Okay, I’m a little nervous. We have a gig on February 1st. Given that we took the holidays off that means we have had one practice over the last month and we will only have two more before the 1st. Now it looks like there might be a conflict this Sunday. We are hoping to move the rehearsal to Saturday but there is a snow storm in the forecast. Monday is a holiday and I have it off, I think I’m the only one, so I don’t have my long commute to worry about. We should be able to have our usual 6:00 start time if the weather doesn’t cooperate on Saturday. I don’t think we’re going to miss one of our two remaining weekends but like I said, I’m nervous. We won’t be adding any new songs, but we are hoping to polish off the handful that we added in 2019 without ever playing to an audience. I have some wood shed time ahead of me, for sure.
On the plus side, our singer told us he bought a new digital mixing board today. One that we can control with an iPad app. Does that mean we will turn into one of those bands and all of us will have iPads on stage with us? Maybe. Larry and I had a completely unrelated discussion the other day about in-ear monitors. I would say this is the time to start experimenting with them, but sweet christmas they can get expensive. No thanks. If I happen to find a reasonably priced set that fits into my gigantic head (literally, not figuratively) that can also take the place of my ear plugs then maybe, but I don’t see that happening. Greg uses an in-ear and said it cost him $600. From what I have seen, that is cheap. Nope.
Allow me to give some credit here. In the last few months Greg has really come through for us in the P.A. system department. I have a mountain of gear that I can bring to the band table, but a good P.A. system is not included. Greg has stepped up and helped out in a big way. Now we just have to book gigs so we can use all of the new stuff.
Change of subject, I mentioned the other day that my Uncle was having surgery. It was actually a triple bypass. We found out today that he is now off of the ventilator, which is good, but he still has a long way to go before he recovers. On top of that my mother was having a bad night last night and there was talk of taking her to the ER. Fortunately she improved and the hospital was not necessary. It’s been a tough couple of weeks for her and her siblings. Her older sister spent some time in the hospital a week or so ago, and her younger sister might have to go back on chemotherapy after being in remission for years. Pardon me, oh universe, but do you have to be a dick to all of them at once?
As I typed that last sentence, the sun broke through the clouds. Is that a sign? Is the universe messing with my head? Dick.
So Neil Peart mentioned me in one of his books. Not really. In Ghost Rider he tells a story of a stop on the Test for Echo Tour in 1997 where his daughter, Selena, joined him and his riding buddy, Brutus, on a between gig motorcycle adventure. She met up with him at a show at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA. Yup, you guessed it. I was there. June 23, 1997 to be exact. Neil Peart, Selena Taylor, Brutus McTrash (that’s his name on facebook, if I remember correctly), and I were all in the same room at the same time. Granted there were something like 12,000 other people with us, including Mike and Maria. I don’t think Maria was there with us, we didn’t start the band with her until after that, but I know she was there. In the story they left Mansfield and drove North into Maine and then the next day hopped onto their motorcycles and explored the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Pretty much the same thing my wife and I do a couple of times a year. The difference being our vehicle has four wheels and theirs had two. Given that Neil’s publishing career was made up of all travel books, I would say that he had good taste in road trips, which means Jen and I have good taste in road trips too. Yeah, we rule.
I’m still doing the photo a day thing over on Flickr. This morning before work I took the three minutes I should have spent shaving and took a couple of pictures. This one is the outtake. You’re welcome.