break in the waves so that I could hop on and paddle like mad, but no break came. So on I went.

Have you ever tried ice skating on one ice skate? Or standing on one? That's how I felt on that kayak in the waves. I felt as if it was going to tip over AT ANY MOMENT. And that I would go in and BE EATEN BY A SHARK. Or STUNG BY A STINGRAY (like a girl we saw the previous day, sobbing her eyes out, with a crowd around her). Luckily, I just kept paddling and didn't look down into the black water. Haley, on the other hand, was just fine. She thought it was just dandy being in Daddy's lap at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

We headed west, I suppose, as we were heading AWAY FROM SHORE. The whole purpose for going kayaking was to go to Seal Rock, this little blob of land about a half mile off shore, where dozens of sea lions bark and poop and grunt at each other. I was just worried about getting away from the waves breaking on shore.

After a little paddling, the water did calm down and I was able to relax a little. As long as I sat like a statue in that kayak, it was ok. Any sort of twisting or turning, like turning my head to see where Todd was behind me, caused that little boat to start rockin' like we were in a tsunami (not really). Very uncomfortable.

Todd got in front of me and led the way. We worked our way to Seal Rock and saw the seals, as well as a dude snorkeling around the rocks. I don't think you could pay me to do that. Too cold, too dark and way too freaky for this land lubber. Plus, right by Seal Rock, well, it was quite stinky, as you could imagine.

We made our way around the rock and, mercifully, started heading back to shore. It was a little easier as the water was slowly propelling us that way anyway. I told Todd that I didn't know if he respected me more after taking this little adventure, or less as I was a WHINY LITTLE BITCH for the entire ride. I guess he thought it was cool that I went, bitching or not.

As we got closer to shore, especially where the water started turning into waves, Todd told me to stop. We had to wait until the water mellowed out a bit so I could ride behind the crest of a wave, then paddle like mad to the sand. He stuck his oar in the water and it had about 6" sticking out as the other end hit bottom, so he guessed we were in about 5 feet of water. Safer, but not safe yet.

After a few moments of waiting, Chandler said she saw some dolphins. Todd called for us to turn around to check them out. Big mistake. A wave came in, I heard Todd yell, "Paddle! Paddle!" and, boom, over we went.

Since Haley was in my lap, and I had an oar in my hands, she was basically pushed underwater by my right arm (we fell to the left, or to the port, as it were). Heroically, my first thoughts were not for my own survival, but to get my daughter's head above water. We were able to accomplish that with my left arm under her arms and my right hand wrapped deathly tight to the oar. Once I realized we were breathing, I heard Todd calling, "Let go of the oar!" Which, surprisingly enough, after ditching the oar, allowed me to hold Haley a little better. Duh.

The problem now was that I couldn't touch bottom, I was facing away from shore, and I had no clue how much farther we had to go. When we were waiting for the water to slow, it seemed we were quite a ways off, but, as I treaded water and tried to make my way back, my feet hit bottom and my near-death experience was over.

Haley was quite the trouper. She didn't cry, though she did call for help a few times, which was quite cute. We made it out of the Pacific wet, cold, salty, but still alive. I was able to laugh about it. I stared into the eyes of the beast and lived to fight another day.

Or something like that.