Monday, December 31, 2012
Distance and time have all sorts of mathematical equations surrounding them. I like to believe that they can be extrapolated and ripped away from their fixed points and viewed separately as experiences While distance can be a "long and winding road" it is also a journey. Time can also be a countdown clock or a fixed moment. 2012 will remain a difficult collection of those experiences.
The year started with my grandfather's passing. Weird to think about it now. I still have a lot of work to do editing some interviews that I conducted with him. One can say that time caught up or that we ran out of time with him. What I do know is that he remains in my thoughts each day.
I ended and started new projects. It isn't really easy to know when the road should end. Think about the above picture. If you were just laying down asphalt, where would you decide to put a fork in the road? Where would you stop? Projects can be hard to judge like that. I thought the road would be quite a bit longer for the new news site but I'm happy that I learned my lessons early. What lessons? One big one, really. "Are people really ready for facts?"
We also saw the passing of my sister-in-law. Time and distance. We had an idea that an end was coming but didn't know how far out it was. All we know is that it was too soon. We did a lot in her name (raising money for breast cancer... even have some bracelets left over) and spend quality time before her passing. At one point I thought that our love and support for her husband and step-son were important but who would have thought that we'd be the ones supported when around them?
At the end of the year several of us came down with the flu. (Ok, most of both sides of the family.) Time does heal all, doesn't it? While we support one that is sick until health, another gets sick and we rally behind them until better and then another one goes down... and today I'm better. House is full of healthy people again. Just not mentally. B) So much emotional distance traveled this year and now it's definitely time to move on to a new beginning.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Understand, these are part of a series called 10 Minute Trainer. The idea is that you work out multiple muscle groups at the same time to maximize your effort. My abs after 1 day of focus were sore for a good 2 days. (Which I believe prove they got a beating.) Arm muscles and leg muscles feel full and strong now. I can see a major difference in my quads as they are a lot stronger in supporting myself during the workouts. The way the workouts are mixed up do leave me wanting more. But, I want to take this slow and enjoy the journey. Maybe I'll expand it next month before going on to advanced.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
The bonds of marriage really aren't like the ball and chain that they are made out to be. Sure, I guess bondage and the binding legality of the ceremony can be confused. One can even say that the bonds established bear greater further significance. Remember that phrase "lawfully wedded" in the ceremony, you suddenly gain a whole 'other side' of the family that you append with the phrase "in-law."
At about 4pm on Tuesday, my sister-in-law Paula Stage-Squire lost her year-long battle with cancer. I've done more praying in the last year than I have in the last decade with her being a primary focus. She was a strong, intelligent and caring person of faith that people could rely on. She was also the partner to a very good man, my brother-in-law Joe. She loved her nieces and nephews immensely. As you can see from the above photo, nature could easily be seen as the family backyard and they loved the outdoors.
I told my wife a little while ago that, if it weren't for what I learned from previous relationships, I would not have been good for her at all nor would I have appreciated her as much. I have been made a better man by them. People leave impressions and help shape our hearts through joy, pain and strife. Paula did make us better people and all of our hearts are heavy at this time. Today, she's no longer a sister-in-law but a sister from this temporary home.
Monday, December 03, 2012
When you grow up around someone that works out twice a day, takes his vitamins daily, has a physically intense 12 hour-a-day job and is always looking for a 'healthier' option, it is bound to creep into your psyche. But knowing and practicing are two different things. I have always been big on vitamins but, previous to this, I had gone with low carb and timed eating which worked together but didn't make much sense as a way to live long term. I even decided to use a blender to mix smoothies using... well, we'll go into that another time as I have a video for that. Although I felt good, portion control became an issue. So I gave more than a glance to nutrient dense meal replacement products and found Shakeology. It could sound like a quick fix but I'll explain that away in a future post but I can say that since starting it in October, I lowered my cholesterol 45 points, dropped a few pounds and have no issue with cravings.
So, the day after Thanksgiving, I went the Shakeology 3 day cleanse. (Contact me here for details.) Long story short, it is 3 days of restricted calories, 3 Shakeology drinks, some green tea, a gallon of water and a whole lot of bathroom breaks. Generally, it is used for when you feel your weight loss is at a plateau, to detoxify and/or to start a new program. In the end, over a belt size down and no hunger during the process.
Last week began phase 2. The cleanse was a planned springboard for my new workout program. Ever felt that you just didn't have time to work out? Did you just skip it that day? Did you ever let that stop you from going after that? We all do it unless we are fiercely determined or on a show with Bob, Jillian and Dolvet. That's when I saw 10 Minute Trainer.
Part of the idea here was the stacking your workouts. Think about how one person, maybe yourself, would go to the gym and focus on 1 body part. While holding that dumbell in your hand to do bicep curls, why not work another muscle or two. Anyhow, it was a great first week of four and now starting the second week. At the end, I will see where things go and, if I'm ready to ramp it up a bit more, possibly go to advanced series or stack the workouts. As of now, I'm really thankful that I started this now and feel like I'm regaining a bit of myself. I hope your next New Year's resolution is as fulfilling.
You can find more details about particular products here or email me here.
Monday, November 26, 2012
My vet told me once that the problem with my dog eating her poo was that certain nutrients weren't being absorbed in digestion and she was now seeking it and any other unprocessed items there. Shakeology is nutrient dense. It's so dense that there was no hunger during 3 days of these 5 eating times. But, what do people not getting those essential nutrients do? Some may skip breakfast or eat a large one. They may flip that scenario around for dinner. They may eat crap all day. My son mentioned to me today that he sometimes eats because he is bored. So, if you aren't getting the nutrients... you are doing what my dog does -- searching for nutrition and eating crap to fill the void.
My assessment? I'm sick of eating crap for no reason. Meals should mean something. Eat to live, don't live to eat.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Wife had a banana and I had an apple as our 9am snack. Just in time to get ready for some football.
We returned from running some errands (after deciding the football game wasn't going to go our way) just in time for lunch at noon. She had a chocolate and I again went with greenberry for our Shakeology mixes. The reason I decided to change things up around lunch was I felt that I needed to break up the chocolate taste as... I really haven't had a craving for chocolate since taking Shakeology. We both topped it off with our green tea. We then took the dogs for a walk.
At 3pm we had our final chocolate Shakeology mixes of the cleanse cycle. Left out a piece of ice to see if it helped or hurt the taste but found it didn't affect it much. Also had our half-serving of almonds. Decided to watch a little television.
I love the way that I am excited about our final meal of the night. I can't really describe it. Well, I can (it's the same spinach, romaine and chicken breast salad mentioned previously) but what I mean is the anticipation. I even told my wife that I would be happy having that with her for dinner here and there because it just leaves you feeling satisfied.
All our water is gulped and, yes, the need to pee is strong. One of us spent more time in the bathroom than the other one and figured that we really had that much more junk in our system to 'cleanse.' Tomorrow should be an exciting morning. Back to putting bananas and peanut butter in my shakes. But I really love how I am feeling right now. A summation will follow tomorrow.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
We had breakfast at 8am. Our green tea followed out chocolate Shakology mix. Headaches persisted but wasn't debilitating (well, for me) but hers gradually went away. We decided to run some errands and move about a bit. Took the dogs to get shots and then went shopping.
At 11am, we had our snacks -- her a banana and I an apple. We then headed off to run a few more errands and a little more shopping. It was around this time that my headache went away just before returning to make lunch.
Due to our late rise and an inevitable later dinner, we decided to cut 30 minutes out here and eat lunch at 1:30pm. Since it is the lightest of the meals, it would be the easiest to cut back. She had her chocolate Shakeology and I opted for greenberry (made the same way.) We followed this with our green tea. We stayed in from here on out watching television.
At 4:30pm, we had our next Shakeology and both opted for chocolate. We chased that with 14 raw unsalted almonds each (about half a serving.)
Stomachs began to growl again by 7:30pm (but that had been absent for quite some time.) Again went with the same dinner but decided to bake the chicken instead of grilling to see the difference. Still an amazing meal that I can look forward to each evening. I am starting to think that the cleanse subconsciously has you looking forward to a salad every night. I can't think of any better way to train a brain to re-think dessert. I have also learned to try to drink my gallon of water earlier in the day than later as it can seem overwhelming if you forget.
Overall, a great day. More energy than Day 1 and it made us confident that we can accomplish some regular activities at the same time. Some, but not all activities. At this time, both of us are free of headaches, full and feeling pretty darn good about ourselves. We are eagerly anticipating Day 3.
Friday, November 23, 2012
My wife started taking Shakeology every morning as well and she agreed that trying this 3-day challenge after Thanksgiving while we were both off of work would be best. I couldn't agree more. So let's explain today -- day 1.
We woke up at 5:45am and started making our green tea. Followed that with our chocolate Shakeology. We mixed the 2 scoops together with 16 ounces of water and 22 ice cubes -- dividing the contents equally. Not having the almond milk and strawberries that we were used to was a major change but we believe that our taste buds have made improvements over the last month or so while using the product. We also bought gallon jugs of water each for us to finish every day.
At 9am we each had a piece of fruit. I went with an apple and she went with a banana. The hardest part was here as you are functioning for another 3 hours on just a piece of fruit but it keeps you anticipating the next meal. A little stomach growling isn't bad, right?
We mixed our next batch of Shakeology at noon, the same way, in our wonderful Vitamix. We followed that with our green tea. Now, to clarify the tea, we have been adding Stevia which is also a component in Shakeology, so we felt that wasn't cheating. Around this time, the wife started getting headaches. Persistent and located in the front and back of the head but she endured.
At 3pm, we had our next Shakeology mix. We also took the advice of another person that he replaced his snacks with half servings of raw unsalted almonds. It comes out to about 14 of them. Getting to chew the almonds added a little satisfaction as you feel you are biting into something.
For our final meal of the day at 6pm, we grilled up 4 ounce chicken breasts (one seasoned with salt and pepper while the other included garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper.) We placed that on a bed of 2 cups of spinach and 1 cup of romaine lettuce with 2 tablespoons of dressing (light honey mustard and the other light caesar.) I can honestly say that this was the most satisfying meal of the day.
We both slept extremely well that night, but her headaches followed her to bed. Mine started gradually before bed at 8:30pm. But at no time were we hungry. This is a shocking fact that really says a lot for what Shakology does as an appetite suppressant. Pretty amazing. I can also note that we were both extremely emotional... don't know if that had to do with what we were watching on television all day or if it is a side affect. We were pretty much couch potatoes all day. Day 2 should be pretty intriguing but I'm expecting some struggles as I have heard some similar notes.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
You have to figure that there is a point in time that typewriter manufacturers either transitioned to a new line of business or closed up shop. Knowing when you are fighting against the tide is important. It's also important to know when the water is muddy, rising or throwing you against the cliffs.
The experiment is over. On June 1 of this year, we initiated the Muze News project. What we didn't tell you were the underlying motivations for the site. It seems that the time was not right for a news aggregation site that avoided gossip, side-stepped conjecture and went right for release information. You see, when an album comes out, there is a little dance between the artist, label and press. First, a mention of the artist wanting to record a new album, work with a producer or finds inspiration in (insert event). Second, articles pop up about the act in the studio, going into the studio, writing songs or a tour is announced. Third, a month or season is floated to the press about the album (like "hopes to release the as-yet untitled album early in 2013".) Fourth, a song is debuted, a single is selected or video is filmed. Fifth, a single is released. Sixth, the new single is performed on one or several TV shows or radio shows with interviews. Seventh, a second single is mentioned with a release date. Eighth, the album is given a name and a month is mentioned for the release. Ninth, the album release date is released. This kind of keeps going on through each single being released abut the album comes out. Often, it can be jostled. But, notice that just up to that point, there were 9 different ways to mention the artist's new album before it even came out. We just cut to the chase: New single coming out (insert date), new album (insert date) and new video (insert date.) The more mentions an artist has in the press, the more interest you have in their product when finally released.
Now, we did also mention artists passing away and there is a good reason. It often goes unreported. As often the release dates sometimes get lost in the babble out there. Why do I say babble? When an artist calls another artist out, slaps another artist, flips off a crowd, moons a crowd, gets arrested or countless other things that do not relate but get them mentioned in the news. We hoped to prove the populace was ready for something other than the TMZ style of reporting music information. Seems to be a wrong assumption.
Much thanks to all those who have supported this project, have been visiting the site and have let others know about it. The way we interact is as important as the way we get our news. As with the typewriter manufacturers, one needs to know when to look for the exit. Because, there is bound to be a word processor or a computer just a few generations away that can do the job more effectively.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
It's been a decade. In September of 2002, I purchased my first Tivo. It was a risk as I didn't know anyone with one, at the time. But, I also didn't want to pay monthly so I went with a lifetime service. It recorded some amazing content. There were interviews with my father for local sports news and when my friend Daniel was on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. (I think I burned those to disc later, so no big loss.) But I learned to depend on it. I even talked the girlfriend (now wife) into doing the same... and hers is still running. They would send recordings back and forth. I guess, you can say they were dating. I wonder if we need to console the other... console?
Technology has come a long way in a decade. I know it will be better moving to an HD unit with more capacity and shiny new remote. I even thought about paying a company to get it fixed. But, that would be like buying ribbon for a typewriter. It's time to move on. Just sad to see it go. I figure that with the lifetime service I paid about $50 per year for it. Pretty darn cool when you think the replacement could easily be a "DVR" via cable or satellite service costing $20 a month. And buying another Tivo makes it difficult to move to satellite later.
So, thank you little Tivo for recording more cooking, home repair, cartoons and drama series than you were expected to. I mean, heck, you were only turned off a few times when we moved. Thank you for making my life easier.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
But we did come back. I'm breaking the timeline a bit here because I wanted you to see the whitewater in the background on both these photos. Were it a bit deeper, I could see some tubing going on but not here. The kids decided to try swimming when we returned and the water was icy cold. Kerry and I took the dogs out a ways to look for suitable spots for them but there are some holes in the rock containing stagnant water with interesting little insects in there. Had to prevent the dogs from drinking out of them. Under the water looked like a series of slabs or plates, that seemed pretty sharp to me and I didn't like the look of it for the kids playing in it. So after nibbling on a few chips and stretching our legs, Bear and Bettieann loaded up the truck and we the Tucson and we were gone.
By the time we parked, we divided off duties. Bettieann stayed with the vehicles, I followed Kerry as she grabbed Bella, Bear stayed with David as he took Tulip, Jake and the kids tried to get up there as quick possible but Jake would reconsider at about half-way up-hill and decided to get his iPod and start over again. I had a great time talking with Bear taking in the scenery as he got some great shots. We also helped another hiker take a personal photo. Speaking of personal pics, this one speaks volumes. Dave is trying to keep pace with Tulip as they continue the journey upward. There is something cute about a dog that stops and smells everything. That cuteness can wear off when you have a goal that she doesn't seem to be on board for and she can be a bit stubborn. Not exactly a jogging partner, there. Gotta love her. Dave has the Hawaiian swim shorts, polo shirt, gladiator-thing going on. You have to like the hiking shoes? Sandals may seem fun and easy to just slap on but so are Vans and moccasins and... they provide better traction and while letting less rocks in under your toes. But, lessons have to be learned, right?
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Another full day of the trip in the bag and, yes, a very long day with more sun than I'm used to. So, it's time to recover. Maybe a slow day. Maybe not.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Today was the start of what I'm calling our West Coast Tour 2.0. We started off in the great Las Vegas valley after the wife finished work. With the mini SUV packed, nephew Jake and dogs belted in we were on our way. 18 hours later, we find ourselves in Coos Bay, Oregon with the Freidel clan (the in-laws.)
Tip #1 for long trips -- sleep. If you get up at 3am, get ready, drive to work at 5am for your 6am shift, finish a full shift and then start that 18 hour drive... you may have issues. Could be worse if you are as stubborn as myself or the missus. So, both us us were a little sleep deprived and with only a 90-minute change at the wheel and several caffienated beverages... we made it in.
Tip #2 for long trips -- sharing. I can be a little obsessive when it comes to music. But, the idea I came up with, to avoid anyone wanting to put on their headphones and tune out, worked well. In order of age, let each member of the 'team' choose an album that will be heard in its entirety. Sure, you may have that awkward moment that someone chooses Yanni or N.W.A. but that could be a good thing. Think about it... sometimes we don't know what our kids listen to. Here you can evaluate what they like and... you have a captive audience for that assessment. Best part? Hearing one of the younger passengers singing "Daydream Believer" after hearing the Monkees' 'best of' without any prompting.
Tip #3 for long trips -- laughter. It doesn't hurt to have little animals to break any monotony. Just make sure to have fun. Don't take things seriously, discuss the music, the trip, the stops along the way and yourselves. As you can see... Jake had a little bit of fun with Bella.
All went well and we're enjoying the wea... ok, I need to knock on wood before I jinx the good weather here in the great Northwest. As you can see from the first picture above, it's pretty nice out here. Commence downtime!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
We took a year off from road travel but we are just 2 hours or so from our official West Coast Tour 2.0 (or so I like to call it.) A lot was happening last year. But I am expecting a lot of adventures ahead. We will be exploring the "city by the bay" and our state capitol... as well as a few other stops. Dogs will be trying out their new seat belts (expect a photo at some point.) We will be riding up to Oregon with my nephew and exchange hostages with the in-laws. Going to be educational, fun and well... you never know what may happen. Will keep you updated as we go.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Yesterday was strange for many reasons but I would like to share the first one with you. I visit my doctor -- an amazing man that I'd recommend in a heartbeat -- and he dropped a question in my lap. It wasn't a normal question but something compelled him to ask about where I was going professionally.
Now, of course, we all think about what we do and where the path is leading. But, with that question in my head for the rest of the day... it can make you nuts. What urged him to ask? Where is my path going? Where are my new ventures heading?
I'm not unhappy with my direction but for some reason, it feels like I just got out of high school and was asked, "What do you want to do with your life?"
Friday, June 01, 2012
New beginnings. I do believe that looking at the past once in awhile will give me a better understanding of where the future is going and can go. I have mentioned, many times over the last decade and a half, that there is a gap in music news coverage. I think back on the sign that I saw driving by a Las Vegas hotel that told me a band was not only together again but touring. That thought led me to starting a newsletter in an effort to fill that hole. That path led toward a Web site and podcast series. But that gap in media coverage was still there and not only did it affect artists of one decade but beyond.
That's where we stand today as of June 1, 2012. But my hope for the future is still informed by the past. Today's launch of Muze News will hopefully start to fill that void. Artists record singles and albums constantly and only a handful of them get airplay. Many of those will be mentioned in articles and many will not but a lot of them will be overlooked. The news is out there and if it isn't, we'll have to do exclusive content to get it out. I don't intend to write the news as much as aggregate, collect and send you to it.
Muze News was created with one question in mind. "Where do you go to get your music news?" I wasn't really able to answer that despite being a newshound. Sure, you have the purple section of USA Today but that tends to be mixed in with movies, television, books and celebrity gossip. Radio DJs are a great source but they usually cover the type of music they play. There are some great magazines out there but not all of them cover the rainbow of musical flavors out there or they overlook previously successful acts that have relevance now.
Today you and I begin a new journey. Many changes are expected. Already, we've added sections for a Video of the Week, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Accountability, Upcoming Award Shows and a Hotline (for article suggestions.) We also don't plan to keep posting the same article over and over which means that you will have to do your part and check in often. Together, let's change the music world by making it more informed.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Great White have returned with their new studio album, Elation, and the debut of new frontman Terry Ilous. Many reviewers may ramble on about 'the change' from Jack Russell to the XYZ singer but I'm not here to criticize their history -- just Elation. And that my friends is very hard to do as all I want to do is praise it.
The band found two really solid tracks to begin with in "(I've Got) Something For You" and "Feelin' So Much Better." The former, expected to be the first single and video to be released, blazes to life and will surely be a live favorite. "Feelin' So Much Better" is a personal favorite here as the vocal harmonies, punchy guitars and intuitive percussion make it a memorable ride. There is a lot to love about this album. I do feel that "Resolution" and "Promise Land," while decent tracks, are close but don't meet the caliber of the other 10 tracks. Overall, the writing is impressive, performances are cohesive and leave little to objectively sneer at. I enjoy the Louisiana bayou blues beginning of "Love Train," the strut of "Heart Of A Man" and the guitar solo to the ballad "Love Is Enough" as well as the beautiful "Hard To Say Goodbye," playful "Shotgun Willie's" and throwback glam-feel of "Complicated."
Great White have delivered. Fans have to be feeling the elation too!
4.5 out of 5
Monday, April 23, 2012
Welcome to this on-going post on which we will hold the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its voting members accountable for their inductees and the history of those the do not induct. As highly subjective as and 'hall of fame' is, it is important to put those so honored into a bigger context. So here (listed according to year of eligibility) we plan to keep a list of those that aren't in yet. Enjoy... or just get frustrated.
Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio
Danny and the Juniors
Jan and Dean
Cliff Richard and the Shadows
Paul Revere and the Raiders
Ben E. King
Gary "U.S." Bonds
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Gerry and the Pacemakers
Spencer Davis Group
Junior Walker and the All Stars
Sonny and Cher
Tommy James and the Shondells
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
Gary Puckett and Union Gap
Ten Years After
Blood Sweat and Tears
Flying Burrito Brothers
Kool and the Gang
Three Dog Night
J. Geils Band
Blue Öyster Cult
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
Ashford and Simpson
Marshall Tucker Band
Average White Band
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Alan Parsons Project
Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Huey Lewis and the News
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
LL Cool J
Jesus and Mary Chain
Big Audio Dynamite
My Bloody Valentine
Eric B. and Rakim
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Goo Goo Dolls
Monday, April 16, 2012
We have dinner a few days later with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and a friend. My brother-in-law Greg mentions that he looked for the website (which I'd mentioned the name to previously) and found another site. I asked about the spelling and any other variations which led us to a domain with the exact name but with "the" in front. It had been around awhile, done some video work and would have been a costly future trademark affair if I'd launched the site and gotten further in the project. Almost as embarrassing as scoring a big hit and having a watch manufacturer sue you over using their name in your band until being redeemed later by scoring a hit (albeit a remake) under your new name.
So, I'm out... about $40 but can redirect traffic from that page to the new site when we launch. So, on top of trying to find an original domain name, selecting one that doesn't include too many numbers (as you have explain the numbers when saying it so they don't type out the words) and trying to express what it's about in a short name, you need to search Google for your name. It may be available because someone is already using something close. It's something I knew already but was too antsy and eager to put my foot on the path to execute.
Expect to hear something about the project here by July.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
I'll explain. Often, people go through life with a vision of themselves. Be it strength, intellect, gender, race, sexual preference, nationality, political party, wealth, religion or a myriad of other divisors, we always hold something up to set our internal compass. Let's use intellect for a moment. You may believe you are a very smart person, absorb knowledge easily, rationalize concepts quickly and value it more than many others. It's a great quality to have but here is the kicker. If that was #1 on your list, it's also a filter. If you put that above all else, you would have an equal distaste for ignorance, stupidity and idiocy. You'd have to, as it is the top thing that defines who you are as a person.
So, if you place your birthplace (city, state or nation) above all else, you become less forgiving of other locales. If your #1 personal definer was gender, you would support and promote it and look less favorably at the opposite sex. If you were dirt poor, as were your parents and their parents, you would look unfavorably at the well-to-do if your made what defines you was the belief you'd always be poor. This list can keep going. Religion can easily easily go that route as can political ideology and sexual preference. I won't belabor that point further.
The passion of what defines you makes that #1 on your list pretty darn important as it also becomes a filter for who and what we let in and deflect. We could very well put "human being" at #1 on the list and not believe that we will hate or go on crusades against dogs, cats or horses... although one may go with "living being" if they were averse to eating animals and saw them as an equal. I've had and still have friends that have a #1 on their list that clears rooms, creates enemies and leaves a bunch of unhappiness in their wake.
You really can be what you want to be. You can define yourself. But, finding a definition of ourselves that lets others into our own little world is important... and it is how I view tolerance.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Monday, January 09, 2012
Today my grandfather was buried. He's just walking distance from my father-in-law. Boy, there are a lot of things I could say about him and my feelings this last week. I'm just going to keep it minimal. If you look at a lot of the photos of him we have, you'd see that he loved his recliner. Well, not as much as his family. He came from a large family (being one of 10 children) and himself helped create a large family. The first part of that was during his 22 years of military service.
I was talking with one of my aunts that I don't see that often and she told me how happy she was that I was able to spend as much time as I did with him. I could sense some hurt in her voice. You see, a career military man serving during several wars would not be home often and a chunk of your connection is lost when you don't spend time together. Compound that with seeing your parents split and it's really rough for a child. You can't fix the past, though. What you can do is analyze what you've gained through those connections.
My grandfather lived a lot of his pre- and post-military life in the state of Idaho. He was a pillar of his community, serving as fire chief, postmaster general, mayor and owner of the local store. We would see him during some holidays and have longer visits during the summer when we'd stay there. As a child, you focus on very centric things -- me, me and me. Food, playing, sleeping and more playing would take precedence over real thoughtful conversation. I wasn't happy with chores (which included moving irrigation pipe) and having only one TV in the house.
But lets, look at what I gained there. I learned what it was like to do a form of physical labor, where eggs come from (by grabbing them myself), find adventure in a town trusting enough that they didn't lock doors, appreciate a town that isn't 'go, go, go' and to embrace quiet moments with family. I never really understood grandpa's love for Westerns and military films and obsession with the news. But, I would adopt the latter myself.
I lost a grandfather while in high school. I lost another one after high school (when I returned from Reno.) But, you remember when I related loss with the quality of your connection. I can't say that I spent 5% of the time with either of my other grandfathers and the weight of this loss is that much stronger. Knowing that his time was coming to a close, my first project after ending Talking 80s Music was to spend some quality time with grandpa and record his life story for myself as well as the rest of the family. The me-focused child needed to fill in the gaps and use my interview skills for something greater. I can say that I am better equipped to deal with his passing by doing it. I think we said an unspoken long-farewell then.
His recliner isn't empty. It's just moved closer to the Lord. I could miss what I didn't have with him but I won't. I will cherish the time he spent with me and share what I can with the family. Spend time with your family, your elders. Harry Chapin's song "Cats In The Cradle" plays in my head this week. We don't have to be that kid! We don't have to be that adult! Connect! Don't mourn the living! The time is now!