Friday, November 28, 2008

Tom, we love you man!

Meet Tom Scott. Part time horn player, full time great guy.

Tom is a virtuoso guitar player and gifted songwriter, he's gracious enough to sit in on a gig with the Blue Coyote crew every now and then to add his distinctive flair to our live sets.

I get a call from Matt our drummer today (Matt and his beautiful wife Donna own a music store), Matt sounds sick, I said, "Hey Matt, what's up?" "You're not gonna believe what happened". he said. "Tom Scott was in the store today and had a sezieure, he fell down and hit his head on a toolbox then on the floor, he cut his face pretty bad and needed some stitches." I was horrified, I asked, "Is he all right?" Matt replied, "Yeah, he's all right, other than a face full of stitches and two huge black eyes, apparently he has these episodes every now and then, it has something to do with mercury poisoning" Matt continued, "Tom's really worried about tomorrow night, he's scheduled to play a gig (Tom has a solo act that's pretty awesome) at Blondie's and he needs the money to make his rent this month. I thought maybe we could cover his gig and make sure he gets the money"

"Count me in Matt, I wouldn't miss it."

Anyone within driving distance needs to hit Blondie's tomorrow night, have a beer and kick some money in the tip jar for Tom. We're lucky to have musicians of Tom's caliber in the area, we're double lucky that we have someone as nice as Tom in the area. Tom's done a lot for the live music scene locally.

Tom, we love you man. Get better, we need you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dang, when was that picture taken?

Those of you who have known me through the years have seen a definite physical transformation, during the adult stage of my life my weight has fluctuated anywhere between 185 pounds and a peak of 312 pounds.

My mom is an unbelieveable cook, during my childhood, my love of food coupled with my mom's ability, served to produce a very husky lad. I was heavy all the way through school, it wasn't until I hit about 18 that my weight came down into the normal-for-my-height range.

I did it through exercise, mainly swimming - oh, that and not eating mom's cooking certainly helped.

I did pretty well keeping my weight down all the way into my mid thirties, I was very active physically, participating in hockey at a pretty high level, and eating carefully so as to have the energy I needed to compete. At my fittest hockey condition I weighed about 200 pounds, which looks really skinny on my 6'-3" frame. I stopped playing hockey when me and the family moved to a tiny corner of Southwest Colorado, unfortunately I forgot to stop eating like a hockey player. My 8,000 calorie/day diet coupled with my slower-with-age metabolism quickly produced the 312 behemoth in the second pic, that pic was taken about 5 years ago.

The pic on the top was taken this fall, it's me sporting about 212 pounds of muscle on my big frame. It took me 2 years to lose the weight and I've managed - through meticulously careful eating and rigorous exercise - to keep my weight down for 3 years now. The worst seems to over now that I've learned to eat for fuel and recovery. There are the occasional falls from grace, but I get back on the bicycle. (Hence the bike pic - That's me on my daughter's beach cruiser she named, "Deborah".)

People who are locked in a struggle with their weight have my full appreciation. People who are blessed by the skinny gene - or whatever the heck it is that keeps em skinny - sometimes look down on us who have the food weakness, but let me tell you something, taking off and keeping off weight is a titanic struggle. Food isn't like smoking where you can quit and never touch a cigarette again, food is something that we must consume to survive. Learning to manage our eating is one of the hardest battles we'll ever have.

I show the people I work with pictures of the fat Trout and they stare in disbelief, like they're looking at an entirely different person. In some ways they are, but in most ways they are not. One interesting facet of being skinny then fat then skinny again is you get to see how differently the world treats fat people, like they're some kind of an inferior race or something.

Remember as you go through life not to see people as objects, inside every person is someone that wants to be loved and accepted, and YOU have the ability to make that core need a reality.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mating Rituals of Large Primates in the San Juan Mountains.

You guys want to hear a funny story? First off let me introduce my dad and set the stage a bit. The man you see in the pictures is my dad, I took these a couple summers ago when he and I hiked to Hope Lake. Those of you familiar with the San Juan National Forest will recognize Lizard Head Peak in the background of the top pic.

When we hiked it the first time we were caught in a lightning storm and subsequent hail storm that would seriously put the fear of God in anyone. The lightning was hitting the rocks everywhere around us, and when the lightning stopped, the hail started. We crawled into a bush in the middle of a pile of rocks, being above timberline that was the only "shelter" we could find and waited for the hail to quit, when it had finally stopped, we walked down the trail soaking wet sloshing through 8 inches of marble sized hail.

I was pretty worried being up that high, A few feet over 13,ooo, especially with my dad who's in his 70's, and being so far from the car, about 5 miles and 3000 vertical feet. But he had a big smile on his face and when we got to the car he was no worse for the wear. Suffice it to say we didn't get any pictures taken or have any time to enjoy the scenery. We decided to give it a try another day.

Well, the day these pictures were taken "perfect" fails to describe the day we had. The temperature was great, the sun was shining, it was like being in a postcard all day.

We had a great hike up to the lake, but the last 400 yards is a killer, it's up and over a steep granite peak, and being right at the end of a strenuous hike it was a real killer. We got to the lake and spent a couple hours hanging around, fishing, talking and exploring when we decided it was probably time to head down. During our stay I had scouted a route that was far easier than the up and over the granite peak trail.

We headed off on my new found route which was really quite a breeze. It meandered around the base of the peak and met up with the trail where it entered the timber. Along the way my trail lead us to the top of a little cliff, probably about 200 feet high or so. I looked over the edge waiting for my dad to catch up when I saw a young couple enjoying nature, and when I say enjoying nature I mean REALLY enjoying nature. It was a scene straight out of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom meets Cirque de Solei.

When I realized what I was seeing, I took a few steps back up the hill to give them some privacy and maybe prevent my dad from taking in the NC17 floor show. It was too late, dad had already been mooned. He stood on the edge of the cliff for a second squinting hard at the action below, then he turned to me and said, "What in the hell is that guy doing down there, it looks like he's naked and jumping up and down on something?" I said, "I don't know dad, people do some crazy things these days". With that, my dad seemed content and began following me to the trail again.

We get a couple hundred yards down the trail when I hear my dad bust out laughing, I turn around to see what was up and he says, "OH, That's what they were doing." We sat down on the trail and had a real belly laugh. When we finally got back to the car that evening we saw the young couple getting ready to get in their car and leave. Of cousre dad had to say something . . . he said, "So, did you two have a good time". They smiled at one another and said, "We had a great time".

With that we called it a day, and what a day it turned out to be.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guitar Hero

A few years back I took this pic of Jake, I think it captures him pretty well.

Everyone talks about their favorite guitar players and the lists include Hendrix, Clapton, B B King, Vaughn . . . etc. Well you're looking at mine. While there may be others out there that are faster on the chromatic scale or get around the circle of fifths with more authority, no one has captured my attention more than Jake.

It's pretty amazing being on stage with him, when he plays and sings, people stop dead in their tracks and notice. He plays that big black Gretsch guitar and his tone is meaty and full. Guitar players stare at his hands and shake their heads in amazement, girls of all ages stare at the whole package and smile.

I remember getting ready to play our first big time gig, we opened for the headlining band at a local Blues Festival, there were 5000 people watching, I was standing by the side of the stage waiting our turn to hop up and play - I was nervous as a cat - Jake came to me and said, "See these people, they came to hear us play and play well, none of them want us to fail, they all want their socks rocked off. Don't be nervous, let's just get on stage and have some fun."

It was supposed to be me saying that to him, I was the veteran.

Jake had picked one of his favorite songs to open our set, however the band that played right before us covered it as their last song. Jake didn't want to do the same song over again so when our band got onstage ready to play Jake said to us, let's play something in "A", he stepped up to the mic and hollered, "AND AWAY WE GO", I don't even remember what we played in that set, I just remember people running to the front of the stage dancing like mad animals.

I'll never be a Rock Star, but I'll tell you what, I wouldn't trade the gigs I've played with Jake for all the stadium crowds the Stone's have ever played to. Pure Joy!

Thanks Jake, you're my hero.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Redheaded Projectile

Did I mention that Jake and I play in a Rockabilly band? It's a riot - anyway - here's a pic of Jake snarkily posing in front of Brian Setzer's tour bus.

The other night we're playing Blondie's, one of our favorite local nightspots and everything is pretty normal, people having a few drinks and thinking they're on Dancing with the Stars.

Jake was belting out a beautiful Rockabilly version of "Gimme Back my Wig" it goes like this:

Gimme back my wig, Oh honey let your head go bald
Gimme back my wig, Oh honey let your head go bald
You really got no business, honey buying no wig at all.

One pretty boozy couple were really getting into the swing of things. The man was huge, he looked Samoan, he was dancing with a tall redhead in a white cocktail dress. During one particularly daring move, somehow the couple's hands became separated sending the woman flying into the stage. She went headfirst into my microphone stand, careened sideways falling off the corner of the stage, amazingly she managed to keep her feet underneath her as she listed out of control toward a table filled with cocktails in various states of being consumed. She made landfall directly on the table sending booze, little umbrellas and highball glasses everywhere. When she finally came to rest, she was seated in the lap of a strange man who was trying to act manly all the while blink Bacardi and Coke out of his tear-filled eyes.

Without missing a beat, Jake stepped up to the mic and with perfect pitch delivered the following:

If you're gonna dance, honey please don't slip and fall,
If you're gonna dance, honey please don't slip and fall,
You really got no business, honey tryin' to dance at all.

Where in the world does he come up with this stuff? I was doubled over with laughter hoping the boozy Samoan wouldn't take offence.

Everything turned out fine, I'm pretty sure the Samoan dude who closely resembled a beer truck was far too intoxicated to understand the new lyrics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I've locked my keys in the car and my family can't get out.

This lovely pic is one taken by my wife Jennifer during a trip she took not long ago.

She called me yesterday from inside the cozy confines of her workplace, the conversation went as follows:

Trout:  Hello.

Jen:  PLEASE . . . tell me I gave you a key to the building.

Trout:  Um, no you didn't.  Why do you ask?

Jen:  Well, I locked myself inside the building to finish up some paperwork.  I was getting ready to leave, I went to the bathroom, closed the door behind me and the doorknob fell off in my hand.  I'm locked inside the bathroom, inside the building.


Jen:  Don't laugh, this isn't funny, I can't get out of the bathroom.

Trout:  Okay, look in the hole where the knob used to be, do you see a little metal shaft sticking through the opening?  If so carefully slide the portion of the knob you're holding in your hand over the metal shaft, turn it and the door should open.  Be careful though, don't push it clear through.

Jen:  YES, I got it, the door's open, I can get out.  THANK you so much, I didn't know what I was going to do.

Trout::  No problem sweetie.

Jen:  Please though, don't tell anyone about this, I'll never live it down.

Trout:  Don't worry baby, your secret is safe with me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sometimes I can't say, "NO"

The year was 1983, Bonnie Tyler was singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and I was wearing a pair of shoes like this wondering how I was going to get the future Mrs. Trout to go out with me.

I was probably watching Tom Cruise in that ridiculous football movie while I sported a pair of shoes much like these bad boys.

Well, as luck would have it, right there at eye level, front and center in the thrift store were these beauties. Brand spanking new - still in the box - stuffed full of paper. Let me tell you, "NO" was a word I could not say. It was as if the moment I set foot in the store the shoes called my name.

I've never loved a pair of shoes as much as I love these . . . never.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Me and Politics are officially over.

Recently I'd taken a vow to bow out of any and all political argumentation, I did pretty good through the election but today I had a set back. I ended up hashing through a bunch of ridiculous nonsense with some co-workers.

So I'm retaking my vow, I'm drinking the Koolaid of the apolitical.

I'm determined to escape from political debate for at least a year, it may be hard but I've got to do it.

Some of you may have noticed that I'm dressed like Steve Jobs in the above pic, that is a reminder to me as well. I'm not going to engage in the Mac / PC argument either.

Let's talk about something else, please.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Boy inside the Man

It's tough being me somedays; I feel like a kid in a man's body. I used to think that I'd be stoic and reserved when I got older. Childish things would lose their luster and my thoughts would give way to more "adult" pursuits.

It ain't happening.

I still get a big smile on my face when I put a coin in a gumball machine. I still get sad at the end of a warm summer afternoon when I'm engaged in a fun activity, it reminds me of when my mom would yell out the front door, "Trout . . . time to come in, supper's ready." I still have trouble falling asleep on Christmas eve, even though the mystery has been lost.

Maybe I'm wired differently than others? Maybe there's something wrong with me? Whatever it is, I'm gonna go with it. I've decided that "stoic" and "reserved" aren't for me.

Life's too short to be an adult all the time. I have to let the kid come out and play.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You mean you'll pay us??

Did you folks ever hear about mine and Jake's first professional gig? No? Well, it went like this:

We have this friend that we play music with, he's a really great guy, loves to play, has some very cool jam sessions in his basement, we've had like thirty people crammed into his basement on jam night at times.

He calls me one day and says, "Hey Trout, wanna play some music in Mancos?" "Sure" I said. I didn't know what the deal was but I figured it'd be a hoot considering who asked us to play.

He says, "We're gonna play a chuckwagon show for a stage line in Mancos, the deal is, they ride the guests around a loop in the stagecoach and they eventually wind up at the cookhouse for dinner, we play while the dinner is being prepared, then we play when the dinner's over"

Sounded cool, except . . . we got no cowboy music. So I hop on the internet and dig up a couple dozen cowboy favorites, Jake and I run through them a time or two we call ourselves "ready"

We get gussied up in our cowboy finest and away we go, we ended up playing for a couple hours. It was a good time, at the end of the day we each had 33 dollars in our pockets, a wonderful steak dinner in our bellies, and Jake had a big pile of phone numbers from a group of out of state tourist girls.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gretsch Lover's Xanadu

What can I say, I love Gretsch guitars.

Jake and I were lucky enough to run across a Gretsch guitar display at Brian Setzer Orchestra show we saw.

The guitar hanging on the rack above Jake's left shoulder was a true masterpiece, we didn't get to play it, they wanted $35,000 dollars for it.

I thought I'd blog this just in case anyone was having trouble deciding what to get me for Christmas.

I've been a very good boy all year.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Long; Beautiful; Hair

I've taken quite a bit of heat over the course of the last little while about - of all things - the current state of my hair. Much of the criticism has come from a grandma who I'll leave un-named. In case you want to take a guess, her first name starts with "F" and ends with "reddie"


Once upon a time a LONG time ago there was a little boy, his name was Trout. Little Trout had a mom who loved him desperately and always made sure he looked his best. His "best" included a military flat-top haircut.

Fast forward 39 years . . .

Trout decided that he should grow out his hair because he was very tired of his old haircut, the resultant style is the one you see in the above picture, very dapper, as mom would say. However, if I opt for not wetting it down and running a comb through it in the mornings, it can be a comical sight. As in my profile pic.

There you have it people, the story of my out of control hair, I know you'll all sleep better knowing the entire truth.

PS: The woman standing next to me in the pic is the lovely Mrs. Trout, who just so happens to think my hair is sexy. And that, my friends, is ALL that matters.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spam ala Jake

As luck would have it, Jake decided to pay a visit to the hunting camp over the weekend. He was only able to stay Saturday night and part of Sunday. Any longer than that and his large harem of swooning, teenage girls goes into withdrawals.

He came to camp well prepared for a night in the great outdoors:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Cell phone
  • 4 cans of "Dinty Moore" beef stew
  • 1 orange hat

After realizing that he'd forgotten his can opener, he sifted through our gear until he found one. In the search, he uncovered a can of his favorite mystery meat, "Spam" I believe is it's proper name.

After he downed two cans of beef stew, he decided to top them off with a nice stove-roasted, meat pop.

Notice the ease with which Jake multi-tasks, texting while roasting meat on a stick.

If anyone would like the recipe, shoot me an email and I'll jot it down for you.