Jul

17

By Bash

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Beautiful Friction – new music by The Fixx

–originally posted in the iTunes store–

Although folks are calling this terrific set of tunes a comeback or reunion, The Fixx never went away. Except for a brief inactive period in the early 90s, the band has been touring, recording and releasing new music, joined first by bassist Chris Tate and then by Gary Tibbs (bassist for Roxy Music, Adam & The Ants.) New music and a revisualization of some of their 80s tunes (the astounding “1011 Woodland”) appeared from the mid-90s to early 2000s as The Fixx toured the US fairly consistently.

In the last decade, the band continued to tour and create new music, taking a few new songs on the road now and again – but none of those songs are on this disc. (Some of them – “Remember Me When I’m Gone,” “Falling Apart Together,” and “The Other Side of the Story” appeared on Cy Curnin’s solo discs. The mesmerizing “Everyone Believes” lives on in my head.)

In 2007, something magical happened: Dan K. Brown, that nearly-motionless, hat-wearing bass wizard you all remember from MTV, rejoined The Fixx after resolving some health issues. The creativity grew and touring continued – the band sometimes shared working song titles via social media and worked together as often as they could to finish recording. (They are family men and live in two different countries, so this took some time.) I don’t think all those songs made this disc, either. They just kept finding new ideas to explore.

I’m still absorbing this new disc, enjoying the signature “Fixx” sound while marveling at new and different textures added in. Not a rehash of the past, this is an older, wiser, yet still energized Fixx. The themes are familiar – social/political consciousness, personal responsibility, spiritual evolution, etc. – but the point of view is enriched by experience. The result is a good dash of hope mixed into the observation that things aren’t going well and we may have really wrecked it for future generations. There’s beauty, edginess, a bit of anger, some whimsy and lots of passion in these songs. I’d say this album was well worth the wait.

Apr

25

By Bash

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Still around…

Highs and Lows: It’s been quite the spring. The biggest impact was losing Sebastian. He responded well to treatment for anemia, but his heart and kidneys just kept getting worse. We said goodbye on March 19 and Moxie and I are still adjusting to not having him around. Safe to say we’re broken-hearted. There will be a little bundle of fur in our future, but for right now, I just want to let the numb feeling leave…not sure how long that will take. Moxie took a few days before she stopped looking for Sebastian and crying out for him. She had nightmares and hissed at me a bit those few days after we lost Bassie. She’s calmed down a bit now and she and I are just taking things a day at a time and trying to take good care of each other.

The Giants have begun their defense of the World Series title I still can’t believe they won, and despite my aversion to crowds, I’ve been to four games already this season. Usually I just go for the company’s Day at the Ballpark event, but wanted to take in a bit more of this mayhem in person. Best moment so far was attending the ring ceremony and the last minute win that night. I’ve got at least 6 more games on my calendar (some depend on IndyCar practice schedules, etc.) and I’ve been following the games on the radio as usual. The boys aren’t clicking on all cylinders just yet, but it’s early days. And we’ve got our Panda back!

IndyCar has started up – just got back from covering the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Indy and Texas follow, then 2-3 more races later in the season. I’ve covering races for Morefrontwing.com and RIS-news.com as well as my own IndyRacePlace.com – keeping me busy! www.bashtography.com for photos of racing, cats and Giants’ events.

Health is not optimal – low energy resulted in blood tests which resulted in other tests and I’m due to see a nephrologist soon to see why my kidneys don’t seem to be working right. Walking medium distances and working out have exhausted me, so my weight is still up and fitness level low.

Work is a constant stream of change and growth – global ecommerce was re-arranged by market (I’m on the largest team – US) and am managing three contract writers at the moment. That was a sudden development and my boss is determined that I try managing again, this time with training and support and a chance to actually succeed. I’m willing to try it again, but have to admit there’s some trepidation.

May’s coming soon, right after the first anniversary of Will Owsley’s death. Still not sure I’ve got a handle on that one. Have to wait a couple weeks into May before things start up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – really looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the first race, and excited that I’ll be there with media credentials for the first time.

 

Feb

13

By Bash

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Another (Brief) Update

Giants: The storybook post-season had a Cinderella ending…my Giants are World Champions! The games, the vibe and the parade at the end were some of the most magical times I’ve witnessed. The parade passed just three blocks from my house, so I was in place early in the morning for a perfect spot on a perfect 75-degree November day as the parade rolled down Montgomery Street. Of course, there are photos. The short off season has been full of fun appearances by various Giants and the procurement of cheap seats at several games with promotions. Tomorrow, pitchers and catchers report to Scottsdale Stadium and we make another run at the thing.

Work: Work work work. Work.

Health: Up and down. Fitness program has been sidelined by a series of respiratory issues that we’ve finally sorted out, and a series of tweaks to lower back and joints that are ongoing. Have started walking more again. Am undertaking a series of tests to track down reasons for fatigue.

Cats: In December, Sebastian started losing weight and his appetite. Diagnosis: chronic renal failure. We’re treating him with subcutaneous fluids, supplements and Aranesp for anemia. Several indicators point to heart disease as well, so we can’t be aggressive with the fluids. He’s holding fairly steady, but for how long, we don’t know. We’re at the end of his journey so I’m spending a lot of time with him. Miss Moxie is her usual self, trying to pounce on Sebastian but also washing his ears and snuggling him.

Feb

13

By Bash

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An Amazing Photo…

…From An Amazing Time: So much happening – updates coming ASAP. But I wanted to post this photo to capture it for all times. From Egypt, a tearful soldier is consoled by a civilian during the incredible protests that toppled a dictator:

This photo is from @akhbarmsr Twitter feed, along with other on-the-scene images from the protests – I hope they are reproduced in other places to avoid them ever going missing. I’ve been mesmerized by the peaceful resolve and the broad participation from all walks of Egyptian life. There is so much yet to come, but the start has been inspiring.

Oct

19

By Bash

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A Giant Week

Orangetober: It’s been a long time since I posted here. Very busy with various sites during the end of the IZOD IndyCar Series season. Usually, when they wrap up in early October, my sports are done until Spring Training. But the San Francisco Giants have made October a fantastic thing – this city is turning orange and black and people are even more friendly than usual. The Giants have scraped and clawed and found a way to torture us regularly as they won the NDLS West Division and beat the Atlanta Braves to advance to the NLCS. Today, we beat the Phillies 3-0 for a 2-1 lead in that series – the first game we’ve won by more than a run in quite a while. Had a fun conversation with a total stranger today about that:

HIM: Did you go to the game?

ME: No, I had to work. (I was decked out in team gear.)

HIM: Can you believe it? 3-0? It was too easy!

ME: Yeah, they’ll make us pay for it in tomorrow’s game – every inning will be murder!

HIM: I was finally adjusting to the drama.

ME: Yeah, I know! I was at my desk all afternoon, listening to the game, and I got tons of work done because I wasn’t stopping to breathe into a bag every 10 minutes. Felt so strange!

HIM: Even if it ends with the NLCS, I’ll be really happy with this season. This has been so much fun.

ME: Totally agree – but we’ll take all the icing we can get on this cake!

Saw several cars with Giants colors and fans hanging out the windows, cheering and yelling and folks on the sidewalks were cheering back at them all. This was a couple hours after the game ended and the vibe was still rolling. SO much fun. Hoping the Giants win the next two at home and wrap it up…can’t even speak the words for the next step. #NoJinx!

Jul

31

By Bash

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Guess I’ve Been a Little Busy!

Will Owsley’s Death: I still can’t believe he’s gone. Will’s song “Coming Up Roses” is playing in my head as I type. Hope his family and friends are slowly finding peace. Here’s the address for sending donations to Will’s boys – they can accept checks only:

The Will Owsley Family Fund

c/o Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Road
Franklin, TN 37069
Please make the check out to: Christ Community Church

Bono’s Back (in more ways than one):  His back is better. And he’s back! Just a few days until U2′s European tour opens in Torino, Italy. Glad he took the time to fully recuperate from what was a pretty serious-sounding spinal injury. My Oakland and Anaheim concerts have been rescheduled for June 2011, so I have plenty of time to look forward to those. And lots to do between now and then, so the time will fly!

Indy Vacation: I had a blast in Indianapolis at the 500, thanks to some amazing tweeps, Jeff and Terry especially. My Bay area buds attended their first 500 and they were so much fun! I did my best to take care of them, even though I suffered from increasing heat exhaustion as each day went by. Race day itself was so hot that I ended up missing over an hour of the race, hiding under the grandstands in the misting fans. I was determined not to become a casualty and end up needing treatment.

Texas Vacation: Didn’t happen. it took several days for me to recover from the heat exhaustion and Texas was expected near-record temps, so I cancelled that trip and stayed home. I also ran with a tongue-in-cheek idea from a Twitter user to create something called FanFit for my Indy blog. The program will make me fitter, lighter, healthier and more able to withstand the rigors of being a race fan. It’s almost ready for prime time.

Indy Blog: Changed it completely last weekend – except for the theme. No longer IndycarTraveler.com, it is now IndyRacePlace.com, and it a much better fit for what I’m trying to do. There will still be some travel tips, but it’s much more about the races and the fun around them.

Work: Work work work work work.

Elbow: Slowly sinking into the wonderful music of Guy Garvey and his gang of musical brothers from Manchester, England. Just have one album so far (The Seldom Seen Kid Live at Abbey Road) but have heard some of the other three. Such amazing songs.

Health: Slight step backwards with the asthma situation. The single medication prescription Pulmicort doesn’t do as well with controlling my asthma, so I finished an Advair inhaler and am now trying a sample of Symbicort, which is also dual-medication like Advair.  Severely limited time working out in July due to lack of time, energy, occasional slight injury and breathing issues. Gotta roll out that FanFit program and get back on the horse!

Up Next: Sonoma IndyCar race (credentialed to the SpeedFreaks organization), potential jury duty conflicting with a planned trip to the Chicagoland race, and then The Fixx at the Sausalito Art Festival on September 4th. Want to work in a visit to family in the Fall and hopefully the WinterIndyTweetup again this year. For the most part, hoping for a quiet end to the year – just want to concentrate on continuing to improve my health and getting my racing blog established.

May

22

By Bash

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Life is Good…

…But Hard, Sometimes: Back in 1999, a group of online fans banded together to try to drum up attention for an album by a terrific young artist. His name was Owsley and the album was a cream-of-the-crop power pop gem that just begged (and still does) to be heard. We had a little modest success with requests to radio stations and posts on message boards. Then the album was nominated for a Grammy for engineering -not the content attention we’d have loved, but still great recognition of craft. Our effort’s gathering momentum was crushed by the crumbling of the music industry in 2000, when Owsley lost his recording contract.

Before that crash, I met Owsley once – it was backstage after a fantastic show here in San Francisco. He was warm, present and so driven and I just had a sense he would make it somehow. I also spent a good bit of time emailing with his brother Bud and Bud’s wife, Wendi – although that had nothing to do with Owsley’s music. We discussed San Francisco and its restaurants and they told me tons about southern culinary experiences such as plantation breakfasts. (They’re in Alabama.) Our email sessions led to us all gaining about 10 pounds! Bud and Wendi are delightful and it was so much fun getting to know them a little via email.

Needing to feed his growing family, Owsley continued working with Nashville and Los Angeles-based artists over the last decade and a half – Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Shania Twain, The Jonas Brothers, and more. Vocals, guitars, songwriting, producing, engineering – you name it, he did it. He ended up with about 10 gold records as a contributor to other people’s work. Lots of time on the road and time not spent working on his own dreams cost him – somewhere along the way, his marriage ended and he got farther and farther away from the possibility of being a solo artist again.

It must have all been too much to bear, because William Reece Owsley III took his own life on April 30, at the age of 44. He left two sons, Walker and Liam,  with his ex-wife Rebecca Walker. This was the first piece of news I read the morning of May 1 and it has taken the wind out of my sails for pretty much the whole of my favorite month (Indy 500, baby!). Many fans have reconnected and are sharing memories and music to try and help each other through the sadness. I’m a little surprised that it hit me so hard, and I hope Owsley knew in his life how much people loved him – the outpouring after his death has been a beautiful thing to see. I’m clearly not the only person who barely knew the guy but is nonetheless floored by his passing.

A memorial will be hosted in Nashville by Amy Grant on May 24th and a fund for the boys is being established. I’ll post details here when I learn more.

Ouchies: My vacation’s coming up – heading to Indy to cover the 500 for about a zillion blogs and Twitter outlets, as well as just have some fun! Back in San Francisco for a couple of days after that, then the plan was to head to Texas for the IZOD IndyCar race, then straight to Anaheim for two U2 concerts. Well, Mr. Bono Vox had emergency spinal surgery yesterday and although there isn’t any official word yet, I’m expecting to have to cancel my Anaheim visit. June 6th just sounds too soon to  gallivant around on the world’s largest stage after such an injury. I recently obtained media credentials for the Texas race, so will probably leave the night before I had originally planned to avoid missing the practices and come back home on Sunday. Expecting official word about the Anaheim shows on Monday.

Apr

30

By Bash

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So…

BIZZY!: In addition to joining a gym and trying to get to workouts in as often as possible, my little website project has kept me busy. It’s still not 100% ready to go – gotta get basic data up for the rest of the races – but head on over to IndycarTraveler.com and take a look around…  :)

Apr

11

By Bash

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Update

BizzyBody: Feeling pretty well these days – asthma is under control, allergy testing on Tuesday to get that under control. Lower back feels better and my trick knee hasn’t been as tricky. Finally feel I’m well enough to get some good out of a gym membership, so I joined one that’s only a block from my apartment so I can visit easily. Crazy times at work and really busy with a web site I’m pulling together, so I need something easy to get to. Planning to stop in for my first workout in ages later this afternoon. We’ll see how it goes – need to improve my cardio conditioning and drop the weight that has stayed with me since my first surgery in 2006.

Apr

2

By Bash

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Photo Site

Revised and Revin’: Got my photo site up and running again this week, this time powered by SmugMug, where all galleries look FABULOUS. :)  Now, to spend more time on my other web-based project…it’s out there, but I haven’t formally announced it yet. Keep an eye out for details, and in the mean time, have a look at the pictures: Bashtography

Mar

21

By Bash

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Slammed

Same Story, Different Day: Still swamped. So much so that I went to the ER with chest pains last Monday. My awesome boss drove me there and stayed with me through the EKG and cardiac enzyme tests. Nope – no heart problems. I just need to S-L-O-W   D-O-W-N. Well, I’ve been trying but there’s just so much to do. Lots of change (very exciting stuff!) at work, trying to get my spring cleaning underway at home, and still working on a new web site that’s out in beta right now. I’ll be linking to it from here, soon! Also, need to set up my photo site on SmugMug. Need 48 hour days. :)

The first IndyCar race in Sao Paulo was thrilling – I can’t wait for another race there and am really excited for the season to resume in St. Pete next weekend. My plans for Long Beach have come together – flights and hotel all set. I won the monthly UX department Spark award Friday (for making an impact on a project or team – in my case, taking on a million things while being flexible and supportive of my team mates) and that award comes with a free day off. I may use that to try to get to Pole Day weekend at Indianapolis. Will be there for the May Indy TweetUp and race, for sure. Also aiming for Texas (race day only) and then have two U2 concerts in Anaheim the next two days. Gonna be living out of a suitcase for a while!

Mar

12

By Bash

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Still Here :)

Bizzy: I’ve taken on some additional duties at work and have been working on a project related to racing in my spare time. Add in the Olympics (weren’t they awesome?) and the fact that IndyCar season starts tomorrow and heck, I’ve been swamped! First practice of the IndyCar season (in Sao Paulo) will be streamed on IndyCar.com tomorrow at 4-freakin’-a.m., and you know me…I’ll be up following all the action. I’ll probably hit the hay at about 8 p.m. tonight. :)

Feb

12

By Bash

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Delta Wingin’

Whoa, Nellie: For the last week or so, I’ve been following the unveiling of several candidates for the next IZOD IndyCar chassis (2012 is the target date for the switch). Dallara released a few evolutionary concepts based on the current model, Lola will unveil their ideas today (last I heard), and Swift has three models for consideration.  (I’ll take #33, please, hot pink with a black Batman logo on the sidepod, please!)  But the wild card is the Delta Wing, an open source concept designed by Ben Bowlby, formerly of Lola, currently with Ganassi. The DWing (aka DeltaWang, Delta Schlong, DeltaWillie) has created an overwhelmingly adverse reaction in the current IndyCar fan base. My thoughts mirror theirs:

  • It doesn’t say “Indy”
  • It’s not open wheel
  • It doesn’t look like a car
  • I can’t picture it actually racing; flying seems lore likely
  • It is wild, cool, innovative, but UGLY AS SIN

The concept itself is fantastic – it would solve a lot of problems the league is suffering from now. The argument in favor of going with it, despite its radical departure in appearance, is that Indy has always been a place of innovation. This is where I have finally discovered my problem with the Delta Wing (besides my searing eyeballs): Radical innovation at Indy has always come in trickles, dribs and drabs. One guy showed up with a  rear engine car here, another with a wacky sidecar design there. If a concept really proved itself,  it was adopted – sometimes more quickly, other times more methodically. What is really bugging me about the possible adoption of the Delta Wing is that it has to be all at once: ugly IndyCars today, uglier “Bonneville Salt Flats meets Elroy Jetson” things tomorrow. It’s just too unattractive and too radical a departure for these all-or-nothing times – especially when the league is positioning itself to remind the world that it is “Indy.”

So far, I’m all for Swift #33 – a batwing front wing with a wild look, but it still says “Indy.” I want to see the league climb back into a position where it can support multiple chassis and then open the door to this “jettified” radical departure. Let it prove itself in the tradition of all Indy innovations, by showing itself to be the best of several.

Jan

29

By Bash

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Brutal Week

Glad It’s Over: Just seems like I spent the week on the verge of screaming or crying. Part of it is gender-related, part of it is the winter blahs, and part of it is a list a mile-long of personal things I need to do to catch up from being sick for so long. Normally I’d not respond so strongly to all this…just feels like something’s really wrong or out of place and I can’t put a finger on it. Add to that the fact that everything I did this week seemed to take extra effort, or it just went completely wrong and by the time today rolled around, I was not fit for humanity. I was able to act “OK” for part of the day, but I really aggravated someone who’s only trying to help and I feel terrible for that. SO glad for a weekend to hibernate and see if I can break this trend.

Jan

15

By Bash

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Miracle on the Hudson

Remembering a Story of Hope: It’s been a year since  Chesley Sullenberger and his crew successfully ditched an A320 in the Hudson River due to damage from a bird strike during ascent from LaGuardia. The crew, and especially Captain “Sully,” has been lionized for their cool under pressure that day, and certainly their actions were key to the happy ending we all witnessed. But it’s the fact that the story’s even bigger that still boggles my mind. Things both in AND out of the crew’s control had to go absolutely right for that plane to skim the water and stop intact. If the bird strike had come earlier or later, or if there had been vessels in that part of the Hudson, we’d be mourning instead of celebrating this event. Those are just two of an unlimited number of variables that, if changed just slightly,  would have likely led to a much more sombre tale. That level of serendipity is hard to wrap the brain around and it’s an aspect of the story that I am fascinated with.

I saw Chesley Sullenberger at DFW in June last year, walking alone through the terminal corridors. He went right past where I was seated for lunch. I couldn’t help but smile when I recognized him and I nodded when he saw me smiling, but I quickly felt the need to look away and leave him be. He came by a couple more times as I awaited my flight, and I noticed other people recognizing him as well and just smiling or saying hello, but not engaging him further. He was polite with a nod or smile in return, but seemed to be as he was after the ditching – someone who normally wouldn’t seek out this kind of attention.

The crew and some of the passengers reunited on the Hudson today to celebrate their good fortune and many of them can tell tales of their lives being affected for the positive after the events a year ago. For them, the ditching may be a blessing in disguise – in dealing with the event and its aftereffects, many have no doubt gained an evolved  perspective on what is really important. It could be a small blessing in disguise for New Yorkers as well. For the rest of their lives, any headline containing their town and aircraft will turn their minds  to 9/11 and the trauma that no doubt will linger with them always. But once they can tear their thoughts away from those awful days and weeks and months, they will always have this other “Plane in New York” story to bring a healing, brighter thought – to remind them that sometimes, life can go terribly right.

That is probably the real miracle on the Hudson.

Jan

10

By Bash

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My Desk is a Drugstore

Nothing But Bottles and Actuators: Let’s see…the famous purple AdVair diskus with powdered steroids (look out, Barry Bonds!); ProAir actuator with albuterol (aka asthma rescue inhaler); Cheratussin AC syrup, with an expectorant and codeine; generic Claritin-D for my allergies; medicine to regulate PMS; vicodin and Tylenol+Codeine left over from pre-Christmas tooth extractions; Azithromycin (a very strong antibiotic, in case it’s pneumonia); potent multi-vitamin tablets; Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM tablets; Fish oil gel caps; potassium supplements (ProAir can cause potassium deficiency and mine is already low); and calcium+Vitamin D.  There’s just enough room left for a small notepad and pen. Let’s just hope all this stuff cures my cough and helps promote a stronger immune system. I’m sick of being sick!

Jan

1

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The Last Word on 2009

Tough Year with A Few Bright Spots: I can’t say I’m sorry to see 2009 exit. Many tough things to deal with this year…starting with the loss of my angel, Sabrina, right before Christmas, 2008. Got the year off to a sad, numb start. There was a brief time of levity after I adopted Felix in January, but he ended up having FIP and there was no choice but to put him to sleep in April. An extremely difficult work situation was coming to a head at that time, and I was heading into major surgery just a couple weeks later. It was a less-than-ideal situation for healing and that has taken some extra time due to the stress I was under. Health problems plagued me all year long – since September, I’ve had a chronic cough, asthma troubles and recurring sinus infections. Ended up having two teeth removed last week due to serious infection – hoping that will begin a turnaround. And my new kitten had to have emergency surgery right before Christmas due to ingested string blocking her stomach. Enough is enough, 2009 – you’re FIRED!

Bright spots:

  • I had my Felix for a few short months at least. He was such a comical kitty!
  • I fell madly in love with U2. Better late than never! I’ve spent all year exploring and discovering the 30+ years of their work. The two concerts I saw on their 360 tour were mind-boggling, and the stage and screen developed for the tour have fascinated me all year.
  • The work situation was resolved in such an inspiring way, and I ended up with the most amazing boss as a result. I am so lucky to be where I am.
  • In September, I was adopted by Moxie, an adorable black and white kitten who is my new rambunctious little angel.
  • I met tons of great new IndyCar people – some in person, but mostly through Twitter. (How did we survive before Twitter?) The Winter Indy Tweetup was a highlight of my year.
  • I’ve pared down my social list a bit. Certain folks were taking up some time and energy but weren’t contributing positive things to my environment. Buh-bye!
  • My beautiful Sebastian is still the sweetest thing. He’s slowing down now (he’s almost 16), and I’m making a point to spend as much time as I can enjoying his kitty company.

2010 has more races and race fans in store, as well as more U2 shows. Hopefully, my work situation will continue along its lucky path and my health and that of the kittehs will stabilize and become something to celebrate. Here’s to 2010 being a great one for us all.

Dec

14

By Bash

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The Area 51 of American Open Wheel Racing

“The Basement:” OMG. I went to Mecca (aka the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) Saturday morning as part of a Tweetup of IndyCar fans. We were given a huge surprise and a rare treat: a tour of the infamous basement at the Museum. There are people who’ve worked at the speedway for decades who haven’t been allowed this privilege…still stunned at our good luck. A local TV station was there to cover the story.

http://www.theindychannel.com/video/21960780/index.html

Dec

5

By Bash

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Catching Up

Busy: Keeping busy with work, battling yet another sinus infection and a really bad tooth infection a couple weeks ago. Getting ready for a trip to Indiana for a visit with family and to attend the WinterIndyTweetup with a bunch of crazy IndyCar fans. Flying out Thursday and back on Sunday. Also have an idea for a new website – I’ve reserved the domain name and have a high-level outline of the content. Just gotta find time to write and build. Goal is to be up and running in January.

Nov

20

By Bash

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Woo Hoo Timmmmmay!

Back-to-Back Cy Youngs!: Our favorite double nickel, Tim Lincecum, won the NL Cy Young award AGAIN yesterday. I think that calls for some celebrating!

Nov

13

By Bash

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Cannot WAIT for this U2 Film!

Drama! Passion! Betrayal!: From the mind of BeterrabaM2 comes a film revealing the inner turmoil of the band of Irish lads we know as U2…

Nov

1

By Bash

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Frank Sinatra with the Swagger of Bette Midler

Great Shot!: Ayaz Asif has been sneaking his pro gear into U2 gigs all tour and getting great shots that he’s shared on Flickr. He snagged this terrific Adam shot as Bono was doing the band introductions in Las Vegas. Adam appears amused at being called “Frank Sinatra with the swagger of Bette Midler…” Thank you for sharing, Ayaz.  :)

Adam Clayton in Las Vegas - photo by Ayaz Asif

Adam Clayton in Las Vegas - photo by Ayaz Asif

See all of Ayaz’ photos at http://www.ayaz.com/.

Oct

31

By Bash

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U2 in Pasadena – October 25, 2009

Rose Bowl!!: Great day in Pasadena. A little warm, but gorgeous, sunny and a beautiful setting for the gig. This was my first experience queuing up with U2 fans – I had a ticket in Red Zone 2 (Adam’s side – yay!) and to ensure this shorty got on the rail with an unobstructed view of his lordship, I lined up early. The line was loaded with Bay Area people and organized by Nick and Brono from the bay. Eden was subbing for them when I came up, so I got my number (7) and hung out for the rest of the afternoon, making new acquaintances as people came up. Had a great time chatting with Deb and Lance, a guy from the East Bay. Lance and I were interviewed by KNX 1070 Newsradio, LA’s sister station to my beloved KCBS here in San Francisco.

Was pleased to get a great spot on the Red Zone 2 rail when they finally let us into the Rose Bowl. The stadium is a gorgeous, massive old thing sitting on lovely grounds in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The neighbors got an earful that night. The roar from the show’s one great surprise probably shattered windows. That surprise came during the Black Eyed Peas set, when they welcomed Guns n Roses’ Slash onto the stage and did “Sweet Child o’ Mine” with Fergie singing. WOW.

The U2 set itself wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t up to par with Las Vegas. First of all, the Rose Bowl leaves a great deal to be desired acoustically. Secondly, to use a racing term, there were “offs” by almost every member of the band at one time or another. But it was a great time spent with rabid Red Zoners with frequent visits to the catwalk by members of the band. (Catwalk was about 5 feet in front us with only an occasional security guard in between.) I could have gone home happy after the first time Adam came down our way – I got a twinkly-eyed smile from his lordship that curled my toes a bit.  :)

The entire show is archived on YouTube – over 10 million people watched as it streamed live.

My photos are here for now.

And here are a couple of video clips I took:

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Want to see Anaheim and Oakland on the second leg of this tour next June. Highly recommend it if you can get to a show – an amazing experience and setup that may never be repeated.

Oct

31

By Bash

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Categories: Uncategorized

U2 in Las Vegas – October 23, 2009

First U2 Gig: Flying into Vegas that morning, I snapped an iPhone shot of Sam Boyd Stadium with the giant hulking stage slumbering at one end.

cropped_clawvegas

I headed to Sam Boyd Stadium a bit early that evening and caught part of the soundcheck. Fans were gathered at various points around the perimeter cheering, dancing and singing along like it was the actual concert. Excellent vibe as we headed in to our seats – everyone was excited to be in such a small place – maybe 42K – to see a show that had been playing to much larger stadiums elsewhere. Not a bad seat in the house.

Really enjoyed the Black Eyed Peas set –  they know how to throw a great party. Then, my boys finally came on and after all these years, I saw U2 live. I was not disappointed. New songs and old came off really well and we were all dancing and singing along, having a great time. My very favorite part of the night was the elderly couple (60s at least) standing near me, singing and dancing like they were kids. Completely adorable. :)

My photos from the show are on Flickr for now.

I didn’t have a backup battery for the camera, so I only took small clips of video to capture lighting and screen effects. Here are two from Las Vegas.

Loved the view from my seat and left the show one very happy camper… :)

Oct

20

By Bash

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Categories: Uncategorized

Yah-hooooooooooooo….

FUBAR: Yahoo Messenger, that is. Last week, my contacts list disappeared and only partially re-appeared. Had to re-add folks, and sent just one request, but several folks are getting repeated requests. Doesn’t matter if they approve, deny or ignore. I’ve also had to delete and re-install the standalone client twice and haven’t been seeing some IMs that people send. Tried logging in using Trillian, but it refuses my attempts with undefined errors. Messy. If I seem to be ignoring you, send me a text or tweet instead. Those are still working. *sigh*

Bad Behavior has blocked 92 access attempts in the last 7 days.