Sunday, May 30, 2004

Bozofest Blues

Am sitting at the office this Sunday morning and am feeling a little disappointed in myself. I bailed on my Frisbee team today and am now back in Missoula. This may or may not influence my ability to play with them later this summer. I have tons of excuses for decisions I make and that's probably what disappoints me the most.

Yesterday morning I got up at 6:15 AM and hit the road for Bozeman: It's about 240 miles(386KM)from Missoula and even on the highway it is one of the prettier drives you'll ever see, as you go through mountain ranges, buttes and rolling hills. There is a very good Ultimate Frisbee tourney over there in its 19th year calledBozofest. Some of the best coed (mixed) Ultimate teams in the western US and Canada attend. Two years ago I went with a new team out of Missoula and we got beat in the quarter-finals. Last year, despite my gut feeling, Rick Simmons and I abandoned the Missoula B team to play with Jackson Hole. The team wasn't very good and we were certainly underappreciated and got little playing time. This year, in a total surprise, I was invited to play with the Missoula A team. The team has many people who've won nationals and World Ultimate titles so it was quite an honor to be asked to play on the team. The weather was perhaps some of the worst weather I have ever played Ultimate in; from 10:00 AM until we completed our 5th game at about 7:00 PM it was either raining, sleeting, hailing, snowing or blowing. We had one stretch of sunshine. The team is very good but as the day wore on I did not play much. Some of this is my fault as I was exhausted and hadn't eaten anything all day. Some of it I allowed to happen as there were legs much more ready to run than mine (I got burned for a score early in the game against Gun Show and never returned) and some of it was just the nature of the game. I like to keep a certain mix of handlers, speed and defensive guys on the field and in the last game never really felt like it was an appropriate time for me to play.
Anyhow, we had a very good day, losing only to the Canadian Nationals Champions(Chaos) by one point and losing our last game in overtime 12-10. This sets us up for a decent shot today at getting at least to the semi-finals....But I won't be there.

I hurt my knee again three weeks ago and then again two weeks ago. When you try to play Ultimate all day and have an injury, if you don't keep playing you totally stiffen up. I was stiff and sore last night. But it was more than that; I am still trying to get to know many of the Missoula Elite Ultimate players and don't exactly feel like I click with them. Plus my athletic ability seems to be on the down-swing, Lord knows I'm not 25 anymore, so my playing time is less than I'd like. I played pretty well yesterday against Minneapolis' nationals qualifier Hot Action, but if I don't keep playing it gets harder and herder for me to get back in the game. So last night I decided not to play today. I should have gone to the fields anyway, but I didn't. I drove home without telling anyone. That was a boner move and not very respectful so I feel disappointed.

I should have stayed. I'm a real a-hole sometimes.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Music Makes Me Smile

Something very nice was waiting for me when I got back to the office....BMG was having a 70% off and no Shipping & Handling charges two day sale (the only time I ever buy anything from them is during sales like this). The package arrived while I was out of the office. Here's what I picked up for between $4.99 and $9.99USD:

Nitty Griity Dirt Band - Will the Circle Be Unbroken (2002 remaster of 1972 release)
Prince - 1999
Alejandro Escovedo - By the Hand of the Father
Duran Duran - Greatest
Mel Torme - Ole Torme
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Beastie Boys - Chewck Your Head
Olu Dara - In the World From Natchez to New York
John Coltrane/Cannonball Adderley - Cannonball & Coltrane
Shostakovich - Plays Shostakovich
Bob Dylan - Time Out of Mind
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
Chucho Valdes - Solo Live In New York
Glenn Miller - Platinum
Tricky - Maxinquaye
Ray Price - The Essential Ray Price

As you can tell I like a variety of music. I would have never purchased some of these discs but at that price, how could I not?

Tell Me What You Think

I added another cool blogger feature to my can now comment on my posts and become part of Johnny O's mind. After each post you'll see a little section with a "comments" link, click it and comment.

Paying the Piper

You may have been wondering just where the heck I have been all week...I mean, even in San Francisco I managed to post almost daily while still attending my conference and having a grand time.

Truth be told, this week I paid the price for my San Francisco adventure. Oh sure, last weekend I recovered from 8 days away, even getting to go to the Missoula Farmer's Market Saturday morning (one of the true joys Missoula has to offer). But I was slammed with work all week, which included 2 1/2 days in Helena at the annual Montana Medical Group Management Association's legislative and business meeting. I arrive back to a wet and rainy Missoula this afternoon.

My meetings in Helena were actually very informative, educational and "fun". I learned some very incredible things about Medicare legislation (no yawning allowed) that simply astounded me and I also picked up more than a few jewels to use in my job. Last night we had a nice meal and entertainment provided by magician Bruce was a wonderful performance.

Anyhow, I'm back at the office opening mail and trying to get some semblance of organization back on my desk. I'll have to work tomorrow just to catch up but you can expect some posts as well.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention I saw a terrible accident Wednesday night on a lonely stretch of I-90 between Drummond and Gold Creek, Montana and was nearly involved in one myself today on Highway 12 going over a fog shrouded MacDonald Pass west of Helena. The one on Wednesday night was plain eerie: It was about 11:00 PM and I was heading back to Helena again (I drove the 120 miles over in the morning, attended meetings, drove 120 miles back to Missoula to set up the Ultimate fields and play and then was driving back) when I came over a rise and there were flashing red lights 100 yards or so ahead. It was eerie because it was so pitch black...there is nothing out there so there is no light pollution either... and I was very tired. I remember thinking I was in some David Lynch film as I slowed way down everything seemed to go into slow motion. I came up to the wreck...there was a state trooper car on one side, then the semi-truck sort of at an odd angle and then the car, flipped over but balanced in a freakish manner..then another trooper car and an rural ambulance. The ambulance driver was visible from the waist down as he was inside the car attending to a trapped person. There were flares and a few troopers, but I was the only car heading east; it was a little unnerving and totally surreal. Today I almost ran into the back of a semi-truck hauling big round rolls of hay. We were heading up the mountain and the fog was super thick. The speed limit on this part of the highway varies from 45 to 70 mph and I was probably doing 60. The semi was in the right lane (as was I) where it should have been and was probably going 25, laboring heavily to get up the mountain. I saw the trucks' blinkers at the last second, braking frantically and then swerving into the left lane without looking in my rear view mirror. Let's just say my deodorant failed completely at that moment and I was really lucky I didn't hit him.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

News from Bangkok

Another new look for my blog..I like this skin quite a bit. When I decide to make it a priority, I might actually learn to make my own skin with all the stuff I really want. But for now, Blogger is giving me some nice resources in addition to letting me rant on and on about not much.

Today I got to spend about an hour instant messaging with Pete in Bangkok. I'm hoping he'll send me some recent photos of him and his girlfriend Kung. Pete and I were roommates at Purdue and are lucky enough to have each other as close friends still after (gulp) 22 years with lots of great times together. Bangkok is far enough ahead of Montana time wise so that we don't really get alot of good time to chat, but today we had a great talk. He is starting a couple of new businesses with some friends and they sound very positive. But the big news is that he and Kung are seriously talking about marriage. They've been dated for 2 1/2 years now and been living together for something like a year now and Pete thinks the time is getting near. This really causes me to have some conflicting emotions; one the one hand I am so excited for Pete because he is truly a great human being, but on the other hand Pete and I are like the last of the Mohicans in that we're the last two of a group of friends yet to marry. We've always relied on each other for co-miseration, sharing the ups and downs of single life and knowing we have each other....but he has Kung and I'm lucky enough to have Annie (no, she still hasn't tired of me) and the future is not yet written. Life certainly is an interesting journey.

And now, France!

My summer is starting to heat up. After two years of spending my vacation time traveling back to Indiana (6 times last year), I had a quiet winter and spring with little travel. Now I'm following up on my San Francisco trip with an exciting adventure trip to France. I'm pretty stoked. The lovely Annie and I will be heading to to the continent next month, sandwiching a whirlwind off-the-beaten-path adventure around the wedding of Gildas Plouhinec, the infamous brother of the lucky girl, Gwen Plouhinec Roscoe. The wedding will be in a small town in the Loire Valley called Ennordres, which is near Bourges. The whole village will be there and the wedding will last two days!
Annie is game for traveling my way, which involves a lot of research using the rough guides resources and getting tips from other like minded travelers and then shooting from the hip once we get there. I definitely want to see the D-Day beaches, monuments and cities of Normandy and want to get into the countryside. Beyond that, we're open to suggestions.
Catching Up:

I'm finally able to write about the rest of my stay in San Francisco. It should be obvious by now that I thoroughly enjoyed my 8 days there so it should not be a surprise to anyone when I say that San Francisco is now my favorite big city anywhere.

Thursday night I got to hang out with me friend Trina again. That really made me happy. Trina is one of those people who is so smart and interesting that she almost makes you jealous. She recently got to spend a month traveling to Australia and New Zealand and is hoping to spend a good portion of the summer doing the same.

We were supposed to get together again on Wednesday night but I was still on a ferry between Marin County and the Embarcadero at 8:30 PM so we scratched for Thursday. As luck would have it, one of the areas I still hadn't eaten my way through also happens to house one of Trina's favorite spots, Tommaso's. North Beach, the Italian enclave of San Francisco that also houses the famous City Lights bookstore is an awesome part of town filled with excellent restaurants surrounded by raunchy sex shops that seem to have some sort of free pass to get away with many things otherwise illegal.

Tommaso's sits next to the self-proclaimed "nastiest video store in San Francisco", and across the street from Larry Flynt's Hustler Club. The restaurant is small, crowded and loud. The decore is simple. The food is OUTSTANDING. Tommaso's has been consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the city and one of the best pizza houses in the country...that's right, the country. Trina suggested it and our very imformed concierge at the Hotel Triton (she was never off in her suggestions) agreed.

So Trina joined me and my two cohorts in crime, Karl and Rick for some dinner, wine and conversation. It was so much fun. She's been super busy with work and her mind is heavy with the loss of her Dad but she mesmerized Karl and Rick to the point that they didn't want dinner to end. We split two bottles of wine, one being the house wine (superb); a house pizza (outstanding); and then we also had the house manicotti with meatballs that was so yummy I ate way past the point of being full. For dessert Trina and I split the Tiramisu and Karl and Rick split the raspberry cheesecake.

A couple of observations about Tomaso's. Despite the incredible amount of people trying to get in and despite the noise level of those of us all competing for ear space, the wait staff was calm and non-hurried. The plain white decore and unattractive lattice work on the walls belies the elegance of the food, which was both wonderful in presentation and in flavor. Our waiter also turned out to be one of the owners. We noticed this only after dinner as we were leaving and saw the review, with his picture on the wall.

So we headed back to the hotel and packed up. We got up early Friday to catch our 7:15 AM shuttle to the airport. As silly as this sounds, I hated to checkout. The hotel was fabulous and we couldn't have stayed there without the help of my wonderful friend Jody and her brother's company, Kerry Hotels (Kerry and Jody have a funky company that represents boutique hotels in major cities in the USA, brazil, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belize and the UK. If you're traveling and what to splurge on something fun and funky, contact Kerry Hotels first). We arrived at the airport only to find our flight had been cancelled. The folks at Delta were quite nice and got us on the next flight out at 11:15 AM. When we arrived in Salt Lake City and boarded our next flight, we had to de-board while they fixed a computer problem. Normally this sort of thing would really bug me, but I sat next to a family going to Missoula for their son's/nephew's/grandson's graduation and they were very nice so the delay was spent in conversation.

My trip to San Francisco was fruitful for work and enriching for my life experience. i can't wait to get back.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

San Fran: Day 7

At this exact moment I am connected via the Triton's wireless in-room internet connection. Leave it to me to find out I have in-room free wireless access tonight, the last night I'm here. For the past 5 days I've paid $1 each time I connected to the net (or each time Rick and Karl connected, which is about 5 times a day). I am an idiot to say the least.

I have so much to write about and so little time to do it in. Karl, Rick and I are meeting Trina at 7:30 PM in the North Beach section of town (only about 7 hilly blocks from here) for dinner at a place called Tomasu (sp?)...highly recommended by sweet Suzann at the Triton's front desk (so far all of her recommendations have been right on the money).

I'll give you a teaser to what I'll write about later. In the past two days we've been to Fisherman's wharf, Coit Tower, Russian Hill, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon, Union Square, the Embarcadero and we've taken the Larkspur to San Francisco ferry, been to a Giants game, eaten at Brandy Ho's, Sam's on the water (Tiburon) and had a hell of a time...but more on that later.

Did I already mention I'm doing this wireless?

Monday, May 10, 2004

Cool, cool Trina:

Tonight I walked down to the Powell street BART station and took the BART down to the Mission District where Trina met me. We walked over to a sweet place called Luna Park on Valencia street. It was so much fun. The food was super, but the company was what made the night. Trina is such a wonderful person and I was so happy to just sit and listen to her stories about traveling, work and the things going on in her life. For all you Hollanders out there, Trina won't get to come to Holladougatuck this year after all, which is our loss. She is going to get to take a National Geographic photography course in Santa Fe though, sort of around the same time so we can expect even more cool photography on her website.

I still love San Francisco but I must admit tonight the panhandlers got to me. There are a tremendous number of homeless people in this town...and I mean tremendous; they are everywhere and they are persistent in their attempts to get money. I bought a Street Times from one, gave 50 cents to another and a dollar to a third and then I just had enough. Near Union Square I was accosted 5 times in one block. The city has a real problem but even more than the human tragedy, the shear number of homeless and their aggressive pan handling will most certainly have an economic impact when tourists start avoiding the downtown area.

More tomorrow...night, night time.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

I am now entering a dangerous stage of my blogging life...I snuck over to the AUA Web Station and am posting online in real time. Freaky and crazy all at the same time! This portion of the conference is the "main" portion, where the over 15,000 attendees gather at the hub to go through the massive exhibit hall and high-tech message center (seriously, all you techie geeks would be in heaven...the use of technology to identify attendee's, allow attendees to interact with each other, vendors, exhibitors, presenters and just about everyone else is unbelievable).

Anyway, as I've said numerous times now, San Francisco is a real treat and this conference is the pinnacle of these types of events. I'm spending my afternoon cruising the exhibit hall to identify vendors I want to meet with and those I want to bring Karl & Rick in to meet. From a business perspective, I love this sort of thing...and the "deals" can be struck here that you can't strike in another setting. SSo, we're looking at EMR (Electronic Medical Records which you will all be hearing more and more about in the future), new practice management software, Urodynamics machines, clinical trials opportunities and loads of other stuff to help us prepare for the future and offer our patients the best medicine and experience they can find.

The day today has been wonderful. I bought some art at Union Square and have been on cloud 9 ever since. The people you see in San Francisco are cool, wild, eclectic, crazy, beautiful and unique. It's a very international town. Sunny, if you are reading this...YOU WOULD LOVE SAN FRAN. You need to come visit me and we'll go here together.

Unfortunately, I won't get to see Trina tonight for the Shrek II wrap-up party: I thought the party was on Friday but it is tonight and I already have plans to go to the big Urology event at Pac-Bell stadium. More on that later.
Holy smokes, San Francisco is amazing. It's almost too much. I've spent most of my time inside the conference thinking about what I'm going to do next once the sessions are over! Our hotel is unbelievable. The amazing Jody Flowers hooked us up, as the Hotel Triton is about 30 steps from the gates of Chinatown and all that it offers, is about three blocks from some of the best shopping and people watching I've ever experienced and is surrounded by incredible restaurants, art galleries and stores of all types.
Friday night Rick, Karl and I headed into Chinatown for some very tasty food followed by a Boddington's at a lively Irish Pub.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. Every break I'd rush outside to take in the feel of the city. On my way back to the hotel I took Punk Asses advice and detoured to Union Square. There was an amazing art show going on...and I'm not talking street art, I'm talking collector quality art on display and for sale. Of course, this was all made better by the sheer number and interesting nature of the people hanging out in the square. Living in Missoula it is easy to forget just how cool it is to be around people who are either from a different culture or are a jumbled mess of races or whatever...I dig that.

last night we headed into the Haight for dinner at Cha Cha Cha, a super hip Caribbean restaurant. We had some of the best jerk chicken ever to touch my taste buds...loads of Cajun shrimp, Cuban potatoes, calamari and some wild mushroom dish that blew my mouth away. Nice night spent with Rick's brother and childhood friends (with names like The Snitch, Blue Jay and Robette how could you go wrong?).

today is Mother's day and I'm missing mine. I'm off to the conference for 1/2 day and then it'll be time to play again. Can't wait to post some pictures.

Oh, we did get to Amoeba Music's the bomb.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I wrote this yesterday, while sitting on a plane.....

We just passed over Salmon, Idaho on our way down to Salt Lake City. This morning was a breeze; up and at the office by 6:15 I managed to get all my work done (or at least the work I set out to do), get the tax payments taken care of, design a flyer for our nurses upcoming incontinence seminar (woo-hoo!, as Homer Simpson would say) and burn a sweet "San Francisco 04" CD for the road. I put some David Bowie, Merle Haggard, The Police, Modest Mouse, Lefty Drizzell, The La's, Los Lobos, Joe Henry, Lambchop, Lee Scratch Perry, Aretha Franklin, Bootsy Collins, Tosca, the New Cajun All-Stars and a few other surprises on the disc, so I should be good to go in my hotel room.

Anyway, I walked out of the office at 9:45 AM, my co-worker Melanie picked me up at m house at 9:50 AM and we got to the airport at 10:00 AM (ahh, that is an advantage to living in a small town). I checked in, got an exit seat confirmed all the way through to San Fran and still had time to call Phil (set our lineup Phil), Rick and Annie (found a great travel site at Travel Secrets.

The skies are so clear I can see much farther than normal. The sun is shining, the air is smooth and the flight is pretty perfect, except for the dude across from me who is using some PDA looking device from the New York Times that beeps every flipping time he does whatever the hell it is he is doing over there, which is about every other second! I'm guessing it is a crossword puzzle thing-a-ma-bob but I'm about 5 seconds away from going postal on that little box. It is truly bugging the hell out of me.

I'm looking out the window at the circular agricultural fields that are so common out here: Back in Indiana everything is planted in big long rectangles, but out here, where almost all crops need to be watered constantly through irrigation systems, the fields are round and it looks pretty bizarre from the air.

I'm sneaking a peek at the guy in front of me (through the gap in the seats, a favorite trick of mine) because he has a sweet iMac with some program called AppleWorks. It looks like he is designing either a webpage or a newsletter on littlerivermusic (note to self, when on solid ground and connected again, look up or Charles David Denler). He is typing an article about some Emmy for outstanding achievement in Music that he won. Hmm, maybe I should try to talk to this guy.

Oh, I just realized the guy behind me is doing to me the same thing I am doing to this Charles fellow in front of me; I just busted him doing the gap look.
What else? The woman across from the guy in front of me (are you following me here?) is engrossed in her Danielle Steele novel. She's put together pretty well and dressed nicely but I'm wondering if she ever has any regrets about thtattooederfly tattoed to her hand, between her thumb and index finger. In front of her is a couple, the man looking to be a good 20 years older than the woman next to him but they are indeed a couple! Go Dude go.

Sheeeeeeaaaaatttt, we"re flying over the great Salt Lake so it is time to shut down for now. More later.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Man oh man, monsieur la Hopedaddy has done it again. Click on the link to the right for the very cool Mark Need to get two more great reviews for Los Lobos and The Beastie Boys. He also updated his playlist on radio Hopedaddy for those wanting to jam out.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

I am starting to get giddy with excitement about my trip to San Francisco. Except for the pain (which has subsided into sort of a dull ache...not a good sign) in my knee, all I want to think about right now are all the recommendations my friends Dave & Claire and Trina have given me. I'll be leaving Missoula tomorrow morning at 10:45 AM and arriving in San Francisco via Salt Lake City at around 1:50 PM. My friend Dave (aka Punk Ass) is picking me up at the airport and dropping me off at The exceedingly groovy Hotel Triton, after which I have to boogie over to register at my conference. Later, Dave will go back to the airport to pickup his brother, Rick and another friend and fellow Urologist Karl Westenfelder. Karl, Rick and I are sharing a hotel room. The Triton is located at the gates of Chinatown and I can't wait to get my mouth around some of the great culinary offerings to be had. The Extended forecast looks flipping awesome, with the weather just getting better and better as the week goes on. I can't wait to see the Golden Gate bridge up close (before 9/11 I flew over it in Jack Roscoe's sweet little prop plane on my way to Gwen & Jack's wedding in Arcata), visit Alcatraz and go the largest independent record store in the country, Amoeba Records. Oh yeah, and I'll learn alot at the conference too :)
Today I bought my first song off of iTunes, the highly successful Apple music store. You can buy songs for just $.99 each or, in many cases, whole albums. I bought David Bowie's, "Bring Me the Disco King" from his latest offering, Reality. The song came through clear as a whistle and was purchased with two clicks...pretty damn nifty. I've tried several other services like audiogalaxy and MusicMatch and I liked them both, but the ease of use iTunes provides is going to be pretty hard to beat.

On another note, don't let yourself get sucked into the BMG online "60% off sale" going on today and tomorrow. They still add $3.95 or more per disc for shipping & handling bringing the price right back up to anywhere between $11 - $15 per disc. I added 23 selections (including classical, hip hop, jazz and rock) only to find the S & H made the sale a joke.

Today is Mel Puckett's 40th Birthday: You go Mel!!!!!!!!!

Last night at Ultimate Frisbee we surprised Mel with a cake and some beer. She wore her hair in tight pigtails for the game to celebrate the end of her thirties...she was very cute. And she continued her great play, throwing for a score.

I hurt my knee during the game; my bad knee. I can't hardly move today without a sever and sharp pain along the meniscus line (I think). I think I did something bad but I'll try to see if it goes away. Our team is now 4-1 and tied for the lead in the league, despite losing our two tallest and most athletic players (Colin "retired" and Rick decided out of the blue to have surgery). We've got a fun group. More later.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Can not believe it is Tuesday already, nope can't believe it. I arrived back in Missoula last night and to give you an idea of how off my mental clock is, I thought we were 50 minutes early not 10 minutes late. I was so shocked that Karl (my ride) was at the airport and expressed my amazement with his ability to know my flight had arrived. He looked at me puzzled but I guess he assumed it was just another odd comment in a stream of odd comments that bubble from my mouth. Only later did I discover the plane landed at 11:10 PM, not 10:10 PM and that I was an hour off.

I Got to bed at about midnight but couldn't sleep for this odd smell that I couldn't shake from my nose. At about 1:30 AM, after digging through the garbage, smelling my drains and looking on my front porch I realized it was the smell of pizza cardboard coming from my courier bag at the end of the bed. You see, I grabbed the last Godfather's pizza from under the heat lamp in the Minneapolis airport at about 9:15 PM (who knows how long that thing had been sitting there) and left the box, crumbs and peppers included, in my bag. I deposited the bag in my bedroom and thus allowed the box to severely alter my sleeping habit. There is a certain odor cardboard takes on once it is heated like that and I had my bedroom. Argh.

Today was a jumbled up mess of the good, bad and the ugly at work. On the one hand I was able to storm through my tasks, pumping out some things a day ahead of schedule and even securing a source for co-op money for some future marketing efforts. On the other, my new clinical model (introduced several months ago and implemented yesterday, so we are D-Day +1) I introduced at the Urology office is meeting with some obstacles, not all of which are unwelcome by employees assigned the task of making the model work. I really dislike it when people choose that path. That was the good and the ugly, the bad was all this statistical and financial analysis I've been working on so I can give the doctors a better understanding of their position. I'm sure there is some blog out there where that sort of thing is considered "fun" to talk about but this blog ain't that so I won't bore you with the details. Anyhow, the day whizzed by and here I sit, my first chance to weblog about my weekend in Indy.

A short detour first...

Strange, one of the nice things about being back at my desk, in my windowless office that was an exam room in a prior life, is my music. I listen to music all day, everyday. The people I work with have come to accept this part of me as one of those peculiar aspects of my being here. One minute it may be some Wagner, the next it is John Digweed or the Kinks or whatever. Merle Haggard? Got it. Van Morrison? Johnnie Ray? Please. Wilco? Parliament? Blind Boy Fuller? Ozmati? George Jones? Modest Mouse? Greg Brown? C'mon, I've got a little bit of everything and I really like all kinds of music. I've completely transitioned to iTunes now, moving away from MusicMatch Plus, even though I have the lifetime upgrades. Musicmatch chews up too many resources for my liking and, despite the album art and tag editing features, MusicMatch makes my machine go bonkers about every third day. And whereas MusicMatch has a hard time handling the shuffle all feature, iTunes handles this task without a problem. On the other hand, iTunes plays my music and leaves me alone...and since I listen to music all day long (I've got over 20,000 songs now on my external hard drive), that's what I want to do, listen to music and work not listen to music sometimes, work sometimes and have my computer freeze the rest of the time.

So, back to the weekend. It was a big event crammed into a short time frame. Annie met my family and some of my friends. I met her sister, brother in-law and some of their friends. My Mom and dad put on a big ol' Indiana style cookout with chicken on the bar-bee-que and Annie's sister and bro-in-law cooked up some lobster. We ate our way through the weekend, once again. My niece's, as expected, loved Annie instantly, especially little Brooke. My Mom seemed to have the same take and everyone spent most of the weekend smiling. Even my Dad chimed in with praises for Ms. Weissman.

We swam in the rain, shopped at Galyan's and the new Miss Zula's in Indianapolis and enjoyed the company of part of the Indy Oligarchy ( a little nickname we have for an old group of friends), my family and a few others at the cookout. Annie finally met Monkey, who I seem to talk about all the time, Garrett & T, Jena, Bryan & Katy and Sean "Tango" Brown. Her sister Caroline is just an awesome person and she keeps this culinary diary that would make most chef's envious for sure. We had this simple Mexican corn dish that was so yummy that I couldn't help but pig out.

Damn, this post is really getting long. I haven't even mentioned anything about leaving for San Francisco on Friday or planning a trip to France or the odd coincidences of the day. Guess I'll get to that later. Stay with me....

Monday, May 03, 2004

Not only did my good friend Bruce point out that I need to explain a litle bit about but he also made me realize I need to add a link to his website. If you're one of the scant few who visit this blog and don't know Bruce, he is part of a strong group of friends who I get to share time with each year in Holland, Michigan (and surrounding environs). He's also a brainiac, a musician, a producer, a computer guru and one who enjoys a good debate about life and al that encompasses. So, I added a link to the very cool Bruce Burdick for your pleasure.

Here's what I posted about
There is a site out there called A buddy of mine created his own, legal, radio station called hopedaddy. He writes reviews for several music industry rags and, as such, gets free copies of new releases before they are released so he has music posted to his station the day it comes out. He is more into the Wilco, Joe Henry, alt.countrty rock scene but also like jam bands and singer songwriters.

Anyone can create a radio station on the site, for a fee. I think the cheapest package is 7.95 a month and goes up to 99.95 a month if you 2000mb storage and 200+ simultaneous listeners

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Oh, I thought I'd show you how goofy and fun my family is. This is my super sweet .Tara she's 10 and is a balst to hang out with. And this is my Mom, Adelle

More later. Gotta go shower.
Whew...what a fun but hectic trip we are having in Indianapolis. Got in late last night after some mechanical delays in Minneapolis. My brother Chris stopped in and hung out until 11:00 PM and that was awesome.
Today it is very gloomy and wet, but that didn't keep us from having fun. This morning, my nieces Tara (10) and Brooke (3) came over to Mom 7 Dad's around 9:00 AM with my sister, Leslie. Leslie had to work, but she got to have a bit of the awesome breakkie Mom whipped up for us all, with loads of fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, biscuits & jelly, doughnut holes, sausage and juice.
After breakfast, while Annie got to know Tara and Brooke a little better, Mom gave me my first real hair cut since Christmas... let's just say it's pretty short right now.
So then it was off to Galyan's to pick up a couple of swim suits...unfortunately the weather was poopy, so no Ultimate frisbee for me with my local chums. Instead, Mom, Annie, Tara, Brooke, Leslie and me went swimming in the rain. The pool is heated so we played Marco Polo through the steam. Loads of fun.
The afternoon got chillier so we retreated to the house for a late lunch and some reading to put Brooke to sleep. Mom showed off her gardens to us and they are lovely.
So now, we're getting ready to head over to Annie's sister & brother in-laws' house for a feast and a night of fun.
Tomorrow we'll be back here at Mom & Dad's for a cookout. My whole family plus Monkey, Katy & Bryan, Curt & Kathy (crossing our fingers about this connection) and my Uncle Mike and his wife Aurora will all be present.
I won't get to see Craig, Kathy and the kids on this trip and it looks like I'll miss Hurst, Gina and Stephen but I'm shooting for hooking up with Tango and hopefully a surprise visit to the original Mr. Hopedaddy on Monday.