Frock 'N Roll

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 11:33:06 pm
(Posted Under: Halloween, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
On getting back from Zia, we continued getting our Halloween decorations up, and preparing for any trick or treaters that came to the door. We only had one come, a little kid who was about 3 years old. Being my first Halloween in the States, I would have liked if we'd had a few more.

We'd previously decided that we weren't going to go out tonight, due to the lack of anything we really wanted to do going on. But pretty much as soon as I got back I was geared up to do something - and Frock N' Roll looking more appealing that it had earlier in the week. Ironically, we could have gotten cheaper tickets from Danalyn last night if we'd known then that we were going to go, which as the night wore on I kicked myself about. All the same, we decided to just do it. On half an hours notice we also decided that if we were going to go, we should go in costume! With the lack of notice, and having just moved in, we had to work with what we had - which wasn't as much. However, we did what we could - I broke out black jeans, my Larson shirt & cowboy hat to go as "Steve Larsonn" - or the best version of Steve Larson possible with the limited resources, and Katie...well Katie's costume was the fact that she wore a dress. We got dressed, out back down to the Madcap theatre for Frock N' Roll.

Photobox ImageThe Harkins Theatre has moved to Tempe Marketplace, and the city is now using it for arts events, which is pretty cool news to both of us. Frock N' Roll is a fashion show set to live music. The show was inside the cinema, with a stage built infront of the movie screen. Definately a different and cool setting to see band. We got there while the Tremulants were playing, and thankfully in time to see 36 Cents & A Dream, Troy's current band.

Photobox ImageAfter them were Strange Young Things (one of the things about the event that made me change my mind and want to go). Unfortunately at 11:20 they were nowhere to be found, and there was a decent delay before they, decked out in sailor costumes (which they also wore when opening for Roget Cllyne & The Peacemakers earlier tonight at the Marque) scurried onto the stage, setting up their gear at lightning speed (towards the end with Rhonda Ziaus calling out "1..2..3..4! Just play!!!" while Corey was tuning. Because of the delay the guys only got to play 3 songs, before being ushered off the stage for the second costume contest. But at least we got to see two of the new songs (both of which I remember hearing at the When In AZ... show last month) and Get Your Fire For Free. Corey had his heart set on getting a fourth song in there, but was quickly and strongly shut down, much to my (and it seemed his) disappointment. While the costume cotest started out kinda of funny, not many partipants were there for Frock N' Roll, but for the showing of Rock Horror Picture Show at midnight, so it would have been nice if they'd let Strange Young Things play for that fifteen minutes instead. Oh well. Funnily, it means I still haven't managed to see a full / long SYT set! The upcoming Yucca show will hopefully fix that.

I'd expected that there would have been more of a turn out, and the small crowd made us both glad that we'd decided to come and help to at least fill two more seats. The Halloween make-up of the models was a fitting touch, and while the organization could have been better (plus, it seemed like Frock N' Roll were kinda kicked out of the venue awfully quickly in preparation for the Rocky Horrow Picture Show showing - the headliner, Peachcake played in the lobby of Madcap), it was a pretty cool, and certainly different way to see local bands.

Annother Zia Records Plunder

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 06:45:22 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
After seeing the music festival, we decided to take another assult on Zia Records. It was funny actually, looking from where the stage was and seeing Zia between the two buildings off to the stage. It would have been a 2 minute walk, but we went back to the car instead given that we were in a metered parking space.

The trip to Zia originally looked to be fairly fruitless, after scowering the local music section and not finding much at all that we didn't have / wanted. And that's not due to not having a list of CD's that we were looking for.

Before looking, we looked briefly in the general section, and began to find a bunch of cool local stuff. Katie actually was the one who had most of the major lodge victories - finding Look What They've Done To My Champagne Music (Strange Young Things) (woo hoo, finally - it pains me that we probably could of gottene this last month if we'd looked in the general section), Red Badge Of Dishonor (Beat Angels) - a eew copy for $5.99 - bonus!, and Between Dark & Dawn (Los Guys). The only thing we need that I found was a new copy of They Way We Talk at a reasonable price. Now with 4 CD's which we'd been looking for in hand, this felt a lot more like a Zia Records visit that I'm familiar with! [wink]

It was pretty funny, having done in during full sunlight (probably around 4:30) and it was dark when we walked out (by around 6pm). Ahhh, it's always dangerous entering Zia Records - well, for me anyway! [wink]

On the way home we detoured down the streets around Hardy checking out the halloween lights and decorations in the area, and seeing a whole bunch of trick or treaters on their quest for candy. There were a lot of BBQ's that seemed to be going on, and Katie observed that that isn't something thst really happens in the midwest for halloween. Why is pretty obvious - it's so cold out there, but here it was a nice, warm halloween night.

1st Annual Mill Avenue Halloween Music Festival

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, October 31, 2009 - 04:19:20 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Today we headed to Mill for the 1st Annual Mill Avenue Halloween Music Festival. It was lucky that I'd picked up a copy of AZ Weekly last night at the Evlis Before Noon show, which featured it on the cover, otherwise we wouldn't have known about it. Featured on the front were Hans Olson. Steve Larson and James Park - sweet!

We ended up getting there a little bit later than we'd originally planned, and funnily enough missed Hans Olson funnily enough. Ha, 2005 Tempe Music Festival memories all over again (though, the was more related to the arrival time of my flight to Phoenix than today's reasons were). We went over and checked things out, and found out what time Steve was playing. We decided to head over to Jack In The Box since we were hungry, needed more change for the parking meter on 7th Street, and weren't that into the artist who was playing at the time.

Eating at the Jack In The Box next to the vacant lot that was once Long Wongs was pretty cool. Another thing that you'd assume that I would hae already done on previous visits to Phoenix, but hadnd't. Looking at the vacant lot, which doesn't seem that big now that there is nothing there, it's hard to imagine that all three buildings (Wongs, Cafe Boa and that tatt palor) actuallly fitted on the lot.

Photobox ImageWe headed off a little earlier than Steve was scheduled to play, hence you could imagine our surprise hearing Joe's Goin' Fihsin' booming out around downtown Tempe as we walked down Mill to the lights. Hence the walking pace was picked up. We couldn't have possibly missed that much though, as abot 10 minutes earlier Katie had gone to put more change in the meter and Steve wasn't playing then. We caught Joe's, Colder, Jack And Ginny and Don't Be Scared. I'd expected that Steve would have been playing with Parks, however he just played a short set before Parks went on with his full band.

Photobox ImageThe James Park band was a cavicade of stars - in that Andy Jensen was on bass, and on guitar Dwight Ziegler, formally with Strange Young Things - who I thought looked familiar, but would not have made the connection had we not run into Corrine towards the end of the eset, who mentioned who he was. Pretty cool seeing the band because of the past 6 months I've been hearing out Parks through Steve's association and work with him.

It was a pretty cool little thing, and was a perfect sunny Tempe day for it, and really great to see some arts and entertainment coming back to Mill. We hope it's a sign of things to come, but if so, it's going to be a long road. It was slightly disappointing that it wasn't that well attended, although more people seemed to show up when Parks went on. Either way, it was a really cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Elvis Before Noon @ Upper Deck

With Special Guest T-Roy

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, October 30, 2009 - 11:59:17 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Photobox ImageTonight was a lot of fun. Rocking up to the Upper Deck, two surprises waiting in stall for us. The first was that Troy was on stage sound checking his bass. Too cool. The second was that the entire band was in Halloween get up. The most impressive was Daylon's by far. Scotty was going to be a zombie groom, but bailed on the zombie part. Still, the zombie arm on the stage provided comic relief! Ringo was Ace Venture - and it was really great that Scotty explained that to us before the show, because although it was a really good Ace costume, we would have just taken it as Ringo dressing like Ringo. And Troy was the dictator. Photos will explain that.

Aaron showed up not to long after us, and the bar seemed pretty jamming compared to last week, no doubt because of Halloween. On the way down we saw a slew of bike riders in costume riding down Scottsdale Road and when I went out for a smoke it looked like a lot of them had gone to Dos Gringos across the road.

Photobox ImageThe show was as always really good, and quite funny at times with the whole costumes thing. And it was really so cool getting to see Troy play with Scotty again (for me, it's been three years). The number of songs they played seemed like less than last week (I'm confident they went on earlier last week). Scotty was instructing Troy a lot obviously, but it was cool to see soulful Troy re-appear on the songs he knew - like when Daylon broke a string and Scotty launched into Get Drunk All The Time. I also really enjoyed a bunch of oddly dressed guys (particularly Daylon) doing Gin Blossoms songs - there was just something cool and enjoyable about that!

Having been here for just over a week now, I think we were both more comfortable in our surroundings these week which added to the fun tonight.

Halloween Pumpkin

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, October 30, 2009 - 08:04:31 pm
(Posted Under: Halloween)
Because we've been so busy our pumpkin has been sitting on the bench uncarved. I had every intention and desire to carve it last night after we got back from the fair, but we were absolutely in no shape to do it.

So by about 3pm this afternoon, it was time to address that. We'd gotten our carving tools the other night, drew out a design, and was good to go - until the carving too broke two cuts into it! Argh! Katie took off to try and replace it, because it's not like we have any carving knives or anything at the moment. She came back from across the street empty hands, and so began the nightmare of our pumpkin carving. She returned probably two hours later, truimphant, but having had sturggled to find any carving tools anywhere in town. I know that it's the day before halloween, but REALLY?

Photobox ImageWhile she was gone there was a pretty impressive dusk sky with a close to full moon our, which gave a really cool and eerie look over the apartment complex. Sitting out on the porch having a smoke I was thinking about how halloween and moving in seem to go hand in hand for us. We were moving in to a new place last halloween (albeit with a little bit more time before hand last year), and here we are again, a year later, moving in and fitting in halloween festivities around it. Noticing that also can't help but remind you of how much has happened, and how far we've come in the past year, especially when I remember halloween last year and it just doesn't seem like it was that long ago!

Photobox ImageOnce KT got back, time was ticking down before we had to go out tonight, but I was determined that this pumpkin was going to get carved tonight, come hell or high water. Hell, it needed to be, tomorrow is Halloween. It already had felt pretty weird having had left it this late. With the carving knives (no suitable halloween tools were to be found in the 2 hour search) we set out carving it. Surprisingly it didn't take as long to get done as I'd expected, especially given our somewhat advanced design.

Photobox ImageHowever, we now have a carved pumpkin - and just in the nick of time!

Arizona State Fair

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosThursday, October 29, 2009 - 10:22:36 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Photobox ImageWe'd planned on going to the Arizona State Fair today, which actually runs for a fair while (3 weeks). We'd planned on today to take advantage of the free admission between 12 and 1pm.

It was a really nice drive up to Phoenix, and only took 15 minutes which was really sweet. When there is no traffic our location is so perfect for getting pretty much anywhere. Our timing was really perfect, getting out of the car (valet parking right next to the entrance off McDowell) at 12:05.

We didn't quite know what to expect - I still clearly remember being at the cross roads of McDowell, 19th Ave and the Wickenburg highway in 2005, talking about the Blossoms playing a Gun show and Katie pointing out the fair grounds and suggesting that the fair wasn't that good for what she knew or though. We started out scoping things out, and quickly it became apparent that the grounds were certainly small than say the Iowa State Fair. After spending some time looking at some cool stuff under the grand stands, we set out on a mission to find some luck. With "possibly the worlds best curly fries" (btw, while the were okay, the claim was far from accurate) we sat down and had our lunch and formulated a plan for the rest of the day. With the backing sounds of Miss Senor Arizona in the background - which was suitably hilarious. Looking over to the stage every now and then kept the comic relief coming. Though, I must saw that the 60 odd year old woman doing a Michael Jackson dance routine to The Way You Make Me Feel was certainly something, and enjoyable is some strange way.

Photobox ImageWith lunch done and an action plan sorted we checking out the student artwork and Culinary arts...which took us a while to get through, and cut it short to head back out the where we had lunch to watch the Native Spirit Dancers and their display of Native American dance. I thought this was particularly cool and quite impressive. All the while we watched this performance, off to the side the seniors were still belting out tunes. The placement of these two displays in such close proximately probably nasn't the smartest decision in the world. [wink]

Photobox ImageAfter the native american dancers, we headed over to the Coliseum Hall to continue checking out the artwork - which ate into a hell of a lot of the day actually! But was really good and both the artwork and photography sections were quite extensive. We were quite impressed by some of the works done by kids between 11 and 17! Of particular note was a drawing of Willy Nelson, which you could only just tell was really a drawing when you got up close. Amazing, and even moreso given that it was done by someone in the 11 - 17 age group! It wasn't until close to 5 that we've gotten done with all of that, and set out to try cover everything else we hadn't seen. So much for lowered expectations of what the fair would provide, we'd already spent 5 hours looking around without even trying!

Photobox ImageBack outside walking through the midway Katie spotted the Arizona Lottery prospector mascot walking around - at lunch she'd mentioned how enjoyable she thought he was (we were sitting by the Arizona Lottery booth), so we tackled him for a photo. He was actually walking pretty quickly in the opposite direction, and thankfully a bunch of teenagers had stopped him for a photo. So we got a photo with him, which I think for Katie in itself was worth the price of admission! [smile]

Photobox ImageFrom there we checked out the remainder of what we hadn't seen, including another crafts building. Which put is in a good location to catch the 6pm pig races. The "Ham Bone Express" races were quite entertaining, and the speed of these little oinkers scrambling around the track towards an Oreo cookie was quick impressive!

Nearby, and of particular interest to Katie was the equivalent of the varied industries building at the Iowa State Fair. One stand in there had a slew of really cool fixtures and hangings, and of particular interest to me were these Kokopeli light shades. They were just too cool. It was really unfortunate that I couldn't justify buying them right now - there is much more important stuff that we need to spend money on right now, but I know when we get a house I'll want them and not be able to find anything as perfect as those!

The pushy-ness of companies in there was quite impressive (and obviously annoying). Y'know, your typical suspects, Verizon etc. etc. I don't know why it's necessary. Firstly, more often than not, if you're at the state fair and in that building, if you have interest in any of that stuff you're going to stop and look at stuff - you don't need to be flagged down. And for cell phone providers - everyone has a phone, and it's ridiculously easy to do stuff online, go into a store or sign up over the phone. Do you really need to wrangle everyone that walks past? I'm with Verizon, so Verizon reps trying to sell me stuff really pisses me off! In anycase, I wasn't ready for it (unlike when we say go to Arizona Mills - you're guard is up right before you walk in), but two minutes after being in there I had my reasonably cold "nope" routine up.

Photobox ImageOnce we got down there all we had left to see were the livestock. Mind you, it was after 7 by this stage. We decided to get a churro, and that became quite an excursion, walking up and down isles of the midway trying to find a stand selling churros. By this point our feet were pretty sore, and it was kind of cruel, since Katie had seen a bunch of stands selling them throughout the day. In true to form fashion for us we arguably searched for longer than we should have, and longer than most other people would. But it got to a point where even I gave up, and we agreed on just getting a funnel cake instead. And then about a minute later spotted a stand selling churros. Major lodge victory! So we got our churro, and headed back to the entrance, checking out the livestock before heading back to the car.

So, having not known what to expect, and not having too high of expectations, we had a really great day, and spent a lot more time at the fair than either of had expected. And arguably we could have probably spent more time if we hadn't been so exhausted after 8 hours of it.

It being so late when we left there wasn't much traffic, so again it was just 15 minutes home, which was really nice! I'm definitely quite exhausted though. I think the past week, plus the walking around today is catching up with me, because it was actually a quite relaxing day despite all the walking, and many days last week we've seemed to have had much more full on days, but have not been as absolutely exhausted as this. And on that note, it's time for me to wimp out and go to bed!

Neil Young Night @ Yucca

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 11:55:05 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Katie decided to sit Yucca out based on some developments we'd guessed earlier in the day and confirmed later tonight, so after dropping off Katie at the apartment, Aaron and I headed over to Yucca. It's the first time I've been since having the apartment, and driving down there really drove home what a sweet location we picked to live. A short ride up Hardy and then an even shorter one down Southern, and there you in the parking lot of Yucca Tap.

Photobox ImageHaving a cigarette before going in made me think that it's almost been a week here and we hadn't yet been to Yucca, which felt mildly strange, and cool to be there. Within minutes the cavilcade of familiar faces became known - first JV who walked out for a smoke right when we got there, Corey, Rich & the guitarist from SYT, Daryl Icard, PC, Mark & Emmett...and the list goes on. Given there were a lot less people we knew last time we were at Yucca, it was really cool to have more familiar Yucca experience. And to boot, Venus was behind the bar. Being their last month with no Venus was just weird to me.

We stay until 12:30 when Aaron started to get tired and decided to head back. On the way out Mark said he was going on after two bands - which seemed surprising given the time. As much as I'd have liked to have seen him, the Neil Young covers had less appeal and given how tired Aaron was and I was starting to get there too, heading home was the best idea. Plus Aaron had determined that Jesse wasn't playing which gave him a lot less reason to hang around.

Mark & Emmett @ Murphey's Law

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 11:35:54 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Tonight was Mark + Emmett @ Murphey's Law, which was much anticipated by me because the last time I saw these guys was really cool. It was 3 years ago, and it was so good that I wanted to go the next week, promptly broke my arm, and that was the end of that!

As expected, it was value for money, which is no way a reflection on the fact that there was no cover. While I was in the bathroom, Mark stopped by our table and Katie found out that they don't have any copies of Situations Like These left, which was really surprising to me. Although it came out a year or two ago I didn't expect that they'd fly off the shelf and there would be any problem in getting one once we got here.

During the first break I went out for a cig, while Found Out About You was playing over the PA - rock! And when I came back in, Mark was playing Gasoline with, after a talking to Emmett seems like it was Pete Milner - guitarist for the Mistaken era of the Chimeras...cool.

Not long into it I decided that I wanted to hear Whiteout. I didn't catch Emmett's eye while Pete was playing, so once he was back up there with Mark and asked for requests that was my queue! After dealing with some accent barriers, he worked out what I wanted to hear and graciously honored the request kicking it off with "cool, that's one that I wrote". The second and third set contained a lot of their own stuff (whether or not it was due to my request I don't know) - Spittin' Into The Wind, Easy and a couple more off the new Tramps record, and a bunch from the number of projects Zubs is/has been involved with.

With Whiteout played, there was another that I really wanted to here, and didn't neccesarily want to harrass them too much with requests. But I didn't have to, because towards the end of that night, Mark launched into that 12 bar bluesy swing - "the black girl in the white dress in the city sleeps away...". Yep, finally have gotten to see Zubs play Absolutely Right Or Wrong. And it sounded absolutely glorious.

After their third set, Emmett came back up to our table and was quite happy to have people their requesting these songs instead of the usual requests for "Brown Eyed Girl". Which is funny to me - I'm like "no, thank you for playing the original stuff that I want to hear!" It's why I'm out here after all.

Once Aaron had finished his beer it was over to Yucca Tap Room (more or less following Mark & Emmett ironically) for Neil Young Night.

Resturaunt Mexico & Four Peaks

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 06:16:39 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Things are starting to equalize with things being setup. We took care of some stuff this morning and were going to do some other things out and about, including getting a pumpkin for Halloween.

Aaron called to hang out, so we combined the two things. We went out to Resturant Mexico for lunch. It's somewhat surprising to me that I still hadn't been there. Funnily enough, when we walked in, we were seated by Sarah Ventre - the Blaze DJ that does the local music show that we had been listening to every week. Once we sat down Katie asked if she was Sarah Ventre, and it was obvious that she was trying to work out who we were and how she knew her. When Katie said 'Mark & Katie from Australia' you could see the association click, but Sarah's look of disbelief and confusion at us sitting at Resturant Mexico on Mill was priceless. After getting us seated and service some other people, she pulled up a seat and chatted with us for a bit, and offered to give us a tour of The Blaze studio after lunch.

Aaron seemed preetty into eating at Resturant Mexico since he has listened to live records with Robin referencing it for years, but didn't realize that it was a real place. The food was really good. When we finished lunch Sarah seemed vusy, so we didn't bother her with the Blaze tou'd be really cool to do sometime. While paying I noticed that the resturant had photos of their previous location up by the counter - what caught my eye particular was the building that used to be across from Long Wongs on 7th Street. I'd come across a small photo back in Warsaw one night goofing off on the net, and so it was really cocl to see a large shot of the whole building. I think I need me one of those!

After lunch we took a walk down Mill, which didn't really provide much excitement as it was pretty dead - which prompted discussion about everything that is wrong with Mill Aveneue.

So it was back to the car to go over to Tempe Market Place so we could get our pumpkin, as halloween is approaching quickly. After that Aaron wanted to have a beer and decided on Four Peaks, which always sits well with me, so we cruised over there. After a while I noticed what seemed like a familar looking guy emerge from the studio next door, but couldn't quite work out whether or not it was who I thought it was. The second time he came out I was still unsure. While I was trying to work uut, I saw a tall lanky guy and thought "gee, that guy looks a lot like Bill. OH, wait a second..." and moments later saw Valenzuela. After having just seen Sarah at Restaurant Mexico and then this, it's hard to deny the wonders of living in Tempe Arizona!

Operation Cleanup & TV

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 11:00:47 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Now that we've got some furniture in the apartment and all our stuff moved in from the storage unit, it was time for a bit of cleanup, because between moving in, getting set up and rocking out, the place wasn't looking that great all of a sudden.

Although I've been saying it each day since we moved in and haven't got to it, I finally got my server set up today which has been good, and nice, if for nothing else to get some tunes happening.

After the cleanup, things are looking good, and it was time to fire up the internet and watch some TV - something that we've been saying that we're going to do, and just not geetting to because of being busy with other things. Since analogue television broadcast are defunct as of a few months ago, and remote problems with the digital convertor box we have, we have a TV here, but can't watch it. Hence, it's really nice that some stations here stream full episodes online - namely NBC and CBS. So tonight we caught up on How I Met Your Mother and the Office and then also Rockwiz. More often that not I'm finding that you can't access Australian media online over here, but thankfully SBS doesn't impose such restrictions, so it was very cool to see and episode of Rockwiz again!

Strange Young Things To Open For RCPM

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 02:01:04 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
It appears that Strange Young Things won last Friday's competition to open for Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers at the Marquee this Friday.

A few years ago this would have been a such gig to go to (although, of course a few years ago my eyes hadn't been opened to the wonders of Strange Young Things), plus it'd be a cool first show at the Marquee. Alas we have no real interest (it's a shame that I'm finally out here but the band is in the height of their decline), although we'd both enjoy seeing Strange Young Things blow the headliner off the stage - just not for $25 a ticket. At the end of the day we know that it's just better to see Strange Young Things headlining in the future. Like at Yucca on November 7th. [smile]

Speaking of The Peacemakers, and decline thereof, I'm looking forward to seeing Larson sometime soon. He did play right before we left Warsaw, and Scotty mentioned that he was out playing again at The Vig. It's a shame that I won't be able to relive those awesome Sunday nights watching Steve at Sugar Daddies though.
Now Playing: Strange Young Things - Hail Blackmail

Elvis Before Noon @ The Vig

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 09:38:07 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
The fact that the drive from our apartment to The Vig only took 15 minutes was so appreciated today! It's probably in no small part it's the brilliance of a Sunday afternoon gig - no traffic!

The band was already playing when we arrived, and the setting was quite a contrast to last Friday at the Upperdeck Sports Grill - the place was packed, verses nearly empty on Friday night. There was a bit of concern when we were told that there was an hour wait for a table - we didn't want a table, we just wanted to watch the band. But as it worked out, we were able to stand at the bar outside.

In terms of settings, and outside gig on a warm Sunday afternoon is pretty awesome! From the Vig you could see the orange desert sunset at around 5:30.

The two sets by the band were similar to Friday night, and thoroughly enjoyable. Two particular highlights for me were when Daylon disappeared, and Scotty took over and pulled out Get Drunk All The Time, and the band closing out the afternoon with Hey Jealousy. Actually, I really love when these guys do Good Old Boys also.

Over the past while, Aaron has talked this guys up a fair bit. I wasn't convinced, and was conscious ahead of time that we were going to see Scotty - and their wasn't even going to be the Scotty & Troy power duo that I love. But contrary to not having that high expectations, two shows down and I'm totally sold on these guys. They make Gin Blossoms songs sound awesome, they cover Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers and The Refreshments, they do a cool bunch of not so common other covers, and their originals are great! It seems like there is some decent action happening with the band at the moment - talk of a CD, and this afternoon talk about t-shirts, and I feel pretty lucky to be around on the uptake of things for this.

Unlike last night's debarkle with Domo, we watch these guys play for three hours. Which, funnily enough - typically the longer the better, especially when you're seeing Scotty play, but with a bunch of stuff still to do today, and the past week starting to catch up with us, it wouldn't have been the worse thing if the set was shorter. Though, with that said, there was no way we were going to bail earlier - which the enjoyment of the show made it easier. But it didn't stop us complaining about how tired we were growing.

After the show we hung around for a little bit, before making our escape, getting some light globes for our new lamps at Target, raiding Albertson's of their coke supplies, and swinging past the storage unit to pick up yet another load of stuff. Shockingly we still have to get the TV - every time we've gone there, it's just been something that we haven't been willing to deal with (largely through tiredness each time we've gotten around to getting to the storage unit). Arguably we'll take care of that tomorrow.

Now with so much been covered in the last 4 days we're in a better to kick it all down a notch tonight and tomorrow, which is a god sent, since everything we've done over the past week is starting to catch up with us. Though, looking around the apartment, it's pretty satisfying seeing everything we've achieved.

New Sofas

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 08:31:30 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
It's nice that today has been a little less full on. Actually, thinking about it, that's only partially true. This morning actually feels like a day ago.

Photobox ImageI woke up reasonably early again this morning...which is relatively impressive given how dead tired I was last night and had stayed up late doing concert calendar research! It was a good thing, since the furniture delivery guys calls early to deliver the sofas. Really impressive to me, given that it's Sunday! And worked out quite nice that we didn't have to spend time waiting around. They arrived here at 8:36am and since then we've had sofas. A luxury that is not lost on either of us! It's impressive how much the living room immediately looked like one once they arrived.

After some more concert calendar work, and enjoying the sofas, we headed out to get some more stuff done. First stop was Ikea, now that we know what room we've got left to work with. While we didn't find any tables for the living room, we did sort out our chronic lighting situation - and not a moment too soon. We got one free standing lamp, and 2 sets of luminarios, which I'm pretty excited about. After that we also picked up some pots for our new cactii.

We'd planned to get more done, but after the Ikea shopping spree we barely had time to drop everything off and then head up to Phoenix to see Scotty...

My First Domo Show

All 10 Minutes Of It

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 11:02:37 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Live Shows)
Today has been a really good day, but seeing Domo was a bit of a bust. Sometimes something just has to give. Actually, tracing things back, it was really all due to not emptying the storage unit...

After grocery shopping - yes, our third day here and we've only just gotten to that - read into that regarding our priorities what you may [smile] - we had plenty of food options, but with all of them, either nothing to cook it with, or nothing to eat it with. Except for the fries that we brought, that we started cooking up at the last minute. Due to them not cooking quick enough, we didn't get out of the apartment until 9pm, which was when the show started. We got to Hollywood Alley in 15 minutes, and I didn't think that missing a couple of songs would be a problem - if the band even went on right at 9 anyway. And there lies the problem. Not only did they probably go on right at 9, but the set was 25 minutes long, probably due to the number of bands on the bill.

So right after paying our $10 cover charge, we heard Jason announce their last song! If only we'd spent more time outside and heard that before paying. Luckily for us, for whatever reason, the continued playing, and we at least got to see 3 songs from Domo. A bit disappointing, since it was an effort to go out since we've been so busy and are tired, and it was kind of an expensive cover for 3 songs by Domo (our initial plan was to see Domo and then come home to sleep). You win some, you loose some I guess. I did however technically get to break my Domo cherry, and also got to see Hollywood Alley for the first time, which seems like a really cool bar.

Tear down and set up times between sets was very impressive, and the second band had started while we were still outside having a smoke. My plan was to hear the first song, see if they sucked and leave if so. If they didn't suck - well, let's face it, when does a band you didn't go to see not suck? Never! Unless it's convenient for you for them to suck - ala tonight! [wink] We sat around for a few songs, and we decided that Katie would chill out in the car and I'd go back in, to at least get a bit more out of my $5! [smile] I'm glad that I did, because I enjoyed watchuing those guys - who I can only assume were Hard Girls. Strangely, their style wasn't my typical thing, but there was something about them that made them well worth seeing. After their set it was past 10, and while I was tempted to do the "I'll wait to see if they suck" with the next band, the prospect of them not, and hence being lured to stay out longer (given our tiredness) was enough to be able to call it a night. And anyway, given our tiredness, our initial plan was to see Domo and then get some sleep, so in theory I got enough out of the cover charge that we were planning to get anyway.

With that said, I'm looking forward to getting to see Domo properly in the future. I think next time we'll make more of an effort to be on time, and will be more selective about how many others are on the bill. The upshot is that their new record should be coming out soon, hence there should in theory be some opportunities? Can anybody say CD release party!? [smile]

More Funiture Shopping, & My New Pride And Joy

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 07:00:00 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock, Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Another productive day down. I was up early again this morning - i think it's an Arizona thing. And how bright it is in the morning doesn't hurt any. This morning I took care of some stuff, including updating my address with the powers to be. I enjoy when I'm told that my legal obligations have been met. [smile]

After that we headed out again to continue the furniture hunt. As I'm writing this, it blows my mind that this was today - it totally feels like it happened a day ago! We headed up to north Phoenix to check out a second hand place. It was a glorious day today, and it was pretty awesome being out actually. We passed one of the houses that we'd looked at last month, which was a good reminder of just how far from Tempe that place was! [smile] The second hand place was a lot different to the other places we've looked at, and was kinda a cool different experience to yesterday. Alas it was a lot less productive (though enjoyable for me) than yesterday, all though Katie did snag a cool wooden ornament shelf (that you affix to a wall) with cacti carved into it for $4.

Photobox Image After that, we headed out to another store - but along the way passed a nursery. While I knew that we had a lot to do today (the afternoon was wearing on), I decided that we needed to stop and check it out. We'd only been discussing how we need a Saguaro cactus! Although I knew we didn't have time to just look and we had more important tasks at hand, I figured that since we were so far north in Phoenix, it made some sense gas wise, rather than driving back later. This place was awesome. We looked around the whole place - probably taking a little more time that I'd originally planned - looking at all the 'pipe dream' specimens which aren't realistic until we at very least have a house (and an extra grand for a cactus! [smile] ). However, we did spy some deals, and long story short picked up one for the porch of the apartment (with a $40 price tag, rather than $700). It's brilliant, and was immediately my pride and joy! We actually justified the cost every which way - but basically it's our moving in gift to each other. While it's not a saguaro, it looks like one (so busy, so tired, haven't been able take note of the species properly) and is just a great specimen, and exactly what I had in mind when we were earlier talking about.

For a moment the thought of who was going to be the lucky one to carry it to the car was quite comically. However, they wrapped it for us (using an incredible amount of butcher paper - but amazingly well wrapped) which made it really easy to move around without being stabbed to death. I mentioned in an earlier post the new inanimate objects that I am in love with - this cactus has become the third item in that group! Oh man!

With that little diversion out of the way, we made it to the second furniture store, and unlike yesterday, made a purchase! While we had been thinking of less and something cheaper, this was a smoking deal (sofa, with a love seat included in the price - and much higher quality than what we had on the cards) and is an investment in our future, where as the other main contender would have been replaced as soon as our finances and stability change.

With that out of the way, we blew off picking up anything more out of storage, and headed home to unload the new cactus, and to measure / work out the arrangement of our new furniture.

With that out of the way, and only two pizzas in the fridge (the third one we ate for lunch today), it was time to deal with the issue of grocery shopping - something that we've kept putting off in preference of getting other stuff done. This is day 3 in the apartment mind you. The noteworthy part of this experience is, amazingly finding some hard bread rolls with sesame seeds! This was a major lodge victory, since Americans are obsessed with the softest, flakiest bread known to mankind - to me, it's only a few steps away from just being dough! [smile] So yesterday Vegemite, today some good rolls - it's all coming up Milhouse in that department!

Elvis Before Noon @ Upperdeck Sports Grill

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, October 24, 2009 - 09:25:54 am
(Posted Under: Music Music, Live Shows, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Photobox ImageLast night was fun. The stage at the Upperdeck was smack bang right at the front door, with Scotty closest to the door. Katie hustled in head down, I didn't, hence I caught the "what the HELL are you two doing here" look from Scotty as we past the stage. Promptly at the end of the song he gave a shout out to the people from Australia, and asked us when we'd flown in, etc. etc.

I wasn't completely sure what to expect from Elvis Before Noon, but it was a bunch of covers, a bunch of not so much covers (ie: Peacemakers and Gin Blossoms songs) and some originals mixed throughout the set. Particularly enjoyable were the Blossoms covers, whichh sounded so fresh, which was quite refreshing! The first of which was Til I Hear It From You, which is just a yawn fest for me live typically. There's not a live show without it, and it's pretty tired. But these guys made it sound great. Similarly they played Mrs. Rita later on, and a very rockin' tempo which sounded as fresh as when a young band of Gin Blossoms recorded the song in 1991! Love it.

After the first set Scotty came over for a chat, and seemed suitable impressed when he found out that we're now living here. Surprisingly when we said "get used to seeing us" he was visibly excited about the fact.

The second set went for about an hour, before Scotty attempted to shut the whole thing down due to some what I'm going to call "musicians fatigue", although the rest of the band got him to strap on the guitar for one more song.

Furniture & Vegemite

...Just Not Together

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, October 23, 2009 - 08:20:07 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
Waking up at 7 this morning was nice, to give us some time to enjoy the apartment somewhat, straighten up a bit, and still get out too look at furniture reasonably earlier. Which is how we spent most of the later morning and early afternoon. While we made no purchases at this point, it was certainly a worthwhile endevour. Which we'll no doubt pick up again tomorrow.

By 2 we were both absolutely starving (and parched - go figure, the desert and all [wink] ) and so I elected the resturant to fix our hunger should be non other than Fuddruckers. Rather than go to the new Mesa one, we headed out to the one in Scottsdale. And absolute awesome decision on my behalf as a Fuddrucker's chicken sandwich was exactly what was needed to calm the raging hunger! At the moment I am completely in love with two inanimate objects - our new fridge, and Fuddruckers chicken sandwich. My love for both is probably a tad unhealthy. It's fine, I can admit it! [wink] (I've had a sordid love affair with the former for quite a while of course).

After the late lunch we decided to check out Tempe Market Place, the new complex (well, newish in the last few years) that I'm largely only familiar with because of the usual suspects (particularly Violet Wild) who have played shows there over the last few years). It was also new to Katie (the landfill cleanup only just starting while she was still here), and we were both suitably impressed. Quite large, and not half as creepy as say, Desert Sky Mall. The sheer size of it also brought an immediate thought to mind - fuck off the corporatization of Mill Avenue, do all your retail here and return Mill Avenue to an arts / music location. Look out, another Mill Avenue rant. Speaking of which, it was interesting to see that Ruby Tuesday has moved down here - the last time we were here we figured that it had shut up shop when we noticed the empty building on Mill and University last month.

In anycase, we picked up some great cactii at Target on sale for the apartment. I'm pretty happy with them! We're going to need more, but these two were a great start at a great price.

Next door was World Market, a store with foods from around the world. So of course, we had to check it out. It was pretty cool seeing Australian food that I haven't seen for a while. After a little while, we hit the jackpot. It was incredibly cute how excited Katie was when she spotted that yellow jar - yes, Vegemite! There had been somewhat of a search party keeping and eye out for some in the midwest, which turned up nothing. And hence I haven't had a single bit ever since I left Australia. Which I've handled quite well actually, put by about the third month I'd have some minor cravings for it here and there. So it was pretty glorious! And...expensive! US $8.99 for one of the little 200g jars (surprisingly the majority of other stuff was a lot closer to Australian prices). But of course, there was no way we couldn't purchase some, especially given the difficulty we've had finding any thus far.

I completely forgot about this product (oh the shame) it took Katie to remind me - savory shapes. Unfortunately they didn't have any (nor Salada, which is another thing I wwouldn't mind to taste again. [smile] ). In anycase, there was joy throughout the land at finding Vegemite (which ironically I'd been talking to Aaron (Mr. 'hooked on Bunderberg Ginger Beer' ever since he went to New Zealand).

After this, and then another Target to pick up a vaccum cleaner we found last night on sale, we headed over to the storage unit to pick up more stuff. With the plants in the car we didn't have enough room to clear it out tonight either. Honestly, doing the unpacking of it and moving it to apartment, I'm actually surprised with just how much stuff we got moved here with only our car. It's really quite impressive! Many things were well executed with the move, one of them being how room we gained using the overhead bag to transport our clothes. One more trip to the storage unit and we should be done though!

In half an hour we're heading out to see Scotty play. Woo!

Arizona Is My Climate

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, October 23, 2009 - 08:35:08 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
So, I feel remiss not to announce (aka brag about) the current weather conditions in my new home town. It's the middle of fall here in the US. In my mind, back in the midwest it might have well already been winter (of course, I'm a light weight when it comes to shitty weather, and know it's going to get a hell of a lot worse out there).

It's currently 8:30 in Tempe, and the temperature is at 70F (or 21C) and there ain't nothing but sun and clear skies out there. Just another reason why Arizona is great!

Driving down here, parts of Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico were quite freakin' cold. One gas station we stopped at in Texas was particularly horrible weather wise. It's such a lovely contrast here. We had the AC on and off through yesterday and I worked up a sweat moving things into the apartment.

It was also really nice going out last night, because it was quite mild (not something that I'm that familiar with here, because I've always been out here in right before summer). It's certainly a nice time of year out here weather wise.

Moving the stuff yesterday I did think how our time in Missouri was well placed, and the fact that we moved in after the heat of the summer sun actually worked out pretty damn well - especially since from what I've heard it was a particularly hot one this year.

Christening Operation Desert Rock

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, October 23, 2009 - 08:24:25 am
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
When you've got an operation, such as "desert rock" that's almost completely executed (although it really is, I guess I'm waiting on sorting out a job before considering it completely done), you really need to christen the desert rock part, which we're wasting no time on (although technically going out last night - if something cool was happening would have really been wasting no time - but there was no way that was going to happen, even if something was going on). And to christen that will be Scotty Johnson in Snottsdale tonight. I'm looking forard to it a lot - it's going to be the first tim I've seen Scotty play outside of the Blossoms since 2006!

Strange Young Things are also playing tonight at the Sail Inn in a competition to open for Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers at the Marquee on Halloween. I'd really love to go, though it'd be a stretch, and the cause (while I'd love to support SYT sits kinda oddly for me)

Tomorrow night Domo (with a new album in toe) are playing at Hollywood Alley, so we're going to to be there with bells on. And on Sunday we'll being little Scotty Johnson again at The Vig.

Who said rock's fuckin' dead, right?!? [smile]

The Apartment

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, October 23, 2009 - 07:37:12 am
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
So I didn't get to get into it much yesterday, and I'm sure there is going to be some interest about it - the apartment.

First off, I can say it's pretty glorious at 7am. All our windows face east, so there is no shortage of the bright desert sun at 7am. With all the blinds closed it's still super bright. I'm down with that!

On getting here yesterday, I was more or less immediately reminded of what sold us on the place - it's as spacious as hell for a one bedroom. That alone made me very glad that we went with this place, rather than the one further south. The layout is a living room, the full width of the apartment when you walk in, then the kitchen and dinning area adjacent to that, again running the full width of the apartment, and then the bedroom and the bathroom at the back.

We've got a huge balcony which makes Katie's old one look tiny. The only downside is that it's a little less private when it comes to our neighbors. But we're going to get some plants, which should sort that out more or less. There's also a storage area out there, but considering that we've got everything put away in the roomy storage areas inside, I'm not sure that we're going to need to us it.

Photobox ImageOne of the nice things is the really big kitchen, which we can both move around in at the same time comfortably, which wasn't true in many of the other apartments we looked at. Added to that is the relatively new and sexy appliances (oven, stove, dishwasher, fridge and microwave), which again, weren't always that nice at the other places we looked. What really blows my load is our huge ass fridge. I am totally in love with it. And I bet it won't ice up on a daily basis! [wink] I've really got to say that this whole American standard of apartments being decked out with appliances thing is pretty fantastic! I also really like the granite counter tops.

Photobox ImageThe size of the bathroom is quite nice, as is the bathroom itself, especially in comparison to some of the ones we saw. The major coop for me however is - a glass shower door / divider. It seems that America has a love affair with shower curtains, which a while ago I declared that I was not going to have once we brought a house. I'd resided to the fact that I was going to have to live with one for a while when we moved into an apartment. The fact that we don't is just glorious to me!

Our parking spot is right outside of the apartment. The one downside is that the hallway entrance doesn't face the parking lot and is segregated with a small fence, which would be a bit more convenient if you could walk right out to the car. Needless to say, yesterday's unpacking saw us handing all our stuff over the fence to take it upstairs rather than walking it around. Unlike Katie's time at Meridian Corners (which is now 'Haven Luxury Apartments' - a change that had started when I was here in 2006 - they'd already changed the sign out the front. And from what we've heard / read, doesn't actually live up to it's name), this complex has carports, which is nice that we get to shelter Pepe from the harsh desert sun. And additional the complex is gated.

The exterior of the apartments is the obvious Tempe standard - brown adobe / stucko, which again works for me a lot. The one strange thing about the apartment, which is so far from an issue during the day, is that it barely has any light fixtures. Katie noticed it when we were first here. There's a light in the kitchen, one in the ceiling fan in the dinning area, one in the bathroom and that is it. None in the living area nor bedroom, which is really weird for me. Hence our looking at lamps last night at Ikea! While we haven't brought any yet, the lamps Katie had in storage were enough to get us through last night.

And so that's our apartment in a nutshell. I'll update this with some photos later today.

Edit: Here they are...

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Home - In Tempe Arizona

(Add / View Comments) (1)Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 09:30:11 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Today has been a long day. And it is the first day in which I call Tempe, Arizona home. It's felt that way for quite a while, but as of today, it official is.

Photobox ImageThe day started out in Holbrook Arizona. Last night's sleep was glorious. We were up just after 6, ready to rock. The view on the balcony of the Days Inn was fairly spectacular, the desert sun rising over the plains of northern Arizona, with mist along the horizon. We packed up, got our free continental breakfast, and we're on the road at exactly 7:04am. Every day of this trip, except for the first, which didn't have a hard and fast schedule set, we were 100% on schedule, which is a lot more than can be said for the earlier trip we took out here - not that it effected things at all. All the same, I'm pretty proud of how well we kept the schedule this time around!

Photobox ImageIt was really nice driving through Holbrook this morning. Not long past it I got resumed my in the Slash book, determined to get it finished before we hit Phoenix. Hence, I didn't come up for air much. Which in some way, for me, that is surprising, but the fact that we drove her and back only a month ago made it possible. And the fact that Arizona is now my home - I don't have to be concerned too much about missing anything, since I now live here. And besides, I was on a mission! One thing I took away from today's reading was - well, not really anything I didn't already think - more a confirmation - that Axl Rose is a weird douchebag. Reading a first hand account of what went on with Guns that I was more or less oblivious to the actual details at the time, was pretty disgusting. But that's a whole different blog post I guess! [wink]

Photobox ImageI did come up from air through Payson, and through the woodsy section of Tonto National Forest which was an awesome view of a mist in front of the mountainy backdrop. Despite Pepe being so loaded down, we opted for the drive through Tonto, rather than over to Flagstaff and south to Phoenix. At the end of the day, I don't think it was any more hilly, nor put any more stress on Pepe than taking the 17 south would have. And besides, it takes is straight to Mesa, rather than having to deal with north Phoenix.

I surrendered the Slash book a little bit before we hit the Salt River. I was close to finishing the book, but knew I wouldn't quite get there before hitting Tempe and given that, I really owed it to myself to savor my grand entrance to Tempe. Still, I was pissed that I feel 30 or pages short!

As a result of my conscious being wrapped up in the book, naming our fish had gone by the wayside. Unlike with Pepe, when we set out with him, I announced that we needed to be on top of naming him, especially since we kept having to refer to him so often - particular to check up on how well the poor sucker was going on this cross country trip in the front compartment of the car. So I'd fallen down on my duty of that, being so focused on reading this trip. At the bank in Tempe the fact dawned on me, and I came up with Otis. Not incredible imaginative at all, but all the same, it seemed to really work for me. Once Katie joined me at the car she suggested Delmontico - and that was that. It worked for me as well as Otis did, but is a little more obscure and unique. Delmontico he now is. He should be lucky, he got named a lot quicker than Pepe did!

With that sorted out, we headed down to our apartment, and checked in which was quite efficient. The brilliance in the plan to make it a 3 day trip was obvious - it was 10:45am Arizona time, and we were walking into our apartment. Beautiful. After a little bit of enjoyment, and dispelling potential issues about the size that had come up when I second guessed myself in Warsaw about going with 1 bedroom, we started unloading the car. With that done, we took a bit of a breather, before also unloading the clothes from the roof.

Surprisingly, the clothes bag suffered some very slight damage and some water had gotten in over the last 2 days. A minor problem, but I'm pretty surprised for it. With that said, it was an awesome investment, I can not state enough just how much extra that has allowed us to get down here. And hopefully we can get it replaced under warranty. Either way, that thing really was the best $50 odd that we ever spent. And to be honest, if that's the worse thing that happened with that bag, I'm happy. It didn't bust open and send our wardrobe flying all over the highway anyway, it's all good.

After getting everything into the apartment, there wasn't much more to do but wait for the guy from Cox to come out and set up our Internet service. There was actually a whole lot to do, just nothing that we cared to (everything that we did care to do involved leaving the apartment - hence needing to wait until the internet setup was done). It was kind of frustrating, although we were both kinda exhausted (hence didn't have much interest in doing anything that wasn't critical), I was kind of pumped up to get the other shit we had to do done. Part of that drive was having absolutely no furniture to speak of. It's kind of a - weird feeling. Trying to move stuff from the floor, having a reflex reaction to temporarily move it to a bed or a table or a chair, and then your senses reminding you that you don't actually have one to do so. Hence, the idea of getting some stuff out of storage and to also go shopping was certainly a motivational force. But we really needed to just wait around for the internet installation to be done. I was going to be pissed if it didn't happen and we'd wasted that time. But the guy came around 2:15pm and got things set up pretty smoothly. To be honest, despite my desire to get onto the other stuff, the time we killed laying around on the floor and chillaxing was probably a blessing in disguise!

Once he left, we headed out to pick up some basic necessities, and then went down to Ikea to try to address the furniture issue. At the end of the day, it turned out to be a fact finding mission, rather than a spending spree, but all the while quite productive and worthwhile. On the way down there, we heard from Aaron and arranged to meet up at Four Peaks for dinner. Considering our diets while being on the road, this was probably another blessing. We'd actually planned to do some grocery shopping and cook for ourselves, but Four Peaks sounded great, particularly since I'd thought about it earlier today - and how nice it would be to go down there - chow down on some more substantial food than potato chips and plan our life - but alas, we were tied down to the apartment until the internet as setup.

We headed over to Target to at least get a chair, since we only had one other one in storage. My wife's brilliant plan to get an outdoor portable chair (ala what we watched all of Andrew's baseball games from in Missouri) which would double as such long after we properly sort out our furniture situation was - well, brilliant! [wink]

With that taken care of, we headed down to Four Peaks. Crossing over 8th Street I thought I heard familiar music, which I couldn't really place, and was kind of too tired (in that really worn way) to give it any thought - which is really saying something for me (though, my frail mind was considering it was Scotty Johnson sounding). But as we got out in front of the brewery, I noticed that not only was it familiar, but it was Little Hung Over You by Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Despite my feelings about the band these days, that was pretty fucking cool.

Dinner was really nice, I had my usual 8th Street Chicken Strips and hanging out with Aaron and Will was fun. After dinner we headed over to the storage unit and picked up a load of stuff - importantly a chair, table, lamps, and tank for Delmontico, and then back to the apartment.

And that's where we are right now. I can not express how good the basic wonders of having chairs is.

The other thing to note at this point it something I learned once we got back here. Here I am - finally, living in Tempe. And on of the cool things about this apartment is that it's located about an equal distance from Yucca Tap Room and Last Exit Bar & Grill, which seemed so cool. The evil twist is that I just read news that the new ownership of Last Exit failed, and it closed some time last week. While it's not the most surprising news of all time, it does fucking suck - and the timing is just ironically terrible to me!

Day Two

Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 04:57:56 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Here we are, in my new home state, Arizona - hold up in the Days Inn in Holbrook. In quite frankly the nicest Days Inn I've been to, with a great view of northern Arizona outside of our window.

The day to me has gone ridiculously quickly, largely because I've been buried in the Slash book since 8am this morning. With that said, it's really nice to be here earlier than we're normally at hotels, checking it at around 4:30pm Arizona time, since now coming up for air, I feel pretty wiped. As a result of being engrossed in Slash's escapades of the late eighties and early nighties, most of the remainder of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and northern Arizona, which I don't know about how I feel about it, but the sheer fact of the matter is that finding time to read this book - which I've really wanted to for the last two years - is too hard to come by, so I've got to do it where I can. To be honest, I was kinda pissed when we rolled into Holbrook and I hadn't finished. The upside to missing most of the scenery is that this is the exact same route that we took a month ago (and back), and it was bleak and rainy for a lot of this morning.

Four hours left tomorrow to get to Phoenix / Tempe and start moving into our apartment.

Day 1 - Warsaw, MO To Elk City, OK

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 09:49:41 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock, Travel)
Getting up this morning was no fun. The only thing that really got me up was the realization that I'd have plenty of time to sleep in the car today. Without that, it would have been very hard to have woken up, despite the want to.

This morning consisted of packing the last few things needed to get in the car, and fitting in the episode of My Monkey Baby that Katie wanted to see. Previously to seeing this, I didn't think having Bubbles made Jacko wacko (one of the few things). After seeing this, I have come to the conclusion that anyone with a pet monkey has some severe social issues.

Photobox ImageAfter this we amazingly got our pumpkin carved before leaving. You're not hardcore...and all that! I really didn't think that we'd get this done, especially since we'd got it a while ago and hadn't found time. There was really something rewarding to get it done - probably because there were so many little things we were going to squeeze in before leaving Australia, but ultimately had to abandon. It came out pretty good, especially given the turbo speed design and carving. We only knew our pumpkin for a short time. Once he was carved, and photo taken, he was position on the Jensen's front porch, we said our goodbyes to Digs and Maggy, and were on the road. This wasn't until 11am, which is the brilliance in the plan of making this trip 3 days instead of 2, as it was nice getting those little things done.

We had previously resolved to redeem the coupon for our free fish that we won at the Springfield Cardinals game in July. Things looked good, since we found a location where we could redeem the voucher right of the 44. Perfect. On getting there, and adjusting the straps for the roof rack which had been flapping around in the wind, we went in to pick up the fish. Things were too good to be true, as the Soringfield curse rained down - the curse that trips to Springfield always seem to be going swimmingly, and then it goes haywire and time consuming. There were no gold fish in the store for sale. WHAT?!? How can a fucking gold fish not be for sale?!? It's not like they breast feed! We ended up trying a second store which wasn't too far out of our way. On walking through the store, I noticed that Hey Jealousy was playing on the radio - awesome! There was no way this store's gold fishes weren't going to be for sale!

With fish - yet to be named - and fish food in hand, we pulled back into the car and continued on the journey.

Photobox ImagePhotobox ImageThe only scheduled stop we had outside of Springfield was at the world's largest McDonald's (well, at one time the world's largest McDonalds) in Vinita, Okalhoma. I thought it was cool on the last drive, and determined it was somewhere I wanted to stop this time - which worked out good for also getting fuel without having the nighmare of getting off the Will Rogers Turnpike. I thought it was a cool little stop in the trip, and while we didn't need any food, I decided on sundaes to give us an excuse to sit up there over the turnpike as cars and trucks wizzed under us.

From there it was onwards to Elk City, Oklahoma. I finally broke out the Slash book and started reading it on this leg of the trip. I got it for Christmas almost two years ago, and haven't started it, not through lack of wanting to, just through lack of having time. So it was really good to get a start on that. I'd like to think I get through it before hitting Tempe, but that might be a bit optimistic.

Since we left late and had those few stops, night fell while we were still on the road, which was a little bit unnerving as it made it harder to keep and eye on clothes bag on the roof. Not that far out of Elk City we got low on gas, and 8 miles out, where we'd turned off to fill up, it seemed like we had pushed it too far as the car splutters, thankfully with the Shell station half a block in front of us. Finally the gas station was the same one we stopped at last month where I ended up chasing paperwork down the street. [smile] It was almost as windy as the last time there. After filling up it wasn't long until we were pulling up at the Days Inn in Elk Clty. That's right, a Days Inn. Priceline wasn't as kind to us last time, and we ended up booking Days Inn's for both nights this trip. Given my previous Days Inn experience (in Los Angeles four years ago) I consider this taking your life into your own hands, and as a matter of fact I particular avoiding booking a Days Inn on the last trip. Pulling up Katie announced that she was sure that it wasn't going to be as bad as our previous Days Inn experience. That's a prediction that really isn't that hard to make! Thankfully this Days Inn bad. Days Inn's are a special type of hotel - but this one is really nothing on the Los Angeles one we stayed at.

Adios Missouri

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, October 19, 2009 - 11:28:15 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Adios to Missouri - I toast this last Corona (from fourth of July!) to you.

As much as we promised ourselves we wouldn't let things come down to the wire this time - things came down to the wire this time. [smile] Though, admittedly mishaps like the front tire debarkle are somewhat to blame rather than us.

Katie was in Sedallia today dealing with the aforementioned tire problem, and doing a print job. I opted to stay home and work on packing - and it's a damn good thing I did, since Staples took from 11am to 5pm to do the printing job! If we'd both been out all day, we would have really been screwed.

The lack of a car to pack was really starting to wear down my senses by 6pm, but on getting the job started after dinner, I was feeling better about life. And once that happened, tonight actually felt less down to the wire than last time.

Impressively I got more into the ccar than I expected, which is pretty kick ass. I'm pretty impressed with my packing skills. The clothes bag is additionally very full, poor little Pepe is pretty weighed down.

So tomorrow we head out on the second and final trip to Arizona - thankfully we're splitting the journey into 3 days to get into Phoenix with enough time during the day to get everything unloaded and the other stuff in storage moved to the apartment. Which each day of driving is a bit shorter than last time, and we can leave later tomorrow than we did last time.

Somewhere In Missouri

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, October 19, 2009 - 02:00:12 pm
(Posted Under: Livin' In The USA Livin' In The USA)
I've been here for four months, it's the second last day before I leave, and it's only just now that I've noticed the "I'm somewhere in Missouri feeling all alone" in Jesus Shake My Shoulder. You'd think that would have been brought to my attention earlier! It's uncanny how often I don't think about what I'm singing. [wink]
Now Playing: Tramps & Thieves - Jesus Shake My Shoulder.

A Flat Tire On The Road To A Better Place

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, October 19, 2009 - 11:36:56 am
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Yesterday afternoon we set out to start packing the car, only to find the front right tire flat! How freakin' inconvenient. With so much to do before leaving tomorrow this is really something that we could have done without.

With a trip to Walmart we got some repair stuff to get us into town today to get a new one. Apparently they couldn't find anything wrong with it, and it'd probably be fine, but with such a long drive and Pepe about to be hugely loaded down again, we got a new one.

The timing on this is really quite annoying!
Now Playing: Danny White - Givin' Away

Casulty Assessment

The Curse Of The Peacemakers Poster Contunies....

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 12:16:46 am
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
The initial full, but somewhat brief assessment of the stuff that arrived has been quite good. I don't want to speak too soon, but casualties have mostly been small. The only surprising one is the CD case that I shipped, which looks a little worse for wear. Probably nothing unfixable, but surprising that it's a hard case and actually got beaten up.

The major casualty has been the Peacemakers poster. Yes, it continues to plaque us. (See When Good Ideas Go Bad) It's fast on it's way to being titled the bane of my existence. We ended up getting it in the shipment at the last minute (actually picked up after we'd left for America). The fact that it remained with the rest of our shipment seemed like a major coop today.

All seemed well until we opened the packaging for inspection. Before long theere was an unpleasant sound of broken glass. And a fairly impressive sight of double paned glass shards everywhere. We'd pretty much finished checking the boxes by 6, and after my guitars (which all made it completely fine), this was the final thing to check. Which ended up taking a ridiculous amount of time to deal with. Before long, the disappointment with it's damage - which wasn't too drastically high given the feat of getting it halfway across the world - was quickly overshadowed by the pure pain in the ass of dealing with the aftermath.

Somewhat surprisingly we got the poster and frame separated from the myriad of glass shards (the volume of which should not be under estimated!) without too much detriment to the frame, nor the poster. Actually, given the mess we were dealing with, any minor damage to either was probably caused before we even opened her up. None of this was a quick process, and I don't think we were done until 9 or later!

The thing was always so goddamn heavy, and it's obvious now that all of that weight was due to the two sheets of non reflective glass - because it's light as a feather now! Of course, it's pretty obvious that the $200 odd price tag for the frame was for the glass, which is now gone. But, if this is the worse that's happened, then that's okay. Given that we would have rolled to poster up and left the frame behind if we could have, and the whole getting it to America in the first place was such a scurried affair.

On inspection, it was rather poorly packed, especially compared to the rest of our shipment which seems to have been packed ridiculously well, and for the most part the condition of shows. It's possible that it was someone different who picked that up - because it does seem like the guy that picked up the rest of our stuff was awesome. (Not that I want to speak too soon!)

Speaking of which, I seriously wouldn't have packed a lot of what was packed the way he did, and I've discovered that's why I'm not a professional packer. Looking at the job, and how well everything else has seemed to arrived, it seems that tight packing is the way to go! I'm really impressed by both the condition of things due to the packing, and the use of space. There's no way I could have done such a good job, and I was pretty familiar with the content to be packed. For someone to cold pack stuff so well, and in the amount of time he did, I'm quite impressed. There has only been one box where the packing of stuff left something to be desired.

The impressive thing to me is the OSS boxes. I still clearly remember the truck rolling up four months ago, seeing the flattened boxes and...really not being that sure about them! Being half way across the world, at their destination four months later, where they've been moved from at least 2 warehouses, spent at least 3 months on a boat and then traveled from New York to here in a truck, I'm really impressed, and somewhat shocked at the virtually immaculate condition that they've turned up in. These suckers are certainly going to remain packing/moving boxes with us for as long as they can be!

In any case, today has certainly turned out to be a long one! Peace out.

My Shipment Has Arrived

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 03:18:08 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Finally the wait for our stuff from Oz is over. We checked up on it last week, and had an ETA of Monday night or Tuesday morning. Hence the cleaning up of the basement yesterday to make room.

The truck arrived at about 1pm, and by about 2:30 we had everything moved to the basement.

I must say that the move to America seems complete now that our stuff has arrived - 4 months after it left our place in Oz - so a bit over the initial estimated delivery time. But the fact that it's here in time for us to go through it to check everything, and also pull out what we want to take to Arizona this time around means I'm happy.

Speaking of going through everything, I better go an do so...
Now Playing: Dead Hot Worksshop - Tangled

The Day Of Coupons...

...And Packing

(Add / View Comments) (1)Monday, October 12, 2009 - 09:44:30 pm
(Posted Under: Operation Desert Rock)
Today has been a busy, but productive one. With no help of the headache that woke me up for about an hour. *Yawn*. When you've spent a frustrating hour or so not being able to sleep, despite the intense desire to, it's a slap in the face when you're in a peaceful sleep and have to be a awake. And there is a picture of my 7am this morning. All the same, it was worthwhile to get out on the road to Springfield.

After a ridiculously quick oil change at Jiffy Lube - in an out in under 10 minutes, everything checked, oil changed and car vacuumed. From there it was to Best Buy to grab a UPS. I hadn't fully made my decision on a brand, and that was easily sorted out when it turned out there was a sale on the APC made the decision easier for us. It was the day of coupons, and the $5 Best Boy coupon in addition to the sale made the purchase of the UPS today pretty sweet.

With that all taken care of by 10:30, it was off to TGI Friday's to use coupon 3 of 3, for a free burger Katie got from a recent TGIF facebook promotion. Arguably Katie's main motivation for the trip to Springfield. Since we were doing so ridiculously good on time all morning, it was slightly painful having to kill half an hour until TGI's opened. Well worth the wait though, and basically a free meal at Friday's makes it good value.

After lunch we headed back to Jiffy Lube to collect on our free car wash from getting the oil changed. Although it'd be nice to wait until after the long ass drive back to Arizona, we'd been talking about getting the car cleaned, and it definitely needed it. It was the only part of the day that took longer than expected, and not quite efficient as the oil change. Not that Jiffy Lube are really at fault. The process was held up by an OCD woman, who at the end of the wash, went out to car, which was waiting for the finishing touches, popped the trunk, pulled out car cleaning rags, and obsessively went around the car after the attendant, meticulously re-cleaning parts in her opinion (I guess) he missed. Long after the attendant had determined that he was done with the car, uncomfortably wiping here and there while OCD lady continued to clean her car. All the while with cars coming up out of the car wash were backing up behind her, and some customers were giving up, jumping in their cars and taking off before the finishing touches. The annoyance of waiting for an attendant to be able to get to our car was actually outweighed by the comedy of watching the whole thing. Funnily enough, the attendant had made his escape, finished up with our car and we were driving out while OCD lady was still in the process of packing up her own cleaning equipment.

Back on the road by 1, we got back around 3, and started round two of the Arizona packing process. After this, do I need to move again anytime soon? Hell no. However cleaning up the basement and pulling out a second load of stuff went well, an actually wasn't as much work as it seemed by the bomb zone the basement has looked like at late. Of course, the fact that our stuff from Australia is finally arriving tomorrow was a good motivator!

New Web Address

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, October 9, 2009 - 02:20:13 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
After much talking about, we've finally decided to go ahead with renting a hosting server, which has provided a home more my sites - which have been otherwise off the air since the move to the US.

Both Blogger and Picasa have made for good temporary solutions for both my blog and photos, but it's going to welcomed only having to write blogs in one location, rather than having to write it and then copy it over to Blogger.

To go along with hosting, I've gone and registered my own domain, as well as one for Lost Horizons. With the new home of my site being http://www.markord.com/, no-one has any excuses or justification for snotty comments about not being able to remember the URL of my site. [wink]

Hence this will be my last blog on Blogger, unless something terrible happens. The fun will continue at http://www.markord.com/weblog.php

They're Back

...Velvet Elvis That Is

(Add / View Comments) (3)Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 04:05:57 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
According to Violet Wild's latest myspace bulletin, Velvet Elvis are back, with a show this Friday at Yucca Tap!

Funny timing, since it was only in the past few weeks that we talked about how they needed to start playing again. And quite an event since to Katie's memory this is the first Velvet Elvis show since the one in April 2005 that I was there for, but they didn't show for.

While we won't be in Arizona for this show, hopefully it's a sign of things to come! Definitely makes the fact that we're almost out there good.

And on that note, Scotty has added some new show dates, 3 of which are right in time for our arrival in the desert. Sweet...
Now Playing: Truckers On Speed - Zamora, CA

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