Cautious Optimism

The United Kingdom has approved one of the Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer’s? I think?). They are starting to work on actual distribution.

There is suddenly a very tiny pin prick of light at the end of this long, black coronavirus tunnel.

The United States isn’t there yet. I’m not sure what the FDA’s timeline is, or even if they have a timeline yet. I’m not sure what Pfizer and Moderna need to do to proceed. I’ve heard that first responders and elderly folks in homes will be the first Americans to receive the vaccine. I’m good with that. After that, I don’t know what the rumors are. I hope my step son and his immune deficiencies will be near the front of the line. My weight problem puts me at risk too, but I want him taken care of first.

It’s still going to take months for that tiny pin prick of light to grow into an opening big enough for us to walk through, and it is WAY too early to start making plans. Still, we have a high school graduation in the Spring. We are hoping to go back to Disney World in the Summer.

I’m spending my lunch break today listening to a podcast where two part time musicians are fantasizing about getting their bands back together in the Spring and what that’s going to be like. I don’t want to look that far ahead. I don’t want to get optimistic. I don’t want to start fantasizing. But… that first band practice is going to feel like a victory parade. We’re going to play like garbage and it’s going to be the most enjoyable rehearsal in the history of rehearsals. The first gig… when we can fill up a room with friends and family and music lovers and people from all walks of life… that is going to be a celebration like no other. That is going to be an amazing experience. I mean, yeah we’re just a silly cover band, but it’s going to be a wonderful thing.

Don’t get cocky, Robert. Cautious optimism is all you get for now. Maybe stop thinking about that tiny little point of light at the end of the tunnel. Try, at least.

Video Files

As I type this I am downloading two very large .zip files containing four songs performed by the Mighty Lizardfish at my 30th High School Reunion.  I was then and am still now convinced that it was the worst public performance of my public performing life.

The question I have for myself is…

Should I watch the videos?

The follow up question is…

Should I post them on the band’s website (assuming I have the rights, which I’m not actually sure of)?

My gut feeling is the answer to both questions is a resounding no.

HTML Restrictions Suck

Well that’s no fun.

Back in the old days when I was writing on Blogger I could embed all sorts of fun stuff into my posts.  Anything you can put together inside of an HTML tag was fair game.  I used to put all sorts of goofy mp3 players and countdown clocks.  With both a gig coming and RPM about to start I thought it would be wacky to find some countdown clock websites that generate HTML code and put ’em onto a blog post.

I looked at three or four.  No dice.  They all use an HTML tag that blocks.

Aw, fiddlesticks.

Two days and about 4.5 hours until the gig.

One day and 7.5 hours until RPM.

That would have been so much cooler if it was a countdown clock.  Bummer.

Oh well, have a flyer (again).



Practice Goal Achieved (for today)

Raise your hand if you’re sick of guitar/Lizardfish/gig posts.

On second thought, don’t raise your hand.  I don’t care what you think.  Here’s another one.

Earlier today one of the guys in the band submitted 2/1/20 Set List Draft #2.  I was in the middle of my lunch break at the time so I typed the list into a Google Doc and sent it around, and then went to and built a playlist of the entire list and shared that around too.  I had an ulterior motive for that one though.

Jen has a work dinner thing tonight and I knew she wouldn’t be home until late.  Tonight is a dad night for the kids so I had the house all to myself for an hour.  I took that new playlist, ran my phone through a blue tooth speaker, plugged in the guitar with the full pedal board, turned up to (slightly less than) gig volume and played.

I made it into the second set, only one or two songs.  I think one song was missing from the first set though so I have to check on that.  I played for an hour solid without a break.  I did have some real pain in my left hand for about two songs but it lessened as I went along.  By the end of the hour I was noticeably tired and it was getting hard to bend the strings.  That’s time to stop for tonight.

I played a lot in a short time.  Notice that I did not say I played well.  I guess I still have to work on that.  My improv skills are down to about 10% right now, Captain.  I need to open a ticket with engineering and get Geordi LaForge to work on that for me.

The gig starts almost exactly four days from now (9:00PM on Saturday).  I need a lot more practice.

I’m pleased with my dumb ass for the moment though.  I’m proud of me, fat boy.

My ears are ringing.


Panic Level: Rising



Here’s a bit of symbolism to demonstrate how I feel right now:

Yesterday I ordered some packs of guitar strings from Amazon.  I also ordered a little musician’s exercise tool.  It’s kind of like one of those things that you squeeze with your hand but instead of squeezing one thing you have four, one for each finger.  I was planning to spend the last week or so before the gig working out like a mad man in the hopes of not having the same problems I had back in November.

When I placed the order the estimated delivery date was 1/27.  When the order was processed the delivery date was changed to between 1/27 and 2/3… two days after the gig.  Yup, that sums up my current state perfectly.

Now that I’ve vented about that, let’s get back to Picard.  I found out this morning that there are a couple of prequel sort of things out there.  Tie in’s might be a better term.  The first is a three issue comic series called Star Trek Picard – Countdown.  I started my lunch break by reading it… well, reading 2/3 of it because issue #3 doesn’t come out until next week.  Admiral Picard, Romulans, and a predicted super nova.  Enough said.

There is another tie in too.  On CBS All Access there is a series called Star Trek Short Treks (I think… that’s the name, isn’t it?).  I was looking at it yesterday but I didn’t watch any of them.  Turns out the most recent episode, titled Children of Mars (again, I think) is somehow related to the new series.  It’s 8-9 minutes long so I watched that too.  Two school aged girls, both of whose parents work on Mars, are having a really crappy day at school and they really don’t like each other.  No spoilers, but it telegraphs the ending pretty clearly and it still hit Mr Overly Emotional in the feels.  I should also state that this clip proves that Peter Gabriel is literally timeless.  David Bowie too, but mostly Peter Gabriel.  If I were the director I probably would have passed on Gabriel’s cover of Bowie’s Heroes in favor of Genesis’ Return of the Giant Hogweed, but that’s just me.  Heroes made more sense in terms of the story but it doesn’t have an awesome riff like Hogweed does.  Again, just me.

Speaking of Genesis, apparently Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins were seen together at a NY Knicks game the other day.  80’s Genesis reunion confirmed?  What else could it mean?  I’m sure Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were around too.  Were the Islanders playing that night?  Maybe they were there instead?  I’m sure we can count on a full reunion any day now.  The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway rides again?

Damn… I need to practice.


That’s my amplifier, just before I packed it up after the show last night.  See all those little white flecks?  I thought maybe we were rocking so hard the ceiling was coming down a spec at a time.  My drummer corrected me.  It’s sawdust from his drumsticks.  


Snatch Monkey

Two members of my band, me and Mike the bass player, were once in a band called Stormbringer. Fitting that we now play in a band that has a gig on a day when we are going to get a Spring Nor’easter.

April 1st… snow… figures. It’s not going to be so bad here, or in Plaistow where we’ll be playing, but we have to go see my step daughter in a chorus concert during the afternoon and that’s happening up around the foot of snow zone.


To cheer us all up, let’s all watch this video that compiles all of the utterances of the words Harry and Potter from the eight Harry Potter movies.