Saturday, May 31, 2008

Return to Forever

I love MUSIC. All types of music. So when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to a concert I didn't hesitate to say 'YES'. Now the name of the band seemed familiar but I couldn't recall ever hearing any of their music before. He told me who was in the group and they sounded familiar too, I just couldn't place the names, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Al Di Meola.

So, with no expectations, I went to see the reunited group "Return to Forever". And I am very glad I did. It was a great concert with good friends, what more could you ask for?

So what are they like I hear you ask. Well my friend says their style is called "Fusion" and combination of Jazz and Rock. I would have to agree with that description. It also reminded me of some Keith Emerson compositions. Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

If you haven't heard their music before and you like Jazz and Rock, give them a listen. You just might like what you hear.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Up, Up and AWAY! (finally)

Well I can now scratch one more thing off the "List of Things I Have to do before I Die". It took 11 months to get it done, but it is done. And what could it be?? Why its a....

Hot Air Balloon Ride!! Yes, I have now added a lighter than air flight too the list of things I have experienced in this life.

It was originally supposed to be a birthday present for me and a co-worker last year in June, but due to weather, scheduling conflicts, weather, winter and weather, it kept being pushed back till mid May of this year. And weather nearly fouled us up yet again. It seems they like to fly hot air balloons when the winds a light, like less than 10 mph. And the morning we flew, the winds were forcasted for about 6 mph. Have you ever felt like Mother Nature was out to get you? After we arrived at the launch site and started getting the balloon set up, the wind changed direction slightly and started to increase. The change in direction meant repositioning the balloon half way through the inflation process. The increased wind speed made the set up a little more tricky, but we finally got everything situated and launched.... at 23 mph. So, there we go, clipping along at almost 4 times the speed we were planning on. And the slight change in wind direction really limited landing possibilities. SO, the trip was cut a little short, not distance just time aloft. And as I found out, the reason for flying in lower wind speeds is not because of craft limitations, its because landing in a balloon at higher speed can be a ROUGH experience!! But EXCITING!! So with options limited on landing area, our pilot choose to land on a practice field of an area high school. OK, picture this. Your in a hot air balloon, trying to land on a football practice field. Just past the football field is a 4 lane divided highway. To get to the field, we have to clear high tension power lines and towers, and the tall stadium lights of the actual football field. We clear everything and start our decent. With the highway coming up fast, you look down and what do you see?? You are almost perfectly lined up with the goal post on the practice field. There just happens to be 2 side by side on this particular field. We barely clear the first one and come in right beside the second one. WE MADE IT!!! Well, almost. You ever notice the the balloon is a LOT wider than the basket? Well as the basket passed right by the goal post, the balloon snagged the first upright, causing the basket to turn 90 degrees really fast. Now we had preped for landing, so when we turned ,we were not in the best position for a fast landing. The balloon was ripped through the scoop (lowest section near the burner), and 2 panels. Back to the landing. So we hit out of position and ended up on the floor of the basket. Went airborne again. Came back down and this time the basket was pulled over on its side. Luckly me and the pilot were on the ground side and my co-worker landed on top of us. If it would have been the other way around, I don't think she would have been too happy. Alright, we are down and not moving anymore. We crawl out and see we had about 200 feet before the highway. Everyone is OK and it was definitly cool. After we help packing up the gear we head out for a champagene brunch, learn a little about ballooning history and hear some stories of past exploits of our pilot and friends. All in all, it was a great morning. But if I ever do it again, it will have to be over a more sceninc location.

Now.... whats next on my list?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hi, its Me...

That's right. I am tired of taking a back seat to him. I am tired of his lazy ways. I am going to start living for me. Let him sit in front of his damn computer and play his silly games, I am going to start having fun! And since the money has already been put down on the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, I guess I can start with that. I was talking to my friend the other day and the point was raised that this will be the longest ride either of us has ever attempted. I mean, just to get there will be over 1200 miles and we are planning on doing that in 2 days. The longest ride either of us has been on to this point has been around 300 and we were sore after that. So we decided we REALLY need to try this before hand, so we could get some idea of what we were getting ourselves into. Well any trip like this requires some planning, talking to others who have made similar trips, web searches etc. Well everybody I talked to had an item or 2 that were must haves. Like biker (bicycle) riding shorts, or wicking underwear with flat seams. Even talked to one guy who swore by "monkey butt powder". Monkey Butt... I have to admit this was a new term to me. It apparently refers to a species of monkeys that have bright red butts. And riding long hours you get a sore, red, chaffed butt that looks or at least feels like it is bright red. Anyways, so taking all the information provided and found, we set off yesterday for a 600+ mile ride. We figured staying off the interstate highways would be better with it being a holiday and all. The ride was fun and we did manage 630+ miles in just over 12 hours and we weren't really pushing hard. Never the less, when we got off the bikes at his house I wanted to jump for joy. But all we could really do was stand for joy. So we made it. And I actually don't feel bad at all today. It didn't even hurt to get back on the bike this morning. So now I really feel better about this trip in August. And I did learn one thing on the ride, wear sunscreen. 12 hours in the Texas sun will burn you, even if it is only 93 degrees. But I have really interesting tan/burn lines. Hopefully I will have a chance to even them out before the blog meet.

Take care and see ya soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time for my Quartetly entry....

Hi there!! Remember me?? Yes it has been awhile, but I been working hard and haven't had time to .....

WHAT!! You are a dog!! You have been spending all your time hanging out with Walrilla playing that damn World of Warcraft. So don't even pretend that you have been busy. Hell, the last I heard, his wife was going to start charging you rent!! So don't even try and say you have been busy. I swear, you have been wasting more time with that damn game...

Well "Hello" to you too. And just where have you been hiding lately? Been anywhere exciting?

Hiding?? I have been right here!! Being ignored like a plant in the corner of a room! Oh, and by the way, the plant died.

I have not been ignoring you. If you wanted my attention, all you had to do was speak up. I would have been all ears.

All ears? Like that Night Elf character of yours? Hardly! I tried to talk to you and all I got was grunts and uh-hu's. I thought you were bad when you were watching TV, but this takes the cake. I think you are a video addict. If there are moving pictures, you are worthless. You just sit there staring at the screen.... for hours and even days at a time. I have seen you, surfing through the channels at 4 a.m. looking for something to watch because there "had to be" something to watch. You were a pitiful sight. And now its even worse.

Hey, I am not staying up all night playing this game....

That is because he kicks you out at 3 a.m.

He's a lightweight when it comes to staying up....

No, you are an vid addict with really bad sleep habits.

Why is it you always point out my faults? Can't you be supportive?

Can't you get a life worth supporting?

And you think the game is the reason I ignore you.

Well trust me, if I could leave, I would. But since we are kind stuck with each other, you are just going to have to deal with it.

I thought I had, but apparently that line of therapy didn't take.

Well you can always try it again...

And I just might...

We will see