Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week in review

This has been a very full week of work and play. I have started mixing another album for Grand Vista and also worked a couple of days at Blackbird studios. I'm still having a bit of trouble staying focused and getting back into the full swing of work after such a great, long holiday break but I was very productive this week. I'm really enjoying mixing for Grand Vista and can tell it is really helping me hone my mixing skills.

I haven't been doing much riding lately so I've been antsy to get back out on a bike. We lucked into a couple days of awesome weather this past week. Thursday was sunny and 50 degrees so I rode my new Quiring into the studio. This was my first commute by bike from my new house so it felt like kind of a mini adventure. Another ride of exploration of different routes through the mid-town area. This was also an experiment of sorts to see how I liked riding the Quiring on the road and to see how 32x17 felt. As suspected, the gearing was still a little too easy for true road riding but it wasn't that bad. It was fun to ride a new bike around town and a titanium one at that. Being that it was Thurs, I also chose the Quiring to ride to to the tap room after work to show it to a few of the team guys who hadn't seen it fully built.

The tap room was a lot of fun as usual. We had a big turn out with Beth even making an appearance and bringing an old co-worker along. Dan brought the new team issue walz caps (look for a post about that soon) along with a few select 'mistake' caps for some special people. After closing down the tap room (at the early hour of 8pm) we headed on to the loft of a new-to-us friend named Emily. Ok so her place is just cool. Old brick building with a huge open room divided into 3 bedrooms and a large common room with a rope swing hanging from an i-beam and some killer tunes being spun off vinyl.

Friday came and went with out much excitement. More mixing and lunch with an old friend setup the weekend. I wanted to ride dirt saturday but no plans developed and I just chilled at home most of the day, enjoying the new couch perch. I had a 'guys night' party to go to saturday night so I rode the crosscheck over to Sylvan park for that. Had a lot of fun watching guy movies, drinking beer and whiskey and making a huge bonfire. The ride there and back was a lot of fun. It was cold, near 25 degrees, but still enjoyable, and short enough to not get too chilled.

Sunday a big group met up at Montgomery Bell to ride the frozen tundra. Our 70 degree days were gone and it was back to highs in the low 30s. 9 singlespeeders and three geared riders braved the cold, including 3rd place SouthernX SS racer Mr Thad Hoffman and recent stranger to cycling, 8Ball. Nothing all that exciting to report. Just lots of smiles and laughs. No major mechanical problems and only one flat tire to contend with amongst 12 riders. It snowed on us some and we got in about 15 miles before calling it and heading to get Mexican food. Montgomery Bell continues to amaze in it's resilience to the elements. The trail is in great shape and is only suffering a little from the freeze/thaw on the most commonly traveled stretch. They've left the leaves on the trail which has really helped the water evaporate quicker and kept the trail ridable longer into the winter season. Bravo to all the trailbuilders and maintainers on Montgomery Bell! Your next beer's on me!

sweet new custom team issue Walz Cap

This week I'll be mixing at Grand Vista monday through friday. I'm looking forward to commuting in a few days and also getting out on some lunch time rides with some new riding partners. I hope the weather cooperates and we see a little bit more spring-like temperatures.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Privilege Tax?

So Rep G. E. Hardaway of Memphis thinks Athletes and those in the Entertainment industry should pay a $400 special tax just because they make more than $50,000 a year and happen to work in those professions. Seems odd huh? This seems like the beginning of the "who's gonna pay for all these bailouts?". •

News links:
MKRN News story

This means all hardworking studio musicians, road musicians, singers, artists, recording engineers (like me) will be penalized based solely on our job choice and our success. Isn't American working hard to equal rights? Didn't Nashville just shut down an English-Only bill which outraged more than half the population? How about equal liability? As a tax payer I'm gonna have to help bail out Ford, but also pay $400 more than my friend who works at a bike shop, or for a computer firm. Why? Why are entertainers being singled out? Why should an athlete pay more?

I received an email from councilman-at-large Megan Barry last week asking for my help is shutting down the English-Only bill. I replied to her and asked for her help in shutting down this privilege tax bill. Below is my email that I sent to my local councilman and also to all the councilman-at-large. I ask that you research this proposal and if you decide it is bunk also, email your councilman and tell them to vote it down.

I would like to ask in return for you to please vote against Rep. G.E. Hardaway of Memphis's proposal of a privilege tax on Athletes and entertainers. As a freelance recording engineer I am appalled by this proposal. We have all worked very hard to get to where we are professionally and to seek us out and punish us with a higher tax based on our occupation seems very un-American. We preach equal rights in this country and now have a president that many will look to continue this ideal. How can we separate out specific occupations and require them to pay more in taxes?

If the government is looking for people to pay for all these bailouts, why don't they look to the oil industry? Why are tax payers bailing out the auto industry while Exxon remains on the top of the earnings chart for another year. I'm sure Exxon would love for the auto industry to stay in business. I for one think you should lie in the bed you made. If you can't make it as a company why are you being bailed out. I'm trying to make it as an entrepreneur and am going to be taxed MORE because of it. I don't see any bail outs for my colleagues as CD sales plummet again and again. Not only are we punishing certain businesses with higher taxes, we are rewarding other businesses for poor results.

Thank for your time and attention on this matter!

Greg Lawrence

I received word back from two metro councilmen and was told by Charlie Tygard that this was a matter of State legislature and not Metro Council. I have emailed my representative, Jim Cooper and am awaiting a reply. I urge you to contact your TN state legislators as well.

Here is a site to find your TN representative:

Here is the letter I wrote to Representative Jim Cooper on 1/25/09

I would like to ask for you to please vote against Rep. G.E. Hardaway of Memphis's proposal of a privilege tax on athletes and entertainers. As a freelance recording engineer I am appalled by this proposal. We have all worked very hard to get to where we are professionally and to seek us out and punish us with a higher tax based on our occupation seems very un-American. We preach equal rights in this country and now have a president that many will look to continue this ideal. How can we separate out specific occupations and require them to pay more in taxes? What is the connection between athletes and entertainers and the Juvenile Courts System? Does G.E. Hardaway just see dollar signs when he looks at athletes and entertainers? I think everyone should be taxed equally.

Thank for your time and attention on this matter!

Greg Lawrence

EDIT (1/29/09) :

I was informed by Congressman Jim Cooper that this is a matter of state legislator and to contact Gov. Bredesen and/or my state legislators. I sent them the same email I sent Congressman Cooper.

You can find your legislator at this link:

Sen. Douglas Henry responded immediately with this email:

Thank you for this information. It will certainly be kept in mind if this bill every gets before a Committee on which I sit. Douglas Henry

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


These are things that have crossed my mind as I sit here at work, watching someone else mix.

• I need to get paid for work I've done. It would be great to have a free collection service to call upon. Why are the clients with the most noble aspirations the ones that are the hardest to get paid from?
• I'm getting fat. The eggnog and bags of M&Ms are catching up to me.
• Weather looks good for tomorrow, I want to ride into work and take the new bike.
• I wonder what 32x17 feels like on the road on a 29er with big monster truck tires.
• Is Blackbird the only studio still busy?
• Wonder how much of the new political atmosphere is talk and how much will be action
• Nashville really needs to adopt some plan like this one for bike commuters. Who wouldn't want to be paid to ride their bike to work?
• I'm kind of famous now and have my mug on the Walz Cap website.
• I can't wait to get my new Walz cap, wonder how the cotton ones fit compared to the wool.

• It's almost lunch time, time for some pb&j at home. I love living close to work.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

anyone else?

I can't help but feel this way today....

How many times have you heard the word hope today?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

weekend trip to Nashville

Things have finally settled down a tiny bit for me wife and I and this was my first weekend to stay town and not have real plans in months. I was real excited to get back on the mountain bike and put in some miles. Since the rush of the holiday season was over, there was some time to get back to the things I love.

There was a lot of discussion on possible rides but as usual for this time of year, the weather played a big part in the final decisions. The idea of a mountain bike ride for Saturday got canceled due to threats of freeze/thaw trail conditions so Johnny5 and I opted for a late morning road ride around his new block. We had some setbacks as my flat-tire-luck is still in the dumpster with my road bike. I did however learn that you can pinch flat a tire when installing it. The ride was a tough one for me. Having it be the first time back on the bike since before Xmas, my body had some funk to work through. I should of seen the foreshadowing on my drive to Thad's. I was passed in a no-pass zone, while going 7 mph over the speed limit, by a white haired old grannie. Yep, that's a confidence boost! hah The super dry, cold air wreaked havoc on my lungs during the ride and the wind tried it's best to blow us both off the road. Thad took us on a great route through the wooded areas in Mt Juliet but unfortunately we had to cut the ride a bit short due to the cold and my lack of fitness. I still drove home thinking how great it felt to have gotten outside and exercised.

The plan for Sunday involved a trip to Land Between the Lakes to ride the North/South trail. We again worried about the freeze/thaw with the warmer temperature but got feedback from Keith that the trail should be in ok shape. Dan, Keith, Doug, Thad and I drove up and set out to brave the cold again, but this time on the trail. The temperature was noticeably warmer than the day before so I already had high hopes. This was also my first trip to ride the North/South trail so I was excited about that as well, not to mention another opportunity to ride my new bike. (just the 3rd opportunity)

We dropped right into the trail and it was awesome from the get go. I can't really describe the feeling I had other than just pure happiness. I had the conscious thought of "wow, I'm really having fun." Good friends together riding bikes in the woods, in good (enough) weather with no injuries. A very successful day in the woods.

The ride turned into quite a different ride than I'm sure we all expected. Doug was having frustrating issues with his chain dropping off over and over again. It made him very apprehensive to attack any of the climbs and almost really hurt him when it dropped as he was climbing a hill and through his body forward into his stem. After about 8 miles he decided to call it a day and make his way back to the cars. Thad had the tools and equipment needed to possibly fix his issues so we all decided to head back to the cars and fix his bike and then head back into the woods. This is where the ride totally changed. We hit the gravel road and tried to follow our intuition back to the main road. There were many intersections for us to guess our route, and guess wrong. Our trail ride had turned into a very cool gravel grinder on roads that varied from very rough gravel with water drainage ditches to hop over to very steep paved roads.

After another 8 miles of gravel grinding we finally made it to the road, much more north than we had expected. So this started our trek back to the parking lot on the main road. We guesstimated a 10 mile ride based on where we popped out on the road, but thankfully it ended up being more like 6-7 miles. The road was rolling without any big climbs which meant we could have some fun since we couldn't actually ride that fast, all being on singlespeeds with our trail gearing. I was quite ready to be done by the time we rolled back to the parking lot. No riding for almost a month and then a 50 mile weekend was catching up.

I really felt great on the ride which was a bit of a surprise after my road ride Saturday. I'm learning more about the new bike and am really really enjoying riding it. Beth and I will continue to be in town for the next couple weekends so I'm hoping to continue to put more miles on the Quiring and get my body ready for the Feb Snake Creek Gap.

Who links to my website?