Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Fact of Fiction

I've always wanted to write fiction, ever since I was a little kid. The thing that holds me up is that all the stories I start turn out to be a lot less interesting than the stuff that has actually happened to me. I suppose I could write down my experiences and have fun with it by changing stuff around a little to protect the innocent. But somehow it feels like cheating to use real life for fiction.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Which One Are You?

When I was in college, we came up with a classification system for types of girls based loosely on which member of the band or tech crew they would be most likely to date. This was mostly for amusement, but over time and with a little refining has proven to be a fairly accurate system for getting across what someone is like.

Example:

Hey man, did you meet that new chick that Dave's been hanging around with?

No, what's she like?

Total bass player's girlfriend.

Wow dude, sounds like he lucked out.


So here's a brief outline of the classification system. You may find it useful if you can get enough of your friends in on it. While we've never adapted the system to apply to men, it may be that it works for them as well. There may need to be a separate system for the guys though, so any female readers that have ideas, please post them.

Disclaimer
This is all strictly tongue in cheek. If you're offended I don't want to hear about it.
  • Drummer's Girlfriend - Generally very sweet and dedicated. Not always the brightest, but hey... it's drummers we're talking about. The drummer's girl often has a keen eye for fashion and will run toward the glamorous if this is the case. Earthy types are also not uncommon. For some reason his girl will have an uncanny attraction for the rest of the band, hence the large number of bands that break up due to the old slept-with-the-drummer's-girlfriend scenario.
  • Bass Player's Girlfriend - Bass players tend to date the dark, mysterious types. If there's a girl in the room with more than the average number of piercings and tattoos, there's a good chance she's with the bass player. They tend to be more independent, free thinking and have solid opinions. This makes them great in conversation and also in arguments. Not at first easily detectable is the downfall of this type, baggage, baggage, baggage.
  • Rhythm Guitar Player's Girlfriend - The rhythm player is typically not the Alpha Male in the group and so tends to miss out on the really spectacular dates. His girl will often rank a lot lower on the beauty scale, but make up for it by being more comfortable in her own skin.
  • Lead Guitar Player's Girlfriend - The lead player (if separate from the Lead Singer) is likely to get the hotties with little or nothing between the ears. This is a girl who isn't looking for Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now. Typical behavior involves short relationships due to hot tempers on her part or to him messing around with the Drummer's Girlfriend.
  • Lead Singer's Girlfriend - As the Alpha Male, the Lead Singer tends to get the cream of the crop. Typically suffering from Stage Four L.S.D. (Lead Singers' Disease) they nearly always snag the beautiful yet shallow types who fall for assholes. See also: Lead Guitar Player's Girlfriend.
  • Keyboard Player's Girlfriend - Keyboard players are essentially the monks of the music scene. Celibacy is the order of the day, although there have been occasional (unconfirmed) reports of keyboard players getting dates.
  • Roadie's Girlfriend - If you see the guy in a leather vest with no shirt underneath pushing boxes on stage, look for the girl to match. Enough said.
  • Lighting Guy's Girlfriend - There are two types in this category. The first closely resembles the Rhythm Player's Girlfriend. The second is likely to be a spitfire with a brain and an opinion, easily differentiated from the Bass Player's Girlfriend by the lower number of piercings and tattoos. Not to be confused with girls who date theatrical lighting designers.
  • Sound Guy's Girlfriend - The Sound Guy is either a total schmuck, in which case look for him to be accompanied by girls from the Rhythm Player or Roadie category. Otherwise look for the girl with understated good looks who has her shit together. She may easily be mistaken for the Stage Manager as she will be mothering the rest of the band to keep the show on the road. Do NOT cross the Soundguy's Girlfriend, the "Suck" knob on that mixer is just a fingertip away.

I'm interested to see what type of people read my blog, so take the survey in the sidebar. To include male votes, let's assume that the hypothetical musicians can be either male or female, depending on your own gender/preference/etc.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Perception Disorder

So I have this little issue with sarcasm. I have a great love for sarcasm and tend to ladle it liberally over everything like a rich sauce. The only problem I have is that unless I'm right in the middle of an obvious sarcasm-fest, I have little or no ability to detect it.

I just read somewhere that scientists have located the part of your brain that detects sarcasm by studying people with a specific kind of dementia. These are folks to whom you could say, "Wow, nice weather" in the middle of a blizzard and they wouldn't get it. I'm not quite that bad, but I get caught out quite a bit.

HA! THERE! Not my fault!!!

I realize that this may not appear to be quite the cathartic experience you see on a lot of blogs, but this is huge for me. All those years of not-quite-getting-it are now suddenly ameliorated. It's not my fault that I wind up red-faced in conversation at least three times a day because my brain is deffective! Well, that might be putting it a little strongly, but who knew you could actually be physically short on sarcasm detection?

I'll start a foundation! We'll hold fund raisers! There'll be little buttons you can click on websites to donate to the cure! We'll have little ribbon magnet stickers to put on the trunk of your car... in TARTAN! (Drip! Whoops, got a little sarcasm on the keyboard there.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Contact

I had a ham radio first while on vacation this weekend. I have my call sign, KC2PNF on the back of my truck, to identify myself as an amateur radio operator to other hams. Nobody knows why we're called hams, so don't ask. I also have 146.52 next to it, which is the national calling frequency on the 2 meter band. I have those two things on there in the hope that another ham might see me driving and call me on the radio.

This has never happened.

Likely this is because hams in my area tend to have other frequencies that they talk to each other every day on. Sometimes driving down an interstate, hams will look for someone on 6.52, but more often than not they'll just scan around till they hear other hams already talking and join in.

Blah, blah, blah, boring dissertaion on radio...

So anyway, we were driving to see some relatives, The Missus is at the wheel and I'm not paying attention to anything at all. Then she leans over and says, "Hey, there's a ham guy." This statement is amazing enough in that to say that she dislikes radio would be to massively understate things. The second amazing thing was that it was KC2LGR, a ham formerly from the area whom I've spoken to in his new location in Arizona. And to top it off he had 146.52 on the back window of his truck.

So I whipped out my HT, which is ham-speak for walkie talkie, and gave him a call. After three tries with no answer, The Misses made use of the passing gear and I stuck my fingers out the window. No, I didn't flip him off for not responding, I signed five two, five two. He got on frequency and we said a few words. That was it.

This is what passes for high excitement in the world of ham radio. I guess I'm bent, cause I thought so too. Not quite as exciting as working a station in Eastern Europe or the depths of South America, but not bad for what would otherwise have been a boring car trip.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quote of the Day - Steppin

J-Man let one rip at the dinner table tonight...
Me: Hey Jack, did you step on a duck just now?
Jack: I step on a cow!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Happy Birthday

Here is the story of how my birthday was almost very un-happy. Thursday this week I had to leave work early to go do a gig. It was in Buffalo so I was super careful to keep my truck locked, and I was even able to park it right close to where I was mixing so I could keep an eye on it.

About 11 that night I went out to grab my water jug to fill it and found that it wasn't there. Then I suddenly realized that both my tool belts were missing as well. This was no small item to be missing as I am well invested in tool belts. It would be something like $400 just to replace the belts, and then get started on the tools.

It took a while to sink in. I reviewed the situation as calmly as I could. I still have an old belt in my truck, and a spare hammer, tape, knife and speed square. So I could still get to work the next day. Then I started to go back over the day and tried to think of any time that I had not been in the truck and it had also been unlocked. I thought of a guitar player who borrowed my keys to get a cord, but that was it. I nearly called him at midnight to cuss him out but decided to throw things instead. I blogged about it with a good deal of inappropriate language, and finally just lay in bed shaking mad till the wee hours of the night.

A brief excerpt from that blog entry:
... no good lousy bastard son of a llamma farmer who likely still wets the bed...
I woke up still ticked off and went striding out to the truck, thinking how I was going to explain this at work when I froze, one foot off the ground. I had piled up all my tools at the back of the barn and gone to get my truck so I didn't have to carry them all 400 feet to where I was parked. I stopped to talk to the boss and then just drove off. I quick ran back into the house to delete my angry post with the elaborate cursing in it and drove off to work with a sheepish smile.

Then the real fun began. There wasn't anything said outright, but it seemed as though the crew was conspiring to keep me from doing anything too strenuous. Every time I tried to jump in on some heavy lifting I got waved off. I even got to drive the Bobcat for an hour, which is more time than I've spent in it in the last six months.

The second half of the day got even better. I rolled straight from work to the gig. I had already stowed all the gear we would need in the back room of a shop that opened up ten feet from the stage. My assistant and I went from zero to noise in just a tick over forty-five minutes. I then had about two hours of the easiest mixing I've seen all summer.

Then my wife popped in to say that I'd better get right over to the Pub because there were people waiting. I had no idea... My guy stayed on to pack out my gear and I hot footed it to the Pub. The Missus had been busy e-mailing because there were about twenty people that I hadn't seen in forever, all throwing beer chips at me.

Well...when the work is all done, and I don't have to do any more driving, it's time to get into trouble. At one point we ordered a pizza because the kitchen was closed. The bartender seemed a little ticked off at that, but he was too busy pouring to make much trouble for us. Hey... when you bring that much business through the door you get a little leeway I think. Five pints o' the Black Stuff (Guinness) and a shot of Maker's Mark later we finally crawled out of that place.

A brief excerpt from that segment of the evening:
... Maker's Mark eh? Well I'm not usually a bourbon drinker but, (clang) hey, that's not bad, whoa dude, you're two pints behind, these are both for you Birthday Boy, oh hey! Is that your pizza? Sweet, let's get into that!


I haven't had a hangover like that since I was in college. It was 4:30 in the afternoon before I could even think about food without heaving. And I was thinking about food a good deal. My parents were taking us out to our favorite little restaurant and I was not going to miss that. By the way, if you live in Western New York you seriously need to check out the Valley Inn in Warsaw, NY. We Daytons have dined all over the world, and in some pretty classy joints too. This place is the hands down winner. And to top it all off, four people can get stuffed for under $100.

My life never ceases to surprise me. Just when I thought it was going to be yet another birthday with eighteen or so billable hours and no real celebration to speak of, my Missus turns it into a full blown party. I'm a lucky fella.

By the way, for anyone wondering, I'm thirty two. Those thirty two years include nineteen years of carpentry, sixteen years of music production, seven years of marriage, and five years of parenthood. What's on your list? Leave me a comment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm That Guy

OK, so... I'm about to be that guy. The moment I got home tonight my wife informed me that the Buffalo Philharmonic was playing in a nearby park and we were all going. Blah, blah, blah, we get there. As we're crossing the green and the portable shell is looming, I immediately notice that they're miced up. (That's mike-ed for any non-soundguys) It hadn't occurred to me that this is how you rock it outside, as all the orchestral gigs I've ever worked were in halls.

So there's dual 18s and a teeny-weeny little line array on either side. For the non-soundguys this translates into, "A nice little sound system". Apparently the guy at the helm hadn't done much orchestral mixing though. I'll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that one soundguy and one soundguy's wife did not enjoy the performance to the fullest extent. Decorum dictated that we not shuffle over and tweak on the guy though. When people come bother me at the mix it makes me want to self medicate. I usually don't do much in the way of satisfying their demands either. Stupid ego.

By way of example, here's a short side trip to the bar gig that I did over the weekend:
So I was mixing in a tiny little bar and the band was doing all right and the place was packed. A couple dozen people had come up to tell me that it sounded great, which usually doesn't mean much coming from a bunch of plastered rednecks. But then a musician I know, who is brothers with a soundguy came up and paid me a compliment, and that does mean a little something. So then this tweaker comes up and loudly complains to the lighting guy (tee hee) that my horns (the bits that make the high frequencies) are junk and I need to do something about it. Sparky turned around and relayed that to me, even though it was clearly audible above the performance. We rolled our eyes and went back to work.

During the next set, he came up again and this time complained loudly to my muso friend who chuckled under his cowboy hat the entire time. I commented to him (the muso) that of course I would grab my Leatherman and get right after changing those pesky horns rightthisveryminute. Somebody had tipped me off by this point that the guy was a DJ (reads: lowest form of life in the audio food chain) at a particularly scuzzy bar where the unwritten motto seems to be, "Just make it LOUD".

I found myself in an all too infrequent position. I had plenty of time to formulate a real blaster of a statement for this mook and was likely going to be able to deliver it as he seemed to want to come complain near me about every forty minutes. (And hee was getting closer to actually speaking to the actual sound guy every time he came over. He never showed up. So I didn't get a chance to say, "Sniff... sniff... You're a DJ aren't you? Never mind then, I was going to explain a little something about making a band sound natural and not drilling holes in people's ears, but I don't have time to explain it three times. Why don't you go press play on something and leave the mixing to the big kids, OK?"

That's the kind of ass a soundguy turns in to when approached by another "professional" who appears to be a know-nothing.
So, the proper way to address a soundguy so that he doesn't get his tender ego wounded and slough you off as just another punter (British term for stupid audience member) is as follows.

  1. Start by sliding up and waiting until said sound guy isn't actively tweaking any knobs.
  2. Don't criticize the mix... yet.
  3. Say hi and ask him something inane like what company does he work for.
  4. Say something to the effect of, "Wow, that's a lot of knobs, how do you keep track of it all."
  5. The soundguy is now properly primed.
  6. You can now say something like: "Have you heard how it sounds over there?" or "I'm going to come sit over here, it sounds way better next to you." or "Oh, it really does sound different under this little tent/in this little booth/etc."
  7. Pretend to see someone you know, wave at them and leave.
  8. When it starts to sound better and your friends raise their eyebrows at you say, "You just have to know how to work these industry types."
Actually, soundguys aren't all that much more egotistical than any one else is. Consider the following scenario. Somebody barges into your space while you're at work and with a scowl tells your your typing sucks and then tells your how to adjust your margins, then stands there till you do it. If it were possible to shove margins up somebody's nose, you'd probably want to do it.

Anyway, the Philharmonic played a hell of a show. The punters applauded between movements because they didn't know any better. They squinted their eyes when the xylophone played because the high-mids were way to crispy and they were getting punched in the eardrums and didn't even know it. (The guy was just bloody ham fisted on that mixer, it's a crying shame that he's mixing every day and I'm swinging a hammer to fill in between gigs!) And the soundguy and his wife sat in their folding chairs on the lawn feeling superior, and with good reason... it's not that we're elitist, we're just better at concerts than everyone else.

That last bit was just for comedy's sake. My industry buddies will get a laugh out of it. The rest of you get the moral:

An expensive education will only serve to ruin your speciality for any enjoyment when you're off the clock. Soundguys shouldn't go to concerts.

Five For Fighting

Yeah, so... a friend of mine tried to break up a fight this weekend and in the process got his jaw broken. Actually he was trying to prevent a massively one sided pounding from taking place, coming to the aid of a single guy getting tenderized by half a dozen assailants.

First of all, this happened in a huge crowd. (Steam beginning to rise) What the hell is wrong with people that there wasn't a flood of strong arms to break this up? Oh yeah. The fingers on the ends of those arms were likely too busy text messaging to be bothered.

dood ths guy is totally getting pounded

no way

yeah wanna play Xbox 2nite?

whatever

And secondly, what the hell ever happened to a fair fight? What happened to, "You and me by the bike rack after school!" In some small way it was like chivalry in days of old. Now if you want to settle with some punk for hitting on your girl you just get five buddies and sucker punch him when he's not looking.

I'll admit, the testosterone gets to pumping when I hear about something like this, especially when it's about someone I know. Somewhere deep in my cells, the Y chromasomes start beating a battle march. And then I think back to the one time I ever punched someone in the face in anger and how awful I felt about it later. Shortly after that though departs, I start thinking about how utterly satisfying it used to be when I could outsmart, humiliate, and otherwise discredit and demoralize my adversary using my wits alone.

Gone are those days. I guess I'll have to train my sons to travel in packs and always keep an eye on the blind spots. You never know when some riotous band of revenge seekers might pop up and ruin your face for life because of something somebody said about somebody's girlfriend. (Pretty much boiling now)

I'm pretty sure I've devised a method to head off this type of behavior in future generations of boys though. I've already begun sowing the seeds. Curious? You'll have to read my other blog to find out what it is. CLICK HERE TO SEE.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cross Posting

I have been informed that it is bad practice to post items from one blog on another and that I should just link to them instead. The idea was to have just daddy-type stuff on my blog The Mister and everything else over here, including daddy-type stuff. But I'm told that I should keep them separate and so despite the counterintuitive nature of this arrangement, I'm going with the conventional wisdom here.

If you'd like to read about how we play Musical Beds at our house, you should click the link and read about it over there. Don't forget to keep checking in over here though, or else you'll miss out on all my ramblings on topics like pro-audio, small town America, and whatever other mental toe jam falls out on my keyboard.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tractor Pull

If you've never been to a Tractor Pull, you probably ought to at least once in your life. It's a big. deal. All the girls get totally gussied up and all the guys have on their best sleeveless shirts with rude sayings on them. Everybody smokes and chews and spits and drinks wildly expensive cans of beer.

Then there's the marvels of modern machinery that roll down the track about every four minutes. Everything from stock, off the lot farm tracktors up through modifieds, super modifieds, pro stockers, super stockers and the ultimate... the unlimiteds. Monsters roar by consuming mass quantities of everything from pump diesel to jet fuel to methanol dragster fuel. The ground shakes, your eyeballs jiggle in thier sockets.

And these machines are the weekend hobbies of farmers and contractors, regular folks who put their all into it for a single shot on a Saturday night. There's just something particularly inspiring about a guy or a family who works their life away, and then for fun on the weekends sinks a few hundred grand into mounting three huge V-8s on a chassis for the purpose of driving it just over 300 feet... if they're lucky.

There's something strangely personal about it as well. Maybe you know the owner or the driver. Some folks root for the John Deere's and when an International blows up mid-run you hear jeers of, "Shoulda bought a green one buddy!" And vise versa of course. Maybe just the mere thought of 5000 horsepower on a single chassis makes it OK to live the rest of the year in a sea of wimpy compacts. I swear to Heaven that i once saw a row of white haired old men get all misty when a tractor sporting twin vintage Allison V-12 airplane engines roared past, apparently trailing the glory of American WWII air superiority from the stacks, invisible to the rest of us. And don't even get me started about the Mopar guys. When one particular beastie hooks on to the sled sporting triple 426 Hemi blocks, the ground actually starts to shake before the run from all the fans of old time Detroit muscle.

I try to make it every year. Sometimes I sit with my brother-in-law and we drool over technical data. Sometimes I sit with my redneck buddies and shout things like, "Hold yer hands up boys, it's rainin' parts!" when one blows up. I sat with my Mom and a forign exchange student from Spain one year, puffing on a cheap cigar and getting a face full of beer. My favorite is bringing along city folks to see the wide eyed disbelief on their faces, and then waiting to see weather they get it or not.

Ahh the tractor pull, so wasteful, so wonderful, so decidedly rural American. Sometimes I'm jealous of my city friends who have all manner of cultural experience at their fingertips. I'll take a pass on the sushi and the opera though... at least when it's time for the pulls.

Old Friends

What luck to have a handful of really good friends in this world. In college I was tight with four other guys and we called ourselves the A-Team. Over the years we've all moved around and found lovely wives and the times we see each other are pretty few and far between. The guys that still live in NYC see each other all the time, and the one from Colorado travels there all the time on business. But for the Daytons, it's pretty much a matter of someone getting married or having a baby in order for us to get a visit in.

Amazingly, the Colorado member of the team was moving through upstate New York on a two week camping vacation and managed an overnight at our place. We picked up right where we left off and it's like barely a day has passed since the wedding we were all at last summer. The kids played, the ladies visited, the men got a face full of booze at the tractor pull up the road, it was sheer bliss.

Not that there's anything particularly earth shattering about this kind of thing, but my scene is full of hundreds of acquaintances, and good ones at that, but contact with really good friends and now their spectacular offspring is good medicine.

Thanks for comin' guys. And put the iPhone down dude, pay some attention to your wife.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Spark

I have a little housekeeping to do. Firstly, I put up a very short post after the weekend about the number of stages I ran and bands I mixed this weekend. I was going to get in to all of that but really it was just not that spectacular a weekend. The only exceptional things about it were these. I got hired to do a festival that kept growing and I wound up having to cover two stages. While I can turn my big sound system into a little sound system pretty much on demand, turning it in to two small systems wasn't a feat I was sure I could pull off. But I did, and it went well, and I got paid and everything. You would have had to be there for any of the jokes/stories to be funny, so I won't bore you.

The real thing that I wanted to post about was the conversation myself and The Missus had on Sunday night with our former babysitter. A little back story is involved. First of all we go way back with her extended family. I grew up next to her grandparents, have been close friends with her cousins and eventually with her aunts and uncles as well. They're a clan that slowly adopts you and it is truly a wonderful thing to be adopted by the Mc****** clan. Second, she was in a Sunday school class taught by my wife when we were just married. Along with her best friend, we found two of the best babysitters ever in recorded history. Along with that, they seemed to find us easily accessible, young enough to be in touch, but old enough to have a little wisdom to impart. So over the years they've poured their hearts out to us as we watched them grow up.

Well, now they're almost all grown up and finishing up college and now we find ourselves with two more adult friends on the roster. It was high time for a catch up session and we had heard about some drama in the life of Miss J and she came over after the short people finally passed out for what we like to call grown-up time. We parked ourselves in some chairs in the back yard, lit some oil lamps, and she unwound the long and involved story of her current relationship.

I'll spare you all the details but this one. Even though she was in the midst of a real upheaval, what with finishing college and changing locations, needless to say the psyche of a boy in his early twenties is not an easy thing to cope with under these circumstances. But despite all this, her aspect when she described the early parts of their romance was so sparkly and excited, it brought back all my memories of when I fell in love with The Missus.

I didn't realize that this was going to get all mushy, but it's too late now, you'll just have to finish. All week long I've been wishing for those feelings to return for me. With the constant grind of children, house and work growing ever more... grindy, I was starting to think about all the magazine articles and talk show episodes about reigniting the "spark". Then I realized that it was happening all by itself.

While the time for extended snuggling and kisses that launch fireworks has kind of passed for us, I'm finding that "true love", the real stuff of marriage, is in still being able to find that other person through the piles of dirty dishes and laundry. My wife is so amazing with all that she does, and still darn cute in shorts despite the best efforts of our flock, pregnancy is no joke people. Something subtle shifted in my perspective towards her this week and I find that I can't wait to get home to her again. (It's actually a little more complicated than that, when I say home to her I really mean home to screaming children who head butt me in the nernies by way of welcome and refuse to eat dinner for an hour before requesting snacks at bed time, then fighting to keep them in their beds while trying to win the never ending battle against the creeping filth in our house and finally getting to be alone with my love about fifteen seconds before her carriage turns into a pumpkin and she has to run from the ball trailing foot ware behind her.)

Whatever the situation, it's great to have someone to be the apple of your eye, and to be someone else's apple too. The words of love flows freely from the mouths of young people, newly together, but the true language develops in the hard times. Poems and flowers are great if you can manage that sort of thing, but the deepest expressions of love my wife and I have for each other are in the dish suds and oil changes, the meals cooked and the diapers changed. It was what they call a mountain top experience when we exchanged our vows, then the rubber met the road when we had to live them out in an ever increasing state of exhaustion. The worse it gets the sweeter my wife gets and the more I love her. My young friends think I'm crazy, but a fast car and a weekend full of partying will never hold the same draw for me now that I've experienced the mini van full of my offspring and weekends full of laundry and gardening.

The Kissing Bug

I just recently started up another blog page just for daddy type stuff. For the benefit of my readers I'll be double posting so you won't have to actually go over there if you don't want to. I was going to start out with my first actual post with my first actual content in it with a tale of swapping stories with an old friend and re-discovering the spark of love. But to hell with that... MY DAUGHTER IS KISSING BOYS!!!

Add that to the list of things she's doing that I thought I had about another decade to get ready for. Example one would be telling me she's moving to Canada while slamming the door in my face and capping it off with a heart felt, "I HATE YOU!". I actually, jokingly, imagined that scenario on the very day she was born and thought, "Whew... at least I have about thirteen years to get ready for that." Guess again. Apparently in this enlightened age when children get e-mail addresses before they learn to tie their shoes you start to be thirteen when you're four!

Whups! Went and spilled the whole thing right there and dun shorted myself a future post.

But at any rate, Miss O has been dropping the occasional statement about some boy from pre-school being the nicest boy in the world and wanting to marry him. But I chalked that up to her watching far too many Barbie movies and weaving the drama into her every day life. The child is only slightly less dramatic than, say... the hypothetical love child of William Shakespeare and Liza Minnelli.

On to the present mayhem. Right after work we hustled the kiddos off to the pizza shop for a quick family outing with my brother-in-law's family who is up from D.C.. For a chaser we took them for ice cream. To cap it off we looked around and saw that not only had we passed bed time, but bed time was actually stuck at a rest stop in Cleveland trying to scrounge up enough change to call someone to pick it up. What a fine time to go a-visiting.

So a-visiting we went to the home of some parent-type friends of my wife's, for me to look at their plaster and electricity. We left their mid-size people in charge of our short people in the back yard and got to lookin. After a solid hour of running and yelling (their favorite game), it was finally time to go. As I deftly split the herd like a german shepard with Jedi mind powers, my daughter rushed up to me and said with the flush of love in her cheeks that she had kissed the boys.

So there I stood blinking with my thirteen/five-year-old daughter beaming at me and speaking in tones right out of a sappy eighties teen movie. Shudder. At any rate, it finally came out that these boys she had been kissing (twice her age for corn sakes!) were actually in the heart of the girls-are-yucky stage and had to first be run down, cornered, relieved of their light sabres and then pecked in the middle of the back before released again into the wild.

It's a good thing my mind was too full of pizza and electrical talk for that all to sink in. Fortunately a quick, "Everybody wash your lips tonight!" left everybody laughing. I'm pretty glad I still don't have any time for all this to really sink in. I have an estimate to do and some bourbon to chase it with.

The moral: Kiss em while they're young (your kids) cause pretty soon they'll be hoochin' around the neighborhood with plans to move to Canada with some dirty Jedi in a Bill's shirt.

This just in... The Missus has just posted her own tale on the subject of our daughter kissing boys. You can find it on her blog entitled The Dayton Time



I was going to start out with my first actual post with my first actual content in it with a tale of swapping stories with an old friend and re-discovering the spark of love. But to hell with that... MY DAUGHTER IS KISSING BOYS!!!

Add that to the list of things she's doing that I thought I had about another decade to get ready for. Example one would be telling me she's moving to Canada while slamming the door in my face and capping it off with a heart felt, "I HATE YOU!". I actually, jokingly, imagined that scenario on the very day she was born and thought, "Whew... at least I have about thirteen years to get ready for that." Guess again. Apparently in this enlightened age when children get e-mail addresses before they learn to tie their shoes you start to be thirteen when you're four!

Whups! Went and spilled the whole thing right there and dun shorted myself a future post.

But at any rate, Miss O has been dropping the occasional statement about some boy from pre-school being the nicest boy in the world and wanting to marry him. But I chalked that up to her watching far too many Barbie movies and weaving the drama into her every day life. The child is only slightly less dramatic than, say... the hypothetical love child of William Shakespeare and Liza Minnelli.

On to the present mayhem. Right after work we hustled the kiddos off to the pizza shop for a quick family outing with my brother-in-law's family who is up from D.C.. For a chaser we took them for ice cream. To cap it off we looked around and saw that not only had we passed bed time, but bed time was actually stuck at a rest stop in Cleveland trying to scrounge up enough change to call someone to pick it up. What a fine time to go a-visiting.

So a-visiting we went to the home of some parent-type friends of my wife's, for me to look at their plaster and electricity. We left their mid-size people in charge of our short people in the back yard and got to lookin. After a solid hour of running and yelling (their favorite game), it was finally time to go. As I deftly split the herd like a german shepard with Jedi mind powers, my daughter rushed up to me and said with the flush of love in her cheeks that she had kissed the boys.

So there I stood blinking with my thirteen/five-year-old daughter beaming at me and speaking in tones right out of a sappy eighties teen movie. Shudder. At any rate, it finally came out that these boys she had been kissing (twice her age for corn sakes!) were actually in the heart of the girls-are-yucky stage and had to first be run down, cornered, relieved of their light sabres and then pecked in the middle of the back before released again into the wild.

It's a good thing my mind was too full of pizza and electrical talk for that all to sink in. Fortunately a quick, "Everybody wash your lips tonight!" left everybody laughing. I'm pretty glad I still don't have any time for all this to really sink in. I have an estimate to do and some bourbon to chase it with.

The moral: Kiss em while they're young (your kids) cause pretty soon they'll be hoochin' around the neighborhood with plans to move to Canada with some dirty Jedi in a Bill's shirt.

This just in... The Missus has just posted her own tale on the subject of our daughter kissing boys. You can find it on her blog entitled The Dayton Time



Sunday, July 06, 2008

Weekend Update

Three days, four stages, twenty-nine bands, walked nine miles on Saturday alone. Further updates on that after I get a nap.

Friday, July 04, 2008

When Friends Stop By

Today I had my yearly 4th of July gig in a nearby park. This marks the first time in four years that it hasn't rained on the event and I must say that I find it far more enjoyable when I'm not trying to keep water out of my gear. It was just a perfect summer day, with a giant American flag suspended from two towering trees, over girls in cotton print dresses pushing happy, sticky children in strollers.

Another aspect of today's show was the decidedly unhurried manor in which I loaded it in. Generally I arrive on time, only to wait for the tent crew to finish up and then scramble to get my stuff in under cover before we start. For that matter, most gigs that I do require me to hustle at load in and that is not my favorite thing, it's unprofessional. Not today my friends, I strolled, I ambled, I plodded, I picked away... I may have even lollygagged a little bit. And I was ready to go ten minutes before start time.

But the real joy of today was all the people that stopped by my little tent at the mix position. It started with a loud "HEY" as my lighting guy stopped by on the way to get a sausage. Then I felt a friendly hand on my shoulder and a bass player sat down next to me. We got into a discussion about how in the old days of recording and radio they just used one mic. We both got a chuckle when the closing act did just that.

My wife and children swung by the mix for a quick visit, then disappeared into the throng for a good four hours until I saw them again. My folks were next. They drifted off and back. They finally wound up parked in folding chairs just behind me, visiting with friends that saw them and stopped, and paying the occasional compliment to my mix. More band members, former assistants, an elderly ham radio operator that heard me talking about the gig on the air.

In addition to being a really easy gig, I had a constant flow of friends and relations stopping by. It was quite a nice change from the usual grind of band members brimming with attitude, stressed out promoters and things going wrong. Like I've said before, once in a while you get one that reminds you why you do this.