Road Trip Day Fourteen

I went to the Mercy Lounge Saturday night in Nashville where I saw The Vespers and Guilty Pleasures. The Guilty Pleasures show turned out to be a lot more fun. They’re a killer 80’s tribute band. It was great to see so many middle aged people sloshed and enjoying the soundtrack of their youth.


Mercy lounge

This is Kindercastle at the Mercy Lounge.


I had a rare ice and snow storm keep me company for the entire stay. Naturally,The day I left it was sunny and beautiful.

My luck held up on my way to Atlanta as my muffler fell off my car and I came down with a cold.  I dragged my muffler about a mile to a gas station, bought some metal ties, jacked up the car and re-attached the muffler. It only cost me $8 and an hour of my life in the hands of a disreputable car jack.

Sometimes I think the Universe just throws dung at you just because it knows you can handle it. Something tells me the Universe is not done.

I will get to Austin.


Road Trip Day Eleven

Yesterday I dove into the real Nashville and was pleased with what I found. The real venues feature a slew of quality bands every night. Some are on their first or second tour, but all of them have their act together. The first night out I unknowingly stumbled into a hardcore Turnstile show at The End. I had an GREAT time. Every band was high energy and super tight, and the crowd was losing their sanity. They played with Superheaven, Freedom, True Love, and Orthodox.

The next night I went to a rock venue called The Stone Fox.  A local band called Free Throw opened, who were absolutely fantastic. They were followed by Cayetana, an all-girl punk group from South Philly, and The Sidekicks headlined. It was a good emo-rock show.

The cool part about these venues was that they were small enough that I got to meet any band member I wanted, but was still blown away by the show they put on. I even swapped my own album for Free Throw’s Those days are gone. I got the feeling that venues like these are sort of the ground floor for a lot of groups that take off. Here’s a video of a Turnstile show. This is actually what it was like.

Road Trip Day Nine

I arrived in Nashville yesterday and gave myself the full tourist experience, which was refreshing after so much driving. Every bar on Broadway had an excellent band, but none of them were filled with Nashvillians. They played the crowd-pleasers, and the crowds were inevitably satiated.  I walked from one bar to the next, and they were both playing Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison at the same time, which I found highly amusing.


Broadway in Nashville.


On a relevant note, I got a haircut which I badly needed. The honors were done by a man named Wayne who has been cutting hair for 52 years. It was a strange experience. First, he sat me down and told me that he remembered cutting my hair (which is impossible) and then called me by my father’s name, which I had not mentioned. I started to speak but he just said, “I know what you want”, so I just shut up and let him do what he does best.  The haircut is excellent. Wayne had an air of wizardry about him that I envy in old souls but is sometimes forgotten in our culture which places youth and beauty above all else. I hope one day I can exist as purely and as rightly as Wayne. By a conservative estimate, Wayne has spent 7 years cutting hair.



This is Wayne.



Road Trip Day Seven

I spent Saturday in Washington DC. The city and its people are expressive and genuine. I saw a show which included New Boss and Dead Professional. I ate a very large piece of pie (‘The Baltimore Bomb’) from Dangerously Delicious Pies. It was a bitterly cold night, but I enjoyed the show and the city. It seems to be bursting with excitement just to exist. I think I would like to live there.

On Sunday I drove 491 miles and crashed at a motel west of Knoxville. I am stranded in a light snowstorm for which the people of Tennessee are totally unprepared. I will have to wait until tomorrow morning to finish my drive to Nashville, where I will stay for a week before heading to Atlanta.

Here’s a song you must listen to:


Road Trip Day Three

Listen to me, and listen good. Jim Croce is the best.

I did a bunch of things Yesterday and Today, but I won’t tell you any of that because what you really need to do right now is listen to Jim Croce and laugh/cry/contemplate life.

Here is my favorite track, but I must insist you listen to his greatest hits to get a good smattering of his imaginative, upbeat, and sometimes gut-wrenching songwriting. Throw a dart at his albums and you will find a song you like.


Road Trip Day One

Today I started my journey to Nashville and Beyond. I let the dashboard slowly swallow the first of many unlistened CDs in my driveway. That first CD became a Frisbee about a minute later.

The second CD was ‘II’ by Boyz II Men. I liked it. Especially “Thank you”, “I’ll make love to you” and “Yesterday”.

One thing I learned today: Delaware is in the south.

One thing I liked: Watching University of Delaware get down with Jefe (Spanish for Chief) at their local bar, the Deer Park Hotel.

This is Jefe.

This is Jefe. Say hello.

Steps to Happiness

Happiness is fleeting. In my own pursuit, I have read about or discovered some of my own ways to find happiness consistently. Here are some things I keep in mind for happiness, or for longevity, or whatever. They are just things I try to do. Rather than link a bunch of scientific proof where available, I challenge any readers to test the list for themselves.

1. Rise with the sun

2. Get Dirty ( gardening or playing)

3. Eat Chocolate Every Day

4. Have a drink every day

5. Volunteer

6. Play on a team

7. Plan trips (and go!)

8. Meditate daily

9. Exercise regularly

10. Read


The System

The system is version 2.0 of the 10,000 hours sheet. I read a very interesting article by Jeff Haden in which he examined the use of goals vs. a focus on the system of practice. He argues that even more important than goals is the system you set for yourself to achieve them. The article prompted me to delete my bucket list, but I quickly realized my mistake. It can seem daunting to have a list of goals set for your whole life. It seems like there could not possibly be enough time to achieve them all, especially when the list includes things like ‘Become the President’.

When it comes down to it, it’s not about the goals you had set 20 years ago, it’s about whether you stood there and thought about them until your skin wrinkled, or you put one foot in front of the other and started walking.

Here’s a goal I’ve started walking towards: ‘Earn a custom Stratocaster line from Fender

Drum Set paint job

This was a project to repaint my drum kit. We used a special spray paint to go right over the old drum shells. Then we added lights. The pictures will tell the story.

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Step Stool repaint for Alec

My nephew Alec just recently turned one year old, so I repainted a child’s step stool that all of my siblings had used. It was originally red and black. Hopefully I can find the pictures of the before/during the repaint. This included sanding, priming and painting. 20140413_19163520140413_19165420140413_191706