Friday, June 23, 2017

One More"Voice"


Most of my posts here are thought posts. Word posts. Comments on what I am seeing and thinking about. On conclusions reached -- or the path I am on (we are always growing, yes?) towards the same.

One previous post, though, entitled "My Other Voice" eschewed words almost entirely, and instead contained some of my imaging work, both from past years and the present.

This post, too, is not focused on words, or thoughts.  Well, at least not put forth as such. But upon as yet another "voice" of mine. The voice of music.

I gave up public performance as a musician many years ago. But my playing has continued. And in the last couple of years I have started again sharing some of that via a medium not even dreamed of during my youthful years: That of the self-posted, YouTube, video.

Here, then, are a few examples of such. Some entirely instrumental. Others of music with a vocal/lyric component as well.

* * * * *


First a couple of instrumental pieces. Ones that hearken back to my earliest days as a musician. During the days of "Surf" and what we guitarists of that period later came to call "pre-surf" music...

This first video is of a song that definitely qualifies as the prior.  Maybe the very first song I ever applied myself to learning.  The Ventures' 1959 hit "Walk Don't Run"






Here's another instrumental from that general period. But this one is truly "Surf" as shown by its very name: 1963's "Surf Rider."


  



And now something quite different.  First of because it is played, not on an electric guitar, but on an acoustic. And also because it is a vocal number.  My own arrangement for solo guitar and voice of Muddy Waters' great blues song "I Got My Mojo Working"...








And one more. Again a vocal number, but this time of an one of my own compositions. A song entitled "On and On (she keeps going)."

On this one I am 'backed up' by "The Black Box Band" -- an assortment of programmable electronic instrumental devices.





* * * * *

Put these three forms of communication together -- words, imaging and music -- and you pretty much have the whole of me. A reflection of most everything that goes on in my head.

Yes, and much that goes on in my life.

Especially now in retirement.  This is where my heart resides. My world. A largely peaceful place of beauty, thought and expression. The things that daily surround me -- along with a few very dear, carefully chosen, friends and my family.

-Don




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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some Thoughts on Finding "Beauty"





We are surrounded by beauty.  Yes, just as we are surrounded by "goodness" and "love."

Why then do some of us see it?  Find it?  Experience it?

In truth there is no one, simple, answer to that question. Some places are less filled with beauty than others. Some lives less surrounded by goodness and love.

But that said, if we look about something else is to be observed:  And that is that what we each see is what we choose to see.

We as a rule find what, and only what, we are looking for.

We experience only what we allow ourselves to experience.

Like beauty, love and goodness can be seen -- or they can be passed over. -Left unseen. Ignored.

Choices over time, too, have an effect.  A beautiful home is generally the product of many months or years of planning and executing. A beautiful garden does not grow in a single season.  -It begins there, but that is only its beginning. Much work must follow.

Beautiful friendships, too, take time to create and grow. And this, too, takes labor.

I make it a daily goal to to create and post at least one share-worthy photograph a day. It pleases me when others take pleasure in viewing these.  But in truth the one who is best rewarded by the images is me -- and that is not in their posting, but in the creating.  In the seeing that follows the searching, and the work that follows that.

That assignment -- finding an image that is to me worth sharing -- forces me to look for the beauty that is all around me. To see, not just what is, but possibilities.  And then to extract those possibilities -- the things seen in my mind and imagination -- and make them real, clear, and focused. Obvious, hopefully, to even a casual looker on.

The real reward is in the looking. And in the work of creating. This is true for art, Yes. And for music. And for relationships. Indeed it is true for everything.

Seeing the possibilities is where the journey begins. Being satisfied with nothing less and working to create them is the road. All beyond that is merely the destination.

We either go there, or we do not.  That choice, too, is ours.

Yes beauty IS all around us. To be extracted from life. Squeezed out of it like juice from a piece of fruit. And very often only then is it available to be savored and enjoyed.

It can't be bought. It does not come pre-packaged.

Some may say "yeah, but you are lucky. I see your photos. You are surrounded by beauty. For you it is everywhere."

For such that think that way here is a little secret:  Even that very real beauty often has to be found, extracted, and created.  Yes, it is there, but often not obviously so.

Here, as an example, is my "sharable" photo from this morning. First what I shared, and next to it where it came from -- what the camera saw --  the actual photograph. The first -- the image I shared -- is what I sought and found within the later.




Both are in truth the same photo. The choice of what to see and what to share was mine. -To be extracted, modified, squeezed, made "other."

Just as with life itself.






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Friday, June 9, 2017

WTF Just Happened in the UK?

Okay, I am no expert in UK politics. Far from it. But that never prevents the media from offering thoughts and opinions -- in their case as facts. So, what the hell -- I'll share a few.

Looking at the UK we see a similar pattern that we are seeing here in the USA. And that pattern represents the frustration of the citizens who may not follow every detail about the daily this-n-that -- and who may seem to be swinging every which way like a magnet that has forgotten how to point north. But the people there have basically come to see that they have been being led by people who themselves are completely lost.  What the people are experiencing is a continuing series of -- pardon my Gaelic -- WTF?s.

The PM thought she had things sown up. Enough to call for an early election to lock in her power. Then the latest examples of Islamic barbarism hit and it, for the moment at least, got the people's attention.

Here they -- the nations' voters -- had a supposedly "conservative"  government, led by a supposedly "conservative" Prime Minister, and yet they saw that even the most basic thing -- the safety of the nation -- was not be "conserved."  WTF?

The left pointed out that the PM, in her last major government assignment, had reduced the number of 'bobbies on the beat -- the perfect bleat! -- and effectively turned the people away from her.

Deservedly?  Who can say?

But in truth there was a "bobby" on the scene of the latest horror and he had in fact proved himself to be a heroic defender of public safety -- almost losing his life trying to bring down the miscreants. Alas, as is the case with most British policeman, he was unarmed.  (WTF2)

Adding to the public consternation is the fact that as it turns out the government knew the "bad guy" way before  he committed this particular horror -- he'd been photographed celebrating 'whatever' in a public park with an ISIS flag. And what exactly had the government done about it? Exactly nothing.  (WTF3)

So the votes in yesterday's election were cast willy-nilly -- no one getting enough support to authoritatively take charge.

In other words nothing is going to be done. Again. In other words two, nothing in fact has actually  changed -- except another do nothing pol has lost a bit of face.

So now the left -- claiming the very real failure of the PM to get the control she thought was hers (sound familiar?) was for them a great victory -- feel free to push their programs yet harder.  Programs the enlarge the, shall we say, "risk factors" the public will be in the future facing.  More "refugees." More restriction on what the British public can say about it. No restrictions that matter for those who have no belief in the fundamental principles that had once made Great Britain "great."

What they do not have there -- much to their loss -- is what we have here. A "don't give a damn for your freakin' niceties" leader intent on "Making Great Britain Great Again."

No, but they do have the same circus we have. -A media ready to scream bloody murder at everyone. (Well, apart from actual bloody murderers.)

Where is their Trump when they need him?

So I'll say it one more time...

 "WTF?"


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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Simple Non-Formula for a Safe, Peaceful and Prosperous Community

Since I was a teen I have been reading and hearing that the answer to our having safe, peaceful, prosperous communities was x, y, z and z+. And I've watched society as a whole strain to fulfill those supposed requirements.. And all the while things have been getting less safe, less peaceful and less prosperous. "No! No! You have to do it more. You have to do it better! You have failed." -So say those same people in voices ever more scolding.

Since I have been a full adult -- which has meant no longer having to listen to such "teachers" -- I have found that such safe, peaceful and prosperous communities already exist. And while what they have in common often includes at least a bit of x, y, z and z+, their success in reaching the goals of safety, peace and prosperity has largely depended on other, less complicated and formulaic, things.

Basically these:

Most everyone living in the community pays for their own housing.

Most everyone lives in a close and caring family. Moms, dads and kids.

Children and young adults exercise their minds, study their lessons, go as far through formal schooling as their abilities allow, all the while looking to do other things as well. Music. Sports. The arts. Church and/or community activities.

Moms love and teach their children.
Dads counsel, discipline and teach their children.
Moms and dads stay together -- often in deep and abiding love, in other cases "for the kids."

Babies come after marriage.

And that's about it. Nothing complex. Nothing out of reach of most anyone who aspires towards such things.

And it works. No excuses. No "if onlys."

The funny thing is that it always has. Generation after generation.

Now, why couldn't I have been taught that? Why did I need to discover it for myself?

Those questions aren't hard to answer either. But the answers make a lot of people very, very angry. So largely I just live all the above -- along side others that choose to do the same.. And let the losing battles be fought elsewhere.


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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Trump vs. the Plutocrats

In turning away from the Paris Climate Accord Trump once again shows that he sees things that others either cannot, or will not, see: The pivot point in the central issue of our time -- the ongoing war between the interests of the 'common' people and those of the plutocrats. That is the reason why the attack on Trump for his stand on America's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord has become a shrill and all-encompassing pile on. Trump knows where the fulcrum point is. He is skillfully applying pressure there. And, as usual, he is explaining what he is doing in words that the work-a-day crowd understands, and the elites do not. It is the continuation of what started in the Republican primaries and November election. A series of one "inexplicable" victory after another, accompanied by the confusion and anger of those who thought -- not without seemingly good reason -- that they held, and would continue to hold, complete control over the world of men. Idiot comedian Kathy Griffin so well represents this. She, like the coastal (and, now, international) elites, saw herself standing on the top of the world, smugly holding a fake severed head aloft. And then -- a mere nano-second later -- standing with her attorneys. Giving faux apologies. Making excuses. In tears. Thank you President Trump.
Posted on American Thinker, June 6, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Locals Vote "No"

I am, admittedly, surprised and pleased that my neighbors voted down a  'sanctuary city' proposal in yesterday's local election. This after much intense public debate.

But perhaps I should not feel surprised, because a town like Peterborough does not become what it is -- a true example of what an American community should be -- open, tolerant, caring, but also responsible and independent in spirit -- by mere chance.

No -- it has taken much wisdom, hard work, and keen thinking to make the town what is, and, equally, to preserve it as such.

The "sanctuary city" idea sounds fine, at least to some good hearted people. But things like kindness, generosity of spirit and even simple "goodness" are like delicate flowers. -Things that bloom, grow and prosper only when there is peace and joy and, yes, a measure of prosperity.

Peterborough has all those things. And (I am sorry to say -- but equally important), it has no "Section 8" housing. Anyone is welcome in Peterborough, but so far every taker of that "offer" has had to be a person who has been striving to make their own way, and with proven habits that they can succeed in doing so.

Peterborough is not 'hoity toity' -- not in the least -- but it is not an inexpensive place to live. You will find no subsidized -- i.e., paid for by others -- housing here. Thus most kids here have two parents. Most people here work, and not just at their "day job," but at life.

The "sanctuary city" proposal was pushed by an activist who also was running for town office. (She lost) And along with her desire to make our town a sanctuary for those here illegally was an expressed (some would say "harped upon") desire to see the town's property codes rewritten. That, to use her own words, "instead of asking people who have already made it" there should be "outreach to the people who are... struggling."

Nice sentiments for the sophomore class lyceum, perhaps. But an open-minded and clear look at where such would actually lead as to the community's quality of life regarding such things as peace, safety (the town has almost no crime), continued prosperity and such must be rejected. It simply must.

And this, apparently, even the "artists" realized.

Dreamers they may be, but they are dreamers who live in the real world. -A world that headlines show to be rapidly disappearing. One where a person is judged, and then accepted, by their actual doings. Yes, and demonstrated character. Not by slogans about "equality," "fairness" and rejecting "hate."

Thank you townspeople. Yesterday you demonstrated once again just why I love it here so.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Among the "Children"



I start every morning with two things:  Spending some time with my various 'arts' and catching up with the fast-increasing, world-wide, insanity of the day.

That the first of these is a source of total, spirit-lifting, joy and the second not too different from time under a dentist's drill, is itself revealing. Why can't looking at world news be as uplifting to the spirit as are the arts?

Maybe because one is personal -- and thus liberating. The other controlled.

Some, of course, lets their "arts," too, be controlled. Yes, and their entertainment.  And thus that too is for them "ugly."  The psychology of that is interesting, but frankly far from my focus.

Yet both of my morning "starters" are equally neccasary.  The first to assure my own mental health and joy in living. The second to, hopefully, help do the same for the future of our species.

Human social passion and anger are not without purpose.  Such are much like our instinctual response to pain. We pull back and cry out. Something far better that putting our hand into a fire and then thoughtfully questioning "what's that odd and unpleasant smell?"

Children cry instinctually. It is their way of getting others to care for their needs before they are capable of caring for such themselves. But when children are effectually parented such ends.. -That because they, the "child," has learned to care for his or herself and, equally, because such have learned that they must.

It is from such growth and learning that adulthood comes.

It is the lack of that -- be it on the part of a small child who can do no other, or the "spoiled" child that has not been taught to be other -- that makes time spent in some households less than a delight.

Well, to me anyway. Some I suppose must like it.  Or think that the discomfort such causes is "just the way things are" -Something one must tolerate. Or simply ignore. Or flee from to the TV. Or out of the house. Or to the bottle..

That is why I read. And it is in part the reason why I write. -Because I believe in humanity. Adult humanity. Thoughtful humanity.

The command "go forth and multiply" isn't really about producing "kids."  It is about producing adults.

Following that command -- that of producing the next generation of adults -- is, though, getting harder to do.  Society does not encourage it.  As is, I suppose, the taking on of parenting at all when all one has largely seen are ill-disciplined children.

So people -- more and more people -- just run and hide. Look to a life of play. Something that makes them, too, in a sense "children."

Am I free from that temptation?

No.  And that is in part why I live where I do.  In one of the seemingly few remaining parts of the nation (and, perhaps, the Western World) where the old values still hold. Where men and woman are just that -- where childhood is left behind.

Why anyone would choose to live among children past the age of sixteen I cannot imagine.  Tantrums then are so unnatural. So ugly.

But, again, I look at what today passes for "art" and entertainment.  And I flee that as well.