Sunday August 29, 2004



A little more of the same. Yesterday was beautiful in S.C. Today is dark, dreary and a bit of a mess as Tropical Storm Gaston is hanging around. After spending a little time with Amanda's parents in the morning, we headed over to my Grandmother's for a bit. Then it was off on the final leg of our "Baby Tour."

Last January, one of my best friends (Emily) gave birth to a kid named Ian. We hadn't gotten around to getting over to see him yet. We weren't gonna let that happen again. His stare was a bit like Stewie from Family Guy. He also seemed to be reading our thoughts or something. Ian's dad Clayton even offered us some tin foil to stop him from getting a read. I figured I didn't need any. If he actually got into my mind, I think he would leave as fast as possible (on his own) without coercion!

Clayton even downloaded the only out of print Heart album for me (Private Audition) from RealRhapsody. It was convenient and so easy to use that I'm considering subscribing to it myself.

Then it was home. We made it back just in time to prepare for that thing that I've heard called "sleeping."





Saturday August 28, 2004

Me and my new niece McKayla. She's just a day old in this pic. It was nice of her to show up just in time for my trip home.



Well, we made out to Effingham, South Carolina for what was supposed to be my family reunion today. My brother Benji and April rode out there with Amanda and me. My sister was just getting out of the hospital with new the new kidling so she couldn't be there. Maybe it's just because my Dad wasn't there but this thing didn't feel like MY family's reunion. It seemed like a bunch of distant relatives who I don't even really know. None of my uncles or their wives or children could find the time to show up.

My Aunt Brenda drove my Grandma up there and I was glad to see her at least. My second cousin from North Carolina, Phyllis Calhoun showed up with her man Flash and we spent most of our time hanging out with them. They're family. But out of the 50 or so people there, they were the only ones that I really felt that familial bond with. The food was good this year but that ain't enough to justify a 600-mile round trip and cancelled jobs. As long as Grandma asks me to come and I can do it, though, I'll be there. Family comes first...period.

Phyllis' dad Nelson was an amazing photographer for a couple of generations up on the east side of N.C. I used to marvel at his work. He's not doing so well now. He's in a home. They're taking good care of him but it's hard to know that he doesn't even really know what's going on. Phyllis brought me several of his old Canons, some lenses, converters and other stuff. I hope I get a chance to use them. I'm so honored that she would think enough of me to give me that stuff.

As for it not feeling right, I wasn't the only one. Phyllis and Grandma both said the same thing. Grandma even hinted that she might bring it back to her backyard next year (where the first one was held 25 years ago) and make it our reunion again. I would love that.

Anyway - after the reunion, I had a first meeting. We all headed over to my sister's place to meet McKayla. Jeez, the kid's got as much hair as me! What's going on? She wasn't exactly prepared to get into a long conversation (she was a bit tired) but we had our meeting and a bit of a photo shoot. The most important thing was just to say "Hello" and let her know who I am. As long as we have time together in the future, everything'll be cool.

In the evening, I made good on my (several months) old promise to see the Bruce Campbell movie Bubba Ho-Tep with my good friends Shawn & Lori. The movie is hard to explain but interesting enough to make it worthwhile. It's twisted, poignant, gross and ridiculous. It's worth a look. Of course, getting to see the movie was a comedy of errors unto itself but nothing a little pseudo-breaking and entering couldn't solve.

Their kids seemed to be great and I was just happy to see them all. Wish I had more time to spend. Got back to Amanda's parents' a little after midnight.

I spent 14 hours seeing the troops back home.

I'm glad I did.





Friday August 27, 2004




At 2:45 this morning, little McKayla Lee Griffin entered the world in Sumter, SC. She's 7.4 pounds, 8 days late and complete with long eyelashes. Mom and daughter are doing okay. I got the call at 3:15 a.m. from my Mom. So now I'm the uncle to 3 lil' chilluns, even though the other 2 are hardly chilluns anymore.

Welcome to the world, kid. It's not exactly the safest place, but there's a lot to do and see if you're willing to go for it. Just don't look too close at the fine print!

My only regret is that your grandpa Charlie won't get to hold you.

You've got a lot to learn, McKayla. I'll be here to help any way I can.


Aside from that, nothing else matters but I'll update anyway. I will succeed in updating Concert Shots by lunch time today. Then it's off to S.C. for tomorrow's family reunion. I'm not rushing back for tomorrow's Drive-By Truckers show even though I may regret that. I want to hang around home a bit. I've got a new family member to meet and some friends I haven't seen in a while...

Of course, you know that means I won't be able to update 'til at least Monday. Can we all live through the weekend without my endless blather? Only time will tell.



Thursday August 26, 2004



We're just a-waiting on the kid. You're a week late. C'mon.

I spent the day editing pics and such so that I can have Concert Shots updated tomorrow. There are 184 pictures on the Warped page alone. It's insane. I'm updating with only 3 shows and there will be 21 artists and around 250 pictures. Ack! But I'll be catching up soon enough. I just have to stay on it.

Watched the last Twilight Zone that I have in my current collection. Got to go buy Collection 3 now before I go nuts. I'm almost out of the 90 KRP's, too. It may not sound like a problem to you, but those shows have been my comfort food and downtime for this last, most difficult year of my life.



Wednesday August 25, 2004


Typical day. Nothing special. I'm just awaiting word on the impending birth of my new niece McKayla. Haven't heard a word. She was due last Thursday. As today is Gene Simmons' birthday, I figured today would be as good a day as any for her to make an appearance. That's apparently not to be.

Frank came by with an intriguing new song idea in the afternoon. We recorded his sketches, then I had to get back to the usual.

In the evening, we had a rehearsal. We got through as much as we could in 2 hours. I don't know what's happened with us. We're improving again (it's about time) but the same mistakes are happening in the same places. It's really bugging me. I just don't think anyone's doing their "homework." It's just, what's the point in Frank giving up his life in South Carolina to move here if we're not going to be a thousand times better than we were! For the record, Frank worked a (I'm not kidding or exaggerating) 19 hour day at DialAmerica and has been pulling double shifts frequently trying to catch up his finances. He'll be getting on a more humane schedule soon. Let's hope that makes all the difference. As for the rehearsal itself, we didn't try any new songs but "Deuce" is starting to feel a bit punkier. It's kind of cool. And "Everyday" is evolving a bit, too. It's starting to sound more like ours now. I'm just happy that my playing jumped up in leaps and bounds from Sunday. I'm getting back on track. Hopefully, the whole band will be soon. I even pulled off the freakout in "Phony" again for the first time since we played it live at the Roadhouse.

Shows are coming up and some others will probably pop up, too. We'll be ready...right?



Tuesday August 24, 2004


See, I told you I was making progress. Concert Shots was updated today for the second time in a week. That's not bad considering it was 2 months between the last update! I'm starting to feel more rested and looking forward to feeling "normal" again...even if it is a new "normal."

Shall I bet myself? I think I'll bet myself that I can't get Concert Shots updated for a third time by the end of this week. What do you think?




Monday August 23, 2004


Yep, it's Monday. That means editing. I'm actually making progress now. You'll see. Other than that, there's nothing new today and I did nothing of note.

I am very tired. I didn't sleep last night even though I got back at a reasonable enough hour. It's ridiculous.

We do have two new dates to announce. September 28 we'll be doing an "acoustic" performance at Flicker in Athens and on October 2, we'll be moving out to the ATL (almost). We'll be at Mulligan's in Decatur.

Now we've just got to get it all pieced together between now and then.

Click here to see last week's update with Heart, The Crazy Old Lady In The Blue & Yellow Sweater and Blondie.