Bret Michaels @ The Horny Toad

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 11:56:13 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Live Shows)
So, after much deliberation, we decided to go to see Bret Michaels tonight. I wasn't sure what to expect, which made for it not being an easy decision at $50 a ticket, but at the same time, it was too hard to pass up being not that far away, AND being a few days after seeing Poison.

The drive down to Lake Ozark was pretty nice, and made for a good opportunity to listen to the new Better Than Ezra album that we picked up the show.

The show was at The Horny Toad, the whole area was upscale and resort-y, and luckily we were able to pull off a sneaky coop and park for free. On walking down to get tickets we saw Bret's tour bus etc., which would have been more exciting, but of course I'd seen it and taken my photo by it on Tuesday night at the Poison show.

The venue was pretty cool, though clearly has some design issues with the positioning of the stage and stage side bar. After unsuccessfully trying to get a table (phoning and booking one would have been smart) we took up a position down by the stage. And waited. And waited. [wink] The house band was playing - since it was such a later decision to go to the show, we got their later than we probably otherwise would have, but still, the two hour wait seemed pretty long.

At 9 it looked like something was going to happen, however there were 3 fake intros, someone from Rock Of Love coming out, so by 9:15 I was ready for getting the sho on the road. Once the band came out I was really glad that we'd made the trek and forked out the money for it.

We'd opted for staying down the back to avoid having to deal with the drunks, which seemed like a good idea, until in front of us filled up at the very last minute. I'd told myself that it was okay, since I really only needed to pay attention to Bret, but I was actually impressed by the entire band. And ironically, we may have had to deal with less drunks (or at least less people walking around) closer to stage. In anycase, the entire band rocked, the drummer was particularly impressive to watch, and the bass player looked uncannily like Tim Minchon.

It was a high energy show. My expectation was a few Poison songs and the majority of the show being Bret's solo material. So the decision to come was solidified as the broke right into the Poison back catalog, which they continued for the whole show, only playing two Bret Michaels Band songs, and three covers. It was certainly cool getting to rock out to the Poison material in a more intimate setting, which clearly from Tuesday night it's obvious that that's something you're not going to get at Poison show, given how they're still packing the arenas to this day.

Another thing that was great was that the solo stuff they played were the rockers - first Go That Far, which Bret introduced as the theme song for Rock Of Love and Bittersweet which I was actually somewhat familiar with and really dig. The set list went something like...

  1. Look What The Cat Dragged In
  2. Talk Dirty To Me
  3. ? Go That Far
  4. ? Knockin' On Heeaven's Door
  5. Bittersweet
  6. Fallen Angel
  7. ?Something To Believe In
  8. ?Sweet Home Alabama
  9. ?Drift Away
  10. Every Rose Has It's Thorn
  11. Unskinny Bop
  12. Encore
  13. Nothin' But A Good Time
With I Want Action and Your Mama Don't Dance somewhere in the mix I'm pretty sure.

Another appreciated thing was that after Unskinny Bop Bret announced that they weren't going to fuck around with walking off stage, and ripped right into the encore, which was really cool. Admittedly this could have just been because they'd gone on 15 minutes late, but I thought it was really cool, and wish that happened at more shows. Do away with the whole killing time and the vibe and keep the party rockin' I say!

After the show it seemed like something was going on right of stage, which turned out to be Rock Of Love ladies there for photo opportunities - and photo opportunities with the C.C DeVille from Poison Overdose, a local Poison tribute band. He seemed to be in demand the whole night after the show, and funnily enough I kept doing double takes, thinking I'd just seen C.C out of the corner of my eye, and checking to confirm it was the guy from Poison Overdose.

We checked out the merch table, which was future proof to why Poison can take 12 buses out on tour. There is no shortage of smart business going on, with about 6 different shirts for Bret Michaels Band, CD's, countless glossy photos of Bret, DVD's, bandannas. There are some bands *cough* that really could take a leaf out of the Bret Michaels book of money making. Case in point, we donated another $40 to his kids trust fund, getting a t-shirt and CD. I shudder to think about he amount of money we've put into the Bret Michaels/Poison bank account in the past week!

After the purchases, we hung around to see whether something was going to happen. The rest of the band came out, and there was the local Ozarks Fox TV crew out, given the whole Rock Of Love factor, but no sign of Bret Michaels. At least not before we left at about 11:45 anyway.

Thankfully we didn't have any problem getting out of where we parked the car. Funnily enough, we'd commented on how nice the drive up had been. The drive back wasn't as enjoyable, as Buller was dead set on having us drive into the lake. The whole debarkle occurred where the 5 meets the 7. Buller was convinced that we should proceed into the lake where the 5 ended, and continually had us turning around to try have us do it again. Being pitch black, despite attempts I couldn't get us onto the 7 either. Looking at what was going on, Buller's maps were out of date, as we were on the old highway 5, not the new highway 5. Katie was quite mad at Buller, but in her defense, Google maps is out of date in the same way also. Either way, we got home ago after backtracking back to Camdon. Not before Katie seeing a UFO and Buller taking us back down this dirt road past Baptist Camp - which she was convinced was the work of the aliens, overtaking Buller to take us to Baptist Camp. hahahaha. [smile]

Thank You Metal Mania

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 12:11:38 am
(Posted Under: Music Music, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
VH1's Metal Mania is so reliable. On noticing it was on, I told Katie that hopefully they'd play a Poison video that Rob Stevenson was in so I could point out where I recognized him from.

We've been sitting here for maybe an hour, and without fail, here's Every Rose Has It's Thorn.

Thank you Metal Mania / VH1 Classic!

Better Than Ezra @ The Power And Light District

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, July 24, 2009 - 11:44:58 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Live Shows)
After the zoo, we headed back to downtown Kansas City to the Power and Light District, venue of tonight's free Better Than Ezra show. The venue was right across from the Sprint Center (where we'd seen Poison on Tuesday night), so there was no problem finding it.

While looking for parking, we almost got taken out by some stupid chick in the parking lot. Almost right after recovering from that, we spotted Kevin and Tom (ie: Better Than Ezra) walking down the road towards the show. Almost too much for Katie to handle in such a short space of time.

We parked the car and went into Famous Daves for dinner, where we waited absolutely forever for our meal. We arguably went in at 6, and hadn't left until just before 7. There was some convention in town, with droves of ridiculous looking women wearing capes with "Super Salpada Sister" on. Who had all decided to eat at Famous Daves, hence why it was ridiculously loud and we had to wait so long for our food. Such a display of douchebaggery also made Katie want to go on a rampage. Katie predicted that it was some sort of Avon thing, and we've since confirmed that she was right - it being an Avon like sale of jewelery.

The upside of it all was that we had plenty of time to kill before the show, so getting to sit in the restaurant and keep the free refills coming back actually a really good thing.

Since Katie wasn't sure whether the show started at 7 or 8, we go the check and headed over to where the show was. Not before phoning home and learning that Brad and Jamie had bowed out of the Green Day concert, so there we now two spare tickets. How convienent, since we'd only declined because we expected to be in Arizona is August. Since we've delayed our moving by a few weeks, this news was music to our ears, pardon the pun. [smile]

In anycase, we headed over to the show - once again, looking at the merch table - of an now indie band that don't really get any radio support, there were numerous t-shirts and CD's for sale for the band to cash in on. Something than some OTHER bands are clearly lacking.

As it turned out, the show didn't start until 8, which was a bit rough because we were tired from walking around the zoo all day, and sweaty to boot and it was still quite warm.

The opening band came out at 8, Sixteen Frames from LA. Funnily enough, I thought there were some Scotty Johnson qualities about the singer, but didn't say anything, not thinking Katie would agree. After the show one of the first things she said to me was "I can't believe you didn't comment on how the singer looked like Scotty J!" [smile] They were relatively good, but given the long day, and that it was still quite hot, by about half an hour into their set, we were both ready for Better Than Ezra to take the stage.

It took an amazingly long time for the stage to be set up for Ezra, but as is always the case, once they did come out it was all good. Ironically, just like for Toad, Katie got stuck next to the only douchebags at the show. About three chicks dancing like retards, particularly during one of their new ones Nightclubbing. Despite that it was a really good show - and to save and international incident I swapped positions with Katie, and then girls soon got the message that I wasn't going to put up with any bullshit, and half wayy through the In The Blood, the first song of the encore, they'd moved far enough to not be an annoyance to anyone. Well at least to us. Making the position change earlier would have been a good idea!

The stage set was weird, with the drummer facing diagonally out to the left, and Kevin was to the left of the stage. The new songs they played were all good, giving us reason to pick up the album on the way out. Travis' replacement was also quite good. When you're only a 3 piece, loosing one member is really noticable, but we both thought the new guy was really good.

After the show we headed back to the car. Thankfully being on the road we had clothes in the back, so I immediately changed out t-shirts because I was absolutely soaked in sweat given the heat.

Sitting In A Holiday Inn, Outside Kansas City

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, July 24, 2009 - 09:20:22 am
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Okay, this time we're actually in a Holiday Inn, but it's also technically inside Kansas City. But it's enough for me to quote Stephen Ashbrook's Kansas City Before we came here, we'd considered getting chinese, so we could be "looking down a warm beer and poking at cold chinese", however we haven't.

In anycase, last night was Toad The Wet Sprocket at Harrahs Casino, and tonight is a free Better Than Ezra show before we head back to Warsaw.

I Went To Bed Too Late, And Got Up Too Soon

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - 08:06:17 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Given that we crashed after 3am last night, and were awake by 9:30am, the opening lines from Look What The Cat Dragged In rang true for me this morning. Immediately on waking up my head was hurting - maybe not from too much booze, as per the song, but neither the less, the song seemed quite appropriate this morning.

We got on the road a little after 10, headed back to Des Moines, Iowa to see some sights that we missed out on last time and to have a movie night with Dianna.

On getting into Des Moines Katie tried to replace her falling apart glasses before we headed out to Walnut Woods Sate Park. It seemed like it had changed a fair bit since we were last there, looking a lot more park like down by the creek than when I was there, my memory of which was walking through a lot of brush.

After that we drove out to Urbandale to meet up with Diana. With much indecison about where to eat, or whether to eat at all, I made the executive decision to go to Fuddruckers. Which was a good decision because a) I was really starting to feel quite weak from the late night and no food and b) it was pretty cool getting to eat at a Fuddruckers in West Des Moines. After which I felt much better - well, still tired, but better, and we headed back to watch Young Frankenstien and Spaceballs.

1260 AM No More

The Blaze Moving To 1330 AM

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, July 19, 2009 - 04:14:13 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Today in efforts to see whether Point Of Ventre is / will be back on the air this semester I discovered that The Blaze is moving frequencies due to 1260 AM being brought by another company.

Kind of sucky news in that "The Blaze 1260" has been burnt into my psyche, which has also made memorizing the stations URL pretty easy.

Boco Baseball In Columbia

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, July 18, 2009 - 02:39:34 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
An early start this morning as we headed out at 8:30am to Columbia to watch the Show Me Games, which the Boco Blast (Andrew's little league baseball team) were playing.

Once again, it was actually quite enjoyable watching the game. Personally, it's a lot more enjoyable watching a game that Andrew is playing in, than say watching a major / minor league game. Today's was somewhat more riviting also, given that it's one of Andrew's last games. The news of last weekend is that Andrew is taking a break from baseball to concentrate on his music career. [wink] In all seriousness, he's dropping baseball for drum lessons. Which both uncle Mark and aunt Katie were quite excited to hear! It was only two weeks ago in Union that we were commenting on how he has some obvious music ability, after he serenaded us in the basement while we watched him one night while Megan was playing a softball game.

Boco Blast had it rough, being 2 to 9 most of the game until the 4th inning as they started loading up the bases and by the 5th and had caught up 5 to 9. Because of the time limit on little league games, the 5th inning became the last. The coach had given Andrew a talk last week end (we heard all about it from Ma and Pa Jensen - Chris is the coach is question), so it was unnerving to me at Katie the fact that Andrew was up to bat in such a pressure filled situation. After two strikes, and swung and connected with the third pitch, but unfortunately was caught out, so no win for Boco Blast, but still a nice comeback later in the game.

Bullet Dodged

Gin Blossoms In Hammond, IL

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, July 16, 2009 - 02:33:04 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA, Music Music)
Last week I/we were considering the viability of seeing the Gin Blossoms in Hammond, IL.

Unfortunately it was just a bit too far to go to justify it, especially with our schedule. But tonight I see that the Spin Doctors are opening for them. I'm considering our decision not to go as dodging a bullet! [wink]
Now Playing: Green Day - Murder City

You Want Poison? You've Got Poison

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, July 12, 2009 - 07:19:55 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Last night before crashing, Katie and I watched a little of Metal Mania, because when we flicked over there was a live video of Fallen Angel on. Which prompted me to saw how I wish I had the Live, Raw & Uncut, which is on the boat, and won't be here until god knows when.

5ronically enough, HDNet are playing it tonight and we're watching it right now. Ahhh, satellite TV is brilliant.

Lazy Day

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 11:51:17 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Today has been such a great lazy day, coming off the past week - which has been a lot of fun, but we both feel a bit worse for wear from it.

To be honest, this has been the first day in forever where I've been able to truly relax. We woke up this morning, did some stuff until about midday, and then promptly took another nap. Which was Katie's idea, I was actually going to do some stuff, but it took nothing for me to pass out - for the next four or five hours! Katie woke me up just before 5 because of the Mythbusters episode about to air.

For the rest of the night we just watched Mythbusters, as the Discovery Channel was playing episodes back to back. As a testament to truth in advertising, we weren't too far into the pop corn episode before we had paused it (can I say how much pausing live TV rocks?!?) and were in the kitchen making popcorn! Hmmmmm, popcorn!

It has definitely been such a nice day of doing nothing, and was really needed!

Chesterfield & Driving Back To Warsaw

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, July 10, 2009 - 10:53:38 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Ahhh, it's been a good day. The Christopher Jensen's left early this morning for the All Star Fan Fest in St. Louis, so after seeing them off we slowly got ready to leave. Our initial plan was to be up here from Monday to Wednesday, however the car hunt / buying the car (largely buying the car) delayed our departure until today. It's somewhat surprising that we've been here for 5 days. It's been really nice up here, but after the car hunting, and buying yesterday, we're ready for some downtime back in Warsaw.

The plan for today has been to get the screws for the rear license plate on the Vibe fixed, then check out where Katie used to live in St. Louis, and then head back to Warsaw. There had been some suggestion that we should just have the dealership mail the correct screws to us. But since I had wanted to go to the old house anyway, and also just wanted the problem fixed, we decided to drive in anyway. A good thing, since the thread for the screws were stuffed, so new screws wouldn't have done us any good anyway. All in all it took us probably about half an hour to get that sorted out. I was definitely happy that we got it fixed now, rather than having to deal with it later.

After a smoke, and walking in to wait inside the dealership, Follow You Down was on over the PA/radio. Rock! Which prompted me to want some sort of iPod hookup for the drive home. We'd looked yesterday after picking up the car, and found no cheap options. The cheapest FM transmitter was $48, and because we only have CD, the cheap ($9) cassette option was out of the question. So I pretty much resided to getting a $48 FM transmitter as a temporary solution, despite that neither of us wanted to spend $48 on a temporary solution. With a trip to Walmart, we actually found a FM transmitter kit for $24, including a wall iPod charger - which even if we deck the car out with an AUX jack, I'll still get use out of. Sweet - just what we were looking for - a temporary solution that didn't cost too much.

From there we decided to have Fuddruckers for lunch, which began the finding Fuddruckers in St. Louis expedition. The first two that Buller sent us to no longer existed. Katie was ready to give up, but I suggested trying the third option, which was successful (despite the fact that we'd driven all over outer St. Louis in the hunt!) Absolutely worth it though. While the two times I've eaten at Fuddruckers were good, the didn't fully live up to my previous experiences. Today however did. Woo!

After lunch we drove out to Chesterfield and drove by Katie's old house and neighborhood and then down to here first primary school, which was a lot of fun. It's been really cool to get to not only see parts of her life in West Des Moines (which I'd seen in 1999 also), but also here it St. Louis.

From there, we drove back to Warsaw. The iPod FM transmitter worked well, and proved to be a good purchase. It's not perfect, but for $24 it definitely does the job, and it's been great having tunes for the drive. It's also really nice that our car has two power sources, since the transmitter requires one, and on was already occupied by Buller. The drive was also good for assessing our purchase of the car. Yesterday, driving it, there was some concerns about whether it drove as well as when we were test driving it (obviously a case of being really sensitive to things after you've spent $8k), but today I'd totally forgotten about any concerns.

On the way back there was a really great sunset (much like when we drove back from our last road trip). This looked particularly awesome while driving over the lake. I've seen quite a few good views out over the lake, but not been in the position to take any photos. The upside tonight was that the bridge rehab (it has a drug habit to kick [wink]) is underway and is reduced to one lane at 30mph, which helped in snapping some good shots of the sunset over the lake.

Got The Vibe?

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, July 9, 2009 - 07:20:23 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
So, the car search is over! Shelly and the kids have been such troopers throughout the whole process.

While we've been looking for several weeks, the past two days have been an intense, focused assault on car dealerships in the outer St. Louis area.

Personally I found that I was impressed with the Chevy Imparla, which Katie wasn't necessarily (like the Grand Am). Katie was taken by the Kia Rio and Malibu options, which I was not a fan of. With the exception of the Jeep Cherokee (which made it back onto the short list briefly on Tuesday after a false quote on gas mileage on the sports model), there has not been much common ground in what we like.

Surprisingly, that all changed yesterday, when we were pointed to a Pontiac Vibe which was only 1 of 2 cars under $8,000 at a dealership we were at. I'd already ixnayed the Vibe yesterday because I didn't like the look, and thought there would be blind spot issues. I must have been in a weird mood, because I agreed to take a look at it. Initially I wasn't even a fan of the color (salsa red). But hey, we were on a focused mission thanks to the 'assertive sister in-law', and with only two cars to try on the lot, we got in - and before long, thought we should take it out on the road. Pretty much minute by minute the car seemed better and better, and to fit our requirements. One of which being that we could pretend we were in a Jeep, but have above average gas mileage (and which blows the gas guzzling Jeep away). After a long, and by far the most thorough test drive we've done, we took it back, for first time strongly agreeing on a car.

We also test drove the Grand Am (up until now, one of my preferred cars) for the sake of argument. It was a great deal (nice price, surprisingly low mileage), but after the Vibe, the Grand Am didn't seem as cool.

Further looking (about 2 more dealerships) was boring, because nothing now compared to the Vibe. At the end of the day we went back and asked to take the Vibe home for the night, particularly since we hadn't driven it on the highway.

Basically, after much deliberation, we decided the Vibe was our car. Well, I think we'd decided long before that. Late last night Katie found an earlier model with fewer miles - in WARSAW - of all places! At a lot that we looked at weeks ago. By this point we'd decided to buy the one we'd test drove, and considered how we were going to break this change in plan to Shelly in the morning.

Long story short, we had the Warsaw Jensens take a look at the '06 Pontiac, and after deliberation over lunch with Chris and Shelly, and then just ourselves, we decided that we were going with the '04 Vibe we'd test drove. Much to the relief of Shelly I'm sure. It's somewhat surprising, that it had taken past midday to achieve all this, that the dealership hadn't called concerned that they weren't going to see their Vibe again! After setting up insurance, we headed towards St. Louis to make the purchase. Which was relatively smooth, but laboriously long, and something I don't necessarily want to do again for quite a while (I seem to be saying that a lot these days! [smile] ) But after hours of waiting, by about 5:30 we were new owners of the Pontiac Vibe, for better or worse. [wink]


St. Louis Gateway Arch

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, July 6, 2009 - 11:02:55 pm
(Posted Under: Travel, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Today we drove from Union to St. Louis with a day planned for visiting the Gateway Arch and Botanical Gardens. Sadly our trip was delayed from Katie getting one of her blinding headaches (<singing>her retina's are scared</singing>).

We made it to St. Louis by around two, and due to some problems with Buller, we ended up in East St. Louis (in Illinois), which was clearly the bad side of town. Ahhh, it brought back memories of Detroit. [wink] In anycase, we finally made it back to the Arch. It's impossible to miss, but getting the right roads to get there...

Surprisingly Katie has never been inside, despite having lived in St. Louis, and it was a disappointment that she didn't feel well enough to go to the top of "the Effiel Circle" (as she called in as a child when she first saw it). I however did. The 'tram' to the top was not what I'd expected. A very Star Trek looking pod that sat 6 people - uncomfortably. [wink]

The view from the top was kinda cool, and it was certainly a different type of high observation deck - immediately feeling that you were on the arch when you got to the top of the stars from the pod tram. It was kind of a clusterfuck up there, definitely a much more confined space of a viewing platform than say Melbourne's Rialto, or Sydney's Skytower. A cool experience being up there, but I think the view of the tower from the outside was actually cooler.

We got some really cool photos from the outside, before driving back to Fenton to watch Meg & Andrew's swim meet. We did get somewhat twisted around on the way out and ended up going somewhat through the downtown area. St. Louis definitely seemed like the largest downtown I've been through. Clearly I've been to larger cities (Chicago and Detroit are two recent examples), but have moreso driven around them. In anycase, it's was definitely an interesting contrast to Phoenix, which has a much larger city (ranked 6th largest according to Wikipedia, St. Louis does not rank), but whose downtownw is nothing compared to St. Louis.

Springfield Cardinals vs. Midland Rockhounds

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, July 5, 2009 - 11:43:52 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
The Union Jensen's had organized for us to all to go to a Springfield Cardinals (minor league) game. And as such, were all distinguishable from the other Jensens by their Springfield Cardinals get up. So we set out in a convoy after midday towards Springfield, killing some time at the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame and Conversation area.

Since we had front row seats just passed the dugout, unprotected by nets, everyone, including Katie expected that she was destined to be knocked out by a wayward foul ball at some point throughout the game. So much so, that she posed by a warning signing when entering the ball park. Alas, she did not suffer any such misfortune throughout the game.

While we neglected to pick a team on the way down (due to getting wrapped up in other conversations), by about the 4th inning, we agreed that we were rooting for the home team. It made sense, given she was getting a Springfield Cardinals hat with a meal deal that she found (drink, pop corn, hot dog and a cap for $13.50 - while the hat itself retailed for $20 at the stands). Of course, the home team were victorious.

The Union Jensen's managed to get picked to play Family Feud during tge 3rd Inning. Chris knew someone who...I don't remember the details. It was a bit of excitement in any case. The kids proved triumphant for team Jensen, correctly identifying capital cities that were on the board. Christopher however didn't do as well, but they still beat the other family and walked away with $59.

After the game we said bye to Brad, Jamie and the Warsaw Jensens and followed the Union Jensens to - well, Union! [wink]

My First Independence Day

Firearms, Fireworks and More Fireworks

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 11:45:36 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
I think it's pretty safe to say that I've had a fair decent and patriotic first 4th of July. It started, well, for me, by adorning the overly patriotic red, white and blue shirt the Jensen's had got for me at the Bass Pro Shop, much to everyone's amusement, including my own.

The morning started with a $3.50 breakfast, followed by watching Megan and Andrew fish at the Truman Lake fish hatchery. From there, there was a little tour of the bustling metropolis which is Warsaw Missouri for Jamie (Brad's girlfriend) before heading back to the house for all sorts of festivities. Showing everyone the video we took in Australia, playing Guitar Hero, and then after a while, getting the demonstration of what a freak Brad is on Guitar Hero (something that needs sto be witnessed to fully be appreciated). And then, an activity which very much felt American - shootin' guns! [smile] So, admittedly, BB guns, but all the same, it felt very fitting to be outside, virtually draped in the American flag, firing off rounds at drink cans. Yee haw!

After an early dinner we headed down to the local ball field to get set up to watch the fireworks over the lake. We stopped along the way to pick up some booze ($9 something for a 6 pack of Coronas folks!) and of course, my shirt caught a lot of attention from the locals!

We'd hit the ball park early (about 7:30) to get a good spot for the fireworks show, scheduled for 10:45. While out there, there was a really cool sunset, and also a very decent lightning display happening in the huge clouds to the east.

While I think I've seen somewhat better choreography, I think this is the best fireworks display I've seen in terms of volume, it was quite impressive. The only complain, which Christopher seemed to also think, was it was a lot shorter in comparison to the fireworks we saw last night, lasting about 15 minutes. Which is still a lot longer than firework displays I've seen in Australia.

After the fireworks we went back to the house for...more fireworks. Brad, Jamie and Christopher went down by the pond to set off their fireworks, while Megan danced around with sparklers. Surprisingly, Andrew had fallen asleep on the way back from the lake and slept through the whole thing. There were a few hairy moments with some wayward fireworks shooting out horizontally, rather than vertically. After the first incident, I retreated up closer to the house with Megan, and not long after one looked like it was going to take Christopher out as it shot up the hill towards the house. However, by the end of the display, everyone still had all the limbs intact, and no-one was on fire. [smile]

Pre Independence Day

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, July 3, 2009 - 11:30:45 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Tonight, with word of pre Independence Day fireworks on the lake, we all headed down to watch them.

I've got to say, there is something that felt very American about sitting in the back of the pickup truck and watching fireworks over the lake - and having a car near us blasting Nothin' But A Good Time from he stereo! Too much fun.

While I've seen somewhat better choreographed fireworks shows (New Years at the start of this year being an example), the length of the fireworks was vastly different than I'm used to in Australia, lasting about 25 minutes. And to think, it's not even 4th of July yet.

For the past two or so weeks, fireworks tents have been popping up (which was interesting given the heat wave around the time we went to Branson), and today the parking lot for Kovak's Fireworks was absolutely packed. The Jensen's are prepared with fireworks, I'm hopin' to see some stuff blow up real good tomorrow! [wink]

The Maine On Fuse

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, July 1, 2009 - 02:30:32 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Katie has switched over to Fuse in the hopes of seeing The Maine on this show about the Vans Warped Tour that's on. Sure enough, not after too long, there they are doing a filler section on fashion. We were hoping to see one of their videos, but sadly there was none. But what a success story. I remember just over two years ago watching a YouTube video of them playing in someone's backyard, and now you can just flick on the TV and see them.

And of course, the fact that I can turn on the TV and see them in a success story in itself!

Cute face, slim waist...

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