Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day Off at Home

Spent the day doing a little work and putzing around the house. Tried to fix the damn hinge on the back door, but I think it needs more than what I can do to it today with what I have on hand. Bitch!

Went to 42nd St. Oyster Bar for dinner with Laura. Had a blast! We wound up hanging out there for an extra 90 minutes or so to hear some band's entire first set. We were seated at the oyster bar itself, about 10 feet from the back of the small stage that the band was set up on. They were terrible, and it was all we could do not to bust out laughing at them at every turn. They were so bad it was good, if you know what I mean.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Heading Home

The flight home today was uneventful. I watched 6 TV shows on my iPod and read a bunch.

All of my friends left for the beach a couple of hours before I got home, so I just putzed around the house, and then went down the hill to the Ale House for dinner.

Early night cuz I'm so tired…

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Time To Pack And Go...

My flight to Raleigh tomorrow is at 11am. To get me to the airport by 9am, we would have to leave no later than 4am because the motorways are jammed early in the day. It's a drive that can be made in 90-120 minutes at certain times of day, but it can take 5-6 hours at other times. Rather than go through that, I got a hotel room for tonight AT Heathrow Airport, so I can get a good night's sleep before flying.

Dave and John, just before I had to leave:

We left Shaftesbury a little after 1:30 and got to the hotel shortly after 3. Stopped at Stonehenge on the way up and took a few shots. I didn't want to waste the time and the fee to go in, so we just pulled off the road and took photos:

After checking into the hotel, I went with Dave over to his buddy Tony's house about 20 minutes away. Hung out there for a bit, then Dave, Tony, Tony's wife Liz, their daughter Melissa and I went to a very good Chinese restaurant nearby for dinner.

Afterwards, Dave dropped me back by my hotel, and he headed south to Dorset. I hit the bar for a couple of beers and was in my room around 11pm…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Perfect Day...

So relaxing…

A couple of shots of the countryside near Dave's house:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Holiday in the UK

Another leisurely day in Shaftesbury. I am SO loving being here, with fuckall nothing to do all day. Listen to John tell stories, talk music with Dave, shop for groceries, etc.

The view outside my bedroom window:

The view outside the bathroom window:

The Garden:

View of the house from the rear of the garden – that's Dave in the photo:

We drove into downtown Shaftesbury this afternoon to see Gold Hill. A little about Shaftesbury from the town's website:

"Steeped in history and tradition, it offers visitors breathtaking views and the warmest of welcomes. The "Shaston" of Thomas Hardy's novels, Shaftesbury is one of the oldest and highest towns in England and dominates what Hardy called the "engirdled and secluded" Blackmore Vale.

The beauty of the surrounding Dorset countryside is complemented by the collection of fine historical buildings that make up the centre of Shaftesbury itself.

Gold Hill, made famous by the Hovis Bread advertisement, with its steep cobbles and picturesque cottages is the epitome of rural charm from a previous time."

Looking down Gold Hill:

Looking up it:

The shots above are from the town's website. This one is mine, looking down Gold Hill:

A couple of shots of the view from atop Gold Hill:

The Abbey Museum is nearby:

Dave taking liberties with a nun outside the Abbey Museum:

Stopped into Costa Coffee (pretty much like Starbucks) for hot chocolate and people watching.

I had wanted to take Dave and John out for dinner tonight, down to the Half Moon, the pub just down the road. But Dave said that the fish n' chips at the local chip shop is better than at the Half Moon, so we went and got takeaway and brought it back to the house. I've had food from that place before, and it's great. The Mushy Pea Fritters are the bomb! Never had a Mushy Pea Fritter, huh? Well, what can I tell ya?

Dave spent most of the evening burning DVD's for me, while I was websurfing. And we drank LOTS.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Holiday in the UK

Slept way too late this morning again, getting up at 11:30. Breakfast was croissants and jam in the conservatory with Dave and John, Dave's roommate.

John is 85 years old, and still pretty healthy. He moves about with a lot more ease than most folks his age. He's a great storyteller and I love to just sit and listen to him. This afternoon, he told a story from World War Two. He was a British Tank Commander in the war, and during a battle with the Germans in France (near Normandy), his tank took a direct hit. All three of the tank crew survived, but there was a mad scramble to get out the hatch and John was nearly trapped inside. It was a very fascinating story, I gotta say.

Dave and I are swapping iTunes libraries while I'm here. I've got over 8,000 songs, which takes up a little over 40GB of space. Dave's got nearly 60,000 songs he's giving me. There's so much stuff in his library that I had to edit it down to about 215GB so it'll fit on the portable hard drive I brought over with me. But we can't do shit until we drive over to Salisbury, about 30 minutes away, to buy a USB 2.0 cable, cuz I seem to have neglected to bring mine and he doesn't have one.

Did a little grocery shopping while we were in Salisbury, and I bought some good old Budweiser in the can. Whoopee!

Took a walk down the lane during the afternoon to see some of the local farm animals. I'd never seen an alpaca before. Pretty cool animals:

The alpaca would get close enough for you to pet them, but they would jump if you did. This guy got really close:

The sheep really liked getting their heads scratched:

A steam-powered tractor suddenly came around the bend ahead of us. It was pretty cool:

Came across a huge wall of blackberry bushes and spent a few minutes enjoying their sweet goodness. There were also lots and lots of cobnut (hazelnut) trees, and sloe bushes. I never knew that sloe gin was simply gin to which sloe berries had been added. Guess I don't get out much, huh? The sloes are bitter if you eat them off the vine, which seemed odd, as sloe gin is almost sickeningly sweet. Dave has a couple of bottles of homemade sloe gin, but I didn't get around to trying any of it.

And there was a massive apple tree that bore so much fruit that one of its limbs had broken under the weight. Just look at those babies:

My greatest triumph of the day was avoiding stepping into any stinging nettles. I hate those damn things.

Dave and I sat up talking and drinking until about 4:30am or so…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On Holiday in the UK

After leaving the Leeds Festival around 1:15, we finally made it to Dave's house in Dorset around 6am this morning. Dave was doing about 75-80 mph all the way down, which had mixed blessings. I was getting thrown about so much on the winding, 2-lane roads that I couldn't fall asleep. And I was really, really tired. But, it got us here pretty quickly.

Straight to bed, and I slept until nearly 1:30 in the afternoon.

Never left the house all day, never even stepped outside. Dave made a terrific salmon and pasta dish for dinner, and then we sat up drinking and talking until nearly 4:30 in the morning. We relived all of the great times we had together when we first met during Cry Of Love's first tour of the UK and Europe, back in 1993. We called all four of the Cry Of Love guys on the phone, reaching two of them, Robert and Kelly. Drunk-dialing at it's best.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Show Day in Leeds, UK

Today's show is the Leeds Festival. Just like yesterday's show, I last did this place in 2003 with System Of A Down. This festival is just a bit smaller, with 70,000 kids.

A few show shots:

After goodbyes to most of the crew, Dave and I split around 1:15am to drive to his house in Dorset, which is a couple of hours south of London. I'll be staying there for a few days of vacation…

Friday, August 22, 2008

Show Day in Reading, UK

We played the Reading Festival today. I haven't been here since 2003, when I came with System Of A Down and was their Tour Manager.

80,000 crazy, drunk English kids. Fun!

The crowd, just before Rage went on:

My buddy Dave Clayton came out to the show tonight, arriving around 7pm.

I took a few shots from the stage tonight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day Off in Reading, UK

Not the most memorable day off. Did fuck-all nothing all day. Went to eat Chinese for dinner with 8 or 9 people. Back in the room early, as we have a very early call time tomorrow morning…

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Show Day in Paris

Woke up at 1:30am to pee, then again at 3am due to street noise. That was it for sleep. After lying there for nearly 30 minutes, I just got up and got on the computer. Guess I'll need to take a nap later…

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day Off in Paris

Landed shortly after 7am. After collecting our bags, Sooner and I met up with our runner, and made it to the hotel around 8:15. And of course, our rooms weren't ready. The front desk clerk went from typically surly French asshole to fairly friendly after he found out that we work for Rage. We went and had a very overpriced breakfast ($35 usd) while waiting to get our room keys, and were both in our rooms by 9:45 or so.

I took a 3-hour nap, which made me feel like a million bucks. Spent the rest of the afternoon working and web-surfing. Spragoo called around 6 about meeting downstairs for drinks with some other folks. After a few rounds, Spragoo, Seth, Peter, Mo (our new Production Assistant) and I went across the street for dinner.

Back in my shitty, boiling-hot Paris hotel room by 10:30. In bed around 11:30…

Monday, August 18, 2008

Travel Day to Paris

I had a flight to Boston at 2:25 this afternoon, where I met up with our LD Sooner Routhier for our flight to Paris at 6:40pm. I'd upgraded to Business Class, so we couldn't sit together. Bummer.

Watched the movie "Iron Man" on the flight, and an episode of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" on my computer. Tried to sleep, but no luck. Might have dozed for 10 minutes, max.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Last Day at Home

Got up at 6am again today. Not because I wanted to, just did. I was busy as hell all day trying to finish up a bunch of stuff before I depart for Paris tomorrow.

I was supposed to go visit some roadie friends on the Smashing Pumpkins tour this afternoon, but never got the time to do it even though the venue is less than 10 minutes from my house.

Finally had dinner around 10pm, some Chinese food I'd picked up down the hill.

In bed around midnight…

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I did it! The Thousand Mile Summer is done. This time last week I thought I wasn't gonna make it, but after dedicating the ride to my mom's "never give up" spirit, I managed to pull it off.

It meant doing another 50-miler today, which was my fifth 50+ ride this week. I've ridden a bit over 278 miles since Monday morning. And you better believe I won't be getting on the bike tomorrow morning – I'm sleeping in.

Here's my trusty 1994 Trek 930:I love this bike. During the Thousand Mile Summer, I had no mechanical problems, not one flat tire, nothing. This poor bike has been wrecked numerous times, and beaten half to death, but it just keeps rolling along.

Saw a really, really long Black Snake today. Might have been the longest one I'd ever seen. And don't worry, he's safe...

Went to the Live/Blues Traveler/Collective Soul show tonight with my friend Nikki. My buddy Garrett is the LD for all 3 bands, so went out a little early to hang out with him before the show started. Met up Paige, Greg, and their neighbor Amy there, too. Collective Soul was OK. We all hate Blues Traveler and want to kill that fucker with the harmonica, so during their set, we left and had dinner at the Hotpoint Deli, arriving back at the venue just as Live was hitting the stage. They were boring as hell, so we all left about 8 songs into their set.

After dropping Nikki off, I was in for the evening by 10:30…

Friday, August 15, 2008


Hot damn! I rode 65.47 miles today. I have no idea where that came from, but I just didn't want to stop. Never ridden that far before. I've now ridden 6 rides in my life over 50 miles and 4 of them have been since Monday. Killuh!

That leaves me with 50 miles to go to hit 1000. As long as it doesn't start raining like hell all weekend, I think I'll make it. But man, my butt is sore.

Went to dinner and did a little barhopping with my friend Laura tonight. Stopped by Deep South and Slim's, then had dinner at the Rockford, one of my fave places in the Glenwood South area.

Got home a little later than I was hoping for, cuz I really need to ride again tomorrow, but I had a great time, so it was worth it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Steady Rollin'

I haven't seen any Copperheads for two weeks now. Been wondering where they've been hiding. Maybe the word's out about the crazy bald-headed bicycle rider who takes photos of them and then beats 'em to death. There's a chance that I just haven't been seeing them – some of the trees have started to lose a few leaves, and the snakes would be harder to spot laying among the brown and gold leaves that cover parts of the greenway.

Saw this fucker, though:You know what happened next.

This little guy was pretty cute:

Got in a 55-plus mile ride today. I'm now at 884 miles. I guess I'll have to ride every day over the weekend to get 'er done. Maybe Monday morning, too.