Can you remember all of the live concerts/shows you have been too?

Taken at Deer Lake Park, BC (one of the last White Stripe shows)

I can, kinda. I have been wanting to keep better tabs on the live concerts I have seen for many years.  In addition to being daunting, it was equally frustrating because I know I am leaving out shows. That said, I think I have done a pretty good job with remembering most of them. If you add up the estimated ticket cost and merchandise I bought, you would have a pretty nice retirement plan.  Then again, the memories of these shows are priceless!

10,000 Maniacs
30 Seconds to Mars
Arctic Monkeys (Bad ass show)
Bad Religion
Bauhaus (very depressing)
Built to Spill
Chris Cornell (a freak)
Chris Isaak
Cold War Kids
Dead or Alive
Death Cab for Cutie
Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses Tour, Rose Bowl (epic)
Dixie Chicks
Duran Duran
Echo and the Bunnymen
Electric Six (At the Croc, great show)
Ellie Goulding
English Beat, Redondo Beach Pier (KROQ show, 21+, worse fake ID ever but it worked)
Everclear (bandmate sister hitting on me the whole show)
Fine Young Cannibals
Foster the People
Franz Ferdinand (saw 2x, both great shows)
General Public (great energy)
Harvey Danger
Howard Jones
Ice Cube (such a bad ass show)
Idiot Pilot (wild, great energy, reckless, my kinda show!)
Jack White (so much talent)
Jason Mraz
Jonas Brothers (kids insisted)
Kaiser Chiefs (solid)
Kanye West (great artist/entertainer)
Kendrick Lamar (legit)
Kings of Leon
Marina and the Diamonds (Good energy, fun show)
Miley Cyrus (Children insisted, kinda fun)
Modest Mouse (killer show at Lake Union)
Neon Trees
New Order
New York Dolls
Of Monsters and Men
Of Montreal (fun band to see live)
Passion Pit
Pearl Jam (many times)
Pet Shop Boys
Pink Floyd
Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three
Ramones (Hollywood Palladium. I was 15 years old and went by myself. So fast, so raw. This was a great show. First taste Hollywood, as a teen).
Reba McEntire and Ronnie Milsap (first concert)
Sheryl Crow
Shiny Toy Guns
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Stryper (La Mirada High School)
Sweet Water
The Alarm (Irvine Meadows)
The B-52’s
The Beastie Boys (at the Crocodile!)
The Black Crows
The Cult
The Eurythmics
The Fixx
The Gap Band (great show, under the Space Needle)
The Killers
The Kills (so great to see them live)
The Lumineers
The Pixies
The Presidents of the United States of America (drummer got bounced from stage by security)
The Raconteurs (1st show in Hollywood plus several others)
The Shins
The Smashing Pumpkins (sat in sound booth with son)
The Strokes (killer show)
The Subways
The Thompson Twins
The White Stripes (at least 15x)
The Who
Tom Petty
Vampire Weekend (the end show, they canceled the Marymoor show)
Van Halen
Violent Femmes
Wolfmother (raw, great show)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (met Karen-O backstage, Fever to Tell just came out. One of the best shows I have ever seen)
Ziggy Marley

Alright, I already remember one that I missed!  The Fastbacks, JayZ, and Beyonce.  My biggest regret is not going to SFO on New Years Eve and seeing The Red Hot Chili Peppers/Pearl Jam/Nirvana show that my friends Mark Jimenez and Jimmy Gherke had invited me to.  Talk about an epic show!


Use Negativity to Empower You

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Finding negativity in your everyday life is easy to do.  One does not have to look far.  We all have friends and acquaintances who offer the negativity “gift” on a daily basis. What you do with this gift is what counts.  You can choose to accept the gift and re-gift it to others in the same wrapping paper (probably the most innate action), or you can choose to accept the gift and change the wrapping paper before you re-gift it, and/or keep the gift for yourself.

Negativity is an opportunity. When you are faced with negativity from another person or a situation, it is completely within your control how to accept it or not accept it. Some may challenge you to not accept the gift at all, and that is a fine action. However, why let that gift go to waste? Why not accept that gift and create an opportunity?

If someone tells me with negative tones that I dance like a robot, I would probably laugh first. Then I would thank them for their astute observation. Then I would take their gift and do two things. The next time I was dancing I would make sure to rock the robot like no one has ever rocked it before. Then I would make it a point to compliment my dance partner on her great moves or offer that same compliment to another on the dance floor. The recipient feels good, the sender feels good, and I am also rocking the robot. Can you say win-win?

Don’t let negativity dictate your energy. Use negativity to empower your actions and choose happiness.

Guest Post: Mahatma Gandhi

gandhi-300x257Mark, thank you so very very much for allowing me to have a guest post on your most amazing of blogs. I have been a fan of yours for a long time and especially enjoyed your post on Surviving Road Rage.

Now listen to me Mark, because I am going to give you some solid advice. Do not spend your precious energy on things that are out of your control. Show up. Be the awesome person you are and do not spend your time worrying about things that you cannot control. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes. Continue being happy Mark. It looks good on you.

Why I Picked The FitBit Surge over the Apple Watch

Untitled-Flickr-Photo-Sharing--263x300.pngIf you have arrived at this blog you are probably on the fence about which device to get, the Apple Watch or the Fitbit Surge. I spent a lot of time wondering the same thing so I thought I would share my thought process in hopes of helping you.

About me. I am a mid 40’s guy in pretty good shape. I work out 5-6 days a week, mostly CrossFt, a boxing class, surfing and some P90X for good measure. I have had the Fitbit Flex for over a year and like the idea of it but did not like that I had to manually set it to track my sleep, and also that it did not track other metrics I was interested in (Heart rate, exercise, etc). My girlfriend, who is also active, has one of the first Fitbit trackers that I’m pretty sure has a hamster on a wheel powering the thing.  It works though and she constantly crushes me in steps.

When the Apple Watch was announced I was super pumped and already counting the days until I could get it. It sounded like it was going to give me everything I ever wanted in a fitness tracker plus all of the additional communication channels that an iPhone gives me. I devoured every article I could on the subject and was in virtual line, awaiting the opportunity to make the purchase.

However, the closer the date came to pre-order, the more I started second guessing the purchase. I then read a review (cannot find it to link) about a gent who opted out due to the constant notifications. I know you can disable them, but isn’t that one of the benefits of the watch? As the day grew closer I was getting ready to order them when I started paying more attention to our behavior with our iPhone’s.  Anytime a notification would come in we were both on it, instantly.  Then I imagined how that would look by adding the Apple Watch (aka Ball and Chain) and I knew at that moment that we were not getting Apple Watches.

We are both very active and the main reason for the Apple Watch in the first place was to track our fitness better.  That is when I started looking into alternative trackers which led me to a familiar brand, Fitbit.  After learning more about their new offerings, I was torn between the Fitbit Surge (top of the line fitness tracker) and the FitBit Charge. My girlfriend decided on the Fitbit Charge (no HR). It is sleek, and it gives her way more metrics than her first Fitbit. I honestly think she would have been happy with a Fitbit Flex to replace her ancient tracker! I opted for the Fitbit Surge because I read so many positive views on it.  We are still in the honeymoon phase with our new toys but we both have nothing but positive things to say about them.

What I like most about the Fitbit Surge:

  • It is a Fitness Tracker first.
  • It still notifies me of text messages, and phone calls, but not in an invasive way
  • It tracks my sleep automatically
  • It tracks my heart rate quite well
  • I like wearing it. It does not even feel like I am wearing anything.
  • I like being able to check the time, my messages, and metrics without having to lug out my iPhone.
  • It looks nice and I can wear it while going out for a night on the town without it looking scrappy.

We are both happy with our purchases.  Now I just have to figure out how to start getting more steps than her (she is so competitive!!!).