Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Today has become a special holiday in the Franco household. Seven years ago today, we were blessed with a most unusual Halloween gift, our little boy Grasshopper. He has indeed appeared to be a trick at times, but so far he has been a treat far more than a trick. The jury is still out on which he really is but I'm confident they'll find him to be a treat. Both the Wife and I are very proud to call him our little boy.

So Happy Birthday to my little Grasshopper! You have made Halloween one of my absolute favorite holidays of the year.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Updates

Just a couple of things to put out before the weekend starts.

Grasshopper got his first stripe in karate last night. He's vary proud of himself and can't wait to be a yellow belt. Of course, that will take a few more months. They test once per month and you need to earn 3 stripes before you can earn your belt. Still, the Wife and I are very proud of him.

All the tracks are now officially recorded for Voice of the Spirit. The sax solo for the title track was recorded yesterday and sounds good. I'm still in mix down mode. Two songs are complete, 10 to go. I will post clips of the completed songs this weekend hopefully (assuming I have any time at all). One of the songs is Matthew 7:25 and I REALLY need to replace the clip I have. Compared to the finished product, that clip is so freaking bad! It's actually embarassing its so bad.

This weekend is Grasshopper's birthday party for his friends. He's a Halloween baby so Sunday we're have a gymnastics party for him and his friends. They set up cool equipment in the gymnastics center for the kids to jump on and slide through and stuff. I'll probably have pictures next week.

The sun finally came out yesterday so the weather here is better. Thanks for your comments everyone! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tracy Made me do it!

This is a little long, but Tracy twisted my arm. Ok, she didn't twist too hard and I've got nothing else for today so what the hell.

1. FIRST NAME
Vince
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My paternal grandfather
3. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?
No. I want to travel among them.
4. WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVORITE?
The one with my wedding band.
5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?
Cousin's funeral.
6. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
When I can read it.
7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Wine Cured Genoa salami.
8. ANY BAD HABITS?
Blogging
9. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?
Alvin and the Chipmunk's Christmas CD. Love those tunes!
10. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH WHO YOU ARE NOW?
I'd worship me and the ground I walked on.
11. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?
No
12. DO LOOKS MATTER?
Depends. What do you look like?
13. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?
I smolder, yell, and generally fume from hours to days.
14. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?
Heaven.
15. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?
Yes.
16. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?
Didn't have one.
17. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY USELESS?
Ballroom dancing.
18. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL?
You're reading it.
19. ARE YOU SARCASTIC?
You can't tell?
20. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT?
Duh.
21. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY/GIRL?
Nice hips, long legs, willingness to talk to me.
22. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?
I can't repeat the ones my Wife calls me.
23. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Thanks anyway.
24.DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No
25. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE STRONG POINTS?
Yes. Just ask me and I'll tell you all about them.
26. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Anything combined with chocolate.
27. WHO'S YOUR BEST FRIEND
I could say the Wife, but it's cliche and much more complicated than that. She's MY WIFE! Other than that I haven't spoken to my best friend much since he moved to Alabama.
28. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS?
Black, anything bright and sparkly.
29. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE?
4
30. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST RIGHT NOW?
My cousin, Sharon.
31. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
If they like.
33. LAST THING YOU ATE?
Apple.
34. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Co-worker.
35. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN THE PREFERRED SEX?
Ass/legs.
36. DO YOU LOVE THE PERSON WHO POSTED THIS?
As much as I love any other blogger pal.
37. HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
Better than yesterday.
38. FAVORITE DRINK?
Amaretto, on ice.
39. DO YOU LOVE SOMEONE?
Look to the left sidebar for her picture. He's totally HOT!!!
40. Favorite sport?
Football/soccer.
42. EYE COLOR?
Brown.
43. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope
44. SIBLINGS?
One brother, one sister
45. Favorite month?
October
46. FAVORITE FOOD?
Italian
47. LAST SHOW YOU WATCHED?
Law and Order SVU
48. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR?
Christmas
49. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT?
No. What are you doing tonight?
50. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Neither! Fall and Spring
51. HUGS OR KISSES?
Yes.
52. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS?
Relationships. Unless it's the Wife. Then whatever works for her works for me.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Weather Blahs

It appears the crappy weather that has enveloped the east coast is affecting many whose blogs I read. For me lately, it's produced a high frustration level. Or pehaps that's work and the weather isn't helping. All I know is that lately I really want to smack some of the people I support. For example:

We upgraded parts of our email system to give a secure email capability. Without going into to much techie detail, it checks to see if personal or medical information might be in an outgoing email and then encrypts the email. The recipient needs to download a program to open the email. I get a call from one of our senior managers that an outside organization is not getting our email that are being encrypted. So I ask if the other company's spam filter might have caught the notification. He and the person that was supposed to recieve the email say No Way! I ask them to check anyway and guess what, the spam filter got it.

I later get a call the email are still not going from us to this company. Again it turns out to be a problem on the other. Now just yesterday this same manager tells us that he sent email to someone in his department and they didn't get it. All internal. I found the email in the person's deleted items. Unread. There is an apparant lack of faith in the email system which is working EXACTLY as we designed it. They just don't like the small amount of extra work involved. I feel like going all Darth Vader on them like in the original Star Wars. When he's choking the one officer with the Force and saying "I find your lack of faith....disturbing." I cannot fix user error people. Not quite an ID 10 T error, but same effect.

I've been trying not to bring this frustation home, but it's difficult. I'm sure the Wife has noticed but she hasn't said anything yet, so I must be doing a minimal job keeping it under control. Hopefully the weather will break soon and I can get rid of this crappy mood. At least there's nothing at home that's really causing any of it. It makes it harder when work and home are getting to you.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Return of the Champions

I just received the copy of Return of the Champions on CD today. I bought it off Ebay after the Queen concert. The show was so cool, I thought I'd get the live CD. The songs on the CD are the same as the ones at the show with two notable exceptions: a Paul Rodgers song called "Wishing Well", and one of my all time favorite Queen songs, I Want To Break Free. I was hoping they'd do the song and was a little disappointed, but not much.

For those that have not seen the video for this song, it is a must. The band dresses up in drag and mocks a popular British soap (can't remember the name). Below is a picture of the band from the video.


Image Courtesy of Queen Online

Let me tell you, Roger Taylor looks totally hot as a school girl. Who knew he was such a babe? And watching Freddie push around a vacuum in a mini-skirt and high heals is a scream.

The CD is going in my car tomorrow morning. I'll let everyone know how it is. I heard a few songs off of it in the parking lot before the Queen show, so I know it's pretty good. In the mean time, enjoy!

I Want to Break Free

Words and music by john deacon

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows God knows I want to break free

I’ve fallen in love
I’ve fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know it’s for real
I’ve fallen in love yeah
God knows God knows I’ve fallen in love

It’s strange but it’s true
I can’t get over the way you love me like you do
But I have to be sure
When I walk out that door
Oh how I want to be free baby
Oh how I want to be free
Oh how I want to break free

But life still goes on
I can’t get used to living without living without
Living without you by my side
I don’t want to live alone hey
God knows got to make it on my own
So baby can’t you see
I’ve got to break free


Quick post

I wanted a quick clarification to a new feature on my blog. As you can see on the left, I have a Something to Ponder section. I've decided to add little snipets of things that make me think. The lines are from the bridge of the song mentioned on the new Stryper album, Reborn. It's a little cryptic out of context of the rest of the lyrics, but that section hits me the hardest. The song is taken from the passage in the New Testament where Jesus tells everyone what you do for the least of those around you, you do it for Him (feed the hungry, visit the sick and in prison, etc). When you then add those lines, it's pretty power stuff. Makes you wonder if we do enough for those less fortunate than ourselves.

I've tried commenting on blogs today but it appears Haloscan is broken. Again. Stupid haloscan. Which of you suggested I use it, anyway? I need a scapegoat.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Misadventures in Transportation





Can you tell which is The Wife and which is Grasshopper? Aren't they cute?

So this is the tale of my trails and tribulations with the New York/New Jersey public transportation system. It all begins on Friday evening when we arrive at our hotel in Rutherford New Jersey. We picked the hotel because it had a bus stop across the street. We had no intention of driving in the city and paying the parking costs.

The bus arrived roughly on time, about 5 mintues late. Not bad by any standard. The trip was supposed to take 20 minutes per the schedule. Hah! Schedules! The transit system spits on the paper they are made from and disdain them even as toilet paper. It took well over an hour to get from Rutherford, near Giant's Stadium, through the Lincoln Tunnel, into the Port Authority terminal. And there was no obvious reason for a traffic jam!

Our goal that night was to get to the Guggenheim Museum before it closed at 8 pm. We left the hotel at 4:30. We reached the city at 6 pm and had not had dinner yet. So we stopped for a quick bite at the McDonald's on 42nd Street and attempted to utilize the subway system. However, the closest stop was about 6 blocks away. By a little after 6:30, we made it to the subway. By the time we got the correct trains and made it to the closest stop, it was 7:30. We reached the museum about 10 minutes before close. Not enough time to enter the museum, just look through the gift shop. The trip back was uneventful but we returned to the hotel around 9:45.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to get a bus into the city at a reasonable hour. After a 45 minute bus ride, we arrived at the Port Authority around 9:30. We got to the Intrepid Museum just before 10 am, when it opened. So far so good. But then we had to meet Julie at the Museum of Natural History. So off to the subway again. We purchased all day passes and entered the subway. Except we entered on the side of the street for downtown, and we had to go uptown. The only way to get to the other side was to exit, cross the street, and reenter. Only you can't reenter the same station in an 18 minute period. So we had to take the train downtown one stop and switch to an uptown train. One of the ones on the Blue line. Only of the three trains on that line, two go uptown and one goes to Queens. Guess which one we got on? Yup, the one to Queens. We figured that out prior to actually getting to Queens, got on a train going the other way, and 45 mintues later were back where we started. We finally got an uptown train and got to the museum an hour late.

We decided not to brave the subway and took the bus back to Times Square and then walked to the Port for the bus ride back to the hotel. That night, we totally planned the trip back on Sunday. Which trains we needed, uptown or downtown, train numbers, everything.

So Sunday morning, I and the kids hopped the bus back into the city (the Wife was still so whipped from the previous day that she stayed behind to rest). Our directions were flawless. We got on all the right trains and ended up exactly where we wanted to be. Never mind it took nearly an hour and a half to get from the hotel to the Empire State Building and a half hour from there to FAO Schwartz's. We got back to the Port Authority terminal with plenty of time to catch the 3 pm bus. The bus even got there 5 mintues early. I had finally mastered the NY/NJ transit system on my final day!

But, oh, what a bitch the NY/NJ transit system is. We pulled out of the gate at the terminal, went around the first curve out to the street when BANG! The bus stops. The driver gets out. Yes, you guessed it, FLAT TIRE! So after a 45 mintue wait, a new bus arrives and I get back to the hotel. As soon as I got there, I called for a limo to the Queen concert. That went off without a hitch.

I have no idea what I had done to so anger the Mistress that is the NY/NJ transit system. But I must have angered her greatly to have so infuriated her. Those of you that deal with it on a daily basis must tell me what sacrifices must be offered up to her in order to smoothly and quickly reach your destinations. For my feable offerings were insufficent to ensure my promptness.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When Vince Met Julie


Proof of Blog Meet

Ok, Julie, sorry for the picture, but it's the only one we took. Didn't realize your eyes were closed when the shot was taken. Please don't hunt me down and kill me in my sleep!

So, here's the tale of my very first blog meet! The plan for the day was as such: Franco family goes to the USS Intrepid museum in the morning. After lunch, meet up with Julie, Julie's mom, Rick, and Rick's youngest at the Muesuem of Natural History. We made it to the Intrepid museum when it opened as planned. From there it all went to hell.

We made the mistake of walking from the Port Authority Terminal to the Intrepid. The map said about 8 blocks. How far could that be? Pretty fucking far. Didn't seem like a big deal walking out there. But then we spent the next 2 hours walking around an aircraft carrier. Then had to walk another 8 blocks to a subway station. THEN, we ended up on the wrong side of the street when we got on the subway, and ended up riding around for an hour before we finally made it to the Museum of Natural History an hour late. I will not go into too much detail about the subway as I will be devoting a post to how NYC transportation hates me.

So we managed to finally meet up with Julie an hour later than we had planned. Julie, I must say, took everything in stride and was ultra cool. We were totally exhausted, at least, the Wife and I were. The boys were still FULL of engery. The little snots. We went into the museum and the Wife was so tired she ended up sitting in the African Mammal exhibit with Julie's Mom while Julie, Rick, his youngest, the boys and I looked around. We spent most of our time in the dinosaur and earth exhibits. Again, Julie was very understanding of the fact that I must have looked like death warmed over.

Julie was fun to hang out with. The Wife felt bad that she didn't get a chance to look around with us. I think my favorite moment at the museum was when Julie managed a small anti-Bush rant in with Rick's youngest while looking at the earth exhibit. It was impressive how she managed to work it in. And so politely explain why Bush is such an asshole without actually using the word in front of a kid.

We all left the Museum at about 4:30 after the obligatory blog picutres. I think Julie's came out better than mine, since she had Rick retake hers. I met up with Julie again outside the Queen concert the following night. We hung out a little before the show and got our T-Shirts, etc. Actually, I got the T-Shirt and 6 pence, she got the hoodie. Must be nice having a mom that slips you some extra bucks to get the cool stuff. After the show, Julie's mom was kind enough to give me a ride back to the hotel. We got only slightly lost, but managed to find the hotel with only one or two turn arounds. I learned that one of the advantages of having a very tall significant other is that they can reach across a windshield and clean it with one swipe of a squeegee at a gas station. And that Julie's mom will find a cheaper gas station less than 5 minutes of filling the tank.

All and all, meeting Julie was a definate high point of the weekend. I shall regale you with more stories this week, including afore mentioned transportation story, plus the other sundry adventures of the Franco family in the Big Apple. Finally, I DO HAVE PICTURES! Here's the link to our site. Just click on the picture to start the slide show. Most of the pictures are from the Intrepid, as I was too tired to bother going back to where the Wife sat to get the digital camera. Dammit, we're so fucking old, its sad.


Monday, October 17, 2005

God Save Queen

I've decided to post first about the Queen concert. So many things happened over the weekend that it's going to take a few posts to get it all in. However, one of the points of the trip was the concert and it was the most emotional for me so I thought I'd begin there.

I met up with Julie at the concert. We'd gotten together the day before, so this wasn't our first meet, but that's another story. She had Rick and her mom with her. Both are very cool people. Once inside, Julie and I bought some souveniers. I got a T-Shirt and a Brian May/Queen/Paul Rogers 2005 six pence, which is the coin Brian uses as a guitar pick. I tried it out on my guitar. I found it too small and not my style, but it is cool to have.

My seat turned out to be on the floor. When I bought the ticket, all I knew was the general area that price seats were. I thought I would be in the first row of seats off of the floor. It turns out I was on the floor, dead center, 10 rows back from the runway the had going out from the stage. Totally awesome seats!

Queen started with Tie Your Mother Down. When everyone came out I was totally blown away. It was so unreal. For about the first 10 minutes it felt like I was watching the concert on TV or something. It took a while to sink in that I was seeing them live. Seeing Brian May up close and personal like that was probably the ultimate for me. The guy is my biggest guitar hero. And he didn't disappoint.

I liked the fact that during the show, Brian did some songs, Roger sang some songs, and Paul Rogers sang some songs. They really spread it out and let everyone take the spotlight for a while. Two things really stuck out for me. The first was watching Brian after he did 39 and Love of My Life. He really looked choked up with emotion. And according to his website, he really was. I think it was overwhelming for the band and the audience.

The other thing that really affected me was when the did BoRap. They had Freddie playing on the screen behind the band from the Magic tour. The had the track of him playing piano and singing. The band played along with the track. It was like having him there. Paul Rogers came out after the operatics and they finished the song. Normally, entertainers, whether music, movies, whatever, don't do anything for me. I could care less what they have to say or what they do. Queen and Freddie are different. When Freddie died, it was like part of me died with him. Queen's music was so much a soundtrack for my life. Certain songs were very important to me at different times. Losing Freddie meant no more new songs, no more new emotions I could express through them. It's hard to explain. Even after 13 years, I still get choked up when I hear songs from the Innuendo CD, released just before he died. Those Are The Days of Our Lives and The Show Must Go On were also very hard on me.

All in all the show was everything I'd hoped and more. If I get a chance to see them again, I probably will. I don't know if it will be as good as this was, but I must thank Queen for coming back to the states and putting on what had to be the best show I'd ever seen. The only thing really missing was having John Deacon on the bass. That would have been icing on the cake.

If any of you get a chance to see this show, then go. You will not regret it.

BTW, now that I've seen Brian May in person, I really want one of these. However, the Wife woulk KILL ME TO DEATH! SEVERAL TIMES. Also, last it appears that last Wednesday was my blogiversary. I've been at this over a year now. Where does the time go?


Quick post

I wanted to throw up a quick post. We're getting ready to leave NYC.

Meeting and hanging with Julie was great. She is indeed very cool and very mellow. Many thanks to her for showing us around the museum of natual history and for the ride back from the show. More on that stuff later.

Mostly I wanted to say THAT WAS THE BEST FUCKING CONCERT EVER!!!!!! Words cannot express how awesome it was. But I will attempt to do so in a later post.

I'm hitting the road soon. Be back on line by tomorrow.

Take care all!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Out of touch for a while

This will probably be my last post for about a week. Friday morning the family and I are heading to The Big Apple for a long weekend and the Queen concert. Also, I'm going to try and hook up with Julie and meet my first blogger. If possible, I'm going to try and hook up with The Retropolitan as well. I'll have lots to post and plenty of pictures, including the obligatory blog meet picture.

We're all very excited about the trip. I don't know what I'm looking forward to more, seeing the sites, the concert, or meeting Julie. I know you're all jealous. I'll have my laptop with me on the trip and may check in to my favorite blogs, but I don't think I'll have the energy to post. So everyone take care and have a fun few days while I'm OOC. Don't do anything I wouldn't do!


I'd vote for this

The Wife sent the below item to me. I like the idea. I will preface this by saying that I by no means wish to insult my Southern and/or Republican readers. So enjoy all!

Dear Red States:
We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all of the Northeast.
We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.
We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get Elliot Spitzer.
You get Ken Lay. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.
You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.
You get struggling, single moms.
Please be aware that Nuevo California will be anti-war, and we're going to want all of our citizens back from Iraq at once.
If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals.
They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all of the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you. Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you actually believe that you are people with higher morals then those on the left.
Sincerely,
Any Blue Stater Who Can Separate Reality From Fiction

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; Instead, ask yourself what makes you come alive And then go and do that-- Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive."
-Howard Thurman (1900-1981)
philosopher, educator, civil rights activist


Monday, October 10, 2005

Long weekend

Don't have much time to post so some quick updates from the weekend:

We were out shopping this weekend and Grasshopper found one of those curling irons that colors your hair. He calls the Wife and says "Mom, you should get this. You would look SOOOO HOT!" He's almost 7. And a chip off the old block.

There was a request for more detail on the color of the bathroom I painted Friday. Here's what it looks like. The picture came out a little more pink than it actually is. It's closer to the color of the starfish in the bowl.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Also, here's a picture of Grasshopper in his cub scout uniform. He's very happy to be a scout now.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


I have to run to a meeting now. Later all!

*****
Late update - I've updated my website VinceFranco.com with the latest on my CD project. Sorry, no new song clips. I'm saving it for the final product. Check it out if you're so inclined.

Also, you'll noticed I've finally figured out how to go to three columns on my blog. I think it's much cleaner and requires less scrolling. Let me know what you think.


Friday, October 07, 2005

2008 Election

There were a few things I wanted to post about, but first and foremost, a buddy of mine sent me a link to the perfect candidate for President in 2008. Check the link below. Get on board now while you can.

http://www.zod2008.com/

****

I've had the day off with the kids. They have a 4 day weekend due to the Columbus Day holiday. I've spent the day painting the bathroom and rebuilding my desktop PC. We picked a seashell kind of color for the bathroom to go with the seashore theme for it. It came out pretty good. I'm pleased with the result. More importantly, the Wife is pleased with the result.

The PC was running slow and locking up a lot. I think the firewall was conflicting with something. I wiped it clean and started over. It's running very nice now and using Zone Alarm, which works much better.

Thursday night I began mixing Matthew 7:25. It's pretty good, but we need to tweak it a little more. I'm not sure if I have to change the mix to bring the guitars up a little more. The Wife agrees with me that the vocals are a little dry. I'll have to add some reverb or something. Tomorrow night is the next session so we'll make the changes and see how the come out. It sounded great in the studio on really nice speakers. However, when you squeeze it to CD and play it in the car, that's the real test.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Update

If you're reading this it means that blogger is back up and running again. I wanted to update everyone and just throw a few things out there.

First, thanks to everyone that commented or emailed me. I'm in a much better mood now. Many thanks especially to the Wife for the Robert Frost quotes. They gave me some much needed perspective. There are days when being an adult sucks. The last couple of days have been like that. Also, hellow to a new reader, Gammy's Perspective. That was a nice comment you left. Welcome. I'll check out your site soon. Now, some other little tidbits from the last 24 hours:

***

Grasshopper has gotten in the habit of calling the Wife "Real Mom" in the evenings when he wants her to come upstairs after we've tucked him in for the night. When she asked him why he calls her that, he replied that when he calls for Mom and I come up, I'm cranky. Therefore, the request for "Real Mom" and not just ordinary any parent Mom.

***

In my day job, I manage a help desk. We recieved an email from one of our female users. The subject line was: Need Some. With the day I was having, it struck me as funny. I was so tense that I started laughing and couldn't stop. It wasn't that funny, but it so broke my tension that it went WAY beyond normal amusing. When I finally managed to calm down, I thought, don't we all.

***

WARNING! MUCH GEEKINESS TO FOLLOW! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I got the wireless card working on my laptop again. It crapped out last night and I couldn't get it to connect to the network for anything. It was the last straw before I posted. I brought it to work today, uninstalled the Linksys wireless software and installed the generic driver from Microsoft. When I came home and reconnected to my network, not only did it work, but I now have access to my server! The laptop prompted me to update my password. My login scripts run so I have access to all of my server shares. AND I can now print to my network printer! I'm in computer geek heaven! My home network is running SWEET! Also, my email files are also on the server so I can connect to it via outlook no matter which PC I'm on. I have all my email, contacts, and calendar in one central location. You may now bow to my networking prowess.

***

You know how a dog's leg will shake like it's scratching when you rub it's belly? Well, if you scratch our cat's ear, it does the same thing. It's such a canine reaction that I think she might have some stray dog DNA in there or something. It's hysterical to watch.

***

I had been looking at meditation books to help bring me some balance. I forgot what I really need to do: Rollerblade. I was out with the kids, them on their bikes and me on my blades. I forgot how peaceful it can be just to fly along, just you and the road. I didn't get a real chance to go couple of miles, but the 10 mintues or so I was blading did wonders. I really need to do more of that.

Well, that's it for now. I think I'm more my usual self. Managed to help put the kids to bed without yelling or going crazy. I'm shooting for 48 hours of peace this time. Wish me luck!


Robert Frost quotes

(Hi everyone, The Wife here)

Dear,

Since you're in some sort of bizarre mood, I will post some random Robert Frost quotes. I don't quite understand all of them (or necessarily agree with them), but hopefully one of them will put things in perspective.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."

"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with."

"There is the fear that we shan't prove worthy in the eyes of someone who knows us at least as well as we know ourselves. That is the fear of God. And there is the fear of Man - fear that men won't understand us and we shall be cut off from them."

"You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father's."

"The father is always the Republican toward his son, and his mother's always a Democrat."

I will have to admit that I agree with this last one, although not politically, since I don't think that's how it was intended. Vince has always accused me of being a softie with the boys. Thankfully Robert Frost agrees that this is my job.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dear Lord

Lord,

Sometimes, I just need to ask, what is it exactly you want from me? I'm having a hard time figuring it out. I thought I knew what it is You wanted me to do, but there is so much resistance. It seems that whatever I do, whatever sacrifices I make, it's never good enough. No matter what I do, it always seems to come out wrong.

I'm really trying to work on all this anger in me. But I can't seem to go more than a little while without it overwhelming me. I keep praying for peace but I can't seem to find it. Show me the way.

I'm just so tired. Tired of being angry, tired of being frustrated, tired of fighting with everyone, tired of not being appreciated, tired of everything. I need Your help to let it all go. I really want to, really, really.

All I have left I can do is read Your word and pray.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Musical rollercoaster

It's been a heck of a musical ride this weekend.

Saturday I went into the studio to record more track for Voice of the Spirit. And the result: I'M DONE RECORDING TRACKS! Well, at least, I am. The last track to record is a sax solo for Voice of the Spirit (the song). My engineer is getting a session guy in. However, we begin mixing it down this week! We're going for many short 1 to 1 1/2 hour sessions instead of marathons. It wil be easier to fit in since we can begin around 8:30 in the evening. The boys are pretty much in bed by then.

I was very pleased how some of the vocals came out. When you have a song idea in your head, it's kind of hard to really imagine how it will turn out until you put all the ideas on tape. I had harmonies in mind for some of the songs. However, when I double tracked the vocals (recorded the same vocal part twice) and added a harmony, the sound was bigger than I imagined. Like this HUGE organ playing monster chords. I was like, Is that me? I'm very pleased, to say the least.

Today at church was the total opposite. I swear every possible bad guitar thing happened. On the opening number, I lost all sound. Took me a few moments to figure out it was my effects gear. So I plugged directly into the amp. Did I mention I'm the only guitar player and our bassist was not there today? Songs work so well with just drums.

Next, I bumped my amp during another number and knocked my amp backwards. Since it has built in reverb, it made this nasty sound you hear when you pull on a spring and let it rattle. Then add distortion and feedback. Really nice.

THEN, I broke a string. With no backup guitar on hand. Luckily, we had a new guitarist show up to try out that wasn't playing. I grabbed his guitar for the next song and then changed the string. Plus there was the moment of excruciating feedback when I turned on my amp and realized I had my sustainer pedal on. It boosts the volume for leads. And feeds back like a MoFo when you're not.

On the plus side, our young drummer was impressed with my ability to quickly recover and move on like nothing had happened. Comes from years of playing live, where everything can and will happen. The cardinal rule is to keep playing. Which we did.

Hopefully next week will be a better Sunday musically speaking. But I should have the CD done by Christmas.