Saturday, January 16, 2010

My 2009 Top 10

Rang in the New Year with a bad case of influenza, and finally coming out the other side of it. So I wanted to make a list of my 2009 Top 10 New albums to start the year.

1. American Ride ~ Toby Keith ( Any new album by Toby Keith will be in my top 10, but American Ride is classic Toby Keith, full of great country! LOVE IT! This album shows a wide range of style, and has guest appearances with jazz artists for the tribute to Toby's friend Wayman Tisdale. It's an amazing album, and destined to be a country music favorite for years to come.

2. Southern Voice ~ Tim McGraw ( I still find it hard to believe that his label sat on this album for over 2 years before releasing it, choosing instead to release "greatest hits" albums instead. The songs are powerful and it is a master album from one of country's greatest.

3. Revolution ~ Miranda Lambert ( Definitely her strongest album so far, Miranda is showing a depth to her music that continues to grow with each album she releases. "White Liar" will stick in your head from the first time you hear it.

4. American Saturday Night ~ Brad Paisley ( Brad Paisley is a master, no question about it. Easily able to weave humor and insight seamlessly, every album from Brad is a treat.

5. Play On ~ Carrie Underwood ( Carrie continues to grow as an artist with each successive album and Play On is no exception. She shows a wide range on this album from pop-style country to classic country ballads.

6. Keep on Loving You ~ Reba McEntire ( Even though this album has already released two very strong singles that I love, my absolute favorite track is the title track, I Keep On Lovin' You. It's the song of a long time true love, and brings a tear to my eye each time I listen to the album.

7. Never Going Back ~ Collin Raye ( Collin Raye has long been a favorite of mine, and his new release in 2009 is no exception. I love the entire album, and it was a welcome return of a special artist that holds a place in my heart.

8. Songs of Love and Heartache ~ Alan Jackson ( Yeah, it's only available at Cracker Barrel. And yeah, it's a compilation album. But I love Alan Jackson, and guess where I was buying a copy after its release? You got it - Cracker Barrel!! And I have to add it to my 2009 list. :-)

9. Defying Gravity ~ Keith Urban ( Keith Urban albums are always full of amazing guitar playing, and Defying Gravity is no exception. He is always full of energy, insightful lyrics and heartfelt emotion. Defying Gravity is another masterwork from an amazing guitar master.

10. Feel That Fire ~ Dierks Bentley ( Dierks has been a favorite of mine since I first heard "What Was I Thinkin?" From the first time I heard "Feel That Fire," I could not wait for the new album, and it lived up to all my expectations, and then some. "Sideways" has been become one of my regular favorites to play to "kick off" my weekends, and the album is full of tunes that will just grow on you and stick in your mind.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Diary of a Snow Shoveler

The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8
6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14
Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life!

The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer.

The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for one hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere.

Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20
Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice.

Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

December 23
Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24
6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the man who drives that snowplow I'll drag him through the snow by his nose and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been!

Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow.

December 25
Merry -bleeping- Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26
Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WITCH is driving me crazy!!!

December 29
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver he is now suing me for a million dollars not only the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up where the sun don't shine. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31
I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Countdown to Show at Houston Rodeo