Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Does He Do Out There?

A little green shed. Under the evergreen pines. Surrounded by a fence, with tools and grill, and tarps flying in the breeze. Deep chimes harmonize with the birds songs. Wobbly boards create a deck under a cherry tree facing the pond. Bikes fill the cramped porch.

So what does he do out there until all hours of the night.

After the news, he leaves the house to close the door and walk down the uneven trail of timbers to the tiny wooden refuge called "Man's Land". It's a man's cave on cinder blocks. Delivered some years ago by a flatbed truck, sliding into place, precisely measured footings.

Believed to be the omnivorous "Nimrod Studios" written about by ancient scribes and mentioned in ever popular commercial free W.N.O.Z. Radio of the early 70's, the dark green building sat alone for many year, until he moved out there.

Dark and damp. Interior of white, oriental scatter rugs on green dirty carpet. Stacks of books, CDs, cassettes surround a blond desk at one end. Next to a drafty window sits a plumb iMac computer, Cano scanner, HP printer with a lamp turned to the corner. All around is darkness. A damp forbidding darkness. The patterned clicks of the wall clock and desk thermometer bounce against each other in the silence.

Cables and wires drape the ceiling and walls and floor. Speakers hang loosely covered in dust. In the corner a black box 13" television with a VHS and FM radio stacked with DVD player, digital converter box, and rabbit ears command the corner gently resting on a fragile metal shelf hung by massive screws into thick wooden studs painted white. A terabyte hard drive waits for more information. The bulletin board holds silver pins with a things to do list and calendar. The space is available.

Stacks of books and projects grow on top of the Yamaha keyboard. Titles like "Writers workshop in a book", "Persuasive Writing", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Zappa... a biography", "Boom! Voices of the Sixties" , "Star Fleet Technical Manual", "Playing Slide Guitar", "Employee Assistance Programs" are a few, plus references to underground comics, music, guitars, art techniques, work manuals, notebooks filled with typewriter written pages of homemade songs and lyrics, harmonicas, 3-d glasses, mirrors, folders of family and house notes and references, high school yearbooks, tackle box full of pencils, pens, inks, and other art supplies, pads for drawing, VHS movies, software technical notes and tutorials that will never be read, black stapler, and a chair draped in a towel.

On the right is a bookcase covered in Cd's, cassettes, mustard and hot sauce, dual cassette karaoke recorder, guitar amp, bass amp, microphones and stands, boom box, bicycle bags, more cassettes, cords, picks, special guitar effects pedals, more cords, and a lot of dust and dirt.

Behind the rack of guitars is an adjustable spring drawing board purchased from work for $100 (estimate value $1,500.00), and 4- teak cases of vinyl albums from 1959 - 1985. Atop sits a digital Casio guitar draped in a gray cover hand sewn. 2 handsomely framed diplomas from high school and college hang over the record cases.

A handmade walnut stained wooden cabinet sits under a side window. Made by a friend as a set of four, one remains. Sturdy and strong. Inside are art pads, colleges of faces familiar yet distant, electronic effects, and art pads. The top is covered in a green slab of marble wannabe counter top holding a rust red foot locker. An old WWII army footlocker made of heavy wood with a Stanley padlock. The paint is chipping off the top and sides, but the body remains sturdy and strong. Inside are the memories of the past, but that's another story.

Fans and heaters rest against the walls and floor, covered in dust and webs. Inside the door sits seldom used vacuum cleaners and brooms, footstools, and a trashcan. The other bookcase holds the rest of the reference material from years gone by. Fiction and fact interwoven into a maze of influences and amazement.

So what does he do in this environment surrounded by dust and dirt and framed portraits of Frank Zappa?

Listen to music?
Play music?
Write music?
Write ideas?
Contemplate ideas?
Vision ideas?
Draw or write thoughts as they happen?
In silence?
In a whirl of musical madness?
Sometimes loud or sometimes in headphones?
Write the wishes which no one will hear?
Go to the place less wandered?
Live the childlike fantasies?
Believe in the whole of the spirit and express it for self-gratification and entertainment?

But what of his complete satisfaction?

and are the dreams fulfilled?

Isn't This What Rock and Roll Is All About?

Recently I read an article in Brick weekly and it caught my eye and made me smile. I agreed with everything it said and reminded me of daze gone by.

Instead of going out for sports, or being smart, or wearing the correct chic wear, I decided to play music in my teen years. Like so many other boys, I picked up a guitar and learned by ear, repeating what I heard on WLEE radio.

Then I joined a band and after meeting new friends and learning new songs, we played our first gig at a playground at a junior high school night dance. Make shift equipment and mix-matched outfits, but we got the attentions of GIRLS.

That is what those guys up on stage with long hair and tight pants, making an awful noise are all about. THE GIRLS.

Read on....

The Band You Are About To See Sucks
I’ve seen hundreds of shows in my life. Played a couple hundred too. Over all these years of viewing and performing live music, I’ve developed a set of tell tale signs that the band or performer I’m about to see is going to be bad. As with any set of rules, there are exceptions, but more often than not, if you are about to witness a performance and one or more of these red flags is evident, chances are the band you are about to see is going to suck.

The drummer’s drum set is huge.
Here’s how it works. The larger the drum set, the more likely the band is going blow. As important as a drummer is to a group, it should always be remembered that they are essentially just there to keep a beat. One time in Germany, the drummer for the opening band had a gargantuan 12-piece kit complete with octagons, not one but three splash cymbals and the granddaddy indicator of sure band suckdom, a set of chimes hung behind him that he played every precious percussive chance he got. Good Lord, did they ever suck. I was embarrassed for them.

The bass player’s bass has more than 4 strings.
They have a name for 6-string instruments. They are called guitars. Frank Zappa once said that nobody wants to be a bass player and that bass players were relegated to the duty because someone else in their first band was a better guitar player. Many bass players never get over this perceived slight and try to make up for it by playing more strings. They always fail.

The band’s equipment is brand new.
Playing music is a dirty business. Bright and shiny equipment is a telling sign that the players are either new to the game or have way too much disposable income. Give me a band that’s equipment looks like that it has been to hell and back. It shows that they have done this before.
One or more of the group’s members is sporting a balding ponytail.
Of all this hairstyles, the balding ponytail is the one you should be most aware of if you want to avoid listening to awful music. And like genital crab infestations, where there’s one balding ponytail, there’s bound to be more. They always travel in packs. Balding ponytail players are usually trying to recapture some lost musical element of their youth and the results are, like their dubious taste in hairstyle, receding from listenable relevance. Also, balding ponytails are a clear indication that hippies are in the room. Never trust a hippie, ladies and gentlemen; they are holding all of us back in the collective unconscious. Trust me on this. They make you stupider by proximity.

The band keeps telling you to do things.
This has always been a pet peeve of mine. If the band’s music doesn’t move you to do things, no amount of cheer leading from the stage is going to either. Shut up already. If I wanted to be told what to do I would have joined the Army. I’m not a Pavlov dog and any band or performer that treats you as such should and must be treated with contempt. Singers, the most self obsessed members of any group, feel compelled to tell people to dance, put their hands in the air or to have a good time mostly to appease their raging egos because a flaccid response from an audience affects them the most as they are the audience’s center of attention. While I understand and appreciate engaging singers, too many want to tell you what to do and how to do it. The good ones don’t care.

After the set, you can’t remember a single song the band played.
This happens a lot. If you can’t hum or remember a single song a band has just played, that group sucks. -

So there you have it. Pay attention and enjoy the music you want to hear and appreciate. There is plenty out there for everyone's taste. And new stuff coming every day.

So get out your Guitar Hero and play along or become a self-made Rock Star.

But remember the code:

It's all about THE GIRLS!

And I don't have a Gibson Les Paul, but I do have an Epiphone.

PS Check out Chris Bopst. GREAT STUFF. Thanks Chris.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Hawker

Recently I went to an exhibition of house and yard ideas presented to the public, at a fee but mine was free, to inform, persuade, and sell products to the citizens of this burg before the show moved on to the next burg or ville. Hundreds of 3 foot by 3 foot squares for people and products to catch the passing eye. Row after row of similar displays and people sitting in chairs as the flow goes by.

Who are these wandering gypsies? They pack their wares in mobile machines and unpack in a city or town to poles draped in material with lights and cords and tables and they sit. Patiently sit. Impassively sit. Watching and occasionally displaying their craft and knowledge and maybe, maybe making a sale.

And I wonder?

Why don't they talk to the passerby?

This is important to them, it must be because they came all this way with all their stuff and unpacked it and set it up for 4 days, but they don't say anything.

I've seen it in art shows in the park. Artist, painter, crafters.... will sit and watch people come by. The onlooker will stare at the "art", touch it, critique it, and many times pass it by with a snub. The originator of the "art" will sit passively and listen. It hurts. I know. I've done art shows.

What makes "them" so knowledgeable to comment on your creative thoughts and presentations in glass, paint, paper, wood, or whatever media? Who gives them the right to criticize or judge "your" ideas.

So I say, STAND UP and face the onlooker. Describe the process of discovery and application of an idea or thought. In each of us it's original.

I was impressed by a hawker at the local home and garden show who was selling knives. I've always be fascinated by the flashy steel so I smiled when I heard him. He has a microphone headset to keep his hands free for the demonstration. "So get out your $39.00 and open those bags. I'm putting one in each of them. Stolen credit card, get away from me...." The chatter went on and on and the crowd loved it. I saw 6 knives leave fully paid for and customers smiling.

Was that salesmanship or customer service?

I recently wrote about bad service and got several comments (thank you). The comments were more on the observation of the diversity of the situation rather than the experience, but I understand it. My editor commented before any of you saw it, so I peppered a few more references in to see if there would be a reaction.

I must explain, I've grown up in the capital of the Confederacy. The stars and bars (the south's battle flag during the War Between The States) was on display everywhere. I had a CSA belt buckle and a statue of Robert E. Lee on my shelves. I remember the Highty Tightys of VPI (later VA. Tech where my brother went to college) playing "Dixie" at the president inauguration every four years and feeling proud my state was representative. And I'm old enough to remember seeing the last Confederate solider being driven in a convertible on the Tobacco Parade.

But I also did not have any contact with any race of color, except as waiters or maids, until I was in high school. And then it was a closed segregated society. Only music brought me together with a young singer who filled out the basement band.

And I also was proud of the civil rights movement and though I sang the songs I did not march. I was thrilled by the Afro look and glad my karate black belt friend from work who went onto California to TV and comedy, was showing pride in his race.

It struck me years later, I didn't see a difference, but I know the past experience is ingrained in my being and it will take generations to overcome.

With that said, if you have a passion, or just a job, and you do not give a HAWKER approach to it, you are watching the world walk by. Enjoy your knowledge and share with others. They might be put off, so move to the next one. They may ask questions, so prove to them, you know the answers they need to make an informed decision.

We are all selling. We are selling our job knowledge. We are selling our looks and perceptions of who we are to the general public. We are selling our ideas and thoughts. Some of us make money off of this. Some of us do this better than others. Some walk away with cash in hand and no knives left.

Think about what you are "selling" and be a HAWKER.

Another Lost Weekend?

The end of a hectic workweek. Not so much a problem of steady work, but a lot of trouble shooting and repair. It's tough sometimes being the man carrying the shovel behind the elephants.

But a break from the norm. Instead of the usual Saturday morning routine, it's have a cup of Joe, sit on a brick wall in the Saturday sunshine, and wait for the public transportation to deliver you downtown at the convention center for the whatever annual Maymont Flower and Home Show.

The sky was clear blue with strips of clouds blowing from west to east by a cold wind. 3o minutes and my chariot arrived. Few people ride the bus on weekends, so it is a lot faster travel. Past the pizza place where we stopped for a brief encounter, the university with cheer leading competition, the restaurant closed for fights and shooting, but reopened for business, the boarded up buildings in the middle of demolition or construction.

The streets are almost empty as I enter the building. Then a see the crowds moving forward toward the signs and the guards at the doors. Hand two "free" tickets to the man and walk past, only to have to back up and get my hand stamped with a red dye that looked like a cigarette burn.

And behold. A football stadium size warehouse filled with people milling about between little cubicles divided by sheets and signs. Booths of wares for the landscaping, construction, and a pile of crafts.

As the black thick carpet let me forward past the Maymont huge garden built on stone slabs and mulch with live trees and flowers the smell of spring filled my head. Spring is not that far away. Some people walk through the exhibit, other used their little digital camera to capture ideas.

Onward pass the newspaper booth with a person I did not recognize. Pass the man raffling off cars and trips to the beach, pass the orchids next to the hawker selling a nozzle spraying water into a plastic container. There was water everywhere. I don't remember there being water before.

I made a regular pilgrimage to this show every year for a while to get ideas and expandable rakes, but I had not been in a few years, so I figured it was time to catch up.

The crowd was different. Older, slower, more wheelchairs, and fewer yuppies. People would stop and look and discuss and fill the isles. Now, I remember. I don't like crowds. But I waded through the people and their bags and carts full of samples and wares.

Stop at the clay flower makers and watch a local oriental woman make a blue and yellow fish for a excited yet mentally challenged boy. The hands rolled the clay in perfect rhythm of an artisan with ancient knowledge. The hawker at the other end of the booth sat in a canvas chair and in a uptempo voice announced to the passerby, "Clay Flowers, Come Touch Them". The woman smiled as she fascinated the surrounding crowd by placing the clay fish on a stick with the precision of a surgeon and hand it to the boy who ran off to show others. We should have applauded.

Next stop a shiny booth with a lot of lights and fans blowing these metal whirly gigs. Twirlers they are called. Eagles, American Flag, Flowers, Hearts. All laser cut out of colored metal spinning under the lights. Each design was encased in a row of circles of metal strips offset a finger width apart. As the design spun, the colors of the metal glowed like neon. And the colors changed from light to dark in it's dance. I paid $40 for a humming bird 3-D twirler and wished that I had some acid to overwhelm myself on the vision of all these flashing metal visions. Instead I would get shocked from the static in the black carpet and my head making contact with these metal flying sculptures.

Down the rows of people standing waiting for request. The window woman who described how each window is custom fitted. The sun room man who bragged you will never see a screw head. The man by the hot tube when asked why he was in the tub said, " I'd be too relax to show it to you."

Odd mixture of displays. Odd mix of people. Mostly beige. This is one of this town's favorite events, but the crowd did not seem excited or involved. Neither did the exhibits representatives.

I noticed a pretty girl at a state university booth displaying water collector and compost container. She stood there. Sweet face. Hands behind her back. Pressed shirt and slacks. Waiting for a question. I'm sure she had a good message, but no one was interested and the flow of faces passed her by. Another site had a young pretty face smiling. She must have been assigned as the "pretty face" to present the display like Vanna White. And me, as a big flirt, walked pass with a smile and a head turn watching her.

A stop for a $5.00 bottle of water and a blueberry muffin as I watched huge women stack a plate with roast beef and a ton of some kinda white sauce. Again the surroundings were old, white haired and very beige.

While I tired of the crowd, I noticed other odd displays. A player baby grand piano playing by itself, a tornado shelter about the size of a cubicle for 10 people (we used to call them bomb shelters), a wine sampling area (which seemed quiet popular with all the tables filled and paper scraps of $40 "sampling" tickets all over the floor, to an Egyptian artifacts display. They were not real artifacts, just look alike which could be purchased. Where would you put a golden sarcophagus in your home?

Back into fresh air and home on the delivery wheels.

Then to the man cave for some refresh time alone. Until 4:00 AM.


So what do you do to top that adventure?

Spend the next day taking back videos, shopping for underwear, looking at small guitars, renewing your Barnes and Noble discount card, buying incense at the $ store, not finding a new USB port at Staples, and being annoyed at the crowd in the burrito joint.

Maybe this cold wind will blow some fresh news in for the next extended furlough weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Paying for Bad Service

I'm sick and tired of paying for bad service.

Last year I said I would not return to places that offered bad service and I stuck to most of it, but today after 5 trips to the grocery store and tired, I decided to go get some dinner at a "fast food" establishment.

Another ride in the warm February sun to a place which I will not name. Once inside the door, I saw several white people who had already placed there orders milling about next to several other white people waiting behind the velvet line to order. The counter held two unmanned registers. A long braided hair young black man in a paper hat loaded paper containers for fries. He appears to be busy and though he gazed at the waiting line, continued to load the fry holders. Another black man in a paper hat and a different color shirt walked back and forth, then back and forth, then after filling a cup with drink, disappeared about the corner. The blurry TV monitor hanging over the fry area showed the muted bodies waiting to be recognized. Finally a young black man in another color shirt and paper hat stood at the register. A tall man rattled off his order as he stared at the variety of burger sizes and names. The paper hat man, without a hint of energy, punched buttons asking to clarify each order. A young couple waiting for their order started to make out as two young boys with bicycle helmets and backpacks flinched in anticipation. How long does it take to throw a frozen beef patty on a grill?

I turned and walked out.

Down the street to the next establishment, with similar results.

A large black woman impatiently waited at the counter, coat in hand, dipping her fingers in ketchup and talking to the pacing black shirted man with the headset on. He stepped up to the register as I peered into the glass case viewing one salad and dressing and wondering how man days those greens have lived there. "Can I take your order" he mumbled looking at me with a cell phone pressed to his ear. I stared at the mixed board of overpriced grimy photos of greasy meat on bread, then looked him in the eye and said, " Are you on the phone?" "No, he's on hold", he responded to my chagrin. I waited. He put the phone in his pocket. I placed the order, gave a $20, pocketed the change, and moved around the woman who had still not received her order but continued talking as if everyone need to know what she was thinking. Another black shirt man filled his drink cup while talking across the room to another black shirt woman as she curse the bus for being late. Along the windowed wall sat a young black man with headphones on gobbling down the dripping sandwich. Two brown paper bags were shoved at me across the chrome counter without a "Have a nice day" or "Please come back" or "I don't give a...."

I will not do that again.

I will not pay for inferior quality product and bad service. With the economy the way it is, we don't need this. Good customer service is what makes most of us repeat the experience.

So I bid ado and hope each and every one of you think before you reward a sloven and disrespectful establishment serving the public with less than pleasant and responsible acceptance of hard earned dollars for equal valued product.

Thought for Today: Where is your DREAM?

What was your dream?

Not the question of who would be when you grew up, but what you dreamed for.

Was it a dream of Fame? Fortune? Power? Love?

Fame? Not the Brittney Spears or Keith Moon (who?) fame, well maybe, but to "a name", remembered in the career path you choose.

Fame, that fleeting moment to aspire for.

Your name on every one's lips. Your picture on every magazine cover. Your request for interviews on every talk show.

Much of fame, we realize as we get older, is our idols are manufactured by profit making companies who will toss you aside when the next good looking boy or girl comes along.

Few achieve real fame and it weights them for the rest of their lives.

Fame might bring power, love, fortune, but does it bring happiness?

The famous get stars on the sidewalk people step on. The famous might get monuments or plaques.

What about dreaming of fortune? With a pile of money you can become famous and buy most everything else.

Fortune can be wealth of worldly possessions.

"Stuff" to impress the not so fortunate. But what happens to all this "stuff" or wealth when you go? And did it really impress?

And fortune makes friends out of enemies or other evil doers who want to share in the good times without having to earn it.

Power? Power over people or animals? Power over thoughts? Power by teaching or Power by threatening.

How long will the Power last before it shifts? Power must be maintained, but it is always at odds with truth, justice, and ingenuity.

Power surrounds itself with fear and needs to replenish itself.

The dream of love? True love? That one and only. The vision embodying all the features of a true companion.

Lust or love?

The emotion which can bring the strongest to blubber, the truest to lie, the heart to beat faster and the blood pressure spike.

Reevaluate your earliest dreams and check them against reality.

Are you living your dream?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Carriage House

During my high school and college years, I was selected to run a small gathering place presented by the First Baptist Church. Across the street from the church, in a small one room wooden paneled old garage, the place was called the "Carriage House".

The youth minister of the church asked me if I would open and close the coffee and chip conversation room with discussion of life, God, music. Every Saturday I would open the door, start the coffee, put out the chips, select music and set up tables with checkered table cloths and candles.

Friends would come and they would bring friends. Some troubled teens. Some kids trying to find answers.

The music would inspire questions and often heated debates of the government, war, sex, drugs....

We'd pull out guitars and play folk music, songs of protest, songs of love, songs to sing along with.

We watched the first man on the moon. We played checkers.
Some night were full of coffee and tea drinking teens reading, talking, laughing.

The kitchen was a stir with each cup of coffee covered with whip cream, each Earl Grey or Constant Comment tea cup, each basket of chips or pretzels prepared and served with a smile.

As the years went on, the folk atmosphere turned to revolution rock. The crowd thinned out.
I closed the door and turned in my keys to the church.

The next attempt went to a basement room with day-glo color walls, loud rock music, smoking, and without the church's awareness drugs and stealing.

A good idea that could not last the years.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Those Darn Boys

Even though it was a wedding on a field of green in a traditional university, these young lads decided to make it a special occasion.

A good time was had by all -

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Changing Seasons

The wind blows.

There is still no leaves on the branches, but the air is different.

Chimes ring with the seasons change.

Animals know.

Clouds blow fast against the black sky.

Mother Earth teaches the common human how weather adapts to the rotation in the universe.

The seasons are about to change.

Again and again as it has done year after year.

Excitement, wonder, foreboding

Stop and enjoy the change.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Early Spring Sunday

Sunday Morning as always with coffee and critters. A brief view of Yosemite in the winter waterfall while the bamboo outside the window glowed in sunshine. Then strap on the jeans and walk outside into the sunshine. Aw, breathe the air. Fresh and warm.

Pause by the pond which is thawing from the cold. Listen to the rustle of the trees as I shift bikes for the morning ride. Again pause and absorb the sunshine. It is much needed.

Stop at the street and face the sky. Clear blue. No clouds. Just sunshine.

Off the formidable path. It has been some time since I had ridden, so this would be a new adventure.

Adjust the fingerless gloves and turn the baseball cap that signs Virginia Commonwealth University in gold on black backwards to avoid the wind. Deep breath and push on.

Early joggers and walkers are out in the warm day, pasty white and pale in the first coming from the cold. But they are out and at a slow pace, such as I, starting to enjoy the new year.

The hills seem taller and harder to climb, but that is why they created gears on the bike. I shift down.

Past "Stuffys" sandwich shop on Libbie. I'll be back here again before the day is over with lunch for me and the dog.

Turn toward downtown and start to feel the heat. Maybe I should stop and go home and remove the grey sweatshirt. No, press on.

Dug the tree branches and stop at the street where you grew up. Take a breathe and pause for the light. Big black SUV turns to the right in front of you just for the smell of the exhaust. thanks.
Down the familiar. Over the bridge and into stride. The movement feels better now.

Up into the fan and over the mounds of black tar filling in holes to maintain pipes of gas and water supplying houses for over 100 years. Tiny mountains proclaiming the infrastructure is decaying.

Turn the corner and back again.

Trees empty branches cast shadows across my eyes like a blinding strobe light. Press on.
The road familiar yet ever changing. New faces, new experiences.

Turn pass the hospital where a friend took his last breath, and past the museum. I got to go there more often. The paintings and art used to inspire me, but now it is magazines and visuals on the computer. Must get back to pencil on paper. It is what I know.

Wait for the line of church goers to pass before I continue the trek.

Should I go up the hill or go around it? The path is easy to move to the right and go around.
NO! Continue up the hill. It may be difficult, but that is what this trek is for. Since it is early spring and I have not ridden in a few weeks, I downshift. It hurts my soul but saves my heart. I make it to the top and continue pass the Greek church and down hill from here.

More runners and walkers. Still pale. But enjoying the first warmth of the new season.
Swing back to the alley and the sounds of pups begging for treats, motorcycles, and birds.

A good day over all.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Movies, that dark seat in a large auditorium with other people in the quiet watching the light flicker on a spread screen behind separating velvet curtains. Larger than life.

Yet these images and acting and stories related to me and changed my view of the world.

The Last Picture Show

A story about a small town in Texas but with a teen twist. I knew kids from small towns who felt and talked like this movie. They just wanted to come to the big city, like Richmond.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

When I saw this movie I could not believe the language or the situations that were presented. There may have been some family resemblance, but I don't remember.
The sound of ice hitting the glass stroke a note?

Blow Up

An artist black and white movie about a photographer who catches a murder but can not prove it. Mystery of the mind. Great ending.
And hot teenies. Memorable. And it started the viewing codes.

Marat/ Sade

Existentialism. Interesting movie with philosophic discussions, but what got me was the rape of the nun in the end. That can't be done!

The Killing of Sister George

Freedom for women, but with a twist. The first lesbian movie that shocked this small town.


Philip Glass drone music with fast and slow movie photography. Music caught my ear and imagination.

Ned Kelly
When a Rock and Roll hero want to be actors, it is usually deadly. Mick did a fairly good job on this and the remake is no better. "Such is life" is a memorble quote from a man who is about to be hung.

Easy Rider
When I left this movie, I was scared. This could happen. It felt familiar.

200 Motels

Frank, you genius. Making a movie with video and all the effects available even then. The music holds the disjointed together. Orchestra, the vaudeville band, and Jimmy Carl Black. Interesting even today.


Rock and Roll cowboy movie that was impressive enough a friend of mine named his first son after it.

Beware boys and girls, you may find one of these in your mail.
Enjoy it and pass it on.


Man is totally free and entirely responsible for what he makes of himself. It is this freedom and responsibility that is the source of man's dread

Most philosophy dealings are with man's relationship with God.

But the philosophy of existentialism deals with man taking responsibility for his own actions, reactions, and consequences not excusing mistakes or accepting grace from a "better" being.

You are what you is

Tighten up your belt and be what you are.

No one else is to blame.

No one else accepts the compliments.

This is what will be written on your gravestone.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We Call It Work

Imagine if you will, a young man getting out of college, getting married, finding an apartment, and trying to find a new job to support all of this.

Imagine a newspaper going on strike due to it's old hot metal production environment did not want to change to the new cold type production method. Imagine a newspaper printing full page employment ads asking for people to come and replace the picketing Linotype operators.

Imagine a young man taking his lunch break to walk a block to the newspaper personnel department and file out a paper form on a clipboard. Then wait a short time while the form is read. Education - good, criminal activity - not asked, background - sound, white, male willing to work.

Imagine if you will, a young man taken by the head of the personnel department, through the protesting striking Linotype operators, into a gray building, pass the security guards, up the elevator to the second floor, down a short hall into a bland office.

Imagine a young man, in blue jeans and spring shirt, sitting while the head of the personnel department and a plain man in a suit look over the form on the clipboard. People walk pass the doorway in a hurry.

Imagine a young man's surprise at the question from the plain man in the plain suit looking up and puffing on his pipe, "You are hired, can you start today, about 3:00 PM?"

And I thought a job was hard to achieve. No resume. No portfolio. Just a perfect start to a long career in the newspaper industry.

And I'm still here.