Run, Fish, Sing

Makeshift was booked for a private anniversary event in Rockledge Sunday afternoon.  Seth planned to meet the Wickham Park runners for a multi-lap ultra trail run Sunday morning, and invited me to join him.  I wanted to get some fishing in while near the coast. A plan emerged.

I loaded up my car Saturday night with fishing gear, barbershop costuming, running shoes, a jug of water, and a towel, plus my kayak strapped to the top. Seth was to arrive at my house for a 5:45am departure.

My phone somehow went into hibernation and the alarm failed to go off. I happened to awake and notice the time was 5:40am. No time for food or caffeine, I pulled some shorts on and grabbed a shirt and found Seth waiting in the driveway. I took a few minutes to get my phone rebooted and we were on our way.

Got to Melbourne and grabbed a black coffee at a Macdonalds drive through.  Seth provided a powerbar for me, and we got to the Wickham Park race site 15 minutes before the 7:30am start.   This informal running group is made up of hardcore long distance runners. They prefer running in the Florida summer because its harder. And the more sand on the trail the better. Their plan was to run 9 laps for a total of 56 kilometers.    The trail is poorly marked and runners frequently get off track. The dozen participants broke into two groups and I ran the first lap with the “speed is overrated” group. For the one lap it was not terribly challenging, quite scenic, and I generated a good sweat which soaked my clothes.  See a facebook collection of photos, and full race results here.

Seth on lap 4

After the lap, I bailed from the group, re-hydrated, and drove off to find a put in spot for the kayak. Across the river near Patrick AF base, I launched the yak for nearly 2 hours of paddling and casting. I was armed with a top water plug on one rod and a 1/8 oz jig on the other. It was a pretty barren area with dirty water and no seagrass. I worked my way out to a couple of mangrove islands and drifted and cast around them. I hooked a healthy 20″ trout just a few feet from my boat, fought and thrashed with it a bit, and pulled it on board to pin it between my calves.  She was unhooked and released.  I only had one other strike, but I call it a success.   It was the 2nd largest fish I’ve ever landed on the yak.

Headed back to Wickham Park to pick up Seth after his 4th lap, stopping enroute at a 7-11 for a sandwich and some gatorade.  We set out for Rockledge and stopped at a YMCA on the way to shower and change for our Makeshift gig at 2pm. We arrived in plenty of time for the 1pm setup and soundcheck.  It was a 60th anniversary party for Pete Anderson’s inlaws, and the Knights of Columbus hall was packed. We sang  The Lords Prayer for the vow renewal ceremony, then during supper had a 30 minute stage show, and followed up with some tableside singing.  We included some straight up barbershop material (at request of the honorees) but also had beatboxer Scott P. with us to support some of our rocking contemporary repertoire.  All in all, a great afternoon with good food, good friends, cold beer, and some great singing.

Home and collapse by 6:30pm.


Glee Season 2 Finale


New Directions is writing their competition song(s) the day before nationals?
Finn wouldn’t understand or like New York?  after that montage w/Rachel?
Rachel doesn’t know that Cats has been closed for 11 years, but Quinn does?

Does this show ever watch itself?

Makeshift music video

Here’s a new video with our quartet Makeshift:

Our partner and percussionist Scott Rubox Pausal did the camera work. I worked on it over 4 weekends, and in the process taught myself Adobe Premiere elements.

The song Bye Bye Blues was written in 1930 and was a hit for Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1952.

Some tech notes:

Audio recorded on a Zoom H1 2-track digital recorder

Audio equalized. reverbed and mastered in Audacity opensource freeware. Final audio cut is a combination of two takes. The audio track is available for download at

Video shot with Panasonic DMC LX5 in SD widescreen.  Nice wide angle on this camera – 24mm equiv.

Video edited with Adobe Premiere Elements 8.0.

I Told You So

The country music tent has grown very large in recent years, and I enjoy almost all of it.  Vince Gill has some great blues chops; Nickel Creek progressively pushes bluegrass boundaries;  Zac Brown Band recalls Skynard and the Allmans; and Toby/Trace/Keith frequently release rock songs.   I even heard Lucinda Williams referred to recently as a country artist.

But  now and again its nice to hear a good ole throwback country song, with plaintive emotion, steel guitars, a good story, and just the right amount of twang.    Carrie Underwood gets it right with her recent cover of Randy Travis’ 1980’s hit “I Told You So“.

Bob Dylan in concert

It was on Sunday evening 10/11/10 at the UCF arena.  Linda and I figured we should take advantage and see him in person while we have the chance.  The price was excellent, and I secured two mid-floor seats in the three year old 9,000+ seat facility.

Dylan and his band came on stage about 20 minutes after the published start time of 8pm.  He had a slick looking electric boogie blues band dressed in seersucker suits and black shirts.  Guitarist/frontman Charlie Sexton had all the stage swagger and style of Robbie Robertson.   Dylan played guitar, keyboards and harmonica and moved nearly seamlessly from song to song for the nearly 2 hour set.  Dylan had the only vocal microphone; no harmonies expected in this show.

There were no acoustic versions of any songs, it was all wall-of-sound rock/blues, with some radical style changes to his well-known tunes such as Tangled up in Blue, and Just Like a Woman.   In fact, I completely failed to recognize Tangled, although Linda bopped along and cited it as her favorite Dylan song.   To me, the sound mix was loud and muddied, made even more indistinct because  Dylan is hardly known for his diction and annunciation.   Perhaps if I had caught any of the lyrics to Tangled, I might have been able to recognize it.

Many people ignored the fact that it was posted throughout the arena that photography and recording were forbidden.   I took advantage and whipped out my casio cell phone for a few pictures, but I was wrong place and time.  As facebook readers may know, a plainclothes security guy promptly escorted me out of the hall and requested I take my camera and leave it in my car.  I promised to be good, and he relented and allowed me back in to the concert and even became somewhat apologetic saying he was just doing his job, and it was Dylan’s rule anyway.    I didn’t attempt anymore photos, and regretfully, the ones I took had the image stabilization turned off so they are very unsharp.

After 1 hour and 45 minutes, the band wrapped up with a cursory encore performance of Like a Rolling Stone, then they took a bow and were off the stage and gone.   Altogether a very worthwhile time was had, and I’m really glad for the opportunity.  I was not bored, although it was nowhere near the thrill or excitement of other icons we’ve seen in concert like Sinatra (late 80’s) or Paul McCartney (1991-ish).    In fact, Carlos Santana in the UCF arena back in 2008 was a whole lot bigger and better concert experience for me.  Santana was at least as loud as the Dylan band, but his sound mix was crisp and clean – you could hear every single instrument.

Sentinel review is here.

The Noteables

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My second barbershop quartet has its first paying gig this Sunday afternoon! I'm with Joe Elmer, Dean Dix and Troy Williams. We do barbershop only, but have some cool songs I don't get to sing with Makeshift, like Ain't Misbehavin', Stepping Out (with my baby), Lullaby in Ragtime, and San Fransisco Bay Blues. Above is a video cap from a stage appearance a couple of years ago. I'll try to get a better group photo of us this weekend.

Rhapsody cuts price

Stand by, I’ve got a couple of things to report on.

Rhapsody spun off from real networks and cuts its price by 33%. Wow, hope the service doesn’t die. I am a big fan and consumer.   See News reports have that it went from 800,000 to 675,000 subscribers in 2009, its getting eaten up by free streaming services and youtube.