Saturday, January 31, 2009

Raleigh Underground

Once a year, there's a charity event that features local area bands performing as tribute bands. The event used to be called the Great Raleigh Coverup or something like that, and was held at King's, a nightclub that closed sometime in the last year or so.

The event is now called Raleigh Underground (I think), and this year it's being held this weekend at Tir Na Nog, an Irish Pub downtown that has to be one of the worst places in town to see and hear a live band.

In spite of that, I found myself standing at the soundboard at 10pm, hanging out with my buddy Robbie, the house sound engineer. First band was on, covering My Bloody Valentine, a band I didn't like then and don't like now. Things got better right after that when the next band played a set of songs by the great British glam band Slade. THAT was pretty rocking.

Next up were my buddies Santa Monica '72 with a set consisting of all Thin Lizzy covers. Well done, too.

The next band covered Bryan Adams and weren't bad, either. But when I heard that the last band was gonna be doing the Beastie Boys, that was my cue to exit.

Went next door to the Pour House to hang out with Jac Cain, that club's sound engineer. He had a hip-hop show going on, and the place was packed to the walls. I only stayed for one beer, then headed home.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Crowleys? Oh, Hell, No...

Met up with Foy late this afternoon and we wound up over at the Ale House for a few cold ones. It didn't turn into an all-evening affair because I'd promised some folks I'd meet them to see a band at Crowley's later on. It was my buddies The Nevers, but performing as their alter-ego cover band, Santa Monica '72. They play 70's rock covers like Grand Funk, Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, etc. I'm all about some 70's rock.

I can't stand going to Crowley's – the smoke in there is fuckin' horrible. I managed to stay through a couple of sets, but finally gave up. It was so bad in there that when I got home I had to go out to the laundry room and take off all my clothes. Pew!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Damn Ham

Damn left hamstring is killin' me. I have no idea what's up with that, but it's pissing me off.

Stretch, stretch, stretch and stretch some more.

Hoping tomorrow will be better…

Monday, January 26, 2009

Running Along...

Damn left hamstring is killin' me. I have no idea what's up with that, but it's pissing me off.

Stretch, stretch, stretch and stretch some more.

Hoping tomorrow will be better…

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whew!

So I decided last night to just stay in, watch a movie and enjoy a bottle of wine. About halfway through it, my neighbor Regan called and said she was building a fire out back and having a few folks over and that I should join them. I politely declined, but changed my mind about 20 minutes later.

So of course I got home at nearly 5am.

Damn!

I didn't wake up until nearly 1:00 this afternoon. Hated that, because I had some stuff I wanted to do before all the ACC basketball games started coming on. Oh, well.

Later, I met Paige & Greg, Jeff & Kim, and Ossie at a restaurant called Firebirds for dinner. It was pretty decent.

Then I was off to Tom O'Keefe's 45th birthday party at Slim's, one of my fave bars downtown. There were 4 or 5 bands playing, including Lustre, who were doing a reunion gig just for Tom. He had been their road manager back in the mid-90's when they were signed to A&M Records. They only put out one album before getting fucked by the label (didn't everyone?), and to this day it's one of my favorite records.

They only played 6 songs, but I was in seventh heaven.

I also walked around the corner and stuck my head in to see my buddy Jac Cain, the FOH guy at the Pour House. He was mixing Kevn Kinney, the dude from Drivin' & Cryin'. Stayed there for a couple of beers, then headed back to Slim's to see Tom's band play.

After that, headed home…

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow!!!

Finally!

One of the reasons I love my job is because it's kinda seasonal. There might be years when I'm on the road during winter, but usually I'm off and at home, which I prefer. Winter is my favorite season. Always has been, always will be. There's just something about it – the sights, the smells, the memories.

Last year, I was out from mid-October until mid-February, and it totally bummed me out. I had two days off in between the R. Kelly tour and my flight to New Zealand to start the Rage Against The Machine tour, but to me, those didn't even count.

There was no measurable snow here last year, so I guess I didn't miss anything. Come to think of it, other than a very light dusting two years ago (I think?), I haven't had snow since buying this house 3 years ago next week.

Don’t get me wrong; I'm not looking for a blizzard or anything. All I ask for is a few inches of snow, a couple of times each winter. Not enough to cause major problems, just enough to enjoy.

So today was finally my day. Looks to be about 4 inches or maybe a bit more on the ground right now. TV weather staff said it was gonna taper off about noon, but it's an hour past that now and it's still coming down. The temp isn't supposed to go over freezing today, so I'll get to enjoy it all day and into tomorrow.

7am, just starting to accumulate:



The snow was blowing up onto the porch, too.

My Toyota snowmobile:

Took my run a little later than usual today. I was enjoying sitting by the window and watching the snow fall, and the time just kinda slipped by me. Decided to take my camera with me and I stopped a few times to snap photos.

The greenway:

Crabtree Creek, which the greenway runs beside:


Railroad trestle near Atlantic Avenue. Note the original trestle base structure to the right:

I even stopped as I was running by the Carolina Ale House, thinking I could get a shot of the pristine, snow-covered deck that we spend so much time on:



Your humble author, self-portrait:

It was fun to run in the snow, I've always liked to do that. Not that I would move up north to do it more often, but still.

After I got home, I piddled about the house, not really getting anything done. Foy called mid-afternoon and we made a plan to hit the Ale House deck for a few cold beverages around 4 o'clock or so. After picking his wife Terry up from her office, they swung by here and snagged me.

The deck was still undisturbed when we got there. I mean, come on, who on earth else would want to sit outside in the snow and drink beer?



Bob and Foy:

The way a Budweiser should always be served:

I even played the ring toss game in the snow:

Joel, the GM, when told by our waiter that there were crazy people outside, even came out to take a photo of us with his phone. Poor Joel, he's used to us sitting outside year-round, but this was a bit bizarre, even by our standards.

The icicles before the sun started going down:

And as the sun was going down, with the neons turned on:

After 90 minutes and a few rounds outside, the sun finally set:

The temperature plummeted from a very comfortable (WTF!) 32 degrees to something we didn’t want to sit around in, so we moved inside to the bar.

While we were inside, several members of the staff went out and built a snowman on the deck, and staged a meal in front of him:

Foy, Bob and Terry partying with the Ale House Snowman:

Further adventures awaited us at both Northside Billiards and the High Park Bar & Grille, but those details are currently being withheld to protect the guilty…

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Comeback...

After a few days off from running, the comeback began today. I need to not go overboard, just take it a day at a time. Decided to limit the runs to 20 minutes until I'm absolutely certain the knees can take it. Today went just fine.

Happy 40th birthday, Jen!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Race Day At The Rock!

Got in bed last night right at midnight. I was reaching for the lightswitch just as all the neighborhood fireworks (and maybe a gunshot or two) were going off.

Woke up at 3:37 because I had to pee – damn those beers at the party – and never could go back to sleep. Finally got up around 5:30 to start the day.

Foy pulled up out front about ten minutes to 7. Long day ahead of us. Today is the inaugural running of the Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway and yes, we're just crazy enough to sit outside for six or seven hours in the cold to watch loud cars go around in circles.

The high for today was forecast to be 42 degrees, so I got totally layered up – two pairs of running tights, topped with artic pants. Up top, 2 base layers, topped with an artic shirt and a jacket. Hat and gloves as well.

Due to the pounding sunshine, by 2:45, I had peeled down to a t-shirt up top. Had to take off the hat, gloves and jacket long before then.

The race was a blast. There were 61 cars at the start, and 31 running at the end. In between, lots of wrecks and downtime as the safety crews cleared the track of debris from the wrecks. Although it was only a 150-lap event and had started just past 1pm, it didn't finish until about a quarter after 5, just after the sun went beyond the horizon. The Rockingham track doesn't have lighting for night-racing, so they wouldn't have been able to race much longer.

After driving back to Raleigh, we hit a couple of our favorite spots near my house for a frosty cold beverage. Foy's wife Terry joined us at High Park Grill at some point. After that, my memory's a bit murky…