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Day 203 - Stockholm Show 2

What would be the perfect gift for a music fan that loves 70's rock in it's hey day? Hmmmm, what about, I know! A gingerbread Kiss!

And then he said "Hey, what is the worst thing that can happen?" spoken in a sarcastic tone and "Well, it cant get any worse" tossed out with some sort of authoritive presumption. I find to be statements curiously out of whack as I can't even begin to internally structure and comprehend various forms of the worst thing that really could happen and it can always get worse. I try and never forget it can always get worse, a lot worse no matter how bad it is. That is all beside the point though and nothing even close to the big pile of 'not so good' that turned out actually to be a bit amusing. It is more like Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in Mr. Rabbit's hole while trying to get some honey. Not so good for the Pooh but still still a level of amusement while getting unstuck. Well, that is exactly what came to my mind when I saw this today;

It appears that there was a slight incompatibility involving the height of the truck and the door opening enhanced by the velocity traveled that caused a bit of a venue modification. Fortunately they were able to push Trucky the Pooh back out and in time for our last load out of the run. That truck has a shipping container on it that will hold gear for the boat ride home.

Speaking of home this is it. The last day at our far away home. Say bye bye to hotel home, Bye bye to gig hugger home, bye bye to little micro bus bunk home and hello to sleeping place that has a refrigerator larger than the television. Tomorrow we fly and today we say good bye. Goodbye to the pirate shit and fierce scoundrels of the open gig seas.

As this brings an end to our piratey adventure and a new theme will be discovered as we cross the seas to travel the new world. With that we head back to our final night in our luxurious carriage

Six hours till lobby call and 22 travel hours from then to get home, night night

Dave Rat

Day 197 - Dec 6 - Vienna Show 1

Good morning sunshine! Europe likes to rock the free breakfast included with the hotel and I try and get down there in time whenever I remember and face the morning choice between greasy eggy meaty world and fruity crunchy yogurt world. Strange how once I pattern with one, the conversion is tough to the other though I always feel better when I follow the tree-hugger option.

And I ran back up to my room really quick to find

which made me ponder the fluid malleable nature of religious beliefs. So in my analytical sarcastic way, lets take a gander in that direction. First, we few amongst us have not played that game where all the kids get in a circle and you whisper something in the ear of the next person. Then, by the time that something makes it around the circle it has been embellished and altered to the point where it has little if anything to do with the original words. We know this, we can show this, this is not in question and is readily demonstratable indicating that humans in general tend not to be very good carriers of accurate information. Now have a story pass from ear to ear and hand to pen for thousands of years. What are the odds that it bears much resemblance to the original? What are the odds that over time various entities have injected bits of self serving spin? Hmmm. Just a thought to consider and in a reversal, I have heard that the red jolly Santa we have today was an invention of Coco Cola corporation. Being the curious roadie I am, I decided to take a quick look and found that to be at least debatable and Santa may be a bit more authentic in that his current form was most likely created by a greeting card company. I feel much better now.

And check out this cool place that Santa's people built

I wonder what this piratey looking guy has to say

I enjoy the contrasts in life. They seem to illuminate the betwixt and unbeknownst to me, candidly Scotty took this picture of two humans focused on what currently was of importance to them. Each immersed in separate realities yet separated by just a few feet.

Uh oh, it's getting late, better head over to the rock show. When we have really long bus drives, they bring in a 'double driver' for each bus. That way they can tag team and take turns driving to get us to our next city. Well, I would like you to meet bus 2's double driver and temporary pirate

We call him Nasty B'stard. Why do we call him that you may well ask? Well, not really sure, we just do.

The contemplating changing my name to the sound of pirate saying 'Aaargh,'

Dave Rat

Day 194 - Zurich Show 1

Day 194 - Dec 3 - Zurich Show 1

**** eBay Auction Update ****

Check this article out as it is about the auction winner, George

We have not forgotten about the our eBay auction responsibilities and the advertising will happen at some show yet to be determined on the upcoming Jan/Feb US tour leg. George has opted to send shirts he had specially printed for us to wear and I heard that they are currently sitting in my office at Rat Sound.

**** End eBay Auction Update ****

I forgot to mention yesterday that roadie Leif found this place called , 17 Neumarkt Street that is the coolest interior home design setup we have ever seen. All the floors were metal gratings that hung by chains. The very bottom floor was a swimmable pool and the skylight flooded sunshine throughout. I will dub this recommended stop # 63.

**** Ponderamblings ****

I was 20 years old and I worked at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City where they built the not so flighty Spruce Goose airplane. I was the youngest guy in an engineering department that performed environmental testing on TOW missle systems. It was right at the front end of the Regan era US military expansion fueling the Second Cold War and there were rumors of a draft. I was working mandatory overtime polishing the US war machine and after work, my childhood friend Brian and I could make between $100 and $200 a night for all of our gear and both of us working from the tiny PA company we owned. Faced with losing my job at Hughes for missing work for punk shows or letting the sound company go stagnant, I did what seemed to be the scariest thing in the world but had to be done and quite my job. When I arrived home I still remember the moment when I took off the watch I was wearing and released myself from the clutches of regimented time. My desire was to let time fly by when excitement came my way and bcome entrenched in slow motion time if I was miserable. Bye bye job, bye bye time.

Twenty years later while in Berlin on the By The Way Peppers tour, I bought myself a really nice self winding watch. My aim was not to be attached to time as I am long free of that. My attraction was toward the precision of the small and so finely crafted machine that gains its life from motion. Like a friend or a mechanical pet, dependant yet useful and a weighty arm reminder for me to follow the goals I set and dreams I have. For the first time in my life I understood the allure the fine timepiece and for the first time I realized the diference between being controlled by, or taking control of, time.

So here in the land of the Swiss I decided to reward myself and purchase another watch while also stumbling upon recommended stop # 64 of the Dave Rat Euro tour, Zett Meyer watch shop. Full of very cool people and if you do stop by, look for Pia, Laura or Sandro and tell them you are a friend of the Peppers and you need the 'Special Discount' and tell them hello from me!

**** End Ponderamblings ****

Ahhh, the glorious gig

And an honor and a smile and a memory caputered with The Missing Men, Raul and Tom with me and Mike Watt.

I highly recommend that the curious go check out Mike Watt's web site and if you are super curious then request to get on his cool mailing list.

Here is our piratey picture of the day with honorary roadie Peter joining us. You may remember him as the Big Cheese.

Very often a certain city or region will have a charictaristic soccer chant or some sort of odity that is interesting. Here in this area there is this thing where the crowd raises there arms and go "OooohOooohOooooh" while wiggling their hands. It is really a strange sensation when 12,000 people all do it in unison.

Ok, enough for today,

Dave Rat


Day 193 - 2nd Day Off Zurich

At exactly 10:24 AM Zurich time I turned on a television This is the first time I have voluntarily attempted a TV watching adventure. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive and being that it has been many months since I have been in a room one on one with a lit television, I was uncertain as to whether I was up for the task. At exactly 10:32 AM Zurich time I turned off the television as I had completely and utterly failed in my attempt to gather useful information without being bombarded with aggravation in the form of commercials and mind bending watered down garbage that insults the very concept of thought and thinking. I won't be trying that again and will have to stick to acquiring news from the internet. At least that way I can pick through the garbage bin of world info looking for tidbits of curiosity without being force fed entire meals built from whatever ulterior motive controls that particular story.

Another day off makes two in a row and another day of wandering with curious big eyes to seek out the uniqueness and intricacies of this far away city. What became readily apparent as it so often does is that even though I thought I knew her, there is still more to discover. While enjoying this Swiss Miss named Zurich with her huge bank account, sweet chocolaty ways, gorgeous mountainous Alps and flawless timing we must not forget that she is quite skilled with knives. Where better to seek out a cool pocket knife? "Excuse me miss, I am looking for the ultimate roadie pocket knife, do you have any recommendations?"

"Wow, this look really useful. Compact and convenient too! What all does it do?"

"Hmmm, I think I need something a bit more piratey, thank you."

**** Esoteric Knucklehead Babbling ****

It is probably best to look at the cool pictures and ignore the rest and I am just doing a bit of mind spill here that would normally never see any home beyond my journal which lays dormant now that blog world has devoured it's time.

Everywhere I look in life I see the same patterns repeating. Construction is an inverted accelerated opposite to deterioration. Destruction an inverted accelerated opposite to anything assembled or lacking chaos. Life force is the essence that has the power to unpredictably defy gravity. Gravity applies a predictability to all things except those with life force. As humans we savor the past as much as we slough it off for the future. We embrace the dualities of life and find beauty in both. Balance resonates in every life description from all corners of the earth and all belief systems, Yin and yang, heaven and hell, life and death and old and new and within 30 steps of each other

Completely unrelated but perfectly positioned. Perhaps ever molecule of pollution that one creates the other would save if they were both powered by some middle ground propulsion. Both are beautiful to me, both are creations of much labor in a precise direction and purpose and both are too extreme to be much more than novelty in the life I currently have chosen to lead but I love that they both exist. Oh, have I mentioned that I slowly lose my mind while touring?

**** End Esoteric Knucklehead Babbling ****

Hey everyone, say hello to roadie Amir Butt. Yes that is his name and he is cool beyond description. A unique merchandise roadie that has been working Peppers European tours since 1991.

Now he needs to be a roadie card!!

The sometimes forgetting to pretend to be a normal human being,

Dave Rat

Day 192 - Day off Zurich

**** Mystery Pic ****

It took me a while to figure out what those things were. I saw them everywhere in Europe and rarely in the US. Unlike the US which uses concrete on most sidewalks in major cities, asphalt is more common over here. What I found most intriguing about the kickstand dents is that each on represents a human coming to work or home on a single hot day. You can almost tell how long a person has worked or lived somewhere by the number of dents, how hot the days were and if they they got a new motorcycle or scooter. Also it it seems that each person has a preferred spot to park as specific dent designs tend to cluster. Based on the somewhat isolated location of this particular dent cluster, I would hypothesize that all these dents represent the parking pattern of a single human/motorcycle combination occurring over perhaps a one or two year period.

**** End Mystery Pic # 1 ****

And speaking of pictures, here is a picture I have been meaning to post. As you may know, roadie Nick the Fly is not out with us this tour leg as he had some family business to attend to, nothing bad, all good but he needed to hang with his peeps for some special occasions. So roadie Lee is filling in as FOH sound tech pirate and since roadie Lee is from New Orleans, he has some instinctual pirate skills which he demonstrated with this clever invention

At first glance you may just see a fierce sword yielding pirate but upon deeper analysis you also may notice that attached to the sword is our long range digital thermometer gun. With this useful setup you can see me preparing to act in a pirate-like manner while simultaneously measuring the room temperatures. Several times during each show I take an average temperature reading of the upper level and lower level of the venue and then PIN message the info to roadie Bill. He then instruct the venue humans whether to warm or cool the room. This Swordometer is truly a genius invention by roadie Lee! Maybe we should send a letter to the thermometer company and suggest they add the Swordometer to their offerings.

Oh, and check out the Fresno style watch and cool pirate belt buckle! Both were special gifts from my friends Chris and Daniella. who own the company . What you do not see is the other pirate belt buckle they gave me. I would love to show it to ya as it said "Dead Men Tale No Tales" and it was incredibly piratey, had a zippo lighter behind it and a bottle opener as well. Where is it you ponder? That is the same thing I am pondering. It seems to have escaped the confines of me bag. Arrrgh!

Switzerland is famous for chocolate, Alps, watches and clinging on to what may be the most money in the world in secret Swiss bank accounts. I guess that when you have that much money, it is not uncommon for things to get a bit expensive though logic could justify the opposite. Switzerland has expensive wired which just increases the enjoyment of finding a good deal here. This watch was near irresistible and though they would not let me touch it or photo it, they did let me take a pic of a pic.If all goes well, I hope to stop by and pick up a few of these tomorrow

Now if you do the currency conversion from Swiss Franc to a US dollar it really makes it steal at just around $ 300,000 dollars. Plus, speaking of necessities

So what did we do? Well, "Hey roadies, who wants to go out and drink a bunch of $ 10 beers?" So off to the bar and we get a taste of Swiss humor from the house band

That is some really funny stuff, time piece humor always cracks me up!

The pondering purchasing a watch,

Dave Rat

Day 180 - Nov 19- London Hotel

Hotel Frogger 3rd time staying here this year, like a home away from home. Painless flight and I am quite adept at sleeping on planes. The only real excitement was when the pilot somehow felt that announcing the "we will be landing in twenty minutes" warning about ten minutes before touchdown, was a good idea. That sent all the flight attendants scurrying around really fast muttering things like "forget the headphones, get the passengers seated or we will have to abort the landing." While disgruntled passengers standing in line for the restroom reluctantly got herded back to their seats. Also I had the pleasure of sitting near an especially over zealous flight attendant that kept barking something about shutting off our cell phones while the engines were running, so in the back of my mind I reconstruct the series of events leading up to the 'no cell phone on' rule.


**** Big Important Meeting with Brilliant Airline Decision Makers****

"OK, I have called this meeting to discuss how we are going to deal with the proliferation of cell phones and electronics on airplanes. As you all know, if a cell phone is on, a plane could get lost or fall out of the sky. Also I am sure you are all aware that while taxiing around the runway after landing, cell phones could potentially mess with something but we are not sure what that is. Any ideas on how we can deal with this life threatening issue?

Arm raises

Yes, you in the back...

"How about we use the tried and true method called the Honor System? We could ask people to turn off their cell phones and then try and catch them with them on. That way anyone holding a phone would sometimes get caught and we could be rude to them."

Excellent idea, that will work perfectly, let's make that our policy!

Another arm raises.

Yes, you over there.

"What if a passenger forgets and leaves the phone on in their bag?"

Hmmm, I don't think that will happen, that is a stupid point. Security, can you escort that man out, I think he is planning on smuggling lip balm onto an airplane."

Meeting adjourned.

**** End Big Important Meeting with Brilliant Airline Decision Makers****

During the break, as I always do, I spent some time up at the Rat Shop, lets go take a look

That is Sarah, roadie in training putting up with the grueling day to day of working at Rat headquarters. She started as an intern with us, did the audio equivalent of boot camp by doing Warped tour as a main stage 3rd and most recently was the winner of the Rat Sound Raffle sending her and a pal to Aruba for a holiday. Plus she looks really cool driving the Rat forklift!

**** Ebay Update ****

Also during break, the responsibility of acquiring FOH theme decorations was a major concern. Sadly, finding Tiki items in November proved a challenge beyond the scope of my capabilities. Disheartened and crushed I drug myself up from the depths of apathy and had to think clearly. "If not Tiki, then what? Underwater? Hmmm, the scuba outfits may prove cumbersome. Mexican? Oh, that would be great, we could set up a tequila bar and have pinatas and invite Grier to run a taco stand, maybe get a horse. But horses go poo a lot and we would have to get a mighty big road case made for it. Hmmm. Roadies are kind of like pirates, crusing around the world looking for booty, maybe I could just drop by the local Pirate Store and see what they have. I guess I will give that a shot."

Hmmm, I wonder if this is the right place

"Excuse me, my name is Dave Rat and I want to redecorate Front of House with a Pirate Theme, would you perhaps have any pirate stuff around here for sale?"

And magical people I did meet, I love the pirate store and the piratesses were wonderful. They assisted me in my quest and if you are ever in need of piratey items check out and

Ohhh, I want a cannon!

Maybe for the US leg as I don't have a suitcase big enough to fit that. Instead I will just sing.

Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for me.
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot,
Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We extort, we pilfer, we filch, and sack,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Maraud and embezzle, and even highjack,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We kindle and char, inflame and ignite,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We burn up the city, we're really a fright,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We're rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.
We're beggars and blighters, never-do-well cads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our mommies and dads,
Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.

The sailing off of to distant lands,

Dave Rat