efo and a sick pup

Saturday I woke up, went downstairs, and found an unpleasant sight: doggy vomit. I cleaned it up, then took Illa on a long walk through the woods. He seemed ok, but we gave him yogurt for breakfast, our normal food for him when his stomach is upset. I went to a coworker’s bbq in the afternoon (bringing this jello, was really good and Jill wants to try it sometime). It was fun, he had spicy coleslaw and some nice sausages he grilled in addition to the standards, and we even got in a couple games of Jungle Speed. I was planning on us going out to dinner in Frederick, but Jill couldn’t spare the time. Which was ok, as Illa soon proved he hadn’t gotten better. He seemed ok within a couple minutes, and we didn’t leave before another couple hours.

We took the western route to Frederick, getting there with about 20 minutes to spare. Jill was now getting hungry, but there were no nearby places with quick food. and the only thing in the theater lobby was candy. Still, we ran into an old friend, and got a drink before we took our seats. Now we’ll be seeing eddie from ohio several times this summer, but this was the only reserved seating show, and we hadn’t had front row seats to one of their shows in a while. They opened with the always stunning “Great Day” and continued with “And The Rain Crashed Down”. Before the show, we were inducted into a conspiracy – after the third song, we held up signs that said “Happy Birthday Julie”, because the lead singer had just celebrated a birthday. She was appropriately embarrased, but the show continued apace. “From Bleeker To Broadway” was a welcome return, though Julie forgot the lyrics – Robbie cracked “Maybe someone could buy the CD and bring us the booklet?”, but she recovered. The usual solo turns from Robbie and Mike and the first set ended with a one-two punch of a Maryland/Virginia combo, “Baltimore” and “Old Dominion”.

After an intermission, the show resumed with the classic “Number Six Driver” (and also continuing the Virginia theme). A cover of Shawn Colvin’s “I Don’t Know Why” with just Julie and Robbie was moving, but not as moving as the finale. The tragedy down at Virginia Tech affected the band deeply, since Julie is an alum. When the school contacted the band about using a song in a video tribute, they were honored, and it was for that song, “Walk Humbly, Son” that they left the mikes and stood right in front of it and sung it without any amplification. The show could have ended there, but the audience was not ready for that. The band wasn’t sure what to play, and teased “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” from a shouted request, but someone came up with the prefect closer – a cover of Lowen and Navarro’s “We Belong” (made famous by Pat Benatar).

We headed home since Jill wanted to be in bed by midnight, having a snack when we got home. Illa was fine when we got home, and still ok when I went to bed. Not this morning, as I was awoken by the sound of – oh, you guess. Jill didn’t have time to clean it up, and I told her not to worry about it and went back to bed. I slept for another couple hours, then got up. Jill was just about to leave and had given him rice for breakfast. I showered, cleaned up his mess, then took him on a long walk. He had been pretty listless yesterday, but had some spunk today. I did my auction thing, then went out on the deck to catch up on papers. He joined me, sitting in the shade. I came back in and read some more until Jill got home, then I grilled some pork I’d seasoned earlier and made pork fajitas for dinner. Illa seemed better, so he got rice and a little bit of his dry food for dinner. Hopefully I won’t have any surprises tomorrow morning, or he may be going to the vet.

Friday already?

Another busy but quick week. Jill’s been crazy busy with school and starting to study for finals. I barely saw her Wednesday or Thursday, Wednesday because she didn’t get home until 9:30 and went to bed soon after, Thursday because I played Spycraft and didn’t get home until midnight, when she was already asleep. Tonight I went grocery shopping and got home around 8:30. She was going made salmon, but just couldn’t and I grilled steaks and made a salad, then she went back to studying. Other than going up to Frederick to see efo tomorrow night, I don’t expect to see much more of her this coming week.

Feelin’ country

After seeing two major country artists Sunday, I was curious to see how many I’ve seen, since that’s not my favorite genre and for the most part I haven’t deliberately set out to see them. A quick scan of my all time list gets me the following:

Mandy Barnett 9/12/1999 Katy Benko 6/4/2000 Clint Black 4/22/2000 Garth Brooks 4/28/2000 Mary Chapin Carpenter 10/26/2003 Deana Carter 9/12/1999 Dixie Chicks 6/25/2003 10/12/2003 10/11/2004 8/4/2006 The Country Gentlemen 6/2/2005 Steve Earle & The Dukes 9/12/1999 Larry Gatlin 9/12/1999 Billy Gilman 10/21/2001 Faith Hill 4/22/2007 Alan Jackson 9/17/2000 Toby Keith 7/2/2005 Tim McGraw 4/22/2007 Willie Nelson 9/17/2000 Sawyer Brown 9/12/1999 9/17/2000 Travis Tritt 9/17/2000 Shania Twain 10/17/2003 Trisha Yearwood 9/12/1999

I do like the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain, but everyone else was at shows I went to for another reason – Farm Aid had Dave Matthews Band and Barenaked Ladies, for one example. I still want to see SheDaisy, and I’ve taken a liking to Sugarland, but there’s no other country artists I’m dying to see at the moment.

Three concert weekend

Friday Jill and I both got home at 6:30 – just enough time to walk Illa and eat something quick before heading over to the Barns at Wolf Trap to see Christine Lavin. We’d seen her there a couple years back, and last summer at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. She was funny and sweet, and luckily even though we were in the front row, we did not get picked for any on stage shenanigans. Jill was wiped and went straight to bed, and I stayed up and surfed for a bit. One good thing was finding a pair of tix to Sunday’s Stop Global Warming show.

Saturday I got up and jumped online to look at DMB tix. I only saw seats in the 200 sections, then the seated area was gone. Pretty fast, good thing I get tix through the Warehouse. Later, I headed into DC to pick up the tix for Sunday’s show. I was out of cash and needed $30, so I had the genius idea to stop at the East Falls Church Metro to hit the ATM since those dispense $10 dollar bills. Or it would have been genius if it was like the West Falls Church station and it had an ATM, but I swung by Ballston to an ATM their, then got back on the road to the Foggy Bottom station, where I met my contact.

Next, I headed to Clarendon to Iota to check out part of the Six Points Music Festival. The draw for me was emmet swimming‘s Todd Watts playing solo. I chatted with him for a bit, then got a beer and watched the show. Margot MacDonald opened, and there was a strange dichotomy between the 15 year old on stage and her voice, which was very reminiscent of Evanescene’s Amy Lee. Check out her myspace.com page and you may agree – try “Torn”.

Next up was Todd, who played a couple songs solo, then brought up Dave Strickland to play accordian on some more (and even a solo). “Listen To The River” was good, even though it missed Tamer’s bongos, “Angels Tonight” is always an inspired choice of covers, and “Coming Home” is his best Quitter UK tune. A little surprising he didn’t play Arlington since he was there, but I can deal with not hearing it every time.

Mike Holden was up next for a good set, but his music wasn’t what I’ll remember about his set. There were a couple toddlers in attendance, at one point distracting Todd as they went to play together. Toward’s the end of Mike’s set, one of the kids started to cry. “Can’t you quiet that kid” he asked. The woman rolled her eyes and headed towards the back of the room. “That’s ok, it’s my wife and daughter”, he said “I’m going to get in trouble for that later. Honey, are we going to argue in the parking lot or at home?” “At home” came out from the back, to laughter.

I stopped by Total Wine afterwards since we were almost out of beer, and Office Depot because I was out of shipping labels and scotch tape, then headed home. Jill was hungry, so I made Reubens for dinner, then read the paper until Jill came down and we had some dessert, then watched 24.

Sunday I got up and took Illa on a long walk since I knew we had a busy day ahead of us. I made some breakfast, took a shower, and started some auctions, then it was time to go. Jill was being inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, the Honor Society of Nursing, and had to get there early. We got there with plenty of time, and the ceremony went off without a hitch. We hung around a bit at the reception afterwards, then it was only a short trip from Georgetown to GWU.

I’d bought the tix for the Stop Global Warming show without knowing how long the induction would be on the chance we could make it, and we made it there with plenty of time. When I found out Sheryl Crow was coming to DC on Earth Day, I was pretty psyched – I’ve been to some nice concerts on the Mall for Earth Day. That it was part of the Stop Global Warming tour was ok, but then I found out last week the tix were for students and faculty only. So I kept my eyes on Craigslist, finding one that was a little too pricey, but the one I found Friday night was just right.

So we found seats in the Smith Center and got drinks, then settled in. It started with a presentation from Laurie David, Larry David’s wife, and one of the producers of An Inconvenient Truth. She was ok, but I like I little music with my speechafyin’. I got that next, as Sheryl Crow came out Tim Smith, her longtime guitarist, anbd a pair of with acoustic guitars to sing “A Change Would Do You Good and “Everyday Is A Winding Road”. Then Carole King joined them to sing “I Feel The Earth Move”. After that, Larry David came out and gave us some very funny bits on his thoughts on global warming, before working his way into introducing Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He gave a very inspiring speech, then Tim McGraw took the stage with a guitarist and bass player and shared a new song. “If You’re Reading This” was based on a magazine article on letters soldiers write to be opened after their deaths – not exactly Toby Keith territory. Then he asked us to welcome “the most beautiful woman in the world – my wife”, and Faith Hill joined him for a duet on “I Need You”, then he left and she sang “Stronger”. There were a couple more video clips, then Sheryl Crow returned to play “Soak Up The Sun”, then everyone came back on stage for a group take on the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out”.

Good stuff, but we were getting hungry. I’d recently heard that the Italian Store had the best pizza in the area, so we intended to test that claim. Or we would have, if they hadn’t just closed. So we went to the nearby Giant, picked up a frozen pizza and some essentials, then headed home where I heated the pizza and made some salad. Jill went off to study and I had some reading and auctions to take care of. We both ended up reading downstairs, which pleased Illa because he could get a double belly rub. Now Jill’s in bed and I’ll be joining her soon.

Stoopid Verizon DVR

I noticed about 20 minutes into Lost the little red light on the DVR wasn’t on, so it wasn’t recording. I started recording it, finished cleaning up (after Jill’s scrumptious pasta), then watched Higher Definition, an interview show on HD.NET which had Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the team behind the amazing Shaun Of The Dead and the new Hot Fuzz (looks very good).

Later, I went online, figuring I could catch the first 20 minutes online. Nope, the shows don’t go online until the next day. No one talk about what happens until Friday, or I’ll be very cranky. I don’t know why it wasn’t recorded, sometimes shows I’ve scheduled to record vanish off the recording list, but it’s never happened with a series before.

Too funny not to steal

From Peter David‘s site:


Popular Hawaiian crooner Don Ho, best known for his rendition of “Tiny Bubbles,” has passed away at the age of 76.

In a related story, a firestorm of complaints over language has resulted in three radio personalities being fired for reporting the death of a Ho.

Guitars x 3

Friday night I scarfed a snack at work and went off to see G3 at the Warner Theater. I got there with a couple minutes to spare, so I got a drink and headed to my seat. Paul Gilbert came out right on time, and started shredding on a piece that required three hands – second guitarist Bruce Bouillet had to act as a human capo. I know he played “Hurry Up” and “Rusty Old Boat” off his new album, but the best moments were versions of old Racer X songs “Scarified” and “Scit Scat Wah”, made more significant because Bruce was the second guitarist in that band and they did them justice. He also teased some of Mr. Big’s “To Be With You”, which was nice.

I’d previously seen G3 in 2003 when it was Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen. I’d wanted to see them on other tours, and endured Yngwie’s antics just to see Satch and Vai play together. This tour I was psyched to see the openers, since I hadn’t seen them solo before. And the one I was most looking forward to was Dream Theater’s John Petrucci. He’s my second favorite member of Dream Theater, and the bonus was my favorite member, drummer Mike Portnoy, was also playing with him. I’d ordered his solo CD the previous week, and it had just arrived the Monday before the show, and I’d enjoyed it in the car all week so I was ready for the show. He opened with “Jaws of Life” and played a number of songs from his CD, including my favorite, “Wishful Thinking”. They were having a good time on stage, and Mike Portnoy was tearing it up. Neil Peart of Rush will always be my favorite drummer, but Mike’s in my top 5. Who else? John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band, and Eddie Hartness of eddie from ohio (really great solo switching from sticks to hands).

Joe Satriani came out next, and did what I could only hope for. He noticed it was 20 years since his landmark Surfing With The Alien came out, and played all the great songs from it, including “Satch Boogie” and the title track, as well as the sequel “Flying In A Blue Dream”. Of course my favorite song from that album is “Always With Me, Always With You”, and he saved that for last. Previously he’d ended his set, then all three guitarists would come out for a jam during the encore. This tour, they came out during “Always With Me, Always With You” and soloed, then skipped the encore and went into the jam, Goin’ Down along with the expected Hendrix, this time “Foxy Lady” and “Hey Joe”, with some nice vocals by Paul Gilbert. After the show, I headed straight home. I was home by midnight, but Jill was already in bed, so after some wind down time, I joined her.

Saturday I had a inspection walk for my HOA, which started at 8AM, so I got up for that, then came back and showered and had breakfast. We both had light days – Jill even took a nap in the afternoon while I caught up on papers and TV and started cooking ribs and sauce for dinner. Jill joined me and after dinner we watched 3 hours of “24” and then cleansed our palates with an episode of “Creature Comforts”.

Today it’s been the usual sleep in/make breakfast/auction thing while Jill studied and did laundry. I took a break at 7 to grill steaks and make a salad, then got back online. Hopefully I’ll get to bed soon as I’ve got an early day tomorrow.

Of interest to Toriphiles

First, if you don’t have the box set, it’s nearly half off at yourmusic.com. yourmusic.com is the 21st century version of the BMG music club, where you sign up for one CD month, and it’s $6.99, including shipping. That doesn’t apply to items with two or more CDs, but I hadn’t bought one until I saw Tori’s box set for sale – still $10 cheaper than a used copy, plus shipping is free.

Second, if you pre-order her new album from iTunes, you’ll receive a code to access pre-sale Ticketmaster tickets for Tori’s upcoming tour. Finally forced me to keep iTunes on my PC. I still don’t like lossy formats, but it’s cheaper than the usual fan club membership I’ve bought for other tours (I’m looking at you, The Police).