Monthly Archives: July 2013

Brad Paisley

Saturday July 27th, I (we) finally got to see Brad Paisley in concert. I say finally because this is the 3rd time we have had tickets to see him, but the first time we have actually seen him. He usually plays at the Fair Park amphitheatre (it changes its sponsored name every 3 days it seems like) when he comes to Dallas, it’s an ok venue but could do with a serious refurbishment. The front half has covered seating & the back half is a grass hill. The first time we tried to see him, we had lawn tickets. It rained all day & all night & we just chose not to go & be miserable. Last year we had seats, but a storm rolled through & the roof failed, it was so wet on stage they cancelled the show for safety purposes.

Saturday there was no rain & pleasantly the temperature was only in the high 80s, unseasonably cool. Traffic was awful, but we still got to the venue at around 7:30, we missed the 2 opening acts, but arrived just in time for Chris Young. The parking lot was interesting, folks had obviously been there for a while & drinking heavily, I was a little worried about what my 7 year old was going to have to witness, but I shouldn’t have feared as everyone behaved themselves well enough.

Chris Young was very good, I was surprised at how many of his songs I know. I’m a part time country fan, by no means an aficionado, but I enjoy the genre in general.

Once they cleared the stage off & got it set up for Mr Paisley he came out to a rapturous greeting. The show was simply outstanding, his singing always on point, his amazingly fluid guitar playing effortless, his band sickeningly talented. The stage, lighting & video set up were excellent. One of the nice things we noticed from Brad & also Chris Young was that they thanked everyone for spending their money to come & see them, a nice touch of gratitude that is too rare in today’s entertainment industry.

A couple of unique features of the show, first after playing the introduction to This is Country Music, he unplugged the guitar, signed it & then gave it to a young boy in the crowd, I’m guess maybe a 6 year old (who’s life could now be forever changed). Then when someone asked him to autograph their phone, he grabbed it & made a video before giving it back, the crowd interaction was greatness. Midway through the show he left the stage & played 3 songs acoustically on a raised area by the sound booth, not far from where we were sitting, it was very cool to get that close in the “cheap seats”.  They had some incredibly convincing video to make it look like Carrie Underwood was actually there signing Remind Me with Brad. There was also a hilarious video to accompany the song Celebrity, which features Psy, the screaming goat & a large headed fake Brad Paisley doing crazy celebrity things.

All in all, the show was all I had hoped it would be & more. If you ever have the chance to see Brad Paisley live, take it, I promise you will not regret it.

 

PS: iphones make for crappy cameras 🙂

The set list was:

 

Bon Voyage

Southern Comfort Zone

Mud on the Tires

The Mona Lisa

American Saturday Night

Outstanding In Our Field (w/Chris Young and Lee Brice)

This Is Country Music

Celebrity

Then / She’s Everything

Time Warp

Hot for Teacher

(Van Halen cover)

Old Alabama (w/virtual Alabama)

If You’re Gonna Play in Texas

(Alabama cover) (Snippet, solo Acoustic at soundboard stage)

Waitin’ On a Woman

(solo Acoustic at soundboard stage)

Online

(Acoustic w/percussion, bass, … more)

I’m Still a Guy

(Acoustic w/percussion, bass, … more)

Beat This Summer

I’m Gonna Miss Her

Karate

(w/virtual Charlie Daniels and … more)

Remind Me

(W/ Virtual Carrie Underwood)

Welcome to the Future

Water

Encore:

Ticks

Alcohol

 

 

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Tour de Goatneck – 2013

My cycling season has not quite gone as planned. I skipped the ride I was scheduled to do in May as it was the week after my vacation & frankly I was exhausted and didn’t want to go do it. The ride I had planned on doing in June clashed with my Mum visiting from England, so obviously I didn’t do that. Unfortunately when I don’t have the commitment of a big ride coming up, my recreational / training rides tend to become less frequent also. So a couple of weeks ago I went ahead & signed up for the 2 big north Texas rides to get me going. I’ll be doing the Hotter Than Hell 1200 on August 24th, but before that came the 2013 riding of the Goatneck in Cleburne, TX.

I had ridden the Goatneck in 2010 & 2011, doing the 40 mile route each time, I signed up for the 40 again this time but immediately regretted that & changed my mind to the more challenging 70 mile route. Irritatingly they sell it as a 100 Km route, which is stupid, because 100 Km is 62 miles, not 70. I decided to do the 70 for 2 reasons, 1 because if I’m going to ride 100 miles at the end of August then 70 is pretty good training, but more so, I can ride 40 miles with hardly any preparation, 70 on the other hand, that is a challenge.

Unfortunately I only had 2 weeks to prepare & being in Texas cycling after work in July is demanding, if you can even talk yourself into doing it. I think I only got about 45 training miles done, but I also did 4 10k efforts on my rowing machine plus a couple of days at the gym. I’d have liked to have cycled more but I felt pretty confident about my conditioning going into the ride.

The ride itself, is probably the best there is in north Texas. The routes are really well marked out, there are police at EVERY intersection holding traffic for the riders. The rest stops are very frequent & well stocked with the usual Gatorade, water, fruit & other snacks. Everyone helping out is super friendly which translates to the riders too. If you are a cyclist within range of DFW & you have not ridden the Goatneck, make plans for next July!

The route was nice, there were a lot of hills though, you might think of north Texas as being as flat as a pancake, believe me, it is not, especially on a bike. Apparently we had some downhills too, but I only remember 2 sections which just lead into more big climbs. Usually I enjoy the climbs, but for whatever reason, on that day my legs had no uphill power. I started the day riding with a friend, but after probably 10 minutes I just let him go & concentrated on taking care of my legs. It was extremely frustrating to be passing people on the flats only to have them fly by me uphill. To make things worse after 30 miles or so the side my left quad started to cramp if I stood up on the pedals. I fought through it for about the next 10 miles but then the pain was worrying, it felt like something was going to snap, so I stayed sat down at all times on the hills, even slower – ugh. On the bright side, the weather was amazing for riding, it stayed overcast until around 11:15 & the temp didn’t get past the mid 80s.

Still, I made it about 39 miles before my first rest stop, not by design, I missed the one 8 miles earlier. My bottles were completely empty by that point & I needed to stretch. I  stopped very briefly at the next stop also, because the line for the facilities was so bad at the previous stop. Then I made my 2nd and final refueling / stretch stop at 55 miles in. I like that rest stop, although it was smaller this year than in years past, I remember it well, knowing that you are on the home stretch from there (14 miles to go) is comforting. Unfortunately the next 7 of those miles is another painful uphill slog, about 60 miles in I was questioning the decision to go over 40 miles. I am very happy I did though, after all I wanted a challenge & that is what I got. I met the challenge well, even if my legs did not fully cooperate & the last 10 miles were mostly fueled by stubbornness. It felt great to finish. Now to get ready for the HHH 🙂

Goatneck Elevation

Speed

Distance: 69.52 mi
Time: 4:35:39
Moving Time: 4:14:50
Avg Moving Speed: 16.4 mph
Max Speed: 41.0 mph
Avg Speed: 15.1 mph

Calories: 2,420 C
Avg HR: 153 bpm
Max HR: 175 bpm

Elevation Gain: 3,663 ft
Elevation Loss: 3,663 ft
Min Elevation: 540 ft
Max Elevation: 954 ft

Avg Temperature: 73.8 °F
Min Temperature: 66.2 °F
Max Temperature: 84.2 °F

goat-1656 - 1100

Random WordPress thoughts

The strange thing about a really productive creative spell that you spread out over several days of posting is you get likes on new posts that you don’t remember what they are about

The app is too picky if I if like your post 10 times, it’s because it didn’t show up. If I follow and unfollow and refollow you, I’m fat fingering things

Blog awards are a very nice thing, but the rules feel too much like chain letters for me to want to play along

Empire

Intimidation, fear

What you thought you knew

Is not what you remember

Uncomfortable, afraid

You retreat, observe

 

Uncontrollable, dominant

Fearless, forcefully advancing

Yet what you think you see

Is not what you see

It is what is happening inside,

What is in control, that makes the difference

 

The old self, dead

The new self, fully alive

It is the uncontrollable power that lives within

The new all-consuming power

That drives the change

 

It brings healing and provides

Life, hope, strength, love & peace

My empire, my future

Is not mine at all

I am but a soldier

A humble servant

Trying to heed the call

Imperfect, fallible, prone to error

but fully committed & fully loved

The Challenge

My will is weak

And my strength is none

Yet you press me and test me

 

Am I trapped in actions

Decisions shaped by the past

Living in my mistakes

 

Then you decide this is a good time

For the next chapter?

To test my mettle

 

I will fail, I always fail

Even when I succeed, it is only

A precursor to the next failure

 

Must we continue, must we proceed

What happens if I get it

What happens if I perfect this challenge

 

Onto the next thing?

There is more to this?

What have I got my self into?

 

The inescapable process

I would not escape if I could

I just wish it were easier, more natural, you know, like sin…