Archive for Random Blather

Feb
22

Anybody Around??

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If it isn’t glaringly apparent, it’s been a long time since I’ve felt the urge to write something.

Blogging is a lot like going to the gym for me. Make it a routine, and stick to the routine, and it becomes… well…a routine. But if I talk myself out of going even one day, that is the last day I’ll go to the gym for a long, long time. Blogging is work, believe it or not. While I don’t expect anyone that has ever read one of my inane posts to believe that I put a lot of thought into a blog post, hacking out a bunch of words that connect into a thought is far from fun, actually it’s a pain in the ass most of the time.

Which is a shame, because when I was blogging fairly steadily, by last official Analytics count, I think I had amassed an Additional Twenty to the Faithful Fifteen. All that hard work is now down the intertubes, just like that. I know I will be lucky if one or two people stumble across this. Most probably thought I was dead…

Well, even though the blog has been for far too long, I’m not dead – not by a long shot – not yet, anyway. I have been taking some time to start compiling my Yawn-Inspiring Ride Reports™ into a magazine format – which, believe it or not is also a lot of work. But, as they say (whoever they are) no pain, no gain. When the magazine is complete, I will make a HUGE announcement on the Rant that it is available, so all two of you can get a copy.

I’m also trying to get a real company to help me with a blog redesign, which, while not really work, is turning out to be an incredible pain in the ass. It usually goes something like this:

ME – emailing blog design company: “Hello. I have a crappy and dormant blog in desperate need of un-crappifification. Please help me and I will send you enormous sums of money.”

BLOG DESIGN COMPANY: \varnothing

No response. Null set. 404 – Reply Not Found.

Ever.

I mean, aside from having thirty five people with nothing better to do than stop by Frenchy’s Rant semi regularly, this blog has an amazingly awesome layout and really cool background, right? Of course it does, but seriously,even I can tell  it needs a little ‘help’. There are over five years of posts on here,some fo them even entertaining, but can you find them?

No?

Me either.

Someday, maybe a company will get back to me (HINT FOR BLOG DESIGN COMPANIES – it has something to do with hitting the ‘reply’ button.) and this blog will claw it’s way back to the very bottom of the Google blog rankings.

In the mean time, is this the triumphant return of Frenchy to the world of inane blog blather?

Maybe. Only time will tell…

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Jul
08

The Show Must Go On

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It started over a year ago like most bad ideas do, a pint of Guinness in one hand, and a long-lost Triton scrap book in the other.

Looking at those twenty year old pictures of those skinny, furry kids in a band, the little hamster wheel in my head started squeaking: “What if Triton got together one more time for one last hurrah?”  The Police did it, The Eagles did it, why not Triton? But first, I’d have to track down the boys. When the band ended, we pretty much went our separate ways, cut our hair, got semi-respectable jobs, and moved on from the dream of dominating the world through original 80’s music.

Fortunately, tracking people down in the information age is simple. A few Facebook searches later the band was electronically reunited, and the idea for FatFest was born.

Late in July of last year, after a few Facebook messages, I invited the boys over to my house for an informal jam session. One of the benefits of being the drummer is drums are such a pain in the ass to move that all the other musicians will generally come to your house to jam. The boys in the band all accepted the offer, and for the first time in nineteen years, the band was back together.

Not sure if it was just a trip down memory lane or a mid-life crisis, but our little jam session wasn’t enough for me. The hamster wheel continued to squeak in my tiny skull. “What if we put on one more show in front of an audience?” The idea for FatFest 2010 – Bigger, Louder, Fatter was born.

Fast forward ten months, the Facebook invitations go out once again. Alex, our singer, lives about six hours away in Rochester. He wisely tried to decline my invitation, saying it was too much travel, blah blahblah. Booking him a frequent flier award ticket solved that small dilemma, and the reunion was officially on. July 4th, in my backyard, for all the world to ignore.

Due mostly to my ridiculous traveling lifestyle, we had two rehearsals before the big show. Alex joined us via Skype for one (ain’t technology grand?) and, with a little practice, the music was about as good as it was going to get. Rick, the bass player and Josh, the guitarist got together once to go over vocals and tighten some songs up. With almost no practice, we were ready as we ever would be to perform a set of our classic songs.

The Facebook invitation for the show was posted, and before I knew it, the big day had arrived. Alex had some flight trouble (shocking, I know). Josh borrowed the biggest PA system he could find, and Rick contributed by showing up to FatFest 2010 with a refrigerator full of Jello shots.

Some things never change.

I put the drum roadies to work early. The official Triton Art Department (also known as Fiona) had prepared a special front bass drum head to commemorate this historic occasion.

As the roadies worked, the PA was set up, and the loudest soundcheck in Echo Lake history commenced.

The thunderous pounding from my mighty kick drum killed the PA system during soundcheck. Scrambling to find out the issue, we soon learned it was much worse than a simple blown fuse. The awesomeness eminating from my back yard had managed to knock a tree into a power line, killing power to my whole side of the lake! Glum faces looked defeated, it seemed the show would not go on. I never lost hope though. Instead, as fire trucks and the power company arrived, I walked up to a friend’s house to see if I could borrow some generators.

The show must go on! Legions of die hard Triton fans had changed their Fourth of July plans, there was no way we could let these people down.

Coming to the rescue, Pascoag Power and Light had power restored in under an hour, and the show started almost on time – close enough for Rock and Roll, anyway!

The show was a huge success! The merchandise tent was sold out in less than ten minutes, and he fans nearly tore down the stage in a frenzy of musical appreciation, as the band ripped through favorites like Meltdown, Dancing Dreamer, Enemy and Yesterday’s Gone.

It was, by far, the Best Day Ever.

The hamster wheel is already spinning for FatFest 2011 – Older, Slower and Dumber!

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Jun
29

Triton Reunion

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Still alive, still doing stuff, just took a break from the world of blogging. I’ll be back in the next few days with a nice saga of how the band reunion came about, a few cool rides that I have planned, and some other random brain vomit.

In other words, yes, the Rant will return soon, with more inane, yawn-inspiring drivel.

Thanks for caring.

In other exciting news, the Triton reunion show will be taking place in the Kingdom of Rhode Island on July 4th at or around 4 PM (you know how temperamental old rock stars get.) Come out and laugh at the 80’s along with us.

Email me for more details.

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I must apologize in advance.

This story is not in any way related to motorcycling, and it doesn’t even have any pictures (thankfully) but in my opinion, it is a story too good not to share. And, as you’ll see, while it may not be motorcycle related, it does involve ‘Going’ and is, without too much of a stretch, a story of ‘Where I’ve Been.’

As a freelance television audio engineer, I’ve spent well over a decade of nights sleeping in countless different hotel rooms, mostly without incident. Well, that’s not actually true, there have been enough hotel incidents to fill a book, which someday I may actually get around to doing. But in all of those hotel incidents, until this week I’ve never committed the ‘Big One’ – that classic faux-pas that makes me giggle every time I hear of it happening. To someone else.

The scene: Very late last Saturday night, I drove a rental car four hours to St. Louis for the WWE Elimination Chamber Pay Per View. I dropped the car off at the National lot five minutes before closing time, and now I’m in a taxi, almost to the hotel, tired and ready for bed, when two very happy friends start texting me from an Irish pub with a very late last call to meet them before their night is over. I try to blow them off until one friend texts me with a zinger that he knows will work, “Don’t be a PUSSY.” At this point my taxi is very close to the Hyatt, and it is well after midnight. In a stroke of serendipity or blatant bad luck, my cab manages to pass right by the bar my friends are in, so, refusing to “be a PUSSY,” I tell the driver to forget the hotel, and let me out at the bar instead. I make my grand entrance to the Irish pub with luggage and camera backpack in tow.

By this time, my buddies are three or, more accurately five or six sheets to the wind, and Bill, the bartender, has become their new best friend. In an effort to help me catch up, best friend Bill starts pouring me triple shots of 15 year old Glenfiddich neat. 15 year old Glenfiddich is a drink best sipped slowly, and also is a drink best sipped on a full stomach – both facts that I know from experience – both facts that I hardily ignore anyway.

Thankfully, before too much time passes, our new best friend Bill announces last call. With a third triple whisky rapidly pouring down my gullet, it’s (mercifully) time to go. I collect my luggage, which I am proud to have remembered, and check into the Hyatt around 3 AM.

Around 4 AM, all that whisky wants out, so in my groggy, foggy state, I sleepily stumble out of bed to answer the call of nature. It takes about five full minutes to realize I have a problem, then another two or three to realize just how big and how bad my problem really is. First off, instead of going into the bathroom, I managed to walk out into the hallway. At four AM. Without a room key, and hardly an idea exactly which room is mine. With a full to bursting bladder.

In my underwear. Thank God I don’t sleep in the nude!

Now the precise details of what transpired next are a little hazy, but I will say, as a precaution, if you ever find yourself in the Hyatt in St. Louis, I would strongly recommend against getting ice from the third floor ice machine.

With at least that part of my problem solved, I now have to make the ultimate walk of shame – in my underwear – to the lobby – in my underwear – where I am greeted – In. My. Underwear. – by a smirking desk clerk that looks like she just lives for small moments like these.

“Locked out of your room?”

“Um, yes.”

“Do you have any ID?”

“ID? Um, no. I don’t usually carry any in my underwear.”

“Security!”

The security guard, alternating between snickering and openly laughing, leads me on what is definitely the longest route possible back to my room, and openly takes great pleasure in parading his helpless victim – me – around the Hyatt for what feels like a day.

The next morning, I wake up thinking, “Wow! What a fucked up dream I had,” until I realize that where there should only be two, now there are THREE room keys on the nightstand. My nightmare wasn’t a dream. The extra room key proves it. It happened.

It really happened.

I never checked the ice machine.

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Jan
22

The Big Day

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Today I turn forty.

Forty! I can remember when I thought forty was old. This is what I looked like when I entertained such foolish thoughts:

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