October 14, 2004
After a 30+ hour trip, 3 days without luggage, the 5:15 a.m. call came too early. But when we got to the airport, we had another amazing Yak 42 jet to take us on the rest of our tour. The whole crew, the whole band, promoters and promoter reps all in one plane.
We have to go through x ray, waiting in line, more security checks, etc. but once we're on the plane, it's then that it feels like a charter. If I want to, I can reach up and grab my guitar to play. Too noisy to hear anything, but it's a nice luxury. They even serve food on this flight, too. Roast beef pellets with potatos.
Our first gig in Siberia went excellent. I love these people. Even the guy that squeezed my hand so hard, I was sure there were 2 fingers missing before I could count them all. They've had a hard life in many ways, but they totally support the arts, and put their heart and soul into everything musical.
Today we're playing a bit deeper in Siberia, and we've been told to not expect much from the hotel. No problem, I like it simple anyway. However, things like heat and hot water do seem to be deal breaking requirements, even for me.
I was home in time to cut up a bunch of fallen trees, haul them to the pick up site, and get ready for hurricane Jeanne. That would be the one that caused the most damage. Compared to people that actually had their lives in danger on the coast, we had it pretty mild. But the weeks of storm rains mixed with one particularly hard gust, left 2 roofs with major damage. Like a 80 foot tree crashing through a roof, blowing out a back window from the sudden pressurization.
Standing on the roof with chainsaw, tarps, and hammer, I didn't much feel like I was enjoying being home for the hurricane. An hour before, I heard a gigantic crashing sound that turned out to be a very big chunk of roof from my hangar landing in the neighbor's land. Then, when the power surged just before it went out, it actually exploded a surge suppressor in the studio circuit box.
Still, we had it easy, since I was able to wire a small gasoline generator to our house circuit breaker. With some careful load shedding and monitoring, we had part time water, refrigerator and some lights. Conspicuously absent was the air conditioning and hot water, of course. We were in as good a shape as we could possibly be, and not a single leak developed in the roof of our main house.
Afterwards, more and more trees to cut up. I went to get a new chain for the chainsaw and the guy at the hardware store started laughing. He said, "we sold out of those during Frances.....". So, back to the lost art of sharpening a well worn chain, which was a good experience. Like the good old days, but easier, since they did have a 12 volt electric sharpening tool that made it child's play.
We just landed and stopped in about 2 thousand feet of runway, which is amazingly short.......gotta go. Oh by the way, my computer was on the whole time and we still survived. I bet that if I had a tray table, I could have left it down and still lived to write about it......
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