Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Overdue Musical Break...

   I think a musical break is overdue and it's MY blog so I said so!
  One band I enjoyed during the '70's and '80's was Heart.  I want to talk only about one song in particular and that is These Dreams.  The lyrics in this piece are, to me, poetic.  I almost feel like I am listening to something that falls somewhere between a fantasy novelist and Edgar Allen Poe.  It conjures up a state of mind between sleep and consciousness.  Actually it was written by; Martin Page, a musician, singer, songwriter and; Bernie Taupin, a lyricist, poet and singer.  Mr. Taupin is well known for his collaboration with Elton John.  More about the song is here.
  As usual, I am yammering on, again.  Just click on the title above and see if you aren't carried away a little by the song.

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. - Thomas Jefferson 

Being Battered Comes In Many Forms....

  These days, there are many subjects of discussion that varies from the  inane and inconsequential to those of great importance. One that is on the high end of the scale is that of bullying and issues related to it. My cousin, who is a counselor by profession, sent me a link which I wanted to share.  It touches on several aspects of human development that some of us might be able to relate to.  A higher awareness of this matter is way overdue.  The video is called To This Day by Shayne Koyczan.  Click on the link and check it out.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Few Words Of Wisdom...

I don't know the source, but they were passed on to me by my wife and I thought they were good:

I Believe...
That just because two people argue, It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
 
And just because they don't argue,
 It doesn't mean they do love each other.


I Believe... 
That we don't have to change friends if
 

We understand that friends change.

I Believe.... 
That no matter how good a friend is,
 They're going to hurt you, 
Every once in a while
 And you must forgive them for that.


I Believe..... 
That true friendship continues to grow,
 Even over the longest distance. 
Same goes for true love.


I Believe... 
That you can do something in an instant
 
That will give you heartache for life.


I Believe.... 
That it's taking me a long time
 
To become the person I want to be.


I Believe... 
That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words.

It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe.... 
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.


I Believe.... 
That we are responsible for what
 
We do, no matter how we feel.


I Believe... 
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.


I Believe.... 
That heroes are the people
 Who do what has to be done 
When it needs to be done, Regardless of the consequences


I Believe.... 
That my best friend and I Can do anything or nothing
 
And have the best time
..


I Believe... 
That sometimes when I'm angry
 I have the right to be angry, 

but that Doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe... 
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
 
And what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.


I Believe... 
That no matter how bad
 Your heart is broken,
The world doesn't stop for your grief.


I Believe.... 
That our background and circumstances
 May have influenced who we are, but, 

We are responsible for who we become.

I Believe... 
That you shouldn't be
 So eager to find out a secret. 
It could change your life forever.


I Believe.... 
Two people can look at the exact same
 
Thing and see something totally different.


I Believe... 
That your life can be changed
 In a matter of hours 
By people who don't even know you.


I Believe... 
That even when you think
 You have no more to give, 
When a friend cries out to you,
 You will find the strength to help.


I Believe... 
That credentials on the wall
 
Do not make you a decent human being.


I Believe... 
That the people you care about
 
Most in life are taken from you too soon.


I Believe...

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; 
They just make the most of everything they have.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Want, I Need, I Gotta Have.......

  There are some material things that are low or non-existent on my "want" list.  Some of these items are:  clothes, guns, cheeses, jewelry, motor vehicles, and piercings, to name a few.
  There are a few things that are high on my want list.  Some of these items are:  spending time with my wife, old radios, certain tools and gadgets, time with kids and grand kids, and certain technology items.  I am here today to talk about the last item, more specifically, a tablet computer.  In fact, the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet.  Omigosh, it has been like waiting for Christmas.  Ever since the Surface RT was announced in October, I have been extremely interested.  When I researched the RT, I learned it wasn't the real deal, but a stripped down version of Windows 8.  It sorta fell somewhere in between a 'droid and a PC, not having the full potential of the full version Windows 8.  Then I had hope, because it was announced that a full version Surface would be released about the end of the year.  Now, I was really interested, because, not only was it going to be Windows 8 but the Professional version.  So, December came and went, no release of Surface Pro.  January came and went, still no joy.  Then, at last, a release date of February 9.  Oooops, somehow 'karma' must have known I wanted one, and was determined to disappoint me.  After the release, it was sold out and stayed sold out.  In the meantime, further research showed that their was a drawback with the standard model that had only 64GB of storage. The operating system uses up most of it, which put me off a bit.  There was a reprieve  however that there was a 128GB model, but it has been out of stock for what seemed like forever...until, TADA, today! (February 21)  So I finally put my order in and hoping for delivery in about four days.  Whew!  Man and Machine together!  Now wasn't that a heart wrenching story?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Traveling On The Taconic State Parkway...Or Am I???

A paved roadway seen from its right with a solid yellow line on the left, dashed white line in the middle and solild white at right goes into an area at the center of the image where branches from the tall trees on either side hang over and shade it from the sunlight coming in from the left  Occasionally I travel on the Taconic State Parkway, an interesting stretch of divided highway that starts at Mount Pleasant, NY, located outside of New York City.  It continues north for 104 miles where it intersects with Interstate 90.  Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had long envisioned a scenic road through the eastern Hudson Valley, was instrumental in making it a reality.  It is a very pleasant road to drive for several reasons; trucks aren't allowed on it, there are very few structures that can be seen, and it is very scenic.  Sometimes I will see a deer or two and even a herd of them.  It is also toll free.  However, you have to watch for traffic at the occasion crossroad, the speed limit is 55 mph, and there is no lighting at night.
Old London to Oxford mail coach, May 1890 (b/w photo)  Today, as I was driving, I imagined myself in a horse drawn coach in the 1800's going from London to Oxford.  A distance of about 60 miles.  It wasn't hard to imagine this because today was a gray February day, very reminiscent of days that I had spent in England.  All I had to do was erase the images of asphalt pavement and the occasional guard rails on the side of the road from my mind.  The rest of it was quite lovely; leaf barren trees on both sides with so many fingered branches reaching over the road.  The curb stone that edges the entire parkway is also a nice touch that adds to the fantasy.  Looking between the trees and out to the gray cloudy skies made me feel like I was taking in an English landscape with a patchwork of snow and ground that blanketed the roadside.
  The summer is glorious as well, with a green lawn for road shoulders and the trees with a full coat of leaves.  It goes without saying that the trees in autumn can explode with colors.
  Eventually, I had to come back to reality because I had come to the end of the parkway and it was necessary to merge into the traffic on Interstate 90.  
  I suspect that riding a horse drawn coach on a deeply rutted frozen dirt road wasn't as smooth a ride as an automobile on smooth pavement.  Maybe next time I will take off my tires and ride on the rims to add to the realism.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On A More Serious Note.....

  The last couple days I have been travelling in Connecticut.  On both days I drove Interstate 84 which took me by the towns of Sandy Hook and Newtown.  Both times, I felt a shiver up my spine, realizing I was in close proximity to the school where the horrible shootings took place, killing 26 persons, of which 20 of them were children.  Such a terrible event can shake one's faith in Mankind and even God.  You wonder how a human being can behave that way, or how a loving God can allow it to happen.  One consolation is that they are in a better place.  Another is that, with our limited knowledge and wisdom, we do not have a full understanding of the past, present, and future as well as our pre-life or the hereafter.
  Let me be clear, I am no theologian, but I do have certain beliefs that give me comfort when comfort is needed.  One of these simple truths is in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3.  You may recognize it from the song Turn, Turn, Turn that was covered by the band The Byrds in 1965:

 1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  2. time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


  In other words, if we never know what bad is, in it's many forms, we would never know what joy is, in it's many forms of splendor.  On that note, let me close with Louis Armstrong and What A Wonderful World.

I Wonder........

Image result for gps  There are many science fiction books and movies that deal with inanimate objects being sentient.  I think it is a reality.  Case in point:  There have been many times that my car's GPS takes me on ridiculous routes to get to a destination.  Now, I don't know if it is the GPS network or my GPS device, but one or both of them must be highly amused by directing me over hill and dale to get to a destination.  I can go to and from a place  three times and will be directed on three different routes.  If that isn't an indication that devices can be sentient, (and have a sense of humour) I don't know what is!  I'm just saying.......

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My Life's Itinerary.....So Far - Part 11

No, the cars aren't this old in Sanford,
this was in the '50's.
  Being young and struggling, we left our beloved Kennebunk, Maine, and moved to Sanford, Maine, I think about 1974.  We were still only a half hour from there but in a community where apartments were less expensive.  Being as how Sanford use to be a mill town, our apartment faced one of the old mills so when you looked out our window, all you saw was brick.  I was working for Maremont Corporation in Saco, Maine.  Apparently, all they make, now, is mufflers and in Tennessee.  When I was there, (Saco, Maine) they also made shock absorbers for Sears and Gabriel.  As well as M-60 machine guns for the government.  They were also developing new products utilizing brushless alternators.  I was a technician in the lab building and testing the alternators.  I quit because of differences in opinion about what I should be paid.  Several months later, I received a phone call from an attorney asking me questions about my employment there.  It seems that an alternator manufacturer was sewing Maremont for patent infringements.  Not seeing any mention of alternators on their website tells me they lost the case.  So about 1975, had a new job and moved to Somersworth, NH.