Monday, August 25, 2008

Drumming For A Lifetime, pt. 12

Pass It On

The other day, I was playing ping-pong with the kids. It was McKenna's turn to play me, so Madeline went over to this little electronic keyboard we have. She likes to turn it on and run the beat-box on it. So after a few minutes of playing pong to the beat, inspiration struck. I busted out my bag of percussion toys for a full-on jam session.

We've played music together before, but this time I described how to play the percussion instruments correctly, and we played along with the different style beats on the keyboard. Chana came home after a while and joined in. Micah was out and missed the fun.

The kids did a good job staying on the beat, and enjoyed finding different ways to get unique sounds out of the instruments.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Travel Log

I traveled to Tulsa-town this weekend to rehearse with the Triibe. We are going to England next month for an international leadership conference, and we have been wanting to prepare some new material.

During my trip here, I had a little fun making notes about odd things I noticed. Here's some of my miscellaneous thoughts:

Generosity Stolen

Location: Las Vegas Airport

Situation: In between flights, at the cashier, buying my personal pan pizza, m&m’s and water. (hey, at least I got water)

Total: $10.96 USD

Cashier: “That’s eleven hundred”, with a slight chuckle at her own ability to break down dollar amounts into the hundreds.

Me: “Oookay, here ya go”, giving her eleven bucks.

Cashier: “Thank you.” She closes the drawer and looks to the next sap.

I say “sure”, or something and walk away.

At first I thought, no biggie, it’s four cents. Then I thought deeper into it.

I would normally say, “please keep the change”, not wanting to deal with the pennies, etc. You see those change cups by registers all the time, and I frequently throw coinage in them. My beef was that I wasn’t given the option to give the money away. I was robbed of that “to give is better than to receive” feeling.

As I ponder my shallowness while waiting at my gate, an m&m bounces off my front tooth as I try to toss it in my mouth, then I realize that I have never thought it odd when a cashier forgives a few cents owed to them, like if a total is $11.04. I pick up the m&m and move on with my life.

On airport bathrooms:

I love going to the bathroom at airports these days. Everything is automated. You don’t have to touch anything that doesn’t belong to you. There is no main door, the toilets & urinals flush automatically, the sink is automatic, now even the soap is automated. The towel dispensers are automatic, but I guess I don’t wave nice enough for them to spit out towels for me. Wave wave wave. Stop, look, wait. Wave wa- there's a towel. Repeat.

On airplane windows:

I’m 6’1”. (and a half – I have to say that as I vainly try to keep up with my oldest son who is about 6’3”) Anyhoo, I’m 6’1”. Tall, but not super tall. Not freakishly Yao-tall. So, why are all airplane windows designed for people 5’4” and below? It’s a neck breaker to take a peep through them.

On airplane comforts:

I have a new invention idea. I know I’ll never market this idea, so you can have it. (just send me a nice gift card if it does well for you) It’s a travel aid called “No Splay”. It would be a simple Velcro strap you wrap around your legs, to keep them together as you nod off in your undersized seat on the plane. This cuts down on the awkward involuntary leg bumping with your neighbors. (thanks Martin for the name)

On window gazing:

While flying, where does that barrier exist between the houses, cars, roads looking like a clean, beautiful and elaborate train set, to just some regular, full-size houses, cars and roads? I think about 50 feet up, there is a magical line where everything transforms to the coolest toy collection ever, and I have always wanted to play with it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Modern Technology is a Good Thing

Above is a screen grab of a Skype session with my youngest daughter Maddie. I've been at Skywalker Sound all week, and last night she lost a toof (tooth). I am bummed I wasn't there for the fun, but this morning I got to see her, so I'm happier.

Sometimes technology weighs us down, puts a leash on us, and generally drives us crazy. Sometimes it allows us to connect in ways that keep us feeling close, even though we're far away.

Oh, Chana told me she cried, 'cause she swallowed it! Not 'cause it hurt, but because she thought she wouldn't score a visit from the Toof Fairy!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Epic PCH Motorcycle Ride Report

Last Saturday, I rode my motorcycle home from Marin County... the loooong way. I have wanted to ride the PCH through Big Sur for a while now, and finally got the chance. I was on the road about 12.5 hours and 465 miles, and it was a great adventure; my longest ride to date.

I stopped an annoyingly large amount of times for pics. If I had been riding with anyone that day, I think they would've left me behind about halfway through. Here's a bit of a photo journal of it. (click on the pics for bigger sizes)

I left San Fran at about 5:30am. The above pic was taken on Conzelman Rd, on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge. The fog was so thick, you wouldn't even know the Pacific was there, much less an enormous bridge in the background.

Below, a little daylight allowed me to start getting half a view.

A few more early morning foggy pics:

Before long I found myself in Carmel. On a whim, I turned off PCH at Ocean Ave, followed it toward the water, and rode through this quaint town set back in time.

Carmel by the beach is gorgeous. The sun finally decided to make an appearance about now.

One thing I love about riding a motorcycle, but didn't expect when I started, is people come up to you and start talking about your bike, their bikes, your destination, whatever. People who would normally pass me by, will stop and talk to me because of this wonderful connection. This is Paul, and he and I had a great conversation by the beach about motorcycling. I chased him down later to get this pic of him in his sweet 50 year-old Cadillac.

The beach on the south side of Carmel.

Leaving south from Carmel is the beginning of the twisties (curvy roads). This sign promised good times, and boy, it delivered! They should just put a big sign up with a smiley face on it, 'cause that's what it gives you.

The heavy fog came and went throughout the day.

One of my favorite bridges of the day: Big Creek Bridge. First is close up, second in mirror, and third is distant.

I'll wrap it up with a few random coastal shots.

Monday, I'm making the trip back up to Skywalker Sound for more Clone Wars stuff, and if time allows, you can bet I'll be on this route in reverse.

I finally bought a new seat with gel inserts, so hopefully the long rides won't keep me squirmin'!