The Eyes See What We Want Them To See – Keeping An Objective Mind.

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On the George Zimmerman video that’s shuttling around the web. Both sides are using that to bolster their case, when, if looked at with a critical eye, it may not show what either side wants it to.

The Pro-Zimmerman side says, if you look at one certain frame on the vid, it shows that Zimmerman does indeed have a wound on his head.

…..

Or clearly shows a moire pattern due to the poor video resolution and the short hair on his head. Johnny Carson used to tick off his producers because he would wear jackets that would often produce the same effect.

Two problems with that being a head wound:

1. That is a sizable cut. Even very small head wounds bleed like all get-out. If that IS a head wound, he would have needed proper medical attention from paramedics on the scene, and

2. There are other shots in that video of the back of his head that don’t show that mark. Something that large would certainly had to have shown up on several frames, at more than one angle when viewing the back of his head.

The outer side, those that want to make this a race issue, says it shows he has NO head wound.

But this is very low res stuff. He may still have a head wound, and the initial police report do state he was treated for a head wound, but it’s small, and the low res camera doesn’t pick it up. I don’t know how much a broken nose typically bleeds, or what the swelling looks like. But again…. Low res video. Not sure how much that will show up in this situation.

People are also making a note that there is no blood on his shirt from his broken nose. He may have had his jacket zipped up, and whatever blood there was went on his jacket, which would explain why there is no blood on the shirt. And, if the jacket is water-proof, and it’s raining, then much of the blood and grass that was reported may have washed off in the precipitation.

Another snafu in this whole thing – Conflicting reports. That’s going to happen in a case like this. Think it always does. We do have one report from an officer on the scene that does provide some good detail. But this officer was not the first on the scene. The one report does say that Zimmerman was given some on-the-scene aid for a cut to the head and a bloody nose, but the video certainly suggest those injuries are not as severe as some, perhaps even Zimmerman, are making them out to be. I would very much like to see that report too, as it would give us another view of the events as they unfolded after the police got there.

Now, on to the pictures being used by various outlets concerning the two principles in this case. I posted the ones you will typically see of both Mr. Martin and Mr. Zimmerman. Why use the picture of Trayvon as a 12 year old instead of using one of the recent ones that shows him as he looked a few days before his death? Don’t be afraid to let us see him as he was. I keep seeing the 12 year old picture used. And, on the other side, the photo of Zimmerman is not recent either. And it certainly brings out his Latino lineage more than the more recent pictures, as if to say “Hey, this guy can’t be a racist because he’s also a minority”. It’s manipulative, like the 45 year old who posts a picture of himself when he was 25 when trying to attract a date. It’s almost like it scares some people to show honesty.

To me, this is the most important issue – If things are as they appear, Zimmerman’s pursuit of Trayvon probably, in the end, makes all this other minutia irrelevant, as he appears to be the first aggressor. But, again, I am not going to side that way until all the facts, as much as possible, become known.

Zimmerman, to me, does look to be in the wrong here (understatement as the other guy is dead) but in my lifetime I’ve seen too many people who initially looked guilty turn out to be quite innocent, including some who have ended up on death row and been executed, and that gives me great pause when these kind of cases enter the public square.

Unless something else breaks, this will be the only thing i will post on this case.

Adventures In Song Writing And 12 Strings!

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I played yet another open mic all by my lonesome self on Monday night. I did pretty well, all things considered. I’m finally losing the bit of nervousness I wrote about previously, partly because I’m getting better on guitar, and partly because I’m getting used to being on stage solo, with no band to lean on for comfort. I played my new (to me) Takamine G-335 12 string guitar on stage for the first time. I also played two originals, which is also a first.

One song was something old, a song called “Fools For Love”. The lyrics were written some 20 something years ago. More often than not, the songs I write start out being only lyrics. The tune that will accompany it usually comes later. In this case though, the basic melody had indeed been there from the beginning. But I didn’t play guitar at the time, so the song never got solidified. Also, in this case, the body of the song, well, it seemed awfully short.

Fast backward to last fall. Me and my Taylor Martin band-mate Jim Rust were mucking around on the guitars in his back yard. Since I’m still pretty new on the six string, I discover “new” chords and progressions almost every other day. While doodling, I came across this neat little instrumental bit that was fun to play. Though I never developed it into anything finished, it hung around and I played it often when goofing around on the guitar. It just kind of hung out there waiting for its lyrical soul-mate to complete it. Well, I was in the shower on Sunday, it dawned on me, right then and there, that the two bits would go together wonderfully. Of course, I couldn’t just jump out of the shower and grab the guitar, because the wet would have done some serious damage. But, as envisioned, the two fit together beautifully!

It’s interesting. I wrote the lyrics to “Fools” so long ago, and probably haven’t looked at them more than twice since I scribbled them down so long ago. Those of you who write songs will understand this completely. There are some songs you write that, no matter how hard you try to memorize the lyrics, they just don’t stick. “Fools For Love” was just the opposite. From the moment I wrote it, it was cemented into the synapses of my brain. Maybe it’s just the fact that the lyrical cheese factor is turned up pretty high. It starts out like this:

Romeo and Juliet
They haven’t done themselves in yet
They’re alive and well
In modern America

Kind of has a John Mellencamp feel to it.

I did have a bit of a problem though. When I sat down this last week-end and ran through some of the song to make sure the music fit, I didn’t go all the way to the end and complete the composition. Didn’t even think about it; I just dabbled with some of the song, made sure parts fit, and went and did something else with the rest of the day. Things would have been much better for me if I had, because then I would have realized the song had a flaw. Recall that I was just going on and on about how some songs stick with you? Well, this was one of those songs…. Except for the last few bits of lyrics on the end. For some reason, that detail did not anchor itself in my brain.

Last night, about 30 before I was to leave for the show, I started leafing through my ancient lyric book to see how the song would end. But, um, the lyrics to that song were nowhere to be found in the book! I don’t know why they weren’t where they should have been, but they weren’t. I flipped through the book several times to make sure I hadn’t missed it. Time was getting short, and it began to dawn on me – even IF I would have found the page with the probably barely discernible scribblings on it, it may not have done any good. I began to realize that “Fools For Love” was almost certainly one of those many songs in my book that never quite got finished! I had wasted too much time looking for the lyrics, so I didn’t have time to sit and think of how I was going to end it.

Here is the last bit of lyric that I remember:

Can you hear the friars call
Or does he wait for the sun to fall
blah blah blah blah blah…….
blah blah blah blah blah…….

Crap. “Blah Blah Blah…” is in general not a very satisfying way to end a song.

Oh well, I thought as I was driving to the open mic. It’s my song, and I’ll just make something up when I get to the end. I did, and it went OK. Sometimes, song just write them selves. But I won’t reveal what I did until I record this one for my long delayed solo album. Why ruin the mystery!

The other song was new…. I mean, really new! Just wrote it yesterday. It still had the afterbirth on it! Eww…. Did I just go too far???? It is an instrumental called “Rage!”. I was mucking around on the 12 string Takamine, kind of thumping on the string with my thumb. It’s a standard bass guitar technique that is as it turns out completely useless on a 12 string guitar. That ticked me of a little. But when i put on the thumb pick and did the same thing…. Oh, there’s cool sound! So I just started mucking around in an angry sort of way, because the things I was playing just had that “I’m pretty pissed” attitude about it, and, Viola! A song is born!

Anyway, I played the 12 string. Such a fun instrument. I certainly didn’t play it perfect last night by any means, but i was happy with what I pulled off. When i picked up the guitar almost two years ago, I didn’t think I would be playing a 12 string this soon in the game. I was intimidated by the whole idea. I thought 12 string guitar would be much harder to play than it turns out it is. One of the guys at the OM brought up the point that, as a bass player, I might have an advantage as I’m used to holding down the strings with more force than a guitar player.

PS. Yes, I already know how to play “Tambourine Man”. As soon as I got the guitar a couple of weeks ago, that was of course the first song to pop into my head. It had to be played. Next was, you guessed it, “Comfortably Numb”.

PPS. According to Takamine Guitar Date website, my guitar “…was manufactured Wednesday, December 31st, 1980. It was the 39th guitar made that day.”

Dishonoring A Death

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This popped up on Facebook today, and I have to say, I’m a bit appalled.

A Facebook friend provides the narrative:

“Struggles with his faith” may have been “an indirect cause, at least,” says one activist. This wasn’t some youngster that had been bullied. This was a 38 year old man. The Mormon Church has blood on its hands…

Now, the actual headline reads:

Gay Mormon Man’s Suicide Points Up Tensions

Does it?

As friends mourn the death of Chris Wayne Beers, a gay man and former Mormon missionary and church employee who took his own life Sunday, some are noting tensions between LGBT people and the church, which opposes gay relationships.

OK… But do those “some” have a direct connection to Chris Beers? The article continues:

Utah native Beers, 38, had worked in the missionary and travel departments for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to a Web posting by Affirmation, a group working for LGBT equality within the LDS church. At the time of his death he was employed by the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Mitch Mayne, a gay man who serves as executive secretary of the church’s Bay Ward in San Francisco, commented on Beers’s death in a Facebook posting. He did not know Beers but had been in contact with a friend of his, he noted, before saying, “While struggles with his faith may not have been the direct reason he took his own life, I’m hard pressed to imagine that there isn’t an indirect cause, at least. If we, as Mormons, did what we were supposed to do for all of our brothers and sisters — love them unconditionally — Chris would never have been stripped of his family of faith. He would not have been forced to choose. He would have had a deeper, richer and more spiritual support network to walk him through what life brought his way. Sadly, like many, he was given the ‘Sophie’s Choice:’ live life according to a heterocentric cultural practice and do so alone, without a partner — or live life without your family of faith and the strength of that spiritual community.

Project much?

I’m sorry, but this is very weak. There is no indication in the article that he was very devout, or that his family had dis-owned him. The main interview of the article didn’t even know the guy. Mitch Mayne does not give any indication of knowing any of the details of this mans life. The statement “While struggles with his faith may not have been the direct reason he took his own life, I’m hard pressed to imagine that there isn’t an indirect cause, at least.” mean he’s grasping at straws and trying to make a martyr of the guy.

On his memorial page, there is a reference to the fact that his own brother Jeff had also passed away. That could be just as much or more of a weight on Mr Beers than the conflict between church and being gay.

If close friends come to the fore and say Beers was troubled by religious conflict, then there is validity to the slant of the Advocate article. Otherwise, it’s just advocacy extremism. It would be just as bad if you committed suicide, and some religious advocate came out and said, without verification, that you offed yourself because you couldn’t deal with the sin of being gay, without giving solid evidence that that was the case.

While it is certainly possible that his religion created personal conflict, nothing in this article provides any evidence, other than the fact that he was a Mormon. I suggest people get all the facts before you try to make this guy a martyr. Otherwise, you dishonor him in death.

 

Hell, we don’t even really know if he was gay.

 

Full disclosure – I’m agnostic, and gay, so I don’t have a dog in this fight, except to maybe not contribute to the distorting of a dead mans reputation.

PS. Upon reflection – I do have a bit of a dog in this fight. My Mates family is Mormon, but have treated me with great respect. Not all religious families are freaked out about homosexuality. So much of this hostility toward Mormons goes to their opposition to same sex marriage. As far as that goes, I respect their right to fight for what they believe in, just as I have the right to fight for my own beliefs. My side got overconfident and lazy in the fight against Proposition 8, and paid the price. We figured it could never pass here.  We are as much at fault for its passing as the other side is responsible for getting it passed.

 

Thoughts On “The Education Mess” Pt 2 – Romney Steps In It

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Here are my Thoughts On “The Education Mess” Pt 1.

 

A friend pointed me to this article on something Romney said that has various people up in arms. The article starts in this way:

Republicans always say they want to get the federal government out of education. This comes in many forms, but usually they say something like “education should be returned to local control” or “I’ll eliminate the Department of Education.” They always avoid talking about union-busting because union-busting is not always especially popular. Wisconsin’s Governor Walker can attest to that. Romney, in a rare moment of transparency, told Bret Baier that the reason for returning control of education to the states is for one reason: to union-bust.

Then, they offer Romney’s offending quote:

But the role I see that ought to remain in the president’s agenda with regards to education is to push back against the federal teachers unions. Those federal teachers unions have too much power, in some cases, they overwhelm the states, they overwhelm the local school districts. We have got to put the kids first and put these teacher’s unions behind.

The article continues:

I’m sick and tired of seeing teacher’s unions demonized, and even more tired of seeing teachers shamed and demonized. There’s been a theme that Democrats and Republicans alike have adopted where teachers are the reason for problems in the schools. Teachers are not the problem. I would argue that teachers have been the backstop to keeping schools from deteriorating in the face of constant budget cuts, student poverty, larger classroom sizes, and not enough parent involvement. I don’t necessarily blame parents for that, by the way. When you’re working two jobs to make the house payments it’s tough to head down to your kids’ school or constantly nag about homework. The problem in the schools right now is not teachers’ unions, either. The problem in the schools is that for ten years, teachers have been forced to teach to a test and “one size fits all” standards. They are accountable for an arbitrarily set baseline, regardless of circumstances in their specific area. As we’ve all discovered, that baseline does not necessarily reflect reality or the students they’re instructing, or the environments they’re teaching in. Yet their job hinges on meeting those standards. If they don’t, they’re out.

On the last paragraph, I couldn’t agree more. Those of us who have been in a school as a teacher have seen the folly of No Child Left Behind first hand. If most schools approach NCLB like the one I taught in, they will have a similar experience. The school does not just say one day everyone has to take the standardized tests and be done with it. Here is the little secret many don’t know about how schools and school districts handle the NCLB tests; the school have the students in about every class cram to achieve the highest score possible. There is a lot of prep involved. Basically teachers have to drop what ever it is you’re doing, what ever lesson you happen to be trying to teach at the time, and for up to two weeks try and cram as much knowledge into the students head on materials likely to be on the test. Now, we don’t know the exact questions – those are kept secret – but we do know the general themes. And, since most of the test is multiple choice, you can also teach some pattern recognition. For instance, we tell them if they are unsure about an answer but think that there is one choice that seems more politically correct than the others, then that is likely the right answer. Now, some students don’t have as much awareness as others on matters of political incorrectness, but that will help some, as the tests are designed by people who take PC very seriously. And then, when it’s all over, the teachers have go back and rehash everything that we were working on before we were interrupted by the NCLB tests. Look, we have no problems with tests. But this is not an ordinary test. Because the teacher nor the student can ever see the results of the individual tests, there is no way to assess what each individual student may know or not know, which means that there is no way to improve and enhance the students education – fill in the knowledge holes, as it were. Meanwhile, the schools understandably do whatever they possibly can to statistically show that “Look, our students are getting smarter!”, and we’ve seen more than a few getting caught flat out cheating and manipulating the tests to get the best score possible. If we were allowed to see the results, and use them as a refresher for each student to show where their over-all educational weaknesses are, this testing program could indeed be useful.  From a teacher’s perspective, this test and the NCLB requirements are a complete waist of time, and are only done to fill the need of some bureaucrats scattered throughout Washington DC and the states to do “something” “for the children” and lord over the entire education system, as if they are doing anything to really help!

Which brings me to the point I’ve been making for OVER two years now… If a bloated bureaucratic government is such a horrible thing and Republicans are all about getting rid of waist in Government, then why are none of the remaining”True Conservative” candidates not advocating for the complete repeal of this educational waist of time and money????  Yes, Ron Paul might actually take steps to do just that, but we see in the flagging support he gets from the majority of the GOP faithful how serious they really are about cutting Government. It’s not that they don’t like “Big Government”, they just don’t like it when it’s not being run by them. As I stated two years ago:

 

I’m sorry, but I find the new Conservative commitment to decreasing the size of government as bankrupt as the government they claim to dislike.

And after witnessing the absurdity of the current crop of candidates for the Republican side,  I find this just as valid as it was two years ago,…  maybe more so.

I’ll address some other problems with the education system in Pt 3 of this series sometime today I hope.

News Alert! Santorum Goes Behind The Gr$$n Door!

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Story by Rod Steel.

In a surprise move designed to win some votes and donations from the vile left coast, especially the porn G-Spots of Los Angeles and San Diego, Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has thrown a bone to the struggling porn industry. He is proposing that, if elected, he will go on a crusade to shut down internet porn.

At first glance, this appears to be a shot in the eye of an industry that has certainly gained new entry into the lives and wallets of a multitude of lonely high school geeks and frustrated old men who find internet porn an easy outlet to make up for their inability to achieve fulfillment in the real world. But, if you penetrate deeper into the world of porn, you will find that the industry has been decimated and hit hard by the advent of free amateur pornography make readily available by the internet in the last fifteen years. Head accountant for major porn player Brown Chicken Brown Cow productions John Ball says he’s pounded the numbers, and since the internet has penetrated the lives of the average citizen, the porn industry has been laid bare by it. “Not only does free amateur videos hurt our bottom line” he says, “but porn pirates have eaten into the profit margin and the money flow has remained flaccid for many years, causing many lay-off for both production crew and actors, forcing some to become pizza delivery persons, or worse, even teachers!” Ball laments. “Financially, this industry has had steep hills to climb in the last few years. Things really were better in the old days” he says. He explains that Santorums proposals, by restricting porn viewing to the much more profitable DVD’s and even VHS video distribution, it would a real money shot for the industry.

Rick Santorum, on his end, has his own reasons for aggressively whipping the scourge of internet porn into submission. This move will be a real injection of money into our campaign honeypot, and the flow of west coast money for us has been, frankly, viscous and hard to come by, said a top Santorum financial adviser.

Santorum himself had this to say about his proposal:

“I believe in traditional values. There was a time, in the 50’s, when our young… (sob)  wholesome boys learned about sex by innocently sneaking a peak at their Dad’s special magazines hidden between the mattress, or rent a VCR when their parents were away on vacation, and our young adults would go to the good old fashioned friendly prostitute to deal with their needs. Right now thing are so out of hand and perverted. Look at what has happened to this country since porn became so widely available. It’s destroying our country! We have got to restore the proper traditional values of this country when it was great, before it’s too late”.

“And yes, that does include good old fashioned porn values too”.

Real news story Here.

Why Santorum Conservatives HATE Libertarians

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Because they would resist his desire to do this!

Everyone, if you can’t see that the Social Conservative agenda is just as much a Big Government one as the liberal agenda, maybe you’re one of those not so bright people I hear certain Conservatives suggest that shouldn’t have the right to vote.

A Wayne Hamilton’s Letter Of Apology

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**—For those who are not Fresno Musicians… This is a meaningless post that will make no sense.

Go read something else! 🙂 **

———————————————————

Here is Wayne’s letter, in its entirety.

To the Fresno Music community:

I understand that there are questions and doubts concerning my issued apology. I would like to say something, so that there is no guessing my sincerity about this affair.

I will say three things: first, I realize that I am still pretty new on the Music Scene in Fresno. I don’t know all the rules, and I am trying to learn. When I make a deliberate mistake, I do own up to it. Apparently, there were some things I did wrong, and I didn’t know it. For my naivete, I apologize. When I am asked about my band, I assume that it’s because someone wants to know. I honestly never thought that it would be construed as trying to “out” someone else’s band. For that, I also apologize.

Secondly, I wish to formally apologize to those who were affected by this debacle. Marie & Fresno Undercover: I am truly sorry about this misunderstanding. Never at any time did I try to do or say anything to deliberately impugn or demean your band. I don’t know you, so I have no frame of reference to say anything. What I saw of your show was good. I did not mean to show up when you were playing; I had no prior knowledge. I wish no ill of any of those in Fresno Undercover. I am sorry that is what came across. One point I wish to make clear, if I may- I have never out-and-out called anyone’s band “crap” or any other derogatory phrases. It is not in my character to do that.

Vince & Rockville- I am sorry that you also took my actions that way. I don’t know what all has been said, since I can’t access those posts. I will say that from what I have heard, I have been painted out to be someone other than who I am. Again, I remind you that I am new to the scene, and I am still learning how the game is played here. I am someone who will ask the source, rather than jump the shark. I am learning that this isn’t always the case. So again, I apologize. I also feel that your show was a good one, what I saw of it.

To my bandmates- I am sorry that you were caught up in the backlash of this. The people who answered the call, when I first sounded it, are a marvelous bunch of musicians. Each of them have shown me the quality of their character, and their musicianship. They have each responded to this in the manner they thought was best. I can’t fault them for that. I have stated that after the performances this week, I will accede to the decision that I leave the band. It is not my choice, but I do so, hoping for the best. Keep up the great work, guys.

Finally, I understand that some of you have found me to be arrogant. I wish to emphasize that I am not an arrogant person, by nature. I have been involved with music, in one form or another, for 33 yrs. (I started when I was very young). Many have noted my enthusiasm for music performance, and it has been mistaken for arrogance, at times. This is not intentional. Someone once described my attitude for music as being “a kid in a candy store”. I can agree with this analogy, and I sometimes stumble a bit, in my eagerness to do what I have essentially been trained for from my beginnings: to entertain the masses, alongside people of similar spirits. Isn’t that why we got into the business in the first place?

I hope that you will be able to see this, and understand me a little better. I really do love the Music Business, with everything I have. And I respect those in it.

A Wayne Hamilton.

Dishonest Journalism – And Fact Check FAIL ( by me)

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Oooops!

So, I woke up this morning, and while I was scanning the news, I saw this headline.

CBO: Obamacare to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 yrs

I scanned the short piece, and applied the usual safeguards: the meat of the article seemed plausible, there was a link to the CBO report, and the link actually took you to where you needed to be. So I posted it on Facebook, under the tagline “Obamacare much more expensive than advertised…. Told ya so.” But, in my rush to confirm my personal bias against the Obama Pelosi health care law (it’s not going to do what it claims, and will only make things more expensive) , I skipped a step – I didn’t actually read the CBO report.

I mean, the writer at the Examiner wouldn’t provide false info and numbers if he linked to the actual CBO report… Right????

The answer to that is, sadly, yes.

A Facebook friends promptly notified me of another article from The Hill, stating that the CBO estimates the cost to be about $1.1 trillion. (my fingers keep typing “extimate” for some reason) My first thought was that the article must be a year old. But nope. it’s from this week. And the link to the CBO Report is the same one from the Examiner.

So now I thinking “What The Math?????“.

As is usual, the truth is in the middle. The Hill fails to mention that the actual cost IS about $120 billion above the original projection when it passed. So the cost is rising. BUT, the Examiner does worse by not only jumping ahead a year to the period of 2013 to 2022, which isn’t mentioned in the report. The CBO estimates are from 2012 to 2021. Worse still, the writer of the Examiner piece adds all sorts of fiscal conditionals not even covered in the report that are not included in the CBO report.

Though it is true that, as each years passes, the cost of the ADA will increase because more expenses are added into the CBO ten year estimate as the Obamacare kick-off year 2016 gets closer and closer, the $1.76 trillion number does not appear anywhere in the CBO report, and neither does the 2013 to 2022 estimate.

This is dishonest reporting. The writer of the Examiner article has posted a follow-up, explaining how he got the figures he did. But it still isn’t CBO based and pulls lots of assumptions out of a hat. So FAIL # 2.

I have been burned by the Examiner before, and I shouldn’t have let my guard down. I was going to delete the Facebook post, but I need it out in the world as a reminder that I sometimes bite on things before putting in the proper leg work, and as a reminder that can’t let my guard down. I got burned, and I deserved it.

And yes, I did manage to throw an Adventure Time With Finn And Jake reference AND a Split Enz / Tim Finn , Neil Finn video into a post about crappy journalism. Finn’s Everywhere!!!!

Yes, I’m just that good!

 

Note:  I did have to delete the original post after all. I started getting too many likes, and was afraid that no one was reading my mia-culpa and take-down of the original article.

Quote Of The Day.

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From Pat Robertson:

Mr. Robertson said he enjoyed a glass of wine now and then — “When I was in college, I hit it pretty hard, but that was before Christ.”

Dang… I knew Pat Robertson was old… But I didn’t think he was THAT old!!!! 🙂

All kidding aside, this is one of the few times where I can agree with something said by Robertson, and applaud him for being reflective on religious matters instead of being provocative and just plain silly.

The Joy Of Being A Musician

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As my 47th birthday has been approaching, I’ve been reflecting on a few things… OK, it’s more because of the fact that for my birthday Greg bought me a 12 string Takamine guitar and I’m going to town!…

Yes, I can already play “Tambourine Man”!

Where was I…  Oh yes.  As my birthday approached, I’ve been reflecting on my life, and those things that have helped me become a better, more confident person. As a kid, I had absolutely no confidence in myself at all. Learning to dive in high school was a good start, and i still remember throwing that one “Perfect Dive” that will stay with me for as long as the brain cells are still firing. But, becoming a bass player, and musician, has probably made the more tremendous difference in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, the Sonic-Mate soars above all else, but that is a topic for a different post. i want to talk about music on this one.

I’ve been thinking about the various bands that I’ve been a member of that have been a great influences on my life.

Here are a few.

 

Tribe Called Mike – My first band in college. OK… We were horrible musicians…  I take that back. We weren’t horrible…. But we weren’t that good either. But we had a great time, and I was forced to sing and play bass in that band. That set the stage for my next misadventures.

RareForm – My long-time San Diego band. These quality musicians chose to have me play bass with them. Though looking back I should have, I didn’t have any confidence at all as a bass player, and these guys helped me recognize I was better than my low self image would allow me to admit.

Chris Plays Guitar – What a great creative experience. I got to write my own bass lines, record two great albums in a professional studio setting (thanks Pete Wolf), and, most of all, got to watch a group of younger musicians grow to become excellent musicians and songwriters in their own right. Patrick Reetz is one of the most creating songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with…  And Chris…  Er Tweed…  You’ve become so much more than I could have imagined when we first started out.

Acoustic Highway – I love doing harmonies and have always been very good at it, but i never really got a chance to open up and let my talent fly until I became a member of this band. It’s a dream come true really. I used to HATE doing falsetto, but, in no small part, thanks to the prodding of the master Steve Kuykendhal, now I am very comfortable reaching for the sky. You should hear us do “Seven Bridges Road”!

Taylor Martin – That you so much Jim Rust for helping me fulfill the desire to do a Simon and Garfunkel type band, and teaching me how to play acoustic guitar!

Oh yeah…  Cliff….  I now have a 12 string! Can already play “Tambourine Man”!!!!  🙂