The Dog Days Of Summer

As we prepare to enter the dog days of summer, we have 4 shots of Angelina and Michael.  First, they pose in front of the Beverly Hills sign from New Year’s Eve 2018.  Next is a shot of them from the Capitol Building and then outside the White House from last June’s trip to DC.  Finally, from Warner Bros. Studio is a picture of them next to the Privet Drive street sign from Harry Potter.

Lay Back Cause It’s Summertime

We reach the halfway point, with 6 months down and only 6 to go in the 2020 calendar.  This month, we have multiple shots of Angelina from the New Year’s trip to Los Angeles at the end of 2018.  We start with a shot of her posing on a lookout in Los Angeles with good views of the Hollywood sign.  Next, we have her and Michael in the float barn in Pasadena.  Below that, she drinks her coffee at the Central Perk shop at Warner Bros. Studios in beautiful Burbank.  Finally, another shot of her and Michael waiting outside of Roscoe’s Chicken N Waffles.

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 18

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world. Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 18 covers the summer of 1995, my first working at the bank, and the lead up to the first of my two senior years of college.

Side A

Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days

A radio hit despite never being officially released as a single, the Led Zeppelin cover more than doubled its impressive total over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 27 plays, most recently on 8/28/2018 

PJ Harvey – Down By The Water

The surprise mainstream hit for the indie darling, which hit #2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, added a mere 3 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 16 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

REM – Strange Currencies

Nearly left off the Monster album due to its rhythmic similarities to Everybody Hurts, the song more than tripled its number of plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 2 plays 7 plays, most recently on 7/18/2018 

Live – All Over You

Hitting #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart despite never being released as a single in the US, Live’s latest has doubled its plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 5 plays 10 plays, most recently on 6/24/2018 

Soul Asylum – Misery

Originally recorded off of Q101, the debut single from Soul Asylum’s follow-up to their breakthrough album nearly tripled its listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 4 plays 11 plays, most recently on 12/15/2018 

Collective Soul – December

Peaking at #20 on the Billboard charts, the second single from the band’s second album nearly tripled its output over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 8 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

Elastica – Connection

The first US hit from Elastica, peaking at #53 on the Billboard charts, added 6 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 11 plays 17 plays, most recently on 12/17/2018 

Juliana Hatfield – Universal Heart-Beat

Hitting #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks charts, the solo release from Juliana Hatfield garnered 5 additional listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 8 plays 13 plays, most recently on 1/2/2019 

Side B

Continue reading →

2018: The Year In Travel

As I arrive home from California, I thought it would be nice to look back at the many trips I took last year.  Things got started in March, when I headed out to Las Vegas for the IBM Think conference.  Along the way, I took in a show, Absinthe, at Caesar’s Palace, a Barenaked Ladies concert at Mandalay Bay, and a show by The Chainsmokers at MGM Grand, where I was staying.

Following the conference, I took a detour to Phoenix for a long weekend, where I took in some Cactus League action at Camelback Ranch and Peoria Sports Complex, seeing the White Sox, Cubs, and Mariners (twice!).  I also enjoyed a trip to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Page, followed by a quick trip to the Grand Canyon.

About a month later, I took a short weekend trip to New York.  Danny, Michael, and I flew to New York on a Friday night, where we met up with Angelina and had dinner with the family she was nannying for.  Saturday was a glorious spring day, spent sight seeing at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, Central Park, the Guggenheim museum, and the Empire State Building.  Sunday was spent at the Lyric Theatre, watching both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, before heading home early Monday morning.

My next trip came at the end of July, as Val and I headed down to Roanoke, Virginia, to celebrate Jeff’s 50th birthday.  After a day of “work”, the highlight of the trip was Saturday’s hike up Catawba Mountain to McAfee Knob.  Sunday was spent recovering, before heading home.

I spent most of September in Europe, starting with a week in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Aside from work, there was a trip to Castle Ward in to look at Game of Thrones filming locations, a hockey game featuring the Belfast Giants, a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park and a nip across the border to the wonderful town of Muff in Ireland, and a Black Cab tour of locations in Belfast related to the Troubles. Continue reading →

FB4: Week 49

Another good week, thanks mostly to spending New Year’s in California.  The week got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, where a trip to Pasadena to attend Band Fest and see the float barn at the Rose Bowl garnered over 7200 steps.  Monday came in just over 10,000 steps, thanks to a trip to Warner Bros. Studios followed by dinner in Beverly Hills.  Tuesday, New Year’s Day, was the big day of the week, with over 13,600 steps thanks to a return trip to Pasadena for the Rose Parade.  Wednesday wrapped up my time in California with a trip to California ScienCenter to see King Tut and the space shuttle Endeavor and a quick stop at the beach, to the tune of 8400 steps.  Thursday was down to 4200 steps, as I spent the last day of vacation recovering from the previous week.  Friday I returned to work, where I was able to get over 8700 steps.  Saturday was the low point of the week, as I didn’t leave the house and ended up with a mere 1600 steps.

Total steps: 53,953

Daily average: 7707.6