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Day 79 - To Portland I fly

I awoke sleeping next to my laptop and while cell phone was getting all excited about it's morning alarm sound, and a good morning to all the wires and lights. Attempting to check my email before having coffee I found my eyes were not quite ready yet for that adventure. What they could see though was "Terror Plot Thwarted!" humans captured and a picture of lots of people hanging out at an airport.

Hmmmm, maybe this is good news. I do like people and maybe some of them will be hanging out at the airport that I am heading to. I begin to think of all the new friends I could make. I also begin to think about how I may need to allot some extra 'friend meeting time' into my pre-plane-flight-day and start to wish I had finished packing my bags yesterday.

I did some reading and found that it may not be the best plan to carry liquids on the airplane today, I also read that they were banning laptops, cell phones, car alarm key chain things and iPod's. The liquids I can deal with but all that other stuff brings thoughts of horror to be separated from all those roadie necessities. Anxiety sets in, while I remind myself that it is only a two hour flight.

**** Highlight of the Day ****

Just a minute or so after the taxi picks me up, my phone rings. It's my neighbor Judy. She has lived in the house next door since she was a young girl, takes walks every morning with her sister and is just amazing. Well, she knew I was leaving today and was waiting for me to head out but was not fast enough to catch me before I zoomed off. She called to be sure I knew about all the plane traumas. It just made me so happy that she was looking out for me. Judy is cool!

**** End Highlight of the Day ****

Turned out that the liquid ban was real, the laptop/cell ban was not, at least where I was flying from. Must have been a guy writing those rules because I can bring a laptop with wireless remote capabilities powered by batteries that can explode and emit toxic gas if you mess with them on the plane while the women are denied their strawberry glitter lip gloss. Let us take a moment of silence in remembrance of the thousands and thousands of cosmetics that will pass away today and be forever separated from their female companions. Tears were shed but safety first.

Earlier when I was checking in my bags, the airline lady says to me "Do you have any liquids, toothpaste, water, liquid medications without a prescription or and thing in a gelatinous state in your carry on luggage?, these will need to be checked and will not be permitted in your carry on bags." I tell her that I have already put that stuff in my checked bags and then I asked her "What about all the other stuff that used to be bad like stuff given to me by a stranger, packing my own bags and firearms, are they ok now?" She laughed and and told me that they just assume we already know that. Hmmmm.

Personally, I think I prefer the old way and I fear not the lip gloss itself, it is only when it goes on the lips of the wearer that it becomes potentially dangerous, but I am pretty sure airplanes are immune to that type of danger.

All in all, travel restrictions and issues tend to be less than optimum for the touring industry, lets hope the powers that be can keep their heads on straight and not make any irrational decisions. Hee hee hee .... no lip gloss!

Helloooooo Portland!

Oh, and since I hate to deny you at least one photo, here is another blast from the past.

This was taken on Black Flag's Slip It In tour 1984 and is the opening band, St. Vidas setting up their gear. Take special note of the sound system to room ratio. If you are curious about a bit more on that old school Rat PA gear, take a look here:

The often puzzled

Dave Rat


Day 76 to 78, Fly Home and 3 days off!

Aug 7- 9

I have now reached the point where being home is the perfect harmonious blend of the appreciation of relaxation mixed with scrambling to maintain some form of structure in my seemingly collapsing life. The AC unit now leaks water in the house, black widow spiders are only outnumbered by the crickets in my back yard and anything resembling plant life has taken on a brownish tinge. Tour life on the other hand has become fluid and fairly effortless, all I need to do is make sure I pack all the right stuff and get out the door in time to catch the plane and I will be home free, literally, for the next three weeks.

This trip I am going to go once again with a three bag system consisting of a backpack/carry on, a small roller and a large roller with handles forming the push me-pull you method of self relocation. I remain convinced that it is the most efficient method for a human to interface with the planes, trains and automobiles. Packing for a solid 12 days so I should be able to do just a single mid tour laundry day barring any unforeseen mishaps. I have also added a collapsible fishing pole, a skateboard and drastically altered the pants to shorts ratio, gambling on warm weather, smooth floors and inhabited bodies of water in the near vicinity of wherever I end up being.

Oh, in a sudden and unexpected rush of generosity I donated the charger and battery belonging to my small camera to the hotel in Japan. Though I am sure I must have had a good reason for doing so at the time, I am beginning to question the sensibility of the choice. Anyway, it turns out that my little camera worked much better when the battery was less than 6000 miles away and hence you may have noticed and I apologize that my picture taking ability has been somewhat curtailed.

So that visual boredom does not set in and hopefully you will find this as amusing I find it embarrassing, here is a picture of me when I was 19 years old sitting on the first PA system that Brian and I built. Of special note is, of course, the very cool vintage Rat shirt with my name on it.

The often forgetful

Dave Rat