Sunday January 1, 2006





Well, believe it. It's 2006. What now?

For me, it's back to the same ol' thing already. I spent my day fixing computer related problems to (hopefully) speed things up when I do get back on track. And it's about time for just that. While I have been working, studying and doing stuff constantly, it's been what I wanted to when I wanted to for the last couple of months or so. This is the longest extended break I've had in at least 4 years and maybe ever. I needed it desperately. I'm feeling rejuvenated and ready to capture what flows out of the well. Maybe I can even bottle it this time.

What about you?




Saturday December 31, 2005








Today, Amanda and I decided to go see King Kong. I figured it was going to be just another longwinded, overrated bit of Hollywood fluff. I was wrong. Well, mostly. It's still very, very Hollywood (funny considering it was shot in New Zealans). Maybe I should say it's what Hollywood should be. It was total entertainment. The first hour was mostly buildup (and therefore semi-boring) but the next two hours were non-stop-full-out-intense-ridiculousinagoodway fun. The best part was that the movie had a sense of humor and was clearly in on its own joke. I was shocked that I could get that into scenes with dinosaurs and giant apes. If you see it, you'll know what I mean. And if you can get over your preconceptions, I can pretty much guarantee you'll have a good time. The closest other movie I can compare it to in scope and feel is Raiders Of The Lost Ark and like that one, this one is destined to be an absolute classic. It was definitely flawed (especially in its use of slow-mo) but it was as close to perfect as a blockbuster is likely to get these days. I liked it a heck of a lot more that Titanic. But don't get me started on that one.

The one bad thing was that sitting in a 3+ hour movie did the unthinkable. It brought back my headache from a couple of days ago. We had planned on going somewhere nice for dinner (again). Instead, we wound up going to Ryan's for comfort food and lots and lots of sweet tea. Sometimes that little bit of caffeine is enough to stop a migraine-in-training. I didn't want to have to miss the new year's arrival by having to try and sleep this sucker off.

But, the tea did the trick. It took a while but a couple of hours later, I felt fine, I'm thrilled to say. I was looking forward to a new year's eve with no plans. For some reason, the new years that I bring in privately usually turn out better than the ones where I'm out celebrating. I'm sure it's a coincidence but it seems to be. I've got to admit, though, 2005 has been pretty darn good to me. I can't believe all we've accomplished. Between making more money than I ever have (through photography no less), putting out my favorite album that I've ever recorded and just coming through the year safe and sound, I'm proud.

2005 has been a good year and I have no reason to believe that 2006 won't be better. Even if tragedy comes (as it did on a smaller scale this year with my Grandmother's fall and rise), I know that we can survive and even thrive if we just choose to do so. I'm not making any resolutions this year but I do have goals. And they're pretty big. The thing is, the groundwork's already laid. It's just a matter of continuing on the same path. Some things are just a matter of time. And no matter how slow you go, as long as you stay on the right path, you will get there eventually. So I'm going to keep moving in the same direction.

When 2006 got here, I was sitting on the floor of my living room strumming my acoustic guitar with Amanda by my side and 3 hermit crabs celebrating in their own way. I couldn't ask for anything more. If I did, I'd be one greedy S.O.B.

So happy new year to you where ever you are and whatever you're doing. Our work's cut out for us...




Friday December 30, 2005



Ah, thank God, sleep and whoever else is responsible. My headache faded overnight. I was still suffering from a weird, woozy feeling that I get after something like that. I always call it "the remnants of Hurricane Headache." So that's what I was under today. Still, I felt so much better that I can't even express it. Woo hoo!

While I was recovering over night, my computer was downloading for me (as usual). By the middle of today, I had a KISS show from January 31, 1975 ready to burn off onto DVD. I always thought they were pretty sloppy back then but I've got to say that when I watched it, I was surprised at just how tight they were. And it was interesting to see how they paced thier sets before they had songs like "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Love Gun", "Detroit Rock City", "Shout It Out Loud", "Calling Dr. Love" or any of that other stuff. They didn't even have the budget for many effects. This is from the Hotter Than Hell tour. They only had two albums out at the time. But it rocked. Too bad that the finale song "Let Me Go, Rock And Roll" was edited by the people who filmed it. Still it's a nearly complete show from the very early period. It's pro-shot with stereo sound. You can't ask for more. The thing that's most surprising about this era for me is raw statistics. A year before this show took place in January 1975, they didn't even have an album out. One year after this show, they were about to release their fourth album. The schedule that bands were on back then never ceases to amaze me. And the songs from those first 4 albums are still the core of their shows 30 years later.

Hubs, vines, and weeds rock. I'm loving this whole trading thing. It's opened up whole new worlds for me. If you're a music lover and you're not a part of it, you're missing out.



Thursday December 29, 2005


I was trying to catch up today. It wasn't easy. While I'm not too far behind, a lot of my software is still not compatible with the new set up. That's why you still haven't seen an update at Concert Shots for a while. I already have all (or almost all) of the pics ready. It's just a matter of fixing or reconfiguring. My site extensions don't work. I may just wind up redoing the look from now forward. I need to think about it a little more first, though. If I have to do it all in Dreamweaver, it'll require some retooling. Maybe that's for the best.

All day today, I had a headache. It got worse and worse and worse. By evening, it had turned into a full-fledged migraine. Yep, I get 'em from time to time but it's been a long time. Tonight's was in the top 3 worst ever. It might've been the worst. I don't know. It was so bad that the room was hazy around me. I couldn't think straight. The pain was so intense that dinner kept threatening to make a second visit. I was shaking like a chihuaha and wondering how I could stay alive for another hour. If you don't know this kind of pain, be thankful. It's indescribable if you've never experienced it.

Amanda did a great job of looking after me. There was nothing she could do but just being there made a huge difference. It was awful and I'd just as soon not have it happen again...




Wednesday December 28, 2005







Well, it was Amanda's birthday today. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect for her because both she and I have the worst times on our own "special days". No matter what, something happens every...single...year. I've given up on celebrating mine. I just acknowledge it and move on. Still, I wanted to break that curse for her so bad. But I couldn't.

I'm not going to go into details but it all started with some surly, fun-hating middle-age killjoy in the mall and went downhill from there. That ruined the next several hours. Still, we managed to fit in everything she had planned for herself.

She climbed a rock wall, she jumped on a bungee trampoline, she went for a massage and she had lobster for dinner. She chose Outback. I didn't have a good experience last time I ate at one and never wanted to go back. Since it was her birthday, it was her choice so that's where we went. Now - we did have to wait for a half-hour to be seated but I've gotta admit, once we got in, we got an absolutely amazing dinner at a (reasonable but still expensive) price. So...Outback reconsidered.

Today was still heartbreaking for me. I've just got to admit to myself that no matter what I can do for her or what I can ever give that I will never feel that it's enough. I just want her to be happy. But it would nice if I could make her even happier. I guess I'll have to keep trying and always try harder.

"I hope it's enough..."



Tuesday December 27, 2005





I went on out to Grandma's ahead of Amanda today. I knew she had some other little housework things I needed to help her with. Amanda went on to lunch with her Mom before she met up with me. I made one last swing by the cemetary on the way to Grandma's. I haven't missed a day in SC yet in going by and I don't intend to start now. Besides, it's just so much harder to deal with THAT reality during the holidays anyway. It's literally the least I can do.

When I got to Grandma's, she had a couple of things ready for me to do. I had to change the porch light bulb and (the most daunting one) install a new doorbell for her. Fortunately, it turns out that what she got was compatible with what she had so I didn't really have to install anything. I just had to juggle it around to get it to work. I was surprised at how simple it was.

Amanda caught up before long and we had to hit the road for Athens. We got home in the early evening and I had some cool stuff awaiting me in my (snail) mailbox. My favorite tonight was a killer DVD of Robert Plant performing in Rio de Janeiro in 1994. It's too bad more of that era wasn't recorded because I think it may have been the absolute peak of his powers (including with Zeppelin).

Then I had to catch up with email and stuff before settling in for the night.

"It was twenty years ago today..."



Monday December 26, 2005




Well, we've got almost no time left at home for Christmas. It sucks. I'm used to having a little time but it's just not to be this year. We had to fit in our friends Lori & Shawn and their kids, though. So after running some errands for Grandma, we headed over to the Youngs' to exchange our gifts. I hope they like what we got 'em and I hope they all work and "fit." They got us the Family Guy DVD set for season 3 and, of course, we love it. We're just wondering how they knew we watched it? I guess we must've mentioned it...

After that, we surfed the internet for awhile, sharing each other's DISTRACTIONS (man, I haven't updated mine in over a year, have I?). Before you know it, it was dark. I remembered that Amanda and I had to hit the road to meet up with her family for dinner at El Palenque. It's Amanda's birthday dinner with her family (she won't be in town when it actually gets here in 2 days). 'Twas a nice, peaceful, relaxing dinner and everyone was in good spirits.

Overall, "I gotta say it was a good day."

Ah, the Christmas memories from way back in 2005. Click here to revel in their sweetness...