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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sometimes I feel. . .

. . . like a motherless child. Good song. But that's not really what I meant.
Sometimes I do feel like a square peg without a round hole in sight.

But that can be a good thing as well as a bad one.

As far as the bad, my best friend and children know and understand me well. That's GOOD, of course. The bad part of it is that I have to be careful when I'm with EVERYONE ELSE!! That's not so bad though. Because if you think about it, life is all about coping with specific situations all the time and no one should expect to be able to relax and completely be oneself all the time. It's education. It's character building. One should be able to receive as well as give. (If you can dish it out, you should be able to take it.) And it's not that I don't WANT to be with others. I do. I know some great people and I thoroughly enjoy being with them and sharing those things that we do have in common. Still though, square peg Man.

My music is sometimes difficult to force into the round holes, especially those round marketing holes. But you know what, that's not going to stop me. Matter of fact, it fuels me. Look at the innovators through the years. Bird, Monk, Diz, Coltrane, Dolphy, Taylor. Not saying I am worthy to be mentioned in such company, but they are inspiration. Even composers of the classics throughout the years were not always appreciated in their own time. Certainly artists and writers find the same circumstances as musicians. Possibly even statesmen. Harry Truman was certainly not as popular in his lifetime as he became with the wisdom of hindsight.

So if you're a fellow square peg, or an ant with an eye on a rubber tree plant, the little train that could, or (insert random cliche regarding standing up to odds that are stacked against you), take heart. Don't compromise a principal that is worth standing up for. Whoa Man, this has gotten a little too heavy. Please, take it Ladies. . .




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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One size fits ya'll. . .

. . . goes the joke about jeans in Texas, but buying new furniture for an old house is no joke. Or should I ask, can you buy furniture today and NOT have to worry about it being delivered through a door of an OLD house?

Now there was a time when I would have thought a 55 year-old house wasn't really that old. But it seems that today, furniture is just BIG!!!

So our evening was spent measuring doorways and our existing furniture (couches, to be specific) to try to determine whether there would be any problem having a new couch delivered through our basement door.

The good folks where we purchased this gem were kind enough to provide illustrations of a similar couch, showing how and where to measure and stressing the dimension of the most relevance.

Needless to say, the couch in the illustration was actually seven inches larger at a crucial dimension than the one we purchased. Does that make a difference??? I would think so.

Now this is very difficult to explain, but I'll try to be brief and simple. You place a straight line from the top of the backrest to the outer edge of the armrest, then run your tape measure diagonally from the middle of that straight edge to the far bottom corner (I think it's the foot, in our case) of the piece.

If the couch in the illustration is 37" deep, that opposite diagonal dimension is 30". So my question is, and I was never good with math, geometry, chemistry, calculus, algebra or any of those, if my couch is only 30" deep, won't the opposite diagonal dimension be smaller that 30", and therefore fit easily through my doorway which is probably about 28" wide at most??

I don't know!!!!!




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Monday, November 28, 2011

A different kind of world. . .

from The Sins of Scripture by John Shelby Spong
©2005 John Shelby Spong

". . . the scriptures that tell his story must be transformed into a universal story, true (as a time- and place-bound story could never be) to who Jesus was and what he said and did. This is why these scriptures can never again be used to denigrate, hurt, oppress, enslave or diminish the humanity of any person. This is why the church must cease its quest for power, authority and that most insidious temptation of all, internal unity, and begin to transform the world to reconcile our differences and to make known a barrier-free humanity. We cannot pray the Jesus prayer, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' unless we are willing to act as agents of that in-breaking kingdom by giving up our petty divisions, our recessive claims and our symbols of power and begin to devote all our energies to building a different kind of world."





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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Small entry . . .

. . . for a musical giant on Wikipedia . . .

"David Murray was born in Oakland, California, USA. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp. He gradually evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model, choosing instead to incorporate elements of mainstream players Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Paul Gonsalves into his mature style. Despite this, he recorded a tribute to Coltrane, Octet Plays Trane, in 1999. His 1996 tribute to the Grateful Dead, Dark Star, was also critically well received.

Murray was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. He has recorded or performed with musicians such as Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Olu Dara, Tani Tabbal, Butch Morris, Donal Fox, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Ed Blackwell, Johnny Dyani, and Steve McCall. David Murray's use of the circular breathing technique has enabled him to play astonishingly long phrases.

He is currently living in Sines, Portugal, and participates every year in the FMM festival, a World's Music Festival."

The list of his recordings is substantially larger. In fact, too large to reproduce here. But you can view it at http://go54321.tripod.com/dm/davidmurray.html

[Note: That's Baltimore/DC's own Lafayette Gilchrist on piano]




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Saturday, November 26, 2011

With this kind of news. . .

. . . who needs despair? (Is it me or is something wrong with this statement?)

(from an online MSNBC story about the economy)
". . . Without a clearer picture of where the economy is headed, businesses are going to be reluctant to undertake the kind of hiring that will help the economy accelerate more. . ."

Actually, this is probably spot-on logic in the minds of the "job creators" who choose to pocket the max at this terrible time.

. . . and the music goes round and round.




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Friday, November 25, 2011

Never discuss politics. . .

. . . or related topics with your family. I think, and hope, that although I ventured into that dangerous turf, I may have survived this ordeal 'relatively' unscathed. And I hope that I perceive correctly because I sincerely respect their points of view, although I am still entitled to my own and chose to defend it to the point where my loved one expressed some visible discomfort with the boisterous debate that ensued; even though she thoroughly agrees with me.

I don't understand why some of the 99% do not even realize that they fall precisely within that percentage.

Further. . .the significance of the Occupy movements could eventually rival the impact of the civil rights movement. Not only are many confused members of the 99% missing, priests, pastors and clergy of every kind are conspicuously absent.

The evils that sparked these protests are real and critical to the well-being of lots of people. Instead of feeling proud of giving turkeys to the poor, religious and non-religious alike should be joining in the protests against the haughty rich.

". . . The current crop of national bank leaders are being shown to be just as corrupt as were the temple bankers of Jesus day. If Jesus were present among us today, he would be moving from Portland, to Los Angeles to Kansas City, to Dallas, up to Chicago and on to Wall Street in New York City. He would join the protest in every city. . ."
(from Howard Bess)

Above inspired by writings of Howard Bess
[The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska. His email address is HYPERLINK "mailto:hdbss@mtaonline.net" hdbss@mtaonline.net]




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More thanks. . .

. . . Continuing with the Thanksgiving theme. . . I knew that ONE day, ONE MEASLY HOLIDAY, would not be sufficient to encompass (or be sufficiently inclusive) of all the thanks that I feel I should express at this time in my life. So I will continue on that theme today so that I do not neglect any significant personages deserving of my gratitude at this apropos time.

So I will add to the thanks expressed previously, I am also thankful (not to some bearded man in a golden chair sitting high in the clouds) to Todd, Rod, Tomy, Doug and Ron who have been in my life for the past three or four years and who have contributed to my artistic development, my confidence in myself, and in my confidence in the process of community, support and artistry which continues to give me strength and courage to continue in my pursuit of success in the musical realm.




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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gee, Thanks!. . .

. . . Most holidays really bother me. It's just me. Many times I feel like we set aside a special day, we give it a name, we develop a tradition involving some specific ceremonial details like fireworks, trees, gifts and always food (one the better parts of the process). But the purpose of the observance is usually to honor, remember, be thankful for someone or something for which honor, remembrance or thanks should be a regular part of our lives. I don't know, it just seems like we pull it out of a drawer or closet every year, dust it off and play with it for a day, then put it away to be forgotten until next time- usually a year later. Is 'contrived' the word I'm looking for.

This is why I have a particular dislike of what I usually call the "Hallmark" holidays. You know them, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Babies Day, Doggie Day and Dog Day Afternoon. . . the list goes on. And my dislike developed in my early adult years. I have (had) no problem acknowledging and thanking my Mother, for example, for all her love, care and sacrifice devoted to me and the whole family. But after childhood and all fun of picking out that greeting card, I began to think that it was a bit shallow, or should I say narrow, to whip out this gratitude only one day a year. I think it diminished the magnitude of the very thing it attempted to honor by confining it neatly to one day and conveniently making the greeting card (and in some cases, a complete industry so money could be made-which is another story completely) to commemorate the occasion.

I'm not saying I ignore these 'holidays' or special days. I would be a complete outcast if I tried. (And my wife would probably divorce me.) They are, as it is said, what they are. I do try to make the best of them but still voice my thanks, gratitude, love, honor etc. to or about the things about which I feel very strongly throughout the entire year and not singly on the 'one' day designated.

And on this Thanksgiving day, since I agree with John Shelby Spong that there is no person-like God who is intimately invested in the minutiae of human life and to whom I am obliged to offer these thanks for fear of punishment or desire of a heavenly afterlife, I offer my thanks directly to the sources to whom I am grateful. First and foremost, my best friend, love of my life, housemate, soulmate, co-parent of our wonderful sons- my wife Pam. Thanks Hon! (Yes, I'm from Baltimore) And this year I am thinking about some old friends who probably not fully aware of the influence they exerted upon me during certain periods of my development, have now re-entered my life and have brought back not only wonderful memories, have brought a new dimension to my present life, Clint and Jay.

Gee, Thanks.





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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yeah, so what!!. . .

. . .$600 million to be cut from the military. I’m no expert on this, but I do know two things. I know my gut and I know how to budget.

My gut tells me that war is wrong. It’s just plain wrong. Now to this, the military consultants, the conservative think tanks, the republican party (and almost half the people I know) will say,“but we must be prepared to defend ourselves.” And maybe surprisingly to them, I actually agree. But invading Iraq, sending troops to Libya and threatening military action against Iran cannot even loosely be described as defending ourselves. Oh there may be all kinds of bad things happening in these places and yes, they may even reach us eventually. But until they reach us, and ONLY WHEN they do reach us, will defending ourselves actually become one of our options. And at that point, it will most certainly be a good choice.

But NOT before!

Fatalistic though it may sound, any world in which we must interpret (or define) the military actions we have taken many times in the past as DEFENSIVE, is not a world in which I (for one?) choose to survive. Any imperialistic entity that believes (in this year of 2011) that they can truly and indefinitely subdue ALL countries, territories or federations with whom they do not agree, or who chose NOT to do the kind of business asked of them, by sheer brute force has not learned ANYTHING from written history.

That’s the GUT part.

The budget part is quite short, simple and to the aesthetically-inclined, sweet. In order to balance a budget some spending must be reduced. Logically, the areas in which the MOST is spent would be the places to begin. Cut, stop, end, fine.




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A word or two. . .

. . . here about 'coolness' and musical instruments, the relation of one to the other quite relative but very important. The 'uncool'-ness of the accordion which had become, in essence a new appendage, had long since been a non-issue to me musically. But it was an issue for audiences of popular music, not to mention for bandmates of accordionists in groups that played popular music. In other words, okay to me-uncool to them. And in truth, I was enamored with the idea of a new, and much more widely acceptable to younger audiences, instrument which was a mainstay in a preponderance of musical groups professional and unprofessional, young and old- the electronic organ. I had previously graduated from my first very own 120 bass accordion to a 'mic-ed' acoustic/electric hybrid accordion (not as sophisticated nor as expensive as the Cordovox) which had its merits: additional volume and the mere characteristic of being 'electric'. But NOW, I was ready for the electronic organ.

Remember Paul Revere and the Raiders and Paul Revere himself (stage name, I'm sure) who stood, sang and danced while banging out those gloriously wheezing chords on his Vox electronic? Well that's what I wanted, only I couldn't dance and I didn't want the HAT.

Not surprisingly to me, electronic organs were expensive. At least for an adolescent earning about $10.00 a week delivering newspapers. A then you would of course, have to buy an amplifier through which to play this wonderful instrument. After some shopping, comparing and arranging finance with my parents, I decided upon the Farfisa Fast Four and a used Ampeg bass amp with two 24-inch speakers and nary a watt of output. I do exaggerate, but it was FAR from powerful. The organ itself was off-white with chrome folding legs and gray keys (naturals) with which sharps and flats with a little more than an octave of bass keys in black instead of gray. It was GRAND. It was downright COOL!




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Monday, November 21, 2011

Twelve GOOD what?. . .

. . . I'm not talking about the jury in the famous play and movie. I'm not talking about the twelve sons of Jacob or the followers of Jesus. Not 12 bad habits that hold good people back, not twelve good men and true. . .

No. I heard a politician on the radio this morning refer to the Congressional "'Super Committee' as twelve GOOD people who worked hard" to reduce the deficit. Almost FOUR months! And NO DEAL! COME ON!!!

Now the final insult from our public servants. No deal after all this time, fuss and their refusal to take the well being of their constituents seriously. And the same, one, big, clear point of disagreement remains - TAXES!!

And even the rich people that the Republicans refuse to tax WANT to take on the extra burden. (See the news last week.)

I URGE the "Occupy" groups to take on this one issue and I'll be specific about how I think it should be done. Here's your chance to show the world that you DO HAVE AN AGENDA. What better way to help the 99% than by removing the 1% from power. My suggestion. . .

Occupy Washington DC and recall the ENTIRE CONGRESS. WHO NEEDS THESE PEOPLE to continue pretending to serve us? We certainly don't.




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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Where's the Cheer?. . .

. . .That I should feel
Inside my heart
This time of year
While all the
Televisions
Newspapers
And billboards
Count the shopping days
For me

It appears
To me that
I'm the only one
Who doesn't see
The fine and natural
Attraction to what seems
Part race
Part obstacle course
I believe

Long ago I leaned that we
Celebrate this season
Anniversary of the birth
Of someone named Jesus

Through the years
How my perception of it all
Has gone awry
When so much
Manufactured hype
And pressurized requirements
Make it all seem a lie

How I wish
Since it's the
Time of year that
Dreams can come alive
That you and I
See one November when
Without the retail forecasting
Some peace on earth
Goodwill to all arrives

CHEER
©2007 Raymond M. Jozwiak


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On and on it goes. . .

. . . and when it may return nobody knows.

Our gig at this blue-collar hotspot was quite a gravy job. We played four hours, with three twenty-minute breaks, every Friday and Saturday night, beer was free and we were paid $120 ($30 per man). That may sound laughable now (it does to me), but being a twenty-something still in college in 1977, this was one hell of a deal. And to make matters even better, the owner installed a Hammond B3 organ (with Leslie tone cabinet) in the club, or maybe it belonged to the Thursday musician but it was never clarified and was available for our (read: MY) use. Any keyboardist knows well the value of this perk, particularly in pre-digital-sample-lightweight-inexpensive-keyboard times. And yet in spite of all these wonderful things available to us during this period, we (can you believe it?) received an offer of a higher-paying gig (I believe it was $40 per man) at a club with a more convenient location to us all, and in a neighborhood where the probability of chairs being broken over patrons' heads was only slightly less. The owner of this bar actually hired us to 'discourage' the patronage of an 'undesirable' younger element that had begun frequenting the establishment and the owner thought he had found in our band/music, just the thing to accomplish this. Years after these events, other members of the group enjoy fondly recalling the job for which we were hired to 'drive customers away.' Poetic justice indeed!

We did take the job. Ten more dollars and much less mileage were certainly well worth it. Needless to say, it was back to playing my cheesy, or should I say sub-par instrument of economic necessity. If memory serves however, this arrangement did not last very long and we ended up with a long-running, relatively prestigious gig at the local American Legion hall for comparable pay and the only stringent requirement being to play God Bless America sometime during the last set of the evening. Being truly devoted veterans and family members thereof, everyone always stood respectfully as we played it in these pre-nine-eleven days. But the place seemed like home. It was cleaner than just about ANY other place we played, the staff was friendly and the clientele attentive and appreciative.




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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Less than one percent. . .

. . . A group of millionaires [200-plus people making more than $1 million per year (including actress Edie Falco and economist Nouriel Roubini, among others] believe that America has been good to them and that it is their duty to give back. "The government provided a foundation through which we could succeed," writes the group on their website. They visited Congress Wednesday to ask for higher taxes. Hard to believe. Well, it happened. Some of the more liberal-bent members actually welcomed them, some conservatives merely tolerated them.

Grover Norquist reportedly said, "If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means" pay more in taxes than you owe. (A real humanitarian, this guy.)

One of the millionaires told Norquist that if he wanted low taxes and less government, he should renounce his citizenship and move to Somalia where they don't collect any tax.

These millionaires want the panel to raise taxes on people who earn more than $1 million, even though most Republicans are committed to NOT DOING just that. So the millionaires tried to meet with ANYONE who would listen. The progressive caucus did meet with them.

Lawrence Benenson, vice president of Benenson Capitol Co., ran into freshman Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., in an elevator. "I'm with the Patriotic Millionaires and we want to pay more in taxes," he told her.

Then it was off, to see Norquist. For his part, Norquist was ready for the group with a lesson from the Torah: Maimonides and his "eight degrees of charity." That's what Norquist says the millionaires are essentially proposing with their tax-me-more pitch.

So Norquist made his colors quite clear. 'Let's stand on ceremony and F*^@k the people' is essentially what he said.

What will it take to make folks like Norquist SEE the light????




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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Bill of Rights, Karl. . .

(from truthout.com)
Karl Rove Flips Out at Protesters: "Who Gave You the Right to Occupy America?"
Wednesday 16 November 2011
by: Zaid Jilani, ThinkProgress | Report

Last night, former Bush official Karl Rove appeared at Johns Hopkins University to speak as a part of the annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium. Rove soon discovered that he wasn’t going to deliver his right-wing rhetoric unopposed, as a cry of “Mic Check!” rang out among the audience.

As the world rises up against economic injustice, Truthout brings you the latest news and analysis, free of corporate influence. Help support this work with a tax-deductible donation today.

“Karl Rove is the architect of Occupy Iraq, the architect of Occupy Afghanistan!” yelled the demonstrators. Occupy Baltimore had infiltrated the crowd and began chanting against Rove. “Who gave you the right to occupy America?” asked Rove to the protesters, apparently unaware of the Bill of Rights. As they repeated their slogan, “We are the 99 percent!” Rove petulantly responded, “No you’re not!” He snidely added, “You wanna keep jumping up and yelling that you’re the 99 percent? How presumptuous and arrogant can you think (you) are!”

Get with the program, Karl. You’ve been talking to polite (warranted?) audiences for too long. These people aren’t gonna listen to you drool for an hour or more and wait in line to ask you a question. Do you really expect that, Karl? Who is the BUFFOON here?

Note: And nobody got hurt.

Watch Occupy Baltimore confront Rove:





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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dish it out, baby. . .

The final version of a spending bill in Congress released late Monday will allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable in school lunches, which the USDA wanted to prevent.

Republicans were concerned about troublesome and costly regulations imposed by the USDA and said (get this) the bill will provide greater flexibility for school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals.

So, I suppose with this new vegetable, we can expect the appearance of new gastronomical delights like steak and pizza, fried green pizza, pizza soup, maybe split pizza soup too, tossed pizza, caesar pizza, mixed green pizzas, mashed pizza. . .

The Republicans are always trying to bring Ronald Reagan back in some form. This surely takes his ketchup-as-a-vegetable philosophy to new heights.




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Monday, November 14, 2011

"The First Amendment. . .

. . .DOES NOT bar religion from the public square and from government in general. Under the First Amendment, the resulting separation of Church and State puts restrictions on government but does not put restrictions on religion. . ."

(reaction to a recent blog by Howard Bess. See bottom)
The good Reverend seems to hit it on the head on a regular basis. He says that the current crop of republican presidential candidates, as well as the media 'reporting' on them, all miss the boat on their interpretation of the First Amendment. He would like to know how the religion of the candidates informs their views and intentions with regard to the following issues. "As president, would the candidate pursue the teachings of his religion?"

WAR AND PEACE - religions generally favor a path toward peace

POPULATION CONTROL, BIRTH CONTROL, AND ABORTION SERVICES - how long will the earth be able to sustain the needs of this huge (and growing) population so highly encouraged by their right to life 'philosophy'?

FULL RIGHTS FOR GAY, LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED AND BISEXUAL PERSONS - many/most organized religions do not favor these just and necessary rights

PRESERVATION OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE WORLD’S ENVIRONMENT - what will the candidate do when scientific knowledge directly confronts the teachings of his religion?

PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION - parochial schools have been known to practice discrimination

PROVISION FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS FORTUNATE - entitlements and being 'thy brother's keeper'

The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska. His email address is HYPERLINK "mailto:hdbss@mtaonline.net" hdbss@mtaonline.net

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING HIM!




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The poet said . . .

. . . trailing clouds of glory we come and go
What do we really know
Smiling so brightly betraying the years
They have still to try
Those little men
with that glory
Riddles and bedtime stories
Little men
With that glory
In their eyes

Innocence and wisdom coexist inside their minds
Together with appreciation for the the things we miss
In our haste and our big business
Always in awe of the wheels spinning round
With a laugh for the foolish things big men do

The poet said trailing clouds of glory we come and go
What do we really know
Smiling so brightly betraying the years
They have still to try
Those little men
with that glory
Riddles and bedtime stories
Little men
With that glory
In their eyes

Everybody thinks about the world and what the future brings
Who really knows the plan and all its subtleties
We're really smart at least that's what we think
Going our own way in blissful retreat
From the prospect of seeing things too clearly

The poet said trailing clouds of glory we come and go
What do we really know
Smiling so brightly betraying the years
They have still to try
Those little men
with that glory
Riddles and bedtime stories
Little men
With that glory
In their eyes

LITTLE MEN
©1992 Raymond M. Jozwiak


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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just because you're not a drummer. . .

. . . doesn't mean that you don't have to KEEP TIME.

(from T. Monk's advice. . . )
Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head when you play.

Stop playing all (that bullshit) those wierd (sic) notes, PLAY THE MELODY!

Make the drummer sound GOOD.

Discrimination is important.

You've got to dig it to DIG IT. YOU DIG?

All Reet!

It must be always NIGHT, otherwise they wouldn't need the LIGHTS.

Let's lift the bandstand!!

Avoid the HECKLERS.

Don't play the PIANO PART. I'm playing that. Don't listen to me. I'm supposed to be accompanying YOU.

The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.

Don't play EVERYTHING (or EVERYTIME); let some things go by. Some music (is) just imagined. What you don't play can be more important than what you DO.

A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world. It depends on your IMAGINATION.

Stay in SHAPE! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig and when it comes, he's out of shape and can't make it.

When you're SWINGING, swing some MORE!

Always leave them wanting MORE.

Don't sound ANYBODY for a gig, just be on the scene. Those pieces were written so as to have something to play and to get cats INTERESTED enough to come to rehearsal.

You've got it! If you don;'t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case YOU GOT IT! (to a drummer who didn't want to solo)

Whatever you think CAN'T be done, somebody will come along and DO IT. A genius is the one MOST LIKE HIMSELF!

They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it.





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Real change . . .

. . . we are all evolving. . .

(from THE SINS OF SCRIPTURE by John Shelby Spong
© 2005 John Shelby Spong)
". . . if change is the tactic to be adopted, the change cannot be simply cosmetic, an adjustment around the edges of our faith story. It has to be so total and so radical that many will think such a change is either impossible or will result in the death of the patient. It would be easier, some say, to start over by building an entirely new religious system than it would be to seek to reform this one so totally that continuity might be strained to the breaking point. . . Our task is not to build tomorrow's church. That is something into which we have to live one day at a time. Our task is rather to face the need for radical change and take the first, probably tiny step necessary to erect a totally new foundation. That step is found, I believe, in acknowledging our evolutionary origins and dispensing with any suggestion that sin, inadequacy and guilt are the definitions into which we are born. This also means that we rid ourselves of the idea that the world was created for the benefit of human beings, or even that the planet earth is somehow different or special in the universe. . . "




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Friday, November 11, 2011

Let's see -- I can't..., I can't. . . I'm sorry ... oops...

. . . (based [loosely] upon http://www.rickperry.org/issues/)
America is at a crossroads. One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a uh, the uh...struggling to avoid foreclosure or to just make ends meet. As national leaders spend more time assigning blame than laying out a clear vision, the prospects for recovery seem let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops..

Rick Perry will get America working again.
As Governor of uh, the uh...let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops, Rick Perry has helped build the nation's strongest economy. Since June 2009, more than 40 percent of all net new jobs in America have been created in Texas. Thanks to his fiscally conservative leadership, Texans enjoy one of the lowest tax burdens in the country and one of the uh, the uh...

The principles that have guided Rick Perry's leadership in Texas are the same principles that will guide him as let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops:
Don't spend all the money. Keep taxes low and regulations fair. And invest aggressively in job creation, because good jobs make the American Dream possible. It's time for a leader who will allow us to believe again – to believe that America's best days are ahead, that we are not consigned to a fate of high unemployment and economic uh, let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops., and that our place in the world can once again be secure with a policy of peace through strength. That leader is Rick Perry. And the restoration of the American Dream begins today.

The Issues

Jobs
Rick Perry will get government out of the way so we can get America working again. By cutting taxes, repealing regulations, balancing our budget and uh, the uh...America can create millions of new jobs. Perry not only espouses conservative economic ideas – he has put them to work in his home state, where nearly 40% of uh, the uh...let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops.

Fiscal Responsibility
Washington is broken. President Obama and other establishment politicians think it can be fixed with let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops. Rick Perry knows it will require taking a wrecking ball to the three pillars of big government: overtaxing, overspending and overregulation.

Security
As a proud Air Force veteran, Rick Perry believes we must pursue peace through strength and provide the resources to maintain uh, the uh... Perry will advance American interests abroad by standing firm with our allies, and ensuring American blood and American Treasure are spent only when American interests are threatened. Equally important, he will protect the American homeland by forcing Washington to let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops.

Healthcare
Rick Perry believes government must stimulate job creation so more Americans are covered by employer-sponsored health plans. We must repeal Obamacare, and completely transform the uh, the uh...let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops.

Social Issues
Rick Perry is a conservative of conviction, not of convenience. On the bedrock issues of life, marriage and uh, the uh..., Perry’s conservative values are clear and uh, the uh...let's see -- I can't..., I can't. I'm sorry ... oops.




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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good or bad. . .

. . . music brings something out of EVERYBODY. . .


(from http://www.quotegarden.com/music.html)
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach


All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls! ~Thomas Carlyle


If the King loves music, it is well with the land. ~Mencius


Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. ~Gustav Mahler


Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass? ~Michael Torke


And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs
And as silently steal away.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done


He who sings scares away his woes. ~Cervantes


Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name


Were it not for music, we might in these days say, the Beautiful is dead. ~Benjamin Disraeli


Music is what feelings sound like. ~Author Unknown


There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.
~Lord Byron


Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket. ~Henri Rabaud


Music is the poetry of the air. ~Richter


If I were to begin life again, I would devote it to music. It is the only cheap and unpunished rapture upon earth. Sydney Smith


There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill


If in the after life there is not music, we will have to import it. ~Doménico Cieri Estrada


Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it. ~Henry David Thoreau


Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life. ~Ludwig van Beethoven


I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality. ~H.A. Overstreet


My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. ~Edward Elgar


Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!
~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. ~Charlie Parker


Life can't be all bad when for ten dollars you can buy all the Beethoven sonatas and listen to them for ten years. ~William F. Buckley, Jr.


Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Play the music, not the instrument. ~Author Unknown


Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken. ~Ludwig van Beethoven


Music is the cup which holds the wine of silence. ~Robert Fripp


[An intellectual] is someone who can listen to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger. ~John Chesson


Music's the medicine of the mind. ~John A. Logan


You are the music while the music lasts. ~T.S. Eliot


Music is the universal language of mankind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Mer


Music rots when it gets too far from the dance. Poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music. ~Ezra Pound


He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once. ~Robert Browning


You can't possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven's Seventh and go slow. ~Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket


The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven't got the joke yet. ~Oliver Herford


What we provide is an atmosphere... of orchestrated pulse which works on people in a subliminal way. Under its influence I've seen shy debs and severe dowagers kick off their shoes and raise some wholesome hell. ~Meyer Davis, about his orchestra


Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo


...where music dwells
Lingering - and wandering on as loth to die...
~William Wordsworth, "Within King's College Chapel, Cambridge"


Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel. ~Buffy Sainte-Marie


Music is an outburst of the soul. ~Frederick Delius


Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. ~Oscar Wilde


In music the passions enjoy themselves. ~Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886


Music is what life sounds like. ~Eric Olson


If this word "music" is sacred and reserved for eighteenth and nineteenth century instruments, we can substitute a more meaningful term: organization of sound. ~John Cage


Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate. ~Arnold Bennett


Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. ~Robert G. Ingersoll


Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. ~Alphonse de Lamartine


There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
~William Cowper


When words leave off, music begins. ~Heinrich Heine


Truly to sing, that is a different breath. ~Rainer Maria Rilke


Music is the shorthand of emotion. ~Leo Tolstoy


Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together. ~Anais Nin


There is no truer truth obtainable
By Man than comes of music.
~Robert Browning


Most people use music as a couch; they want to be pillowed on it, relaxed and consoled for the stress of daily living. But serious music was never meant to be soporific. ~Aaron Copland


What passion cannot music raise and quell! ~John Dryden


The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial. ~Leonard Bernstein


Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die. ~Paul Simon


Music, when soft voices die
Vibrates in the memory -
~Percy Bysshe Shelley


A jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges. ~Benny Green


The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! ~Artur Schnabel


The pause is as important as the note. ~Truman Fisher


The city is built
To music, therefore never built at all,
And therefore built forever.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson


Silence is the fabric upon which the notes are woven. ~Lawrence Duncan


Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. ~Confucius


Rock music in its lyrics often talks ahead of the time about what's going on in the country. ~Edmund G. Brown


Music can noble hints impart,
Engender fury, kindle love,
With unsuspected eloquence can move,
And manage all the man with secret art.
~Joseph Addison


My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace


Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson


Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. ~Ronald Reagan


The discovery of song and the creation of musical instruments both owed their origin to a human impulse which lies much deeper than conscious intention: the need for rhythm in life… the need is a deep one, transcending thought, and disregarded at our peril. ~Richard Baker


Jazz will endure just as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains. ~John Philip Sousa


Music is the medicine of the breaking heart. ~Leigh Hunt


Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. ~Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard, Comments of Abe Martin and His Neighbors, 1923


Country music is three chords and the truth. ~Harlan Howard


An artist, in giving a concert, should not demand an entrance fee but should ask the public to pay, just before leaving as much as they like. From the sum he would be able to judge what the world thinks of him - and we would have fewer mediocre concerts. ~Kit Coleman, Kit Coleman: Queen of Hearts


I think sometimes could I only have music on my own terms, could I live in a great city, and know where I could go whenever I wished the ablution and inundation of musical waves, that were a bath and a medicine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley


Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton


A song has a few rights the same as ordinary citizens... if it happens to feel like flying where humans cannot fly... to scale mountains that are not there, who shall stop it? ~Charles Ives


The pleasure we obtain from music comes from counting, but counting unconsciously. Music is nothing but unconscious arithmetic. ~Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz


After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays


Music is love in search of a word. ~Sidney Lanier


It is incontestable that music induces in us a sense of the infinite and the contemplation of the invisible. ~Victor de LaPrade


Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life. ~Jean Paul Richter


All the shopping malls and restaurants and airports are riddled with low-fidelity loudspeakers, which apparently have developed the ability to reproduce by themselves; these are all connected to a special programming service called Music That Nobody Really Likes, and you cannot get away from it. ~Dave Barry


Music is a friend of labor for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker. ~William Green


If anyone has conducted a Beethoven performance, and then doesn't have to go to an osteopath, then there's something wrong. ~Simon Rattle


Bach opens a vista to the universe. After experiencing him, people feel there is meaning to life after all. ~Helmut Walcha


I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else. ~Lily Tomlin


The scratches in Yoko Ono records are moments of relief. ~S.A. Sachs


Music is well said to be the speech of angels. ~Thomas Carlyle, Essays, "The Opera"


Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. ~Robert Benchley


The taxpayers cannot be relied upon to support performing arts such as opera. As a taxpayer, I am forced to admit that I would rather undergo a vasectomy via Weed Whacker than attend an opera. ~Dave Barry


No good opera plot can be sensible:... people do not sing when they are feeling sensible. ~W.H. Auden, Time, 29 December 1961





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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Junk, stuff, things, baggage. . .

. . . whatever you call it, everybody's got it; and probably more of it than they need. And I mean actual, PHYSICAL junk and not the mental baggage we all carry, which will indeed be the topic of another blog at another time.

My wife and I just got rid of a lot of junk in the last two weekends and it really feels good. As each of our parents passed away, I vowed to myself that I did NOT want to leave a lot of stupid junk laying around so our children would have to sift through it, and as is so often the case, throw out most of it in the end. We both are taking that idea a little more seriously now. Of course it is also somewhat selfish on our part. The more we clean out now, the easier it is to find the things we actually need and everything is just so much neater.

Why does it seem that human nature has a tendency to collect, store, hoard, whatever you want to call it? Maybe after additional research in the field of evolution it will finally be revealed that we have not, after all, evolved from the apes (a prospect that troubles so many 'traditional' thinkers) but that we have indeed evolved from a much more noble creature - THE SQUIRREL!




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Monday, November 7, 2011

Ah, our favorite non-candidate. . .

. . . (from The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar)

[After being asked by a television news anchorman if any new initiatives are in the works] "Gah! Nothing specific right now. Sitting here in these chairs that I'm going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it's our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don't get away with that."

You must have guessed who said this. It's Sarah Palin.




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Sunday, November 6, 2011

On very special. . .

. . . occasions. . .

When celebrating felt right
This place we'd go
With AMBIENCE AND WINE
On a Saturday night
Caricatures hung on the wall
Eavesdropping on our most intimate moments
I love you

It was essential to go there
To mark the passage of time
Between the dates
We used to signify
The bond we shared and to dine
Only served Angus A-1 prime
To patrons of each and every persuasion
I loved you

But now that place is all gone
Where did our love go
Where is the ambience and
McCafferty's piano

While you eat you're serenaded by some local musician
Playing bad renditions of the popular songs
You sing along

And so it ended
Our passion somehow just faded away
And likewise too
That place we held divine
Became a dance club today
The memories come flooding in
Sweet talk and all the romancing we did there
It's gone now

But now that place is all gone
Where did our love go
Where is the ambience and
McCafferty's piano

McCafferty's Piano (from the forthcoming AMBIENCE & WINE [stay tuned])
©2010 Raymond M. Jozwiak


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