Monday, December 22, 2008

New Year's resolution...

She let me borrow a book called Mountains beyond Mountains and said "you're really going to like this." 10 pages in and I was pretty interested, by 100, totally engrossed, coming to a close at 300, and I realized I had just finished my favorite book for 08.

MBM is a story of an uncanny doctor named Paul Farmer who eventually co-founded a non-profit organization called "Partners in Health." Both Paul Farmer and PIH have done incredible things for the poor and those poor who suffer from serious illness.

Having finished the book, She and I have agreed to select an organization to donate to each month. Unfortunately, so many of them need our help...

For the beginning of 09, I've selected my first choice: Partners in Health. Please check out their website here:

Also, Dr. Paul Farmer was featured yesterday on NPR's special "This I believe." Listen here:

I feel invigorated and inspired! Do yourself a big favor and read this book! And maybe even consider giving Partner's in Health a little help?

-He Said

Friday, December 19, 2008

Charlie's office myths debunked!

For years, Charlie and I have been working together in the Promotions department at Profile. We work good together, and somehow our sarcasm towards each other has never ended in fisticuffs, instead, a sincere apology by either party if its taken the wrong way. He's a good guy, and really fun to work with.

Charlie used to be a hot shot radio DJ up in Boston. We'd hear the stories: about him, rubbing elbows with the elite recording artists of the day. My favorite--Debbie Harry (from Blondie) bringing him chicken soup when he was sick. We'd partially believe the stories but would always ask for proof. Well, last week we got just that. To our surprise, 7:30am morning coffee was accompanied by an amazing cache of photos that Charlie had dusted off to bring for show and tell. Pulling the photos out of a manilla envelope, the shop was aghast! Upon my request, Charlie went ahead and scanned my favorite photo of the lot dating back to 1978.
Center in the photo is young Charlie weilding crutches, fresh from playing the role as an extra in "The Bad News Bears" (or so his attire would lead us to think). To his right, three bowlers with three very different fashionable 70's mustaches, and to his left, the man who introduced sensuality and phallic shaped microphones to rock n' roll, but more importantly taught us where Panama is located (California, duh!).
Yes, that's David Lee Roth from Van Halen! Eyes closed, mouth slightly ajar, and thinking to himself "Jump back, what's that sound? Here she comes, burnin' down now. Hot shoe, burnin' down the avenue. Model citizen, zero discipline."

-He Said

One of life's great questions

Everyone knows Hitler was a man. What this website presupposes is... maybe he wasn't.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grandma was a cage fighter back in the day.

Down but not out...

I've been having pains in my back for awhile now. I took a pretty hard fall about 10 months ago, and since then, my mornings avail a stiff lower back, and my afternoons, a tense, numbing upper shoulder area.
Finally, after fighting a losing battle, I took her advice and got some x-rays done. A day later I got a call from my chiropractor and this was the synopsis:
1.I have developed scoliosis.
2.I've had three fused upper verterba since before I was born onto earth. That leaves me with two less disks to suck up any compression.
3.About 10 months ago, the initial fall caused a compression fracture on my T-10 vertebra. Not having a clue of the internal situation, I've not only been mobile but I've been riding on it for that long. Luckily, over the past ten months, that old crack has filled up with calcium.

My doctor's advice? "I know you're not going to stop riding so be careful."

Scary, right?

-He said

Friday, December 5, 2008

Based on true events

A musical interpretation of how He and She met.

--She said

Thursday, December 4, 2008

He's crazy

In spite of its new age hippie meets corporate yuppie name, Synergy is my favorite drink. It combines 3 of my favorite things: tartness, sweetness, and carbonation. And with its possible .05% alcohol content, it's a little bit like a vinegar mimosa (hey, a vin-mosa!).

As much as I love this drink, He HATES it, so much so that every time I treat myself to one (they're not cheap) he retches loudly. (To add insult to injury, he likes to waste my liquid ambrosia by taking a sip to "see if it's still gross.")

Oh, but be warned if you want to try one: the effervescence that I love so much means that the drink is prone to leaking ... and exploding.

-- She said

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Man Bras. Everyone needs one.

Just bought mine this week. Fits good, looks great, my confidence has been boosted 200%, but mostly, I am gentler and more caring. Get one while they're hot!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Wedding Singer...

I've decided that when He and She get married down the road, this will be the song we will sing and actually re-enact during the ceremony...I will serenade her with my sunglasses, pants, shirt, and sweet hairdo. If she doesn't accept, atleast I'll have a sensational pop career to look forward to.

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up from UgoDuru on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hootin and Hollerin!!!!!

Back in September, Ariel and I flew up to Gainesville, Missouri for Hootin and Hollerin (a.k.a a good reason to get the family together). Picture a bunch of people square dancing, making knick knacks out of wood, roasting peanuts, and playing instruments made out of things pulled from the barn yard--that's Hootin and Hollerin. Count us in!

Above, the Gunn family and friends.

It's always good to wake up in the morning to a cool breeze, a cup of coffee, and a waterfall in your front yard. 10am Saturday, the Gunn compound.

Another eccentric little piece of nature in the yard. Years ago a wild wind tried to push this tree over...instead of giving in, it bent over the creek and kept a grow'in.
What are the chances of National Geographic hiring me for point and shoot photos?

Many might think this is a couple of bottles on Tacie's window's not, it's what professional photographers (aka high brow artists like myself) take with their point and shoot. Really, the scene just looked like it needed a photo taken

This is He, getting ready for the festivities.

Instead of inserting photos of the actual Hootin and Hollerin event (which for some reason I didn't snap any of the actual event), Here is a photo of "Lurch"--the guiness book's world record holding Watusi bull with the largest Horns...100lbs and 5 ft long each.

Lurch is a resident of the "Rocky Ridge Refuge" just over the Missouri border in Arkansas--we took a day trip down on Sunday afternoon. The owner tends to exotic animals, Lurch being one of them. I can't explain how docile this big dude was.
A better grasp of his horn size.

Lurch's best bud, Wade the water buffalo.

She and the newly adopted fawn...notice all the animals live behind the same fence and get along. Pretty amazing.

The last time I was up in this area was two years ago at about the exact same time. Then, Tacie and I had heard stories of the Ozark Turantula and thought we might have seen some on the road side...Once again, this year was right in the window (about one month long) of the season where they not only come out of hiding, but enter the closest roadway to soak up the heat from the cement. Not only did we see a couple, I actually got to snap a photo this time.
Stay Tuned for Hootin and Hollerin 09. Next year I might actually get some photos.

-He Said

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Decibel Magazine's "My Awesome Day Job" article.

I got a copy of the October issue of Decibel Magazine and was pleasantly suprised to find this little article included. If this piece captures what I actually sound like in conversation, I should probably start to worry. I knew that I kind of looked like Jeff Spicoli from "Fast times at Ridgemont High," but I wasn't aware that I talk like him too.

-He Said

LYOF Tour: September 5th through September 16th.

LYOF went out on the road in mid September. As opposed to the tours we've had in the past, this one was scheduled by a booking agent that sent us on a pretty unusual, gas guzzling route. Most of the drives were pretty long...the first being a perfect example: Tampa to DC. From there, we went up to NYC and played shows back down the east coast to Florida. Then the second leg of our tour started: Tampa to Austin and plenty of shows in between.
Overall, we had a blast. Played some really good shows, met some really great people, ate some really good food, and got to celebrate the release of our new album on September 15th.
Here's a montage of photos from the trip in no particular order...enjoy.
For a complete, uncensored (I'm warning you) tour diary, go to and search "Light Yourself on Fire tour diary." LYOF in Tampa photo above by Nicole Kibert:
We stayed with my friend Jason Hammacher in D.C.. Not only was his house unreal, in an absolutely beautiful neighborhood, but Sticky Fingers (an all vegan bakery) is right around the corner. 10am breakfast bonanza and the best all-you-can-drink coffee!

Sticky Fingers was so good it has been honored with two photos. Ken (our drummer) and me, guts full, content, and ready to make the drive to NYC.

Newark, NJ.. Rest stop somewhere off I-1O. I have to take advantage of anything that resembles a launch ramp.

Imagine sitting in this every day on your way to work in the BIG Apple. I'll pass.

Richmond, Va.. Playing Nara Sushi in Richmond was a real treat. Getting free, all-you-can-eat sushi is another story.

Richmond. 1AM fire hydrant hop. Ask Ariel how I'm still awake in this photo, its a mystery.

Surprise. I opened a women's clothing store in Colombia, SC..

Rest stop rail hop in Pensacola, Florida. One of the many stops initiated by my old-man bladder.

My first time in New Orleans. Two hours prior to this we ran over a giant Nutria rat in the van.

Really late night show, with an unusually good turnout...New Orleans is the creepiest city I've visited. Mix Disney's Haunted Mansion with French architecture, a little bit of voodoo and poof!

Austin, Tx. I had no idea that death metal music and pizza were connected? L. to R.-Ken, Robert, and John.

A stray New Orleans photo. Robert, 3AM. This is the alley to the "Dragon's Den." Try loading all your equipment through this alley and then up a spiral staircase. Someone was trying to kill us.

-He said

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny Ladies

The opening skit of this weekend's SNL was one of the funniest I've seen in a long time. I've always loved Gilda Radner, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler together run a very close second! [I've not seen Baby Mama, just so I can hold on to that perspective.]

--She said

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another New England Trip...

Although I've been up to New England on four occasions in the past year and a half, it continues to have the same magical effect on me. I'm not too fond of it's winters, but summers are simply amazing.
On August 15th, I flew up to providence, RI. to embark on a work trip filming the team. We skirted the rental van up into New Hampshire, down to Connecticut and Massachusetts, and finally back to tiny Rhode Island. The only thing out of the ordinary was the extremely damp weather that reminded me of those storms common in Florida on a summer afternoon--torrential down-pours and lightning galore. Somehow we still made things happen, filmed a bunch, and got to experience a portion of the most rain New England has experienced on record.

Our Posse. Dover New Hampshire right before torrential rains #3.

Hamden, Connecticut. This is my friend Hennessey and me with "Captain peg leg" the 3 footed beagle. I really felt bad for this guy as he hobbled around my friend Matty's yard. Then he playfully attacked "ziggy" and I realized it was all a doggy facade.

Check out the way "Cap's" nub is pinning Ziggy. This is called the "nub choke out."

Some lake outside of Providence. Beautiful, warm and chrystal clear. We had to walk a mile in the woods to get to it. I tried to show off by doggy-paddling out into the center of the lake with my friends' Hennessey and Tony...when I got there, I pannicked and had to have the two of them escort me back. Honestly, it was pretty scary.

In high school I discovered the writings of HP Lovecraft and fell in love with his fictional, creepy stories of the weird and occult. His stories always took place in New England. On the last day of the trip, I took a self guided tour alone, rambling through historic College Hill in hopes to find architecture that inspired his many stories. This is the Lovecraft memorial near Brown University.

The Halsey House, erected in 1801 and thought to be haunted. This was the central location for Lovecraft's story "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward."

<Lovecraft's final residence beginning in 1935.

Pawtucket, RI.. After dropping a handful of people off on our journey, this was our group that ended the trip in Providence.

-He Said.

Friday, August 15, 2008

kitty cat

In honor of the 42-pound cat that was found wandering the streets yesterday ...

--She said

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Warning, Warning

We have reached the BMX and metal limit. Step away from the computer, him. Step away from the computer.

Life on Mars?

I heard a special report on NPR yesterday announcing the discovery of ice on Mars. I guess that from this discovery they've concluded that life could have possibly existed there.
What I don't understand is why they are re-releasing this information now when I thought the existence of aliens was solidified when David Bowie released himself to the public. Here's Bowie with his band of Martians:

-He Said

Too old for this?

My friend Conall and I have been working on a video project this summer. It's going to be based around the idea of riding in Florida's unbearable summer heat and dealing with our local fickle climate changes: aka, afternoon thunderstorms.
Last Sunday, we met up in downtown Tampa, rode a solid seven hours, filmed for the documentary and shot some photos. Somehow, the impending storms never hovered directly over downtown which kept us partailly shaded in overcast and completely dry.
All photos by Chris Wharton. Matt. Lightning bolt pole ride...two days prior to this, we almost got struck by lightning (literally) a couple blocks away from here.
Matt. Barspin over a handrail in a shady part of downtown.

Counting stairs and getting scared.

A one shot deal. Suicide no hander...I'm happy I pulled this considering I thought for sure it was going to avail a bad wreck.

Conall, Ledge ride. Right after this photo was taken, Conall almost ran me over. His precision paid off for me.

Conall. Turndown with one of the inpending storms in the background.

Matt Arnold, and a grafitti inspired fakie barspin.

I just can't get enough of cabbage palms...or toothpicks by Conall.

Nosepick in front of what used to be a cigar workers front yard. This spot is right outside the cigar the turn of the century, this place was producing the most cigars in the US. Now that this house in particular is gone, we've made good use of its drainage system.
-He Said

Metal Edge Announcement!

Here is a blurb from the September 08 issue of Metal Edge Magazine. Everytime I see a photo of our band in print it makes me laugh. Little do people know that we are a bunch of softies.

The 4th of July in Milwaukee!

Over the 4th of July weekend, I headed up to Milwaukee with the Madera team. Madera is our subsidiary company at Profile, and the team is (like the Profile team) made up of a bunch of my of the many really rewarding things about being a team manager.
So the trip started pretty rough. I left on a Wednesday, arriving at the airport a couple hours early hoping to get everything checked in and leaving a little time for me to relax.
1st problem: For the first time in 8 years, I was charged for my bike bag, -$80
2nd problem: My flight was delayed.
3rd problem: Once the plane arrived, a storm decided to arrive as well delaying my flight almost another hour and a half.
4th problem: The plane did not have air conditioning.
5th problem: I arrived to my connecting flight an hour after it had taken off.
6th problem: No more connecting flights at that hour, so I had to sleep in the airport.
7th problem: Airtran's staff was really unhelpful and unfriendly.
Verdict: Airtran sucks.
Solution: Don't be cheap, upgrade to an airline that doesn't consistently blow it. So I made it to Milwaukee July 3rd. On the 4th, we celebrated the birth of this great nation by lighting my friend Mike's yard on fire.

On Saturday the 5th, we took a day trip to Chicago. My friend Kevin Porter was our tour guide not only for spots to ride/film, but was our beacon to good food.
Atomic cafe...Vegan Ruben with a vegan chili with cheese!

For some reason I look like a little kid in this photo. Maybe it's because I ride a little kids bike?
Downtown Chicago.

My friend Dave McDermott and me. I've travelled all over with this guy...Chicago skyline.This is a monument/fountain that we found in a suburb of Chicago. We were amazed that someone would contruct this...

Just in case you didn't believe it in the first photo, here it is again. And to highlight its audacity, let me help: "Shit fountain."

Kevin told me about a vegan fast food restaurant. I was in disbelief until we made it there right before closing time. "Veggie bite" is the name, it's by no means healthy food, just decadent vegan junk!
I celebrated with a meatless Philly Cheese Steak and a giant non-dairy ice cream cone.
Back in Milwaukee I had my friend John take this photo in front of 4 Seasons skatepark. The photo turned out crappy, but it was more to create a visual that I was standing in front of the old chocolate factory that Jeffrey Dahmer worked at...Creepy to say the least.
-He Said.