In Memory Of A Friend.

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This last week marked twenty years of a life cheated out of the experience of living. Twenty years ago, my wonderful friend Robert Paul Johnson was murdered, most likely bashed to death because he was gay.

I never go to tell him, but I loved this guy. He was everything that was right in the world. In his honor, tonight I’m going to play the song I wrote for him at the Audies open mic. I’ll do a web-cam of the song and post it later on today.

I still miss you my friend.

Here is the story of the night I found out my friend was gone forever.



Photo of Victim Robert Paul JohnsonSee larger view one (Robert Paul Johnson) (PDF)
Photo of Victim Robert Paul JohnsonSee larger view two (Robert Paul Johnson) (PDF)
Victim: Robert Paul JohnsonDate: April 24, 1993

Address: 3200 Mission Boulevard

Synopsis: Robert Paul Johnson, age 27, lived in Mission Beach and was the manager of his apartment complex. On Thursday evening, April 22, 1993, Johnson attended a dinner party with a friend. After the party, Johnson got a ride home from his friend, arriving at about 11:30 pm. Johnson’s friend was the last person to see him alive.Johnson failed to show up for work for the next two days. Johnson’s boss, concerned over his absence, eventually contacted one of one Johnson’s friends, who went to Johnson’s apartment on April 24, 1993, to check on Johnson. Johnson’s body was discovered in the bathroom of his apartment. He had been strangled to death.

Johnson was very friendly and frequently invited people he met on the Mission Beach boardwalk to his home.

Worst Movies Ever…

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Not in order.

* Jaws 4 The Revenge…. This Time, It’s Personal! Why did the studio that made this want to get revenge on us????

* Promethius. So, a woman who just a little earlier gets her abdomen taken apart in a weird Cesarian abortion of an alien growing inside her, then has only her epidermis stapled together – not the insides that were damage by the procedure – then spends the rest of the movie frantically running around, and is miraculously saved from being crushed by a massive multi-ton spaceship falling right on top of her by a small boulder protruding from the ground…. Yeah. Right. Horrible movie.

* Body Of Evidence. Just after Madonna declares to the three men in her life “I f**ked you, I f**ked you, I f**ked you…. That’s what I do… I f**k”, she gets shot dead and falls into the river. Naturally, she’s wearing a white t-shirt, with no bra, so you get to see her tits one last time as her dead character floats away. Come to think of it, that wet t-shirt shot of a dead Madonna was actually the best acting in the whole movie.

* Rat Race. OMG… How can you take a great movie like “It’s A Mad Mad Mad World” and totally Ef it up so badly???

* Steve Martin’s The Pink Panther I and II. See previous comment. And yes It can be done worse… Much Worse! Here is the proof!

I’m sure there are others I could have included, but these are the first ones i can think of.

Is The Electric Guitar Dead?????

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I was reading a review of the new Bowie album, and came across this quote:

It’s also probably worth noting that the four-piece rock band itself, and especially the electric guitar — that bastion and symbol of late-sixties rebellion — has grown long in the tooth. It’s been nearly 50 years since Hendrix, and though it’s still a satisfying instrument, I think it’s safe to say that the electric guitar no longer has the power to shock or surprise in the way that Mick Ronson’s performance on “John, I’m Only Dancing” once did — has a rock guitar ever sounded hornier? — or Adrian Belew’s eerie squeals and drones in the “Heroes” era. Earl Slick’s performances are nicely rough-edged, but some of the other guitar sounds on [I]The Next Day[/I] just remind me of a trip to Guitar Center, no matter how adeptly executed they are.

OK, I first have to note that I love the nod to the Guitar Center auditions, which drives me nuts, and is one of the reasons I don’t shop there much. But getting to the main point, the writer of this review does have a point I think. At the moment in the music continuum, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of guitarists who are that “Great Leap Forward”, such as Clapton, Hendrix, Van Halen, Eric Johnson, Satriani, ect. I do admit there might be someone out there that is making the rounds, but I haven’t come across them. Bonamassa maybe?

As I type this, I’m realizing this dovetails with another interesting phenomenon in the music continuum… The re-emergence of Americana and folk, and the renewed interest in the acoustic guitar. All of a sudden, Americana / Folk is everywhere! Which is really cool, as I’ve been heading in that direction for the last seven years with the trio of projects Acoustic Highway, Taylor Martin, and especially the CSN&Y inspired Laurel Canyon. I still can’t believe I’m ahead of the curve of a trend… Any trend! 😎

PS. Here is the review of the new Bowie album. Gail Ann Dorsey plays bass on it, so you know the bass line are going to be quite tasty!

The War Comes Home

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People. Just a reminder.

There are a bunch of pictures of the maimed and wounded from yesterdays bomb attack at the Boston Marathon, floating freely across the web. People are horrified at some of the images… And rightly so! Some are very bloody. There is one especially gruesome one of a man in a wheelchair whose legs have literally been blown off, with only his exposed bloody tibia and shredded skin hanging from where his leg used to be.

It’s the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.


Then I started thinking. What a selfish bastard I am. Maybe that’s not quite the right term, but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. What got me kicking myself was the realization that a hundred thousand of our soldiers fighting in lost cause wars that have watched friends die right in front of them, with injuries just as horrifying and bloody, or worse, and we, who are safely cocooned by a 6000 mile distance from here to the war zone, have no freaking idea what they’ve been through. And you wonder why so many of our soldiers are committing suicide.

And then there are all the civilians in those countries, who have had their own people die as our hands. Yes, some were fighting against us. But why? Some might have been “terrorists”, but some were fighting against the invading army…. US! And none of that matters when someone tells the mother, father, or brother or sister that your son was just killed by this country’s hands. All that will come of this is a new generation of Arabs that will despise us even more than if we never went to war, and that means the potential for much more terrorism in the future.

This isn’t quite the direction I was going to go when I sat down to write this post. But it has to be said. There is the line of thought that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has made us safer. I don’t buy it. I grew up in the shadow of the damage done to this country by the folly of the Vietnam war. The cost of that was a lost decade economically and politically. The current wars have cost our country at least 5 trillion and gobs of resources, but has more importantly cost the lives AND health of too many of our brave soldiers who had to fight because it was their duty. All of this waste has not made the world “safer”, and has put us in debt in more ways than can be counted. And I find it ironic; the same people who are rightly concerned about the national debt and the cost we are passing on to our children, are, by perpetuating this war, passing a much greater cost on to their children than they can ever admit or acknowledge.

Back to the images from yesterdays attack. People are horrified at the bloodshed. Well, OK. Too bad we are so disconnected from the violence that we have perpetrated on so many in foreign lands. Am I saying we shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan? I can still see the justification of that. But I certainly can’t rationally justify the slanting (kind term) of intelligence that got us to support the Iraq invasion, or most certainly staying in either country for ten plus years! It’s inexcusable and pointless. Any good we did by kicking the Taliban out of Afghanistan has long since eroded away. No ones lives are better, only bloodier.


Just one more thing. I supported both the war in Afghanistan and the idiotic invasion of Iraq. While I still see the necessity of going into the former after 9-11, the latter was completely unnecessary. Like so many, the evidence was there, and i glossed over it.


Though I wrongfully bought into the notion that Saddam had to have at the very least started rebuilding his WMD arsenal, I didn’t think he would really have that much of it, and didn’t consider that to be the strongest reason to depose him. i thought that, with him out of the picture, that the country of Iraq would become a modernized country, you know, kind of like Israel.

I was a naive fool! At the time, I didn’t know the history of the reason very well, and had no idea of the sectarian undertows that dominates all aspects of life in the Arab world. I didn’t start digging into history and become a history buff until after we were already there. My ignorance made the support of such foolhardy actions possible.

Anyway, I know I’ve written it and said it before, but this is something that I need to acknowledge and remind myself and the world that I was wrong to support the actions taken in Iraq. I will not make that mistake again.

PS. Note, yesterdays bombing was not a “tragedy”… It’s an attack.

Spam Of The Day – “This is Awesome! Thank you so much.”

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Imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up to find 14 new comments on my blog….

Cool! I have some traffic finally!

But, the let-down comes swiftly. Alas, it was all spam. I deleted them, but did copy this one, because I thought it was the most interesting. It’s from Roxymoota. It says:

???????? ????????? ? ????????????? ??????????;???????? ?????? ? ????? ??????? ? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ???????-????????????!????? ??? ???? ? ?????????? ? ????? ????????? ??????????? 2011 ??????? ??????????????? ? ???????? ???????? ?????????!!????? ? ??????? ?????)03 ?????????????????????? ???????? ???.. ??? ???????? ????????????? ????????? ??????????? ???????? ????????? ??????? ????;??? ?????????? ????????? ????????? ??????-? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ???????????? ,????? ????.??? /??????? ???????? ???)????????? ???? ? ?? ?? ?????…???????? ??????????? ? ???!?????? ??????:)????????? ?????? ??????? :? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ??????;…???????????? ????????? , ?? ????????? ???????? ??????? ??????????? ??????? ? ?????????????? ??????? ????????-?????????? ???????????????? ?? ?????????? ?????????? ?????,??????? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ? ???????? ?????,??????? ??????????,

Interestingly, I was writing this in the text option, and the smiley face in the middle appeared as the HTML code. I don’t think I’ve ever used the “smiley face” emoticon before, and had no idea what the code for that looked like. Here it is:

<img alt=”:?” src=”” />

Oh, and one other spamy bit did have this to say about my blog:

This is Awesome! Thank you so much.

Now, “this” is a very general term. I assume that the “this” here is referring to my splendid writing skillz. Glad my insightful posts is appreciated by… Someone.

OK. That’s it. That’s my post for the day. So. Carry on with yours.


Friday Random Thoughts

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North Korea….

People are flipping out because Little Un is sabre rattling…. Done the North Koreans always do a bit of sabre-rattling every time the US and the South Koreans hold a joint military exercise. OK, they did claim to nullify the 1953, but Papa Kim Jong Who’zits pretty much did the same thing years ago.

I’m thinking that Un / the military / who ever the heck is controlling the government of north Korea simply sees an opportunity to fill the anti-America void left by the death Cesar Chavez… Er, I mean Hugo Chavez… And yes, that is a Google Easter doddle joke.

Roger Ebert finally succumbed to the cancer that has been stalking him for the last decade. Too bad. I didn’t agree with some of his politics, but he was important to my life. I wanted to be an actor / director when I was a kid, and the Siskel and Ebert “At The Movies” show was something I tried to catch, as long as it didn’t come on at the same time as the Six Million Dollar Man of course!…

On the Six Million Dollar Man…. I wonder if that sum would be able to pay for even a portion of his bionics. I doubt that would cover the cost of his eye.

Gonna be finishing a song or two this week-end. Maybe I’ll post another YouTube…. Holy Crap! I haven’t posted a one on my blog!!!!

Fixed. Note: My first decent take of the song. The finger-picking is progressing. I mess up a little bit here and there on both vocals and guitaring, but it’s getting better.

PS. I know it’s not the exact way it’s played on the record… I’m not there yet… Working on it. And, I love how I almost forget what to sing when I get to the lyric about remembering something! Classic Me!!!!!

Anyone else had a problem logging into the Starbucks WiFi at the Ashland and West store?

I fixed the turn signal on the Brat… It wouldn’t shut off when you turned and signaled.

This post… Brought to you by ADHD!

On that. I really wish they would rename that whole diagnosis. I mean, think about it. You don’t have a deficit of attention – it’s in fact the opposite! You have a very highly honed sense of attention! Everything around you captures it! It’s a survival mechanism at its best! When the cheetah is stalking you in the savannah, circa 40,000 whatever years ago, who is going to be the human that survives? The one who is so focused on the task of making a spear that he has no idea danger is about, or the one who is in tune with and pays attention to the various goings on in his environ….

Oh, cool flock of geese just flew over the house! Geese are neat!!!!