Going through the motions
Back on the air (sort of)
On Friday, June 23, listeners to the on-line stream at www.hardcountryradio.com got a real treat when Bruce Kidder (former KHYI program director and on-air personality) joined Brian Bradley (aka "Bad Cover Brian") for a two-hour live show. When Brian introduced Bruce by playing Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", I knew it was gonna be good. Bruce provided a quick run-down of the past couple months of his life since leaving KHYI, which included trips to California and Arkansas ("The meth labs are very popular in Arkansas", he announced), and working on restoring his 1971 Ford F-150 pickup. The show lasted about two hours, and featured commentary from Bruce and Brian after every couple of songs. Musical selections ran the gamut from the old timers (Webb Pierce) to the outlaw classics (Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard) to the new classics (Robert Earl Keen, Wayne Hancock) to the chicks (Mary Gauthier, Toni Price). They also threw in a couple of southern / classic rock tracks by the Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band, and closed out with a Bo Diddley tune. They even included a bad cover (Waylon Jennings doing Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street"). Great stuff, and lots of entertaining chatter between the songs. I considered myself lucky to have been one of the 20 or so listeners (I believe that's all the space their server has) that Friday evening.
Live music report (or lack thereof)
I haven't had much luck with live music during the past couple weeks... Johnny Bush, who I had looked forward to seeing at Cotton Belt Barbecue on June 22, cancelled.
After work on Saturday the 24th, a friend joined me for the drive up to Denton to see James McMurtry at Dan's. Unfortunately, the show was sold out and we didn't get in. We stood around for 15 minutes or so, and got to hear him do three or four songs (it sounded good even from the outside), but we ended up saying "to hell with it" and left. It's only so much fun standing around OUTSIDE of a bar listening to music when you can't buy a beer, and everyone inside is having a lot more fun.
My work schedule, which briefly changed to Thursdays-Fridays off (great for catching shows) changed back to Sundays-Mondays off. Ray Wylie Hubbard played Billy Bob's on Friday June 30... if my schedule hadn't changed, I'd have been there. Oh well, assuming that it doesn't change AGAIN, it'll be worth it to be able to watch NFL games on Sundays and Mondays here in a few more months.
Late June train chasing
A friend recently purchased a Canon 20-D and wanted me to show him how to use it, so we went out on Sunday the 25th to shoot some pictures. We got a northbound UP at Saginaw, and a couple BNSF trains heading toward Wichita Falls. Here, take a look...
BNSF westbound stacks - Avondale, TX - June 25, 2006
I've still been riding at least a hundred miles a week (Monday through Sunday). I calculated that, during an 8-day stretch from Thursday 06/22 to Thursday 06/29, I rode 175 miles. I can easily do 35 or 40 miles without getting too tired. I rode 50 miles today (July 4), the longest I've ever gone in one ride.. That was an interesting ride... the number of trains I see during a ride usually outnumbers (or at least equals) the number of fellow cyclists I see out on the road. Today of course, being a major holiday, the cyclists were out in force, and 10 miles into my ride, I had already counted 16. For the record, I saw five trains, but I wasn't close enough to any of them to ID locomotives.
I've been considering signing up for the Hotter'n Hell Hundred, the annual hundred mile race held every August in Wichita Falls. I'm not yet sure if I'll be ready to ride the full hundred miles (I sure am sore today after riding 50), but they offer some shorter rides such as the 100-k (approx 62 miles) and a 50-mile. I'm making an effort to do a weekly "long ride" in addition to my regular rides (as suggested by some of the century training guides I've seen), so we'll see how that goes. Maybe I WILL be ready to ride a full hundred by the end of August.
nr: August 2006 Trains Magazinenp: Ray Wylie Hubbard - Delirium Tremolos