Catsup? Ketchup?

What is the “correct” spelling, anyway? Wait… I’ll check the dictionary.

Well, that didn’t clarify anything. Looks like “ketchup” would be preferred but the original English term was “catchup,” from the Malay from the Cantonese. This was way more than I wanted to get into for a bad, overused pun.

So, I have the opportunity to get some writing done, and I figure I might as well take it. I guess the first topic should be the new band scenario.

I joined a band called Black Water Alley ( It’s pretty cool, looks llke it could really shape up into something. We’re doing a fairly narrow list of covers at the moment, but it’s only the first stab at a set list. We’re heavy on that mid-90’s post-grunge thing: Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Collective Soul, Candlebox. Then there’s a handful of classic stuff, too: Deep Purple, Kansas, Boston. By the time we’re up and running, I see that list branching out a bit to some 80’s hair metal, some heavy blues, some actual grunge and more classic.

It’ll take a little while to settle in to to the dynamics of the group, but it seems like a decent bunch of folks. I’m excited just to be playing with some sense of purpose again, not just noodling about on my own. Plus, this is my first real 2-guitar band. In the past, it’s always been one real guitar and one half-assed strum-some-chords guitar. Now there are actual rhythm parts and harmonized leads and all that fun stuff.

What else? It looks like we’re moving forward with the house shopping once my wife finishes school. We’ve had a hundred reasons to delay the search, but none of them were very convincing. There will always be some excuse to set it aside, but at some point, we just have to do it. So, for now, that doesn’t mean much, but in a couple weeks, we’re going to start really digging in: painting, cleaning, packing. Then start the phone calls: realtors, mortgage brokers… it’s definitely going to eat up some free time. Which we don’t have. But we never will, so might as well get started.

The most recent reason to delay the house search is a trip to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro. Nothing is definite yet, but we’re tentatively looking at late January/early March. There. I’ve said it on the internet, it must be real. That’ll be pretty much all my vacation time for the next year and a half, not to mention a pretty sizable price tag in airfare and permits and tips and backpacks and boots and who knows what else. But much like the house, there won’t really be a better time, so might as well get started.

So, let’s see… learn a bunch of material for a new band, fix up the condo to sell, buy a house, move, plan a trip to Africa while working full time. No problem. I think it’s time to rekindle my torrid love affair with coffee.

On a happier note, Sunday is the Minnesota Ironman ride. We’re only doing the 30-mile version (as opposed to the 100-mile or 62-mile version) but it should still be a lot of fun and a nice milestone for me. My intention is to do the 62 next year, followed by the 100 the following year. If I’m going to do that, though, I’ll need a new bike. I’m not sure mine would go 100 miles in the time alloted.

Ooops… I just remembered. We’re supposed to book a trip to South Carolina in August to visit the family. Better do that soon, before all the money and vacation time is gone.

It’s been almost a month…

…since I’ve written in here. Clearly, I haven’t latched onto a new subject yet. I have, however, found a new band: Black Water Alley. We’re working hard to get some material together with plans to start gigging around June. Stay tuned for more information, or make us your friend at

Now I have about 30 songs to learn with more on the way. Better get to work.