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Showing posts from August, 2011

Old Music or New?

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There is a perception that the older you get the more you connect with music from your youth, especially your high school or early college years. Plenty of evidence backs that up, but I also see people attaching to music that reminds them of music from their youth. Case in point: plenty of grunge music from a few years back had the same hard acoustic sound of old Van Morrison songs; a lot of people liked both.

I usually don’t really fit the pattern. My favorite music is contemporary country, contemporary blues, 80s rock and classical. None of that was popular during my high school years and none of it sounds like the music that was. I also happen to like plenty of other music, so I’m a bit out of sync with the norm.

But I did have an interesting experience this evening. My day at work was particularly stressful. I work around music, specifically five radio stations of varying music genres. Some days I want to relax by hearing anything but that music, which often means I choose music I…

Great Movie Line

It comes down to a simple decision: get busy living or get busy dying.

- Shawshank Redemption

Stormy Randomness

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Heard this while channel surfing: “… it’s huge! She’s coming. Keep watching, as we stay on top of Irene …”

Hey, that was the Weather Channel not a porn channel.





I live about 50 miles northwest of Washington DC and will be feeling the effects of Hurricane Irene tonight. It’ll mostly be rain and some wind gusts; nothing like what they are experiencing along the Atlantic coast.

What goes better with a hurricane … Chianti Classico or Rioja? An expert advised me to try both, so I started with the Chanti.

I am fascinated with storms, especially hurricanes. Considering the negative impact hurricanes have had on my Louisiana family I should feel guilty, but I don’t. Fascination does not mean I wish harm on anybody. I just happen to be impressed with the power of hurricanes and tornados.

I respect that power too.

Speaking of power, I might lose mine tonight. I think I lost electricity for six hours during Isabel a few years ago. I am mostly prepared (see wine comment above).

I have well and …

Just Don't Tell Me It's ...

Death is the only certainty in life. We will all die at some point, hopefully after a long and mostly happy life. Of course the 'long and happy' part of the equation is not a certainty.

This is on my mind today because I got two pieces of bad news in the same email this morning. A cousin died and another has breast cancer. Both are cousins by marriage ... G, the one who died, is married to my cousin C; and S, the one with cancer, is married to another cousin J. C and J are brother and sister and I spent time with all four of them last Christmas.

I had not seen G in more than thirty years. We had some nice catching up conversations and he told me about some serious medical conditions he was going through. He died yesterday of complications connected with some risky surgery related to those conditions. I am grateful that I could connect with him again.

S had surgery a few weeks ago and will likely have to undergo chemo soon because there is more cancer. She and J are health fre…

OBXcape

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One of my favorite places on the planet is the Outer Banks, North Carolina, affectionately known as OBX. It is a chain of barrier islands stretching from the Virginia state line southward to Ocracoke Island. Towns include Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Duck, Sanderling, Avon, Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton and others. Attractions include the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Pea Island Bird Sanctuary and several lighthouses including the Cape Hatteras light.

Hurricane Irene apparently likes OBX too because that’s where she is headed for the weekend, with a predicted check-in time of mid-afternoon Saturday, just like the tourists. There is now a mandatory evacuation of all tourists (except her) (actually because of her) and a futile evac order for permanent residents, a hearty and sometimes foolish bunch who often risk riding the storm out rather than leaving.

Ocracoke Island is near the top of my list of preferred OBX haunts because it is less crowded even at the height of the sea…

Earthquake Randomness

When you live in the Mid-Atlantic States you learn to expect floods, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards. Earthquakes? Not so much.

We do get them … a noticeable one last year, for example, the first one I knew of in the 26 years I’ve lived here. But today we experienced a magnitude 5.8 in the Washington DC area. The epicenter was 88 miles away, near Mineral, Virginia and the quake was felt from the Carolinas to New York.

When my building first shook, I assumed it was the dumpster truck banging into the loading dock, a regular occurrence, but the shaking continued, mixed with a little lateral left-and-right motion, for at least 45 seconds. Then the alarm sounded and we all evacuated the six-floor tall structure. By the way, my office is on the top floor. As we waited outside, we learned that the vibration truly was an earthquake.

As far as I know, the building was not damaged, although I don’t especially trust that evaluation. Other buildings in the area, including a couple o…

Robert’s Ghost

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A few weeks ago I wrote about the “27 club” – a moniker for musicians who died at the peak of their career but at the young age 27, like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. Blues man Robert Johnson was probably the first; he died on August 16, 1938.

Even though I’m a fan of blues music, in fact it’s my favorite, I knew little about Johnson till this year. He is considered as influential in many ways as B.B. King and Muddy Waters, but is less well known outside of blues enthusiast circles. His music was not commercially successful during his lifetime but was “discovered” in the 1960s and inspired Eric Clapton and others.

Songs in his discography made famous by others in later years include “Sweet Home Chicago” (in the Blues Brothers movie), “Cross Road Blues” (adapted by Clapton to become “Crossroads”), “Riverside Blues” (Led Zeppelin) and others recorded by the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac.

The specific song that led me to dig a little tonight is “Walkin’ Blu…

Totally Random 6.2

Looking for something to write tonight. Nothing especially in my head. The work week starts again tomorrow but I was at work today for about four hours, catching up on some things in the distraction-free environment of Sunday, so I guess it really stared today for me.

- Went shopping yesterday. I’m one of the few men I know who actually likes shopping, but I am very focused. I got exactly what I went in for with none of the decision stress of my outlet mall shopping venture a few weeks ago.

- Photography is one of my passions but I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve hardly taken any pictures, except for the Tim McGraw shots from last week.

- Two or three trips coming up between now and the end of October. One to Vegas for that music festival, one to L.A. for a union committee meeting and a possible couple of days in North Carolina to shoot fall color pics. If the NC trip happens, that’ll be the only one I’m paying for. It’s nice that the other two are covered – first time in several ye…

Music Randomness 1.2

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Great movie sight gag … in the first few minutes of Back to the Future, Michael J. Fox’s character’s band auditions for a high school talent show, playing a horrible version of a Huey Lewis & the News song. A very nerdy judge stops them and rejects them for the show. The nerdy judge is actually Huey Lewis.

Timing is everything and maybe so is fate. Right before that stage crash at the Indiana State Fair last week, singer Sara Bareilles had just finished her performance and was safely off the stage. Sugarland was doing their pre-show prayer circle ritual when their manager had a feeling about the looming storms and walked them away from the stage to ride it out. Just over a minute later, the unpredictable wind gust blew through and knocked the whole stage over, killing six people.

I stopped on the Classical Arts channel for 10 minutes this morning. Heard part of Dvorak’s Symphony #9. Very relaxing.

Funny sentence from an actress … when Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler’s daughter actres…

Fall for Fall

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I fully expect to be living back in the “yeah there’s too much concrete and too many people but I like it anyway” suburbs soon, but one thing I will miss about living in the “it’s too far away from my real world but I’ll have to admit it is quiet” country is the obvious connection to the nuances of nature.

Since moving out here nine years ago, to a block-long development of acre-plus lots surrounded by working farms, I have learned how to feel seasonal changes without the help of a calendar. Or a clock. I feel the shorter days. I see differences in shadows. Even on the 90-degree days of this week I sense a coming chill in the air. Animals behave just a tad differently. Birds aren’t flying south yet but their aerial dance is different than it was a few weeks ago. I just didn’t notice that stuff when I lived in a “why are there only two parking places per unit when some neighbors have three cars” townhouse development full of homeowner association regulations and un-neighborly neighbor…

More Random Lyrics

We go together like peanuts and Payday, Marley and reggae
And everybody needs to get a chance to say
This is how it starts, lightning strikes the heart,
it goes off like a gun, brighter than the sun.
- Colbie Caillat


Full moon shinin’ bright
Edge of the water we were feelin’ alright
Back down a country road
The girls are always hot and the beer is ice cold.
- Jake Owen


Wishing I was knee deep in the water somewhere
Got the blue sky breeze and it don’t seem fair
Only worry in the world
Is the tide gonna reach my chair.
- Zac Brown

Writing Non-stop for Two Minutes

I’m going to attempt some freeverse writing, just write whatever comes to ming for the next few minutes and see what happens. Not sure why I decided to do this, maybe just haven’t in a long time, and maybe never on this blog. Just saw my picture as I was logging in and realized it’s the same picture I’ve used since I started thig blog abour 4 yers ago, and I used it on my previous blog too. The picture is about 5 or 6 years old. I actually do not like the way I look in most pictures of me taken in the past 5 or 6 years. I’m not insecure about my looks, I just haven’t found the right “pose” to accentuate good features about my face (smile, eyes) and reduce the parts I don’t like, like my almost double chin – actually is more like that straight shot from my throat to my chin, geeze I hate that. Muyst find a way to get rid of it, but not a surgical way, maybe just keep up with my exercise. Geez, Ive been typing for only 2 moinutes and already my wrists hurt. Speaking of wrists and fitne…

Country Girl

This song got a great reaction at the concert Saturday.  No surprise.

Country Girl (Shake It for Me) - Luke Bryan - Luke Bryan Videos

Random TV Line

Best “did he say what I think he said” line in a TV show … NCIS character Gibbs, demonstrating to a female companion, in a fairly seductive way, the finer points of sanding the wooden frame of a boat he is building : “You feel the wood?You can’t get a sensation like that from any power tools.”

Random Quotes from FB and Other Places in the Cloud

A Facebook friend posted quotes from a site called Pure Nourishment. These caught my eye:

- An “ex” is called an “ex” because it’s an EXample of what you shouldn’t have again in the future.

- If you’re not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.

- Embrace MESSY.

- Sometimes you have to look back at your past and smile at how far you’ve gotten.

And this one was actually written by that friend:

- After awhile, you know what you want and you know what you won’t put up with.

And one more from a different source – a blog I stumbled on:

- Morality is not determined by the church you attend, the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey.

McGraw

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I forgot how much I like Tim McGraw's music.  I saw his concert last night; first time in several years.  I still remember the first time I saw him, at the biginning of his recording career back in 1995, and it is great to see how much he has grown as an artist.  It's also awesome to know he is still making hit songs and performing for huge crowds in arenas and pavilions.

Here he is singing in front of his own larger-than-life big screen image:



Here is Luke Bryan, one of the opening acts:




Bonus goofiness ... me and my friend Jessica sampling over-priced-but-yummy margaritas:















Even better bonus ... my favorite Tim McGraw song.  Much of his music is high-energy, but this song means more to me than I can possibly say here (although I think I did say something about it in an earlier post):



I Am Master

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Those are the last two lines of Invictus, a famous poem written in 1875. The word invictus is Latin for ‘unconquered.’ The lines are quoted and sometimes misquoted by everyone from a character in Casablanca to the Oklahoma City bomber. I heard actor Morgan Freeman speak them in his incredible voice on a Biography special this morning. I like the sentiment. I am trying to live it.

Ha! There Is A New Name for Us

I never admit my age because of rampant age discrimination and for other reasons, but I'll say in this post that I’m older than the current President and younger than the previous two.  I'm in the Baby Boomer group.

But now there is a name for this segment of baby boomers … alpha boomer. I heard this term a few weeks ago, laughed at it and didn't pay much attention. Then this week I read an advertising trade website article that points out something I've been saying for many years … we have buying power and we listen to radio a lot.

Here is the quote:
"With the 50-65 segment of the U.S. population projected to grow by 70% over the next 15 years, radio and TV broadcasters have been working to show advertisers the unprecedented buying buyer of a new generation of 55-64 year-olds known as Alpha Boomers. The evidence continues to build."

This interests me because I work in radio advertising but I am more drawn to the idea because I still believe we rule the world…

Were Your Ears Burning?

This is one of the oddest phrases in American English vernacular: “were your ears burning?” It does not, of course, have anything to do with lobes on fire. The setting is usually when two people are talking about a third and the third enters the conversation; one of the other two says ‘were your ears burning’ meaning ‘did you know we were talking about you?’

Do you think maybe that third person DID know he or she was being talked about?

What I’m really curious about is this … can you feel when somebody in another location is talking about you or thinking about you?

I’m not much for praying but I do strongly believe in karma and good vibes. In a context where someone might say “my prayers are with you” I am more likely to say I’m sending good karma your way, or good vibes; maybe positive thoughts.

I often do that, by the way. There are a handful of close friends that I think about regularly and I often specifically send some kind of wish or vibe to them, mentally. Do you think they kn…

This Says It All

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Enjoy

I don’t know the source of this (I ‘borrowed’ it from a friend’s post on Facebook) but I like the sentiment...

There are 5 things in life you cannot recover: A stone...after it's thrown. A word...after it is said. An occasion...after it's missed. The time...after it's gone. A person...after they die. Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile. Enjoy Life!!

A Random Day at Work

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Even though I work at radio stations, most days are fairly predictable and are somewhat the same from one to the next. But some days, like today, are oddly random.

And I happened to have my camera with me, so here are a few moments in my day today.

The fire alarm went off around 9:30 and we had to evacuate the building. That means six floors down the stairs. The fire department did show up but whatever set off the alarm was handled quickly and by 10 am we were climbing back up the six flights of steps to my office area.



This is my life every morning … coffee and audio editing.



I ended my day by meeting a friend for dinner in downtown DC. While we were on our cell phones trying to figure out where each of us was, our conversation was interrupted by blaring sirens and a sudden street blockade for vehicles and pedestrians. If you live around DC for awhile you know instantly the President is on the move. And you never know which vehicle he is actually in but you can be sure it is not one …

Totally Random

I’ve been using cocoa butter on my surgery scar. I don’t know if it does anything but I like the fragrance.

I like Pink; the singer not the color. Not my usually music preference but some of her songs are fun and even meaningful.

My commute sucks. Time to stop whining and do the rest of what I have to do to change my commute.

Remember that sunburn I got on my feet a few weeks ago? Now the skin is peeling. I haven’t experienced that in a long time. Ugly.

I’m going to a Tim McGraw concert next week. I saw him on one of his first tours back in 1995 and again a few years ago when he toured with his wife Faith Hill. This year he is on the road with two fairly new performers.

Except for the sunburn I really like the beach and I want to go back. Maybe my cousin in Virginia Beach will have another guest room opening before the end of summer. If I go, I’ll remember to use sunscreen on my feet.

Speaking of sun, there is an all-day outdoor blues festival not far from here in a few weeks. I want …

Self Discovery Update

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If you’ve been following along on my two-and-a-half year self-discovery journey, you know one of my goals is to live more in the present. Companion goals include less over-thinking and more living on my agenda and not that of other people. I’ve made huge progress on all of those issues but I’m laughing at myself tonight.

I was offered a free trip to an amazing multi-artist music festival in Vegas as compensation for a company project (the one I mentioned a few posts ago). The ‘me’ I want to be would have RSVPd “yes” in ten seconds. The ‘still not quite there yet me’, however, thought about it, talked it over with two other people, thought some more and finally, after ten hours instead of ten seconds, said yes to the opportunity.

There are factors I can’t really talk about here that made the decision more complicated than it had to be and I’ll give myself credit for thinking through some of them. One relates to a work schedule conflict but my boss gave me the OK to work around that. Oth…

If ...

If someone close to you has ever died and you wish you could visit him or her again while you're still alive, this song might put a smile on your face.

Tags: If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away, Justin Moore, Justin Moore Videos

Fashion Cents Randomness

I pay a lot of attention to fashion but I don’t always buy or wear the right thing for the right occasion or the right combination of items. I am fashion-savvy enough to know I shouldn’t try to dress like a 20-year old but I also don’t want to dress like my age or anything close to it. That disparate combination equals frustration at the mall.

Here are some random observations and thoughts from my shopping trip to a local outlet mall yesterday:

- I am a fairly focused shopper. I usually know what I want before I walk in the store; sometimes I walk in with a written list. Halfway through my list I get hit with decision stress and leave.

- I know my sizes and I have a clear picture of what is already in my closet. Contradicting that, however, I also tend to buy and wear many of the same colors and sometimes I forget I already have that exact same shirt in that exact same color.

- Jeans are great but I like pockets (geez, I’m turning into my Dad), so I wear cargo pants a lot.

- Eddie Bau…