Thursday
Jul052012

Libation, lyrics and the light of day

It’s late at night on the Fourth of July, and I didn’t do a damn thing today. At least not anything productive. But it was fun.

Played in the pool with Son No. 3. Grilled. Ate. Played some more. Got my ass kicked in a cutthroat game of Trouble.

And I watched a webcast by my buddy Kevin Montgomery as he streamed a three-hour performance from his dining room in England. Kevin is a talented, funny singer-songwriter with a big heart. He’s a little more than a month away from starting his “50 States in 50 Days Tour” to raise awareness of the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation.

In the coming weeks, I will unleash a barrage of info about that seven-week march across America.

Kevin kicking off the webcast with a Fourth of July toast - and an apology to his British fans ;)The best part of today’s webcast was that it taught me something new. I was fascinated by a comment Kevin made near the end of the show.

Ya see – I had NO FREAKIN’ IDEA that it doesn’t get dark until around 11 p.m. in England this time of year. Or that the sun comes up at 4:30 in the morning.

DISCLAIMER: I know … I know. It might vary based on what part of England you’re in, and whether or not it’s overcast. Don’t wanna get my chops busted by every armchair astronomer who comes across this post. Love ya!

It was almost midnight in Kevin’s time zone when the webcast came to a close. He had polished off a bottle of wine, played a lot of songs, and was ready to crash. Just before Kevin signed off, he mentioned that it had just gotten dark a short time earlier, and it would start getting light about 4:30 a.m.

SAY WHAT?!

I’m sort of a geography geek, and I feel like I have a pretty good idea of where places are. But I never realized England was that far north. If you would have asked me, I think I would have said the latitude of London was about the same as that of New York City.

I wouldn’t have used the Street Shout-Out if I was on Cash Cab and the question came up.

Turns out I would be waaaaaay off, and that Ben guy would have to give me the ol’ heave-ho. Then with my luck, I’d be late for a dinner reservation or miss the curtain of Rock of Ages because I couldn’t get uptown in time.

That would really suck. Even worse, I would probably try to say something witty as I stepped out of the cab, but it would come out wrong and I would look like an even bigger jackass on national TV.

Good thing it’s only a basic cable show.

The point is: My latitude assumption was incorrect.

Immediately after hearing Kevin’s sunset / sunrise comment, I pulled down the globe from a shelf above my desk (see … geography geek). I traced my finger across the Atlantic from London and found out it is WAY above New York. And way above Sparta, Mich., where I remember it being light late into the summer evenings when I was a kid.

Sunrise over Lake Superior in Marquette, Mich. Shout-out to Josh for the pic.It’s even north of Marquette, Mich., where my friend Josh lives. And I know it gets dark REALLY late there during the summer.

I kept tracing across the globe and discovered London is almost as far north as Dutch Harbor, Alaska. ("Stack the pots!")

You might think it’s odd that I’m so stoked about the little bit of knowledge dropped on me about England.

But I can't help it.

Nuggets like this help satisfy my need to absorb information about people and places.

And now I’ll be ready when I climb into the Cash Cab. Unless it’s a sports question. In that case – I hope Bob Costas is on the sidewalk.

You can see a fully conscious, clearhaded Kevin Montgomery in the video for "Some Comfort," the title track off his latest album.

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