Where did my weekend go? It went by way too fast. Seriously.

Not much going on lately. I’ve been trying to cut back our budget (or lack thereof), because we spend money without any regard. I had a real shock when I setup an account on mint.com (which is a fantastic site!), and saw what our spending on food was over the past month. I’m not going to put it here, because I don’t like to talk about personal finances, but needless to say, it was a lot more than it should be. So we went grocery shopping, and have instituted a once a week dining out rule for the time being. My goal isn’t to cut out eating out, or eating things we love, so much as it is to budget doing so.

Started playing rock band a bit more lately (haven’t really been playing much the past few months), since I can never seem to play my real drums when I want to. It’s obviously not the same, but it can get close when playing on expert, and I get the same workout. I grabbed the demo of Guitar Hero: Metallica
the other day, and it’s pretty cool. I’m not that into the interface Guitar Hero uses, but there’s no denying the killer song set they have in that game, so I’ll probably pick it up when a good deal comes around.

While on the subject of Music, some awesome new releases lately:

Lamb Of God – Wrath: Love it! It’s no secret that LoG is one of my favorite bands. Metal at it’s finest. Unlike a lot of their hardcore fans though, I thought that the last album (Sacrament) was a killer album. I loved the obvious Pantera influence, and I’m not that big of a fan of the cookie monster vocals. That said, the new album is a return to the more aggressive style, and with it brings more growling. It’s not a bad thing, but IMO it doesn’t do the music justice.

Mastodon – Crack The Skye: Another killer album. I love these guys! Very prog oriented, technical band. Their lyrics are total cheese-dick fantasy stuff, but there’s no denying that their music is fantastic.

Static-X – Cult Of Static: What can I say, it sounds like every other Static-X album to an extent, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

From the not new (although they do have a new album coming in May), but new found love category: Isis. I’ve heard these guys a ton in the past, even seen them a few times opening for various bands, but I never really gave them a chance despite rave reviews from both friends, and music rags. Finally getting into them, and I have to say that I feel like a total tool for not giving them more of a chance before. Awesome layered, ambient, metal oriented music.

m e x i c o

First, thanks to everyone who came to my birthday party, and for all the well wishes! We had a great time. There was much rock band, and much cerveza’s and tequilla.

I’ve been trying to figure out what we were going to do for our real vacation this year for a while. I’ve been itching to go to mexico for a couple of years, so I finally decided we’re going to Cabo this year. We have to be in LA for my brother’s wedding next month, so Cabo is a good choice for the week before we have to be in LA, since it’s pretty close. We normally go to Cancun, but it’s a long flight from here – there – LA. We’ll fly into LA, spend the night with Jon & Mel, then fly to Cabo the next day. Spend 5 nights in Cabo. then come back to LA, spend the night with Jon & Mel, then head to the valley for my bro’s wedding.

I’m pretty stoked, as Cabo is one of those places I’ve been wanting to go to for years, but never made it to. I grew up going down to baja all the time, and I really miss the way of life there. Sure, Cabo is a tourist trap now, but it’s still baja. I look forward to a week of much needed relaxation.

Got my measurements for my tux taken care of on Saturday. Gotta pick the tux up in Burbank the day we get to LA from Cabo. Still have no idea what I’m gonna do about a speech. Don’t think I’m gonna do a bachelor party at all. At one point I was contemplating a Vegas road trip, but I just don’t really feel up to it now.

Short but sweet Cali trip; New drums for me

So I finally broke down and bought a new drum set. I have been itching to get a new kit for years (I got rid of my last set like 15 years ago, then had a practice kit for a couple years back in the late 90’s), but I’ve always let it slide on the priority list. All this playing on Rock Band got me really wanting a new kit, much the same way that Guitar Hero renewed my interest in playing guitar. So I did some searching on Musicians Friend (The greatest music store ever!), and found a pretty good low end Pearl kit that didn’t break the bank. Got a set of decent set of Paiste cymbals, and I’m in business. The kit arrived on Friday, but unfortunately, the cymbals didn’t get here until Monday.

I got her setup, and semi-tuned (any drummer knows this is an ongoing process) on Friday. Yesterday I got the cymbals, and got them all set. The dogs are NOT happy about this renewed obsession, but they’ll get used to it. I tried taking it slow and giving Benny treats while I was tuning and stuff, which seems to help. But he’s a complete pansy ass, so he gets all stressed. China just goes somewhere else, and she’s fine.

Crappy picture of new drums

We flew out to LA on Saturday morning for my Grandmother’s 80th birthday party.

Continue reading “Short but sweet Cali trip; New drums for me”

Rock Band Drums Suck!

Seriously. I’ve still got the box to RMA for the heads, and after several hours of rocking out last night, my “bass drum” pedal snapped clean in half. Sent in for the RMA, but I think I’m gonna have to mod this one, cuz they are just gonna keep snapping.

This is what happens when you actually

Those who say “you shouldn’t stomp on it then” are full of shit and probably never played real drums before. That’s all fine and good on easy and medium, but once you get into hard and expert, you are playing almost note for note on songs. And when you are talking songs like those from Metallica, NIN, etc, that’s a whole lotta bass drum pounding. It’s a flawed design, and it’s hella frustrating. Luckily this is so common, that there are tons of mods out there that help. The most promising seems to be this bad boy