Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another great guitar picker has left us.

Scotty Moore was the king.

Cool interview done a few years ago by Deke Dickerson.


Jim Harrison

I just remembered a serious argument.
On my seventy-fifth birthday I had the firm sense
that I was a hundred seventy-five. She disagreed.
“Look at your driver’s license,” she said. I said you know
the state of Montana took my license from me. She
went to my briefcase and got out my passport.
“You’re a mere seventy-five,” she said.
I said, “How can you trust the government
in this important matter?” I went to bed
after a couple of drinks believing I was a hundred
seventy-five. In the morning I felt
only seventy-five and apologized at breakfast.
I’d lost a hundred years and felt light,
younger, more energetic. As a boy I saw in Life
magazine photos of the Civil War veterans. I don’t
think there are any left, are there?
They would have to be a hundred seventy-five.
Sometimes I remember aspects of that damnable war.

Wish I could lose a hundred years.


Gary Ewer has some great ideas.

If you're looking to increase your songwriting output, here are some tips that might help:

1-Schedule your songwriting. It doesn't have to be the same time every day, but scheduling it into your day equates to treating your songwriting efforts with respect.

2-Keep several songs on the go at any one time. Some of the best progress you can make on a song happens when you've set it aside, apparently not thinking about it. Use that time to start working on something new. You won't get them confused, so there's almost no way to have too many irons in the fire.

3-Explore many different styles. If you write standard pop songs, you need to branch out and start to explore the many different sub-genres that will give your music a new, unique sound. The best way to facilitate this is...

4-Listen to music every day. Listening is one of the best ways to expand your own personal writing style. It's easy to get advice these days on what you could or should be listening to. Type "best metal music", "best country music", etc., into a search engine, and you'll be amazed at how it can change your own approach to songwriting.

5-Partner up with another songwriter. Finding a songwriting collaborator that you really feel comfortable with may not be easy, but you'll reap the rewards. That other writer will take your own writing in a new direction, and as long as it's someone you find easy to work with, there's almost no downside.

Tip 2 is my holy grail. Things jump up and grab you after sleeping in a file for a week or two.

Tip 4 is a no brainer.


String Theory
Ronald Wallace

I have to believe a Beethoven
string quartet is not unlike
the elliptical music of gossip:
one violin excited
to pass its small story along
to the next violin and the next
until, finally, come full circle,
the whole conversation is changed.

And I have to believe such music
is at work at the deep heart of things,
that under the protons and electrons,
behind the bosons and quarks,
with their bonds and strange attractors,
these strings, these tiny vibrations,
abuzz with their big ideas,
are filling the universe with gossip,
the unsung art of small talk

that, not unlike busybody Beethoven,
keeps us forever together, even
when everything’s flying apart.


Canned Heat         “Going Up The Country”
Rick Moore

Bonnaroo starts in a few days, with dozens of bands and artists taking its stages. Lollapalooza, Summerfest, and many more huge music festivals occur around the world these days. But nothing will ever be quite like the one that started it all in August 1969: Woodstock. And there will never be another artist quite like Canned Heat’s Alan Wilson, who wrote and sang the band’s single “Going Up The Country” and performed it on the second day of that legendary, record-shattering event.

A song about getting away from the rat race of the city and heading for a rural area, “Going Up The Country” had been a Canned Heat hit before Woodstock. But it became Woodstock’s unofficial anthem, since getting out of town and back to nature was what the festival on Max Yasgur’s New York farm represented to so many. The song had been a track on Canned Heat’s Living the Blues album the year before, and had reached number 11 on the Billboard singles chart. Being performed at Woodstock, and its inclusion on the festival’s triple-LP soundtrack recording, helped prolong the song’s life and the life of the band as well. The studio version of the song was played over a video montage in the Woodstock movie, but the band’s live performance wasn’t included in the original film.

“Going Up the Country” is basically a 12-bar blues that was undeniably inspired by the song “Bull-Doze Blues” by 1920s songster Henry Thomas. Alan Wilson, a devotee of the music from that era, was no doubt familiar with Thomas’ song. The lyrics of “Bull-Doze Blues,” repetitious lines about Thomas leaving his woman and then changing his mind, have nothing in common with Wilson’s lyrics, lines like I’m going where the water tastes like wine/ We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time. But the flute introduction by Jim Horn (who has since played with everyone from U2 to Garth Brooks) is a nearly note-for-note re-creation of Thomas’ 1927 intro, which Thomas played on the “quills,” or a type of cane reed flute. What really caught the ear of 1968 radio listeners, though, was Wilson’s voice, a falsetto/high tenor influenced by bluesman Skip James that was instantly recognizable. Wilson was also an accomplished blues guitar and harmonica player who was actually enlisted to teach Son House to play his own songs after House had forgotten them.

Given even the royalty rates of that era, Wilson should have done well financially with sole authorship of a song that was on a successful album, was a hit single, and was part of both the Woodstock album and movie. Sadly, he wasn’t around long enough to collect much of it. The 27-year-old Wilson became a member of the “27 Club” when he died from an overdose (perhaps intentional) in 1970, just two weeks before another Woodstock performer, Jimi Hendrix, joined that club as well.

Give it a listen-

Live from Woodstock.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thanks Lauren Purje for the memories. I would add a fishing frame.

This is cool.

Thanks Vincent!


Good stuff from Jason Blume.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join together this music with this lyric in holy matrimony …

As it relates to songwriting, the marriage of words and music is referred to as prosody. When prosody is effectively employed, a song’s music and lyrics present a united front that clarifies and enhances the emotions its writers hoped to convey. Several tools can be employed to bring together a song’s various elements so that they work in sync to impart the feeling the writers intended to evoke.

The simplest way to achieve a sense of prosody is to be sure your song’s words and music convey the same emotion— for example, pairing happy words, such as “Loving you puts a smile on my heart” with music that feels happy. Similarly, gloomy phrases, such as, “I can’t bear to face another day without you,” are typically teamed with music that evokes a sense of sadness. But what makes a piece of music sound happy or sad?

Using Chords to Evoke the Desired Emotion

A melody can be harmonized in an infinite number of ways. Depending on the choice of chords, bass notes, and other accompaniments, the same melody can evoke a wide variety of emotions. Minor chords, and in some instances, diminished chords, typically help to telegraph a sense of melancholy in a song, while major chords tend to have the opposite effect.

While there are no rules in songwriting—only tools—a funeral dirge or a blues song will almost certainly be built around a progression that includes minor chords, while most happy songs will have a predominance of major chords. It’s interesting to note that the inclusion of a minor chord (Cm7) four times in the chorus of Pharrell’s “Happy” does not make the melody sound sad.

Only by trying a variety of chords with our melodies can we assess how each variation affects the emotion being expressed. Choose those chords that best amplify the feeling you want your melody to evoke.

Using Melody to Enhance Emotion

Chords are not the only element that encourage listeners to feel a specific way. Your choice of notes—and the way those notes interact with your chords—play a crucial role in determining the emotion your music conveys.

Few songs sound more mournful than Hank Williams’ country classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Yet, surprisingly, that song includes no minor chords. In Williams’ song, the sense of sadness in the melody is induced by the choice of notes, and how those notes interact with the major chords.

Another factor that contributes to “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” feeling forlorn is the “shape” of the melodic lines. Listen to the song and you’ll notice that the end of every melodic phrase descends to finish on a low note. In fact, the last note of each line is the lowest note in that four-bar phrase.

If the notes of Williams’ classic song were charted on a graph it would show that every line has a shape that curves downward and ends lowers than where it began. This same technique can be observed on many of the lines in Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.” While this is certainly not the only way to express sadness in a melody, it can be an effective tool and is found in many successful sad songs.

Choose Notes That Are Consistent With Your Lyric’s Meaning

Another way to achieve consistency between words and music is to examine the meaning of the words and pair them with notes and intervals that magnify their meaning. For example, words such as “rise,” “fly”, “soar,” and “high” are typically matched with high notes. Similarly, low notes are likely to accompany words such as “low,” “bottom,” and “bass.” A perfect example of this technique can be found in Garth Brooks’ mega-hit “Friends in Low Places” (written by Dewayne Blackwell and Earl Bud Lee). The note that accompanies the word “low” is indeed a low note; in fact, it is the lowest note in the song.

When interviewed for my book, 6 Steps to Songwriting Success, hit writer George Teren (Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Britney Spears, Tim McGraw…) stated, “Great melodies are simple, memorable, and enhance the mood and emotions set forth in the lyric.”

Emotionally significant melodic moments—melodic highpoints of a song—are most effective when matched with words that convey significant emotion. Conversely, it is best to avoid pairing important melodic moments with words such as “and,” “it,” they,” and “the.”

For example, in Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” when she sings “We could have had it all,” the note that accompanies the word “all” is the highest note of that musical phrase and it is held out longer than the notes that surround it. It would have sounded silly if that big, emotion-evoking note had been assigned to the word “the” or “it.”

Allowing the Music to “Write” the Words (and Vice Versa)

When I teach prosody in my songwriting workshops I sometimes play the eight-bar instrumental intro of the song “Back to Your Heart,” which I wrote with Gary Baker and Kevin Richardson and was included on the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium album. I ask my students to tell me what they believe the lyric of the song will be about, based solely on the musical introduction. They consistently respond with answers such as, “It’s about longing and heartache,” “yearning,” “melancholy,” and “missing someone.” These are indeed the themes the lyric expresses. In this instance, the musical intro came first and evoked such clear emotion that it essentially dictated what the accompanying lyric should say.

Michelangelo famously stated that his statue of David was waiting within the marble. Similarly, our melodies are waiting within our lyrics—and lyrics are waiting to be born from within our melodies. Ideally, if words and music are not created simultaneously, whichever element is written first should lead us to its perfect counterpart.

Using Rhythms and Phrasing to Help Convey Your Message

Rhythms and phrasing—specifically, the use of long, versus short notes—and how those notes relate to each other— powerfully impact your music’s message. For example, long, held-out legato notes combined with a sparse lyric convey a very different feel from rapid-fire, hip-hop-influenced melodies.

Taylor Swift’s #1 hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” that she wrote with Max Martin and Shellback is an excellent example of how the phrasing of the vocal melody can contribute to a song’s message. The rhythm that Swift sings in the verses makes her delivery believable and relatable to her audience. The syncopated rhythms in the chorus melody help underscore the emphatic message that we are indeed NEVER getting back together.

By exploring various rhythms within our vocal melodies we can find those rhythms that best enhance the emotion we’re hoping to deliver.


In preparation for this article I asked my Facebook friends, most of whom are songwriters, to share examples of songs that do not incorporate prosody. It was interesting to note the extent to which there is a subjective aspect to whether a melody is “happy” or “sad.”

But some songs do indeed seem to have happy melodies that accompany sad lyrics. Don Gibson’s country classic “Oh Lonesome Me” pairs a lyric that tells a story of heartbreak with an upbeat, peppy melody. The lack of prosody did not stop Gibson’s recording from sitting at the #1 spot on the Billboard charts for eight weeks. Decades later the Kentucky Headhunters took the same song to the top-10, and Johnny Cash’s version went to #13.

There are many additional examples of songs with music and lyrics that don’t seem to go together. It’s interesting to note that in most of these instances sad lyrics are matched with happy melodies. There are few successful instances of mournful melodies accompanying happy lyrics.

In some cases, pairing a happy melody with sad words is done to invoke a sense of sarcasm or irony. But in many instances, this doesn’t seem to be intended. It’s possible that these songs work despite the disparity because many listeners prefer upbeat, feel-good melodies, and don’t always pay close attention to the lyric. It’s also possible that some listeners find sad lyrics to be more palatable when accompanied by an upbeat melody. Regardless of the reason, there are notable examples of songs that do not incorporate prosody—however, most successful songs do indeed incorporate this tool.

The Prosody Test

Record an instrumental version of your melody, or a version that replaces the lyric with a nonsense syllable such as “ahh,” “ohh,” or “ooh.” Listen back to your recording and ask yourself to identify the feeling the music evokes. If you’re unsure, ask a friend. If your music and your lyric are not expressing the same mood and emotion—and that was not your intent—it is probably time for a rewrite.

Ideally, we want all the elements of a song to work together to collectively deliver one clear emotion to our listeners. Multiple elements contribute to the feeling a song evokes. These include tempo, musical arrangement, vocal delivery, chords, note choices, and the phrasing and rhythm within the vocal melody. By being conscious of these aspects we can create songs that connect with our listeners—and elicit the emotions we intended.

Jason Blume is the author of This Business of Songwriting and 6 Steps to Songwriting Success (Billboard Books). His songs are on three Grammy-nominated albums and have sold more than 50,000,000 copies. One of only a few writers to ever have singles on the pop, country, and R&B charts, all at the same time— his songs have been recorded by artists including Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, the Gipsy Kings, Jesse McCartney, and country stars including Collin Raye (6 cuts), the Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Azar, and John Berry (“Change My Mind,” a top 5 single that earned a BMI “Million-Aire” Award for garnering more than one million airplays). Jason’s song “Can’t Take Back the Bullet” is on Hey Violet’s new EP that debuted in the top-10 in twenty-two countries and reached #1 throughout Scandinavia and Asia. He’s had three top-10 singles in the past two years and a “Gold” record in Europe by Dutch star, BYentl, including a #1 on the Dutch R&B iTunes chart.

Jason’s songs have been included in films and TV shows including “Scrubs,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Assassination Games,” Disney’s “Kim Possible” “Dangerous Minds,” “Kickin’ it Old Skool,” “The Guiding Light,” “The Miss America Pageant,” and many more. Jason is in his nineteenth year of teaching the BMI Nashville Songwriters workshops. A regular contributor to BMI’s Music World magazine, he presented a master class at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (founded by Sir Paul McCartney) and teaches songwriting throughout the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, the U.K., Canada, Bermuda, and Jamaica.

After twelve years as a staff-writer for Zomba Music, Blume now runs Moondream Music Group. For additional information about Jason’s online SongSchool webinars, latest books, instructional audio recordings, and workshops, visit


Taxi is a classic.

Great read by Rick Moore.

John Lennon (and others before him) said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Kenny Chesney said, “Don’t Blink.” The passage of time is the subject of Harry Chapin’s 1972 hit “Taxi,” a song about turning dreams into reality before we wake up one day to find that years have disappeared.

From his first album Heads & Tales, “Taxi” established Chapin as a major writing talent and an idiosyncratic, but accomplished, vocalist. In the role of a taxi driver, Chapin sings about picking up a fare who turns out to be an old flame on a rainy night. He speaks of how the two ended their lusty relationship to go their separate ways in pursuit of youthful ambitions, but a decade or so later (as Chapin wasn’t yet 30 years old when he cut this) they turned out to not have found much success. Or did they?      

In a masterful bridge of sorts, Chapin captures the angst of what so many people with big dreams go  through when they realize the flame is still flickering, but they’ve been skating through life and settling for second best or less: Oh, I’ve got something inside me/ To drive a princess blind/ There’s a wild man, wizard/ He’s hiding in me, illuminating my mind/ Oh, I’ve got something inside me/cNot what my life’s about/ ’Cause I’ve been letting my outside tide me/ Over ’til my time, runs out.

Following that passage, Chapin’s bass player sings in falsetto, Baby’s so high that she’s skying/ Yes she’s flying, afraid to fall/ I’ll tell you why baby’s crying/ ’Cause she’s dying, aren’t we all. On Wikipedia these lines are attributed to the late poet Sylvia Plath, but no citation is noted, and an examination of Plath’s work finds no basis for this assertion. She died nearly a decade before this song was recorded and only Chapin’s name is on the copyright, so the claim is dubious at best. Anyone with any real knowledge of this is encouraged to leave a comment below to help set the record straight.

The song ends with the driver, who had wanted to be a pilot, justifying his life by saying that he still gets to fly when he’s stoned in his cab. And the woman, who had wanted to be an actress, now lives a relatively affluent life and gets to act like she’s satisfied with it. So in a sense, they both got what they wanted. Chapin picked up where “Taxi” leaves off in 1980 with the single “Sequel,” a song about a reunion of the man and woman set to a re-arrangement of essentially the same chord changes.

Clocking in at over six minutes, the cinematic “Taxi” was a longshot to get action as a radio single, but it did well on the charts and gave Chapin huge career momentum. Chapin, from a family of notable musicians who include daughter Jen Chapin, died in a car wreck in 1981. But he left an impressive body of work that includes “Taxi,” which many consider his finest song.

Give it a listen.

Harry Chapin

It was raining hard in 'Frisco
I needed one more fare to make my night
A lady up ahead waved to flag me down
She got in at the lights

"Oh, where you going to, my lady blue?"
It's a shame you ruined your gown in the rain
She just looked out the window, she said
"Sixteen Park side Lane"

Something about her was familiar
I could swear I'd seen her face before
But she said, "I'm sure you're mistaken"
Then she didn't say anything more

It took a while but she looked in the mirror
Then she glanced at the license for my name
A smile seemed to come to her slowly
It was a sad smile, just the same

And she said, "How are you, Harry?"
I said, "How are you, Sue?
Through the too many miles and the too little smiles
I still remember you"

It was somewhere in a fairy tale
I used to take her home in my car
We learned about love in the back of a Dodge
The lesson hadn't gone too far

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
I took off to find the sky

Oh, I've got something inside me
To drive a princess blind
There's a wild man, wizard
He's hiding in me, illuminating my mind

Oh, I've got something inside me
But it's not what my life's about
'Cause I've been letting my outside tide me
Over till my time runs out

Baby's so high that she's skying
Yes she's flying, afraid to fall
I'll tell you why baby's crying
She's dying, aren't we all?

There was not much more for us to talk about
Whatever we had once was gone
So I turned my cab into the driveway
Past the gates and the fine trimmed lawns

And she said, "We must get together"
But I knew it'd never be arranged
Then she handed me twenty dollars for a two-fifty fare
She said, "Harry, keep the change"

Well another man might have been angry
And another man might have been hurt
But another man never would have let her go
I stashed the bill in my shirt.

And she walked away in silence
It's strange how you never know
But we'd both gotten what we'd asked for
Such a long, long time ago

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off for the sky

And here, she's acting happy
Inside her handsome home
And me, I'm flying in my taxi
Taking tips, getting stoned

I go flying so high when I'm stoned


Sir Paul on songwriting from NPR interview.

You'd figure Paul McCartney, the most well-known songwriter on planet Earth, would, by now, have confidence in his ability to write a song. But as he tells us in this week's All Songs +1 podcast, "You never get it down. I don't know how to do this. You'd think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever really know how to do."

The occasion for this informal, candid conversation with Paul McCartney is a new box set, Pure McCartney, that compiles 67 songs from his nearly five decades as a solo artist. We asked what it was like to sift through something like 30 albums of material to distill a career down into a few dozen songs. But over the course of this 40-minute discussion, he opened up about much more, from his memories of working with John Lennon to his creative process, how he stays inspired and why, as he tells us, he sometimes thinks he should take songwriting more seriously.

One thing became so clear: After all these years, he is still in love with making music, and there's a spark of wonder and enthusiasm in the way he approaches songwriting.

Paul McCartney spoke to us from the Hog Hill Mill studio in East Sussex. You can listen to the full interview at the link above or read edited highlights below.

On his songwriting process:
"If I was to sit down and write a song, now, I'd use my usual method: I'd either sit down with a guitar or at the piano and just look for melodies, chord shapes, musical phrases, some words, a thought just to get started with. And then I just sit with it to work it out, like I'm writing an essay or doing a crossword puzzle. That's the system I've always used, that John [Lennon] and I started with. I've really never found a better system and that system is just playing the guitar and looking for something that suggests a melody and perhaps some words if you're lucky. Then I just fiddle around with that and try and follow the trail, try and follow where it appears to be leading me. And sometimes it leads me down a blind alley so I have to retrace my steps and start again down another road.

"But I'm of the school of the instinctive. I once worked with Allen Ginsberg and Allen always used to say, 'First thought, best thought.' And then he would edit everything. But I think the theory is good. 'First thought, best thought.' It doesn't always work, but as a general idea I will try and do that and sometimes I come out with a puzzling set of words that I have no idea what I mean, and yet I've got to kind of make sense of it and follow the trail."

On the personal relationship behind his work with John Lennon:
"Well I work with other people all the time, [but] I mean obviously the biggie is I miss working with John because that was something very special and you know it's very difficult to replicate that. In fact it's almost impossible because we met each other as teenagers and went through a lot of life together: hitchhiking to Paris and holidays and working together and being in Hamburg together with The Beatles. So we were very intimate, we knew each other intimately as only teenage friends can."

On 'Live And Let Die' and writing for a series like James Bond:
"I kind of liked it — number one because growing up as a songwriter one of the things a lot of songwriters aspire to doing is writing a 'Bond' song, at that time particularly. So really the only restriction I was given was it was for a Bond film so I had to see what my interpretation of that would be and the title, you know there was no way around that. So it was kind of obvious what I would do with it. It was obvious that I was going to do a play on 'live and let live' and 'live and let die.' I knew I could start it in my style but fairly soon there had to be an explosion and it had to get 'Bond'-y. So that's what I did. I read the book — I think it was on a Saturday — I read the Ian Fleming book to see what I was getting into and then sat down on Sunday and wrote the song. And then I had a section that I knew I needed help on so I got George Martin, our Beatles producer, to help me on that, and again I just threw him a couple of plunks and plinks of ideas which he orchestrated. You know, he was such an expert that he could make it sound like a Bond soundtrack.

"So it wasn't restricting in that nobody said to me, 'Well you gotta do this and you gotta do that.' I just knew if I was starting kind of ballad-style, which I was, then I had to up the tempo and you know make it more Bond-like. But I like that: You know, I think some people would think, 'No no no, you've got to just write purely from the soul,' but I quite like songwriting sometimes as a craft where you're given an idea and you've got to make it work."

The idea behind 'Band On The Run':
"'Band On The Run' starts off in one place and goes to another place. It's a sort of story song, an episodic thing. But I wanted that because I wanted to write that kind of a song and also with the idea of a 'band on the run.' I thought, 'Okay, well the characters have got to be in prison at first and then for them to be a band on the run they got to break out. So these little story points were kind of obvious, they sort of suggested to themselves: Prison, break out, on the run, nighttime in the desert. And so that was a nice one to write but I did start off thinking I'm going to write that kind of a song [with lots of changes]."

On never feeling confident as a songwriter:
"There is no sort of point you just think, 'Okay, now I can do it, I'll just sit down and do it.' It's a little more fluid than that. You talk to people who make records or albums and you always go into the studio thinking, 'Oh, well I know this! I've got a lot of stuff down, you know, I write.' And then you realize that you're doing it all over again you're starting from square one again. You've never got it down. It's this fluid thing, music. I kind of like that. I wouldn't like to be blasé or think, 'Oh you know I know how to do this.' In fact I teach a class at a the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys — I do a little songwriting class with the students — and nearly always the first thing I go in and say [is], 'I don't know how to do this. You would think I do, but it's not one of these things you ever know how to do. You know I can say to you: Select the key. We will now select a rhythm. Now make a melody. Now think of some great words,' That's not really the answer."

On the need to keep working:
"I do like it. I do enjoy it. I mean, when I get a day off and I've suddenly got loads of time on my hands, I might do the kind of thing where I'm at home — I live on a farm — so I might get out for a horse ride or something. But when I've done those things that I want to do and there is still a couple of hours in the afternoon, I'll often just gravitate to a piano or a guitar and I feel myself just kind of writing a song. It's like a hobby, and it's a hobby that turned into a living. But I like to think of it that way and I sometimes kind of pull myself up and say, 'Are you taking this seriously enough? Maybe you should try a little bit more.'"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Super interview with Chris Hillman.


Jay Dee Maness says Desert Rose Band was the best band he played with.


A Life 
Michelle Y. Burke

Each afternoon he took his pipe
and led his goats beyond the pasture
to a neighbor’s field behind his farm—
not exactly his but not exactly not.

As the goats dipped the tall grasses,
he sat in the chair he never failed
to bring. Sometimes he read, most often
not. The vetch climbed the goldenrod,

the dandelions turned from gold
to globe, and every day he went,
thinking to himself how good it was
to be almost but not entirely alone.

Good stuff.

Illustrated guide to math.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rock Island National Cemetery.

My Dad was a Master Sergeant in the Army and spent 5 years in the South Pacific. My Mom was a Chief Yeoman in the Navy and spent 5 years in Washington, DC.

They each had a full military funeral on Friday June 3, 2016.

The Navy went first honoring my Mom with a nice ceremony and gun salute.

A flag was folded and presented to my little sister Sheila.

The Army followed with the same and presented a flag to me.

They share the same gravestone.

I also visited my Uncle Jerry.

My cousin Steve.

 My Godfather Uncle Charles.

My Grandfather and Grandmother.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Longer days and sun kissed skin fuel playful creativity.

Soothing summer trance of a bobber dance.

 I meant this kind of bobber dance..........


Lot of truth in this.

It's easy to overthink things.

You can color the world with 3 crayons; red, yellow and blue.


 Thanks Lynda Barry.


This poem really digs it out of you.

The Man in the Yard 
  Howard Nelson

My father told me once
that when he was about twenty
he had a new girlfriend, and once
they stopped by the house on the way
to somewhere, just a quick stop
to pick something up,
and my grandfather, who wasn’t well—
it turned out he had TB and would die
at fifty-two—-was sitting in a chair
in the small back yard, my father
knew he was out there, and it crossed
his mind that he should take his girlfriend
out back to meet him, but he
didn’t, whether for embarrassment
at the sick, fading man
or just because he was in a hurry
to be off on his date, he didn’t
say, but he told the little,
uneventful story anyway, and said
that he had always regretted
not doing that simple, courteous
thing, the sick man sitting in
the sun in the back yard would
have enjoyed meeting her, but
instead he sat out there alone
as they came and left, young
lovers going on a date. He
always regretted it, he said.


I am going to check a few of these out.

Pun intended.


Oh, the joys of modern art!

I am getting flooded with ideas of stuff to leave around then watch people react.

Don't truly understand the science behind this.
But, I do know it is the truth. And scarey.
Technology is just a maze we run in.
 Sometimes I feel like a carnival mouse. 
Machine logarithms are making decisions for us.