Angeline OK after surgery, checking in with Roy Vogt, Sean O’Bryan Smith and Snow Owl, more videos, testing update, forum news

It’s been a busy few days, and I’ve spent almost my entire morning on the phone, talking with endorsers and dealers. Man, I’m getting excited! Let me fill you in on some of the news:

Sister Angeline Saris has made it through surgery and is in good spirits. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to talk long, becasue right after she called they came to take her to her ultrasound checkup on her artery.

Angeline sent me a pair of pictures earlier today. I feel safe posting the one below, but I’m going to hold off on the other one and make sure it’s OK with her to post it, as it shows the drain, which only Gene Simmons could love. But it is a funny shot in an Oh, Gross! sort of way.



Angeline Saris recovering from surgery, with her friend Josh.


UPDATE: Angeline took a nap after the ultrasound, but called me a few minutes ago. She’s still really tired after the surgery, and I hate to say it, but the test showed she may not be out of the woods yet. I won’t say more until Angeline gets to talk to the doctors.

Angeline did say it was OK to post the second picture, so here it is:



Blech! A blood grenade! And it’s mine! Eeew!


By the way, we’re doing all we can to help Angeline raise funds to help pay for all of this. If you can pitch in a dollar, I’m sure she’d appreciate it. And I know that we would, too!

Spoke with Roy Vogt today, as he raced from one appointment to another. He’s been keeping extremely busy, even during Spring Break, what with extra sessions, preparing for the final stretch of this school year, and dealing with the launch of his own learning community, Thunder Row. I’m assisting over there as well, and Roy and I both have blogs. We’re also building a library of lessons, articles and videos, which will feature Roy’s and my current library of material as well as new content. I’m also reaching out to other bassist/writers to invite their contributions.

While all of that is open to the public, there is also a forum which is divided into a public area and Chateau Groove, a private area for owners of Roy’s course, Teach Me Bass Guitar. (You can read my full review here. Whether you’re just starting out, are have been playing for decades, Thunder Row is a great place to improve your skills and pass some knowledge to others. I hope you’ll join us.

And speaking of joining us, have you noticed that we launched the DNA Forums? Thanks to Roger Barlow, we got it up and running last Friday, just in time for the weekend speaker testing. (More on that in a minute.) We already have a couple dozen members, including many old friends. We’ve got over three dozen topics going, including discussions on gear and upcoming designs. If you haven’t registered, please do so now, and join us as we build our community!

Snow Owl and I had a great long Skype call and caught up on several fronts. He’s expecting to attend NAMM 2011, and we’re going to see if we can work a few days in Chicago into his schedule so he can do some in-depth testing with us. Of course we also talked about his upcoming master clinic at Berklee on April 15.

One other thing we discussed – and I’m just so grateful to Snow Owl for this – was the video he sent me. It’s of the Austrian band Rock Office, which includes Hans Baumgartner, one of Snow Owl’s students. The video is of the band’s cover of my song Time of My Dyin’, Part 2, from Dig the Hole. Man, I was thrilled, and honored, they liked the songs that much.

Thanks to today’s technology, I have a video of them doing it as an internationally-sharable keepsake. You can watch it here, if you’re so inclined.

And just HUGE thanks to Hans and the rest of Rock Office – who did an excellent job! – and to Snow Owl for helping it all happen.

Now we get to the really fun stuff. If you haven’t noticed, there are four more videos (five total) from last weekend’s field testing. One word: amazinglyinstenselytotallyawesome. Check out the written report, including Jeff Carlson‘s toughts, on the SEAL Team report page. I haven’t heard back from Mark yet, but I’ll post his comments as soon as he weighs in. By the way, we also kept touch with the forum during the test. It’s in the report.

While the schedule is not set, I can tell you that the first Road Trip for field testing will be to Nashville. In addition to Roy and Sean, Abe White will be taking part, as well as a new member of the family, Marc Williams. In fact, Marc is so new that he and I haven’t met face to face yet, much less have his fake tooth with the cyanide capsule inserted, so it will be an event-packed trip for him. Of course, I’ll be shooting video and stills (of the testing not the insertion of the … never mind) during the test. If there’s time I’m going to try to get each one of them to sit for a shoret interview.

OK. That’s pretty much everything that’s going on… or at least everything I’m allowed to talk about. I’ll see you in a few days, with more.

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