Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rockin' in the Free World

Although it is technically not October until tomorrow, I need to get started on my little project that will keep me blogging every day in October.  What is this project, especially as it has nothing to do with photography?  What would cause me to want to blog every day for a month?  It is quite simple - the epic release of Rock Band 3.  Now, if you have followed this blog long enough, you know how much Jess and I love playing Rock Band and before that, Guitar Hero.  It has been a couple of years since the release of Rock Band 2, and although they release new songs you can purchase every week, this is a new entry into the Rock Band world.  Even more fun, in addition to the guitar playing, drum bashing, and song singing from the the first two versions, now they are adding a keyboard to the mix.  This opens up a larger collection of songs that can be played as there a ton of songs with great keyboard or piano parts!  It should be great!

So what does this have to do with my blog?  Well, if you like music, it has a LOT to do with my blog.  There are 83 songs on the Rock Band 3 disc, but in honor of October, I will count down the 31 songs I am looking forward to playing the most.  As the game comes out October 26th, I will cram the 31 songs into the first 25 days of October just so I can have this list done by the release date(I'll figure out something else to post on the other days of October so I can blog a full 31 days.)  So what will I blog about each day?  Well, I will talk about the song, why I am excited to play it, why it would make a good song on Rock Band, and if I can find it, maybe even a little history of the song or the band it is from so you can also learn a little.  Isn't that what Wikipedia is for, to help me blog?  I will even throw in a video so you can hear the song if you are not familiar with it.  In all, maybe you will learn a new song, find something you didn't know, or just learn what I like.  I think it will be kind of fun and hopefully you do too.

So what about the remaining songs that won't make the list.  Well, if you are curious what they are and what didn't make the cut, I will list them below.  Some of these I couldn't care less about, some I don't even know, and some may have just missed the cut.  I'll throw in a few notes about some as well...

  1. Amy Winehouse – Rehab   Sorry, not my cup of tea, but I am sure some will have fun with it
  2. Anthrax – Caught In A Mosh  Besides, Bring the Noize, I have never been a HUGE Anthrax fan
  3. At the Drive-In – One Armed Scissor  Who??
  4. B-52′s – Rock Lobster  Why not Love Shack??  This song is....odd....
  5. Big Country – In a Big Country   Who???
  6. Blondie – Heart of Glass  Blondie has better
  7. Bob Marley & The Wailers – Get Up, Stand Up  Truthfully, I am not a big reggae fan
  8. The Bronx – False Alarm  Who???
  9. Chicago – 25 or 6 to 4  Should be a fun song, but just missed the list
  10. Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water  Actually, besides the iconic guitar opening, the song isn't that great
  11. Dio – Rainbow in the Dark  This song makes me laugh
  12. Dire Straits – Walk of Life  They have better
  13. Doobie Brothers – China Grove  Almost made the list
  14. Dover – King George  Who?
  15. Echo and the Bunnymen – Killing Moon  Who?
  16. Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1  Not a fan
  17. HIM – Killing Loneliness  Who?
  18. Hypernova – Viva La Resistance  Who?
  19. Ida Maria – Oh My God  Who?
  20. James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good)  Maybe fun to sing and that is it
  21. Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic  He has a lot better
  22. Joan Jett – I Love Rock and Roll  Probably will be fun, but ehhhh
  23. Juanes – Me Enamora  Who?
  24. ManĂ¡ – Oye Mi Amor  Who?
  25. Metric – Combat Baby  Who?
  26. The Muffs – Outer Space  Who?
  27. Paramore – Misery Business  I don't really like 'em
  28. Phish – Llama  Never been a Phish fan
  29. Phoenix – Lasso  Who?
  30. The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me  I've played enough Police
  31. Poni Hoax – Antibodies  Who?
  32. Pretty Girls Make Graves – Something Bigger, Something Brighter  WTF?
  33. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows  Not really a fan, but this song is ok
  34. The Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated  Ehh...just ok
  35. Raveonettes – Last Dance  Who?
  36. Rilo Kiley – Portions of Foxes  Who?
  37. Riverboat Gamblers – Don’t Bury Me… I’m Still Not Dead  Who??
  38. Roxette – The Look  Ehhh....
  39. Smash Mouth – Walkin’ on the Sun  Naw....
  40. The Smiths – Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before  Ehh, I believe they have better
  41. The Sounds – Living in America  Who?
  42. Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle  I like a lot of his others better.  This one is just ehhh
  43. Swingin’ Utters – This Bastard’s Life  Who??
  44. T.Rex – 20th Century Boy  Who?
  45. Tegan and Sara – The Con  WHo?
  46. Them Crooked Vultures – Dead End Friends  Who?
  47. Tokio Hotel – Humanoid  Who?
  48. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – I Need To Know  I already have a ton of his songs
  49. The Vines – Get Free  Have heard of them, but don't know this song
  50. The White Stripes – The Hardest Button to Button  I know, but I am just not a fan
  51. The Who – I Can See For Miles  Um, I already have a TON of good Who songs to play
  52. Yes – Roundabout  No thanks 
     Ok, so anything on here that I don't care for that YOU would like to sing or play?  Tomorrow, we start the list with #31.  Happy October, everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fun with Friends

My last post was about fun with family, so the appropriate follow up post would be a post about fun with friends.  This past Sunday, we went with the Parkers and the Matteonis to Six Flags.  The number one thing I learned from the trip (other than the fact that the arrival of Fall doesn't mean cool weather), was that I am getting too old for roller coasters.  Seriously, I felt wiped out after each and ever ride we went on.  My head would hurt, I would be slightly nauseous, and I would feel drained of all life.  When exactly did this happen to me?  I used to love roller coasters, and in fact, I still do, but man, they wipe me out.  I did sit out one ride and that allowed me to take some pictures...

Jess and the gang wave on the way up

Wave goodbye

See ya...

Yesterday, a big group of us went to our second Tequila Tasting at Mas Mexican Restaurant.  They do it monthly and it is a steal.  Seriously, it is an awesome deal that nobody should pass up.  This is what you get for $5 a person  - a starter drink (beer or margarita), chips with salsa and beans, a plate of appetizers for your table (or a couple of plates if your party is big), and then samples of various types of tequila, whatever the brand on the month is.  Yes, all that for $5 a person.  It is a HELL of a deal.  Last time, it was just us and the Matteonis who went, but this time, based on our great reviews, we had 10 people go, including my folks.  I imagine that next time will be even bigger.  Although, on the other hand, we are not going to tell TOO many people.  We don't want to let the secret out and have it be TOO big, ya know?!?!

Our group

Gina, the rep from Jose Cuervo and Francisco, the manager of the restaurant.

We got to try this $125 bottle of Cuervo.  It was awesome.  I took two shots of it...


My dad even won a shirt.  Look at that smile!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun with Family

Sorry that I haven't blogged in two weeks.  I know it is hard to keep my dedicated blog readership when I blog infrequently like that, but life and laziness occasionally get in my way.  I know everyone can relate.  The good news is, I have something fun planned for the blog that is theme related.  Not photography related , but still kind of fun and it will keep me writing, even if just a little.  So, expect a blog post EVERY DAY in October.  Yay!

With that being said, what have I been up to?  Well, a few days after my last blog post, Jess and I went down to San Diego for a few days with her Mom's side of the family.  5 years ago, when her grandma turned 75, she took all of us on a week long cruise.  Fast forward 5 years later, her grandma rented out a beach house in San Diego for a week to celebrate her 80th.  As Jess couldn't afford the time off for the whole week, we just went from Wednesday until Saturday.  A good time was still had, even in just half a week.

We started by flying into San Diego bright and early on Wednesday morning.  We flew in, dropped off our bags at the beach house, and then went to the world famous Sea World.  I thought it was pretty cool, but maybe slightly overrated, especially for the price.  Don't get me wrong, it is pretty cool, but we just went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and it has basically the same kinds of shows, plus roller coasters and is still cheaper.  Still, it was a good time and I got some pretty good pictures.  Here a just a few...




The next day, we went to the USS Midway.  I had never been on an aircraft carrier, and man, they are mammoth!  They really are like self-contained floating cities!




That night we went to a nice, fancy restaurant on the beach.  I had a few drinks and was feeling pretty good, so I was easily convinced to walk on the freezing beach, even though any water colder than spa water is too cold for me.  I stepped in, but because I was wearing pants, tipsy, and had already been splashed by Jessica's cousin, I stripped the pants off and walked in pretty deep in my boxer shorts.  Somehow, I survived not only the cold water, but the walk back to the beach house in my current state of dress.

Friday, we went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park (or some name similar to that).  It was pretty cool, but I actually thought it would be a little different than what I was expecting.  It was more zoo-like than safari-like as I had expected.  Still, looking at exotic animals is always cool.




Friday night, we went out with a couple of my OTD buddies to a place called Hodad's.  One article calls it one of the best five burger joints in the country and Guy Fieri named it the best burger he had ever eaten.  Knowing how much I love burgers, you know I enjoyed the hell out of it, and embarrassingly enough, I couldn't finish my burger.  So sad...

Saturday, our last day, we went to old town San Diego which was awesome.  We went to an old home called the Whaley House which is rated as the number one most haunted place in America!  We didn't see any ghosts, thankfully, but it was still pretty cool. 



We had lunch with giant margaritas....


Saw a cool little show....

...and then we were on our way back to reality!  What a fun trip!

Want to see the whole set in a slideshow?  It is kind of long at 140 something pictures, but it's cool, I swear!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Saturday was a very important day for the family.  As you may recall, Jessica's stepmom passed away in March after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was cremated, but we (well, her Dad), have been holding on to her ashes ever since.  Although Fran never explicitly said that she believed in reincarnation, she always did say that she would love to come back as a bear one day.  With that in mind, what better place to spread her ashes than in the forest where bears roam?   So Saturday, we traveled up north to the Lake Tahoe area and into the Tahoe National Forest to release her ashes into the beautiful country.  As a bonus, the trail was rough and limited to off road vehicles.  So, I got to do some real 4-wheeling for the first time!  As a negative though, I forgot the battery for my camera so I didn't get the photos I could have.  Instead, we had to go with cell phone pics and a small digital camera.  Oh well.

Beautiful Country

Off Roadin'

Hell Yeah!

Jess enjoying the view

Releasing Fran's ashes

And this is what Fran will get to look at forever! 

Emotional day, but a happy one at the same time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Was Attacked

There I was, minding my own business today on the disc golf course, when I was attacked.  This was an unprovoked attack, too, as I was simply walking along and enjoying the outdoors.  Yes, I was attacked by some sort of stinging insect.  The first bite or sting came out of nowhere.  All of the sudden, a sharp pain in my right shoulder alerted me to my brutal attacker.  I called out to Brandon that I was just stung, and no sooner than I got the words out, I was bitten again on my hand.  Now I was starting to freak out.  Was this is a swarm or just some sort of coked-up, PCP- induced bee that had it in for me?  As I swung my hands around to prevent further pain, the dude landed right on my sunglasses, letting me see the culprit first hand and up close.  It was like the scenes in the movies where you see your attacker's face right before you die and the screen fades to black.  Up close, it LOOKED like a bee, save for the orange color being replaced by a bright yellow hue.  I swung to get him away from my person and Brandon shooed him away with a disc.  But then, it started to attack him.  I guess he must have been swinging enough as he never got bit.  By the time I regained my composure and thought to go save him from impending doom by the mutant zombie bee from Hell, it had flown away.  A few hours later, my stings still hurt.   In fact, as I type this nearly 8 hours later, I still get little tings of pain here and there, as if the bee is still reminding me, "Yeah, I got you, bitch!"  That was my day.

In better news, I got a new TV.  Well, I should say WE got a new TV and we also got new living room furniture.  Yeah, I am a spoiled brat.  Check out the before and after pictures as we went from brown furniture and a 40 inch LCD to DARK brown furniture and a 55 inch Samsung LED.  Yeah, it rocks...