Friday, September 28, 2007

Walking with Sam

A day in the life... moments in time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Van Halen

Well, here we go... strap yourselves in because this could get bumpy. It's probably a fair statement to say that when I get to heaven and get to ask all the questions I'd like to know like "how many miles did I drive" or "how close was I to a snake and not known it", they'll tell me that the band that has brought me the most pleasure and the most disdain in life was Van Halen.

When I was in High School, I had photos of those guys cut out of magazines tacked up over an entire wall. Literally. My Mom had the room repainted a while back and I bet she had to pay extra for all the caulk it took to fill the holes in. I can actually remember telling my Dad that I can not imagine a time when I did not listen to Van Halen. I knew everything about them and said things I heard David Lee Roth say, even if I didn't get it. Eddie was king rock god to me. When 1984 hit and I got to see them in Columbia, SC (February 17th, 1984) I thought I reached my final goal and could die in peace (even though the tickets were marked "obstructed view"). I even bought into the Van Hagar years with enthusiasm. It a nutshell, it was just good stuff. That was then. This is now.

I've spent many years defending Eddie Van Halen as the only sane one in the bunch. An artist with no outlet. But I'm done.

They starting a new tour with Dave. Do I want to go? Yes. But not for any reason I would have thought of 23 years ago. I want to go for the same reason I wanted to see "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" or like those people who watched Princess Diana's funeral, they got up at 5:00 am to see her get married, they felt they should go it again.

We want to find a wormhole back to when everything was easy. When things made sense. We move through this life... and find those very brief, very obscure moments when we can connect with who we were. Why? I need to find out who I am.
I started this post about a month ago and never finished. They are playing their first show tonight in Charlotte. Right now, actually, as I type. Am I there, no. Am I following the "goings on" on their fan site, yes. Will I download a bootleg as soon as it is available, absolutely. My Mom even gave me money for a ticket which means the world to me. I'm not making a statement by not going (it sold out in like nineteen hundred eighty four seconds) but I've decided to be happy with who I am and not need to look back. Maybe I'll see them again, who knows. I hope so. But I think it's a good step forward for me to not worry about it now. Good luck guys, knock 'em out.

Monday, September 24, 2007


My son... the little tike is plum tuckered out from banging his head.
(note the head bang, not photoshopped)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Right Stuff

A special friend... on his special day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Driving around... singing

Here I am. Driving around singing. Just like you...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Happy Nine Month Birthday, Sam!
You know, son, I remember what I was doing six years ago today. I was on the phone with Michael that morning and he asked if I heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I said no but figured if it were so, then it was one of those guys trying to fly between them like the fellows that fly under the St. Louis Arch. Idiot, I thought. But I thought enough about it to call your Mom to ask if she had heard anything, since the CNN website seemed to be shut down. She said yes and that another plane had hit the other tower.

Information came slow. Your Uncle Kyle told me a tower had fallen (he was cutting grass that day). I called your Mom again and she said yes and that the other tower had fallen as well. We heard from a Fed-Ex delivery guy that the Pentagon had been hit. A bomb, he said. We had no TV in the office so I went home about 11:00am and watched what was going on. I had drive thru from Steak & Shake on the way back to work. We didn't get much done that day.

That evening I met your Uncle Kyle and a couple of guys for dinner and while sitting in the parking lot of the Roadhouse Grill learned that Building 7 had fallen. We had quite the evening watching TV and talking discussing it. Little did we know that as the events unfolded over the next month or so and during the past 6 years that we knew and know nothing. Oh, we can talk about how we felt and we can give details about the day, like knowing that we had a cheeseburger for lunch, but we don't know what it was like to experience it.

I was conceived during the "Summer of Love" and born in 1968. A turbulent year in our history. But you and I were born in very different worlds. Your generation will probably never understand what "post 9/11" means. Just like I don't understand what 1968 meant. It'll be a page or two in your history book. You'll read about it and see images but just like us, you won't get it. That's both good and bad, I think. Our generation seems to be losing it's way and I pray that you will not have to live in a "post" anything era.

Friday, September 7, 2007


One of my nephews, Daniel, had his first soccer game the other day. Go Daniel! He's the one with the ball charging against the opposing player. The fellow in the foreground, Chad, right wing, was held back a year for basketball but decided soccer was his calling.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Goodnight, my angel, now it's time to dream. And dream how wonderful your life will be. Someday your child may cry and if you sing this lullabye then in your heart there will always be a part of me. Someday we'll all be gone but lullabyes go on and on... they never die. That's how you and I will be.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Pandas in the Mist

My buddy George (right)

Breakfast of Champions

I've seen a couple posts out there lately about breakfast and how, being the most important meal of the day, it takes some thought and we are usually left dissatisfied. This morning, I too had my dilemma: egg rolls or chicken wings. I had both.

Watch Still Ticking on a Dead Man's Wrist

The other day at work a Door's song came on the radio. "Light my Fire". One of the guys went nuts. Oh, The Door's are the greatest band! Listen to the way the so and so syncopates with the other so and so and you don't understand what Jim Morrison meant to rock and roll, he's the American Poet, and no one knows if he's dead or not, and Ray Manzarek, the keyboard player says he's not and blah, blah, blah. This guy might be all of 19 years old. But I'm not judging him. I too went through my Door's phase. I think everybody does, or should. But I broke on through to the other side and have decided how sad it must have been to be Jim Morrison.

I kept my mouth shut. Resisting the temptation to jump into the one-sided discussion with my tidbits of "did you kow his headstone was stolen in 1990?" I just thought: have I come so far in life that I just don't care? I know now that our beloved Lizard King was just a casualty to drugs with charisma. He's the American Poet, alright, dead at 27. It's been said that the greatest career move one can make is to die. Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis... on and on... Kurt Cobain? The poet of my generation? I don't think so. "Oh well, whatever, nevermind" is not my anthem. All these guys are just Keith Richards with a lifespan.

But I can't help but remember those feelings I once had about The Door's and how, in a way, I wish I could have it back. But we move through this life... we turn pages... we worry over mortgages, kids, life and suddenly Jimi Hendrix choking to death on his own vomit doesn't move us like it used to.

And the bottom line of this reader-skimmed blog entry is what happens eternally to these people? I'm reminded of a great tune by Steve Taylor:

I stay driven 'cause there's nowhere to park. I can't shut my eyes--I'm afraid of the dark. I lie awake, that stone left me chilled to the bone. Sound the alarm before it's done: find Jim Morrison. Come away to Paris, let him see another day. Let him fade out slowly, only fools burn away. Let a true love show him what a heart can become. Somebody find Jim Morrison. Find Jim Morrison's grave. I get weary, Lord, I don't understand, how does a seed get strangled in the heart of a man? When the music covers like an evening mist, like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist... tick away.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My 15 Minutes with Jon Bon Jovi

Time Magazine has a feature called "10 Questions" where readers can submit a question to whoever the guy of the week is. I got my Bon Jovi question on the internet!
(click pic to enlarge)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Paul Reaves: Pig Safari Man

The Savannah was angry that day, my friends. We had heard the call of the pigs the night before but they seemed so far away. So... very far away. As far away as I felt being a stranger in this strange land. I missed the city. I wondered what had brought me here. I told myself it was just the pig on the cover of the travel brochure but I knew, and as I saw in the eyes of my companions... it was something more.

I laced my hightops that morning with full resolve: I would shoot one of them pigs. We positioned ourselves just inside the tree line and waited. I had played this scene over and over in my mind. What it would be like. How I would feel. The cool thing I would say when I dropped the bastard. But fate is a fickle fellow. There are no words for when you meet a pig in his world and on his terms.

He rose out of the brush like the Kracken and charged. Maybe he was just standing there eating, I don't know, it was all happening so fast. I pulled my gun close and fired knowing I only had one shot before I was reduced to pig food. My companions fled. Frightened by the ghosts in the trees that mythology calls the "guy that owned the pig farm". The beast fell. Maybe he just toppled over, I don't know, I only heard the sound of my heart beating... and a single shot.

I had enough time to jump in for this photo op before the "ghost farmer man" called the cops.
Oh yeah, there was another dead pig too. I can only assume I am responsible for that slaying as well since they were both just laying around. Oinking and stuff. Only now that I am safe and back in a world that I understand can I truly appreciate what the pigs have taught me. But I'll keep that for me and for me alone. I learned a lot that day. And I thank them dead pigs.