Sunday September 5, 2004



So then, in accordance with yesterday's listing - to me, today is the first day of fall. It's still warm (although cooling) but it doesn't even feel like summer anymore.

Yep - I spent Sunday morning editing photos (doesn't everyone?). Then Amanda and I went looking around electronics stores. Some of our entertainment systems that we've used for over a decade aren't working too well anymore. It may be time to start looking toward getting a less clutterful set up. I can't believe the prices and ridiculous setups that are out right now. After looking around for a while, I decided that maybe we could wait a little longer!

Just before dusk, Amanda and I went crunching through the woods behind our little town house. That seems like a good fall activity after all. Yep - the leaves are starting to fall and turn. We found an empty creek and one with a bit of water left. They've probably been made by water draining from the roads around the mall behind us but, hey, it's still kind of nice to have creeks behind us. We even had a family of deer crunching through the woods for their pre-Fall excursion to happen upon us. I wonder if they found us half as interesting as we found them. We froze and they stood and stared at us staring at them. We moved and they stood and stared. Eventually, they dashed off as we went toward them. They disappeared in a flash of white tail.

In the evening, the KRP countdown was underway. We've been watching the 90 episodes in order for a nearly a year. Only 6 left. Another of my dilemmas. We should have a replacement for that soon, too. Then we watched the episode of Night Gallery called "Eyes." It was the first major thing that Steven Spielberg did. It's funny seeing his work as a young director. Spielberg trying to be all artsy while paying homage to the likes of Hitchcock was interesting to say the least. It was a pretty good, dark episode starring Joan Crawford (?!?). 'Twas a suitable temporary replacement for TZ.

Ahhh...I'm so glad I don't have to rely on TV schedules for my entertainment. Home video allows me to watch the shows I want whenever I want - without commercials for George Foreman's latest food related gadget every 9 minutes.What must it have been like to only be able to watch what was on TV or listen to what's on the radio? Can you remember? I don't wanna.

Times are still evolving, ain't dey?





Saturday September 4, 2004

Gloria Estefan brings Miami (minus Hurricane Frances) to Gwinnett.



Today was Amanda's day.

What I wanted didn't matter. I'm always dragging her across the country to various venues when she has other things to do. Today, I tried to return the favor a bit. (Before we left, I did manage to squeeze in the Concert Shots update. Check it out. I'm proud of a lot of the new shots.)

After I updated Concert Shots, it was off to White Water in Marietta, GA. I hate that drive but Amanda loves that place. She's wanted to go over and over all year. She even bought us season passes this year. Thanks to me, they were almost wasted. We only managed to get there once with Nichole and Robbie and the park is closing in three days. This is truly the last chance. She was determined to go and I wanted to make sure that she could. When we got there, it was too cold (I'm a 90+ degrees guy for water adventures) for me but it wasn't gonna stop or slow her. It's just as well, without me dragging her down with my pacing she got to shoot down streams of water at least 15 or so times in a few hours. If you've ever been to one of these parks, you know how many that is in that time. Thanks to it being a little cooler, near the end of the season, etc, she had close to the run of the park. She went on the Deer Park Plunge like 8 times in a half-hour! She was even challenging people to race her down the double chutes. The first thing she did was go to the Cliff Hanger. The biggest, baddest water oriented free fall to which we have access. She went straight for it. Then did it again. The only super long line was for this season's new ride The Tornado. There was such a huge line that Robbie and Nichole didn't get to go on it. There was still a line. We were surprised how many people were in line for it considering it didn't look like that spectacular a ride. Amanda soon found out different when she and two strangers dropped out of a dark hole into broad daylight making half circles and jumping their own wakes while going through a giant funnel. It also lasts a lot longer than most rides. I watched from a viewing platform. I saw the shock on her face when she came out. She was even shrieking (as well as laughing) a bit. I've never seen her look that nervous on a ride. It looked like big fun, though. Afterwards, I told her she looked more scared than I'd ever seen her on a ride. She said it wasn't fear, she was just shocked. She was expecting a wussy little ride and then WHOOSH, WHAM! She wanted to do it again but didn't want to wait, so she went running around the park running and hitting everything she could!

We had to leave around five to get back to Gwinnett Arena.

Amanda kept calling today the "End Of Summer Blowout." If it was, we made a legitimate effort at the spirit of summer. All day at a water park and then in the evening with Gloria Estefan & The Miami Sound Machine. It's Gloria's farewell tour and it was worthwhile even for a half-house shoot. This was possibly the most festive, upbeat show I've ever seen. Take all Latin-disco tinged beats, the strong sense of humor and fun then add in an army of people on stage (at one point, I counted close to 30 people between band and dancers) and you have one of the most satisfying shows of the year. I can't say I've ever been a Gloria Estefan fan but she puts on a heck of a show. Who knows - she may even make my top ten of '04, which this year is highly competitive! I was happily surprised. After the show, we even managed to beat a hasty retreat and get out of the traffic jam that always follows shows there. We were home by 12:15.

I had a decent day and I think Amanda had an even better one. So we say goodbye to the summer of '04! You were a monster. I worked hard and had a lot of memorable events.

Now it's time to try and embrace the fall. Due to my well-documented personal reasons, I missed last fall and winter all together. I hardly remember anything to do with the seasons from a year ago. Maybe this year I can enjoy the benefits of the changing seasons.

I've still got lots of baggage to sort through. I'm going to try to unpack a lot of it soon, so I can get back out and enjoy (as much as possible) the particular destination that I've reached at this point in my travels.





Friday September 3, 2004



Ahhh...just like the old days. I'm completely sidetracked and involved in editing hundreds of pictures from the night before. I just had to bite the bullet and do it. I'm still sick of it but at least I can see catching up with it at some point. It caused me to not get Concert Shots updated as I promised and that bugs me.

During the day, I came up with a temporary solution to my Twilight Zone dilemma. Oh - have I not explained? I'm a TZ geek. I've bought two of the 9-disc non-chronological collections (of 5 collections available - yes, there are 45 DVD's worth of TZ's) because I must have them all. These collections are not well made but they were all that existed. I have just finished watching the first 2 recently and was about to go out and buy the third collection when I found out that they will release re-mastered, chronological versions with bonus features and commentary at the end of this year. While very excited about it, I'm also frustrated that I've bought these big, bulky collections that I have! Even more distressing is the fact that if I wait, I won't have anything to get me through my next couple of months of "chillax" nights when I need a good TZ. My temporary solution is this. I spent $45 tonight on the Night Gallery Season One DVD box. Yeah - it's inferior to TZ and it generally focuses on hokey horror but it's close enough. Actually, a lot of them are pretty good. Some even as good. It's just that when they're bad...oh, are they bad! Rod Serling wrote and hosted it, though, so I'll get that fix and maybe be able to hold off 'til December for some new TZ's. I know - I know. This sounds pathetic. What can I say? I need my little nerd-geek things to get me through sometimes. When I get overwhelmed, overworked, overexhausted, stressed or whatever - there's nothing to me like a dissonant theme song and a patronizing man with a monotone voice and a poorly cut suit to calm me.



Thursday September 2, 2004

Sting & Annie Lennox declare their togetherness Thursday night.


Capped a boring, usual day with a fairly exciting evening. As you can see from the pic there on the left, I journeyed out to Philips Arena in Atlanta to catch Sting and Annie Lennox. I'd only seen Sting once before (ages ago) and never been lucky enough to catch Annie. I was looking forward to this one, which is saying something considering how burned out I've been on shows lately.

Annie put on a great hour long set. While not always directly on note, she put more energy and raw emotional power into her songs than anyone I've seen in a while. She did all of her notable solo work, including tremendous versions of "Walking On Broken Glass" and "Why." For me, though, it was the Bowie-like reworkings of Eurythmics songs that excited me the most. The first part of her set was more of the diva-pop stuff. When it switched to a rock and roll revival with full-on electric guitar overload for "Missionary Man" and "I Need A Man" is when I was captured. Of course, "Sweet Dreams" was right near the end. All in all, Annie proved a captivating performer and a little too much for even Sting (circa 2004) to compete with.

Mr. Sumner, unfortunately, did not come out swinging...unless you mean in the old Vegas way. Without even his bass, he channeled the "soul" of Barry Manilow for "Send Your Love". It was a terrible opener. It might've been great for a cabaret act but we expect more from Sting. "Synchronicity II" followed. You'll get no complaints about that from me. That may be my favorite Police song. Thankfully, Sting showed he can still rock with this one and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." Soon after, the peak of the show was reached. For the fifth song, Annie Lennox reappeared to duet on "We'll Be Together." I never cared much for that song but Annie brought it to life and knocked it out of the park. From here on in, the show was REALLY hit or miss. Poignant and timely songs like "Fragile" were interspersed with just okay material like "Seven Days." The nadir was a plodding, endless version of "Roxanne." The reason the song is a classic is because of its punchy, aggro-wave stagger. Here, it was a slowed and sanded down shadow of its former self. It was tolerable for about the first couple of minutes. After five or so more, I was ready to start peeling skin from my feet. A tease of "King Of Pain" raised hopes for a second before sinking back down into the mire of a once great song. "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" set things back on track near the end. Projected images of Arabic and Israeli symbols bolstered lyrics such as "I never saw no military solution that didn't always end up as something worse." It was effective and worthwhile. The end was safe and obvious. "Every Breath You Take" had every one up and dancing. This version was a little more upbeat than The Police recording and it was a perfectly rendered ender.

Of course, he couldn't leave it at that. For a final number he came back with a low-light, lumbering "Thousand Years." It makes for a romantic, moody, gorgeous home listening experience. In an arena, it loses all appeal and becomes just plain boring. Almost any song would've been a better farewell. So, like a lot of lives, the beginning and ending of the concert were painful. But there were moments of such, insight, joy and connection within to make it all worthwhile.



Wednesday September 1, 2004


Ughhhh...September. Just the word causes me to shudder. When I was a kid, it was all about school. In high school, one of my best friends was killed in a car wreck. In 2001, well, you know. And last Dad checked out for the last time. I don't like September. The only good thing that September ever brought me is my Grandmother, whose birthday is at the end of the first week. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy the seasonal change and the feeling in the air, but unfortunately, I connect it to a lot of bad things.

Anyway, I spent this first day of that month with editing pics again. I did the Curiosa festival today. That'll be part of my next update which'll be coming as early as Friday and no later than next Monday.

Frank came over in the afternoon and we listened to some music and discussed some things. He ditched for a while (as Amanda and I went to the track for a workout) and then he came back in the evening for a "just the two of us" kind of rehearsal (Tom had a meeting). At first it wasn't going anywhere. Then I pulled out a few songs that we're supposed to know or have been considering doing. We learned
"(I Know) Too Much For My Own Good" and "This Is The Night The World Changes" plus we did a lot of tidying on "Skyward." Maybe we can get some use out of 'em when the band gets back together on Labor Day.

Oh - and here's something the nerd-geek in me found fascinating. It looks like the aliens may be a-calling! What do you think?



Tuesday August 31, 2004


Today, I spent catching up on things around the house. I edited some pics from the family reunion and spent a chunk of time updating this site. That's the majority of my day.

In the evening, Amanda and I did a little shopping (birthdays are approaching) and then had a fairly relaxing evening at home.



Monday August 30, 2004


Well, I'm home and taking it relatively easy. I'm getting a bit of work done a day but not pushing it like I have been for the last few months. I'm just feeling burned out and luckily...I can take a break when I need to.

I had to go through some of my Dad's stuff today in preparing for a potential hearing and (of course) it brought up a lot of tough to take feelings. I did find a few pictures of him that really captured his personality so I put 'em in my little shrine that I have right next to this computer. I even watched part of a video tape that he had on his VCR the day he died. It was a video of our whole family: me, Missy, her husband, Benji, Robbie, Nichole, Grandma and Amanda at Christmas time in '96. It was hard to watch but it was good to see Dad talking and goofing off again. There wasn't much as he was trying to avoid the camera most of the time but what was there took me back to a different life.

Click here to read about how I spent the last week in August and see my brand new niece McKayla!