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Showing posts from August, 2012

Randomonium

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Watch the Republican convention tonight? Or floss? Choices choices.

Stevie Ray Vaughn died 22 years ago yesterday. He was an awesome blues man and had finally killed some drug and alcohol demons in his life and had recorded what some say was his best album ever. Then he dies in a helicopter crash. Sucks. I saw him at a bar in Dallas in the early 1980s and as B.B. King’s opening act on a riverboat cruise during the New Orleans Jazzfest in the late 80s. Awesome.

Hurricane Isaac made landfall tonight at the mouth of the Mississippi and as I write this it is dumping rain on New Orleans. So far my friends and family are safe there but the worst of the rain dump is yet to come. Could be 20 inches of rain in the next two days. Those incredible new post-Katrina levees and pumping stations will be put to the test. My prediction: most will pass but some will fail.

At this very moment I would rather be anywhere other than the room I currently am sitting in.

I got to do nearly every different par…

Here We Go Again

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On this date seven years ago I was watching The Weather Channel constantly and contacting family members in my home town New Orleans to find out what their hurricane evacuation plans were. Hurricane Katrina was heading straight for Louisiana and Mississippi on a path that had been feared for decades, one that could flood the whole city. As you know, that is exactly what happened and a combination of bad planning and inept government officials made a bad situation even worse.

Today I am watching The Weather Channel constantly and contacting friends and family to learn of their evacuation plans. Tropical Storm Isaac, soon to become a full-blown hurricane, is heading straight for New Orleans on a similar path. This time the whole region is prepared. Levees and pumping stations have been improved significantly and government officials seem to have learned their lesson and are taking the correct actions in advance of the storm.

This is a frustrating situation because the flood of memories …

The Eagle Has Landed

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Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, died today at age 82. Forty-three years ago last month, he and fellow flyer Buzz Aldrin accomplished something kids like me had been dreaming about for years. I don’t really remember President Kennedy’s 1961 speech in which he stated his goal of “before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” but I have heard the replay enough times to wish there had been a visionary President like that in the decades since; there has not been. I do remember watching live television coverage of Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface and the static-infused line “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I took pictures of the TV screen and I know I still have them somewhere in my messy home office.

I was a space flight geek as a kid. I remember watching television coverage of the launches and recoveries of the earliest American space flights. At one time I knew the names of …

Emergency

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Nerds Rock ... Sometimes

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I'm a nerd about my work. I high-five myself when I produce a great promo commercial. Really. If you hear something on a country music radio station about a festival in Vegas, I probably wrote and produced that promo. That's not my voice on most of them (although I am on some).

The word 'nerd' is used in many ways in assorted contexts but I wasn't sure what it really meant, so I looked it up ... 1) a stupid, irritating, or unattractive person or 2) an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit.

So I will reject the first definition and modify the second. I am definitely obsessed with my work and I work best when alone in a room (mildly antisocial when working), staring at my editing software display on my computer monitor, trying different combinations of sounds until I get it the way I want it and … voila! Perfect!! And I high-five myself.  This picture is what I was looking at when I high-fived myself on Tuesday.

The funny t…

Hmmm

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El

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Elvis died 35 years ago this week. His music was just a little ahead of my time (my older cousins liked him) and I was never a fan; but I believe he had a huge and lasting impact on music. He represented the best and worst of music careers and how fame can screw up talent.

Everything I have seen and read about him says he had a dream, followed it in the face of negative advice and lived the dream. He fell into the valley of personal excess as a result but he was also generous with some of it. Giving cars to his mother and friends is one example.

I have visited Graceland twice, one time while he was still alive and living there (you could tour the exterior then) and one time in the late 1990s. The inside of the house is frozen in time, a living monument to 1977. The place was state of the art for the era, including his TV room with three televisions. The color scheme is very green and yellow, popular at the time. The kitchen is huge for its time and kind of big for today too. The groun…

Comfort Zones

Where do you go for comfort during troubling personal times? What is your ‘happy place’? When you’re looking for comfort, do you seek it in someone’s loving arms, do you pour a glass of your favorite wine, do you listen to specific songs, do you drive somewhere? No matter how stable our lives might be, there are always times when things get shaken up and we have a need to find comfort and security.

All things considered, I had a decent week, but on my drive home tonight I found my ‘station changing’ finger restlessly hitting ‘seek’ on my car radio. I stopped on a satellite radio channel that plays music from my youth. Unlike many of my age peers, I do NOT think music from my youth is better than what’s out now. Some music from back in the day is good, as is some music today, but my music taste is definitely not stuck in my past and I often avoid the oldies. Many of those old songs sound silly now and, well, they make me feel old. But I found myself listening to songs from the 1970s an…

Martians

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Humans are always reaching for the unknown, sticking out hands, feet and brains into uncharted territory trying to learn what’s out there. The names of some explorers are recorded; Columbus, for example. There is no record of others, such as whoever first found and populated the places Columbus “discovered.” Our own country’s expansion was made possible by people like Lewis and Clark, whose trek into the ‘wilderness’ was recorded. Of course the people they encountered on their exploration were already there but in the absence of recorded history their own history remains a mystery to us.

This week humans from Earth landed mechanical emissaries on Mars again. We seem to have populated most of the acreage on our planet so now we are sticking out mechanical hands, feet and brains into uncharted space beyond our atmosphere in search of whatever we can find out there. Common sense tells us if there are billions of planets we can’t be the only one with life.

Mars seems like a good destinat…

Assorted Unconnected Observations

I regularly listen to an XM channel called the Spectrum. It is like some FM stations called the River. Tonight every song sounded like Coldplay. One of the songs actually was by Coldplay.

I feel better than I did when I wrote the depression post a few days ago. Just taking things one step at a time.  I'm a snail.

One of my favorite TV shows is Criminal Minds. It is well done but also hard to watch. Creepy.

Music is my favorite drug. For more than two and a half decades it has been my only drug, other than aspirin and caffeine. Music soothes, arouses, calms, excites and relieves pain. No prescription required.

Politically conservative boomers must be very frustrated right now when they see that their VP candidate is a Gen-Xer who wants to dismantle some government programs that even conservatives are counting on. The programs aren’t the problem, the bureaucracy that has been running them for decades is the problem. Both political parties share the blame but neither wants to work wi…

Monday? I'll Skip It This Week

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Depression Ain’t Fun

I know a guy who is going through a rough patch right now. Normally he is one of the most optimistic people I know. His friends and co-workers love spending time with him, sharing stories, laughs, drinks and conversation. Most of them would be surprised to know that he is depressed right now. In fact some amount of depression has been in his life for a long time but it is usually in the background and he is pretty good at masking it. He is the guy people turn to when they’re depressed and need a sympathetic ear but his ridiculous pride usually stops him from seeking other people’s help.

This friend had an especially bad few days this week and really needed a good cry, but that damn pride got in the way again. He got a little teary-eyed around his boss for a minute the other day but he survived that encounter, although I doubt she’ll say the words ‘are you OK?’ around him again any time soon. He has several close friends who he can count on for a hug, a hand shake or a smile but most o…

Failure and Success

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I'm not in much of a writing mood today, so I'll post someone else's observations.  This is worth contemplating, especially any time you feel like you don't have your shit together in some part of your life.

Just sayin' ...

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Question of the Day

Today’s question: why would you want to get married?

On the surface, that question packs a cynical punch, doesn’t it? The way I phrased it implies something like “why the hell would you want to get married, especially because half of all marriages end in divorce.” But that is not what I mean by my question. When two people get married they have reasons and my question seeks those reasons.

A common answer to the question is “we love each other.” Other answers might include companionship, children, tradition, building a life together. Our parents or grandparents might have wed so they could have guilt-free sex; you weren’t supposed to have sex with someone unless you were married to them.

In the year 2012, however, you can have sex, children, companionship, a life together and love without getting married. So are there deeper reasons why people get married?

My friend CJ announced today that she is getting married. Again. She has been married as many times as I have so she and I will pro…

Unlikely

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The song below is a very sexy song from a very unlikely source. Most of what the Zac Brown Band records falls into the country music genre but they are not locked into one specific thing. I heard an interview with Zac in which he says he and his band members are influenced by many styles of music. Most of us are. He calls their latest album a "country-Southern rock-bluegrass- reggae-jam" record.




To Take or Not To Take, That Is the Question

When someone gives you advice, do you take it? Do you take a mentor’s lead? Are you a mentor yourself?

I was thinking about mentoring and career advice today as I scrolled through a Facebook site made up of past and present media people in my hometown. The site has 700 members, including me, and I scrolled through the entire list to see how many I knew. It turns out I only know about ten of them but I am familiar with at least fifty more. Some are DJs I listened to or TV reporters I watched growing up in New Orleans.

A common theme of comments is ‘corporate media ownership has destroyed radio’ and most of the negative comments are posted by people who no longer work in radio. Some of those people lost their jobs because they got stuck in a style and attitude that worked for them when they were at their peak; the business changed and they didn’t. I will not say either side of that equation is right or wrong but I will say that to stay employed, you have to balance your attitude with …

Quotes on Change

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
- Lao Tzu

“Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.”
- Thomas L. Friedman

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”
- Maya Angelou

“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door”
- Milton Berle

“You can't stop the future
You can't rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
...is to press play.”
- Jay Asher

“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
- George Bernard Shaw

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”
- Martin Luther

“For what it’s worth: …

When in doubt ...

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... post a picture.  I don't have anything else tonight and this made me laugh.  Enjoy.