Sunday, July 20, 2008

More skies...

I ended up heading into town to meet up with Todd for a late lunch. The original plan is that we were going to photograph some stuff at sunset. But, since he is leaving TDY tomorrow morning he decided to go to Los Angeles today and spend the night so that he wouldn't have to get up at 0-dark-early and drive down there. So, like I said we just met for lunch, although I wasn't sure if we were going to do any shooting so I brought just a basic kit with me. On the way back the sky was just amazing so I pulled over a couple of times to try and capture it. The photograph above was one of the later stops and it was just beautiful.

Tomorrow we went down to North Hollywood to pick up Devin's new braces. I am looking forward to him getting a new set... I am just not looking forward to PAYING for that new set! It should be good though, I took tomorrow off so we can make a day of it and Denise isn't going down there by herself with all the kids.

I am still playing a TON and making great progress. I still have a long way to go but the pieces are all starting to fall together. I was playing with a new scale that a friend from work told me about and by accident I started playing the Christmas song The First Noel. It's really pretty funny when you are just screwing around and figure something out. So ultimately my plan has worked, instead of spending mindless hours on the computer I am spending mindless hours on the, er, wait a minute... I am spending QUALITY time on the guitar!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guitars, amps, practice and info..

Okay, I figure I will talk about something good instead of something bad - I might talk about the bad down below. Anyway after a "bad" day (see below) I bought a new Fender Hot Rod amp! Guitar Center is having a Fender Stratothon month and everything Fender is on sale. So, if you (I mean I) was going to buy something Fender, this would be the time to do it!  I have been looking at amps for a while now and this one in particular.  So I spent about two hours on Monday (after my doctors appointment) strumming away trying to decide if it was indeed the one to get.  I am REALLY happy with it and it truly sounds amazing.  I had a pretty wonderful tone to it.  I obviously don't get to play it loud very often and honestly I kind of like it at the lower volumes (which are still really darn loud).  After the sun went down behind the house I drug it in the back yard and Desirae and I "jammed" together.  It was really pretty funny and it was really kind of neat!

Okay, so now for the not so great news.  Well, I haven't been feeling well for a while now (and I kind of thought it was stress related).  Things kind of changed a bit over the weekend and early Monday I decided I needed to head into the doctor to find out what in the world was going on - or at least to address the "discomfort" that I was feeling.  So, I headed in to urgent care - couldn't get into see my new real doctor, and they ran some tests and such.   Bottom line the dude seems to think that I am a diabetic.  My sugar levels were all over the place and he kind of freaked on me.  He prescribed some medication, that after some different council it seems isn't really a great idea to start taking just yet so I am in a holding patter until I see my real doctor on Thursday.  

So as bizarre and frustrating weeks go this was a pretty good one.  I mean it wasn't all bad, I did get a new amp out of the deal, but it has been pretty darn stressful and work wasn't really calm either.  I have a pretty intense fire storm that is starting on Monday - so I have something to look forward too!  OBTW - we are getting Devin's new braces on Monday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Quick post...

I am not really in the blog mood today - but I thought I would post this photograph that I took today - it was a really neat looking sky and I was able to get a nice shot of it.

Update: Okay, so I decided to come back and update this posting a bit.  Today was a pretty laid back day.  Denise and Desirae went into town for a Girl Scout "Build a Bear" event.  Devin, Deanna and I maintained the fort at the house.  I will have to find one of Denise's shots from the BB event but for the rest of us we just played around the house.  Mainly the day consisted of cartoons, Guitar Hero/Rock Band and real guitar playing.  Devin has decided that he wants to play Rock Band and has been practicing a lot on it.  So we created a new band with the two of us in it and proceeded to play through the game.  As the songs got harder the game play slowed down - but he was doing pretty darn good.  If you haven't played Guitar Hero or Rock Band it really is a hoot.  I am sure folks that know how to play the real instruments think it is stupid - but it really is a lot of fun.  I even pulled out the drums (not connected) and Deanna played with us.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Guitar practice...

So I headed into Lancaster earlier today to meet up with Kris to talk about and play with guitars. He is MUCH better than I am and it was really cool to (again) be around someone who can actually play things. In the photo above he is playing his vintage (it is really sad that 1980 is vintage) Kramer Guitar. So we grabbed some lunch, hit guitar center (to buy Denise an extra set of drum sticks - it's a long story) and then headed back to his place for what some would call an illusion of jamming. The bottom line though - it's very relaxing to do guitar stuff. Kind of like photography except that you can just pick it up and start playing pretty much any time you have it around.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed to. I am not sure if I mentioned the Rock Band purchase, but Denise and I were playing that for a good long while yesterday. Though it is a pretty goofy game - it is really cool! We made our selves a little band and are "playing" gigs. It is going to take some time before Devin and Desirae can play it though. They are getting better though and we did finish a couple of songs this evening and that was really cool. When I first heard about that game (and guitar hero for that matter) I thought it sounded pretty stupid and silly. BUT it actually pretty darn cool and a hoot to play!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

We had another successful 4th of July here at the house. No one was able to make it this year so we did it solo but we did the same thing we do every year. We made BBQ ribs with all that goes along with them and Denise made her signature 4th of July desert which was awesome as usual. The only bad thing about this year is that Denise was taking charge of lighting everything and tried to burn her thumb off (okay, so it wasn't like falling off, but it does hurt and after a couple of hours and she is still in pain). Other than that the kids had a great time running around like maniacs in the front yard. I also used our camp fire pit to finish off the ribs and that worked out pretty good (minus the smoke though).

One pleasant surprise of the evening was the OUTSTANDING fireworks display put on by the city. If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know we have great view from our front yard of the city firework display. We both think this was the best display that we have seen since we lived here. They really went all out and it was an excellent show. I didn't really set out to take photographs of the fireworks - and there was three times where I thought "I should get my gear out with the tripod and take some fireworks shots" but I didn't because I figured it would end soon - but it kept on going. It was REALLY great!

Earlier in the day I drove in to town to check out the Guitar Center 4th of July "The List" sale. As it turned out there wasn't anything on "The List" that I wanted but I did get to spend some time checking out the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Junior amplifiers. I probably spent almost an hour playing with them. I think when I decide to by a "real" amp I am going to get one of those Deluxe ones - they are pretty darn cool and some freakin' awesome. I also - by a fluke - ran across a vintage Fender tweed case (Denise think's it is ugly) that I got for under $100 so I was REALLY happy with that. It has a few marks on it - but those cases are kind of expensive generally and I would put marks in it anyway - so I think I scored on that one! I also picked up the FIRST AND ONLY version of Rock Band that I have seen for the XBox 360. Probably didn't need to spend the money on it - but it is something that everyone can play and I think it will be cool. We shall see!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Devin's Gate Study...

Wednesday was Devin's Gate study down at Children's Hospital does in Los Angeles. This is the test were they put sensors on him and record him walking. The information from this test should help the doctor's to pin point Devin's issues and should allow them to develop a focused treatment plan to make him walk better. It is going to take about six weeks for them to do the review before we can meet with him to get their recommendations.