Starting 2015

After years hearing it I finally decided to complete a goal go jump in a lake.  Not just any lake and not just any day, I joined over a thousand other people at Matthews Beach Park for the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge.  So on January 1st my brother and I headed out early to get a parking space and meet our friends for the plunge.

Luckily I was warned by a friend who had done the plunge before that the parking lot at the park fills up well before the plunge so we left two hours before the start to get a space and also check out the event before it became too crowded.  As we pulled in to the parking lot we found that our plan had worked as there were a few spaces left.

Our first stop was to “register” for the event.  Registration usually means filling out papers and signing waivers.  However, for this event all we had to do was go get a wristband showing that we were going to participate in the plunge and accepted the risks that might be involved.  The next thing that caught my attention was a display that showed the air and water temperature.  So we had a good hour to ponder jumping into 47F water.  Well above freezing but well below what I consider comfortable.

Temperature Readings
The sign showing the air and water temperature.

True to Seattle, a lot of people dressed up.  I saw more than one tiara, a couple of Waldos, a tentacled creature and more.  I was kicking myself a bit for not bringing my outdoor camera.

The wait passed quickly as we chatted with people nearby and helped take photos for groups.  Before I knew it the announced warned us that the plunge for people needing extra time was about to begin, which meant we had only 15 minutes left to wait.  Several people in the crowd told us that we should divest our extra layers at this time to not be stuck trying to pull off clothing while the hordes were pushing past us to jump in the lake.  Also it was a good chance to acclimate to the colder temperature and not feel as much of a shock going from warm clothes to cold water.

I had chosen to wear a pair of swim trunks and some crocs to protect my feet from rocks under the water.  At first it was quite chilly to stand there in the 36F air with a light wind.  However, as people moved closer to prepare for the plunge the mass of bodies around me blocked the wind and provided enough warmth I was actually comfortable.

Suddenly everyone around was counting down.  The shouts of “ten, nine, eight…” let me know we were about to go and I prepared for the shock of the water.  I say we jumped in a lake but it wasn’t like that.  Really once we reached zero everyone ran forward on the beach down into the water.

To get credit for the plunge and earn the badge I had to go to a depth up to my neck.  I didn’t relish the idea of getting my glasses wet so I was going to walk out until it was up to my neck and walk back.  As I moved forward with everyone around me didn’t have time to worry about the temperature.  That is until I reached a depth that put my tender bits in the water.  My giblets!

I reached the depth I wanted, turned around and headed back to shore.  There on the beach my towel and dry clothes waited for me.  I quickly dried off with a towel and headed to the registration tent to pick up my badge.  Then we headed back to our gear and I removed my wet trunks and replaced them with a couple layers of dry clothing.

First Plunge.
Me after my plunge with my badge.

I think that I worked myself up for a much colder experience than I had.  Was it cold?  Yes!  Was it painful or uncomfortable?  No, not really.  I found it refreshing actually.  Then again, I didn’t stay for a long swim and Seattle has mild winters so the water was warmer than those at plunges where they have to carve a hole in the ice.  So I’m sure it could have been much colder and I’ll have to find one of those for a future plunge.

A new home!

Getting ready for the festival and travel I’ve got coming up in 2015 I’ve moved to a dedicated blog.  With this new platform I should be able to post pictures, stories, reviews and such more often.

Not only will I post more about my current travels, I hope to go back and post stories from events that have happened in the past that haven’t been published.  After all, what good is a permanent record if it isn’t all captured?

Here’s looking to a wonderful holiday season and another year of travel and music!

Off to Philadelphia!

Yeah, yeah… I’m a bad blogger… You still love me though so we won’t belabor that point.

I’m about to fly off to Philadelphia to attend the wedding of a couple of my friends. I couldn’t be happier for the bride and groom. In honor of them I decided to post one of his videos. If you like what you hear you wouldn’t be badly served by picking up some of his music. Solo Simon Godfrey, Shineback, or, my favorite, Tinyfish.

See you on the flip side!

The Prog Pilgrim


A definition of Progressive Rock Music:

Progressive rock (often shortened to prog or prog rock) is a form of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a “mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility.” The term “art rock” is often used interchangeably with “progressive rock”, but while there are crossovers between the two genres, they are not identical.

Progressive rock bands pushed “rock’s technical and compositional boundaries” by going beyond the standard rock or popular verse-chorus-based song structures. Additionally, the arrangements often incorporated elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used “concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme.”

Progressive rock developed from late 1960s psychedelic rock, as part of a wide-ranging tendency in rock music of this era to draw inspiration from ever more diverse influences. The term was applied to the music of bands such as King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Soft Machine and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Progressive rock came into most widespread use around the mid-1970s. While progressive rock reached the peak of its popularity in the 1970s and early 1980s, neo-progressive bands have continued playing for faithful audiences in the subsequent decades.


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Pilgrim Pil"grim, n. [OE. pilgrim, pelgrim, pilegrim,
pelegrim; cf. D. pelgrim, OHG. piligr[imac]m, G. pilger, F.
p[`e]lerin, It. pellegrino; all fr. L. peregrinus a
foreigner, fr. pereger abroad; per through + ager land,
field. See Per-, and Acre, and cf. Pelerine,
1. A wayfarer; a wanderer; a traveler; a stranger.
[1913 Webster]

Strangers and pilgrims on the earth. --Heb. xi. 13.
[1913 Webster]

2. One who travels far, or in strange lands, to visit some
holy place or shrine as a devotee; as, a pilgrim to
Loretto; Canterbury pilgrims. See Palmer. --P. Plowman.
[1913 Webster]

The Prog Pilgrim

Me, your humble host. A guy who has decided to follow his joy and travel the world to hear great music live. I’m also going to try and spread the word of wonderful music that I feel doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While progressive rock is my genre of choice I can’t limit myself like that, so I’ll be talking about all kinds of music.

This whole thing works best if it is a conversation and I encourage everyone to comment and share information about their favorite music. After all, how am I going to discover more myself? I certainly can’t find it all on my own as I’m only one guy.

So welcome and I hope you enjoy the ride.