Friday, December 28, 2007

Canyon Riding

I have a couple of months (and about 1,300 miles) behind me on my motorcycle now. It's been a vast education to say the least, but I have had some great experiences. (The pic above is overlooking the Bouquet Reservoir)

I'd have to say that my favorite times so far have all happened on my canyon joy-rides. There's such a good feeling that accompanies winding around the twisting roads through the mountains and around the lakes, etc. It is definitely giving me more appreciation for California, as these roads are plentiful, very well maintained, and usually uncrowded.

Today I rode a new one (to me anyway). Little Tujunga Canyon Road was built in the 30's, and may be the perfect canyon road. Clicking on the link will take you to's page on this paradise of a moto-ride. The author of the article said it best; "If God had a motorcycle, He'd be here." I believe it after riding this road today. Maybe by viewing the photos, you can imagine why.

I don't know how I lucked out so well today, but I went several minutes at a time without seeing another soul on the road, in either direction. During my entire time on the canyon road, I maybe encountered a dozen vehicles. The road is almost 20 miles long.

In Southern California, that has to be a miracle. I just decided to savor it, because such a miracle may never happen again. (Little Tujunga pics stolen from

This canyon riding thing is becoming a true passion.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dallas - Season 7 - The Chana Episodes

Dallas season 7 was finally released on DVD this past summer. Chana played the character "Dee" (a girl interested in Christopher Atkins' character "Peter") for three episodes.

Chana always downplays her role on the show, but sometimes I think she's forgotten what a big deal the show was back then. It was much bigger than "Heroes" or "Lost" are today, and I still remember her in the show, even though her role was small. (yes, I watched Dallas - I had to, I lived in "Big D" at the time - they had pop quizzes in school the next day)

Here's a short scene I posted to YouTube. If only all 'soap opera' type shows could be this short. (I think you'll notice that men's swimsuit fashion has come a long way since then.)

Her credit is as "Chana Vowell", so it's before I came along and took her away from all that inevitable fame and fortune. (Obviously, I tinkered with the end credits; she didn't really make the whole show by herself.)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Drumming For A Lifetime pt.9

Here's a video of the Dallas-based band I occasionally play with. We used to be known as 'The Calling', but that was 20 years ago, then we broke up. In the late 80's, we had a pretty decent following in the Texas and Oklahoma region.

A year or so ago, we started playing together again, but the name 'The Calling' had been used by a flash-in-the-pan group a few years ago, so we couldn't use it again. The never-ending struggle to rename the band has plagued us for a year, so we just ignore people when they ask, and turn up the amps. One day, we'll agree on a new moniker.

This is a song called "Time Passes", and I think it's not a bad rendition of it, considering what you're hearing is a dry feed from the mixing console.

We had four cameras shooting that night, but they had no game-plan. It took a while to sort out the footage and come up with a good edit of the song. Oh, fyi, Micah (my oldest) ran lights for us that night, but unfortunately the available lighting he had to work with was a disaster.

Here it is, enjoy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Time To Catch Up

Wow, it's been a long time away from blogging, and if you're still coming by, thanks!

A lot has been happening over the last 6 weeks or so, so let's get to it.

I am now a motorcycle rider. I have been researching this world for several months now, and I finally took my Motorcycle Safety Course and got my license. A month ago I bought a bike. After much hemming and hawing, I went with the Suzuki DL650. It's a great bike for commuting and can go on dirt roads too.

You know you want one.

Speaking of biking, thanks to my friend Jason, I was able to take Micah out dirt biking for his 15th birthday. We were both smitten, and we've vowed to go back soon.

We also took the kids to the El Capitan to see the recently refurbished "Jungle Book", set up by our friend Brenda. On the way to the theater, we met up with The Batman and Super Girl. (I love how McKenna is in her Super Girl pose.)

I took this at a nearby park we frequent. It might have to go on an album cover sometime. Or... not, but it's cool.

Oh, and it rained once. Weird.

And last but definitely not least, Micah made this for his youth pastor Steve for Christmas. Micah has a couple snakes and a lizard. Steve has a problem with reptiles, so Micah gave him this thoughtful gift. Kinda creepy, but I also think it's brilliant.