Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ten Reasons Why Comcast is Not For You

About three weeks ago, I called Comcast to get my cable internet rate lowered. Why did I call in the first place? Because my bill said that i would be charged $60 for my next month's service! Just for internet service! Yeah, I know, there's a price to pay with technology and all of that, but that's ridiculous!

Basically, I said, "Lower my bill or I'm cancelling service, because I have never been charged that much before." Their response was, "We have this great promotion going on right now: $10 off for 3 months." Ten dollars? Three months? Who do they think they are?!? They don't even have to service the line. All they have to do is keep the pipeline open! They call $50 a month a deal, when their company doesn't have to do anything?!? Yeah right. I cancelled service.

And if that's not enough, when I said "Cancel my service," the woman from Comcast said, "When do you want to stop service?". NOW! Well, for whatever reason, they stopped billing me from that day on, but couldn't terminate service until two weeks later... Again, ridiculous. If they can monitor my computer's internet activity from their service offices, they should be able to stop it from there, too. (Maybe I just don't know how the technology works.)
So here's the deal: it seems to me that Comcast has a monopoly on cable internet service in DuPage County. I searched for other providers and came up empty. What can you do? Don't know.

I'm now sitting at the public library, typing on a borrowed laptop from my sister. And, doing a little research, I found out that 1) the library has free Wi-Fi that broadcasts 24-7, and 2) I can set up a monthly payment plan for a Macbook that's less than $60 a month! I should have cancelled service months ago!

By the way, I don't have ten reasons...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back from Niagara Falls

Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? Have you ever fried your transmission on a road trip? Have you ever paid too much money for a burger? Have you ever sat under a tree in a torrential downpour seeking respite from the elements? These all were things Megan and I experienced in Niagara Falls. Well, before I continue, let me say that the trip was really awesome, though many unexpected things happened. I'd say, if you ever have the chance, check out the falls (from both sides) and make sure to take a trip on the Maid of the Mist (on the Canadian side). It's totally worth it, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime (or twice, or three-times) experience. Make sure to stand on the upper deck, on the starboard side.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nashville Pics Posted on Flickr

I just wanted to quickly let everyone know that new photos from my Nashville recording trip are posted on Flickr. Here's the link: http://flickr.com/photos/92307107@N00. I've included a pic, just to tease you a little bit...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nashville Day 2 & Klondike Bars

Tuesday morning, I hooked up with Jeremy for the first time in about seven years. We easily reconnected (and of course, we had been communicating by phone and email for several months prior to my arrival). We headed out for a coffee at the local drag, Bongo Java, East. We talked music and philosophy and gospel. Recording went well, and we spent the majority of the day working on "You Coulda Been".

After the session, as I loaded up my car to head back to my hotel room, I noticed a curious, little nail in the side-wall of my rear, driver's side tire. I pulled it. Hissssssssss.... Jeremy had a patch kit, so we tried to patch it. Making a long story short, the tire blew on Wednesday night. Thursday I drove on the spare. Friday I purchased a new tire for the 500 mile drive home.

Sovereign chaos.

Flash forward. Today: I just finished eating a Klondike bar for lunch (yeah, not the healthy way to go). I'm convinced that every year these major snack food corporations shave a few millimeters off of their products each year - hoping both that consumers won't notice it, and that even if they do, they'll buy the company's rationale: "Oh, it's healthier for the consumer to eat smaller portions of junk food..."

I'm working on booking shows for a fall tour. Colleges, mainly. If you know anyone who books at your college, please put me in contact with him or her.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A Week in Nashville, Now Back Home

There were so many sweet things about my trip this past week that it will take me a couple of weeks to process it all, and say everything that needs saying about it. Working with Jeremy Casella was an awesome experience. Three new recordings - the first installment of several more to come, in anticipation of a new CD - and a few new friends. The trip was well worth it, and I feel a renewed passion for my music, thanks to the sessions and several after hours drinks and meals talking with Jeremy.

First, let's get to the goods: We still have about three weeks worth of work to do on the songs before they're completed. We have a bit more tracking to do, and mixing to boot. We recorded "You Coulda Been", "Not Rainin'", and "I Remain".

I'll start with a little story... Monday, after spending the morning with Megan, celebrating our two-year anniversary, I headed for Nashville. No AC in our 1996 Chevy Lumina V6 3.1 Liter. The drive went fast - both because of how I drove, and because I like driving. I was in Nashville by about 7:30 PM. I quickly unloaded my gear, showered up, and headed to an open mic at the legendary Bluebird Cafe.

Arriving there, I decided I'd grab a bite to eat and scope the place out before bringing in my guitar, etc. Well, I ended up locking my keys in the car!!! I didn't freak out, though. Who was I going to freak out to? I decided to go inside, eat, and figure it out after I had a little something in my stomach. (The last time I ate was at breakfast with Megan.)

There's a lot more to the story here, but the chase is that I met a guy my age (a month older), who owned the same car as me, who was originally from Illinois, who had also previously locked his keys in his car and had successfully broken into it. While Aaron, his sister Clara, and I were outside trying to "break in", other songwriter/performers began filtering out of the club. Each one saw our trouble, proudly flaunted his experiences locking his own keys in his car, and successively breaking into them, and then tried his hand on my vehicle. I met a good deal of songwriters that night that way.

A joke came to me: What's the best way to meet people in Nashville? Lock your keys in your car. And, How many songwriters does it take to jimmy a car... (I didn't figure out the answer.)

More stories to come...