Been almost 3 months. Much going on.
Laura and I are spending a lot of time together. Couldn't be happier. My kitty Gypsy really loves her and I think the feeling is mutual, so we try to get us all together whenever we can. We are again on her office softball team for the fall league (fall starts early around here in softball terms). Our first game was Sunday August 10. We split at double header with "The Duke Docs" in the Durham Co-Ed league. We went to Washington in June for the Orioles vs. The Nats at their new stadium. I may post a few pics later or link 'em here. We are planning to see Squeeze in DC in a few weeks and catch another Orioles game, this time at Camden Yards vs. The Yankees (Evil Empire).
Some endings and some beginnings and some re-sets. Young Neil and the Damage Done played the Pour House with fill-in drummer Will Batey in June and that went great. Skillet Gilmore (Patty Hurst Shifter, Whiskeytown, Vibe Killers) filled in at the Festival for the Eno River. Another good high energy gig. The need for fill-in drummers was due to a parting of the ways with our buddy Jim McPhail. He's gone on to greener pastures with another local party band. We wish him well. Since he was also in my original band (playing under just my name), we've sought our the services of former H-Bombs, Secret Service and Backbeat drummer Chris Chamis. We're delighted he's on board with me, Rocky and Chad. Also, on the new beginnings front, FJ Ventre, Tom Meltzer and Gary Miller and I have a indie-pop / power pop cover band in the wings. For now, we're known as The Hasbros. In the endings file, I left Amps Do Furnish a Room in May. The strain of all that extra work and a chaotic after work life led me to trim back and retire. We do plan to play Marquee Moon live again sometime this summer, but for now I've abandoned the 2008 project. We'll revisit it next year.
The Ruins continue to be on hiatus since last year this time. I tried to see if a gig here or there this summer would work, but Eric Midkiff is pretty busy with the young family and Bryan's busy with Great Big Gone. I think there were some health issues too with other Ruins family members. No hurry. No one's going anywhere. We can always pick up where we left off whenever.
The NC General Assembly chose not to fund the NC Center for Nursing for the coming fiscal year, so since they report to the UNC President, I was charged with the very time consuming job of archiving their documents left behind, totally cleaning out the office (6 people lost their jobs - it was often sad looking at some 17 years of work by these fine public servants), recycling waste paper, coordinating the surplus and clean-up. I spent approximately 60 hours (and a lot of highway miles down I-40 as my office is in Chapel Hill and NCCN was in Raleigh) there since early July doing this. I had help from 3 other people at various times, but mostly was there by my self for about 45 of those 60 odd hours. This was time I wasn't reviewing our end of year inventory and my normal job (purchasing officer), so I've put in some serious hours trying to get caught up. Still not there yet.
Well, I could make this a truly long chapter, but will end now. I will say that the Orioles have been both delightful in their surprising early season and disappointing with the injuries and ineffectiveness of starting pitching. Overall, for a true rebuilding year, there have been some fine moments and it's good to see some young guys getting a chance and rising to the occasion.