Shinybass journal entry 08-08-11
Go west, young man…
Happy Monday to you all! Or ‘Black Monday’ as the stock market folks are going to call it in the years to come. Today was a rough one for the world. It simply amazes me that if the S&P didn’t downgrade the US credit rating, millions of people would not have lost so much money today. I realize it’s a little more complicated than that, but think about it. The news goes out and the world markets dip across the board, sending shock waves through a million stock portfolios. Now, where do we go from here? Are we spiraling again tomorrow, or will the smart people who liquidated last week jump in and buy lower? I am hoping for the latter. Hoarding your money doesn’t really help the economy (hear that, Steve Jobs?), and we are in a system that relies on people spending what they earn. And I say ‘earn’ because I don’t think sitting at home and collecting a check is ‘earning’. I have been broke as can be, and won’t go ask for government help. It’s just not me.
But enough of the rhetoric. I am but a simple man, blogging away, and not looking to start a fight (but I would LOVE to start a revolution). As bad as it all is, I cannot and will not complain. I am currently on a bus headed west. If any of you have been paying attention via Twitter (I can be followed @shinybass), then you will know that we are on a short 3016 mile jaunt from Webster, MA, to somewhere in Washington State. We do have 2 drivers, so it’s all legal-like, but man what a run. Some people hear the numbers and ask the obvious questions – ‘Why didn’t you fly’ (too expensive) ‘How can you ride that long?’ (It’s not like we don’t have leather couches and widescreen DirecTV in our bunks…) I am so programmed for this type of travel, it really doesn’t faze me at all.
But enough about me, let’s talk about me. OK, we’ll talk about the tour, too. Day one of this excursion took us to Canton, OH to play the rib burn-off. I am not sure about the difference between a cookoff and a burnoff, but we did eat a bunch of pork that day. The event was in conjunction with the NFL Hall of Fame, so I was able to tour the Hall in the morning. Anytime I can see Steelers displays, I am a happy boy. I can cross that museum off my list. Next one I need to see is in Cooperstown. Soon. But the show was hot, sticky, wonderful, and exhausting. My gig clothes were soaked with sweat. That seemed to be the theme this week.
Our next stop was in Bay City, MI. Touring can be an eye-opener, and in more ways than the obvious. First, Andy and I took about a ten-mile bike ride to start the day. The trail took us along the Saginaw River, where the city has set up a bunch of historic placards along former sites. Pretty interesting seeing where dry docks and breweries used to be a hundred years ago. This town was once a boom town, then the GM plant closed, and the beautiful little riverside town shrunk from 60,000 to 35,000 people, and sadly with a 30% unemployment rate. But the crowds forgot about all that, and turned out in force for the show. And I think we ate ribs again. Yes, I am quite sure we did. If you get the chance to visit Bay City, check out the antique mall downtown. They have some of the best antiques I’ve seen anywhere. And yes, I go ‘antiquing’ on the road…
We had a rare Saturday off, so we parked next to the Natick Mall, which I learned is one of the top 5 malls in the country. The PF Chang’s was nice enough to let Andy bring his red solo cup full of bourbon in for dinner. No, we don’t live in the South…my big night off was spent with a glass of wine and a DVD. Such the rock star, I know.
Yesterday, we were at Indian Ranch in Webster, MA. I had never been to this venue, but heard great things, and was not disappointed. I was blown away at the kindness of the entire staff, the hugeness of the office dog (200 pounds of Bernese Mountain Dog), the fans, and the beauty of the lake behind the venue. An amazing day, indeed. I was also happy to meet some new friends with NEADS, a wonderful organization that places dogs with Veterans and special needs children. I encourage you to check them out. I am hoping to get involved with this worthwhile organization in the months to come. They can be found at www.neads.org .
That sort of brings us up to speed. Currently we are somewhere in the Midwest, heading for tall mountains and big skies. I am really excited about the shows out west. Seeing the ocean always recharges my batteries, but more importantly, it’s not the destination – it’s the journey. The road out west is paved with beautiful scenery and landscapes found nowhere else on earth. Stock market and long travel days be damned, I am one lucky boy.
See you on the road!