Monday, December 31, 2007

Luckiest Chicken in the world

Oh to get tummy rubs from Kim, I'm not even that lucky...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A good way to end a year...

Michael Aukofer is the music director out at Westridge Church and he called a month ago to see if I could play on the last Sunday of the year. I jumped at the chance to play out there. I have to say I love to serve by playing and if I am available I'll play most anywhere but part of my "jumping" was to play in the new facility. The kids out in Elgin didn't hold back when building this place, state of the art multi-media, audio, lighting and staging makes this one of the most progressive church buildings I have ever seen. Heck even the stained concrete floors are warm and inviting. Of all things Michael has his Doctorate in percussion and has an impressive history which includes drumming for Phil Keaggy and touring with Rich Mullins . He put a killer band together, including my old music boss Kerry Cox, he's amazing. I was humbled beyond words to be included. I can't think of a better way to end a hectic year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa Table

I love my table, wish it was a year round deal...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home for Santas

A home in our neighborhood has become a refuge for unwanted Santa's.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An instant classic?

Those of you who know me will understand I don't throw "classic" around lightly.
I have (at last count) 160+ Christmas cds laying around. My music hoarder buddy Mark has just as many or more. I have heard waaay too many modern christmas tunes that just don't cut it. Well, here's a demo that will be picked up by a major artist and have a great run with it.
Music by Phil Madeira and words by Merrill Farnsworth this hidden gem is a keeper.

Well done kids
The first song in the player...
Phil Madeira

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Women's Study

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed
that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending
on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged
and masculine features.
However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal, she tends to be
more attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple
and tape over his mouth while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Game Time...

What am I holding?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I am home

Last show of the year was in Seattle on Thursday.
I feel pretty good.
Glad to be home.

Enjoy The 12 Day of Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blogging while loopy...

Here we go...

I flew to Boston Tuesday night. I tried to sleep in but I am trained to wake up early so why should Wednesday morning be any different? I putz around, answer some emails and grab a quick breakfast. Set up time at the convention center is approaching so I begin to gather my things, when reaching for my tool box, I felt a slight twinge. I thought it an odd pain and began my trek down the hall. I amde it about 20 feet before I locked up. What is going on?? Remember the old man character from the Carole Burnette show that Tim Conway used to play? that was me shuffling back to my room. I could not move my legs without feeling like I was sticking my back in an electric socket. I call Kim and tell her what's going on. From what I described I was having a sciatic issue. Kim get this about 2 or 3 times a year. I laid on my side on the floor and called my boss to let him know what was going on. He called the MS crew and let them know I was out of action. I laid there not able to get up for 5 hours or so. I knew the bathroom was going to be needed at some point so I started my attempted to get up. It took 45 minutes to make my way onto my knees and crawl to the bathroom. I took clinging to a toilet, sink and bathtub to get myself on my feet with tears running down my face I was able to relive myself. Ok, now what? The floor is not an option, I'm surprised I even made it up. I got to the bed and flopped on my side. With my computer and cellphone at the ready, I laid there trying to figure out what to do. With thoughts racing through my mind of permanent disability and being a burden on my family I started to freak out a bit. I had many people praying for me and I have to say I was able to calm down and focus on the short, not the long term. The hotel staff started checking on me every 3 hours or so and my crew said they would bring me dinner after the set up. Along about 10pm I assumed they went to bed (which they did) I ordered a pizza...(If that was the best Boston had to offer, I feel sad for those people) Kim was very upset that I was alone and hungry, I had no issues ordering a pie but if the tables were turned I'd be upset too. I didn't sleep that night and was quite relieved to see the sunrise. Game Plan... The company owners wife started to work on getting me home early. My cousin Barb started on getting me medical help, Kim kept me sane and my boss who has had back issues started working on making the last two shows of this tour happen. Merritt booked me a 7:30 flight getting into O'Hare at midnight. I decided I needed to just make that happen. It took me 10 minutes to get out of the cab but after I was up I was able to navigate Logan airport. The kind people at US Air put me in bulkhead seats with more legroom. (thank you Beverly) I even had a golf cart waiting for me in Philly to get me to my connection. The cart dropped me off at my gate but I noticed a bar about 50 yards before my gate. I got out and thanked my wheeled patron, waited for her to leave and promptly shuffled my way back to "self medicate" After a quick drink I started going back to my gate to have have my chauffeur drive by and say "didn't I already take you to your gate?" "Yes, but I felt bad asking you to take me to a bar." She then drove me back to my gate. I love Philly! I made it home to O'Hare and was more than happy to see Kim waiting for me to take me home. Cousin Barb had Steve brought over a few treats for me and I must say I slept quite well that night. I got to the doctor today and the x-rays showed that I had a slight herniation of the L4/L5 vertebrae effecting the sciatic nerve on my left side. I am now sitting at home gorked out on Vicodine with a Bourbon chaser. Good thing there's no heavy machinery to operate. Even with all the crappy pain (which I now understand what my wife goes through....sorry Kim) Amelia came over for a bit and we napped on the floor together. Man I love her.

My thanks for all my prayer warriors and folks who have helped me...I am humbled.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


ok, the road officially sucks.

I have a few stories that will come.

Boston today. CA and WA next week then a nice break.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Internet saves Thanksgiving day!

No not food related...we owned that.

Kim and I for 15 years have been serving with the Little Brothers With Amelia in the mix now, I felt the need for us to do a Thanksgiving dinner. Kim the kids and myself haven't had turkey on Thanksgiving for a long long time, Reza's has been the destination of choice for our meal. So this was a treat to stay home and give it a shot. Kim sets a heck of a table and growing up in farm country Iowa has plenty of down home sides to go accompany the 2 turkeys I had planned, one grilled, one fried. Mom and Dad decided to join us along with Aunt Marge, Steve and Barb, Laura Jim, Karen who just got home from her year long stint serving the Army in Iraq (thank full and thrilled she's home safe) and of course, little Amelia. A great meal followed by Kim and I teaching Amelia the Chicken dance (accompanied by Dad and the squeeze box) A very fun evening. Now here's the internet part. As Kim and I were cleaning up we discovered that a bottle of wine had apparently dribbled onto the table cloth and making a very nice white ring on our antique table....oops. Kim was not thrilled at all and jumped online to see if she could find a remedy for our problem. Mayo...huh? Yes smear mayo on the offensive ring and it will disappear. Fifteen minutes later and the ring was still there. Back to the net. An iron, no way NEXT! A hair dryer, ok give it a shot. I head downstairs so I won't have to be around to witness Kim's disappointment, poor naive woman suckered by another internet rouse. The longer the whine of the dryer droned, the madder I knew she was getting. "Doug!" uh it comes. "get up here". Crap how am I going to console her. To my amazement... ring gone. I change my stance that everything you see on the internet IS true!!
Day saved...a Thanksgiving for the books.

Check out the film short made by a buddy of mine. Jose has huge heart and I am a lucky guy to get to do projects with him. I did nothing on this except loan a microphone. Nice job bud...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

troubles gone...

No matter what poop I have to deal with, spending time with Amelia makes me forget all my troubles.

Thanks Amelia!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Home Sweet Home...

It's been a grueling 3 weeks out for MS. I am home now for 10 days, woohoo!
Next Monday the tour finishes out with 6 more cities, home on Dec 16th.
You do what ya gotta do, right?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Eating our young??

Today reached a landmark for our 7th child. She laid her first egg today. How did we celebrate? We ate our grandchild...


Not much posting as you can see...
New York,Phoenix,Minneapolis,Chicago,Kansas City,Atlanta,Dallas,Detroit,Washington DC,Houston,San Jose and Seattle. Two cities a week until Dec. 15th been a wee bit busy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Curse...

Oh my, I uttered the proverbial parental curse...
"may you have a child twice as difficult as you"

We went to the mall today to get a few outfits and man oh man, Amelia had no desire to follow what we said or did. As far as she was concerned, she was her own boss and we could all kiss off if we didn't like it. We managed to get her to go in the clothes store with us for a few minutes...she's a natural.

After she had the clothes it was "screw you coppers!!!" she bolted for the door. Shoplifting at her age...shame.

To get her to leave the mall Laura had to lure her with a chocolate covered pretzel.

This is gonna be a fun one kids. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut...

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I left Monday for business, returning today (Thursday). Kim left today on a 4pm flight for her gig. She gets back in 10 days but I leave on the 9th day for Denver. So that was the long way of saying we weren't going to see each other for a while. I landed today at Midway at 12:20pm, jumped in a shuttle to O'Hare to try and see Kim before she left and get our car in the O'Hare lot. The shuttle driver got me door to door in 40 minutes, it was a little hair raising but that's ok, I don't have much hair to raise (unless we are talking about ear hair). Not only did I get to see Kim, we were able to catch up for over an hour before she had to go through security.
Some things are meant to be...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Two good things...

I'm up in Redmond WA doing a few meetings for "the company". It has been long days creeping into the evenings. Two good things came of yesterday.
First of all, after a brutal day, my boss popped for a 94 Cakebread Cab . What a generous offering...

The second is the goofiest picture of my second camera man Brian...perfect

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We have a problem!

Amelia now knows to smile for the camera. I can only get natural shots 20% of the time now...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Greatest Generation

A few days ago Kim and I went to a fund raiser at the invitation of my parents. There was going to be entertainment by one of the best jazz accordion/organ players around named Don Komar. There were two seating/shows one at 3pm and one at 6. Mom and Dad chose the 3pm show. The shows starts with an older couple, He playing the accordion and she singing. They broke out so many old songs many I have never heard but obviously the rest of the room had. He spoke of when he was a teenager during the war and the patriotism that all his family and friends had. I looked around the room and a few things struck me. First of all Kim was the youngest person in the room, then me. At our table were 3 other couples, 2 of them getting ready for their 60th anniversary (including my folks). The agreeing nods shared by many people in the room to the stories of the 40's and 50's was very neat to see, or should I say "swell" I read the book by Brokaw The Greatest Generation and have always been drawn to the 40's, the music, the cars, the clothes... Were the old people in that room really that different from me or am I just witnessing maturity in action? On the East coast Mark's grandmother was doing her part for the war effort but not typical behavior for a young girl. Kim pointed out that maybe when these folks were our age they may have thought like us. I am most definitely in a different frame of mind than when I was 20. Interesting thought process. I was also a wee bit jealous of the bond all these people had. Soon after that I realized we were eating dinner at 4:30pm. Home soaking our feet by 6:30 and asleep by 8. Holy crap! We became old in one afternoon!

Here's a tune from Don Komar Samba De Orfeu

Friday, September 14, 2007

What a hobby

Meet Carlos Chavez.

Carlos was my partner for the past 4 days on the road. You learn a lot about a guy trapped in a truck, driving across the country. This guy has one of the most unique hobby's I have ever heard of. Memorizing genealogy, now I know you are saying "Doug many people do genealogy" but this guy does royal blood lines. He can sit down and write a family tree of complete ancient European blood lines. He showed me papers that had hundreds of names on them, from English to French to Italian to Flemmish, yada yada...all memorized. He then pulls out his latest task. Japanese blood lines from 1100 on. Those are not memorized yet but he's working on them. His dream was to be a history teacher then he realized he really doesn't like kids.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The young'n

I was able to sit for the wee one tonight. In rare form I broke the camera out. She was good for about 5 shots then became very annoyed with my flash.
You choose which picture she lost it on...

A big goob in the Big Apple

I just got home from a 4 day trip to NYC to produce a show for the "the company". No not that "company" but I think these guys could have me killed or at least bored to death.
(a video locked up during a demo, wanted to offer my Mac so it would work. I didn't I behaved) Take the worst Chicago traffic and multiply that time 3. I can't believe how horrible Manhattan traffic is. A messenger bike guy darted in front of me and I almost hit him, he just smiled and yelled "MAYBE NEXT TIME!" I was hoping he would come back and give me another chance. We unload the truck and Scott takes the truck 6 blocks away to a lot that charges 160 per day to park there. The operator casually pointed to the tip can. Scott taking the hint, places a 20 in the can and magically the rate dropped to 90 dollars. Gotta love a deal? NYC is so busy, I'm convinced that all other cities are cow towns. Leaving yesterday I hit the Lincoln tunnel by 3:30pm. I was in bumper to bumper traffic for the next 1.5 hours and only moved 14 miles. Nuts I tell ya NUTS!
I decided to set my iPod to play alphabetically for my trip home. I let the songs just play. I had no idea how many songs I never have heard have been sitting patiently just waiting for me to listen to them. As I drove by Toledo I had to sit through 4 versions of "Blue Christmas" man that sucked, all 4 are now deleted. Need to go through and get rid of many more...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Whisky Vs. Whiskey

The history of spirits made from malted grain is long and varied. The pride and passion from different regional distilleries is amazing. Never get caught calling Scotch a whiskey, huh? It's a whisk(y) Only Scotch is spelled with just a "y". Irish, Canadian even American Bourbon is spelled with an (ey). Now. Bourbon is only allowed to be called Bourbon if it is distilled in Kentucky. Most people see the word Bourbon and they instantly think of Jack Daniels, not Bourbon. Jack is Tennessee Whiskey. Very good just not Bourbon. So where do I fall on all of this? I love and appreciate the passion of all the masters of the art. Now I am not going to get into the bad side of how liquor has ruined many lives. I have fortunately been able to escape the addictive side of "the drink" So my eh hem, "research" has been only to find the best of the best and comment on my findings so you don't have to risk becoming a lush in your own pursuit, yeah right. The following reviews are what I have gravitated towards (so far)
If I am out and am in the mood for a drink, most of the time I will lean towards Bourbon. I have had everything from Basil Hayden's to Wild Turkey. My top choice is Woodford Reserve. I think the balance is just about as perfect as a Bourbon can get. Next would be Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, Makers Mark, Knobb Creek. There are hundreds of Bourbons and more "micro-distilleries" on the horizon.
ahhh... the beloved smoked malt know as Scotch. Scotch Whisky is an acquired taste. As soon as the grain germinates, it is smoked over peat fires to dry before mashed up and fermented. If you have a Scotch from the Isles of Scotland the peat can take on a ocean flavor. Highland Scotches can be a little more pleasing to the pallet.
Good Scotch is spendy so my experience is limited but Linkwood has risen to the top of my list. Balvenie, Linkwood, Talisker, Lagavulin are all fine Scotches and the great thing is there hundreds more. I look forward to rich people letting me try more...ha.
Irish Whiskey:
Irish whiskey dries it's malt in hot air kilns so there is no smoky taste. Some feel it had a cleaner taste, others say if it's not Scottish..."It's CRAP" I think there's a place for all styles in this world depending on what you're in the mood for. Most people recognize either Jameson or Bushmills. Oddly enough they are both owned by the same company. I have a great 21 year old bottle of Bushmills aged in Port, Bourbon and Sherry Barrels. What a wonderful sweet aftertaste it has. Redbreast is an amazing everyday whiskey. Connemera is one Irish that smokes it's malt so it's a Whiskey that tastes like a Whisky...oy.
Man this was tiring, I need a beer.
(I'll finish the links later)

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Theater...

The church I go to has been busting at the seams to the tune of people sitting on the floor at some of our services. To help ease the overflow we decided to build a 250 seat theater. The cool thing is that we have a group of professionals that go to the church so we were able to save some money by taking care of the AV install ourselves.
Bill Terrilll (one of our best drummers) took on the task of designing and project managing the install. My buddy Steve and I were given the job of terminating the stage connectors and the front of house rack. Steve took the stage and I took the rack. There are 3 12K lumen projectors supporting the media in this room. This is going to be a very good room, very excited.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Man do I take that stuff for granted!
We are part of the "no power" crowd for the 3rd day now. Remember in the movie "Batman" with Jack Nicholson where the entire city was afraid to take showers or use makeup? that's how everyone in my neighborhood looks like now with me as the head "eeewww"

On the plus side I bought my first chainsaw yesterday. I now now what it's really like to be a man(insert grunt). Our whole area is covered by downed trees. After making some order of our property we went over to Kim's retired priest's house where he has 10+ trees down. After that Kim and I went out to my church where I was terminating audio connections for our new theater. Kim took advantage of the showers we have there and felt human again.

So Saturday is here and they are expecting a few more days of outage. I hope they fix it soon, I'm running out of things to talk about with Kim! (kidding) no seriously.

Hope the people here a Panera don't get sick looking at my bed head while eating their muffins... sorry folks.

*Update as of 8am*
Kim just called and said 3 trucks from Toledo Edison pulled up in front of our house.
They are saying the grid we are on is really really bad. They will try and have it up by tomorrow.
God Bless Ohio!

Brought to you by the fine folks over at Panera Bread and their free internet...

*Update 6pm*
Toldeo Edison just pulled away leaving us with full power...Gotta love Ohio sparkies!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Church Media...

Kind of cool...
Our church's media team made it on to MSNBC via the story on GodTube.
We did about 6 or 7 versions of the Apple commercial.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Quite the evening...

I took a little trip over to St. Joseph MI to see my dad and Claudia Hommel play a show to benefit The Box Factory.
Once upon a time it was literally a box factory now turned into studio space for dozens of local artists. My sister and her husband Dennis live in St. Joe and I must say it's a great place and I need to spend more time exploring it more at some point. My other sister Donna and her friend Cecilia Drove over from IL. My mom was also there and she graciously paid for my ticket, how could I pass that up. Appetizers and local wine started off the event. Here's where I get owned. I have to say I am a snob. A wine snob to be more exact. IL,IN,MI,WI all produce wine but they are mostly known for fruit wines or late harvest (sweet) wines. I have tasted many Cabs and Merlots and none of them good. Well tonight I had a 05 Cab-Franc blend from Tabor Hill that was really quite good. I wonder if it goes good with crow cause that's what I'm eating...
Dinner was nice and Claudia did two 45 minute sets. The crowd loved the music. It was fantastic to know the event was sold out... right on. Here's the line of the evening. Claudia and the bass player did a wonderful soulful duet. Dad and the cellist sat that song out. At the end of the song Claudia says "wasn't that nice?" Dad's reply??? "Too much Bass" The crowd (including myself) was on the floor. Good one Pop!
Family, good wine, good food, good can you beat that?

Check out a few pics (click to see a bigger version)

Dennis and Paula

A little maniacle?