Monday, May 29, 2006

May's music

Despite a disappointing concert at the beginning of the month, May was a good month for music. He is some of the goodies I picked up this month.

Angels and Airwaves We Don't Need to Whisper. I was never a huge fan of Blink 182, but I have to admit that Enema of the State is one of my favorite albums to go back and listen to when I'm not feeling my age. Anyway Blink is gone and the lead singer formed Angels and Airwaves. He has matured on his song writing and incorporates a lot of 80's sounding guitar fuzz on this one album without losing the fun of Blink 182. Some of the teenagers I work with dig this on

Athlete's Tourism is right along the same lines of Coldplay (only not as good). I thought this album was alright. The sound is very fragile yet has an a indie feel to it

Buy Snow Patrol's
Eyes Open. This is a fantastic album, nearly flawless. I have to admit that when Snow Patrol first did "Run" and "Chocolate", I dismissed them as Coldplay knock offs, but this album shows that can give Coldplay a run for their money. Gary Lightbody fills this album with catchy hooks with building chorus. With out a doubt, the best album I got so far this year

I had to get Embrace's This New Day from Amazon UK since it is not available in the states. Like their last album Out of Nothing, this album will probably go largely unnoticed, which is a shame, because it is so great. Embrace continue to do what they do best, stellar chorus and big catchy anthems.

I picked up Bill Mallonee's Locket full of Moonlight on itunes. itunes is great for finding some gems like this. I haven't found this album anywhere else, not even at his gigs. Bill is a brilliant artist who writes real heart felt songs. Bill covers so many topics and emotions in his music. It's a shame that when I saw him a year ago, he needed $20 to make it to his next gig

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I need a vacation

I've been working at Comp Mental Health for almost 6 month's now, and I'm starting to think "vacation". Unfortunately, there is no paid vacation with my job. They justify screwing us out of vacation time because we are "contract employees" and are hourly rate is so high. Regardless, we are welcomed to take off as much, or as little time as we want, we just don't get paid for it.
Lately, I've been feeling "burned out". This isn't the first time, and I usually get over it. Last weekend, I just wanted to veg and start to look forward to a vacation. I promised Wah-Wah when we got married that we would have at least one nice vacation a year. This year we were planning on going to Oregon to visit my parents with their free airline tickets they were providing. But then my parents said they were going to save our airline tickets for an Alaskan cruise next year. It's their 40th anniversary and they wanted to fly everyone to Alaska. Suddenly we were no longer had our free tickets to Oregon. Wah-Wah decided she wanted a vacation this year without my family.
For several weeks, we've been trying to figure out where to go this year with 2 young kids. We've decided someday we'll do Disney, but when the kids are older. We thought of flying out to Vegas and maybe driving down to the Grand Canyon, but we weren't expecting airline tickets to be as expensive as they are. So now we are looking at where we could drive.
Wah-Wah really wants to go to the Black Hills in South Dakota. Almost 25 years ago, I swore I would never set foot in South Dakota again (I lived in Sioux Falls for 2 years and absolutely hated it), but I always liked the Black Hills. There is Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Crystal Cave, Devil's Tower, and Custer just to name a few things to see.
I'm a little worried about the drive which is about 10 hours. The kids have never been in the car longer than 4 hrs. The drive itself looks boring with nothing along the way. Personally, I've never driven longer than 6 hours so I hope I can handle it.
Nothing is final yet, since we are trying to keep the same vacation time as our babysitter, but South Dakota is what we are leaning toward. It would be nice if we lived closer to something exciting (say the Corn Palace or Wall Drug)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Trekkie's paradise

Iowa is known for the "Field of Dreams, the Bridges of Madison County, and the only state where pigs out number people. However, what you may not know is that it is also a Trekkie's paradise.

This weekend we drove up to Riverside IA, to watch my brother graduate from U of I with a degree in nursing (I'm aware of the stereotypes). Anyway, we visited him at his home in Riverside. Riverside is a small little town outside of Iowa City too small for a McDonald's or Walmart. Infact,the only restaurant in town also has the only gas station attached to it. Riverside is also where they hold the annual "Trek Fest" (which my brother is the chairman for). Riverside has long claimed it is the future birth place of Captain James Kirk (even though it has never been mentioned in the "Star Trek" series). Riverside take's great pride in this since as you drive into town, you see the "USS Riverside" and signs leading you to the sacred spot where Captain Kirk is born. I thought this was so cool, I had to pull over and get pictures. I have to admit, that without this little piece of Trek paradise, Riverside would just be another little Iowa farm town.

Monday, May 01, 2006


It's been a few weeks since Monty has come back and I find it hard to remember why we left him out on a farm. He's settled down a lot since coming back. He no longer eats socks, or chews up books and toys. In fact aside from trying to "get it on" with some stuffed animals, he's a perfect dog. Woogy loves having him back and chases him around the back yard. Nibbles is just fascinated with him. Monty holds back from snapping at her even when she pulls his tail.
Recently we took Monty on the Shawnee Mission Park dog walking trail. It's one of our favorite hikes. It's the only area around where dogs don't have to be on their leashes. Monty always stays with us and doesn't run a head like all the other dogs. All the other dog owners always say what a cute and well behaved dog Monty is.
unfortunate I feel guilty taking Monty back from my in-laws. They were apparently pretty attached to him too. I guess I rationalize it by the fact that they never took him to the vet to get his shots updated, and they let him roam freely with a herd of angry horses. I felt that he wasn't going to last too long out there. I feel like I should offer to buy them another dog, even another sheltie if they want one. I do feel like I owe them, after all they did take Monty when I was too depressed over losing my job to give a crap about him. I sure don't want to cause a riff in the family either. Wah-Wah's side of the family is notorious for being angry at one another and not saying anything about it. Wah-Wah called the in-laws tonight and they just said they didn't want to talk about Monty since it was a "sore subject"