Close, but no cigar: The Church at Great American Music Hall, SF.

I can still distinctly remember the very first time I heard The Church. It was the Fall of 1982, my Freshman year of high school.

A Senior by the name of Art had “taken me under his wing” in the marching band’s drumline, and one day he invited me over to his house after school to listen to records. Earlier, he’d brought a couple LPs to school for me to check out – the Ramones “Road to Ruin” and the Sex Pistols “Never Mind the Bollocks”, two albums which forever changed me. So an invitation to explore his record collection was an exciting endeavor, despite the 3 1/2 mile walk to get there!

Amongst the mind blowing artists he introduced to me that day were The Church, starting with “The Unguarded Moment”. I had never heard music like that before and I was instantly hooked.

The song that started a 40 year relationship with The Church!

Art dubbed a copy of the album onto cassette for me and I wore it out, listening to it over and over and over again all through my high school years.

I was lucky enough to see them live TWICE – once in the late 80’s and again in the 90’s, and both times they were outstanding.

Several months ago I saw that they were once again on the road, so I snapped up a couple tickets for the Mrs. and I to see them again. I figured, these guys are no spring chickens, this may very well be the last opportunity to see them on stage, how could I NOT go?

I’d been on an elevated excitement level for a couple weeks prior – it’s hard when you sit on tickets for months, those last days before the show can be excruciating!

Then the day came and…things went horribly sideways. We had our unannounced inspection by “The State” finally show up. If you’ve ever worked under the watchful eye of government regulations and regulators, you know how much it sucks. If you’ve never had the pleasure, let me tell you, it sucks. Big time. Some inspectors are better than others, but none of them are what you’d consider a “friendly”. They are the ENEMY. Their ONLY reason for existing is to find “deficiencies” in your operation. They crawl up your a** with a magnifying glass and a fine tooth comb and they don’t relent until they find SOMETHING to write you up for. A typical inspection (called a “Survey”) lasts 3-4 days, and I’ve seem them go longer. We’re still in it now in fact. But I digress…

So there was that AND simultaneously our company got hit with a “cyber attack”, taking down our entire network. 95% of what I do requires access to our network, putting me even further behind.

Then, to add a little excitement, we had a MASSIVE storm roll through too- mudslides, road closures, flooding, trees falling over. General mayhem that only Mother Nature can provide. Good times!

The cherry on top was losing power again at home, where the Mrs. was home, having succumbed to ANOTHER cold.

So, instead of catching one of my all time favorite bands in what could very well be their last Bay Area show EVER, I was sitting at home, mostly in the dark, with a sick wife, fretting over how much food we were going to lose THIS TIME. (We were without power for 3 days back in January and lost quite a bit, which at today’s food prices is not a happy situation!)

I hope the show was great and that our Aussie friends felt the love from the Bay Area. Hopefully the storm didn’t stop too many folks from making it out to the show. The rain was treacherous and the winds worse! I’m sorry I missed it, barely beating back depression while I was “in the act” of missing the show!

But life goes on. There will be more shows, just maybe not The Church… At least I have the distant memories of yesteryear! Better than nothing, right?!?

Thanks for stopping by!

Persistence Pays Off!

Just shy of a year ago, I lamented in a post about putting off what you need for so long that the item is no longer available. We’ll, in my case it wasn’t something I needed, just something I really, REALLY wanted.

Well, I’m happy to say that after 50+ weeks of relentless hunting and several strikeouts, I’ve finally obtained my unobtanium guitar!!

Isn’t she gorgeous?!?!

At Christmas I was convinced that I was never, ever gonna get my hands on one of these beauties, and came very, very close to pulling the trigger on an alternate. The thing was, this guitar WAS my alternate in the first place! And I’ve dreamed of owning a guitar like this since about 1982! Anyhow, thankfully I talked myself out of it and just a couple short months later I found THE guitar I wanted – used, but you’d never know by looking at it! And the best part is I picked it up with a factory hard-shell case (a pricey option!) for less than the guitar alone would have cost me a year ago, had they not been discontinued. Small blessings! So yeah, I had to hunt for a year but in the end I saved over $300, not too shabby!

It’s not very often that I’m the recipient of “good luck”, so I’m really relishing this moment.

Now I need to start practicing!

Thanks for stopping by!

Year of the Rabbit

It gave me a smile when I learned that 2023 was to be the Year of the Rabbit in Lunar (Chinese) New Year. The last Years of the Rabbit were pretty good ones for me, so I took that as a good omen.

Little did I know that the Year would go flying by as quick as a Rabbit! Holy smokes, where has January gone?

That being said, so far so good, even at “warp speed”.

We had our gnarly couple weeks of storms, but other than 3 days without power and losing some perishable foods, no real damage sustained on our end.

I’ve started a new book, which I may write about down the line… I’m only about 15 pages in thus far, and it’s a different kind of read for me, so I’m not sure how I’ll take to it.

I’m getting slightly more consistent in getting to the gym and my strength seems to be coming back after the last year of poor overall health, which is very encouraging.

One of my music projects is starting to make headway, which is super exciting. Last night we auditioned a new bassist and she (yes, she!) was pretty great and we seemed to gel very well right off the bat. If you’ve ever tried putting a band together, you’ll understand how important that is, but also how incredibly RARE for things to click right outta the gate. We’ve got another bassist lined up for next week, who actually seemed like a better fit “on paper”, but now he’s really got his work cut out for him! But overall, I’m extremely inspired right now and just want to keep pushing myself musically as much as possible for as long as possible.

I’ve got a lot of work to do around the house, as I got pretty lazy and overwhelmed during the holiday season, but I’m chipping away at it and making progress, so I can’t complain. Just gotta put one foot in front of the other, as they say…

This weekend we’ve got an outing up to SF (I’ll be writing about that Sunday) and a plan to pull out our emergency bags and “regroup” after the lessons learned from our bout of storms. And if time allows, I’ll be working on putting together my IG profile. Yes, very, very late to that particular party. I’ve completely ignored social media up til now, but I’m finding that if I want to keep up with what’s going on in the world of music, I’ve got to have access to it, as that’s where all the kids these days are putting out their info. And when it comes time to put out our music, it will be a necessity- for better or worse. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em I guess…

And last but not least, we have a new addition to our family as of last weekend.

Now don’t get me wrong. This is NOT because it happened to be the Year of the Rabbit, it was just a timing thing. I used to raise rabbits waaaay back in my Boy Scout days, and my wife and I have had “house rabbits” almost our entire 30 years together. There have been some gaps in between them, just like any pet it takes a while to get past the grief when you lose one, but this little guy is our 4th house rabbit in 30 years. Our last one lived to be about 12 years old, which was staggering. He doesn’t have a name yet, we like to get to know our critters before bestowing a name upon them, but he’s already getting real comfortable in his new home.

Well, that’s really about it for now. I try not to go so long between posts, so forgive me. I appreciate all of you stopping by and sharing your time with me. Hopefully next week will bring something a little more interesting!

Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for reading!

Uh…wrong again.

We’ve been getting some real rain in the Bay Area over the last week, which is very welcome but good grief! The forecasting has been so outta whack.

The first burst hit us on New Year’s Eve, and we knew we had rain coming, but as it turned out the resulting rainfall was 3 TIMES the amount forecast! Oops. Surprise!!

I spent most of that day stressing about the creek that forms the property line for the facility I work at. When I left Friday night, the creek had 25-30 feet to go before it breached the bank (and flooded the building I’m responsible for!), and by 4pm the next day it only had about 10′ capacity left. By 10pm it was between 5 and 7 feet.

Sunday we got a respite from the rain, the creek dropped considerably and we thought we were in the clear…

Then Monday we get flood warnings and high wind advisories from the National Weather Service. Then the “news” is non-stop with coverage on the impending horror storm coming Wednesday. “It’s going to be the storm of the century!” “Expect massive damages!” There WILL be LOSS OF LIFE!”…

I spent Monday and Tuesday battening down the hatches, clearing all storm drains and rain gutters, prepping response carts with necessary equipment, alerting all other departments, getting stacks of sand bags ready, staging our giant water barriers that will (hopefully) save our basement from flooding and keeping a vigilant watch on the creek. I put my entire staff “on call” for Wednesday night.

When Wednesday rolled around, we were as ready as we could be for this Biblical storm, everyone on high alert.

And then…not much of anything.

Sure, it rained. For a bit. There were a few pretty good gusts of wind. I may even go as far as to say is was the biggest storm we’ve had in the last 2, maybe 3 years. You know, the years California has been in a massive drought?!? Overall, it was pretty much a nothing burger.

I don’t know which is worse, the utter incompetence of the National Weather Service and our local meteorologists or the repulsive fear mongering of the “news” media.

The silver lining in all this is that we didn’t sustain any damage and it was a good drill for my team.

I’m a firm believer in preparedness, so I don’t look at this as wasted time. That being said, I could have done without the added stress that was induced by the over-hyped “news” being churned out nonstop.

We’ve got rain in the forecast on 8 of the next 10 days, so maybe something will happen but now my blood pressure should stay a little more normal, since we’re well prepared.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish the adverse situations some folks have experienced during these storms – there has been some flooding, there have been some power outages, there have been some folks trapped in cars and whatnot. Mostly, we’ve lost a LOT of trees.

No, my issues is with the fools that got it all wrong. There was more distress and more problems on NYE than there should have been because they underestimated the situation, and city/county/state resources weren’t ready for what we got. Then they OVERestimated significantly, causing much undue stress and anxiety for much of the population.

In the end, we got what we desperately needed, some good steady rain and some preparedness training. I guess it wasn’t all bad…

Thanks for stopping by!

Thank goodness it’s over!

The year 2022 will go down in my personal history as the worst year ever, and I’m glad to see it go!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun moments this year. I made some improvements in certain aspects of my life, and I got to hit the road a lot and do some traveling, so the year wasn’t entirely without some silver linings.

BUT! I’ve been sick more this year than in the previous decade COMBINED, which completely wrecked the excersize regime I worked so hard to establish in ’20 & ’21. Lacking the consistency at the gym led to a really lackluster year for surfing. Not surfing really did a number on my mental health. The decline in mental health made my job all that much more difficult to tolerate and made my productivity in both my “side hustle” and general “around the house choring stuff” fall off a cliff. And to top it all off, I’m starting to feel the old, familiar financial squeeze that I (fortunately) haven’t had to deal with since I started this job nearly 5 years ago. I also lost a dear friend this year, completely unexpectedly. I could go on, and really get down in the muck, but this blog isn’t really about spewing bitterness, so I’ll stop right there.

So yeah, I haven’t exactly had a banner year…

But instead of bitching and moaning about what a craptastic year ’22 has been, I will review the good stuff that happened and the good stuff I’m looking forward to in 2023.

First, as I mentioned, this was a great year for travel. Aside from all the local stuff, we hit Hawaii, Los Angeles, Napa and Oregon this year. And all those trips were great. Tons of fun, no bad vibes, nothing negative happened on any of those adventures. Who knows what ’23 will bring, but I DO know that a trip back to Oregon is already in the planning stages for late Winter/early Spring.

This was a big year for music too. Not only did we get out to a bunch of shows (most of which were FANTASTIC!), but I also started getting my groove back – both figuratively AND literally – spending a lot more time at the drum kit than in the previous years. Thankfully the drums help fill the void left by the lack of surfing. It’s not the same certainly, but both activities put me in that Zen mind space, which is something I found myself in desperate need of this year.

I’ve also had a bit of a regrouping with some old friends this year. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or a general sense-of-mortality thing in this post-Plague era, but I’ve been back in touch with a lot of old friends this year, which has been pretty cool. It also helped take the sting out of the passing of my other friend…

This blog has been one of my highlights as well. I just jumped into it without much of a plan or direction, but I’ve found that it’s been a great outlet for me, which has helped me keep some equilibrium mentally and given me an opportunity to work with the written word again after a decade’s worth of slacking; another bonus in the positive mental health arena! I’m coming up on a year now of writing here and I think I’ll keep at it, simply because I’m enjoying it. Much to my surprise I passed 500 visitors a short while ago. I never expected that considering I have no “presence” on the ‘net to publicize this page, and I’ve only told 3 or 4 people about it. I realize that’s a tiny, miniscule number in the grand scheme of things, but considering my circle of people is very, very small it feels like I’ve talked to a whole bunch of new people this year and made a few new friends, which I can appreciate.

Looking forward into 2023 I see some good things on the horizon – of course I say that with the caveat that the “powers that be” running this psycho-circus don’t A) bankrupt us, B) starve us, C) make us all glow in the dark or D) all of the above…

When Congress is in session…

I’ve got a few different music projects starting to heat up, which is super exciting for me.

Ready for business!

More travel to places I’ve never been are on the itinerary. Getting back into the swing of things at the gym is another good thing I’m making happen. And I’ll keep plugging away here – more comcert, book and product reviews, more musical flashbacks, and hopefully continued improvement of my writing overall.

And lastly, a potential new business venture that could be a “game changer” for me and put me on a whole new path.

Will all of this actually happen? Who can say? I can’t predict the future any better than any of you can. But what I DO know is that without plans, drive and a sprinkle of good luck, we all just stay in the same spot, wallowing in misery.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve had more than enough misery over the last few years. It’s time to really start living again!

Thanks for stopping by and reading. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023!!

As the mad-dash escalates this week…

Keep this in mind when you’re facing lunatic drivers, overly congested parking lots and long lines that move at a snail’s pace…

The last few years have been so weird that it seems like people are going out of their way to make up for lost time the Christmas, which I can understand. But becoming a stressed out mess in an effort to “get back to normal” is defeating the true purpose and meaning of Christmas.

Take a breath. Relax. Love your loved ones. Enjoy your time together if you’re lucky enough to have someone to spend the holiday with.

And most importantly, be nice to your fellow humans. Everyone I know could use a dose or two of kindness bestowed upon them, it’s been a rough year.

Just my 2 cents…

Thanks for stopping by!

Road Trip!/Concert Review: Dogstar at Gold Diggers, Los Angeles.

Tonight was a rare and once in a lifetime event. We were cordially invited to the “record release party” celebrating Dogstar’s new – yet to be named – album.

Dogstar, back in action!

Full Disclosure: Bret Domrose, the guitarist and vocalist for Dogstar is my best friend. He and I came up together, learning the ropes of playing live shows, song writing and being serious, professional musicians. In fact, the very first band Bret was ever in – The Laters, circa 1984 – had me as the drummer. He and I went on to form several bands afterwards, culminating in a record deal with an indie label that went bankrupt just prior to our record’s release, and from there our lives took very divergent paths.

Bret, doin’ his thing!

There is a good chance if you’ve heard of Dogstar at all, it’s because of their infinitely famous bassist, Keanu Reeves. It is true that they got a lot of breaks that most bands wouldn’t have received if it weren’t for Keanu, but bottom line, Dogstar is a great band with a lot of really fantastic songs.

Tonight they played their first live show in DECADES, playing their recently recorded album, in its entirety. And let me tell you, it’s going to be a great album if this gig was any indication!

There is evident growth in the songwriting, and Bret’s guitar work has never been better. Keanu is a solid bassist and really held things down with his playing. Drummer Rob did something I’ve never, and I do mean NEVER seen, playing a harmonica solo while playing drums!

It was a great set, the band was in good spirits, the sound was great, the energy high and the crowd was all smiles!

It was an awesome night. We were able to see a bunch of old friends that we haven’t seen in ages and I was able to introduce our daughter to Keanu finally after hearing about him practically her entire life. (When she was only 2 years old, I went on tour with Dogstar so she’s heard the stories about my times with Keanu and Uncle Bret many times over the years!)

Our kid in the foreground, Mr. Reeves in the background…

It was so good to see Bret on stage again, and I’m really proud of the work he’s put in and the really stellar songs that came out of the project. He’s an extremely talented guy and I feel lucky to call him a friend.

The Boring Old Man and Bret Domrose.

Thanks for a great night guys. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new record!

Thanks for stopping by!

Time…sure could use some!

My goodness, I can’t believe how much time has flown by since my last post.

I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been having so many adventures that I didn’t have time to write, but sadly that isn’t the case…

It seems like Thanksgiving was just a couple days ago and already Christmas is right around the corner, before you can blink an eye it’ll be 2024!

I have been busy on a new project, involving music stuff, which has taken most every spare minute over the last month. I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it just yet, but I’m pretty excited about the near future and what might come to be. Please forgive my reluctance to discuss, I’ve had way too many of these prospects fall flat over the preceeding decades. If things pan out, my readers will be the first to know. Right now I’m just getting the new “office” set up and getting myself back into the proper state of mind for this endeavor.

The new Work Station…

Otherwise, things remain more or less the same. I recently finished a new book series which I’ll be reviewing as time allows, and I have an exciting road trip coming up this week that I will write up upon my return.

In between, more work at the new office and getting out into “the Wilds” for Christmas shopping!

Good Times ahead, come on back for more if you have a chance!

Thanks for stopping by!


It’s that time of year again, hard to believe, but true. The “holiday season” is upon us!

These past few years have been a non-stop dumpster fire and quite frankly I’ve found it difficult to maintain a positive attitude, not to mention being grateful. But when I stop to think about it, I DO, in fact, have a LOT to be grateful for.

Part of the reason for starting this blog was to help me remember the positive things, to give me something to look back on when things are not going so well. And honestly, it’s worked that way when I needed it. I have focused on maintaining a positive vibe, and have tried very hard to keep this blog from becoming a toxic rant-fest, as that’s where my head has primarily been over the last few years. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to stop myself numerous times from spewing angry stuff, calling out both the imbeciles and the grifters, and just straight up bitching about the (many) things that have been getting under my skin. Not that I always succeed, but I always make an effort!

But today, I want to “give thanks”, because when I stop to consider it I am pretty fortunate and have come a long way in the last decade.

First and foremost, I am grateful for The Mrs. We’ve been together for 34 years now and just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this year. We’ve been through some really rough times over the past few decades, but we always come through the other side intact, and we’re still best friends. After spending more than 3/5’s of my life with her, I can’t imagine it any other way.

I am thankful for our daughter who has grown into a fine young woman. She’s very responsible and pretty self sufficient, especially compared to her cohorts. She’s never been in any kind of real trouble, she’s helpful and just a pretty nice person. That we share a love of music and soccer doesn’t hurt either!

As much as it drives me bananas, I am thankful for my job. Being healthcare “adjacent” during the “pandemic” took me to the edge both mentally and physically, and it certainly left some scars. But the fact that I didn’t have to worry about a paycheck when it seemed like the whole world was going up in flames was something to be grateful for. And while I can say whole heartedly that I have no love for my job/career, I have learned a TON being here and I’m always grateful for new knowledge. And honestly I’m grateful for my team too. They test me and sometimes aggravate me beyond belief, but overall they are a solid group and when it comes down to it, they will come together and perform amazing things to keep this facility afloat.

I’m thankful that my parents are still around, even though I don’t see them very often. I was very concerned about them during the whole Covid nonsense, and I am very glad that they both came through unscathed. Now, if we could just convince my Pops to retire…

I’m thankful for the friends that are still in my life. They are few and far between, but those guys have been with me a long, long time. Some of us go back to the 1970s, a couple from the early 80’s…my “newest” friend came in to my life in 1990, so yeah I’ve got a lot of years clocked with these gentlemen and I’m grateful for all of them.

I’m thankful for my health. In spite of the fact that I’ve been sick more in 2022 than in the last 10 years combined, I’m grateful that I am still “healthy”, still able to hit the gym and have been able to steer clear of pharmaceuticals into middle-age. No small feat.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for still being able to get out and play music. It’s been feeding my soul when all else seemed misery.

All in all, I have a lot to be thankful for, I just need to remember to remind myself of the fact from time to time.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, good health and serenity!

Thanks for stopping by!

Just Like Old Times…

Last night I had a fantastic experience and I’m still riding the “high”!

For the first time in literally decades, I got a chance to sit down with one of my oldest friends for a songwriting session, and it was like a spigot was turned on – the music just flowed like it hasn’t in years!

This was just what the doctor ordered, it’s been way too long since I was able to just create and I missed it even more than I realized.

In the matter of just a few short hours, we planted the seeds of 6 new songs right outta the gate. It was remarkable and thrilling to say the least.

Remember to feed your soul folks, it’s good for your health and your spirit!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mason Dixon Survivalist Association

Be a Survivalist who is a “Jack of all Trades”, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).

Dio's Workshop

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

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The Boring Old Man

The ramblings of an old weirdo about whatever crosses my mind...