Hey just a quick post tonight that will hopefully only decrease my night's worth of sleep from six and a half hours to six hours. We've made it to Austin and are staying at my cousins' house. By the time you read this, Ricky and I, along with Paige, will most likely be on a plane to Nashville to play the latest Aloft gig in front of the former home crowd. But let me back up a bit.... It feels absolutely wonderful to be on the road again! 90% of life is all talk but when we're riding in a packed van through the desert somewhere between Orange county and Phoenix, that is life feeling like it's actually moving forward. It's been almost six months since the last tour but being back on the road in a way feels like returning home to our most natural habitat. To quickly recap what has incurred so far... Sunday was spent mostly in traffic which wasn't exactly a surprise since we knew going into it that we were choosing to begin our journey on one of the busiest travel days of the year as everyone returned from their Thanksgiving holiday. We made it to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Orange around 2am to get brief but well needed night of sleep. Unfortunately this was interrupted a few times by my 1997 Plymouth Voyager with 288,000 miles on it revealing it's latest misfire which happened to be the alarm inexplicably going off on a number of occasions throughout the morning! This following its previous folly the day before when while packing, the trunk decided it was not willing to open. I think by about 7am I had tricked into keeping silent, but that van is wily as a fox and one cannot be sure what mischief it will concoct up next. After a quick stop at Jiffy Lube for an oil change where I finally got my free coffee and earned wary glances from all of the patrons in the lobby as they watched me poor and consume an overstuffed bowl of Joe's O's and Pumpkin Spice Granola, it was off to Pranksters Too in Scottsdale, AZ. A key difference between this trip and the last is that this time around, the landscape is familiar and we are passing sights that we now recognize. Pranksters Too was a venue we had performed at on the last tour and as you may recall from last time is located in a shopping center sandwiched between a Fresh & Easy, a 99¢ store and a Planned Parenthood. There's got to be a moral in there somewhere... The show went well especially once we had dispersed the tention inherent in the fact that Phoenix's football team was playing the San Francisco 49's on the bar TV. Even though we performed for precious few people (we like to call it an "elite" crowd), the people who were paying attention seemed to like our set. Ricky has been sick and I know didn't feel great about her set, but anyone who has seen Ricky perform doesn't need to be told that Ricky sick is still about ten times better than most singer/songwriters out there could hope to be at their best! I was able to enhance our merch table by offering people to partake of my plate of nachos I had ordered for dinner not knowing that it was a serving intended to feed eight! After the show we drove five hours to Deming, NM, a town that for all we could see consisted entirely of motels and gas stations. We slept about six hours at one of these said motels and then after a feast of cereal and swordfish in the parking lot, began the 10 hour drive to Austin. Most of the drive was through open landscapes untouched seemingly by humans. One wonders if by the end of my lifetime these lands will remain undeveloped, but for the present I felt blessed to be born in a time when such natural beauty still existed to be inspired by. My reading for this trip has been a book called "Sophie's World" which is an overview of the history of philosophy, and Keith Richards's new autobiography. I'm hoping that the former ends up informing my life a bit more than the latter... So that's the short version of what's happened so far. I'll try to have another post at the latest in a couple of days... Peace!