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"It seems to me what you lose in mystery, you gain in awe."
Sir Francis Crick


Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
--William James

>>>Photo Links<<<

If any of the photo links are broken, you can find the public photo gallery here

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Blog

This is most likely my last blog post on this blog. Moving over to Wordpress for blog now. Much better user interface and easier to handle remotely (iPhone tool) and it plays nicely with the Google browser, even if Google owns blogspot (this blog site). I think you will like the more streamlined view and user interface over there too.

Here's the link:

I will not be deleting this blog, just no longer using it. Thanks for reading my ramblings and posts here since January 2008. See ya!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Review

Great weekend even if the Tigers lost and it rained (a lot).

The neighborhood party was fun until the rain came. I hope we have the next one in the daytime because it sure was hard to see the food and everyone's face in the dark; but, again it was a fun time for the hood.

Saturday was just a hang out day watching football and some yard work with Tricia before the rain started again. We planted some grass and some flowers in the back. Then the rain really came down, really raining hard. I spent most of the day, after taking Miles to karate, on the couch watching and listening to football. Well, the Tigers fell short this week to Texas Christian. We had a chance, well... a few chances to win the game. It also really rained, did I mention that? The beaver dam is also backing up the water again by the trail.

Today, after a great worship at Freedom and a lunch at the Cici's in Spartanburg, I went out on Lake Robinson with a buddy from Freedom, David Faucette. It was an amazingly beautiful day on the lake. You could see the towers on Hogback Mountain and the sky was so clear and blue after all the rain. Dave was kind enough to take me to get my kayak before we headed out on the water. Dave is a VP at a local bank. His youngest daughter, in Nursing school at USC, was our babysitter before she went to USC. We had a blast on the water today and are planning many return trips soon. Now that the heat is going down, the water is the place to be. I even got to check out Billy Mays home on the lake too. It's empty and HUGE. Go figure. I plan to bring the camera the next time out on the lake. Our neighbors, Todd and Christine, have also invited me and Miles or Tricia to float down the Green River soon. That will be way cool. Love my boat :-)

The kayak is now hanging from the chains in the garage. Yet another great use of the shelves Charles Lamb and I put up in early 2008. We spent some time this afternoon trying to figure out how we would store the kayak. Couldn't put where Keller would be tempted to chew anything. Glad I had such a brilliant idea!

Watching some NFL on Sunday right now and getting ready for my short week at work. I am off to Nashville on Thursday.

Hey, did I mention the Breakfast with Dad that Dylan and I worked out last week? Usually, we go super early to school and stand in line for not-exactly the best breakfast in the land? Well, I had a great idea that went well with Dylan. He and I hit the McDonald's on Wade Hampton. We practically had the place to ourselves. It was the best breakfast with Dad so far! Nice to have his attention for a few minutes too.

Please pray for the people of the Philippines right now. They are suffering from a massive flood due to a Tropical Storm. We have great friends who have been missionaries for the last 20 years there. They have two kids at North Greenville right now too. Jill and Greg Harvell have been keeping us posted. Please pray for everyone's safety and the searching and rebuilding that must take place now. Here's their site: http://www.harvellsforhim.cjb.net/

God Bless and See ya!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ready for the Weekend

We are going to the rescheduled neighborhood party tomorrow. Mom and Pete are also going to spend the night with us since they have something at Taylors First Baptist on Friday.

Watching the Ole Miss vs. USC game right now. Right now, USC looks good.

Work has been busy as we prepare for our annual retreat next week. We only get together once per year. We are going to be at the Gaylord in Nashville, which looks like a very nice place. Looking forward to the retreat and the fun. We spend most of the day in conference and workshops and then have great dinners and entertainment in the evenings. I am then flying back to Charlotte to see Widespread Panic and the Allman Brothers in Charlotte (Oct 4th). Looking forward to that!

So, short week in the office and then out to Nashville on Thursday afternoon. I'll get back on Monday morning after the concert in Charlotte.

Meeting with the Friday morning men tomorrow to continue our discussion of "If you want to walk on water, then get out of the boat". I really get a charge out of meeting and praying with these men, we have shared some deep discussion about faith, family and church. Thank you God for this group.

Back to the chiropractor on Tuesday. So far, a little relief. I'm not convinced yet. But, I did see the xrays and I think I agree with the problem, maybe it's the solution I am still judging.

Well, I'm short on words this week. Hope you are ready for the Fall! I know I am! See ya!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall

My favorite season is here! Nice walk this morning with just a touch of cool. I am sitting at the chiropractic office for my 2nd visit. My hips have been hurting for a few months with radiating pain on my left hip. Had xrays on Monday. No sx of fracture, but you don't see nerves on xrays. I'll give this a few visits and see or go back to my family doc.
Back to Life Group tonight studying "The Hole in Our Gospel". A good group is a must!
Ok, gotta run!

via iPhone

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Clemson's Stormy Weather Outlook







Miles and I went to the Clemson game yesterday with tickets I got from a good friend from Sumter who couldn't use them. We had very good seats on the opponent side lower deck. We rode to Clemson with our friends (and Clemson grads) Steve and Amanda Somers (Freedom Fellowship friends). We also had the chance to use Mark Thornton's parking space too. Mark started for Clemson as center back in the 70's and has a great parking spot right outside the stadium. That was the best thing yesterday as we had 2 weather delays due to lightning in the area. That was the first time ever I have been to a Clemson game delayed by weather. We got some rain; but, we never heard thunder or saw the flashes. We had to leave our seats and during the first 50 minute delay, Miles and I went back to the car for a break. With the 2nd delay, all 4 of us meet up and decided we were done for the day. The Tigers were up 19-7 in the 4th by that point. It was fun to take Miles to a Clemson game and I ran into an old Clemson buddy, Pete Kennedy. He was with his wife and parents. I haven't seen Pete since graduation. He's living up in Asheville. Of course, we are friends on Facebook now!

That was the good part of the day yesterday; but, I was more than frustrated by Clemson's lack of offense plans. We got a record 6 field goals from Greer (Riverside) kicker Jackson-that tied a single game record and 1 punt return for TD by C.J Spiller. Other than that, the Clemson defense carried the game. BC's only TD was due to the offense giving up a fumble on the 8 yard line in the 4th quarter, yes, it was raining hard then too. Nonetheless, our offense needs to get it together. We have tons of talent and speed, we just need someone to drive this fast car! Texas Christian will be a different animal next week. I hope we wake up in time!

Lots of rain here this weekend and we are looking at rain all week according to the weather report. We have a rescheduled neighborhood party on Friday and I am going out on Saturday morning in the kayak with another friend from church, Dave Faucette. Looking forward to getting out on Lake Robinson this time. Miles has an open house at the middle school tomorrow. Should be a fun week.

Checkout some pictures from the game yesterday and my video of the hill run. Go Tigers!

See ya!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN_kK2iRito
(The Hill Run, I added a soundtrack so it wouldn't be a bunch of screaming and yelling)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bruce Springsteen 9-16-09 Greenville

My first Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen and the E. Street Band show last night in Greenville, thanks to my good buddy, Cliff Marshall. The lights went down around 8:15pm and the show ended a few minutes after 11pm. Great show even if the sound was the usual horrible assault on the ears that is the Bi-Lo Center sound system. Very, very engaging. Bruce is one intense rockin' man.

My favorites would be the "Atlantic City", "Radio Nowhere", "Satisfaction" (request from the audience and first time played), the"Detroit Medley " which was "Devil with a Blue Dress on">"Good Golly Miss Molly">"C.C. Rider", "Dancin' in the Dark" and "Glory Days". "Born to Run" was so good and glad to finally hear/see it LIVE; but, my top favorite was the last tune, "Thunder Road". That's probably my favorite Bruce tune and I had some serious chicken skin going then when it's just Bruce, harmonica and piano. It was that good!

Thanks Cliff for taking your brother from another mother! I can't wait for the next show to "pay you back"!


Greenville, South Carolina
Bi-Lo Center 9-16-09

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Badlands
No Surrender
Hungry Heart
Outlaw Pete
Out In The Street
Working On A Dream
Wreck On The Highway
Seeds
Johnny 99
Atlantic City
Raise Your Hand
This Hard Land
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Ramrod
Waiting On A Sunny Day
(got 2 little girls from the audience on stage to sing with him)
The Promised Land
Backstreets
Radio Nowhere
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run

Hard Times
Double Shot of My Baby's Love
American Land
Glory Days
Detroit Medley
Dancin' In The Dark (got a lady on the stage with him to dance)
Thunder Road

Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen

The screen door slams
Mary' dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again
Don't run back inside
Darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a saviour to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero
That's understood
All the redemption I can offer girl
Is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now ?
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow
Back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back
Heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh-oh come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh-oh Thunder Road oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road sit tight take hold
Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk
And my car's out back
If you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride it ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words that I ain't spoken
But tonight we'll be free
All the promises'll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone
On the wind so Mary climb in
It's town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win

Monday, September 14, 2009

Awesome weekend

This past weekend was so great in many ways!

1. Friday night just hanging out with the family (and a trip to Costco).

2. Saturday: a new kayak. I could stop right there and it would be an awesome weekend.

3. Putting the kayak in Lake Lyman and going out twice on the water. Dylan and Miles got really excited about fishing on the lake too. I got 2 new light rod/reel combos all ready for next weekend.

4. Sunday: It just kept getting better with the praise band at Freedom opening the worship service with a tune that the Derek Trucks Band has covered on 2 albums: "I Wish I Knew How It Felt To Be Free". Wow! Goosebumps!

5. Then Cliff laid down some Old Testament on us that cut the skinny and pressure-washed the room. Good stuff brother!

6. Then Pizza Inn for lunch with the family. Dessert pizza is always tops in my book.

7. A Sunday afternoon nap.

8. Then Steven Somers and I head out to Charlotte last night and caught a great Derek Trucks Band show with Mofro opening. Yonrico (the drummer for Derek Trucks Band) had us on the guest list for 2 nice seats. I made a decent recording too. Pictures here.
Made it home around 1am (construction traffic on 85 slowed us about 30 minutes).

As I look back on it, what a weekend! I can't wait for another like that!

Bruce Springsteen with Cliff on Wednesday is making this week look pretty cool too! Ok, gotta get to work!

See ya!

And I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish that I could break
All the chains holding me
I wish I could say
All the things that Id like to say
Say em loud say em clear
For the whole round world to hear
I wish I could share
All the love thats in my heart
Remove every doubt
It keeps us apart
And I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then youd see and agree
Every man should be free

I wish I could live

Like Im longin to live
I wish I could give
What Im longin to give
And I wish I could do
All the things Id like to do
You know theyll still miss part of you
Yes sir...
And Im way way over due

I wish I could be like a bird up in the sky
How sweet it would be
If I found out I could fly
So long to my song
And look down upon ihe sea
And I sing because I know
I would see you
I sing because I know
I would see you
And I sing because I know
I would see you
To be free yea

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Early 40th birthday present







via iPhone



The annual Sunrift demo sale is something I have tried to make for the
last few years; the date was later this year. See below for my new
Wilderness Systems Pamlico 120. Happy early birthday to me!
Thanks Tricia!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Go Tigers

Big game tonight on ESPN with GA Tech and Clemson going head to head. GT is ranked 14th, not sure what that means anymore :-) In fact, Clemson usually plays better when they are the underdogs. Miles and I are going over to Mark and Vonda Thorton's place along with Jason Collins and his son, Blake. Jason went to Africa with me last week. Vonda is his mom too. We are going to have a cookout and watch the game and hopefully give Mark's Dad (GT graduate) a whole lot of smack talk! Mark is also a part of our men's group on Friday mornings too.

It's been a busy week at work and I have a major project kickoff today at 1pm for a new contract in Georgia. I think I have at least responded to everything that was waiting on me. I guess I will find out later ;-)

We went to our first Lifegroup meeting yesterday at Donny and Shelly Kaufman's home. Donny is also the associate pastor at Freedom. He and Shelly have 3 boys and are awesome friends- the kind you can depend on for laughs and support. We are going to go through a book called "The Hole in our Gospel". It challenges you to actually do something with your faith and put your love in action, just as Christ did. So looking forward to getting down into that one with Tricia and the rest of the group. Lifegroup presents a fun challenge this year with Miles going to the youth group (LINC) at the same time. Dylan is staying with his buddy, Nick, while we are all gone. Nick's Mom saved the day by volunteering to let Dylan stay there on Wednesday nights! Good neighbors rock! Speaking of, we are having our 3rd annual neighborhood cookout next Friday and Jason and Rachel Hodges have a band coming to play and BBQ to eat. I'm looking forward to being able to walk to that party next week.

Well, gotta get ready for work. Hope your short week is going smoothly. I will try and post more on the weekend if I get the chance. Hope to watch Obama's healthcare speech on Sunday before heading up to Charlotte for the Derek Trucks Band show. I need about 30 hours in each day, could you use a little more too?

Go Tigers!

See ya!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back in the Saddle

In case you didn't know, I was in Africa from 27Aug to 5Sept. http://freedom2africa.blogspot.com/

Back in the saddle today at work, lots to catch up on. We had a fun day just working on chores around the home (cleaned the garage) and I snuck in a nap and then we all enjoyed a free Chic-Fil-a meal (free sandwich for wearing our favorite team colors, lots of ORANGE there yesterday). Miles and I then went out to some stores, including Sports Academy. I picked up a new pair of New Balance trail runners for $39.99, I gave my old pair to Mathata in Botswana. Keller and I are going to hit the trail this morning and break them in real nice. Of course, we are going to walk Miles to the bus stop too!

I am so glad it's a short week, we have some major projects going at work and things are reaching a peak if what I read in the emails is correct. Pray for strength and compassion and clarity this week for me. I think I have the time zones just about right in my head.

Looking forward to the annual boat sale at Sunrift outfitters, don't have the money for a kayak this year; but, it's a great place to check out the demo models and see the low prices. We are also going to hit the Big Dig Saturday afternoon. It's a benefit out in the country that allows kids to drive and work big machinery for a donation. The boys are excited about that!

Well, gotta sip some more coffee and kickstart the short week! Hope yours is productive and healthy.

See ya!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back Home

I made it home around 11am today. It was so good to see the Tricia and the boys (and Keller) and take a long hot shower. I will post more later and some videos when I have them uploaded. Thank you for your prayers and words of support and encouragement. We are already planning the next trip back to Botswana! Glad tomorrow is not a work day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday at the Bus Stop

Keller and I walked Miles down to the bus stop this morning. That will be very good for Miles, in many ways. Keller had a blast and was just soaking up all the attention from the girls on the bus too. I'm sure Miles told them all about Keller, his dog, on the way to school. I would put money on it!

The reports all around were of a good 1st day at school. Tricia is feeling a little better about the situation, Dylan is so excited to have a dog in his class everyday, part of the teacher's "tools" and Miles is now taking Strings in place of Chorus. He is going to play stand-up bass. We are all looking forward to how that turns out and think he will really enjoy it too.

It was a quiet day at work here yesterday. I can almost feel the fall around the corner; but, the humidity this morning was beating that feeling over the head this morning. It was thick on the trail this morning after the bus stop.

Speaking of thick fog...some of you know I have been on a combo of nerve pain meds since my surgery in 2006. I have finally crawled out of that fog, having taken the last of the meds the Sunday after we returned from Ohio. While I have felt a tinge or two since then, it's nothing like it was and nothing Tylenol or Alleve haven't been able to handle. I have about 10x the energy level and much more clarity of thought and drive at work. It got really tough for me this year and fighting the meds' "fog" was getting harder and my waistline was showing the effects too. I feel liberated and free. I started praying about God giving me the strength to let go of those meds this spring when Tricia and I went through the Financial Peace class. The meds were NOT cheap and I also had some weird withdrawal effects in the past. God delivers folks! My family doctor (who did not start me on the meds just continued what the neurologist started) and I came up with a good plan after I did some research on the internet and our plan seems to have worked. So far, so good. Thank you God!

On the Africa front, only 1 week until we take off. Thank you for continuing to lift us (Freedom Fellowship, Alice Drive, Old Naledi Fellowship) in your prayers. I have a long list to take care of this week; but, time to work now...

See ya!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School


It's the first day of school. Back to work for Tricia and a new class for Dylan. Miles is now a middle school kid. Hard to believe my little monkey man rugrat is now moving on to the next level. He is riding the bus home today. Keller and I took him to school today. Keller was very excited for Miles. Please whisper or shout a prayer of protection for Miles and Dylan and a prayer of encouragement and strength for Tricia. The beginning of the school year is always stressful for her and this year is no different.

Shadow and I now have a quiet house. Good thing, as work and the Africa trip planning have me busy.

Last night after the orientation for parents and students at the middle school, we celebrated in style at Cold Stone Creamery. Nothing like some ice cream to soothe the anxiety or fuel the excitement!

Only 8 more days until we depart for Africa. Please pray for me, Jason, Nancy and Joel from Freedom. We will be joined in Atlanta by Scott and Clay from Alice Drive. Pray for the children of Old Naledi and for the people of Botswana. Pray for words of truth and clarity to come from our mouths. Pray for strength and endurance for all. Follow our blog here: http://freedom2africa.blogspot.com/

See ya!


Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Review

Tricia and I had a great weekend. On Friday night, her friend from Sumter, Diana Lyles, came up to spend the day with us on Saturday. We had a great time at the Lake Robinson community day, which included Tricia and Diana going out in kayaks. Keller and I followed in a canoe. It was the first ever Lake Robinson community day and a great day for environmental awareness, local business booths and some food and bluegrass music. Keller and I even walked home because he went for a swim after the boat ride.

We then took Diana downtown for a tour to include the Mast General store and Falls Park. She had a great time and you can see some pictures in the link below. After Diana left on Saturday evening, Tricia and I went for a date at Copper River. Wow! That Apple Cobbler was huge and so good. Tricia looked amazing in a black dress and actually had to dress up :-) It was a fun date to celebrate the end of the summer and the beginning of a new school year. Tricia wants to be positive and we are thankful for her job and what it provides our family. She does a wonderful job too and we proud!


On Sunday morning, Tricia and I went to Capstone Church down in Anderson. Our good friend, David Barfield is now the senior pastor and we wanted to be there to help celebrate their first worship in their new building. They had a similar situation to Freedom Fellowship, in that an older church donated the land and building for Capstone. Capstone had been meeting in a movie theater! It was an amazing service and we were thrilled to also witness 6 baptisms, including Miss Anna Barfield, Dave and Caroline's 8 year daughter. Jesus Rocks! Dave was also the camp pastor at Camp McCall this year when Dylan and I were there in July. Miles and Jacob (their son) were also in the same cabin. Dave was the coaching pastor at Alice Drive in Sumter and is a fine Clemson graduate too! It was such an honor to be there yesterday and we look forward to visiting there again to see what God is doing. I also heard a super cool song that will work so good with our Africa mission trip and well, really, any time. Lyrics posted from "The Solution" below. This was the closing song at their service yesterday.

We then headed down to Irmo to pick up the boys at Susan's place. Miles and Dylan were at "Nanny Camp" all week with Mom and Pete. They had a ton of fun on the farm; but, we were happy to see them again. Tricia and I also took advantage of the "coupleness" and hit Fatz Cafe in Clinton for a great lunch! We thought about you Kathy on your birthday too!

Miles went to his very first church youth event last night. It was a swimming/shaving cream fight party and he almost won an Xbox in the "back busters" contest. He came in second and walked away with the 2nd place prize, a red back! He was proud of his war scars. I hope his Mom lets him go back to other functions (wink, wink).

Tricia is off to school and I need to get started. I am covering all week while one of the consultants is on a well-deserved vacation. Pray for us as we prepare for Africa next week (can't believe it's almost here!). Also, pray for my Dad's brother, David. He had a heart attack yesterday and is in the hospital in Columbia. More on that as I find out.

See ya!

The Solution
HillSong United

To stare not fight while broken nations dream
Open up our eyes, so blind
That we might find the mercy for the need

Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey now
As we hold to our confession

It is not too far a cry
Too much to try to help the least of these
Politics will not decide if we should rise
And be your hands and feet

Singing...
Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey now
As we hold to our confession

Whoa-oo-ooh
God, be the solution
Whoa-oo-ooh
We will be your hands and be your feet
Yeah Yeah

Higher than our circumstance
You promised and you loved for all to see
Higher than our protest lines and dollar signs
Your love is all we need

Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey now
As we hold to our confession

Whoa-oo-ooh
God, be the solution
Whoa-oo-ooh
We will be your hands and be your feet

Whoa-oo-ooh
God, be the solution
Whoa-oo-ooh
We will be your hands and be your feet
Whoa Yeah

Only you can mend the broken heart
And cause the blind to see
You erase complete, the sinner's past
And set the captives free

Only you can take the widow's cry
And cause the heart to see
Be the Father to the fatherless
Our Saviour and our King

We will be your hands
We will be your feet
We run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place we will be your light,
We will you light

We will be your hands
We will be your feet
We run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place we will be your light,
We will you light

Whoa-oo-ooh
God, be the solution
Whoa-oo-ooh
We will be your hands and be your feet

Whoa-oo-ooh
God, be the solution
Whoa-oo-ooh
We will be your hands and be your feet

We will run
We will run
We will run with the solution

We will be your hands
We will be your feet
We run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place we will be your light,
We will you light we´ll sing

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The End of an Era (no more MiniDisc)


Today marked the end of my minidisc era. I was trying to get some tunes ready for the long flight to Botswana on my minidisc (the battery life was always miles above most electronics, especially for listening only) when I found my only remaining device would no longer record. So, I guess I have to take my iPhone and/or iPod to Africa this year.

My first MD was a Sharp DR7, November 2003. This was my main recorder for many LIVE shows. All of my learning curves were straighten out on this device. I also had a Sony deck to transfer the recordings to my old Philips CDR deck. Talk about old school! It was optical out of the Sony MD deck to optical input on the CDR deck. I then took the CDR and transferred to my PC to split the tracks and make edits. This was not a fast process. I also recorded in dual channel mono back then to give me 160 minutes of recording without changing the disc, as it was limited to 80 minutes of stereo. Since most concerts are mono mixed, it wasn't a big deal most of the time.

In late 2004, I then upgraded to my first Sony Hi-MD, the NH900, replaced that with the RH10 then the RH1. These Hi-MD could hold up to 1 Gb of music with variable bitrates (compression) or no compression (PCM-WAV). While the NH900 had some serious battery life challenges and was seriously crippled by Sony software, it was a big step forward for the format. I made some good recordings with that device; but, by far, my greatest MD was the RH10. The display on that device was something to see in dark settings and made a big difference for my level checks when recording live. Plus, it was not mostly plastic and thin "metal" like the NH900. What was Sony thinking??? The RH1 in 2005 had great promise but the form factor was dying and being replaced by flash recorders by this point and Sony has stopped any further development on MD. The best thing about the RH1 was you could adjust the recording level on the fly. Believe it or not, Sony crippled their MDs with a menu setting that always defaulted to automatic recording level adjustments... you always had to stand on one foot with your left eye closed to get it just right (well, you get the picture). That didn't go so well with many first timers... I actually sold the RH1 not long after buying it (missed the RH10 display and hated the proprietary battery form) and bought another RH10 on eBay. I would actually record with 2 Hi-MDs with one in the ready once I got close to the 94 min and would hot-swap to the waiting deck.

The Hi-MDs also allowed you to upload to the PC via USB. See the above description of the chain I had to use before Hi-MD. Before Hi-MD, I did upgrade my deck to the Sony MXD-D400 which was an awesome mp3 CD player and MD player/recorder. I sold that to a Ohio radio station via eBay back in 2004. Hope it still serves them well. That was a great deck and Sony could have done so much if that had pushed MD and Hi-MD without the stupid DRM software that really crippled the format from the onset. I also had a cool Sony S1 that I got on clearance at Best Buy that was my main walking tunes device for several years. That is the device that just went in the trash with all my old MDs. Miles used it as his tunes device until he got his iPod nano. It was a rugged device made for sports and was water resistant and would run over 30 hrs on 1 AA battery. But, it has gone on to the other side of the electronics trash heap. Luckily, I was able to sell all of the others on eBay or to other tapers to keep the "upgrades" going. That's why you always, always, always keep the box and manual around ;-). I actually kept the 2nd RH10 around as a stealth recording device along with my new flash recorder. I just sold it this spring to a taper who was just getting started with taping...

While I enjoyed learning the methods of recording and digital transfers and edits on MD, my PCM-D50 device is MILES above the MDs in terms of memory (4Gb + expandable card slot), user interface, speed of transfers and it has internal mics just in case! So, I enjoyed the MD era and it served me well; but, I won't miss it! Glad I could help be a beta tester! MDs got me into concert recording and I can honestly say I truly enjoy this hobby and would not be where I am today for recording techniques if it had not been for MDs. The entry price point for these devices was reasonable compared to DAT recorders and made it easy and relatively cheap to get started. You had a lot to learn but you could make it happen. Glad I stuck it out.

So, if you see a minidisc out there one day, you can truly say "wow, dude. That's like OLD SCHOOL!!!" See ya!



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

14 years


I know I have been more than slack on posting lately; but, work and the trip to Ohio have had me out of time and place for the last few weeks.

Today, I took Miles and Dylan down to Irmo to meet my Mom at Susan's place. It was okay as I had no DSL at home and could only be on the phone for meetings and that worked out for the drive down. It gave Tricia the opportunity to stay at school all day working too. We lost power and phone service suddenly this morning around 9am. The power came back around 1030am but I didn't get DSL or phone until I was home from Irmo. It was a challenge for work.

Miles and Dylan are going to stay with Mom and Pete until Sunday and get their ya ya's out for the last week of summer. That worked out fine for us as Tricia has a lot to do at school. We went to a Youth orientation for parents tonight at Freedom. The Youth group is called LINC (Liberty in Christ) and the meeting was for the parents of upcoming 6th graders. Miles went to his tour of Blue Ridge middle school on Monday with Tricia and his buddy, Ryan. He is really excited about school, he can't believe he can order Chick-fila and Pizza in the cafeteria. He is also stoked about riding the bus. We learned it is one of the last routes and he needs to be there by 8am. We might make that a regularly scheduled event since he needs to ride it while I am in Africa. I will take him the first few days to get him oriented and on schedule. This is gonna be a brand new world.

We thought he was going to be in a single gender class this year; but, since he is in advanced reading and Challenge classes, he has to be in co-ed. That was a quick decision for us, we don't see much problem with the girls just yet for Miles and he would be too bored and not challenged otherwise!

Got tickets for the Third Day Family picnic at the Heritage Park Amphitheater today on the way to Irmo. $65 for a pack of 4 is a steal and it includes a free hot dog and drink for all of us. Now that is a recession buster!!!! It's on a Friday in early October and I am really looking forward to that show.

Today is the 14th anniversary of the first date Tricia and I ever had together. It's amazing how time has changed us and our world; but, how we are still in Love and still the same two that God brought together. We went to Staples and Chick-Fila to celebrate :-) Well, I didn't say we were getting younger ;-) God changed my life by bringing Tricia into it and I am forever thankful and amazed. I Love You Honey!

See ya!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday

It's Friday and we have one more day here in Ohio. The weather has been great, although the folks here call it "cold". Nice and cool with highs in the 70's and humidity nowhere to be found. Work on the other hand has been full speed and then some. I have had no less than 10 hr days all week. Development cycle push, disgruntled sites and upper level demands. So glad we don't use video cameras!

Last night we walked down to the East Coast Ice Cream shop with the boys, including nephews Henry and Charlie. Nice double serving of Apple Crum frozen custard hit the spot after a few Sloppy Joes for dinner. We have eaten well and Missy is cooking some good stuff these days! It's also been good to spend time all week with Grandma and she has contributed mightily to the meals too. No complaints there!

Wednesday we took a trip to the other side of Cleveland and had dinner with Tricia's brother, Frankie and his family. They have 3 kids: Jasmine, Aiden and Dominic (just turned 1 year). We had a lot of laughs catching up with them. See Jasmine's new Youtube video here: Jack-in-the-box. That's what she asked Aunt Tricia to bring for her birthday. She is a sweetheart.

Ok, sorry for the short posts this week. It's been a challenge not being at the home office; but, we made it and had a great time. On the road tomorrow bright and early heading South. Looks hot from here! See ya!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Amy

We are in Ohio right now. We had a decent drive up on Sunday. Tricia drove more than she has ever on any trip! Maybe she can drive all the way home this Saturday ;-) . Miles and Dylan are having fun with Henry and Charlie. Dylan is a little sick, feeling puny and running a fever. No other symptoms right now, we are giving him water and Tylenol and watching.

Today is Sister Amy's birthday! Happy Birthday Aunt Amy!!! Tomorrow is also my Mom's 70th birthday! So, in honor of the 2 days of birthdays in my family, here's a little lyric I stole from Bob Dylan.

See ya!

Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Copyright ©1973 Ram's Horn Music

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Testing my new way to post via text messages! On the way to WNCW in a few! See ya!

Summer Saturday

Last night we went out to celebrate Dylan's birthday. We hit the new McDonald's on Wade Hampton per Dylan's pick and then headed out to see G-Force in 3D. I will say that I won't be ordering any more Angus burgers from McDonald's. I was left flat by that choice last night.
G-Force was funny and the 3D pretty good. We had a lot of fun; but, ended up the night with Dylan having a little meltdown. I think camp really made him tired and it took some long conversations with him last night to get him calmed down after his meltdown. The emotionalism started with him sliding across the floor at the movie theatre after the show. He was doing some action hero movies, totally appropriate after watching that movie. He got a little embarrassed and I think that set him off. I hope he sleeps in today...

Today, I am going to Spindale to answer phones for WNCW. The NC legislature cut their budget and that left them 200K in the red and they are having an extra fundraiser week to offset the deficit. I always enjoy that "work".

I got the good news that I am going to see Bruce Springsteen in Greenville after I get back from Africa. My pastor (and brother from another Mother) Cliff bought me a ticket yesterday. We were trying to get free tickets from his buddy who knows someone who works for Bruce. Unfortunately, that was not working out as planned. I think it was "killing" Cliff that Bruce was coming to town and he might miss it! I'm glad it bothered him so much he bought me a ticket too! Glad to be of assistance!

Tomorrow, we are waking early and hitting the highway up to Ohio. We will be there with Tricia's family all week. That's the great thing about my job, I get to work while the family spends time with the folks in Ohio and I don't even have to use my vacation time. Thank you God.

Hope the private blog hasn't been a hassle for you. It was necessary after someone who works at Iatric told one of the consultants I work with about my 1 liner regarding not reading the book I was sent. In all fairness, I have yet to crack the pages and they were overworked and didn't have time to read it then. I have had a conversation with her about my comments and we are much better off now having had that conversation. and clearing the air. I guess I can't have everyone reading my thoughts and ramblings. Some folks just take it the wrong way. Oh well. Move forward. Have a great weekend!

See ya!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Private Blog

Well, it was bound to happen! I made someone mad with a post at work and I need to make the access to the blog a little more private...I have sent an invite if you enjoy my ramblings and want to stay in touch with the Johnson Family, please accept the invite. Otherwise, just think of all the funny stories you might miss! The good news is now I can write what I want and not worry about it so much, be prepared ;-)

Had a blast with Miles and Cliff last night at the Willie Nelson/John Mellancamp/Bob Dylan show. Nice to get home from the show at a decent hour. I was totally floored by Mellancamp's show, my expectations were definitely met with his performance. I had goosebump skin several times during the show; but, none more than during "Rain On The Scarecrow". Miles had a ton of fun too. Willie was the best I have seen him and had some local Gospel Men singin' along to end the set. Dylan was mid-range for his set, I have seen him 6 times and I would put that somewhere in the middle of what I have seen from him. It was good but nothing over the top, like Mellancamp on the other hand.

Here's a great picture of me and Miles at the show:

Here's some shots from the 2 days of Camp McCall! We had so much fun and I plan to post some videos on Facebook soon. Speaking of Facebook, I deactivated my old account and now have a new account, so make me your friend :-)
Dylan enjoyed his birthday so much but he also went to sleep really easily last night too! His new Flip video camera was a HUGE hit! You should see some videos from the Jr. director one of these days. More about camp later!

Well, time to eat. See ya!

Rain on the Scarecrow by John Cougar Mellancamp

Scarecrow on a wooden cross Blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did My grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence while grandpa held my hand

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry there's no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

The crops we grew last summer weren't enough to pay the loans
Couldn't buy the seed to plant this spring and the Farmers Bank foreclosed
Called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land
He said John it's just my job and I hope you understand
Hey calling it your job ol' hoss sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight
And grandma's on the front porch swing with a Bible in her hand
Sometimes I hear her singing "Take me to the Promised Land"
When you take away a man's dignity he can't work his fields and cows

There'll be blood on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Blood on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

Well there's ninety-seven crosses planted in the courthouse yard
Ninety-seven families who lost ninety-seven farms
I think about my grandpa and my neighbors and my name
And some nights I feel like dyin' Like that scarecrow in the rain

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry they're just memories for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry they're just memories for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow


The set from Mellancamp last night

7/29/09 Heritage Park Ampitheatre, Simpsonville, SC
Pink Houses
Paper and Fire
My Aeroplane
Check It Out
Don't Need This Body
Cherry Bomb
Save Some Time
Small Town
Scarecrow
Peace In This Troubled Land
If I Die Sudden
Crumblin' Down
Hurts So Good




Monday, July 27, 2009

Off to Camp

Dylan and I are off to Camp McCall until Wednesday! It's a great time up in the hills and we get to do such cool things together. He really enjoys it and I do to! Miles had a blast last week up there and I could tell he was much more comfortable with being away from home this year. The DVD of the week he brought home proved that point!

We had a great weekend! The game on Friday with Susan and her family was a big hit! No rain, a little warm; but, the evening went great even though Greenville lost. It was not a pitcher's duel, so at least there was lots of action! The night was topped off with a trip to Krispy Kreme that will forever be remembered as the night the woman with the donut in one hand telling her friend "Kisha" to go call 911 because the car next to them scratched her door and she "can't let that roll". It was something you can only see in South Carolina :-).

Tricia and I headed down to Atlanta for Ruth and Bobby's wedding. We had such a good time. The ceremony was beautiful and active (read that as "Catholic"). The reception was a ton of fun with a spectacular view from the 26th floor looking at Stone Mountain on one side and the north Georgia hills and the sunset on the other side. We had a table of old crazy Clemson buddies and we showed many dance skills (or lack thereof) on the dance floor. Ruth and Bobby had a fantastic evening capped with a sparkler promenade down Peachtree as a sendoff. Tricia enjoyed getting to know some of my old Clemson pals and hearing some old stories. Luckily, we have all settled a little and we have kids now and try to act responsible. I stress "try"!!! We were able to stop at an outlet mall on the way home for some shoes and clothes for school and met up with Susan and the kids in downtown Greenville at the Mast General Store.

What could be better? How about a Freedom Fellowship baptism at the lake with a BBQ meal afterwards? You got that right! We saw a wide variety of folks make that step and take the plunge in the lake yesterday afternoon and spent a couple of hours with our family from Freedom. Dylan was ready for this step yesterday; but, we are planning to celebrate his baptism the next time Freedom holds the celebration. The boys and Susan's family went to Table Rock on Saturday and the boys had themselves a complete blast hanging with their cousins a weekend. That also meant they were cross-eyed tired last night too. Should be a long day for Dylan at camp today; but, he will sleep well tonight! We were all out early last night.

Well, time to get another cup of coffee and read the paper with Keller. Then, off to camp. Wednesday is Dylan's 8th birthday! That's always a fun day at camp. We get home around lunch and then Miles and I are going to see Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Cougar Mellancamp with Pastor Cliff here in Greenville. Dylan's birthday party will be on Friday at Frankie's Fun Park! Yahoo!!!! What a week!!! Then off to Ohio next week! The summer is reaching terminal velocity!!! Hold on tight!!!

See ya!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Daze


This time of year always takes me back to the summer between my 10th grade and 11th grade in high school. I remember getting into the album Signals by Rush so intensely that summer. One of my favorite songs by Rush is on that album. Here's a wordle for ya from the tune: The Analog Kid.

Miles will be home from Camp McCall tomorrow morning. I look forward to his stories! We have a way to send him emails every day and I know he is enjoying his week in the hills. Dylan and I head that way on Monday. Tomorrow we are going to another Greenville Drive game with Susan and her family. That should be a blast and Susan and family finally get to meet Keller. He didn't even know he had so many cousins! Shadow said "great, more people taking my sleeping chairs" :-)

See ya!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well They Say...

Albuquerque (Neil Young)

Well, they say
that Santa Fe
Is less than ninety miles away,
And I got time to roll a number
and rent a car.
Oh, Albuquerque.

I've been flyin'
down the road,
And I've been starvin' to be alone,
And independent from the scene
that I've known.
Albuquerque.

So I'll stop when I can,
Find some fried eggs
and country ham.
I'll find somewhere where
they don't care who I am.
Oh, Albuquerque,
Albuquerque.


“Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG).

See ya!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Well, I see the iPhone formatting leaves some to be desired. I was typing in an email, I will try using the iPhone on the actual blog page next time around. Just got back from a great long walk with Tricia and Keller. Keller walked back from the playground trail head without a leash this morning. We had an early start and he did fine. He's a good boy; but, he has some ADHD and you have to be very vigilant, which Tricia found out last week :-)

Full speed ahead this week with work. I had a conversation with my Mom this weekend about work. I really am happy and more challenged with work when I have too much to do and believe me, I am there now! Makes the days go by very fast, especially when you work at home. I am enjoying the challenge and feel like we are making some progress too! That's always good!

Mom is feeling better and up and about but still in discomfort, especially at night. I had the joy of changing her dressing on Friday as it was raining too hard when Amy had to go to work and Pete didn't feel like he could handle it. I guess my nursing experience kicked in! She still has staples and bruising too. She's been sleeping in her chair in the living room. It takes a while to bounce back from two major surgeries, regardless of your age. She's in good spirits; but, wants to get out and do more. It's a bit frustrating to be limited as she has always been on the go. See my comments about work in the last paragraph, no need to worry about how I got that work ethic. Dad was the same way too, always on the go and looking for the next thing.

Speaking of the next thing, Africa is just around the corner. I am going to call our dentist and orthodontist this week to solicit donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste. That's a big campaign they are working on right now. The last group had good success with promoting some basic dental care and we want to make sure they have a good supply to keep the momentum up.

Well, time for work. Quick note, I finished the book about Andrew Jackson, American Lion. Well, I read the first half and skimmed the second half. Way too much detail for me; but, I would consider it the definitive history on the subject at hand. It was an interesting view of what it was like to be President before the Civil War and another history of the events that lead up to the Civil War. I now have a new book from my VP at work called The Exceptional Presenter. He sent it to my 2 consultants; but, they never read it. It was sent to me yesterday. I do look forward to picking up on more presentation skills. That's my bread and butter right now and there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

See ya!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey now

Too tired to go back in the office to post in the blog, so I will try
my first iPhone post!
Worked a short day since I was still feeling a little under the gun
from the stomach bug from the weekend. Yesterday's drive home was way
too long; but, Dylan and I had a good time. We had a good time at
ADBC yesterday and a great time talking about Africa after church at
Logan's. We are getting closer and still have a few details to finish.
Got my travel insurance today. Really cheap but oh so worth the $3.30/
day! I am working on getting our per diem money wired ahead now. Got
my sleeping pills and malaria mess today from my doctor.

Miles went off to Camp McCall today. He will be home on Friday. He's
gonna have so much fun. Dylan and I go next week!

I am teaching Dylan (and Tricia) how to play chess. They are playing
each other now and practicing the moves. Night moves...

See ya!

via iPhone

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weekend in Sumter County

Dylan and I are in Sumter this weekend spending time with my family. I had to come down to Tuomey (my old hospital) to help teach ACLS for nurses and doctors. It's an easy check and pays for the gas to get home and spend some time on the farm. Tricia and Miles stayed home and went on a "date" to see the new Harry Potter movie together. Dylan and I got to swim and eat some country cooking too. Although my Mom is still recovering from her surgery and very sore, she is able to give directions and orders to Amy, who did a fine job with the field peas and okra and corn bread(mmmmmm). My favorite had to be the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (could be a meal in of itself). A nice chocolate cake and coffee to top it off!

Dylan and I are going to look on Amazon in a few minutes for Harry Potter books that his Aunt Amy is going to buy for his birthday.

Tomorrow we are going to church at Alice Drive and we are going out for lunch with the Shipes family. Scott and I went on the Africa trip last year and he is one of the two folks from ADBC going again with us this year. We have some planning to do in our lunch meeting. It's exciting that we are about 1 month away from returning to Africa. I am looking forward to the work and the adventure and it's always great to have Scott along to keep me laughing.

Here's a picture of Scott and I climbing the Kgale Hills in Botswana last summer!

After lunch, we are going to head back for a quick swim and rest before heading back home to Greer tomorrow evening. Miles is heading off to Camp McCall on Monday for the week. It's his 2nd year at McCall by himself and he is very much looking forward to the week of fun and adventure. Well, that's the update. More soon! Love you all!

See ya!

Monday, July 13, 2009

VBS

It's VBS week at Freedom Fellowship. Tricia and I are movers for a group of 14 1st graders! We are the Coyotes! So, you probably won't see many posts this week unless I can find some time during the work day. Which doesn't look promising from here.

Dylan and I are heading to Sumter this weekend. I have to help teach the ACLS class at Tuomey, my old employer. It makes a few bucks for me and Dylan gets to swim in Nana's pool. Miles has camp on Monday, so he and Mom are going to hang around and go see the new Harry Potter movie while we are out of town.

Hey, did you notice the new Google Voice icon at the top of the blog? It's a neat new service from Google that allows you to link all of your phones with one call and it has a preview feature so you can know it's from Google Voice and it allows you to make cheap overseas calls too and free text messages! So, give it a whirl if you feel like talking. There is no charge for long distance calls.

I also added some of my Youtube videos on the blog too. Ok, that's about it. It's hot and muggy up here this week. Must be summer! Hey, the Drivin' n' Cryin' show was great and LOUD! My recording turned out great too, nice to see those guys again. Brings back some old memories of a far more innocent and free time for me. Rockin' in the Free World!

See ya!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Certifiable!!!

Yes, once again, I am certifiable. I passed the CPHIMS exam yesterday. It was not an easy exam and required me to put on the old thinking cap. Lots of questions that forced you to eliminate 1 of 4 answers: "A-1,2,4 only B-2,3,4 only C-1,2,3 only D-1,2,4 only" or putting a sequence of events in correct order, etc. I was challenged considering I didn't study using any of the recommended guides and I didn't pay for the practice exam. The cutoff for passing was 65. I scored 68! But, 66 is still passing and all that matters is that I passed!!! I am now a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) and will be for another 3 years. I won't have to take that exam again as long as I maintain my continuing education credits. I can now add to my signature lines on Outlook and work is ordering new business cards too! Glad I didn't have to retake the exam since that $300 would have come out of my pocket. Iatric paid the 1st round! If you are on Facebook, you probably saw some of my friends getting the CPHIMS exam confused at first glance with a CHIMP exam. I guess that explains a lot about my friends over there too ;-). Regardless, I will take the jokes since the pressure is now off. I would have felt like a CHIMP had I not passed the first try.

Nl: Drivin' n' Cryin' "Honeysuckle Blue", can't wait to see them tonight at The Handlebar! Getting pumped for that show. Should be a perfect summer night for music too! I just found out that Dickey Betts from Allman Brothers fame (he was a founding member and part of the group for their first 31 years) is coming to The Handlebar in October. That will be a packed house!

I finished something today that I started over 10 years ago: the 50 State Quarters map. The Montana quarter had escaped me for too long and I had to place an order on eBay to finish the collection. That was worth the $1.98. We have the completed map up in the boys' room. Somethings take a while to complete and that's the lesson I was working on with the boys today when we finished the map.

Tomorrow marks 20 years since my first Grateful Dead LIVE experience: 7-12-1989 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. My high school friend, Marty Proctor, and I drove up there and had life journey in the process. I knew the tunes for the most part having initiated myself into Dead tapes and albums the 2nd semester of my freshman year at Clemson. My entire summer revolved around that trip to DC. I was determined to make it after not getting a ticket to the Atlanta shows that spring. I didn't have a car then either! I had a few hundred dollars in cash just itching to be spent on anything and everything in the parking lot. Back then, the Dead were crash cities for a few days and bring the entire travelling circus of campers and parking lot carnival along with them. This was the last tour they were allowing concert goers to spend the night in the lots after the show. It got ugly after this tour with cops pushing us out not long after the music was over. But, for this weekend, we had the circus lot all to ourselves after the music. I'm sure 1/3 of the lot Deadheads never made it into the show or ever had a ticket, other than a miracle or two each tour. Any way, on the way to DC, we stopped at a hotel in Northern Virginia to sleep before hitting the show. I got paranoid (I hadn't been away from home too much at this point) and put my wallet in my pillowcase in the hotel that night. Of course, I didn't remember the wallet until we had gone about 5 miles down the interstate the next morning. Long story short, I never got the money or the wallet back. I did get my license and Clemson ID sent in the mail a few weeks later. The hotel owner felt sorry for me and gave me $20 for gas. We used that $20 to drive to Richmond to find an ATM that Marty could use. These were the days of no cell phones and regional ATMs (remember that headache?). We made it to Richmond, got some money and headed back to DC. This was NOT how I envisioned my trip to Mecca!!! But, I think it was also part of God's plan to keep me from going on the rest of the tour that summer and keepin' me tied to home.

Since the band was still in Philadelphia, the travelling circus had not arrived in DC yet for the most part. We spent the day before the 1st show walking around DC and riding the subway, my first experience with that big city mode of transportation. By the time the music started on that 2nd day in DC, I think Marty and I were about cross eyed from lack of sleep and way too much of everything else. One of my Clemson buddies found us in the lot (don't know how that even happened). Despite all the hassles and fried brain cells, I do remember an incredible sense of joy when the band took the stage. There was magic in the air and it wasn't just that strong odor we all smelled either :-). This was when Garcia was focused and his playing and singing on target. The band was loose and tight all at the same time. The mass of people swirling around that open air stadium rushing the field, running from the security, the loud music and colors everywhere were imprinted on my brain for life. One large Garcia smile punctuated by Phil's bass lines and the 2 drummers were all it took. I ended up seeing the band another 39 times until 1995 when Garcia passed away. My last show was Memorial Day 1995 in Portland, Oregon. In my mind, complete bookends. The uptight insanity and confusion of the East in 1989 compared with the peaceful mellow vibe of the West Coast spring in 1995. The band had changed and so had I. What happened in those 39 shows (and a few more where I didn't get a ticket and spent the night running from cops on horseback (only in Washington of all places)), I can't do justice with words in this blog. It was a great way to see the country with friends, the ones on stage and the ones travelling the highways with you. My summers at Clemson were milestoned with Dead shows, spring breaks too. I would see the band in the DC area a total of 7 times; but, there was never another one like that first in 1989. In other words, what a long strange trip it turned out to be...

See ya!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Greenville Drive game

We had such a great evening last night at the Greenville Drive game. The Drive won 6-5 on a double play to end the top of the ninth. The boys had a ton of fun running up and down the hill next to the playground (3rd base line). We met my cousin, Tonya, and her husband, Rob at the game. They live in Clemson. Rob is a Clemson grad (93) and works for the Clemson Foundation. Rob and I went to Sumter High together. They have 3 kids: 2 precious girls and a son, Austin. Austin is a little younger than Dylan, I think. The boys get along great and we are hoping to have Austin spend the night before school starts back again. The weather was overcast but nice and cool. We had the cheap $5 seats and it just works so well for us to be able to hang out and watch the game and keep an eye on the kids running around. We also got the ride the trolley over from the county center, always a hit with Miles and Dylan. I think the most impressive part of the night was me getting a foul ball. Miles and Dylan were very impressed with my retrieval skills in the crowd and told everyone who would listen that their Dad got a foul ball. Miles is adding it to his "collection". They are so easy to please sometimes! The ball park is just a great place to see a game, can't say enough about how much fun we have there and what a great facility we have here in Greenville. In case you don't know, it's a replica of Boston's Fenway Park (our team is a single A team of Boston). Good park food as well!

I am taking a certification exam tomorrow around lunch in Spartanburg at a testing center. It's for Healthcare Information and Management Systems. It's a testing center and it's 100 questions and I get 2 hours. I have studied some this week; but, I think I am prepared. My company took care of the exam fee, which is always super in my book. The association group that offers the certification runs the largest trade show in our industry and is a big advocacy group for our industry. Check out HIMSS online. So, I hope to add the credentials of CPHIMS to my signature title soon!

Music Update:
I am so stoked to not only be listening to Styper online with Napster (all of their albums are there); but, I should have a chance to see them LIVE in Atlanta later in October with some guys from church, including Cliff. That will be cool and total retro 10/11th grade trip for me. I think my Sr. VP from work will be there too. Should be great road trip! Getting the Bob Dylan/Willie/Mellancamp tickets this weekend for the show on the 29th of this month. Also, Drivin n' Cryin show this weekend here in Greenville.

Tricia and I are having our new worship minister and his family over for lunch on Sunday. Chris is a very cool dude and a welcomed addition for our worship experience at Freedom. Check out his blog. They have 2 boys near our boys' ages. I have the zip line all ready with new hay bales for the landing!

On the Africa mission front, we had one of our ladies drop out this week. We are now searching for a lady with a passport and a servants heart who is hearing the call from Africa. I know God is going to make this work out and we are going to be in Botswana with the team that God wants to be there. Thanks for your prayers as we work through this small issue. Thank you!

Ok, time for dinner! See ya!