Category Archives: daily goings on

Break Time

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A-Minor Pentatonic

My assignment from this past week was to work on improvising against this backing track. I demonstrate my proficiency (or lack thereof) today at my weekly lesson. Hope I make it.

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Spacemusic Ending

spacemusicI was one of the many who first found Spacemusic.nl almost ten years ago. TC in Rotterdam has been producing and publishing his electronic ambient podcasts since around 2005. His shows partly distinguished themselves because of TC’s light banter about cooking, walking through parks in the Netherlands, visiting other countries for vacation or to attend ambient concerts, or riding his bike. TC is not a native English speaker so, while quite a good English speaker, he often would create – for English speakers – some pretty humorous juxtapositions of words. He never became angry about his limited English skills – he actually took on a self-deprecating attitude which was endearing and interesting.

What did distinguish the Spacemusic show was the excellent electronic ambient music TC selected and mixed. I’m not sure how TC obtained the music and artist interviews, but every week was a combination mix of deep, tantalizing, and very enjoyable ambient music. In some shows, TC would do quite a bit of talking but in other shows – my favorites – TC would turn on his music for 90 minutes and not say one word.

I discovered many ambient artists listening to TC’s podcasts and was happy to support the ambient community by purchasing music from the artists over the years that TC played on his shows. One ambient group from San Diego was especially good and I really like them. In the years, I’ve purchased three or four CDs from them. All because of TC.

TC announced a month ago that he was ending his podcasts after ten years. He was almost apologetic but pressed ahead saying that times were different now, he was pursuing some other career options, and he hoped we all would continue supporting ambient electronic music.

This might seem odd but it’s with sadness that I acknowledge TC’s desire to stop his show. I’ve listened to Spacemusic on my iPod and iPhone while on travel, while driving back and forth to work, and I listened a great deal while waiting the many hours I spent in Regina’s hospitals.

I will miss TC’s Spacemusic. Thanks, TC.

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Oh Cheryl

My friend Dave was telling me recently that he had insisted that his wife Cheryl put a certain epithet on his headstone someday but that she was pushing back. She didn’t think it was appropriate plus she felt he was being a bit too humorous and, perhaps, even sarcastic. And besides, she felt it reflected poorly on her a bit so she really didn’t like the epithet at all!

My friend is trying to figure out a way to make sure the epithet gets put on his marker somehow without making his wife uncomfortable. (Or, as he said, maybe even without her knowing!)

So here is the epithet.

epithet

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Gay Tolerance

guysgirlsSo what do you think about gayness and self-described gay individuals?

Am I already offending you and are your personal defenses already up with your moral bastions rigged and armed?

Here’s the thing and I can say this with much anecdotal experience and evidence – many in our younger generations see and have very little issue with homosexuality.  It seems many in younger generations have the idea that – basically – if two people care for or love each other regardless of their individual genders then what is the problem with two people getting together as intimate friends or marriage partners? And besides, they aren’t hurting anyone (which is its own discussion, of course) by publicly professing and demonstrating their love for each other so what is the big deal?

I am not going to defend or condemn homosexuality here or anywhere. I am way beyond the right and wrong of this thing. So far beyond… Frankly, the rightness and wrongness of homosexuality doesn’t concern me too much anymore. My motivation behind the way I choose to deal with this issue comes from my personal understanding and realization that I live in a real and tangible world where I work with, have worked with, have friends who are, have friends who have friends who are, and spend time in counseling and listening situations with people who all completely acknowledge and, likely, live a gay lifestyle.

So what I have asked myself many times over the years is – what am I going to do about whatever the problem is? Get angry, stand on a box and cast accusations, attempt to deprogram and convert gay people to another form of supposed normalcy, or what? What is my end game by casting aspersions at people or does my end game have a conscionable and morally honorable, decent, and true end? Which works better – bare-knuckling this issue or being patiently understanding? Honestly, I am more inclined to listen and converse and attempt to be a friend with anyone without harsh and unmerciful judgment, being prejudiced, or otherwise being meanly intolerant.

Here’s where I am at and have been for a long time. There are enough angry, thumping, “principled” people out there making various argument points about homosexuality (whether the points be correct or not). I’m not one of them. Rather, I choose to be a friend, I choose to take the time – as much as possible – to listen, and I choose to invest myself in either a straight or a gay person as long as our relationship can be as honest, open, respectable, and tolerant as possible.

That’s where I am.

(After initially writing this article, this came up in my news feed. It is worth the read.)

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Driving Home

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Winterized Gardens

I prepared our box gardens for winter yesterday. In the process, I harvested what little we were able to produce. I’m glad that my garden survived – somehow.

Lessons Learned

1. Deer are ravenous around fresh gardens. Our gardens that didn’t have deer nets were destroyed by the friendly but pesky neighborhood deer.
2. Half way through the summer, our water source failed. Unfortunately, melons and tomatoes really need water to survive. Didn’t happen this year.
3. Probably the biggest thing (we knew this going in) is that we planted around Jun 1 instead of around Apr 1. With this, we lost two months of vital growing time. This being the case, the melons and tomatoes that did survive the deer and lack of water were quite small and didn’t get the time they needed to mature. They looked good but were just real small.
4. The square gardens didn’t need much attention. What a benefit. Some occasional TLC was all they needed.

I hope to make the gardens next year and will definitely protect from deer, make sure the water supply is reliable, and plant early. Thanks to all the other gardeners and hands that made this interesting, fun, and very much a learning experience this year. We will do much better next year.

(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

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Fall Begins

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Autumn Movement
Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,

       the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things

       come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,

       not one lasts.

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Strive Seek

tinnieThere lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Adapted from Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

A man in his last years, a man hoping his past is his future,
A man yearning for adventure and conquest,
A man desirous of relevance,
A man for one more noble deed, one more discovery,
A man looking for camaraderie and companionship,
A man not wanting to fade away,
A man willing to pursue beyond the horizons…

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Music Lessons

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