Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: August 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


It's just a great word. I am going to attempt to use this word at least once a day for the next week. I suggest you try the same.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Making Cookies on Saturday Night

Andi and I were going to make some of her famous recipe cookies for our church ice cream social on Sunday night. (ice cream social and you're making cookies? oh well.) After cleaning out the local grocery store on supplies, we headed to the house to start our journey. I quickly discovered I had no idea what I was doing, so I decided to do some ironing while she made the cookies. (another activity that I am clueless on).

Things seemed to be going pretty well until she asked me, "Do you smell something burning?" Now, that is just simply a question that you never want to hear. There is never really a good reply to that question. Unfortunately, I did smell something, so we opened the oven door. Big mistake. In a matter of milliseconds, the entire kitchen was filled with a beautiful white smoke rising throughout the living room. The cookies had spilled over the pan unto the heating element in the oven, and that is apparently a no-no. I had to open the front and back door to get the circulation going, and Andi did what any intelligent person would do in that situation. She called her mom. Thankfully, the 2nd batch went much better, and I will be enjoying those cookies with some ice cream tonight at the social.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Wedding Planning and Busting out into Song

Everything about the wedding planning process has been fun. From invitations to deciding where to live, as long as Andi and I are doing it together, we are having a blast. I can't wait.

We were driving down the road the other day, just me and her, and I busted in "On Broadway" for no apparent reason. She slightly chuckled and mentioned that she never knows what song is coming next from my mouth. I realized that I do have a habit of singing random songs with no context and I thought "maybe this is a little annoying." I apologized and told her I hadn't realized that the process of busting out into songs might be kind of mind numbing. She laughed and told me that it was one of the things she loved about me, and that all those little details brings her joy. I have never seen her get annoyed with me (it will happen, I know), but I am so thankful for the protective hand of God that kept me from some things that I was diving into. October 1st is going to be one of the happiest days of my life.

I wish my dad could be there.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Magic Kingdom Moment

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World really is one of the most special places on Earth. There is nothing like it.

During my last trip to Orlando with Rex, we had a pretty cool Magic Kingdom moment. We were hanging in MGM studios and we decided to spend the last couple of hours at Magic Kingdom. Since we had our handy Park Hopper ticket, we just jumped on over to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail. During our trip over on the monorail, the skies were growing darker and rain was definitely coming.

Well, we get off the monorail headed into the park. By the time we got just past Main Street USA, the rain hit and it hit HARD. It was totally dark outside, The Magic Kingdom was lit up beautifully and we were getting drenched! We ran toward Adventureland to hit Pirates of the Carribean. We decided first to grab some food. Well, so did everybody else. I mean the enitre park's visitors were crammed inside this restaraunt. Now, Rex and I had found kind of a secret passage from another section of a restaraunt where nobody was. We decided to get our food and make our way through the secret passage. We didn't know if that was legal, but it was either that or sit on the floor. So, after we got our food, sure enough we headed up a little ramp that led to another section. No one was there! We sat down and ate our food in peace. However, only a few minutes later, other people began invading our space. They must have either seen us go up the secret ramp, or Disney staff were telling them how to get up there. It was just a super neat moment, in the rain, confusion and Magic Kingdom.

It was certainly a Great Time, Great Time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Ok, I know. After months of saying how I was going to protest in front of the theatres when this film came out, I have to admit, I went and saw it. Granted, I was with a group of people and did not really want to be the jerk who said, "hey, I have a moral objection to this movie because the original is perfect and you don't mess around with perfection." So, I went.

It wasn't near as bad as I was prepared for. Charlie, the little boy, is excellent. I fell in love with him. The grandpa is also great, works the character well. The problem is, of course, Willy Wonka. Now I want you to know, I like Johnny Depp, I don't have anything against him. One of his first roles was in A Nightmare On Elm Street, so he has to have at least some dignity. But here is the problem. . .when he would say lines that were also said in the original movie, you can't help but think to yourself, "thats not right, Gene does it much better." And it's true! A perfect example is when they are in the Wonkav8ter (which is not called a wonkav8ter in the new one), Johnny says "Just push any button and whoosh, there you go." Gene says, "Just push any button and ZING (doing his classic quick hand movement) there you go!" It reminded me of when I heard Metallica with the symphony. Poser Metallica fans thought it was great. Real Metallica fans thought, I want to hear the song, not all this symphony crap that is getting in the way. Same thing here. Even though it smells, sounds and kinda feels like Willy Wonka, it's definitely not! It just makes you want the real thing. . .real bad.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A letter from a newspaper reporter

This was written by a newspaper reporter who interviewed JF before one of our shows this past weekend.

"I'm not sure if you remember me but I was at your show last Thursday,
Aug. 4. I was the reporter from Culpeper News that interviewed you
and Philip. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you guys for taking the
time to talk to me. The story should come out this Friday, Aug. 12
and I will be sure to send you a copy. I also wanted to thank you
guys on a personal level for the reality check I needed. It's
amazing to me that as I stood there listening to you guys and your
lyrics I felt moved and inspired. Your energy and enthusiasm for God
eft me feeling like I needed to find the same within myself. I'm
truly working on it and with the help of your CDs (I bought them
both) I think my normal, everyday commute has become much more productive. Thank you for the wake up call and thank you for the wonderful show. Even though there weren't too many people there you
spoke to at least one person and I hope that means something to you
guys. I wish you the best of luck. . .if you ever need a song writer
e-mail me. It has always been my dream to write music and I have a
lot of stories to tell. The only problem is I don't know how to put
my words with music. . .how do you guys do that? Oh and I know you
are a rock-type band but your voice is so pure you should think about doing a few slower songs. Just a suggestion."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back from Virginia

I am back from my three performance run in VA and it was a tremendous success. All three shows were incredible and our fan base up there is really growing. It was great to be back with the guys and play music again, the time off was relaxing, but I was ready to be back on stage.

The van that I have been talking about was the best part. The guys loved all the room and this sucker has more cup holders than a movie theatre. I mean if are anywhere in the van and you need to set your drink down, no problem. There is a cup holder for you.

I am also now a proud member of the Flying J Frequent Fueler Savings Club, and I have an rather strange obsession with the franchise. I am sure that it all started with my father, who always stopped at the Flying J's because they have, as he would put it, "the cheapest gas on the road." But there is just something about them that I love, and so the guys know that if we pass a Flying J, we are stopping, even if we don't need anything.

As great as the trip was, it was even better to get back home to a fiance who was as excited to see me as I was to see her. Plus, I had to give her Ratzo, her new pink rat that apparently travels in her purse with her everywhere she goes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Just an interesting day

Today was a great day, and just very interesting. It started with some outdoor work with the Challengers, which is a student boys mission group. We were working on the church grounds and got a call to help an elderly church member with her yard, so we spent several hours working outside, and it was super hot. But, the guys are great and happy to help out.

As we were leaving the church to go to the members home, someone had spilled an entire thing of paint on the road. One of my students ran right through it with their truck. Now, you have to understand that a truck in Springfield, TN is a priceless thing, so he jumped out and basically started freaking out that he had paint all over the side of his truck. He started pouring gasoline all over it and wiping it off. I thought he was going to set the truck on fire.

After I was finished with the guys, I headed back into Nashville to get a hitch installed on my new 1988 Chevy Vandura 350 hp 2500 series 1/2 ton van. I love this thing. I just hope that it lasts me longer than a month. I will get some pictures of this beauty up here soon. Andi took off work a little early and came by to pick me up from the Uhaul place. We had the greatest evening together, just hanging out. No matter what I am doing, if she is near me, it is better.

Finally, I leave Wednesday night for east TN, and then from there to VA for a string of 3 shows with Judah First. We are all excited to be back on the road and playing again. We have a pretty good following in VA, so these should be some killer performances. Devil's Dice is currently the number 6 most requested song on Tri Rock. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Official Orlando Review

Well, I am back from the annual Orlando vacation with Rex, and as usual, we had a blast. There are so many levels as to why we can have more fun in 5 days at Orlando than any other two people in the world, but I will limit the explanation to only a few.

1. We know how to properly and effectively hit the parks. If we were with anyone else, our strategy would change. But only Rex and I can completely experience Epcot in 1 1/2 hours. It just comes natural to us.

2. We never get tired of taking staged photos. Whether on a roller coaster or in the middle of the park, we are the masters of taking pictures. Some of our coaster pictures are masterpieces. (who else would pretend to be reading a park map while going 60 mph down a wooden roller coaster?)

3. We understand the beauty of a solid Dozen D-Nuts. And are willing to sit in traffic on I-Drive for 30 minutes to get them.

4. Name me someone else who brings their collection of Columbo on DVD to watch in their motel room? Oh, and when your motel room doesn't have RCA connections on the television, who else goes to wal-mart to purchase the necessary RF Modulator? I believe we watched 5 complete episodes during our stay.

5. Two Words. Universal Express. Since we stay on site at Universal, our room ticket serves as a Express pass, which means we go straight to the front of the lines. It's a beautiful thing.

After this week, here are my top five rides from Orlando. (basically from Disney and Universal)

1. Spiderman (IOA)
2. Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom)
3. Dinosaur (Animal Kingdom)
4. Tower of Terror (MGM Studios)
5. Fire Dragon (IOA)

Honorable Mentions go to Jaws, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mission Space, Hulk and Popeyes (a recent fav).

Below is an example of our great picture taking.