Ion Drum Rocker

February 25th, 2009

As a birthday gift to myself, I bought the Ion Drum Rocker in January.  I’ve had it for a month and a half now, and I’m only just beginning to get used to it.  My scores are down, but that’s to be expected.  It came with two cymbals; but a couple of weeks ago, I added two more 10″ Pintech cymbals.  The Pintech cymbals are much quieter and more responsive than the Ion cymbals.  Since the Ion cymbals are much louder, I’m using them as my crash cymbals.

Here are a couple of pix of my setup:

Day 3 – 1/28 – Las Vegas

January 28th, 2009

The Grand Canyon trip wore us out, so we slept in today. We grabbed a late lunch at Subway, and headed over to the Fashion Mall. It was a 20 minute walk from our hotel. Unlike the previous two days, the weather was much nicer today. It made me regret forgetting my sunglasses. It was very similar to Bay Area weather; probably in the high 60s or low 70s. On our way to the mall, Alice remarked how she liked the in-wall speakers that we passed and wanted them for our bathroom. It looks like I have another home improvement project.

We met up with Winnie and Johnny at 4:30PM and headed over to the Bellagio for dinner. The buffet there was much more reasonably priced at $28 per person. By the way, we found out the Wynn was charging a special Chinese New Year price on Monday. That explains the inflated price. Anyhow, we didn’t spend two hours stuffing ourselves this time. Although, I still probably had more than what one person should eat…ever.

We finished dinner with plenty of time to spare to catch the 7:30PM showing of O. It certainly did not disappoint. Typical of all Cirque de Soleil shows, it was packed with acrobatics and comedy. What made this one different was a stage that changed from solid ground to a pool throughout the show. Our seats were in the middle and near the back, but we were not far away from the action. It was perfect for catching all the action. I don’t know if a show is ever worth $170 per ticket, but I did enjoy the show a lot.

Day 2 – 1/27 – Grand Canyon

January 27th, 2009

The lone item on today’s itinerary was an all-day bus tour of the Grand Canyon. Vision Tours picked us up at 6:05AM from the Flamingo’s North entrance. They brought us to their main headquarters, where we checked in and boarded the tour bus at 7:30AM. Our very first stop was at the Hoover Dam, where we stopped for 15 minutes for pictures. We didn’t actually get to go on a tour inside of the dam since we had a long journey ahead of us.

Our next stop was at a McDonald’s at Kingman, AZ. It was located right on Route 66, and was our first opportunity to grab a snack. A lunch buffet would be provided later, plus I wasn’t hungry. So I did the unheard of. I passed on getting anything from McD’s. Besides, lunch was just around the corner. For lunch we stopped at a Quality Inn in Tuscayn, AZ. A lunch buffet was provided as part of our tour, but I didn’t stuff myself like I did last night.

We finally got to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon late in the afternoon. Our first stop was at the
Bright Angel Lodge. From there we could see about 10% of the entire Grand Canyon. It was pretty cold, and there was some snow on the ground. The Grand Canyon is truly an amazing site to behold. The size and beauty of it all is pretty stunning. Our second and final stop at the Grand Canyon was at Mathier Point. From there we could see 20% of the entire Grand Canyon.

We started heading back to Las Vegas at 4:30PM. We made a brief stop at souvenir shop in the little town of Valle. Of course, Alice had to pick up some souvenir magnets. After that, it was a two hour ride back to the Kingsford McDonald’s. I couldn’t pass up on McDonald’s a second time; especially since this was going to be our only stop for dinner. We made one more stop at the Hoover Dam to take pictures of it lit at night. And then we finally made it back to our hotel room by 9:30PM. It’s been a pretty long day for us; and it doesn’t look like I’ll be heading downstairs to the tables tonight. I can give the casinos more of my money tomorrow.

Day 1 – 1/29 – Las Vegas

January 26th, 2009

It’s been ages since Alice and I have gone on a trip. No exotic location this time. Just a four day trip to Las Vegas. Although I’ve been to Las Vegas many times before with the guys, this time it’s going to be a different type of trip. This time we are doing a “couples” trip. Instead of focusing on gambling, we are going to catch a couple of shows and take a tour bus to the Grand Canyon.

We touched down in Vegas at 2:40PM and met up with Alice’s friend Winnie and her boyfriend Johnny. They flew in from Oakland and landed a few minutes after us. First on the agenda was checking in at Harrah’s. After that, we had to go the Venetian to pick up tickets for the night’s show, Wayne Brady’s Make %@it Up. Venetian was right next door, so we hoofed it over there.

After picking up our tickets, we headed over to the Wynn for dinner. That was two hotels away, so we continued our journey on foot. We got there at 5PM and built up an appetite. It was $50 per person at The Buffet. I don’t know if it was worth the $50, but we made sure that we got our money’s worth. For two hours we stuffed ourselves with prime rib, alaskan crab legs, and all sorts of dessert. We didn’t leave until we just couldn’t eat another bite. We were going to try and walk off the calories, but we ate so much that we couldn’t walk. So we took a cab back to Harrah’s.

Wayne Brady’s show started at 9PM, so we walked over half an hour before showtime. If you have ever watched “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” then you’ll have an idea what his show was like. Wayne’s show is an improvisation based on audience participation. With the aid of his partner Jonathan, they took themes from the audience and made up stories to entertain us. It was quite impressive, since I could never think that fast on my feet. I could barely keep up just listening to them. Wayne finished the show with some song and dance numbers. He sang songs from Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr., and James Brown. He even sang an original song.

Top 1800

October 15th, 2008

I’m slowly moving up the drum leaderboards.  I improved on a couple of songs and am now ranked #1783.  I haven’t tried Run to the Hills yet.  I still have four more days to pass it before the release of Rock Band 2.