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Near The Beach

Posted in On The Road, Steely Dan on May 29th 2009 by Randy Reichardt

.: After returning from NYC on 11 May, I had three days in Edmonton before I flew on the redeye to Toronto on the night of Thursday, 14 May 2009.  The redeye left Edmonton at 00h25 MDT, and arrived in Toronto at about 06h00 EDT.  So even though the flight was 3.5 hours, the time difference told me I had flown for the entire night.  I tried dozing off on the plane, which was an Airbus 321, large and roomy, but I couldn’t do it.  So I plugged my laptop into the outlet in the seat in front of me and watch two eps of Law and Order: CI.  The flight was actually quite pleasant, and the route through the horrid Toronto International Airport wasn’t as bad as I expected.  (Not so on the way back, however.)  What I found strange about the outlets on the back of the seats was this: the plane has three seats on either side of the aisle.  On the left side of the plane, the window and centre seats have an outlet in front of them, but not the aisle seat.  On the right side of the plane, the aisle and centre seats have outlets, but not the window seat.  This made (and makes) no sense to me whatsoever.  Maybe it’s a technical issue.

In Deerfield Beach, it was about 30C and very breezy.  My hotel room was huge, with a bedroom separate from the living room, two tvs, two bathrooms, with a view of the pool and the ocean.  The meeting went well, but there was no time to get to the beach and into the water.  We had dinner a couple very nice restaurants, and on Sunday the 17th, were treated to a ride on a yacht down the Intracoastal Waterway.  I switched planes in Toronto to catch a flight to Fort Lauderdale, to attend meetings with a library advisory board in Deerfield Beach, at the behest of CRC Press. I shot some video of the trip with my Flip Mino HD camcorder, and also took a few pictures.

I’ll be on the road again in two weeks, in Washington DC for my annual library conference.  Then in July, it’s back to NYC for a few Steely Dan shows.  More on that later.

Yes There’s Gas in the Car

Posted in Carrie Hryniw, Miscellaneous, Steely Dan on October 25th 2008 by Randy Reichardt

.: When I last wrote, I was 15 minutes away from turning the magical 5-5. That day (28 June 2008) coincided with our (sometimes) annual cul-de-sac bbq. One of the activities included face-painting, and I was “painted” with a reminder of my special day. Later in the day, a number of the locals who are musicians got together for a jam, and on one song, we invited some of the children to join us on “I Walk The Line”. Here I review the chorus with some of The Groovy Girls, Emily, Liberty and Mia.

A few days later, I went on a tour with a local musician, Carrie Hryniw, in support of her new album, Finding Grace. (Please consider buying a copy via the CD Baby web site.) This was the first tour for me ever, since I started playing guitar in October 1966. Carrie had played a few solo shows in Saskatchewan, and I met up with her on 01 July 2008 in North Battleford. Her partner and daughter continued on to Edmonton, and we drove to Brandon, where we spent the night with my friend Cathy. The next night we played to a small crowd at a delightful cafe and shop called Lady of the Lake. Following the show, we drove to Winnipeg and stayed for three nights at my parents’ home. On 03 July 2008 we performed for another wee but very supportive crowd at The Academy Food Drinks and Music in Osborne Village in Winnipeg. The support came mostly from friends and relatives. 🙂

The next night Carrie and I performed at a house concert in Oakbank MB. The hosts were friends of mine, Doug and Barb Z. Barb and I went to high school together, and they were thrilled to host a house concert for us on the tour. It turned out to be the best night of the tour in many ways – not only did we do well in terms of ticket sales (always important on a tour to defray costs), but Carrie also sold many CDs after the show, we had a great party afterwards with lots of good food and drink and conversation, and both Carrie and I were overwhelmed by the incredible support shows by my friends, relatives, and friends of Doug and Barb who also attended the show. In the crowd were my parents, two of my aunties, my cousins Vickie and Christina and their dad Ross, a number of high school friends and their spouses, and the aforementioned friends of Barb and Doug, including their son. Barb even surprised us by ordering a Jeanne’s cake!

Carrie has uploaded a few videos from the concert in Oakbank.  In addition to the video of Need You Tonight, you can also watch us perform Went Away, Sand Castle, and Perfect Love.  Following the Oakbank show, we played a show in Wadena SK before returning home to Edmonton.

I flew to Chicago on 15 October 2008 to see another Steely Dan show, this time at the legendary Chicago Theatre.  I met up with my friend Jude, who drove down from Madison WI, and we saw the show together.  I thought the Chicago show was even better than the two shows I saw in NYC in June.  The day after the show, Jude and I hung out in Chicago.  After taking a ride on a sailboat on Lake Michigan, we took the light rail transit to visit an old friend of mine, Curtis Ruptash.  In the early 90s, I played in a couple local bands with Curtis.  I enjoyed the whirlwind 48 hour trip to Chicago, and was especially impressed with the light rail service from the airport.  It was a $2 trip into the city from O’Hare.  Having light rail transit to and from a city’s airport is such a no-brainer, it’s astonishing that most other cities do not offer it.

And soon afterwards, summer was over.

Is There Gas In The Car?

Posted in Miscellaneous, NYC, Steely Dan on June 27th 2008 by Randy Reichardt

.: Since returning from Madison, I’ve been on the road two more times. From 14-19 June, I was in Seattle attending another Special Libraries Association Annual Conference. I had a good time, saw many old friends, made a few new ones, and documented for the record, Librarians Gone Wild.

A day after returning from Seattle and washing clother and repacking, I flew to NYC to see two Steely Dan concerts at the Beacon Theatre on Broadway. I arrived at LaGuardia around 17:00 hrs, took the usual two hours to get to The Leo House, and hopped the subway to The Beacon Theatre in time to see the show. Afterwards, I ran into a number of the loyal Danfen who follow proceedings via the Dandom site and discussion lists, most of whom flew in from other parts of NA for the show. A dedicated and motley crew of misfits and ne’er-do-wells, I hung out with them until 01:00 or so, and made my way back to the Leo House. On Saturday, >20 of us met at Blondies’ for a pre-show dinner and Danfest, at which the humble Doc showed us his collection of Dan-related Pennsylvania licence plates:

After the sixth and final Beacon show, we hopped over to The Bitter End for an amazing Steely Dan After-Party, organized by the master himself, Mr Pete Fogel of Razor Boy Music. The entire rhythm section of the SD Band played on one song, which I recorded using my Flip video camera:

After the jam, which featured Jon Herington‘s band followed by Jeff Young‘s band, I was fortunate to finally meet Jon, who has performed live with Steely Dan since 2000, and has appeared on their last two albums, as well as the two recent solo albums by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. I had a nice conversation with him, and was able to tell him how much I admire his playing and how inspirational he is to me as a fellow guitarist and musician.

It was a whirlwind trip. I also had another amazing dinner and visit with my friends, Leo and Diane Dillon. They autographed more of their books for me, and showed me the next two projects on which they have been working. One is called Mama Says, written by Rob D Walker, and the other is called The Night Goblin, written by Mem Fox. I can’t wait to get copies when they are published. It is such a privilege to know both of them, and to be able to see the amazing work they are doing before it hits the bookshelves. I love them both dearly and am incredibly blessed to have them in my life.

Thank you to everyone who has sent along words of love and encouragement regarding my Mother. She will be having surgery on 18 July 2008, and I promise to keep everyone informed on her progress. Right now it’s looking good, and we are feeling positive and upbeat about all of it.

Well, in 15 minutes I turn 55, and it is the moment I am eligible to retire at full pension. All I can say is, “Freedom 55” is a myth, people! 🙂

Yes, there’s gas in the car.

A Steely Summer

Posted in NYC, Seattle, Steely Dan on May 15th 2008 by Randy Reichardt

.: Today was the warmest day of the year so far in Edmonton, and it felt like summer has finally arrived. I have a number of trips upcoming, beginning with one to Madison WI on Sunday, to visit a couple good friends. I’ll first spend some time with Jude, and then another friend, Lenny. I’ve never been to Madison before, but have it on good authority from a friend who studied at U Wisconsin at Madison that it is a great city. I may also take a quick side with Jude to see a band in Milwaukee. And while in Wisconsin, I hope to pick up one of these and bring it home to Canada, where like HBO, the Amazon Kindle, and the iPhone, it is not available for purchase.

Following my return, my parents will be visiting for a few days in early June. I’ll be in Seattle from 14-19 June for my annual library conference. I return to Edmonton on the 19th, and the next day on the 20th, fly to NYC for five days to see one, and perhaps two of the shows on the 2008 Steely Dan tour. I already have a ticket for the show on the 21st at the Beacon Theatre, and will follow that by attending an after-party at The Bitter End, featuring some of the SD Band musicians (Jon Herington, Jeff Young).

I’m planning to do a mini-tour with a local singer, Carrie Hryniw. I’ve played three shows with her already, and we are planning to hook up to play shows in Regina, Brandon and Winnipeg before I drive back to Edmonton afterwards.

Then the Steely Dan summer continues. I fly to Chicago on 15 July to see them perform at The Chicago Theatre, and return on the 17th. My friend in Madison, Jude, will meet me in Chicago to see the show there. Finally, I’ll return to Seattle to see two more SD shows on 30/31 July, when they perform at the Chateau Ste Michelle Winery in Woodinville WA.

Why so many Steely Dan shows? Why spend all that money? Well, first of all, life is short, and Steely Dan wil always be my favorite band of all-time, after The Beatles. So with each year they tour, and this is the third year in a row they have decided to tour, one never knows if it will be their last tour. I’ve seen five shows this decade, in 2000, 2003, 2006, and two shows last year at The Beacon in NYC, and have enjoyed them all. It’s such a treat to see a band perform as good as this one, knowing in advance I wil be familiar with all the tunes.

Since the early 90s, I’ve subscribed to a Steely Dan fandom newsletter, called the Dandom Digest. As a result, I’ve become familiar with and made friends with a number of fellow Dandom subscribers, and met many of them at the previous shows. So when I attend the shows in NYC and Seattle, I will see many of them again, and because I am a known quantity among the Danfen, so to speak, I am assured entrance to the after-party at the Bitter End. Sweet. 🙂

What are your plans for the summer?

NYC Stories, NYC Photos, NYC Music, NYC Theatre…

Posted in NYC, Steely Dan on June 14th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: Monday night was the first of two Steely Dan shows at the Beacon Theatre on Broadway. Great show, met up with a few of the Danfen (local and some who came into NYC for the show), and afterwards hung out with Lisa (who went to the show with me), and a woman named Jude. On Tue, Jude and I hooked up to see Bodies: The Exhibition, well worth the price of admission. I have to admit there were a few, er, items on display that were very difficult to view, but it is an amazing experience.

On Wednesday, I met with Brooklyn photographer Bill Wadman, who is almost halfway through his year-long project, which is to take photos of one person every day of the year, and upload one of them to his website. I applied to participate some weeks ago, after hearing about it from Derryl. He accepted my app, and took photos of me yesterday. The photo he chose to put on his site is here. What do you think?

Afterwards I went to see the play Frost/Nixon, which was and is brilliant. Frank Langella won the Tony Award last Sunday for his amazing performance as Richard Nixon in this play. Michael Sheen, last seen as Tony Blair in The Queen, was also great as David Frost. Later I hooked up again with Jude, and we saw Steely Dan perform one more time at The Beacon. A great day all around.

This … is ONN!

Posted in Library, NYC, Steely Dan, The-Onion on March 26th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

The Onion now has its own television news channel! Imagine – we’ll never have to read again.

Onion News Network Promo

In other goings-on, there are a number of forthcoming trips for which I am slowly preparing. On April 07 I will fly to San Francisco to attend a meeting at this conference. Afterwards I will spend a few days in Victoria to visit friends before returning to Edmonton. In May I will be in Lethbridge for the long weekend, with a day trip to Sunburst MT to attend my friend’s daughter’s high school graduation. On June 02 I’m off to Denver to attend this conference, returning on June 07. On June 09, I’m off to NYC for nine days, this time using a Steely Dan concert on June 11 at The Beacon Theatre as the ostensible excuse for what I think will be my 15th visit to the Big Apple. Beyond this assortment of jaunts, I don’t have any other firm plans for summer vacation at this time.