Friday, August 29, 2008

1 Day: Party At The End Of The Week

Its almost here! After 23 days of counting down, tomorrow is the big day!
Today's album is Jimmy's latest studio album. "Take The Weather With You" was released on October 10, 2006. I remember driving to Best Buy on my lunch break that day to go buy it. The artwork within the album is great; lots of very colorful photographs. There are a lot of great songs on this album, but it's almost more of a 'cover' album than Jimmy's own material. Only 4 out of the 14 songs can credit Jimmy as a co-writer. Those songs however are probably the 4 best ones on the album: "Party At The End Of The World", "Everybody's On The Phone", "Hula Girl At Heart", and "Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On". (the latter being written about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina). There are still several other great songs that weren't necessarily written by Jimmy: "Bama Breeze", "Nothin' But A Breeze", and "Duke's On Sunday".

I've saved my favorite Buffett shirt for last. This black shirt is from Margaritaville Key West. The overall pirate theme is really what makes it my favorite shirt.
On the back you see a bunch of pirate-parrots sitting at a bar. One parrot has fallen off his bar stool and the words "Beware Parrot Droppings" is written below. Some clever humor for ya!
So I've worn all 19-ish of my Buffett shirts on this countdown. I haven't yet decided which shirt to wear to the concert tomorrow. We'll be taking lots of pictures, I'm sure, so check back over the weekend to see all the fun we had.
Now that the countdown is concluding, we'll soon be moving onto other business at The Rode Family Blog... including a major announcement! Some readers might already know what's coming up, but if you're still in the dark, I'll leave you with a hint (or two...)
Laura will be our designated driver for the day... she won't be drinking any alcohol... and I recently bought her this book so she could have some fun drinks...
... is that hint enough for you?? Check back soon for more details!
I hope everyone enjoyed the countdown.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

2 Days: Lookin' Good

Today's album is 2004's "License To Chill". This was Jimmy's first #1 album. It charted #1 on the Billboard Country Charts and #1 on the Billboard Top 200. It definitely has a contemporary country music feel to it and it features cameos from many current country music stars. Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Toby Keith, & Clint Black joined Jimmy to sing the Hank Williams Sr. classic song "Hey Good Lookin'". Alan Jackson, (having recently released "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" and rocketing Jimmy back into superstardom), appears on "Boats To Build" & "Hey Good Lookin'". Martina McBride sang along with Jimmy on "Trip Around The Sun". Some of my favorites from this album are the Grateful Dead cover "Scarlet Begonias", "Back To The Island", "License To Chill" (again, featuring Kenny Chesney), "Coast Of Carolina", and "Coastal Confessions".
Today's shirt is another one from Margaritaville Glendale. When they opened that store they offered all kinds of great shirts that were never available before! This is another tagless (bonus!) and it also has a front pocket (double bonus!). It's a retro/vintage/throw-back, whatever you want to call it, of a 1979 Boat Drinks Tour shirt. Now, I did a little research and it turns out that Jimmy's 1979 tour wasn't actually called the "Boat Drinks Tour". It was called the "Volcano Tour", or sometimes the "You Had To Be There Tour". So I guess that makes this shirt completely fictional... which is fine, its still a really cool shirt.
The back is really cool. It's distressed screen-pint mentions all kinds of Buffett innuendos like "Come fly to St. Somewhere, stranded on a sandbar, the weather is here". It continues: "Free and easy, warm and breezy". It lists the dates as Aug. 17th - 20th (1979) but according to, he didn't even play any shows on those days. He did however play at our own nearby Merriweather Post Pavilion two days earlier (August 15, 1979)... coincidence?
Anyway, this light blue shirt is an all-around great shirt (despite my ripping it factually) and my second favorite one.
Tomorrow is one more day, one more album, one more shirt!
Be sure to come back and check it out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

3 Days: Last Man Standing

Today's album, from 2002, is "Far Side Of The World". It was inspired greatly from Jimmy's (then) recent trip to Africa. You can see an elephant walking down a road outside of the window on the album cover. I'd say its a pretty solid album all around. It encompasses Jimmy's current sound and features a lot of good stuff. "Blue Guitar", "All The Ways I Want You", "Savannah Fare You Well", "Someday I Will", "Far Side Of The World", and "Tonight I Just Need My Guitar" are some of my favorites.

Today's shirt comes to us from Margaritaville Glendale. This is the third shirt on the countdown from the Glendale location, but the first of mine (the other two have been Laura's shirts). I'm a big fan of the sand color of the shirt. It may look plain white in the picture, but it is not. Its also tagless! Which is a big bonus! The front simply says "The Shipwreck Lounge, Margaritaville". The Shipwreck Lounge is a fictional bar mentioned in the song "Saxophones" from the "Living and Dying in 3/4 Time" album.
... and wouldn't you know it, on the back are the words "Livin' & Dyin' in 3/4 Time" at the bottom. You can probably guess the biggest reason why this is my third favorite Buffett shirt: The pirate skull, rum bottles and ship wheel. Its a very cool design.
Two days left! Two shirts to wear! Two albums to review! Check back tomorrow as the countdown draws closer to its end!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

4 Days: Permanent Reminder

Today's album is "Beach House On The Moon". It was released in May of 1999. Its a mediocre group of songs in my opinion; not Jimmy's best work. I would probably pick "Oysters and Pearls", "Semi-True Story", and "Lucky Stars" as my favorite songs from this album. The song "Math Suks" is commonly considered Buffett's worst song ever by most parrotheads.

Today's shirt is my fourth favorite Buffett shirt and one of my more recent acquisitions. Its from Margaritaville Jamaica (... never been there) and I really like the forest green color. This is another pirate-themed shirt, which plays greatly into why I love it so much.
The front breast is simply a skull and swords distressed pirate flag with the words "Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Jamaica".
The back is very cool! The distressed flag gets a little Jamaican makeover and the skull is now wearing a Landshark bandana. A lyric from "A Pirate Looks At Forty" hangs above the skull "Yes, I Am A Pirate, 200 Years Too Late". Just below the skull, a brief line from "Cheeseburger In Paradise" continues: "Warm Beer... And Bread, They Say Can Raise The Dead."
Its hard to believe we're just four days away from the show! I also can't believe that I only have three shirts left to wear! I'll probably take a few minutes to look back at the countdown soon to decide which shirt I want to wear to the concert. I will likely be buying a new one too, so I'll be sure to show it off in a future post.
I hope everyone has a great Tuesday! Laura is working today, Mackinzie is spending the day with Gigi, and I will be at a client performing an audit all day.
Check back tomorrow as Saturday's concert draws nearer and nearer!

Monday, August 25, 2008

5 Days: Building A Rocket Ship

Today's album is "Banana Wind", released in 1996. There's a lot of good stuff on here! The song "Jamaica Mistaica" tells the story of when Jimmy, while piloting his sea plane over Jamaica, was almost shot down out of the sky. The authorities thought it was a drug-running plane. Luckily he was able to land safely and the locals apologized profusely for their mistake-ah. The title cut, "Banana Wind" is the only instrumental Jimmy has ever recorded for one of his albums. Some other highlights are "Only Time Will Tell", "School Boy Heart", "False Echoes (Havana 1921)", and "Cultural Infidel". Laura and I almost used a song from this album as our wedding song (it turned out that "Bless The Broken Road" was far more appropriate), but "Happily Ever After (Now And Then)" remains one of our favorite songs.

Today's shirt starts off my top 5 favorite Buffett shirts. This is the first one I ever bought. Its from Margaritaville Charleston (which I've never been to) and therefore was an Internet purchase. The front of this grey shirt features a pirate ship on the breast and the words "Real Pirates Drink Margaritas".
The back is pretty much the same, only the pirate ship has been replaced by a pirate head. The Margaritaville Charleston location was established in 1998. This is my number 5 favorite shirt because it was my first Buffett shirt and also because of the pirate theme of it.
Tomorrow will mark 4 days till the Buffett show at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA. We're getting very excited!! Check back tomorrow to see my fourth favorite shirt!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

6 Days: Jimmy Dreams

Sunday morning, preparing for church, and posting on the blog.
6 days from today!

Today's album is my third favorite all time Buffett album. "Barometer Soup" came out in August of 1995. I like all 12 songs on the album, but my personal favorites are "Barometer Soup", "Barefoot Children", "Jimmy Dreams", "Lafe Nom Ai", and "Mexico". The artwork contained within "Barometer Soup" is also very cool.
So if you're following along at home, this makes my top 3 all-time Buffett albums in this order:
1) A-1-A
2) Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
3) Barometer Soup

Today's shirt is from my very first Buffett concert last year. I got it on Tuesday, June 26th at the Camden, NJ show. The tour was called "Bama Breeze Tour". I bought another shirt two days later at my second Buffett show in Bristow, VA - the Nissan Pavilion, where we'll be seeing him in 6 days!
I like the orange color of the shirt and the chalk-like drawing in the front... waves, palm trees, ... you get the idea.

The back features my prerequisite for concert t-shirts: listing the tour stops. As you can see, Camden, NJ and Bristow, VA are listed chronologically.
Tomorrow will mark 5 days till the show. I will be using these days to countdown my 5 favorite Buffett shirts that I own. I've been saving the best for last. Be sure to come back and check it out!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

7 Days: She Talks To Statues

One week from today we will finally be at the Jimmy Buffett concert at the Nissan Pavilion!
Today's album is the result of a 5 year recording hiatus that Jimmy took between 1989 and 1994. "Fruitcakes" found new success for Jimmy and it reached #5 on the Billboard Top 200. Its a really great album and it paved the way for Jimmy's musical sound for the next few years. The title track is always a concert favorite, but some of my personal favorites are, "Lone Palm", "Uncle John's Band" (Grateful Dead cover), and "Delaney Talks To Statues".

In back-to-back "Laura" days, we see a green vintage Buffett shirt from Margaritaville Orlando. This was a purchase from our recent visit to Orlando just a couple of weeks ago. Its another tagless "Woman To Blame" shirt and it looks great on Laura!

Check back tomorrow for day 6 of the countdown...

Friday, August 22, 2008

8 Days: I Wish My Lunch Break Could Last Forever

Today's album is 1989's "Off To See The Lizard". This one has more of that 80's sound. Songs like "Take Another Road", "The Pascagoula Run", and "Carnival World" are some of my favorites. This album marked the introduction of much of the current Coral Reefer Band lineup; most notably, Peter and John Mayer - who I worked with while living in Nashville a few years ago. An interesting sidenote - a then unknown Sheryl Crow sang background on this album.

Laura is sporting her pink Margaritaville shirt today - an online purchase from Margaritaville Glendale. It reminds me of those retro-Ocean City shirts with the waves, palm trees, sea gulls, etc... It has the same features as a hoodie (a hood, pouch pocket), but with short sleeves.
On the inside of the shirt is some hidden writing. Things like "Lost Shaker Of Salt", "Paradise", "Mermaid In The Night", "Flip Flops", Sand Dunes", "Beach", "Coconuts", and "Margaritaville". Its tagless (which if you ask me, is always a bonus!), and its part of the women's line of Margaritaville apparel called "Woman To Blame" - you know, from the lyrics... "some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but I know... etc, etc..."
Its almost the weekend. We're kicking it off tonight with some swimming, cooking out, and an outdoor movie in the yard over at the Maiste's house.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

9 Days: This Is Living

Welcome to our 50th blog post at The Rode Family Blog!
We're finally down to single digits till Jimmy Buffett's show at Nissan Pavilion on August 30th!

Today's countdown album is "Hot Water", released in June of 1988. It marked the first time that Jimmy appeared on his own album cover without a moustache since his very first album "Down To Earth". This whole album has a very 80's sound to it, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. "Great Heart", "Smart Woman (In A Real Short Skirt)", "Prince Of Tides", and "Baby's Gone Shoppin'" are all some of my favorites, despite sounding somewhat hokey by today's music standards. "That's What Living Is To Me" is a great acoustic ballad and "Homemade Music" has opened the show on most of Jimmy's stops on this current tour "The Year Of Still Here".

For today's shirt, I had to crank the air conditioning in the house. It may be 80-plus degrees outside, but I'm sporting a hoodie this morning. It says "Seasonal Champions, Margaritaville Sharks, Leisure Athletics". It is seriously the most comfortable hoodie I've ever owned, and I'm not just saying that because of the Margaritaville bias. I think I'd wear this hoodie no matter what it said on the front because of how soft and comfortable it is. Because it is white, I try to take extra good care of it. Once I spilled a little bit of coffee on it... what a disaster! ... I'm kidding.
For good measure, I'm also sporting a Margaritaville cap this morning from Margaritaville Jamaica... another location I've never been to. Can we say "internet purchase"?

In other news, our family went down to Dan and Julie Pittas's house last night for a cookout with some friends from church. We had a lot of fun with everyone, but the highlight of the evening was this hilarious clip below....

Mackinzie was trying to throw the wiffle ball to Dan and Julie's son, Isaac, but he wasn't paying attention when the ball came flying at his head. Don't worry, it was a little accident. He was fine - no tears or anything, but we all couldn't help but laugh when we re-watching the video clip.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

10 Days: I Love The Now

Today's album is "Floridays". It was released in June 1986 and Jimmy Buffett originally wanted it to be titled "Floridaze". I rank this album as my third favorite Buffett album, but it took time to grow on me. Songs like "You'll Never Work In Dis Bidness Again", "If It All Falls Down", "I Love The Now", and "Creola" all seemed really cheesy at first, but now they're some of my favorites! Other favorites of mine from this album are "Nobody Speaks To The Captain No More", "No Plane On Sunday", and "Floridays". Jimmy re-recorded the song "Floridays" for a children's movie he executive produced (and co-starred in) a few years ago called "Hoot".
In keeping with the Florida vibe today, I've decided to wear a shirt from Margaritaville Orlando. Although I've been to that location twice in my life, I didn't actually purchase this shirt on either of those visits. This was one of my first online buys. Navy blue is my favorite color, so that helps rank this one as one of my favorite shirts.
The logo is centered on the front with a single palm tree on a spit of sand. If you look closely, you can see little white Christmas lights wrapped around the trunk of the tree.
The back of the shirt features two adirondack chairs on the beach left empty by two lovers out for a sunset swim. The lyrics to "Why Don't We Get Drunk...." insinuate where things might be going next. The little sign on the left is a popular Buffett t-shirt slogan "Trespassers Will Be (offered a) Shot".
Tomorrow we'll be down to single digits till the August 30th Nissan show. I can't wait!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

11 Days: Still So Much To Be Done

"I ate the last mango in Paris, took the last plane out of Saigon, took the first fast boat to China, and Jimmy, there's still so much to be done."
Today's album is one of my favorites. "Last Mango In Paris" was released in June of 1985. The title cut remains one of my favorite Buffett songs of all time. There are 10 songs on this album and I can safely say I like all 10 of them. This album likely ranks in my top 5 Buffett albums. "Beyond The End" is a ballad that sounds different than anything Buffett has ever recorded. Some other great ones are "If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me", Please Bypass This Heart", "Perfect Partner", and "Frank And Lola". Also featured on this album is one of Mackinzie's favorite songs, "Jolly Mon Sing".

Back on countdown day 22, I wore a shirt I bought on a day trip to Key West in August of last year. On that same trip, we stopped off at Captain Tony's Saloon where I read upon the dingy wall of the head the words the old man said. (quoted at the opening of this post). If you haven't heard the song "Last Mango In Paris", take a listen and you'll get the reference in the picture below from that trip.
Also on that trip, I bought a little shirt for Mackinzie. Her favorite color is yellow, so this was a pretty easy choice. The shirt simply says "Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Key West".
It features crazy parrots in a conga line dancing and playing guitars. Its very colorful and the cartoon-ish parrots make it a fun shirt for a fun little girl.
Its one of Kinzie's favorite shirts... or at least one of daddy's favorite shirts to dress her in.
Mackinzie gets to spend the day with Gigi today while mommy and daddy both work all day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

12 Days: The Dancing Life

Today's album is "Riddles In The Sand". It was released in September of 1984 was originally going to be titled "Gulf And Western Music". It's one of Jimmy's less popular albums and it lacks any big hits, but I've still got a few favorites... hidden gems, if you will. "When The Wildlife Betrays Me", "She's Going Out Of My Mind", and "Bigger Than The Both Of Us" are all great songs of heartbreak. "Who's The Blonde Stranger?" is somewhat popular, along with "Ragtop Day", and "La Vie Dansante" segues into Jimmy's next album well... come back tomorrow to see what that is...

Today's shirt is also a somewhat recent purchase because it comes from Jimmy's current summer tour, "The Year Of Still Here". I bought this shirt at the Philadelphia show back on June 14th. I like the baby blue color and the artwork on the front, featuring a couple of parrots, a waterfall, and a buddhist statue.
My main rule for concert t-shirt purchasing is that the shirt has to list the names of the stops along the way in the back and this one does just that. What's cool about it is it lists "Philadelphia" on the third line and "Bristow" on the second-to-last line. We're currently somewhere around the middle counting down the 12 days till Bristow.
Today marks the beginning of what will become our Monday routines for a while. Laura went off to her first day back at school this morning. She'll be having teacher meetings and classroom preparation all week before the kids come back. I'll be taking Mackinzie to her school soon after she wakes up, and I'll be working. Come three weeks, I'll be adding some school of my own on Monday evenings at Towson University.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

13 Days: My Brown Eyed Girls

Today's album is "One Particular Harbour". Released in September of 1983, its title track is one of Jimmy's most popular songs and a staple of every concert. Another popular song is his cover of the Van Morrison classic "Brown Eyed Girl" which is also played at virtually every concert. Some of my personal favorites from this album are "I Used To Have Money One Time", "Distantly In Love", and "We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About".

Today's shirt is the most recent addition to my collection. Loyal blog readers will remember our trip to Orlando a couple of weeks ago and our stop at the Margaritaville Orlando restaurant, where I purchased this shirt.
I like the unique 'dark-teal' color and the 'green-ish-gold' color of the pictures.
The back of the shirt says, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" - a song that brought Jimmy Buffett back in the national spotlight a few years ago. He sells dozens of different shirts with that slogan on it, but I hadn't owned any yet, so that played into my decision to get this shirt on this visit.
I also like the "map-like" aspect on the back of the shirt featuring such locations as the "Port of Indecision" and that "One Particular Harbour". How convenient, considering today's album.

In other news, our Saturday evening was topped off with a visit to M&T Bank Stadium for the Ravens first home pre-season game. It was cool that we got to bring Mackinzie because the environment at pre-season games tend to be a little more kid-friendly than the regular season games.
Her little #9 jersey was on sale at Modell's for just $10 because Steve McNair retired and his jerseys went on clearance. There are plans in the works to cover up the "McNair" on the back with "Kinzie".
As loyal Ravens fans, we made a stop at the Johnny U. statue to rub his foot for good luck.

We took a stroll down the Ravens Walk and we ran into a new friend...
... Poe was kind enough to stop and take a picture with us. Mackinzie was very excited to meet him. She then proceeded to spend the majority of the game looking for him around the stadium with her binoculars.
The Ravens ended up losing 23-15 to the Minnesota Vikings... not that it mattered. It was pre-season football afterall. We stayed till the end to see Joe Flacco almost pull off a miracle comeback. Mackinzie really enjoyed herself, but this will likely be the only game she attends all season.
Laura goes back to school tomorrow morning! I guess that means summer is just about over.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

14 Days: Where's The Party? Bejing!

Two weeks from today we'll be cruising the lawn at Nissan Pavilion to see Jimmy Buffett!!
Today's album is "Somewhere Over China". It was released in January 1982, just as I was turning 2 years old. Its another album that features just 9 songs and I tend to favor some of the slower ones, like "I Heard I Was In Town", and "Steamer", although "It's Midnight and I'm Not Famous Yet" rocks! There are two China-related tracks on this album: "Somewhere Over China" (written by Jimmy Buffett) and the classic "On A Slow Boat To China" (written by Frank Loesser). ... kind of convenient that the "China" album comes up today, while Michael Phelps is going for his 8th gold medal tonight in Bejing.

Today's shirt is another one of my lesser favorites. Its from Margaritaville New Orleans, another Margaritaville location I've never been to, so that makes this one another internet purchase. I have, however, been to New Orlean a couple of times and believe me, I could write many blogs about the two nights I've spent in the Crescent City... but that's for another time.
I like the little margarita flag on the front, and I also kind of like the chaotic parrot/pirate scene on the back. What I'm not crazy about is the color of the shirt. The description said "brick" color when I ordered it, but to me it looks pink. Also the big picture on the back is fading into a pink-ish tint pretty quickly and this isn't a shirt I wear very often, so that doesn't seem right.
Oh well, its a cool shirt nonetheless and its part of the countdown, so there ya have it.

On another note, this morning I took my daughter Mackinzie on a little daddy-daughter date to the movies! Kinzie had never been to an actual movie theater before, so it was exciting for both of us! Can you guess by the picture what movie we saw?
"The Clone Wars" is the new Star Wars animated movie. It came out in theaters last night. Mackinzie has liked Star Wars since the first time she saw Yoda on television. She now knows many of the characters by name and she enjoys watching the movies with me.
The movie was pretty good. It seems like it was made for kids anyway. It was only an hour and a half long and along with the action scenes, there was a lot of little cutsie humor to keep the kids into it. It was supposed to take place between Episode II and Episode III, so I guess that makes this Episode 2.5. Anyway, Kinzie really liked it and we had a lot of fun together!

... by the way, I dug up that picture from Disney a couple years ago....
... Daddy and his little Star Wars geek.

Kinzie is taking a nap as I am posting this blog, but soon we'll be getting her up for an exciting evening of Ravens pre-season football. We're taking her to the game with us, so she'll be getting her first movie and first football game all in one day!! I'll be sure to post some pictures from that on tomorrow's blog post.

...... (geez! Star Wars.... Football.... this poor girl is in need of a baby brother, or daddy's gonna end up turning her into a tomboy rather than a princess)