December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
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I hope you all had a great Christmas, I did.

I spent the day at my parents’ and then came back to my place to open presents.

A quick run down of a few gifts that I found interesting.
Gift I can’t wait to use:
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Camping equipment – a tent and air mattress.  I’ve never been camping before.  It looks like that will change this summer.

Most unexpected gift:
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An acupuncture mat for my back.

Most baseball related gift:
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Moneyball.

Or maybe, this PNC Park Snow-Globe.
100_6180.JPGAlso, I got some drum sticks that Carter Beauford uses. 
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I actually caught a drumstick from Carter Beauford at the Hershey PA show this year.  It was the highlight of my concert going – but I gave it away to a friend that attended the show with me.  I was glad to have it replaced.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  Its not about the gifts, its about finding happiness.  I thought I’d just share some things that I got with you.

The next day it was off to Oglebay in West Virginia for several days of relaxation.
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11-30-10 PNC Park

I was invited to a season ticket holder event at PNC Park tonight. 

However, first we headed to the zoo to spend the final day of my Thanksgiving break.
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Since I don’t live as close to Pittsburgh anymore, the plan was to go to the zoo for a few hours, and then head over to PNC Park for a batting practice event.

I hadn’t been to the zoo in years, probably not since 2000.
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5
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Afterwards, I was really happy with how I hit.
100_5887.JPGWe then made our way over to the Pirates clubhouse, where I checked out the Pirates bathroom:
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and ate some food in the Pirates locker room:
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We peeked in the Pirates weight room:
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and trainer’s room:
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it was then time to go,
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not sure when the next time I’ll be back at PNC Park will be…

11-19 & 11-20-10 Charlottesville VA

My winter away from baseball took brought me to Charlottesville VA for to see the last two Dave Matthews Band concerts of 2010.  The concerts were much anticipated because these would be the last DMB concerts until at least 2012, as the band is taking its first break from touring since its inception in 1991.

It was about a five hour drive but well worth it. 

The John Paul Jones Amphitheatre:
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Located at the University of Virginia:
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Our seats were located in Sec 115 Row N, which was the very first row on the side stage:
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Highlights of the concert were the song Spoon (the first time I’ve ever heard that song played live after 48 shows) Warehouse and Jimi Thing.

The next morning, we woke up very early to see the sun rise.  It was pretty awesome to see it come up over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
100_5191.JPGSince it was very early and we were at the top of a summit, the wind coupled with the cold made things very frigid.  Here I am battling the double dose of cold and wind
100_5223.JPGThe sun finally showed itself kicking off day two of the Charlottesville trip.
100_5243.JPGLater on that morning we headed into downtown Charlottesville:
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There I found the Jefferson Theater, where Dave Matthews played with Tim Reynolds on 5/27/93 and 12/12/93:
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Eventually, we found Miller’s bar, which was the birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band.
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I found this on nancies.org to better describe the bar:

Miller's is a bar located on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall on Main Street.
It is located in the old Miller's Drugstore building, and was turned into a
bar after being purchased by Steve Tharpe in 1981. In September of 2001 it
underwent some minor renovations before being sold to Scottie Kaylor. The new
owner alternately suggested that massive renovations were likely and that
everything would be kept the same. By mid-2002, most of the waitstaff had
turned over, pool tables had been added on a new third level, the menu had been
completely overhauled, and it had lost most of its long-time crowd of regulars.

It was at Miller's that the members of Dave Matthews Band first collaborated.
Dave Matthews and Peter Griesar worked at the bar, which has long been a
hotbed for jazz music in Charlottesville. Among the regulars at that time
were Leroi Moore, Carter Beauford, Tim Reynolds, Boyd Tinsley, Greg Howard,
and many others. With the help of musician John D'earth, Matthews was able to
assemble the Miller's regulars and the rest is history. Greg Howard, John
D'earth, Tim Reynolds and countless other Charlottesville jazz performers
performed there regularly for years, although most of them have ended their
tenure there since Miller's was sold.

Due to Miller's position in DMB lore, it has become somewhat of a mecca for
wide-eyed Dave Matthews Band fans."

Me outside the bar:
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And inside:
100_5268.JPGThere was an hour wait for food, so we headed down the street to Christian’s pizza where I stood in line for what seemed like an hour.
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After lunch we headed to the Shenandoah mountains and took a few pictures:
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100_5309.JPGAfter spending a few hours in the mountain it was time to head back to Charlottesville and the concert (night 2). 
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Our seats were in the upper deck, section 313 row G, but I still had an absolute blast. 
dmbpic34.jpgThe highlights of the concert besides just being there and dancing were:
1) hearing Long Black Veil for the first time since my first DMB concert in 2000.  It’s ultra rare nowadays, this just being the second time it’s been played full band since 2003.
2) hearing the Song that Jane Likes
3) hearing Write a Song for the first time.
4) an amazing 5 song encore.

After the concert, we drove home through the night and got back at 5:30 AM.  It didn’t help that this had been the longest concert in DMB history.

The next day on 11-21-10 I went to the Consol Energy Center to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
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I wasn’t into it.
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We actually left early before the concert even ended to go to PPG Square to see the Christmas tree.
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Before leaving, I took a moment to demonstrate my severe dislike for the Penguins.
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I promise my next entry will have something to do with baseball.

My DMB Statistics:

Shows Attended = 49
Different Songs Seen = 155
# Song Performances = 902
Venues Attended = 18

By the way, I got 10 concert posters for $40 each before they sold out (I had early entrance tickets) which have sold for a nice profit on ebay.

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