224 days until the Man burns....


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Stillness in the Eye of the Storm

Happy Saturday Morning - The Image Speaks for Itself

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Smoke Free for Life


Blu E-Cig Disposable

So I haven't had a cigarette since October 18th of this year. I've had the occasional puff from a friends electronic cigarette here and there. I don't consider it "cheating" as long as combustion isn't involved. [You can get pedantic if you want, but that would make all forms of nicotine cheating, be they gum, the patch, whatever. The real point here is to stop smoking, which I have.]

I already feel a great deal healthier and happier across the board, and I know my resolve is deep and abiding at this point. The temptation to purchase a pack of smokes came on like a two-ton heavy thing today. It was amazing - just three or four puffs off of this thing and I genuinely cared about 45% less about my stressors, which was really pretty nice. Unlike others I've tried recently, this one mimics the experience of a cigarette quite well. That sweet little Jehovah's Witness woman that rolled up the driveway to have a chat with the flatmate and I probably appreciated it too! (First time I've ever had one tell, "No, I'm staying on Earth", when asked why she's trying to sell me 1/144,000 seat.)

No Fornications Given

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The "Rock n' Roll" Lifestyle

Success ain't rebellion and you're drinking what they're selling.
"Lifestyle". It's a sociology term become pure marketing schtick. If you see this word in print, you can be ASSURED you're being marketed to when you read it. Many folks under the age of thirty toss this word around improperly in a number of circles, usually rendered along the lines of, "we're new to the lifestyle..." which I find rather humorous.

The "Lifestyle" we're frequently being sold involves Whiskey, Cocaine, Heroin, Pills, Groupies... the list goes on and on, and while there may very well be a select group of sixty year old rocks stars still standing, by and large it's a recipe for death and destruction. Even in the absence of these kind of problems, trying to keep four or five musicians connected and cohesive long enough to make really good music can expose every form of human failure imaginable.

The Sound and the Fury, a Kansas City based rock band, is one such example. I remember the first time I heard this song on the radio, and immediately mistook it for a new release from Tool. I became an instant fan, catching their live performances when anywhere within driving distance. I can't speak for what went down - the rumors are once they were offered a contract, greed and ego set the whole affair on fire - such a shame.

I am ever so grateful to be able to partake of my own flavor of the "Rock n' Roll Lifestyle" these days, while slated to start training for my new position on the 11th of November. This affords me certain luxuries and freedoms - I can stay up as late as I care to, and sleep in on those mornings when I need it.

This morning has to be the quintessence of the example however... stumble out of bed just as the sun is peeking over the horizon, brew a pot of coffee, and wander out onto the patio with my acoustic guitar.

Within a few short moments, I've got a new melody flowing... it may or may not become a song, may or may not be shared with the world, but in that moment of perfect beauty on the porch, this melody is mine... it brings me joy, and in that moment I am THE rock star in my own life.

Drawn.... Story boards.... And characters

With a knack for blurring life

And all these kids.... Want that Life.... Because you have lied to them

Please remember this is entertainment for you

They are millionaires because this entertainment's not true
There's a whole lot of real life they are not selling you

To be like them, you can't be you

These.... Demi-gods..... Are superstars

Because you have been sucked in

To their lives.... And wonder why.... You are not happy like them

I am no one to talk
'Cause I have played their games

I have questioned myself
Wanting answers from them

But I hope who I am

Hasn't lost its design

'Cause these million losers are no different from you or I

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We don't have to be friends...


Pissssshhhhhhhhhhh......   That's the sound something large and overinflated springing a leak.
Springing a leak and losing all the pressure that would otherwise puff it up into the shape of something so much larger. A twenty foot tall monkey maybe, or perhaps a gorilla; maybe even Godzilla himself.  By simple subtraction of the air supply, it flutters to the ground.

  Sometimes when a relationship ends, you don't get to
remain friends.  Sometimes, you simply have to let go of that notion of "forever" that you spoke of.  And sometimes, you really don't have
anything, any real reason, that realistically warrants communication of
any kind.

Bumping Into Acquaintances
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The Best Maynard James Keenan Interview EVER

I just totally stumbled on this video this morning.  No, not the trailer for "What Is..."  the new mocumentary about Puscifer, fronted by Maynard James Keenan.  (Yes indeed it's what I was watching when YouTube tempted my ADHD with the promise of something shiny... that video is at the bottom of this page, and highly worth a peek for a fan interested in what's coming next.)  No... what I'm talking about is the one hour and twenty seven minute glance behind the curtain...

I have always had an affinity for Maynard, and in my minds eye feel an unwarranted kinship.  I could spend all sorts of time digging for the parallels be they Midwestern hailing, cross country running, early Military... but I'm not here to inject myself into Maynard; even as he has most certainly already injected himself into me for twenty years.

“If you don’t believe in magic on some level, your art probably sucks. You have to believe in some kind of magic – I don’t mean if its god or…whatever you’re into – if you're not inspired by, if your heart isn’t lifted by, some supernatural thing that you’ve witnessed or you believe in, real or not – you’re probably focusing on your looks, your money, something you’re focusing on that has no heart.”  -- Maynard James Keenan

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The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion


The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

The Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion is the second album by the American blues rock group The Black Crowes, released on May 12, 1992.  Recorded at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, produced by George Drakoulious, engineered and mixed by Brendan O' Brien. Southern Tracks has an SSL 4072G and tons of outboard production extras.   This record definitely hits my top ten list of best headphone records out there, and Brendan O' Brien I'm certain is responsible for at least three or more of them whether we're talking about Pearl Jam ("10"), The Red Hot Chili Peppers ("Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic"), or Rage Against The Machine ("Renegades").

Said Gregory Curtis of Rolling Stone, "Everything on The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion works, including the oblique title, which Chris Robinson took from a hymnal. The rhythm section is propelled by Steve Gorman's take-charge yet musical drumming. Johnny Colt remains on bass, but since Money Maker, Marc Ford has replaced rhythm guitarist Jeff Cease in the band and Ed Harsh has replaced Chuck Leavell in the studio on keyboards. These changes have only improved the rich tapestry of sound that backs Chris Robinson's singing and his brother's flamethrower lead guitar. George Drakoulia's production is sharp enough to give every instrument its proper voice, yet the sound has the welcome looseness and texture of a concert recording."

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I've been revisiting this recording of 1992, both in my ear buds and on the back patio in surround sound; the essence of the polished live performance captured in the studio is crisp, and the professionalism of everyone involved in capturing and delivering this stellar moment in rock and roll shines through in the excellent stereo separation, and absolute magical mastering of the tapestry presented.  The addition of the more technically gifted guitarist Marc Ford and a full-time organist gives the Black Crowes room to stretch out on The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, perhaps the band's finest moment. Using Rich Robinson's descending chord progressions as a base, the band grooves its way through a remarkably fresh-sounding collection of Faces-like rockers and ballads, tearing into the material with flair and confidence and really coming into its own as a top-notch rock & roll outfit, while the focus is undeniably on the band's musical chemistry.

Black Crows Jimmy Page
Imagine meeting one of your guitar heros at such an early age.  This is no lottery moment - it's the result of hard work, and dedication to their craft, coupled with hard decisions and sticking to your guns.
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