Friday, January 25, 2013

I’ve Been Packing (Havana)

 One more day in deep freeze purgatory and I’m out of here.

I haven’t traveled much since 2010 consequently just getting in a mobile entity beyond bike or subway is a delicious thought.

Packing is always a trip! I’m not really up on how much Air Canada will extract for one bag destined for cargo. I know there’s nothing they don’t charge for and give little in return.

I was reminiscing when I took one of my first flights with American Airlines in 1966. They handed me a menu as I was seated. I had a selection of beef or chicken. Being a ground round Indiana boy I pleaded for beef. When the meal came it was chicken. I had such a look of disappointment the stewardess suggested I wait a few minutes  then casually  walk to first class. That I did. It was my first experience with the class system. Everyone I knew growing up was either ten dollars above or below prosperity. And yes – they fed me steak and drink and plied me with comfort. Not Air Canada – it’s grief and thief.

Travel is in my veins.

I’m always apprehensive until I arrive at airport, check in and board. From that moment on I wholly submit.

I’ve been to Havana a few times dating back to 1992. I arrived just after a brutal hurricane that stomped unmercifully all over the city. There were broken palms, thick patches of mud and stones in the street.

My first thought – I love it.

I stayed in the old Presidente Hotel. No air conditioning and broadloom from ceiling to window to floor. The room had the smell of Nixon’s rotting corpse. I loved it!

All night congas beat a steady rhythm beyond the flowered window ledge. The moment they ceased a rooster started barking – then more roosters. I could hear them answer in the way distance. I figured they just wanted to get some hen. I loved it!

By 5a.m. I’m tossing and turning in a pool of sweat. I get up and look out the window and sunrise was creeping across the landscape. Everything was in pastels – pinks, blues, greens, - soft color. I loved it!

By morning I was ready to eat. Nice thought – there was nothing to eat. The embargo was starving folks - this was still cold war territory. Somehow I managed to find a tomato or two and some butter and made due.

That week was an eye opener. I traveled from one end of Cuba to the other. I saw the sumptuous countryside from a van. Stopped in one town after another and met musicians. Jammed, sang, drank a bit and mostly got hugged a lot. Tourism filled a container with ice – plenty beer and Mexican Coca Colas all with the Olympic seal date undetermined. I remember arriving in Santiago De Cuba opening the van door and pouring the remains of the cola on pavement when suddenly a half dozen children arrive screaming and one girl hits the pavement as if she were going to lap up the stain. My heart nearly stopped. The kids were all over me with bright smiles and chatter. I was told bring Chick lets the children love Chick lets. I did just that. I had a box with me and passed around. Oh the smiles, the giggles the sweetness that permeated every molecule of life is something I’ll take with me into the next life.

Lido from Beaches Jazz gave me a pile of T shirts and hats, I had boxes of CDs all which found gracious hands for long keeping.

I’ve spent one week of my life living and sleeping on the street in my early twenties totally destitute and know exactly what that means – never again. I saw a nation so close to collapse yet invigorated and full of love and kindness after the soviets left who would struggle long and hard to make small change.

I returned in 2004 and 2006 to a country going through renovation. Deemed a heritage city Havana’s been given a face lift. Oh those buildings of supreme magnificence.

The embargo is still in place but visas are being distributed and slowly but slowly Cuba is opening up. This has to be the hardest shell to pry open.

Most travelers dream of a beach – baking in the sun. I dream of a veranda, cold drink and a view that smacks the senses silly and being near people.

I’m ready yes indeed!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snoop Lion Fake Rasta!

It seems Bunny Wailer has come down from the mountain to proclaim former ‘Dog’ a fake Rasta even threatening to sue.
Look, Snoop should realize he’s over matched in this throw down.

Long ago we visited Marleyville – somewhere nestled in the glorious mountains of Jamaica. Tourism honored our request to visit the birthplace of Bob Marley. Kristine, Errol Nazareth and I Man made the breath giving bus trip to Sir Marley’s patch of rare earth.

On arrival we were dropped in a waiting centre loaded with trinkets – Bob’s wooden head, Bob’s hair pick, Bob’s last roach. While killing time Errol spots the guestbook and signs in. Suddenly, a deep voice penetrates through the roar of an overhead fan – “Did I ask you signed that?” I look up and there was this intimidating Rasta shutting us down. Errol looks at me and we bust a laugh. Look, I buy into this stuff as much as I buy into Rand Paul.

Eventually, this guy arrives calling himself Fuzzy. Fuzzy has a chunk of coke snotched on his lower right nostril. Mighty impressive!!

Off we go!

We arrive at sacred gates and are asked to remove shoes. Cool – must be a tea house or something!

Fuzzy turns and asks – ‘What does this sign say?’ We look at one other then repeat the inscription –‘Respect.” That’s right Bob was about respect.’

The next thirty minutes is filled with lubricating memories of Fuzzy and Bob writing all the hits on a guitar placed near the doorway of the family hut. “ Look out that window – Bob says to me ‘No Woman No Cry.’ Right!

Errol, Kristine and I Man are the wrong companions to bring on a trip of dubious intent. We flat out laugh to much and Errol has that look of –‘You got to be kidding’ that beams above the rim of his sporty glasses.

For a finale we lined up facing a fence with large rocks and kids begging for money. Fuzzy asks us to pause because we are now facing Zion. Nothing like a bit of commercial religion thrown in for set up.

We toured the mausoleum which had every possible trinket stuck to the casket and walls a person requires for zany remembrance.

As we begin the descent Fuzzy stops and asks if we remember the inscription on the gate which is the size of a 'Keep dog out' sign. I say 'Respect' hoping to win this round. That’s right – show Fuzzy some Respect. Fuzz then opens a top pocket and sticks in my face so I stuff a one dollar Jamaican bill of which he turns and says –''That only pay for half a Pepsi.' Errol then stuffs a second bill and one of us says 'Buy a whole one.'

The point of this post – Snoop is out of his league in Jamaica. You’re being played the moment you step off a cruise ship or plane. Kristine and I used to kill ourselves waiting at the airport catching people hair in braids – men too – carrying the big wooden fish.

I see this guy wearing flippers, funny shorts, hair braided like Bo Derek wrestling a sixty pound wood carving of the same fish which appears in all makes and sizes like Frankenberry cereal. So, I walk up and say – ‘You be the guy who bought that’. No response just business. I could tell the man had a bargain at $200 American.

There’s always the afterthought. Is this document really a valid certificate of the first wooden fish Bob caught?


I always admire those who keep diaries. A daily record of thoughts and experiences - even a time-table  impresses. Words are hard to come by!

I put full blame for these scribbled shorts on my dearly beloved friend Dr. Kira Payne.

Dr. Payne at one time was an aspiring jazz musician with a brain the size of a skyscraper. We both played in Bobby Herriot’s Orchestra at the Old Mill Inn a couple decades past – Payne held the alto chair and I a sub for marvelous pianist Brian Murphy.

Payne already had a wall of degrees and was thinking ahead – I was worried about the pay – money is never easy to come by. Together we formed a spiritual and intellectual bond of friendship that serves us to today.

Kira would offer me a ride home every night after the gig. Those short moments exploded with words, thoughts – the intonation of the conversations were like the best Keith Jarrett solo known to man or the sweet sound of Clark Terry’s horn smoothly carving a blistering pace through a classic standard. We didn’t just talk about music – we talked about talk. The walls in the car reverberated with chatter!

Up until then I would never show anyone other than Kristine my short stories. Kira insisted!

I left her a couple to take home hoping next meeting she’d give me pointers only a devout book reader could give.

Not only did Kira read – she encouraged- she insisted I write, write, write. Not the kind of conversation with a person who just likes you absent criticism but from a person with acute intellect who observes and assimilates then throws combustible substances into a fire and expects you to dance.

Those glorious trips grounded in inspiration cart me from place to place today.

I returned the favor by pushing and provoking her to become what she dreamed of becoming – a doctor.

She made it – let me back up here – she really made it. She’s brilliant and a mind that keeps inquiring, investigating and reshaping the potential of all of us and searches for profound solutions.

We all deserve a Dr. Payne in our lives – that person a step or two outside family and circle of friends who insists you go deep in yourself and free that which is trapped beneath.

Without her encouragement these words would not exist!
Dr. Payne!

I Am Musician!

What were my parents thinking when they insisted I take piano lessons? What was my dad thinking when he carted me off to the Louisville Academy of Music and Monday night jazz ensemble practice? Did they think I’d give it up for doorman or construction?

Music is much more than an occupation or diversion it’s a must in our world. It’s the line where sanity and peace connect - a place where we all want to reside even if it only last a few minutes at a time.

I’m always taken back with how many people who have toiled years at jobs they wished never to have participated in want to learn an instrument as they retire. I think that is wonderful and it also reaffirms my commitment and good fortune befriending this vital element of the universe when I was thirteen.

I enjoy reading writer/critic Bob Lesfstez’s daily rants but there is something entirely missing from his column – humanity! Playing an instrument isn’t about selling as many recordings as Katie Perry or climbing over others for stardom – its community affirmation – a line of communication between us that happens on many levels.

There are choirs were people sing and bond and walk away that evening thinking just maybe I heard a bit of Yolanda Adams in my performance. Dammit – that’s good. It’s the kid in a classroom who has been hammering away at a pattern or dry academic set of scales who momentarily solves the puzzle and sounds a full paragraph of keenly placed notes that make a statement – that make sense. It’s a hall full of people in dance who lose themselves to the beat – the joy of the moment the passion of the night. It’s the two year old tinkering on a toy box of sound who already hears what they want to hear in life – more! It’s the guy who rummages through old vinyl stores looking for that mysterious recording that continually eludes. It’s that senior whose arthritic hands can still form a chord whose heart burst wide open every time a melody from the past is replayed.

Music belongs to all of us – you can package and sell but you can’t deny every soul on this planet their right to immerse themselves in the aural colors of the rainbow. The critic will always speak of those at the top – fair enough but the real action is far away from the rare few – it’s in your home and the heart!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Dad the Fish Monger and the B Roll

Dad’s are born in this world with faulty wiring below the body panel. Depending on the era there were no inspectors present to send them back for an overhaul - so you get what you get. Not a bad thing, just more delicious humor.

Pops stood six foot six - bald in his early twenties and with thick black frame glasses looking like an economist at a farm auction. I truly don’t know what that means other than he was a blend of things beyond description. Wait a minute – the final touch – the ever present baseball cap.

Pops had a love of fishing. Not a normal love affair with a pole and a brook but a lifelong obsession. I have this vision of him in a crib with a thirty pound rock bass sporting a bonnet cradled nearby both asleep in the land of bliss and with a serious lack of common humor - dad looks over and says – ‘One day I’ll reserve space on my trophy wall for you.”

After college we rarely spoke until old age – he saw me as a peacenik commie - I him - the Imperial Wizard. He was all turn of the century Southern white male never really warming to emancipation. 

After cable arrived you could walk in his house and he’d be sitting in the recliner with FOX News posted past ear splitting and he’d be talking to Bill O’Reilly. ‘You’re right Bill,’ then he’d asked the house – ‘Did you hear what Bill said – or he’d say – ‘They caught another one’ - whatever that meant. He was like our favourite cartoon. Most days he was blowing angry in that chair waiting to steam sand furniture and you could sense it coming. He’d make this spitting sound like a goose blowing pumpkin seeds – ‘Sput, sput, sput’.. and of course we’d go into a laughing frenzy. In fact, my side of the family, brother Wayne, my late sister Karen, Jesse , Kris and I never stop laughing – so the old man just egged us on. It was truly his glorious fault.

Dad fished from the first breath of morning past the last meal at night. Fish jumped hurdles in his dreams. The guy had two fishing camps – one down in Kentucky another in Belle Glade, Florida. I’d call home from the road and ask mother what’s dad up to and she’d say fishing and she’d ask me – 'Are you working?' End of conversation in fact the same conversation rolled on forty plus years.

Pops dressed in a tan jumpsuit with fish emblems pasted from head to boot. There were stuffed fish on the walls – one that laughed on the mantel – gorgeous collection of lures and poles on the back porch. With this in mind the old man became fascinated with video cameras. I have no recollection when.

I drop in for Christmas and I see racks of VHS tapes. Most were his collection of the bombing of Dresden and Hitler’s march across Europe. Get past that and you get to the meat of my dad Barney Fellini.

“You boys want to see something I shot at camp.” I’m thinking sure – haven’t seen the place or the people. So, full of excitement he stuffs the large cassette through the mouth of the player and sits back for a screening.

First thing you sense is the sound – dad talking to ducks. “Were here in Florida and the weather is nice – oh there they are ducks on the pond.” OK cool- .. forty minutes in and brother Wayne asks – is this all there is? “ Pops hesitates, Well – mother’s coming up.” Another five minutes goes by of Zen watching when a voice returns – “Mother can you move in a little?” Little did we know pops didn’t believe in panning. So mom keeps moving to the left until in full view. Now, mother’s biggest life move is standing with hands to the side of the body – we called that emotion. She moved as if this was a session of still photography. Then says – “Can I go?” End of film.

I surmised dad had developed his own style which I call the surveillance technique. He’d just stick a camera on you – never move and leave it there.

God bless him because he found another passion in life that stayed with him until he died.

One last story. So pops calls and says – ‘I made a film of that jazz bird you like.” I’m thinking – what is a jazz bird. Then I remembered from youth everyone he had an issue with was a bird. Lord knows why.

So, he goes on telling me – ‘You know that weird bird we saw at the Cincinnati jazz festival that walked around the piano. ‘Thelonious Monk?” Yes that’s the bird. ‘Have you seen it.” I’m thinking – ‘Straight No Chaser”.. Yeah that’s it. I can mail it to you. Then he says – “I didn’t think it was going to be that long – my shoulder’s killing me.” He catches me with that. “Your shoulder’s killing you?” Yeah – I had the camera on my shoulder while I shot if for you.” Are you kidding – you can just record off television I tell him. “Don’t know how to do that.”

God bless pops and the fish that took him.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Thinking!

Damn – Janis Joplin turns seventy! Say it ain’t so..

That hit me like an asteroid smashing my lifeline. It wasn’t that long ago we were plowing around San Francisco in her psychotic Mercedes looking for off-beat pool halls for a night of eight ball. I still hear her hearty laugh and big throaty tone. Anyone who’s ever played the game knows it’s a frustrating mess. It’s one of those disciplines that calls upon the gamesman to ply the craft daily to get anywhere near competent. Janis prided herself on her game.

Pool is all about the chatter. The shots fall accordingly but it’s all about the dialogue in between – the color commentary. We never got heated about any of this just lay down the gauntlet in a sophomoric manner. This was about getting to know a person by letting the phrases fly and see where the humor land.

We are such a polite nation constantly packing a can of Lemon Pledge and smooth cloth to anything that seems to have cracks. Janis was carved from rough lumber with few sanded areas. That’s what made her absolutely adorable and a blast to be around. She made me nervous never knowing if there was a falling off point. Youth has a way of making one feel invincible even if the person next to you is about to jump in front of a train.

Kristine and I saw her the year she died backstage of the Festival Express and she was all giddy and big loving joy. We exchanged hugs and she told us about the new love in her life and the fact she was no longer doing hard drugs. Clean! I never gave that much thought – I just thought this one was real to the bone person I like knowing.

I have never been a party dude yet if I was ever to choose the perfect person to jump head first into to a typhoon it would be Janis. At least the landing would be as exciting as the take-off.

-31 Below zero

I’ve done some insane things on a bike but none as bizarre as shooting around the city in -31 temperatures back in early January 1981.

We were in a profound deep freeze and I wasn’t taking it well. I just wanted to get on with normalcy and climb out of winter’s tomb. NFL playoff football was in high gear and the Oakland Raiders were rolling to a second Superbowl appearance under the guidance of quarterback Jim Plunkett. I’d screamed like a cartoon monkey the year before at drummer Billy Reed’s pad along with Doc and Emilio of the band Tower of Power who were hanging around Toronto savoring the night life and recording some tracks with Billy. Now, that was the kind of game and win every football crank lives for - especially sharing with Oakland’s finest – Doc and Emilio. This was elation beyond hillbilly heroin.

So, the stupid bike-ride.

I would never think of taking a taxi or TTC even when the city was hit with two feet of snow. I’d find a way to slide through the side streets and keep focused on hidden black ice. This particular morning I had to get from Bathurst and Bloor up and over to Merton Avenue. Kris bought me this parka designed for crossing Antarctica. I slip in and hit the road. Five minutes cruising I sense something unusual about the air. It’s frozen! I mean I’m breathing ice crystals and that ain’t good. About a mile into the ride I’m getting seriously worried. Breathing is getting increasingly difficult and ice has gathered around the moustache. Then the mind starts screwing with sanity. This was like one of those nights back when you smoked some friends weed and he kept warning you – ‘this stuff will make you crazy’ and you thought - sure – bring it on and he forgot to tell you you’d be up all night having a private meeting with Jesus promising tomorrow will be the first day of my new life as a community monk.

I’m crossing Oriole Parkway and by now everything seems like some remote Siberian trail with nice houses in the distance. Shit, I can’t breathe! I’m near panic ready to knock on someone’s door. So I get off the bike and start walking. Still can’t get a breath. Damn suffocating! Should I knock on a door and seek refuge? Finally, after cursing myself and sweating fear I come to Davisville and Yonge and people. Glorious! Where the hell were they during this bizarre trip – nowhere. This was one of those severe warnings – stay in or die. Little did I know a record wind chill was on us -44.7.

Anyway, did the meeting – warmed up – caught my breath – thanked Jesus and walked outside to unlock bike. Close by was the subway. I took one look and said – fuck it – and biked home. Never again…

I haven’t been cold since. So even with a few days in near deep freeze ahead I say bring it on! The past two years of Al Gore springtime scare me.

Lance Armstrong

There is not one thing Lance Armstrong can do to slow his fall from grace. I suggest he just put the bike away and apply for a red card to North Korea. In the days ahead he will morph into a rat on wheels and serve up those who helped him cheat the universe. It’s not even the fact he functioned on the blood of others it’s the fact he sued those who told the truth in an effort to destroy them. Ever been there? That’s how this stuff is played! Whoopi  Goldberg speculated the cancer was a result of prolonged steroid use before the ancient one Barbara Walters chimed in on the View and dissed her. Remember Lyle Alzado of the Oakland Raiders – he felt with certainty his brain cancer was directly related. Let’s give Jose Canseco another five years before they remove his nuts. I’m a 365 day a year cyclist and agree the sport should be removed from the Olympics. I’d rather see that silly ribbon dance that a bunch of frauds. Please join me now is three choruses of the Village People’s Macho Man!

City of Dreams

In the early eighties I decided waiting for a recording deal was a futile mistake and I decided to invest in myself and start Night Passage Music. That meant learning how to stock stores, recording, packaging, pressing vinyl. Jazz has always been music of independent means. Jazz had a few could runs when it tilted near mainstream. In 1983, 1984 and 1985 I recorded ‘Ice’ then ‘Avenue B’ then ‘City of Dreams.’ Photographer Deborah Samuel was my go to design specialist as well as photographer. “Avenue B’ would garner a Juno nomination.

By 1988, I was broadcast in 26 cities with the Jazz Report Network, a three hour weekly jazz show heard Saturday and Sunday evenings across Canada through the willpower and energy of Bruce Davidson. At one point we decided to take another shot at the pop market and secured dollars to record a single. I looked at the amount and determined I could do both an album and a single. The pop single hit the used bin faster than the morning classifieds but the album became part of the first wave of international smooth jazz programming. Radio play across North America was tremendous. Two singles came from it ‘Amerasia’ and ‘Magnolia Nights.’ The players were exceptional; Bob Mann and Rob Piltch guitar, Collin Barrett and David Piltch bass, Dave James drums, John Johnson alto sax, Memo Acevedo percussion.

All About the Dogs

I just let Suzie out to do her morning business. Wait a minute – dogs don’t do business. In fact, my dogs have no business sense or responsibilities. Neither are telemarketers or tote a brief case. I have never seen them leave the house in the morning on the way to a meeting. Neither have paid a bill or brought an item of usefulness in the house other than something dead near the curb like a frayed tennis ball or torn arm from a child’s doll. They earn a food living, they stare at me – watch and anticipate my every move - only then do they grant the privilege of giving a full body massage. Last night we were allowing the series ‘Homeland’ a second chance and glad we did - Samson let me steal him from the bedroom closet where at any given moment he’s more than likely chasing bears or racoons in his parallel universe and haul downstairs to be stuffed in a blanket in my lap. Why? Cause that’s what dogs are for. He snorts, whimpers, rolls in circles, high fives the universe with feet in the air - all the while making me the happiest person on the planet.

Getting back to doing the morning business. This is the hardest part of a dog’s day. Lumbering off the back porch on frozen ground sniffing for the perfect location to spin fifteen times and let the kibble blow. Oh what a life ..

Archie Turns 80…

Tonight at the newly inaugurated Paintbox club a full house was in a celebratory mode for one of Toronto’s most renowned jazz musicians Archie Alleyne. Archie turned eighty January 7, 2013 and you would think that milestone alone would have brought the Toronto jazz community out – I’m speaking of musicians in full force. Not a chance! You’d have to pay the players in Toronto union scale to show for your funeral. Christ sake what a sad commentary on this scene. Those that were there got to share in the goodwill of Alleyne who has long been a vocal patriot of jazz always talking about the younger players and keeping everyone aware of a tradition slowly fading. If tonight was any indication Arch is fighting a losing battle. Since jazz moved into the classroom and far from the bandstand there isn’t much to feel positive about. It all starts in the clubs and reverberates beyond. Kudos to Mitchell Cohen and his posse for creating such a lovely venue. I’m sure as word spreads every jazz hand will be at your door looking for a gig yet never attending another.

Thoughts on Obama’s second term..
 First off, I’ve been in motion all day and haven’t caught any ceremony other than watching Beyonce’s ‘Star Spangled Banner’.. passable not Whitney. Beyonce is always good but never bone chilling great.
The door for Obama is open for change and big possibility. I think Obama understands the power points he’s accumulated since winning a second term. I’m not a person who goes blindly with the crowd and cries messiah – there’s no such thing. I never liked his choice of Geithner for Treasury and thought his fixation on banks not people was wallop to the face. The drone thing is troubling except it’s tough to yell killer at the man when a simple flight and smack down is far better than committing 40,000 troops to do the same. The jury is still out on that. The gun issue we both see eye ball to eyeball.
America is an asylum for crazed raging psycho maniacs. You have to be born there to get a read on this. My state of Indiana embraced the Klan – they were holed about outside Madison for eons. That was only a mere sixty miles up the river. I drove there for a craft show years back and was warned about the scum littering the hillsides.
 Republicans have been thrown to the curb – not by Obama but by the absurd hug tree of Tea Partiers, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Congress. America figured out these entities were operating on behalf of the lunatic fringe. Crazy has limits! That doesn’t mean the paranoid hate filled jive will stop but it does push them farther down the toilet drain.

Guns give us shivers. The NRA is way on the wrong side of this issue never giving a round to save a life. Obama has a fight on his hands but my money is on the gloved one.

 Up ahead, a possible new face on the Supreme Court either right or left. Fiscal Cliff, a new cartoon character on Family Guy. Gay rights, climate change, immigration reform, social security, pensions, unions, …

The beauty of this presidency has been the cool that smothers the fire and brimstone prophets. Obama’s family is gorgeous. Photogenic and let’s be honest one stunning wife. Smart – attractive and elegant. Please don’t say Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush. Pro active yet not so fun loving. Laura Bush was cool but under the radar. Rosalind Carter the mother everyone wanted. Michelle Obama –  eleven out of ten!

So let the term begin. I’m sure I’ll continue scratching my head wondering why the O made such a compromise with some radical wing nut but that’s the game of politics. The movie Lincoln offered much insight about getting the deal. You give up a free ride on a circus moose to get  a million vaccinated against poverty.

Obama finds is inner Liberal!

Obama recited the word liberal in a manner that has me smiling like a big dandy today.

It’s been decades since a politician said that word without fear of reprisal. Let me say it’s liberating. I feel as if the stench of Bush and Cheney and FOX News has escaped the planet. Fear was always the driving force not hope and optimism. Bush and Cheney gave us the longest war in American history one resolved by sending a team of Navy Seals to nail the culprit to the carpet. Thank you Mr. Liberal president!

Reading through Obama’s speech was like inhaling the first whiff of an Arctic Spring. Refreshing!

I’ve been without cable eighteen months so I was free of the nauseating pundits riding the past election – no CNN or FOX pukes. The election stayed on the peripheral until Mitt Romney came into play. Even my normally cooking liberal blood stayed house temperature. I knew Mitt was a good joke one that never ceased coughing up punch lines. What I’d hoped would come of this farce was having Obama gather his principles and put them down front and act on them. He spoke eloquently and convincingly yesterday. Obama has an opportunity to become a great president or just more Republican road kill. From what I saw yesterday he gets it! From this cup of morning tea I hope we can as people move ahead and let the past be a lesson and face the future with eagerness, curiosity and compassion. The world around us is changing daily in fact it’s speeding ahead – we just need catch a breath and savor the ride.

Tech Me Up!

I spoke at the Harris Institute late afternoon to a class of forty two students. Part of the time was taken rummaging through my past which always leaves me dry but as soon as we got to what’s happening today and the days ahead I lost it. What a time we live in.

Last night I was bored shitless watching some worthless movie when I pick up the iTablet and start my usual search through Zite. Then I come across an online seminar on Lightroom. Lightroom mostly takes up space on my computer although I do have a basic understanding of its value dealing with raw camera files but having a two hour classroom not only clarified but inspired. This happens every day on a number of interests. I’m not a games guy or one who wastes energy screaming about world evil – not much time for that yet I’m in perpetual awe.

The recording industry is a mess - old models don’t work anymore. I hear the tears the anguish for bygone days and none of this gives my pulse a rise. I’m also not one who gripes about today being the most relevant in history or beg for new skin to start over. Damn it.. television started when I was a child. I’m glad I was around for that - catching pops roll a color console into the living room was a far bigger thrill than any Superbowl. I’m also glad I was there when the first stereo system entered out home and I played Streisand over and over and nearly fractured my ears in ecstasy.

We are moving at a techno speed that could now be measured in light speed. From our breakfast table between bites a world of change is occurring at a pace that would make those sloshing through mud a century ago on the way to a feed store hide in a safe house. You can no longer complain and piss in your beer. You’ve got to strap yourself in and hitch a ride. Learning is the best remedy for helplessness.

I can’t even begin to imagine where all this will lead other than eventual travel through far regions of the universe and man am I up for the journey. I’ll keep you posted if I get any messages from Zorcon the Magnificent and his merry band of space maruders !