Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not a Whole Lot

It's been a slow week, at least for things to blog about. Actually Solarte and I went to Atlanta Sunday to cover the Panthers' game against the Falcons. It was rather uneventful except for I drove the entire way back with almost no brakes. I forgot my camera so no game pics. My bad.

The weekend starts tomorrow night for me when David Lee Roth returns for Van Halen's reunion tour at Charlotte Bobcats Arena. That won't suck.

Friday morning The Lady and I fly to Indianapolis for her friend Kathryn's wedding. It's bittersweet since we'll be missing the Shub/Barker wedding in Maine. That sucks but we'll have a good time anyway.

Sunday morning we fly back in time for the Panthers' game against the Fucaneers. It's always a good game. I hope we whip their asses. Many, many, many pics to come.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

From Ass Whippin' to Whippin' Ass

After that Centro-matic show I went to a while back I promised myself I'd go see more live music. A few weeks ago I was checking Interpol's tour schedule and saw they were playing in Raleigh Sunday night. It sounded great, but I knew it would be a long day if I went. The Panther's home opener was also this past Sunday and that means waking up early, getting the dog taken care of, getting food together and making it uptown by 10 a.m. to start grilling and beer drinking. I thought it'd be too much, but I remembered the promise I made to myself. I'm not going to be 28 forever and a lot of bands I really like evidently hate Charlotte so they play in places like Raleigh and Winston Salem and I have to make those trips. I'm damned glad I went up there Sunday. After the ass whippin' the Texans put on the Panthers, The Lady and I ducked into the Gin Mill for one beverage and headed to her house to drop her off. She made me a sandwich and I hit the road. I finally arrived at the Disco Rodeo(formerly The Ritz and The Longbranch) about 9:00. There was a huge crowd which struck me weird because I didn't realize so many people in North Carolina knew who Interpol was. Then I realized most of them were college kids from one of a dozen or so universities in and around Raleigh making me one of the older folks in the crowd. Most of those college kids were drinking Tecate and Modelo. Weird. I looked out of place with my two $4 PBR cans. Interpol came on around 9:30 and I had no clue what they looked like before. They were all wearing suits or ties. I guess I was expecting t-shirts but I reckon it worked for them. They were as good as I hoped they'd be. More importantly, they were LOUD! I hate going to shows where they could easily double the volume and still use some more gain. Sunday the mix was right.

The band closed with Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down(bottom video) and PDA(top video.) They were great with the exception of the guitar player singing a little riff at the end of PDA. Dude didn't sing a word all night and came in at least a step and a half flat. It was bad. Other than that, they were extremely tight. I got home around 2 a.m. It was well worth the long assed day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunshine's 30

Jennifer Moxley doesn't suck. At her young age she's experienced a ton of things your average 29 year old womern hasn't. Oh, and she's wide open about all of it, that's why she doesn't suck. Most days she's running around Rowan county hauling a camera whilst fending off advances from law enforcement officers who can't get over how nice she is. Moxley has a special birthday this weekend. I'd tell you how old she's going to be but I can't remember. Her newly slim husband Jason took her to dinner Saturday then took her to Cans where a dozen or so of us surprised her with a little get together. In case you can't tell from the picture, she was indeed surprised.
Lisa Reyes was also surprised when her 35mm Kodak from 1987 didn't work. It's quite possibly the only still camera I've seen that's actually bigger than your average head. She's damned proud of it, though.

I've a real nice picture of Moxley, The Lady and I giving the proverbial thumbs up, but they looked so good in this picture I figured it was best to leave me out of it. I'm certain I made the right call. If you run into Moxley, be sure to give her a big ole' birthday hug, then ask her how old she is. Oh yeah, she drank a Miller High Life tallboy. Sounds like a good birthday.

Get My Motor Runnin' for a Wild Weekend

I love Fridays. It's the end of my work week and I get to shoot high school football. I love high school football. I never played it, but I spent three years covering nothing but high school sports and grew to love it dearly. It's my favorite thing to shoot. I've shot several NFL games, a couple of HUGE playoff games and with the exception of the 2003 NFC Championship in Philadelphia, I'd rather shoot high school football. It whips ass. Friday I had to drive to Kannapolis for the first of two games I had to shoot. This is normally a 40-45 trip. I always leave early because A.L. Brown High School invites us into their booster club pre-game dinner every week and it's typically good eating. Due to the first significant rain we've had in about six years, all of Charlotte USA forgot how to drive when the roads are wet. My Friday commute to K-town turned into a one hour and forty give minute fiasco up I-85. I missed dinner and the first touchdown. It was still better than shooting flash flooding.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Turd Up!

I really wish this story happened in Baton Rouge so Turdpolisher could tell it. This is my best and it's kind of shitty.Northeast Charlotte USA's Garinger High School was built in the 1960's. Back in those days it was home to some major riots as schools here became more integrated. Now it's one of two or three high schools in town that many people forget are still around. It's no longer in a great neighborhood. The student body primarily comes from poor families. Most of their athletic teams suck, and since it's an old school with little private money coming in for athletics, their facilities suck. And just when you didn't think it could get any worse, geese came in and shat all over their football field.
They've not been able to water as often as they normally do thanks to water restrictions and the geese take over from dusk until dawn. Turds litter the playing surface that already looked unplayable to begin with. They've had to move their home game Friday several miles away to North Mecklenburg High School.
If Garinger loses their "home" game Friday it will be their 50th loss in a row. Let's hope their next scheduled home game two weeks from now is actually played at home. No Shit.

Willie Again

Blogger just added video uploading for blogs and I wanted to give it a shot. Here's Willie effing Nelson delivering a classic that even unfortunate fans of new country music will recognize.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Road Trippin' With the Weatherman

I've been to Boone many times. My old church youth group went every fall for a football game when I was in high school. As a high school sophomore in October of 1994 we got to see Appalachian State beat Marshall in a snowy night game. The campus went bullshit. It was great! Saturday Jeff Crum and I rolled up the mountain to make some television magic as the Mountaineers returned to Kidd Brewer stadium for their first game since their historic upset of Michigan.I picked up Crum in Huntersville and we kept on getting up I-77 to Union Grove where we traversed west for a few miles and picked up Highway 115 to Wilkesboro. This shortcut can save several minutes but you always have to be ready for the occasional tractor on the main road. This one only cost us about two minutes, but it's nice to see a shameless tractor on a big road less than an hour from a major city.
Television's own Kris Cook typically makes this trip with Crum but he's on the road working every weekend. I'm a big believer in traditions when it comes to sporting events and a trip to Boone Drug is mandatory prior to kickoff. We parked the buggy and commenced a walking tour of the ASU campus and downtown Boone. We finally made our way to the fountain and grill where Cook always ate a Parson's Choice. That's basically a double cheeseburger with onion rings. Ya'll know I eat healthy 75 percent of the time since I'll have at least one heart attack in my lifetime. A double cheeseburger and onion rings is something I do only on RARE occasion, but to keep tradition I ordered the Parson's without hesitation. It was quite good and I thought it would hit me in a horrible way in about three hours but my stomach handled it like I never started eating healthy five years ago. Since Crum's a meteorologist and not a "journalist," he figured it'd be fine for him to sport his Appalachian State ballcap like the pround alumnus he is. Since I didn't attend or graduate from the fine university, I kept it simple in short pants and the standard issue work polo. Crum grew up around football. I heard his dad was a college coach at some clown university in Chapel Hill for a while. Anyway, he shot ACC football for years in his younger days. He hoisted the Sony DSW-570 and shot some really good football in the second half. In fact, the 12 yard touchdown he shot made the highlights and looked no worse than my shooting. Crum enjoyed it so much he's headed back up the mountain again this weekend to shoot some more.
After the game, App coach Jerry Moore couldn't stop talking about the 28,802 fans stuck inside 16,000 seat Kidd Brew stadium. It truly was a wonderful sports atmosphere. The fans even get hyped up for the band up there. It was cool. By the way, the kid to coach Moore's left is Trey Elder. He's the backup quarterback but started the game Saturday, threw four TD's in the first half and promptly left the stadium after the press conference with three young coeds.

We stopped near the parkway on the way down Highway 421 and fed a piece to Tim Baier then had a suprisingly good meal at Crappleby's. America's great, so is Boone.

Happy Belated Labor Day

I was originally scheduled to work Labor Day like every other member of the media. However, my fantasy football league draft was scheduled for that evening and a switch was in order. That left me with a free holiday afternoon! Heather mentioned the Loose Lugnuts were playing Mac's that afternoon so Mark Campbell and I headed over for some pre draft beverages. The Loose Lugnuts specialize in covering classic country tunes poorly and Monday didn't disappoint! The crazy thing is, they've actually gotten pretty popular around town. Since Mac's opened a couple years ago it quickly became one of the coolest places to hang out and this isn't the first time the Lugnuts have whipped its ass. Mark even played an original tune that didn't suck too bad. I think it was about a homeless guy on a railroad track but I can't remember.
This dude was hammered and decided to ascend one of the poles like he'd done it a thousand times. He was up there for several minutes and did several acrobatic moves all whilst receiving folded dollar bills. I've never seen a more talented biker.
Brian busted out some special attire for the holiday. Everyone was talking about the Schlitz shorts he was wearing, but the real star of the show was the Jerry Clower t-shirt. I've only one or two shirts as cool as that Jerry Clower shirt. Brian literally has a store full of them and he always seems to break out the right shirt at the right time. Then again, there's never a wrong time to wear a Jerry Clower shirt.

Brian even forced me to pick up the Airline hollow body for a few songs. I haven't played guitar in a long time. Luckily we were playing nothing but real country music and I remembered how to play E, A and B7. I'd forgetten that playing in the band gives you a perk or three or four. Two songs in a tray of shots was sat down next to us!

A big thanks to Deitra for two of these pics!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grape Juice

I began my drinking years hating the taste of wine. I'm not sure I actually hated it or just wouldn't let myself like it because I thought it was girly. Ok, it is girly but so is my hair and affection for reality television and The O.C. I started to enjoy red wine when The Lady and I went to the mountains last October. Through the winter we drank a bottle damn near every weekend. With the recent really effing hot weather, the wine intake has decreased significantly.However, I felt like The Lady and I needed a day out of town so I surprised her with a trip to beautiful Dobson and Shelton Vineyards. It was real pretty up there. In the last ten years or so the Yadkin River Valley has exploded with new vineyards. That's good because before that, the area was known mainly for Andy Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy.Here's a barrel room. Evidently a machine crushes the grapes a filters into those metal things o the left where our good friend fermentation takes care of business before it moves on to the wooden barrels on the right. We tasted six wines. They were alright I guess. I don't care for white wine at all. I enjoyed the port wine, but I think I made myself like it since it was 19% alcohol. The Pinot was good, too.
They've quite a few big assed trees on the estate. We saw another couple taking a similar picture and thought it'd be a great place to debut The Lady's new hair. I love it almost as much as the little girl who gets the ten inches of hair Erika cut off of her beautiful noggin.
Shenanigans like these are discouraged at Shelton Vineyards, although they do encourage buying a bottle of their wine from their gift shop and drinking it outside. It felt like Sideways on a much smaller scale. Kind of cool.
We finished up the afternoon at The Harvest Grill located next door to the winery. The outdoor seating whipped ass with a real nice view of the vineyard. I got a sesame crusted mahi mahi fillet and The Lady got crab cakes. We had a glass of wine, too. The cool mountain air got me giddy for fall. Oh, and white wine is for girls.