I want to rock. No blues, no jazz, no R&B, no country, no crap. I know that real rock bands around here are scarce. Only about a half-dozen play on a regular basis in the area surrounding Reno, which includes most of California, playing tribal casinos spanning from the redwoods to outskirts of the Big Smoggy, LA itself. Some go to the far ends of Nevada, as a buddy of mine is playing as we speak in Jackpot, scarcely three hours southeast of Boise. A lot of my friends play regularly in West Wendover, on the border with Utah (FACT: Every major highway that crosses into Nevada, as in Interstates and Federal (US routes) roads, anywhere from 5 feet to five miles of crossing the border, there'll be a casino by that crossing, bank on it), nearly four hundred miles east of Reno. I played with Rick & Dana Cowen at the Riverside in Laughlin, which at 545 miles southeast of Reno is about as far away from home as I can get and still be in the Silver State. So traveling isn't an option, it's a necessity.
My truck will go into the shop next week to get the transmission and clutch worked over, at an estimated cost of just a bit over $800. Joy isn't happy about it, but what's more dangerous - the devil you know, or the devil you don't know? I could take the money we'd budgeted for the repair, plus whatever I could borrow to buy another beater truck or wagon, but how long would it last? What issues does it have? Beyond the transmission, I think I have some rumbling coming from worn wheel bearings, but Rick's told me that I could save a little money and have him do that work. My transmission, while not beyond his capacity to repair, is beyond the capacity of his tools, because he'd have to drop the transmission to do the job. But once it's done, I'll have my 30mpg truck ready to roll. Even without a gig it's a good thing, because my courier route still needs an efficient vehicle to get the job done. Oh, and Baby needs new shoes as well. All the driving I do basically means a new set of tires annually.
Sometimes I wonder what I've gotten myself into. But Joy is doing better, and likely to get her SS/D claim approved in the next few months, and her app for food-stamps (okay, it's a debit card now) should be up and running by the weekend. One of our tax returns should hit the bank by Monday morning, so that will help, and our 2006 return should be ready to go to the IRS pretty soon, then Joy can finish the 2008 return. She now has a doctor that takes her seriously, and seems able to comprehend all that ails her. Michelle and Bill have good jobs, and Cody and Ellie growing like weeds. Speaking of that, my garden is really rounding into shape. Beans, squash, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, all sprouting like crazy. The sage I planted last summer is back with a vengeance, so I'm trying again at putting an herb garden together. Joy wants to plant medicinal herbs, but she needs to get on that fast. I'll probably just get the seeds that she wants and do it for her.
So all in all, I guess things aren't too bad for me. And Joy and I are planning to take the babies up to Washington again at the end of July for Joy's family reunion up at the Bumping River again. We found out that Eddie and Melissa are coming home with Soren and their new baby boy Sascha (the exact spelling makes me wonder, was Eddie watching Borat?), and Joy is dying to finally meet them. And this will also include trips to Olympia and Port Angeles for my family, and some very special friends.
So this should be a pretty busy summer. I'm looking forward to it.