Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Studio

So, I still have not heard everything I played in the studio last week.  I had a feeling it would be different from anything anyone has heard from me.  The sound was so good for how I wanted to play, it was hard to go wrong.  I could go from the very faintest of whispers on up to a trumpet blast. But mostly the change has been the chord use.  Growly, flowy chords.

I think I may be on to a style.  Aboriginal, urban swamp harmonica, played cleanly and dynamically so that even the sound engineer was blown away with the way it grew out of whatever the viola was laying down at times.

I heard just a little of what was recorded, and I would be hard pressed to do as well without hearing it some more.  That was an inspired day. And now they've put in some harmonies. That and the instrumental background work give it a real multi dimensional feel.  There are some surprisingly unique and good sounds on this cd.  I can't wait until it is mixed and I can hear it.  Although I may be there for the mixing.  I usually keep my mouth shut and let them do their thing.  If asked, and if I have a strong opinion, I will express it.
Lifted this pic off their website.  The recoding room and isolation booth are on other side of glass.  Not a huge control board but pretty much state of art. They do a lot of TV work and such too.  Anyway, so far I like what they do and how they do it.  Thomas the sound engineer is probably the key to all of it. 
There are a couple of very good rolling chairs that are good for your back, not shown.  End product will tell the tale.
You can't tell from this angle but there is a double door between the recording area and the control room.

This has been the best all around recording experience so far.  I think it is the first time I recorded in the big room with mics and baffles all around, and did not hold a microphone.  And it would pick it up if I just thought about a whisper of a sound.

It is driving me crazy not hearing it all.  What I did hear is musically beyond anything I've done.  Maybe musically is right.  Playing off the viola lady who has a doctorate in music or music education. That must count for something in music.  Anyway, I think the blend on the recording is pretty good on some of what I heard.  I hope it is the same all through.

This project may end up better than expected.  Any time people record on a shoestring, it is very tough to get a result that doesn't sound wrong somehow.  Over produced.  Under produced.  Ill conceived.  A friend of ours did a cd there, on a similar budget.  They did a decent job, and he has won some awards.  I did not know there were organizations that held such ceremonies on lesser levels than grammys and such.

Whatever the deal, I really like Sande's lyrics, and the music in general.  I have been looking for the evolution this recording project has brought.  It influenced me and the viola for sure.  Probably bass and singer too.  But the trickiest part and the defining aspect of the background and accent is the viola harp blend and interaction.  That is probably what has encouraged some of the chords.  They seem to blend with the viola.

I think you will be surprised at the sound.  Had I not played on it, I would not be sure what instrument I was hearing, much of the time.  And that was the goal, I guess.  I had forgotten until I heard the bits I did yesterday.  They put in some harmonies, but they had the balance set so harp and viola were way down or off. And they did not do all songs or go through the entire song.

Maybe Autism, or Depression or wrong place at wrong time

It makes me angry sometimes.  Other times I am left kind of empty and confused by it.  It, of course, is that thing I have not been able to get past.  Hardly anyone has.

There is anger at people who back in my youth claimed I did not try, or did not live up to some mysterious expectation based on that which I either did not know, or by design had been hidden from me, ensuring my ignorance.  There is anger at people who even now would decide that my failures are somehow an insult to them, or a license to scold me for under-achieving.

It is not fun for me, and hasn't been for a long time.  Mostly because I don't get it. Or something.  And I have no excuse and no good description of the way this stuff works.  Sadness chases me.  I will change things yet.

So, thanks for the anger.  I may become angry enough not to accept defeat. That would take lots of anger because I am tired, beat, and mostly feel like wasted space.  That is just the way of it.

I still may become angry enough to make "them" eat their words or otherwise cease to have a shred of power or influence over me.  What's the charm of pour salt and vinegar into wounds?  That is all it is when I am admonished for not being better than I am, and living up to imaginary potential or level of life which eludes me.   These are not the easiest of times or the worst.

I have a very simple set of goals that need achieving.  Once they are met.  I can go anywhere or nowhere, in peace.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Here's Where The Balance Gets Tipped

People who think I am a real moron and totally suffering from oppositional defiant disorder regarding authority, especially governments,  tend to think that governments and unions are their unconditionally loving friends, and that they are all about furthering the noble facets of human endeavor.

Maybe there is a shred of truth there.  Mostly, though, I think they get in the way.  I believe energy sources would have advanced much more rapidly without the help of such authorities.  They make doing it yourself illegal in many places. Construction advances are slow to happen because zoning and such tends to spec in the crony pals who write the laws.

The shifty oligarchy types are troublesome, I agree.  How to keep them at bay is probably where we differ.  I firmly believe one way to ensure a more harmonious world is through technology.  But it has to be of the sort that enables the greatest number of people to have comfort and freedom to thrive.  In reality, turning the human race into less of a wretched, pain wracked species and moving toward a great standard of living which continually improves is possible.  Just not very likely.

Depending upon locale, most homes can be built more cheaply and be self sufficient with a combination of strategies at play.  Geo thermal is possible in many areas for cooling and heating since near constant temperatures can be had underground--and not that far in most regions.  Like solar, you use it where practical and it may be mostly for maintaining interior temperature.

Also, with new materials or even recycled, dwellings can be more build into hillsides and such so that they are more protected against extremes of various sorts, including tornadoes.  Seriously, the world of creative new means of construction, inexpensive, easy to assemble mini-homes, modular complexes, all of it should be booming.  Housing should be becoming less expensive from the construction angle, by my thinking.

Just like what I do in my own life, humanity, such as it is, tends to install its own limits and shackle itself for no real good reason.  Maybe people just hate to admit they do not know it all.  I think a lot of scientists have that problem.  They are fine when it all resides in their wheelhouse, then someone discovers more and it changes the status quo. Some would kill to keep new info out of their fields.  It threatens their stature.

Anyway, if you really think there is a genuine crisis, which is due to people wanting a better standard of living, and not caused by small minded and short sighted power lust and greed, then you and I do not think alike.

I know from trying to work with people on developing things that most people will just rush in rather than look at any collateral damage, and try to assess all relevant factors.  That is annoying and can be heartbreaking.  That rush born of misguided ideas regarding free enterprise or capitalism or business, has cost humanity greatly.  It is abusive and irresponsible.  But somehow accepted.

Just look at almost any workplace.  There are multitudes of people who suspend morality every day for a low wage.  For 40k or 25k per year, people will suspend all integrity depending upon what the boss or "corporate" pushes them to do.  I have seen it many times.  And it usually involves not being 100% honest and fair with the customer, or other employees.  Crazy.  I see it everywhere.

There are drawbacks to living in a "Mother may I?" society.  It slows true progress, damages large land areas, promotes poverty and general weirdness.  There you have it.   A lot is possible, but not at this rate.  The reality of the world is--and I know this meets with little accord from most--it is possible for a place like the USA to isolate economically and thrive.  But not under current methods of regulation where government's use of force is used according to which crony outfit is calling the shots.  It is organized and legal crime.  I am not necessarily advocating isolationism, but disagree with those who discount the degree of self sufficiency this country could achieve.

I wonder if taxis will get smart meters, like they use here for the power company.  It would automatically vary the rate according to the intensity of that tenth or sixth or whatever divisions they use of a mile.  So the most intense gets the top rate.  Don't worry about definition of intense. They will take care of deciding that.  What more can you want? It's only fair

Election Outcomes

What determines the final outcome in a high stakes game like the USA presidential contest is a mystery sometimes.  Sometimes not.

I often think it is the ineptness of one party's players, or the other's.  Maybe that is calculated.  However it is done, the two parties have managed to lock themselves in with favorable laws for them and somewhat draconian for upstart third party challengers.   Often, those are the only ones whose positions are clear; Libertarian, Green, maybe some others.

It looks to me like the majority of people I know either support Bernie or Trump.  Didn't the media say they both do well with uneducated and mutated humans?  I'm pretty sure they did.

Even so, I wonder if the picture we are given is completely manipulative or without guile.   Possibly somewhere in between.  Most of my life I hated the gray area, yet it is only reality.  Blind idealism holds to the theory despite its reduced ability to predict and/or explain an outcome. Tends to set up a false description.

It has been a game played by both men and women for ages--don't be fooled by feel-good victim pandering

I've heard interesting rumors about Cathy.  But then, I've heard rumors about living people who class themselves as "leaders", too.  Even Hillary doesn't have as colorful a rep as Cat, though.  All the men get compared to Hitler.  I heard one Mussolini jab along the way.  Only one--ever.

I can imitate Bernie better than I can any of the other candidates.  That is worth something.  It is weird, but I would rather see Trump vs Bernie than any of the other popular possibilities.  And not because of the probable winner in that.  I am not sure who would win between those two.  I am not positive it would matter.

So, since I only know people who are for one or the other of those two, the actual candidates will be Hillary and Cruz.  That is how life works; how it appears to me is usually not the way it really is.

What people accept is beyond me.  The envy taxes that people support come back to bite those who really don't need to be robbed.  All of it is complicated so that those who can afford it get people to play the system for them while others of us come out missing big shark-bite chunks of ourselves. Sad.

And that is why getting married young,  busting ass to lift the spirits and efforts of your mate, having children that actually don't mind your company--most of the time, building a family is the best and most smart thing you can do.  If you do it right, your offspring won't be psychos or gleefully masochistic, chronic victims.

And if you are lucky, you will never be in a spot in which you even have to consciously verbalize or stop and consider what's important. If you are lucky you will be living it, so this will read somewhat different from how it was written.

Monday, April 25, 2016

I, Too, Disagree

Geez.  I happened to read a post--a few or more down from this.  OMG.  What a bunch of garbage!  I don't even agree with myself.  Wha..???

Conspiracy? Perhaps THAT is what makes a Subaru a Subaru

Sometimes one finds that he needs to replace parking lights and such on his 2008 Subaru Forester.  No longer just for LGBT, etc.  So, to replace some bulbs, it appears that the whole headlight assembly has to come out.  Mine does anyway.  

Nowhere does anyone really explain how to do this on the internet.  Not on youtube or other.  And it is different for some years.  So you will hear discussion of an '05, but even then, very vague discussion of actually removing things.

Apparently the bumper skin comes off, then you can unbolt the thing.  I do not like bumper skins and the stupid clips they use to hold it together.  

I am really surprised at the lack of good information there is.  I guess I will have to decide if I can find a way to do this without the nonsense.

Subaru claims that love is what makes them what they are.  I say that what they are is a big conspiracy against owners who do not want to spend much money so they do some things themselves.  They know it's true.   That's why they distracted people's attention by letting dogs drive in a commercial.  

Nothing is sacred any more.  

Still, I would like it if they made certain parts user friendly.  In this case it would not even alter the appearance.  

After a couple hundred thousand miles there is no way around having to put some money for this or that.  Especially on a dirt road.

Really. All that to trade out the headlight lens?  

Oh, wait.  There are presidential hijinks aplenty lately.  I haven't really heard enough to comment. I hear a sound bite here and a sound bite there.  Just enough to know that these are very strange times. 

I wonder if anyone can imagine the horror as I read what I write.  To think that this is how it is in my world is highly depressing.  Something as simple as a stupid headlight assembly is actually a start toward where I need to go.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016


In an effort to settle this question once and for all, I suggest a nationwide, week long holiday we will call Adolphest.   We will devise a series of contests in which contestants are tracked to see who is the ultimate Hitler.  So many people get compared to him, but can they all really be worthy of the title, neo-Hitler?  No, only the very most truly Adolf-like.

I have an advantage because I have German blood and don't eat meat.  But I am not in power, or seeking it at this time.  However, if drafted by public mandate, I will reconsider.

So, we should have this fest and determine who gets to be compared to Hitler for a year.  This would, hopefully, reduce the abundance of very weak comparisons, and maybe get rid of some confusion.  Then I'll know just who to oppose for being most like Hitler.

As it is, I cannot be sure.  Is Bush the real Hitler?  Obama?  Trump?  I have seen pictures where they have the mustache.   I haven't seen it on Hillary, I don't think.  That would be a pretty good one, so I suggest the professional Hitler revisionists and comparers get busy to include Hillary--the first American woman to be publicly and regularly compared to Adolf.  History in the making.  The mustache would totally work in her case.

At the end of the fest we will see who is crowned our new Faux Fuhrer for the year.  Then it will be just bad form to start comparing others to Adolf as well.  If you say Trump is the new Hitler, you cannot also label Bush or Obama or Hillary.  See?  Easy rules, and it is time we got this thing under control.

And what a fun holiday!!

We'll have parties all week, do medical experiments upon our enemies while comparing them to the SS, the whole shebang.  Fun Fun Fun.

So write your elected representatives and tell 'em we want Adolfest!

He'll Tell "Em

So, outside the VFW, where I played a last minute show with Valor and Lace, I hear some possibly tipsy people talking politics.  Loudly.   "Hell yea, I'm for Trump!  I like people who will tell it like it is.  He ain't afraid to look across the aisle and say, 'You're a dumbass!'."

It gave me pause.  Then I thought to myself, democrats have been looking across the aisle and telling third parties worldwide that the across the aisle person is a dumbass or worse for as long as I can remember.

The things said when Bush was president were mostly more hostile than the insults thrown at Obama.  No one wants to admit it because, if republicans and others used the same rhetoric and vitriol that was used on Bush, the racism accusations would be even louder, more pervasive and shrill than they are now.  So, in the spirit of the Big Pretense, people tiptoe around, even when being hostile, due to all the racial, tribal political dynamics that have been cultivated the last eight years.

The politics of ethnicity and condition of birth have been played for a long time.  But the progress toward peaceful coexistence reversed under Obama.  Blame him or guilty crackers, awful republicans, black panthers, or Trump.  No matter.  Racial issues have been made worse and, in many cases, fabricated to further the aims of that political faction.  Or so it seems.  I'm not sure who all calls the shots.  I don't think it is Barack, or even Michele.

Those who said things that even I hesitate to repeat regarding Bush and his family are outraged at the lack of respect for the office, etc. by opponents of Obama.  It happens.  My president is a victim.  Yours is the anti-Christ.  And, of course, your guy is Just Like Hitler!

I consider the Obama administration to be one the most racially divisive and inflammatory ever.  Some of that is natural because he is part black.  But mostly it is a ploy to cement all alleged minority groups, even if they aren't a minority, like women.  Any wedge that can be driven to pit groups against one another, especially against white men,  is used to keep the turmoil alive.  Black against white.  Hispanic (a made up race) against white (also kind of made up?), women against men (especially if the men are white); these are all tools of the trade.

Look across the aisle and say, "You are a dumbass!!".  First let us have the black females do this.  Then hispanics.  The women of all sorts.  Then white men.  My bet is that the latter will immediately be showered with accusations of racism, sexism, xenophobia, islamophobia (which I suffer from, and will continue until that cult ceases to creep me out), homophobia (which I mostly only suffer from because it is not a political philosophy and I am sick of it), etc.  The point is that we have double and triple standards, at least.

Whether a Trump in power calling the other side dumbass will actually sooth my disgust with the oligarchy is another question.  I doubt it.  Half truths on any side of a question are still less that full truth.  And that is what we have ruling the day.  Partial truth and half baked solutions and descriptions of what needs solving.  That is how people get played and special interests, (those who pull the puppet strings), get their way.  And people really do not see it.  Even when they think they do.

Just listen to them.  They tell you they see all this corruption, "follow the money", blablabla, but then they jump on some half baked, only partially true bandwagon.  Because it is easier than not jumping on a satisfactory bandwagon which would win approval of dimwitted friends who can't hold a complete thought.  Acceptance is the reward, and that is all that matters.

I'm heading off to a Bernie rally to see if I can pick up chicks by agreeing with everything and expressing my white guilt as eloquently as possible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

If You Want It To Be, Create It!!

That almost describes what I was thinking.  For example, people can posture all they want about "alternative fuels" and this and that, somehow confusing the ability to subsidize, punish, and regulate with the ability to invent or create.

It is a waste to argue the point with people.   They either like the coercive aspects of government's involvement in research and development, and energy creation and use, or they don't.  I am one who does not.  Through all the official boasting of how their regulations have resulted in improvement, true progress in fields like energy is retarded by our government and those who direct it.  They will milk every dime out of the status quo, as they quietly lay siege to emerging markets and technologies.

Then, like we have seen many times in the last twenty years, they will pretend to be cutting edge crusaders.  They will also enjoy government subsidies and other market manipulation in their favor.

Whatever.  To the point.  Trying to identify and accept reality is not easy these days.  And I think I know why.

It is that "it"factor.  But it could work to advantage.  I have another plan.

I realize since I cannot even describe the sort of thing that happens, allegedly due to an inner malady, there is no point even discussing it when I can help it.  It does pose some challenges.  Not nearly as troublesome as what most people seem to endure.  No wonder humanity is so pissed off---they are mostly beset by pain and limitation.  

I think there is a tendency to personalize happenstance as some conspiracy against us, or a punishment.   Kind of a ritual in which people pretend that they don't know what we do, and visa versa.   I almost said, "we".  That presumes a lot when people say "we".  I resent it when people speak for everyone.  Then again, maybe they only mean the ones legitimately on board with their agenda.

The best one can do, in some cases, is to avoid looking in the mirror, in order to dodge relentless self-condemnation.  Or if one is really fortunate, finding some other way to react which is more enjoyable.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ego Trip? Let Me Show You How It Is Done

Sunday.  10:00 A.M. in a friggin SoCal coffee house in La Mesa or somewhere.  One of those little offshoots of El Cajon or San Diego.  I cannot tell the difference.  Alpine is not like that.  You know where it is, and where you are not in Alpine, you can pretty well sense it.

Anyway, I cannot believe I agree to play music at 10:00 AM on Sunday.   Being the ego tripping pro, I made it a point to do a lot of gentle, lower register stuff, relatively speaking.  People could be hung over or who knows what6.  It is an artsy neighborhood.

The big surprise is that I think I was on it.  When couples come in and stop and people point at you as you are playing, making comments to their friends and it seems positive; that's ego trip time.  And right then is when I hit that wrong note.

I'm pretty sure there is plenty on that particular folly in the Bible.  And maybe elsewhere.

When you do things like that, you have to laugh; get all full of yourself like it matters, and then get your come uppance.   The you and your in that context is actually I and mine.  Although me and mine sounds better.

There are some limiting factors lately but I doubt anyone has caught on about that.  Compensate by improving whatever can be improved.   Glad I don't smoke.   Is it over 2 years already?  Whoa!  It is. That means it has been too long not seeing my cousins and some other people.  Get over to Texas and Mississippi and FLA one of these days.  Could happen.

I have figured out that my greatest fans are people who appear to have wandered off from some sort of care facility.  The degree of security is questionable.   And though many may come off as innocently goofy and mentally impaired, something tells me that same empty lunatic smile might be on their faces while stabbing their siblings as they sleep.  Just a hint of a creepy feel.

But they are my fans and love to ask odd questions about harmonicas and why I carry a bunch of them.  I wish I could remember the odd questions.  The kind of thing that leaves you wondering what the real motive for the interaction might have been.

I liked it better when my fans were overwhelmingly middle aged women and four year olds.  Mostly girls in that group too.   Who doesn't like women and four year olds?  Maybe I was an idiot to leave Memphis.  Well, we already established that I am somewhat idiotic at times.

Moving here was not such a bad move though.  I am spoiled by the landscape and by being able to get gasoline without two or three gimme dollah guys trying to shake me down.  And usually with a racial undertone in the mix.  I do not miss that BS at all.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Did I Coin This Election Word?

The way my life works I am often driving during presidential debate hours, so I catch it on the radio.  I  managed to catch parts of a few of the many republican debates and some of the democratic debates, too.  Even when that space holder no one knows was pretending to run.

There have been the usual claims of what politicians are going to do for people and the universe, in general. n They pretend they are scientists, thugs, theologians, whatever you want.  They will fix any number of crises, and everything is a crisis.

They use words like "crisis" and "broken".  Immigration system is broken.  Prison system is broken.  Bernie said so tonight.  I beg to differ.

Our prison system is not broken at all.  That's the trouble.  It is alive and whole and hyperactive.  It is nuts.   People just take for granted that the proper way to handle a thief or someone who ingests stuff without a doctor's permission is to lock them in a cage.  I find that a questionable assumption.  It is what we have done forever but maybe it is time to change the approach.

On that, I agree with the Bern.  Although I am sure he can't leave it at that without using it somehow to hijack the resources of others for causes he deems worthy.  Even so, he is the first that suggested overhauling that system from the ground up.  Prisons are primitive and have shown to foster violence and crime.  It is small minded to think that it is cool that someone you hate is getting man raped in prison.  People even laugh about it or express their wish for it to happen to whomever.   That will never fix anything.  Most people do not rate prison.  That is for another time though.

Who knows.  We use prisons far too much and for far too flimsy reasons.  Immigration system is not broken.  It is insanely corrupt and its rules have been selectively enforced, if enforced at all.  Things get perverted.  Prisons-- how they are used now-- seem as much tools to terrorize and contain the populace as to actually do anything to specifically deter criminals.

The "oh thank for your service" automatons who drool over anyone in uniform, especially if they have guns, are so sure that their groveling and conviction that they have nothing to hide make official abuse OK.  Those people never see the wrong in humans owning or controlling other humans by force until it bites them.

There is some truth to their defense along the lines of, "If you don't trust cops, next time you are up against a mugger, call a hippie.".  Of course, when you are up against a mugger, calling either one is not likely to do much good.  Being  a bad ass, or armed in some way is best.  It would be even better if you could shoot the intruder without a bunch of nonsense prosecution or lies by people saying the victim could be some famous person's son due to skin color and other total bunk.

Anyway, a word just popped into my mind tonight which describes the campaigns and the debates:

Seriously.   They compete to see who can promise everyone more something for nothing, or distract them by promising to ruin the lives of "the wealthy".  

It is pander city over there on the panderosa with a cast of characters scary enough to make Hop Sing pack it up and take his chances back on the railroad.

If they aren't describing give aways funded by tax money, promising to charge only the evil people for whatever it is, they are pandering to other insecurities, prejudices and ignorance.  The idea that white people are riding on a resurgence of racism, for example.  If you wanted to be scientific, I think you would find that, per capita, white people are the least racist and xenophobic of all the subgroups.

That is why we invented "white privilege".  Facts are messy.  Let us just go for the ugly abstract theory that by their very existence white people inflict untold hurt on everyone else, and women.  Not only insane, It's the law!  Check government contract bids where they say preference given to "minorities and women".  Men have to be divvied up by race but women can just be women.

The whole lot are pandering to various groups of small minded, foolish people.  Those who want to punish everyone else.  Those who hate anyone with a brain, or money, or no money.  Something for everyone on the Panderosa.

It will only get more intense until November.  And soon, the new president will find ways to kill more people and spawn the stupidest internet treatises both in support of, and opposed to the administration.

Still, what is wrong with people who think these proposed tax hikes won't screw them.  These various intrusions on people's property usually screws middle class who had a shot at some inheritance and who suffer from many of the sticky fingered regulations these politicians put in place.  They always build themselves a way out.

People go for it.  Envy and sloth are the easiest qualities to play on in this game.  People are too lazy to really look into things far enough to get the truth, and they are too insecure to resist having some group to blame for their hardships just because that group seems to have some wealth or brains or other perceived advantage.

In the Panderosa republic people are perfectly happy to embrace an all-powerful state just as long as they think only others will be oppressed and that they may benefit.  It took me many, many years to finally accept the fact that A: People are less intelligent than one would hope.  And B:  Even most intelligent people are too emotionally screwed up to be comfortable not being able to force their personal life choices onto others.  They find excuses to rationalize it.

Whole lot of pandering going on


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Now This Is How To Do Recording Studio

No holding a microphone.  No bring an amp.  Just microphones sitting there minding their business, letting me mind mine.  The sound in my headphones was so awesome, I couldn't help but immitate the Wizard of Oz between tracks.  "I am the great and powerful Oz, and you will never have sufficient self esteem, so don't even bother!"

Oh yea, spent the day at the studio, I guess I laid down harp tracks for 12 songs. ?? Is that possible?  Must be.

You'd be surprised how cool the Oz thing can sound.  And, "A brain?  You don't need a brain!  All you need is this piece of paper.  Why, there have been people with less brain than you go on to be president of the United States!".

I think I should do an entire Oz album.

A little outfit called, Trackstar Entertainment, in either Lemon Grove, or La Mesa; I can't tell the difference.  Probably La Mesa.   I get a good feeling from the place.  The sound engineer is great to work with.  We're on a budget--Sande's on a budget, I should say.  It is her project.   If anything comes of it, I'll probably get maybe 70% because of who I am.

In preparing, I kept doing a little different approach every time, and worried about being the weak link.   The studio, with the wizard sound, changed things some.   It was the ego boost I needed.  Really.   Sande said I made her cry.  Berto said his head exploded and that the sound engineer said he'd never heard anyone play that way.  I realize that leaves room for interpretation.  I chose to take it as encouragement.

So much got packed into today that there was no time for him to give us rough copies of the tracks so far.  What I have is before the final vocals, and before my part.  I haven't heard anything I've done, played back.  Not more than a few seconds of it. like three, literally.

I'm thinking, I wonder if the real thing lives up to their reaction.  One can only hope.

Not everyone likes her stuff as much as we do.  Everyone playing in this group loves the material.  Some of the best lyrics.  And a little off the wall at times.  Never empty.

Still, I fight the temptation to berate myself for doing this instead of being the world changing physicist I was supposed to be.  [It may be that I was never supposed to be any of those grandiose things I imagine and cite in complaints galore.]

I sure hope they have time to let me play alternative tracks.  The sensitivity and range of sound this setup allows me to explore is beyond anything I normally enjoy.  I think I could produce what might be called "angelic" sounds.  It further encouraged this stylistic shift I have been undergoing for the last year or so.  That heavy chordal underlayment.  I think it is finally coming into focus.  It has been ever so slightly off up till now, I think.

Be that as it may.  I wish Austin was a place that stayed cool and had low humidity.  As it is, moving there could be hazardous to health.  I intend to fix that eventually.  One day I am fairly certain I will move.  Right now, heat and humidity bring on the heebie jeebies. A condition which has not always visited me, so it can again cease to exist in my world.  I see no reason why not.

Oh yea. I broke out the low Eb Suzuki Manji.  It was on a song that is very heavy harmonica and fast.  This was first time trying the low Eb.  Holy smoke!!  If only I could hear it back.  It sounded like a musical fog horn.  Sort of.  Now that I read it, it does not sound enticing.  But it is.  Trust me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Company and I

When you run in spy circles,  a certain organization is often referred to as "The Company".  We know who that is.

So, I may have mentioned that the White House something or other agency gave me a certificate of appreciation.  That is like a license to do whatever I want.  But I don't abuse it.

Ever since the change in local management at the resort house, we've had a particular guy do various projects which few people can do.  He's The Cleaner.  Rico, I call him.  He's buddies with the ex SEAL body guard I've never seen or met, but who takes care of certain guests when they are in the area.  We never knew of these people under the previous manager.  But they have been in the mix for some time, apparently.

I know what you are thinking.  I agree; Black Ops.  I suspect that Rico handles a lot of the restoration, bio containment, etc., in the event maybe some terrorists got taken down by unorthodox means.   He has a military background and is rumored to give martial arts demonstrations at Camp Pendleton.  This whole restoration and remodel contractor thing must be a front.

Rico does incredibly good work.  He can get things on short notice;  like specialized tile, even if they have to make it!  It's how those initials outfits and black ops source things.  And it gets paid by misdirected tax money.  No record.  Just some of the massive amount that just goes away, without explanation or justification or even any idea where it went.

No question that the guy and his crew do first class work.  If you are cleaner and fixer for Black Ops or/and The Company, then of course you are good.  You have to be.

So I think this place is really a hotbed for spooks to do their secret ops stuff.  And there I am.  Quietly in the middle of it.  Maybe the only one who sees what is really going on here.  Although, Martha and Pez (co-workers' code names) have come to believe, too, that Rico is maybe a cleaner.  Perhaps we work at a safe house.

But the rapidity with which he can marshall other specialists and sub contractors, as well as materials, is near miraculous.   Only those with a chunk of military or government resources, with all red tape cut, can assemble necessary equipment and material so rapidly.

This latest outfit he brought in to help with the flood damage---bizarre pipe under sink mysteriously breaks, spewing water for no one knows how long; maybe a day---has the demeanor of a military assault team.  Totally professional, methodical, that military posture and bearing, and very respectful, yet matter-of-fact.

I'm pretty sure all these guys are involved in clandestine support activities.   For example:  Let's say there were some bad guy terrorists looking to make mischief, or on the lam from doing evil in Syria or Somalia or somewhere.  And our guys, in some secret or even invisible, technically non-existant, group, track them right here to La Jolla or Carlsbad, let's say.   They confront them at a safe house or bad guy lair and have to shoot them.  Big mess.  Dead people.  Holes in walls.  Blood, other organic stains and materials. No good.

So, they call in Rico.  Rico gets it done, either buy doing it himself with his small crew, or by bringing in one of his expert colleagues as the situation warrants.   When he is done, no one can tell the place was the scene of a gruesome massacre.

One has to wonder how I fall into these important workings of the inner sanctum of power, as we know it.   I think my job is to lay low and not get beat up.  Another new motto

Monday, April 11, 2016

I Can Expect or Demand, but that is only my right

So, I should be more, do more, and generally be better than I am.  I have the right to that sort of self-assessment.  I would not think I had the right, or at least not if I wanted to maintain good form, to tell you that I am disappointed because you are not living up to your potential, and that you are just blowing it all around.

You may already feel that way. You may be battling some unknown inner thing that makes you wary of ever holding a pistol in your hand, for fear of your impulses and sadness.  Who knows.  Ain't my business. People have, and need, boundaries.  That is within that personal realm.  An individual's most vulnerable psychological triggers are not the play things of others, in polite society.

I guess you'd never know it, considering how the culture is evolving, or devolving.  Or both; which is what I think.

But through it all, there is a gem which may be of great value.  Maybe the mantra needed right now is, "Demand, and expect, more of yourself".   I will know when I actually have no more, and I've done the very best I can.  It has been so rare that I ever did that, I remember the very brief spans of time when I looked back on the day saying, "I did my best.  Even when I felt like stopping for a break, or doing the wrong thing out of habit.  I did not give in."

So few times I have allowed that.  And I loved those days.  Absolutely loved it.  But things tended to go so fast, and it was almost like magic.  Things advanced so well in those brief periods that it scared me.  And I settled back into being the misfit, letting the cruelty of the world and the stupidity and shallowness of others be my excuses for being invisible.  For basically being on strike most of my life.

Wow.  Is that dumb or what?  So, would it be dumb now to think I can change and maybe revive those rare occasions when I tried, and did my best?  The bar is set low enough, I need no big miracles.  Plus, during those few times, it was a love of life that made it work, not guilt or anger, or resentment, or any of that kind of thing.

Maybe I can demand more from myself.  But certainly no one else has the right, by my code, to slam me for my ridiculous battles with my own demons, and to point out how big a loser I am in that way.
But they have.  And, much as I hate it, they are right.  I do need to demand more of myself and be as resourceful in figuring out what I can do constructively, as I am at figuring out what ails me.

Life should not be so hard.  It makes sense that in developing civilization and cultures, people would have a lot of mental wildness go on.  Our brains and minds have to evolve, too.  So, we are at the phase in evolution where our minds are still confused between the new civility and fight or flight.  It is hard to get it right.  Our consciences work over time or under time, depending.   And it makes people turn on themselves--depression.

Smart people, like my brother, figured this stuff out at a young age.  A heightened sense of reality, and maybe decency as well.  He learned not to destroy himself in protest of that which he despised or did not understand.  Many of us go the self-defeating route.  Oh well.  Let's just ask a little more of my own self.  I have made minuscule progress since adopting this idea, but progress, nonetheless. and I feel less awful and riddled with free floating, macabre dread.
Played the Tin Roof, downtown last night with Enter the Blue Sky.  Sound guy remembered me from playing with Valor a Lace there a few weeks ago.  That was cool.  The Tin Roof gets 4 stars--all I give at this time.   Good stage.  Good sound, even if sometimes hard to hear one's self--name of the game--great treatment from staff, good sound tech.

How Do You Know?; waterboarding

Perhaps that should have been, pound sign rather than semi-colon, or "hashtag"--where did that term come from when related to the symbol for pound or number? #1.  Hashtag.  I see no resemblance to hash, in any sense of the word.

So, now we have the latest round of Trumpism attack and volley regarding water-boarding.  First, let me say that I find the no-holds-barred attacks on anything Trump to be rather transparent and oddly unfair.  But, for reasons I have yet to fathom, Trump plays right along and banters at whatever level the attack sets.

Seriously, someone attacks his hands, and before you know it, he's actually addressing their thinly veiled assault on the formidability of his genitalia.  Come on.  Crazy.  I still find the status quo scarier than, or as scary as, Trump.  But that is just me.  I like the Libertarian candidate, who has probably received at least 20 seconds of back page press.  Somewhere.

Anyhow, there is much discussion about water-boarding, and torture, in general.  Having been under slight interrogation by police in years past, as a kid, and otherwise, I am opposed to allowing anyone with a badge much power when it comes to the decision to take sadistic action against a citizen.

Ah, the word citizen.  Maybe I should broaden that.  All I know is that I sensed a real zeal for inflicting hardship upon others in several law enforcement people who have crossed my path.  Even ones that seemed cool and on my side, and that people think are splendid "thank you for your service" dedicated public servants.  Just look a little harder, and imagine being on the wrong side of your officer friend.  How would that unit behave?

Sometimes you can see that your selfless servant friend could be a little brutal or demeaning if you were perceived as not compliant enough or possibly guilty.

But in the media, I am wondering how many people have any first hand clue regarding how this waterboarding has done any good or not.  You know that clandestine and black ops have used "enhanced" interrogation techniques from before they arrested Jesus.

The CIA guy is not going to break with the party line during election season.  And all he said was that waterboarding was out.  Blackmailing, threatening your kids,  or attaching electrodes to private parts was never mentioned.  He may know something first hand about it.  He's head spook.  Besides, no sane nation is going to claim state sponsored torture.  And trying to split hairs on where the line is between intense questioning and torture works poorly for soundbites and PR.

But it is just talk and purposeful press, as Trump jumps right in.  Why do that?  Slippery slope.  And I am one who doesn't care how terrorists are treated.  But better be sure you got the right perp.

Trump is right that we are not dealing with a swell culture when it comes to mid east terrorists and islamic fanatics.  I think he should condemn water boarding and suggest the artful use of blow torch instead.  That would be unsurprising at this point.

Why?  Because it looks to me that Trump plans to lose.  He didn't always plan that.  I think powers he can't fight put the squeeze, the threats to family, I don't know.  But he clearly dropped the ball when it comes to getting delegates.  His experts know the game so why let it get away from him before taking action?  No idea.  Another mystery in this odd race.  I find this highly suspect.  I feel everyone is being duped and it is right in our faces.

But how can Trump or most of these people talk intelligently about water boarding and interrogation of aberrant muslim zealots and lunatics?  They have no real experience or first hand knowledge of that game.  I would think simple drugging and interrogation without the mess of pulling fingernails or simulated drowning would be quicker and just as effective.  But I don't really know either.

Seems like another thing to cause misdirection and controversy while, for reasons unknown to me, I watch Trump double down on alienating and scaring much of the electorate while seeming to give away the nomination at the last minute.  I remember Bush 1 giving away the general election to Clinton.  Or so it appeared.  If Cruz gets nominated, he will solidify the evangelical base, to a point, while scaring away other voters.  He'll lose.

All that is so much smoke.  I don't know what really goes on, but I do know that neither Trump nor most of the others discussing it have any idea how interrogating enemy combatants works or should work; what is effective, necessary, and borderline humane.

But if they are truly mass murdering terrorists, then whatever they get is hard to condemn.  Water boarding using clorox would be rather quick, and would satisfy those who think it helps to inflict pain to those who inflict pain.  I'm more of the quick extermination of the hopelessly aberrant, while minimizing pain creation whenever feasible.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Could Be Famous One Day, never know

So, I was thinking, the name "Milt Bosley" is probably a workable character name in some context.   Maybe even an alias.  Doubtful on that.  I prefer Ian, or Biphauski, or related moniker.

But Milt Bosley clearly has a pretty funky life story so far.  That just seems obvious.  May be a villain.  maybe not. After all, we only have a name, so far.  And a first impression.

The trend. It Was There The Whole Time!!

****this is actually the epilog, but could save you time:
I think the culture has become ruder and more petty in some ways, and that is reflected in the political arena.  If dueling were still fashionable and legal, I am sure we'd have had at least one.  Maybe two, depending upon outcome of first one.  Maybe in media it went from, "look at me, I am naughty and being a little disrespectful but pretending neutrality and public interest".  To, "look, I don't even need to pretend any more. I will flaunt my bias and lack of respect."  Just how it goes, and that explains it all****

OK.  I was rambling on about the candidates bickering in ridiculous and annoying ways.  The it hit me that maybe most people think that form of discourse, communication, even trash talking, is cool.  To me it is grating, sad and pitiful, considering the context.  If you are going to insult, do not do wives or children.  Do not deviate from the point.  Personal attacks work but not on me.

So, here it is.  If you have been around long enough, you remember when it was OK to pop a kid who crossed the line talking about your sister, or who just had it coming.  Trouble with that was that a lot of punches were thrown which were not righteous.   If you recall, it was not "cute" for little Dick or Deidra to shout and cry or make wise ass comments all the time.

But we evolved and TV paved the way!!

Then kids on TV started being really bratty and stupid.  Not like the Beav.   Pretty soon kids everywhere were acting like the bratty TV kids.  In order to keep their kids appeased, the parents then outlawed any spanking or other physical punishment in school.  Then the teacher has to talk nicer to the kid than the kid has to  talk.

But the theory is that our culture changed so that little pissant insults, and crass low blows are OK and only criticized when it originates from the other candidate.

Anyway.  When I wasn't looking, society went from just annoying and insulting, to ultra juvenile insults, and totally irresponsible nonsense.  Because everyone is sure he/she won't get punched out like the old days.  You can do whatever you want if you can end it with almost credible claims of racism.

Today's candidates all deny it, "I have always been a friend to the negro people and all kinds of Asians, and the Latinos".  Well it sounded like that to me.  That was actually a compilation of Trump, Hillary, and the Bernie.

Cruz needs to play the Cuban card harder, and better.  He could probably hint at some African in the background.  No.  He's too busy get sucked into very odd controversies.  Or non controversies, not sure.  Same affect.,

I guess it all makes sense, the spirit and ignorance driving the political process in this country.

This is a culture that became worried about boxing, for awhile, due to the brain injuries.  And, oh no, football.  Concussions happen and who knew that could be bad later?   No one, apparently.

Then we turn around and have MMA and cage match type, beat the holy heck out of one another.  Serious fighting going on.  And more women in all out matches.   Violent stuff.

So, the evolution of the culture is a troubling thing which requires a bit more power than I possess to control.

Good News, or maybe Bad News

Part of not feeling much passion politically at the moment includes not choosing one of these odd candidates as my figurative voodoo doll.  I find it laughable when people claim one candidate somehow represents more of a threat than the others.

They are all equally potentially harmless.   Which is to say, they are all equally potentially harmful.

Many disagree.  And I don't care to fight that argument either.  I'm always stunned at how people rally and hoop it up at campaign events.  Candidates are like motivational speakers or charismatic, heal-you-now TV evangelists.  They manipulate crowds and instigate mischief.  The odd part is how hungry people must be for such things.  I guess the offer is hope.  Or the offer is to quell those hopes. The events, by their nature,  are geared toward elevating the status of the candidate to a level above normal mortals.  It can carry a religious zeal.

I do condemn the practice of disrupting planned events and rallies.   Let people decide for themselves.   You want to claim abuse from people because you try to deny them their right to be heard or to judge the candidates for themselves?  That appears to be a game of who can be first to get punched or fall down or be called a bad word.

The best campaign strategy for Trump is to continually list, publicly, the names of those who said they are out of here if he wins.  People would vote for that.  But to win he cannot say any else except the list of names.  I cringe at people who use the word, "bimbo".  I'm sorry.  It may be my prejudice against the northeast due to their intrusion upon my hometown of Miami, but for whatever reason that has always sounded creepy and cheap.

I may be wrong, but it seems there is a limit to how things are said and what is even in legitimate presidential range.  They all sound as if they are running for absolute monarch.

All I know is if I were running, I'd be taking dance lessons now for the inauguration.  After all the Obama swooning in the press, and the recent tango, I would not want to be outdone.   I realize there was tango controversy, but I kind of think that was a useless shot.  His dance could not change anything.  I like it when presidents are no where near any place where they can do there job or meddle in any affairs whatsoever.

I still would rather see Trump vs Bernie than Cruz Vs Hillary.  The first two are at least entertaining and often genuinely funny.  The second two seem to be fluid caricatures of themselves.  I know.  Cruz was supposed to be straight arrow.  But his part in many of the mud fights has been annoying.  At least to me.  I thi

Whoa!! Now I see.  I will put that in next installment.  before I forget

Where's the Passion?

I used to be adamant about matters of theoretical principle.  Things like how it is not right for people to decide how others conduct charity or spend their money.  Just a lame example.  I cannot think of the good examples because I no longer care that much.

I may have been right providing my original premises were valid.  That is where most things go off track--flawed premises.  The logic may be solid from there, but it leads to erroneous conclusions.

And that is how society is manipulated.  Discussions of policy relating to almost everything are tainted by questionable premises.  For example, we have an incident like the Sandy Hook shootings, and immediately there is talk of "common sense" gun control.  I have no idea what that means, but everyone went with that phrase, "common sense'.  They do that all the time; everyone uses the same phrase or word to describe something in politics or media.  The line between the two is more than blurred.

Remember the first time the word "gravitas" surfaced in public discourse?  It was when young Bush was running for president.  "...well, yes, Dan, but does he have the gravitas one expects of a president?"

Every station, and every anti-Bush commentator used the same word, "gravitas".  Someone came up with it first, and everyone mysteriously followed.  I discount any notion that they all thought "gravitas!" individually and simultaneously.  Really.

Lately every anti-Hillary outfit likes to play the clip of her barking like a dog.  I do not think highly of Hillary, but I do not see this barking as at all relevant.  Besides the fact that she is an excellent barker, I think it is the most agreeable thing I've heard come out of her mouth.  Usually she's screaming in that "let's lynch 'em and burn down the factory", rally the troops, voice.

So, a relative links, on facebook, a site that asks for a one word description of Trump.  She is highly anti-Trump.  Pro-Bernie, I imagine.  It is a well put together site, I guess.  Thousands of people, and hundreds of words.  I pk ut "frankly".  It is like he has hijacked frankly and very.  I here or say those words and I think Trump.  I hear a Shelty barking and I think Hillary.

Anyway, I have lost the passion.  Partly because I think the way power and money are handled is largely stagecraft and deception.  And because I am tired of mentally fighting the fact that humanity seems on the verge of deciding to live a more ant-like existence.  Maybe that is how the species survives.  I don't know.  It could be that what promoted technological advances and better standard of living for the last few hundred years is not as viable as it could be because people are sick of the abuses of nature, law, common decency, and general trust.

I still see the main facilitator of such aberrant operation as the same entity that many feel is the solution--government.  It is a bit of a dilemma.  How do you reverse the tradition of government being the legal enforcers enabling thieves, murderers, liars, and worse?   I have little to offer.

Term limits and no pensions, plus not being exempt from any laws or limitations, like other citizens would be a start.  But how to work out the problem of multi-national interests being puppet masters of governments and such is another thing.  Still, if you remove some of the things that make it easy to be a perpetual puppet in power, it has to help.

I am not one who thinks we are absolutely doomed, whichever of these power hungry bastards gets elected.  I think that listening to them all, and looking at what they have done, just the fact that they are our choices is as much a case that we are doomed as anything.

I may vote.  Maybe not.  I am convinced that the system is under the power of entities who care nothing for national boundaries and who are not elected.   Then again, maybe it is not like that.

There is no one running for president I can listen to any more.   Plus my life won't change much.

I guess I got tired of diverting the blame and attention from my own battles and downfalls to the ills of public affairs.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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