Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Heavenly

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Travel, Uncategorized

This is cooler than any art that I can create.  Heavenly is the right name.

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Second Letter

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Art, etc., Uncategorized

This will be a short one, this morning I knocked out the second letter in the name mural I m making for the babies room. Done in pen.

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Split Lip Rayfield

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Music, Uncategorized

So, Split Lip Rayfield played the Old Rock House last weekend and once again put on an amazing show.  Anyone who hasn’t seen SLR since Kirk passed away in 2007 is missing out.  Not to be confused, they were an amazing band fo 4 with Kirk, my point is that they are now an amazing band of 3.  The energy that these guys bring to the stage is probably the main reason that this punk-rock oriented music fan has found himself at the concert of a Bluegrass band from Kansas.  SLR is what I think would happen is punk and bluegrass had a few too many cocktails and made a baby.   I have heard this referenced as Cowpunk and also Stage Five music, which wikipedia has explained to me, and you can read about here

To answer your first question, yes, the bass is made from the gas tank of a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis and there is only one string and it is made from a weedwhacker cord, its name is Stitchgiver. A lot a bassists can’t play as fast or true as Jeff Eaton with four strings, but he makes it happen with one string (and a lot of what appears to be household clear-tape, which he uses to wrap all the cuts that his contraption gives him during the course of a show). Here is a little better pic of the bass.

I can’t say enough about the show that these guys put on. The level of energy that they play with for a set length that is a crazy bang for your buck is breathtaking. As a little bit of back story, I first saw SLR in 2002 on a snowboarding trip to Colorado in a small venue in downtown Breckenridge when they opened for the Reverend Horton Heat. As always the Rev. was great, but SLR was completely captivating. This was one of the first trips that I took with my partner in crime, so maybe it has a soft spot in my memory, but I recall this show as kind of an awakening of what the right band could do with traditionally acoustic instruments to have the same energy and weight as a rock-show. Since that day I have tried to catch SLR whenever possible, if anything, since these guys formed in Wichita I use it as one of the few reasons that I can think of to recognize Kansas.

Here is a youtube video of a song to introduce anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure:

PENNYWISE

Posted: April 2, 2012 in Music, Uncategorized

I won’t waste a lot of words saying how influential Pennywise has been to me throughout the years.  There is something I can’t completely put my finger on related to some of these punk bands that I grew up with still getting out there, making music and retaining their message through the grey hairs.  Maybe this is me feeling lame sitting at a desk all day, but Pennywise’s music has been a big part of my life the last 20 years, so might as well continue to ride this wave.

Pennywise and Jim Lindbergh parted ways a while back and, sadly for most fans, I thought there were likely done, despite picking up Zoli Teglas for some tours.  As I previously wrote about, Zoli is talented and puts on a great show, but for a lot of folks, he is not Jim and thus not Pennywise. 

A few weeks ago the first track from the upcoming album All or Nothing was released through KROQ and I was stoked to hear the sound.

Today the first single from All or Nothing was released on KROQ’s website and not only do I like it, but it is a somewhat new sound that is exciting.  Bands like NOFX and Pennywise continue to rock and, likely unknowingly, provide some hope for all of us old folks.


enjoy

Key West (January 2012)

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Travel, Uncategorized

It has been a few months since the trip, but in early January we flew down to Ft. Lauderdale with a very rough plan to hang out in the Florida Keyes for a week and have a little New Years vacation. Other than mi esposa’s visit there as a kid, neither of us had been there adults. Let’s start with the important thing for any of our vacations, the sunset in Key West is awesome.   See below.

The drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West wasn’t bad at all, especially because we decided to have no shame and rent red convertible Mustang.  We were those people, and we were loving it thoroughly.  We spent a fair amount of the drive discussing whether we were going to visit anywhere that had captive dolphins.  There was a place that came highly recommended that we thought about a fair amount because they only used rescued dolphins.  Was a hard call, especially after recently watching The Cove (which if you haven’t seen it is extremely sad and definitely worth watching, as I think I have written before).  We opted out.  Really tough call as rescuing dolphins seems important, but growing an industry that keeps dolphins captive for tourists is equally (if not more) compelling as far as being on the comfortable side of karma. 

Although Mallory Square is a little bit touristy, the sunset is definitely going on the wall with Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Dominican.

Sunset at Mallory Square  

There is an attitude about Key West that is hard to put your finger on, but it pretty amazing. The best example I can think of is the endless amounts of Roosters that strut around the mangrove island. No one bothers the Roosters for doing their thing, and in return, the roosters appear to sleep late and not really get to making noise until after 9AM most of the time. It is definitely pretty common to be eating outside and have a rooster running around by your feet.

 

One of the tourist attractions that we walked by was Southernmost Point, which pretty much is what it sounds like. In a funny moment (to us, possibly not the folks I am about to mention) we walked up on the Southernmost Point the first morning that we were in Key West and immediately walked up on the right side and snapped a picture of mi esposa in the background with the monument. It was right about then that we noticed what was an approx. 75 person deep line of people (on the left side, mind you) waiting to snap a picture at the monument. Whoops. My only tip with the monument is that the area clears out completely when the tour buses leave mid-day and it is probably the coolest at night when the waves come in and spray a mist over the whole area (hence this picture being taken at night and in mist).

  

When is came to accommodations in Key West the options were limitless. There are some really nice hotels there that looked very luxurious, but we were in Key West to explore and enjoy some warm weather in the heart of the STL winter, so we opted for a place that was clean, safe and would not encourage us to spend too much time in the room. We found this room on VRBO for a very reasonable rate. The building had approx. 15 rooms that have their own separate set-up and this was perfect. Reminded me of small European hotels (except in this case there was no lobby or food). Great first experience with VRBO.

 

On to food. While we were walking around checking out the area we didn’t do a lot of sit down meals. Plus, a lot of the nicer places on Duval seemed a little touristy. (I know, we are tourists in Key West, a grown persons Panama City, and we are calling places touristy). We found a lot of good places for drinks and apps, which pretty much is all we need on vacations.

One place that stuck out, to the point of the picture below, and mentioning in this post is Garbos Grill, which is a dressed up food cart. This was not only hands down the best food that I experienced in Key West, but this is some of the best food that I have had in a long time. In true Key West fashion the hours pretty much go to sunset, but despite some hustle we tried for a few days to get to the cart for dinner only to miss it by 15 minutes. Once we finally made it to try to food, it was worth all the wait. Thanks for the meal, will not be easily forgotten.

 

The other food that is worth mentioning is B.O.’s Fish Wagon. This is an actual building, but very laid back and very good. Conch fritters (“I have the Conch”- Piggy, Lord of the Flies) are awesome. A decent place for locals and tourists to get together and have some cheap and awesome food. There is a place on the water about a block away from this that has great drinks, but it was too dark to get a picture.   I think it is called Schooners, and I believe that the Rum Runner with a Dark Meyers floater is worth the walk (and I normally despise Rum).

  

Last on the food topic, Key West and the other Keyes are obviously known for Key Lime Pie. As such, people feel inclined to crown a winner. Although mi esposa and I did not agreement, I think that this piece from Blue Heaven wins in my book (plus this place has awesome Bloody Mary’s and better atmosphere than anywhere else we went to get pie (which was a lot of places). If they offered some real limes on the side to squeeze, I think it would have been unanimous. Blue Heaven also has really really good coffee and breakfast. The crepe place across the street isn’t too shabby either as long as you can get a seat on the deck outside.

  

Things to do that are worth checking out for sure:

1. We booked a sunset tour with SUP Key West. Although I paddle a fair amount and mi esposa paddles on vacation, we have never been on a guided tour before. The paddle itself was as expected and fun, but the guide (working on her name) was really great. She was amazingly knowledgeable about the Keys and the ecosystem there. We stopped a lot to look at sealife and birds and in a few cases we were able to get some of the animals onto the boards to check out. Was a really good experience and definitely something I would recommend booking. The company does kayaks as well, but on a SUP board you can see so much better down into the water. We got out to the sunset in time to have a beer and sit on the boards to take in the scenery, then we got to paddle though an awesome south Florida shower on the way back in.

There are a lot of companies that offer kayaking, and probably a few that offer SUP, but the knowledge and personality of our guide would make this tour the one to go with in our opinion. There is something great about a tour that feels relaxed and not one that hurries you through the paces so that they can be on to the next. Working on pictures from the tour and will update the post.

  http://supkeywest.com/SUP_Key_West/Contact_Us.html

2. Dry Tortugas. We had never heard of this place prior to this trip and I believe that we came across it in a brochure at the VRBO room, but it is awesome.  I included a link to the Wikipedia page for folks who want to get a full-history (at least as full as you can get on the internet).  This is a National Park that was a Union Stronghold in the Civil War.  It is approx. 70 miles off Key West and an amazing structure, especially based on how long it has been around.  It is “Dry” Tortugas  (Turtle- both because they visit there and its shape I am guessing) because there is no water, which apparently is why the Fort was eventually only used as a prison and now is a National Park.  Apparently water is important and a shifting sand base isn’t a great place to try to store water for long periods of time.  This excursion was totally worth the few hours you spend on a boat getting there and back.  It was beautiful and the type of place that not many people get to go.  If you don’t like boats, there is also a sea plane that expedites the trip at an additional cost.  Great snorkeling and exploring of the structure.  Great day.

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_Tortugas

Larry and His Flask

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Saw Larry and His Flask open for The Reverend Horton Heat last night at the Firebird in STL.  It is not super often that I head out to a show to see the non-headliner, but Larry and His Flask are worth the effort, and the Rev’d is always wortha  watch.  The first time I saw LAHF was at Riotfest in Chicago 2012, where they put on a great show and ad a huge stage to use at the Congress Theatre, but the sound wasn’t perfect.  Last night, the sound was great in a smaller club, but they had to do their best with a smaller stage.  In any event, AWESOME SHOW, GREAT BAND.  Worth checking out anytime.  I posted earlier that LAHF could use my house when in STL, which I am sad to report did not happen, which probably is for the best seeing as it was a Tuesday night and I am not as young as I used to be.  Regardless, thank you Larry and thank you to your flask.

  

Here is a link to a a video and a audio only file:

Just for no reason

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Seems like a good day to listen to Same in the End by Sublime, so, here you go. 

Maybe after that you are still bored and want to google “NOFX and Occupy” and watch some of the performances that Fat Mike and Eric Melvin have been putting on in SF and LA at the Occupy camps.  As this blog is politics free, I won’t talk about Occupy itself (much), but I will say that bands that can sell out the House of Blues but that are also willing to play for free to a group of people who are exerting their rights to freedom of speech and assembly through the time-honored tradition of civil disobedience, well, that is pretty killer.  Makes me a little warm and fuzzy on a cold December evening. 

Now maybe you want to listen to the rockin version of “Perfect Government” from one of the best albums of all time Punk in Drublic, objectively of course.  Well, I can help with that:

Last, to “Larry and his Flask” when you come to STL let me know if you want to come over and grill out before your show.  I don’t know why I think this is a good idea or that is might happen, but I enjoy the music so let me know.

Happy Friday.