New job, lots of biking in, Superbird is back on the road, the band played several gigs, trips to NYC and NJ throughout the year. Like always, I wish I had more time on the road and now more gigs to play but I’m working on that. As far as more time on the road, mother nature needs to cooperate on that one, this past summer was cold and rainy.
The Job change was much needed; prior employer is an awful company, they lie to candidates about the job to get them onboard, infighting, toxic politics, employee harassment from managers, executives lie about employees to further their agendas and gain control over others – I’d heard about this but never experienced it firsthand. Leave of absences, breakdowns and HR cases against managers were common and as a result a culture of distrust and high turnover was the norm – awful to watch. They also announce by early 2017 the office would be completely outsourced and shutdown. On the up side I made some new friends which is always a good thing.
The Harley was out several times this year for cruises to the beach and elsewhere. Great bike to hop on and cruise with but the small gas tank is a pain so I have to make sure I know where the next gas station is. I’m considering a 1 liter canister as backup fuel just in case, I hear off roaders do this.
The Superbird was out mid-summer, finally isolated the brake light problem, just required focus and some time to fix. The brake light switch under the dash was the culprit. Google helped me find the replacement, I order two and ended up installing the more expensive one. Also replaced the front calipers and pads as the passenger side was dragging. The new calipers are coated and cosmetically look better. Some memorable moments being asked to stop so people could take pictures.
The band played several outdoor gigs and parties as well as a couple of bars. I much prefer the parties and outdoor events, people are more fun at these. At bars people are generally stressed about drinking so they sip water and the bar owners hate that. Also without alcohol many don’t loosen up. The continued stage experience has resulted in less pre-stage anxiety and my playing is improving as well as I learn more songs, styles and continue to play.
My trips to NYC and NJ (Princeton, Montvale, Allendale, Ridgewood) were great. Many great dinners with friends and new staff I work with at the bank. Princeton is new for me, heard about it a few times, its really nice but adds 90 min to my trip to get there. The picture below is of the canal behind the hotel where I often run/walk in the morning and evenings. In the morning the University Students are out for rowing practice.
I also began attending jam nights at a few places around the city. participants plug in and play songs they know and learn new ones on the fly. Its fun and it helps improve my improvisation skills and comfort level with the stage and making mistakes.
I returned to Bergen County where some of my favorite towns are located such as Allendale, Ridgewood and Paramus (for some shopping). Stayed at the Marriott Montvale which is my home away from home. Lots of good memories there and the staff are great to me, Fire & Oak is great and I always get my room 373. The picture below is one of my regular walking/jogging spots – Celery Farm in Allendale.
Over the winter I plan to remain local and focus on guitar, yoga and writing. To broaden my repertoire of songs and get more stage time I’m participating in jam nights Fridays and Sundays.
Yoga is something a friend (Yoga Instructor) in NJ introduced me to the summer of 2012. I stuck with it ever since and have added hiking, walking and free weights to my routine and a much healthier diet – A lean 175-180lbs these days.
To end 2013 the band is playing a New Years gig at the Crown and Grill in Richmond Hill – I’ve always wanted to play New Years :)