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Unimaginable? Really?

The headline of The Seattle Times this morning screamed “Unimaginable!” atop the story of yet another horrific mass shooting in our country. I read the article completely and ruminated on it throughout my work day, trying not to let it distract me. As the last horror of Las Vegas had distracted me just a short month ago on another sad, blue Monday. On that day it turns out I actually knew someone who’d been shot, fighting for her life in a hospital. The first time that one of these tragedies had hit me personally.

Now as the reality of Sutherland Springs sinks in along with the setting sun I beg to differ with The Seattle Times.

Unimaginable? Really? After Columbine nearly 20 years ago? After Blacksburg Virginia? After Aurora Colorado? After Sandy Hook? After Charleston South Carolina? After Orlando? After San Bernardino? After Las Vegas? After so many other mass killings that have left me numbed and disgusted? When after each and every one we seem to have some brief national reckoning but then only to slip back to sleep? Where our so called leaders offer prayers instead of acting on the insidious and crazy gun culture of the country?

Why is what happened on a Sunday morning in a church in Texas so unimaginable? Not to be hardhearted, but I can certainly imagine it and even more horrific events like it in the future. This is sadly the reality of our sick nation one year after the pivotal election that brought a narcissist, misogynist and racist to The Whitehouse. Welcome to Trump’s America. Where facts don’t matter and where Nazis are on the same plane as peaceful protesters.

Now I’m not blaming Trump for these tragedies. We were having them long before he became the Tweeter in Chief. What concerns me though is that he and his supporters have lowered the bar for what is shocking, such that as he utters some inane same old same old “we have to come together as a nation” bullshit and rhetoric I think to myself “who the hell are you? Are you that out of touch? You’ve done nothing but driven the seeds of division and discontent in our country. How do you look in the mirror each day?”

I really don’t know what the cure is to the creeping illness that has befallen our great nation, but I do know that I am appalled with it every single day! I do know that I am ashamed about it every single day. And I do know that I worry about raising my children in this country every single day.

So yes, sadly it’s not unimaginable. In fact I can imagine the next horrific tragedy.

Tell the truth, can’t you?

 

 

 

The Yin Yan of Life

I don’t really hold any strong beliefs, such as those associated with being religious. I do however, believe in the yin yan of life, the ever present balancing act of the light against the dark. Or is it the dark against the light? It surely depends on your perspective. And that is the beauty of the concept as well as the symbol, a variation of which I have proudly tattooed on my right shoulder. It can be interpreted, lived and experienced in many different and unique ways.

The latest example, or manifestation, of the yin yan of life came to me last week. After getting riffed by Microsoft on July 1st I landed what could become one of the best jobs in my entire 30 year business and IT career, surely since at least my salad days in the mid 90’s at a Silicon Valley giant.

And then all at once, on the next day, I found out that my unemployment insurance benefits have expired, due to the sequester. Not to bemoan the situation, but I start my job after Labor Day so I won’t have my new income until mid-September. Living off the meager savings I have left after 3 job losses in 3 years since divorce will just have to do I guess.

I’ll make it. I always do.

I am mindful of the fact that I am truly blessed, and lucky, to have landed the job, that I found new light against a dark backdrop of so many people in the country, and in fact the world, making do with far less, and even suffering greatly. It humbles me and fills me with love, appreciation and respect.

This all comes back to the delicate balance that is the yin yan of life. I honor it with my heart and soul. I believe in it. That we all go through it. We all have light and dark. We should all be in touch with both and learn to balance them.

Namaste’

Last year I went to see the reconstituted Journey at The Gorge in Eastern Washington. I had heard that the new singer, Arnel Pineda, would make me think of Steve Perry. I’ve always been wary of copycat singers, especially fronting some of the greatest pop/rock bands in music history, but I have to say that I am sold. Arnel was fabulous! Not only could he sing the songs, but he sang them with passion, skill and aplomb! I closed my eyes numerous times, on such Journey greats as “Lights, “Anyway You Want It” and “Don’t Stop Believing”, and I was astonished at how good he sounded. He made it real. Yes, he sounds like Steve, but he does that while making the songs his own. He’s a true talent in his own right and that gives Journey new life for younger generations of fans to discover and like their music. My hat is off to Neal Schon and the guys on lifting a young Philippine kid out of poverty in Manilla to join them on stage and in the studio.

Last year I also went to see Van Halen with David Lee Roth at the Tacoma Dome. I’ve been a Van Halen fan since the 1978 debut album and I was also a fan of Van Hagar as well. Basically I love Eddie Van Halen and he can do no wrong as a guitarist or bandleader in my book. He was spot on that evening in May 2012 but sadly Diamond Dave was not as up to the task. His voice was shot, but we loved him just the same. However, I think his time has come and gone as far as live performances go. I suggest that Eddie, Alex and now Wolfgang find a copycat singer of their own, one who can do justice to the DLR and Hagar back catalog all the while giving them new blood and vigor for their new music in the future.

This dawned on me as I was mindfully picking up poop from my new puppy Strat in the backyard. There is a certain art to picking up puppy poop, especially when it’s mixed with tree branches, walnut shells and other artifacts of my Podunk life in The Great Northwest. I find it best and easiest to wait at least a day when the temps are below 32 degrees because then the little turds are frozen solid!

Hello world!

Greetings fellow 21st Century digital denizens. I cannot call you minons yet, as one of my favorite artists Alice Cooper calls his followers for his syndicated radio show. I don’t even think I can call you followers since I don’t know you or whether or not you care to read my raw thoughts or “follow” me as on Twitter to increase your stats. Come to think of it this writing of a blog post reminds me a bit of the old adage “if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it does it make a sound”? Or the proverbial “what is the sound of one hand clapping”? I’m writing something now that is flowing out of me, tossing it out into the ether, at this very odd hour after pulling a late night writing technology marketing content against deadlines while my two young boys are sleeping in the next room. I have no idea if it will go anywhere or even if anyone will read it, so ergo, the analogies. All I know is that I signed up for WordPress on a bit of a whim as I embark on recreating my life post divorce with these two young boys, whom I now see on a limited, regimented schedule even though they live literally 2 blocks away in my sleepy and boring town. I’ll get back to this topic and the re-creation later on.

You see, I’m new to the blogosphere, at least wrt publishing in it. Oh, I read a lot of blogs on the web, consume lots of digital delectables from all my favorite sites, follow lots of cool and intriguing people thru social media, connect with family and friends on facebook, collaborate with colleagues over WebEx, LiveMeeting, or whatever. I am fully plugged in with an iPhone, a MacBook Pro, an iMac, my home theater and my XBOX 360. All of these things are in my life at this time because I crave connection as well as satisfaction. I get my news, information, entertainment and other things through these wonderful technological marvels. Now it seems I will give a shot at connecting, at building a network and joining a community of likeminded people who feel empowered with their technology to drive even further into the void, all while pouring out their hearts, minds and souls while hopefully pulling something very valuable from it.

I’m happy to be finally writing for pure entertainment and joy, imparting my views and wisdom, rather than just slaving away at some technology marketing blather. There, I said it! This goes in line with my real time re-creation or “evolution” as William Hurt puts it in The Big Chill. And as in that movie, as he is interviewing himself with a video camera, he quips “and what are you evolving in to” to which he answers “I don’t have to answer that question”, when he shuts down the camera, I will close my first ever blog post. Future posts will continue in the vein of following or pulling threads as I continue this amazing journey of starting over post divorce and after losing everything financially that I worked in technology the last 25 years to build.

Oh well, se la vi. I still got my guitars!

Thanks for reading. Rock on!

guitarorth