Bubala, Mumi & Max

Monday, July 31, 2006

Dog Days Of Summer

Whew! What a nice, hot summer weekend.

Even though I had to work on Friday and Saturday night, we still managed to squeeze in a good time or two over this past weekend. Saturday afternoon, we just relaxed around the house for most of the day. We did manage to get out to the mall for a couple of hours. I picked up another Augusten Burroughs book entitled "Dry." It is pretty good so far. I've only read the first couple of chapters though. I also got a great deal on a Peanuts comic strip collection, The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954. It was in the bargain bin for only $12.97! I'm really excited about that find. I am a huge Peanuts fan. I didn't know that they had released these collections of the early comic strips. I'm going to have to get them all!

On Sunday, we were invited to a cook-out at our good friends, Tim and Donn's place. We had a swell time meeting lots of new hunky, hairy guys and seeing some old friends as well. We munched out on burgers and hot dogs and some really good cucumber and tomato salad made with fresh vegetables from Tim's garden. Delicious! Thanks guys! I have to admit though that we were a little disappointed that we did not see this guy and his boyfriend at the cook-out since I had heard that they spent some time hanging out with Tim and Donn this weekend. I am still holding out hope, however, that some day we will get to hang out with these boys for more than a few minutes and at some place other than a loud concert.

On Sunday evening, shortly after we got back home from the cook-out, the electricity went out in the whole neighborhood. This has been happening for the past few days now. The power goes out in the early evening and stays out for a few hours. I'm starting to worry that it will become a regular thing. (NOTE: While I was typing this blog entry, the electricity went out for a couple of minutes. Since I had not backed anything up, I lost the first version of this post. This is all a re-creation.) Since our only other option would have been to sit inside a dark house with no TV or Internet, we decided to take a bike ride around the airport. And, even though Mumi had somehow talked me into wearing a pair of white shorts that are almost transparent (even when they are not wet) without any underwear, I still had a great time on the bike ride. About halfway through the trip, I decided that anyone who was rude enough to stare at my crotch or my buttocks for too long deserved to get an eyeful of whatever my translucent shorts wanted to show them. Like I said though, the bike ride was great. Nice, hot and steamy! I love the hot weather, and I love to sweat.

The power still had not come back on when we got back from the bike ride, so I decided to light up a few candles and open the windows and the door to let a little air in. It got hot in the house real quick without any air conditioning, so I figured that it would be a perfect time to get naked, lay down on the couch and do a little reading by candlelight of my new Augusten Burroughs book mentioned above. It was nice actually. A pretty neat way to end a pretty neat weekend.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Must Be A Prerequisite

Mmmmm... Pantera Bread!
I am pretty sure that somewhere on the job application for Panera Bread, there is a question asking you if you are a gay. And, I am also pretty sure that if you answer no to this question then you are immediately disqualified from employment and that your application is shredded and then ceremoniously burned.

Oh well, whatever. Those gays sure do make a great sandwich! And, I'm pretty sure that I get extra turkey on my sandwich for free every time because they think that I am a hottie. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bikers Are So Damn Hot!

Not Hot!
No, no, no! Not that kind of biker!

Here's the kind of bikers that I'm talking about:

I have been hiking a little later in the day than usual. I had been going out in the early afternoon, but for the past few days, it's been more like early evening. This is turning out to be a very good thing since it seems that early evening is when all the hot biker men are out on the trails. There is something about a guy on a bike in the woods that does it for me every time. Watching them pump those pedals with their huge, muscular calves. All that heavy breathing, tires spinning, mud flying. Excuse me for just a moment while I touch myself...

Now biker guys, heed my advice. Shirtless is definitely the best way to do the trail biking thing. That bright yellow and red spandex racing shirt that some of you wear does not make me think that you are a professional biker in the middle of a big race or anything like that. In fact, it looks more like some sort of biker clown outfit to me. All that's missing is the big red nose and the floppy oversized shoes. So, ditch the loud racing shirts. They're just going to get all muddy anyway. Naked, muddy skin is just fine with me. Makes me think of how much fun it would be to hop into the shower with you, soap you up and then we can both get a little dirty while we get cleaned up. (Yeah, I'm touching myself again... so what!)

While we're on the subject of clothes. Whereas spandex biker shorts can certainly be very stimulating to stare at, I much prefer staring at those men who are wearing khaki shorts, cargo shorts or any other cotton shorts. Just a personal preference, I'm sure. It just makes you look more rugged and manly to me.

Speaking of looking at men. It's no big secret guys. I know that you all are checking me out as you roll past me on your bikes. I see you doing it. You're so obvious! So, here's the answer to the question that you are begging with your eyes to be answered. No, I do not wear underwear under my flimsy athletic shorts. Yes, you can see my dingle dangling if you look really close. Feel free to check out my junk all you want. I don't mind at all. In fact, I like it when you look. And, you can be sure that I will be checking out your junk as well. Fair is fair!

I'll Be Watching Out For You
Oh yeah guys, just remember one thing. I'm a grower, not a shower. So, all you size queens out there, don't be too worried. He might be a little a shy at first, but once my little buddy gets to know you a little better, you won't be disappointed. If any of you hot bikers wants proof, let's just step off of the trail and head into the woods for a bit. You'll see.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Dumb Things We Have Done

PiercedBubala and I have been talking a lot lately about sharing some of the dumb things that we did when we were younger either accidentally or because we were just really dumb. I think I will go first. As I look back now, I realize that most of the dumb things that I did as a child were completely calculated in order to defend myself against a frightful, harsh and cruel world that I found myself living in and feeling very alienated in while living there.

Age 3:

Well, we've all heard Mom say don't run with scissors in your hand, but mine forgot to mention to me that I should also refrain from jumping on the couch with a very sharp pencil in my hand. So, I proceeded to do just that and somehow I was able to stick to sharp pointed end of the pencil right through my tongue. All the way through my tongue. Mom freaked out at the sight of a No. 2 piercing my tongue and had to get one of the neighbor moms to remove it before I went to the hospital. Luckily, tongues heal pretty quickly. At age 3, I probably didn't talk very well anyway, so maybe nobody even noticed my newly acquired speech impediment that resulted from my holy tongue. I always thought I had an edge on Jesus Christ though. I mean he only got his hands and feet punctured. Maybe if they had stuck a pencil through his tongue to keep him from talking and prophesizing, things might be very different now. To this day, I have no interest whatsoever in getting my tongue pierced for obvious reasons. Been there, done that, and I did it all by myself.

Age 5:

I started school overseas in the UK. My Dad was an international spy, and we were transferred over there to spy on the Brits because they made better music. This had a profound effect on my tastes (even more so than that pencil did) in terms of art and music and such. So much so that even after spending the rest of my life on the East Coast of the U.S., I think I still identify more with the culture of the UK than with the culture of Texas. Anyway, on to the dumb thing I did... This dumb thing happened when I was in kindergarten. This could have been social suicide had these been the kids I would later spend grades 1-12 with. But, I guess I figured in my five year old head that British kids are so gay-acting anyway, what have I got to lose? You see, we had a playhouse in kindergarten called "The Wendy House." The other kids and I would get into fights over who was going to get to play the family roles in the playhouse. And, no matter how much I argued and pleaded, my kindergarten teacher would never let me be who I wanted to be. So, I took matters into my own hands and had my mother write a note to the teacher saying that she didn't think it was fair that Steven wasn't allowed to be the MOTHER in the Wendy house. After that, once a week I got to put on the apron, rattle the pots and pans, make sure that the kids got off to school in the morning and make sure that the husband got off to work okay. The other kids didn't go for it too much though. They had a lot of problems with the sexual role reversal. I on the other hand knew that I was a pioneer of something. I wasn't sure what, but it still felt good to mix things up and confuse my peers.

Age 10

Okay, we've skipped forward a few years. We came back to The States and like a lot of American boys who grew up in the 70's, I got enrolled in the Cub Scouts. Now, at first, it seemed like a good idea. That is, until I found out that a lot of the guys in the scouts were over achievers who were being forced by their parents and their military families to do all this academic kind of stuff. And, that they didn't know how to think for themselves and they hadn't even discovered Rock and Roll yet. Now, at about this time in my life, I thought that Robert Plant was the coolest person in the whole world. He didn't wear a Cub Scout uniform, and he didn't get his hair cut, something that I made very clear to my parents that I never wanted to do by turning into the exorcist child every time the subject of either would come up.

Every few months or so, all of the Cub Scout packs in the area would gather and have a big meeting and give out awards during a ceremony. Well, this one year, my pack was chosen to do the opening ceremonies. We were all going to gather and march together to the front of the large room. We were in carrying flags, American and Cub Scouts flags, and someone would yell out some commands at us or something. We got together and decided which kid was going to do what and we practiced it a bit. My task was to hold the American flag. You had to hold it some weird way so that the back of your hands faced towards you. It was awkward and difficult. So, on the night of meeting, we get there and the flags that we are using are about twice as heavy as the ones we practiced with and the hand positioning is difficult to get a grip on. So, we start. Some commands are shouted, and we begin to march. We get about half way to the center of a room full of about 50 people. And, then the American flag I'm trying to carry gets all wiggly like it had been drinking or something. I'm fighting to gain control, but I lose my grip and the American flag drops to the floor and I drag the along the floor like it was a janitorial dust mop for a good 10 or 15 feet.

Now, British kids that you don't see anymore will soon forget that you wanted so bad to be the mother in the Wendy house, but U.S. military/cub scout kids who watch you drag their beloved Old Glory across the floor will NEVER let you forget that. I heard over and over again for a long time things like "Now we're going to have to burn the flag because of YOU. You not only let it touch the ground, but you dragged it across the ground for a while too." I'm sure that if something like that would happen nowadays, I would surely be accused of being an Al-Qaeda terrorist to which I would respond by saying yes before detonating myself on my suicide mission to destroy the evil Cub Scouts of America. After all, I've never seen anything in their handbook that says that I could win a badge for having long hair or for looking like Robert Plant, so what good are they?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Oh What A Night

BlowoffBlowoff in the basement last night was a nice, cozy, intimate affair. We had a great time hanging with our pal, the Bowie Cub. He's a real stud and kept getting belly rubs and phone numbers from all of the hot mens.

It was also really great to see a lot of familiar faces from the D.C. blogger gang and some others who are not bloggers, but equally nice anyway. Being summer and all, it didn't take long for the shirts to come off. Lots of fur as far as the eye could see. A hot night in more than one way for sure.

Thanks to our ever-sexy and always friendly hosts for another great Saturday night of fun, fur and fanfare.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hello There Little Fella'

Pray For Me
This friendly little guy was hanging out on our mailbox this afternoon. Cute little guy, isn't he? Just yesterday, I was thinking about how I had not seen a Praying Mantis in a very long time and then today this one shows up.

Hmmmmm, maybe it's a sign that I need to head here and ride this:

Mantis at Cedar Point

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday I'm In Love...

Well, hello there.

You busy this weekend?

If not, let's try to get together and go hiking or boating or something. Or, we could just hang out, get naked and drink a few cold ones. Your choice.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Five Years & Still A Virgin

Max Rips One
Yesterday was my Birthday. I turned 5 years old. I got to go to Petsmart and pick out some new squeaky toys. Then, Mumi wrapped them up and I got to unwrap them. I love unwrapping presents. I didn't get any cake or ice cream though. Oh well, maybe I'll get that tonight...

Max's New Monkey
Any hot chicks out there who want to come over and personally wish me a Happy Birthday, feel free to come on over today. I think the guys are going to be out for the afternoon. Just let yourself in. I'll be in the bedroom... on the bed...

Just leave your collar at the door...


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sun, Fun & A Wet White Bathing Suit

Dorney Park
Yesterday, we continued our Crazy Summer Coaster-thon with a stop at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dorney Park installed a new roller coaster last season called Hydra, The Revenge. Hydra was designed by my favorite coaster designers, Bolliger & Mabillard. It is a decent coaster. It won't ever be my favorite coaster, but it is a nice ride. One pretty cool thing about Hydra is that as soon as the train leaves the loading station, it immediately twists upside down into a corkscrew before it even makes it to the lift hill. Fun stuff!

The day was a real scorcher with temperatures in the upper 90's for most of the afternoon. We spent a lot of time in Wildwater Kingdom, the waterpark section of the park. Wildwater Kingdom is a pretty big waterpark. They have two wave pools and two awesome lazy rivers. The best lazy rivers that we have ever been on, full of waterfalls and waterspouts. The waterpark also has 18 different waterslides and a three story water house with geysers, huge water-dumping buckets and many other great water effects. One problem with the waterpark though is that it is set up like a labyrinth. Lots of paths that lead around in circles, sidewalks that lead to nowhere. It was very difficult for us to find the entrances for some of the slides that we wanted to ride. We still had a great time though.

The best thing in the waterpark yesterday, however, was not a pool or a waterslide. The best thing in the waterpark yesterday was the very attractive, muscular African-American guy who, for whatever reason, thought that it would be a good idea to wear his white mesh shorts with no underwear into the waterpark. As your dirty little minds can only imagine, as soon as the water hit those shorts, it was peep show central for the rest of us. The shorts became virtually transparent. We got some great views of this guy's big cock snaking halfway down his thigh. You could really see it all. Nothing was left to the imagination. Sadly, he only hung out (pun intended) near us for a few seconds. Mumi seems to think that he figured out that we were staring wide-eyed, with mouths gaping right at his dick and he got weirded out and left us in a hurry. I prefer to think that he was really only there to show it off to us in the first place and that he left quickly because he was just a big tease. Either way, he obviously wanted us to look. No doubt.

May The Force Be With Mumi
The later afternoon and early evening hours were spent riding some more coasters. I had forgotten how much I really enjoy one of Dorney Park's coasters called Steel Force. Steel Force is a 200 foot tall steel mega coaster with no inversions. Just a lot of ups and downs and turn arounds. It reaches a top speed of 75 miles per hour during it's three minute 5,600 foot long journey. It is a very fast, but very smooth roller coaster. The trains on Steel Force sit higher up off the tracks than they do on a lot of other coasters so it seems, to me at least, that there is more a sensation of flying on this ride than on a lot of other coasters. I guess the smoothness of the ride adds to the sensation of flying as well. I could ride this coaster over and over again without complaining. It is not a head banger or a brain juggler for sure. It's a great ride.

I'd have to say that the guys at Dorney Park were not as cute as they have been at other parks that we have been to so far this year. So, guy watching was not as much fun yesterday as it usually is. Aside from the waterpark thrill mentioned above, it was a pretty ho-hum day as far as guy watching was concerned. In fact, Mumi actually seemed to be attracting all of the women, not the men. Teenaged girls, actually. They were all over him like bumblebees on a fresh flower. It was the strangest thing, really. I mean, I think that we are so obviously a gay couple when we go to these parks. We walk everywhere together standing just a little bit too close. We both have the same rings on our left ring fingers. We feed each other cotton candy. (Dorney Park only charges 25¢ for cotton candy!) We gaze lovingly into each others' eyes. How come these stupid teenage chicks can't put two and two together? Why do they have to make lovey-dovey-google-eyes at my man while we are sitting down trying to enjoy our over-priced amusement park dinner? Geez! (Jealous? Who me?)

Rainy Day BubalaAnyway, some time around 7:00 pm, just after we had squeezed in one more ride on Hydra, it started to rain. The thunder and the lightning came shortly after that. So, just about all of the rides closed down. Since I had just changed into my own white mesh shorts with no underwear shortly before the rain started, we headed out to the truck to get an umbrella. I knew that I would not look anywhere near as hot as our friend from the waterpark, so I felt it was everyone's best interest for my white mesh shorts to stay dry. We thought that we could wait out the storm while doing a little shopping. And then, after the storm passed, we could possibly ride a couple of more rides before we left. But, the rain was there to stay. We did do a little shopping and we had some delicious ice cream before we decided that we had enough fun for one day. At about 9:00 pm, after a happy little spin on the Merry Go Round, (the only ride still open in the whole park) we headed out the front gates to the truck and started the drive back home.

Of course, as is the norm on all of our trips back home from amusement parks, we managed to keep ourselves and each other entertained by thinking about, among other things, wet, white bathing suits...

Anyone wanna go for a swim?
(Ha! I wish, but sadly, no, this is not me!)

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Perfect Moment

This weekend, I had a perfect moment. Mumi talked about perfect moments some other time in another blog in the past. I'm sure that I probably have had other perfect moments at other times in my life, but since I did not know how to recognize them or what to call them before, I guess I don't remember them.

My perfect moment this weekend came while we were boating on the Loch Raven Reservoir. We rented our boat and set out on our journey. We kept on going out past where most of the other boaters go. Finally, we got out of sight of everyone else on the reservoir. Of course, as soon as we were safely out of sight of everyone else, the first thing I wanted to do was get naked, so I did. Off came the shorts. I laid down across the boat just taking it all in and feeling the breeze on my naked flesh.

Then, the clouds rolled in. It started to rain. Even though the temperature outside must have been in the low 90's, the rain was very cold on my skin. It started to rain harder and heavier. Instead of feeling mad or worried about the rain though, I was exhilarated. It felt so wonderful. I laid back and closed my eyes and the let rain fall all over me. It was beautiful. The rain only lasted for about 10 minutes, and I have to admit that I was a little sad when it ended. It was a perfect ten minutes. I certainly wouldn't have minded just ten more minutes of rain.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk

Milk, it does a body good.
I was really in the mood for pancakes today. So, we headed out this morning for a late breakfast at the Honey Bee Diner in good 'ol Glen Burnie. The Honey Bee is a great place for a quick reasonably priced greasy diner meal. Plus, it is gay owned, so we try to eat there often to "support the community."

We got into the diner, picked a seat and the waitress greeted us shortly thereafter and took our orders. I requested my usual breakfast order, a short stack of pancakes, white toast and a chocolate milk. I like to wash the pancakes down with a cold glass of chocolate milk, so I always ask for the milk to be brought out with the pancakes. Mumi ordered a side of ham and a side of home fries. The diner was not as crowded today as it could have been, so our food was ready pretty quickly. And, just like I requested, the waitress waited until the food was ready before she brought my milk out.

And this is where the story turns ugly...

I saw the waitress approaching with my glass of chocolate milk. It was a tall, frosty delicious glass of chocolate milk. I could almost feel it's cold and creamy, chocolatey goodness sliding down the back of my throat. I was so sure that it was going to be one of the best glasses of chocolate milk that I had ever had. I can't even remember the last time that I had gotten so excited over a glass of chocolate milk. The waitress got to our table and went to set the glass down on the table.

And, that's when it happened.

The next few seconds actually occurred in slow motion. The waitress started to set the glass of milk down on table in front of me. She let go of the glass just a split second before it was actually touching the table. The glass started to tip. Milk started to swirl around the rim of the glass getting closer and closer to the edge of the glass. The glass became unsteady from the motion of the gushing milk and started to tip. More milk spilled out over the top of the glass. The force of gravity became too strong for the meager little glass of milk to fight. It toppled over as I screamed "Nooooooooooooooooooooo!" inside my head.(Remember, all of this happened in slow motion, so the scream was probably about 8 seconds long or so.) But, it was too late. The glass tipped all of the way over, spilling it's contents all over the Formica tabletop.

It is truly amazing how much milk is actually in a small tumbler. The tidal wave of chocolate moo juice spread very quickly over the tabletop, and when the table surface could no longer contain the rushing ocean of mammary fluids, it proceeded to spill over the edge of the table and right into my lap. Gallons and gallons of cold chocolate milk suddenly poured onto my crotch splashing all over my shorts and my shirt. I guess I picked the wrong day to wear white, huh?


The waitress got a look on her face like she was either going to cry or laugh or possibly laugh so hard that she would cry, I couldn't tell which. Of course, me being the nice guy that I am, I immediately told the waitress not to worry about it. It was no big deal. Here I am sitting in a puddle of two-percent chocolate titty water looking like I might have just had the absolute worst case of explosive diarrhea ever and I say it's no big deal.

The waitress apologized profusely, got me napkins and a wet towel and helped clean up the mess the best that she could. One of the cute gay owners came over and apologized also. He asked me if I needed more towels, more chocolate milk or a clean pair of shorts. And, even though for a split second, I imagined how much fun it would have been to go into the back office and swap shorts with him, I politely declined his offers. He let us know that we would not have to pay for our meal today. That was nice. If I had known how the events of the day were going to turn out, I certainly would have ordered something much more expensive though!

Only a few minutes later, still sitting there a little wet with big brown stains all over my white shorts, I started to laugh. This is funny stuff I thought to myself. I could get angry. I could be a real bitch about it, but what good would that do? Instead, I thought about how funny the situation actually was. I mean, if it had happened to the people sitting next to me, I am sure that I would be biting my tongue to keep from laughing, so why not laugh at myself. And, you know what? It felt really good. Laughing at myself, that is.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My New Favorite Wood

Don't worry Mumi. I'm not off worshipping some other hot guy's cock. The wood that I refer to in the title of this blog entry is the wood that was used to build my new favorite roller coaster, El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.

We took the day off on Tuesday and headed to Great Adventure. I was actually really looking forward to riding another relatively new coaster at the park called Kingda Ka. Installed last season, Kingda Ka is a launch coaster that shoots you off from zero to 128 miles per hour in a couple of seconds. Then you go straight up, over and then spiral back down a 456 foot tall top-hat element. Then you go up and down a smaller 129 foot tall hill and then turn back around into the station. Doesn't sound all that thrilling, I know. But, at 456 feet tall and 128 miles per hour, this would be the tallest and fastest ride that I had ever been on, so I was excited about it.

Kingda KaWe got to the park at about 10:00 am just as the rides were opening for the day. First stop once were inside the park was at the Flash Pass building to get our Q-Bot. For those of you not nerdy enough to know what a Q-Bot is, it is a little pager like device that you carry around with you all day. You scan it at the entrance to a ride and it gives you a reservation time to come back and get right on the ride without waiting in the line. We opted for the more expensive, but in my opinion totally worth it, gold service for our Q-Bot. The gold service promised to cut our wait times by up to 75%. I think it did even better than that though. Throughout most of the day, every time we scanned our Q-Bot at a ride, our reservation was immediate and we would just get right on the ride without waiting at all. Those poor suckers in line had to wait up to two and a half hours while we just strolled right onto rides in seconds.

We decided (well, more like I decided. Mumi was not too thilled about it!) to head straight over to Kingda Ka for our first ride of the day. We scanned our Q-Bot and got an immediate ride reservation and waltzed right up to the front of the line and got ready to ride. We boarded the train, headed out of the station and seconds later, we were zooming 128 miles per hour and 456 feet up in the air at 10:30 in the morning. What a great way to start the day. I liked the coaster despite the fact that it is a one-trick pony. It was quite an intense feeling with the speed and the height. Oh yeah, Mumi kept his eyes closed for the whole ride. Him and great heights do not get along all that well.

It turns out that our decision to ride Kingda Ka first thing in the morning was a wise decision. We would never get another chance to ride it for the whole rest of the day. Even after a year of operation, the ride still has problems to be worked out. It was up and down for most of the day. We tried to ride it once more later in the afternoon, but just as we were next in line to board a train, there was a rollback. For those of you not nerdy enough to know what a rollback is, it is when the train does not get up enough speed to make it all of the way over the first hill. So, it just rolls back down the hill and stops on the launch area. I have to admit that I was very disappointed that we were not on the train that rolled back. It is every coaster nerds dream to be on a train that rolls back! Anyhow, the ride never opened again for the rest of the day after the rollback, so we were glad that we had gotten our ride in early.

NitroWe spent the afternoon riding more coasters including one that we both really like a lot called Nitro. Nitro is a huge steel coaster. It is 230 feet tall and goes 80 miles per hour. It is a smooth ride with no inversions, so it doesn't leave me feeling all dizzy at the end. There is a helix at the end of the ride with some serious G-forces that cause me to grey out. For those of you not nerdy enough to know what a grey out is, it is a temporary loss of vision characterized by a perceived dimming of light accompanied by a brown hue and a loss of peripheral vision. It is a precursor to fainting or a blackout and is caused by hypoxia, a loss of blood pressure or restriction of blood flow to the brain. I don't like grey outs very much.

Now, on to my new favorite wood....

El ToroEl Toro was closed for the first part of the day. I was worried that it would not open at all. I had read on one of my roller coaster nerd groups that the ride was having problems. (What?!? An Intamin roller coaster having problems? You don't say? Hey, wasn't Kingda Ka built by Intamin also? Why yes, I believe it was!) In the early afternoon, however, I noticed that a train was running on El Toro's tracks! We went over to the ride and scanned our Q-Bot only to be told by our sassy little Q-Bot that the ride was shut down. Well, if it's shut down, then why are they letting people into the line I asked my sassy little Q-Bot. It didn't have an answer to that one. So, I scanned the Q-Bot again and we got a reservation to ride about ten minutes later!

I hadn't read too much about El Toro, so I didn't know what to expect. I don't normally like wooden coasters all that much since they are usually a lot rougher on the neck and spine than the smoother steel coasters that I like so much. But, this ride was different. It was so smooth and fast! The first drop is 176 feet at a 76 degree angle. That is steep! The ride reaches a top speed of 70 miles per hour. It's 4,400 feet of mountainous track includes records for second tallest, fastest and longest drop of all wooden coasters in America and features the world's steepest drop on a wooden roller coaster. It is a fantastic ride with lots of banks and great air time. The ride just doesn't let up from start to finish. I loved it. It is now my favorite wooden roller coaster and possibly my favorite coaster overall. We rode El Toro one more time during the day. It was also up and down for a lot of the day, so we felt lucky to get two rides in.

Speaking of wood, we spent a big part of the day guy-watching which is always a fun thing to do at amusement parks. There were plenty of hot guys to ogle. Mumi even managed to get cruised at a urinal by a hispanic guy. We went into a bathroom and this guy is in there washing his hands. We both step up to the urinals, whip out our dicks and start pissing. So, this guy turns around from the sink real fast, steps up to the urinal next to Mumi, pretends to be peeing and just stares at Mumi's cock. He was very obvious about it too. He wasn't just trying to sneak a peek like I do sometimes. He was staring right at it wide-eyed the whole time and then he looked up at Mumi's face and just smiled. Those wacky hispanic boys!

Soon, day turned to night and after a few night time coaster rides, we headed out of the park and started our trip home. It had been a fantastic day. We both had a really great time, but boy were we tired! I was not looking forward to the long drive home. Let's just say that we're pretty creative guys and that we managed to find a way to help each other stay awake during the trip home. Speaking of wood...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Syd BarrettOne of the most legendary figures of the English psychedelic movement has left us. Syd Barrett, founding front man for Pink Floyd has died in Cambridge, England at the age of 60. Though he only fronted the band for a short period of time from it’s formation through it’s first record release, the immortal 1967 classic "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn," he will be remembered for the great contributions that he made to Psychedelia. Songs like "Arnold Layne" about a guy whose hobby was to steal the clothes off of people’s washing lines are so immortal. The original Pink Floyd was one of the bands to play at the "14 hour Technicolor Dream," a music and cultural event in London that was attended by a who’s who of 60’s British rock and roll. That’s where Yoko Ono had people come up and cut off pieces of her clothes as a performance art piece. Paul McCartney praised Pink Floyd as the future of rock music as they recorded their first album.

Sadly, Syd became a HUGE acid head right when the band started to make it big, and he became too mental to work with. The band would be playing a show and Syd would just stand there playing one chord while staring off into space. He was quickly replaced by band friend, David Gilmour and the rest is history as they say. I’ve even heard stories about some of Syd’s acid friends. Not the Pink Floyd guys who were serious about their band and making it big, but other acid users that Syd hung out with. They would dose him up and lock him in a trunk for hours on end.

Syd Barrett did release a few solo albums, but they didn’t really go anywhere and it’s kind of clear if you listen to them the light had already or was fading. The guy really lost it. Not like Jimi Hendrix who just died young, and it was such a waste. Not really like Jerry Garcia who we all got to see get older and slowly waste away. Syd was more a combination of the two. He lost it very early on and when he showed up at the studio in 1975 to visit his old bandmates, they were all so shocked at how far gone their old friend had become and how fast it had happened. They didn’t even recognize him. Somebody had to tell them that this was Syd. That once handsome young lad now just had black orbs for eyes and had deteriorated quite a bit in the body department and he was more like a walking vegetable than a person hence the title of the album that Pink Floyd were working on at the time, "Wish You Were Here." The record is pretty much about him, and as I listen to it now that he has passed, it has become even more eerie.

Barrett was also one of the biggest rock and roll recluses shying away from everyone and everything for the past 30 plus years even though he started one of the most timeless rock and roll bands around. Just flip on any classic rock station and it won’t take long before a Pink Floyd song comes on. Unfortunately, they don’t usually play the songs that Syd wrote with them.

Recommended Listening:

Pink Floyd

Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Wish You Were Here
London 66/67 (DVD) This is footage of the 14 Hr Technocolour Dream set to Pink Floyd music.

Syd Barrett

The Madcap Laughs
Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett Story (DVD)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

There Is A Fungus Among Us

Gus is a lot of fun!
While hiking yesterday, I came across this huge fungus growing on the ground. It must have been almost two feet wide and at least 12 inches tall. I photographed my foot next to the fungus so that you can get an idea of how big it really was. Keep in mind that I wear a size 12 shoe. (And, before you ask, yes it is true what they say...)

For some reason, this fungus really fascinated me. I spent quite a bit of time looking at it and photographing it from all different angles. I felt very fortunate to have spotted the fungus and for the chance to spend some quality time with it before it went away to wherever it is that funguses disappear to.

I'm really weird.

Where is Mario when you need him?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Oh Yeah, I Am A Big Nerd Too!

Don't go thinking that Mumi is the only nerd in this family just because he hangs out at nerdy rock and roll weekend concert festivals in his spare time. You see, I too am a big old nerd. My nerd ritual of choice, however, is riding roller coasters. I love roller coasters and amusement parks. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was this past Tuesday, July 4th, when we headed down South to Paramount's Kings Dominion.

Kings Dominion

We got to the park at around 11:30am. You know how the gays like to be fashionably late. We headed over to the park's newest roller coaster, Italian Job Turbo Coaster. There was hardly any line, so we got on. I didn't realize it at the time, but Italian Job Turbo Coaster would be the 100th different steel roller coaster that I have ridden in my lifetime. Oh yeah, I keep track of that stuff. See, I told you that I was a big 'ol nerd.

Nerd Boy!

It was a very hot day. Temps were in the mid to upper 90's with dangerous heat index warnings from the National Weather Service all day. We spent quite a bit of time in the waterpark, but even that got to be too much at times, so we would have to run into air conditioned shops or restaurants or head back to the parking lot and sit in the truck naked with the air conditioning on full blast to cool down. Fortunately, we lucked out though and it did not rain at all!

The heat did not get in the way of a great time! We managed to get on plenty of rides. We rode most of the coasters in the park. Unfortunately, Volcano was not operational all day due to a braking malfunction on a previous day. Also, my favorite coaster at the park, Flight Of Fear has not been open at all this season. It is rumored that they are sending the ride to Paramount Canada's Wonderland. That would suck! Stupid Canadians!

Another ride that I really got a kick out of was the Drop Zone Stunt Tower. I love drop rides and this is the tallest one that I have ever been on. It has a 272 foot drop and you experience four seconds of weightlessness on your 72 mile per hour drop straight down. Quite thrilling if you ask me. Mumi won't get on the drop rides with me though, so I had to do this one all alone.

Mumi Says No Way!

We spent a big part of the day guy-watching. There are always plenty of hot guys at amusement parks. I always leave the park so much hornier than when I got there. (Hmmmm, maybe that is why I like amusement parks so much.) Like Mumi said, it was great to be at the park on a day that was so hot. The heat made a lot of the guys want to take their shirts off. And, since it was so humid, we were all sweating a lot, so there was a lot of crotch grabbing going on. You know, trying to readjust the goods and what not. It can get sweaty and sticky down there. Just a hot day all around in more than one way if you know what I mean!

We finished off a fantastic day of fun with a pretty impressive fireworks display put on by the park. The show started at about 10:00pm and lasted for at least 20 minutes. It was a steady stream of pyrotechnics, not one firework every 30 seconds like I have seen at some shows. They must have shot off hundreds of fireworks. Lots of pretty colors. Seeing the fireworks bursting off up over the roller coasters was a pretty special thing for me. It was a beautiful ending to a most wonderful day.

Next week's trip is going to be to Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. That should be a good time. I am looking forward to riding the world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka. At 456 feet tall, it should be quite a thrill! Wanna come along?

Monday, July 03, 2006


NERDFestSo, about a week or so ago, we made our way up north to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to the Northeast Art Rock Festival, aka NEARFest. The festival is in it's 8th year of bringing world renowned progressive rock* bands to the United States. The festival invites people from around the world to converge and celebrate their appreciation of this obscure kind of music. Every year, the weekend concert event sells out within about an hour after tickets go on sale. The event is held at The Zoellner Arts Center on the Leighigh University College campus. The place has about 2,000 seats. Yes, seats! This is not your ordinary rock and roll festival. There is no mosh pit. There are no kiddies crowd surfing. Instead, the crowd sits and stays (for the most part) very attentive to what the performers are trying to convey on stage with their music. It is a place where you can just let the art flow all over you. Progressive rock has never been a very popular kind of music in the USA due to it's tendancy to be made up of long, sometimes complicated musical pieces As a result, it requires a little more of an appreciation than your average music listener who just wants to bop and sing along. This is music for the head.

We arrived in Bethlehem early Friday evening, June 23rd, and checked into our hotel and met up with our friends Jon and Linda who we met at previous Porcupine Tree shows. We had a quick dinner and then we were off to the concert hall. Yeah, it was only Friday, but they had a progressive rock showcase concert to get everyone warmed up for the weekend and to get folks familiar with the venue. The concerts are in the hall, but in the lobby area there are a few adjacent rooms that are filled with prog rock CD vendors selling what we love best. Music. Because prog is much more popular in Europe, it is often hard to find a lot of the music that you are looking to listen to in the U.S. So, there were CD's, DVDs and vinyl of all of the most obscure prog bands, old and new, from all over the world. If you couldn't squeeze your ways through all the prog nerds* frothing at the mouth as they looked at all of the CD's, then you could stroll over and renew your subscription to Progression Magazine Or, you could make make your way down to the NEARFest room and get a T-shirt and a program or one of their own NEARFest CD's recorded at NEARFests past.

But, now it's time for the show...

First up on Friday night was "The Tony Levin Band." This is the third time that we've seen them on the "Resonator" tour. The show was pretty similar to my previous blog about them. They were a great way to kick off the festival and of course NEARFest draws a big Crimson/Gabriel crowd.

Next up on Friday night was "Hatfield & The North." This band has been around for 36 years and this was their very first show ever in U.S. They have all played here in other bands before, but this was the first time they played together as Hatfield & the North. Even though there were vocals the music was a little too on the jazzy side for my tastes and the guitarist noodled a bit too much. It had been a long day with traveling and all, so we took off before the encore and went back to the hotel with it's king size bed and no bed hog of a dog. We slept well!

The next day, the music started at 11 AM. We got there a little earlier to try to squeeze in between the prog nerds at the CD vendors' tables and maybe pick up a few things for my summer listening. You know that is what this is all about, opening yourself up to new music. But, wait. There is no time to shop. The first band is coming on. KBB is an instrumental Japanese quartet. A bassist, drummer, keyboardist and violinist that played some pretty impressive symphonic music. The violinist and keyboardist also played amazingly together. They didn't speak much English, but that didn't seem to matter. They still impressed the crowd. The next band on stage was Riverside, a polish quartet of brilliant musicians. This was one of the bands I was really looking forward to seeing, another first-time performance in the US. They did not disappoint. They rocked, pulling songs from their two albums. Bubala and I even though that they were kind of cute, especially the guitarist. After each peformance at NEARFest, the band does a meet and greet for whoever wants to stand in line and get their stuff signed and chat with the band for a few minutes. I got the Riverside guys to sign my CD's, and I picked up a few of their harder to find EPs.

The next artist to grace the NEARFest stage was Richard Leo Johnson, an American guitarist who has a unique technique to playing. I've seen him before in Baltimore at a place called Orion studios where they sometimes have small prog rock shows. He played some great slide guitar and told some funny stories too. After the show, I went into another vendor room. This one was shared by prog rock album cover artists Roger Dean, who painted all those classic Yes album covers in the 70's and also creates a new NEARFest logo each year for the festival, and Mark Wilkinson who painted all those Marillion and Fish album covers in the 80's and 90's. Each had prints for sale and were there to talk and sign stuff. I bought a print fro Mark and had them both sign my NEARFest program.

FMThe Next act up onstage was FM from Canada. This is really why I went to NEARFest this year. I saw FM open up for RUSH 25 years ago and when I heard that they were getting back together after several years I was overjoyed and decided that we must go and see them. They have a fine new mandolin player/violinist. There is no guitarist. The last guitarist they had, Ben Mink, went on to co-write most of KD Lang's songs. All but one of FM's albums, 1978's "Black Noise" are out of print. They were never released on CD, but when we were talking to the band after the show, they said that everything has been remastered for CD release and that they'll all be available soon after the NEARFest gig. The performace was just one of those shows where your heart is in your throat and you are fighting back tears because, for me at least, I've listened to those records since I was a kid and to see the band play live again was a quarter century coming full circle.

The dinner break on Saturday was spent getting FM signatures. There was a lot of their vinyl floating around the room. Then, we went and bought a few more CD's. One of the vendors had jumped street date for the new White Willow who played NEARFest in 2001. Their newest album, "Signal To Noise," which technically comes out on September 26th is fantastic. I also picked up the new one from the UK's Ozric Tentacles called "The Floor's Too Far Away." It comes out on July 18th. The band didn't even have copies to sell on their US tour, but some of the dealers in the vendor rooms had it. And, it's a good one to start with if you haven't heard them before. They closed day one (or was that two?) of the festival. They are the kings of space rock. A whooshing and pulsating swoosh of tranquility complete with acidmindwarp guitar solos and lots of bubbles. They also run these trippy visuals behind them and the image of them playing while multicolored waves crashed above them is painted in my memory. They are also kind of freaky in that "we live the drug culture" kind of way. We should have brought them a gift of some deodorant though! And so closes Saturday evening of NEARFest 2006.

By Sunday we both started asking ourselves a question. Is it just us, or are there a whole lot of gay people around here. We got cruised some, but that wasn't really the thing that had our gaydar going. These are more the type of guys that took band in high school instead of gym. The guys that got called fag a lot in school but weren't really gay. (That's gotta suck!) Well, at NEARFest, there were plenty of guys that we just had to wonder about. Like guys wearing bright red T-shirts that said "Fat Hobbit" on them. On the bright side though, some of those French Canadians are fucking hot and the fact that they like prog rock just gets my dick hard. But not now, because our early morning wake up call came in the form of the English band Guapo who played a dark pensive atmospheric form of music. I was VERY impressed. These were pretty young guys, all in their 20's and their music was so complicated and cinematic. I bought two of their CD's, "Five Suns" and "Black Oni." If you can picture the apocolypse set to music, that is what they sound like, it's definitely difficult listening, but I liked it.

Sunday's next performer was Michael Manring, solo bassist who has this unusual bass that he could detune and bend the notes as he played. He said he liked to give his songs real intelligent sounding titles because chicks digged that. Everyone laughed at that because here he was playing at a prog rock festival where the audience is about 95% men. Yes, the girls don't dig prog rock too much. It's a very white male kind of music. The next band on stage was Ange from France. This is another band that has been around for a while, a good 30 plus years. Their lead singer is probably in his 60's and looks like the guy in Fiddler On The Roof. The show was very theatrical with props like a big dog bone, a leash, a pacifier and a female singer who sprinkled glitter and waved her arms around a lot. Of course, all the singing was in French but given that over half the NEARFest bands this year are instrumental, it was a nice change. They put on one of the more entertaining shows of the festival.

A few more laps around the CD tables and man I'm kind of getting sick of the prog nerds.

The guys from Riverside found some empty seats by us and were watching the shows from there. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to the next band, Niacin from the U.S. Now, Dennis Chambers is a great drummer and he was great to watch, but I really hate the bass playing of Billy Sheehan. The David Lee Roth band and Mr. Big are hardly prog rock credentials. So, even though the music was loud, I found it boring and actually closed my eyes and drifted off thinking this wouldn't be too bad, if the music didn't suck so much. We bolted before the encore. Then, it was time to find some dinner before Sunday's main act. So, we went to a nearby resturaunt that was understaffed not knowing they would shortly be packed with weekend concert goers. We were afraid that we might not make it back in time for Sunday's main show, but we did.

The doors to the hall were kept shut for a little longer than usual while Keith Emerson did his sound check. He was schedule to start at 8:30 PM, bu he finally went onstage at 9:15 PM. He played and told some stories. We thought that he was kind of pompous like he was the E in ELP. Oh yeah, I guess he was. Anyway, like the song says, "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends" at 11:45 PM, Keith was still playing and Bubala and I still had a long 3 hour drive back home in the dark and the rain, so we said goodbye to our friend Jon who was waiting in line to get Keith Emerson autographs for Linda and we took off for home bringing with us a bunch of new music to listen to this summer, some fresh inspiration and a bunch of memories.

*Progressive Rock or Prog Rock - A style of rock music that grew out of the late 60's Psychedlic movement. It's birth was in the UK and Europe. It's reaction to psychedelic music was to take it in even further directions using virtuoistic playing skills and fusing classical, jazz, folk, blues, and avant guarde influences with rock to create long pieces of often very self indulgent music with sometimes rather obscure lyrical content rather than hit singles for mass consumption. The progressive movement also coincided with Germany's Kraut rock movement. Both untilized new technologies in their art and in their pursuit to create sounds that no one had made before. Progressive rock went underground for the most part in the middle 70's when punk rock decided that you really didn't need to play that well to be entertaining.

A few bands from the original era: King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, ELP, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Vander Graff Generator, Gong, Caravan, Focus, Gentle Giant

*Prog Nerd - A 30-50 something year old guy that spends most of his time consumed with progressive rock exploring the vast array of stylings from various artists from around the world all the while alienating himself from the reality that surrounds him. He does not know that there is more to life than buying CD's and records and going to concerts. He usually has little to no social skills, even less personal hygeine, and he has never had a girlfriend or a boyfriend He still lives in his parent's basement. Aside from that, some of them can be really nice people if you ever happen to get into a conversation with them about which King Crimson line up was the best.