Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Facebook Feeds...

My Blog

I've developed a new system to feed me ideas for blog posts and I thought I'd share it with you. It's based on using facebook posts as building blocks.

It kind of happened naturally. I started with noticing when I wrote something on facebook, whether a status update or comment, that I thought hit the mark for me, said something well, or that I was proud of. I would write in the little comment or post field, but before I hit "share", I would highlight and drag the whole comment onto my desk top, thinking I'd think about whether it might make or be the seeds of a good blog idea.

After a little while, I realized I had a stack of these little text box files on my desktop and I could barely remember what the Hell was in there. So I started to read them and after reading several, I realized that these comments were falling into some general categories like Politics, Music, Humorous, as well as some more specific ones as well.

So I went to the part of my computer where I keep a word doc. of whatever I post on my blog. I have the blog itself as well as a folder of the pictures I've used for each post. I started a new folder called "Blog Ideas" and then within that folder I started individual folders with these categories as headers.

So for instance, I now have a folder called "Music" and whenever I post something I like on facebook that's related to songwriting, the nature of songs, or music, or my relationship with music, I grab that post and drop in onto my desk top. It's super easy and fast and just takes a second. Later on, I go back and drop it into the Blog Idea>Music folder.

This blog, as you know, is really not a public diary type blog. It's essentially composed of articles expressing my opinions and experiences on various aspects of my life. I now have about 15 folders with sorted out posts about just that. When I feel like I want to post something, but am not sure what, I just look at these folders, and see if any of the ideas catches my eye. If one does, I can open it and find several comments that I've already thought through and written on this subject. I find it a nice way to not lose things that I've put some time and energy into, and that I like. I also use it to focus and organize what looks at first like a bunch of disparate random comments but which do in fact, when sorted out, reveal part of my developing ideas on different subjects.

So far, I'm likin' it!

These Are A Few...

Of My Favorite Spams (Part Three)

Now that Spam filters are in place and lots of spammers have been put out of business, I only get a few a day and it doesn't take much time to actually check them out. Here are more of my favorites:

Best Subject Names

****SPAM**** Dear Friend, Business Request

Amazing increase in the thickness of yourPenis, up to 30% with our miracle pills xqze

woxw q7

Here live the bride

2011: Become a Psychologist


gene_burnett, 65% off on all soft.

Lasik special starting at $299 per eye

Best Contents

I'm the most romantic girl! I am the girl with whom you feel warmth and happiness. I want to meet my beloved man. It's you? Yes! Let's meet in the online chat? All the details with photos in my page:

Hello Sir/Madam ,
Business Proposal

In the galaxy where all is beauty i fine it necessary to approach your Platform these way, well I apologies for the inconvenient it will take you to listen to my magistrate got your contact when I was searching for business partner one fact to know is the essential sadness to pass through life without experience, yet is also sad to pass through life without sharing once experience and weakness to others, if this is truly of me, I remain my humble self Barrister Damian Danso by name from Netherlands.

In receipt to your profile, is a pressure and also necessary to relate this issue before your hearing, my late Client (Mr. Dominic Dim Deng) was returning with a military delegation to the regional capital, Juba, from a political conference in the town of Wau on Friday, 2 May 2008, he should had being in (Juba) for a political era, so their plane clash and my Late Client die. See the website for confirmation,
My aim of writing you this email now is that My late Client should have being in Malaysia for a project on 4th night of these incident a project that worth the sum of ($25,500.000.00), Twenty Five Millions Five Hundred Thousand Dollars, deposited with a Security company in Malaysia, and he was expected to be Malaysia as soon as he return juba, eventually this incident occurred. I need your humble assistance to retrieve my late Client funds from the security company into your care as we come over for investment as i can not come out for this fund being his personal Lawyer. All the documents of this money and is where about is in my position. I need your urgent update of your interested of being my suitor to this Matter.
Thanks and God Bless.
From: Barrister Damian Danso.

Gene just saying hello we all need to go out and make it happen for our families my debt doesnt stress me out anymore I love the fact that I can support my family dont hesitate and youll give it a try

Gene I wish I knew this worked im willing to share something important with you I like to stare at the money I make I love being able to support my family you cant keep hesitating to talk to you another time

your my best friend Gene only you can change your future the wealth opportunity is amazing its only available for a few more days they guarantee you will make money or its free seriously some people think its impossible to very easily get involved very easily right now good luck with everything

Hi Dear,

how are you today i hope that every things is ok with you as it is my great pleassure to contact you in having communication with you, please i wish you will have the desire with me so that we can get to know each other better and see what happened in future..i will be very happy if you can write me back for easiest communication and to know all about each other, and also give you my pictures and details about me, i will be waiting to hear from you as i wish you all the best for your day.
your new friend

Hej Man,

Jeg ved ikke, hvordan jeg skal sige det, men jeg har tryed fřr en lang tid til at sende dig nogle billeder, men jeg har tćnkt, at du ikke er interesseret i at se mig.
Men nu vil jeg sende dig billeder i tillćgget.
Download billeder og uddrag de, jeg er sikker pĺ, at du vil kunne lide de. Adgangskoden er: 123456

Har du en god dag.

Best Spammer Names:

Astrid Earlean

Dangwoma Ahmed

Zina Tijuana

Ludivina Jacki

Monday, January 17, 2011

Acoustic Music

Versus Electronic Music

"I firmly believe that if you can't take an acoustic intsrument and make someone from another culture butt dance, you ain't doing shit."

Mojo Nixon

I think the key to Mojo's quote is "if you can't". He didn't say, "if you don't". I think there are a lot of performers who literally can't sing without a mike, and can't really play a non electronic instrument. At least not in a way that anyone would butt dance to.

While I don't go as far as Mojo to say "you ain't doin' shit", in my opinion, being able to play an acoustic instrument and sing without a mike is a real plus, whether you end up playing electronica or not.

I believe that singing with a mike, or using a computer because you choose to, or prefer to, is much more powerful artistically than doing the same thing because you don't know how to do anything else. Any artistic gesture that is a choice rather than a limitation is, I think, more powerful. For instance, I choose to sing in a modern, pop, folky style because I like the way it sounds and it fits my songs. I can, if I choose to, sing in a more trained "full voice" style, but I don't like the way it matches my songs. Just knowing that I can sing a song differently if I want to, feels very different from knowing that I cannot sing it any other way.

Electric instruments are great and all those "computers masturbating" techno-songs are great, but I still love the elemental acoustic playing of real instruments that vibrate and shape the air right there in the room and real voices with no auto-tune or pitch correctors or sometimes, even microphones. That's the essence of music and what we'll always return to whenever the latest technological party runs dry.

The Zombie Invasion

Has Started

I wasn't sure the Zombie Invasion had started yet until I noticed the Zombie Ref working one of our local High School Football might have to zoom in a bit, but damn it, he's in there...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

These Are A Few...

Of My Favorite Books

I didn't go to college and am somewhat of an autodidact, so my reading has not been systematic, but driven by whatever I was interested in at the time. Here are some books, fiction and non-fiction, in no particular order, that I've really enjoyed over the years and heartily recommend. And, I'm sure I've left a few out...

From John Barth:
The Floating Opera
The End Of The Road
The Sot-Weed Factor*
*especially this one

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

East Of Eden by John Steinbeck

A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey

I like everything I've read from Philip Roth, especially:
Sabbath's Theatre
American Pastoral
The Human Stain

Any short story collections by:
Franz Kafka
Paul Bowles
Alice Munro

The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Sophie's Choice by William Styron

From Scott Spencer
Endless Love
Waking The Dead

Damage by Josephine Hart

Any Title by psychotherapist Alexander Lowen

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

Any title by J.Krishnamurti

The first handful of Carlos Castaneda's "Don Juan" books.

And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran

Independent People by Halldor Laxness

The Guru Papers~Masks Of Authoritarian Power by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad

Shogun by James Clavell

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism by Robert Jay Lifton

Waldon by Henry David Thoreau

Inner Tennis by Timothy Gallway

Chronicles by Bob Dylan

King Soloman's Ring by Konrad Lorenz

The Fabric Of The Cosmos by Brian Greene

Crow With No Mouth by Ikkyu

Any Haiku collection by Basho

Revolution In The Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties by Ian MacDonald

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Focusing by Eugene Gendlin

The Tao Te Tching by Lao Tsu (various translations)

Pryor Convictions: And Other Life Sentences by Richard Pryor

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Games People Play by Eric Berne

From Nick Hornby
High Fidelity
About A Boy

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

1984 by George Orwell

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Bliss by Peter Carey

Money by Martin Amis

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich by William L. Shirer

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Some Favorite Posts...

I get a lot of ideas for blog posts when I'm on facebook. Someone will post something that gets me started on a train of thought and by the time I get off that train, I've written a little mini-article on the subject. Then, with a few modifications, I end up posting it here. Once I've posted it, instead of re-thinking the whole thing, whenever someone stirs up that same train of thought, I can refer them to the caboose I parked right here. Sometimes too, what people post on facebook will inspire me to post some little thought or inspiration of my own.

What follows are some of the comments I made on other people's posts as well as some posts of my own that somehow didn't inspire entire blog pieces, but that I didn't want to just throw away either...

What's the opposite of "gravitas"? Would it be "levitas"? I got that.

I don't feel like a loser, but I sure as Hell don't feel like a winner. I guess I'm kind of a woozer...

My facebook privacy setting is set to "Cavity Search".

Whenever a politician, or person in power, says that anything is about "the children", or "protecting the children", or "our nation's children", you can be pretty's not about the children.

Today, near where I teach in the park, a tree with red leaves was hit by a strong wind as a storm moved in. But instead of falling, the leaves held on. As the wind hit them, they flipped up and over revealing their yellower undersides. The whole tree turned yellow in front of me, and then, as the wind died down, the whole tree gradually turned red again as the leaves returned to their earlier positions.

Something about life strips us of these things: ! I've noticed that very few of my older friends use more than one or two in a post, while my younger friends use as many as 5 in a row, and often more than a dozen per post. I wonder why!!!!!

I think anything that be imagined or conceived of exists, if only as a pattern of molecules in the brain. There might be such a "thing" as nothing, but not if you can think of it. When you think of it, it's something.

The big question, in my opinion, the one that no one seems to have any satisfactory answer for is this: If anything at all exists...Why something and not nothing? Why does anything exist?

The weird thing about the "blackness" you see when you close your eyes is that it is made up of points of light. Your optic nerve can only transmit light. That's why you "see" light flashing when you push on your eyeballs. When you close your eyes, you see black "light", when you open them you see light "light".

Did you know that a girl who'd been blinded in early childhood had an operation later on that restored her sight and it took her weeks to be able to tell the difference between a circle and a square? You don't just open you eyes and see "this", you need "software" to decode it into what you call "this". When this girl opened her eyes, she saw chaos, like any infant would. She would say things like, "The tree has lights on it." If this confused her, she'd just close her eyes and touch the tree with her hands and it instantly made sense to her. Her kinesthetic software map of the world was highly developed while her visual software map was rapidly updating, but way behind.

Will one or two of you movers and shakers, writers, tech geeks, designers, or Hollywood types please come up with some timeless, meaningful, new pop culture words that rhyme with "girl"? I'm sick of the usual suspects and half rhymes. Personally, I rarely find myself needing or wanting to rhyme the word "girl", but I'm far from the only one writing songs...

Sometimes No is the only word worth saying. One time I was teaching T'ai-Chi in the park and this little kid in her mom's arms walking by was clearly fascinated by what we were doing. She stared very intently and then said, "No!" I took it as a high compliment. I think at a certain point "No" not only means no, but means "this is the most powerful word I can say right now". The kid in the park clearly liked what we were doing and so assigned it the most powerful word she had. At least that's how I felt it at the time.

Based on the response to my facebook photo albums, I'm putting Samarra's picture on my next album cover.

Caring about music, and caring about "good" music, which is to say "music you like", are not the same thing. In my opinion: Caring about music means caring about MUSIC, not just the kind you like. To paraphrase Voltaire: "I do not like your tunes dude, but I'll fight to the death for your right to sing them."

Started off sunny, but the wind and rain are pushing through big time. Change is afoot people, it never stops, it's just sometimes more obvious than others.

In the music world, actions speak so much louder than words that compared to actions, I can barely even hear words anymore.

I don't trust the data my senses take in or my inner sense of intuition to "know" anything with certainty or precision. In other words, based on my sensory input, I don't know that a table actually IS a table, is actually over there right now, or if in fact there's any such thing as "now" "there" or "tables". I don't trust my intuition to nail this down in any precise way either. But I do trust my senses, my intuition and my general sense of what feels most deeply right to guide me toward the life that's best for me.

Man, sometimes I really miss the Midwest. I know it's dangerous and crazy cold out there right now, but I just love big weather. When we lived in Iowa whenever there was a tornado warning, we'd run outside and practically climb up on the roof to see the sky...And we always dug those snow storms...

Short Poem:

Watching th
Mountain stream
I remember Iowa
And how I used to say
The sky is my ocean

If you want to have an argument or be ignored, I think the best way is to state your opinions as though they are facts. If you want to have a discussion and maybe get to know someone, I would suggest that you state your opinions as opinions and then ask, "What do you think?"

Here's an expression I haven't heard in a decade or more: "Excuse me, do you mind if I take your picture?"

Merry Christma-Solsti-Kwanza-Kah to all! And remember, if you didn't get what you wanted...There are more and better gifts in losing than in winning...They just take a lot longer to unwrap. Be well everyone and have a great day!

New Year's Eve...Waitin' for the missus to decide what to wear...Thank God I'm a man and know instantly what will be perfect: Gold lame´jockstrap, hunting boots and a goat head.

New Year's Eve...Alcohol has never been my drug of choice. When ever I see Champagne I always think of Curly from The Three Stooges saying, "Oh! Sham-pag-nee. I'm a common sewer!"

This year has ended quite nicely. Lots of time with my soon to be very busy wife, posted a new album on my site, 3 nice tips in my digital tip jar, a couple of CD sales, and one of Samarra's tango students, who teaches poetry/psychology at SOU ordered one each of my two poetry books. That last one is really amazing. $20 is actually about a grand in poetry money...

This year, why not make your resolutions do-able and realistic? Take a quality in your life that you want less of and say, I want to be or have less _____. Or take a quality in your life that you want more of and say, I want to be or have more _____. Most of my goals have the words "more" or "less" in front of them. Much easier to focus my intention and energy on than some more general or impossible abstraction.

Of all the things on the net, I am most thankful for youtube and facebook. Both have helped me connect with many, many people, musically and personally, who I would never in a million years have found all by myself. I'm also very thankful to my friend Datta Groover for keeping my site going. To Ben Grunde for helping me with graphic design and printing for my albums. To Tom Freeman for helping me record, mix and master my albums. And all the places that let me play: The Wild Goose, Liquid Assets, Tease, Key of C, Downtowne Coffeehouse, and more. And all of you who bought albums, left tips, watched youtube videos, posted nice comments and just smiled when you heard one of my songs. And to all my T'ai-Chi students who brave the elements all year to meet me in the park and dance around in circles. To Andy Dale for teaching me T'ai-Chi and answering more questions than a teacher should have to be asked! And to my lovely wife Samarra who puts up with more than you all can imagine and loves me just the way I am. And to all my friends who watch my back, and front. To my family for getting me here. To Nature for providing water and all my other teachers. To Music for being the best way I know to say, Here I am~Wanna dance? And to Love for all of the above.

Happy New Year everyone!