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Stryder1978

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    The Misty Mountains
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, exotic women, wildlife, classic hard rock/heavy metal.

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  1. People that think that "Pawn Stars" is a reality TV show need to watch this! Thanks for sharing SteveAJones!
  2. LMAO...you just made my morning! Thank you!
  3. That O2 crowd was probably the biggest audience he played in front of at the time - he really looked like a deer in headlights. Shame, he was really talented and had a great voice!
  4. I am SOOOOOO looking forward to watching that! With Peter Jackson at the helm no less........
  5. After most of the orchestra cleared the stage, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings entered. There were four guitarists on stage with him and a set of three “Doo Wop” girls on the stage left. They started playing and from the side of the stage came a portly guy in a red zoot suit and felt hat with a long feather in it. It was a singer named Mike Sanchez. He sang the Ray Charles classic “I Got a Woman” and commanded the stage with his presence. The band stayed on stage and next was Paolo Nutini, a Scottish lad barely 18 who was the last artist Ahmet signed to Atlantic records. He went up to the mike and kinda said “Wow, this is incredible” and sounded like a dork. But when he opened his mouth and started singing the classic Ray Charles hit “Mess Around” (actually written by Ahmet) he got our attention. Incredible strong growly blues voice that was perfect for those R&B numbers. He did a second song as well, “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)” made famous by Cher in the early 70’s. The BWRK stayed on stage and provided the accompaniment for Maggie Bell (a soulful blues singer) who did a flawless version of Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”. One of BWRK guitarists was none other than Albert Lee who stepped up to the mike and sang “Baby That’s Rock and Roll”. It was more a rocker and the crowd loved it. Finally, one of the “Doo Wop” girls stepped forward. It was Beverley Skeete who did an awesome version of “Show Me” (“show me a good woman who’s got a good man!”) The orchestra brass left the stage and from stage right came Paul Rogers (former lead singer in Free and Bad Company and fresh off a stint as singer for Queen). He paid homage to his first band Free with “All Right Now”. It was note for note perfection especially the guitar solo and the crowd went nuts and everyone was singing along. The entire stage emptied except for Paul and then a roadie came out and handed him a unique custom acoustic guitar which Paul used to accompany himself for the Bad Company hit “Seagull”. Leaving the stage to incredible applause, another band came out. Foreigner (whose sole remaining original member is guitarist Mick Jones) came out and started the keyboard intro to “I Wanna Know What Love Is”). Everybody in line before the show was bad mouthing Foreigner and it didn’t help their cause to come out with this song after Paul Roger’s rockers. The lead singer kept shouting to the crowd to sing along, but the crowd really didn’t get into it, even when a choir of children came out to sing the final chorus. The supporting acts finished at 2045 hours, that gave the road crew 15 minutes to clear the stage for the main act (which was already set up behind the front equipment of the support acts). I didn’t think they’d be ready, but at 2103 hours, the auditorium lights went out and the screams began.
  6. One of my pics from my September trip to Croatia:
  7. That cold front has finally hit us here in Colorado. In the 40's now, chance for rain tonight, but no snow till the second front comes through on Thursday.
  8. Just finished Season 3 of "American Gods" - I understand why there will be no Season 4.
  9. 10 December 2007 Monday – THE CONCERT! Up at 0545 hours – I was too excited to sleep! Kept waking up off/on all night! I showered – ready to go at 0700 hours. I went to the Earls Court Station to add money to my train card, but checked the balance and I thought I had enough on it for two more days. Went back to the hotel for 0730 breakfast. Had two helpings of cornflakes and a ham sandwich (packed another sandwich for later). I went back to the Earl’s Court station in blue jeans, tennis shoes, my black Zeppelin sweatshirt and my black rainproof shell. Caught the District Line to Westminster, then switched to the Jubilee Line to the O2 at North Greenwich. The O2 seemed empty. I saw several security people milling about so I asked them if I could cue up – one asked another – ok, but go through metal detector first! Just like the airport, took off all metal (including coins). I asked another security guard for the cue for standing tickets. He said the line is forming at Section F past the skating rink. It was 0815 hours. Went past a lot of foo foo shops, most weren’t open, then the King Tut exhibit and the skating rink. Security checked my band and ticket and let me through. The line was cued up against a construction wall and they had metal fences to keep people in line. Got to the line – only about 40 people ahead of me!! I met Paul and his girlfriend from Toronto then Chris from the Zep party showed up behind me!!! Some long haired dude from New York was next – waiting for his girlfriend to show up. Next was a family of four from Tennessee (Mom was a tiny blonde we all nicknamed “Dolly” for her passion for Celine and Dolly Parton – and her accent). The time waiting went pretty quick until 1000 hours – we all started getting sore and running out of things to talk about. Chris was the guy I spent the most time with – he was British, but moved to Chicago. The people in our line could come and go and security would let them back if we said it was ok. It was great – just like a 70’s concert! The people were also great. The first batch of 12 who had camped there for two days were one group. The next were the cardboard children (so named because they were all napping on pieces of cardboard they'd brought with them) and then our group. People shared stories, bought donuts and food and shared them around. The Nashville guy even offered to buy us lunch! I went to pee twice – I looked at the line for merchandise, but it was too long! I ate my sandwich and a bag of pop tarts but refrained from drinking any more liquids to avoid having to “go” later. Butt started getting really sore, but my back was fine. I asked a security guard about my camera and he said it was fine. Saw LOTS of TV cameras filming the people up front, then they swung past us. One of the Scottish guys in our group called home and they said we were on the BBC news! Saw some people with cardboard signs asking for tickets – some with a person’s family name on it, and the person carrying the sign did not look happy! I had the feeling they got stiffed for their ticket. One kid in the second group was from Germany and he would get out of line to go see if he could buy a ticket – HE DIDN”T HAVE ONE! How he got by security to this point I have no idea! The second group got lots of photos taken of them as they were lying in sleeping bags and pillows on cardboard sheets and looked like homeless folk! Film crews continued to interview the front people, and we started asking security people about the plan to let us in. Supposedly, at 1600 hours, we would be cued up in bunches of 50 into one of four gates. The first 50 (including moi!) would be let in followed by the next 50, etc. At 1800, they would open the first gate and we would walk (don’t run!) to the arena floor. All the TV crews and newspaper people asked the stupidest questions (“What makes this band so special?”, “Is it worth all this trouble?”, etc). One kid in the second group was from Brazil and brought a horrible acoustic guitar. Paul tried to play it – even after tuning it, it was bad. He did a little “Stairway” and Communication”- everyone loved it. Then some kid behind us walked over and grabbed it saying “I know all the Zeppelin songs, I’ll show you how it’s done”. Arrogant, but if he’s good, what the heck. He tried to tune it for a long time, people lost interest. Then he explained that he played left handed, so he tried to play it upside down! More people lost interest. Finally, he told Paul to play it and HE would show him how. Forget it! He skulked away back in line – served him right! There was one loud kid in Group 2 that would yell out at the top of each hour “6 hours till Zeppelin”. Security meanwhile, did a great job of keeping the line and answering our questions. It really started getting cold. The O2 is like a mall under a tent – it’s really open in places and so it gets cold – especially when you are sitting on asphalt for 10 plus hours! The venue has Starbucks, Nandos restaurant, the Indigo Club and other ritzy shops. After noon, LOTS of people started showing up, so security said we had to move forward. The line now stretched as far around the bend as we could see. We ended up sitting on Group 2’s cardboard – nice! I started getting sore – and bored! “Dolly” would leave for hours at a stretch to warm up in a shop – and her husband joined her after a while leaving the two boys to watch their spots! As I was walking back from a pee, I saw the tribute band that security said would be playing near us. I spotted them because the short guitarist was wearing dragon pants under his coat. They were called “Boot Led Zeppelin”. The lead singer was a tall skinny guy that looked more like Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister than Robert Plant. The only one that looked like the original was the John Bonham look-a-like. The guitarist and singer were not amplified, only the bass was. The lead singer was good, but with no mike, really had to push it to be heard. They did about 45 minutes of hits, so it was pretty cool! That killed a bunch of time and now we started getting a little edgy. The line was packed now – lots of pushing. Some members of our gang took a chance to go for one last bathroom break. The TV crews were still filming us and so I dug out my American flag and started waving it. The people around me started chanting “USA, USA” – it was hilarious! I put the flag down and the camera crew said “Hey can you wave that flag again?” So we did it one more time. They said we’d move to the single cues at 1600 hours, but they didn’t move us until 1700 hours. They counted off the first 50 people and moved us to the first gate. The second group of 50 was put in the gate next to ours, etc. until the four single file gates were filled. We waited a little while and saw people being let in on the second balcony. Some people in our line got upset, but we told them they were either V.I.P.s or reserved upper seats (at least we hoped!) One security guy came along and checked our wrist band and ticket, a second security guy came along and scanned our ticket and a third security guy came along and tore off the ticket stub. It was more waiting until 1810 hours when they opened our line. LOTS of security - they checked stub and band again then two more security people patted us down. Both security guys looked at my camera and then said it was ok. Walked VERY fast (they said if we ran we would be escorted out), and every 20 feet there was a security person saying “Walk, walk”. I saw that the barricade in front of John Paul Jones was still empty – everyone was in front of Page/Plant. I decided to go there too and was in the second row just right of center stage. I picked an area behind two small guys from Canada and put my hand between them and grabbed the barricade. As more people came in and started pushing, I managed to get in sideways and then squeezed to get up front against the barricade! Cool! Saw the front people from the Zep party the night before on the barricade to my right. Behind me was the Tennessee family. I took off my coat and wrapped it around my waist. I could easily have snuck a video camera in since the pat down wasn’t very thorough. I kept turning around to look at the seated areas. The upper tier was full, but the lower tier was mostly empty – and the show was to start in about 45 minutes! Everyone around me was shocked when they saw my camera, but I told them at least 5 security people said it was ok. I saw Scarlett Page show up with her camera equipment between the barricade and the stage (Scarlett Page is Jimmy Page’s daughter and is a professional photographer). Someone pointed out Brian May and Marilyn Manson in the middle seats to our right. Man, if they are in the seated section, who are in the VIP boxes? At 1900 hours Harvey Goldsmith (the promoter that came up with the ticket allotment idea), came on stage and introduced the show. I was expecting to hear boos, but I didn’t hear any. It was funny when Harvey said, “We know why you are here, but the REAL reason we are here is to honor Ahmet Ertagun”. He introduced a 15 minute video clip that showed Ahmet with all the artists he had signed for Atlantic Records. Every time they showed Jimmy or Robert on the screen, everyone started yelling and clapping. There was a 5 minute pause after the video and the lights went out at 1910 hours. An orchestra came out from stage right and started to set up. The crowd was like “What the heck?” Then from stage left, out came Chris Squire (bass player for Yes), Simon Kirke (drummer for Bad Company), Alan White (the drummer for Yes) and Keith Emerson (the keyboard player for ELP). Alan White went to a pair of kettle drums and Simon Kirke got behind a drum kit. Chris Squire said “Good Evening” and then the brass section of the orchestra started Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (which ELP did a version of back in the day). You might not know the song by name, but it is the instrumental that they use to start the Olympics). It was a brilliant way to start the show. Nobody in line was keen on any of the supporting acts, but when that song started every one’s mouths dropped open! It was an incredible version – they even snuck some snippets of “Kashmir” in it (much to the delight of the crowd) and a little bit of “Roundabout”. After the song, the four “stars” went to center stage and took a bow. Alan White even threw the kettle drum sticks to the crowd. Great start to the evening.
  10. Yea, I cancelled the order on my credit card. I tried to contact the ticket broker that whole week - e-mail and phone calls - and never heard back from them. I found out later from my credit card company that the company was a sham! And yes, I was paranoid about all the restrictions they put on getting your tickets, but as I found out later, a LOT of people bought just the pass codes from people on E-bay and had no problems getting the tickets.
  11. Skip 7 December 2007 (Friday)...it's just me enjoying a long, LATE flight to London. 8 December 2007 (Saturday) Landed in London at Gatwick at 0850 hours. Went through Immigration line that took a while but no one was at the Customs desk so sailed through!! Found the area for the trains and bought a ticket. Bought the wrong one – I bought the Gatwick Express for 17 GBP when I could have gotten the Southern Rail for 9 GBP!! Too late now! Train left at 0940 hours and sat next to “Ozzy” – a guy that talked with such a thick accented mumble that the only words I could discern were “Picadilly, Gatwick and ok”. Got to Victoria Station at 1020 hours and walked outside. Found a money exchange and changed $800 US for about 380 GBP!!! Exchange rate is horrible! Light rain falling, but about 43 degrees! I started walking to my hotel. Rough time at first finding the main street from Victoria, then missed the turning street. Followed my maps and did the two miles slowly but didn’t get lost! Ended up following a girl in boots and wearing a sweater as a miniskirt! Gotta love London fashion. Streets end for no apparent reason and curve and change names at the drop of a hat! Also, sometimes the name of the street is posted at intersections – sometimes not! Found my last turn and found my hotel – Exhibition Court 4 – at 1150 hours! I checked in – I was being charged for last night since I was too late in trying to cancel. The guy was nice and called the maid to let me into the room, although the key wouldn’t be activated until 1300 hours. The room was just as described on the internet – cramped with orange shag carpet and the need for a little paint. But it was cheap, had a kitchenette and I only wanted to shower and sleep there. I unpacked everything, then went to the underground to look at tickets. Bought an Oyster card (3 GBP) and put 20 GBP on it. A normal one way fair on the tube is 3 GBP ($6.50 US). I hit a pub for some fish and chips and a beer, then went to the area near the O2 for some pictures. Walked along the Thames and then took the tube back to Victoria Station. Legs and feet were killing me by this point, so I people watched at the station. I’m trying to stay awake as late as possible to get on the new time schedule. Walked over to Westminster Cathedral for mass at 1800 hours. It was a high Mass with lots of singing (a guest choir was there). The song leader just flung his arms around like a conductor with no apparent rhythm or reason. The homily was only 2 minutes long! After mass, I walked back to the hotel, got lost once, but finally found the way. Got to the hotel at 2030 hours – I should sleep well tonight! Made 2 packs of Pasta sides and ate 2 rolls with it. Went to sleep at 2215 hours – a long day, but they are only going to get longer!! 9 December 2007 (Sunday) Today is the day I'm supposed to meet up with Tad and get my ticket! Up at 0820 hours – wow, that’s the latest I’ve EVER slept in! The sleep of the dead! Showered and rushed down to breakfast. The room is a little run down, but I’m happy with it. There was no soap in the dispensers, the window doesn’t close completely and the walls could use some paint touch-up, but what the hell! Breakfast was cornflakes, juice, slices of ham, bread and jam. I left the hotel at 0930 hours for Virgin Records. It was partly sunny when I got up – but now it’s overcast again. I got halfway there when it started sprinkling. Since I had my camera (and no case) I decided to hoof it back to the hotel. I still got caught in a hard rain! I should have heeded the words “Never walk in London in December without an umbrella!” There was nothing to watch on the TV in my room – five channels playing the same crap that I don’t watch in the States (Hanna Montana, CSI, etc.) The sun poked out again at about 1115 hours. I went over to the Cornish Bakery by the underground station and got a beef pasty for 3.50 GBP. It was like a beef pot pie. Back to the room and listened to Zep tunes while waiting for Tad. At 1345 hours, nerves got the better of me and I went outside to wait for him. Saw several people walk by – none were him. At about 1410, I saw a guy look up and down the street from the corner and dig a piece of paper out of his back pocket. He started walking up the street and I knew it was him! I smiled and yelled “Tad?” He smiled back! What a relief – I could easily have been scammed out of the ticket! I went down the steps, shook his hand and said “Boy, am I glad to see you!” We went to the room and I gave him the remainder of the money for the ticket in cash and also gave him a CSU hoody as a gift. We went to Earls Court Underground and Tad said he hadn’t eaten and wanted to grab a sandwich – we went to Subway! He ate it on the train on the way to the O2. Got to the O2 and saw that the lines were divided up according to your last name…A/B was one line, C/D was another, etc. We chatted while in line. He’s a real nice guy and reminds me of a young Michael Palin. He lives in Dublin and works at a bank. He’s married with two kids and his brother who lives in London, just didn’t want to go to the concert (you are kidding me!). We got inline at 1520 hours and it seemed to move slowly at first. I didn’t see anybody leaving the ticket office very excited. Saw that the wrist bands were blue or red. Although the line snaked to the door, everything was under the canvas. We also saw that they were selling merchandise already in another line! After a while, we could hear noise coming from the arena and you could see flashing lights – the rehearsals!! You couldn’t even make out a song – so the security people didn’t lie when they said it was soundproof! Finally it was our turn at 1720 hours. There were three people at the table – and they used a paper file not a computer. Tad gave the guy his pass code, credit card and ID. Then the guy asked for mine! I gave him my passport and he wrote out on the form all our stuff. We had to sign the form then a second guy put on our wristbands – standing get blue ones. Then they gave us our tickets. I asked if we had to come into the venue together the next day and the guy said “No, once you have the wrist and ticket, you can each come when you like!” Also, I asked about my camera. One security guy looked at it and said “I think its ok, Jim is this ok to bring in?” Another security guy came over and asked “Is it a 35mm?” I said “Yes” and he said “Harvey, is this camera ok?” Harvey looked like the boss and he asked “Is it a 35 mm?” I said “yes” and he said “No problem!”. I was ecstatic!! I turned to the lines of people waiting and yelled out an “Immigrant Song” scream as I held my ticket and wrist band high! At first there was stunned silence and I thought I screwed up (the British are SO reserved!), but then a bunch of people clapped, laughed and cheered! Tad smiled and I turned red. We went to a booth that was selling programs. The paper ones were 15 GBP ($35 US) while the hardcover ones that looked like a H.S. yearbook were only 20 GBP! I got the hard back one and then went in line for other stuff. Tad was going back to his brother’s house so we parted ways. He said he was going to show up “about 2:00 or so!” I told him I’d be here much earlier! Talked to some American kids who still couldn’t figure out the tube schedule! The things for sale were coffee mugs (15 GBP), T-shirt (40 GBP) and a poster (60 GBP – limited to 1200 prints). I got two T-shirts and went outside to take some O2 photos. It was already dark, but I took a couple shots. Got back on the tube and headed back to the hotel to change. Got to the hotel at 1900 hours. I had signed up for a party at Canary Wharf that was to go from 1900 to 2300 hours and e-mailed but never got a response back in time for a party running from 2100-0100 hours at Southwark. Sharon (the host) said no drop-ins, but since I e-mailed, hopefully I’ll get in. I changed into dressier clothes and went back to the tube. Took the tube to Tower Bridge and walked, I found the Thames and then found Southwark Street. It began to look a little seedy and I was beginning to wonder if I was on the right street. I saw some people milling about in front of a dark corner building and I saw the sign that said “Southwark Rooms”!! Started chatting with folks and then Sharon showed up! I introduced myself and she said I was welcome! Went into the pub and I sat on one of the couches and chatted with a guy from Toronto who was already camped out at the O2 to get in. Small nerdy guy that reminded me of the Paul Shaffer character in “Spinal Tap” (“Go ahead, kick this butt!”). A guy came over and asked if I had paid, I hadn’t so I forked over 27 GBP. He came back and handed me a name pouch with coupons in it – really nice! Next a guy from Long Island and his pregnant wife sat down and chatted. They initially had standing tickets but switched to seated tickets due to his wife’s condition. I was confused at first and then they explained that they marked out spots in line with people and they were all taking turns holding their spots! They said if I showed up tomorrow morning, I would be about No. 50 in line! Some people had been camping out there for two days. Then a blonde chick from California sat down with us and chatted. The Zep videos started in the other room and it was getting crowded. The blond chick was asking me questions and put her hand on my leg (she was married) so I excused myself and went into the video room! They showed a DVD with rare clips (John Bonham drumming on JPJ’s upright electric bass, etc.) then showed the entire 1975 Earls Court concert. I had a seat on the couch right up front! Awesome DVD - professionally shot and the boys were on fire!! People would cheer at the end of each song, sing along to the songs and when they played “Stairway” everyone dug out a lighter! It was fun! I got a couple rum and cokes from the bar – included in the tab. I could smell food, so I got up and grabbed some of the chicken strips and chicken on a stick! The veggies were cold, but still good. Finally I checked my watch and saw that it was 2330 hours – the last tube runs at midnight! I thanked Sharon and asked about the DVD – you had to fill out an address card and it would be mailed to you! I ran to the station and had to wait 8 minutes FOR THE LAST TRAIN (Jubilee West). Went to Westminster and got off for the next leg – 3 minutes till the last train there! Took the District Line back to Earl’s Court – WHEW! Walking back the hotel in leather pants, boots and a long black wool military coat, I was pretty tired and kind of slouching/shuffling along. I saw a couple guys standing on a street corner about 100 meters ahead. As I kept walking, they crossed the street to my sidewalk and just stood there. I checked my surroundings – no one else around, they had moved away from the street light and I couldn’t see anything I could use for defense like a branch or board. When I was about 5 meters away, they stepped away from the wall and blocked the sidewalk. One stuck out a small knife and said, “All right, give us the wallet now.” I looked at the knife, raised myself up to full height and laughed at them. Hell, I had been to Zaire and faced AK-47’s and at another point, a guy with a machete! My guide and I faced a band of spear-toting Dayak hunters in Kalimantan. Plus, I was almost a foot taller than either of them with my boots on. After I was done laughing I slid both hands into my coat pockets and said, “Boys, I’m an American. Where I come from we use guns not pocket knives.” I walked right in between them and kept walking. I kept listening to see if they were going to jump me from behind, but I didn’t hear anything but distant mumbling from them! As I was about to turn the corner to my hotel, I looked back and they were gone! I got to the room with some new found adrenaline. I changed and packed almost everything I wasn’t going to use. Went to bed at 0110 hours.
  12. "Gain of Function" - code for Bio-weapon development!
  13. Thanks Plant77.....here we go.... The Ticket (Part Two) It was 3 October, all winning pass code holders were notified and I wasn’t one of them. I saw on EBay that people were selling the pass codes they had won for hundreds of dollars and thought about purchasing one. Tickets on eBay were going for thousands. I had already been scammed once and with the restrictions in the terms and conditions, I was afraid that my criteria for the ticket wouldn’t match the registration info and I’d be out more money and still have no ticket! I decided that I would try other avenues. I found several radio and record company websites that had contests to win tickets – I entered them all!! I even wrote Barry Fey (Denver's premier concert promoter -who I didn't know personally) to see if he had any tickets or pull to get them. I checked Craig’s List and eBay London. The tickets for sale on Craigs List being sold by people in the States started at $1000.00 and went up from there. I contacted several sellers and found that they were taking the highest bid. I told them I wasn’t interested when the bids got to $2,000 – and all of them went over that! I also found the British version of Craig’s List called “The Gum Tree”. I saw several ads on there from people in Great Britain selling tickets and thought I’d have a better chance there. I contacted one guy whose bid started at $300 (almost face value!) for a companion standing ticket!!! I offered him $400.00. The next day he e-mailed me to say the offer was up to $750.00 – was I still interested? I said yes and offered $900.00. This went on for three days until I finally received an e-mail from the seller saying, “Look, I’m tired of reading and writing bids all day. One bloke offered me $1800.00, but he seems a bit dodgy and doesn’t have any reservations made for flights or hotel. If you can come up with $1600.00, the ticket is yours!” Well that was a hundred more than I planned to make my highest offer, but at least a thousand less than any ticket offered in the States, so I accepted. I checked around the office to get ideas on how to broker this without getting scammed (again). The seller (Tad W******) e-mailed me his idea. He said he had a Paypal account and thought if I would transfer half of it to the account, we could meet up in London, to pay the other half. Paypal charges can be challenged and I could also challenge it from my credit card company as well – two safety precautions from getting scammed! In addition, Tad gave me his name and phone number. We also agreed to meet at my hotel the day before the show and go to the box office together – him to pick up the ticket in his name and me to pick up his extra ticket as his companion. That sounds gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that……… ), but that’s the term the promoter used to describe the second ticket. Anyway, Tad sent me a copy of his pass code and the official receipt from Ticket Master as additional insurance. I had no problem sending the $800.00 to his Pay Pal account. Whew, I could relax again! More Problems On 1 November 2007, I checked Harvey Goldsmith’s site to see if there were any updates. Mr. Goldsmith stated earlier that any unsold tickets would be put back in the lottery and another drawing would be done until all tickets were sold. That afternoon, his website stated that Jimmy Page had an accident and broke his finger. The 26 November concert would be postponed until 10 December!!!! I immediately wrote Tad and informed him (hoping he could still make the show). I then contacted Northwest Airlines to re-book my flight - an extra $340.00 had to be paid for a more expensive ticket and a re-booking fee. I contacted the hotel in London and made new reservations – an extra $100.00 since the hotel rate was more expensive in December. Turns out that Jimmy Page fell while in his garden and fractured the pinky finger on his left hand. His doctor stated that Jimmy should be able to perform in two weeks, thus the rescheduled date. Not only was it now MORE expensive for me, but I had to take additional days off work since the original date would have been over Thanksgiving vacation! I had planned to drive to Des Moines, spend Thanksgiving with the family, drop off my dog and leave from there to London over the weekend to catch the Monday concert. With the new concert date and the fact that the family decided that Dad’s house cremation would take place on 11 November meant that I had three trips to make in less than a month from Colorado to Iowa (WAY too many hours driving on the road for me!). I decided to go back home on the weekend of 10/11 November, stay home with my dog Maggie for Thanksgiving and drive to Iowa on 5 December to drop off Maggie and go to London. Only two road trips. Fortunately, Tad was able to reschedule as well and our arrangements for meeting in London were the same – just two weeks later! 5 December 2007 (Wednesday) Up at 0400 hours, got ready for work. Walked in to work – temp is about 41 degrees – I didn’t even wear a coat! Got e-mail and phone transferred over for while I was gone and had a co-worker drive me to Avis for the rental car at 0800 hours. I signed up for a compact, but they gave me an HHR!! Drove home and started loading up the car. Left the house at 0930 hours. Sunny, partly cloudy skies – gorgeous! As soon as we got into western Nebraska, I hit a batch of low clouds that looked like fog and the temperature started to plummet! It went from 40 down to 17 in no time! Very windy too! It stayed cloudy the rest of the trip. Heard on the radio about the mass shootings at the Westroads Mall in Omaha! Traffic wasn’t bad and there wasn’t much construction either! Got to my sister's home in West Des Moines at 1930 hours. Des Moines is covered in a layer of ice and it is very cold. My sister came out to greet me and mentioned getting her mail. While carrying my dog Maggie, I told my sister I’d grab her mail since I was out there anyway. I slipped on the ice and fell - landing on my back while holding up Maggie – idiot!!! I wasn’t about to fall on Maggie though – no way! Unpacked the car and fed Maggie. I went to McD’s and got 5 sandwiches! Watched Bball with my sister and her husband. We all went to bed about 2100 hours. 6 December 2007 (Thursday) Got up at 0630 hours. Fed Maggie while my brother-in-law and sister left for work. It was windy and cold again – I didn’t take Maggie for a walk. Repacked stuff. My sister came home at 1100 hours – just as it started snowing. She took me to McD’s for lunch! Ate, got my stuff to the car and left for the airport at 1320 hours. I realized on the way that I forgot to pack one of my credit cards – Idiot, Part Deux!!! Snowing really hard and streets are getting bad. Went through e-ticket and checked one bag. Got through security and all by 1415 hours!! Saw that some flights were being cancelled – mine was still “on time”. I was supposed to fly out at 1605 hours. At 1540 hours they announced our flight was “delayed” I called my sister and said it didn’t look good - I also had her read off one of my credit cards to me just in case. I went to another desk to see if I could get on a different Minneapolis flight – notta! Went back to the other gate and it said my flight was cancelled and the airport was closed. There was a line a mile long of people trying to change flights...I went to a different terminal and gate and got in front pretty quickly. I called to change my flight to tomorrow and was told I had to go to the ticket counter to retrieve my bag. Went down there and waited in line – their display board showed my flight was delayed 2 hours! Went back through security and to the gates – cancelled there! Went BACK down to the ticket counter – cancelled there too! Called my sister at 1715 hours – my brother-in-law will pick me up! Waited downstairs and my brother-in-law drove me back to their house. I was a bit disappointed, but at least I didn’t HAVE to leave today! Anticipating bad weather, I scheduled my trip with a few extra days BEFORE the concert in case something (like this!) happened! At my sister's, I jumped on line to tell my London Hotel I would be 24 hours late – I doubt they will cancel my bill though! Helped shovel some snow then we watched “I Robot” till 2200 hours and went to bed! Maggie was VERY happy to see me, but I began to wonder if I would ever get to London to see this once-in-a-lifetime concert! It seemed the Music Godz were against me!
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