Not for the weak minded.

Tanked

March 11th, 2008 Josh

This past weekend was quite productive. I didn’t get BlenderGood.com fully up and running Friday as I wanted to, but it’s close. I’m waiting on GoDaddy to restore my shopping cart right now; it’s really a pain being held up by someone else, especially since I have quite a bit of money tied up in this thing now.

Saturday was pretty lax. I did some research on rifles and was going to head to the gun show, but ended up going over to Jake’s place. He was building a bar in the loft of his house where there is currently a pool table. I helped him put the top on and lay down black granite tile. We also figured out some slick rope light mounting that should illuminate the lower bar without seeing the rope light itself. I snapped some pictures, but haven’t uploaded them yet.

A couple of my cousins got into town this weekend for spring break so I got to hang out with them for a little bit. I’m starting to fill the week nights again so I don’t know how much I will see them the rest of the week. The place they are staying in is huge, which is good since they have 10 people staying there for the week!

Sunday I was going to get up early and go help set up at Shoreline, but my phone didn’t switch time and woke me up an hour late. I got there just about the time they had finished setting up, so I just sat and watched. They were struggling to get set up and sound checked since they had 10 musicians this week, and ended up only having time to run through 2 songs before the service. As good as they had done in practice, they really struggled the whole first service. Then they tanked the last song horribly. It was “Basic Instructions” and had a pause in the intro that they all messed up so bad that they had to start over- I’ve never seen a band start a song over. Even at Crosspoint when we screwed up really bad someone always kept it going and pulled it back together. It was kind of funny seeing the reality check after being intimidated by how good they were at practice.

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After the first service I met Jake at the gun show. I ended up shopping around and buying a Marlin 822. It’s a .22 Magnum, which is a caliber that is relatively new, but picking up popularity. Casey has the same gun but he has a trigger kit on his that brings the pull from a herculean 8 lbs to a  super-light .5 lbs. I’d like to get mine down to 1-1.5 lbs if I can. (Pull is how hard you have to squeeze the trigger to fire the gun. The harder you have to squeeze the more you shake and mess up your aim.) We’ll probably hit the range this weekend and see how different they shoot.

The band

March 7th, 2008 Josh

Before I left I asked Jeff if he knew of any churches in the Fort Walton Beach area. He sent me a link for Shoreline church in Destin. It is quite a bit like Crosspoint, and I am itching to get involved. Last week I met some people there and we went to play beach volleyball after the services. It was quite a bit of fun and the people are very friendly.

Tonight I went the church’s band practice to observe… I was humbled by the level that these guys play at! Every person there either plays 4 nights a week in a regular band or has played in a regular band at some point. They were AMAZING. The songs just seemed to click together effortlessly.

They were all really cool once I hung out with them. They even convinced me to come help with setup at 7am Sunday. From what they were saying, they totally nailed this rehearsal and that doesn’t happen on a regular basis.

Tomorrow I have off (every other Friday I have off) and I will be spending the day launching Blendergood.com. If you have a minute, and you actually read my blog, head over to the site. If it’s working give me a call and I’ll give you a blender at my cost. Any blender you want. I’ll give you a coupon code to type into the site. I’ll even extend that offer to anyone you know; especially people in the restaurant business.  So if you know anyone who wants to buy a Vita-Mix blender at cost, tell them to call me.

Ok. Time to go to sleep.

Strippers

March 1st, 2008 Josh

So tonight was by far the most interesting night I’ve experienced since I moved up here. It started at 5pm when I met the guys at a bar up the street called Hellen Back, which is a pizza joint expanded into a giant bar. They were serving free pizza made in-house, and it was pretty good for free. By “the guys” I mean the engineers that I’m working with right now, but it turned out to be about 8 of us. We stayed there for a few hours then 4 of us went to another bar, and Jake, Casey, and I finished off the night at the third bar.

The third bar of the night -Paper Moon- was the most interesting, and when we walked in there wasn’t a person near the door not wearing leather and piercings. Jake said it was the local hippie bar and it seemed to fit that description well. As we walked in there was some really nice mellow music playing throughout the bar, people were generally relaxed and there was a short dog wandering about, content to be pet by the nearest person.

I started up the stairs to the second floor and when I reached the top I noticed that there were quite a few tables, some nice chairs, and a few couches generally aimed at a small stage where a guy was playing a guitar. There was a pool table with a few people playing pool and most of the tables were occupied. There was no upstairs bar so we headed back downstairs and ordered some beers. There were no empty tables downstairs, so while Casey and Jake were getting their beer, I headed back up and wandered over to sit in a chair.

It was then that I realized that the music being played throughout the bar, music I could swear was from a studio recorded CD, was actually coming entirely from the solo guitarist. Not only was he an amazing guitarist, he could put the winning singers on “American Idol” to shame. All of them. To shame. It was stunning. Then he put on a harmonica and I thought that it was over. There was no way that a harmonica could help someone that good. Oh, no… the harmonica was amazing. He somehow managed to slip it in as filler so in touch with the guitar playing that you didn’t even know he was playing it until he stopped. It was simply amazing. If you ever come to visit, you need to tell me to take you to this place.

By this time Casey and Jake had joined me and we were all admiring the guitarist as well as looking around at the other people in the place. I noticed a fairly attractive chick at a nearby table and after a few minutes, for some random reason, everyone she was with stood up and left. It was pretty funny, and she was sitting there by herself looking around like she didn’t know what happened. Jake made a motion to Casey and I signaling that one of us should swoop in.

So I got up and walked over to her table, mentioned that no one should be left alone and sat down in the chair next to her. We hadn’t been talking for more than about 20 seconds when the boyfriend came back and sat down. It didn’t really matter to me since I really never started to hit on the girl, and at that moment, Casey and Jake joined us. Apparently the boyfriend had left to go get a drink, and while he was gone everyone else decided to leave, abandoning the poor girl.

So we started talking and found out that the guy’s name was Kyle and he was in the armed services and does maintenance on F-16’s in Korea, but is here on leave. Since one of the things we do at DRS is build “pods” that strap on to the wings of F-16’s, we started talking about that and he said that the pod engineer guys were cool compared to the air force people. The air force people would be pretty strict and overbearing just because of protocol, but he said the pod guys would come along and just leisurely ask for the pod or give a few to him to mount. We told him he should go over to the plant to assemble these things since it was a pretty laid-back job and he wanted something a bit more laid-back.

The girl’s name was Shannon and told us she was the day manager of a local bar. We asked her what bar and she reluctantly said the name of the bar, which happened to be a strip club. Just my luck that the first girl I go to talk to happens to be a stripper. We all talked quite a bit over the next few hours, admiring the guitarist and learning the inside scoop on managing the “B” team on day shift at a strip club. She actually pointed to another girl in the bar a little later in the night saying that she was one of the day shift girls. Now I’m not a mean person, but that girl was ugly. I didn’t even care to hang with her when she came to talk to Shannon, much less even think about the “day shift” scenario. UGH. Nasty.

We talked a bit more and it turns out that Shannon is actually an ASE certified, degree-holding automotive mechanic. She moved here from California but the GM mechanic jobs here pay barley more than half of what they pay in Cali, so she started stripping. She owns her own house, a couple of cars and said that when she was stripping full time she made just over $70,ooo a year. Yeah. 70k. No wonder some girls strip. I still wonder about others… but still, I can’t touch that for another 5 years and I have a 4 year degree from a highly respected school. Albeit I don’t have a hot body, but I digress.

We all sat around chatting for a while and after the amazing guitarist finished up, the three of use left the stripper and F-16 mechanic to their flirting. All in all, it was one interesting night. I mean, how often do you go to a hippie bar, find the best solo musician/singer ever, then meet a hot chick who happens to also be an ASE certified mechanic and the day manager of a local strip club.

Never.