After much delay and avoidance, I have submitted to the beast of MySpace. Check out my links to get there, it's nothing fancy yet. And since I can't access it at work (security settings) I may not update it much. But, we'll see.


new view & irony

If you haven't noticed all ready (I am not making the assumption that your intelligence is the equivalent of a brain damaged sewer rat, please don't take it that way) I've made some changes with this blog's format.

Well, the template didn't change. I'm a black and grey kind of guy, and grey is my favorite colour. But, there are some additions to the side bar at your right.

First up... Tunes. This is basically a track listing from my MP3 player. Well, a short list, it's the songs I listened to on my way to work. So, if your interested in knowing what fills my earphones for twenty minutes a day (and I'm sure you don't) it is now available for your reading enjoyment. Someday I might make this section a little more interactive, but until then I'll be thinking about joining procrastinators anonymous.

The links section hasn't changed much except I've added a link to Redmark's website. Talk about procrastination... I've been meaning to do that since Halloween. On a side note, Redmark is in India touring with Luis Palau through February 6th. So if you know (or know of) Drew, Dan, Zach, and their crew, please keep them in your prayers.

Also new... Idiot Box, Silver Screen, and Written Word.

Idiot Box is dedicated to television enjoyment. All of the links go to the show's official website and some of the sites are fairly entertaining. I.E. The Monk Website features a phobia of the day; today's fear is heresyphobia: a fear of challenges to or radical deviation of official doctrine.

Silver Screen highlights the last movie I saw in theaters. Unfortunately, this section will not be updated as often as I would like. Bekah and I don't get out much.

Finally, Written Word. Written Word is for my fellow literary enthusiasts, where you can see what I am currently reading with a link for info about the book and author.

Moving on. Irony. I remember my dad once said that one of his greatest regrets was not encouraging music in his household while Aaron and I were growing up. I find it funny that from a house where music was not "encouraged" my father raised two boys with a passion for music.

Aaron sang in choir throughout school and is now a concert promoter. Most of my friends in high school and even in the years following school were musicians. Some of my fondest memories involve friends and guitars. I've been in a couple bands and have done promotion, booking, and management for other bands. I dream of one day running my own recording studio. As for my own household, I want Christian to grow up surrounded by music.

Dad, you say you wished you encouraged or focused more on music. I think you did just fine.


confessions of a music snob

"It used to be about the music. Now what is it about, marketing? Marketing to a ten year old girl or tying the album to the latest Vin Diesel flop. Anyone can sign the latest lip syncing Ashlee Simpson. Right? I mean... Hansen. Remember Hansen? Where are the new classics? Where are the things that we'll be talking about thirty years from now? Dylan, Clash, Stones, Pistols, Run DMC, Aretha, Smokey. Where are those things? You know? So what if we're not some giant chart topping lable. That shouldn't be our goal. Money shouldn't be our goal. You know what our goal should be? Find the music and putting out the music out there that would change people's lives. Because THAT is the power and the beauty of music. And that is what I believe. If we focus on that, believe me people, the rest will take care of itself."

The above rant was taken from a new CBS comedy Love Monkey. I watched the debut episode today, I know it debuted on Tuesday, DVR's are a wonderful thing.

Love Monkey may not be the greatest show ever, but it is entertaining. And I can relate to the main character. He's a A&R rep for a major label, music obsessive, and wants to start his own record lable. Granted, I am not employed as a A&R rep but I would probably excel as one. I am however music obsessive and would love to have my own record lable.

The above speech garnered a standing ovation and got the main character fired. But I wholeheartedly agree with him. We need music that will change lives. Growing up in the Seattle suburbs during the grunge revolution, I remember the impact of songs like Evenflow and Smells Like Teen Spirit. I remember listening to Alice in Chains during a junior high math class and thinking the world is changing.

I felt the same way when hearing Steve Taylor's Jim Morrison's Grave and Smashing Pumpkins' Bullet With Butterfly Wings for the first time.

One of my passions is sharing music with others. Whether that is in a Jack in the Box parking lot at two a.m. or passing a guitar around with friends in my living room, I love sharing that power and that beauty of music.

I also lament the loss of talent. The music industry is a horrible place, and I could write a thesis about its dark heart. As much as I want to bring people to music, I don't want to see anyone repeat the mistakes of the industry's fallen victims.

Elvis, Morrison, Hendrix, Keith Moon, Randy Rhodes, Hillel Slovac (RHCP), Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon), Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Layne Staley. It's a long, list and I'm barely scratching the suface. They changed the way we look at music and wrote some of the most enduring athems of the last fifty years. Then their lives tragically ended, some at the peak of their carreer, some had yet to reach their full potential.

You may not care, but I do. The idustry can't afford to lose any more innovators. It's too late to save past heroes, but what can we do to reach those that are following in their footsteps?


the cute ones are always stupid

I am a dog owner. Rephrase that... a proud dog owner. Wait... a proud owner of a stupid dog. When I say -stupid- I am not trying to imply teasing as if really saying "just kidding, he's a smart dog." I'm serious, Psuchen is a stoopid dog. He is adorably cute, in a crooked sort of way, but as dumb as dirt.

For example, last summer he learned to climb out the bedroom window by using our bed as a stepping stool of sorts. He played in the yard for most of the afternoon. However, it took him over a half hour searching to find his way back to the window to return to the great indoors.

Bekah and I have discovered a fantastic game to play with him. (disclosure: this probably will not work with animals of greater intelligence)

I called out his name from the kitchen to scold him for digging through the trash (again). Normally this irritates me, as I'm sure it does most dog owners.

"Psuchen!" I called. Psuchen comes sprinting down the hall from the living room, jumps the baby gate, and dashes into our bedroom. Confused his human is not there he looks around for a moment. "Psuchen!" I yelled again. Out of the bedroom, over the baby gate, and down the hall to the living room. Despite being out of sight, I'm sure he had the same dumbfounded expression as displayed seconds ago.

We repeated this process two or three times: "Psuchen!" prance, leap, prance, stand confused, then repeat. Finally, he thought to look in the kitchen where I had been observing this routine with my typical passive-aggressive tendencies.

Bekah had been watching us boys play from the bathroom doorway, the midway point in our hall. She wanted in on the fun too, I guess. She called his name, "Psuchen!" as soon as the dog reached her feet, longingly looking up at Bekah, I called. "Psuchen!" Back he came over the baby gate and into the kitchen. "Psuchen!" Bekah's turn. Away from me and over the baby gate. "Psuchen!" Bekah. "Psuchen!" Me. "Psuchen!" Bekah. "Psuchen!" Me. Back and forth the dog ran, from owner to owner, chasing the voice of whoever called.

This continued for nearly twenty minutes. The trash mess was forgotten. How could anyone stay mad at such a simple creature?

I've suddenly noticed some spiritual significance in this post, but I'll save that for later.


fun things to do with a pocket full of change

If you walk in to Ambrosia Tattoos in Coeur D'Alene, you will find a quarter glued to the counter near where you would normally expect to find a cash register.

Tattoo shops are a slightly different environment than most businesses. Customers are not always there to get work done, sometimes they are there to just hang out. Rock music and heavy metal seems less obnoxious than it would say... at a bank. Everyone for the most part has a "eh, whatever attitude." There is a natural camaraderie where complete strangers instantly consider each other friends. Despite the fact that the artist that owns the operation looks like he could fold you into a pretzel and break you into a million pieces, he is usually the kindest person there.

But I'm getting off the point. Back to the quarter. As soon as I saw the quarter I knew it had been set in place with super glue. Bekah didn't quite notice it as quickly as I did, but after rubbing her elbow over it a couple times she finally caught on.

It reminded me of brighter days. Getting kicked out of K-Mart for super gluing quarters to the floor tiles near the entry of the store. Not to mention getting kicked out of K-Mart for playing hockey in the sporting goods isle, and getting kicked out while acting like a gay person for "suspicious behavior." (We threatened filing complaints for discrimination against sexual orientation

Again, I'm getting off the point, back to the quarter. I told Bekah, they probably put it there on purpose just to see how many people would try to pick it up. As I'm sure they periodically get drunk visitors, they probably do get significant entertainment value out of that lone quarter.

After a discussion with one of the girls who works there, Bekah and I learned they derive more entertainment from a similar gluing of a mixture of quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies to the sidewalk outside the establishment. After all, it just looks like some one dropped a pocket full of change.

There is a tax preparation service in the same strip mall as Ambrosia. Could you imagine how many people would try to get the money if some one tried a similar prank outside of H&R Block.


real life conversation

The following is an actual conversation between me and a fellow coworker. I will give her the benefit of the doubt, she was new. I will also thank HR, she is not in my department.

Her: Hi.
Me: Hey.
Her: What floor are we on?
Me: The third floor.
Her: Oh... (pause) What is it called?
Me: (inquisitive look) The Third Floor.


the upside of hunger

I will apologize now for the long post. It's been a while. So, before reading, take a quick potty break, refill your cup of coffee, take a NoDoze, then make yourself comfortable. And make sure you have some eyedrops with in reach.

What started out thought to be food poisoning (courtesy of some bad ranch at Arby's) was in reality an intestinal flu. Constant diarrhea and violent vomiting made for a long and miserable drive out to Cheyenne. The flu bug not so comfortably settled in at about 3pm Friday and seemed to have cleared (not including the lingering effects) by late Christmas Eve.

In hopes to settle my stomach, ease aching muscles, and essentially drug me enough to make me sleep, Bekah mixed a vicious concoction of V8 Splash, Sprite, and hydrocodone. Not so tasty. And, I'm not quite sure whether it worked or not. However, in the midst of a pit stop in Sheridan Wyoming, I was exhausted enough to fall asleep while sitting on the toilet (an event my parents will never let me live down).

But, enough of the gory details. The Christmas to New Years break was enjoyable, partially relaxing, and largely uneventful. Since I guessed (at random) what Bekah got me for Christmas, she was forced to lie and get deceptively creative. She managed to separate a ski parka into four separate boxes, fleece liner - right sleeve - left sleeve - and the rest of the jacket.

Christmas isn't about gifts though, it is about family. Especially every other year when the Budd clan gathers in Cheyenne. And that bi-yearly event was the sole purpose behind the grievous twenty hour all night drive mentioned earlier.

When I say "clan" I mean that in a literal sense. My mom's side of the family is a large and humorously obnoxious bunch. Gramma and Grampa Budd had a total of seven kids. From those seven came eleven grandkids and (so far) four great-grandkids. So if everyone is in attendance there is potential for a small army of thirty three crammed into the basement living room at the elder Budd's house.

We didn't quite have a full house as four were on a ski trip, a few came late, and one great grandkid lives with the other grandmother. Still, it was crowded come Christmas afternoon. Oddly enough, I wasn't the only one sick. Over the week half of us were sick with some cold or flu variation, one fell victim to strep throat, and one plain fell breaking an arm. Needless to say my flu symptoms got replaced by cold symptoms that I still have yet to recover from.

The overwhelming sicknesses were a break from the norm. The Budd family is traditionally a healthy family and a Christmas with fifty percent of us feeling like a rotting carcass had been previously unheard of. Like most large families, tensions can flare if you are not careful. With everyone out sick we talked less, keeping those potentially volatile situations at bay. I guess illness can be a mixed blessing.

By the time breakfast was served Christmas morning, I had not had solid food in over twenty four hours and still did not feel like eating ever again. During that time I most likely lost five pounds, and despite extreme dehydration I was feeling happy about that fact. A week later and I'm not yet sure how I feel about eating.

All is well that ends well. There were a couple of surprises. Aunt Penny Jo, an intelligent Phoenix area resident and golf fan who looks the part of a WPGA competitor, is a NASCAR fan. I would never have guessed. And in home day cares are among the most chaotic environments on earth: Bekah and I woke up listening to the circus music introduction of Willy Wonka (the new Depp/Burton collabo, not the classic Gene Wilder version) and The Care Bears DVD played on an nearly endless loop. Any one want to guess what my niece an nephew got for Christmas?