turning your orbit around

or... the utter enormity of the task


errr, scratch that previous post... i figured it out

after further review, it turns out in order to have your picture in your profile, you have to link to a url, i.e. you have to find some place to store your picture on the web. since the only server space i have access to is through my alma mater - the graduate school of library and information science at the university of illinois - i logged into my account there, uploaded my picture, copied the resulting page's url, returned to edit my profile and pasted the url into the appropriate box.


so, i guess 'hello by picasa' doesn't suck that bad.

you can take that hello and shove it right up your butt

this is me. i've been trying for a week to figure out how to send a pic of me to my blog profile using another program titled 'hello by picasa'. every time i do it, it goes to my blog as a posting, and not to my profile, which is where i want it. and frankly, i'm about to give up. so this will be the one and only photo of me ever, and that's it! because i'm sick of this stupid 'hello by picasa' program!

other than that, i am one tech mofo. i took this pic of myself on my new camera phone, emailed it to myself, and now you see it here today. will wonders never cease?! this crap is fun.
 Posted by Hello


they should have gonged us

i played another open mic last night, again at mahogany ridge. but this time around i played with russell and tommy, a couple of friends i've been practicing with for a few weeks. chuck, our fourth "member" who is an awesome and funky rhythm player, was on call and couldn't make the show. we had been sounding awesome in practice...

but man did we suck last night.

i totally missed my part in the first song, and wound up making it look like russell missed his. he covered okay, and we got through it, but i felt so bad. in our second song, we were just really sloppy, and my rhythm was off a few times, and i missed a few chords, but i think i sang it okay.

we had been sounding so much fuller in practice, but without chuck we just had too much empty sonic space. and i'm simply not a good enough guitarist to fill that in. i was fully intimidated without chuck there, since he's a big reason we sound so good in practice, and i let that affect the rest of my performance.

thankfully, we only played 2 songs, then tommy played guitar for a friend of his who sang "red hill town" by U2. she did a great job.

on the way home, we gave a ride to james, who lives up by us. he was disappointed in his night too, because the girl he wrote a song for didn't come to hear it. it was a somber subaru full of 2 miserable open mic musicians, fishing gear, 2 dogs...

and my wife, who had our two guitars on her lap and had to pee really bad. god bless her!


"it's like watching a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob!" -patches o'houlihan

last night was the second night of our dodgeball league at the college. it was also the second time i've played dodgeball since i was nine.

a quote, from rawson marshall thurber, the director of the dodgeball movie: "when you say dodgeball to someone, they either smile or break into a cold sweat. everyone has a visceral memory of either getting hit or hitting someone. it's a sport of violence, exclusion and degradation."

i would have to concur with mr. thurber on that.

it was absolute bloodlust in that gym - whenever someone got pegged in the game, everyone watching on the sidelines just groaned. except it's not a "damn, that hurt!" kind of groan, but rather a "damn, that was awesome!" gleeful type of groan.

we played three games, and they are very brief affairs, none of them lasting longer than 5 or 6 minutes. there are 6 players to a side. the game takes place on a 3/4 size basketball court, with one team per half of the court. if you're hit on the fly, you're out. if you throw at someone and they catch your ball, you're out, and they get to bring one of their own teammates back in. if it's down to 2 players or less on your side, you can shoot at the basketball hoop on the opposing team's side, and if you make that shot then your whole team comes back in.

those are the basics, sounds relatively tame right? wrong. these crappy, lopsided, red playground balls get absolutely hurled by players. i mean, i'd guess 60 mph & up on some throws - it's actually kind of scary. and when they see a team full of faculty and staff, all age thirty something or older, they start rubbing their hands together and licking their chops like they're all chicken hawks and we're foghorn leghorn.

we lost all three games. but none of us got pegged in the head or nuts. and that, my friends, is how you maintain your dodgeball dignity.


you boys are going to have to take this elsewhere

on my night shift a couple of weeks ago, a woman in her 50s came in and was absolutely panicked because "some students are going to hurt themselves!" apparently, a group of snowboarders, who couldn't wait any longer for some snow, drove up to rabbit ears pass, shoveled snow into their pickup, brought it back down and built a ramp onto a handrail here on campus. they were sliding handrails on their snowboards.

now, that's all fine and good if you're surrounded by snow. even hardpacked snow doesn't hurt as bad as the cold, hard reality of brambles and bushes and concrete. but, this was mid september, and the only snow down in town was the little ramp that these kids had just built. as a result, i was forced to call the security company - primarily to placate this hysterical woman, but also so i could keep my job. and, yeah, i guess so the kids wouldn't hurt themselves.

so, here's my problem... when did i become the guy who calls the security company on some kids!? i used to be those kids! i'm only 30 for chrissakes! it was only 10 years ago that i was taking a semester off in crested butte, co, wearing ridiculously big pants, working as little as possible, living on ramen and rice-a-roni and snowboarding 5 days a week. and now i'm forced to call security on my fellow shredders.

and to top it all off, these students actually call me sir.

kill me now.


open mic at the hog

well, i played my first open mic in steamboat springs last night at mahogany ridge, the local brewpub. it was scary as hell, but my little entourage (mom, dad, wife, & sister-in-law) was there to offer me support. it was also my first time playing out with my new guitar, an acoustic electric alvarez. it sounded sooooo much better than just putting a mic to the soundhole on my old guitar.

it was a 3 song set, and here's what i played:

denver rapid transit blues... by me
boss deejay... by sublime
not for the season... by jeff tweedy of wilco

here are the lyrics for my song:

sunday morning streets are empty
feels like so long since i've been me
i'm standing on a corner with a cigarette to my lips
i take a drag look around then i ash it from my hip

well the girl next to me she smells just like the streets
sweat grime and patchouli it's all so sick and sweet
she turns around and i see her jacket says "the clash"
i tell her joe strummer just died and she tells me to kiss her ass

like my man mca i sit and dream myself away
as i ride on the bus into the city every day
i can barely see through the windows because of all the grime
i'm looking at my shoes, counting my blues, as the sun refuses to shine

well i'm waiting on the bus to take it back home again
my stop's full of pushers, homeless men and mexicans
the kid says, "what's up, ese, you wanna buy some weed?"
i say no thanks man i got plenty thanks to my man craig dooley

cold beer on top of my amp
i'm in my bedroom and it's feeling kind of cramped
i'm trying to work out this last guitar part
but my fingers are too heavy and they won't listen to my heart

the song is about one of many exciting days riding the bus to and from work in denver, and it's all true. except for the part about smoking. cigarettes is nasty!


riding thermals

it is chilly and gray and sloppy and windy today in steamboat. morning dawned, but just barely, and i could hardly tell that daylight had arrived.

i am looking out of my office window, across town at the ski area (we may have the best view in the valley up here in the library), and there is one lone crow riding thermals high above the town. the sound of cars splishing down streets comes up from below, and this crow just continues to rise above it.

the top of the mountain is socked in, and occasionally the clouds part to show a very light trace of snow up there. this type of weather in colorado, especially after the past 3 summers, is indeed a godsend.

the leaves on the cottonwoods and aspens are solidly in their yellow colors now, with some oranges appearing here and there. in a week or two some of these trees will turn red, and the mountainsides will be a riot of color. splashes of crimson, like drops of blood from a crow rising high above them.


i will soon weigh one pint less

in about 20 minutes, i'll be leaving work early to go give blood.

i love giving blood. there are many benefits to be gained from this compassionate act, not the least of which is the gratifying thought that some time, somewhere, my blood might just save someone's life. but, for me, i think my favorite thing about giving blood is how easy and cheap it is to get drunk afterward.

just kidding.

sort of.

okay, i'm off to get my free oreos and apple juice.


sawing blogs

so, after being thoroughly entertained by my friend's new blog for the past month, i thought it was time i throw my hat in with the ever growing blogger nation. of course, i'm nowhere near as funny as him. or well-spoken. but you should read my blog anyway, because i have chutzpah.

my wife and i just moved to steamboat springs, colorado. it is an interesting mountain town in colorado because it has a ranching heritage rather than a mining one. furthermore, whereas some colorado mountain towns have spent time as ghost towns before being rediscovered, steamboat has retained a healthy population throughout its history. and, most importantly, it has one hulking, mother of a ski mountain rising above it. and, holy crap, am i excited about this coming ski season.

my parents are in town visiting us for a couple of weeks. this morning, my father and i woke up early to get a couple hours of fly fishing in before i had to work at one. we walked out the door to find frost on the grass, the first time this fall. after loading gear and dogs into the back seat, we drove through town, up fish creek road, left on amethyst past the high school, and finally right on buffalo pass road. after three miles, we parked under gold and yellow aspens, shouldered our packs, and hiked about a mile down to soda creek.

it was the first time there for both of us, and we didn't know what to expect. we suited up, tied the dogs up, and started casting to pools. in a stream this small, brook trout are the only game in town. they don't get much longer than your hand, but they are feisty little suckers. i caught my first one after fifteen minutes, and it was the most beautiful fish i've ever seen. its entire underside was bright reddish orange, the color of the changing aspen leaves above me. i held him in my hand, eased out the hook, submerged him and held him while he readjusted, and watched him swim away under blue autumn skies.

it was a perfect start to a beautiful day. and i think i love this town.