Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Return of Return of the Champions

For those that don't already know, Queen+Paul Rodgers is coming back to the US for 23 dates! This includes a show in Buffalo, NY which I will be doing my absolute best to attend. I could also go for the shows in Pittsburg and Toronto, but I don't think the Wife will go for me attending that many shows. I'm going to try and talk her into coming to the Buffalo show, however. If they are coming anywhere near you, I HIGHLY recommend you go. It was the most amazing show EVER!!!!! Here are the dates:

March 3rd Miami, Fl, American Airlines Arena.
March 5th Jacksonville, Fl, Veterans Coliseum.
March 7th Duluth, GA, Gwinnett Center.
March 9th Washington, DC, MCI Center.
March 10th Worcester, MA, DCU Center.
March 12th Uniondale, NY, Nassau Coliseum.
March 14th Philadelphia, PA, Wachovia Spectrum.
March 16th Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre.
March 17th Buffalo, NY, HSBC Arena.
March 20th Pittsburgh, PA, Mellon Arena.
March 21st Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena.
March 23rd Chicago, IL, Allstate Arena.
March 24th Auburn Hills, MI, Palace at Auburn Hills.
March 26th St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center.
March 27th Milwaukee, WI, Bradley Center.
March 31st Glendale, AZ, Glendale Arena.
April 1st San Diego, CA, Cox Arena.
April 3rd Anaheim, CA, Arrowhead Pond.
April 5th San Jose, CA, HP Pavilion.
April 7th Las Vegas, NV, MGM Grand Garden.
April 10th Seattle, WA, Key Arena.
April 11th Portland, OR, Rose Garden.
April 13th Vancouver, BC, Pacific Coliseum.

Rock on Queen!!!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dear Mom

I wasn't planning on posting tonight, but I had to put this up. Earlier today, Maverick wanted to use the computer after Grasshopper, but didn't want to keep asking the Wife if he could. He didn't want to bug her. So he wrote the following letter (verbatum in its entirity complete with actual spelling):

Dear Mom,

Please can I go on the computer. I'll be good the rest of the year and longer. Besides, I'm doing a story and if it get's published, the money I earn will go to charedy and shelter's. I can wait until Grasshopper's done. That's why I want to type on the computer.



The letter was even dated.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Out of the Blue

It's been a crazy weekend. I left work early Wednesday since Grasshopper wasn't feeling well. Did Thanksgiving Day at my parent's place. It was quite the meal. Friday was spent shopping the whole day between the Wife and I. We made a very big dent in our Christmas list. Saturday was more shopping then we went to see Good Night and Good Luck. AWESOME MOVIE! Today was filled with church and football (the Giants should fire their kicker, misssed not one, not two, but THREE game winning field goals). I did manage to put a clip of Power of Darkness on my website, however. Check it out as it is so freaking HEAVY!! I'm quite pleased with the results.

However, that was not the most interesting part of the weekend. As the title suggests, I got a letter out of the blue (kudos to anyone that can name the band that put out the album with that name without Googleing it {Wife doesn't count}). In high school and college, my best friend was a man by the name of Scott. We were inseperable. If I wasn't with the Wife (the Girlfriend and the Fiance during those years), I was with Scott. We spent many hours jamming (he played bass), playing Risk or Axis and Allies, or watching movies and eating pizza. He was even in our wedding (the Wife and I that is).

However, as happens in life, once I moved out of Rochester, we started to loose touch. He visited us a couple of times, but moved out of town himself. We saw each other occasionally. He married a great woman named Zora who seemed perfect for him. We got a chance to meet her a couple of times before they got married. Scott always said they were going to get married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator, but they got married during Mardi Gras instead. The last time I talked to Scott was a couple of years ago. He was in town and afraid to call as he thought I might be pissed at him for not writing or calling or anything in a while. I told him that was crap and to come on over. We hung out for a while, exchanged addresses, email, and phone numbers and vowed to keep in touch. I sent a couple of emails with no reply and chalked it up to life again. We still sent Christmas cards to him every year anyway.

Which brings us to Saturday. I get a letter in the mail with Scott's return address. We open it up and inside is a WEDDING INVITATION! It appears Scott is marrying a woman by the name of Ashley. Now the Wife and I really liked Zora so instantly we hate Ashley simply on principle. After all, with a name like Ashley she must be a prude or something, right?

There was a new email address from Scott so I sent him a What the Fuck email, slightly more politely. Basically I was like, dude, wha happpen? We've obviously missed something big. What happened to Zora? Who is Ashley? Why didn't we find out about this before now? Why are they getting married on a Carribean island? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? We need to know these things!

Anyway, I've emailed Scott to see what's up and to send my regrets we won't be able to attend. I was always kind of sorry that our friendship seemed to just slip away. It would be nice to revive it. However, it's a two way street. So Scott, if you're reading this, CALL ME! What the fuck dude?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Say Hello to the Fuzzball!!!!

First of all, I want to congratulate Erica, AKA E-Lo, on the birth of her baby girl. Here's the details: Lyric Alexandra Lorenz Hays was born Tuesday November 22 at 4:14 PM. She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz, 21 inches long.

It's about time! We've all been waiting patiently for the birth of her fuzzball. My best wishes to her and her husband Ryan and their new baby. If you haven't gone over to her site and said congrats, move your ass already! This is some of the biggest news in the blogverse.

On to some other things, I'm taking a 2 week break from mixing Voice of the Spirit. My producer/engineer is heading to Maine to look for a house. We'll begin mixing again when he gets back in a marathon to finish the CD by Christmas, when he moves to Maine for good. So in the mean time, I've dedicated myself to the Wife and preparing for Christmas. We've decided to go totally insane now in the hopes of a few days peace just prior to Christmas.

I should have some additional updates on my website by the end of the weekend. I should have a clip of Power of Darkness I think you'll like. Also, I've now got a page to order the CD. Stay tuned.

I probably won't be on line much due to the long weekend. So in case I don't get to say so ahead of time, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy your holiday and don't eat too much turkey!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wah my pussy hurts

Before I begin this post, I need advise from those of you that have seen the new Harry Potter movie: Is it appropriate for a 7 year old? The Wife and I would like to take both boys to see it next weekend, but being as it's PG-13, I want to make sure it's ok for the younger boy. Maverick has read the book and knows what happens, so I think it will be ok. I'm not sure about Grasshopper. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

Ok, on to business. In one of my previous posts, I was complaining and the Wife used a common phrase in our relationship, Wah, my pussy hurts. Now, a few of you appeared confused and perhaps taken aback, so I will explain the story behind the phrase.

Of course, it goes back to my Navy days. After all, only sailors would mock each other like that. As a junior in college, my summer ROTC active duty traning for that year was called CORTRAMID (for Career ORientation TRAining for MIDshipmen, don't you love Navy acronyms?). We spent a week with each specialty in the Navy, one week with the airdales, one week with the submariners, one week with the surface fleet, and one week with the Marines. During surface week, we had to PT (physical training) with the SEALS. Now, as you can imagine, training with SEALS was a major pain in the ass. They made you do all kinds of things that normal humans cannot possible do. If we started to get behind, or looked tired, they would tell us "What's the matter, does your pussy hurt?" By day three, whenever we started to complain, we'd start by going "wah, my pussy hurts".

This also had a corollary. Day two, while running on the beach in our combat boots, we got to do push ups in the surf. Kind of easy as the waves helped you. However, you get soaked. Then you get to make "sugar cookies". This is where you sit in the sand, and throw it straight up in the air and get covered in it. You end up looking like a sugar cookie, hence the name. After this, we also began to complain that we had sand in our pussies.

As you can see, I learned many wonderful diversity lessons while a member of the United States Navy. I was a Naval Officer during the Tailhook scandal and had to "train" my division on sexual harassment during our full day stand down. That's right. We stopped all work for a day while we watched videos and talked about how not to sexually harrass women. You can imagine how sensitive to women's rights we were after that.

In any event, this is just another of the colorful tales from my days of military service.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Comforting Grasshopper

Today was just one of those kinds of days. I got absolutely no where at work and ended the day more behind than I started. Things are backing up at home as well since there seems to be no time to say, clean the house, with everything else going on.

So today is also Grasshopper's karate day. We get there, and he's complaining to sensei how he doesn't want to do anything and is having a tough time staying focused and difficulty participating. This was getting really annoying to me, on top of everything else that went on today. I know he's autistic and stuff like this happens, but it's frustrating when we make the time for him to be involved in something like this and he's basically wasting it. I discussed with him on the way home the need to work and follow directions if he expects to get a yellow belt. He complains that his friends are orange belts and he's only a white belt so I tell him he can catch up if he pays attention and does what the instructors tell him.

After dinner, I make the mistake of checking my work email. There were a couple of reminders I wanted to make for myself for tomorrow so I wouldn't forget. In my Inbox is an email from the CIO, my boss' boss. A little background:

I hashed out a plan today with one of our network administrators and our security manager to move everyone's email mailboxes to our new exchange server. Part of the implementation was to set up limits on the size of attachments and the size of mailboxes, neither of which we have right now. I've been trying to do this for 2 years. The security manager goes back and forth with our CIO to get everything straightened out so I can communicate what's going on to our users.

So near the end of the day I send an email to everyone letting them know what's going on and spelling out the new limits we'll be migrating to. When I checked my email tonight, there was an email from the CIO to the security manager with me copied in saying basically "why did you guys send out an everyone email? I thought it was going to be a targeted email and I never approved attachment size limits."

So now I'm livid. I made a point with the security manager of verifying everything we were doing. He supposedly worked it all out with the CIO. I spelled out for him EXACTLY what I was going to email everyone. And now the CIO is coming down on my ass. So now I look like a total asshole no good hack to the CIO and I'm going to look like an idiot to all of our users if I have to suddenly say "Oops, I didn't mean to say that". I tried to make sure I did the right thing and now I'm getting screwed.

Anyway, in my frustration, Grasshopper comes by to see what's up. I explain to him my frustration and explain in 7 year old language how I tried to do the right thing at work and how my boss was now mad at me. So what does he do?

He pats me on the head. He tells me that it's ok to be frustrated, but I shouldn't be because work is not that important. I shouldn't let it bother me. Then he gives me a big hug and tells me it's ok, I don't need to be frustrated any more.

I tell you what, annoyed with him as I was earlier, there's no way I could be any longer. I told Grasshopper that he was wise beyond his years. Because he is. The Wife and I must be doing something right if our 7 year old recognizes the important things in life and understand a loving hug is all it takes to fix you when you're angry.

So thank you my little Grasshopper for making me feel better and reminding me of perspective. Work is work and it should stay there. Hugs and a pat on the head are what matter in life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bad hubby! Bad

The Wife and I got into a little tiff yesterday. By a tiff, I mean she was pissed at me so I was pissed at her so niether of us talked to each other from dinner until we went to bed. We don't really fight, or scream, or anything, we just glower and scowl at each other.

So I would like to publicly apologize to the Wife. Because this time around, she was totally justified in being pissed of at me. Basically all of her woes from yesterday were my fault.

You see, I am the schedule master. I keep track of our appointments, set the schedule for dinner, and basically make sure we know where we have to be. Yesterday, I had a parent teacher conference on the schedule. Turns out the conference is tomorrow. I spoke to the kids about changing what was for dinner but forgot to tell the Wife. She made what I had there originally and Grasshopper had a meltdown. And to top it all off, I placed all of our paper shopping bags in the recycle bin the day before, which she uses to organize all the paper recyleables.

Basically I totally screwed up her day. So I shall figuratively place myself in the stocks and submit to public ridicule and humiliation. I take responsibility for wronging the Wife, and not doing my job of making her life easier.

You may now commence throwing the rotten vegatables.


PS, I have new song clips posted on my site! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quick update

For those that are interested, I've completed another song, Hearts of Stone. I'm currently working on Power of Darkness. It's such an evil sounding song. EVIL I TELL YOU!!!! EEEEVIIIIILLLL!

On a down note, this project is wearing me out. I'd much rather be at home the two nights a week I'm mixing songs, but my producer is moving to Maine just after Christmas so I HAVE to get it done before then. So it will be. But dammit I don't want to work on it any more. I need a break but won't get one. I know, I'm going to get little sympathy here but I wanted to say it out loud (or at least in print). Music is such a hassle right now. Between this project and playing at Mass on Sunday afternoons it's taking some of the fun out of it.

Now put away your violins and shut up!

I will try and have clips of Shout for Joy and Hearts of Stone up this week. If I can find the energy.

Also, I've got a new link on my blogroll. I've linked the Complimenting Commenter. Jude was kind enough to ask that I get a compliment, and CC obliged. The blog is a great concept. Someone is going around speading cheer and making people feel good. How cool is that?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Political rant

Before I get on a roll, I want to put out a quick request for prayer's for Lois' sister. She was in a car accident this weekend with her kids. Everyone's ok but Loi's sister was banged up pretty good. Pray for a speedy recovery.

Now, on with the ranting.

I read a couple of articles in this weekend's newspapers that annoyed me. The first concerned the impending release of a Vatican document that spells out new rules/restrictions for allowing gay men to enter the seminary to become priests. Gay men will not be prohibited from the priesthood, but will be "more carefully screened". My question is, why? There appears to be the underlying assumption that gay men are intrisically evil and will lust after young boys in the congregation.

I'm sorry, but a priest is called to be celibate. That should be a determining factor prior to ordaining someone. Can they realistically live up to that vow and calling. First of all, gay men are not pedophiles by nature any more than straight men are pedophiles. Second, why are we singling them out? Straight priests aren't attracted to women? They don't have to supress those urges as well? Please. Third, there are many girls now that are alter servers. While there have been no scandals concerning abusing girls in the church, isn't it the same issue? We need to protect all of our children.

Again, the bottom line should be the qualification of the person to be a priest and the ability to live up to their vows. Sexual preference doesn't really matter as a priest isn't supposed to be having sex anyway.

Next thing that annoyed my was Bush's attack against those opposed to the war in Iraq. He accused them of trying to rewrite history in attacking the "pre-war intelligence" that was the justification for the war. And justification is the correct word. I don't remember all the details, but I do recall at least 2 or 3 other justifications for this war prior to its start. First we had the justification that Iraq was a safe haven for Al-Queda, Bin Laden, and terrorists. Exept it wasn't and the public didn't buy it. Then there was the excuse that Sadaam was a threat to national security. Which we all knew he was not. What was he going to do, attack us with his 2 military aircraft? THEN there was WMD's. But before this whole "intelligence failure" thing came up, we already figured out there weren't any WMD's so all of a sudden we were bringing "democracy" to the region.

The Bush team has been trying to WRITE the history to suit the objective, which was to get Sadaam out of power. I don't know why Bush felt he had to go, but that I think is the real reason behind the way. Now Bush is accusing others of rewriting the history he tried to write. The bottom line is that we've spent a lot of resourses (in money and personnel) to get involved in a fight that wasn't ours and that didn't need to be fought. I could tell from day one when the retoric started, nearly a year before the war started, that we were going to invade Iraq. All the "diplomacy" was just a show to be able to say that we tried every other alternative to invasion. Except we didn't try any diplomacy. Because making outrageous demands you know the other guy will reject is not diplomacy. It's just rhetoric.

Which is all you get from the Bush administration. Rhetoric.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Take time to remember

I wasn't planning a post today until I read Julie's blog. She reminded me of the reason I'm home today with the boys, Veteran's Day. She was kind enough to remember me and all others that have served our nation. She also made me remember the great people I served with during my time in the Navy.

I don't talk too much about my military service, mostly because I didn't do it out of patriotic reasons. I needed a way to pay for college. It was that simple. I became a nuke for the bonus associated with it and the hope of a better job after I got out. Not very altruistic. But I did the job, and I did it the best I could. I met a lot of great people, some many interesting places, and learned a lot about leadership (both what to do and what not to do).

I was in the Middle East during the "Gulf War", meaning the fighting was over when I got there but it wasn't officially declared over. I was lucky that I didn't have to shoot at anyone and all of my shipmates and I came home. Not so in the latest "Gulf War".

I'll always have a special respect for those still serving and especially the ones that can dedicate a life to it. I could not. And I know the sacrifice it takes to make a career out of the military. So take a minute and remember the people who are giving up a lot to protect our nation. Whatever their motivation, whatever your feeleings for soldiers/sailors, war, or the military. They are doing the job that many will not. Risking thier lives so we can do what we're doing now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kid stories

Quick Update: Brighton's Dad is in need of your prayers. Check out her site to get the details. He's having heart trouble and she's very worried.

A post at Katie's site reminded me of a funny kid story of my own that I thought I'd share. She was posting about the interesting questions children pose thier parents. Below is a conversation between Maverick and the Wife which took place while in the car one day this year:

Maverick: "Mom, do you know what a woody is?".

My Wife (looking shocked and afraid to ask): "No, what's a woody."

Maverick: "You know, it's those cars with wood on the side."

The Wife breathed a big sigh of relief. The bullet was dodged for another day.

So far, Grasshopper has not asked any such potentially embarrasing questions. He's mostly concerned about butts and farts. And dogs and Star Wars.

Speaking of Grasshopper, here are pictures from Grasshopper's birthday parties. Yes, PARTIES. Isn't it great to be a kid? You get to have two birthday parties and presents for both. What a racket that is.

Also, here are pictures of the Aquarium sleepover Maverick and I went to over the weekend. For those of you near Niagara Falls, it's a neat place on the American side. Kids will love it.

Finally, I've got a new updated song clip on my website. Voice of the Spirit is complete. Shout for Joy will probably be complete tomorrow. I'm still on track to finish by Christmas so stay tuned!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Public Service Announcement

I wanted to remind everyone that Tuesday is Election Day. While there are no national elections going on, the local and state elections that go on in off years are probably more important. What goes on in our communities affects us far more 0n a daily basis than what goes on in Washington or other parts of the world. Local leaders are setting budgets that directly affect what we pay in real estate and school taxes. School boards are making decisions on the education of our children. County and state leaders are putting through projects that directly affect how we live.

I'm not advocating you vote for any one party. I think most of you can figure out my party affiliation. Get involved and make a difference with your vote. You can't change anything or even keep it the way it is without making your voice heard. Voter turnout on off years is usually around 20%, which is pitiful. Do you want a minority of the voters choosing leaders that make these vital decisions? You can't complain if you don't vote. So get out there and vote. If enough of us show up, we can change the face of politics.

I vote in every election there is, local or national. Things aren't the way I would like them. But I didn't vote for many of the guys running things, so at least you can't blame me for their screw ups. Can everyone out there say the same thing?


Sunday, November 06, 2005

I made it

The weekend is over and I'm still alive. I can't believe it. It's been non stop since yesterday morning. It's around 9 pm and I've finally got everything done. Whew!

Grasshopper enjoyed his party. He got plenty of Star Wars legos and Bionicles. Exactly what he wanted. He also got a gift card to go crazy with.

Maverick's sleepover was a lot of fun. We went to the Aquarium of Niagara in Niagara Falls. He got to get his hands on (literally) lobsters, turtles, crabs, and other assorted shell fish. We got to tour the aquarium at night when no one was around but us. There were lots of very cool (and LARGE) fish to look at. This morning was a sea lion show. All in all most enjoyable. I'll have pictures posted later this week.

There were two very memorable moments for me this weekend. The first was just before I left for the sleepover. The Wife gave me a kiss goodbye. It was memorable for me in that is was a very genuine kiss. Not romantic or terrible long, but completely heartfelt. Usually we'll give each other little kisses throughout the day, but they more casual, like a good night peck on the cheek type of thing. Still nice, but the one she gave me before I left obviously said "I love you", which was very touching.

The second memorable thing was the big hug I got from Grasshopper when I got home this morning. He was a little upset that I was going instead of the Wife. He wanted to stay home with me. I think he's still a little jealous that Maverick seems to get more of my time. He felt that now I do all cub scout stuff only with him and Mom does all the cub scout stuff only with Maverick. Except the Wife doesn't do sleepovers very well, so I'll do them with both the boys.

Anyway, I've managed to get through this weekend without totally crashing, though I've come close a few times. I can't guarentee I'll make it past 10 pm without passing out, but hopefully I'll get up tomorrow totally recovered. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Crazy weekend coming up!

Things should be wild this weekend. Tomorrow we're having the family birthday party for Grasshopper. He's excited to get more presents. His party is at noon. However, from 9 to 11, the Wife and I are going to be doing a baptism prep seminar at our church. Ourselves and another couple discuss baptism and what it means with people that are looking to get their children baptized in the Church. And at about 5 pm tomorrow, Maverick and I are off to a sleepover in Buffalo with his cub scout pack. Did I mention that I play at a 5 pm Sunday Mass? Is the weekend over yet?

On an amusing note, here is an email conversation the Wife and I had today concerning the movie Good Night and Good Luck:

Wife: Jack Garner (local film critic) gave it a 10. It's playing at the Little and at Pittsford Plaza. I wonder if more theaters will pick it up if it becomes popular.

Me: We should see it maybe next weekend. We can get S. to watch the boys (hopefully) and go take in a movie. It would be nice to take a little break.

Wife: See, and you thought you couldn’t take a hint.

It appears her training program is beginning to bear fruit. It only took about 20 years.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

School Pictures

These are the boys most recent school pictures. Maverick went with the spiky hair. Aren't they handsome!

I got nothing

I'm having blogger's block right now. I really can't think of much to post about, other than I have nothing to post about. I am starting to go into appointment overload. To many meetings at work mean I can't get anything done. To many things going on at home and I can't seem to get anything done. I'm in a viscious loop. It's so bad, I have trouble getting motivated to do music related things (I'm sure the Wife has PLENTY of sympathy for me on that). And things don't look like they'll slow down any time soon.

(Sigh). I'll keep soldiering on. I'm sure I'll get a few moments rest and relaxation shortly before I die. That will have to do. And I'm soo looking forward to it.