From the Drummer: You’re Doing WHAT, now?!

Now is the Winter of our discontent, made glorious Summer by this…Wait up. Wrong season. Sorry, my bad. Let’s start again, shall we?

It was  the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was a time to reap, and a time to sow. He drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink…no, sorry, that’s Dickens, scripture, and Chumbawamba. Hang on, sorry. Okay, I think I have it sorted now. Please indulge me one more time? Thanks, I knew I could count on you.


Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside, come inside! (I know, I know. Just roll with it, or we’ll never get through this.) It’s near the end of October. I should by this point be thinking about writing NOVEMBER’s post. I’m a bit late to the party this month. It’s a little busy up in this joint.

The construction on my recording studio is about 99% done. Acoustic treatment is next, along with moving my gear out of storage and into the studio. Should take a week or so. After that…I’m open for business. I’m excited. I’m daunted. It’s a LOT to process; in a few short weeks, I should be open for business. I even have a couple of prospective clients lined up. I’m hoping to get the band into the studio space for a few hours, just to jam a bit, so I can fine-tune the space and make it sound good. (Don’t tell my bandmates, you’ll spoil the surprise.) Once I’m fully open, I’ll post some pics for you. Feel free to shoot me a DM for a studio tour. It’s a really exciting time, and I don’t think anyone would fault me for being laser-focused on it.

Am I laser-focused? Nope.

We’re just a few short weeks from my birthday, y’see, and I tend to celebrate mine a little…differently. For those of you just now tuning in, I throw a fairly large-ish party for myself every year around my birthday. No cake with candles. No singing of trite birthday songs. No, I gotta be me, meaning I gotta be weird. I host a yearly Scavenger Hunt. Modeled loosely on the annual Hunt at University of Chicago, the Phoenix Scavenger Hunt has grown from a fun afternoon and into a full week of full-on chaos. Months of prep go into it. Tattoos are often acquired. Heads get shaved. Cans of creamed corn get chugged. It’s a hoot. My goal each year is to have at least one item on the List to make each of the Hunters exclaim “What is WRONG with him?” (I’m pretty sure I’ve not yet failed to meet that goal.) It’s an absolute blast, and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I have birthdays left.

But boy howdy, it’s a lot of work. I recruit Judges months in advance. We try to brainstorm 300+ separate Items to go on the List. We debate point values, argue wording and semantics, speculate about how my hypercompetetive in-laws in Indiana are going to receive each Item, and how much of a stern talking-to I’m going to receive from my own parents. The last couple of weeks before the List becomes available and the Hunt begins are a flurry of frenetic activity. I’m frequently up and working through the wee small hours of the morning. My beloved bride has often said that hearing me cackle madly over my latest bit of questionable cleverness is one of her favorite things about this time of year.

I’ve cackled a bit less this year. Not because the List isn’t any fun; I’ve just taken a half-step back from the process. I have a tendency to want to micromanage everything. I don’t cede control easily. I’ve been working on that, and this year’s Hunt has been good for that. I’ve been backing off and letting the other Judges be more involved in the whole process, and I have to say the results have been remarkably good. This latest crop of Judges (including a certain fiddler of our mutual acquaintance) has been phenomenal, and I’m really looking forward to Judgment Day.

Want to join in on the fun? Check out the FB group Phoenix Scavenger Hunts to find out how! Not a Phoenix local, or even in AZ? Not to worry! We have out-of-town Teams every year; they even win occasionally. (Looking at you, Indiana

I’ll hopefully have some studio- and/or band-related news next month.

(Any Hunters reading this? Care to share some of your Scav memories and exploits?)

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