Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rock Jam 2012

Mötley Crüe performing, their stage set was incredible

What a year it was!  Rock Jam rarely disappoints.  If you can get over the crowds and oppressive heat your in for a great show.  If you’re unfamiliar with Rock Jam it’s exactly what it sounds like.  A bunch of awesome rock bands come together for a weekend in Mack, Colorado.  Friday’s headliners were KISS and Mötely Crüe.

Gene Simmons and the rest of KISS were in full hair and make-up.  Rock ON!

First up was Mötley Crüe.  Mick Mars the lead guitarist is 61 and has suffered with ankylosing spondylitis his whole life.  (Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis.)  He suffers from serious pain in his pelvis and spine but you’d never guess it by his performance. Next up was KISS and they were excellent, it brought me back to my youth.  My wife Jeena was lucky enough to catch a pick from Paul Stanley.  However she got more than she bargained for, he did throw the pick. He spit it out, so she got a guitar pick and some of his DNA.  


Gene Simmons is 63, yep 63; ten pounds of make-up really masks his age.  That’s what was so impressive with both bands.  They’ve stood the test of time, produced a ton of hits and still rock.  I think everyone needs a reminder that getting old doesn’t mean getting lame, it means getting better.

Saturday’s headliners were Theory of a Deadman and Three Doors Down. 

Theory of a Deadman, I'm told the lead singer is "hot"

Excellent performance by 3 Doors Down

Theory of a Deadman was awesome, great stage presence and awesome music.  They even did an acoustic rendition that was awesome.  The night closed with 3 Doors Down.  They were not only a great band, but super polite.  Perhaps the politest band I’ve ever seen.  They kept thanking the audience and telling us how much we were appreciated.  And to them I say, Thank YOU for ending Rock Jam 2012 on a positive note.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Next week I’m going to a steampunk convention in Portland called GearCon.  Why you may ask?  Well my next book that I am co-writing with the talented Sherry Ficklin is a young adult steampunk novel.  Steampunk is basically like the 1800’s but modern and punky.  These conventions will be a great place to network and introduce our book. 

If you’re familiar with these types of conventions you know there are some pretty eccentric people in attendance.  People get dress up, get into character and become an alter ego. Some people never break character the entire time they are in costume.  Now, everyone knows what a dork I am and I love to wear costumes.  Every Halloween I make my entire staff dress up so I’m not the only one.  Last year we did 50’s theme, the year before was 80’s hair bands…we have a lot of fun. I’ve even considered closing my office for half a day on Halloween just so I could show off my sweet costume all afternoon.  Dressing up for this convention should be no problem, right?

Wrong.  I’m not sure why but I’m freaking out about GearCon.  When I dress up for Halloween I pick the theme and find a costume that looks awesome.  The theme is already set for GearCon and let me tell you, Steampunk is not made for 6’5” people.  If too-tight, high water pants were popular in the steampunk genre I’d be set.   My other issue is that on Halloween people expect to see people roaming the streets in costume.  If you see this in the middle of August you think people are either 1) crazy 2) horribly misguided in their fashion choices or 3) are in a play and stole their costumes.  Luckily I found a hotel room in the convention center so I won’t have to brave the public in costume.  Now let’s talk about the typical steampunk dress.  Punky 1800’s clothes, monocles and brass legs are not exactly flattering on my physique because the most of the people who wear these clothes are teenagers.  That brings me to my next point, I feel old.  Old and fat.  Too old and too fat to be wearing these clothes.   Plus I don’t want my wife to make fun of me.  So here I sit, one week from the convention without a costume.  Now that I have even less time my options are even more limited.  We’ll see if I end up dressing up or being that awkward guy wearing jeans at the convention. When I return I will write about the convention, and post some pretty amazing pics.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tanner the Trash Man

I’ve mentioned before I bought a farm so my kids can learn some life skills.  Our garden isn’t completely mature yet, so there isn’t anything to harvest and the chores really aren’t that bad.  They collect chicken eggs, feed the chickens, mow the enormous lawn and pasture, as well as many other chores.  Sometimes they do these ‘jobs’ willingly but other times they fight me.  Especially when it involves them working in the heat, or when they’d prefer to be hanging out with their friends, or sleep, or playing paint ball in the Russian olives, or pretty much anything else. 

Tanner my middle son has the privilege of taking out to the curb on trash day.  This was a nonissue in our previous house due to the five steps from the garage to the curb.  Now we have a rather long driveway that’s several hundred feet long. Every garbage day he complains about how much work it is to drag it all the way to the curb; then to add insult to injury he has to bring it back after pick up.  I’ve never really given him any sympathy and he has quit complaining ever since I reminded him no matter what chore he does, “it all pays the same.”

Today after work I noticed my nine-year-old bringing the trashcans back without even being asked.  What made me even prouder was the manner in which he was moving the trash.  Tanner was dragging the trashcans behind him on his bike.  What a smart and inventive kid, he must get it from his dad.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gangsta the Frog

Carson.  Oh Carson.  Carson, Carson, Carson.  A few weeks ago we received some much needed rain.  We, like much of the country, have been in one of the worst droughts in history.  We were so blessed for the rain and when it came it was fast and furious.  Because it rained so quickly and the ground was so dry we had a bit of flooding on my property.

A few hours later Carson, a.k.a. Crash came running through the house wet, out of breath and wearing galoshes.

“DDDDDDAAAAAADDDDD.” He shrieked, “I need my goggles!  Where are my goggles?? I need them!! GOGGLES!!!!”

“Dude, what’s up?  Calm down, you can’t go in the lake.”

“No, not that lake.    The new lake.  Gangsta’s in the new lake.  I gotta find him!!”

“What new, lake?  Gangsta?  Who’s Gangsta?”

“MY FROG!!!!”

Intrigued by “Gangsta the frog” and the “new” lake I reluctantly gave him his goggles and followed him outside.  Sure enough there was a massive puddle in the field in the backyard.  Crash practically leapt into the puddle to find his new best friend.  As he bent down to look in the water, I warned him not to submerge his head.  So this was his compromise:

Kaden, Tanner and I waited patiently to see if he’d found Gangsta.  A rare moment of silence fell over the Jolley household.  Then, he finally broke the silence,

“Yeah, I can’t see anything in that mud puddle. Can I have a snack?”