Big weekend plans.

Okay ... I'm out for the long holiday weekend ... starting on Thursday:

Thursday - Doctor's appointment in New Castle, then taking my step-daughter (she's 12) to see Sean Paul at the House of Blues in Cleveland ... stop laughing.
She loves the Sean Paul. She's never been to a concert. Her mother bought the tickets ... so I'm stepping up to the plate and taking one for the team and taking her. Who knows, I might like it. I did see MC Hammer, twice, and liked it. And Vanilla Ice. And Run DMC. And Public Enemy. So I'm down with the hip-hop scene (as down as a 37-year-old, prematurly-graying cracka with bad knees can be, but still ...) (Um, anyone know anything Sean Paul sings cause I sure as heck don't.)

Friday -
some work stuff in the Youngstown/Warren area during the day, then maybe the Canfield Fair if the weather's nice, or if not, some bowling or a movie or the pool at the hotel.

Saturday -
Grabbing the kids and heading back to Columbus for the
Star Wars
exhibit at COSI... with my camera this time (DOH!) to get some good pics ... and because it's cool, and it's leaving town after the doors close Monday ... then taking them back home Saturday night and staying in Austintown.

Sunday -
back to the House of Blues in Cleveland for
Pat Green
because Chris Skrobot is on guitar ... and because Pat Green's new album is pretty rockin' compared to his last.

That's right, people,
is pretty darn good, I downloaded it from iTunes for $10. You should, too.

Monday -
Canfield Fair if it's nice .. then home to Cbus, for more studying ... because I'm planning on taking another certification test on Friday.
I should have internet access at the hotel ... but if not, talk to you next week.


New pics posted

Hello. Finally got around to working on my Watershed/Clarks photos from August 18th in Wheeling.

Here's my photo page ... click on The Clarks and Watershed to see the new pics. Watershed pics are at the top (the first 15). Clarks pics are all new.

It was my first show with the new camera ... please let me know what you think. For the record, I think it's some of the best stuff I've ever shot, and I totally had the wrong lens on the camera.

Since this shoot I've gotten a new lens for the camera that's what I wanted ... and can't wait for the Watershed show on the 8th to see what I can get with the new lens.-E


Song of the Day

I Can't Go Back
David Ford

There are some things,
I wish that I had never done.
Yeah I have regrets,
But you are not one of them.

And if you feel like going home,
You wouldn't recognise it now.
All Lovers have left town, again....

And I know we can't go back.

There are some people,
Who would say that I have lost my mind.
But I pay no attention,
Despite the fact they are probably right.

And now we're closing down the store,
And the shutters coming down,
And all the lovers have all left town, tonight.

And I know we can't go back, again.

But I know we'll be alright.

I know you have forgotten me,
Before your tears had hit the ground.
And there are things I should have said,
It really doesn't matter now.

And the office? isn't gold,
And the streets are paved with shit,
And the lovers have all left town, again...

And I know we can't go back.

There are some things,
I wish that I had never done.
Yeah I have regrets,
But you are not one of them,

No you are not one of them.


Cheeseburgers & Beer

Wow, so apparently Columbus is the Number Three city for drunks in America, behind only Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul.


number sixteen for obese people ... which is an improvement from number 10 in 2004.

Again, Damn.

So if you're a fat, drunk person, welcome home.

I'm gonna go have a beer & cheeseburger. Who's with me?


I (normally) love Claire Danes...

But I just tried to watch Shopgirl.


And I love me some Claire Danes.

I couldn't make it past the 13 minute mark.

Maybe I'm just not in the mood.

But mood or no mood ... the first 12:49 of this movie kinda sucks.

Perhaps I'll try again. In a month or so.

Has anyone seen it?

Is it worth watching?


Do what's good for you

So apparently I suck at blogging, too.

Yeah, I haven't been writing much. I've been reading a lot. Studying for certification exams.

And fighting with my apartment complex over a satellite dish.

They tell me I can't put one outside because of the way the lease is written. Then they have an exclusive agreement with a shitty cable company that prevents any other company from servicing this complex. So much for freedom of choice, eh? And I've been avoiding people in general because I've been feeling rather anti-social.

Basically I've been holed up in my apartment trying to get my life together because August has been a very weird month for me.

Yes, I broke up with Kara.

Yes, I miss her.

Yes, I'm sorry I hurt her.

No, I don't see us getting back together.

No, we haven't talked since it happened three weeks ago.

And I don't know if there's really anything else to say. Yes, there were reasons. No, it was nothing she did. I'm in a very weird state in my life right now and nothing makes sense.

I'm finally going to get my life in order. Get my feet on the ground. Figure out where I'm going to live, work, finish my degree and figure out who and what I am before I get involved with anyone.

And all of that will take me a couple of years, I figure, so I'm taking this time for me.

So I'm trying to clear out the clutter in my head, figure out where I am, who I am, what I want out of life, and were I want to be, both as a person and geographically.

I think the biggest thing impacting me, at this point, is not working. Because I've never not had a job.

Because I've always needed a paycheck.

Now, until the end of September, I have a paycheck and no job. Sounds like a dream, eh?

Yes, and no.

It's weird not working.

I lose track of days. I lose track of time. I sleep weird hours (weirder than normal).

I read a lot.

Studying for certification exams. (Yeah, I know I said it. But really, that's what I've been doing a lot of.)

I play with my camera.

A lot.

Because I'm learning how to use my new camera. I've been cleaning in ways I've never cleaned before. I'm shopping at Lowe's for storage bins so I can organize the stuff in my parts closet that has been living in computer boxes for years.

So I can sell it on eBay and buy camera stuff :-)

I've been paying bills. I went out on the web and got my credit report and found four things to dispute, two of which have been resolved in my favor and removed from my credit report.

I've paid off seven other things that will help me in many different ways down the road. But basically, I've been avoiding most contact with other people because I just haven't felt social. Other than spending time with my family (and Kerry, who's like family), I've just been hanging out with me.

So if I haven't returned a phone call or email message, it's not you. It's me.

And I'm doing what's good for me. And yes, in the process, someone I care about got hurt.

And I'm sorry for that.

But I have to love me before I can love someone else.


I love my new camera

So it's less than a week since I dropped the dime (well, lots of dimes, really) for my new camera, and I have to say it's sooooo totally worth every one of those dimes.

Times 10.


I'm having so much fun with this thing that it's blowing my mind. I can't wait to download the pics and see them.

And when I get back to Columbus I'm going to post them ... because they are fine.

In the mean time, there are a couple already out there ... my friend Lia has a few posted on her MySpace profile, which you can see here, and after I get the shots I took at the Watershed/Clarks show resized and uploaded I'll put them in a blog as well as on my photo page.

And I have a ton of Cammi pictures too (that's my daughter. She's 8. In fact, she's now officially tired of my new camera, that's how many pics I've taken of her so far.)

So updates are coming, with new pics from the past week of photo joy. Here are two teasers from the Watershed / Clarks show, however.

. . . . .


I have nice gear

After much investiagion, research, question-asking, camera-store stalking and wanting ... I finally made the move to a digital SLR.

Yes, my Canon AE-1 purchased for me so many years ago by this wonderful person here
is now my second-best camera.

(But you're still my first-best friend!)

My new Canon Digital Rebel XT (aka Canon 350D) is nice.

So far I've taken various shots of my clutter-filled workspace and my posters, so I'm heading out to find some suitable test shots to take tonight.

Needless to say ... anyone desiring pictures ... I'm available!


Song of the Day

Sick of Goodbyes

If I could just keep

My stupid mind together.

Then my thoughts across

The land for you to see.

The sun drags locomotives

To the ocean.

No one knows this like I do.

Seconds clicking watch arm

Changes to dust.

Whithered roots of hair

And nights of rust.

I'm waiting in the currents
Of the ocean.
I'm so sick of goodbyes goodbyes

I'm so sick of goodbyes goodbyes

I'm so tired of goodbyes goodbyes


When night comes crawling
In on a horse.
Soaking up my dreams
Through the pores.
I'm so sick
I'm so sick of goodbyes goodbyes


Busting Out The Bicycle

So I've been spending a lot of time lately in my apartment ... and in my head, trying to figure out what my next steps in life are.

I had ideas on what I wanted to do, then I had a rude awakening that maybe, as Dr. Phil says, it ain't about me.

So I'm back to the drawing board.


Thinking. Planning. Thinking. Crunching numbers. Thinking. Reading books. Thinking. Building test computers. Thinking. Making DVD's. Thinking. Because whatever decisions I seem to make hurt the people I care about.

And me.

And I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of hurting people.

I'm tired of me hurting.

I'm tired of not knowing what to do.

I'm tired of this limbo I'm in.

I'm just tired of waiting for the next thing to happen.

I keep trying to hope it's good, then I realize, as Quinn Fallon has sang many times, "I'm always standing in the doorway waiting for the next heartache life brings."

So lately my life has been this:

a lot of stare and think and stare and think and stare and think

as Janine Stoll says in her wonderful song "Decide Not To Decide."

Then I realized one of the many lessons from "The Shining" --

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

And apparently a psychopath.

So I busted out the bicycle, lubed the chain and gears, put some air in the tires, grabbed the iPod and the Gatorade and figured I'd ride over and explore the bike trails here in the north part of Columbus.

Specifically Antrim Park.

Last year I rode all over Reynoldsburg, and the east side, Gahanna and Whitehall ... dodging cars and stray bullets.

So this year I figured I'd go to Worthington and dodge SUV's, Jags, and uppity soccor moms.

And I found a trail.

But it wasn't Antrim Park.

It was some park.

And it was cool. So I took it.

And went north. For a long, long time.

To a place I didn't recognize.

Then I saw the sign that said "Route 315 North" and the road was just two lanes. So I decided I'd hop on that, figuring I'd get to Schrock, or something I'd recognize sooner or later.

The first sign I saw said "Leaving Franklin County. Entering Delaware County."

Apparently I was much further north than I thought.

Eventually I came to Route 750, took that up that killer hill past the place where the llamas watch the sheep (seriously. There's a sheep farm and each pen of sheep has a llama babysitting. Drive it and see) eventually coming out on Polaris Parkway, and took that to Cleveland Avenue, to Route 161, and then back home.

Total Time: 2 hours.

Total Cars Avoided: Three.

Drive-By Shoutings: One.

See, I know that on a bicycle I have just as much right to the road as cars do.

I also know that they weigh a lot more than me.

And go faster.

And are often staffed by inattentive drivers who are reading, talking on their phones, eating, beating kids in the back seat, etc.

So I'm very alert. I'm a road rider. I've got my head on a swivel.

And at least once on every ride I get the person who informs me about sidewalks.

Like I've never seen one before.

Today's informant was a redneck in a black SUV who, while sitting at a red light, said to me, "Hey asshole, there's a sidewalk right over there," gesturing to the busted up sidewalk on Cleveland Avenue.

I looked at him and said, "Yes, and it ends in one block. And unless it's marked as a bikeway, it's illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. You should read your Ohio Driver's Handbook."

Apparently having baffled him with the facts, he had no comeback to that, and when the light changed, he squealed his tires, trying to leave me in a cloud of smoke, I guess, or he was in a hurry to get to the next red light.

Where he sat behind a few other cars.

I peddled past him in silence.

I love stupid people. They're so entertaining if you know how to play with them.

Like a cat with a mouse sometimes. Yeah, the cat could kill it, with ease, but what fun would that be?

Sure, it's easy to ignore stupid people, but what fun would that be?


So anyway, I got home and showered and realized I had no idea how many miles I had gone. So I decided to map my route. And I realized that I had a pretty good haul today ... about 22 miles. Not bad for the first ride since November.

Now tonight I'm off to see The Receiver at Carabar and get my hands on their much-anticipated debut CD.

I've been good today, so I'm going out.

I exercised.

I got my X-Rated Cowboys DVD done (Comfest and their Little Brothers show from August 4 ... both on one DVD) and got some other stuff captured to be burned, so I'm going to go see the fabulous Cooper Brothers rock the joint.

Show starts around 10:30 and there's no cover.

Come down to the hood ... Livingston & Parsons area ... and get your groove on.


Video Blog - Rockin' Naturally

Yep, that's right. Here's a video of me, rocking out with Mother Nature.

Yeah, it's not the biggest rock in the park, but for a rank amateur ... it's cool. And about as big as I care to climb. Some people are afraid of heights ... and falling from heights ... like while rock climbing.

Me ... I'm afraid of that deceleration trauma ... the stuff that's caused by the sudden stop that happens at the end of every fall.


Song of the Day

Bryan Adams

He made his way back to the old town
And everything looked just the same
The shops and the schools and the factories were there
But somehow the faces had changed

So he went for a walk in the high street
Took his coat off and rolled up his sleeves
He thought of his father and his father before him
And how he was the first one to leave

Well he didn't come here for forgiveness
There isn't a lot they can say
Cause I remember the reasons he first ran away

He's a rebel
Just a rebel
Got his back to the wall
Gonna fight 'til he falls
He's a rebel

Don't ever look back - don't surrender
The old men say they've seen it before
Oh they drink their beer and they talk about friends
Who didn't come back from the war

Don't say he's too young to remember
Don't tell him what's wrong or what's right
Just give him a chance to get out there and fight

He's a rebel
Just a rebel
All the battles are won
But he's still on the run
He's a rebel

When it comes time for leavin'
Don't stand in my way
There's nothin' left for me here
Gonna run, run away

In the morning he walks past the old house
In the rain under grey northern sky
There's a new coat of paint on the front garden gate
But there's more there than first meets the eye

For a moment he stands undecided
Looking back on the days of his youth
As two worlds collide in a moment of truth
He's a rebel.

I'm a softie, really.

So I'm sitting in a Panera Bread in Warren, Ohio.

The city I was born in.

At 5:54 p.m. on a Friday, nearly 38 years ago.

Warren, Ohio, is a city I fled, many times.

Yet here I am, back again.


And while I left this place in my rearview mirror, many times, always saying I'd never be back ... I have to admit I had a whole lot of fun here, too.

Today I was in a couple of buildings I'd not been in for a few years.

I managed to see a couple of people I haven't seen in a while.

And am having dinner at a place I love and don't get to visit much.

There's good food here ... in fact, yesterday, I grabbed some Italian subs yesterday to take Nelson's Ledges with Cammi & Gage & Adam as we went rock climbing and trail walking ... and in the process drove past the place I lost my virginity ... it's now a parking lot, but it was a hotel at the time.

It's gone like a lot of things that once made this city livable. Even likable. But time has no mercy, time won't stand still for anyone.

Especially a dying city that was built by steel mills and auto manufacturing.

Sure, the city's changed. A lot. And still changing. And not always for the good. It's the city that also gave ups Maurice Clarett, so it's not all good.

But back to the city itself: Some new industries are in, but most are gone, like the hotel I lost my virginity in. And the girl I lost it to. Granted, the hotel survived longer than the relationship, which was 2.5 years ... that's not saying much ... I get bored and restless easy.

Anyway ... I often refer to the time I spent living here as a line from a Jimmy Buffet song ... I've had good days and bad days and going half-mad days.

Today, in Warren, Ohio, was a good day.

Woke up in Hermitage, PA; spent a little time with my daughter. Drove into Warren, got my birth certificate, went to get a new social security card, I'll have that in a couple of weeks (all needed for my job search in September). Then was heading out of town, saw a familiar road and decided to turn down it. Don't know if it was the road less traveled or not, because it is a busy US Highway ... but I took it.

And drove to a house I used to visit from time to time. Stopped to see about finding an old friend ... and that worked out well, too. Her mom still lives in the same house. In fact, the friend called when I was there, so I talked to her, we're going to get make plans to have dinner with her and her husband the next time Kara and I go to Cleveland. I haven't seen her since Superbowl Sunday, 1998.

So I was three-for-three in Warren, Ohio today. But the day wasn't over yet, nor the good luck:

I stopped in to get something to eat ... and ended up helping a guy with his wireless connection at Panera because he was lost.

Dammit, Jim, he's a doctor, not an IT guy.

It took me 5 minutes to get figured out and working. He had been frustrated for 30, and this was his third location in the Panera he was trying. When he got online he offered to buy me anything in the store I wanted ... which I politely declined. I had my salad already, I was set. But helping him gave me a smile.

Because I like helping people.

Even people I don't know.

Sure, would have been very easy to shrug my shoulders when he asked if I had any problems getting my computer online, because he couldn't get his working.

I could have easily said, "No. I just turned it on and it worked."

But I didn't. I waited until he booted up, logged in and tried to connect, then I asked him if it worked. Then I took over, changed some configurations (using the Intel Wireless vs. the Windows Wireless config) and BAM, IP address DORA'ed and he has a connection! (DORA'ed is a shout out to my tech school homies and Mark the amazing instructor - DORA = how DHCP IP addresses are assigned - Discover, Offer, Reply, Acknowledge)

ANYWAY ... JJ, the guy I helped, was grateful.

I was happy to have helped.

See, despite my somewhat gruff demeanor sometimes, my inappropriate comments and my off-color jokes, at my core, I like to help people.

It makes me happy.

It makes me feel needed.

And we all need to be needed.

We want to be wanted.

And it's how I get people to like me. I fix their computers.

Everyone needs a gimmick, right?

ICP got face paint; Marilyn Manson has better makeup; and my friend Mark can grill like a mofo.

Others supply you with beer, whiskey, or Cuban cigars (And for the record, they are that good.).

Me, I help people with technology.
And when I fix your computer, you can damn well bet it works. And fast.

Because I'm good at what I do. AND I have nice gear.

I guess it makes me happy because there are times in my life when I think about all the things I can't do rather than the things I can. It's like Robots ... that Pixar movie with Robin Williams when he was still entertaining. Because, as we learned from the movie Robots, "Find a need, fill a need."

And that's where I fit into things. I'm a techno geek. And a good one.

But we're talking about Warren, Ohio.

Since I've mentioned ICP, Marilyn Manson, teased a Cheap Trick lyric, referenced Swig Tooths' most excellent bassist and called back a Disney movie ... I'll leave you with that to chew on.


More things you missed

So on Thursday, in Cincinnati, there was some serious face rocking being done by the boys of Swig Tooth.

Yeah, you know, that band that used to be Autumn Under Echoes.

Guitarist Chris Skrobot, who was my mf'ing hero back in May, is on the road with Pat Green rocking thousands of faces ... so Swig Tooth is reduced to a power trio of Aaron Tashjian handing guitars and vocals, Mark Nye on the bass and vocals, and Mark Stepro on the skins showing people how it's done.

And unlike Aaron's solo shows in July ... this time around they're plugged in ... and making noise.

And sounding great.

Because as Rowdy Roddy Piper said as "Nada" in his amazingly great performance in "They Live" ... they're here to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

And they're all out of bubblegum.

Thursday night in Cincinnati was the loudest and most rocking show I've seen Swig Tooth ... or ANY band ... perform in a long, long time.

They came out with Afterglow and blew the roof off the place with every other song, ending 45 minutes later, covered in sweat, with the show-stopping "Dirty Numbers."

Friday, Little Brothers, 'round Midnight, after the X-Rated Cowboys warm things up ... prepare to have your face rocked off.

That's all I'm saying.


Song of the Day


I was fast asleep
I was lost inside
A little glass ball where snow falls
But I'm gonna find my place in this world
My destiny calls
And if I die tomorrow, what would be my story?
Did I fight the fight? Was I a warrior?

The road that leads you back to you is you
The soul that seeks it's home will pull you through
When the river runs high
How can you deny what you knew?
You are a warrior

I was frozen in time I was losing my mind
Thought the train had left the station
I was out of control I was losing my soul
Can I be my own salvation?
And if I die tomorrow what would be my story?
Did I fight the fight?
Was I a warrior?

The road that leads you back to you is you
The soul that seeks it's home will pull you through
When the river runs high
How can you deny what you knew?
You are a warrior
And aren't we all God's children under the sun?

You and I, you and I , we are one
We both have skin and we both bleed
We both come from the same seed

The road that leads you back to you is you
The soul that seeks it's home will pull you through
When the river runs high
How can you deny what you knew?
You are a warrior

I was fast asleep...

he road that leads you back,
the road that leads you back,
The road that leads you back to you is YOU.

So I've heard the name Leah-Carla Gordone bantered about by a few people. And I've seen her posters at the Treehouse.

And I saw her on the Comfest schedule. But I've not seen her live.

Yet. She lives in Columbus. And she rocks.

I grabbed this off eMusic the other day and have been listening to it, A LOT ... along with Greg Joseph's solo album (bassist for The Clarks) and Jay Farrar ... that's quite a mix, eh? And this is my song of the day, today! Click her name above and you can hear it, too. Then buy that shit from eMusic or CDBaby!