Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pilsen, Czech Republic

Hello everybody,

We’ve just returned from a small getaway.  The house is a mess, the basement is somewhat clean and Jean-Luc is sleeping - everything is moving according to plan. 

Plzen was super cool or as the Germans may say, wunderbar – small and easy to walk everywhere.  We went on a tour of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery, walked around most of the downtown area and had some good food.

Pilsner Urquell Entrance IMG_1114

What is really interesting about this place is that they still brew beer the old fashion way, albeit only for the tours, or so we thought. 

Both L and I were skeptical about the beer, since we’ve had it before and really didn’t care for it. (see the face below)IMG_1116


But the unfiltered version of this beer is a completely different animal – really. IMG_1161IMG_1166

It’s got more of the hop and barley taste without the skunk and all the flavors are well balanced and best, above all, satisfying.  Just look at L in the picture below.


She must have talked about the beer for hours and we were both surprised that they don’t sell the beer in that form to the public.  But we would soon find out different later that evening. As we were leaving, L reluctantly finished her golden malted barley extract and said a small parting farewell to her dream beer - as she slowly let her empty plastic chalice of nectar fall into the waste basket she whispered,  I’ll miss you, Je t'aime, Je t'aime.

Anyway…once the tears were dried, we headed back to the motel to lament and rest.  But later that evening we accidentally stumbled upon a bar which we believe is the Pivomuseum Bar located on the edge of downtown. It was a very non descript place except for all the noise of clanking beer steins and chest thumping – so we walked in and you’ll never believe what the bar was serving…UNFILTERED Pilsner Urquell, L nearly fell backwards from a faint. For next couple of hours,  cupid sent Pilsner tipped arrows in L’s direction.

We had a great time in Plzen. L and I had a discussion about how we visited many of the “baby sister” cities in the countries we visited and how much fun they were. One last beer for the road.

Below is a short video of out visit to Plsen, set to one of the songs from my German band.






Plus we had one of these too. Can anyone see what is wrong with the picture below.



It’s a car boot – as in this boot = car go no where.  Yes, yes, yes we know, too good to be true and yes we even asked about parking and the hotel receptionist said it was free but forgot to mention that before 7pm the area was paid parking.  I guess we arrived during the free part of the day and made it two days before, John-Czech Law caught up with us.  But it all turned out okay- hotel paid for everything and we only waited 10 minutes for them to arrive and remove the glamor boot.

until next time,



p.s. L just said the beer at the bar was slightly different unfiltered beer, but still good.

p.s.s. the circle is complete…my finished drums, almost 3yrs in the making.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

we be where we be at

Hello everybody,

Just in case if you've been wondering what we've been up to the last few days - L and I are taking a quick vacation in the small city of Plzen (Czech Republic). I was going to post pictures, but I forgot my usb3 cord for L's computer so I'll blog and post pictures of our trip when we're back home.  But I did lift this picture off the internets just to give you an idea.

well until next time...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

L’s Birthday, Somontano and Phase II

Hello Everybody!

Yes, it was L’s b – day yesterday, we celebrated with a nice meal and some treats that I baked for her.  Below is a picture of her with her cards and treats.


And of course she turned 29 again, I told her Picasso says, ‘It takes a long time to grow young.’  She was quite happy with her peanut butter, melted caramel and chocolate cupcakes. Plus I gave her some flowers at the beginning of the week to kick-off her birthday week proper. Yup, birthday week – that’s how we roll in these parts.  Anyway, the flowers I gave her were much pretty than the ones she got from work.  We had to save my flowers just for L’s eyes because they would have destroyed  my camera with their awesomeness.   Then we rested for the evening by opening a bottle of this new wine ordered from Spain.


Which brings me to my next topic…wine!  We ordered some Spanish wine from the Somontano/Aragon wine region. 

During our trip to Spain with the Prumleys we stopped in the town of Barbastro to check out the wines.  As I’ve recently learned the wines or rather the grape vines in the East region of Barbastro date back to the 2nd century Roman time era.  They have four local red grape varieties: Tempranillo, Moristel, Parraleta, and Granacha tinta and they tend to make blends with ‘foreign"’ grapes such as Syrah, Cab-Sav, Merlot and Pinot Noir.  Plus, I learned that the word Crianza means the wine has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year, then you have Reserva and Gran Reserva.  So much to learn and so little time left here in Germland. Just wish I’d gone to Northern Spain more often, oh well it is what it is.  I will be sending home some of these bottles (yes full) and maybe even a few more if I can.



Phase II


I started working on my drums again. I’ve had to wait four months for my hoops, but I can no longer wait – moving day quickly approaches…I’m told the hoops may arrive this week – we’ll see.


Regardless, I’ve measured and prepared the drums for drilling. I’ll be assembling the rest of the hardware and buffing the wood until it sings or at least until I receive my hoops. The drum dudes have until the 1st of June and then I’ll start freaking out.  My freak outs are not pretty…few of you have seen it…not pretty at all.  You’ve been warned drum doodues.


well until next time,



p.s. L is at a work convention and won’t return until Thursday evening. So her b-day week has been extended to make up for these two days – but don’t tell her that.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Hello Everybody,

Well we’ve had a busy weekend – me with recording and L with going away parties. It all kicked off Thursday night with setting my equipment in the studio and L out and about with the locals. 

Friday night was a bit more involved,  I started to record with the band proper and L had to go to a burger night without me - well at least until I finished recording for the evening. Friday began at 10 am for me and I wasn’t done recording until eleven hours later but all my tracking was done. Twelve songs back to back. I’ve never done that much recording in one day – it was great and exhausting. L’s Friday began with work and then she met a friend before heading off to Big Birds for burgers and a small farewell ado for Harvey aka Yoda-san.  When I showed up at 11pm everyone had a wide grin three shades deep in mischief.  Wagyu burgers and wine until 2am in the morning was a bit hard on both of us.

Here is one of the songs we worked on and some pictures I took of my new bass drum in the studio. I was super happy with the bass drum I built…I wasn’t sure it would sound good. But here it is al’ natural with no extra mix magic on it.

rough mix of track 5

Saturday – I woke up and headed to the studio around 9:30 and L sat on the front porch reading until about 7pm when she left to go to another farewell party for James and Sara at Herzo’s Italy/golf restaurant. I felt a bit guilty for not being there with her since many of the people that attended the party were golfing “experts” – plus the place was showing the Bayern vs. Chelsea futball game.  I think that part of the evening was exciting for L, because when I arrived at 10pm the game went into penalty points and L wanted to see the results, plus it was cool to watch one last big soccer game with the locals before heading back to the states.

Sunday – today we rest well until later this evening - L is reading and I am doing absolutely nothing, but we do have another round of farewells with Harvey this evening.  So that should be fun and headache inducing tomorrow morning.  Below you’ll see what L and I were doing this morning and you can hear another rough mix of a song.

rough mix of track 10



Thursday, May 17, 2012

One more go

Hello Everybody!

Not a whole lot to report today. L has today off and I’ll be in the recording studio working on one last album for Attila and the guys.  We don’t start today until later this evening.  I’ll be trying my new bass drum – I wish it was the complete new set up, but I have not received my new back drum hoops. Hopefully they’ll get here before I leave Germany. 

Below are a few pictures of us in the studio the last time. I’ll take more pictures of the new work we’re doing.IMG_7597





Attila singing


Wooshy mixing the last album.


I’ll update this later tonight with newer pictures and how things went in the studio, if I have time.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Does he have a passport?

Hello Everybody!


Yes sir – Jean-Luc went to visit the vet today. Time to get ready for the journey back.


Here he is inspecting his chariot. He really loves his carrying case or box or what ever the name is for his transporter.


Yessss! nice and cushy.


Jean-Luc was really quiet during the ride to the vet. He didn’t ask any questions, just purred all the way there..

It was a bit of surprise when I was asked for Jean-Luc’s passport. I didn’t know animals needed one in Europe, but I guess they do. Or at least that is what the vet told me. Not so much for entering or leaving the USA, but for entering and leaving Europe. He kind of laughed and said, “Yeah, dee US lets dee animals leave vit just a piece of paper that say the animal ist okay.”  You learn something new everyday. 


Here we are waiting to see the vet right before my camera ran out of batteries. I swear that piece of plastic is really starting to get on my nerves.  Both T Mitch and A of the Prumleys have told me I need a new camera and I’m starting to agree with them. Anyways…

His visit went well and he’s totally ready to head back to the states - just one last visit before we leave and Jean-Luc vill be allowed to leave Germany.  Oh yes, below is a picture of his new passport – we’re waiting for his picture.



Ahhhhh, back to sleeping.

bloggers and web cam 002

Oh yeah, I failed to mention yesterday that I was going to try and post or blog everyday until we leave.  That was what I was really meant to talk about yesterday before I got side tracked by my thoughts.

Hugs and see you all soon,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did Jean-Luc hit the warp speed button?

Hello everybody!


I realized yesterday that we’ll be back in the good ol’ USA in 31 days. Wha? Really? 

I guess the days just fell away like the hairs on my head. You’ll see what I’m talking about when I get home. One day you’re looking good and then the next, you try to shave your head with your favorite razor setting and realize you need to shave closer -because the usual setting makes you look like you have mange. 

Anyway just needed to vent a bit, since I guess I have a problem with expressing my concerns the older I get, or so I’ve been told.  With that said, I’m a little worried about going home.  Just about everyone keeps telling me: “Oh man, are you ready, ready for the culture shock?” or “It’s not safe over there(USA) the culture is crazy” or “I’m not gonna get to ride my bike because it’s not a bike culture” or “enjoy it (Europe/Germany) while you can” - basically what I can deduce from all this nay-saying is that somehow in the last three years that we’ve been gone - everything turned to poop in the U.S. … 

And I began to remember about how I was when I first got here(Germany) and how I wanted to get my hands on a Sonor drum set and then having a German friend point out or rather, saying, “The grass ist allvays greener on dee other side of dee vall.”  I said, do you mean fence? He said, vhat?

Which made me take a closer look at Germany – well not just Germany but any place that I’ve visited here in Europe – I can’t say the idea of something “greener on the other side of the fence” never crept into my head, but that is not the point, it was more about this ‘same but different’ idea, not better or worst, because one can always find the better or worst no matter where one is, but for me, it is this ‘different sameness’ thing I think has always been a part of me.  Anyway, most of the time I just want to learn more about a place and how different or the same people are in different countries.  But I now believe one can’t go to another country saying, “This is better than that.” it just won’t do.

Back to what I was talking about…

But come on, to assume that I will somehow be shocked about my home ground seems, ridículo. Here’s why, I didn’t visit my birth town for about nine years – Plenty of time for “things” to change don’t you think?  And I don’t remember experiencing any culture shock. However, what did shock me, was seeing my younger cousins taller and my uncles greyer. Which I believe is not culture shock, unless aging is some form of culture I don’t comprehend.

I believe I’ve changed more than anything and I firmly think it has to do with my ability to adapt or in this case assimilate to my surroundings, believe me I have much practice in both of these studies - all my life kind of practice. As for experiencing any kind of shock…all I can say is,  shelve it buddy.  Things change – adapt, accept it and live.

Back to the real subject.

  See you all soon.




p.s. much of my ramblings stem from a conversation I had with big bird, julia child and yoda-san.